Other Guitars

The cheapest Charlie Christian rig?!

1

I just placed an order on one of these, to fill my prewar Charlie Christian GAS. https://m.thomann.de/intl/h...

I want to put a floating biltoft Charlie Christian pickup onto it and Maybe get myself a jr. Barnyard to explore that octal-tube world.

I think It's an incredibly good lookin guitar, and if it Sounds half as good as it looks I guess I'll love it.

I'm just really looking forward to it and had to share the Joy!

Paul

2

Yeah, it'd have to sport a CC-90 to be a true Charlie Christian style guitar, or at least a P-90. Ought to be a good one!

3

I know you guys want pics, so here you go:

4

Keep in mind that the 1936 ES 150's had a carved solid spruce top. I've played two, and both were surprisingly lively and loud unplugged for a fairly small archtop.

5

Keep in mind that the 1936 ES 150's had a carved solid spruce top. I've played two, and both were surprisingly lively and loud unplugged for a fairly small archtop.

– WB

I know. I hope it'll at least get me close. Have you heard Jonathan Stout? That guy nails that Sound I'm after, and for several years he played a washburn with a cc pickup. On the Videos i found that one almost looks like a thinline.

If I'd get a Sound similar to that one out of the Harley Benton I'd be more than satisfied!

This is the guitar I'm taking about:

Paul

6

I think sounding like Charlie Christian is in the playing more than in the gear. I bet you could achieve close to that sound with almost any guitar. THEre's companies taht make cheaper Charlie Christian pickup knockoffs.

That mahogany guitar is very handsome, too bad they don't make it with a nice rounded Gretsch/Gibson like cutaway.

7

As for the "amp", get your CC vibe with the Nocturne Junior Barnyard... even J. Stout uses one alot to get the octal tube prewar goodness when he can't bring one of his EH-150s.

8

I'll prolly get some pushback on this, but I can get really close using a P90 archtop and a tweed Tremolux. I have an EH150 to compare, and a modern cc equipped guitar. Not exact, but in a gig setting very representative of the tonal idea.

Jonathan Stout is a stone badass. Love his suff.He turns up a lot on the jazzguitar.be forums - you could probably ask your question there and he might turn up.

9

Thanks for all the kind comments so far. I'm pretty confident it'll turn out nice!

Paul

10

I just placed an order on one of these, to fill my prewar Charlie Christian GAS. https://m.thomann.de/intl/h...

I want to put a floating biltoft Charlie Christian pickup onto it and Maybe get myself a jr. Barnyard to explore that octal-tube world.

I think It's an incredibly good lookin guitar, and if it Sounds half as good as it looks I guess I'll love it.

I'm just really looking forward to it and had to share the Joy!

Paul

– Webby

I put a set of Vintage Vibe CCs in a Jet style guitar and love them. Higher output than I expected. Pete is great to deal with too.

11

If anyone else wants to explore this, I've got a G100CE with a Pete Biltoft Vintage Vibe floating pickup I'd like to find a home for. I had Pete make the pickup when I wanted a Charlie-Christian-type guitar and I just knew I'd never get a real ES-150. Then a miracle happened and an actual '36 ES-150 fell into my lap, and the Gretsch hasn't seen much daylight since. For $550 I'll send it to you.

And yes, Jonathan is a freakin' badass in this genre (and a number of others). He named his son Charlie Frederick Stout after Charlie Christian and Freddie Green. I wasn't even allowed to name my dog "Bigsby." We're lucky in So Cal because we get to see him play here pretty often. If you haven't already, check out his latest album of solo guitar instrumentals called "Pick It And Play It." Really stellar stuff.

12

I think we need a photo of that rig, amigo

13

I think we need a photo of that rig, amigo

– spike

We definetly need some pics! Sounds like a really nice Instrument!

14

So the guitar arrived today, and although i only had some minutes to play it I'd like to share some of my first impressions.

The guitar itself is quite light and extremely comfortable to play. I never had a guitar with a satin finish before, but realized i really like how it feels on the neck, which itself feels very good to me. It's got a thin laminated top which reminds me a bit of my vintage Höfner. I can't wait to put some heavy Monel strings on it, the strings it came with are really thin, wobbly and crappy. Acoustic Sound is quite nice, pretty well balanced I'd say. Electric Sound was surprisingly good!

It does actually remind me a lot of my vintage höfner, and i think the acoustic Sound will be more or less in the same ballpark once It's got the right strings. I have tried some godin 5th avenues some years ago, and if i remember correctly they felt more or less like the Harley Benton, although they seemed to be put together with a little more care.

Of course the HB has some flaws which i knew it would have at that price point. For me none of them is a problem, but i wanna mention them in case somebody might be interested in this model:

-it definetly needs a new nut, the one it is equipped with is cut pretty badly. -factory strings are complete crap -the Volume and Tone pots are more like an on/off switch. - the bridge doesn't follow the curve of the body correctly -the tuners are kinda cheap and have some play, but they do their Job good enough that I might just leave them on.

Other than that I do really like it so far, and am actually quite surpised what a nice guitar it is, considering that it only costs about 200€

Looking forward to spending some more time with it over the weekend!

Paul

15

And here's the mandatory couch shot:

16

Well, I've been playing it a lot over the past few days, and i gotta say i just like that guitar! I'm still waiting for the monel strings I ordered for it. But literally every String will be a step up from what's on there currently.

I also made up a New pickguard out of some scrap plywood, and even cut up an old white plastic bucket for binding (l told you this is a low Budget project!) and i think it turned out quite nice! The elongnated shaped fits the non-cut body much better I think.

17

Here's a pic:

18

So, I've installed period correct monel strings on the guitar by now, and they really made it come alive! Here's a quick recording i made with the guitar unplugged aswell as plugged in.

https://m.soundcloud.com/sw...

For the electric Sound i put the Signal through a joyo American Sound OD-Pedal for a bit of dirt, and then straight into a super cheap peavey practice amp. Somehow i think the small speaker helps a bit. I feel like I'm already close to where i want to get with this guitar.

Paul

19

Love the new pickguard, would suggest you do the same, bucket binding and all, as an overlay for the headstock facing!

20

Dark Eyes! That was great.

21

Love the new pickguard, would suggest you do the same, bucket binding and all, as an overlay for the headstock facing!

– Lacking Talent

I am actually considering that, but I'm still unsure what I want to do with the headstock. Maybe I'll even go as far as reshaping it, still got to figure all that out though.

22

Dark Eyes! That was great.

– ade

Thanks a lot! The guitar lends itself to tunes like that one!


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