Optimal Price For Guitar

Inanimate100

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Hello Everyone !!

Maybe a slightly odd question, but I’m interested to know peoples opinions.

Generally what would you say is the optimal price for a guitar, where you can expect a good instrument without running into diminishing returns with extremely expensive guitars.

My opinion is that of about £1,500 is a happy medium between quality and cost. What are your opinions, I’m interested.

I also find it staggering the amount of QC issues people complain about on here with guitars £3,000+. For something that high end you’d almost expect it to be perfect all the time ??

Thank you for your time !!
 

bostjan

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Generally what would you say is the optimal price for a guitar, where you can expect a good instrument without running into diminishing returns with extremely expensive guitars.
Here, in the USA, we can get a pretty darn decent guitar for under $400.

If you want a baritone, or a seven string, or a seven string baritone, or an eight string, or fanned frets, or something lightweight, or special pickups, or special hardware, or special anything, you have to adjust your pricing expectations.
 

wheresthefbomb

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Personally I'd rather buy something in the <$1k range and upgrade the hardware myself. Doing the upgrades is a lot of fun for me, and by now I've done it enough that I'm consistently getting super decent instruments on the other side.

I have only owned one >$1k instrument so my sample size isn't very big, but it wasn't a noticeably better player than my rotating fleet of upgraded $2-500 guitars. I just sold an Epi bolt on LP, the finish was cheap and I prefer a set neck but otherwise it was an absolutely kickass guitar after I was done with it. I never try to recoup upgrade costs, dude I sold it to couldn't have done better for his money and he said so himself.

@bostjan I've paid <$500 for all of my baritones except the Gibson SG. Blacktop Tele, Agile LP, two Mushok sigs, and currently a Cabronita tele. Just gotta be a little choosy and a little patient. I miss the Agile the most, despite it having been the cheapest by far.
 

Tree

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The optimal price is free, but I can’t seem to convince very many people/vendors. :shrug:

Today’s market is full of so many good guitars at all price ranges. My $200 JS22-7 plays better than a ton of guitars that cost 4-5x as much, but my $2k E-II also feels and plays 2-3x better than one of the two $1.8k KM7s I’ve had over the last two years. So, as my rambling is attempting to prove here, sometimes it’s just down to luck and how much work you’re willing to put into giving it a proper setup. My current Legator G7 was purchased secondhand, sight unseen. When I got it out of the box I almost ended up returning it, thinking I got a lemon. Turns out, the previous owner had nearly maxed out the truss rod in one direction (there wasn’t any obvious bowing somehow) and just let the thing rot in that position. After a few days of fine tuning and tweaking on and off it’s been a joy to play since and easily sits among everything else I’ve had in the $1.5-2K range. :2c: YMMV, yada yada.
 

MaxOfMetal

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Not to mention all the weird, borderline psychotic, hang ups folks can have.

I shit you not, there's a dude on here who thinks it's a piece of shit guitar if it's over $500 and doesn't have stainless steel pickguard screws.

I'm not even exaggerating that much. Guitarists are goofy as shit about the most pointless things, and take it damn near personal.

So just buy a guitar that makes you happy, that you can reasonably afford, and play it every so often...or not at all. No one cares.
 

CanserDYI

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@MaxOfMetal and @bostjan, you two seem to be quite knowledgeable when it comes to the economics of scale and manufacturing processes, but either of you have any idea, or ball park, of how much it would cost a company to completely swap from nickel frets to all stainless across the board? Or maybe even per guitar? Are we talking a few bucks per guitar in fretwire? Or are we talking cents? It just seems like a no brainer for me for companies to throw SS frets on their entire line, guitar players eat it up, doesnt seem to be much "harder" to install(maybe on tools, but not sure if this is a "myth" or not). So back to the question, and I know it depends on size so lets just use Ibanez and their scale/buying power/market share here, but are we talking cents or dollars or tens of dollars here, per guitar?
 

soliloquy

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given that inflation is impacting everything, for me, i think a guitar in the $1300-$2000 CAD is usually a good indicator of a 'quality' guitar.
not discussing where the guitar was made. That has no baring on it.

Sure, some are better in that price range than others.

but anything less than that is now entering 'entry level guitar' territory. Not that they cant be had for less.
 

MaxOfMetal

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@MaxOfMetal and @bostjan, you two seem to be quite knowledgeable when it comes to the economics of scale and manufacturing processes, but either of you have any idea, or ball park, of how much it would cost a company to completely swap from nickel frets to all stainless across the board? Or maybe even per guitar? Are we talking a few bucks per guitar in fretwire? Or are we talking cents? It just seems like a no brainer for me for companies to throw SS frets on their entire line, guitar players eat it up, doesnt seem to be much "harder" (maybe on tools, but not sure if this is a "myth" or not). So back to the question, and I know it depends on size so lets just use Ibanez and their scale/buying power/market share here, but are we talking cents or dollars or tens of dollars here, per guitar?

A company like Ibanez doesn't own their manufacturing operations, most brands don't, and I don't think any own all manufacturing short of fairly small boutique operations.

So they're sort of at the mercy of what the OEM wants to charge and what sort of sourcing, training, and tooling costs they pass on.

But the biggest reason you don't see everything with stainless is because it's used to pad spec sheets and create a price ladder in the market to help steer upwards.

Specs, in general, are about marketing.
 

soliloquy

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@MaxOfMetal and @bostjan, you two seem to be quite knowledgeable when it comes to the economics of scale and manufacturing processes, but either of you have any idea, or ball park, of how much it would cost a company to completely swap from nickel frets to all stainless across the board? Or maybe even per guitar? Are we talking a few bucks per guitar in fretwire? Or are we talking cents? It just seems like a no brainer for me for companies to throw SS frets on their entire line, guitar players eat it up, doesnt seem to be much "harder" to install(maybe on tools, but not sure if this is a "myth" or not). So back to the question, and I know it depends on size so lets just use Ibanez and their scale/buying power/market share here, but are we talking cents or dollars or tens of dollars here, per guitar?


i'm no subject expert here. But few things to consider:
it will require different filing pieces.
it will require more time.
it will require training
it will require other materials that go into stainless steel
it will require different source to gather that material.



not that its impossible. And I too would want stainless steel frets, but it cant be as easy as 'today its nickel, tomorrow its SS frets' kind of swap, id imagine?
 

budda

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The optimal price for a guitar is the top dollar I can sell mine for.
 

MaxOfMetal

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i'm no subject expert here. But few things to consider:
it will require different filing pieces.
it will require more time.
it will require training
it will require other materials that go into stainless steel
it will require different source to gather that material.



not that its impossible. And I too would want stainless steel frets, but it cant be as easy as 'today its nickel, tomorrow its SS frets' kind of swap, id imagine?

Considering all the large OEMs already offer stainless steel frets, it generally is fairly easy to swap over, but there's no incentive to do it.
 

cindarkness

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Personally, the optimal price for a guitar is less than 1000 and more than 500.
And that's because this is what I'm comfortable with spending on an instrument.

If I made 20k a month, I probably would triple this number.
 

Metaldestroyerdennis

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$3000 to 3500 - the price for which you can get a used PRS/Anderson/Suhr Custom/ESP original/Huber/Mayones/Skervesen/FCS etc., or any number of brand new top of the line production models

Nice guitars are nice and anyone who says otherwise is trying to sell you something
 

bostjan

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I think @MaxOfMetal hit the nail on the head.

Most smaller shops nowadays will upgrade you from cupronickel frets to stainless steel for a minimal fee. And we're already to the point where we see budget brands and even sub-budget brands offering SS frets. So, it is possible that SS frets will become common enough over the next decade or two that people stop talking about them. Also, there are titanium alloy frets now on the market. It seems like overkill to me, but maybe once people start using stainless strings on stainless frets, something harder will fill the market void of premium fretwire.
 


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