Loops & MIDIs are cool, playing a VST bass is super cool, but a real bass could be BOOOM-BASS-TIC!

The 'name branding ’ issue is well known and commonplace. Squier are owned and made by Fender, Epiphone by Gibson, etc. one reason for some being cheaper is that they are made in low cost centres like China, but that doesn’t necessarily make them worse. People pay a premium for, say, a USA Strat or a Japanese Ibanez, but in my view it’s probably very dubious that it makes much difference.

The single production line no makes no difference IMHO to the guitar body or neck IMHO - they are mostly made on CNC machines so better than a human anyway. But there are surely differences between the build and components in areas like

  • neck type i.e. through, bolt on ,glued
  • tuners
  • pickups certainly make a difference
  • bridge type and features
  • wood (as per @ClaudioPorcellana ) as the body resonances do come through in the pickup signal

I think some of these things will make a difference to the sounds and playability, but the big and subjective question is whether (a) the audience would notice and (b) whether it’s worth the premium for a 335 [I have a 1964 Hofner Verithin, which is a 335 lookalike.]

One thing about the guitars I have had over the years which has made a difference to me is the string height at the higher frets. On my current axe they are really low and I just have to touch them to have the ring true. From my very limited experience the cheaper guitars can be harder to get very low. For me personally that’s the key to how easy they are to play.

“Give a good player a cheaper instrument, it’ll sound fantastic”
I’m absolutely sure that Guthrie Govan would sound wonderful on a £100 Harley Benton and I would still sound crap on a $10,000 PRS custom.

BTM, my later suggestion to to @ClaudioPorcellana was with a cheap guitar to just the
Midiguitar 2 system, which takes the hardware sound out of the equation altogether.

Well, I am a BAD player, so…
:grin: :rofl:

I completely agree, and the areas you suggest are where a lot of the improvements are noticeable, in terms of playability and sound.

Regarding overall setup, again I’d always taken it as reasonable to buy the cheaper guitar, and spend some of the money saved at a luthier, who will dress the frets, set up the heights etc. maybe even replace the nut. I mean… if we start talking the quest for “that sound” then string gauges start to factor in. I’ve loved SRV ever since I first heard him, but after trying (and failing) to follow a video tutorial for “The Sky Is Crying” and learn that his top E was 0.013" !!! say what!

Entirely agree that pickups matter. Materials and construction but again we’re straying slightly off-topic, since as you rightly say this all grew out of suggesting a cheaper instrument anyway, without any real need for us to debate the merits or demerits of particular brands. That said, pickups is another area where a lot of snake oil is sold. The question (for anyone gigging) of whether the audience could possibly notice is not only a good one, but something I feel should be almost a guiding principle :slight_smile:

Nice to see Guthrie Govan mentioned. What a wildman!

And I was also a not-so-good luthier :cold_face:

Here is a solid-body guitar I tried to build in the eighties
The one on the left :grin:
On the right, you see a noble axe

All brass pieces were build manually, bridge and string holder included
The rod was build in the same way
Clearly not the mechanics (too much hard to build)

I also wanted to build the humbucker manually, following a DIY manual I found, but I was unable to find a wire with the right gauge (very, very small), so I gave up and bought it

The same for the neck, because I was unable to find a saw with a blade thin enough for frets, and giving it the required curvature was beyond my skills

At that time, finding a DIY guitar, or just the neck, wasn’t an option, so I abandoned

It was a fun job anyway

As a bass player I use a Fender Precision and a Musicman Stingray. I can record my basslines into my DAW with all the natural feel as a kind of a template, I have the option of cleaning up any unwanted fret buzz etc, after which I use audio to midi conversion and blend in a vst bass keeping that live feel.
I do sometimes play basslines in from my keyboard but for me it’s not the same.

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i got one of these for my birthday a couple years back. put on a set of the flat wounds and you’re good to go.

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