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Would you rather have

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Achysklic, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. King Creole

    King Creole Friend of Leo's

    Jan 24, 2011
    Colorado
    For acoustic guitars, you have to spend serious money for a good instrument. For electric, a Squier with a good setup is plenty good for most of us. The amp, speaker, and pickups make the sound. So get a good amp, good-enough guitar, and upgrade the pickups and speaker if needed. And have a good tech setup the guitar.

    I have a couple seriously expensive guitars. The acoustic is totally worth it. A less expensive guitar can’t come close. But my $2,000 Tele is only a little better than my son’s Squier strat, alas. (Beware, though: there are plenty of stinkers out there among cheap guitars. You have to play a lot of them to find the one.)
     
    Minimalist518 likes this.

  2. SomeVelvetMorning

    SomeVelvetMorning Tele-Meister

    129
    Aug 10, 2017
    New Hampshire

  3. Minimalist518

    Minimalist518 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    56
    Mar 5, 2017
    Albany
    I learned a long time ago that a cheap guitar can sound glorious though a good amp. I also learned that the inverse is not true. No matter how good the guitar, if the amp is thin, flat and uninspiring, that’s exactly how the guitar will sound.
     
    Piggy Stu likes this.

  4. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    58
    Mar 2, 2010
    Maine
    To me the guitar and amp should be the same level of quality.
    Those who prefer what tube amps do will need to pay more for the amp than the guitar to get the same quality.
    Those who prefer Gibson branded guitars might have to pay more for the guitar than the amp to get the same quality.

    That said, once you have a guitar that up to fully pro quality (say MIM Fender), a more expensive guitar will net no gain while a more expensive amp might bring better sound.
    In terms of new retail prices, a functionally equal quality amp to an MIM Fender would cost about twice the price of the guitar. Or not depending on what sounds you need.
    There are $600 amps that deliver great sound, and $600 amps that deliver more sounds but none that are as good.
    For a $199 guitar, a $199 SS amp will get better sounds than a $199 tube amp IMO.

    As already noted, this is an age old question.
    Still valid given the confusion in the current marketplace.
    What quality is available at what price is constantly changing.
     

  5. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 19, 2006
    Gilbert, AZ (PHX)
    Hound Dog Taylor played a Teisco through a Super Reverb... (or whatever he had)

     

  6. drf64

    drf64 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    54
    Jul 24, 2009
    Ada, MI

    His main amp was a Sears silvertone.
     

  7. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's
    @brookdalebill, it's like you wrote my post for me. Except my amp of choice is a Roland Jazz Chorus JC-40.

    I tried EVERYTHING. And I almost literally mean anything. Including a nice handwired Dumble clone, a lovely JCM800 handwired clone, multiple (ouch) SF/BF and reissue Princeton Reverbs, Deluxe Reverbs and Vibrolux Reverbs, a Marshall 2061x, a handwired tweed Bassman reissue, serviced Silvertones, serviced late 50s/early 60s Gibsons. I could go on.

    Only amp that's ever had the package of the sound I want, useful stage dynamics (tube compression is over-rated and in fact counter-productive for me), controllable grit that is very musical, and the volume I need - that darn JC-40. I kept my JC-77 but I'm not sure I'll ever need it again. I guess I just have tin ears and hands or something.

    Price and quality and musical expression are definitely not directly correlated.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018

  8. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 5, 2006
    Sinatra's World
    My practice rig is a $40 "RockAxe" guitar through a $2,000 Rivera Suprema amp. It sounds incredible. So, while the cheap guitar is perfectly playable and has a reasonable pickup in it, I have to believe the amp is more pertinent to the sound.

    Or, maybe that $40 guitar has a gem of a pickup in it, just by sheer luck. I've often wondered about this.
     
    Minimalist518 and telemnemonics like this.

  9. LGOberean

    LGOberean Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    64
    May 31, 2008
    Corpus Christi, Texas
    When I tell people I'm a musician, the follow up question typically is "What instrument do you play?" I have never in my life replied, "Amplifier." I've never known any other guitarist to give that reply, either.
     
    televillian and Achysklic like this.

  10. acstorfer

    acstorfer Tele-Holic

    Age:
    50
    727
    Mar 11, 2007
    Boynton Beach, FL
    For years I’ve pushed the higher end amp. If I gigged I’d still agree with that. For me now I’d go with the higher end guitar. Either way, nowadays there’s so much choice out there a person can go inexpensive on both and still sound great. My mim Classic Player Strat was exceptional. Put that into an old Egnater Rebel with some decent pedals and you’re gold.

    Anyway, another big reason for me is I play my acoustic 90% of the time, and when I play an electric 90% of the time I play unplugged.

    I have some pretty high end guitars. Personally I’d consider my Swart amps pretty high end. Actually my pedals are great as well. Still, I play my acoustic.

    If anyone cares about my thoughts on acoustics, that’s where it really matters on high end quality.
     
    Minimalist518 likes this.

  11. acstorfer

    acstorfer Tele-Holic

    Age:
    50
    727
    Mar 11, 2007
    Boynton Beach, FL
    And that’s why I bought my 20 year old Jag :)
     

  12. Smiff

    Smiff Tele-Holic

    582
    Oct 1, 2017
    UK
    Tough one.

    An average guitar can sound good with a decent amplifier and perhaps not vice versa. So it makes sense to get a more expensive amplifier in that regard.

    However I spend a fair bit of time practicing unplugged and often use other people’s sound equipment when playing out, so in my situation spending more on an expensive guitar might make more sense.

    Like others have posted; the quality of “budget” gear is far higher now than it’s ever been so you could probably afford to “cheap out” on one or both pieces of equipment and still get a decent sound.
     

  13. TwangyWhammy

    TwangyWhammy Friend of Leo's

    Jan 10, 2014
    Under the DownUnder
    Hi end guitar for me... it's the bit that me and my hands touch.

    But yeah, there's no good answer in this...
     

  14. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 5, 2006
    Sinatra's World
    Zen question: If the guitar plays like crap and you don't want to play it, does it even matter how good the amp is?
     

  15. Achysklic

    Achysklic Tele-Holic

    889
    Feb 7, 2013
    Ohio
    I agree with a lot here in that I play 95% time unplugged. I have found a higher end guitar usually plays and sings out much better unplugged.
     

  16. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

    Nov 15, 2010
    Texas
    Yep...that's my question, too.

    Either way, I'd spend more on the amp than the guitar. You can find an excellent guitar for less than $500...no, it won't be an American-made Boutique Custom Shop Instrument Hand-crafted By Virgin Monks in an oxygen-free environment, but you can find a good-to-excellent used Squier, Epiphone, Dean, ESP, etc., or even the occasional Mexican Fender for a reasonable price.

    There are reasonably priced good amps out there, but a decent guitar through a Great amp will always sound better than a great guitar through a Decent amp.
     

  17. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

    Jun 22, 2010
    Osaka, Japan
    Well, if we're setting the line for "cheap" at $1200, that definitely makes it easier! :D
     
    JL_LI likes this.

  18. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 5, 2006
    Sinatra's World
    Am I playing it? If so, a million dollars worth of gear would still sound like crap!
     

  19. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's
    I am always surprised by the number of people who apparently play electric guitars unplugged.
     
    telemnemonics and P Thought like this.

  20. fatcat

    fatcat Friend of Leo's

    Jul 6, 2010
    Very Deep South
    I'm down with that.
     

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