Guitars that surprised your low expectations / disappointed your high expectations?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by joeker19lc, Jul 18, 2014.

  1. Kerry Brown

    Kerry Brown TDPRI Member

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    Disappointed - Epiphone Les Paul Reverse Custom Limited Edition. Beautiful looking guitar but really dead. No personality. Dull sound. It was way too pretty to start modifying so I sold it.

    Surprised - '98 reissue Danelectro DC-3. Feels like a piece of crap when you first pick it up. Feels very flimsy and the neck dive is very bad. Plays like a dream and the tone is incredible. I end up picking up this guitar more than any other when I just want to have some fun and bang out some blues with everything on full.
     

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  2. 6942

    6942 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I picked up a little Teisco E-100 single neck pick-up guitar, on-the-cheap.
    It weighed next-to-nothing, which pretty much describes my 5'2", 95 pound younger daughter.
    I decided to mod/upgrade it for her, with parts that I had lying around the house.
    Mighty Mite tuners, DR strings, CTS pots, and an old Teisco Gold Foil pick-up, that came off of an old Decca wall hanger guitar (beautiful chrome pick guard, but totally unplayable).

    Anyway, it.....surprisingly.....turned out to be a nice little player for her!?

    Steve
     
  3. tbp0701

    tbp0701 Tele-Afflicted

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    I don't have any major disappointments, but there are a couple I haven't taken to as much as I've hoped, and lately I've been thinking I could pare my six guitars down to three.

    But the disappointment is the CiJ '62 RI Tele. Just never quite got along with it as much as I'd hoped, although I tried.

    The biggest surprise is a well used Hamer Artist Studio. It's obviously been through a lot and has the "Hameritis" finish issue, but it sounds great and plays so much easier than my other guitars that I kind of feel like I'm cheating with it.
     
  4. Tele Ted

    Tele Ted Tele-Holic

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    High expectation = major disappointment!I had my 74 mustang rewired with fralin mustang blues specials. The sound is Shrill, ice pick shrill. I have played through several amps, excelsior, cube 40, blues jr,Mesa boogie fifty caliber. The result is more or less the same.I bought new switches and pots and electronics. The originals are in there still. We'll see if that works. I put the guitar in the case the last few months. I had read nothing but high praise for the most part on fralin pups.

    Thoughts ? Appreciate any input.
     
  5. Tele Ted

    Tele Ted Tele-Holic

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    I bought an old kraftsman 3/4 les paul shape for $80 in the 80s. Great guitar, use if for slide.

    A few years ago I bought a godin sessions, start style. Had no expectations, it is a great guitar, very versatile.

    I bought a les paul studio in 2005, never bonded with it. Going to sell it. On the other hand I bought an epiphone elitist les paul ( made at the Fuji gen plant) with American made electronics. That is a great guitar.

    Bought a teisco for $20 back in the day, still plays great...
     
  6. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    I had a USA Hamer Special for years. It was my favorite guitar for a long time.
     
  7. BobbyB

    BobbyB Tele-Afflicted

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    Shawnee on Delaware,PA
    Biggest disappointment was my 1980 sunburst Les Paul standard. That guitar was just dead as far as tone or sustain. The clean tones were uninspiring it was just bad.
    I have a 2013 Les Paul standard Plus now with the 60's style neck and it sounds amazing!
    This is what a Lester should sound like!
    My other great guitar is my Fender Custom shop telecaster. Ash with twisted tele pickups,
    I can get most any tone out of that guitar its amazing in all regards.
     
  8. Tritone

    Tritone TDPRI Member

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    Tokyo, Japan
    Disappointments:

    Carvin DC-127T - never sounded or played as great as I was expecting for an American made guitar. Had a lot of tonal options but my Squier Strat was the much better player and sounded better too IMO. Even though it was 1/3 the price.

    Ibanez AF-73 - great quality for the price, but never sounded good to me, even with Seth Lovers installed. I still have an AF-105 though.

    Classic 50s Tele - I know this is blasphemous, but I never really warmed to this guitar. Sure I loved the look, and the sound of the neck pickup, but that was about it. The string tension was higher than all my other guitars. The action was not that great (admittedly I did never get it professionally set up). And the bridge pickup was just too shrill and trebly for me.

    Mix of surprise and disappointment:

    Made-in-China Casino - When I first played it in the shop, it kind of blew me away with the sound and nice neck. I bought it a few days after I played it. But it had some issues. First, neck dive. I hate neck dive. The pickups were unbalanced, volume wise. The neck pickup could get wooly and farty sometimes. It didn't stay in tune super well. And one day the pickup jack fell into the body.
     
  9. Chris S.

    Chris S. Asst. Admin

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    Disappointment:

    Gibson Blues Hawk. It should have been great: 25.5 inch scale, two P90s. Just didn't play that well and sounded dreadful. :( I blame the Varitone switch. Anyway, it left home shortly after I got it.

    Nice surprise:

    Epiphone 56 Gold Top: I've had two of them (long story), but both were great. P90s sounded like they were supposed to (sweet to growl), they played well and looked great. Best of all, they're really low priced on the used market. Highly recommended. :cool:

    CS
     
  10. Tele Fan

    Tele Fan Friend of Leo's

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    Louisville, Ky
    Biggest disappointment: Gretsch guitars. Something about the way they do their neck binding always makes my hand start going numb after I play them for a while. I have no idea how or why.
    Biggest surprise: Music Man Albert Lee model. They had one on clearance at GC and I picked it up and was blown away. It's my number one twanger now.
     
  11. elbohead

    elbohead Tele-Meister

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    RI-USA
    I had absolutely NO expectations when I borrowed my friend's Modern Player Tele Plus, and was blown away by the fit and finish, playability and overall quality of this guitar. If I were in the market for an inexpensive guitar to cover all the bases, I'd buy one tomorrow. I gig two or three times a month and wouldn't think twice about bringing this guitar to a job. Splittable humbucker along with two single coils gives you a total of seven tonal options. And, in my opinion, they're all very usable. I can't say that about my American Deluxe Strats with the N3 noiseless pups and S1 switch. Sure there are lots of options, but most of them just plain suck.

    I will definitely own one of these at some point.

    http://www.fender.com/guitars/telec...elecaster-plus-maple-fingerboard-honey-burst/
     
  12. Tritone

    Tritone TDPRI Member

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  13. jayyj

    jayyj Tele-Afflicted

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    Manchester, UK
    Biggest disappointment would be those little Rickenbacker 325s. The Beatles were my favourite band upto the age of 16 or so, and I always loved the look of those guitars. Forward wind twenty years and I now work for a big Rickenbacker dealer, and my god I hate those things! Massively cramped and far more toylike than my Duo Sonic short scales, weird neck profile and that vibrato which is surely the worst design ever to enter the guitar world, leaving you anywhere upto a semitone out of tune depending on where you let go of the arm. I've done a couple of Lennon conversions on these for customers and they're definitely better with Bigsbys, but still, not my favourite guitar.

    Les Pauls, I've always wanted one, never met one I wanted to take home. I think it's me, not the guitars.

    The best surprises are always when you pick up a cheap guitar that your head says should be bland and uninspiring and yet turns out to be great - there seem to be a lot of these out there. Danelectros, Fender Modern Players, Squier CV, Faith acoustics always blow me away for the price. Epis are often really impressive given how much cheaper they are to the US versions. My Epiphone Mandobird is probably my favourite cheap purchase - that thing gets a lot of use and always sounds good and turns heads.
     
  14. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Coolum Beach,Australia
    I've never tried out a lot of shop models... bought older US Fenders from the US on pot luck....all of them were as I expected.. US Fenders.... the guitars others try and copy...

    the first tele I built I had low expectations....

    Though, it's kept all my good guitars in the dust for the last few years... I love the thing.... then built another much the same to prove myself wrong.... well it's better than the first one... dammitt...;)

    Best not to have expectations.... guitars sound like you do, for the most part...;)
     
  15. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Englewood, CO
    Just bought a Peavey Generation EX Custom that was far nicer than I had ever expected out of a Peavey guitar. Dual HBs w/coil taps plus a Piezo that can be played stand alone or blended with the HBs. Fairly lightweight and plays like a dream.

    My biggest disappointments were probably early '80s Fender Basses. The quality was horrible and turned me away from new ones for years.


    [​IMG]
     
  16. sir humphrey

    sir humphrey Friend of Leo's

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    Bristol
    Low-high: Lag Jet. Cost me £120 new and is a really, really nice guitar with a better neck than many I have which cost 4 times as much.

    High-low: Musicman Silhouette. Not a bad guitar at all, in fact very well made and would be great for someone else, but I never bonded with it.
     
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