How Low Can You Go ?
May 12, 2008 8:55 PM   Subscribe

What are some examples of high quality yet dirt cheap guitar brands/models (ex. Rondo)?

I just discovered Rondo's Agile and SX line's of well reviewed guitars and basses. Any other brands like this ?
posted by pickingoutathermos to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (20 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
How cheap are we talking? Ibanez's can get pretty cheap, as can Ephiphones. I got my Gibson SG Special Faded for $550 new, which is cheap, considering regular SGs go for $1200+ and Les Pauls go for $1500+. The Ephiphone Dot Studio is a semi hollow body that people tend to friggan love, and it retails for $269. My first guitar was an Alvarez, and while it wasn't great, it was playable, just needed a good setup by a professional, as with most cheap guitars.
posted by Mach5 at 9:17 PM on May 12, 2008

Eastwood. FUCKING cool, too.
posted by unSane at 9:24 PM on May 12, 2008 [3 favorites]

posted by tmcw at 9:26 PM on May 12, 2008

I signed up specifically to tell you to look at a Lindert. They were hand made in the states for a few years before being outsourced to Korea, and production halted when the original maker died. You want to get an American one, which you can differentiate from the Korean models by the bizarre (but extremely comfortable) V-shaped neck.

They look like vintage radios, the bodies semi-hollow are cast resin, and the sustain and tone are just amazing. I picked up a Loco-motive for AU$800, you could find one for much cheaper in the states.

The downside is that they appear to be pretty rare, and are becoming more expensive. You can see a picture of a loco-motive T here
posted by jozzas at 10:23 PM on May 12, 2008

Art & Lutherie guitars are fairly cheap, but amazing to play.
posted by Camel of Space at 10:44 PM on May 12, 2008

The Yamaha Pacifica 112 is one of my favorite guitars ever, and I only paid $200 for it on eBay. I only discovered after buying it that it's very highly regarded among many guitar players. It's not a great guitar, like a vintage Strat or Les Paul might be, but for the price, it plays really well (although the stock bridge/whammy kinda stinks) and sounds decent enough for playing out live.

It's also a great guitar if you're looking to learn how to mod guitars. It's built well enough that it's worth trying to make it better with aftermarket pickups, locking tuners etc. But if you fuck it up, you won't get all bent out of shape about it, because you'll only be out a couple hundred bucks.
posted by melorama at 10:46 PM on May 12, 2008

I have a Washburn, pretty darn good. $130 at Amazon, but it looks like they're out of them for the moment.
posted by ssnickerer at 11:04 PM on May 12, 2008

I like the Korean PRSes, which I believe are called the SE line. They are not in the same ballpark with the American PRSes, but they are awfully good in their price area.
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:26 PM on May 12, 2008

This bass is gettable for around $600 new. US electronics, too. It's absolutely capable of holding down a pro gig. I have three.

(Yeah, I know it's probably not what you're asking for, but if we are talking PRS SE and the like this is the same ballpark. Rondo pretty much have a lock on the "zomg it's so cheap I can't believe it" thing.)
posted by Wolof at 12:01 AM on May 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

I consider the Schecter Elite series (got mine for about 600, there was a coupon deal at Slickdeals a few months ago at around $350) better (for me) than most of the guitars i've played in the 1,000-1,500 range. I know it's not the same as Rondo but like Wolof said, ikkyu2 started it.
posted by thedaniel at 12:22 AM on May 13, 2008

(Note that we are up to $550 in the first comment of the thread. I didn't say anybody started anything — it's because you won't get past Rondo at their pricepoint that the recommendations of more expensive yet still fairly cheap jobs are about the best we can manage.*

*Happy to be proven wrong.)

posted by Wolof at 12:34 AM on May 13, 2008

Danelectro makes some cool reissues at great prices.
posted by wsg at 1:28 AM on May 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

I absolutely love my $200 Rogue VB100 bass - to the point where I never play my more expensive Fender Precision Bass any more.

I've never tried any of their guitars, but they've gotten some good customer reviews in the under-$200 range.
posted by tdismukes at 2:34 AM on May 13, 2008

I WISH I had bought Danelectro when they were first around, they were incredibly cheap and excellent. Harder to find in my area at good prices now.

I own a Gretch Synchromatic Sparklejet which you can probably get real cheap on eBay now. about $300
posted by wingless_angel at 2:45 AM on May 13, 2008

The best way to get guitars and basses on the cheap is to buy used.
posted by caddis at 3:56 AM on May 13, 2008

I've become partial to Dean guitars lately. Music City in Clearwater Florida gets ALL of the Dean B-stock guitars, and a Dean Evo exotic top guitar I purchased for about $550 is perhaps the best playing Les Paul type guitar I ever played (and that includes actual Les Pauls). Great action, not a buzz or rattle anywhere, great tone. A Hardtail I bought for about $300 is also very nice but needed a little work, which I did myself (shaving down the first fret at the low E to get rid of a rattle). Both were blems. They also have some nicely playable (but not nearly so pretty) guitars under $100.
posted by lordrunningclam at 5:59 AM on May 13, 2008

Response by poster: Great responses so far, keep 'em coming! Yes I wanted Rondo-esque examples, but I'm always interested in hearing about low cost / high quality instruments.
posted by pickingoutathermos at 10:27 AM on May 13, 2008

For acoustics, Seagull gets you a lot of bang for the buck.
posted by jpdoane at 11:25 AM on May 13, 2008

Know this is an old thread but I've got two Eastwoods (Hi-flyer and Delta) and love them. Exceptionally solid. Highly recommend them.
posted by ifthe21stcentury at 3:41 AM on June 20, 2008

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