Electric Guitar Prices: What are we paying for? - Page 2 - Jemsite
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post #16 of 43 (permalink) Old 08-29-2018, 11:12 PM
 
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Re: Electric Guitar Prices: What are we paying for?

IMO the main issue for non-locking trem guitars going out of tune is lack of nut lubrication. My RG8 maintains tuning wonderfully with just the stock tuners and i do plenty of bending on it. Locking systems going out is usually either lower quality/soft metal or long-term wear.

I do tend to agree that once you're beyond the 2-3k range you're not getting any features that will improve playability of an axe. At that point you're getting the best hardware/electronics and high level build quality.
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post #17 of 43 (permalink) Old 08-30-2018, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Electric Guitar Prices: What are we paying for?

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Originally Posted by Leviathus View Post
IMO the main issue for non-locking trem guitars going out of tune is lack of nut lubrication. My RG8 maintains tuning wonderfully with just the stock tuners and i do plenty of bending on it. Locking systems going out is usually either lower quality/soft metal or long-term wear.

I do tend to agree that once you're beyond the 2-3k range you're not getting any features that will improve playability of an axe. At that point you're getting the best hardware/electronics and high level build quality.
Lower quality/soft metal is the issue currently on my mind. There are many ways a guitar can go out of tune. Let weather and strings be the reasons, not the hardware on the guitar..
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post #18 of 43 (permalink) Old 08-30-2018, 12:57 AM
 
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Re: Electric Guitar Prices: What are we paying for?

Ahh buttovcourse... Wet Leather.
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post #19 of 43 (permalink) Old 08-30-2018, 01:21 PM
 
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Re: Electric Guitar Prices: What are we paying for?

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IMO the main issue for non-locking trem guitars going out of tune is lack of nut lubrication. My RG8 maintains tuning wonderfully with just the stock tuners and i do plenty of bending on it.

Very true... I bought some of that "nut sauce" and it works good. I've heard that Chapstick does the same thing though.


I had this issue with a solid bridge guitar with the B and G strings going flat after bends. The local guitar guy recut the nut slots on those strings and along with the lubricant it took care of the problem. It was an Ibanez that came set up for 9's and I had put 11's on it (blues phase ;-) ) that were too big for the slots apparently. I had never really thought about it, but it made sense.
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post #20 of 43 (permalink) Old 08-30-2018, 05:48 PM
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Re: Electric Guitar Prices: What are we paying for?

I believe you'll find "nut sauce" is diluted Chapstick.
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post #21 of 43 (permalink) Old 08-31-2018, 08:49 AM
 
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Question Re: Electric Guitar Prices: What are we paying for?

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Originally Posted by Formerly Given To Fly View Post
At some point over the last 15 years, people decided they wanted to spend large amounts of money on new solid-body electric guitars and the guitar companies were happy to oblige. In order for this to work, the guitar companies had to make guitars that were worth the large amounts of money people were willing to spend. (Fender could not just sell a MIM Strat for $5000.) The biggest difference in quality comes mostly from the time spent building the guitar. However, after a certain point, more time stops making a difference. At some point, a better electric guitar cannot be made if we consider the electric guitar to be a musical instrument. The problem is people still had more money to spend and this is where I think guitar companies should have explained to buyers what they were actually paying for.

The PRS Dragon Series were more like pieces of visual art and the guitar was the backdrop and the people that bought them knew what they were buying. Guitars like that are different and nobody thinks otherwise. I do not know where quality tops out but I it is well before the $10,000 mark and I'm being extremely generous with that number. I would argue there is no such thing as a $10,000 solid-body electric guitar, just $10,000+ art projects. $10,000 guitars are not very common, but there are enough of them available that you can find them if you want. Personally, some of the EBMM JP models are getting awfully close to $4000 and there may be good as to why, but as a JP owner, I would like to hear those reasons. If one of the reasons is "art project," I would be fine with that. (His "Nomac" guitar was an art project in the most literal sense of the term.)

Ideally, playing these guitars is the best way to understand them and I have been fortunate enough to play new guitars passed the $10,000 mark and I cannot explain why they were not half the price. There might be a good reason, but it isn't because they were built better. In comparison, there are $500 guitar pedals made by Strymon, Eventide, and EHX. There is nothing less expensive that can do what these pedals can do equally well. You are paying for higher quality which makes sense. Mesa/Boogie and Bogner have made some really great amps in the recent past and, while expensive, they do not design new amps often enough for any price increase to seem out of the ordinary.

This is not a critique of the buyer. If a guitar is 1% better and costs twice as much, I would not question it. I am questioning what manufacturers are doing to certain guitars to justify the purchase price in a way that remotely makes sense. I have other questions such as "why ship a guitar without a hardshell case" and "why use a floating bridge that does not stay in tune?" These are things I have observed and thought about and I'm just putting them out there now. Wiser members than I may have good explanations.



Fair comment, always puzzled me why PRS can charge $2500 for a guitar then upto $3500 for the SAME guitar just with a different top! Yet the "real" price range for the guitar is more likely $1000-$1200, especially as nearly all guitars today are mass manufactured using CNC machines not worked on by dedicated artisans....



How many high street brands sell handmade guitars apart from Fender that deserve the high prices or even any manufacturer selling high priced guitars that actually feel correctly priced these days?


It seems some are purposely increasing prices while lowering quality, sure CITES has a part to play, but look at the JEM 70V, its around £1200 here in the UK yet has cheap n nasty pots and switch, cheap machineheads and visibly lower quality neck wood/fingerboard than the equivalent cheaper Japanese RG (the 655 perhaps?) AND it its made in Indonesia, since when did an Indonesian guitar deserver a much higher price then a Japanese one??



When looking objectively at the instrument I feel the "real" retail price should be £700/$700 half a grand less and certainly a more realistic quality-price ratio.



Even worse look at the rest of the premium JEM range, cheap electronics, cheap trems, cheap machineheads, cheap neck woods all over $1200, what are you really paying for? Is it a RG450 in drag??

Gibson Les Pauls have ballooned in price but deteriorated in quality, even James Tyler is slipping, yet we keep throwing our money at them for guitars that are lower quality than a 5 year old+ model of the same guitar yet at twice the price.



Are we to blame for this situation? Are we going to see a big swing towards the used market for moneys worth guitars?



If we buy a 90's RG450 and compare it to today's price equivalent RG350DX (I think) the quality difference is stunning, the modern one feels and looks cheap n nasty and doesn't stay in tune, the 90's one is made in Japan and has higher wood quality, better fretwork finish and trem, even though it is the LoTRS!!
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post #22 of 43 (permalink) Old 08-31-2018, 09:17 AM
 
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Re: Electric Guitar Prices: What are we paying for?

To be fair, the Lo TRS isn't horrible, and Takeuchi bridges were overall VERY good on other guitars. It's the LoTRS II where the problems come in and I also think Hoshino might have cheapened out on paying takeuchi a decent price for the bridges because I have a single locking "speed loading" Takeuchi bridge on my Cobran and it stays in tune REALLY well.
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post #23 of 43 (permalink) Old 08-31-2018, 09:28 AM
 
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Re: Electric Guitar Prices: What are we paying for?

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Originally Posted by MatiasTolkki View Post
To be fair, the Lo TRS isn't horrible, and Takeuchi bridges were overall VERY good on other guitars. It's the LoTRS II where the problems come in and I also think Hoshino might have cheapened out on paying takeuchi a decent price for the bridges because I have a single locking "speed loading" Takeuchi bridge on my Cobran and it stays in tune REALLY well.

I was talking from the JEM snob perspective where anything below the Edge/LoPro Edge/ EdgePro is frowned upon!


Personally I think the LoPro TRS is a superb trem, people forget the Jackson 80s Japanese guitars with the JT580 Takeuchi trems which are superb compared the hideous JT590/Floyd Rose Specials etc we have today
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post #24 of 43 (permalink) Old 08-31-2018, 09:32 AM
 
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Re: Electric Guitar Prices: What are we paying for?

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I was talking from the JEM snob perspective where anything below the Edge/LoPro Edge/ EdgePro is frowned upon!


Personally I think the LoPro TRS is a superb trem, people forget the Jackson 80s Japanese guitars with the JT580 Takeuchi trems which are superb compared the hideous JT590/Floyd Rose Specials etc we have today
That's why I brought up my Cobran, because they were made by Chuushin Gakki, and basically feel exactly like the MIJ Jacksons from back in the day. Good thing is, people know nothing about them so they can be found for dirt cheap Downside is, too bad for anyone outside Japan because they all have rosewood boards :/
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post #25 of 43 (permalink) Old 08-31-2018, 09:34 AM
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Re: Electric Guitar Prices: What are we paying for?

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Fair comment, always puzzled me why PRS can charge $2500 for a guitar then upto $3500 for the SAME guitar just with a different top! Yet the "real" price range for the guitar is more likely $1000-$1200, especially as nearly all guitars today are mass manufactured using CNC machines not worked on by dedicated artisans
I get what you're trying to say here but it's coming out muddled. For example, PRS has a limed amount of real, AGED matched "awesome-wood" that deserves upcharge. It's not some fake-ass artwork or fake-limited color. Said awesome-wood is from days gone bye. Also the amount of physical labor involved is significant. If you haven't, watch the PRS factory tour video (i posted a link this summer) to recalibrate what real guitar factories do vs the cookie cutter companies that we tend to dumb down everyone else into.

The rest of the rant is mostly spot on.

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Originally Posted by guitarakuma1 View Post
It seems some are purposely increasing prices while lowering quality, sure CITES has a part to play, but look at the JEM 70V, its around £1200 here in the UK yet has cheap n nasty pots and switch, cheap machineheads and visibly lower quality neck wood/fingerboard than the equivalent cheaper Japanese RG (the 655 perhaps?) AND it its made in Indonesia, since when did an Indonesian guitar deserver a much higher price then a Japanese one??
Since 1. it brings better profitability and 2. customers allowed for it.

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Are we to blame for this situation?
This is a rhetorical question.. of course consumers are to blame.

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Originally Posted by guitarakuma1 View Post
Are we going to see a big swing towards the used market for moneys worth guitars?
Savvy consumers will look more and more at used. But some customers only buy brand new and worse a subset of these don't value quality. Jono's post covered human behavior quite well.
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post #26 of 43 (permalink) Old 08-31-2018, 09:34 AM
 
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Re: Electric Guitar Prices: What are we paying for?

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That's why I brought up my Cobran, because they were made by Chuushin Gakki, and basically feel exactly like the MIJ Jacksons from back in the day. Good thing is, people know nothing about them so they can be found for dirt cheap Downside is, too bad for anyone outside Japan because they all have rosewood boards :/



NNNooooooo!!!! No PangaPanga versions then?
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post #27 of 43 (permalink) Old 08-31-2018, 09:37 AM
 
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Re: Electric Guitar Prices: What are we paying for?

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NNNooooooo!!!! No PangaPanga versions then?
They havent been made in ages and Chuushin Gakki went out of business in 2011. Hell I dont even know what model year mine is because there is such limited information on them :/
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post #28 of 43 (permalink) Old 08-31-2018, 01:13 PM
 
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Re: Electric Guitar Prices: What are we paying for?

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...some customers only buy brand new...
The only time I buy new is when the product I'm after isn't available used. I'd have never even owned a JEM if not for the used market.
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post #29 of 43 (permalink) Old 08-31-2018, 07:38 PM
 
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Re: Electric Guitar Prices: What are we paying for?

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In my opinion the Suhr Modern Pro I was able to buy new four years ago for $2,200 is close to the top of the players pyramid so to speak. Great
Don’t believe stuff plays or sounds better beyond say $2500 or so as it relates to solid body electrics.
Everything beyond that you are paying for art and collectibility.
There are many people that believe the same applies to any guitar beyond $500 Others beyond $750. Others $1000. And yes some $3500 and more. Very subjective....

Remember manufacturers are companies. For Profit organizations. While cost is one factor, anything that can be a reason to increase the price and therefore profit margin will be done.
Look at signature guitars. Take the new Nita Strauss Jiva guitar. Is it worth $1500? Does it cost the same as other $1500 Ibanez guitars to build? There are more signature guitars because the profit margin is much higher. Plus, the brand will sell more of their lower-price instruments from fans who cannot afford the signature model. Some non-signature models are able to maintain higher pricing because of endorsements from players and now more importantly popular YouTubers.
There are also many people that purchase a guitar based on appearance and will pay more just for looks. A PRS 10-top is wood from the same pile as a regular core guitar. Just graded better and for that they add $1000-$1500. PRS is the first to admit the only difference is appearance.

As long as there are people that will pay a premium for an instrument, manufacturers will offer those guitars by whatever it takes. Be it actual quality & features, endorsement or appearance.
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post #30 of 43 (permalink) Old 08-31-2018, 07:55 PM
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Re: Electric Guitar Prices: What are we paying for?

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Take the new Nita Strauss Jiva guitar. Is it worth $1500? Does it cost the same as other $1500 Ibanez guitars to build? There are more signature guitars because the profit margin is much higher.
The closest to the JIVA is the SIX6DFM which lists for $1400, then add the particular inlays and the royalties she'll get and yes, there is extra profit margin, but it's not as big as you'd think. Especially not for Ibanez. That $1400 guitar wholesales for $700. The $2000 guitar wholesales for $1000. After you add the royalties and inlays they may make a couple hundred more so we're not talking about huge money here. It's more about getting an ibanez on stage with a touring act drawing good crowds with a good female guitar player who will hopefully encourage those that see her play that the instrument is good enough and cool enough, and maybe they should check out these Ibanez guitars and see what they're about. That's always been the real reason for endorsements, they make a little extra dough, but mostly they spread the brand. And every now and then they'll catch a little lightning and a JEM will become a thing all its own.
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