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Thread: Is expensive always better?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    Honolulu, HI
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    Haven't used a pick since the 70's. Amazing - $35 for ONE pick??? I'd need a leash to tie it to my wrist or guitar to keep from losing it! 🤤

  2. #12
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    Nov 2015
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    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.
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    Capos are another sub culture. Big difference in regular sold ones and custom ones though they both do the same function.
    What's wrong with an old Biro/pen & an elastic band...........
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  3. #13
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    Jun 2014
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    To me, the answer to the question in the title has to do with realistic expectations. Yes, you can and should expect more from an expensive item over its cheaper counterpart. On the other hand, just how much better it will be cannot be measured linearly: A uke or guitar that costs 10 times more will hardly sound 10 times better, as there are only so many strings, a defined scale length and a relatively limited body volume to work with. An inexpensive uke or guitar roughly has the same specs as an expensive one. However, in my experience, an expensive instrument from an acclaimed luthier like, say, Beau Hannam, Chuck Moore or Luis Feu de Mesquita will definitely have more resonance and sustain and these are factors that can even be measured scientifically. The relatively high price gives these luthiers the time to dial in and fine-tune everything perfectly, whereas the workers in the line of a Chinese factory can only spend a very limited amount of time on each step it takes to build an instrument. Also, the luthiers can take the time to experiment with bracings, top thickness, different pieces of woods etc., while the factory workers are merely trained to execute the same operation over and over again. With all of this, like I mentioned initially, there is good reason to expect an expensive instrument to be "better". But that doesn't mean that you like it better, or that you couldn't be happy with a very inexpensive instrument.
    Enjoying instruments by - Beau Hannam - Jay Lichty - Jerry Hoffmann - Luis Feu de Mesquita - Kala - Kamaka - Kanile'a - KoAloha - Ko'olau - Moore Bettah - Pono - Romero Creations - and others

  4. #14
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    Mar 2014
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    Pickering, ON, Canada
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    Speaking of acoustic guitars only there are so many good brands with models under say $700. It is easy now a days to find a good sounding and playing guitar from Yamaha, Alvarez, Seagull, Cort, Simon and Patrick, Recording King, Eastman, etc etc. Much much better selection then the junk available in the 60s and 70s.
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

  5. #15
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    Apr 2017
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    U.K.
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    “Is expensive always better?” That looks like a simple question but I think it a rather complex one.

    With the caveat that you sometimes get less than what you expected my own rule of thumb is that the higher the price is the better the possible quality of the product (typically you don’t get what you don’t pay for, and sometimes you don’t get what you do pay for). When buying things now I look at what quality and utility I actually need from a product and then try to neither significantly under or over buy - but better to slightly over buy than to under buy. So for me expensive isn’t always better because (both) it isn’t always money well spent and (being a tight Northerner) I have an inbuilt dislike of spending noticeably more money than is necessary, as ever YMMV.

    As for instruments I was long ago told that ‘a pro will always play better on a student instrument that a student will play on a pro instrument ment’. Of course pro’s play more expensive instruments for reasons that are applicable to them but for the rest of us practice is probably the best investment we can make. IMHO, the OP sounds pretty dammed good on what might be considered a lower cost instrument.

    From another thread I notce that the well respected Uncle Rod has recently taken to a basic laminate Uke for leading Uke sessions. If less expensive Ukes are good enough for him then they’re good good enough for the vast bulk of people: https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com...oprano-arrived. Sometimes things are just better than they need to be, but if you have the money to spend then potentially wasting it or not is the buyers decision.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 09-30-2018 at 02:53 AM.

  6. #16
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    Jul 2017
    Location
    Essex, UK
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    So many interesting responses. Thank you chaps.
    Luv n stuff, Dave

    * GUITARS
    Freshman Apollo 6 string electro acoustic
    50yr old EKO 12 string jumbo
    American Fender Stratocaster deluxe
    American Gibson SG Special
    Squier Telecaster Custom II with P90ís
    Ibanez GSR200 BASS

    * UKES
    Ozark 2035 banjole
    Kmise tenor banjole
    Cordoba 22T-CE Tenor
    Kala KA-CE electro acoustic

    * OTHERS
    Kawai KM-10 Grand piano & Technics KN-2000 keyboard

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Beaverton, OR
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    6,036

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    The one you take out to play often and it brings you joy is the better uke. If that’s an inexpensive instrument, that’s wonderful. If that’s an expensive one with a ton of upgrades and customization, that’s wonderful too. So no, expensive is not automatically going to be better.
    ~Soo
    Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Essex, UK
    Posts
    556

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    Thanks Soo. A great way of looking at it.
    Luv n stuff, Dave

    * GUITARS
    Freshman Apollo 6 string electro acoustic
    50yr old EKO 12 string jumbo
    American Fender Stratocaster deluxe
    American Gibson SG Special
    Squier Telecaster Custom II with P90ís
    Ibanez GSR200 BASS

    * UKES
    Ozark 2035 banjole
    Kmise tenor banjole
    Cordoba 22T-CE Tenor
    Kala KA-CE electro acoustic

    * OTHERS
    Kawai KM-10 Grand piano & Technics KN-2000 keyboard

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