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Badcat Guitars

Discussion in 'Other Cool Guitars' started by ZackyDog, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. Ricochet

    Ricochet Gretschified

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    I have enough cheap guitars to know there are gems to be found in every budget, but those glue spots just put me off buying one.
     
  2. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Country Gent

    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA
    I'm not inclined to agree with the naysayers. :rolleyes:
     
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  4. thunder58

    thunder58 Gretschified

    Age:
    58
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    ....wonder how they compare to " Slick " guitars
     
  5. TSims1

    TSims1 Friend of Fred

    Jun 18, 2013
    Atlanta

    Why not? Maybe they are okay(obviously it's a gamble)but do you really think you're gonna get a killer beautiful guitar that plays and sounds great for almost no money? They LOOK cool in the pics, but have you ever actually seen one in person and played one? Just curious.
     
  6. Axeman

    Axeman Gretschie

    118
    Apr 25, 2014
    Ottawa
    This statement couldnt be more wrong. I have a cheap chinese built strat that plays 10x better than any american strat i've ever played. I have played $2000 guitars that were *****. But I know the "in the know" crowd will never buy that.
     
    ZackyDog likes this.
  7. Tinman46

    Tinman46 Country Gent

    Age:
    49
    Dec 19, 2011
    Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
    Budget guitars are going to cut corners. That's how they make them cheaper. Cheap tuners, pots and hardware in general. If you can find one that is assembled well and has a good finish you'll still have cheapo hardware. If you replace all the hardware you might end up with a decent guitar but there will be no resale value. Which is fine....I've done it and had a lot of fun upgrading and monkeying around with it. But I have learned no matter how hard I buff a piece of granite I'm never going to get a diamond.
     
    Robbie likes this.
  8. Fjrabon

    Fjrabon Gretschie

    340
    Mar 7, 2017
    Atlanta
    Tokai, and especially Japanese Tokai, has a great reputation. Bad Cat doesn't have a reputation and the reputation it does have is mixed at best.

    It doesn't matter whatsoever how well made the guitar is. Resale value is about reputation amongst those that axeman called somewhat mockingly in this thread as "in the know." It doesn't matter if these types are wrong about a guitar, they set the resale value, right or wrong. You'd get maybe $150 for one of these if you tried to sell it on eBay or Craigslist. When a guy like TSims says he wouldn't touch one of these with a 10ft pole, that matters. Even if you disagree with Tony that matters because guys like Tony set the market.

    I'm willing to be open minded about these guitars, but I've also never seen one in real life. Even at their bargain bin prices, it's simply too much of a risk to me to order one, sight unseen. It's risky enough with a company like Fender where I'm at least familiar with in general their quality level, but buying a guitar before playing it, from bad cat guitars in China is just a different ballgame. I like what Bad Cat is doing and I hope to see one of these show up in my area cheap and used to try out and I hope they're great. But skepticism is certainly warranted.

    If there was one on a shelf at guitar center would I pick it up and try it out enthusiastically? Heck yes! If it played great and didn't have really bad finish flaws would I buy one? Most likely. But the idea hat it's a safe bet and that you could get your money back if you wanted to sell it is a pipe dream.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
    Robbie likes this.
  9. markeebee

    markeebee Country Gent

    OMFG!!!!

    DID YOU SEE THE DAN ARMSTRONG COPY??????

    If I can get one in the UK, I'm clicking 'BUY'.
     
  10. TSims1

    TSims1 Friend of Fred

    Jun 18, 2013
    Atlanta

    Okay, so while we've all heard the stories from people about their "miracle" guitar that "plays better than any custom shop guitar".....lol........it's still a cheap guitar. I'm glad you have one you like.

    Generally speaking[which is all I'm doing]a cheap guitar is a guitar made cheaply. For some, that's all they can afford and it's totally cool. For some it's a way to scratch an itch they don't wanna spend Les Paul money on. Whatever it is, cool. I'm just saying a $250 guitar "generally" is NOT going to be a great guitar. I think almost anyone would agree. So don't get defensive, I'm not saying a good guitar CAN'T be found for small dollars.......I'm just saying the probability ain't great. And remember - you are on a GRETSCH forum. Most here are willing to spend more money for a GREAT guitar because they've learned that to get a GREAT guitar[like Gretsches which are typically and certainly not cheap]you have to spend some money. Ain't no way to cut corners and get pricing down without cutting corners, plain and simple. ;)
     
  11. DrumBob

    DrumBob Friend of Fred

    Age:
    66
    Feb 2, 2011
    New Jersey
    Along the same lines, quality-wise, I'd say. Probably hit & miss.
     
    thunder58 likes this.
  12. Fjrabon

    Fjrabon Gretschie

    340
    Mar 7, 2017
    Atlanta
    Also depends on how much time you're willing to put into the search. I've found Squiers that play better than American standards. But I live in close proximity to 3 guitar centers, a Sam Ash and 3 other smaller stores and have tried dozens and dozens.

    My biggest experience with where cheap guitar makers cut corners is:
    1) quality control and willingness to send something to "b stock"

    Every maker is going to screw up some percentage of guitars. Experienced craftsmen will do it less, for sure. Cheap guitar makers get the double whammy of screwing up more often due to less experienced craftsmen/older & cheaper cnc machines and they also reject fewer guitars as b stock. While there are some truly great Squiers, there are some truly god awful ones to a level that an American fender would never let out the door.

    2) hardware. Truly cheap guitars are going to skimp here. It's not that big of a deal to upgrade yourself, but you'll never get that money back. If you stick with the cheap hardware it's likely fine tone wise, but it won't last more than a handful of years if you use it for more than just a bedroom player.

    3) wiring and other non-pickup related electronics. Not to say that they don't also often skimp on pickups but things are more varied there. Some are great, especially single coils that copy a "vintage feel." Some crappy Squier pickups are really closer to vintage pickups than modern "hot rod pickups" but they usually cut corners on the pots, caps and wiring. You almost always get more rf noise, pots going bad or just not being good pots for the pickups tone wise. Easy enough to upgrade but again you never get that money back.

    So, can you spend dozens of hours hunting for that golden cheap guitar that plays great and feels awesome, then upgrade the hardware and electronics? Wouldn't it then be a worthy player? Sure. Absolutely. But you also put loads of your own time into it at that point. You tried out dozens to find a good playing one, researched parts, bought them, upgraded them youslrself. We are talking likely dozens of combined hours. If you enjoyed the process, great. But it's not a way to save money if you value your own time. I make about $70/hr. If I put 20 hours and $300 worth of hardware/pickups into a $300 guitar, I have paid $2000 for that guitar. Not $300. And I'd only get $150 for it if I sold it.

    If you appropriately value your own time, the cheapest way to get a great guitar is to buy a great guitar that's used but not "vintage". You also don't take a loss on resale that way. it's not really cheap to buy a cheap Chinese player and upgrade it into a truly great guitar.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
    Henry likes this.
  13. DrumBob

    DrumBob Friend of Fred

    Age:
    66
    Feb 2, 2011
    New Jersey
    I think this all boils down to, how much are you willing to gamble that a cheap Chinese guitar could be a dog? It could be a winner, but you won't know until you get it in your hands.

    A guy I play with, a good friend, an excellent musician and a very successful businessman, was taken with a Pelham Blue Strat copy from a Chinese company called Hard Luck King Guitars (Jim Welters would love it! ;)). He bought it for something like $150 with a hardshell case extra. The guitar was virtually unplayable. Everything was wrong with it. He took it to this tech, who was able to rectify some of the issues, but the guitar is absolutely not gig worthy in any way. He can afford to make a mistake like that and chalked it up as a loss, figuring he'll just use it to lay down tracks at home.

    Some of us don't want to take a gamble like that in many cases. I took a gamble on the Xaviere XV-910 Epi Casino copy I bought last fall for $179 and change, but I got lucky and received a good one. It could have been a flaming piece of ca-ca and I would have been stuck with it, as it was blem, purchased on a no-return basis.

    Bottom Line: You buys a Chinese cheapo guitar online and you takes your chances. You may win...and you may lose big time.
     
    Fjrabon likes this.
  14. Ricochet

    Ricochet Gretschified

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
  15. englishman

    englishman Friend of Fred

    Age:
    59
    Apr 5, 2014
    Detroit
    Hmm, so for $279 you can get this:
    [​IMG]

    Or for $100 more you can get this:
    [​IMG]
    I would not be at all surprised if they both cost about the same to produce.. maybe even in the same Chinese factory. The Bad Cats are just doing 'factory direct' and Gretsch have a huge infrastructure here in the USA to support.
     
    GoLeafsGo likes this.
  16. toddfan

    toddfan Gretschie

    454
    Mar 12, 2012
    Kansas

    I thought the website stated "free shipping to Australia and the US"? Still, the $369 would be at risk.

    I have strongly considered getting one of those clear Strat copies from a China shop at AliExpress, at only about $180....and even that scares me! Still have not pulled the trigger.
     
  17. toddfan

    toddfan Gretschie

    454
    Mar 12, 2012
    Kansas
    I like this one, in spite of the gold hardware....reminds me of that guy in Phish's guitar.


    [​IMG]
     
    ZackyDog likes this.
  18. toddfan

    toddfan Gretschie

    454
    Mar 12, 2012
    Kansas
  19. TSims1

    TSims1 Friend of Fred

    Jun 18, 2013
    Atlanta


    I like the way you think.
     
  20. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Country Gent

    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA
    For what it is worth, this user knows and works on guitars and has a real Gibson for comparison. And a lot of faith/conviction in Badcat Guitars.



    "This is the best, out-of-the-box, Chinese guitar that I have ever put my hands on."