I have quite a few guitars, some of which I don't play and could do without. Some though, are excellent but one in particular is very special - a gypsy guitar made for me by a friend in Australia to an exact Selmer design from the 1930s - beautiful native tonewoods - fiddleback blackwood back and sides and a celerytop pine top. It's loud and has a very woody vintage tone that just seems so special.
I also have my grandfather's Hofner President which has great sentimental value, but is also a lovely guitar to play - a big chunky neck but narrow fingerboard, and big chunky frets that are very smooth and fast.
Anyone else got a guitar/guitars that they love? What's your favourite?
I have eleven in the room right now and though it's hard to pick a " favourite" . . . . here goes.
1. A Fender F65 dreadnought acoustic that I've owned since around 1984 and both my kids have learned on and surpassed my cluncky playing . . .
2. My old Mum ( before she passed away ) bid in a " silent auction" for a 70's Les Paul copy. It cost her the princely sum of £5 . . . . . . I've had it re fretted and put a new bridge on . . . . it Rocks !!
3. It's my fender telecaster ( American performer ) . . . . or is it?
so many to choose from . . . . . .
This telecaster. It’s a Jimmy Page dragon replica, but it predates the Fender custom shop replica by about 40 years. It’s a one off, with a late ‘70s body and unknown age of neck. When I got it, the case looked like it had been in a dumpster fire, the pickups and control plate were hanging out and the neck was at an odd angle.
I fixed it up, and it plays great and really barks. I hardly play any of my other guitars, and if there was a house fire, this tele would be the thing I would grab to run out with. I’ve never had another guitar as good as this one.
Great! I'd love a Tele and always lust after them when I'm in a guitar shop.
But I just play acoustic jazz and classical so not sure it would get used. I once borrowed a Steve Vai Ibanez Jem 77FP and it was amazing. I have been tempted by a Jem Jr in yellow with the pink pickups but again, would I really play it?
Paul, great to have such a perfect guitar that just works for you.
> Must admit, whilst I’ve not played the guitar for years (and I was properly shit) I keep thinking about buying the Jem Jr. Looks like a lot of guitar for £400.
Ibanez are absolutely killing it these days. Pretty well all their range are super playable, light, great pickups. Nice skinny necks and flat fingerboards. I found the Floyd Rose trem is really stable for tuning, so those Jems are great value.
I recently got a D’Angelico electric (South Korean) and have been blown away by its quality and design. I’d sat in the shop and tried all sorts of spenny Fenders and Gibsons etc but this stole the show. They’re known for third hollow and semi hollow jazz guitars (acoustic and electric) and had a long lay-off where they didn’t produce for the commercial market but man did they come back fighting with the new solid body electrics. Really impressed with the Seoul craftsmanship too.
Sound-wise, just a really simple, clean and warm tone, no unnecessary frills. Grover locking machine heads are fantastic. Satin fretboard action is a delight, I’ve always found Fender necks get so sticky and catchy as I suffer from quite sweaty hands, even their satin-finished ones. I have it in olive green and marble, it’s so sexy... 🤤
Would 100% recommend!
I believe the Floyd Rose on the Jem JR isn't actually a Floyd Rose branded bridge, but a cheaper alternative. Not the best reviews and some say the fit and finish of the guitar isn't brilliant either. That said, it's still good value and I'm always happy to make adjustments to setup and clean up frets and add better hardware down the line.
The D'Angelico looks great. Their hollow body Excels look superb and right up my street.
> Wind the volume pot down on a tele into an amp’s clean channel and you can play Jango Reinhardt or Pat Metheney.
Hmmm, Pat Metheny yes, Django no! Yes you can play gypsy jazz on anything, but a proper gypsy guitar is really the only way to go.
I've had quite a few guitars come and go, and I think (whispers) I've now found the three that will do me forever.
My humbucker needs are taken care of by a PRS SE semi-hollow which I picked up fairly recently. I've always wanted to like Les Pauls and SGs but never quite got on with them, and this does the job magnificently - it's so easy to play it sort of feels like cheating.
For my 40th a couple of years ago I built a Telecaster: butterscotch, neck humbucker and bridge single coil, permanently kept in 5 string open G for my Keef moments. It's enormous fun.
But if the house is on fire I'll walk straight past both of these, to get my Strat. It's a 1978, my birth year, and I've had it since I was 19. It's as battered as hell, weighs a ton, but it sounds perfect.
The guitars I have may well do me forever (I've have them all 15 years at least):
1) Yamaha FG-140 Red Label (1969 Japanese not Korean made). Bought in Canada when I was 13 and travelled around across Europe and even took a trip to Nepal where it got painted. It's battered now, needs the lacquer redoing, a partial refret and a new saddle. Not worth paying for repair, but I keep meaning to get some tools and use its refurbishment as a way to develop my guitar maintenance skills.
2) Epiphone Les Paul 3 pickup Black Beauty with gold hardware. I've changed the pickups with Irongear humbuckers on bridge/neck and a P90 in the middle. Wired it so there is only a single tone control. The second tone control now blends the P90 into the output. The switch works like a traditional 2 pickup selector. I can also coil tap the bridge/neck pickups using push/pull on their respective volume pots. I play this through a Marshall 8080 Valvestate which I was bequeathed by one of my father's friends.
3) Martin D-15. All mahogany, bought as a present. Sounds rich and beautiful and is picking up a gradual worn in sheen on the unfinished wood work.
Maybe I would consider the swapping the Epiphone for a genuine Les Paul, but my electric playing does not really justify it (yet!).
Lovely J45 there - bet it's very nice!
Some of those old Yamaha acoustics are brilliant.
My friend Jim has a PRS custom and it's certainly an amazing guitar. He finished it in a creamy yellow and I always thought how cool it looked
1978 is my birth year too, so a Strat from then would be great. My Hofner President is I think the oldest guitar I own, around 1960. It has a very low serial number 137. I had it restored by John Le Voi in Lincolnshire and it plays beautifully now.
I might just have to be a UKC supporter so I can put pics up here of my guitars.
Nice. I wouldn't feel any great need to switch the Epiphone for a 'real' Gibson; the build quality is pretty damn good in the allegedly budget marques now. I had a USA PRS which I sold to get the SE semi, and frankly the SE feels a bit nicer!
I've a lot of respect for those 1st gen Valvestate amps. I had the 8100 head and 4x12 when I was younger and it was astonishingly versatile.
> 1978 is my birth year too, so a Strat from then would be great.
Just don't plan on playing one standing up for more than a couple of numbers, unless your neck and shoulders are built like Mike Tyson's...
Yeah the Epiphone is a Korean made from around 2000, it finished pretty well and a bit of fretwork and a good setup is all it needs at this point.
I love the Valvestate, just changed out all the crackly pots and sockets and it's got a new lease of life. I've never owned a real valve amp though so there's probably room for something there...
Maybe should be in a favourite Bass guitar thread but mine is my 5 string Alembic Balance K signature deluxe (their naming standard, not mine). This was a custom order in 2006 so I was talking to the workshop regularly, choosing the woods, spec'ing string spacing, hardware, LEDs etc. Managed a trip to the workshop in california in 2012 and got to meet the guys who built my instruments*. It's a surprisingly small workshop that employs only about 20 folk, most of whom are related to one another. This bass has been on every stage with me since 2007 apart from a handful of Upright gigs. It'll be on stage again this Saturday at the Graeme Hotel in Falkirk. Come along if you're free (there'll be a fender and a gretsh in attendance if you're more interested in toothpicks )
*I have two other Alembics - a fretted 5 string and a fretless 5 string - but the thread asked for a favourite
edit: it's the bass in my profile pic
This is a very sore subject for me as I lost my favourite guitar to a pawn shop about 20 years ago after some financial hardship.
It was a 1989 Yngwie Malmsteen Signature Fender Stratocaster which I got when I was 15. In candy apple red, it was a stunning axe which I owned for 12 years. After I lost it, it took a fair while to get used to playing a guitar without a scalloped neck.
God, I miss that guitar!
I really tried with Gibson Les Pauls too, but it’s like wearing a piece of furniture with poor fret access.😂
Ive got an Epiphone TV Yellow Les Paul Special from the ‘90s with P90s, which is light enough and the pickups do growl. I’m on the lookout for a Laney head at the moment, at which point I’ll have to buy a black SG😍
off topic slightly, but today was new pedal day(in the pics)
Oh man, that's tough, sorry to hear that.
I sold a guitar a few years ago that I didn't really play anymore - a 1980s Takamine classical that I bought off my guitar teacher when I was at school in the '90s. A fantastic guitar plugged in (Fishman don't make them like they used to!). I regret selling it as it had sentimental value, but I just didn't play it. Silly really. I now have a lovely Cordoba Fusion 14 Maple classical which is damn good.
Bass guitars count. I have an old EKO fretless acoustic bass which is as close to a double bass sound as it gets.
Oh, where to start? I should probably say that it’s my Eko Ranger 12 string that I bought when I was 14, so this year is it’s 50th anniversary! However… from an electric selection including a Gibson Les Paul, a Gibson Blueshawk, a Gibson ES 333, a matching pair of USA Strat and Tele, plus an acoustic selection of Gibson J45, Taylor 414ce and a Martin Jumbo, I’d have to say though that it’s my Gibson Nighthawk SP3. I bought it off Eby as a wrecked, filthy, battered and knackered Cherry Red basket case, and then had it completely stripped and rebuilt, and it’s now absolutely gorgeous with a natural alder top and mahogany back - it’s one of a kind, and the only one I couldn’t just go to a shop and replace. Decision made!
Oh, plus of course, my most excellent Chender Tele, as purchased from the aforementioned Paul in Sheffield 😀. On the subject of pedals, as a result of an internet ordering cock up, I’ve got a spare brand new Lekato Looper for sale if anyone is interested - check out the reviews on the internet, and believe me, they’re every bit as good as they say they are!
I've recently bought a Yamaha LL-TA, which aside from being a very nice guitar in it's own right, has the transacoustic wizardry built inside, which takes it to another level.
Also I have an Epiphone ES335 going through a 1967 Selmer Treble n' Bass head, which sounds great.
> Oh, where to start? I should probably say that it’s my Eko Ranger 12 string that I bought when I was 14, so this year is it’s 50th anniversary!
I still have my 12 string ranger. 1981 so not quite as old as yours. It's the only 'guitar' I own. Keep thinking I'd like a 6 string version someday.
My favourite guitar is a banjo.
Oakwood custom made banjola - Octave mandolin body with banjo neck and tuning. Nice quiet sound
Tarango- travel banjo - removable neck and easy to take on as hand luggage
But I reeeeallly like th sound from my Deering Eagle II banjo even though it is heavy as fcuk
Nooooo, don't play it!
I played it in a guitar store once but I think I got away with it.
I have a few guitars but I almost always go back to my blue Jackson JS5 Warrior - the mighty no-frills budget pointy rock beast. The neck just fits my hand, it stays in tune despite heavy thrashing and it isn't blighted by noisy pots like so many of my other guitars are.
I'd love to get a banjola or something like that. I remember playing a Portuguese guitarra years ago which I got on very well with as the tuning was the same as a guitar I think.
I have a Yamaha Guitalele which I highly recommend as a travel guitar - it's tiny but perfectly nice to play once you get used to it. It's been abroad a few times.
The thing I'm getting from this thread is that we all have very personal connections to certain instruments, and they're all quite different. Although I don't connect with something like a 12 string or a Jackson rock axe, I can appreciate we all have different attractions and musical sensibilities and if the instrument is right, then it is like a family member!
> Oh, plus of course, my most excellent Chender Tele, as purchased from the aforementioned Paul in Sheffield 😀. On the subject of pedals, as a result of an internet ordering cock up, I’ve got a spare brand new Lekato Looper for sale if anyone is interested - check out the reviews on the internet, and believe me, they’re every bit as good as they say they are!
I’m going to have to confess that selling that Tele to you is one of my regrets, but I’m glad you’re still enjoying it.
Well I'm after an original Selmer or Busato from the '40s if anyone spots one!
I'd be happy with this - https://www.galerie-casanova.com/portfolios/bortolo-busato-grand-modele-c-1940/
> *I have two other Alembics - a fretted 5 string and a fretless 5 string - but the thread asked for a favourite
As a Stanley Clarke super-fan, I approve this message Don't see many Alembics about.
> There's a very nice John Broadwood baby grand in the local charity shop - so tempted!!!
> Nowhere to put it though unfortunately, unless I get rid of the sofa?
I had to give my acoustic piano away, 2.5 grand new and no one would buy it. Only paid 250 so wasn't too bad. Rocking a Korg D1 now, not quite as nice but 200kg pianos aren't very practical if you move house alot, or you need a sofa!
While there are so many musos on here, how many of you have started playing with other people live again? I’ve just started looking through musicians wanted and maybe dip my toe back in the water. Just wondered what your experiences have been?
> As a Stanley Clarke super-fan, I approve this message Don't see many Alembics about.
I borrowed his first solo album (the one with Lopsy Lu on it) off a mate at school and was instantly hooked, had never listened to fusion before. School Days is one of my favourite albums.
> While there are so many musos on here, how many of you have started playing with other people live again?
We have our first gig since early november tonight. Really looking forward to it. 2020 we had 15 gigs lined up for the year from april that all got cancelled. This year, it seems to be a lot harder to get a response from venues. Pah!
> As a Stanley Clarke super-fan, I approve this message Don't see many Alembics about.
Me and a bass playing friend went down to london from edinburgh years ago to see him at the Jazz cafe in Camden. Had a fun day at the guitar show at the excel centre in docklands the got into the queue outside the venue. Stanley came past and briefly said hello and shook hands - his hands are HUGE!!. Great show but he didn't play school days which was a big disappointment tho I guess he's bored playing the same old stuff. ( a few years back we say rickie lee jones in edinburgh and she chatted so much between songs she ran out of time to play Chuck E's in love!).
> We have our first gig since early november tonight. Really looking forward to it. 2020 we had 15 gigs lined up for the year from april that all got cancelled. This year, it seems to be a lot harder to get a response from venues. Pah!
Just out of interest, are you playing with a proper back line, or preamps/modellers straight to the mixing desk?
Mesa Boogie M9 Carbine and Mesa Boogie 410. The place is too small to justify adding the mesa 210 To be fair though the amp is in a rack with a tuner so we can sit the desk on top out of the way.
edit - both guitarists have fender combos. Drummist is a bit miffed cos he's only allowed one kick drum in this venue - he has a double pedal though.
I used to play guitar in the 'pit' for local amateur dramatics group here in Lochaber. They've fizzled out during covid, but hoping someone will take on the job and get it up and running again.
As for playing with people, I jam with a friend regularly but play mostly solo. I'm playing at a wedding in August and might do some busking on Fort William High Street this Summer just to get used to performing again.