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Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by gilmourstrat, Nov 25, 2021.
I'll take a ham sandwich. Hold the ham.
I don't have any high-end exquisite guitars. I have a Les Paul Standard and an American Professional Strat... I consider them professional level, but not really high end. I have a bunch of low-end, middle-end, and partscasters. I play my AmPro strat a lot, but my Les Paul spends most of its time in its case. Most of my playing is on my lower end guitars.
I'm going down the middle. TWO really nice, but not over the top high end guitars. I got the quality covered and just enough variety so I won't ever get tired of playing just one.
I'm there with acoustics - two Martins, a CEO-7 to cover the dry, fundamental mahogany thing, and a 000-28EC to cover that lush sustain you only get from rosewood. I consider these as nice as I'll ever hear the benefit from - the way I play, higher end doesn't get me much, but these sound freaking perfect for me.
I'm in sort of an electric lull, so I have two relatively cheap guitars. A MIM Robert Cray Hardtail strat (with a different neck and tweaked electronics), which I like more than any strat I've ever had, and an Epiphone SG with P90s, a cheap but great guitar that covers those times when I have to hear some P90 growl. I've thought about upgrading the electrics, but I never found anything I like better than the Cray hardtail and I don't play the Epiphone enough to want to upgrade it. If I had something more expensive, I'd just be more tempted to sell it because of how little use it'd be getting. With this one, no point in selling it and there are days when nothing else will do.
I'm playing acoustic a lot more these days, so this arrangement feels about right for the foreseeable future.
I’m a simple guy, just give me one good Les Paul and I’m happy. Sorry Strat-Talk.
Most of my guitars cost me between $500 and $1K, either new or used, but that includes two Gibson SGs and my American Series Tele. I guess count me in the bunch of mid-priced guitars club.
I've only owned one handcrafted showpiece guitar, and it wasn't the best player by a long shot.
My playing don't warrant having any guitars but I got a few anyway.
Got em from free to a little over $600 so there ain't no high end for me.
I still have a blast
I'm fine with having only a decent cheap guitar.
What is an "exquisite, high-end" guitar...a $5000.00 custom/semi-custom/boutique model with all the "right" features? Maybe something else?
With respect to the OP's poll and intentions I like my MIM Standard, a lot. It can make me feel exquisite. I have a tough time calling it low-end, I guess it is to some eyes, ears, hands.
What I consider a high end custom guitar is the one that I put together and I can build two of them for the price of a CS. That said my number one guitar for two years was from Walmart because (after I changed to horrible pickups) it sounded so good to me. $55 + $100 in Cavalier pickups…This one:
So, the first reply to this thread is the right answer because it’s about playing them!!
Whether you have one or many, they should be reliable and easy to play. Some require more effort than others to be both of these things.
Looks ain’t everything…
I guess it depends on your perspective, and how you define "high end".
For me, high end starts at the point when the money becomes disproportionate to the very small incremental improvements in quality that it buys. Law of diminishing returns and all that.
To me, your Les Paul Standard and American Professional Strat are high end guitars.
For some, MIM Fenders are high end.
Low-end vs high-end is not a linear progression. I aim for what is known as the knee of the curve. Starting from unplayable junk, you can pay just a little more and get a much better guitar. From there, improvements (which may be cosmetic, functional, or rare exotica for bragging rights) cost ever more for ever less - also known as diminishing returns.
I do have a few very nice guitars, but I find that I get the most enjoyment at that knee of the curve. I’m not spending all my time fighting or fixing problems, and I don’t have a heart attack if it gets scratched.
Quality rules, quantity drools...
Btw, country of origin tells you more about cost than it does about quality. There are artists, craftsmen, and hacks all over the world. My finest guitar was made in Japan, and it is probably as close as I will ever get to custom. It was a screaming pandemic deal at the time, but better than I need. I’ve had several fine guitars from China, Mexico, and Indonesia. My most disappointing guitar purchase ever was an American Original Strat that should have never made it past a blindfolded QC inspector.
All the above…
Since I could never find one guitar that could cover all of the ground I want to cover, I need a couple. So I get mid-range guitars like Mexican or Japanese Fenders and a Les Paul Studio (second-hand) and then put some elbow grease into making them play and sound better—e.g. roll the fretboard edges, level and crown the frets, file the nut, adjust the pickups, etc. Then I mod as needed (my Blacktop Tele needed a new neck pickup to make it a true keeper as the stock pickup was too overwound and muddy).
I have stayed much happier, with my more expensive guitars. I consider my Les Paul Standard 50s high end (for me). Do I need a professional grade guitar for a home hobby? No. Does it inspire me to play more, and play longer, just to hear it sing? YES! Two years in, it’s still #1
I was chasing something early on, buying inexpensive guitars. They were fine, until I experienced the clarity of the pickups, and the effortless action on my LP. Now, I just save up for a nicer guitar, when I get GAS.
Speaking of which, I am about to post a NGD. Merry Christmas to Meeee!
I seek value. That is good with the qualifier for the money. My main acoustic is one that gets brushed off as "cheap," but it takes to a setup incredibly well, and plays and sounds amazingly. My Strat cost right around $100, and was hand-picked to be as good of parts/assembly as I could. I've got a Tele built around a far-east imported body that's, price-wise, my most expensive guitar because I built it up piece by piece with Fender-licensed parts...and that took a lot of effort and homework. Realistically, I sit on a "several cheap or low end guitars" level.
That being said, I'd absolutely love a Fender Custom Shop Strat or Tele...I've set off on the journey of saving up for one several times over. It's not a discipline thing, it's a thing where the car needed new tires or taxes were due or something...the money I had saved (as a luxury, but earmarked for use in a situation wehre it's needed) was needed, so I got set back to $0 in guitar money.
Sit down and play them. It depends on your skill level, and what you feel in an instrument.
More guitars gives you more tonal options and different sorts of inspiration... but an instrument that restricts your playing will not inspire. I play a Strat differently to a tele, differently to a PRS, differently to a 7 String.
Personally, I'm at the point where I feel the difference between certain necks, and hear the difference between high and low quality pickups (though that isn't always related to the price). But I'm happy with a mid-range tremolo and body.
So I'll take spend the difference to get American Professional over a Player, but the jump to an Ultra isn't warranted. YMMV.
I was also happy with the Pre-Player Plus Mexican deluxes. I'm also happy with both my Korean made PRS guitars, though they're both a little "niche" (one is my Floyd guitar, the other a 7 string).
I don't need an Ultra, though I absolutely love my Elite Tele neck.