The GAS Man: The Egoless Guitar

20

Comments

+ Add a Comment
avatar

SudevBangah

Spot on in many ways. I started off playing 15 years ago on a cheap Korean BC Rich, and till today regretted ever selling that piece off. I firmly hold on to the idea that each individual piece has its own characteristic i.e. no two guitars ever play the same. I've stayed off Squier for many years as I owned a California series Strat (before I could afford a Fender), and it was one of the worst guitars I have ever played in my life. But lo and behold, just a month ago I ended up purchasing a Squier John 5 model simply due to the excellent playability and brilliant looks.

I now own 64 guitars, and it ranges from anything really cheap (Yamaha Pacifica 112v, Squier John 5, Epiphone SG 310, Cort etc to Gibson Zakk Wylde models, Ibanez Prestige and Fender US signature strats) and am just constantly on the look out for pieces that are individual in nature and have its own characteristic. Short version, if it plays good, grab it. The brand new one in a box may not necessarily sound the same. Give each guitar a chance to tell its own story.

avatar

chiefruneenoze

i have three guitars i got from a pawnshop, a schecter omen 6, which is in excellent condition but i ended up changing out the pickups with carvin h-22 jazz pickups and have been told by other guitar players that it sounds like a les paul. and a kramer ks-400 in which i switched out the bridge pickup for seymour duncan hot rails and my third is a fender strat i bought for 50.00 and i decided to change out everything with a new neck, pickguard and pickups. all three guitars sound great and i didnt put too much money into any of the three, and they can keep up with the higher priced guitars.

avatar

AarBee

I've had a similar awakening. I've gone from a half dozen Custom Shop Strats and Teles and am now using a Yamaha Pacifica, Strat copy. I bought it because it played in tune all the way up the neck and felt good doing it. It cost one hundred dollars. I replaced the two single coils with Fender '57's and installed a splittable Fralin full size humbucker in the bridge. Two CTS pots completed the project. While I don't say that it is the equal in tonewood or status to an American Fender, it is a fabulous sounding, looking, and playing, guitar for a total investment of two hundred and sixty bucks.

avatar

PlankSpank

I think the grass is green on both sides. I've had American axes that kicked ass as well as Korean/Indonesian/Japanese ones that were awesome. Hands down one of the best was an Korean Peavey V-Type. That thing could make a pig nose bark!!! Lmao I used it and a boss cube at an event with 1700 other guitarist and heads were spinning.

avatar

guitarladd

I can't believe some of the money people for guitars. Unless you're a professional I can't see it. My Strat is actually a Gibson Strat, a Kramer Focus 111S. Got it new for $85 from Music Yo, I love it. My Les Paul is a Jay Turser. Got it for $200 from Sam Ash. I adore it. Go ahead, spend thousands on a guitar, I got bills to pay and mouths to feed.

avatar

guitarladd

The best Squier Bullet's were the old ones with just one humbucker. Nothing lightweight about them though, they were just routed for the humbucker so that left a lot of solid wood. If you can find one of these get it.

avatar

gnri

unless you are gonna shell out big bucks for a custom shop model you are better off going for a budget model. i dreamed of getting a USA guitar for years and when i finally could afford one , a fender lonestar tele with a nitro finish i was dispointed with it i traded it in for a prs se 24 custom that is awesome the best guitar i've ever played. the clerk could not belive that i would trade an america guitar for one made in asia but it is a better player by far also have a mexican strat that is great

avatar

tronus53

I believe that a lot of businesses go through a very similar cycle; first, they start out to build a name through quality & service. If they are successful, they put efforts into maximizing their commerce by improving both quality & service. But once a certain level of success is achieved, eventually that company begins riding (and resting) on its reputation, reasoning that they have "arrived." The result is an over-inflated view of their current status, and a decreasing interest in quality & service and increasing prices for services/products rendered.

Back in the 70's (I think), Hertz was the #1 car rental business, with Avis not too far behind; Avis' motto at the time was "When you're 2nd best, you try harder..." "Qui cessat esse melicor cessat esse bonus," kind of parallels this idea : "He who ceases to be better, ceases to be good."

I got a used Gibson SG Standard years ago (1969), when I was a kid, & even the music store that sold it to me couldn't get it in tune. Now I have an Epiphone Nighthawk, and it's a joy & pleasure to play, & cost as much now as the SG cost then, $400. I also have an Epi Wildkat, 2 Squiers (Bullet strat & classic tele), and 2 Ibanez's, a GSR205SM bass & a GA3 classical. Taking nothing away from the big names, the little guys are doing a great job making stuff for the less-than-stellar rest of us, I think...

avatar

PlankSpank

Jackson/Charvel used to be awesome until Grover sold them to a huge conglomerate once the bean counters and MBA's get involved quality takes a back seat to profits

avatar

RonZabrocki

I'm one of the lucky ones. I'm learning that for some ungodly reason, less expensive guitars seem to fit my hand better. As long as they are very well set up. To each his own. Great article!

avatar

justanoldhippie

And some folks think heavily distorted metal sounds better than anything else in this world, while still others prefer rap, and yet a handful still cling to rock as the ultimate in sound; I'm not even going to get started on those who claim country is real music ;-) Purists think a guitar plugged into anything other than an amplifier is an absolute abomination, while true gearheads are never happy unless their signal is bastardized by a dozen or more pedals.

The point is we all have tastes that are dictated by that which has meaning in our lives. My ex always prefered to spend a dollar on something she could throw away when she finished with it, rather than pay $5 for a bit more quality that if properly cared for would last a lifetime (yeah, she was lazy as all hell that way.) The music world is like everything else in life, you do get what you pay for. I have a bargain basement axe, played amazingly wonderful the first year I had it; winter warped the neck so now it's a slide guitar with a tone that can be shaped into something that I find appealing.

Currently playing a Gibson Les Paul Jr Pro, cost about as much a Quality Epiphone (or other Asian made offering) and to me it plays better as well as sounds better. My Epiphones and Washburns still get played, as does my American Strat, but that ugly Jr is the one I grab most often these days (hated the 490T bridge p'up until I played it through a new Fender amp rather than my Marshall.) It's all subjective.

Support a Free Tibet, Just Say No to Made in China

avatar

Claytonispro

I totally agree with this! Especially the whole Epiphone Gibson thing. Even though My Epi Les Paul Custom is the highest level available from Epiphone it's $800 price tag is still much better than one with a "Gibson" on the headstock. I replaced the pickups with a Super Distorion, PAF Joe, and am soon considering to get the famous "4 Push/ Pull Jimmy Page wiring" done to it. I compared it to a buddy's Gibson Les Paul Studio and he likes me Epi LP Custom just as much, feel and tone wise. I plan on picking up a Squier Vintage Moddified Surf Strat (w/ Tubestick pickups) next week. Tried it at the store and loved it for an amazing price!

avatar

ricksconnected

wow I do hope you got paid well for this advertisement.

avatar

William.Baeck

Unfortunately, I can't get Fender’s marketing department to pay for an article suggesting some people might prefer their $70 Squier Bullet to their $3500 Custom Shop model. In retrospect, I probably should have thought that through better.

avatar

stratman5762

I was a similar headstock snob for years. About 5 years ago my wall had a PRS, 2 Hamers and a Gibson hanging on it. But I was so paranoid about gigging with these beauties in bars and fairgrounds etc, that I went for something less precious...an Epiphone (a brand I'd scoffed at for years). Suffice to say that I now take 2-3 Epiphones on gigs. They are really well made, look great, sound great and are a joy to play! Granted, I do go for the higher end limited edition 'Custom Shop' models, but they're still FAR less spendy than what I used to play, and I'm certainly not ashamed of them at all! In fact, I'm rather proud that I've lost my snobbery and now play what works for me, and I can afford!

avatar

kingofdiamonds00

The same is true for mid-level guitars now. I checked out the newer line of affordable Gibsons, thinking even that would be better than most mid-level guitars. I ended up falling in love with the vintage inspired Schecter Solo Special. It was cheaper than the Gibson & had a better paint job & way better feel. It even has more tonal capabilities, with a nice Duncan humbucker in the bridge with coil tapping. There's a noiseless P-100 (P-90 style also w/ coil tap) in the neck. Serious vibe on it. I was blown away how much more I liked the Schecter than the Gibson's I looked at. It changed my approach on guitar shopping forever.

avatar

muzaqman

I agree, great piece. This has helped me out tremendously! I have been going back and forth for about a month now debating the Gibson Les Paul Custom to the Epiphone Les Paul custom. Have done a lot of research and it turns out that a lot of reviews not only love the sound of the Epiphone but the lower cost as well. Think I will be hitting the store today to pull both off the wall and do a side by side. THANKS!!!

avatar

William.Baeck

You're welcome! If you get a chance, let me know how the side by side works out. I'd be interested in the results.

avatar

zymase

Great piece. In 2010 I picked up a Squier Affinity strat from a local classifieds and was impressed by its neck and its overall quality. As you mentioned, my more upscale guitars have better components, but the Affinity was easy to play and offered a ton of bang for the buck.

avatar

William.Baeck

Squier Affinity...that's a step up from the Squier Bullet series I wrote about. You're talking big bucks there. Much higher end than mine! I love cheap guitars--amazing dollar-to-grin ratio.

Log in to Guitar World directly or log in using Facebook

Forgot your username or password?
Click here for help.

  • Sign in with Twitter
Login with Facebook
Log in using Facebook to share comments and articles easily with your Facebook feed.