Miscellaneous Rumbles

Great Guitars That Don’t Trip Your Trigger

26

i think the reason that Taylors are so weird is that they're designed to be amplified with a transducer-type pickup and thus lack the frequencies that the transducer would over-emphasize. the only one i've ever liked is the 12-string Neil Young played on the Rust Never Sleeps tour and subsequent live albums, and Neil notoriously uses a multi-mic-plus-transducer(s) system devised by Larry Cragg.

27

I like my Gretsch guitars. It's just that they rank fifth place behind my Fenders, Rics, Gibson, and Epiphones. In a world of hundreds of guitar makers, fifth isn't bad, you know.

– ThunderWalker

The list of good guitar makers can arguably be around a dozen, not hundreds and Gretsch coming behind the others you mention is poor, IMO. I put them ahead of all yours for their sound/tone, playability and by a wide margin, looks. Please tell us your style and music you play that doesn't have Gretsch ranked higher.

28

Ovation acoustics, Strats, Teles, and Les Pauls .

29

I have had the experience of playing a guitar I thought sucked, then played it or one like it years later and then "getting" it. If you pick up a guitar like a Les Paul and expect it to respond like the Duo Jet you've played for years then you will most likely hate the Les Paul! It isn't going to respond how you are used to. The two guitars respond differently and usually I end up playing totally differently on each. That's a part of guitar playing I love - although I still can't get a good sound out of a Rickenbacker. They simply don't suit any style I want to play.

But then there are also times when the guitar is "at fault" for me. I always wanted a Duo Jet to sound more like my 6120 and until I got the VS '59 Jet they didn't. The VS Jet sounds how I always wanted a Jet to sound and I love it - any Jet other than the '59 VS doesn't work for me.

30

The list of good guitar makers can arguably be around a dozen, not hundreds and Gretsch coming behind the others you mention is poor, IMO. I put them ahead of all yours for their sound/tone, playability and by a wide margin, looks. Please tell us your style and music you play that doesn't have Gretsch ranked higher.

– Windsordave

Just because Gretsch are not my favorite brand does not mean that I dislike them. It's just that I am more in favor of other brands. I find Fenders - a Strat and a Tele - to be the perfect guitar. They can cover so many styles of music, and many that a Gretsch can not. Funk, reggae on a Gretsch no way has that skank and chick that a Fender guitar can give.

31

Never understood the hype over Taylors. A great playing and sounding acoustic is just that, but every Taylor I’ve ever played was neither. A friend of mine has a Martin but my new Yamaha just sounds better.

– Powdog

This is exactly what I was going to write. The sound of my $250 Yamaha acoustic inspires me more than the Taylors and Martins my friends have.

Gibson Les Pauls are too much for me too. I love Gibson's 50s neck profile but as a whole I can't seem to tame a Les Paul. I built a Jazzmaster partscaster with a humbucker in the bridge and a Jazzmaster pickup in the neck that gives me ballpark Les Paul tones on a guitar body that I can manage. I also have a Casino with P90s that also substitutes for a Les Paul when I'm going for that sound.

PRS and Ovation don't do much for me either.

32

I would agree about Rickenbackers. I have always wanted to love one and had a beautiful anniversary model 360 in black cherry. I traded it for something after several years because the paint never felt hard to me. As a result it was more conducive to scratches. It is still hanging in the shop I sold it to.

I would partly agree about PRS even though they are made in my home state. Most of them are too pretty. Give me one with a plain finish and I might be fine with it.

And Les Paul are just too heavy. Maybe there is one out there for me but I just never found it.

PS: I'm surprised Proteus didn't mention Dusenbergs but maybe he doesn't think they are worthy of comment. Cant say I ever picked one up.

33

I cannot comment on the new Martins, both of mine are old. Wonderful.

My Adamas/Ovation has the deep contour bowl, doesn't slip off your knee. Great sounding amplified.

My '74 20th Annie Les Paul Custom was as heavy as a pallet of bricks, and I always grabbed it at the cutaway for fear of snapping the neck. Great sounding guitar...

All of the Jackson, Ibanez, etc., pointy spikey Metal/Hair guitars never did much for me.

PRS is probably the brand that rose higher that I thought possible...too pretty is a good way to describe them.

Taylor has always been a curiosity...the first real CNC-made instruments...looked at many, never bought one.

34

I'm surprised Proteus didn't mention Dusenberg

The very name of the topic specifies "great guitars." Honestly, there's nothing about Dieterburgers that brought them to mind in that context.

35

And there ya go! I was waiting for it.

36

My problem is that I've played solid bodies (Tele, Strat, Les Pauls, Mosrites, and Duo Jets) for the last 60 years. That sort of puts me into a certain mindset when it comes to what I prefer and what I don't. Having said that, the new (1st gen) G5622T has been a very pleasant surprise. But I'm a smaller guy, so most acoustics are just to big for me. And, although I bought a 6120 back around 2002, and as beautiful as it was, it just felt like I was sitting behind it rather than "holding" it properly. I did get a great deal when I traded it for a 6128.

37

I’ve never played a Gibson flat top that had much volume or projection. I’ve owned a couple and struggled through a year of about 200 gigs with one of that just didn’t cut through. When an old Martin D-21 came up for sale at a decent price, the Gibson went down the road very suddenly. Wish I still had the D-21. The Gibsons are long gone and I never regret letting them go.

38

I was surprisingly unimpressed with a Collings 290 I tried, it seemed flat and unremarkable tone-wise. Having said that, I'd give it a chance for a few weeks given the opportunity.

39

Years ago I had a Martin D28 that was only okay for the first month. Then it opened up and was outrageously great.

Then it got caved in at a party.

K

40

I have never played a Strat that I liked or a Martin, every Martin I have played is like pulling teeth!

41

Being an electric player since-almost-Day One,I don't do acoustic real well,but when I do,my '46 D-28 is every kind of sonic superlative.Strats and offsets? Cuddly,but my Telecasters do Fender better.Les Pauls? Had 4 of'em. Three were "meh",but the most recent one ( a new '19 Standard '60s) hits it right out of the park.Gretsch? The one that's done the best onstage is my '67 Nashville.It's easily as good as anything I've ever taken to work.

42

Gibsons. I don't like PAF style humbuckers, although I haven't owned one since I was in high school. A Norlin era LP Custom was enough to turn me off for life. Although people say vintage wind lower output ones are far more articulate. Maybe I'll try again someday. And I just can't seem to bond with P-90s either. There's a certain roundness to the tone that I don't love.

And I can't say Rickenbackers don't trip my trigger. That's exactly what they do. But every time I have one, it just compares so unfavorably to my Gretsches that I lose interest and sell it.

43

Any acoustic or electric guitar that someone may deem "great" will never be in my hands if it was made, especially in the 1980s, by a guitar maker that did not make at least 1 guitar in the 1960s or prior, as well as Yamaha and Ibanez.

44

I've owned strats, MIM and MIA; some were good, others not. And I have not been able to figure out why.

45

So, my question to the class is, have any of you had a similar experience with a major guitar manufacturer? You know it, you've tried it, you've even gone back a few times to try other models and still ... nothing.

No right or wrong answers, I'm just curious.

Yeah.....Stratocasters. I don't care to own one, ever.

46

Well most “great” guitars don’t float my boat. Why? Because they are right handed. As a lefty it’s pretty much slim Pickens in the realm of “greatness.”

47

Some of the high-end builders are interesting. I've tried a few Collings guitars, both acoustic and electric, and found them to be the most perfectly built guitars I have ever experienced. As in perfect in ways you never thought about before. Incredible, mind-blowingly well made. But as much as, say, their I35 semi impressed me greatly it didn't have the personality and seductive appeal of a great 335. I have never seen a 335 in the same class of build quality as a Collings - not even close! But a good 335 is intoxicating to play. The neck pickup is a smokey, dark jazz and blues voice which is hard to beat and the bridge pickup can howl and snap as well as anything. In comparison the Collings I tried was more "perfect" and not as woody in the neck or as fat in the bridge. Great guitar but I'll take the 335 thanks!

I once tried a heap of small-bodied acoustics at Rudy's downtown. Froggy Bottom, Collings, Santa Cruz, and another I can't remember. As the prices grew (some getting close to 20K!) the less I seemed to like them. They became more narrowly focussed in their tones which probably suits the player who wants that particular tone, but my favourite was the cheapest (a snip at around $4K!) a Santa Cruz 00 size 12-fretter. The Froggy Bottoms were my least favourite - Froggy Bottom? Soggy Bottom!

48

Any acoustic or electric guitar that someone may deem "great" will never be in my hands if it was made, especially in the 1980s, by a guitar maker that did not make at least 1 guitar in the 1960s or prior, as well as Yamaha and Ibanez.

– knavel

so you'd pass on a Lowden acoustic? that's just silly. but if you're determined to deliberately limit your options so a guitar fits your weird retro aesthetic, be my guest.


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