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400$ Guitar with 300$ worth of new picks or 700$ guitar?

Discussion in 'Backline' started by H-evolve, Dec 10, 2018.

  1. H-evolve

    H-evolve Member

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    I've always wondered if it's not better to buy a cheaper guitar and put awesome pickups in it, or just buy the more expensive one.

    For example, that dilemma came as I was looking at Jackson Kelly guitars. I was thinking on buying a cheaper JS version (400 CAD) and put Seymour Duncan Pegasus and Sentient pickups in it.

    Or just get the X series, which has Jackson Volcano whatever pickups in it.

    I know the X series also has a through neck design instead of bolt-on and also has a different wood construction.

    But, I would think the playability is similar on both models. Yes, better wood and neck-through construction has better resonance, etc. Yet still, tone comes a lot from the pickups.

    So anyway, I was just having this reflexion in my mind. When you compare both alternatives, the final cost is almost the same. A set of those SD pickups is around 300 CAD, the guitar is 400. The X series is like 750 CAD. So all in all, almost the same price.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. atoragon

    atoragon Member

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    the rule of thumb is that the pickup it's something you can change at any time, the wood and the build quality not, so I would invest in a higher level guitar.
     
  3. Delitzsch

    Delitzsch Führendes Mitglied

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    You'd be surprised at just how small an influence the wood and neck-though play a part in the overall scheme of your tone.

    My advice: Buy the one that feels the best in your hands and makes you want to play it. Cheap or expensive, doesn't matter that much. More about your bond with the instrument.
     
  4. Megin

    Megin Member

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    Play guitars unplugged first. If you like it it's right for you. If the pickups aren't right for you you just swap them to something else. If you don't like a guitar unplugged, it won't matter if you swap the pickups. You just won't be happy with that guitar.Oh, and there are so many second hand guitars you can save money and get an more expensive guitar cheaper.
     
  5. newamerikangospel

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    Would you rather have icing and sprinkles on dog turds, or a plain donut? (I understand that cost doesnt make the guitar)
     
    atoragon likes this.
  6. mistermikev

    mistermikev New Metal Member

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    recently have been thinking a lot about set neck vs bolt vs neck thru. generally folks believe a thru neck would have more sust due to the continuous piece thru the pickups. ie no glue joint. funny to me now as I consider how many acoustic guitars have glue joints not only through the exact middle of the top... but all over in the bracing. furthermore a friend was telling me all about the superior sustain of his thru neck which is a 7 piece lam. I'm not even sure neck thru can arrive at a "better" neck joint anymore given the myriad of builders who do deep tenons and achieve the sm access with a set neck... but I digress.
    if you were never going to do another thing to the guitar... and given that most inexpensive/mid level guitars have horrid pickups... and that pickups are the most crucial aspect of a guitar IMO... a cheap guitar with good pickups would be the way to go. that said, I would buy the more expensive guitar because the wood is the only thing you CAN'T change later. Many reasons good wood is better but at the top of my list would be rigidity of the neck = not constantly adjusting for low action + better tuning stability.
     

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