A Conversation for Electric Guitars

Electric Guitars, Advise for the ignorant?

Post 1

greyHoward

I've been playing accustic for many years and am now looking for my first "serious" electric...I'm currently torn between an older Fender Strat and a new Gibson SG.
Any advise?


Electric Guitars, Advise for the ignorant?

Post 2

2legs - Hey, babe, take a walk on the wild side...

I'd advise on the Fender.... but then I'm a Strat player so I would smiley - blush What sort of stuff you interestiend in playing? But best advice can be that you get to play each as much as possible, I don't get on that well with Gibson type necks/bodys but some (very strange smiley - winkeye ) people do... smiley - musicalnote


Electric Guitars, Advise for the ignorant?

Post 3

Queazer

I'm one of the very strange people who prefer the Gibson SG. I'll just echo the advice from 2legs - try both until you come to your own decision.


Electric Guitars, Advise for the ignorant?

Post 4

2legs - Hey, babe, take a walk on the wild side...

Excellent! that'l be a 'Balanced set of opinions' then; one hardcore Fender Strat guitarist, and another a hardened Expounder of the vertues of Gibsons smiley - weird of course... the Strat guitarists are the ones to trust; Gibson players are just plain weird smiley - winkeyesmiley - laugh Seriously though, even two strats ain't the same; I've played two semeingly identicle USA Fender strats; both the same year, heck they were even the same colour, one I wouldn't have spent even £75 on, the ohter I'd have spent ten times that on smiley - weirdsmiley - ufo


Electric Guitars, Advise for the ignorant?

Post 5

greyHoward

Good point, on the diference between guitars of the same model. I have also found the diference in sound quality to be staggering. One of my favorite accustics is an Epiphone `Texan` that has a very rare mellow, bell-like tone. I found it after playing almost 50 identical guitars that universally sounded like crap.

Thanks for your replies...Cheers!smiley - ale


Electric Guitars, Advise for the ignorant?

Post 6

Deep Doo Doo

Apparently, guitar sales in the UK last year topped 100 million for the first time. The stats suggest there are now 4 million guitar players in the UK. Given also that another set of stats this week also suggest that the UK population has exceeded 60 million for the first time, that's one heck of a percenatge of guitar playing public!

I don't play myself, but I may have to take it up now in order to remain fashionable! smiley - biggrin


Electric Guitars, Advise for the ignorant?

Post 7

Deep Doo Doo

<>

Er, that'll be ££££s, not units... smiley - blush


Electric Guitars, Advise for the ignorant?

Post 8

Redfox

Fenders have a neck shape more geared toward chord making than soloing.

Gibsons are the opposite.

Also, despite arguments to the opposite, fenders tend to be more tonally flexible and unique. Gibsons have A (1) tone that's hard to get from other instruments, but only one, which is a distorted sound anyway. Strats have 4 classic "Fender" tones from any strat (that is, neck only, neck/middle, middle, and bridge pickups).


Electric Guitars, Advise for the ignorant?

Post 9

leon_rvs

I would ignore anything a Fender or a Gibson man says. The only reason anyone goes for the 'big' names is for the prestige - to be able to say they have one!
Putting it in a car buyers context briefly, the Ford Model A, first produced in 1903 was a revolutionary vehicle, with its 3 speed transmission, pneumatic rubber tyres and lightweight (cough) design. It was a milestone, by which other vehicles would also be judged for years to come. But compare that to something such as a Mitsubishi Lancer EVO VIII, a relative newcomer, sporting the latest technological advances available. Sure it's been around for about 5 minutes and none of your driving heroes have probably set foot in one (yet), but in a head to head lap on silverstone ....I know which one I'd want to be strapped into! (that's based on comfort alone, performance is a given)smiley - tongueout

If you are an old man, who wears 'the Who' T-shirts and uses a rolling machine to make his cigarettes and considers a Mobile Phone to be a 'New Fangled Gadget' - Get a strat!
If you have no sense of aesthetics or ergonomy and are tone-deaf, get a Les Paul!smiley - winkeye

If you are sensible and have a brain, research the technology, source second hand bodies & new/used necks (or even cut your own Tonewood for the body), cut/form/paint your own one-off design, REPLACE the pots, pickups or even the wiring arrangement to improve your tonal options... the possibilities are endless, and we haven't even touched on Nickel Print Aluminium shielding in your wiring chamber....All these mods and it would still be a lot more economical than splashing out on an ancient design with outdated (but quality? - discuss)components.
Better still, if you don't think this is your cup of tea, get someone else to do it for you!....ME!!smiley - cheers

Steer clear of Guitar snobbery, as it's as worthless as every other form of snobbery available, usually perpetrated by the same people and is attributed to every overpriced, brand-named, coveted item in their possession. Though ultimately, it won't help you decide what's best for you.smiley - blush


Electric Guitars, Advise for the ignorant?

Post 10

Redfox

there's honestly a reson people keep buying those old designs...

really, now, new ain't everything. what about Stradavarius violins, huh?


Electric Guitars, Advise for the ignorant?

Post 11

Tonsil Revenge (PG)

"Strats have 4 classic "Fender" tones from any strat (that is, neck only, neck/middle, middle, and bridge pickups)."

Um. No. The old ones and vintage-style ones have a 3 position switch.
The modern ones have a 5 position switch.


Electric Guitars, Advise for the ignorant?

Post 12

Tonsil Revenge (PG)

"you are an old man, who wears 'the Who' T-shirts and uses a rolling machine to make his cigarettes and considers a Mobile Phone to be a 'New Fangled Gadget' - Get a strat!
If you have no sense of aesthetics or ergonomy and are tone-deaf, get a Les Paul!"

Hmm. So, Jeff Beck, Tony Iommi, Eric Clapton, Eric Johnson, Peter Townshend... are all daft because they chose each at different points in their career? smiley - tongueout

Basically, a guitar is a guitar. If the neck is straight and the pickups clear, the only choices to make are single coil, humbucker or a combination of the two. I have been playing badly long enough that with a little tweaking, I can make any guitar sound like me.

Personally, I find the SG to be a little rubber bendy in the neck and too idiosyncratic at the the bridge end. Strat type bodies I don't mind, I've use them a couple times as the basis for my own circuitry, but I don't like where the volume knob is and I hate the stock wiggle bridge. If I were going to buy a Strat style instrument, I'd get a hard tail and move the volume knob or replace the stock knob with something harder to move.


Electric Guitars, Advise for the ignorant?

Post 13

Tonsil Revenge (PG)

"If you are sensible and have a brain, research the technology, source second hand bodies & new/used necks (or even cut your own Tonewood for the body), cut/form/paint your own one-off design, REPLACE the pots, pickups or even the wiring arrangement to improve your tonal options... the possibilities are endless, and we haven't even touched on Nickel Print Aluminium shielding in your wiring chamber....All these mods and it would still be a lot more economical than splashing out on an ancient design with outdated (but quality? - discuss)components.
Better still, if you don't think this is your cup of tea, get someone else to do it for you!....ME!! "

Yeah, right. smiley - pumpkinArf!smiley - blackcat

There is a cute little book by Melvyn Hiscock called something like "How to build your own Electric Guitar". It is a valuable reference even if you don't ever follow through. There is also a repair guide by Dan Erlewine available from Stewart-MacDonald.

But it would be easier to go online and look at "guitar parts" sites, like Allparts and Warmoth and even Carvin, to see what is available.

It is true that Gibson and Fender have missed the boat over the years on the potential of their circuitry and bodies. It is also true that many a beginner and professional has been very happy with a Les Paul, Jr. or a Fender Lead I. If you are a beginning guitarist, or Eddy Van Halen or Malcolm Young, then all you need is one pickup.
The tone ultimately comes from your fingers.

Personally, I think you should consider one of the Mexican-built Squier Telecasters with the six piece bridge. I would if I could afford it.


Electric Guitars, Advise for the ignorant?

Post 14

Tonsil Revenge (PG)

"I've played two semeingly identicle USA Fender strats; both the same year, heck they were even the same colour, one I wouldn't have spent even £75 on, the ohter I'd have spent ten times that on "

They don't change the strings in guitar shoppes, do they?


Electric Guitars, Advise for the ignorant?

Post 15

Redfox

not often enough...

you know, I read that same book by Melvyn when I was researching for the article...

also, btw, I play a fat strat w/ a humbucker at the bridge and two singles.

special note to whoever was whining about the volume knob placement on a strat: it's put there so you can adjust with your pinkie while playing. On that, why does gibson put a spring loaded switch in the path of your right hand strum? I understand it's there for convinience and easy access, and I like that, but why one that's that easy to knock out of place? maybe that's why I see some guys duct tape it into position... >_>


Electric Guitars, Advise for the ignorant?

Post 16

Redfox

alos, warmoth guitars for parts.


Electric Guitars, Advise for the ignorant?

Post 17

threepercenter

Don't listen to these idiots who say get a fender. Presumably you want an electric so you can rock. Get an SG.


Electric Guitars, Advise for the ignorant?

Post 18

2legs - Hey, babe, take a walk on the wild side...

No. that would be really dumb. research, go to multiple guitar shops, try a range of guitars, keep an eye out in second hand/junk shops, and find a guitar thats right for you.


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