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What Separates A Cheap Guitar From An Expensive Guitar?

The top of the line guitars from major brands such as Fender, Gibson, and PRS are all handcrafted in America. Their build quality and attention to detail are the best of the best. However, the cost of skilled labour in the America is very high, which drives up the price significantly.

Cheaper guitars are mass produced overseas in factories in China, Indonesia, and Korea where the cost of labour is much cheaper. This allows them to lower the price at the cost of quality.

Expensive guitars will typically use premium pickups. Companies like Gibson and PRS have their own American made pickups. Other guitar manufacturers will use high-quality pickups from established bands such as DiMarzioSeymour Duncan, or EMG. Guitar pickups have a huge impact on your tone, so this is an area where you don’t want to skimp out.

Budget guitars will have generic pickups that are made in-house from the overseas factories. These pickups are usually designed to be copies of the premium pickups, but mass produced overseas using cheaper parts.

A guitar’s appearance usually has a huge impact on the price. Expensive guitars usually have immaculate finishes with no blemishes. This is an area where manufacturers pay a lot of attention to fine details. Often times, guitars will have thick maple caps on the body that not only make the guitar look amazing, but also influences the sound.

Cheaper electric guitars, while still look great, are more prone to have blemishes and imperfections. Many companies, like PRS, will reserve the best-looking woods for their premium guitars and the leave woods with imperfections to be used on the cheaper guitars.

Was it worth the tears you cried to pay the price?

In the end, everything depends on the buyer's expertise, tastes and budget. A beginner may not notice the difference between the feel and sound of a lower priced guitar and that of a high-end custom instrument. But as a player's skills become more sophisticated, so do their preferences. To some, the differences between cheap and expensive guitars are obvious and priceless. To others, they're an overpriced myth. Value here is in the eyes, ears and fingers of the beholder.

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