Guitars

 

I wouldn't consider myself a guitar 'nut' or obsessive about guitars in any way. I'm not a guitar nerd and I'm not a collector of guitars. However, I have collected a few guitars over the years...

Picture stolen from Guitar-auctions.co.uk - An Amazing website - you'll never know what you'll find!

My first 'real' guitar (I state real as in not the acoustic guitar that had been laying around the house during my first 10 years) was a Columbus Tele shape. It was a christmas present when I was about 14. I loved it! I used it in bands for gigs and It played pretty well! I learnt a lot from that guitar about setting up guitars because I had lots of time to try and make it better than it was... So after some experimentation I got it to play pretty well. In hindsight - I know this because my dad still has it - and in truth by todays standards its not a good guitar! But it was my guitar, and it did me alright until I was about 18.

Charvel 3 DR

This is the first guitar I bought myself. It was bought from Machinehead music over the telephone via a magazine advertisment. I gigged this guitar up and down the country for several years and it was great. It still is great. It has the thinest neck I've ever played and big high frets so its really easy to play. The only downside to it is the odd choice of tremlo unit - which is a particularly weird liscenced Floyd rose system but of a design that I've never seen anywhere else since. It works and is functional, but it's not 'nice'. I also really like the 'dinky' body. Smaller than a regular 'Strat' sized body and suits me much better.

My next guitar was a Joe Satriani signature model JS100. This was a time when Joe Satriani only had one signature model - the JS1000 - and this was the budget model version of that guitar. It was ok. It sounded good. The pick ups were great and they really did sound like Joe - this was Ibanez's version of the FRED pickup which was in the JS1000. However, I could never get it set up just as I liked. The action was always a bit high. The fretboard radius slightly too round... just little things that stopped me from being really comfortable with it. What I did love was the small body and its round smooth edges - the most perfect bodied guitar in my opinion. But alas, this was eventually sold. 

Sticking with the Signature model theme I then purchased a Yamaha Blues Saraceno model - mainly because I got it for a bargain price because apparently no-one liked the colour - Not sure what they meant to be honest?! 

 

I really liked this guitar. It had a fantastic floaty trem a nice neck that I got the action really low on and the Seymour Duncan pickups were big and harmonic yet warm and fat!  I actually miss this guitar a bit - they're also pretty hard to find nowadays.

Picture stolen from http://shredguitars.com/

Peavey Wolfgang.

 

This was the first time I'd ever spend over a grand on a guitar. I bought it with redundency money from a mail order place in a magazine - those were the days!

 

This is one of my number one instruments to this day. There is much that is awesome about this guitar. 

(Video coming soon)

 

However, I did also purchase a Peavey Wolfgang 'Special' which was a budget model of this guitar - and they were absolutely terrible. Nothing like these - so don't be fooled into buying one of those!

Picture stolen from https://courses.nus.edu.sg/course/ellgohbh/music1.htm?  - some very interesting commentaries on guitar choice there.

Yamaha AES620 

I bought this because Yamaha seemed to be going through a bit of a reinvention of themselves. They had Frank Gambale on board as well as Sammy Hagar. So I internet shopped this guitar thinking 'how bad can it be'... In truth, a bit bad... for me the neck profile was very big and uncomfortable... The Peavey wolfgang has a big neck but this was a big C profile which I just can't get on with. Sound wise it was ok - It has a Seymour Duncan JB in the bridge - the same as the Kramer Baretta below. This is a great pickup - warm and fat and bluesy - quite a versatile choice in this as it's good for blues and jazzy things as well as classic rock. But physically I couldn't really get on with this guitar. I eventually rigged a Roland guitar synth up to this for a while which made it worth keeping for a bit, but even that eventually couldn't save it... Sold... I did like the nice little contoured knobs on it though, they were cool! 

Kramer Baretta

I'd wanted one of these since my youth! The Marilyn graphic was in this music video from the early 90's 'Bonfire Sweet Obsession'  and I wanted that guitar so bad. So when I had the chance to grab this from ebay I snatched it up. The graphic isn't an original 'Kline' graphic as in the video, which I think had a very limited run, this one has the factory 'standard' graphic... still cool though! 

It's a very competent guitar too! The Seymour Duncan JB humbucker is a great pickup and its a very standard neck and straight forward guitar to play. Obviously its limited in it's versatility, but to crank and rock its great!

Fender Malmsteen - sort of?!!?

This was in the local music shop and whilst it was clearly a 'chop shop' job I liked the scalloped neck and wanted to try it some more. So I bought it cheap (compared to a Malmsteen strat). It had EMG pickup in which I decided from that point that I dont like EMG pick ups! - Why? no subtlety, everything was RAWRRAWRARWRAWR... and the trem unit was useless - whoever put it in clearly didn't know what they were doing. However, this was all about the neck for me and I really liked the neck. I had to get rid of the guitar because it was by and large useless due to the trem which couldn't stay in tune. But I've always wanted another scalloped necked guitar. I'd love a real Malmsteen strat. If you get the chance try one!

Italia Rimini Double neck

 

I was always taken by Italia guitars. I like the retro stylings and unashamedly garish colours! They all play really well too - If you're after something that isn't the normal then you can't go far wrong with Italia.

 

I saw this in the Italia catalogue and asked the local music shop to get one in for me - which they did - so I bought it. 

 

It was a great instrument. Very happy with it, but due to it being surplus to requirements for most of the time I didn't like seeing it gathering dust so I sold it.

Kramer Richie Sambora Re-issue

 

I was a big Bon Jovi fan once and always loved Richie's guitars so when Music-Yo reproduced these I had to have one. 

 

They did a great job too. Apparently better than the original signature series. It was a pretty versatile instrument - lots of sounds. Can't really fault this one actually. Once again the trem unit wasn't the best but hey! Not sure why I sold it. It did have one of those glossy neck and fretboards that I don't like urgh!

 

Indie Dragon

 

Great looking guitar! and it played... ok... neck was alright... Pickups were weak... I swapped out the gold bridge humbucker with a Dimarzio Tone Zone which became the best thing about the guitar. The trem was springy and noisy - every time I used it I could hear the springs twanging and groaning under pressure. Bit weird. So for a guitar to hang on your wall I can think of fewer better... however, I don't hang them on my wall as art and this wasn't functional enough to me to be a useable instrument. It wasn't bad - but when I compare it to the likes of the Yamaha Saraceno model, Sambora model and my Peavy wolfgang it just couldn't keep up.

Musicman Steve Morse Y2D

 

This is my number 2 number one guitar! If I'm not playing my Peavey Wolfgang I'm playing this. Cracking guitar - really versatile. Absolutely love this baby!

 

Video coming soon!

Fretking Elan 60

 

...and this is my number 3 number one guitar! If I'm not playing my Peavey or the Musicman I'll be on this. It's got a great trem unit and I love the veri-pickup-knob thingy. Great stuff.

 

Video coming soon!

Ibanez PM35 

 

I was starting to study jazz - it's an age thing I've decided! So I wanted a Jazz guitar. However, after looking around I wasn't sure if the Jazz thing was really going to take hold so was reluctant about purchasing a one trick pony kind of guitar. Then I stumbled across this. It's a Pat Metheny signature. Up until that point I only really knew of Pat through reputation and had never really paid any attention to his work. Anyway, I bought this guitar because it was 'brighter' that a traditional Jazz instrument which can be very 'dark' and mellow sounding. So I figured that something more contemporary than something big and woody and traditional jazz would suit me better. It was a good call for me as I really enjoy playing this. Even though, as predicted, I didn't stay with the Jazz thing for too long it got me into listening to Pat Metheny which I love and for that reason I would recommend this!

Ibanez Prestige RG1570

 

I got this from a friend at a price I couldn't refuse! I love this guitar. It's probably one of the most playable guitars I've ever owned. I had to do a pretty big set up on it because I changed the strings to 8's (!!) which the trem unit didn't take kindly to but after 20 minutes of to-ing and fro-ing with tensions I got it flat. The only downside to this guitar are the pickups. They're ok, and the single coil positions 2 and 4 are really cool - however, they don't give me those dynamics and the versatility that I'm used to so they'lll have to be changed at some point. But once they're changed I can see myself using this alot.

Ibanez Prestige RG2550Z-WPM

 

Soooo, after my flirt with the Ibanez above, I actually became rather fond of it.... so much so that my lovely wife bought me a new one for christmas! Result!! And quite lovely it is too... I'm aware that Ibanez have been around a long time and for some they're a bit "yeah, yeah, blah, blah", but I'm really excited about them! Ibanez are actually doing stuff really right and really well and for really great prices too! Its as versatile as any of my previous guitars - it can sound Metal or it can sound Jazz - yeah really! For me, right now, Ibanez are the ones to beat. Unlike the above, it has real Dimarzio pickups - and good ones - a Tone zone in the bridge, an Air Norton in the neck and a Blue Velvet in the middle - perfect. The Trem unit is exceptional, and an answer to lots of people prayers when it comes to floaty bridges - it can be stable and firm or floaty and wild - it's your choice, it's a great unit. The neck isn't as thin as the one above but in a good way - it's got some chunk to it but is still really thin... man I love this guitar - Ibanez have really hit the nail on the head with this one! So happy! :D