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How good a guitar do I need?
Old 15th June 2020
  #61
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johnnyv's Avatar
I didn’t have time to read all the replies so if I’m repeating something already said forgive me.

You said a few things that lead me to the conclusion that you already have the guitar that you are looking for.

You just need to do a few things. Korean guitars where mostly good quality just like the Japanese.
First new strings. Many an old guitar that was saved due to amateur owners thinking you only had to change them when they broke.
A proper guitar pre amp. Most guitars will not sound their best until teamed up with a good pre amp. That pre am is normally in the amp but there are many that are Stan alone. Example I use a Rexx. I’ve also used a cheap Zoom multi pedal which sounds great for clean sounds.
And third if the guitar still doesn’t sound great to you you only need to change the pups to find a different tone.
Old 15th June 2020
  #62
Here for the gear
It's the indian, not the arrow. That's never been more true than now.

With a $150 Harley Benton and some decent replacement pickups, it's going to sound as good as you are.

I've got a $3,000 PRS with Fralins, and quite honestly it's no better or no worse as far as recording as my $200 used DeArmond M75.

They both get used to make very professional recordings.

Are there some low-quality instruments that just aren't up to it? Sure.

Is it required to have high end or boutique gear to get pro sound nowadays? Not even close.
Old 15th June 2020
  #63
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdme_sadie View Post
I’m actually going to buck the trend on new strings, which I know sounds crazy. Now I switched to Ernie Ball Paradigm when they came out which have been the best strings I’ve had in ages for sound, feel and longevity of that “new string” feel and sound, and I regularly replace them on all my instruments, I recommend these for restringing, but I recently pulled some guitars out of mothballs with strings from the 90s on them and they sound significantly better still than any of my more actively in use instruments. Much more defined, chime-y, better string separation, far less dull, that’s not a bad mark against the Paradigms, they’re still better than the others I’ve tried (DR, D’Addario, etc), the older strings just sound better and less wooly, possibly manufacturers have changed their machinery or the ratio of nickel to steel since then. Anyhow the point is - if the strings are not rusty or in poor condition then don’t assume that newer strings will always be better.

BTW if you do go for a cheap Strat and upgrading the electronics then I’ve heard good things about rocketfire pickups.
It's possible, that while those strings are "old" in that they were put on the guitars in the 90's, that since you said they've been in storage since then, they actually haven't been played that much. Keep playing them and you might gradually lose some of those characteristics that you are attributing to the strings being "old" - because they will actually get "worn" - which I suppose deserves a distinction at this point.

But in the larger philosophical sense, I'm with you. There are no rules and if you like the sound, then by all means.
Old 15th June 2020
  #64
Here for the gear
I have $3000 guitars, and I have $100 guitars. I have been playing for 52 years, and I record on all of them. I don't believe it really makes a difference except I play differently on different guitars.

I haven't been really happy with plugging straight into the interface until some of the more recent software has come out. I usually mike a tube amp, and have different speakers in different cabs because they seem to make a biger difference to the tone of the recording than anything else. I am recently trying some of the newer modeling software because the ease of getting the same tone after shutting down, and then needing to add tracks or corrections later. I'm still trying to decide if it works well enough.

I may try some of the newer hardware modeling offerings, but they currently are very expensive. The Kempler profiler is an example of what I am looking onto. These new offerings might actually be the future of my recording setups.

I don't believe the quality of the guitar has anything to do with the price. I have been building my own for a long time (both acoustic, and electric, even winding my own pickups), and lately I was given a $100 dreadnought when sold new that I have been beating around for when I don't want to worry about damaging a nice one. It plays fantastic, and while it definitely does not sound as good as any of my other guitars. It seems to sound fine when tracked through a decent mike, and a little compression is added.

High priced guitars, are over rated.
Learning how to play is far more important for tone.
Old 15th June 2020
  #65
Here for the gear
I have $3000 guitars, and I have $100 guitars. I have been playing for 52 years, and I record on all of them. I don't believe it really makes a difference except I play differently on different guitars.

I haven't been really happy with plugging straight into the interface until some of the more recent software has come out. I usually mike a tube amp, and have different speakers in different cabs because they seem to make a biger difference to the tone of the recording than anything else. I am recently trying some of the newer modeling software because the ease of getting the same tone after shutting down, and then needing to add tracks or corrections later. I'm still trying to decide if it works well enough.

I may try some of the newer hardware modeling offerings, but they currently are very expensive. The Kempler profiler is an example of what I am looking onto. These new offerings might actually be the future of my recording setups.

I don't believe the quality of the guitar has anything to do with the price. I have been building my own for a long time (both acoustic, and electric, even winding my own pickups), and lately I was given a $100 dreadnought when sold new that I have been beating around for when I don't want to worry about damaging a nice one. It plays fantastic, and while it definitely does not sound as good as any of my other guitars. It seems to sound fine when tracked through a decent mike, and a little compression is added.

High priced guitars, are over rated.
Learning how to play is far more important for tone.
Old 15th June 2020
  #66
Here for the gear
Hiya, I decided after about 15 years of not playing guitar to get back into it so I had similar questions to you, here is what I did, pick out the bits that interest you.

I went out and bought the J Mascis Jazzmaster (Squire) you can pick them up new for £450, £350 S/H have a read of some reviews, fantastic value for the money.
I'm not a massive Dinosaur Jr fan, it's just great guitar!

I bought Native instruments Guitar rig 5, there's always special offers on and there is also a stripped back free version you can download to check out. No it's not an amazing tube amp which are great (my Marshalls in the corner), but from experience the stuff you can make and the sounds you get are inspirational and you can save stuff as a Preset. You don't have to buy any fx pedals (although, I'm into that at the moment!) Can play any time without upsetting anyone because the amps too loud etc

Buy a Behringer FCB1010 MIDI foot switch to control the wah wah, volume and various other cool things, set it up to to record yourself whilst playing into your DAW costs £100.

Total cost £550 with the free Guitar rig (I'm assuming you
have a DAW) That one way of doing it! Good luck
Old 16th June 2020
  #67
Lives for gear
 
enorbet2's Avatar
Whiteaxxxe, it is perfectly OK to say stuff like "You can get a wide variety of great tones with Sims" since that is obviously a subjerctive opinion but one nobody can objectively argue against since some good recordings have been made with sims. Plus we've all been instructed to keep "Sims vs/ Tubes on the down low if we value membership here ...
.......
BUT you cannot objectively write off "real tube" as just a buzzword. If that was actually true NOBODY would still be using tube gear... not guitar amps, not mic preamps for recording, not expensive tube EQs for the studio... nobody. They just have far too many drawbacks unless there is some benefit to compensate. Tubes do sound and FEEL different from sims. It's perfectly valid to assert you prefer one over the other or even don't care, but it is NOT OK to assert SIMS are identical as well as "better". That's an obvious oxymoron and contradiction in terms. Please try to be a bit more objective or at least not post your POV and opinion as objective, across-the-board, indisputable fact regarding such a subjective situation - Tone and Feel.

If you don't hear it or feel it, that's fine. It should be obvious it is heard and felt by some, and many of those are at the top of the game so it matters. No scurrilous attacks on Sims and likewise no scurrilous attacks on "real tubes", no matter how sugar-coated or disguised, right?
Old 16th June 2020
  #68
Gear Nut
Can I throw some "flame ready" advice on a choice? Considering your needs (recording / not stage performing)....

what about a Line 6 Variax 500 series or above?

I'm guessing this might generate a bit of h8, but considering it as a studio tool, it just might fit you perfectly. I was about to buy a 500 with the full kit for $300- usd before the world melted into the mess we're in now. From the researching I did, I'd go 500 series or better, but stay away from the lower versions.
Old 16th June 2020
  #69
Lives for gear
 
Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Difab4 View Post
The main difference between American and foreign made guitars are the hardware (tuners, knobs, etc) with Americans being able to withstand professional use. After all the pedals, and even without pedals no one is going to tell the difference on your recordings as long as it’s playable, is and stays in tune. Epi, Asian Fenders, Yamaha and even lesser, but it is more important with those to actually play it before buying cuz quality can vary.
I have quite a few "foreign" made guitars which can withstand any road use, have most professional build quality and sound much better then the american fare. European guitars as well as many Japanese ones, Korean or Chinese offer much better value for money and a much better build and sound, then then american made ones bar boutiques. I would go as far as say that you should get a decent model from Yamaha, Ibanez, Bacchus, ESP, History, Caparison, Gretsch, Eastman... in preference to Fenders, Gibson, (inc Custom Shop rubbish), PRS, Martin, Taylor and other american names. And cheaper European fare like Mayones, Framus, Duesenberg... will rival best american boutiques at much less $$$
Old 16th June 2020
  #70
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
I have quite a few "foreign" made guitars which can withstand any road use, have most professional build quality and sound much better then the american fare. European guitars as well as many Japanese ones, Korean or Chinese offer much better value for money and a much better build and sound, then then american made ones bar boutiques. I would go as far as say that you should get a decent model from Yamaha, Ibanez, Bacchus, ESP, History, Caparison, Gretsch, Eastman... in preference to Fenders, Gibson, (inc Custom Shop rubbish), PRS, Martin, Taylor and other american names. And cheaper European fare like Mayones, Framus, Duesenberg... will rival best american boutiques at much less $$$
Not to throw even more fuel on this fire, but this can vary significantly by manufacturer. I own a PRS (early 2000s CE) and I've played quite a few from the cheapest SEs up to Custom 24s. The difference between an SE for a few hundred and my CE which is in the neighborhood of $2k new is significant. I'd say the difference between my Universe 7-string and some of the mid-range RG 7s is less significant, and the difference between my Squier Strat and a USA-made Strat is less pronounced than the Ibanezes. On the other hand, the Universe and PRS are both fantastic guitars, but the Universe can be had for $500 less. It depends on if you're sticking to a price point, or if you are willing to spend more to get similar quality just because you like how the instrument sounds and plays.

That makes the price point important when you're having this conversation. If you have $500 to spend, you're going to get a less watered-down product from Fender (for example) than you'll get from PRS. Having said that, the best guitar I've ever owned or played under $500 new was Korean-made. If you've got $2500, then you probably don't need to spend it all to get a quality instrument and the conversation is much more subjective.

I don't think there are any hard and fast rules here, which is why I go back to saying that you kinda need to play a bunch of the lower-priced guitars and see which ones work for you and which don't. Also, a well-constructed guitar that plays well and sounds meh or doesn't do a great job of staying in tune when you bang on the whammy bar might not be so bad after a pickup swap or new tuning machines, if you're inclined to do that work.
Old 17th June 2020
  #71
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyv View Post
I didn’t have time to read all the replies so if I’m repeating something already said forgive me.

You said a few things that lead me to the conclusion that you already have the guitar that you are looking for.

You just need to do a few things. Korean guitars where mostly good quality just like the Japanese.
First new strings. Many an old guitar that was saved due to amateur owners thinking you only had to change them when they broke.
A proper guitar pre amp. Most guitars will not sound their best until teamed up with a good pre amp. That pre am is normally in the amp but there are many that are Stan alone. Example I use a Rexx. I’ve also used a cheap Zoom multi pedal which sounds great for clean sounds.
And third if the guitar still doesn’t sound great to you you only need to change the pups to find a different tone.
Thanks johnnyv

I bought a focusrite scarlett solo. I googled whether that had a pre amp. Not clear whether it has or not. Any idea?

Cheers
Old 17th June 2020
  #72
Lives for gear
 
johnnyv's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Your Dog Boring View Post
Thanks johnnyv

I bought a focusrite scarlett solo. I googled whether that had a pre amp. Not clear whether it has or not. Any idea?

Cheers
Those are optimized for mikes and things like acoustic guitars With pre amps built in. Electric guitars have there own type of pre amps which are very different. Some interfaces claim to have electric guitar pre amps.
Old 17th June 2020
  #73
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyv View Post
Those are optimized for mikes and things like acoustic guitars With pre amps built in. Electric guitars have there own type of pre amps which are very different. Some interfaces claim to have electric guitar pre amps.
Thanks brother
Old 17th June 2020
  #74
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteaxxxe View Post
See, that is the thing nowadays with all that marketing BS... the difference in the recording quality comes from the player, not from the guitar.
Can't disagree with much of what you write. Although I've used tube amps and sims for gigs, and it really depends on the gig. A sim for a smaller cover gig can be a major PITA, where just walking in with a low watt tube amp is the ticket for tone and feel. Easy... walk in set it down, turn it on and play.

For larger stage gigs, sims can offer some important advantages. They are programmable to accommodate a varied set where you need to call up a huge variety of tones quickly and accurately. I've played some gigs with a big Floyd tribute band, and being able to imitate that huge variety of recorded tones with a few button pushes is gold. In these situations, you are making enough $$$ to accommodate a sound check, a sound person, monitor mixers, the whole bit. If you can just feed the sound person a pre-packaged sound that can be pumped through the PA, that's easy.

But at smaller gigs, that stuff creates more problems for me than it's worth, and I don't really need the programming or huge variety of tones. I actually much prefer this to messing with sims. Everything in its place.

Totally agree that expensive guitars are something of a non-starter. They are cool, and it's great to have really well-made stuff, but expensive gear won't make you play better.
Old 17th June 2020
  #75
Lives for gear
 
digital 1010's Avatar
Dont overlook the squier classic vibe series guitars they are really good. Epiphone too. My mate brought a Gibson original 1960s es345 round and i played it back to back with my epiphone es335 pro and as much as it pained me to admit, i preferred the epi over the gibson (either a dog of a gibson or a mint of an epi who knows). If you're not sure go to a shop with a mate and choose a few you fancy and can afford and get your mate to pass them to you with your eyes closed and go on feel and playability rather than looks and price tag, you'll probably shock yourself.
Old 22nd July 2020
  #76
Here for the gear
 

Just incase any of you are wondering whatever happened to that chanky guitar

First of all - Thanks for all the answers and advice. Much appreciated.

In the end I took my old guitar to the local guitar shop - it took a long time for the repair guy to get round to it cos of the virus backlog. He phoned me to say that my guitar was crap and not worth fixing

So I have bought a Yamaha Pacifica 212V. Should be picking it up today or next few days

Thanks again
Old 22nd July 2020
  #77
Lives for gear
 
enorbet2's Avatar
Brass Tacks - OP ask yourself what you mean when you say "guitar"? There are some guitarists so narrow that only Classical 6 gut string wooden boxes qualify and really there can be no argument with that since it is at it's most basic true on some level. Now proceed from that most basic toward more complexity which apparently ends where the "guitar" functions entirely as a controller for some electronic device.

The point of that exercise is to see the guitar as a device that interfaces fingers (and ultimately brains and ears) with other devices that vibrate between 20 and 20,000 Hz. This way the guitar can be seen as having two slightly separate functions - On one end, the finger interface - Mechanical - and on the other Vibrator - Electronic to whatever degree.

Seen like this you require some mechanics that make it easy for your ear/brain/finger interface to work easily and on the other some device that will vibrate in a manner that pleases you. It really matters little if your conclusion is a "Strat through a Twin" or a virtual guitar where your PC keyboard mimics a guitar interface through digital sims.... except that it matters greatly what tones you prefer and how you'd like to get them. The all digital choice will never sound just like a Strat through a Twin, at the very least to many who have owned and actually played them and it certainly won't play (feel) the same,m but you would get some possibly usable music from such a rig.

Bottom Line - ask not us, but what do YOU want YOUR recorded sounds to accomplish? If you don't care at all about traditional sounds and just want some fills is one extreme. If you want to express yourself in a manner more like players you love as a starting point, that's quite another. You need to define thoroughly what you're after.

In practice you could get away with spending roughly $300 USD with a rig like those available at Monoprice and get both a playable starter guitar and a small tube amp if somewhat Traditional Electric Guitar is what your after... or hey, you could buy a playable Classical guitar for under ~$100.
Old 22nd July 2020
  #78
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingofspain View Post
Sound advice, but there's no need to put vasoline in the nut slots - a little graphite will do.

You don't want vasoline that close to the playing area, as it will find it's way onto your fingers and then onto the strings. Greasy strings are - imo - a bad thing.
When I was a touring tech I used a mix of vaseline and graphite in the slots - just enough vaseline to make the graphite stick.

Do not use pencil graphite except in emergencies - it contains clay to make it solid and the clay interferes with lubrication. Use powdered graphite from a hardware store. It's cheap and you need so little that it will last a long time.

If you use enough to make the strings greasy you're using WAAAY too much. TINY dabs will do. Like Brylcreem, "a little dab'll do ya!".
Old 23rd July 2020
  #79
Deleted dc388e1
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Do not use pencil graphite except in emergencies - it contains clay to make it solid and the clay interferes with lubrication. Use powdered graphite from a hardware store. It's cheap and you need so little that it will last a long time.
Good point, but it depends to some degree on your choice of pencil. An HB pencil is 50:50 graphite/clay. Harder pencils contain less graphite, softer more. For some years I've been working my way through the 9B I 'borrowed' from my wife's set of fancy drawing pencils. 9B is 90:10 graphite/clay, which is more than up to the job. But yes, 100% graphite would be better.
That 'ol pencil is looking a little nubby these days. When I finally retire it, I shall treat myself to some pure graphite from the local ironmongers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
If you use enough to make the strings greasy you're using WAAAY too much. TINY dabs will do. Like Brylcreem, "a little dab'll do ya!".
Absolutely correct, but I have nontheless had guitars through the workshop where the owner appeared to have applied it with a shovel...

Old 27th July 2020
  #80
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingofspain View Post
Good point, but it depends to some degree on your choice of pencil. An HB pencil is 50:50 graphite/clay. Harder pencils contain less graphite, softer more. For some years I've been working my way through the 9B I 'borrowed' from my wife's set of fancy drawing pencils. 9B is 90:10 graphite/clay, which is more than up to the job. But yes, 100% graphite would be better.
That 'ol pencil is looking a little nubby these days. When I finally retire it, I shall treat myself to some pure graphite from the local ironmongers.



Absolutely correct, but I have nontheless had guitars through the workshop where the owner appeared to have applied it with a shovel...

Ah, yes.... education is called for. Perhaps applied with that shovel.....

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