Before you shoot me for swaying others into a biased perspective, know that I have no intentions to discredit anyone/ any entities relating to unreasonable price issues. I have every intention for this to be informative. At the end of it all, if you exercise some thinking before buying, then my mission is accomplished.
The guitar depicted above is Ibanez‘s RGD61 which is a whisker shy of $1.8K. It is made in Indonesia.
This is Gibson‘s Les Paul Special Tribute (humbucker) lists for $400 lesser than the Ibanez counterpart. It’s American.
If you are looking for a worthy investment, the Gibson is an obvious pick. The brand name ensures a good re-sale value while the Ibanez would be a lucky clearance if it could retain 60% of its original price. In this American vs the-rest-of-the-world hypocrisy, people are more inclined to go with the Gibson. American, today, implies some quality assurance but if you are a guitar geek & know what’s been happening in the Gibson side of things, you’d know that QC & Gibson are hits & misses. But let’s give it to them, they’ve been picking themselves up well after much debacle & disrepute. They have even won me over on a couple of occasions. It’s a good thing.
The Ibanez, on the other hand, is still manifesting a cult appeal. Its Indonesian pedigree has yet to instil buyer confidence because in the minds of the lay people, China & Indonesia are the pariah grounds for guitar manufacturing. People don’t value the finished product per se, they still choose to judge where these products are made in above all else. However, we know that China (Eastman guitars) & Indonesia (Ibanez Premium series/ Solar guitars) hold its own when it comes to construction standards. If you choose to exercise selective acknowledgements then we cannot compel you to acknowledge the Emperor is naked & his invisible new clothes were orchestrated conspiracy to begin with.
What am I driving at? Let’s look at these two examples for now- the Ibanez costs more than its American counterpart but you are basically paying for the branded pickups (Lace) & bridge (Evertune) more than anything else. We know Ibanez make affordable RGD models without these appointments & these are not dud instruments (I own one) by any means. At that price point, the RGD should come with a bag but it’s not offered. The Gibson on the other hand is a niche appeal. Its flat top & compensated fixed bridge is an obvious compromise leading to affordability. Some of us thrive on such limitations & would go with the Gibson any time & hey, it comes with a bag. So my friends, we assess our needs & willingness to pay for anything before committing to purchase, guitars included. In any case, if you consider the above Gibson as a direct competitor to the Ibanez, do tell us what you are smoking. ?