Re: Electric Guitar Prices: What are we paying for?
I was just talking to my buddy earlier today about the new Gibson R8s. They are the closest to the fabled 60y/o guitars that Gibson has ever produced. That said, I have a 98 R8 and I couldn't see selling it and dumping an additional $3-4K to get one. I just don't see the value...even before I switched to mainly 25.5" scale guitars. I've also got a masterfully built CU24 with a "10 top" and it looks spectacular. I got 13yrs ago and it cost half as much as they do now. Even my buddy who hated them and called it overpriced admits to the quality. I haven't played the new ones so I can't attest to their quality but I doubt it's taken a dive. But that guitar has been the single hardest guitar for me to bond with, with half a dozen pickup changes, a refret, and a re-radiusing to turn it into the guitar I expected it to be after it was "broken in".
The guitar I had I thought was overpriced the first time I saw it but after I got one at a deal and become comfortable with realized it was worth every penny was a EBMM Reflex anniversary. It had 3 body woods (killer quilt top) and a gorgeous bridseye maple neck and a great set of electronics. Sterling pissed me off and I sold both of my EBMMs...but they were worth every nickel the asking price.
On a personal level I try to buy primarily US and Japanese guitars because I know and understand the quality and realize the cost is partially justified by the high cost of labor in those countries.