Solid Bodies, the 50 Year Guitar War Les Paul vs Stratocaster
Posted 31 July 2010 - 07:40 PM
I sometimes like the Tele sound - but not the neck. The strat never, ever, did a thing for me in terms of playing one myself.
Way back a thousand years ago I played a Rick in a band. 'Sokay... but not enough that I ever regretted not having it. I had a Hagstrom 12 solidbody I actually liked, and liked in ways more than a Rick 12 I tried a time or two. I had a Gretsch, liked it a lot, but not enough not to swap it for something or another.
My old early 1970s Guild SG clone with the nicely carved top is my #2 guitar largely because of the neck and overall feel that has convinced me that the SG is "the" solidbody. With stomp boxes and if it had taps to switch to single pole sound, I can't imagine anything better even if a Strat or Tele came with a Gibson-style neck - although that would be nice.
Again, note that my thoughts tend toward "feel" first, then worry about the sound side. Modern electronics have kinda done that to me, I guess.
Posted 01 August 2010 - 11:31 PM
Posted 02 August 2010 - 11:28 AM
An electric guitar that plays comfortably can always be modded. It also means I probably can play with better technique from my own perspective - others may play better on some other sorta neck or body style.
But seriously, a great electric guitar will not sound like one through a lousy amp. It will sound different through most amps anyway, even very good ones. I doubt seriously that an Epi SG, LP, dot or ES175 will sound bad when played by a decent player through a decent amp. A Gibson likely will sound better through the same amp by the same player, but probably not as good through a not-so-good amp.
The way stomp boxes and today's "do everything" amps work, and are used by so many solidbody players, I still think the technique is the priority, followed by a decent amp. What constitutes "good tone" in an electric is awfully subjective, too.
Acoustics are a different animal - but there are excellent guitars that don't have either the tone or the "feel" I'd care for.
Posted 05 August 2010 - 01:58 PM
Posted 05 August 2010 - 04:10 PM
For example, we hear big verbal battles over amps on various Gibbie forums alone. That's fine, 'cuz even my own "stuff" includes some very different preferences in tone among different songs and my concept of how they should sound. E.g., a 20s version of a blues song should have one basic sorta sound and a 50s jazz bit (e.g., Misty) to me should be a clean sound that's heavy on bass and mids but not muddy. Then there's the occasional, "Gee, it'd be fun to do 'Rumble' with a lotta treble and reverb and blast ears out.'"
But the guitar isn't necessarily the determining factor. I'd like to play any of my humbucker babes, hollow, semi or solid, with any of the stuff I like to do and have them work well in terms of sound. So... amps, decent modes of equalizing tone, etc., even a bit of chorus and/or reverb all play a role even in a "I like pure sound" kinda guy. And that's assuming an excellent guitar. Then there are times I wanna pretend I'm really playing a B3 and crank in my Leslie emulator. <grin>
Segovia noted of even the unamplified "classical" guitar that it is an entire orchestra largely because of the range of tones it can be coaxed into.
So... Naaah, we ain't talkin' folks who just want a certain stylistic noise.
Posted 05 August 2010 - 04:27 PM
Posted 27 September 2010 - 05:33 PM
When I buy a Gibson, I buy into the Nitro finish, the variances in the neck due to hand work, the greater costs for all the efforts that go into the guitars. The adherence to some older manufacturing methods and tools in an effort to retain that history. If I wanted a cloned guitar, where every single one was machine made identically, I have a multitude of companies that offer this. (While consisency is a quality factor, it's not the ONLY quality factor, nor is it necessarily a top one) So rather than destroy one of the few companies still doing things this way, if someone doesn't like what they do (and it's not exactly a secret or kept under wraps) they are free to buy from a company that does things the way they like. I for one, actually want Gibson to stay an institution because once it's become like all others there's nothing to set it apart anymore.
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Posted 27 September 2010 - 08:26 PM
Yeah, there's no question that we're all playing electric guitar by late 1940s and 1950s basics. All else is simply variation.
I'd go a bit further, though, to suggest that in a sense, functionally we're all still playing 20th century guitar designs even though technically the 6-string tuned to "standard tuning" has been around much longer. The A-E I'd only put to the 1970s because prior to that we had mostly magnetic pickups added to an acoustic or some sort of contact microphone.
But I'll agree that essentially the Gibson v. Fender in electrics is quite significant in several ways - and somewhat less of a difference in ways between Gibson v. Martin.
Here's my prediction: Gibson in general will continue with a "let's build real guitars with set necks and more traditional geometries for strings, its own hb and p90 types of pickups and a more traditional 'build' even with solidbodies," and Fender will continue generally with boards and bolt-on necks and its type of pickups.
At least... until somebody comes up with what they've called in computer software a "killer application." That's something that changes the whole way people look at the instrument - and frequently isn't perceived that way by its creators.
I'm guessing that'll be totally out of the box. Gibson basically switched traditional guitarmaking concepts to its electric lines - even its "solidbodies."
Fender basically took the initial Rickenbacker concept of a banjo - body in one piece and neck bolted on - guitar manufacture.
In neither case has anything really radical happened to change the concept of guitar in the way that the violin family took over from the viol family in an age before electricity.
So far, most of what I've seen has been a matter of gadgetry applied to the same old guitar concept we've had now for a cupla hundred years. What the "killer ap" will be, I don't know. In a sense, you might make a case that the Robot's optional tunings take it further than the pedal steel took the slack key acoustic or lap steel...
But it doesn't seem as if enough people take the instant optional tuning thing seriously unless they already are relatively skilled pickers - and some in the "relatively skilled pickers" camp have attacked it as destroying new players' ability to tune for themselves.
So... I dunno. It's possible that the basic concept of "guitar" already is so developed that stuff like the 7 or 9 string are nothing more than variations on the old "harp guitar" schtick.
I dunno. Robot and chameleon technologies seem awfully neat to me - but then I also was building my own computers before the Mac and PC were in general captivity so I tend to be a technophile if I can afford it.
The "affordability" of either robo or chameleon might be a major deciding factor - but a lot also likely depends on a general of guitar teachers that may not be prepared to teach how to best use either technology and take it into the position of "you play the 'newtar' differently because you can switch from X to Y so easily in the middle of a piece...
--- Key, notice again that I'm tending toward the "technique and comfortable playability" thing as primary and anything else as secondary... Still, I could force myself to work with a Fender or Martin style neck. Am I willing to admit and change my technique to appropriate the idea of using two or three tunings in the middle of a song?
Posted 15 October 2010 - 03:16 PM
Personally, this whole "war" is like comparing a rose, to a dandelion...
Posted 18 October 2010 - 10:07 AM
Posted 07 April 2011 - 03:17 AM
And the music created with those instruments have been also different.
So, actually, this thread is pretty much pointless... which match the Forum it's been published to.
Your Honor, I rest my case!