Trajan's Market

Trajan's Market


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Trajan's Market is the name given in the early 20th century CE to a complex of buildings in the imperial fora of Rome constructed in 107-110 CE during the reign of Trajan. The complex included a covered market, small shop fronts and a residential apartment block.

The complex was built at one end of Trajan's Forum and includes buildings that had a number of different functions, predominantly commercial. Constructed on three different levels into the terraced hillside behind, access to the various parts was provided via connecting staircases. The ground level shallow alcoves opened onto a street and were used for small shops whilst there were more shops in the arcades above. The ground level alcoves are of uneven depth due to the fact that they were constructed following the bedrock of the hill. Originally, they would have all been framed with travertine, extending their capacity for displaying goods. One alcove (5th from the left) has been restored to illustrate the original look and also has the typical window above the lintel.

The ground level shallow alcoves opened onto a street & were used for small shops whilst there were more shops in the arcades above.

On the upper level, access staircases were built at each end of via Biberatica running above the semi-circular façade. The large uppermost central building was used as an apartment block, and the large structure further left functioned as a covered shopping arcade. In front of the whole complex, separated by a tufa wall but accessible through a large central gateway, was the Exhedra and Porticus of Trajan's Forum.

The buildings are largely constructed using concrete and faced with brick, and it is one of the finest examples of Imperial Roman architecture using these materials. The decorative semi-circular façade includes brick pilasters with travertine bases and capitals framing each archway on the second level. Decorative brick-work gives an added elegance, including entablatures of carved brick and alternate triangular and semi-circular pediments. White stucco would have once covered much of this brickwork and the pilasters, entablature, and pediments display evidence of having once been painted red.

The name of the street on the upper level of the Market was via Biberatica, perhaps from the Latin biber - meaning drink - and hinting at the various drinking establishments which served the market shoppers. The principal products sold at the market would have come from across the empire and included fruit, vegetables, fish, wine, oil, and spices such as pepper.

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The whole complex became part of a medieval fortress in the 12th and 13th centuries CE with the notable addition of the huge tower, the Torre delle Milizie. First properly excavated in the 1920s and 1930s CE, the site quickly acquired the name Trajan's Market and it not only stands as one of the most imposing ruins of Imperial Rome but is also the current home of the Museum of the Imperial Forums.


Rome in the Footsteps of an XVIIIth Century Traveller

All images © by Roberto Piperno, owner of the domain. Write to [email protected]

Page revised in June 2020.

In 106 AD in a remote town in the Carpatian Mountains, Decebalus, King of the Dacians killed himself his example was followed by other Dacian chieftains they were surrounded by Roman troops who had been chasing them for months after having conquered their capital Sarmizegetusa. It was the final event of the Second Dacian War. Emperor Trajan, who had personally led the campaign, was given an extraordinary triumphal procession in Rome. Dacia (today's Romania) was rich in gold and silver and in 107 the Emperor used these newly acquired resources to finance a major expansion of the Roman Forum.


Trajan’s Markets

The site of Trajan’s Markets, located in the Forum of Trajan in Rome, is one of the best preserved elements of the ancient city to have survived, and is an oft-overlooked gem in the heart of the Eternal City.

The impressive semi-circular remains of this grand structure, built between 100 and 110 AD and designed by Apollodorus of Damascus, are very much still intact. Once thought by historians to have been an ancient Roman shopping centre, more recent evidence has pointed to Trajan’s Markets also having been a centre of administration and finance.

Today, not only is the site of Trajan’s Markets open to explore, but it also houses the Museo dei Fori Imperiali. Opened in 2007, this museum was the result of several years of careful restoration and is dedicated to showcasing and recreating the Imperial Forums, which were the beating heart of ancient Rome for hundreds of years.

The museum takes the visitor through an exhibit of each individual forum based on the most important finds discovered within it. This journey through ancient Rome includes areas devoted to the forums of Caesar and Augustus, Nerva and Trajan as well as the Templum Pacis or Forum of Vespasian. As well as exhibiting original artefacts found in the individual forums, there are also descriptive panels and multimedia displays in each section.

However, the true highlight of a visit to this site is the chance to explore the structure itself. Remaining extremely well preserved, the chance to wander through Trajan’s Markets and onto Trajan’s Forum is one not to miss. You can explore the Via Biberatica, which was the main high street, as well as strolling the ancient corridors, offices and hallways and entering the shops and chambers themselves.


History of the “Markets” of Trajan

The history of the “Markets” of Trajan started with the planning of certain proprietary works during the construction of the last and greatest of all the imperial forums, that of Trajan. Even if we have clear accounts to classify the Markets of Trajan, ancient records do not offer steadfast evidence on the imperial financers and the conceptual origins of the project. The most plausible explanation is that the great complex was perhaps conceived as a sole unit along with the neighbouring forum.

It is highly likely that the complex had already been ordered by Emperor Domitian and taxation stamps, the only direct source available, show an index number consistent with the Domitian era. A theory further sustained by our knowledge of the ambitious building programme envisaged by this emperor. Another premise puts the selling off of a notable quantity of stockpiled bricks and building materials after the emperor’s murder as the main impetus for the construction of the complex. However, archaeological data gathered in recent studies (2003-2007) seem to indicate that preliminary works for an imposing architectural complex had already began under Domitian. Works included terracing walls and sewage piping.

Current knowledge leaves little to support the traditional interpretation of the structure as having a primarily commercial use. Recent archaeological discoveries have been fundamental in contributing to a rereading of the complex. Inscriptions on the structure’s main beams, which were reused as braces in the ground works for the Milizie Gardens, make testament to a procurator fori traiani, one Horatius Rogatus, who would have restored the forum after a fire in the 3rd century AD.

The functional differences of the various buildings that make up the Markets of Trajan are evident that the lower section had close association with activities administered by the adjacent forum with the upper section instead being dedicated to activities of a more managerial and administrative nature.


Features

Christian missionaries have taught people in Papua, New Guinea who had many gods before their conversion to recite the Hebrew Shema announcing only ONE GOD. Watch the video below.

GERMANICUS’ BAKERY

IN TRAJAN’S MARKET

BEST BREAD IN ROME!!

1. There were only 8 people in Noah’s Ark. T/F

2. Jonah was in the belly of the “whale” 4 days. T/F

3. The meaning in Hebrew of the word “day” always means a 24 hour period of time. T/F

4. All the names for our week days come from Roman and Norse/Anglo-Saxon gods. T/F

5. Jesus sent out 70 Disciples to preach His Good News.
T/F


Meats

While the Roman commoners ate very little in the way of meat, getting most of their protein from their legumes, their fats from oils and cheese, and their carbohydrates from cereals like barley, their diet was not entirely devoid of meat. The elites dined on sparrow, flamingo and outrageously expensive chicken, but the commoner made do with what we today would call offal, essentially the innards and offcuts.

In Ancient Rome these offcuts were called tomaclum, which was originally thought to mean sausage, but historians now believe offal is far more representative of what it was. This meat could be served in stews but would typically be served in a sandwich. A modern descendent of these sandwiches might be the ‘la frittula’ and the ‘panino con la milza’, both of which can still be found in Sicily. The latter sees the meat cooked in lard and is meant to be eaten hot, while the ‘la frittula’ can be eaten cold. Either would be a cheap and nutritious meal for a common Roman.


Monuments on the Appian Way

The road is lined with hundreds of tombs on the sides. During that time, people were forbidden to bury the dead in the city, which made the Appian Way a popular choice. Among the monuments still present on the Appian Way are:

  • Tomb of Caecilia Metella
  • Temple of Hercules
  • Villa dei Quintili, with nympheum, theatre, and baths
  • Catacomb of Callixtus
  • Circus of Maxentius

A number of bridges in Rome are also built alongside the Appian Way.


Shopping in Ancient Rome

Shops in Rome produced all kinds of items which people of the city would need. The shops were often only one room which was open to the street. The owners of a shop had living quarters on a second floor or behind the shop. The items to be sold were displayed on stone counters. At night, wooden shutters were put up to keep out thieves. The Forum in the middle of most Roman towns was a center for much ofthe shopping. In Rome, large markets were developed which had a large variety of stores similar to a modern-day mall. Trajan's market, for example, had over 150 stores in one location.

Women did most of the shopping for food and household items. Rich women would send slaves to do their shopping, while poor women had to do it themselves. The Roman government set weights and measures around the city and employed inspectors to protect buyers from being swindled.


Ancient Roman Shopping

By the end of the Republic, the market was moved to make more space for other government buildings, temples and beautiful monuments. During the Empire, many other forums (fora in Latin) were built for example: the forum of Augustus, Vespasian, Nerva, Trajan, etc.. noting that the forum of Trajan can still be seen today. It is worth noting that the streets leading to the Forum and the Via Sacra itself also had many shops.

There were other markets throughout the city of Rome such as the market of the subura quarter for the poor Romans which mostly sold vegetables and chickens and which was mostly frequented by slaves. There were also neighborhoods with luxury shops such as the ones found in the Campus Martius.

What ancient Roman shopping was like

The market was huge. It contained many kinds of shops, shops that sold food, spices, shoes, wool, books, etc. There were barber shops, blacksmiths, etc. The forum boarium right next to the main market was a huge meat and cattle market while the forum cuppedinis sold luxury goods.

Mural depicting the Cardo in Byzantine era
CC-BY-SA-2.0

The Forum was more than a market. It was a place of business kind of like downtown in American cities. Businessmen made deals in the basilica (the multi-story building that housed the shops). Money-changers or the argentarii who worked at the tabernae argentariae which were the equivalent of banks exchanged coins (foreign coins to Roman ones).

They also held money and paid interest just like banks do today. And just like banks today they used that money in other profitable transactions or investments and acted as agents. During the Empire, the argentarii would also circulate newly minted coins, again just like banks today! It is worth noting that at some point the tabernae argentariae were moved to the forum boarium while the cattle market was moved elsewhere. There is still an arch that can be seen today that symbolizes the guild of the money-changers.


What Could You Buy at Trajan’s Market?

Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Mia. Mia Wonders, “What was the Trajan Market?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Mia!

Have you ever visited a shopping mall with your family? Today’s malls hold many stores. From clothing to gifts to candy, you can find it all in a mall! And they’re not just for shopping. Malls often have restaurants, arcade games, and other kinds of entertainment.

Malls are great. But have you ever stopped to WONDER how long they’ve been around? Did ancient people have malls like people do today? Today’s Wonder of the Day is about just that topic. We’re talking about the world’s oldest shopping mall&mdashTrajan’s Market.

Trajan’s Market opened in 110 C.E. It was part of Trajan’s Forum, a complex named for the Roman Emperor Trajan. Like today’s malls, it was used for more than just shopping. There were over 150 shops and offices, but the market also held apartments. Experts believe that Trajan’s Market is also where Romans went to get their food rations .

Today, historians see Trajan’s Market as a great feat of ancient architecture . The market has three levels joined by stairs. It was made largely of concrete and brick, much of which still stands today. Modern visitors can still see its original vaulted ceilings and arched passageways. The remains of a large marble-floored library are also still intact.

What could you buy at Trajan’s Market? The shops carried items from across the Roman Empire. People would have gone there for the fruit, vegetables, and fish to make their meals. They may have also bought oils and spices from distant places.

Who was Emperor Trajan? He was one of Rome’s greatest rulers. Many experts today say the Roman Empire reached its height during his rule. Trajan was a great military commander. He helped the empire reach the Persian Gulf.

Trajan is also remembered as a kind ruler. In fact, many historians call him one of Rome’s “Five Good Emperors.” After a successful battle against the ancient country of Dacia, he brought home great riches. He used the money to build roads, bridges, and aqueducts across the empire.

Trajan also improved social welfare . He lowered taxes. He increased grain rations . He even gave needy citizens money as gifts. Trajan also increased the amount of money Rome spent taking care of poor children.

A 126-foot column in Trajan’s Market also bears the emperor’s name. In fact, Trajan’s Column is covered in carvings of scenes from his victory in Dacia. When Trajan died in 117 C.E., the Romans entombed him in the column.

Since Trajan’s time, the market has served other purposes. It became a fortress during the Middle Ages. That’s when people also added another large tower, called the Torre delle Milizie. Today, the market is popular among tourists.

What might you have shopped for at Trajan’s Market as an ancient Roman? Maybe you would have been one of the merchants selling goods there instead! One thing is for sure&mdashthousands of years later, the shopping mall is still a pretty popular place.

Standards : C3.D2.Civ.1, C3.D2.His.2, CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.W.2, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.W.9

Wonder Contributors

Arianna , orlando , and Catalina
for contributing questions about today’s Wonder topic!


Top Ten Worst Guitar Brands

First Act is a very peculiar guitar company. They have guitars that sell at Toys R Us that will literally fall apart in your hands. They sell pedals that are a complete joke, leaving you with the impression that they must be a bad, bad joke. Then something strange happened, I did a little research and found some info that was stunning. First Act has a couple of guitar lines that are some of the finest guitars I have ever seen, heard, or even read about. They have guitars that go for $3000 plus and are better guitars than any person commenting on this board will ever have the opportunity of even being in the same room with (including myself) Who would have thought?! Go figure.

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT under ANY circumstances use First Act guitars for playing music of any kind. These are only guitars in the philosophical sense, they're guitar-shaped, they have frets, six strings and are made of of something that, at some point, qualified as wood. However, when it comes to PRACTICAL uses, these so-called "guitars" are rather excellent for any one of the three following jobs:
1. Smashing (on the ground, over someone's head, etc. )
2. A prop for a low budget film studio or theatre company.
3. All-natural endorphin booster: Whenever you feel down, simply set this plywood abomination across from your favorite chair, grab a drink, and have a seat. Now, point at the "guitar" and laugh at it.

Comes in a cardboard box one would be forgiven to believe is from a knock off Lego set. The body is born from the hands of the utmost prestigious luthiers in the world. (he said sarcastically) Even for beginners, you'd be better off using a cereal box with rubber bands as a guitar. at least that one would have been well made.

No joke though, the best beginner guitar should be one that makes you want to pick it up and play it. Unless your goal is think you sound bad purely off the fact your instrument is poor, I recommend going out and trying guitars at different locations with someone you know that has experience in the field.

First act guitars (beginner models) will set you back in your progress. You will spend more to have this guitar set up to be "playable" than you bought it for. Don't buy a custom shop fender if you don't know what your doing either. I've found that for beginners, saving about $500 to buy a NEW guitar (or picking up a decent one used) is the way to go. Then go get it set up! If you want to hate me and say "not everyone can afford to buy a better guitar but they still want to play". I would tell you that not everyone gets to race formula 1 either. Don't buy a new iphone and save money for your future.

Personally, I don't like the fender and gibson knockoffs, and squire's aren't the best brand, but I have a squire telecaster, which is actually great quality, better than I expected, and it has a slightly more drier, shaky tone that an actual tele, which is a nice feature. My friend has a squire precision bass, and upon hearing it, I honestly thought it was an actual precision bass at first, so, if you must get squire, than consider either the tele or the precision.

Squiers. New bullets- very bad. Affinity series: made in China- wouldn't even take a free one. Made in Indonesia-pretty solid and nice playing guitar. Any in the standard series or better are wonderful! Every time I walk into a pawn shop or guitar shop I play the different squiers and ever single one China-bad, Indonesia-good and if you come across an old Japanese or Korean made (especially the Japanese) for a good price, like under $200 BUY IT(not that it will ever happen).

Fender is already skating on the name alone. Nothing really quality about them. They made it big when there was no competition, so therefore they are a relic, which can always fool people into thinking it also means interchangeable with 'quality'. Squier is the poor persons, Mexican made edition of Fender. Do the math.

Squier Strats and especially Teles are great instruments for the money. They have excellent necks and alder bodies. A simple and inexpensive electronics upgrade (esp tele 4 way switching) with upgraded pickups will put these in a totally different class. Best bang for the buck in electrics.

Unbelievable how people are ignorant. Yamaha makes number of products but the origin and set up are totally different. Its music division was used to be specialized manufacturer called "Nippon Music Instrument". Yamaha took over and still maintains the specialty.

If you don't know what brand to buy, buy Yamaha. There's a reason this brand is chosen by almost every music education establishment, they are the best available. The only downside is a lack of style, which I personally prefer, fashion is for sheep.

Yamaha makes the best acoustic guitars for the money, period. No one else sells a solid sitka spruce top for $200. No one. Fender comes close with the DG-8 Englemann spruce top, but it still isn't as good a guitar as the Yamaha FG-700s, the world's best-selling guitar, or its new replacement, the FG-800. See how much you have to spend at Martin or Taylor(Boo! ) for a solid sitka topped guitar. It will be in the $1000 range, starting out.

Yamaha branding suffers from having a wide spectrum of guitar, from the very cheap to professional quality. When you don't discriminate what you put your name on, your rep suffers.

Washburn is an EXCELLENT brand. I have owned an N4, 2 N2's, and their latest, cheapest Nuno model for my daughter. My daughter's guitar is amazing for the price I wish I had such quality for my starter guitar. I would put my N4 up against ANY guitar- period. Plus, whenever I have contacted the company, they have top notch customer service. I know this isn't about amps, but I wrote them about an issue I had with my Randall amp ( a division of Washburn). Without me asking, they mailed me an amp part with an apology. Top notch.

I've played on the same old Washburn dreadnought for over 30 years and it is still in top shape, still great sound, and still plays nice and smooth. Used it in my band for almost as many years and only ever got compliments on how great sounding the guitar was/is!

Washburn was the brand of guitar I chose when I decided to start playing guitar after 20 years of inactivity and I was not disappointed. My electric experience been great and I didn't have to break the bank!

I bought an HB-35 (Gibson ES-335 copy) and it is quite the Guitar for $650. Loaded with all kinds of adornments like binding, flame top, etc. It plays and sounds as good as any semi-hollow I've played costing 2k or more. Really good bang for the buck.

I realize this list is for the worst, uyt being a musician for the past 40 years, I don't look for the worst or cheapest. Every guitar manufacturer, from Gibson to First Act, have variations in their instrumentsa that can be tweaked to suit the playability of a particular instrument. I have an early model SX guitar, that has a great action and the electronics and quality of wood, make this my back-up on stage and the one I always practice with.
No one guitar is going to sound, OR play, exactly like another of the same model, and I'm sure the newer/cheaper manufactured SX guitars will not compare to the vintage instrument I own.

I strongly disagree with anyone who says SX are bad. I play a Gypsy Rose, which is an SX guitar, and I absolutely love it. I've had it for years and nothing has ever gone wrong with it. Easy to tune, the strings won't kill your fingers and none of the strings have broken. And It sounds amazing.

SX guitars are made from good tone woods, have a good feel and sound. They do need some tweaking for the best playability, however they have good quality for the price. I've played Fenders and Gibsons that aren't worth 1/4 of what they cost.

Completely shocking. Sounds awful to listen to and aren't nice to play. Seriously cheap and rightly so undoubtedly the worst guitar I have ever played

What is an Essex? Also who compiled this list? It definitely wasn't guitar professionals. Every guitar maker has top line and then entry level guitars. Top line for those that can play and entry for the beginner who 9 out of 10 stop playing and they don't care that a $60 to $200 mistake lays in the closet for years. Yamaha makes 100's of styles and a lot are great guitars and some stink. It goes with the territory in a very competitive market. This should have been better defined and broken down by cost levels. Because this could have even been titled "The 10 Best Guitar List"

This is the worst guitar in the world

I disagree totally, I had a applause about 20 years ago and I wish I never had to sell it. It was a great guitar for the price and it sounded great hooked up to a decent amp.

I own an '80s Applause Strat and when played clean, sounds better than a MIM strat. Dirty sounds a little muddy but that might be because I have a crappy 60 watt Peavey amp.

My first acoustic was an Applause and was given to me by my grandfather, it's an amazing guitar and my first acoustic.

I've played an applause 12 string and it's not bad it has a smooth feeling to it. I'm 13!

Not sure about all of the models but I recently purchase one of the new Terra line models and I couldn't be more pleased! I have the Mitchell T333CE-best Solid Top Mahogany Auditorium Acoustic-Electric Guitar Edge Burst. Came set up from the factory. Tuners are the only question mark but honestly, this isn't really a ding as the guitar stays in tune remarkably well. Great tone as this has a solid Mahogany Top, Sides and Back. I regularly use this guitar for singer/songwriter performances. Of my 16 guitars, this and my Tak are my go-to instruments.

I have two Michell guitars. An MD400 and an HD400. I have every guitar from the unknown guitar maker, Aspen, in the early70's, to LTD's. These are the best guitars I own. I say that because haven't played my Gibson, Fender, Gretsch. in weeks!
These guitars are incredible to play and sound great! If you feel an inexpensive guitar isn't worth your while, move on. These are!

I love my Mitchell! It's my second acoustic and my favorite by far! It does sound a little too bright acoustically but over an amp it sounds GREAT especially for the price!

I bought one off of my friend David Shalala for 30 bucks, worth 135 new. It is my first guitar and sounds great. I would recommend this to all beginners like me.
Matt Krause

Taylors are okay as guitars go, but. I've owned three, sold them all in mint condition and lost considerable coin in doing so. I think they belong on this list because they charge hand made prices for MASS PRODUCED guitars. Don't believe me? Take the Taylor that you own and do a search for it on eBay. That's right, at this very moment there are hundreds of guitars just like yours for sale on eBay. And that's only checking this one sales venue! These guitars are worth half of what you paid because the market is saturated with them. Taylor cranks out hundreds of them per day and 100's of thousands per year. If you're shopping and seriously considering a Taylor, you can get comparable quality and far better value elsewhere. Choose carefully and you'll see your investment go up in value. Aside from some special, collectable models of Taylor, you will loose money on this brand.

I spent my birthday thinking if I can live with a guitar that's expensive and full of crap tone. Then returned it the day after. Don't spend a single second like I did.

Their current guitars are so horrible compared to their price, I wonder if company is trying to make itself disappear like its electric guitars did. I received one as a gift recently, thought about returning it the day after and didn't want to offend my friend who bought it for me.

After all, she didn't know anything about guitars and thought higher price would mean good quality. This is not the case with Taylors!

Never thought I would write a bad review about guitars, but buyers BEWARE! don't be fooled by fluff and spend thousands on a mass produced cheap stuff like this!

For the price, Taylor guitars are a joke. They absolutely suck.

Over time, their acoustic guitars turn to crap and their electric guitars are just cinder blocks.

N' for the love of pete stay away from the Expression System pickup for acoustics. They basically remove the tail block to add the battery pack.

Factory service is a joke. They just take your money and act like they performed some kind of grand operation. They're really horrible.

For a good quality acoustic guitar that will last, go with Martin, Maton or BreedLove.

N' the AP5 pickup system from Maton is far superior than the Taylor Expression System.

Worst guitar I've ever owned. Sounds good plugged in when it works. Key words are when it works. The expression pickup system may be the worst ever. They charge that much for an instument, that the day you buy it, the guitar shop tells you to wrap a postit note around the double a batteries. Really? Get it together Taylor. I've had the pickup replaced with their improved drop in because mine stopped functioning. Yeah about a month till that stopped working. It's rediculously unreliable. If you gig stear way clear. Honestly almost every gigging musician I know that has had, or has a Taylor has had similar problems.

ESP LTDs are a ripoff. All the money goes into the finish and nothing else. Cheap hardware and poor electronics. All of the LTDs I've ever owned couldn't stay in tune worth a damn, have noisy, pop-y switches and crappy pots. I have the Viper 400, and it's an overrated turd. Luckily I got it for a steal. Thing can't stay in tune AT ALL. I will be replacing the alleged Grover tuners with real Grover lockers. That still doesn't solve the issues with the soft finish and ultra-noisy electronics. Plus it has a humpy neck, a cracking neck joint (like all of my LTD set-necks) and the frets were likely leveled by a monkey considering the quality.

Basically I will be tearing it down and rebuilding it. Imagine if a luthier did it? We're talking $600+ worth of work. Any company that puts their name on this deserves to be on this list.

MOST ESP guitars are great for playing metal and stuff. I love to play riffs on my Iron Cross. However, having worked at guitar center for 5 months, I've gotten a lot of complaints about the ESP LTDs, and how they won't stay in tune, how the tremolo systems are cheap, and the dislike for tone, etc. ESP is a good company, just a few flaws.
But while we're here WHO put Dean on this list? Their stuff is awesome.

My ESP did have excellent finish. It also had stock Seymour Duncan P-Rails which are unbelievable pickups. Stays in tune very well, no issues with that. The neck is outstanding. Great frets. It is perverse how low you can vet the action with zero buzz. I would compare this to Gibson LPs that cost two to three times as much. Amazing buy for the money you pay for one used or new.

I only voted ESP so I could tell everyone that this brand is the King. Gibson is only good because heaps of people use it. Its like facebook. Once someone gets a Gibson everyone follows, like a sheep. ESP uses the best materials, they sound incredible, good variety, good reputation, and half the price of a Gibson standard. Gibson overpriced, ESP priced perfectly. With ESP YOU REALLY GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. Esp IS NOT IN THE TOP 100 WORST GUITAR BRANDS. I am a pro guitarist and use ESP, Ibanez and PRS

I learned my lesson after owning a few and will never again

If they were as great a guitar (even as a bargain) as some make out, you wouldn't find millions of them for resale on Craigslist, Ebay etc. even moreso people willing to take almost anything including non musical instruments in a trade for them

Yet the LP clones of the pre lawsuit era, are harder to find and command higher price.

Truth be told they're just not that good, cheap electronics, bad finish, fret work was bad on every one I owned, cheap tuners, and bridge, sure you can dump another 500 into a guitar to bring it up, but then you have a $800.00 Epi on your hands that nobody is going to give you $400.00 for, and it still wont sound as good as a Gibson.

Save your money there's better Gibson alternatives out there.

I bought an Epiphone Les Paul Special for my son. It has great sound and is fun to play. Tuning pegs aren't the best, but it's a fantastic guitar. Yes, someday he will upgrade to a Gibson but an Epiphone is a million times better than the Les Paul copies we used to play back when I was a kid.

Gibson look alikes with cheap Chinese pot metal components.
Any day you can grab one of the millions for sale on Craigslist, or Ebay, which begs the question, why are there so many of them for resale or trade?

Epis are good if you don't really have an issue with sound, or you are just looking for something that looks like a Gibson and want to risk damage to a more expensive instrument perhaps gigging. But if you play one next to a Gibson, you see why their American counterparts are so much more money. Even the top of the line Epiphones are just OK.

Epi fans argue that they are "just as good as Gibsons, and that recently Gibson's quality has gone down "etc..but n the same breath they'll say " all you need to do is swap out the pickups, for better pickups and pots and wires, have the action lowered, get better tuners" etc..

However by then you threw another couple hundred into a Epiphone.

Spend the money on a pre lawsuit LP copy you'll be happier and less . more

Honestly, this is a pretty good brand. If you're looking for a Gibson sound on a budget, Epiphone does a really good job of replicating that Gibson tone. Granted, it's not going to be perfect, but it's one of the best in the price range.

The problem of the recent Gibson bashing is well-founded. There were quality issues over the last maybe 15 years. The thing is that a Gibson is still a dream for a lot of people. They get better and giving themselves a present after putting money away. Then, after several years, maybe decades of anticipation they get crappy quality for several thousand dollars. The brand is alive, they can bounce back, but the managment. instead of the elevator, they should take the japanese business shortcut. As soon as the quality and passion is back, people will love to buy one. Hope they'll get back on track before 2020.

Current Gibson from the 1985 Norlin buyout is hit or miss, so you pay your money you take your chances. You might get a cheap faded series that's great to an R8 with worse QC and flawson par with the Norlin Era garbage. You might get a good one, but you might get a real dog that was worse than a Norlin stamped 'SECOND'.
Norlin era stuff was Gibson's nadir.

Pre Norlin stuff was fantastic, and the fifties and early 60's stuff was truly magical. I owned a '58 Jr, and played a few 50's LP standards and Customs that were feather light w/o weight relief and would sustain forever. Because all of the good Mahogany and Brazilian Rosewood has vanished, nobody will ever make stuff approaching the quality of pre-'65 Gibsons again.

Gibson guitars are terrible, in my opinion. Their guitars are NOT versatile whatsoever (If you buy a Gibson, you're either gonna play classic rock, blues, or jazz), their quality control has gone off a cliff, their prices are outrageous, the tone is mediocre, and they just make re-hash after re-hash of the same bloody guitar.
Gibson was great back in the day.

Well maybe I'm just one in a million and a super lucky motherf. But my gibson is really really great. The best guitar I ever held in my hands. I's a 2005 LP Custom which my dead father (before he died ^^) gave to me. I can play some good blues, jazz, Metal, rock, blablabla, everything, on it. But reading this I guess that I'm the only person with a fantastic post 65 Les Paul or gibson for which I would give my life. Really, without this one I'd probably jump in front of a train or something

The reason I hate this brand is because, they advertise like there toys are a real instruments. The fret board feels like ass, the whammy bar does nothing be put the guitar out of tune. It should be a Lil Wayne signature guitar, then they would have an excuse to make a Horrible guitar.

The guitar brand Spectrum isn't even that horrible. It sells great starting guitars, electric and acoustic, and are full sized. Some of the electric guitar kits even come with a mini amp. Although this brand is great, I would not recommend it for professionals.

This is like a starter guitar worse than Squier or First Act. They can't hold a tune, they can't play without feedback/buzzing, and they are worth about as much as a guitar pick.

Spectrum isn't really even that bad. For price, they are super worth it. I have a Spectrum, and it is pretty good. Not the best brand in the world, but good for cheap guitars.

I have had some dog bad guitars! You and every one passes up Rickenbacker. I just dumped mine, I had two in my life they are bad out dated guitars. I saw people come in a store to buy one, they play one with a great Fender amp and walk out with some other brand. You do not see and of the greats play them. The sounds of the 60's is not a Ricky. Look for them and you will only see old photo of Lennon play one, no solos!

I( picked one up in a pawn shop, totally ignorant of the brand, quality, string action, etc. I'm actually very pleased with the guitar. It has tremendous tone and sustanibility. String action is terriffic top to bottom. For a brand that I understand is no longer in production, I am glad to have it in my collection.

I just watched a PBS special of Hulabaloo. Of the more than thirty groups and least 20 were using Rics. This is not even including Suzanna Hoffs, Steppenwolf, Roger McGuinn and a host of others. The fact that there is a waiting list for them would suggest that no nothing about Rickenbackers, the guitars or their history.

I actually own two Ashton guitars as well as a Gibson, a Maton and a few others. In my opinion, the Ashton guitars get a very bad rap for a very good little guitar (the electrics anyway). The only field they tend to fall down in is the pickups and tuning pegs they use. However, those are easily replaced and you can have yourself a beautiful guitar with a low action that sounds every bit as good as any other mass produced guitar on the market.
Way too many people put too much emphasis on "Branding" - every brand can have a lemon occasionally, Gibson and fender are no different in that regard. PRS are the only ones you'll find that are high quality every time.

I myself own an Ashton and I think that they are overall really great guitars. I own an Ashton SL29CEQLTSB Acoustic Electric and it is simply amazing. It comes with a built in tuner and the strings last for quite a very long time. I have owned a couple guitars in my time and I am happy to say that the sound is impressing. So all of the other people who put down this guitar either know nothing about guitars, are super spoiled and want the best of the best, or just had bad luck with them.

The person who said "I have a friend who plays an ashton, and he actually thinks it's a good guitar, while he constantly has to put paper under the strings because otherwise everything above the 3th fret is literally unplayable. Poor guy" MAY I POINT OUT that they just stated how the guitar was in a poor condition but said nothing about why or how long the guitar has been played and all these essential details.

The person who said "I made the mistake of buying a cheap Ashton acoustic just . more

I have a friend who plays an ashton, and he actually thinks it's a good guitar, while he constantly has to put paper under the strings because otherwise everything above the 3th fret is literally unplayable. Poor guy

Ashton are tidy budget guitars. The electrics are made by AXL and I think the acoustics are made by Saein. They are robust, good looking, set up well, play well and sound good.

I've had an Ovation Celebrity for over 5 years. Great action, wonderful sound with or without an amp. Stays in tune. Play anything from classical to rock. The Ovation can do it. The sound is unique, so making it your only guitar may not work if your in a band. If you're a beginner, the string tension is really low so it's easy on your fingers. It is a hollow body accoustic, but it plays like an electric. I've owned and still own several guitars. This is the one I reach for the most.

Personally I like my Ovation it has one of the best necks I've ever played on a guitar acoustic or otherwise and when you plug it in it delivers powerful crisp clean tone and a one of a kind presence. Plus the body are made from Apache helicopter blades! So that's sick too I love mine Eat it!

Unique sounds, especially the ones with the tuned sound holes. Good guitar if you stand up and use a strap.

Plastic crap made for pennies and dumbed down for an ape to work on.

Ibanez is a heartless, soulless corporation run by dicks who don't know a guitar jack from their ass. Their amps were good, but known-nothing corporate dicks screwed over their owners when it came to for repairs, so their reputation is trashed for good. How much does a reputation cost, Ibanez? More than you can afford!

However, the necks on the RGs are flawless. Young growth mahogany is a trashwood that fractures too easily. Washburn does not make a guitar for any price that can match the quality of an Ibanez neck.

I had a Soundgear 5 string bass when they first came out and it was one of the worst basses I have ever owned. Crappy electronics, uncomfortable neck and the list goes on. I used it as a back up when I was touring 100+ shows per year and luckily my Tobias Killer B5 never had issues other than the occasional broken string. The best thing I can say about it is I lent it to a "colleague" and he ended up stealing it. Good riddance!

I'm a bass player, and my first bass was an Ibanez Mikro (I started when I was young). When I was ready to switch to a normal size, I considered an Ibanez SG, but as soon as I tried out the Gibsons, Fenders, ESPs, Yamahas, and everything else for the same amount of money I started to realize how much I was missing with my Ibanez. I'm no guitar expert, but I can tell you that an Ibanez is the last bass I would buy except maybe a Schecter (even though I'm a metalhead, I can still tell they suck)

I own a RED RG230RT electric guitar and it has fallen apart - I have taken good care of it but alas, the pots are always scratchy and refuse to clean up with faderlube, the hardware is corroded, the nut is cracking, the electronics are OK. It still plays well but, that was my first NEW guitar purchase in 1986 and I just call it a lesson in green ignorance. The PRS ASMpro cherry red looks almost exactly like it and that is what I own now as my generic player - what a great instrument for my $$!

Gretsch Acoutic Guitars are dreadful. They look good, feel good, but the sound is complete crap. If they'd make just one series of real wood sides and back (Maple, Rosewood, etc) then you'd have something. Otherwise fit for the pit.

American Gretsch's are still amazing instruments. Korean Gretsch's are VERY NOT BAD (if you can get past the fact they were made by a guy who probably are a Chihuahua for lunch.

Gretsch is a licenes name. when Gretsch sold out and moved from Arkansas Chet Atkins went to gibson, puting his name on the new gretsch guitars was done after his death, the new gretsch guitars are copies at best, and not very good ones

Gretsch has always sounded beautiful when I've played their guitars, I have one of their open back banjos and its by far my favorite banjo I've ever played on.

This guitar is absolutely terrible.

Perfect for girl beginners. Not good.

Denver. the other white meat

I got my first guitar when I was 14 although I didn't know much about guitars I knew that I wanted to learn, so I did. I can't name the exact model, but it was worth a lot more then I had expected. I'm 16 now and I went from simple strumming patterns to complex fingerpicking and singing without any trouble from the guitar. Now that I know more about the differences of guitars I am certain that fender was a great start for me. I recommend this guitar to anyone, beginner or an experienced player.

Just played a 3000 dollar custom shop model, the low E string was next to the neck and totally off the pickup poles, not the first one I've seen this way, they play terrible as well, if you think these are by the best of the guitar world then you are looking at it moneywise as most of the owner who swear by them only know 2 companies. Try some others and you will see Fender is actually crap! Leo Fender wasn't even a guitar player, and it shows!

I own a few fenders. In all actuality past even a the heritage co. H series and a few others (baby a vast amount) my fender classic players hh series is my most played out of probably 22 guitars. Why they are spendy is probably the woods they buy to make them. Wood isn't cheap any more. My best advice is fender isn't for everyone but if you want one and have a hard time on the price, get one used. You'll be a lot happier also because they will be practically worn in

Unbelievably overpriced junk. Cheap hardware and electronics. Outdated designs that can't stay in tune. Fender currently does not make high-quality guitars. They had one high-quality division: Ovation. But they trashed it and forced the workers to destroy their work before firing everyone.

This awful company deserves to be Number 1.

I played a Dean 3/4 size black guitar at a gutiar store on sale for 50% off, and immediately fell in love with its raw, funky, almost crappy tone. Really - there is just a certain something it has that I love: blues especially. Admitedly, the intonation is terrible, and not even fixable because the bridge is routed incorrectly. But I can get some pretty pleasurable tonal variety out of it, and for funky picking with harmonics and such, oh yes! Sort of OK intonation if you stay well below the 5th fret. Of course I changed the tuners to better quality. I have D'Addario lights, and put on a.017 solid steel G string - because I dig bends. I love jamming blues with this thing.

The original Dean's from the early 80's were truly amazing guitars, but the weird Neon Strat copy stuff with the Solid white necks that were branded dean would have been better off as firewood if it wasn't for any toxic side effects that would have come from burning the paint that they glopped on. --Total Garbage.

Crummy guitars made in sweatshops in China and Indonesia. Top that off with the absolute worst Guitar Forum on the internet full of immature trolls and you have a brand to be ashamed of. Really sad as the original Dean Zelinsky guitars were amazing.

Junky guitars made for hyperactive children who think ugly graphics are cool. I mean seriously, have you seen the garbage Dean puts out at Guitar Center? The one thing even more immature is the Dean Forum.

Good guitar mate pickups are great

Affordable yet solid sound

It's Givson, an Indian ripoff the Original brand. Sucks!

Really the worst. It is the fake brand of 'Gibson'. The guitars are third class..

Its just a cheap fake gibson

Worst guitar ever. I have a Stagg Stratocaster copy and an Ibanez RG321MH. I never use my Stagg it keeps on distuning and it have a buzz sound that comes even with you put the channel on clean, and when it is overdrive. It is just for beginners, but still awful.

Wouldn't be seen smashing one these in a video. Would rather watch Pearl Harbour on a loop than play one of these.

Terrible. Had the misfortune of playing one and the frets were wider than the neck!

It's just for beginners but it's still awful, I would rather buy an ibanez..


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