Sounds or Looks?

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

  1. TheQuestioner

    TheQuestioner NEW MEMBER!

    Age:
    58
    Posts:
    1
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2018
    Location:
    Netherlands
    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".

    avatar-tdpri.jpg
     
    Jimmy Owen likes this.
  2. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,552
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2017
    Location:
    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

    Posts:
    363
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Location:
    London, Ontario, Canada
    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

    Posts:
    363
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Location:
    London, Ontario, Canada
    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 Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    52,781
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    Howdy!
    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

    Posts:
    641
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2015
    Location:
    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

    Posts:
    2,858
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Location:
    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 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    67
    Posts:
    5,771
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2017
    Location:
    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

    Age:
    73
    Posts:
    9,823
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2003
    Location:
    NJ via TX
    sound trumps all, but aesthetics inspires. it's nice to have both.
     
  10. Colors

    Colors Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    512
    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    Location:
    Nebraska
    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

    Posts:
    8,158
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2012
    Location:
    Tennessee
    I am pretty I want my guitar to be pretty - Welcome to TDPRI :)
     
  12. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    46,650
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Location:
    Kelowna, BC, Canuckistan
    posing -- looks
    playing -- sound
     
  13. AAT65

    AAT65 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    3,340
    Joined:
    May 29, 2016
    Location:
    West Lothian, Scotland
    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

    Posts:
    46,650
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Location:
    Kelowna, BC, Canuckistan
    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

    Posts:
    19,316
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2012
    Location:
    Montana
    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

    Posts:
    1,995
    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2012
    Location:
    Bristol UK
    I strongly suspect that looks influence the perception of the sound too.
     
    Telescience and Antigua Tele like this.
  17. Jackadder

    Jackadder Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    507
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2014
    Location:
    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

    Age:
    59
    Posts:
    3,161
    Joined:
    May 9, 2015
    Location:
    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

    Posts:
    2,315
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2014
    Location:
    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

    Posts:
    793
    Joined:
    May 20, 2018
    Location:
    Arcata
    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.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.