What is the difference

Guitar Tricks Forum > Open Discussion > What is the difference

Member

Joined: 01/09/02

Posts: 37

Hey guitarists,

Please answer a question for me: Electronically and constituently, what is the difference between a new $99 dollar guitar and a new $3000 guitar?

I never really understood. I know all the principles of electronics behind pickups, switches, dials, etc. In fact, I've made simple pickups myself using copper wire, a bar magnet, and some other simple elements. The electronics that go into guitars aren't very complicated, even when you have elements like sustainers. In fact, with minimal electronics knowlegdge and good woodworking skill, any of you can make your own electric guitar, which is what I'm doing right now. The basic electronic blueprint that goes into most every guitar follows the same general pattern.

So, despite my understanding of the electronics and mechanics, I still can't see what makes some electric guitars $100 and some $3000 dollars. If anyone knows, please inform me.

Thanks.
Education is a whip, and I'm being flogged.

#1

Hey guitarists,

Please answer a question for me: Electronically and constituently, what is the difference between a new $99 dollar guitar and a new $3000 guitar?

I never really understood. I know all the principles of electronics behind pickups, switches, dials, etc. In fact, I've made simple pickups myself using copper wire, a bar magnet, and some other simple elements. The electronics that go into guitars aren't very complicated, even when you have elements like sustainers. In fact, with minimal electronics knowlegdge and good woodworking skill, any of you can make your own electric guitar, which is what I'm doing right now. The basic electronic blueprint that goes into most every guitar follows the same general pattern.

So, despite my understanding of the electronics and mechanics, I still can't see what makes some electric guitars $100 and some $3000 dollars. If anyone knows, please inform me.

Thanks.
Education is a whip, and I'm being flogged.

Registered User

Joined: 08/07/01

Posts: 62

Well you can start with different woods used.The type of wood,how old it is etc. Then there's that custom colour and on the topic of custom, the Signature Series-made to the specs of your guitar hero, likely to be a collectors item in the future.I guess then there's the pickups-manufacturer,specific type etc.
Anyway, that's a start...

#2

Well you can start with different woods used.The type of wood,how old it is etc. Then there's that custom colour and on the topic of custom, the Signature Series-made to the specs of your guitar hero, likely to be a collectors item in the future.I guess then there's the pickups-manufacturer,specific type etc.
Anyway, that's a start...

Member

Joined: 01/09/02

Posts: 37

yep, the custom made ones that may become a collector's item...I can see why those would be expensive. But wood really doesn't make a difference in the way your guitar sounds, unless it's super crappy wood.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

And also, is anyone curious about this price differential besides me?
Education is a whip, and I'm being flogged.

#3

yep, the custom made ones that may become a collector's item...I can see why those would be expensive. But wood really doesn't make a difference in the way your guitar sounds, unless it's super crappy wood.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

And also, is anyone curious about this price differential besides me?
Education is a whip, and I'm being flogged.

Guitar Tricks Moderator

Joined: 07/05/00

Posts: 2920

Oh yes, wood matters a lot. Different woods accentuate different tonal ranges and what not. With a multithousand dollar instrument you're paying for a few things: high quality wood, better workmanship, better hardware, better pickups, name brand (often times, yes), and the economics of scale - Squire can crank out thirty Strats a lot cheaper and a lot more quickly than PRS can make one high end guitar.
Raskolnikov
Guitar Tricks Moderator

Careful what you wish for friend
I've been to Hell and now I'm back again

www.GuitarTricks.com - Home of Online Guitar Lessons

#4

Oh yes, wood matters a lot. Different woods accentuate different tonal ranges and what not. With a multithousand dollar instrument you're paying for a few things: high quality wood, better workmanship, better hardware, better pickups, name brand (often times, yes), and the economics of scale - Squire can crank out thirty Strats a lot cheaper and a lot more quickly than PRS can make one high end guitar.
Raskolnikov
Guitar Tricks Moderator

Careful what you wish for friend
I've been to Hell and now I'm back again

www.GuitarTricks.com - Home of Online Guitar Lessons

Big as Elvis, Baby

Joined: 11/29/01

Posts: 899

$99 vs $3000

You honestly can't see the difference between top of the line and bottom of the line? And you are building a guitar? Well you are going to find out the difference real soon.

#5

$99 vs $3000

You honestly can't see the difference between top of the line and bottom of the line? And you are building a guitar? Well you are going to find out the difference real soon.

Moderator

Joined: 07/11/00

Posts: 581

Gosh, I'd kill for a PRS guitar, however they don;'t pay teachers enough money. That's why I should go into accounting to support my addiction.

Yes, the body is very important when purchasing an electric guitar, because if you're like me, then it's safe to say that you're constantly searching for the perfect sound. However, for a lot of guys, they're just concerned with how loud they can play!!! So if a Squire makes you happy, then by all means, don't let me stop you from reaching the gates of heaven!

-Joseph
www.ragmagazine.com
"Swoop and soar like the blues angels."

#6

Gosh, I'd kill for a PRS guitar, however they don;'t pay teachers enough money. That's why I should go into accounting to support my addiction.

Yes, the body is very important when purchasing an electric guitar, because if you're like me, then it's safe to say that you're constantly searching for the perfect sound. However, for a lot of guys, they're just concerned with how loud they can play!!! So if a Squire makes you happy, then by all means, don't let me stop you from reaching the gates of heaven!

-Joseph
www.ragmagazine.com
"Swoop and soar like the blues angels."

Member

Joined: 01/09/02

Posts: 37

hey hey...

no need for diatribe...obviously, i can TELL the difference between a $100 and $3000 guitar.

pstring...that's not really helping because you didn't answer my question...

I'm asking, component-wise what elements are different and what makes them different. e.g. how exactly is the pickup wiring in a squier different from the pickup wiring in a much more expensive guitar, like a washburn cts??
Education is a whip, and I'm being flogged.

#7

hey hey...

no need for diatribe...obviously, i can TELL the difference between a $100 and $3000 guitar.

pstring...that's not really helping because you didn't answer my question...

I'm asking, component-wise what elements are different and what makes them different. e.g. how exactly is the pickup wiring in a squier different from the pickup wiring in a much more expensive guitar, like a washburn cts??
Education is a whip, and I'm being flogged.

Senior Member

Joined: 10/29/01

Posts: 510

Oh Lordy,

this is complicated to explain Smilie, for the electronics side..

Pickup specs on the web.
http://www.provide.net/~cfh/pickups.html... this sort of thing.


Jason Lollar has bits/info for building your own pups and winder-

http://lollarguitars.com/cgi-bin/merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=LGP&Category_Code=PUP



The following place is a great site to start for general pup info..just follow the pup links, if they work.

http://www.intermusic.com/defaultfeaturearchive.asp?FeatureType=TUT

this is quite thorough on pickups but some people love potted and copper wound others like formvar ,etc,etc.

Raskolnikov is bang on about the woods.

with electronics better makers have better parts and YES a Gibson Pot does respond/is made better than a Kramer one Big Grin- I've got both..Tolerances and material used i guess. Even the quality of the wire or type of capacitor, and of course the sheilding/earthing points can make a big diffrence.

I have friends who are woodworkers and will tell you that there is mahogany and there is mahogany and then there is special mahogany.. you get the point...

BTW.. I recently found out that pstring has built guitars so if you play nice you may get some good info Smilie

#8

Oh Lordy,

this is complicated to explain Smilie, for the electronics side..

Pickup specs on the web.
http://www.provide.net/~cfh/pickups.html... this sort of thing.


Jason Lollar has bits/info for building your own pups and winder-

http://lollarguitars.com/cgi-bin/merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=LGP&Category_Code=PUP



The following place is a great site to start for general pup info..just follow the pup links, if they work.

http://www.intermusic.com/defaultfeaturearchive.asp?FeatureType=TUT

this is quite thorough on pickups but some people love potted and copper wound others like formvar ,etc,etc.

Raskolnikov is bang on about the woods.

with electronics better makers have better parts and YES a Gibson Pot does respond/is made better than a Kramer one Big Grin- I've got both..Tolerances and material used i guess. Even the quality of the wire or type of capacitor, and of course the sheilding/earthing points can make a big diffrence.

I have friends who are woodworkers and will tell you that there is mahogany and there is mahogany and then there is special mahogany.. you get the point...

BTW.. I recently found out that pstring has built guitars so if you play nice you may get some good info Smilie

Registered User

Joined: 08/10/01

Posts: 882

WOOD: The stuff starts from very very cheap (those Maple/ ply wood thingier), to stuff that is ridiculously expensive simply because the woods are either rare, or they're classed as endangered (so they dont cut them down)... and the companies know if your picky enough to want like Brazilain Rosewood, than your normal (i dont know what the normal type is called) rosewood, then your pretty serious, and willing to spend spend spend... so up and up and up goes the price...
I dont know why pickups range from like $14 to $150... Anyone explain this difference?
Oh, and if your guitar is handmade then you got to put on huge labour costs ... It takes around 40 hours to make a solid body electric (depending on the complexity)... So at minimum wage that's gonna be a big number (more than $99)...Now these lutheirs aren't gonna charge you than less that 7 per hour... do you see? Oh, and back to wood again, some woods are bastids to work with, so you want to decent lutheir, who'll charge you and arse and a leg...
In general, I can see why guitars go up to $2000, but anything above that, it's either a collectors item, or your paying too much for the label, or it's very rare...

#9

WOOD: The stuff starts from very very cheap (those Maple/ ply wood thingier), to stuff that is ridiculously expensive simply because the woods are either rare, or they're classed as endangered (so they dont cut them down)... and the companies know if your picky enough to want like Brazilain Rosewood, than your normal (i dont know what the normal type is called) rosewood, then your pretty serious, and willing to spend spend spend... so up and up and up goes the price...
I dont know why pickups range from like $14 to $150... Anyone explain this difference?
Oh, and if your guitar is handmade then you got to put on huge labour costs ... It takes around 40 hours to make a solid body electric (depending on the complexity)... So at minimum wage that's gonna be a big number (more than $99)...Now these lutheirs aren't gonna charge you than less that 7 per hour... do you see? Oh, and back to wood again, some woods are bastids to work with, so you want to decent lutheir, who'll charge you and arse and a leg...
In general, I can see why guitars go up to $2000, but anything above that, it's either a collectors item, or your paying too much for the label, or it's very rare...

Moderator

Joined: 09/25/01

Posts: 1887

I do not think it comes from the wiring...

My custom made LAG took several months to complete, because the wood had to dry (it guarantees that I'll still be able to play it in 30 years) Actually, the wood was already in stock, but still, the most renowned luthier are known to have some rare or exotic woods in stock (which are becoming scarcer, hence the price)
Then, everything was done by hand. EVERYTHING! So in the price, I had to pay for the guy who put love and dedication and craft in the instrument, everyday for two months (he didn't work on it all day long, because it has to dry and everything...)

Does it make it better than a machine made guitar? Hell, I have played those for years before I could afford this one... And I'll tell you, my tone is now much easier to get. Staight into an amp, and there you go... Before, finding my tone was a never-ending quest...

Anyway, I do believe in the "soul" of an instrument, and my guitar has a soul... I do not think any of my other ones do have a soul... I have bought a very fine Epiphone Archtop, and even though it sounds and plays great, it doesn't have a soul... Sounds weird...But I guess that's how I think...
http://www.lalimace.net

#10

I do not think it comes from the wiring...

My custom made LAG took several months to complete, because the wood had to dry (it guarantees that I'll still be able to play it in 30 years) Actually, the wood was already in stock, but still, the most renowned luthier are known to have some rare or exotic woods in stock (which are becoming scarcer, hence the price)
Then, everything was done by hand. EVERYTHING! So in the price, I had to pay for the guy who put love and dedication and craft in the instrument, everyday for two months (he didn't work on it all day long, because it has to dry and everything...)

Does it make it better than a machine made guitar? Hell, I have played those for years before I could afford this one... And I'll tell you, my tone is now much easier to get. Staight into an amp, and there you go... Before, finding my tone was a never-ending quest...

Anyway, I do believe in the "soul" of an instrument, and my guitar has a soul... I do not think any of my other ones do have a soul... I have bought a very fine Epiphone Archtop, and even though it sounds and plays great, it doesn't have a soul... Sounds weird...But I guess that's how I think...
http://www.lalimace.net