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What makes the classic guitars so classic?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by srblue5, Jan 16, 2021.

  1. srblue5

    srblue5 Tele-Meister

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    My apologies if this has already been covered (and probably more eloquently than I can express) but what is it about the classic guitars that makes them so widely/commonly used? What is it about Teles, Strats, Les Pauls, SGs, 335s, etc. vs. Mustangs, Guilds, Danelectros, etc.?

    Is it the tone? Versatility? Playability? Looks? Who they're associated with? Marketing? Availability?

    I bought a Squier CV Mustang late last year and while I acknowledge that it was a student guitar, it gets some pretty funky tones that make me wonder why I don't hear Mustang/Jag/JM tones like that as often as Tele/Strat tones. (Although I suppose it depends on the genre of music...)

    Similarly, I've tried out a lot of recent Guild reissues (and own a T-Bird reissue myself) and I love the way Guild humbuckers sound, yet they don't seem to see as much use as Gibsons (either currently or historically). Or, again, maybe I'm not looking in the right places?...

    Your thoughts?
     
  2. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    Popularity.
     
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  3. northernguitar

    northernguitar Tele-Holic

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    When electric guitar and Rock and Roll first hit the scene, it caused a sensation that cannot be replicated. They could eviscerate the panties off of young women.
     
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  4. stormsedge

    stormsedge Friend of Leo's

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    Our memories.
     
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  5. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's just that bonding that we associate- we LOVE ( many of us) the Classic music ( the blues/Country/ '60's Rock & Roll) and the instruments that initially just existed when the music was first played.And THEN was purposefully made for it.

    So we want that stuff.

    I've been playing 46 years now and everything I own ( cheaper repro or reissue guitars and amps), except my awesome Micro Cube, looks and sounds like something made in the '50's or '60's- that's a really strong attraction, still.
    But it comes from the source- the music ( then> the style/culture)
     
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  6. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    good design, all the above
     
  7. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Afflicted

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    The music that has been made with them.
     
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  8. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    Love early stangs. I think they were sold as student guitars in the 60s so that may be part of their non famous notoriety
     
  9. Buckaroo65

    Buckaroo65 Tele-Holic

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    Look at a '57 Chevy and look at a Prius. There's your answer right there...
     
  10. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    For us old folks.

    For younger people, it may be an echo of that memory being passed down or a desire to look hip and retro.
     
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  11. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    “Classic” is a paradigm set by the early days of rock n roll, the electrification of blues, and little later on pop and rock idols.

    For those ‘classic’ players, what guitar they used made impressions. This could be for a lot of reasons: looks, design, brand recognition, reliability, affordability in some cases, the way a certain pickup can push an amp, and amp circuits themselves. Companies actively getting their guitars into the hands of players had a role too. Let’s not forget “signature” models are not a new concept.

    I think Strats look ugly and could not care less about it’s classic status. Once you strip away all the clout and idol worship, it’s just another plank of wood. The only reason I wanted one when I started out was because of Jimi Hendrix.

    Alternatives have always been around. Mustangs show up especially later on when they could be had for next to nothing. Dave Alvin, Jerry Harrison (and David Byrne), Belinda Butcher all used a Mustang. John McLaughlin used a Duo Sonic II for a bit. Buddy Guy used a Guild Starfire V early on. With the exception of Dave (obviously), I got into the these guitars because of their potential, they look great, and are available again.

    Speaking, the Mustang ‘sound’ really is a short scale Strat-like sound with an out-of-phase option. Jabby, sharp attack rhythm sounds used to great effect by Jerry Harrison were complimented by the guitar IMHO....maybe lol. The sound on this track was nailed by my out of phase, highly modded VM Mustang:

     
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  12. telleutelleme

    telleutelleme Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Production, accessibility and quality. Lots of very similar cars until Ford created the assembly line. Suddenly everything else was boutique. Martin, Gibson and Fender were the Ford, Chevy and Chrysler of guitars. Plenty of other makers, just not the production.

    But over time there have been new entries in both markets. There are people who believe Honda and Toyota have classics and Taylor and PRS are getting there.

    But I'm a Chevy and Fender guy;)
     
  13. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    The Prius is actually a Maschine pad controller and sampler using this analogy, and it now gets more chicks lol.

    BAC7B587-8D11-424D-9249-5AB333D2D243.jpeg
     
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  14. Engine Swap

    Engine Swap Tele-Afflicted

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    Looks beat functionality, although many classics pull off both.
     
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  15. Buckaroo65

    Buckaroo65 Tele-Holic

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    Yeah, but would you get a tattoo of a maschine pad?
     
  16. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    If it paid all my bills and then some, I might :D
     
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  17. imwjl

    imwjl Poster Extraordinaire

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    I went nuts buying and selling and trying all sorts of acoustics, electrics and amp types. My Telecaster is a Fender (FSR Thinline). My 000 and ES types are Santa Cruz and Collings. Brand aside, after trying so much I concluded they are designs that please most ears, hands and eyes.

    While the Collings sounds more like an acquaintance's 1960 ES-335 than new Gibsons, it has it's own look and build quality pretty much everyone says is beautiful so looks do something too. I think of the time my mother said your spouse needs to be a lot more than a nice, smart, and talented.
     
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