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  • Price To Sound Ratio

     Be honest, is there one?  I'm not talking about build quality, sound only. I haven't played any high end boutique stuff, I have played quite a few top end Martins and Gibsons , lot of others in the $300 to $ 5,000 range. I can honestly say that , for me, price is not an indicator of sound quality, The 5 best sounding guitars I 've played are(in no particular order) are-Guild D-55, Fender Elvis Presley Kingman, a very old Martin D-35,Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-500R and a blue Yamaha(model ??). What's your take?

    "HAVE FUN, TRY NOT TO HURT ANYONE AND EAT PLENTY OF GREENS"

  • #2

    I've often made the same argument. Take a Hummingbird for example. A Gibson Hummingbird costs a little over $3,000 and an Epiphone Hummingbird costs $300. Is there $2,500 better tone in the Gibson? I don't think there is. Most people, myself included, could not tell the difference in sound between the two.

    carguy

    Comment


    • FretFiend.
      FretFiend. commented
      Editing a comment

      carguy wrote:

      I've often made the same argument. Take a Hummingbird for example. A Gibson Hummingbird costs a little over $3,000 and an Epiphone Hummingbird costs $300. Is there $2,500 better tone in the Gibson? I don't think there is. Most people, myself included, could not tell the difference in sound between the two.


       

      Not meaning to be too argumentative, but if there is a $200 guitar that sounds as good as that new D-35, you could have saved yourself some serious money.


    • Folky_Grunge
      Folky_Grunge commented
      Editing a comment

      carguy wrote:

      I've often made the same argument. Take a Hummingbird for example. A Gibson Hummingbird costs a little over $3,000 and an Epiphone Hummingbird costs $300. Is there $2,500 better tone in the Gibson? I don't think there is. Most people, myself included, could not tell the difference in sound between the two.


      I don't know if that's a good example, because the Epi and Gibson Hummingbirds and built quite differently (solid vs. lam wood, scale length, etc.), and do sound noticably different as a result. It's not really fair to compare them. Maybe some people couldn't tell the difference, but I can. Is it a $2,500 difference? I don't think so, since to me the difference mostly comes from the scale length, and taking 3/4 of an inch off a neck shouldn't cost that much, but that's what the guitar goes for.


      In general, though, I think there is kind of a ratio. But mostly because after a certain point, you end up paying for bling instead of real features and guitars just aren't going to sound any better. That not to say that until that point it's perfectly linear, though - a few days ago I demoed a few $3-400 Tanglewoods, and they all sounded better than the Taylors that cost 2-3 times as much and were sitting right next to them, I've also played Seagulls I liked better than some Martins. How something is built is the real important factor.


    • billybilly
      billybilly commented
      Editing a comment

      carguy wrote:

      I've often made the same argument. Take a Hummingbird for example. A Gibson Hummingbird costs a little over $3,000 and an Epiphone Hummingbird costs $300. Is there $2,500 better tone in the Gibson? I don't think there is. Most people, myself included, could not tell the difference in sound between the two.


       

      I could, quite easily.

       

      I believe there is a big jump in tone from $500 to $1500, after that, not so much.  Sub $500 guitars are pretty good these days but if you spend another grand, you'll be getting a far superior instrument, IMO.


  • #3

    poppytater wrote:

     Be honest, is there one?  What's your take?


    You're not gonna get any argument from me about that, Poppy. I agree with ya.

    I've got two Martins and one Yamaha. The Yamaha was bought new, the two Martins (although they're in "like new" condition) were both purchased used...and at a great price, too.

    I love all three of these guitars equally and don't intend to get rid of any of them. But, in all honesty, It's difficult for me to hear any GREAT difference in sound between these guitars and no difference at all in the playability of them. All three have been properly set up, so they all play easily, and they all sound great to me.

    However, I think the smile on my face is a little bigger when I'm playing one of the Martins. And, I'm sure, that probably holds true for anyone who's playing a so-called "higher end" guitar over a budget priced one.

    Mine sound as good as I can make a guitar sound, so until something changes that would make me be able to play a guitar like Tommy Emmanuel, I don't intend to spend the big bucks on anything that costs any more than the ones I already have. I also think Tommy Emmanuel could make any one of mine sound as good as whatever his favorite guitar is these days.

    Like they always say...it's the Indian, not the arrow!

    Edit to add: A friend of mine, a very good guitarist, has a Martin D-18 Authentic that he paid $5700 for. He loves it, naturally, but to me, he got taken for a ride! I've played it several times and I've listened to him playing it several times. If his D-18A is an example of how a $5700 Martin is supposed to be, I'll hold onto my money and keep on playing what I have now. He thinks his D-18A is great; I think he spent about $4500 more than he needed to. So be it. 

     

     

     

    <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1"><br><br>Three Dreads......2 Martins and 1 Yamaha<br><br>A fiddle, a mando, a uke, eight harmonicas, a Zoom H2, a Panasonic recorder, coupla penny whistles, an Italian made Titano accordion, three handguns, at least a dozen chess sets, more power tools than Bob Vila, and one old Westclox &quot;Big Ben&quot; wind-up alarm clock that still works! Oh, BTW, I forgot to mention my ocarina and maracas.</font></div>

    Comment


    • #4

      poppytater wrote:

       Be honest, is there one?  I'm not talking about build quality, sound only. I haven't played any high end boutique stuff, I have played quite a few top end Martins and Gibsons , lot of others in the $300 to $ 5,000 range. I can honestly say that , for me, price is not an indicator of sound quality, The 5 best sounding guitars I 've played are(in no particular order) are-Guild D-55, Fender Elvis Presley Kingman, a very old Martin D-35,Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-500R and a blue Yamaha(model ??). What's your take?


      I completely agree with you, Pops. My two best sounding (to me of course {wink thingy}) are my Crafter dreadnought and my Recording King 000.

      I bought the Crafter about 6 years ago and I played lots and lots and lots of guitars - several of which were "high end" - before choosing and for me it was the Crafter that rang the bells. I have to say that the RK is pretty **bleep** good too.

       

      PS. The **bleep** was the word "damn" - if HCAG is getting this f*cking silly I might as well stay over in AGF.

      Howard

      Comment


      • Opa John
        Opa John commented
        Editing a comment

        garthman wrote:

         

        PS. The **bleep** was the word "damn" - if HCAG is getting this f*cking silly I might as well stay over in AGF.


        Amen. And, if Poppy had posted this over at AGF, there would already by 4 pages of replies by now disputing his opinion! What can I say......those people over there are just "different". I guess it's to be expected, though, from a site where people thinks it's "normal" to spend $40 for a guitar pick and $175 for a capo.


      • TESmith
        TESmith commented
        Editing a comment

        garthman wrote:

        poppytater wrote:

         Be honest, is there one?  I'm not talking about build quality, sound only. I haven't played any high end boutique stuff, I have played quite a few top end Martins and Gibsons , lot of others in the $300 to $ 5,000 range. I can honestly say that , for me, price is not an indicator of sound quality, The 5 best sounding guitars I 've played are(in no particular order) are-Guild D-55, Fender Elvis Presley Kingman, a very old Martin D-35,Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-500R and a blue Yamaha(model ??). What's your take?


        I completely agree with you, Pops. My two best sounding (to me of course {wink thingy}) are my Crafter dreadnought and my Recording King 000.

        I bought the Crafter about 6 years ago and I played lots and lots and lots of guitars - several of which were "high end" - before choosing and for me it was the Crafter that rang the bells. I have to say that the RK is pretty **bleep** good too.

         

        PS. The **bleep** was the word "damn" - if HCAG is getting this f*cking silly I might as well stay over in AGF.


        I would think the higher end guitars would have advantages, However, I am starting to question this more and more.My own experiences paralells Howard's  I playe d many guitars several years ago, Martins, Taylors, Gibsons, Seagull, and more. I found the guitar that stood out was an inexpensive, lower end Crafter ( GA-7  N) Not near top of their line, but it was a superb sounding guitar. Players far more experienced than myself commented on the rich well rounded sounds that came from that guitar. I have played and owned guitars in many price ranges. I still think certain guitars just come together the right way and have it......go to any music store where they have more than one of a specific model guitar and play several of the identical guitars back to back. Very often there are big differences in the sounds.

         

        Someone else must have liked the Crafter as well, because it was stolen from me, still pisses me off!

         

        I have come to think anymore price does not equate better, sound, carefull shopping and you can find good ones at all prices!


    • #5

      I don't think it is that simple.  Other things can change besides sound as the price goes up ... like bling.  And sometimes bling can negatively effect sound.


      But if you are asking if a D-28 sounds better than a DX1 ... hell yeah!

      Bob.
      Martin HD35 | Gibson J45tv | Taylor DN3 | Guild GAD25 | Taylor Baby | Yamaha FG413SBD | Yamaha FG200

      Comment


      • #6

        Also factor in cost of the materials, and sound is in the ear of the beholder.  So Mahoganny may be a cheaper material than rosewood, but you may appreciate the sound more ... therefore you may like the sound less expensive D-18 over the D-28.

        Bob.
        Martin HD35 | Gibson J45tv | Taylor DN3 | Guild GAD25 | Taylor Baby | Yamaha FG413SBD | Yamaha FG200

        Comment


        • #7
          I'm not sure my skill level or ears are good enough to differentiate past a certain point, and there's always the 80/20 rule that comes into play...so I personally don't find much difference between guitars once you get into all solid wood construction..or, at least, not a difference thats equal to the price tag. (I *can* hear differences between brands and woods, but not so much for different models within a brand with same wood.)

          Plus, there are always outliers. My current fave: Alvarez AD710. Solid top, lam sides/back. Feels and sounds great, I'd probably take it over any other guitar that wasn't all solid, and it's under $300. I have no need for another full-size guitar, but the Alvarez keeps tempting me.
          <div class="signaturecontainer">-Steve<br><br><br><br>Well, of course I bought guitars that are better than I am! I need something to grow into, right? <img src="http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/rolleyes.gif" title alt="" border="0"></div>

          Comment


          • #8

            Much of what has been said has some truth to it.

            There are other issues that may affect the way a player judges a particular guitar or price range. In reality, hands are like fingerprints. No two are the same. In your hands, a given guitar may sound great, and in my hands, not as much so. Also, most decent (whatever that means) players will adjust their style automatically to get the best out of the guitar that is in their lap at the time. But, you may have to work harder at it, or not be totally comfortable doing so. For the casual player that may be okay, but for someone on stage three nights a week, it may be exhausting. When auditioning a guitar, most people seem to play their best licks (don't want to look silly in the store), but I always include those which give me trouble, to see if they go better or worse on the audition guitar.

            Having said all that, there are some surprising gems in the lower end of the price range, more than there were 20-30 years ago. But if the sound/playability I was looking for many years ago, cost me 3k+ (equivilent) , then I'm okay with that too. Life is too short to play a guitar that sucks.

            Biggest difference for me these days is that a guitar that lasts forty years isn't a huge requirement on my checklist anymore. I will never understand buying a guitar you haven't had in your hands first, but I guess I'm just set in my ways.

             

            Paul

            Comment


            • #9

              poppytater wrote:

               Be honest, is there one?  I'm not talking about build quality, sound only. I haven't played any high end boutique stuff, I have played quite a few top end Martins and Gibsons , lot of others in the $300 to $ 5,000 range. I can honestly say that , for me, price is not an indicator of sound quality, The 5 best sounding guitars I 've played are(in no particular order) are-Guild D-55, Fender Elvis Presley Kingman, a very old Martin D-35,Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-500R and a blue Yamaha(model ??) What's your take?


               

              That some people don't hear very well.  

               

              But seriously, Pops, play a few Collings and see if that doesn't recalibrate your notions..  

              Comment


              • EdBega
                EdBega commented
                Editing a comment

                Oops wrong thread ..



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