Your "It shouldn't sound this good...but it does!" guitar?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Blackmore Fan, Jun 13, 2021.

  1. Blackmore Fan

    Blackmore Fan Tele-Holic

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    You may have bought one of these as a lark. It was cheap, and you wanted something to tool around on. You told yourself it would be just a fun experience. You didn't really consider it "serious" guitar, but you thought it would be fun for a little bit.

    I bought mine off of Craigslist right about the time Covid was locking stuff down. I liked the looks of it, and the seller said he'd never played it--the plastic wrap was still on the pickguard. I met him in a parking lot of a convenience store of a closed casino. It was as he described. I handed him $125. It's a Strat copy by SX.

    I had fun with it for about a week. The pickups were cheap ceramics, but something about the guitar still sounded good. So I spent $75 for Tex Mex pickups, and another $90 for a tech to install them as well as Fender MIA pots/caps/switches. This guitar just *rings* great tone when I play it.

    I'm like a lot of you, I sometimes see well respected guitars for very good prices--like the Classic Vibe Strats. I've played them--they're great guitars, and need *nothing* other than to be played. They can be had all day long for $500 brand new.

    But whenever I'm tempted, I find myself staring at my SX Strat. I've got $290 in this one, and there's no way the "new" guitar I'm thinking about is going to sound better than it. I'm just as sure the Fender Player Strats are amazing...but won't "sing" any better than this one, despite their higher price point.

    What's your "It shouldn't sound this good" guitar?

    Here's what mine looks like:

    SX Salmon 2.jpg
     
  2. cometazzi

    cometazzi Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    For $75 I bought a 2005 Squier Affinity off of Craigslist. It came with the Frontman 15G amp. About a month or so later, I slapped a $50 Dragonfire Guitars loaded pickguard on it. These humbuckers are like overwound PAFs. It was an amazing transformation and it became my "default" guitar for many years. This straight into my Laney AOR was Toni Iommi with no effort. With minimal effort, I could do anything 60s thru 80s.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2021
  3. cometazzi

    cometazzi Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Runner up is my $89 Epi Special:

    [​IMG]

    Most days, I enjoy the sound of this guitar more than the 2010 LP Special I have. I'm probably brain damaged.
     
  4. USian Pie

    USian Pie Tele-Holic

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    Seagull S6. It gets played a lot.

    This is from 13 years ago so it's showing quite a bit more wear these days and I just noticed the frets are getting pretty sketchy. Will I pay $200 to re-fret a $360 guitar? This one I will.

     
  5. srblue5

    srblue5 Tele-Holic

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    My first ever guitar was a Segovia brand acoustic of some kind. Got it over 20 years ago for $169 and it still sounds and plays great. It stays in tune better than some boutique acoustics I've tried out.

    I have a beat up Simon & Patrick Woodland Cedar Folk guitar to take with me to work for mental health breaks. I chose it from a local listing because I wanted something I wouldn't care too much about if it got nicked at work or spent too much time in the car while I commute. It's a great sounding acoustic and I reach for it more often than my Martin.

    I also recently bought a Squier CV '70s Jag on a whim to satisfy my GAS for a Jag. This thing is absolutely fantastic with flatwounds and everything else stock.
     
  6. Otis Fine

    Otis Fine Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    The Douglas violin bass. $160. I put flat wound strings on it and I just can’t imagine a bass sounding better than this. Yeah, the mounting nut on the jack wiggles around, but it plays like butter and the tone is superb.

    71CDDFBA-CD5C-461B-BCFA-424740EB703C.jpeg
     
  7. Blackmore Fan

    Blackmore Fan Tele-Holic

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    That's a screaming guitar! Iommi is one of my 10 favorite guitarists. He's *never* stopped playing rock--I so admire him for that. The work he did with "Heaven and Hell" (the band) is amazing. My favorite era of Black Sabbath was the original Dio era, so I can't tell you how many times I've watched the live concert with Dio that was recorded in 2007 at the Radio City Music Hall.
     
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  8. cometazzi

    cometazzi Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    It definitely is a screamin' guitar. More so that it should be. The only drawback is the nut width is narrow by Fender standards. I suspect Fender did this to keep adults from buying these up and hotrodding them like I did. Doing an open A Major and other chords are a bit tight. I'm secretly looking for a MIM strat to slap these same pickups into. I think it'd be a win, but who knows?

    For me the golden era of Sabbath was late 60s- early 70s Ozzy era. First album through Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. No knocks on Dio though. I loved him in Rainbow, solo and later Sabbath and I'll always hail him as the (Immortal) God of Metal.
     
  9. dogmeat

    dogmeat Friend of Leo's

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    oh yeah....


    mikes guitar find.jpg


    $20 for the pair at a yard sale
     
  10. Maguchi

    Maguchi Tele-Holic

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    Bought an excellent condition, barely used, late '90s early 2000s USA made Peavey Firenza P90 with original hardshell case for $330 a couple years ago. I can't put it down. Great tone, pickups are clear and thicker than a Fender when played clean and distorts easily and tonefully. Frets and rosewood fretboard are smooth and plays like butter. Love the feel of the medium thickness of the neck, has a fairly flat 15" radius fretboard that feels a little different, but I got used to it pretty quick. It's about 7 lbs. 14 oz. and hangs balanced off the strap. One of my favorites.

    PVfirenza90.jpg
     
  11. richiek65

    richiek65 Friend of Leo's

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  12. drmmrr55

    drmmrr55 Tele-Holic

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    A 2019 Gibson Les Paul Junior Tribute double cutaway. You can dial in so many different tones with just the P-90 and the tone knob!
    Tribute 2.jpg
     
  13. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Epiphone Melody Maker copy. $135 off Craigslist. It sounds great and plays well.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. DrBGood

    DrBGood Tele-Holic

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    If I bought that, I would expect it to sound great. To me, the "It shouldn't sound this good...but it does" wouldn't apply here.

    I'm with cometazzi
    for the Epi LP Special 1. So much so that I got two of them. One stays at the summer cottage and is the only one needed for the three months a year I spend there. I predict that in 30 years from now, that little gem will be sought after just like the beginner's guitar that was the LP Jr is the Holy Grail today.


    thin.jpg
     
  15. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    Most of my many guitars are inexpensive (under $300 when I bought them, new or used and plus parts, some of them used as well). Some have been modded (by me) and some haven't been. Here are some of my favorite ones...

    SX Hawk - Pic below is original configuration. I kept it that way for a couple of years and later switched out the electronics for master volume/tone and a bridge on switch.
    SX STL-50 - Several mods, including a traditional Tele bridge, upgrading electronics and a P90 at the neck and GFS Repro 50's in the bridge.
    Epiphone LP Jr - Unmodded. It even still have the original tuners.
    TheFretwire Mosrite JR style kit - Kits are supposed to be bad, right? But this one came together very well. I did upgrade the electronics and put in a SD Quarter Pound in the bridge that I had in my parts box. GM Songbird in the neck.
    Epiphone SG Special - New pickups, SD Seth Lover bridge (also from my parts box) and a GM Alnico II neck. Nut was replaced with a brass one.

    guitarsmix2.png
     
  16. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    My no-name special from Guitarfetish clearance section. I needed to do a bit of nut work to cure a buzz and redress one fret & it is good to go.
    20200610_170631.jpg
     
  17. naveed211

    naveed211 Friend of Leo's

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    I had a stock Epiphone Casino a handful of years ago that sounded unbelievable.

    If this thread could apply to amps, I’d go with my Quilter 101. $250 solid state amp that sounds amazing and has killed any desire for tube amps or anything else.
     
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  18. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    My Squier Classic Vibe 50's Tele in Vintage Blonde. It's an older Chinese model, so whatever pickups were used then are what is still fitted. I wanted to make an Esquire type, but without the switch, just a volume and tone control. I dutifully replaced the shipping strings, stretched them out, got the intonation close enough for three chord boogie and started just playing. I had the pickguard off to adjust the neck pickup, and there it was in plain sight. The two screws that can reveal all. A minor tweak of the height and slope and all was revealed. The bridge pickup is pretty awesome too, but that neck pickup has no right to sound that good. The Esquire idea is now 'parked'. There's no way I'm messing with this pickup. Sometimes, tolerances stack in your favour. The Classic Vibe range have all sounded good to me, but this is one up.
     
  19. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    my 2 danelectros. i never stop being surprised at them. how can a cheap plastic guitar that looks like a toy sound this good?
     
  20. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Doctor of Teleocity

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    This is old news now as I have owned this guitar since I got it new, maybe 1997, but I'll just go with my Danelectro ( '56 U2 RI)
    Can sound like a Tele or Gretsch- clean and twangy ( and huge clean low notes) with a clean amp.
    Add an OD pedal and it can do great swing blues ( neck PU) like a P-90 archtop.
    Increase OD, use both PU's and I can do Bluesbreakers/Cream stuff.
    I think $239 when I got it

    A cheap chameleon- looks, cool 5lbs!
    *sorry for huge pic!
    20200505_183343.jpg
     
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