Expensive vs Cheap guitar? What makes it better?

August 2019 is the first KVR Guitar Month so here's a new forum for discussion of all things guitar!
KVRAF
4968 posts since 17 Dec, 2009

Post Tue Aug 10, 2021 11:27 pm

pickups are funny too.
i bought a 10$/pair AliExpress pickup to replace my seymour duncan with.
it's a bobbin, some copper and some plastic. how much money can it cost?
Image

KVRAF
21337 posts since 12 Jul, 2003 from West Caprazumia

Post Wed Aug 11, 2021 3:10 pm

Hink wrote:
Sun Aug 08, 2021 8:47 am


But to suggest wood has virtually no effect...well no sir, you may believe that but I trust my experience :shrug:
I assume those guitars you mention must have had terrible PUs then... :shrug:

You may certainly trust your experience - that's exactly how I handle mine. ;-)

(Fwiw I practise playing mine almost always unplugged and I have a really hard time finding any correlation whatsoever between their dry sounds and what they sound like plugged in, so I am afraid I personally can't put any significant trust in your experience ;-))


B.t.w.: one of my favourites amongst my guitars (and especially for recording) is my beloved Italia Modulo Tipo 3:
You may wonder if the nine chunky screws (one of which also anchors the strap button to the rear of the upper horn) around the back of the Modulo's body are cosmetic or simply holding the 'fake-skin' in place, but removing them, along with the four-bolt neck, yields a surprising discovery.

Fashioned from agathis, the body actually consists of a two-piece sandwich top and a separate four-piece back. The silver piping trim is stapled, upholstery-style, to the perimeter of the back section, and the whole thing isn't glued, but instead is held together by the aforementioned screws.

On paper, you'd be forgiven for thinking it's more 'tone wouldn't' than tonewood. However, a kooky pawn-shop aesthetic is central to Italia's brand identity, and while it's more than a little scary when you take it to bits, the Modulo's bolted-together construction is really no more off-the-wall than a ply-and-hardboard Danelectro or an Ampeg Dan Armstrong fashioned from a material developed for the windscreens of fighter planes.

Those designs were good enough for Jimmy Page and Keith Richards, so if you like the way the Modulo plays and sounds, you shouldn't let the unconventional way that it's put together deter you.
https://www.musicradar.com/reviews/guit ... o-3-567139

And see? He even mention that axe you did and - surprise surprise - not everyone seems to think nearly as badly of them as you apparently do. ;-)

So... ty for proving my point by mentioning them :razz: - whoever believes believes...
(and when I first made that post of mine you quoted, I knew there'd be at least some believers here @KVR who'd get triggered into full denial mode by it right away :razz:)

KVRAF
6759 posts since 31 Aug, 2013 from Down the Withywindle

Post Wed Aug 11, 2021 4:12 pm

That looks cool! In a Teisco sorta way. Not a Teisco price, though. You want real vintage weirdness? Look up Teisco. These things were sold out of department store catalogs. 4 pickups, 10 switches, weird shapes, flat fretboard. Very tinny sound, lol.
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."
Upton Sinclair.

KVRAF
21337 posts since 12 Jul, 2003 from West Caprazumia

Post Thu Aug 12, 2021 3:25 am

No, there is nothing cheap about the Italias - it's all Wilkinson hardware and PUs (of the vintage-style Alnico variety). The tuner's are locking ones and the vibrato is the best I ever tried. The neck, fretboard and frets feel wonderful and the whole handling is great. It's just the look (and the inner construction, as mentioned in the article) that is a bit out there.. and as also mentioned in the article it delivers plenty of standard strat tone in great quality plus more.

keep in mind that Italias are all designed by Trev Wilkinson.

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Rad Grandad
34859 posts since 6 Sep, 2003 from Downeast Maine

Post Thu Aug 12, 2021 7:58 am

look at that would yah :lol:
If there is a direction to mankind, it ought to be a coming together Brian May

KVRAF
6759 posts since 31 Aug, 2013 from Down the Withywindle

Post Fri Aug 13, 2021 3:38 am

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."
Upton Sinclair.

KVRer
3 posts since 19 Aug, 2021

Post Thu Aug 19, 2021 11:51 am

Generally its setup, tonewoods (nicer woods may be more expensive), cooler inlays and paints, and details that make them hella expensive.

nicer pickups and bone nuts probably raise the price a bit but generally, when you're paying over 1500, I'd say youre doing it for the extra detail work. A $500 guitar usually plays pretty nice these days.

KVRAF
6759 posts since 31 Aug, 2013 from Down the Withywindle

Post Thu Aug 19, 2021 5:51 pm

Don't forget nitro finishes. My latest, a Stanford Crossroads Thinline 35 has nitrocellulose lacquer, which requires multple applications, more time and money.
Dings and smudges easily, though, but very light and responsive. Very good PAF style pups, MiC, but not cheap. Same guitar made in the US or Germany would cost a lot more than what I paid. Got it in April, love it, worth every cent.
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."
Upton Sinclair.

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KVRist
86 posts since 17 Feb, 2018

Post Thu Aug 19, 2021 10:11 pm

Cost is just a fairly abitraty number that humans put against a thing. For one thing it totally hinges on where it's made.

Pick up guitar, play it. Does it sound good/appropriate? Does it feel good. If yes, it's a good guitar, if not, it isn't.

Can be a £50 guitar, can be a £5000 guitar.

Unless you're a bedroom blues lawyer, in which case only a £15,000 Les Paul will do, obviously.

I swear the meat of the electric guitar market is males who never do anything with their guitars, and just endlessly obsess about them instead. Same for 'boutique' effects pedals; PLAY A SONG ALREADY!!!
Last edited by ZargonTheMagnificent on Thu Aug 19, 2021 10:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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KVRist
86 posts since 17 Feb, 2018

Post Thu Aug 19, 2021 10:12 pm

double

KVRAF
6759 posts since 31 Aug, 2013 from Down the Withywindle

Post Fri Aug 20, 2021 12:12 am

ZargonTheMagnificent wrote:
Thu Aug 19, 2021 10:11 pm
Cost is just a fairly abitraty number that humans put against a thing. For one thing it totally hinges on where it's made.

Pick up guitar, play it. Does it sound good/appropriate? Does it feel good. If yes, it's a good guitar, if not, it isn't.

Can be a £50 guitar, can be a £5000 guitar.

Unless you're a bedroom blues lawyer, in which case only a £15,000 Les Paul will do, obviously.

I swear the meat of the electric guitar market is males who never do anything with their guitars, and just endlessly obsess about them instead. Same for 'boutique' effects pedals; PLAY A SONG ALREADY!!!
Not that simple. I went into the local shop when I moved here. I'd try a guitar out for 15-30 minutes, give it a quick lookover, and buy it if I liked it. It would only be after I got it home that I'd begin to find faults with it, like the tuners, intonation, a bad fret here or there, a wonky pup switch. Since I bought in person, I had no money back option, and could only exchange for another. Rinse, and repeat. Finding one that did suit me invariably meant an uptick in price. This happened at least 5 times at that shop until they completely pissed me off one day, after which I'd just order guitars from Thomann or Musicstore.de.
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."
Upton Sinclair.

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Rad Grandad
34859 posts since 6 Sep, 2003 from Downeast Maine

Post Sun Sep 05, 2021 10:08 am

If there is a direction to mankind, it ought to be a coming together Brian May

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addled muppet weed
85885 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Post Sun Sep 05, 2021 10:20 am

Hink wrote:
Sun Sep 05, 2021 10:08 am
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdpAop7gp0w
this looks like it might be "music with rocks" am i right?

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Rad Grandad
34859 posts since 6 Sep, 2003 from Downeast Maine

Post Sun Sep 05, 2021 10:24 am

nah...being cheeky...dan armstrong lucite
If there is a direction to mankind, it ought to be a coming together Brian May

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addled muppet weed
85885 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Post Sun Sep 05, 2021 11:02 am

Hink wrote:
Sun Sep 05, 2021 10:24 am
nah...being cheeky...dan armstrong lucite
doesnt the lucite guitar prove that, expensive doesnt necessarily mean good :lol:


(im not really commenting on them, never played one, but id happily buy the lego guitar if they wanted to sell it, well, depending on price, im not a total muppet)

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