Worked on a range of guitars this month in the shop thought I would post a few thoughts
2006 USA Fender Stratocaster
This was a great guitar great fit and finish wiring was very nice clean, neck was able to take super low action was a very easy setup. Great sounding fender pups
1994 40th anv. USA Fender stratocaster
Another great guitar neck still took a sweet low setup fret's still in good shape from a lot play pups had that fender sound nice.
2011 USA standard Stratocaster
This one must had been made on a monday, This was brought to me after it was taken back to Guitar center and set up by their tech . Poor setup out of the box, the guitar center tech did the basic I cant get the buzz out so raise the saddles till it stops. Took me 3hrs to get the neck to zero out, high fret at 14th fret, pickups sounded like,, well crap, lots of hum and noise more than should even from single coils. Finish had clear chipping near the walls of cavities from over spray. Replaced the pick ups with Dimarzio injectors ( Pual Gilberts pick ups ) They sound really nice you keep that strat sound but get some heat nice no noise lots of tone variation all of them good. Overall I would have just returned the guitar if was me, not one of Fenders best efforts by far.
2008 Gibson 60's Les paul
One thing I have noticed with all the gibson's latley the binding on the neck looks like some one just took an excato knife and scraped it , no roll over and cheap. The control wiring looked like someone done there own rewire and in a bad way. But the customer swore it was as it came from the factory. The pots were dead and scratchy. I replaced all the pots with CTS and replace the caps ( they looked like radio shack caps) Neck and frets were fine after set up. Overall this was a great sounding guitar after the changes , but for the upfront price on these quality could be better.
2009 Gibson 335
Beautiful guitar, but the intonation was every where up and down the neck, its not going to be perfect do to the math of a fretted instrument but this was unpleasant from chord to chord. Nut was cut bad high frets up and down the neck. Had the scraped binding . Again for the $2500 plus price this thing should have played like a dream for years,
2009 Carvin CT24
This guitar had one of the lowest quickest setups with out buzz I have seen in a long time. Fit and finish was on par with a very high dollar PRS . Pick ups were pretty cool not bad at all good tone , different but nice odd multiple poll pickups . Coil tapped lots of sounds. The pots were dime size but worked very well. I checked them they were 500K and measured 490 and 503. Over all Carvin get a big thumbs up, looked and played like a 5000 dollar PRS
not sure of year Heritage 535
Another beautiful guitar from the guys and gals that used to build Gibson's fit and finish very nice, rolled binding on the neck, bit of shrinkage at he end of the fret board on the binding. Frets starting show a bit of wear but un shure of year so maybe just that. Pickups were sweet great tone, took a low setup played just wonderfully.
1981 Ibanez Destroyer 2 This was the one I sold so I did a setup to his requested strings and cleaned up the frets. 30 year old guitar played like it did new neck still straight frets needed some attention but for the age just right, electronics had never been touched on this guitar and they work and sound fantastic pots are clear pickups rock!!
Overall I am seeing that for all the advancements in guitar manufacturing and the increasing prices of some of the major brands the quality is just not there in the areas it should be better than it ever was. There are few company's still taking pride in there builds but some are selling high priced T- shirts that come with a guitar.
Guitars good, drugs booze.. bad
The worlds best qoute ever
"take your Massengill-soaked vibrator from your wretched gutter clam"