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Thread: attn strat owners and owners of REALLY nice guitars

  1. #1
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    attn strat owners and owners of REALLY nice guitars

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    I have an 88 Amer Stand Strat (bought it new) with a maple neck which I would say is my favorite guitar. I see new ones are about $800, give or take whatever. I have a couple other guitars on this quality level... 1967 Starfire III, late 70's Gibson L6S, 4001 Ric bass, etc.. and have owned many other guitars in this price range. But NEVER anything over a grand.

    I am wondering if a custom shop strat or something upper level will really make me drool. I find that I would also probably have to take my current favorite strat and do an A/B comparision at a store, I would think, as that is what I have currently been doing at church. But I always gravitate back towards my maple necked Amer. Strat.

    I have been playing for about 40 years now, but admittedly am probably still a "babe" when it comes to knowing really good guitars. All thru the 70's and 80's I played a 1967 V and a mid 60's ES335, but then got hooked on the Strat later on and never looked back.

    I would like to "thin my herd" and potentially get a really nice #1 guitar for church, or am I potentially not going to see a difference now that I have been playing my 88 Strat this long?
    I have played some of the pricier guitars in Guitar Center, etc....but feel I would need to play it a week or more AND in a live situation to tell if I would really like it or not. ...kinda like what I am going thru now....trying to see if I like my other guitars (again) as much as my Strat.

    Hopefully not too confusing a post, but I sure would like to hear some opinions on GOOD guitars VS the $800 guitar (todays prices).

    (now...I suppose I'll hear that the 1988 version strats were junk too!! ha!!)

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    Hey Dude, I have had (and still have) a bunch of strats.

    If you get the opportunity check out a PRS CE24. I went for one after playing strats for ages and I just love it. I think I payed about $1650 for mine. Expensive but what the hell, I just love it !

    It is different but hell thats OK !!
    MacPro, Logic 10.1, MOTU 828x

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    As far as Strats....well there is a pretty big feel difference in American Strats versus the others. But once you get above the American Standard series, or whatever they're calling it this year, there's not a whole lot of difference to me. I have played them all. I can tell you in a blindfold test if it's a US strat, but not if it's custom shop or not.

    Years ago I bought a PRS CE-22 to join all my Strats I was playing at the time. It was a good blend with them, and didn't really stand out in tone the way a Gibson does. I also had a CU22 for a bit, which was very similar to the CE22 to me, different neck and a little thicker sound, but good still.

    I have moved on to playing SG's mostly. They're not expensive, they're not really special, but they're really my sound. Fits my style and feel and sound I wanted.

    H2H

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    Hardly any new fender is worth more than $1k. If you want a Custom Shop quality strat look into G&L, which is George & Leo (Fender). Its the company he started after he lost ownership of Fender. All of his guitars are hand made off of Fender Ave. in California. I love my G&L Legacy (one of his Strat models). Check out their gear, awesome, awesome prices and simply amazing guitars.

    Other than that, pft, go with Gibson. Or a PRS because you'll have the option to split the humbuckers, getting single coil tones.

    IMO, there are a lot of better choices than Fender out there. Don't waste your money on a Custom Shop - go buy a G&L.

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    If you want a super-versatile guitar, try a Parker Fly Deluxe. If you can get past the looks they are great guitars(they obviously grew on me seeing as I own 3 of them now).

    Two humbuckers with 3 positions, bridge, 1 coil of each, neck. They also come with piezo pickups in the bridge saddles so you can get a pretty nice acoustic type of tone with the right amp. The piezo pickups give you so much clarity when playing clean... it's amazing.

    The guitar also has optional stereo outputs. You can send your magnetic pickups to one amp and send the piezo pickups to a PA system or to a more refined amp designed for acoustics. You can also play with both sets of pickups at one time through both amps if you wanted. I used an A/B box to switch between my piezo and magnetic pickups so I wouldn't have to do it with my hands.

    The frets are stainless steel and mine have absolutely no wear on them whatsoever.

    The trem setup is nice too. There are no coiled springs, just a bent piece of metal. The wheel in the front of the guitar near the bottom strap pin will tighten or loosen the spring. There is also a switch on the back of the guitar to block the bridge from going sharp. It is very easy to switch the bridge into that mode and tighten the spring against the block so you essentially don't have a trem anymore. Takes about 30 seconds to do.

    Best part is the guitar only weighs about 5 pounds.

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    Just to put it out there. Leo Fender never "lost control" of Fender. He ran it into the ground and sold it, then he started MusicMan. Then he ran it into the ground and sold it to Ernie Ball. Then he started G&L with George Fullerton. I guess it was fortunate that he dies before it got ran into the ground, too. A great inventor and thinker, a bad business man.

    BTW- Not all G&L's are handbuilt in California. They have several tiers of models, too. From cheap imported crap to custom shop stuff. Just like Fender. There are several features about them which are different enough from actual Fenders that I have never owned one.

    I have owned 2 Parker Fly Deluxes, too. I loved them, great guitars. But people always looked at me sideways when I pulled them out of the gigbag.....they ARE a little odd looking

    H2H

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    btw- mixmkr...if you want to look at some nice guitars, take a drive to Lexington and go to Wilcutts. They specialize in upper end guitars there. From PRS, to Gibson and Fender custom shop, to smaller more specialized builders. Alot of sweet stuff in that place.

    I used to go in there and drool when I was a student at UK.

    H2H

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    Well... I've tried a bunch of upper-level strat-type guitars. There are certainly a lot of builders to choose from: Don Grosh, Melancon, Anderson, Lentz, Suhr, etc. Out of that lineup, Melancon is my favorite. His guitars are absolutely great. I got my Melancon Classic Artist for $1600. By far the best deals in an upper end strat. The figured top is as good or better than any figured top from any manufacturer. The guitar feels like it was built for me.
    Each builder has their own take on the strat. For example, Grosh goes for a vintage vibe, Melancon a more modern take. Try them all and pick one that feels right to you.
    Once you cross the $1000 mark you've hit the level of diminishing returns, but owning a guitar that you really bond with is worth the money. IMO, stepping up and paying the extra dough gives you the chance to really select the details that mean the most to you.

    A

  9. #9
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    mixmkr:

    You said you wanted to "thin the herd" but didn't say whether that included the strat. My advice is keep it...it sounds like you love it. Strats are versatile and practically play themselves.

    A few years ago I bought a PRS custom 24 (I already had a Strat). Like you, I play at church. The thing I like about the PRS over the strat is that it has a "thicker" sound and cuts through the mix better - important when you're dealing with church sound guys. It is also versatile, but different than the strat.

    I still love my strat, though. It's hard to duplicate it's sound with another guitar.

  10. #10
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    Let me know if you decide to 'thin the herd'. My herd needs thickening, and yours is lookin' pretty good to me. That wouldn't happen to be a natural maple L-6S now, would it?

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