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Most versatile guitar?

New to buying
August 21st, 2010, 09:39 PM
As you can tell by my name, I'm pretty much new to any kind of trading/selling/buying or guitar names and stuff like that. I'm really good at guitar, and im 14 ive been playing for like5 years. I started out with alternate rock, and now ive kind of drifted into jazz and blues. Now i realize that my 100 dollar off brand strat and 1 foot high marshall practice amp won't do. So i've been saving up and i went to the music store where the guy explained pickups, and guitars and whatnot.

So what i want to know is what do you think is the most versatile guitar in your opinion.

And if it could just be a simple answer like "telecaster" or "SG" because i sure can't rewire a pickup or anythin technical like that. Thanks in advance :razz:

Birdmankustomz
August 21st, 2010, 09:52 PM
I started on a H-S-S strat, and from that I learned what I wanted in a higher end guitar. I think my guitar is incredibly versitile (American Standard tele with a humbucker bridge and a single coil in the neck and a phase switch). With that I have everything from classical tones to death-metal. It took a bit of work with the wiring but there are plenty of people that can walk you through it on here or you could take it to a shop.

EDIT: I realized I didn't really answer your question, I'd say either a H-S-S strat or a good tele.

adjason
August 21st, 2010, 09:53 PM
well since this is the telecaster forum I will say telecaster.........neck pickup can do jazz, middle can do almost anything an out of phase strat can do, and the bridge (with tone control) can do anything else...............and it is the coolest looking guitar

tonewoods
August 21st, 2010, 09:55 PM
So what i want to know is what do you think is the most versatile guitar in your opinion.



Welcome to the forum....

Oh, and I'll go with a GreTsch 6120...

It'll do anything, and well....

Chris S.
August 21st, 2010, 10:00 PM
G&L ASAT Z-3 or Comanche. I call my Z-3 Semi-hollow the Swiss Army knife of guitars. Five different settings cover everything from country twang to mellow jazz. Not cheap, but definitely versatile IMO. -- CS

homerzeppelin
August 21st, 2010, 10:03 PM
What is your budget?

tele salivas
August 21st, 2010, 10:05 PM
Welcome Newby! You're going to get a lot of answers for telecasters here. And while the Fender Telecaster is my favorite guitar, in all honesty, a great archtop is probably the most versatile electric guitar you will come across. You don't have to spend a ton of money on the real fancy ones that have lots of gold hardware and some rare wood grown in a now dead rainforest, but a good solid Gretsch 6120 Hollowbody or Gibson/ Epiphone ES series Archtop . Especially if you are getting into blues and jazz, an archtop/Hollowbody will get you some superb sounds, and they can go hard with an overdrive sound real nice. Good luck in your search and glad to have you here.

allen st. john
August 21st, 2010, 10:13 PM
I honestly have to say that it's a Strat.
A good strat setup, with a baseplate and a blender for the bridge pickup, can get you pretty close to tele twang. The Strat neck is a classic unto itself, but can also be rolled off to get some jazz (clean) and woman tone (dirty). And the quacky middle tones are just not options on a tele.
That said, I'm glad I've got one of each and don't have to make that call.

SteveGangi
August 21st, 2010, 10:36 PM
I'm going to go against some of what's been said.

No one can TELL you what is the right one for you. You can only get a general nudge in a direction, but they can not pick YOUR keeper for you. Even among several of the same make and model, there will be the one that works for you and the others. Get to a store and play them. Pay no attention to the brand or model at first, just try them. All of them.

My first good electric was a 60's Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman. By using the pickup switches and the amp intelligently, it could do just about anything, any kind of music, and did. Later when it got stolen, I used a Stratocaster and a Les Paul. Then later still, I got a Telecaster.

Anyone who says a Telecaster or a Gretsch are only for country, is wrong. Anyone who says a Strat is only for rock or blues is wrong. Any good guitar will be good for any music you want to play, if you give it a chance.

jjkrause84
August 22nd, 2010, 05:43 AM
For me it's a Fat Telecaster with coil-split options. Gives you the flexibility of a Tele PLUS some! A 335 would be a close second.

Anyways, good luck on your guitar journey. If I would give one it of advice it would be to learn to solder and work with electronics. It's not that hard but, in the long run, will save you huge amounts of cash and give you lots of self-satisfaction as well. Think, yo ucan get pickups in the mail in the morning and be playing them that afternoon! Cool!

stratman323
August 22nd, 2010, 07:16 AM
I honestly have to say that it's a Strat.
A good strat setup, with a baseplate and a blender for the bridge pickup, can get you pretty close to tele twang. The Strat neck is a classic unto itself, but can also be rolled off to get some jazz (clean) and woman tone (dirty). And the quacky middle tones are just not options on a tele.
That said, I'm glad I've got one of each and don't have to make that call.

+ 1.

But the ideal is to have a Strat & a Tele. Maybe you can't afford that yet, but you'll be able to soon. Those two classic guitars together can do anything.

Gibson type guitars can be fun, but they are nowhere near as versatile as Fender type guitars. Personally, I can never understand why some people think a 335 is so versatile - to me it isn't. Nice guitar, sure, but versatile?

kidmo
August 22nd, 2010, 07:56 AM
Hi new and welcome to the forum. As stated in previous posts, just about any guitar is very versatile, IMO a strat or tele will win 90% of the time. Look at the Squire series of Classic Vibe models, very high quality, low price. Don't forget, much of your tone will come from your amp (preferably tube) so don't forget to budget in for that, but that's a whole nother thread. Good luck and stick around and let us know what you decide!:lol::lol::lol:

Horse
August 22nd, 2010, 08:12 AM
Semi Hollow, ES 335 etc and a tele....... very versatile, to my mind those and the tele are the best and most versatile designs ever.

jjkrause84
August 22nd, 2010, 09:03 AM
Personally, I can never understand why some people think a 335 is so versatile - to me it isn't. Nice guitar, sure, but versatile?

It's the trebly bridge pup contasted with the dark and rich neck pup....it allows you to go into I guess what you can call "Fender territory". Then again, Les Pauls can do the same...Page got some great twang.

imsilly
August 22nd, 2010, 09:05 AM
A regular old school blackguard Tele type or a regular pre-CBS Strat.

Thing about those guitars is that unless you are using ungodly amounts of gain they let you express your natural style. Plenty of sounds out of those two guitars. They are tough as hell and probably more reliable then a Gibson type with their fragile necks. Plus they won't hide any of your mistakes behind high output pickups.

Don't worry about modding, etc. Just grab one you like the sound of and play. Well maybe a pickup or cap change could be helpful, but for most part try not to worry about anything, but playing. I love the fact all I need to do is pick up my Tele and I can go from playing blues to sleazy pychobilly without anything more then switching from a neck to bridge pickup and playing a little different.

ledet
August 22nd, 2010, 09:09 AM
A Tele with a neck-humbucker or a Les Paul or an ES-335. What's your budget? I can suggest some specific guitars if I know how much you can spend.

stratman323
August 22nd, 2010, 09:15 AM
A regular old school blackguard Tele type or a regular pre-CBS Strat.


The guy is 14, & you're expecting him to find the money for a pre-CBS Strat?

:roll:

Heritage
August 22nd, 2010, 09:27 AM
Without question, a -335.

guitarbiker
August 22nd, 2010, 09:35 AM
I think a Strat first, a highway 1 or something pretty good quality. Strats are easy to play and versatile, then if you can a semi-acoustic like an Epiphone Sheridan (335 copy) and finally get a tele. I think it's the elder statesman guitar and you got to be pretty good on the guitar in general to control it. Of the three mentioned guitars I find the tele to be the most versatile stylisticaly. All guitars can do anything though, depends on who's playing it. Just wait, the amp game is crazier I've got about 15.

studio1087
August 22nd, 2010, 09:40 AM
HSS Strat.

Humbucker - Single - Single Pickups

This is a USA built HWY-1 that I bought used for $399. They're affordable.

http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k106/johnlg-2006/TopClose-B.jpg
http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k106/johnlg-2006/FrontEntire-B.jpg

Durtdog
August 22nd, 2010, 09:47 AM
The guy is 14, & you're expecting him to find the money for a pre-CBS Strat?

:roll:
Sure...and he needs to get a Dumble amp to play it through.

Heritage
August 22nd, 2010, 09:49 AM
+ 1.
Personally, I can never understand why some people think a 335 is so versatile - to me it isn't. Nice guitar, sure, but versatile?

I'm writing as "Heritage," so you know where my money went. I would, however, suggest that a -335 with good tone and volume controls would change your mind. Coupled to a neutral amp, a -335 is a real chameleon. You really can do just about anything with a good -335.

Unfortunately the garbage that Gibson is currently spewing may have left you with a poor taste regarding -335s.

imsilly
August 22nd, 2010, 09:55 AM
The guy is 14, & you're expecting him to find the money for a pre-CBS Strat?

:roll:

Notice the use of the word, "type" and not "actual" meaning that I meant a guitar of a similar spec.

stratman323
August 22nd, 2010, 09:56 AM
I'm writing as "Heritage," so you know where my money went. I would, however, suggest that a -335 with good tone and volume controls would change your mind. Coupled to a neutral amp, a -335 is a real chameleon. You really can do just about anything with a good -335.

Unfortunately the garbage that Gibson is currently spewing may have left you with a poor taste regarding -335s.

Nope, mine is a Japanese Tokai ES130, natural finish, dot neck, gorgeous guitar. I would rather have this than a Gibson. The problem is that it has 2 humbuckers - a guitar with 3 single coils is considerably more versatile than anything with 2 HBs (even if you have coil taps).

A 335 is no more versatile than a Les Paul as far as I'm concerned.

stratman323
August 22nd, 2010, 09:58 AM
Notice the use of the word, "type" and not "actual" meaning that I meant a guitar of a similar spec.

You didn't say "type" you recommended ".....or a regular pre-CBS Strat". If you had said a "vintage type Strat", I wouldn't have said a word, except maybe to agree with you.

Heritage
August 22nd, 2010, 10:16 AM
Nope, mine is a Japanese Tokai ES130, natural finish, dot neck, gorgeous guitar. I would rather have this than a Gibson. The problem is that it has 2 humbuckers - a guitar with 3 single coils is considerably more versatile than anything with 2 HBs (even if you have coil taps).

A 335 is no more versatile than a Les Paul as far as I'm concerned.

Reasonable men can easily disagree on this point.

In my hands, a three coil Strat-type guitar feels very constricting...no matter where you go it sounds like a Strat. Worse, there's no way to get a Strat to sound like anything other than a Strat--barring a pickup transplant.

In contrast, it has been my experience that a Tele or -335 can cross-dress, to a limited extent.

Like I said, reasonable men can disagree. At the end of the day, the same guitar will sound wildly different in the hands of different players.

TeleGlider
August 22nd, 2010, 10:26 AM
Well .......I think there is more "versatility" in how one plays rather than what.
Telecasters IMO will make you a better player.
As far as tone etc. ...most of Led Zep's first album was a tele....
Welcome to the Forum :grin:

Dan German
August 22nd, 2010, 10:26 AM
I started on a H-S-S strat, and from that I learned what I wanted in a higher end guitar. I think my guitar is incredibly versitile ... I'd say either a H-S-S strat or a good tele.

HSS Strat.

Humbucker - Single - Single Pickups


I have a few guitars, but the most versatile one in the collection is a HSS configuration. As Strat and Strat-type guitars are so widely available, that's the best way to go, for my money. Especially if there's a coil-split for the bridge p'up.

Or this (OK, it's $600, but it gives you an idea what's avaliable):

http://www.godinguitars.com/godinsessionp.htm

Telarkaster
August 22nd, 2010, 11:25 AM
Knowing what I know now, if I had to do it all over again I would pick up a Custom Vibe Squier Telecaster (50s because I like the maple neck), and an Epiphone Dot. With those two guitars I can cover any sound I need. I would start with the Squier Tele and go back for the Dot later since the Tele can do it all.

I would then put all my money into a really good tube amp to make them sound good, and have a luthier set up the guitar if I didn't know how to do it myself. Then I would avoid the internet and guitar stores and just woodshed for 10 years, knowing that I've got all the gear I'll ever need and that if I want to sound better I have to practice.

KevinB
August 22nd, 2010, 11:34 AM
Good suggestions from all.

When I bought my first good electric, I too was concerned about versatility. Later on, as I acquired more guitars, I didn't care about versatility as I just had a single sound in my head that I wanted to replicate.

So, my two cents goes to what I first bought, a Tele Custom with a classic Tele single coil in the bridge position and a WR humbucker at the neck. You can do a lot with this and I think it's a much better option that having the HB at the bridge.

Having said all this, for versatility, a good, simple, standard Strat is a great guitar to have and also covers much sonic ground.

chicknpikr
August 22nd, 2010, 11:43 AM
I can't believe no one mentioned a p 90

stratman323
August 22nd, 2010, 01:14 PM
Reasonable men can easily disagree on this point.

In my hands, a three coil Strat-type guitar feels very constricting...no matter where you go it sounds like a Strat. Worse, there's no way to get a Strat to sound like anything other than a Strat--barring a pickup transplant.

In contrast, it has been my experience that a Tele or -335 can cross-dress, to a limited extent.

Like I said, reasonable men can disagree. At the end of the day, the same guitar will sound wildly different in the hands of different players.


You're right - we'll have to disagree about this. My last band did Black Magic Woman, & by setting a Strat on the neck pickup & turning the guitar tone down to 1, I could fatten up the sound enough to get a vaguely Santana-ish tone. Well the tone was closer to Santana than my playing was!

And yet, on other songs, it would still do the choppy rhythm chords that no Gibson is much good at - you need a Strat or Tele for a decent rhythm sound.

IMHO, of course.

BillĘ
August 22nd, 2010, 01:21 PM
The G&L ASAT Special.


Cheers,

BillĘ

jjkrause84
August 22nd, 2010, 01:24 PM
I like a 335 for rhythm.... :wink:

http://rexfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/djgd2.jpg

http://cache3.asset-cache.net/xc/86096725.jpg?v=1&c=IWSAsset&k=2&d=77BFBA49EF8789215ABF3343C02EA5484721C67600111265 3464AF83175FE53EC2497F3F16E5E3EA

Stratelcaster
August 22nd, 2010, 01:39 PM
Peavey Omniac or a Tradition Jerry Reed custom. Also, the Schecter C-1 S/H or C-1 E/A. One that I've never tried but some swear by is the Carvin AE185. You can have most of the coil split/phase options and acoustic sounds. Sometimes the AE185 can be found fairly inexpensively on Ebay and locally as well.

kp8
August 22nd, 2010, 02:00 PM
Purely for versatility, it is very hard to beat a strat. I am not saying that is the best guitar but it is in general very versatile. If for example you have to play in a wedding band and only have one guitar a strat covers a lot of ground, from rock to country to jazz to funk to croony stuff...

10Alex10
August 22nd, 2010, 02:12 PM
http://www.myguitarguide.com/wp-content/gallery/les-paul-guitars/les-paul-guitars-8.jpg

Prison Rodeo
August 22nd, 2010, 02:18 PM
A Parker Fly.

jjkrause84
August 22nd, 2010, 03:18 PM
A) I totally dig the wine red Les Paul posted above....very sexy


B) Anyone else notice that the OP hasn't posted back yet? I bet he'll be a one-post wonder...... :sad:

hoofer
August 22nd, 2010, 04:20 PM
Tbe versatility is in the guitarist, not in the guitar

tazzboy
August 22nd, 2010, 04:53 PM
A Les Paul

Controller
August 22nd, 2010, 05:18 PM
You got to play them first. I spent years and years fighting my SG and never realized that it just didn't suit me. Got a Strat, much better, got a Tele and it was magic. If you get one that feels right you will pick it up a lot more often. All the guitars mentioned are great but not all these guitars are great for you. Do yourself a favor and try them out. Your tastes may change in a few years but you want one that feels right today.

vox Phantom
August 22nd, 2010, 08:03 PM
When I started playing back in 1988 I started with a
Rickenbacker 360. Is it versatile I think it is but that was a long time
ago. Now I play Parker Fly Artist:cool: