There's a level of quality that you get when you buy a Collings, or an Anderson. It's a level of craftsmanship and attention to detail that you just cannot get unless you're willing to pay for it. There's no cheap way to produce it, and so these guitars cost a lot of money. So do the guitars from Olson, and Don Grosh, and of course, the Fender Custom Shop.
We think everyone who's interested should aspire to own fine guitars such as these, because there's a level of satisfaction that comes from holding a really fine example of almost any item in your hands, whether it's a Snap-On wrench or an Omega watch or a Collings guitar. You can see and feel the quality.
But in the end a guitar is a tool, first and foremost. The Snap-On wrench, the Omega watch, and all of the aforementioned guitars perform exceptionally well for their intended purpose, or else they wouldn't be desirable.
I tend to think of guitars as tools. Some work for me and others don't. I'm a player of modest ability, but I've owned or played or worked on pretty much everything out there at one time or another, and I've been playing for many years, and I have developed the ability to discern a good guitar, regardless of the name on the headstock or the country of origin. There are many guitars that I consider to be good guitars - because they're good tools - but that don't exhibit the fine craftsmanship of Collings guitars (which exhibit impossibly high craftsmanship). But they play and sound great, and that's really the important thing.
I have a "crafted in Japan" '62 Reissue Tele Custom that I'm dimly aware isn't as desirable as a made in Japan model. Not sure what the difference is, but it doesn't matter. The guitar is a great guitar - it's been modified to my liking, and it plays and sounds great. It doesn't matter in the slightest how much it cost, or where it was made, or what kind of wood it is. It's a great guitar and I'd put it in the hands of any pro to take out on a high-profile gig, and I suspect that most would sing its praises.
And that's where Acme is at with the Mexican Fenders. They have all of the potential to transcend their humble origins. (And that's no slap at Mexico; it's simply an observation that these guitars are near the bottom of the price range for Fender guitars.) There are many retailers out there that are selling the $3000+ guitars, but we've decided to sell only the Mexican Fenders because they represent such a good value. You can modify them to your liking, and have a great guitar tailor-made for you, and for not a lot of money. You can take it to the gig, take it to the beach, whatever, without worrying too much about some guy spilling beer on it, or it getting knocked off the stand. And if it gets stolen, then it's not the end of the world, and it's readily replaceable.
So if you're a guy with a lot of cash and you can (and do) have expensive guitars, then this guitar's for you. You are a little nervous about taking that Custom Shop one-off, or maybe that authentic '58 Esquire, to the bar, right?
On the other hand, if you're a working musician or family man who aspires to the Custom Shop one-off, but it's just financially out of reach (or could lead to divorce), then this guitar's for you too. Let us dial one in for you, you'll be surprised how good these guitars can be. They're great tools. No airs, just substance.