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Expensive or less expensive electric guitar?
Old 28th August 2004
  #1
Lives for gear
 

Expensive or less expensive electric guitar?

Here's the scenario: I need a guitar with a different sound than the Strat I have. From the ones I've played recently, the Gretsch electrics are standing out to my tastes. However, I'm a little confused on what would be the wisest option: Do I buy the used $800 Gretsch which to me sounds good and plays well, or buy the new $1800 Gretsch that sounds really good and plays even better? The $1800 is ofcourse more of a stretch, but I want something that I won't feel like I need to "upgrade from" down the road. Yet, money saved from getting the $800 guitar would help me out in paying for the amp mods (Fender Deville 2x12) I'm about to get done, and some more quality guitar pedals.

I could potentially afford the more expensive guitar and all the amp mods and pedals, but is the extra thousand dollars spent on the guitar really making any sense if the amp and pedals are great? Any thoughts? Thanks a bunch!

-Mike

BTW, if it matters, I'll be using this mostly for studio stuff, with some live stuff happening in the far future. Getting good sounds in the studio is really what I'm after in the long run.
Old 28th August 2004
  #2
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Pohaku's Avatar
 

I can't tell how old the used gretsch is (at the quoted price I assume its a recent used model), but I would be inclined to buy used and spend money on a good setup. I usually figure that unless we are talking about a boutique guitar (or perhaps a PRS or an Anderson), production model guitars are like new cars. The moment you walk them out of the shop, the value drops significantly. I usually figure I should be paying 60-65% of list price for a production model guitar. Sometimes less. That said, if it is an older gretsch, pay close attention to whether it needs a neck reset. Most of the older ones will at some point. If the used one is is a recent production model, it may just need a good setup to improve sound and playability. Just my opinion. YMMV of course.
Old 28th August 2004
  #3
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The used Gretsch looks like it's been made pretty recently. Sorry I can't remember what model it is. Thanks for the input so far!
Old 28th August 2004
  #4
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StuartMac's Avatar
 

If it's for the studio, check out the Musicman Axis Sport with P90s (or MM90s as they call them). That's a fantastic little guitar, really well made, plays like a dream and sounds amazing, like a kind of fat tele.

The only thing is it looks like a bubble - but if it's only for the studio....

My all-time favourite guitar (and I've probably owned around 70) is my PRS McCarty Soapbar. If I take just one guitar to a session, that's it, because I can cover so much ground with it. They are regularly available used at good prices.
Old 28th August 2004
  #5
Guest
Guest
The Last issue of Tapop had a great article about gtrs for the studio.
It was targeted towards cheaper off-brand grts that are better than the big name counterparts.

A few I remember were:
G&Ls for tele/strat stuff
and Yamaha SA2200 for 335 knock off.

Good luck!

D
Old 28th August 2004
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Doing a little online research, I think the model is part of Gretsch's Historic Series, model number possibly G3156 Streamliner (corrected from the G3110 I posted a little earlier). I'll definitely look at the other guitar suggestions, though I'm really digging that "Gretsch sound" I guess.
Old 28th August 2004
  #7
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Meriphew's Avatar
 

Re: Expensive or less expensive electric guitar?

I prefer buying one really nice piece of gear rather than a couple pretty good pieces. I would go for the better one if I were in your shoes.
Old 28th August 2004
  #8
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chap's Avatar
 

well, I'll first confess that I'm a flat out junkie with over 60 guitars (including mando family, laps etc..)
One of my favorite recording guitars is my 1963 Gretch Tennessean. It sounds and plays better than the newer, equally priced, Korean made models. I would check Ebay or somewhere before paying big dollars for a guitar that's a replica.
best,
chap
Old 28th August 2004
  #9
Lives for gear
 

I played the more expensive one today again, a Gretsch G6122 Country Classic Junior guitar. It sounded great...I hate decisions! After playing the cheaper G3156, I started to feel like it really quite wasn't giving me everything I was looking for. I felt like I had to fight with both it and the amp to get the sound I wanted. When I picked up the more expensive G6122 Junior, it seemed much easier and faster to get the sound I wanted.

Oh, and I played a PRS for the first time. I forget the model I played, but it sure had some "get up and go" in it. It was deep as far as I can describe, but not quite the sound I was after. I'll probably pick one up in the future when finances are right.

Any one have thoughts or experiences with the Gretsch G6122 Country Classic Junior guitar? Thanks guys!

-Mike
Old 29th August 2004
  #10
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chap's Avatar
 

the PRS, while fine for many, is neither fish nor fowl and is a better gig guitar than recording
instrument. I'm sure others disagree as everyone is particular.

You might want to try out some other guitars with the Gretch sound or put some T.V. Jones
pickups on another guitar.
chap
Old 29th August 2004
  #11
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StuartMac's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by chap
the PRS, while fine for many, is neither fish nor fowl and is a better gig guitar than recording
instrument. I'm sure others disagree as everyone is particular.
That applies to the original PRS models with the rotary switch (the "Gibson / Fender hybrid") - possibly, but not to the newer McCarty models. I never liked the sound of PRS Customs, but the McCarty has a far better vintage Gibson tone than any modern Gibson I've tried, and the Soapbar model with the P90s is sublime.
Old 29th August 2004
  #12
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chap's Avatar
 

I don't know. I tried the McCarty models. The wood was thick and had no vibration to it.
It seemed like they were trying to kill the tone.
If you like P 90's and soaps, here's a far better
guitar that has a cool vibe. Let me confess to being an endorsee along with Big Al Anderson,
David Crosby and a few others.

http://www.strike2guitars.com/

I have 2 and they sound great!!!
They are hand made and much more fairly priced than factory guitars.

chap
Old 29th August 2004
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

i think, go for the guitar that sounds best

after all, it's where your sounds begins, you can always muck around with pedals, amps, amp simulators etc later, but you can never emulate the tone of great wood

i would even go as far as saying pick the guitar that sounds best unplugged

and as a bonus, good wood ages well (definitely, worthwhile to look at second hand market)

hope that helps
Old 29th August 2004
  #14
Lives for gear
 
StuartMac's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by chap
I don't know. I tried the McCarty models. The wood was thick and had no vibration to it.
It seemed like they were trying to kill the tone.
We need to agree to disagree here!! I have two of them, and they are the loudest, most resonant guitars I have ever played acoustically. Really lively wood. Not one of the many Les Paul's I've had was anything like as vibrant as these things!
Old 29th August 2004
  #15
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chap's Avatar
 

ok, we disagree

The ones I played felt good, sounded average
and were as resonant as a brick. That doesn't mean that yours does.
I have a Les Paul that Les gave me that sings like a bird. I wouldn't call it my main axe but it sounds great.
everyone has their own take on this stuff and I'm glad the PRS is working for you.
best,
chap
Old 29th August 2004
  #16
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spectacular g's Avatar
 

There are alot of good guitars out there these days, PRS and Gretch and many more. I feel it is most important tonewise to buy a guitar with a REAL nitrocellulose laquer finish, this single feature is what separates the good guitars from the GREAT ones IMNSHO.

FWIW My best guitars are an SG standard w/p-94's and a custum Tom Anderson that I built while I worked there. This one never really sounded ALIVE until I stripped the plastic finish off of it and sprayed it with a really light nitro finish... now it KILLS

I don't know what Gretch is using for their finishes these days but do yourself a favor and find out before you spend your $$$.

next time
jfg
www.jacklord.us


P.S. last I checked PRS was doing some laquer and some plastic, and I never really cared for them.
Old 29th August 2004
  #17
Gear Nut
 
waxnsteel's Avatar
 

Best sounding guitars I ever played were McInturff's. They were solid as hell, sustain for days, and you could really feel every note. Great string-to-string balance. I hated the way they looked, though, so I "settled" for a couple McCarty's. One Rosewood necj, the other regular, but I love both of them.
Old 30th August 2004
  #18
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Ruphus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by dpasch
The Last issue of Tapop had a great article about gtrs for the studio.
It was targeted towards cheaper off-brand grts that are better than the big name counterparts.

A few I remember were:
G&Ls for tele/strat stuff
and Yamaha SA2200 for 335 knock off.

Good luck!

D
One day in a second hand shop there was a Yamaha RGX 312 for 250 or 300 bucks.
It´s a damn good sounding for sure, vibrates from tip to bottom like hell and seems to groove almost by itself. Sure, if I was more knowledged I´d probably be eager to exchange pickups and bridge, but so far have been missing nothing.
The only **** that happened was that I started screwing on it and messed it up. Brought it to a guy who named himself luthier who rather made it worse. Originally it seemed like you just couldn´t detune that thing. Now it doesn´t keep the tune for longer than a couple minutes and the relation of strings is messed up too.
I have tried to find out about a real luthier in my city, but have yet to succeed with that.

Anyway, it appears to me like sometimes cheap guitars can be great, just as there can be specimens above 2500 € which are just heavy crap.

Ruphus
Old 30th August 2004
  #19
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Curve Dominant's Avatar
There are two things I've learned over the years a man should not skimp on: Shoes, and guitars.

If you cannot afford a top-shelf guitar, then there is one simple option:

Find a good guitarist who HAS top-shelf guitars, and record him playing them.

I'll shut up and go away now...bye!!!
Old 30th August 2004
  #20
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Thank you guys so much for all the input! I think I'll probably end up getting the more expensive Gretsch. After comparing it yet again with the cheaper one, I really felt like it was wisest choice, even with a great setup otherwise. My decision's been further finalized by an awesome price quote I got on the guitar yesterday. I'll definitely be paying less than expected, which ofcourse is always good!

-Mike
Old 30th August 2004
  #21
Lives for gear
Buying a Gretsch can be a good thing but you are leaving out a big tone color which is probably more important for a recording pallet. That color is the hard/dirty humbucker color. A decent value for this particular color is the Gibson SG Special. These go for about $849. You should play several and try them up against more expensive guitars. Gibson makes other options for this sound as does PRS and Yamaha.

Other colors:

Tele: Try a G&L ASAT.
Rickenbacker: Get a Rickenbacker.
Gretsch: Get a Gretsch.

You've got the Strat covered. My fave Strat is the 1956 Fender Stratocaster. The closest thing to one of these is the G&L George Fullerton's with the thick V neck (not the thin V neck they use now).
Old 30th August 2004
  #22
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
For Strats I gotta say that Fender is building them like they used to, but you gotta pick through them and avoid the cheaper guitars and stick to the reissues, custom shop and artist instruments. And they're out there cheap too...I just nabbed a Sherwood Green '62 reissue (with case and Duncan Hot Rails yuk) for $635 out the door from Banjo Depot.

Don't skimp on instruments. Buy the one you like and stick with it, if you settle you'll never be happy and it doesn't matter if it's a $300 guitar or a $3000 guitar.
Old 30th August 2004
  #23
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chap's Avatar
 

Curve,
That's funny. Besides gear, my 2 addictions are guitars (fortunately, endorsements help) and shoes (can't find a sponsor). Both can make or ruin a day.
off to work,
chap
Old 30th August 2004
  #24
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Ruphus's Avatar
 

You shoe lovers better make sure not to attend any of todays youth techno parties. The uneducated fellas in crowded places could be stepping on your beloved accesoires all the time.

They havn´t learned that others feet count too. heh

But you could take a cheap guitar with you to keep the coolness away from your Italian shoes.


Ruphus
Old 30th August 2004
  #25
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally posted by ozraves
Buying a Gretsch can be a good thing but you are leaving out a big tone color which is probably more important for a recording pallet. That color is the hard/dirty humbucker color. A decent value for this particular color is the Gibson SG Special. These go for about $849. You should play several and try them up against more expensive guitars. Gibson makes other options for this sound as does PRS and Yamaha.

Other colors:

Tele: Try a G&L ASAT.
Rickenbacker: Get a Rickenbacker.
Gretsch: Get a Gretsch.

You've got the Strat covered. My fave Strat is the 1956 Fender Stratocaster. The closest thing to one of these is the G&L George Fullerton's with the thick V neck (not the thin V neck they use now).

A friend of mine who will be heavily involved with some of the recording projects coming up already has a good Tele and a Les Paul. I'll play some of the Gibsons at the store today and see if I'll miss that sound too much. Thanks again for all the input!

Mike
Old 30th August 2004
  #26
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chap's Avatar
 

They make shoes in Italy? I only get them at Marshalls ($20 or under) like my Silvertone.

chap
Old 30th August 2004
  #27
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Sharp11's Avatar
 

I've got a Blade Telecaster and a Les Paul Classic (with SD antiquities).

These two guitars cover a lot of ground (I'm not a Strat fan).

I'm about to purchase a Heritage 575, it's the Gibson ES 175 knock-off.

I also use a Takamine classical and a Taylor 710c

Got a Rick 360 12 string, too......

Guess you do need a lot of guitars for today's music.

Ordering the Little lanei 1/4 watt amp, today from Songworks!!!
Old 30th August 2004
  #28
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"Got a Rick 360 12 string, too......"

How's that sound? I've been trying to find one to play.
Old 30th August 2004
  #29
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Sharp11's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by MichaelT
"Got a Rick 360 12 string, too......"

How's that sound? I've been trying to find one to play.
It sounds great, it's got the stereo out as well.

It's a bear to play, though, thin neck, 12 strings and lots of tension. I might try getting the action a bit lower, but it's tough with this guitar.

Very impressive build quality, I bought it used last summer, it was about three years old. I couldn't find a blemish either cosmetically or electronically.

Mine came with a hard case, A Roger Mcquinn video, and a cleaning cloth.
Old 30th August 2004
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Ruphus's Avatar
 

Hey, as I was talking about cheap above: Just became guilty again today. Couldn´t withstand. Always needed a bass and ebayed one tonight.
Hate Ebay and havn´t ever bought a guitar unseen, but this offer got me curled in.

A handmade acoutsic bass from a German builder ( normally I don´t think too high about German guitar building either, but some got to do it better than Hohner heh ) won for little money.


Massive maple
Neck touching bodys back surface
Fingerboard out of rosewood.
Closed, greased mechanics
Twice laquered with melanin
Who wants nacre inlays, but I´m not gonna peel them off

How does this sound so far?
The maker talks about very straight and precise necks with good action. If it plays and sounds good ...
Unfortunately pickup will be active ( 4x EQ ), but I´m rather hoping for a good acoustic sound.

Ruphus
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