This Guitar PLAYS Awesome, But That Guitar SOUNDS Awesome...?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by SolidSteak, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. SolidSteak

    SolidSteak Friend of Leo's

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    Anyone ever have one guitar that just plays perfectly, great setup, comfortable, etc. but doesn't suond that great, and another guitar that SOUNDS awesome, but maybe won't stay in tune, or the nut is too tall, or can't seem to intonate properly?

    Two guitars I love to play: strat-style HH and an Epiphone ES-339. The strat (this particular one) is one of the most comfortable guitar I've ever played, but not the best sounding guitar really. I guess it's mostly the pickups. The 339 OTOH sounds amazing, for funk, blues, rock, clean, dirty, everything, but the nut is too high, I can't ever get it completely in tune all the way up the neck, crackly switch, etc.

    Option 1: try out the Epiphone pickups in the strat, but even then it probably won't sound the same as the 339 due to the scale difference, and different bridge.

    Option 2: Bring the 339 in for a setup, and ask them to work on the nut.

    Do I make the "awesome-sounding" guitar play better, or make the "awesome-playing" guitar sound better? Or maybe both are possible?
     
  2. Ziggy587

    Ziggy587 Tele-Meister

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    I would do both, but I would focus on making the better playing guitar sound better.
     
  3. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    The 339 just needs a good set-up.

    The strat just needs some good pick-ups.

    Then you’ll have a whole new kinda problem! :D
     
  4. scottser

    scottser Tele-Afflicted

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    i'd prioritise the 339 and get that bad boy playing sweetly. it's a fast fix and you know what needs doing so you should be able to keep right on your budget.
    the strat might take some more deliberation and you may need to take your time choosing pickups etc.
     
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  5. darren7

    darren7 Tele-Holic

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    Everything on the 339 is fixable. Getting the nut cut properly will probably help the intonation, unless the factory totally bungled the fretting or bridge placement.

    The Strat just needs new pickups, but which ones will take some swapping.
     
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  6. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    My favorite electric guitar, a 2003 MIJ Gretsch Nashville Classic, sounds fantastic, and plays beautifully.
    The only thing(s) I don’t like are it’s huge-ish body size, and 14 fret clear neck joint.
    I’d prefer a body slightly bigger than a Les Paul, and a 16-18 fret clear neck noint.
    My avatar guitar and Gibsons all have better general neck access.
    First world problem, I know.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
  7. PlainAllman

    PlainAllman Tele-Holic

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    I’d say the choice is clear if you can afford to do both but what will you play while waiting....maybe the choice isn’t so clear!:lol:
     
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  8. WilburBufferson

    WilburBufferson Tele-Afflicted

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    Every PRS I've picked up.
     
  9. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Not really, but every time I use my Gibson 335 for a track or two, the whole band says that sounds brilliant. They never say any of my Teles sound brilliant!
     
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  10. SolidSteak

    SolidSteak Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah, I'm starting to think getting a professional setup for the 339 might be the first thing I should do, and then maybe looking for new pickups for the strat later. Nobody here suggested I sacrifice the Epiphone pickups to the strat, which I was on the fence about doing, but now I probably won't based on the replies so far :p That makes sense I guess - why take the one thing that I like the sound of (the Epi ProBuckers in the 339) and change them to someplace else?

    Thanks for the thoughts and advice!
     
  11. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    339's are so versatile..set it up right & then get the pickups you need for the strat..you pretty much have all then
     
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  12. Fearnot

    Fearnot Friend of Leo's

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    You seem to know what the problems are, and all of them are fixable. Congratulations.
     
  13. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    My #1 Telecaster has been modified and re-modified so much I've got it "playing" perfectly for me. I've put on a Warmoth "fatback"neck, wide at nut, 24 3/4" conversion scale, with a forearm bevel. I love the Bootstrap Pickups, so this is without doubt my favorite to gig with.....but I DO love how my PRS SE One SOUNDS, with its stock bridge P-90, and added hot rails-style 'bucker at the neck. Sometimes I wish I had the sound of the PRS in the Tele....or the FEEL of the Tele in the PRS, but bottom line is, I'm picking up the Tele almost EVERY TIME!
     
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  14. OlRedNeckHippy

    OlRedNeckHippy Friend of Leo's

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    Nothing beats a good pro setup. The tough part is finding the right guy.
    I'm lucky in that there's a guy about 40 minutes from home that is about the best in the region. He's down by Atlantic City, and all the pro's from there use him. He recently did my Guild acoustic, my Paul and my Heritage. Made them all play better than ever! The Paul (lightest weight of my electrics) stays in tune now! With my physical issues, I'm now giging the Paul every show.
    Happiness is a well setup guitar!
    I'm really glad I found this guy. Huge difference from the guys I've used in the past.
     
  15. LocoTex

    LocoTex Tele-Afflicted

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    Option 2. Those 339s are nice!
     
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  16. Andy Summers

    Andy Summers Friend of Leo's

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    Why not both? Don’t have to do them at the same time if money is an issue.

    Get a proper setup on the 339 and down the road get some new pups for your Strat. Or do the Strat first and Wpi later..choice is yours
     
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  17. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    There are so many people willing to pay $200 for a fancy PAF humbucker but not will to pay $200 for a very, very good tech to make their guitar play perfectly.
    It's actually a lot easier to fix playability problems (hire a good tech) than to fix sound problems (endlessly swap pickups and electronics).
     
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  18. Shuster

    Shuster Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I vote both, then you don't have to have that thing bouncing in your head forever,,, I should have bought the other one too,,,:(
     
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  19. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's

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    I put Tonerider Alnico IV Classics in my Blacktop Strat for a while. They were ridiculously fun.

    The 339 should feel like a whole new guitar after a set-up. A relatively cheap “upgrade”.

    Easy to make them both fantastic players.
     
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  20. ScribbleSomething

    ScribbleSomething Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

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    I agree with everyone else to fix the nut on the 339 first.

    My project strat has an HH blacktop set up right now that I do not love. I’m planning supro gold foils for it. If I were going humbucker I’d go with Seth Lovers.
     
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