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Gibson29

Is A Guitar Ever Worth 9K?

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Or 5, or 7K?  Admittedly, having played a few high end guitars in that range, I have fallen in love on a few occasions, but decided to hold off on proposing to keep my bachelorhood intact.  Well, that, and SEVEN THOUSAND DOLLARS.   That’s a friggin commitment!

What is the most you’ve paid for a guitar?  What’s the most you WOULD pay for a guitar that blows your socks off?  Me?  About 2k for a Taylor many years ago that I kept for maybe 6 months.   And I don’t really miss it, but yes, I think 2K would be almost doable if I got suckered in ;).

(the photo in the avatar is not mine, btw.  I just like pre-30s Gibsons.)

Edited by Gibson29

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20 minutes ago, Gibson29 said:

Or 5, or 7K?  Admittedly, having played a few high end guitars in that range, I have fallen in love on a few occasions, but decided to hold off on proposing to keep my bachelorhood intact.  Well, that, and SEVEN THOUSAND DOLLARS.   That’s a friggin commitment!

What is the most you’ve paid for a guitar?  What’s the most you WOULD pay for a guitar that blows your socks off?  Me?  About 2k for a Taylor many years ago that I kept for maybe 6 months.   And I don’t really miss it, but yes, I think 2K would be almost doable if I got suckered in ;).

(the photo in the avatar is not mine, btw.  I just like pre-30s Gibsons.)

The most I ever spent on a guitar was £30 when I bought my first steel string acoustic (an EKO ranger VI) in 1971. But in today's money that equates to approx £425. 

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Have you played some great guitars that sorely tempted you but for the “empty wallet syndrome”?

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5 hours ago, Gibson29 said:

Have you played some great guitars that sorely tempted you but for the “empty wallet syndrome”?

I mostly bought the "great" guitars I played but they were not expensive ones. I learned long ago that there is very little correlation between the price of a guitar and the way it plays and sounds.

But then, I'm a weird sort of fellow 😊

Edited by garthman

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I remember reading about James Taylor and his Olson. He spent 5 figures and had to get on a waiting list. :eek2: My current "good" guitar cost $350 brand new, I'd spend maybe $1500 for something really nice (and obviously used for that price). A week or so I was in a local music store and drooled over Martins, Taylors, a Guild, a Breedlove, a Larrivée, even a Lowden. I didn't bother pulling any of them off the wall.

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Certainly, there are guitars worth more than $10,000...look at some of the auctions for Clapton's strats....look at some of the one-of-a-kind commemorative Martins...somewhere someone will spend a ridiculous amount of money to own something rare and wonderful. But odds are they will not see the light of day very often. Those are investments, collectibles...not gigging instruments.

The real question is what are you going to do with that $7000 dollar guitar? Worship it? :wave:

You paid two grand for a Taylor, and then decided you didn't like it enough to keep it...why did you buy it in the first place?

I have a few guitars that are worth more than $3k, and to be fair, they don't get out of the case as much as my lesser axes...because I'm worried about them getting knocked over, spilled on,...dusty...:freak: ...really, they only come out on the high paying, large stage, outdoor type gigs where no one can get near them but me, and there is professional security.

Would I pay that kind of money for a guitar today? Not likely, because I'm retired, I play a lot of bar gigs and I have plenty of great, good, serviceable and useful guitars...and I have my high-end axes for when the need arises.

Same reason my Blackface Vibrolux Reverb has spent most of its existence over the past 15 years in a closet with a dust cover on it. I take it out also for those high end gigs, maybe once or twice a year now...but there are plenty of other amps in the stable that work well and I'm less concerned about.

To be fair, I'm a gigging guitarist/singer. I am not doing it to impress anyone with how much my rig cost, but how good I make my relatively inexpensive rig sound.

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2 hours ago, garthman said:

I mostly bought the "great" guitars I played but they were not expensive ones. I learned long ago that there is very little correlation between the price of a guitar and the way it plays and sounds.

But then, I'm a weird sort of fellow 😊

trut' so pur...

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I would love to commission a guitar from Tim McKnight but his starting price is $6K. He has several for sale in his workshop that he’s taken to trade shows that are discounted as display models. They are still more than I can afford. 
 

Are they worth it? To understand that I set out to build some of my own. In that I now understand that a big part of the cost is workmanship, maintaining a ship, acquiring materials, etc. even a basic kit for an all solid wood guitar now costs over $600. 

So my point is, I think that guitars are actually undervalued and ones that cost less than $500 really aren’t worth more than use as a learning tool. 

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It IS a conundrum.  The really good ones are very expensive, yet as Garthman says, and I believe it to be true as well, there’s very little correlation etc.

daddymack asks why I bought it, ah, the folly of youth is really all I can say.  And I had the money as well as great aspirations of stardom I suppose.  Being older helps with perspective, as well as vocation and working hobbies where you actually make money with music, and I don’t.  I can see why it’s just a thing you “get”, the price you pay, like Kwakatak and daddymack, as well as the opposite.  
 

Deepend!  How do you do it?  See a wall of pricey guitars and NOT play at least one?  You must be married with children.😅  Next time, just strum a few, it’s good for the soul as well as practicing self control, which I have in spades.  I just say no, as they give me those mournful chords begging to be taken home.  
 

I’d seriously think about an old L-0 or a Nick Lucas though.  

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31 minutes ago, Gibson29 said:

. . . Deepend!  How do you do it?  See a wall of pricey guitars and NOT play at least one?  You must be married with children.😅  Next time, just strum a few, it’s good for the soul as well as practicing self control, which I have in spades.  I just say no, as they give me those mournful chords begging to be taken home. . . .

Married with a grown daughter. As for how I do it, I know I don't play near well enough to deserve a really nice guitar so what's the point? I played a used Taylor 514CE a while back in Guitar Center but really I'll never own one so why tempt myself?

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Well, we all tend to sell ourselves a bit short.  Plus, temptation is kind of fun, especially if you can say no.  It’s character building!  

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2 hours ago, Gibson29 said:

It IS a conundrum.  The really good ones are very expensive, yet as Garthman says, and I believe it to be true as well, there’s very little correlation etc.

daddymack asks why I bought it, ah, the folly of youth is really all I can say.  And I had the money as well as great aspirations of stardom I suppose.  Being older helps with perspective, as well as vocation and working hobbies where you actually make money with music, and I don’t.  I can see why it’s just a thing you “get”, the price you pay, like Kwakatak and daddymack, as well as the opposite.  
 

Deepend!  How do you do it?  See a wall of pricey guitars and NOT play at least one?  You must be married with children.😅  Next time, just strum a few, it’s good for the soul as well as practicing self control, which I have in spades.  I just say no, as they give me those mournful chords begging to be taken home.  
 

I’d seriously think about an old L-0 or a Nick Lucas though.  

To be honest, the most I've paid for a guitar was $950 for my Martin D-16GT about 10 years ago. I chose it because I had a monetary gift burning a hole in my pocket but I really wanted a HD-35 that at the time cost triple that. I couldn't see me saving up another $2K and I figured the 16 sounded better than half as good as the 35.

I wish I'd saved up for that HD-35 though. I'd have had it paid off by now.

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Big factor would be how much disposable income do you have? $9K would be chump change for Jeff Bezos. For pros out there, don't they have advantage of writing off part of the cost as a business asset? Depreciation?

My criteria is that the guitar has to be better than my playing ability, so I have so many choices that don't break the bank.

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“Better than my playing ability”...!  That, I agree with.  
 

There is the whole collectors thing as well, but that’s a different genre, my OP was referring to just people that play, amateur, pro, somewhere in between.  And Rich guys will be rich guys.  
 

 

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for curiosity's sake I went to see how much Ervin Somogyi is charging for custom commissions. The price is a staggering $40,000.

I'm just fanning the flames here. ;)

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19 hours ago, daddymack said:

I have a few guitars that are worth more than $3k, and to be fair, they don't get out of the case as much as my lesser axes...because I'm worried about them getting knocked over, spilled on,...dusty...:freak: ...

:lol: 

That instantly reminded me of this classic line from Ferris Bueller's Day off... warning: the language is a bit salty... 

https://getyarn.io/yarn-story/74f2a243-e33e-4e9a-8c5d-c3f4e1afef4c

 

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I don't have any custom-built instruments, but I do have some that many people would consider to be very nice and fairly expensive. Most of them get used - by me, as well as by my studio clients. 

I can't justify a $40k-$50k guitar, or a $300,000 '59 Les Paul Standard (much less one of Clapton's castoffs) but a $5k-$10k instrument? Sure. I also have some that are in the $500 and under range. While I take very good care of all of them, and some are treated with kid gloves more than some of the others, they're all artistic tools that are there to be used. I'm not a collector in the truest sense of the word. I'm not going to pull a Nigel on anyone who I trust to be half-way respectful of a nice instrument.

 

 

Some may question why I need a couple dozen guitars, and to that I reply "how many paint brushes does a painter need? How many lenses does a photographer need?" Or sometimes I'll say "you think that's bad? You should see my mic collection!" :lol: 

 

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On 2/15/2020 at 11:08 PM, kwakatak said:

So my point is, I think that guitars are actually undervalued .  .  .. and ones that cost less than $500 really aren’t worth more than use as a learning tool. 

And I, of course, disagree. Well, partly disagree. I've been saying for years that you don't need to spend more than $500 to buy a very good guitar. But, looking back, I realize that I've been saying it for quite a lot of years and  I was probably talking about guitars made 10 years and more ago - time flies LOL - especially when you are as old as me.. For example, I own an early Tanglewood guitar, made in Korea, that sounds better than any Martin or Taylor guitar that I've ever played. And it's not a one-off - I've played a few MIK Tanglewoods and they have all been excellent. I also own a MIK Crafter guitar - one of their all solid range - that plays and sounds almost as good as my Tanglewood. Both guitars sold for around the £300 mark 15 years ago. I kind of believe that Korean craftsmen (and Japanese before them and Chinese and Indonesian since them) are probably just as skilled as their Western cousins.

But, of course, since that time price inflation and rising material costs have probably taken their toll so perhaps $500 is on the low side now - perhaps I should go up to $750? That's about right. The other consideration of course is wood scarcity: no rosewood, no ebony, etc. But hell, what's wrong with maple or walnut or even bamboo?

 

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My opinion is yes. There are guitars that magnificent and rare. 

I think there are more $2000 guitars being called $9000 ones though. 

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7 hours ago, garthman said:

And I, of course, disagree. Well, partly disagree. I've been saying for years that you don't need to spend more than $500 to buy a very good guitar. But, looking back, I realize that I've been saying it for quite a lot of years and  I was probably talking about guitars made 10 years and more ago - time flies LOL - especially when you are as old as me.. For example, I own an early Tanglewood guitar, made in Korea, that sounds better than any Martin or Taylor guitar that I've ever played. And it's not a one-off - I've played a few MIK Tanglewoods and they have all been excellent. I also own a MIK Crafter guitar - one of their all solid range - that plays and sounds almost as good as my Tanglewood. Both guitars sold for around the £300 mark 15 years ago. I kind of believe that Korean craftsmen (and Japanese before them and Chinese and Indonesian since them) are probably just as skilled as their Western cousins.

But, of course, since that time price inflation and rising material costs have probably taken their toll so perhaps $500 is on the low side now - perhaps I should go up to $750? That's about right. The other consideration of course is wood scarcity: no rosewood, no ebony, etc. But hell, what's wrong with maple or walnut or even bamboo?

 

 

I don't recall exactly how much I paid for my Peerless-built (MIK) '01 Epiphone Casino when I bought it new, but it was definitely under $600... probably not much more than $500 (including the case)... and it is still one of my favorite guitars. It's very well-built, plays fantastically, and sounds great. Outside of its non-nitro finish, I don't think there's really anything that a US-made ES-330 or Casino could do to top it. It's an exceptionally good guitar. 

 

 

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I owned a Kathy Wingert for awhile and then sold it for $12,000 USD.  Was it worth the money?  Yes, to the individual that bought it.  As far as the tone, well, it lived up to it's material but it wasn't for me, the BRW was too bright believe it or not.   i prefer EIR.   Sometimes you live and learn, I was glad to get my investment money back and then some.  Would I buy it again?  No. 

 

 

Edited by Donny G

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RE: the previous post.  It really IS a nice guitar, it sounds great (well, you know..vid), it looks good, the person playing knows what’s what.  Who will buy this?  A player?  Collector?  A rich player?  
 

What in all good sense makes this 17.5K purchase something to be aspired?  I’m a plebe.  I’ll NEVER know.  3K.  That’s the most I could ever think about paying, and that’s on a good day where I sell my stuff, and go into hock for it.  
 

...so, from my OP, I’ve risen a grand.  Aha.  Now I get it.. ..man.

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The player is 90% of "is it worth it?". There's an inverse relationship at play.

For a guitarist with a low to average skill level, a really high end guitar sounds worse because it's more revealing.

For an advanced player the super guitar enables them to coax more out of it. 

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That is a definite truth.  Yeah, really good guitar players that ALSO make a lot of money, like James Taylor who’s got his 10K Olsons, will spend that.  
 

But what if you were a really good guitar player (I bet you are) but had a middle class life, good, but not rich, income.  9K?  Knowing that instead of that kitchen remodel or new car.... But yeah, it’s doable.  Tight, but doable.  9K?  15K?

Boy, now 3.5K sounds like, yeah, I’d do that!🤪

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