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Gibson and Fender again ugh


Gruupi

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I really didn't want to hijack sgspeciallover's post anymore and wanted to get a lighthearted discussion going here. Its always fun to debate Gibson vs. Fender. Like I had said in an earlier topic I grew up wanting a Les Paul so bad and ended up with an ES-347 that was my main guitar for 15 or more years. It is a guitar that is easy to play and has a great sutaining tone.

 

I always hated Strats for several reasons. First of all I used to rest my hand on the bridge and Strats just aren't really set up for that. With a strap standing up the Strat bridge relative to my body position was to far back to rest my hand comfortably. The Strat sound is very bright and unforgiving. Every little string rattle is heard. I rememeber arguing against Fenders for years. But over time a couple of my favorite players ended up being Srat guys, Eric Johnson and then Stevie Ray Vaughn. I bought a Srtat but just couldn't play it well.

 

I remember having a Gibson/Strat discussion with a salesman at a local music store. He was an local hotshot and a VERY good player. He sold alot of guitars and amps just by playing Little Wing or some other great song for a prospective customer. He was a little stuck on himself but I respected the guys opinion. He once told me that even though Gibsons were great and easy to play, if you could get past the idiosyncrasies of a Strat, then it would let you play more expressivly. I didn't really believe him at the time but the comment stuck in my head.

 

That was many years ago by I have grown to know

what he meant. There are certain ways that a Strat plays that if you work it with your hands, it lets all kinds of little subleties come out. Its not all single coil verses humbuckers but that plays a part. Humbuckers tend to smooth out the sound, almost like a compressor but not quite, some of the dynamics and little ways of variying the tone with yout hands get lost. A big heavy guitar also emphasises this effect.

 

With lots of smooth distortion on the bridge pickup, I still prefer the feel of a Gibson and humbuckers. But I just can't seem to get all the nice rhythm tones that I can get on a Strat. I am sure that scale length and wood species are involved alot in the equation but I can't quantify it. I've ended up compromising by playing a Strat style guitar with a coil tapped humbucker in the bridge position. My Gibson ES-347 has coil taps but for some reason always sounded lifeless on rhythm.

 

My Strat style is a Carvin bolt on kit and is a wonderfull guitar. It plays and sounds better than any guitar I have ever played. But I am always wanting to go one better. This guitar in my mind has always been to bright sounding. Its the first guitar where I have ever really messed with the tone control. I turn it way down to between 4-6 and it still is bright sounding. So I am contemplating building a Warmoth guitar that is a continuation of what have.

 

I am bouncing back and forth between wanting a Les Paul shape but with bright sounding woods and a chambered body and a humbucker (tapped)single single pickup configuration or maybe a mahogany chambered Strat style. I have been wishing and washing back and forth for 6 weeks but can't make up my mind. I guess I want the singing sustain of a Les Paul and the great twang of a Strat in one guitar. I know everyone for the last 50 years has wanted the same thing but what is a the best answer.

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When I ws a teenager I wanted a Strat (maaan!), but I was into AC DC, and when I bought a strat copy, I couldn't figure out why I couldn't get that thicker "angus young" type sound. The single coils sounded so poofy. I went nuts trying out various overdrives and EQ and so on. There weren't any forums back then either :)

 

Anyway, when I realized that I'd never be able to do "that" sound on single coils I felt pretty cheated and swore I'd never go for single coils again. I was playing bass back then, so it wasn't a very binding promise. It was a bit like saying "I swear I'll never buy a Ferrari", easy to say and it'll never really come to that.

 

A few years ago when I got back into guitar I bought two Danelectro reissues one after the other and pretty much on impulse. I'd been looking for a six string bass and a telecaster copy. And the Danos not only have single coils, they have lipsticks which are even thinner sounding. So much for Angus Young.

 

Recently I finally bought a guitar with humbuckers. It'd only taken me about 20 years. :)

 

And now I find that, trying to record the humbuckers, they kind of feel "lifeless" or something. It's easy to get a nice thick, chunky tone but that's about all I'm going to get out of them. And I heard (I think) SRV on the radio the other day and for the first time in my life I'm starting to feel I like single coil pickups.

 

I suppose I should get a superstrat Jackson type guit and have the best of both worlds but I never get around to it, and when I do, I haven't got the money.

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My Frankenstrat has DeMarzio SDS-1s on bridge & middle. Although single coils, they are pretty 'thick'. (It has a TDS-1 on neck - different animal).

 

I have one of those Gibson-style 5 position *Varitone* switches (bought from Torres) in place of the middle tone pot.

 

I have found that the 1st 'on' position with this cuts the highs and give me a tone approaching a humbucker - especially with the two outside coils on - like a Telecaster (- I have a push/pull switch on the volume control which enables neck & bridge, plus all three on should I wish).

 

I have replaced the bottom tone with a battery powered 5 position pre-amp/mid booster from GFS.

 

First pos is off (unity).

 

Second cuts mids & boosts treble/bass - actually makes the guitar sound like a traditional Strat.

 

Third position boosts high mids, fourth puts in low mids too, and last position justs boosts everything even more.

 

With the combination of the SDS-1s (pretty middy), the Varitone and the active mids, I can get a range of voicings ranging from early Strat through to somethin much akin to a Super-Distortion on full bore - I built it a year ago and I'm still discovering new sounds and voicings from it.

 

Having said that, I still have use for my Ibanez Studio, with a P90 in the neck & a splitting humbucker (Kent Armstrong HPAO) in the bridge.

 

The all do different things.

 

I agree with others who say that one guitar doesn't cover everything.

 

Geoff

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the World will know Peace": Jimi Hendrix

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The Geoff - blame Caevan!!!

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I love guitars so I have owned a strat and an lp. I hated the strat but I didn't know why. I just didn't know enough about guitars at the time, I just knew that it was difficult for me to play and I didn't feel I could get the sustain I wanted. I thought the neck or fretboard were screwed up or something. The Les Paul was heavy and nothing special except for the fat humbucking tones that I love. So I sold them both. I went through a few guitars before ordering a Carvin with humbuckers and finding I loved it. I started realizing that it had a lot to do with the neck. I took a look at a strat like the one I did not like and I saw that the neck was too round for me. I need a flatter neck radius. So I picked up a G&L with a 12" radius neck and I love it, single coils and all. I'd have to say that I grab my G&L and my Carvin about equally. Definately different tonal qualities.

So, for the Gibson vs Strat discussion, I would say that with the right neck, I'd like em both.

bbach

 

Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

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I agree with Elwood, but don't currenly own a LP. My V or 355's can cover the humbucker end nicely, as can other guitars with 'buckers. There will never be one guitar that covers all those bases, and if there were, and you took just that axe to a gig, that'd be the night you broke a string, or a pot or jack plug malfunctioned. The PRS with sweet switch yields a lot of great tones, which can approximate other guitars, but still could go down any given night at a gig. As far as the endless Fender vs Gibson debate goes, every player in a position to own both already does have a worthy single coil and a worthy 'bucker axe, be they Fender, Gibson, Godin, Ibanez, Jackson, PRS, Yamaha, G&L, etc.
Never a DUH! moment! Well, almost never. OK, OK! Sometimes never!
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I love P90's, but they don't replace either singles or 'buckers, but they're an excellent alternative to either. I've never found LP's very playable, or I would have several by now.

 

And yes, you're at the jumping off point - early congrats on your next post! :thu:

Never a DUH! moment! Well, almost never. OK, OK! Sometimes never!
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My first guitar was a Les Paul clone (a Mann, to be precise) but I never cared for it too much. I bought a MIM Fender Strat a few years ago and it's definitely the style of guitar I prefer. On the other hand, I can think of a few things about my other guitars I definitely prefer, such as the upper-fret access on my Agile Valkyrie - and as Gruupi noted, the Strat's bridge isn't as easy to get along with as the Tune-o-matic style.
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My first guitar was a Fender Strat. I loved it, but it was hard for me to play.

 

I love the sound and feel of Les Pauls.

 

I gave up guitars in High School because of my frustration.

 

But when I got back into playing, I bought a Squire Affinty Strat that I love. It's easy to play. A real fine guitar.

 

I recently bought a Yamaha AES 620 which is a LP like guitar. It has a carved mahogany body and a set neck and humbuckers.

 

It does not sound the same as a LP, but it is a fine guitar.

 

I may be a simpleton about guitars, but I just feel there is no substitute for a good Strat and there is not substitue for a good LP.

 

I would say that your style of playing will determine which guitar better suits you.

 

But like most guitarist, I want to own one of everything.

 

I've thought about replacing the electronics on my Squire Strat. But I think that my playing still needs to improve and evolve before I do that.

 

I feel right now that my guitar is teaching me how to play, I will stick with its lesson plan.

 

My point, I think, is:

My strat is what it is, just like my yamaha is what it is.

 

The challenge for me is to make the sounds I want come out of them.

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I love 'em all, as long as you've got a GOOD specimen on your hands; and, obviously, that's kinda subjective.

 

I LOVE the harmonic 'insideness' and warmth of a shorter-scale Gibson, I LOVE the stringy twangy crispness and overtone-heavy swirl of a Strat (not to mention that devine cluck), and I LOVE the extra kick and spank and bite that a Tele adds to that.

 

:love::love::love:

 

(Then there's a big ol' arched-top with heavy flat-wounds that's a whole 'nother axe from any of these, long or short scale... and flat-top acoustics... etc. etc. ect.)

 

Those lines can be and often are somewhat blurred by the player's 'touch' and control-settings and any other gear entering the picture (strings, amps, speakers, pedals, etc.), but for the most part, a 9-Iron will do what a 9-iron does, and a putter will, well, putt...

 

As long as it's an example of what I want from a given make 'n' model of guitar, I'll be plenty happy and we'll play each other to our respective strengths! :cool: It's only money that prevents me from having a roomfull of Strats, Teles, Duo Sonics, Les Pauls, LP Specials, Firebirds, and axes other than Gibsons and Fenders, too...

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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I've owned quite a few guitars. The Les Paul has always been my favorite. Around the studio I needed a Strat-style guitar, so I bought a Jackson strat. It didn't do it for anyone but me, a non-stratophyle. I bought a Duo-Sonic... 1962, same pickups. No one liked it. (but me.) Nope. Then one of my clients left his 1968 Strat at the studio for about 10 years. (He has MS and has trouble playing at all anymore. If he does play, he uses his mid-60s Casino). Everyone was happy... but me. I just didn't care one way or the other. Finally in the mid to late 1990s he took it back, so I had to buy a real Strat for the studio. I grabbed a used 25th Anniversary.

 

I own more Fenders than Gibsons. I play the Gibsons.

 

I love the Les Paul, have no opinion on the Strat, and hate the Telecaster. My first serious electric was a Gretsch, and it had more pure tone, touch, and frequency response than any of the above.

 

Oddly enough, for a vintage guy; I've ended up finding two modern guitars as my favorites. The first is the Gibson 336 with P-90s that I talk about here all the time. The second is a custom made instrument in a PRS style, with a mahogany body and flame maple cap, with a solid birdseye maple neck; and Duncan pickups (Classic 58? something like that.) So it ends up that neither the LP or the Strat get the nod from me; though if given a choice of a '56 Les Paul or a '56 Strat, I'd pick the Les Paul.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Originally posted by ihategarybettman:

I may be completely wrong here (I'm not a guitar tech-head at all), but maybe P-90 pickups in a Les Paul would provide a good combination of the best qualities of both single coils and humbuckers, and result in the guitar you're looking for.

 

P.S.

 

Check out the post number below - I'm right on the edge!

Not really. A JazzMaster is closer to that. The P-90 is really something different. (All the hum and buzz that you expect from your Fender, with the blurred and muddy tones of a Gibson.... just KIDDING!!!)

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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My first guitar was an "Electra copy of a lp and it played great with a great warm humbucking sound. The real lp s Ive played were great but I never felt the need to own one. At about the same time I had the chance to play a "Maya" Stratocaster which is a Japanese copier. It was a beauty... White body with a maple fingerboard. but the sound was thin and unappealing. Right now the only guitar that I own is a Godin LGXT and I use it to play my VG 88!!! and model my own guitar sounds.
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I think Fenders are safer guitars for the novice - sturdier and more stable, can take more accidental abuse, better instrument to learn about care and feeding, more forgiving of newbie carelessness. I dropped my Tele once or twice early on, and it stayed in tune. Drop an SG on a hard floor, and be grateful if it stays in one piece.
Never a DUH! moment! Well, almost never. OK, OK! Sometimes never!
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For me its all about the p-90's and a heavy les paul. I started with an SG, The set up was kinda like a Paul, but it was just to light for me, I couldnt really lean into it. Then i Started messin round with my bro's LP Goldtop, and decided i needed on of my own. Now, I realized it was different from other Pauls and that those P-90's were my sound.
hot girls, fast cars, and even louder guitars
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I`ve never owned an all-single coil guitar. I keep thinking I should have one but it hasn`t happened to date. Fender Japan makes all-walnut strats that I have a hard time walking past without staring, but I need other things at the moment.

A friend of mine, a strat owner, has said the same thing as in Gruupi`s first post-that you have to fight your way around strats a bit more but once you get the hang of it they sing like a banshee.

I spent the past summer getting to know the LP at left. It`s pretty different for me, I `m more used to strat-inspired rock machines.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

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Strats tuck into your body better than any other shape I know of, and become easier to control. I've never thought of my Strats as difficult to play. I have a bit harder time with Gibsons.
Never a DUH! moment! Well, almost never. OK, OK! Sometimes never!
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I've always felt that the clear tones of a Strat lends itself well to a four piece band and the more muffled, ballsy tones of an LP are perfect for a three piece.

 

I must admit, although I love how a Fender lets me hear every nuance of what I am playing, I've always been a huge Gibson fan.

 

There is a reason why they are two of the top names in guitars. Both offer a uniqueness that can only be acquired through them. The "Fender" sound or the "Gibson" sound.

 

You can argue over which one is better, but you can't deny that both have an amazing sound and everyone should have one of each IMO!

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Originally posted by A String of Entrails:

I've always felt that the clear tones of a Strat lends itself well to a four piece band and the more muffled, ballsy tones of an LP are perfect for a three piece...

You should let Joe Walsh and Don Felder in on that! :P (What were the Eagles?? A 5+ piece. It's all in how you use them, A. ;):D

 

(And yes, I know Walsh plays a lot of guitars, but during the Eagles prime he played LP's far more than anything else.

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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fntstcsnd

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i just gotta say that i love fender. you know, i love just about any guitar you throw at me. but, as we all know, it doesnt get much better than a fender stratocaster. their perfect beginner guitars, as well as for advanced players ( yngwie malmsteen proved that ). I love everything about strats, i have one myself, i cant get enough of it, its perfect for playing just about anything, and vince c., im not sure why you couldnt get that angus young sound, i love ac/dc also, and i have no problem playing back in black on my strat, and besides the fact that my amp is so terrible that i can never hope to sound like any famous guitar player, it sounds pretty good. course nothing sounds closer to angus young than my sg, which makes sense since its the guitar he uses, anyway, i would reccomend any fender or gibson to anyone, i see no problem with any guitar that either company makes.
BBBBBOOOOOYYYYAAAAA
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Originally posted by sgspeciallover:

and vince c., im not sure why you couldnt get that angus young sound, i love ac/dc also, and i have no problem playing back in black on my strat

Well, I would have needed humbuckers to get that same sort of tone. I just found the single coils to sound a bit thin and wimpy.

 

I'm only just now learning to appreciate single coils on their own merits.

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Originally posted by fantasticsound:

(And yes, I know Walsh plays a lot of guitars, but during the Eagles prime he played LP's far more than anything else.

Joe is one of those guys that can play a cigar box with Rubber Bands and make it sound good.

 

 

IMHO

 

signed Joe Walsh's biggest fan :D

Lynn G
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Originally posted by Guitar Geezer:

Originally posted by fantasticsound:

(And yes, I know Walsh plays a lot of guitars, but during the Eagles prime he played LP's far more than anything else.

Joe is one of those guys that can play a cigar box with Rubber Bands and make it sound good.

 

 

IMHO

 

signed Joe Walsh's biggest fan :D

"Hotel California" solo was a Tele.
Never a DUH! moment! Well, almost never. OK, OK! Sometimes never!
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