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Fender Standard series electric guitars get a 20% price hike across the board

Fender Standard Stratocaster

I suppose this had to happen sooner or later. It happened.

If you look at just about any Amazon listing for the Fender Standard Stratocaster, Fender Standard Telecaster or Fender Standard Jazzmaster HH, they're all priced at 600 bucks. Up until very recently (as in less than 2 months ago at the time I write this,) any one of those models had a price of $500. But now the price has seen a 20% hike up to $600.

Is this hike temporary for the holiday season? Maybe. It's not out of the ordinary for certain models of guitars to spike up in price for Christmas and then go back down when January rolls around. However, I don't think that's happening here. I believe Fender's new price point for Mexico-made Standard models is permanent.

Squier guitar prices, for the moment, are standing pat.

My take on some price hikes I've seen

The first time I saw a price hike was not for a Fender brand but rather a Gibson brand, Epiphone. Namely, the Epiphone Les Paul Standard. I remember when that guitar busted over the $350 mark. Right now it holds at $400. For how long? Nobody knows.

I've see both really expensive models and cheap models get price hikes to varying degrees. The lowest hike was the Squier Bullet Strat. Used to be $120 and now it's $130 (8.3% price hike.) The highest was the Gibson Les Paul Standard. That guitar has shot up so high in price that I'm surprised anybody can afford one. The 2015 model has a price tag that got hiked up 44.6% over its predecessor. I'm not kidding. And this happened in a span of less than 2 years. Again, I'm not kidding.

My suggestion to anyone who wants a Gibson Les Paul? To hell with Gibson. Save your money and get a China copy. It's either that or pay 44.6% more than you did less than 2 years ago for the same guitar. And there's no way you can convince me that there's been improvements put into the guitar in 2 year's time that justify a 44.6% price hike. Puh-leez.

With Fender's 20% price hike on Standard models, that's going to tick off a lot of people if it hasn't already, especially considering absolutely nothing has been improved. Same model, same build, same electronics, same everything, higher price tag.

Bear in mind these are not boutique guitars we are talking about. We're talking about mass-produced models that just shot up 20% because... well.. um... I guess there is no reason.

It's never been a better time to be a Squier player

You can now buy two good Squier Strats for $100 less than the price of one Mexico made Standard.

Or even if you don't play Squier and want something different like Bacchus or SX or Agile or whatever, go for it.

In other words, embrace the cheap stuff. Will you get duds sometimes? Yes. But sometimes you'll get gems too.

If you've been riding the fence on whether to start looking at cheaper guitars, here's some advice for you: Start looking at cheaper guitars.

Chances are if you've been reading my articles here for a while, you probably already do examine cheap guitars routinely. Good. Keep doing that. And if you find a cheap guitar you really, really like, be sure to tell people about it. Spread the word about which cheap guitars are good and which aren't.

To close this one out, don't ask me why Fender hiked the price of their Standard electrics by 20%, because I don't know. All I do know is that they did, and time will tell how guitar buyers react to that.

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