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

Sounds or Looks?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by TheQuestioner, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. TheQuestioner

    TheQuestioner NEW MEMBER!

    Jun 11, 2018
    I was over 40 years ago intrigued by the sound of the Guitar. Until this day I still am. Always searching for that special sound that inspires me to new compositions. So my guitarcollection grows by the years... I own a shiny red Strat (1983) which looks good, but the sound is not very inspiring (maybe because of the poor pickups... in comparison to my own build Telecaster thinline (2017) - which looks maybe a little less fancy... the Telecaster with to humbuckers sound really good and inspiring!

    How's that for you... do you go for the Looks or the Sound? I am curious on what guitarists drives to buy "That One Guitar".

    Jimmy Owen likes this.
  2. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Friend of Leo's

    Aug 17, 2017
    Essex, UK
    For me, it has to be the sound. the only caveat I'd make is that the ergonomics also have to be good as, if I can't get comfortable with it, there's no point having it.

    Aesthetics aren't completely insignificant but, so long as it isn't a colour I could probably live with most designs.

    I have a few guitars but the sound I get from my Duesenberg is the one I like most. It is also, to my eye, a beautiful design and feels comfortable when I'm playing. At the other end of the scale, sonically, is my MIJ Tele. I like the design and it's comfortable enough but I'm started to dislike the bright twangy sound - so I'm about to have some new pickups fitted that will, hopefully, give it a deeper / fuller tone.
    LocoTex and BB like this.
  3. srolfeca

    srolfeca Tele-Meister

    I like ‘em to look nice, but it’s always sound and feel first for me.

    If they play and sound great, then the looks tend to grow on me over time.

    Something I’ve never understood, is “the one that got away” syndrome.

    By that I mean the situation where someone has that perfect, one in a thousand instrument, but they trade it away because they always wanted sea foam green, or something.

    Then they constantly lament the one the got rid of.

    When I find something I really like, I tend to cling to it like a leach. If the colour really bugs me, paint is cheap...
  4. srolfeca

    srolfeca Tele-Meister

    That’s another thing I’ve never understood.

    I have no loyalty to old instruments, once I outgrow them. My first guitar could be in a dumpster by now for all I care.

    If that red Strat sounds uninspiring, why keep it around?
  5. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    I am more concerned withh a guitars sound, but looks do matter.
    Speaking of looks, your guitar looks familiar!
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
    Jimmy Owen and nojazzhere like this.
  6. dougstrum

    dougstrum Tele-Holic

    Oct 6, 2015
    blu ridge mtn cabin
    I definitely like a traditional looking guitar; archtop or tele
    for me. Next it should be comfy to play; a 25.5" scale is a
    must have. With the right pickups and amp the correct tone
    will be there.

    A guitars got to be comfortable to play! My first electric was a
    real head stock diver~'65 melody maker. Man that thing had
    tone! It's long gone, remembered fondly~but not really missed.
  7. fatcat

    fatcat Friend of Leo's

    Jul 6, 2010
    Very Deep South
    Looks draw me to pick it up; feel will cause me to put it down.

    For electrics; unplugged sound or resonance as well. I like when they are particularly loud unplugged.
    Telescience and tery like this.
  8. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Friend of Leo's

    Feb 3, 2017
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    In order of importance.....PLAYABILITY, how it FEELS, neck size, balance on strap, string action.....SOUND, if it doesn't sound good, forget it......and last (but NOT least) APPEARANCE, if the first two requirements are met, I can put up with flaws in looks, but I may do something to alter it.
    8barlouie likes this.
  9. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Mar 3, 2003
    NJ via TX
    sound trumps all, but aesthetics inspires. it's nice to have both.
  10. Colors

    Colors Tele-Meister

    May 12, 2016
    Ugly guitars must have personality. They are forced to because they can't skate through life on looks. They'll never marry a dentist but that doesn't mean they can't be happy.
  11. tery

    tery Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Sep 21, 2012
    I am pretty I want my guitar to be pretty - Welcome to TDPRI :)
  12. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

    posing -- looks
    playing -- sound
  13. AAT65

    AAT65 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Sound / tone and playability come first, looks after.
    I would have bought an Epi Les Paul Tribute a few years ago it looks was #1 but could not deal with the neck profile. I would have bought an American Pro Tele Deluxe a few weeks ago but the humbuckers just didn’t have the sound that I looked for. I can’t deal with the size of a 335/Sheraton body either.
    But looks aren’t irrelevant — I can’t buy anything in butterscotch, sunburst or antigua for instance, or anything pointy (PRS headstock excepted).
  14. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

    You say your partscaster isn't a looker? Looks good to me, although I want to flip the humbucker around.
  15. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 21, 2012
    Sound, neck feel and playability is all that matters to me. If the guitar looks good, it is a bonus, but not very important. Sound can be and is very inspiring too.
    8barlouie likes this.
  16. Seasicksailor

    Seasicksailor Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 26, 2012
    Bristol UK
    I strongly suspect that looks influence the perception of the sound too.
    Telescience and Antigua Tele like this.
  17. Jackadder

    Jackadder Tele-Meister

    Jun 12, 2014
    Western Australia
    Welcome to the forum! Looks to pull you in, feel to keep you playing..... sounds are flexible.

    Love the look and feel of those Babicz bridges...
    Telescience and 8barlouie like this.
  18. 8barlouie

    8barlouie Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    May 9, 2015
    Seekonk, MA
    Feel is most important. Sound is important, but most likely can be changed to suit taste. Looks is last, but if it’s truly hideous then chances are I wouldn’t pick it up in the first place.
    Modman68 and Minimalist518 like this.
  19. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2014
    west coast
    People care more about looks than they will admit. That's why not only are Les Pauls, Strats and Teles the best selling guitars, but the original 50's color options are the most popular. It's why Gibson and Fender have both filed lawsuits to stop other companies from copying the precise shape of their bodies and head stocks. It's why staggered Strat pickups remain popular, despite making no sense.

    Sure, you might spend an hour a day playing the guitar, but it sits on a guitar stand for the other 23 hours, and there's a lot to be said for that. And you could make an argument that in a recording context, looks don't matter, but when you're on stage, everybody is going to see what you're holding, and will be looking at it off and on throughout your entire set.
    DHart likes this.
  20. Art VanDelay

    Art VanDelay Tele-Holic

    May 20, 2018
    Everyone will say sound but wait until the next NAMM when people will GAS for something they could not have possibly tried.
    Antigua Tele likes this.
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