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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Telecasters / Why wasting thousands of bucks when cheapos are playing equally well?

Shlock the monster

Austria

May 16th, 2019 02:14 AM   Edit   Profile  

It was ~20 years ago when I met a funny fat guy with platin blond hair at a guitar shop by chance. He grabbed the "offer of the day" a cheap "GTX" (=a low budget brand from that time) strat and checked it. Unbelieveing, he was playing excellent funk through this crap.
I asked him, if he's a teacher and looks for a starter set for one of his students, he replied: "No! I'll use it for my own. I can't understand, why wasting thousands of bucks for a custom shop guitar or so, when cheapos are playing as well! I always buy them and play them until I get fed up, and then I litter them and buy new ones. Is way more economic than keeping a thorobred horse stable.".
He paid the 150$. The included gig bag he gave back, because he didn't need it. I saw him entering his car and carelessly throwing the guitar on the passengers seat and driving away.
Why do I tell this to you?
Last week I got me a cheap fake China Tele for around 55$ at a yard sale.
I owned many high class Teles before (one 89 American Standard, one 2000 US-Highway, one noble copy from Duesenberg, still an own made partcaster with a walnut body etc.). They were not bad guitars but never had that "twang", all of them sounded honky not bitey. So I sold them after few months. But this China fake, though cheap bar magnet pickups and a crude made body out of slabs laying around (some with knotholes!!)it's my first Tele, which really comes near to "THE" Tele sound I want. First time in my life I had the feeling playing "Heartbreaker" comes really near to the original. I'm totally confused since.

Cheap China fake and my selfmade Tele

Peegoo
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Planet Peegoo

Rhythm & Lewd Guitarist
May 16th, 2019 07:42 AM   Edit   Profile  

The quality of cheap imported guitars is pretty astonishing these days. In the 1960s, many imports were barely playable (if at all).

littleuch
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Florida

May 16th, 2019 08:15 AM   Edit   Profile  

That's one way to do it. A tool doesn't make the carpenter.

LeftyMeister
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Buckeye Country, USA

Tone is in the lingers
May 18th, 2019 07:28 AM   Edit   Profile  

As discussed here many times, the main difference in cheap and expensive is typically in the hardware and electronics. If one can find a good platform, the rest is easy to replace. As a lefty, that's what I usually do.

That said, I've found inexpensive guitars where nothing needed replaced.

littleuch
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Florida

May 18th, 2019 10:40 AM   Edit   Profile  

I like quality parts and workmanship. Doesn't make me a better player, but gives me a passion for the instrument in my hands which I hope translates into a marginally better performance. That's the reason I roll my own Teles and Strats and save big bucks from custom shop offerings. Plus I find it a fun thing to assemble modular instruments like Fender style guitars.

archiestone
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El Californio

May 18th, 2019 11:20 AM   Edit   Profile  

I find that if I settle for an offshore version of a classic model I might enjoy it for a while but always keep my eye on the original... like an itch that won't go away.

Doc Sarvis
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USA/Salt Lake City

Tuned Strings and Tight Lines
May 18th, 2019 11:33 AM   Edit   Profile  

"I find that if I settle for an offshore version of a classic model I might enjoy it for a while but always keep my eye on the original... like an itch that won't go away."

Me too but I am continually blown away by the quality of the offshore products. I may just be a victim of my past when offshore instruments were of much lower quality. One thing is for sure, the increasing quality of this class of instrument appears to have forever impacted the made-in-America market.

(This message was last edited by Doc Sarvis at 01:34 PM, May 18th, 2019)

Shlock the monster

Austria

May 21st, 2019 09:58 AM   Edit   Profile  

my main guitar is an Indonesian Squier Jaguar where I somply replaced the pickups with Fender 1967 Jags reissues.
This guitar plays very well and the overall quality is simply OK! So I safed over 1000$s.
I don't need more.

BbendFender
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American Patriot

About as ordinary as you can get.
May 22nd, 2019 08:54 AM   Edit   Profile  

It ain't the arrow, it's the Indian.

Nothing at all wrong owning cheap guitars that play well and sound good.

Peegoo
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Planet Peegoo

Rhythm & Lewd Guitarist
May 22nd, 2019 09:26 AM   Edit   Profile  

Here's a really good comparo of cheap Epiphones and cheap Squiers.

Unlike virtually every other YouTube guitar review, this one is much better because the guitars have not been doctored by anyone prior to the review. They're not even 'off the rack' where a store employee may have tweaked the setup prior to putting it out on the floor. They unbox them on camera and play them in the condition they arrived from the suppliers.

The quality, playability, and tone is pretty amazing across the board.

Anderton's: Lee and Rob break it all down

Telegib

Canada

Jul 10th, 2019 06:09 PM   Edit   Profile  

I agree. Some of the cheap guitars are great.

60CycleHum

USA

Jul 10th, 2019 08:48 PM   Edit   Profile  

yep a Kia will get you there the same as a BMW, but there are differences...Some cheap import guitars have a cool vibe and feel, but when you pick up a quality built guitar...there are differences

FlyonNylon
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East Tennessee

Jul 17th, 2019 09:43 AM   Edit   Profile  

There's a lot of subjectivity regarding attachment to musical instruments. I think the general vibe is, "if the guitar sounds good and you enjoy playing it, it's good."

I will say though that growing older, I like nice things.

Musical instruments have a bit of a diminishing return as you get upwards in price, but the small differences can translate to a huge improvement in your enjoyment of the instrument.

My Yamaha AC3R is a phenomenal guitar for $800, great tone, great electronics, sweet neck, stays in tune, just an excellent value at that price point. My Martin was about 3x the price. Is it 3x a better guitar? For me, Yes. Maybe not to everyone, but the Martin is just better in almost every way and those little differences easily make the guitar so much more enjoyable to play.

A Tele is different than an acoustic obviously but in my experience cheaper guitars just don't "call out to be played" like the nice ones do.

That said, if you like the guitar, play it and don't worry about what anyone else thinks!

60CycleHum

USA

Jul 17th, 2019 06:15 PM   Edit   Profile  

Not to be redundant, adding to what FlyonNylon has said... I like guitars. I have some American Fenders and they play great, but I also have some Custom Shop Teles, and after playing a regular American Tele, I'll pick up the Custom Shop...and there is a difference, at least to me. It feels, plays and sounds different. Can a cheap guitar do the same? maybe, but not to me. I also believe you should not pay more for your cell phone than your guitar, unless you're really into cell phones ;)

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Telecasters / Why wasting thousands of bucks when cheapos are playing equally well?




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