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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Anyone got a "definitely better, but..." guitar?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Verzila, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. Verzila

    Verzila Tele-Meister

    My main guitar at the moment is a PRS SE Soapbar. I also play a Vintage SG Jnr clone.

    If I'm comparing the two, the PRS is clearly the better guitar - you can just feel that the quality's a notch or two above the Vintage, and the sound clearly has the edge, but...

    ...but if I had to choose between the two, it's the Vintage over the PRS every time. I don't know what it is, but the Vintage just has something that hits the spot, call it vibe, call it mojo, I don't know, but I prefer it to the "superior" PRS.

    So, do you have the same thing going on - yes, guitar A's "better" than guitar B, no question, but...that $50 beater just does it for you more than that $3000 Gibson custom?
  2. Darkness

    Darkness Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 7, 2016
    Stygian Gulf
    Carvin bolt kits I made. Love those thangs.
    Doug 54 likes this.
  3. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Jul 2, 2015
    Yes!—I have exactly the same relationship with my PRS SE 24. For some time I've been reaching instead for my rescued '97 Squier Affinity Strat (worth maybe $60), practicing with it and using it at rehearsals.

    I use the PRS for performances since it works for all our tunes, the fretwork is perfect, it stays in tune best yada yada, and is just generally the most reliable guitar. And, it's a great sounding guitar, a fine sounding just doesn't have much of its own personality.

    On the other hand, the beater Squier strat, which set up to my taste, is just more fun to play. The fretwork e.g. is nothing like the PRS workmanship, but as an instrument it's got a distinct personality.

    The stock cheapo strat neck pickup has a little more 'bite' than the PRS (I use the PRS mostly in single-coil mode) which is great when needed, I just love it. I took the tone control off the neck p/u for max twang and snarl. Most 'neck-pickup' leads I want to play the strat, it's just more fun to play!

    Plus, I'm in a honeymoon phase with a new $180 Tagema (Brazilian company) jazzmaster-based guitar (recent NDG thread should be searchable) and it's getting most of my attention lately. If it continues to work well, it might replace the PRS altogether.

    Poor neglected PRS!:cry:
  4. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Friend of Leo's

    Aug 17, 2017
    Essex, UK
    I'm in a similar position, to some extent. I'm learning and also building a small collection of guitars. The most expensive is a Gibson ES349 - bought new and it's a 'beaut. Sounds great. However, the one that fits my hand and I seem to enjoy most is my cheapest guitar - an Indonesian made Hamer XT. No intentions of letting that one go.
  5. Tonetele

    Tonetele Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2009
    South Australia
    I have a "Blackie" Stratocaster that I made from parts and replaced it with Tonerider pickups, Gotoh tuners, re-wired it myself and shaved the neck. My eldest son got me an aged pickguard and p/up covers, control knobs and it does look old.

    It is a far better guitar than my 2004 Hwy.1 Telecaster, which has a gap in the neck/body join, none of my builds will allow a single cigarette paper in that join.

    So Yeah, sometimes it works out that way, and I can use that Strat for a variety of sounds that I can't get out of a Fender Telecaster. I know that I love the sound of Clapton's original Blackie as used on 461 Ocean Boulevard.
  6. claes

    claes Tele-Holic

    Aug 20, 2007
    Lol, hell yeah. I had every guitarmodel there is. Many have been furniture quality and better in any way there is. But they havn't been telecasters so I ended upp selling them all.
    The distinct telecaster sound from single coils and string true bridge just sound better to me.
    trahx likes this.
  7. fatcat

    fatcat Friend of Leo's

    Jul 6, 2010
    Very Deep South
    I think everyone has experienced this.

    The guitar I call my number 1 is an 11yr old Chinese Epiphone. The sound and feel of every guitar I try gets subconsciously compared to that one.

    If it came down to choosing between that Epiphone and my $3,000 les paul; I'd have to say they will bury me with that Epiphone.
  8. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 14, 2012
    London, UK
    Yep, I have a couple of semi-fancy git-tars, but for gigs I usually reach for my grotty old partscaster. Covers the bases and doesn't give a crap about tone.
    Minimalist518 and fatcat like this.
  9. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 5, 2012
    South Louisiana
    I have a late 70's Sigma DR-35. It is the acoustic I reach for most often.
    It needs a compensated bridge and I'd love to add a bone nut, but dang! I payed less than $100 bucks for it at a pawn shop a few years back. That's part of the charm.
    It is not the equal of my Gibson J-45, but I have to be careful with the Gibbie in a way that doesn't even cross my mind with the Sigma.
  10. JL_LI

    JL_LI Tele-Afflicted

    May 20, 2017
    Long Island, NY
    My #1 is a MIM Telecaster that started its life as a Nashville Tele. It's finally where I want it to be with N4 noiseless pickups, pots, and switches. I also have a MIJ Gretsch Anniversary (clearly the best construction), an American Standard Strat, and an SG Robot with the robot BS removed. The MIM Tele is like the original '57 Bel Air, cheap and perfect for hot rodding.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  11. PearlJamNoCode

    PearlJamNoCode Tele-Meister

    May 26, 2017
    My #1 is my Squier Jazzmaster. I also own a Fender Classic Series Strat that retails for about double the Squier. They're nearly equal in build quality, each have things I like and dislike. If I could combine them they'd be perfect!
  12. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's

    Oct 14, 2015
    IL, USA
    Not really. I think all my guitars are evenly matched, aside from one junker and one that's still in the middle of being a project. I tend to play one almost exclusively for a couple months and then rediscover the next one.
    cactusrob likes this.
  13. Pickcity

    Pickcity Tele-Meister

    Oct 12, 2017
    Atlanta, Ga.
    I have an old standard Squier Telecaster that I played for years during my gigs. I still prefer it to most guitars. I paid $150 for it over 20 years ago.

    Right now my favorite electric to play is my Squier deluxe Stratocaster, followed closely by a Corbin LP copy that I bought for $80 at a pawn shop.

    I have real Fenders, like the one in my avatar, and have owned and played most of the usual suspects. More often than not, I would guess, I prefer my lesser expensive guitars. I can't say why.

    I have several very nice acoustic guitars, Gibson, Taylor, etc. and I love them, but here at home I usually grab my '76 black label Yamaha that I bought for $70. I won't say that I like it better than all my other acoustics, but for simply playing I like it just as much as any of them.

    The best guitar is the one you enjoy playing the most, and neither the price tag or the name on the headstock matter in the least.
  14. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 21, 2012
    I'm not sure that I can totally relate, but I bought a replacement "beater" acoustic ... a Chinese Epi EL-00 Pro. I always have wanted a Gibson L-00, but his Epi shines go gloriously, I have absolutely no more GAS for the Gibby. And even though I have an over $1000 dollar acoustic, this fifth of the price Epi is the one I grab first.
  15. Knowcaster

    Knowcaster Tele-Holic

    Jun 30, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    My number 1 is a 2016 SG Standard. I reach for it at home and gig with it more than the other 3 electrics I own. I think this is because it is light (about 6.5 pounds), comfortable to play with good action, and sounds as a humbucker equipped Gibson should. My number 2 is my Tele style partscaster, but it is heavier and not as comfortable to play, and of course has the longer Fender scale length. There are times though that you just need that Tele single coil twang, and can't get on the SG. I also have a Strat that I just don't seem to get along with (I can't stand the pickup selector switch and volume pot locations), but keep it around mainly for the "in-between" pickup settings using two pickups for that sound that only a Strat can get. My fourth is an old Carvin DC-150 (humbucker equipped double cutaway) that I rarely play. It is well built but somehow lacks the mojo of my other guitars.
  16. SweetClyde99

    SweetClyde99 Tele-Holic

    Feb 1, 2016
    Jefferson City, MO
    Can we take a minute to discuss how stupid it was to choose Vintage as a brand name? I’ve heard several mentions of Vintage clones of Gibson-style guitars on this and other forums, and every time I Google something like “Vintage Les Paul Jr copy,” all the hits are of old Gibsons or Gibson reproductions—i.e., Vintage guitars rather than Vintage guitars. I’m assuming people are finding their Vintage brand guitars in-person, because I sure haven’t been able to find any online.
  17. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia
    I've never really been able to beat the 'affordable' era MIJ fenders, compaired to my custom made Strat or Musicmans.
    My buddy has a cheapo Cort acoustic that by all counts sould be junk be it sounds so good almost as good as my Gibsons.
  18. Clash Telecaster

    Clash Telecaster Tele-Meister

    Nov 30, 2017
    New York
    This takes guts to admit, but the guitar on the left is the one that is more of a go-to guitar.


    Obviously, the Gretsch White Falcon is the better guitar. Playability, tone, looks, craftsmanship, response...far better than the budget Gretsch Electromatic. But the Electromatic is just more fun to play. The White Falcon is so exquisite I am afraid to play it. I can not just pick it up and bang around some tunes on it. The Electromatic I can do that. It is the more guitar-friendly guitar.
    Honest Charley likes this.
  19. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Ad Free Member

    Jun 22, 2010
    Osaka, Japan
    I have a very nice Godin LGSP90. Every time I play it, I think about what a nice neck it has and how well it's put together, and how nice the SD PUs sound, but it's kinda heavy, and, I dunno, every time I put it back in its gig bag it sits there for 6 months.
  20. darkwaters

    darkwaters Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 14, 2012
    Yep. My grab'n'go electric is the MII Squier Standard you see in my avatar. I have an Epi Dot with Duncan pickups, a Reverend Jetstream 390, and a Gibson SG as well and I love'em all. They all play and sound great. Still, if I could keep only one, it would have to be the Squier and it cost me the least. Funny. There's a lesson to be learned there somewhere. ;)
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