Buying Cheap Guitar does it worth it?
Cheap Guitar was a phrase that didn’t have a place in my dictionary just a few years ago. Cheap Guitar was a synonym of a low-quality, poorly manufactured guitar. The cheapest guitar I had was a Japanese made Fender Strat, and I was somehow intimidated by the fact that it wasn’t US made guitar. I’ve never considered cheap Korean or Chinese made guitars, and I was never to buy a cheap guitar. Not until recently J.
Many of the big guitar manufacturers have started producing their guitars in Korea, China and India in order to offer affordable cheap guitars for the regular guitar player. Not everybody can afford $2000+ Fender or Gibson guitars and there is a huge market for cheap guitars under $400.
Most of the Epiphone cheap guitars models (Epiphone is owned by Gibson now) are produced in Korea. Kramer, another company owned by Gibson produces most of its cheap guitars in Korea too. Fender bought Jackson a few years ago, and now most of the cheap Jackson guitars are produced in Korea and India. BC Rich low-cost guitars are made in Korea. Many Ibanez guitar models are made in Korea too.
The low cost of labor helps to produce cheaper guitar, but that alone cannot be the only reason for lowering guitar prices.
So, why some guitars are dirt cheap and some guitars are outrageously expensive?
There are several factors determining a guitar manufacturing price.
The first factor making a guitar cheap or expensive is the actual guitar manufacturing process. Was the guitar hand-made? Was the guitar produced in a highly automated modern guitar factory? Hand-made guitars are usually very expensive, while the guitars coming out from an automated factory are usually cheap guitars, because the highly automated manufacturing process doesn’t require much manual labor (guitar building, quality control, etc.)
Another factor determining a guitar price is the quality of material used for producing this guitar. This includes the woods used for the guitar neck and body, the paints, finishes, etc. Cheaper guitars use inexpensive woods like plywood for building the guitar body, while more expensive guitars use more expensive quality woods like mahogany, rosewood, alder, etc.
The third factor making a guitar cheap or expensive is the quality of electronics and hardware that go in the guitar. Cheap guitars usually have cheap bridge, tuners, and stock pickups. Expensive guitars are made with quality hardware and electronics. For example the cost of a single Seymour-Duncan pickup may be much higher than the price for a decent cheap guitar made in Korea.
Cheap Guitars – Does it worth to buy one?
Cheap Guitars are not for everybody. If you are professional musician and the guitar is your tool of trade, then probably you don’t want to buy a cheap guitar. Although most cheap guitars nowadays have a very good quality, professional musicians prefer hand-made electric guitars created by professional luthiers.
If you don’t want to spend several thousand dollars on a Gibson Les Paul guitar, then you might have a look at cheaper guitars. Cheap guitars are no longer no-name guitars. You can buy Ibanez, Jackson, ESP, Epiphone, Fernandes, BC Rich, Squier, and many more famous guitar brands for less than $200!
I bought a cheap guitar made in China by Fernandes for $150. The guitar has a licensed Floyd Rose tremolo, a very good, easy-playable neck and nice sound. This guitar puts “cheap” and “quality” in one sentence. My cheap guitar is worth much more than $150 and it’s actually of a better quality than some US made Fenders I have played.
Do you want to buy the cheapest US made Fender Strat model for around $500 (nothing special about this guitar), or do you want to buy Japanese made Jackson, with Duncan-designed pickups, Floyd Rose tremolo and super-fast neck for $300? The cheap guitar / expensive guitar decision is yours.