Yesterday, I went to Cochin and checked out the guitars/cubes available on sale there in the major shops. All we could get our hands on was a Behringer V-Tone, an Ibanez low end (probably GRX 40) and a Squier Showmaster.
The Behringer guitar was impressive for it's price - just Rs. 5, 000. The fretboard was okay. Tone was more shrill than warm and the pick ups could use a bit of adjusting. The pick-selector looked to be in a bad condition. The make was not specified.
The Ibanez guitar (probably GRX 40) was made in China. It was the only piece available. It looked good. It played well. Great freboard, nice tone (warmth). Except for a slight tuning problem with the second string (which we could have tried getting corrected before the possible purchase) the guitar looked good. It was for 14 000 Rs. The pro-guitarist who was helping me in buying the guitars was feeling okay except for the fact that it was a little too expensive for a Chinese make. This also didn't have tuning locks at either end.
The Squier Showmaster was a disappointment. It didn't look good. It had a narrower fretboard and therefore was harder to play. That was too for 14 000 and it was made in Indonesia.
We tried asking the guy if there are options for other Ibanez guitars. He wasn't sure if he could get something of a Japanese make in my budget ranger.
We went to another dealer who dealt with Kramers. He said that he could order for a decent Kramer guitar at around 12 to 14 K. We said that we will inform him in case we needed it.
We finally ended up feeling disappointed at the options available for us.
What I'm planning to do is this --
-- Ask around for the street prices of Ibanez guitars in Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai perhaps.
-- See if I can get someone to bring me a guitar from abroad; perhaps Singapore. I have heard that those from Singapore are of good quality and are cheap.
-- Or maybe I should just buy the Behringer V-Tone guitar and work with it until I have enough money to spend for an expensive Japanese make Ibanez later.
Do you have something to contribute?