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Amazing cheapo guitars
Old 14th February 2010
  #91
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You can get an amazing guitar for under 1k, buy a Carvin, used.
Old 5th March 2010
  #92
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polyurea on guitar

I have applied polyurea spray on my guitar.No effect on sound quality.
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Old 20th August 2016
  #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab View Post
If you like ebony fingerboards then you get the 3000. I do btw, except for Agile you cant find an electric guitar with a ebony fingerboard for under a $1000
I just traded my 2005 Mexican strat ($350.00) for a Schecter C1 Exotic Star, it has an amazing 3 piece Mahogany neck, with an ebony fingerboard.
Super happy with it
Old 21st August 2016
  #94
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I got an Epiphone Les Paul Special, recently, on a lark. It came with sharp fret ends and the worst strings I've ever seen in my life. But, other than that, it has an excellent neck and wonderful sounding P90's. At $100, new, it's probably the best guitar bargain I"ve found.
Old 21st August 2016
  #95
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gladf7's Avatar
Yeah 4 sure

TAKAMINE LAWSUITS are much better then Martins for the same era also
Danelectro same for many other Korean and Japanese made axes. Mexican Chinese made guitars IMHO not so much, tho you might get lucky. Read up even some Taylors are made in Mexico
Old 21st August 2016
  #96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikeitloud View Post
I just traded my 2005 Mexican strat ($350.00) for a Schecter C1 Exotic Star, it has an amazing 3 piece Mahogany neck, with an ebony fingerboard.
Super happy with it
Nice guitar I guess there are other companies that have guitars with ebony boards it's just not common, and btw that guitar when it came out was 675.
Old 21st August 2016
  #97
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I know this thread is nearly 10 years old but what constitutes "cheapo" in current times?

Squires yielded very sketchy results for me. Basically the hardware, nut, and frets are usually too crappy to trick-out. Stepping up to MIM seems to give better results w/o the need to upgrade so much.

Everyone is different.
Old 21st August 2016
  #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab View Post
Nice guitar I guess there are other companies that have guitars with ebony boards it's just not common, and btw that guitar when it came out was 675.
Thanks I really like it, I guess it depends on where you would have bought it, suggested retail seems to have been 949.00, some say $750.00 on sale..
Old 21st August 2016
  #99
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Not sure if it was, and I personally cannot talk much about their guitars, but Sterling SUB basses are very good for the money.
Old 21st August 2016
  #100
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I just bought a Sterling guitar. Had to swap it out (the first one had too many little annoying issues) but this one seems good.
Old 21st August 2016
  #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovessuperstrats View Post
I know this thread is nearly 10 years old but what constitutes "cheapo" in current times?

Squires yielded very sketchy results for me. Basically the hardware, nut, and frets are usually too crappy to trick-out. Stepping up to MIM seems to give better results w/o the need to upgrade so much.

Everyone is different.
Of course it is subjective. But, personally, I say about $200. Nice used guitars can be found in that range. However, I rarely find a decent new guitar under $300.

MIM Fender vs. top-shelf Squier is not cut and dry. And, should be judged on an instrument by instrument basis.
Old 21st August 2016
  #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blakestree View Post
MIM Fender vs. top-shelf Squier is not cut and dry. And, should be judged on an instrument by instrument basis.
A little while ago, I hired a guy in Dwight Yoakam's band for a session. His Tele was a Squier. I think he could probably afford at least a Mexican Fender.
Old 21st August 2016
  #103
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Hagstrom XL5, got mine used for 250 bucks, amaying guitar for the money
Old 22nd August 2016
  #104
I had a a couple of very nice playing/sounding Super Strats. An LTD, made in Indonesia, and a Jackson made in India. Fretwork was flawless and they sounded great. Both were around $300 new.
Old 22nd August 2016
  #105
not exactly cheap cheapo but here is me playing my new Diamond DBZ Monarch semi hollow with Kalimba Music artist Paula Atherton @ the Southern Maryland Jazz and Funk Festival. I got some real nice compliments on my tone. It also helps I was playing through my Guytron GT 100
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Old 22nd August 2016
  #106
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I have had two cheapos that were really terrible (mainly the pickups, i believe) and still own one that is absolutely fabulous (especially for the price).

The terrible ones were cheap 90's guitars from respectively Korea and Indonesia and were basic strat builds/knockoffs, they were playable, looked the part and could be set up to a fair standard, but they just sounded absolutely "meh" - no sparkle or depth to the amplified tone at all... And usually i don't really care about "tone", but these were unusable even for me.

The "good one" is a Les Paul copy, and it looks really nice, but instead of a maple cap it has a veneered sheet of actual plywood (yes, the multilayer stuff you'd normally use in construction or for sturdy crates) that is bent into the shape of the carved top - meaning there is a gap/bubble between the body and the top in the middle of the body. It is also constructed like the proverbial butchers block with multiple pieces of mahogany for both the body and the neck - as in, it has an extra three pieces of mahogany glued on at the heel because the neck blank was to thin...
Despite all this it plays and sounds great with one Maxon mini humbucker and one weird Höfner single coil...


My personal view on cheapos is that you may or may not come across a nice cheapo - but i have a sneaking suspicion that the pickups are the real culprits that made the two i have gotten rid of so bland sounding, because acoustically they didn't sound noticeably bad..
Old 22nd August 2016
  #107
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For you cheapo, for me at that time behind the iron courtain small fortune, arm and leg and half of flat '84 Squier. Still have it, the best bass in studio and on stage

Old 23rd August 2016
  #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grumphh View Post


My personal view on cheapos is that you may or may not come across a nice cheapo - but i have a sneaking suspicion that the pickups are the real culprits that made the two i have gotten rid of so bland sounding, because acoustically they didn't sound noticeably bad..
Hi, I almost think the opposite! For me, the main problem with very cheap guitars is that they are difficult to set-up and intonate appropriately with a relatively playable action. There's always some fret buzz somewhere unless the strings are very high, the tuners are very low quality and do not hold the tune..

If the guitar has these problems, then the pickups are less important to me. But of course, if the guitar plays ok, then the next thing to look at would be the pickups rather than, say, the wood...
Old 23rd August 2016
  #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Santiago View Post
Hi, I almost think the opposite! For me, the main problem with very cheap guitars is that they are difficult to set-up and intonate appropriately with a relatively playable action. There's always some fret buzz somewhere unless the strings are very high, the tuners are very low quality and do not hold the tune..

If the guitar has these problems, then the pickups are less important to me. But of course, if the guitar plays ok, then the next thing to look at would be the pickups rather than, say, the wood...
I play with 010's and a moderately high action* (because i hate fret buzz) and didn't have setup problems, even with the cheapest of the cheapest.
Ultra low action might be more difficult to achieve on cheapos, true, but in my case that point is moot.
So my cheapos played well enough and their tone wasn't hampered by high frets or anything

...acoustically they didn't sound much different from any of my other guitars - only the electrified sound was extremely bland.

The reason i have never bothered with trying pickup swaps is that the guitars weren't all that fantastic to begin with (i mean, they were cheapos, and felt like cheapos in my hands) so that the bother of replacing pickups wasn't worth it - add to that that just a moderately good set of pickups would cost more than the entire guitar itself and it becomes obvious why these just went out the door as fast as possible


---

Also, i have never seen an electric guitar with individually adjustable saddles that didn't intonate well enough for rock**.

I don't understand this "they can't be intonated" claim - i mean, even the cheapest guitar factory has machines to place the frets, and the scale length is a given - so unless the factory has actually misplaced the entire bridge assembly or the nut - of course a cheapo can be intonated as well as any other guitar...



* Something like 0.3 - 0.5 MM more than "factory spec" at the 12th fret - depending on the individual guitar...


** Although i admit that my '71 Les Pauls abr bridge cannot quite intonate the low E string, despite a turned around saddle - but that is a problem in an entirely different category - and gibson eventually solved that by introducing the wider Nashville bridge...
Old 23rd August 2016
  #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grumphh View Post
I play with 010's and a moderately high action* (because i hate fret buzz) and didn't have setup problems, even with the cheapest of the cheapest.
Ultra low action might be more difficult to achieve on cheapos, true, but in my case that point is moot.
So my cheapos played well enough and their tone wasn't hampered by high frets or anything

* Something like 0.3 - 0.5 MM more than "factory spec" at the 12th fret - depending on the individual guitar...
OK, that action is achievable in most guitars (only exceptions I can think of is some old Eastern-Bloc guitars or some Teiscos from the 60s). It's lucky for you that the action you like is easily achievable!

I always shoot for factory-type set-ups and it's a bit more hit and miss. I had this Epiphone Les Paul LP100 from the 90s that had an uneven 12th fret, which meant the high D on the high E string was always buzzy, even with fairly high strings. I hated it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by grumphh View Post

Also, i have never seen an electric guitar with individually adjustable saddles that didn't intonate well enough for rock**.

I don't understand this "they can't be intonated" claim - i mean, even the cheapest guitar factory has machines to place the frets, and the scale length is a given - so unless the factory has actually misplaced the entire bridge assembly or the nut - of course a cheapo can be intonated as well as any other guitar...

:
Again, some really badly-made guitars can be difficult to intonate because of: badly cut nuts, under-powered truss-rods and not very well-built necks.

But I agree that the typical Chinese Squier (and similar current cheapo guitars) will actually respond really well to a set-up (indeed the best mod you can ever do to a guitar is a good set-up).
Old 23rd August 2016
  #111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Santiago View Post
Hi, I almost think the opposite! For me, the main problem with very cheap guitars is that they are difficult to set-up and intonate appropriately with a relatively playable action. There's always some fret buzz somewhere unless the strings are very high, the tuners are very low quality and do not hold the tune..

If the guitar has these problems, then the pickups are less important to me. But of course, if the guitar plays ok, then the next thing to look at would be the pickups rather than, say, the wood...
Any Agile guitar I played set up really easily, play in tune and have no fret buzz, and I like .10's with fairly low action. Agile's come with grovers, although I wound up replacing the Grovers on my Agile Valkyrie with Klusons because the Grovers were too heavy. As far as the wood the Agiles I own sound good acoustically so if there is a problem it would be with the pickups and harness. I replaced the P90 pickups in my Valkyrie with Fralin P 90's. This guitar sounds like a great SG with P90's. I had a As 820 which was a pre lawsuit 335 copy that I put Fralins in and I have their Cool Cat which is an L5 copy, I never swapped the pickups on that although I will one day. I also was given an Epi Sheraton from the 90's that played nice but had really garbage electronics. Since I got the guitar for free and liked it otherwise, I put a Mojotone harness and a set of Duncan Antiquities in which was a giant PITA, but really made this guitar sound VERY nice.
I really like this Diamond DBZ Monarch Semi Hollow I got earlier this year, first it's really pretty although it would be prettier if the finish was a little lighter. But it comes with a dual action truss rod, Duncan 59 hybrids and mini Grover tuners and a graphite nut. It was designed by Dean Zelinsky but made in Korea. Out of the box I changed the strings to .10's and adjusted the truss rod and intonation, and that's all it needed, the frets are very nice, the pickups sound pretty good and this thing has great action and stays in tune! Even onstage in 100 degree heat.

Last edited by Musiclab; 25th August 2016 at 09:43 PM..
Old 23rd August 2016
  #112
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About 8 years or so ago, I did my own test as I kept reading the Epiphone Les Pauls sounded and played as good as the Gibson Les Paul's.

I ordered the top of he line Epiphone Les Paul Standard, replaced the pickups with Burstbuckers, changed out all the internal working with Gibson parts, also changed out the bridge parts as well.

Still not even close. Playability was as good frankly, tone, no way. My Gibson Les Paul Standard had that beefy, solid sound we all know and want from it. The Epiphone was not bad, but did not motivate me in any way. It was ok, but not great even after all the changes I made.

Now if I simply just couldn't afford to get a Gibson Les Paul, absolutely I would go with an Epiphone. No question about it.

As far as I'm concerned, the best bang for the buck out there as far as I'm concerned are Schecter guitars. I bought one for my son, and I play it all the time.
Old 23rd August 2016
  #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barryjohns View Post
... The best bang for the buck out there as far as I'm concerned are Schecter guitars. I bought one for my son, and I play it all the time.
Can't beat those kinds of gifts. Like the bowling ball Homer got for Marge.
Old 25th August 2016
  #114
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Early 1980s MIJ Ibanez Roadstar II guitars (especially the cheaper 100 and 200 series) were unbelievable instruments. They came stock with high quality die cast mini tuners, pivoting fulcrum bridge, die cast saddles, graphite nut, speed knobs, single/double coil switching, easy insert whammy arm (with adjustable tension grommets), oversize V shaped strap pins, roller string trees, great feeling neck shape, and nice sounding pups. Of the scores of them that I setup and repaired over the years, every one was simple to make play fantastic. I personally owned at least 15 of these,but my students always begged to buy them from me so I am down to one right now. Can be had on eBay or CL for about $180 to $325. Don't buy any above to 200 series unless you like locking nuts or complicated bridges. And stay away from the later Korean made Roadstars; they are not even close to the same level quality or workmanship.
Old 25th August 2016
  #115
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Early 1980s MIJ Ibanez Roadstar II guitars (especially the cheaper 100 and 200 series) were unbelievable instruments. They came stock with high quality die cast mini tuners, pivoting fulcrum bridge, die cast saddles, graphite nut, speed knobs, single/double coil switching, easy insert whammy arm (with adjustable tension grommets), oversize V shaped strap pins, roller string trees, great feeling neck shape, and nice sounding pups. Of the scores of them that I setup and repaired over the years, every one was simple to make play fantastic. I personally owned at least 15 of these,but my students always begged to buy them from me so I am down to one right now. Can be had on eBay or CL for about $180 to $325. Don't buy any above to 200 series unless you like locking nuts or complicated bridges. And stay away from the later Korean made Roadstars; they are not even close to the same level quality or workmanship.
Old 25th August 2016
  #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drguitar View Post
Early 1980s MIJ Ibanez Roadstar II guitars (especially the cheaper 100 and 200 series) were unbelievable instruments. They came stock with high quality die cast mini tuners, pivoting fulcrum bridge, die cast saddles, graphite nut, speed knobs, single/double coil switching, easy insert whammy arm (with adjustable tension grommets), oversize V shaped strap pins, roller string trees, great feeling neck shape, and nice sounding pups. Of the scores of them that I setup and repaired over the years, every one was simple to make play fantastic. I personally owned at least 15 of these,but my students always begged to buy them from me so I am down to one right now. Can be had on eBay or CL for about $180 to $325. Don't buy any above to 200 series unless you like locking nuts or complicated bridges. And stay away from the later Korean made Roadstars; they are not even close to the same level quality or workmanship.
I had one of the really cheap MIJ Roadstar strats, it was great. I gave it to a friend who uses it to this day with great results.

My bass is a Ibanez roadstar II Deluxe RB924 CS and it's brilliant. Really well made and with lots of pickup switching options.

So yes, Japanese, and particularly Fujigen guitars of that era are real bargains.
Old 25th August 2016
  #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Santiago View Post
So yes, Japanese, and particularly Fujigen guitars of that era are real bargains.
In my world there are differences between "cheapos" and "bargains" - where a cheapo is just what it is (usually a couple of lumps of laquered/disguised scrapwood with the cheapest possible hardware) vs. a properly made guitar that just doesn't have market recognition

Difference is that with a "bargain" you can expect consistent quality, whereas with the cheapo it is luck of the draw whether you get a good one or not...
Old 25th August 2016
  #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grumphh View Post
In my world there are differences between "cheapos" and "bargains" - where a cheapo is just what it is (usually a couple of lumps of laquered/disguised scrapwood with the cheapest possible hardware) vs. a properly made guitar that just doesn't have market recognition

Difference is that with a "bargain" you can expect consistent quality, whereas with the cheapo it is luck of the draw whether you get a good one or not...
OK, so you mean "should be crap but actually it's great" guitars...

I'm afraid those are even more difficult to find than actual bargains! but it's great when you do find them...
Old 25th August 2016
  #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Santiago View Post
OK, so you mean "should be crap but actually it's great" guitars...
Exactly
Old 25th August 2016
  #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drguitar View Post
Early 1980s MIJ Ibanez Roadstar II guitars (especially the cheaper 100 and 200 series) were unbelievable instruments. They came stock with high quality die cast mini tuners, pivoting fulcrum bridge, die cast saddles, graphite nut, speed knobs, single/double coil switching, easy insert whammy arm (with adjustable tension grommets), oversize V shaped strap pins, roller string trees, great feeling neck shape, and nice sounding pups. Of the scores of them that I setup and repaired over the years, every one was simple to make play fantastic. I personally owned at least 15 of these,but my students always begged to buy them from me so I am down to one right now. Can be had on eBay or CL for about $180 to $325. Don't buy any above to 200 series unless you like locking nuts or complicated bridges. And stay away from the later Korean made Roadstars; they are not even close to the same level quality or workmanship.
I had a Roadstar that sounded wonderful, although the neck was far too narrow for my taste. But that "Pro Rockr" vibrato was crap. Most of it was made of pot metal, and broke far to easily. If it had the next generation vibrato on it, I would definitely recommend it.
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