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Are Duesenberg Guitars Too Expensive?

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Are Duesenberg Guitars Too Expensive?

Duesenberg produce fantastic guitars and as an owner of a Starplayer TV, I feel no shame in being overly bias towards the German company, but I don’t necessarily agree that a good electric guitar should cost anywhere near £1000.

…I presume Duesenberg do their market research, so they must be confident their new Dave Stewart model will sell in abundance…

Dave Stewart Duesenberg

Can you afford your dream guitar?

The economic downturn over recent years has left many guitarists simply unable to purchase their dream guitar. A recent Guitar Jar article debates the fact that companies such as Fender & Gibson are overpriced, cashing in on their legacy, producing below standard instruments whilst sticking a hefty retail tag around the headstock.

Guitar manufacturers who hand craft their instruments are rightly justified in demanding a higher retail price, but do the manufacturers who mass produce their instruments need to re-think their pricing strategy?

Despite the current economic downturn, I’m extremely curious to know the statistics of new guitar sales for instruments priced in the £1K price region.  Have sales dropped for guitar manufactures, or is the guitar playing community pumping money into new purchases regardless?

Target Market

Looking at Guitar Jar’s web stats recently, it’s interesting to note that the most visited page is the Duesenberg Starplayer TV review. There’s certainly a lot of interest for Duesenberg, helped no doubt by the increasing uptake of endorsements by some of the worlds leading guitarists, with Dave Stewart being the latest axe-wielder to have a model created in his honour. I was flabbergasted to read the price of his Duesenberg model to be in the region of £5,000.

In addition, Duesenberg seem to be popular in the Christian worship scene, with guitarists such as Stuart Garrard and Nigel Hendroff regularly playing Starplayer TV’s.

Is £1000 really that expensive for a guitar?

I presume Duesenberg do their market research, so they must be confident their Dave Stewart model will sell in abundance, resulting in a profitable campaign. With the increase of individuals posting video clips of themselves playing “Hillsong” riffs on Starplayer TV’s, it does seem evident the guitar playing community has money to spend.

Maybe £1000 isn’t too much to spend on a guitar; the quality of Duesenberg guitars is fantastic and I remember playing the Starplayer TV for the first time at Oasis Musical Instruments and being extremely impressed by the action of the volume/tone controls and most importantly, the guitar tone.

I didn’t pay £1000 for my Duesenberg (ex Sean Tyla guitar); I was fortunate to get an extremely good deal on a part-exchange, but I do often ask myself, “Would I spend £1K on this guitar?”.

If I had the money, the answer would be a firm yes. I wouldn’t spend £1000 on a new Fender or Gibson, but Duesenberg really do seem to produce instruments that are of high quality, full of tone and will provide enjoyment for many years to come.

Are you a Duesenberg player or are you seriously considering spending £1K on a new guitar? If so, we’d love to hear your opinion below.

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About the author:

Sam is passionate about talking all things guitar related and started GuitarJar.co.uk to help encourage all guitarists in their guitar playing journey.

4 Comments

  • I paid about 1500£ (actually 1800 € as i’m in France) for my Starplayer TV+ (the one with the piezo) and never regretted my money. I have the same opinion and use of this guitar that you describe in your former review.

    I have an expensive vintage Grestch (1965) that is completely resting in dust as I only use my Doozy for every situation (indie rock, punk rock, classic rock, blues, 70’s hard-rock, rockabilly, folk rock …). The only other guitar I use is a Danelectro 59 to have a kind of a telecaster sound, the only guitar that can’t be “replace” by the Doozy in my opinion.

  • I recently paid about £1500 for a Duesenberg Fullerton after trying it out in a reputable guitar dealers in the UK. I took it out to a gig a couple of days later and it put one hell of a smile on my face. When I bought this guitar I tried quite a few different “classic models” but this really grabbed me.

    Is £1000 too much to pay for a guitar? – well IMHO it depends on how much work it’s going to do. To my mind this instrument is well worth it’s price tag.

    I certainly would have to question paying £2000 upwards as to whether that is worthwhile for a guitar but I suppose a serious collector would give you an arguement over that one. Horses for Courses I guess.

  • I think its worth it if it will endup replacing the need to have two or three other guitars. In my case, I have an ES 335 and was looking for both a Gretsch and a Tele. But I’m considering selling the ES for one D instead. They are amazingly versatile guitars and well worth it. So for me it would essentially save me from buying two more guitars. But then again, does one really stop buying guitars/gear?

  • I purchased my Starplayer TV in 2010 from Oasis in Ringwood even though I’d not heard much about Duesenberg prior to my visit.

    I had gone down to spend a bit of inheritance money on a PRS Singlecut that Howard had in. I really liked it and was going through the the old “shall I, shan’t I” routine in my head (it was £1200) when Howard suggested I try a Duesenberg.

    I tried a Doublecat and the a Starplayer and within seconds I was absolutely hooked with both but I ended up with the Starplayer. It was £1300 with the case and I have no regrets spending this much whatsoever.

    If you gel with an instrument you will get so much joy back from it that it has to worth it. When you think how much cash some people blow on their weekend booze ups over the course of a year or how much other instruments such as bassoons, pianos etc. can cost, then £1000 seems pretty good to me.

    That said, I know you can get really nice guitars for less but if you can justify the cost, the payback is well worth it. My Doozie still makes me smile whenever I play her.

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