Challenge: Create a $150 guitar that's different and better than those on the market at that price

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by Pine Cone, May 1, 2016.

  1. Pine Cone

    Pine Cone New Member

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    I was thinking about this today and thought it would be a fun topic. So, think of a guitar design for mass production that's different than the existing ones out on the market (fender squier teles and strats, epiphone and ibanez and other dual humbucker setups) and a step above those ones. Stripping it down to the bare bones, what's most essential on a guitar?

    Would you go for a all around general guitar or a slightly more niche one?

    I think what I would do is use a EMG H4 like pickup; a very solid, high quality, versatile pickup as the base to work off of. Because a pickup like this is so expensive, I would only have one, up near the neck position since that seems to be the more commonly played position, but have a coil tap on it so users could get both a single coil and humbucker experience.

    With such a high output pickup, this guitar would be about distortion and heavy effects. This means that finer aspects of the guitar, like the wood wouldn't be as important, so I would use a cheap wood like a pine wood and forget about through body for the string ends. Also pine wood would make the guitar lighter. They would be all heavily coated in plastic like a strat is for durability. Finally, I'd make sure that the frets, tuning nobs, and bridge are all high quality.

    I don't know what shape I would use.

    Basically a simple setup that's all about the bare necessities needed to deliver an uninterrupted string vibration to a very good pickup.

    How about you, what would you do?
     
  2. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I'd forget the whole thing and spend the $150 on drinks and dinner.
     
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  3. drawshot

    drawshot Just one more...and that's it!

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    I'd skip the dinner, put it all into drinks, then play a spatula for an hour. If I'm $150 bucks deep in alcohol, that utensil will rival any Private Stock ever created, in my ears.

    I'm a lightweight. It is what it is.
     
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  4. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I'm with ya, man!
     
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  5. Dusty Chalk

    Dusty Chalk alberngruppenführer

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    You say, 'lightweight'; I say, 'efficient' (at getting buzzed).
     
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  6. rugerpc

    rugerpc A♥ hoards guitars ♥A Soldier 25, DFZ
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    I'd spend the $150 on a nice dinner and drinks with the wife while I continue to try convincing her that I need a PS.
     
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  7. toothace

    toothace Zombie Thirteen, DFZ

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    I'd make my lady dinner, put the $150 towards my own PS, and earn brownie points all around:rolleyes:
     
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  8. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    If only I could cook more than microwave popcorn, I'm sure my wife would be happy. As it is, however, I think she likes a nice dinner out, though she's a very fine cook.

    I've got enough Private Stocks to last me the rest of my life and then some (actually, one PS would have done nicely in that regard), so I can skip the guitar and get to the food/drink part without much concern. ;)
     
  9. markintime

    markintime Wood Grain Devotee

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    $150 PRS? Unh, uh, not happenin'. I'd rather put that on a top of the line Scotch, not a cheapened plasticized PRS.
     
  10. Alan Manning

    Alan Manning Well Love a Duck Mary Poppins.!!!

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    I'd take the wife out spend 50 on getting her drunk then ask for a 100 &put 200 towards a Ps.
    "I might work on that" lol!!!
     
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  11. Furtive

    Furtive Knight of Bangin'ess

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    I want to say one word to you. Just one word.

    Plastics.
     
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  12. Pine Cone

    Pine Cone New Member

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    So apparently pleasing the wife seems to be a much bigger issue than coming up with $150 on this forum :D

    I wasn't suggesting that PRS should make a $150 guitar or anything, it was just more of a thought exercise as to when it comes push to shove, what really are the key parts to a guitar when you can't have it all.
     
  13. Mixstar

    Mixstar Just too tired . . .

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    I always look at stuff that comes from Indonesia or China and think to myself "how can they possibly make that at that price and make a profit?" The shipping alone costs $150+ add a pickup at $65 - budget blown.
     
  14. veinbuster

    veinbuster Zombie Three, DFZ

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    I understand the point of the question, but really don't think the price point is viable. I've given guitars to kids whose parent didn't know any better because I didn't want them to get frustrated playing a piece of junk and give up on something they might come to love.
    The minimum requirements for a guitar is that it has to be stable physically, and stay in tune. Staying in tune includes being in tune when you press the string down to the frets.
     
  15. CantankerousCarl

    CantankerousCarl Occasionally Onery Member

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    I agree that the $150 price point is really tough. My kid's $100 Squier 3/4 Strat barely holds tune - although the hardware feels like it should, and the wood is pretty decent.

    I was thinking alternative construction like plastics might be a good way to go if you could pump out a body and neck for less than the wood. Some uber-cheap flaxwood type construct. But I have no idea how much that would cost.

    I think 3/4 of the price of the guitar would have to go toward hardware and electronics. At $150 that's tough!
     
  16. DHW

    DHW New Member

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    When you buy them by the boatload and they are made by 10 year olds in a sweatshop it's not that hard to get the electronics dirt cheap... There's about $0.10 worth of materials in a pickup and a computer can wind them consistently. Might have to move up to 12 year olds for the forge to cast the tuners/bridges. Again, pot metal to make most of those parts would be dirt cheap... Right now on alibaba you can get single coils for $0.50 each... $5 for a trem. $10 for a complete neck. $1.50 for tuners. $10 for an unfinished body. Figure about $10 more for pots, pickguard, jack, and strings.... $38 + paint and clear coat... $0.53 per hour minimum wage in indonesia... Box and about $2 for shipping when you ship full container by ship... There we go... about $60 and I've built a strat that I will make $60 profit on and leave 10% for the distributor and 10% for the retailer and I sourced the parts off the first page of alibaba.
     
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  17. Mixstar

    Mixstar Just too tired . . .

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    The only way you *may* be able to do it is pay your staff 10¢/hour.
     
  18. Pine Cone

    Pine Cone New Member

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    So THAT's how they do it... I was wondering...

    I guess $150 is too far of a reach to make something ethically and with decent quality. So let's bump it to $250, do you think you could design a solid yet simple guitar for that price?

    I think the 1 high output decent quality pickup would be key though because I don't think the neck/bridge thing is THAT important, it could fulfill a metal guitar niche that's kind of absent in the low price range, and the build character doesn't matter with high output.
     

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