Other Guitars

New manic quest solves the problem of finding something to want.

1

Really, it's been getting harder and harder.

It's not that I have everything guitar-related - and thankfully I have neither Vintage Virus nor Chronic Completism - but I feel like I've closed in on pretty much everything I can think of to want. Maybe if I broke into an exponentially more prosperous demographic and thousands were as tens, a whole other world of wantism would open up.

In the meantime, I'm pretty good. With recent New Guitar Days and the beta-testing acquisition of Truly the Ultimate Ever Whole Nother World pedal, I've found I have more empty momentum toward consumption than a compelling list of Things to Want.

All the habits of creative consuming - the rabbit holes, the fascination with Some New Thing That Will Change Life, the search for the rare and unusual, the daily checks of one's traplines, the (ever diminishing) thrill of "pulling the trigger," the shipping trackers, the anticipation, even the surge of enthusiasm in receiving and unboxing, and the satisfaction of ownership - seem to make psychological demands even when the rational mind knows we've reached the end of the shopping list.

The mere mechanisms of a consumerist imperative seem to grind on even in the absence of aspirational targets. I even have a song about it:

It ain’t over till it’s over the top
Too much is never enough
It ain’t done till it’s overdone
Too many is just one short
There ain’t a thing in the world I need
I’m just lookin’ for something to want


...but, hey, I've found something!

Besides 2020-21 having been the Year of Going Low (with multi-scale and baritone), it's also been the Year of Enjoying Stuff I Already Have. Guitars I rarely get out, or which I've neglected, have been brought out, strung afresh and otherwise setuppily attended to, then left out within play reach, sometimes for months at a time. Long enough to remember why I got them, and to bond all over again.

Every one, every time I play it, is tested against standards of retention: do I still love this guitar? Does it have enough magic? And, really, I'm always hoping some will fail the test; there's no particular one I hope will fail - that would be a Sophie's choice - but, in a general way, I concede I have Too Many Guitars, and would be happy to get rid of some.

Unless I still love'm.

And, man, I still love my humble Squire VM Jaguar. Thanks to Dan Weldon's NJD thread, I've been spending hours and hours of quality time with it. All those quanky clanky chirping chiming shardtastic tones!

Then, with the Jag leaning there next to a baritone, it suddenly became bulletproof obvious to me: I need a baritone Jaguar. If ever there was a fundamental set of tones - those claw-focused pickups, the strangle switch - which is just made for the baritone range, it's the Jaguar repertoire of voices.

So ok...is there a baritone conversion neck for the Jag? Well maybe. I thought I'd stumbled on an elusive option that would get it from its native 24" to 27" scale. But that would be barely baritone enough for me.

Then there's Warmoth's conversion neck for 25.5" scale guitars, which gets them to 28 and something. Bit of research into guys who've tried it (and of course guys have tried it - any idea that occurs to me is old news to someone) suggest the bridge on a Jag would have to be moved rearward to accommodate that much scale difference.

I look carefully at the bridge location on my Squier: near the rear edge of the pickguard, mounted through holes in the guard. I could pull the bridge sockets, drill new holes to move them toward the tailpiece as necessary, and get a new pickguard to cover the old holes.

That would create a slightly steeper angle over the bridge - which, on a Jag, wouldn't be a bad thing - and look factory. However, it would change the relationship of the bridge pickup to the bridge - leaving it an inch or so further away - and thus change the tone of the bridgepup, which is a crucial element of my appreciation for the guitar (at least in standard tuning). Maybe at baritone scale, it would be OK.

And so as not to sacrifice this little Jag, which I like very much as is, I could start with a cheapster - watch and wait for a sacrificially priced Squier with a bad neck.

But then I discover Fender actually made a "Jaguar Baritone Custom" for a couple of years in the early aughts. Japanese build, 28.something neck, stud-mount bridge and stop tailpiece. And they're hens-teeth rare: none on Reverb at the moment. That makes it something to put on the watch list and get all thrill-of-the-hunt about. Or maybe I shouldn't tell you guys. I probably really shouldn't.

However this works out (and I bet it will work out), at least I have something to want again. I was getting antsy.

2

I have no baritone, was thinking about a Dano because I love the lo-end parts, but now you've grabbed my attention... hmm..

We have a couple or three "guitars only" type stores in the area. A trip may be in the offing, now that the seed has been planted.

3

there's always bari's even lower cousin...the 30" bass vi

cheers

4

I don’t think the man is into the full 30” scale. I’ve been tossing around the idea of a six string bass a bit myself. I think I’ll have to write and record some music that absolutely must have it before I could justify getting one.

5

there's always bari's even lower cousin...the 30" bass vi

cheers

– neatone

Well, it certainly LOOKS Jaguar-atious. Would those be off-on switches plus a "strangle " switch?

6

the dano baris have a 29.75 (ie 30") scale..same as the dano ss basses

so all you have to do is switch strings to go from bari to bass 6

cheers

7

Well, it certainly LOOKS Jaguar-atious. Would those be off-on switches plus a "strangle " switch?

– DaveH

yes..exactly

cheers

8

I just keeping playing through the same ol' herd, over and over...

But I came close on a SeaFoam Green Vintage '56 Dano Baro last year.

Neatone is correct. Can be a versatile Bari or Bass6, as well as getting other Pups from the likes of SeyDunc if there's a need.

9

Prote is always evaluating/re-evaluating his guitar stance and outlook.

I guess I do also. All the stuff I have gone on and on about, losing beaucoup bucks usually, demented projects, etc., stuff done to perfection that truly no on else alive gives a damn about, etc.... there was always some idea that I got intensely curious about and just had to find out.

However I have no need for / interest in a bari even tho I think I do seeing vids like Edmunds twanging on an old Dano bari. Then for a moment, I do want a bari.

10

Proteus, I'm not even on the same map as your "there." About 4 remain that I need to have, some day. Cam caused some of that with some of his Custom Shop Jets, that icey blue one, for example, or that fuchsia one. Man o man, I miss that Fella. And, I don't even WANT a blue guitar.

But, I need a creamy white fully tricked out Penguin. And, a CG, And a Tennessean, even though I can't imagine that my rotator cuff will allow me to play them.

But, they will get played some day by all the international artists at Abbey Road on the River who relied on Joe to provide them with the fine Gretschs most ultimately tried to buy. They enjoyed them & now don't look forward to the local rentals.

So, yeah, I'm not yet there, wherever there is.

11

i did a switch for someone from dano bari to 6 string bass..went from the standard roundwounds that came with bari to slightly heavier labella flatwounds for short scale 6 string bass...like 2 completely different instruments!!...all you have to do is tweak the intonation and you are good to go

cheers

12

when edmunds cut that vid there were no dano baris!..they were all 6 string basses...baris came about when jerry jones started makin dano repro's...and the new generation (90's) evetts owned dano ran with it from there

cheers

13

While want and need forever remain juxapositionally entrenched in my personal psychology, I currently find myself in an almost diametric stance to that of your most eminent personage. IOW, I'm trying to discover a path along which more is just more, and less is indeed enough. Not a well marked road for us terminally unfulfilled "collectors" and musical toy enablers.

Truth to tell, I've always had an upper limit (5 seems to be the magic number in terms of instruments - less critical for pedals) past which my latent guilt complexes begin to kick in. Then, the need to thin the herd rather than increase it, starts to niggle at me and undermines my satisfaction in owning too many (past my natural limit) pieces, however fine or lusted after, they may be. Probably stems from growing up in relative poverty during which time we had one old acoustic which was mutually shared and owned by myself, my father and my two brothers. In any case, it's currently causing me anxiety about deciding which instruments I really must hold on to. I believe I've come to an epiphany vis-a-vis the situation, but I won't bore you with the details for now, as my own manic quest regarding herd stability/completion requires a couple of surprising (to me) trades that I may hit the magic - and dare I say sustainable- balance...

14

surprisingly, i'm now at the point where there aren't that many things i want. i plan to build a Telecaster and could really use a Strat with 60s-era pickups, a short-scale bass because i can barely reach the nut on my Jazz Bass and want the roundwound option, and perhaps an electric 12-string. ampwise, i'm basically down to a Marshall head, a Princeton Reverb, and some Fane speakers in a 2x12. i can think of pedals i want, but i honestly don't need them. which is kind of nice because i'm not exactly in the Gretsch Pages income bracket.

15

This was a fun journey of the mind to read.

I've posted about this used 2004 Tennessee Rose that I've been on the fence about. Last weekend I took my one hollow body, an Epiphone Casino 50th Anniversary with Gibson P90s and all the upgraded hardware that comes with it and compared it to the Tennessee Rose. Of course they felt different and sounded different. I recorded both guitars back to back on my phone and while listening to the playback in headphones and in my car the difference in sound between them wasn't as pronounced as I thought. Maybe tone really is in the fingers after all. While I really want the Tennessee Rose I'm realizing that as a musician's tool I don't really need the Tennessee Rose and that sucks! My heart and my head are battling over this. I thought maybe I would trade my Casino for it but it turns out I want to keep that one too. If I lived in a bigger place I could justify bringing another guitar home but I already have too many guitars, bass guitars and drums in our small place to bring another one home without crowding out my other family members.

It's my own twist on your consumer dilemma.

16

I have one of those Squier Bass VI's, they're fun. Mine needs a setup pretty badly but I don't want to have to go find the strings for it.

17

I have a Bass VI.... and I still want a baritone.

18

I have the Bass IV. At 30", it's too long. You wouldn't think an inch and half or so mattered, but it does. It certainly does in traffic and with bullets, when it comes down to it.

Also, my Bass IV has a pretty challenged neck. It's marginally OK for "bass purposes," maybe. Except that the real purpose of a 6-string bass is to be able to play all over the durn thing, and I have know what frets/strings to watch for in the middle of its neck, and there are even more landmines at the high end of the neck. When the most playable of my baritones barely feel different from a standard-tuned guitar, a too-long battlezone of a neck is a non-starter.

So maybe there's another thing to want: a better neck for the BVI. I'll watch for that too. Another Squier neck would be fine. With plainol luck of the draw, I can't imagine I'd get a worse one.


Gen'l Lee, while I admire and respect constraints of sufficiency as much as the next guy, I think you could loosen your self-imposed restrictions by a factor of at least two. Five guitars might be unrealistically limiting. Even if a guy just wanted, say, an acoustic, a resonator, a bass, one electric, and one baritone - you'd be done. I don't know I could dial myself back to that.

As a navel-gazing exercise, I've often wondered what led to my mania for gear. I didn't grow up in poverty, exactly: I never felt I lacked for anything (and certainly never any of the necessities), and naively considered our family solidly middle-class. But it was five kids on a teacher's salary, my class awareness was seriously limited as I had little exposure to real wealth (or serious deprivation) in our midwest Mayberry - and in any case it only worked because both Mom and Dad had both gone through the harrow of the Depression, and had come by their habits of frugality and "stewardship" by direct experience.

Phrases like "waste not, want not" were foundational; when my Grandmother died, she left a box in the attic labeled "lengths of string too short to save," and that's exactly what was in it. Dad became a "conservationist" before the word meant much to anyone else through the primal experience of seeing rich topsoil eroded away on his dad's hill farm.

As I say, no sense of deprivation through my formative years. There was never a new car, there were lot of used purchases and hand-me-downs, we ate out at a restaurant exactly once a year (a Howard Johnson's while we were on great American camper road trips), Dad did all his own maintenance on cars, the house, and rental properties. I don't thnk my parents had credit cards till I'd gone off to college. But we were well fed and housed and clothed and loved and molded. I had toys a-plenty: the Lionel train, the Aurora HO track, Structo and Tonka, a microscope, a telescope, the Daisy BB gun, models to build, etc. No new bikes other than the one I "earned" selling Christmas cards - but I got around.

I wasn't even seriously deprived of musical instruments. There was a new piano to take lessons on (which my parents still have), even a horrible Lowrey organ (thankfully gone). When I wanted a guitar, I got my grandfather's old Gibson tenor banjo (stop me if you've heard this more than three times) on which I could prove my interest. Then I was allowed to buy the used Stella Harmony (with hay-baling money), and later the 39.95 Japanese electric hanging on the wall at the area discount outlet. But I will say that my playing electric guitar was less encouraged than tolerated, an amp was seen as an ill-advised concession (and consider yourself lucky, kid), and it was clear that the music I was interested in was less than entirely civilized, a flash in the pan, certainly un-serious, probably immoral, and a real threat to my future as a responsible individual. Barely tolerated, often denigrated, sometimes ridiculed.

The notion that hundreds of dollars would ever be spent on name-brand guitars and amps wasn't remotely entertained - certainly not by Dad, and - under that strict regime - not by me either. I do think that if, perhaps, my rock and roll and electric guitar interests had been more generously (if not enthusiastically) embraced - had it been taken as seriously in my early teen years as my piano lessons were, or as playing a band instrument (yuckptui) would have been, had I shown any interest - I might not have gotten wound up for a lifetime of seemingly insatiable (often irrational) guitar and gear lust.

As it was, everything about my interest in rock/pop music had so little "official" approval at home that it seemed almost contraband, a furtive thing, a peripheral and inconsequential interest I could only pursue when homework and chores were done and as long as I kept the grades up and wasn't otherwise in hot water. And then only if it didn't bother anyone: Dad shut me down many nights when I was playing a solidbody electric, unamplified, three rooms away from him, with the doors closed. "Stop that jingin'."

In a lifetime without any worse trauma, that's one of the few injustices I can nurse, and I recognize how trivial it is.

Anyway, there's probably a way in which my passion for guitars - especially electric guitars - and noisy pedals (who needs 43 fuzz pedals?) is still a form of rebellion, some neurotic attempt to get even for everything I felt I didn't get when I really wanted it.

It's all pretty deplorable! But, man. I do like guitars.


Of course they felt different and sounded different. I recorded both guitars back to back on my phone and while listening to the playback in headphones and in my car the difference in sound between them wasn't as pronounced as I thought. While I really want the Tennessee Rose I'm realizing that as a musician's tool I don't really need the Tennessee Rose and that sucks! My heart and my head are battling over this. I thought maybe I would trade my Casino for it but it turns out I want to keep that one too.

But do they make you feel different? Would they inspire different techniques, different licks, different songs? Is each a unique tool of personal excavation?

19

I have one of those Squier Bass VI's, they're fun. Mine needs a setup pretty badly but I don't want to have to go find the strings for it.

Apparently they all need a setup pretty badly. That's what I thought, too. But I set mine up, and the neck is still a carnival ride. As for strings, LaBella makes a set with a fat enough low E not to flap like a flag in the wind.

20

I thought this might go in the other direction. The direction of a concerted effort to thin the herd. Frankly, I'd be curious as to what that would look like. . . Let's say down to 15 or 20. It would be interesting . . .maybe not in reality, but hypothetical like.

21

Nono, perish the thought!

The actual point of the thread was to announce specific interest in the notion of a baritone Jazzmaster, what the history of such things is, and how it might be accomplished. All the pop psychology was just a cloud of ruminant context.

22

I have the Bass IV. At 30", it's too long. You wouldn't think an inch and half or so mattered, but it does. It certainly does in traffic and with bullets, when it comes down to it.

Also, my Bass IV has a pretty challenged neck. It's marginally OK for "bass purposes," maybe. Except that the real purpose of a 6-string bass is to be able to play all over the durn thing, and I have know what frets/strings to watch for in the middle of its neck, and there are even more landmines at the high end of the neck. When the most playable of my baritones barely feel different from a standard-tuned guitar, a too-long battlezone of a neck is a non-starter.

So maybe there's another thing to want: a better neck for the BVI. I'll watch for that too. Another Squier neck would be fine. With plainol luck of the draw, I can't imagine I'd get a worse one.


Gen'l Lee, while I admire and respect constraints of sufficiency as much as the next guy, I think you could loosen your self-imposed restrictions by a factor of at least two. Five guitars might be unrealistically limiting. Even if a guy just wanted, say, an acoustic, a resonator, a bass, one electric, and one baritone - you'd be done. I don't know I could dial myself back to that.

As a navel-gazing exercise, I've often wondered what led to my mania for gear. I didn't grow up in poverty, exactly: I never felt I lacked for anything (and certainly never any of the necessities), and naively considered our family solidly middle-class. But it was five kids on a teacher's salary, my class awareness was seriously limited as I had little exposure to real wealth (or serious deprivation) in our midwest Mayberry - and in any case it only worked because both Mom and Dad had both gone through the harrow of the Depression, and had come by their habits of frugality and "stewardship" by direct experience.

Phrases like "waste not, want not" were foundational; when my Grandmother died, she left a box in the attic labeled "lengths of string too short to save," and that's exactly what was in it. Dad became a "conservationist" before the word meant much to anyone else through the primal experience of seeing rich topsoil eroded away on his dad's hill farm.

As I say, no sense of deprivation through my formative years. There was never a new car, there were lot of used purchases and hand-me-downs, we ate out at a restaurant exactly once a year (a Howard Johnson's while we were on great American camper road trips), Dad did all his own maintenance on cars, the house, and rental properties. I don't thnk my parents had credit cards till I'd gone off to college. But we were well fed and housed and clothed and loved and molded. I had toys a-plenty: the Lionel train, the Aurora HO track, Structo and Tonka, a microscope, a telescope, the Daisy BB gun, models to build, etc. No new bikes other than the one I "earned" selling Christmas cards - but I got around.

I wasn't even seriously deprived of musical instruments. There was a new piano to take lessons on (which my parents still have), even a horrible Lowrey organ (thankfully gone). When I wanted a guitar, I got my grandfather's old Gibson tenor banjo (stop me if you've heard this more than three times) on which I could prove my interest. Then I was allowed to buy the used Stella Harmony (with hay-baling money), and later the 39.95 Japanese electric hanging on the wall at the area discount outlet. But I will say that my playing electric guitar was less encouraged than tolerated, an amp was seen as an ill-advised concession (and consider yourself lucky, kid), and it was clear that the music I was interested in was less than entirely civilized, a flash in the pan, certainly un-serious, probably immoral, and a real threat to my future as a responsible individual. Barely tolerated, often denigrated, sometimes ridiculed.

The notion that hundreds of dollars would ever be spent on name-brand guitars and amps wasn't remotely entertained - certainly not by Dad, and - under that strict regime - not by me either. I do think that if, perhaps, my rock and roll and electric guitar interests had been more generously (if not enthusiastically) embraced - had it been taken as seriously in my early teen years as my piano lessons were, or as playing a band instrument (yuckptui) would have been, had I shown any interest - I might not have gotten wound up for a lifetime of seemingly insatiable (often irrational) guitar and gear lust.

As it was, everything about my interest in rock/pop music had so little "official" approval at home that it seemed almost contraband, a furtive thing, a peripheral and inconsequential interest I could only pursue when homework and chores were done and as long as I kept the grades up and wasn't otherwise in hot water. And then only if it didn't bother anyone: Dad shut me down many nights when I was playing a solidbody electric, unamplified, three rooms away from him, with the doors closed. "Stop that jingin'."

In a lifetime without any worse trauma, that's one of the few injustices I can nurse, and I recognize how trivial it is.

Anyway, there's probably a way in which my passion for guitars - especially electric guitars - and noisy pedals (who needs 43 fuzz pedals?) is still a form of rebellion, some neurotic attempt to get even for everything I felt I didn't get when I really wanted it.

It's all pretty deplorable! But, man. I do like guitars.


Of course they felt different and sounded different. I recorded both guitars back to back on my phone and while listening to the playback in headphones and in my car the difference in sound between them wasn't as pronounced as I thought. While I really want the Tennessee Rose I'm realizing that as a musician's tool I don't really need the Tennessee Rose and that sucks! My heart and my head are battling over this. I thought maybe I would trade my Casino for it but it turns out I want to keep that one too.

But do they make you feel different? Would they inspire different techniques, different licks, different songs? Is each a unique tool of personal excavation?

– Proteus

Yes most certainly they would! You have helped my head.

23

If you're gonna do the surgery to move the bridge, you could likewise move the bridge pickup...

24

you could likewise move the bridge pickup...

That's certainly true. It would take some routing, I reckon, but the pickguard would still cover all. And then it would be chambered.

25

you could likewise move the bridge pickup...

That's certainly true. It would take some routing, I reckon, but the pickguard would still cover all. And then it would be chambered.

– Proteus

No no, you mean And then it would be ruined


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