Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Guitar Gear: Import Lines Make Playability More Affordable Than Ever

I have heard many times that when you are starting out on the guitar any guitar will do because your skills won’t take advantage of a more premium guitar. In reality, this statement is more about cost than it is about the playability beginners really need. Thanks to import lines of guitar though, you no longer need to make tradeoffs between playability and cost.

The major guitar companies such as Gibson and Fender offer import models that are manufactured in places like Mexico, China, and Korea. Even Paul Reed Smith, well known as a high-end guitar maker, now offers an import line. By going off shore, these companies can make these guitars for a much lower price than the premium branded instruments they manufacture here in the United States. These lower priced guitars are not toys though. The premium guitar makers work hand in hand with their overseas partners to provide knowledge transfer and support and ensure the quality of the end product.

Visit this page on the Epiphone website, which outlines a recent Guitar World review of their Worn Firebird Studio and Faded Dot Studio. These guitars are around $200 on the street and this will give you an idea of just how much you can get for your money with import lines.


Gary said...

You are simply right about the playability for beginners. Furthermore, it's possible to upgrade such a guitar by changing the pickups, the tone capacitors etc. - these are the cheaper, weaker parts in most cases. I turned an Epiphone Les Paul Custom into a guitar that seriously competes with the much, much more expensive original by Gibson!

VintageP said...

Great point about the components. Tweaking the guitar with new components also adds some hobby value. I would rather test out my guitar tech skills on a less expensive guitar as well!