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#2471899 - 02/15/13 11:38 PM Guitar Selection Part 3
Fusker Offline
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Registered: 04/20/09
Posts: 1199
Loc: Moscow, Idaho
I actually went to Apple Row in Portland today, awesome store, but they aren't Fender authorized anymore, which was a bummer. Some amazing used Fenders though...and Gibsons galore.

So one more question I have for those in the know...any thought on different Strat pick-up options? Highly unlikely I'll get to test-drive either of these options, so looking for opinions on Fender's noiseless (N3) vs. what you find on a Hot Rod '62 re-issue 1962 or any other re-issue.

Not holding my breath, but there is always hope someone has compared N3's to some other options.
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#2471921 - 02/16/13 04:48 AM Re: Guitar Selection Part 3 [Re: Fusker]
Bluesape Moderator Offline
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Lotsa options there. Dunno your budget, but I have one with Evans pups in all 3 spots. Sounds very strident and hotter than most SC's - think early Jeff Healy, cuz these are what he used. I have N3's in another - very vintage sounding to my ear, and I'd never switch them out of that axe. Got EMG's in an ESP Strat that came with it when I got it - more modern tones from it, a little warmer than the passive ones. My 2 Blades have the proprietary active systems from the builder, and they are still my out front boutique favorites - more dial-able than the others due to trim pots hidden under the battery cover.

Since the guitar is not your primary instrument, at least not yet, I believe, I dunno if I'd go for too much modification. You may not settle on a Strat, and a stock one will have greater mass appeal should you decide to sell it later. If you amass a few guitars, then you'll almost certainly justify a Strat in the herd, and IMHO, N3's are a great choice. The beauty of Strats is that swapping out pups is easy, and hundreds of choices are out there.
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#2471991 - 02/16/13 10:03 AM Re: Guitar Selection Part 3 [Re: Bluesape]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 5684
Loc: Hwy 49, California
I had active Vintage Noiseless pickups on the Clapton Strat and they worked great with no hum. I also have the 3 SCN's (Samrian Cobalt Noiseless sp?) on the American Deluxe which sound very Fender clean with no hum. If you decide to go with the 62 reissue just remember they are built true to original specs and you might get a little 60cycle hum when not touching the strings but it is barely noticed and shouldn't bother you. I have a 62 Jaguar and 62 Jazzmaster reissue and the SC's work great and I don't notice the hum that much. The 62 Strat uses recreated pickups from 1961-1966 using special beveled Alnico 5 height staggered magnets with Formvar coated magnet wire. Fender did a lot of research to capture the vintage sound of a 62.

I like the Fat Strat with the Humbucker at the bridge and 2 single coils as it's very cool. But, you do give up a little of that position 4 sound that you get from the 3 single coils...I use active EMG's in HH, SSH and SSS drop-in configurations on 3 Strats and left one stock with 3 SCN's (same concept as the noiseless pups). They all work very cool and like Bluesape said "the beauty of Strats is that swapping out pups is easy" unless you have a re-issue 62 that is... cool


Edited by Larryz (02/16/13 10:09 AM)
Edit Reason: sp

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#2471997 - 02/16/13 10:48 AM Re: Guitar Selection Part 3 [Re: Larryz]
Fusker Offline
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Registered: 04/20/09
Posts: 1199
Loc: Moscow, Idaho
Good stuff. Definitely notice the hum in various positions with my SSH, but that could also be because it's an old piece of junk. Maybe noiseless would be the best for me given what Bluesape said. Can still sound very vintage and be noiseless? Good combo!

Starting budget is $1,500 for a birthday gift from my wife in June. I can add to from my own band funds if I want. Or spend less and work my way towards a new amp.

FYI - I currently have an old Japanese "Super Strat" circa 1989, and a red-knob Pro-185. Just picked up a Mustang Floor which I run through the PA. I can tolerate the guitar, but the neck is a real plank. I find the Pro 185 unusable and would sell it in a second if I had a buyer. Going to see how it goes with my new axe and the Floor, then decide if I want to get a Fender SS Combo, undecided on single or twin
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#2472014 - 02/16/13 12:08 PM Re: Guitar Selection Part 3 [Re: Fusker]
Winston Psmith Offline
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Registered: 02/15/10
Posts: 1977
Loc: Inside the Beltway
With that kind of budget, I'd be looking at G&L guitars, too. Leo's designs, with more pickup options, including some noiseless SC's.

I have to put in another vote for high-end Godins, as well. The LGX-series guitars are a different body design than a Strat, but you cannot beat the build quality in a North American-made guitar with a bolt-on neck. You can get the piezo option for acoustic/electric sounds, or go for the LGXT-SA, with the hex pickup, and the 13-pin output. A guitar you can integrate with your kb rig would be a very cool addition.


Edited by Winston Psmith (02/16/13 12:09 PM)
Edit Reason: sp.
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#2472015 - 02/16/13 12:11 PM Re: Guitar Selection Part 3 [Re: Fusker]
Bluesape Moderator Offline
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If buying a new Fender, I'd go for the American Special - very affordable, larger headstock, good pups. Ya may well banish the Super Strat to its case.
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#2472080 - 02/16/13 11:17 PM Re: Guitar Selection Part 3 [Re: Winston Psmith]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 3232
Loc: Dallas/FW Metroplex, Texas
Originally Posted By: Winston Psmith
With that kind of budget, I'd be looking at G&L guitars, too. Leo's designs, with more pickup options, including some noiseless SC's.

I have to put in another vote for high-end Godins, as well.


Ditto all that!

Other high-quality "Strat" contenders in that price range include offerings from Carvin, Fret-King, Fernandes, US Masters, and pretty soon, Dean Zelinsky Private Label.

And as always, I point out that I don't recommend Fender, not because of a quality issue, but because I have never found one I liked personally. They're still great guitars, they just don't work for me.


Edited by Dannyalcatraz (02/16/13 11:27 PM)
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#2472156 - 02/17/13 10:57 AM Re: Guitar Selection Part 3 [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 5684
Loc: Hwy 49, California
You can buy an American Standard Strat for about $1,200 with two 50's single coils and an atomic humbucker (whatever the hell that is) at the bridge...The American Deluxe which I like better, runs about $1,700 and they are better guitars with locking tuners, pop-in vibrato arms, woods, etc. As others have pointed out there are other brands like Godin, G&L, Carvin, etc., that make some very nice stuff too. I kinda like the PRS strat copy with 3 single coils even though it's a flat and not contoured looking body, it still looks sweet with that African rosewood fretboard and circle markers. I also like the Fender flat string saddles on the PRS better that the vintage ones that Fender has gone back to on all their new models.

Strat and LP's are still the most used and most copied solid body guitars out there IMHO. You may find better deals on used ones as the newer models are just getting too expensive as time goes on.

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#2472173 - 02/17/13 12:20 PM Re: Guitar Selection Part 3 [Re: Larryz]
Fusker Offline
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Registered: 04/20/09
Posts: 1199
Loc: Moscow, Idaho
Was definitely getting the low-down on G&L at Apple in Portland, as they are a dealer. I've used a ton of Carvin stuff as well, just not a guitar to date. What's cool about Carvin and G&L is you can customize as much as you like.

A lot of this stuff is very difficult to try before you buy though, which is always a bit unnerving.
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#2472190 - 02/17/13 01:27 PM Re: Guitar Selection Part 3 [Re: Fusker]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 5684
Loc: Hwy 49, California
New Carvins would have to be ordered so you would take a risk depending on their return policy, but you can try out a bunch of G&L's at your local GC.

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#2472198 - 02/17/13 02:14 PM Re: Guitar Selection Part 3 [Re: Larryz]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 3232
Loc: Dallas/FW Metroplex, Texas
Well, depending on your GC- I don't see too many G&Ls at the ones near me.
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Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap”.

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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#2472205 - 02/17/13 03:11 PM Re: Guitar Selection Part 3 [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 5684
Loc: Hwy 49, California
You may be right, I see a lot of G&L's on the GC website and maybe they don't hang them on the racks at the store. I wonder if they might order you one and let you try before you buy if they have none of the models they advertise on the floor?

Same with Apple Row, maybe they would order one and let you try before you buy?


Edited by Larryz (02/17/13 03:13 PM)

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#2472209 - 02/17/13 03:42 PM Re: Guitar Selection Part 3 [Re: Larryz]
Fusker Offline
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Registered: 04/20/09
Posts: 1199
Loc: Moscow, Idaho
Yeah, I was going to say, don't see GC listed as a dealer. Never the less, I go to Portland every few months, pretty sure Apple Music would work with me. Sounds like if you buy new it's custom. I'll definitely be checking G&L out.
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#2472229 - 02/17/13 05:17 PM Re: Guitar Selection Part 3 [Re: Fusker]
russclan Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 288
Originally Posted By: Fuskar
Sounds like if you buy new it's custom. I'll definitely be checking G&L out.


Yes and no. If you order a new G & L, the dealer will go down a checklist, and you specify everything...color, finish, fretboard wood, neck wood (flat or quarter-sawn?), radius/shape, fret size and material (nickel or ss?), etc. Some of the options are standard, some they charge extra for (like quarter-sawn necks), but you can of course just order one spec'd like you see on G & L's website without paying a premium.

I have a G & L dealer only a couple of miles from my house. He doesn't have what I want, and I can't find it used locally. If I have to order it, there's a 3 month wait...

I'd try and talk you into a G & L over a Fender all day, but Fenders are more plentiful and popular, so you may very well find one that's a perfect fit for you in much less time...
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#2472257 - 02/17/13 08:18 PM Re: Guitar Selection Part 3 [Re: russclan]
Fusker Offline
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Registered: 04/20/09
Posts: 1199
Loc: Moscow, Idaho
I was just curious, what are the main arguments/benefits of a G & L over Fender? A Fender is definitely less hassle, but I don't mind some hassle in this case if it's worth it...lay it on me man!

I'm still thinking on Carvin as well.
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#2472265 - 02/17/13 09:07 PM Re: Guitar Selection Part 3 [Re: Fusker]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 3232
Loc: Dallas/FW Metroplex, Texas
Its all in the tiny details. At a given price, the Carvins and G&L may actually deliver a slightly better product in terms of woods, etc. The QC also seems to edge out Fender. All told, its a host of minor things that may or may not matter much to a given player, but, OTOH, might make all the difference in the world.

For example, personally, G&Ls just feel better to me. But, like I said, that's a personal thing. Others probably feel differently.
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Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap”.

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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#2472287 - 02/17/13 10:43 PM Re: Guitar Selection Part 3 [Re: iseejer]
Fusker Offline
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Registered: 04/20/09
Posts: 1199
Loc: Moscow, Idaho
Nice spam bot...

BTW, what model G&L have people here used or owned? Legacy or S500?
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#2472290 - 02/17/13 10:52 PM Re: Guitar Selection Part 3 [Re: Fusker]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 3232
Loc: Dallas/FW Metroplex, Texas
I haven't owned any, but I recently got to play a few S500s- unplugged only- and they felt mahhhhvelous!
_________________________
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap”.

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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#2472308 - 02/18/13 06:32 AM Re: Guitar Selection Part 3 [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
Winston Psmith Offline
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Registered: 02/15/10
Posts: 1977
Loc: Inside the Beltway
I've played both, and the workmanship is well beyond most of what Fender offers these days.

In terms of why G&L over Fender - well, Fender is all about market share, at this point. They'll make anything, anywhere, at any price point, such that they've cheapened the brand, IMHO. When you can buy a Chinese-made guitar with HB's, that says Fender on the headstock, well, I'm just not sure the name means anything anymore, in terms of quality.

G&L does have an Asian-made line, called Tribute, and they're very close to the MIM Strats, as far as overall quality goes, but the U.S.-made G&L's are really a cut above.
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#2472387 - 02/18/13 11:47 AM Re: Guitar Selection Part 3 [Re: Fusker]
russclan Offline
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Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 288
Well, my reasoning is in line with everything Danny and Winston said. They feel much better to me all around. I get much more of a "no corners cut, doesn't ship until it's right" feeling that isn't there with Fenders. Fenders have a kind of...I dunno...assembly line feel I guess. So, given that their US price points are similar, it's a no-brainer for me. I've played some nice new Fenders too, but there's a lot of culling involved.
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#2472399 - 02/18/13 12:31 PM Re: Guitar Selection Part 3 [Re: russclan]
Fusker Offline
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Registered: 04/20/09
Posts: 1199
Loc: Moscow, Idaho
Cool! Any thoughts on Carvin vs. G&L? You can build your Carvin right on-line, with G&L you have to deal with a dealer...which isn't the end of the world or anything, but certainly not as easy given I live in the sticks.
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#2472402 - 02/18/13 12:45 PM Re: Guitar Selection Part 3 [Re: Fusker]
russclan Offline
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Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 288
No sorry, don't have any experience with Carvin. I've heard they're really nice instruments, but never played one.
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#2472403 - 02/18/13 12:47 PM Re: Guitar Selection Part 3 [Re: Fusker]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 3232
Loc: Dallas/FW Metroplex, Texas
I think G&L's are probably better guitars overall, but Carvins are a better deal- more customizability, maybe a better price for a given level of quality.

Either way, you can't really go wrong with either one.
_________________________
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap”.

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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#2472547 - 02/19/13 05:47 AM Re: Guitar Selection Part 3 [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
Winston Psmith Offline
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Registered: 02/15/10
Posts: 1977
Loc: Inside the Beltway
FWIW, here's a link to G&L's site, with a listing of G&L dealers. Might be worthwhile to make a few phone calls, or send a few emails, see what kind of response you get.

G&L dealers.
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"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

http://4-4-2music.bandcamp.com/album/figures-of-speech

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#2472600 - 02/19/13 09:39 AM Re: Guitar Selection Part 3 [Re: Winston Psmith]
Fusker Offline
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Registered: 04/20/09
Posts: 1199
Loc: Moscow, Idaho
Thanks Winston! I was actually at Apple Music in Portland on Friday and started a conversation. I'm going to give them a call today. I'm a G&L lean, but would like to get some more details on costs, deposits, time-tables and options.

Carvin definitely has the better web-site of the two!

Though I will say, the Strat Deluxe with the N3 pickups seems like a pretty cool rig.
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#2472689 - 02/19/13 04:02 PM Re: Guitar Selection Part 3 [Re: Fusker]
picker Offline
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Value wise, I'd go with a Carvin, myself. If you get a G&L, be prepared for a major loss of value right out of the box. I have yet to see anyone get the money they put into a G&L get it out of them. In truth, I've never seen a Carvin appreciate in value either, but you're not losing quite as much, or it seems like that to me. Besides, I like the looks of Carvin's better.
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#2472691 - 02/19/13 04:08 PM Re: Guitar Selection Part 3 [Re: picker]
Fusker Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 04/20/09
Posts: 1199
Loc: Moscow, Idaho
I don't really see this as an investment...this is my very serious hobby that I have to date spent somewhere south of $10k (two professional keyboards, various amps, mixers and PA gear)on the last 5 years or so. From that perspective, I've already tanked as an investment. ;-)

Now saying you like the look of Carvin, that I can appreciate, unlike my investments in gear.
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#2472694 - 02/19/13 04:21 PM Re: Guitar Selection Part 3 [Re: Fusker]
picker Offline
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Registered: 06/13/04
Posts: 13148
Loc: Near 12th Street and Vine...
Well, investment or not, one of these days, yer gonna see "THE GUITAR!!!!", and you'll want it bad enough to trade what you have for it. That's the point where you'll want what you have to be as valuable or attractive as it can be.
In any event, I really do like the looks of Carvins. The best G&Ls are clones of strats and teles. CArvins can give you that, plus other designs if you're after something more unique.
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#2472696 - 02/19/13 04:24 PM Re: Guitar Selection Part 3 [Re: picker]
Fusker Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 04/20/09
Posts: 1199
Loc: Moscow, Idaho
True, don't want something that will be worth 10% if I ever dump it, valid point.
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#2472699 - 02/19/13 04:59 PM Re: Guitar Selection Part 3 [Re: Fusker]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 3232
Loc: Dallas/FW Metroplex, Texas
It won't be that bad, it's just that neither will hold value like Fender or Gibson.

Personally, I'm willing to take a hit on resale if it means I'm playing a killer axe.
_________________________
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap”.

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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