Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Just for fun -That VERY EXPENSIVE NEW axe that disappointed?


heshion

Recommended Posts

Have several of these as well... now granted, I'm a very picky, seasoned player. I have over 20 really great workhorses. Most with mods or were custom-made or Custom Shop to begin with.

 

1) Taylor T5 C2 Koa - This was a pretty significant investment. No matter what I did, or how much I tried to get it serviced, it was just pitchy, thin and tinny sounding. YUK. Very pretty guitar - and popular too - that got booted it out the door. Some guys swear by 'em. Not for me. Blech.

 

2) Gibson Les Paul Custom Classic - still working with this one. Very pitchy guitar also. Disappointing, because I've done LOTS of $$$ extras to this one. Put in an actual Wooly Mammoth tusk topnut, had frets leveled and dressed, has a killer setup that was done on a neck-jig vertical tensioner device (so it can be set up and have the level & dress performed while in the playing position with the tension on the strings accurately recreated). Trying teflon glue droplets in the topnut grooves next. Over 3K in it now. And basically useless live. Frustrating.

 

3) Gibson Firebird VII - This guitar had clear coat drips. And the playing surface of the fretboard was uneven. The neck has been set incorrectly! This baffled and surprised two very seasoned luthiers. I had actually taken the pickups and mailed them to Duncan Custom Shop to have them unwind them and re-create their Antiquity IIs using the stock bobbins & covers (Antiquity IIs are not offered in gold - BUMMER!) After all that, I could've either fought with Gibson about re-setting the neck, or it would have needed to have the frets totally removed, and have the fretboard re-planed. So it was either that , or just dump it and break even, and start over. I opted to do the latter. Still looking for a good Firebird. Will go with a hardtail the next time, and hopefully a fretboard that was put on the guitar straight. This was a very saddening, not to say disappointing sign of the times, that Gibson can ship out this shoddy of a piece, and survive on their name alone. It was a real wake up call. And ever since, I've started to see TRUE value in much less expensive guitars, that actually play much better. I wish I were not a hired gun at times, and that people did not expect me to show up with traditional and familiar headstock logos. Because quite honestly? My far and away BEST guitars do not say Gibson or Fender. Sad, but true. And quite a burst to my boyhood bubble - staring at all my heroes in magazine photos.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 25
  • Created
  • Last Reply

I've been disappointed at how easily the neck of a Les Paul will fracture if it gets knocked over or you drop it, but I only paid $400 for it.

 

I'm coming to the realization I might be cheap. I look for good stuff that I can get inexpensively. Since the stuff will be working in smoky bars around drunks all the time I shy away from flawless stuff (plus, it's cheaper if there's a few nicks or whatever). But honestly, the stories accompanying the iconic guitars in rock history are similar.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome aboard Heshion...I have 5 strats and love them all (along with a bunch of other Fenders)...I started playing a T5 this past year and I love it too...took it to my luthier to have it checked and set up to make sure of whether or not I should keep it prior to the 45day test run expiring...he didn't charge me anything, handed it back and said no set up needed...

 

Having played strats for so long the T5 sounded a little tinny to me too but I found it was due to the way I play...I lightened up my touch and the tinny sound went away...the action is more like an acoustic on the bass strings and a strat on the treble strings which also took some getting used to...now, I wouldn't trade it...but it's not a guitar for everyone...not the best acoustic and not the best electric...it works for me and fuses the two concepts together using electric 11-49 strings with an unwrapped 3rd...the active EQ treble and bass controls are second to none...sorry it didn't work out for you...

 

just to stay on topic: I did have a Washburn acoustic/electric concert cutaway that didn't work out for me and I sold it for what I paid for it about a year down the road...

 

 

Take care, Larryz
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmmmm, well, I must say that I started out in that "cheap is better" camp, but I did pop for a Fender Telecaster that I held onto for all of three months. I never figured it out, but the unit just had no sustain at all. It was almost like the pickups were dead, maybe out of phase, wound wrong, or poor magnets. It played, and made the telecaster sound, but dead in no time. I kept trying and drifted past my 45 day return. Doggone... Changed strings, read out the pickups, fiddled with pickup height, tested the caps, nothing seemed wrong. It just insisted on dying quickly every time I plucked it. In any case, I traded it off to a shop a couple towns over and got most of my money back on the trade. And it hung on their wall for months and months. Obviously people that tried it heard what I did.

 

My only other real mistake was a cheap one, but still not so smart. After reading a lot of Xaviere reviews, and seeing about 15-20% of those reviews complained about fret problems, and neck problems, I dove right in and bought one of their more expensive units, a 550, if I remember right. It was beautiful and those Crunchy PAF pickups were pretty cool (what a great sound)...until it developed a slight hump in the neck at the 8-9th fret area. Took it to a couple techs, both said forget it. Set neck, not worth fixing. Traded it off in two months, took my lumps.

 

Much as I hate to say it, Sejung in China and Samick in Indonesia/Korea make some pretty good axes unless purposely designed wrong, although the actual Samick brand seems to forever shoot themselves in the foot in recent years. OK guitars, but overpriced, drop value like a rock. Some of the Samick acoustics especially are downright beautiful, but just too much money plus the value is gone when you go out the door. Ironically I found a mid 90's Samick Artist Edition Series Les Paul the other day in a used shop for $275. Playing it, it sounded SO sweet until I found the crack in the headstock. 2010 Guitar bible said it still had a value of $350-375, but not with that headstock. THAT was a guitar in it's time. Pre-Bennett unit. Heavy as hell.

The value problem is the same with Jay Turser. Makes some great axes, but don't ever expect to get your money back, not even half of it. I absolutely love my $210 Turser telecaster with the maple neck/fretboard and neck humbucker, but I know if I sold it, only a year old, I would get $50 tops...maybe.

Want a custom guitars for prices you can afford? Check out www.tsunamiguitars.com
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've known many people who've gone out and bought an expensive new Fender and ended up with one that happens to be bonk if they didn't know enough to judge guitars in a short amount of time and picked it for the color or whatever. You definitely have to go through the inventory and find the one that's good. Maybe they've upped the QC with all the mailorder outlets?

 

Also, what happened to stores setting up the instruments they put out to sell? I had a couple of friends who had their own shop for a while, and that 30 minutes spent setting action or whatever moved a lot of stuff out their door.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw alot of Gibsons that were junk brand new. My Flying V was purchased from a guy who was very diappointed. I bought it re did the nut, changed all the pots, put covers on the pick ups(soldered to the pick up like they should be), refininshed it to look like a 70s v with a nice dark stain, re shaped the neck(not very much but enuff to make it like my korean deans) and finnally made a very good guitar from an american made 2007 gibson flying V, all for under 500$. Now had I bought that new I would have burned it, it was that bad. I know he must have bought it on line and spent 700$ some dollars on it in early 2008.

 

I know this was not a very expensive guitar but hell it should have atleast been playable for that much money.

 

Lok

1997 PRS CE24, 1981 Greco MSV 850, 1991 Greco V 900, 2 2006 Dean Inferno Flying Vs, 1987 Gibson Flying V, 2000s Jackson Dinky/Soloist, 1992 Gibson Les Paul Studio,

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My story is a good news / bad news story. I finally found my dream guitar - a G&L Will Ray Telecaster. I started out by stumbling on a Tribute model for $400 on craigslist. Stunning! The Z3 pickups combined with the push/pull switch gives you an incredibly wide range of tonality and the crispiest warmest throatiest clean tone on any guitar I've ever played. So I had to have a Signature model after that. Which I finally found for $825, the silver metal flake model with a mirror pickguard. For some reason, though, there is just a little bit of distortion in the Signature model, while the Tribute is pristine clean and crisp. No amount of tweaking guitar or amp has made it possible to make the Signature sound like the Tribute. Thinking it might be the particular guitar, I put out another $875 for a Comanche, the G&L Z3 version of a Strat. Same problem. So I end up on the hunt for a couple of backup Tributes.

All prices quoted are for used equipment, they are all double that if new.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't owned all that many brand new guitars, and all the ones I have owned were pretty great instruments. But the first Les Paul I ever owned, a used sandwich-body Goldtop Deluxe, was such a major disappointment I couldn't believe it. Gibson has made junk from the word go, that hasn't changed. Maybe they make more of it now than they have historically, but you always had to try their stuff out as much as anyone else's if you wanted to be sure they are good instruments.

 

 

 

 

 

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a Gibson Les Paul, I lusted over them for years and years while playing an SG and an Ibanez Artist. Once I got the Paul I hated the thing it was far too heavy and upper fret access is poor and I play up there all of the time so I gave it to my kid. That was a big disappointment. I bought a guitar made by Philip Petillo. From Ocean NJ. I paid a thousand bucks for it back when Les Pauls were only 600-700. I still have it. I set it up for slide because the neck warped a bit. although there was enough fret to file the warp out. I never really liked the guitar after that. When I told Phil about it he gave me some excuse, so I just wrote him off as my luthier. Nowadays I buy cheap guitars and tweak them up to my standards with pups, and fret dressings.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Because quite honestly? My far and away BEST guitars do not say Gibson or Fender. Sad, but true. And quite a burst to my boyhood bubble - staring at all my heroes in magazine photos.

 

Now you have me curious - what DO the headstocks say on your best guitars?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My brother snorts at my guitars, even the $1,000 plus ones, calling them knockoffs-at least he did, until I pointed out one or two things about his PRS singlecut tobacco sunburst. I don`t play the headstock end, I will go the extra mile to find great guitars by relatively unknown makers-so far it has paid off about 100%, I have no guitars that qualify for this thread. I did get a Seagull S6 used a while back-the sound was nice but you could have sawed through a tree with the strings. It was almost unplayable, at least for me. I took it to my favorite local shop, traded it in for another Seagull that was night and day opposite in terms of playability-but of a price jump but excellent sound unplugged and plugged in it has a 3D depth and definition that at least one notorious tone snob has let through the velvet rope.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

Skipsounds on Soundclick:

www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, several of them say nothing...

 

One *should* say Peavey Custom Wolfgang Standard. But it was used parts - an all basswood body acquired from Peavey by a luthier friend, and a brand new neck found on eBay. The luthier had the face of it etch-carved with pyrography, with the Sistine Chapel "Hand of God" arms, and then tobacco bursted to look like a vintage canvas with matching headstock, and sprayed with aged lacquer instead of poly. I put Duncan Custom Shop Pearly Gates in that one, and Sprague Vitamin Q tone caps. Had a crazy amount of setup and level & dress. That guitar smokes, smokes, smokes. Did I say that it smokes? It smokes! Good for all kinds of music. Ten times as versatile as a stock Wolfgang, or the Custom Shop one that it replaced. I have another flametop special just like it being made now - same deal, all aftermarket, with new neck, lacquer, etc. But that one seems to have more of a prototype body for the newer HP Special, so a bit more of an upper bout cutaway.

 

Bought an alder Flying V body with a lacewood top off of FleaBay unfinished. And finished it myself. I bought a few extra pieces of the lacewood veneer from the seller to make a headstock overlay with, and stained them to match. Had a custom neck made by Warmoth with a large D shape, birdseye with Ziracote fretboard ($$). Took the Wolfgang mentioned above to a custom luthier, and had him take caliper measurements all over its neck, and then I sat with him for an afternoon while he custom-honed down the large D Flying V neck to be identical. So it's elliptical, with a bit more meat on the bass side. It's a bit wider fretboard than 1 5/8 - closer to 1 11/16ths. I then had a real woolly mammoth tusk topnut shaped for it, but I had the luthier space the slots inward a bit... so that I can bend the high E string both north and south when vibratoing a note, and not pull it off of the end of the frets. The darker sounding lacewood needed brighter pickups, so I went with a JB & a Jazz. Ended up with an incredible V that has alder Strat types of tones, but with humbuckers. It excels at super clean sounds. And it's so tonally rich, it can easily double as a jazz guitar - not that you'd wanna play a V at a jazz gig. I call that guitar the money pit, and it was - times three. LOL :whistle: But, end result is very pleasing.

 

One of them that I've been paying down for quite some time says Martin (Custom). That one should finally be coming home with me in a month or so. It's a one of a kind, and quite unique in many ways. Ever try to buy a one-off custom shop Martin during a recession? LOL I wouldn't advise trying it. :cry:

 

And one does say Gibson. It's a 1983 Custom Shop reissue of the 1959 335 dot, in blonde maple quilt. That one pretty much blows away about 5,000 other 335s. Not exaggerating. Tim Shaw PAFs, Brazilian fretboard. Grovers. All things just right.

 

I have a very rare museum quality type Gibson Les Paul Recording as well. But that's more of a niche guitar. It does clean, clean, or... clean.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The guys who sew all my gear back together and mend the holes and whatnot always say "you can make any Fender into as good a guitar as you want." That's the beauty of Leo's approach. Find a body that you like (most people are most concerned about weight), find a neck you like, find some pickups and pots and tuner you like, and put them all together. That's what Clapton did to make Blackie, right? I've played recently with a buddy who took a body he liked (a Squier II plywood strat) put a MIM strat neck on it and put his money into the pickups. Sounds and plays pretty damned good.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not me personally, but my guitar guru when I was 16 spent a lot on a Gibson Les Paul Custom fretless wonder that was easy to play but never sounded very good, and you couldn't bend strings on it worth a damn.

He was a lot happier later on when he traded it in on a Gibson semi-hollow body.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of my best buds has had a 70s Fender Strat for years. He got it when he was not so up on checking details and the string alignment has always been off-the first string is too close to the edge of the fretboard on the

upper frets. It had an unusual color though, turns out that it`s a limited run called `Antigua`. Those guitars are now selling for a substantial premium on ebay.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

Skipsounds on Soundclick:

www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of my best buds has had a 70s Fender Strat for years. He got it when he was not so up on checking details and the string alignment has always been off-the first string is too close to the edge of the fretboard on the

upper frets. It had an unusual color though, turns out that it`s a limited run called `Antigua`. Those guitars are now selling for a substantial premium on ebay.

 

I'm obsessed with Antigua Fenders because I remember them from when I was a kid, and they matched a lot of stuff in my grandmothers house that she'd collected when she lived in Flagstaff and El Paso... lamps, etc. I was repulsed by all of it, but for whatever reason that's the stuff that starts to grow on you.

 

I'd love to have this Fano guitar:

http://www.fanoguitars.com/photos/jm6antiguabb.jpg

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ya, I`ve played my friend`s Strat off and on for years. Never really thought about it, it was just `that Strat with the wacky alignment`.

It`s not enough to affect it seriously, unless you do a lot of string bends. Anyway financial circumstances are compelling him to sell it,

he has asked me about an asking price but I can only guess.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

Skipsounds on Soundclick:

www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A Fender VG Strat. Oh, man, the SWEETEST action, setup, quality, and playability I've ever seen in 40 years of Strats. The electronics setup sounded incredible and all of its options were usable. So the problem? Even with 2500MaH batteries, the thing ran out of juice before I could finish a set. Since I bought it for the electronics, I was more than a bit bummed. Sold the thing the day after Fender discontinued it. Gee, I wonder why...
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Heshion - very interesting list of the ones you use and the ones you don't, and how the name on the headstock makes little difference in the long run!

 

My disappointment was a Gretsch G6129TL Sparkle Jet. It was a beyond-fantastic guitar but it weighed around 11 to 12 pounds, no kidding. I wanted to keep it, but playing it was actually starting to numb my arm, and I can't have that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had an 80's les paul - nice guitar but the sounds were so generic - i could never find my own sound on it

 

There's a "best Les Paul tones" thread here that examines that... though it got a little sudetracked in discussing the whiny tendencies of indie/emo rockers and other stuff...

https://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2158728/Best_Les_Paul_Tones_who_how_wh#Post2158728

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of my best buds has had a 70s Fender Strat for years. He got it when he was not so up on checking details and the string alignment has always been off-the first string is too close to the edge of the fretboard on the

upper frets. It had an unusual color though, turns out that it`s a limited run called `Antigua`. Those guitars are now selling for a substantial premium on ebay.

 

I'm obsessed with Antigua Fenders because I remember them from when I was a kid, and they matched a lot of stuff in my grandmothers house that she'd collected when she lived in Flagstaff and El Paso... lamps, etc. I was repulsed by all of it, but for whatever reason that's the stuff that starts to grow on you.

 

I'd love to have this Fano guitar:

http://www.fanoguitars.com/photos/jm6antiguabb.jpg

 

Oh we had one of these at the guitar shop I give lessons at, used. Same color and everything. It was fantastic, played great. I couldn't afford it though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...