A Conversation for Electric Guitars

The best electric guitar

Post 81

axe_slingin_doug

No...the toronado. Clicky:

http://www.fender.com/products/show.php?partno=0110700


The best electric guitar

Post 82

axe_slingin_doug

No...the toronado. Clicky:

http://www.fender.com/products/show.php?partno=0110700

But that coronado does look might fine.


The best electric guitar

Post 83

Tonsil Revenge (PG)

Sorry about that. I don't keep up with the modern Fender product line, particularly the ones with Gibson-like circuitry on a flattened Jazzmaster-style body.
They've been trying so hard to broaden their customer base that I fear they are diluting the brand.


The best electric guitar

Post 84

axe_slingin_doug

Yeah, the toronado is more like a jazzmaster-shaped LP junior than anything else, but I here it's a good blend of fendery aspects and gibsony traits.


The best electric guitar

Post 85

DaveBlackeye

I used an old Ibanez Destroyer for years - it had several previous owners, was heavily modified, taken to bits, rebuilt and set-up several times (I think "The Small Hours", a song written by Holocaust and covered by Metallica was written on this guitar). It was getting better slowly, but I never really liked it much; too wooly somehow. Anyway, while I was persisting with the Destroyer (and my ever-faithful Yamaha SG when the Destroyer was off the road), I happened to play a mate's Gibson Explorer. This had been passed around a bit too, but it was easily the nicest (IMHO) guitar I'd ever played, in terms of clarity, richness and action. So, when our band won a competition I used the winnings to purchase a new one.smiley - smiley

But the new Explorer was nothing like as good the one I'd played beforesmiley - sadface. I guess it may need to be broken in for a few years yet, but as we seem to have a few experts here what can be done to improve it?
TIA,
DB


The best electric guitar

Post 86

tonemonkey(Steve Cooper, of BLiM fame (?!) contact me!)

To the person who started this thread and said a parker fly......WHAT?!?

Strats were not made until 1954, if you have a demonstrably proovable '52 I'll give you a fiver for it, it can't be worth more as it doesn't exist. (and then I'll make a mintsmiley - evilgrin)

Ibanez, BC Rich (careful they'll have your eye out!) Kramer et all are toneless machines that are suitable merely for the widdlemonsters who soulessly destroyed the image of guitarists in the late 80's and early 90's.

Electric guitars are one of the few things in life that were right first time. Back in the fifties two companies crated the guitars that all others in some way owe a debt to. The greatest guitars on the planet can be narrowed down to 4 models, other good guitars are offshoots and offspring from the same branches.

They are, in no particular order...

The Fender Telecaster, simple and cheap to make, easy to repair, utilitarian, but with an amazing tone.

The Fender Strat, took what the telecaster had and expanded upon it, adding extra player comfort, an extra pickup and therefore more tonal options and the revolutionary vibrato system.

The Gibson Les Paul, more a work of art than fenders guitars, and more traditional in look, the les paul has a rich tone and extreme sustain, and a tone all its own.

The Gibson ES335, the ultimate hybrid, combining the jazz looks and tone of earlier hollowbody electrics with the feedback resistance and sustain of a solidbody, sweet tones, and volume without howl.

If we are talking about ultimate guitars we should be looking at these, and not farting about talking about Flys and BC Riches, guitars that are sold to the inexperienced on looks, or that 'seem like a good idea'


The best electric guitar

Post 87

Tonsil Revenge (PG)

"Subject: The best electric guitar
Posted Jan 21, 2001 by Researcher 167690
This is a reply to this Posting Posting 2


No, the Stat is the best electric ever - '52 sunburst "

Bored, are we, tonemonkey?

You can't really expect people to remember years off the top of their little pointy heads, particularly since I don't think Leo offered a sunburst until '56.

Anyway, I saw a really good guitar player playing finger-style on a reissue Byrdland this afternoon ($8600.00 smiley - headhurts) and at that moment, in that fellows hands, that was the finest guitar in the world.

Not that I would have minded having that particular one. It only had one flaw as far as I could see: too short a neck. Fully fifteen frets were almost inacessible.

And leave the Parker Fly alone.

I'm surrounded by korean Jacksons and PRS... Some of the twenty-year-old Ibanez guitars are looking really classy next to some of the soulless crap Gibson and Fender and PRS have turned out in the last two decades.

I have had wonderful success with taking a Kramer and pulling all the parts off the body and making another guitar. I'm about to do it again, as a wonderful Stryker specimen has shown up in a local music store so bad off that all it is worth is parting out.

As for B.C. Rich's, I have only handled one or two in my life, by choice, and I don't like the way they sound when they are not plugged in.

"the widdlemonsters who soulessly destroyed the image of guitarists in the late 80's and early 90's."

Ah, which image is that, of drunken louts who molest young girls and drive into other cars? Or of depressed geniuses who kill themselves?

A good guitar can be played by anyone. A bad guitar may take a good musician to make it sound half bad.
I wouldn't blame an instrument for anything.
I would blame the GIT instructors and the fans for creating and appreciating people who were not competent to hold Yngvie Malmsteen's string winder.

"soulessly"
I think you got caught up in the guitar god crap.

"Back in the fifties two companies crated the guitars that all others in some way owe a debt to. The greatest guitars on the planet can be narrowed down to 4 models, other good guitars are offshoots and offspring from the same branches."

Bull. Gibson was a soulless corporation by the time Les Paul was signed on to help compete with the Telecaster. Gibson is still a soulless corporation and Fender hasn't been the same since 1965.

"The Fender Telecaster, simple and cheap to make, easy to repair, utilitarian, but with an amazing tone.

The Fender Strat, took what the telecaster had and expanded upon it, adding extra player comfort, an extra pickup and therefore more tonal options and the revolutionary vibrato system.

The Gibson Les Paul, more a work of art than fenders guitars, and more traditional in look, the les paul has a rich tone and extreme sustain, and a tone all its own.<"a work of art"? Pluie. It's amazing what you can do with a couple chunks of wood, a maple cap and ignoring Les's suggestions. If you walk into a guitar store that has a pile of Les Pauls, and had a big fan of them go through the lot, I'll bet you that out of seven, he would really like only two. Not all LPs sound alike. Not even the one's just off the factory floor. And since Gibson has been cranking out bits of wood and wire that resemble the LP shape for fifty-odd years, some of which were no more LPs than a photocopy, I wouldn't categorially say that "the les paul has a rich tone and extreme sustain and a tone all its own". Tell me which year, which strings and which amp. Then I'll take it as personal experience. Otherwise it's just hot air.>

The Gibson ES335, the ultimate hybrid, combining the jazz looks and tone of earlier hollowbody electrics with the feedback resistance and sustain of a solidbody, sweet tones, and volume without howl.

If we are talking about ultimate guitars we should be looking at these, and not farting about talking about Flys and BC Riches, guitars that are sold to the inexperienced on looks, or that 'seem like a good idea' "

Anyway. What do you play? Or do you?




The best electric guitar

Post 88

tonemonkey(Steve Cooper, of BLiM fame (?!) contact me!)

Did I rattle your cage?

What do I play, A strat and a Les Paul, through a tweed fender amp.
It seems to suprise you that I do play. Sorry. I have an opinion.

Do you use too much gain by the way? Or possibly turn up too loud for the venue? Having used many a 335 I have never had a feedback problem, and while I agree that the neck and fit is not for everyone, that byrdland is a lot bigger to play. Hey, why dont I try to help, have a play of a mid 60's block neck 335, the necks on those are normally a lot sweeter in my hand than the flat backed 50's style.

Telecasters sound good through almost any amp, their tone is so distinctive that it will speak through anything, try one through an AC30.

The Strat was designed by Leo and another fellow, I think it was possibly freddie tavares, the name rings a bell for this one, though I'm sure you'll rubbuish me if I'm wrong. The strat was designed to give the other fellow what he thought was lacking in the telecaster, bettr access to the upper frets, a contoured body,and then leo added the vibrato system (note I said vibrato, not tremelo, as it is erroneously named) as icing on the cake. So you don't like particulars, its an assebelage of bits, move some around, you are allowed to modify.

Les Pauls, yup I'll agree that its hard to find a great one currently, and that gibson are churning them out, I'm probably more picky about my axe than your typified fan, I spent 3 months shopping for mine, including 4 trips to londons denmark street where there was not a single good one. However, to say they are not a work of art, come on. They are beautiful, the way the light catches the carve, the flame of a great piece of maple, again it's an assemblage, but one that works better on a visual standpoint when compared to the utilitarian looks ofthe tele (I like the way a tele looks by the way).

PRS, souless crap, as far as I'm concerned we agree here, though I may be more extreme and say that I haven't liked one yet, not ever.

Widdlemonsters soulessly destroying the image of guitarists, yup they did, especially thoselike Yngwie and Vai that led the charge into self obsession, over thought note choices and focus on the guitar rather, and this is important, the SONG. The focus moved away from guitarists being musicians, and the image is tarnished.

As far as Flys go, I've played a few, they were frankly horrid to play, have too many controls, and felt nasty against the hand and body. If you can feel something lighter than air.

Yes I was bored at the time, but TR, are you goading me?


The best electric guitar

Post 89

Tonsil Revenge (PG)

I'll go back and read your post more fully in a minute.

First, sorry if I seemed testy.
I am in the middle of working on an entry about the Telecaster, which is now in PR.
I'm in the middle of a DIY Telecaster copy project that is almost to the point of being playable, once I stop dithering about the cosmetics.
I had also just spent an afternoon in the local edition of Ray Henning's Heart of Texas guitar shops.
The odd choices that wannabes and real musicians make keep Dennis and the boys hopping, but they just sit back and count their money at the end of the day.
For some strange reason, the flavor of the month is Les Pauls, for both the low end and the high end buyers.
But the one that really got me was a really nice $8600 Byrdland that Dennis pulled out for one of the more knowledgable. He had been stuck with it when the customer who ordered it suddenly remembered that he wanted a Bigsby wang bar on it! ARRRGHH!

I've been studying and playing guitars since 1978. I've built or had help with, three so far. It has been my experience that Fender and Gibson were their own worst enemies during the period '74-'94.
They often made horrible copies of their own copyrighted designs.
In such a market, Ibanez, for one, often made rip-offs that were more true to the original designs, plus some hybrids that to this day are regarded as highlights of those decades.

Once again, my apologies.
Now I will go back and read your post more carefully.


The best electric guitar

Post 90

Tonsil Revenge (PG)

"Widdlemonsters soulessly destroying the image of guitarists, yup they did, especially thoselike Yngwie and Vai that led the charge into self obsession, over thought note choices and focus on the guitar rather, and this is important, the SONG. The focus moved away from guitarists being musicians, and the image is tarnished."

Sorry, I understand the sentiment, but I still take issue with the wording. Richy Blackmore and Frank Marino were some of the first wheedle-masters, not to mention Jimmy Page. Those boys from Priest didn't help either. Alex Lifeson made many a parent's and a music teacher's life a living hell. But I'm sure that the Ventures and the Shadows managed to peeve a few folks in their time and I know that session musicians got really tired of having to crank out "surf" music.

When I was in a high school guitar class, I got really tired of people whacking away at "Freebird" and "Cat Scratch Fever", as well as the ever-popular "Hairway to Steven"... My brother played the recording of that daily, hourly, for years. AIIIGHGHGHGH!

Sorry.

One local guitar teacher I know, who is a master of the Tele (I could drool just listening to him tune up!), is absolutely disgusted with the "students" who waddle in and plunk down a tape and say, "I want to learn to play this!"

You know what they want to do? SRV or Johnny Lang, with a few wanting to sound like Eric Johnson.

He dreams of the old days when they wanted to do Metallica or ZZ TOP.

Yngvie actually did some interesting stuff, when he chose to skip the Bach and write his own songs.
It is Joe Satriani that bites my butt.
Vai is usually interesting to me, just because I want to see what he can do beyond the usual GIT double-picking and tuned whammy crap that I have heard for twenty years. He did, though, truly disappoint me when he did the Alcatrazz album after Yngvie left. It stank, horribly. Vai's work on Roth's first solo album, particularly the duet work with that marvelous bass player, whose name escapes me at the moment... aha, Billy Sheehan!, was magnificent.

But I still can't get over Mark Knopfler's "Sultans of Swing", or "Once Upon A Time In The West".

Listeners and guitarists have been complaining about "commercial" or "flavor of the month" guitar-diddlers for years.
I'll admit that, given a choice, I'd prefer listening to Charlie Christian or George Barnes to Les Paul's goofy multi-track stuff anyday. I've got an Albert Lee album that he recorded with a crappy band in the early seventies that I prefer to most of the junk that was cranked out in the eighties.
But the average listening public bought the MTV image thing and it's hard to play "Rose Room" in a video-startling manner, although I think John Pizzarelli might find a way.
I remember when Danny Gatton finally got a recording contract. I bought his albums. I ultimately couldn't stand them. I went back to my Accept albums. I think they are funny, and Udo's not too bad, either.
It took me years to really listen to SRV with an open ear. During my time in Austin, he was everywhere. My father recently sent me a copy of his first album, "Texas Flood", which was recorded quick and dirty on borrowed studio time. For some strange reason, it sounds more real than many of his imitators, including himself.

When I was living in Austin, I was listening to a boxed set of the Complete Buddy Holly recordings over and over, as well as most of the back catalog of Scorpions and Maiden. This was interspersed with repeated listenings to E. Power Biggs playing Scott Joplin on the harpsicord, Paul Whiteman's recording of "Rhapsody In Blue" with George on the piano, and the Robert Johnson recordings.

Recently I have been listening a lot to a Howard Roberts double CD that I picked up last Christmas. It is amazing what that man could do with a simple song, a tight group, head arrangements and a cobbled-up guitar.

Now, I agree with you about the SONG.
I have stated in this thread (if I remember correctly) and otherwheres that it doesn't matter what equipment a feller uses, or how "agile" he is, if the song suffers.
But, in some cases, if the song isn't too wonderful, a magnificent solo can be a song on it's own.
I refer you to Leon McAuliffe and Eldon Shamblin of "Bob Wills and Texas Playboys", Frank Zappa's solo on "Muffin Man", and many others that my coffee-addled brain can't summon at the moment.
And if the whole point of the song is the solo, then I'd much rather they got on with it and left out all the other crap. For years, I had a tape of Eddie Van Halen's solos only, because I couldn't stand most of their songs. I still play on a regular basis a CD of the Randy Rhoads live Tribute album that Ozzy put out.

Which reminds me: I really can't stand the way their bodies and necks feel, but I've heard and seen some wonderful work done on Rickenbacker guitars, and for a time in the sixties and the mid-seventies, their instruments and Gretsch's were more popular than Gibson and Fenders.
I also have had no problem with most of the pre-Japanese Guilds that I have encountered.


The best electric guitar

Post 91

Tonsil Revenge (PG)

"The Strat was designed by Leo and another fellow, I think it was possibly freddie tavares,"

No, you're right. I was trying to remember his name the other day.
Legend and biographies have it that Freddy was responsible for getting out the drafting curves and sketching the first version of the Strat body.

I know good musicians who own and have owned both an LP and a Strat.
Most of them end up with a Tele with a 'bucker in the neck. I don't know why.

I spent years playing a homemade guitar with one 'bucker in the middle position and an old Strat hardtail bridge on a recycled Kramer Stryker body. It was built to test a theory, which I'm not sure I ever proved, but I really liked the sound of a single humbucker by itself, with a very simple signal path. I used flatwounds and a small but powerful practice amp and a really big pick.
That guitar is history now, as part of the impetus to finish each project is to dismantle the last one. Just the way I work.


The best electric guitar

Post 92

tonemonkey(Steve Cooper, of BLiM fame (?!) contact me!)

I'm glad I deserve a second reading TR! I have to say that I've only just skim read your recent posts, but really the main reason for this reply is to get me resubscribed smiley - erm. I'll give them a proper read later after work!


The best electric guitar

Post 93

Tonsil Revenge (PG)

smiley - ok


The best electric guitar

Post 94

axe_slingin_doug

I'll tell you what the best guitar is. "Klira" orange sunburst strat-clone 1970s vintage. There's a little noise on the low E string, the tone pot doesn't work on the bridge pickup, the bridge pickup is significantly quieter than the neck, I have to use pliers to turn the tuners, the belt rash is horrible, all kinds of flaws and cracks and dents and dings in the body and finish...I string it with 12guages and get a full, thick sound, sustain for as long as I want to hold it.

My Crybaby wah sounds funky and awesome on either pickup.

My Big Muff works great with the wah and guitar.

My 50w Sears Silvertone sounds real warm and rich, and breaks up nicely cranked. If I really turn up the Muff, it drives the volume even higher, sending the amp into serious overdrive, combined with the Bigmuff's distortion.

I use a Fender 2x12 with Traynor speakers in it. There's some hissing in the right speaker, but I expect this to be remedied within the week.

There's a godly array of sounds to be had wtih just these simple effects, and even the pick dynamics make a huge difference.

What's your setup?


The best electric guitar

Post 95

clockworkserendipity

Blah!


The best electric guitar

Post 96

axe_slingin_doug

Yes, clockworkserendipity...share your setup with us!


The best electric guitar

Post 97

clockworkserendipity

I have a guitar and an amp, what more is there to say, I bought them off of axe slingin'Doug, he could tell you more about them than I could. I can't even play the guitar yet. (not well enough for it to count as "playing" anyway). There both from Fender, I can say nothing more. except maybe...Blah!


The best electric guitar

Post 98

axe_slingin_doug

It's a squier strat into a fender dsp 15 watt solid-state combo with digital onboard effects.


The best electric guitar

Post 99

clockworkserendipity

what he said


The best electric guitar

Post 100

Tonsil Revenge (PG)

Um. I've got an old Charvel practice amp with an overdrive and an Ibanez digital delay.
I used to have a Kramer Stryker body with a chinese humbucker in the middle position and an old tele six piece bridge. It had a reverse volume and a linear taper tone pot with a .5 cap on it. It made the tone pot a wah, rather than a regular sweep.

I took it apart as part of the impetus for my current project, a Tele copy that was dropped at the music store and sold to me for cost, which I've whacked away at and sprayed until it looks very little like it originally did. I'm gonna put a Chandler Tele bridge pu in a brass aftermarket 3-piece old-style string through body Tele bridge with stainless bridge pieces. It will have a cheap Chinese pu in the neck, and a Seymour Duncan Jazzmaster copy in the middle. I will be using a Strat five position (am i spelling this right?) switch, with two 250k pots, and a .05 cap on the tone pot to be triggered by one of the switch settings.
The project is about half finished. I've got the body where I want it, the neck mod begun, and all the parts for the innards.

In the meantime, I'm whanging away at the child's Ibanez folk guitar with silk and steels on it.


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