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Hybrids. Do they work for you?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by LGOberean, Feb 22, 2021.

  1. Fergyuk

    Fergyuk Poster Extraordinaire

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    Each to Their Own!
    I have one and like it, it's not a fender, gibson, semi hollow or jumbo acoustic! I don't try to emulate a p90 loaded guitar or any particular acoustic, it has it's own unique sounds. One of my favourite ways to play it is through the stereo jack plug into two seperate amps.
    I bought it because I didn't have one if that's reason enough and it's not going anywhere, it's a keeper. I have Les Pauls, SG's, Strats, Tele's, Semi Acoustics, Jumbo, 12 string acoustic, Resonator and classical guitars.
    If I want a Les Paul sound I use a Les Paul!
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  2. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    For me interest in a hybrid comes and goes. If I could truly find a "one guitar to rule them all" hybrid, that would probably be my "one more" guitar that @Chester P Squier spoke of earlier. :twisted:

    And the argument that true acoustic guitar tone cannot be had in an acoustic/electric pretty much tracks with my experience as well. However, for live performance situations, putting a mic in front of an acoustic is too inconvenient/problematic, so I make the compromise and use an acoustic/electric, accepting the less than perfect reproduction of acoustic guitar tones.

    So what I'm after here is less about "How good does the piezo or acoustic modeling sound?" and more about "How good is the electric sound?"

    And the problem I've run into is strings and amplification. As to the first problem, if I use phosphor bronze strings for the best acoustic tones I can get, then the electric guitar sound suffers as a result. OTOH, with nickel plated steel strings would be the right call trying to get electric tones out of a hybrid, but then the acoustic sound suffers.

    And what I'm plugged into plays a key role. If I want an acoustic intro to a song, it'll sound it's best going into one of my Loudbox Minis. But then if I want to switch to a magnetic pickup for electric tones, it will sound a bit sterile going into that same Loudbox.

    The only solution I can see is plugging the hybrid guitar into my A/B/Y box. But sending the signal to two different amps still won't address the issue of strings, so I just don't see a way to get what I'm after. And that one guitar isn't saving me from using two amps, or hooking up extra gear (A/B/Y box).

    Seems easier just to have a a tele and an acoustic/electric, and my two amps of choice. And I have 5 teles and 4 a/e guitars, and the amps for both, so buying a hybrid isn't a need. GAS for such a guitar just gets trigger every once in a while. Illogical, perhaps, but there it is. (And since when has GAS ever followed the rules of logic?)

    So like I said, my interest in hybrids comes and goes. And with any luck, it will soon go away again, if logic wins out over feelings of GAS.
     
  3. 39martind18

    39martind18 Friend of Leo's

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    In all my piezo equipped electrics I installed the Fishman Powerchip. This onboard preamp serves as a volume control for the piezo output and a "blender/separator" for the signal. Using a tip-ring-stereo jack, the piezo can be split into a Y cable where one leg is plugged into the guitar amp and the other, carrying the piezo signal, into an acoustic amp or PA. The result with this setup is huge sounding, with a lot of spread.
    When using a mono cable, the Powerchip acts as a blender between the piezo and magnetic signals. I like to use mostly magnetic with just a smidge of the piezo to provide the sheen and glisten of the "acoustic" to the tone. Does it sound like my old Martin? Not really, but I do like what it does sound like. YMMV
     
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  4. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    A couple of years ago, when Fender's Acoustasonic American Telecaster first came out, I test drove one at Clawson's Music. I didn't go in looking for it, but Bubba Clawson had just gotten then in, and was excited to show it to me. (Yeah, Bubba Clawson. It's Texas, y'all.) I posted a review of it back then, but I'm too lazy at the moment to do a search and find that old thread. But from memory...

    Right off, before Bubba plugged it in for me, I didn't like several things about it. The price, for starters. But beyond that, I didn't like the look of it. Fender may have different colors now, I dunno, but at the time it was like gray, green, black, sunburst and natural, something like that. The one I was playing was either green or gray. Also regarding looks, I didn't and still don't like the look of that "sanded off" looking forearm contour.

    Another thing I didn't like before I even played a note was the pickup. Without even hearing it, I was disappointed that it was in the bridge position. I rarely ever play the bridge pickup by itself, so I would have preferred the Acoustasonic's one magnetic pickup to be in the neck position.

    As for the tones themselves, again, the issues of what kind of strings were on it and what amp I was plugged into made it less than perfect one-guitar-for-the-stage kind of thing. I think the guitar was strung with phosphor bronze. And Bubba had first plugged me into a DRRI, so when I was going through the acoustic modeling options, he was trying to talk it up, saying how good the acoustic tones were.

    But, they weren't. The various acoustic models didn't sound bad, but not that convincing. And they didn't didn't sound vastly different from one another, especially through the DRRI. After a time plugged into the DRRI, I asked if I could hear it through an acoustic amp. Since I had a Fishman Loudbox Mini at the time (still have it, only now I've added a LBM Charge as well), I was thinking of something like that, or else one of the Fender acoustic amps (IIRC, they had an Acoustic 100 on the showroom floor).

    But Bubba had recently tried the Acoustasonic Tele through a PA, so he wanted me to hear that. Fine. And the acoustic models sounded much better that way, and more distinct from one another than through the DRRI. But then the magnetic pickup sounded like crap.

    Speaking of which, that Noiseless 4 was not to my liking. And the pickup itself aside, as I mentioned before, I would have preferred whatever magnetic pickup it had to be in the neck position. So all told, the American Acoustasonic Tele was a no go for me.

    Back a decade or so ago, Fender had their Deluxe series Acoustasonic model. It was available in Olympic white or some kind of white, but also in a sunburst. The latter would be my preference. And that rosewood bridge fashioned to approximate an ashtray bridge looks cool to me. In fact, overall the guitar looks cool to me, much more appealing than the current Acoustasonic.

    [​IMG]

    It has an under saddle piezo, the Fishman Aura preamp with four acoustic models, and the Twisted Tele neck pickup. I've never seen one in person, much less had the chance to test drive one, but I know I like that Twisted Tele pickup and the position it's in in that guitar. So if the acoustic models are even serviceable, that older Acoustasonic model could be a contender. But, alas! They're discontinued.
     
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  5. Sconnie

    Sconnie Tele-Afflicted

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    Let me put it this way: the only hybrid product I have ever used that is worth anything is Klasse All-in-One. That stuff is not only worthwhile, it's really the only choice. Look it up!

    Anything and everything else without exception is less than the sum of its parts. (muahaha sweeping declarations always go well for everyone :twisted:)
     
  6. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    I've never test driven one of these myself, but there is a very talented guitarist, Barb Maxey, I greatly respect that is a big fan of Taylors, and she has a T5z. I've heard her play hers in a couple of different venues. She has a pedal board in front of her amp, which IIRC is a Roland AC-90. I know she's sounded good using that rig, but then again Barb could make a cheap, crappy Chinese guitar sound good.

    Those T5 Taylors are out of my price range even if I was seriously looking, but if money were no object, I'd give one a test drive.
     
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  7. david_dave_davey

    david_dave_davey TDPRI Member

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    I understand this post is in reference to hybrids in the tonal or sonically speaking, however just wanted to chime for a minute about a Tele a tried the other day, the one with the Jazzmaster body, that thing was amazing, all Tele tone, but it was much more comfortable than I thought it would be, I've never even thought Of touching an offset until now, Anyways that's way hybrids aren't all bad they may point to in the direction you have been ignoring, could be a new tone, a new genre, a different something or it could even show what you don't like
     
  8. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    Thanks for chiming in. Actually, it's the least you could do, since your Crafter kinda triggered this latest bout of GAS for me. :twisted:

    I owned a Crafter guitar years ago. In the year 2000, I bought my first acoustic/electric guitar. (Or, seeing as how I'm talking about Crafter guitars to a person from the UK, maybe I should say "eletro/acoustic." :twisted:) It was a Crafter FX570EQ.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Not a phenomenal high end guitar, but well made. It had the fiberglass bowl back design, and so unplugged it wasn't a loud guitar, but the onboard electronics were good, and it was a serviceable a/e guitar for gigging purposes.

    But I digress. Crafter guitars is a brand I'd consider, and the SA series (does that stand for "Slim, Arched"?) would certainly be a more affordable option than a Taylor. Not that pickups/electronics are really the same in those two guitars. Do I understand correctly that the P-90 in that is hum-cancelling?

    I'd say they're worth a look, but they're not as easy to find over here as they are in the UK/Europe. Or that's my impression, anyway. Seems Crafter guitars are more popular on your side of the Atlantic.
     
  9. Califiddler

    Califiddler Friend of Leo's

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    Do you even need a second amp for the A/E? In my country band I always put the A/E (and the fiddle) through a Baggs Venue DI, then into the PA. Worked great.
     
  10. cnlbb

    cnlbb Tele-Afflicted

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    The Godin A6 Ultra can do a decent job, but you really need to use both outputs one to an electric guitar amp and the second to the PA or acoustic amp. It's never going to sound perfectly like a D28 and a Les Paul in the same guitar, but for those who are willing to learn the controls & experiment it'll get you close enough.
     
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  11. jaxjaxon

    jaxjaxon TDPRI Member

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    I would use a good peizo acoustic and put a Dimarzio pickup in the sound hole and run each into separate amps.
     
  12. Fergyuk

    Fergyuk Poster Extraordinaire

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    They are easy to find over here though they stopped making the QMOS (quilted maple orange sunburst) there are a few videos on youtube but it would be better for you to sit down with one for a while.
    Crafter guitars do seem well put together and I have never had a problem with mine over the years I've had it, btw the only crafter that I've owned. Slim Arched is what it stands for and as you said a lot cheaper than a Taylor. They are available with a lipstick pick up too, which are SA models not SAT.
    mahogany neck, grover style unbranded tuners, devil tree body (asian hardwood), strings through body, quited maple top, rosewood fingerboard, 25.5 scale, L.R. Baggs designed electronics, Kent Armstrong soapbar (which they call humbucker) but it's a p90 definitely noiseless. and an L.R. Baggs element piezo, individual volume & tone controls for each pick up, 3 way switch with blend in centre position and stereo out jack with a Y jack adapter for individual output from both pick ups in the blend position which works with just a normal guitar lead. I was going to weigh it but can't find my luggage scales.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021 at 4:01 PM
  13. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    It's a passive circuit. I wired the 2 piezo in parallel which is supposed to drop the impedance level. I used the existing pot which was a 500k volume only for it. Maybe I should've tried a 250k, but I didn't have one at the time.

    I need to do some maintenance work on it soon and will be doing some work with that part too. I have considered using a rod piezo and send that end of the cable to a Preamp installed in a pedal enclosure, then to amp.
     
  14. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    You could make a double neck version of the Yamaha SLG200, one neck for acoustic and one neck for electric.

    Make the acoustic neck a 12 string and shape the outer bands like a SG.:twisted:
     
  15. guitrr

    guitrr Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    The strat shaped guitar in the center of the photo was made for me about 25 years ago by Bill Fels and Doug Montgomery of Guitar Factory, in Orlando, Florida. It was a standard model for them at that time, although each one was made to the player’s specs.

    I actually brought them an 8’ plank of Birdseye Maple from a trip I made to New England, and the top and headstock veneer are from a section of that piece of wood.

    Both neck and body are Korina, with the Birdseye top, fretboard is ebony.

    The guitar is fully hollow, with an acoustic bridge. Both magnetic and piezo pickups have their own dedicated output, and volume and tone controls. The under saddle Piezo I believe is a Fishman. The magnetic pickups were originally Tom Andersons, but I changed them to EMG 89s in order to have silent single coil sounds. The blade switch is a five position, with the three middle positions all being single coil. I string it with nickel electric strings, but bronze would work, too.

    Through a PA or acoustic amp, I kid you not, it sounds like a Martin dreadnaught. I own a Henriksen Bud, which has a tweeter, and it sounds amazing through that, too.

    The blended tones impart quite a bit of articulation, and lend themselves particularly well to any jazz music, not unlike a Parker Fly, (a la Pat Martino, in his Parker phase). Those tones also work very well for playing slide.

    I’ve used the guitar quite a bit over the years for recording. It is fantastic for Americana or Country gigs, given the acoustic properties, but I’ve also used it on lots of rock cover band jobs. I’ve also used it on lots of solo gigs where most guitarists would use only an acoustic.

    Btw, that same model Guitar Factory guitar was the stage instrument of choice for Jimmy Buffett for about 15 years, until he got hooked up with PRS. There are many pics of him playing them onstage, and up on the wall inside Guitar Factory is a Corona Beer promo banner featuring Jimmy playing one of those guitars.

    7EEE5B1F-089A-40DC-8FDB-260E1655486D.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021 at 5:48 PM
  16. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Okay, hear me out. I stumbled across this video before I purchased an Epi EL-00 Pro quite a few years ago as my campfire replacement guitar. A fantastic fingerpicking blues box for under $400, but the Fishman Pre amp (presumably not expensive) and accessed through the sound hole, is awesome with pedals and electric guitar amps. Anyway, here is the vid I saw. Once I bought it and updated the saddle and strings, it became a lifetime keeper and then my wife bought the mohogany top version too.

     
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  17. tubejockey

    tubejockey Tele-Holic

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    That's true, parallel piezos will lower the output impedance, but you will still want about 3M input impedance on the next stage. A 500k pot will be way too low. Try a high Z buffer before the volume pot.
     
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  18. timbgtr

    timbgtr TDPRI Member

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    Doesn’t Pete Townsend use a Strat with a piezo for acoustic sounds?

    upload_2021-2-26_8-7-29.jpeg
     
  19. OmegaWoods

    OmegaWoods TDPRI Member

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    The saying "If you chase two rabbits, both will escape" pops into my mind when I consider the Acoustasonic.

    They have a place in music creation for sure, I've seen Paul Davids construct beautiful, multi-layered songs with one but, to me, they would be a very specific tool for a very specific job. You can drive a nail with a ball-peen (or ball pein) hammer but it's not built for that.

    I wouldn't take an Abasi guitar to a campfire either.
     
  20. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

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    I am not a fan of hybrid guitars.
    They remind me of the new
    Jeep 4-door trucks.
    Too big to be a good Jeep, too small to be a good truck.
    Compromise in design on both attributes and it will excel at neither.
     
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