Your next guitar revisited

August 2019 is the first KVR Guitar Month so here's a new forum for discussion of all things guitar!
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Forgotten
KVRAF
6254 posts since 15 Apr, 2019 from Nowhere

Post Sat Nov 09, 2019 3:26 pm

That’s a good tip. I’m pretty sure I know the logo you mean, but I had just thought it signified older models during a period of change to the logo.

tapper mike
KVRAF
5202 posts since 20 Jan, 2008

Re: Your next guitar revisited

Post Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:07 am

I think it's funny. Everyone thinks they have the best epi because of location. I too was huge on where a guitar was built having some relevance to quality of build. However my recent acquisitions have changed my perspective on this. Now I think it's more a matter of price structuring and builder experience.

I have a good epiphone. I find the action off the nut a bit high. Which is always a personal thing.
It may be a price structing thing because to be honest my Joe Pass Epiphone Emperor Pro II is not that far off from an ES-275

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Uncle E
KVRAF
11292 posts since 22 Nov, 2000 from Southern California

Re: Your next guitar revisited

Post Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:20 am

Take jazz boxes:

A Gibson L5 has a carved solid top
An Epiphone Elitist has a bent solid top
An 80’s Aria (and I assume Epiphones from that era since they were made in the same factory) has a bent laminated top

My Korean Epiphone Emperor Regent sounds plingy like a cheap acoustic. I assume installing nice pickups will solve a lot of the problems but I don’t know if it’s worth doing since the bones are so bad to begin with. The Gibson Masterbuilt L5 we had in stock for a short time sounded solid both acoustically and electrically.

tapper mike
KVRAF
5202 posts since 20 Jan, 2008

Re: Your next guitar revisited

Post Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:09 pm

And you make my point. The Early Regent and original Emperors were the furthest "throw back" of the Epi brand pre Gibson.* Prior to Gibson acquiring Epi, Epi was known mostly as the flashy jazz guitar in the acoustic archtop era. They were loud acoustically, ornate and sounded like arse. That was because they had to be fashionable first, loud second. That's the way they sounded in the late 20's thru the 30's
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3ubCJbe6Ak

The L5 had changed so much since the original one cannot make easy comparisons.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqDe5592XTM

When we think L5 we are usually thinking of the 50's 60's varieties such as Johnny Smith and Wes Montgomery, Tal Farrow

Can Asia make a solid carved top archtop? Sure Peerless Monarch comes to mind

and also Conti Heirloom (made by Peerless)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsMjMG_ZB0Y

FGN Masterfield to name a few.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGodI5a5Sf0

A lot of companies put a lot of wood into boxes which can cut down on acoustic resonance and feedback. Like my Epi Joe Pass. It's freaking heavy and has only slight sympathetic resonance from the body. Getting the right type of bracing and using just enough wood is going to give a bigger response acoustically and more umph when amped. My "Guitar Research" (sam ash) Eddie Durhan JX16 had a thinner shell and great projection both acoustically and amped for a laminate top.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVUgekAwmDo

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Uncle E
KVRAF
11292 posts since 22 Nov, 2000 from Southern California

Re: Your next guitar revisited

Post Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:40 pm

Sure, I hear you. There are variances with every guitar and you’ll only know if you gel with one when you play it. From my personal experiences, every Korean Sheraton I’ve played was a dog and one of the best 335’s I’ve played was a Japanese Sheraton. I’m extrapolating my relatively limited experience to Japanese and Korean instruments in general and that isn’t scientific by any means.

The only thing I’ll say on the matter that is an actual fact is that a lot of instruments labeled Made in a Korea are actually Made In China. Korean laws allow for that. That in and of itself doesn’t mean anything but I’ve visited enough factories in China to be wary of it.

tapper mike
KVRAF
5202 posts since 20 Jan, 2008

Re: Your next guitar revisited

Post Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:38 am

It's also important to note. Gibson no longer produces North American made single or non cutaway full archtops. They only offer 335's and variants and the new 235 which is basically a les paul style body semi

Godin and Eastman do. Being a long time fan of Godin and having owned a pair of Godin's I can honestly say I have no love of their current lineup. While I thought the original 5th Ave Kingpin had a lot of promise when I tried it in the store I thought the neck was just too damn big and the output a bit low. Later archtops by Godin also did not impress me.

Sure there is Heritage. However dealers have a hard time getting them. Harder now than before the buyout.

If you are buying an american made jazz box these days you are buying the brand identity. and you are waiting... A year sometimes for someone to make it for you. The carved top Raines usually take a year to complete same with Victor Bakers and other independent makers both in the states and the EU. Oddly the independent brands are more affordable than the Gibson Custom shop archtops such as the Citation (Johnny Smith L5)

As well vintage guitars are not a good investment. They don't pay dividends and they rarely return value which is why they can sit on the market for years without movement. What's more is you don't want to play them unless you are famous as simply playing them more than once a year can devalue them. A simple necessity like a refret will drop the value as it's no longer "all original"

reggie1979
KVRAF
1891 posts since 26 Nov, 2018

Re: Your next guitar revisited

Post Tue Nov 12, 2019 4:53 pm

I'll tell you what won't be my next guitar. The new Fender Ultra. One step forward, two steps back. I thought the spoke wheel truss was a great thing. On the bass, it's back to having to either remove the neck or take off the pick guard to adjust the truss :roll:

Anyways, I'm really happy with my Elite.

tapper mike
KVRAF
5202 posts since 20 Jan, 2008

Re: Your next guitar revisited

Post Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:31 pm

Uncle E wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:40 pm
Sure, I hear you. There are variances with every guitar and you’ll only know if you gel with one when you play it. From my personal experiences, every Korean Sheraton I’ve played was a dog and one of the best 335’s I’ve played was a Japanese Sheraton. I’m extrapolating my relatively limited experience to Japanese and Korean instruments in general and that isn’t scientific by any means.

The only thing I’ll say on the matter that is an actual fact is that a lot of instruments labeled Made in a Korea are actually Made In China. Korean laws allow for that. That in and of itself doesn’t mean anything but I’ve visited enough factories in China to be wary of it.

Yeah, I know a big guy who has a Korean Sheraton and I think his tone sucks even though he's a very competent gigging blues/rock guitarists who has bookings up the yazoo.

I think the Cort Yorktowns suck. As does the 175 copy that Samick put out. Although I did enjoy the L5 copy they made. That was great I played about 50 gigs with it.

Washburn jazz boxes always sucked. Doesn't matter whether it was the early USA or the later MIK (cort) It was a bad design from the get go that never got any better. High action due to the pitch lame tone. This isn't to say I don't like washburn solid bodies.

Dean boxes are better suited for hard hitting blues.

As for D'angelico's I find the "Premier" ex SS to be arse while the original is quite tasty. The biggest separation is the "semi" quality. The original had a transverse mounted centerblock that only was there to support the bridge / tailpiece. This allows a lot more air to move through the body.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izjyK3AbxAc
Again the big difference is full centerblock or partial and country of origin as the originals are still produced in Korea by Peerless whereas the Premiers are produced in indonesia I think.

Someone here (I forget who) opted for a Japanese NY Dangelico (Which vesta / vestfire owned at the time) I tried that same model about two years ago and was quite unimpressed by. Heavy guitar the tone was not was I would expect for a big box. To each their own. I think the current EXL 1 is a great value. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=My0Ojo_ikho

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cptgone
KVRAF
5347 posts since 1 Aug, 2003

Re: Your next guitar revisited

Post Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:05 pm

Just ordered my first strat: a Chapman Guitars ML1 Pro Modern Sun :hyper:
She's so pretty! I hope she makes it here before the weekend, I would hate for her to get stuck in the cold.

I"d still like a SSH Yamaha strat as well, I plan to wait on a good discount.
And a Les Paul or SG! Preferably from Revelation or Chapman.

tapper mike
KVRAF
5202 posts since 20 Jan, 2008

Re: Your next guitar revisited

Post Tue Nov 19, 2019 5:32 pm

I wondered what happened between Riff City and Chapman as they had a big blow out sale and discontinued the line. Just now I found out Riff City went out of business.

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Bombadil
KVRAF
4609 posts since 31 Aug, 2013 from Far From the Twisted Reach of Crazy Sorrow

Re: Your next guitar revisited

Post Thu Nov 21, 2019 2:36 pm

Very strangely, a few discontinued Martin D-16GTs and 16RGTs have popped up in a few shops here in Germany. I sent the Martin 000-17SM back because our dishwasher died, we don't use credit cards, and needed the cash. When I saw the D-16GT for a doable price, I grabbed it. So, a Miele dishwasher and Martin dread...XMas in November.
The 16GT has a Richlite fretboard and bridge, which has been my main sticking point with these guitars. It doesn't feel like ebony to me, more like glass. My aversion seems more and more psychological, though. The tone is pure Martin, and she has beautiful overtones. The dynamic range is great due to the bracing, and there's some real 'oomph' in the bass that is well-defined, again, pure Martin tone. I am selling a Taylor to offset the cost, which will go back into our cash reserve.
These can be had fairly cheaply in the US, 2nd hand. I would recommend them without question. I read dozens of reviews and discussions about this model, and found very few negative things said about it, mostly about the Richlite or the fact that the neck joint isn't a traditional dove-tail. The guitar sounds fantastic, though, everything a dread should be. I'd even give mine the edge in volume over my D-28, and though the tones are easily differentiated, they both have that unmistakable Martin sound. Took me 3 months and 5 guitars, but I found a great guitar for less than ½ the cost of a Standard Series Martin. I've been playing her into the wee hours the last 2 nights. The scalloped bracing makes this guitar perfectly capable for fingerpicking—if you aren't bothered by the 1.68" nut.
Over the last, oh, 18 years, I've had 3 Taylors. Two have already been sold, and the third is on the block. Guess I'm not a Taylor fan. Given the opportunity, I'd rather have a Martin.
Last edited by Bombadil on Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“We're an Anarcho-Syndicalist commune”
Dennis

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Bombadil
KVRAF
4609 posts since 31 Aug, 2013 from Far From the Twisted Reach of Crazy Sorrow

Re: Your next guitar revisited

Post Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:21 pm

Oh, and the back is one piece solid Honduran mahogany. It's beautiful, as if you were staring into the swirling storms of Jupiter through a reddish filter.
“We're an Anarcho-Syndicalist commune”
Dennis

tapper mike
KVRAF
5202 posts since 20 Jan, 2008

Re: Your next guitar revisited

Post Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:42 am

Have you considered a Takamine it's allegedly a poor mans Martin.

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Forgotten
KVRAF
6254 posts since 15 Apr, 2019 from Nowhere

Re: Your next guitar revisited

Post Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:49 am

I’ve played a few Takamines, and they’ve all been excellent guitars.

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Bombadil
KVRAF
4609 posts since 31 Aug, 2013 from Far From the Twisted Reach of Crazy Sorrow

Re: Your next guitar revisited

Post Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:57 am

tapper mike wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:42 am
Have you considered a Takamine it's allegedly a poor mans Martin.
Takamines can get fairly pricey, not sure exactly at what price point all-solid wood construction kicks in, but with Martin, it's reasonable, given what you get. An instrument that sounds and plays amazing and will outlive you under normal circumstances.
“We're an Anarcho-Syndicalist commune”
Dennis

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