Do you all have a "number one"?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by EsquireBoy, Nov 21, 2019.

Do you have a real number one?

  1. I do and I seldom play my other guitars.

  2. One gets played more than the others, but I have no problem sharing the love.

  3. I don't and play all my guitars to suit my mood or my needs.

  4. I own one single guitar, you spoiled brat!

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Sax-son

    Sax-son Tele-Meister

    Mar 20, 2019
    Three Rivers, CA
    Fiesta Red likes this.
  2. ricardo1912

    ricardo1912 Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 26, 2011
    Kent, UK
    My no 1, ever since i bought it on the 'bay, has been my bsb Baja. I generally have another guitar out as well but that changes every now and then. The Baja never gets put back on the rack in the spare room and is always on hand. It's totally standard apart from occasional pickguard changes and only needed a basic set up.

    Lightweight and very resonant, it has great feel and works well for rock, blues, indie and gentle stuff
    EsquireBoy likes this.
  3. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

    Nov 15, 2010
    Thank you very much...

    No, it’s it isn’t’s been modified and customized quite a bit...

    It started life as a 1995 MIM Tele Special. The (stock) coil-tapped humbucker was uninspiring, so I pulled it out, put on a blank BWB pickguard and re-configured it as an Esquire, which is how it stayed for several years.

    I routed out the Esquire pickguard to put a cheap Mighty Mite P-90 ($20 on eBay) in the neck position (note that it’s further away from the neck than most Tele neck pickups would be—prevents the boomy/bassy overtones that sometimes occur with a neck-position P-90), added a four-way switch and a Fender No-Load Tone Pot.

    I had Greasy Groove (no affiliation) laser-etch a neck plate with my band’s logo and the nickname of the guitar (“Big Tex”), and installed the “ashtray” bridge cover, just for picking style lent itself to playing with the ashtray in place...

    Later I replaced the BWB pickguard with the tortoiseshell one now on it; I had to order an Esquire pickguard and rout it out (just as before). I did this both times with a hand-held Dremel tool. (No caffeine that day!)

    In a fit of grandiosity, I found a young old-school Von Dutch-style pinstriper to put some pinstripes on the body (matching the color palette of the tortoiseshell); the design was inspired by one that Billy Gibbons did on one of his Telecaster-like-objects.

    I *think* I’m done modifying it—both visually and electronically—but never say never...

    I named it Big Tex, ignorant of the fact that there’s a boutique company that makes a Telecaster-like-object with that model name...but it fits the guitar very well, since it coaxes tones ranging from ZZ Top to SRV to Waylon Jennings to Fabulous Thunderbirds very easily...of course, those are the guys that I play most like,’s probably more the driver than the car...

    It also sounds great with a slide, with or without open tunings...

    So there’s the story...

    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
  4. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2003
    I have an amp that is hands-down #1.
    Although I haven't found a guitar that ticks all the boxes, just about any one I have would be fine if it were my only one.
    Even this one, which will be my only one for a few weeks because I'm bed-ridden. IMG_20191120_085157.jpg
    Shuster, Blazer, JL_LI and 3 others like this.
  5. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Mar 31, 2009
    Plundertown (Gasville) OR
    I know what it means in this context, always have known, but I've never been quite comfortable with the expression "number 1", since my earliest days in school, when you had to let the teacher know when you raised your hand whether you needed to go "number one" or "number two", before you could be excused to the bathroom.

    Anyway, at my house if there is going to be a number-one guitar there will have to be two of them, because I play both electric and acoustic guitars, each one every day if that's possible at all. Since I began acquiring more guitars than the two acoustics I started with, about ten years ago, I have wrestled with the problem that @EsquireBoy mentions, how to choose a guitar to play without neglecting all the other guitars I've scarfed up off e-Bay. I've tried pretty hard to rotate through each side of my collection, acoustic and electric, giving each guitar a fair amount of playing time.

    Just lately, for the last couple months or so, I've been playing just one guitar in each category, and I'd have to say that, although I doubt I'll ever want to sell out my other guitars, there is a pretty clear number one acoustic and a number one electric emerging as well, and I guess I'm ready to admit it to myself. I think the OP's secondary question, about reasons, is interesting, so here are my number ones, and my reasons:

    My number one acoustic is the Takamine EF340S BG (below top row, second from left) that I bought about ten years ago, after going through probably ten e-Bay purchases of "lawsuit" Takamines off e-Bay, and limiting myself purposely to Taks, as far as my home collection goes. It wins the lead spot because of its dreadnought size, comfortable for me because of my own size; its 6-string nature with its wide nut and comfortable neck; its all-solid construction including solid spruce top, solid mahogany back and sides, and ebony fretboard; and its "stealthy" electronics, the Takamine LineDriver system that makes it look like a straight acoustic unless the guitar is plugged in, important for me because I am usually not plugged in when I'm playing acoustic, even though the guitar sounds great when I do plug it in. I guess it's also important that the Jodi Head strap I chose for it is comfortable and good-looking too.

    Couch pic.jpg

    For electrics the nod goes to Ol' Simple (above bottom row on the left). Simple, the first of the five "blueprint" teles I put together myself, wins because it's the most "traditional" tele of them, with a "Green Onions" tele neck and bridge pickup set from Don Mare, a Warmoth neck with ebony board and 1 3/4" nut. I additionally love this guitar because my son made its body from a mahogany board a friend had given me, and the strap was made by a friend of mine who runs a boot-and-saddle shop.

    At the same time as I'm letting this evolution happen, I've been letting my choice of pick settle too, and although I still rotate from my ridiculously large collection of "boutique" picks for most of my other guitars, these two are likely to stay a long time with the picks I'm currently using in them: a Red Bear "B" heavy with standard bevel for the acoustic, and a Red Bear "Li'l' Picker" light standard bevel for the tele.

    It must be at least four or five years since I took that couch shot, because the C-126 at top right has been perma-loaned to a kid from school for that long. It's been replaced in the house by my '05 LTD, and the herd is otherwise the same. If I didn't know better I'd say my GAS is gone!
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
  6. dougstrum

    dougstrum Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 6, 2015
    blu ridge mtn cabin
    Can't a guy have two number ones:twisted:
    Both have recently had neck pickup change. The mahogany Tele is definitely no.1 Tele.
    The big guitar has definitely replaced my full body archtop as no.1 for jazz gigs.
    Redwood top and cedar back and sides.
    It's only 2" thick way more comfortable the full body archtop:cool:
    Shuster, Deathray, Blazer and 2 others like this.
  7. AAT65

    AAT65 Friend of Leo's

    May 29, 2016
    West Lothian, Scotland
    Telecaster and Jazzmaster (my geo American-made guitars) certainly get the lion’s share of playing time (virtually all of the gig time), but between those two it’s pretty even.
    My other electrics get much less time on the clock: the Shergold Masquerader SM03-SD is a bit fiddlier to work with (Strat pickup configuration and 5-way switch) and the PRS SE245 is too close in style and sound to my bandmate’s Les Paul. I do love playing the PRS especially, it’s just not the right guitar for my role in this band.
  8. basher

    basher Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Jun 7, 2007
    Washington, DC
    I've only had my Les Paul for about a year and a half, but it's become the guitar I mean when I say "my guitar." It's a 2014 Traditional. Sings like a huge flaming scary singing thing. Nice and heavy so I don't get blown away in the wind from my amp.

  9. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 21, 2019
    Paris, France
    Not the worst choice, that’s a guitar that looks like I want to play her.
    Hope you recover quickly!
    charlie chitlin likes this.
  10. 39martind18

    39martind18 Tele-Holic

    Jul 31, 2012
    Spring TX
    My number one is an Epiphone Sheraton USA, played through a 71 DR modified with 2x10 JBL D110Fs and 6L6s. Used primarily for our bar/restaurant gigs and some assisted living gigs as well. _526.JPG 20171114_133334.jpg
  11. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Holic

    Feb 20, 2018
    i have like.... 20 #1s... just depends on what I'm into this month!
    P Thought and EsquireBoy like this.
  12. milopera

    milopera TDPRI Member

    Nov 7, 2019
    Boise, ID
    I'm like you.

    Over the years I have slowly whittled down my collection to currently only be my favorite tele, my favorite strat, my favorite acoustic/electric Gretsch and a little Washburn Rover for those times when I don't care what I sound like and I don't want to lug something big and heavy.

    I'm considering sinking my teeth into a Classic Series thinline HH tele, but I'm still not sure yet...
    EsquireBoy likes this.
  13. marc2211

    marc2211 Tele-Holic

    Jan 30, 2018
    I mentioned it earlier, but now got a pic - it's the Strat on the right. A 1993 MIJ ST54 Fender Strat.

    I got it in 1994, so it's been with me for ~25 years. For 22 or those, it was my only guitar. When I got it, someone had revarnished the neck in a weird lacquer that I had to peel off in strips with a razor blade. I also had to replace one tuner.

    Over the years it's had various pickups, but is back on the stock ones as they sound 'right'. It's also had most of the pots and switches repalced as they wore out - it now desperately needs a heavy duty fret job or a refret, but I don't trust anyone to do it... hence it's in semi retirement, played every other day, not every day! :D

  14. MrGibbly

    MrGibbly Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 19, 2014
    I had a lovely blue one not much "younger" than yours that I desperately wish I hadn't sold in ~'95 to get a rather average Les Paul Studio...I've probably overcompensated by holding on to the LPS far too long. :)
  15. dannyh

    dannyh Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 1, 2005
    North Texas
    This sums up my feelings exactly. I do have one that would be the last I’d sell if I had to part with all but one, but that’s due more to sentiment and personal feelings than any else.
    Dismalhead likes this.
  16. Mr Ridesglide

    Mr Ridesglide Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Dec 11, 2009
    Bloomington, MN
    2037671E-55A0-4CCF-8AE0-DF50DC32D5DD.jpeg I've always had a "most used" guitar. In the mid 70's thru say about 1986 it was my Ibanez LP - Fretless wonder. Then I got a American Standard Strat in 86 or 87 perhaps. That jumped to the gigging guitar as it stayed in tune. Sometime around 1991 I got an American Standard Tele - some sort of teal green/blue thing and it really was a great guitar. In about 1995 or so I got a '57RI Strat that became a close rival for live playing time with the teal Tele and stayed that way until about 1998 when I traded the Teal Tele and some cash for a '52RI Tele that to this day remains as my first go to for live gigs requiring electric guitars.It does a lot of things well, and some better than any that I have owned. I have several backups but this one pretty much is played 90% of the night or more on gigs.
    EsquireBoy and Deathray like this.
  17. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 18, 2010
    My number 1 is my 61 RI SG. For a while played it exclusively (despite owning many other guitars). Lately it's not being played as much & I'm rotating through some of the others. However, if someone said I could only bring one guitar with me to play out, it would be the SG.
    EsquireBoy likes this.
  18. Deathray

    Deathray Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Feb 1, 2019
    Central illinois
    Since my Les Paul Standard 50s got here three weeks ago, I must say I haven’t touched any of my other electrics. I’m actually sort of afraid they won’t sound as good to me as they used to. I usually have a rotating #1, but this guitar sounds like NOTHING I have ever played. It is way more versatile than I would have thought. The tone is simply beautiful.

    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
  19. toomuchfun

    toomuchfun Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 9, 2014
    PA, US
    I found my number one about 4 years ago thanks to forum member johndanger. He saw an add in my area for a 1956 Telecaster and posted it here. By the way I'm a '56 model too.

    It's a frankin-tele with a refinished body and refinished/refretted neck. The neckplate and some hardware are the only other original parts. It had Joe Barden pick ups in it, and they are nice but I put a set of Don Mare Hayrides in and they are just right for me.

    It feels so right and has convinced me there is something to old wood. It's a guitar I can say has made me want to play better, and I feel it has.

    Here is how it looked when I bought it:

    And here's how it looks today:

  20. Boxla

    Boxla Tele-Meister

    Aug 25, 2017
    Jerry Garcia is a guy who definitely had a number one. Although he had at least 4-5 number ones over the years, he stuck with one at a time and did something I love and emulate and that’s only playing one guitar at a show.
    EsquireBoy 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.