How does one judge whether a guitar is good or not??? - Just - Jemsite
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2002, 09:55 AM Thread Starter
 
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How does one judge whether a guitar is good or not??? - Just

I'm not sure this topic should be here, and if not, can the moderators please move this to the appropriate place?

I've always judged good guitars on their playability, construction and finishing. I find tone to be subjective, and modifiable. Feel to me is also subjective. What's your standards?
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2002, 10:22 AM
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How does one judge whether a guitar is good or not???

here is probably as good a place as any to talk guitar quality ....glen
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2002, 10:40 AM
 
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How does one judge whether a guitar is good or not???

The basis of any "good" guitar should be:

-Playability
-Sound/Tone
-Personal comfort

EVERYTHING about a guitar will feel/sound/look differently from one person to the next, and everybody has different criteria. *So...you're going to get a TON of different answers. *Personally, I look for the following:

-(see above 3 reasons)
-I like guitars that are slightly different from what you see every time you go to a local club, or everytime you turn on MTV. *Hence my love of JEMs, etc. *So, appearance of course does count. *
-Versatility: *I like to be able to get more than one basic sound out of my guitars. *I enjoy experimenting with different wiring scenarios and with different electronics. *

Those are a few of the things that I normally tend to go look for, and they're qualities that, in my opinion, help to make up a "good" guitar. *
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2002, 12:50 PM
 
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How does one judge whether a guitar is good or not???

All 100% personal if you ask me.
I go for the whole package, feel (playability), construction, tone and looks.

Having said that, if I come across a guitar that plays and sounds like a dream, but looks like a BC Rich I'll still most probably buy it.

Steve
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2002, 12:59 PM
 
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How does one judge whether a guitar is good or not???

I think Vaijem777 makes some really good points, especially one that isn't hit upon too much these days: *Uniqueness. *This is one major reason I would buy a JEM before I would buy an RG that has the same tonal characteristics, etc....if the JEM and RG played, felt, and sounded exactly the same, but the JEM was $300 more, I would buy the JEM....

Also, a thing I look at as far as a good guitar is production standards, and quality of the routing, wiring, etc. *My best friend is a carpentry and woodworking whiz, as well as pretty handy with electronics (as am I)....so we know when something is wired cleanly, and he can tell by looking at a guitar it the person who built it knew what they were doing....

Just my two cents!

Oh yeah, and everything VJ777 mentioned! *
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2002, 02:22 PM
 
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How does one judge whether a guitar is good or not???

First off....GOOD QUESTION!

Guitars are like people, NO TWO ARE EXACTLY ALIKE! *

I always (if I can) play the guitar unplugged. *Strumming and picking. *I let the guitar "talk" to me. *I want a guitar that has something to say. *You can tell how the sounds shimmer and chime on whether or not I feel this guitar in my hands has that TONE that I'm looking for. *Usually if a guitar sounds dead, it doesn't get much better when you plug it in. *You're just added to a dead sound. *EVERY acoustic guitar I've bought was done blindfolded in the store...LITERALLY! * I'd have my wife bring my various guitars which I'd play blindfolded, and tell her to keep track of the one I felt had the best tone out of the bunch. *I've ended up walking out with guitars I would have never even LOOKED AT!

Not many of us want to play a butt-ugly guitar either. *So a guitar could be a tone moster! *But if its ugly I'll never even pick it up. *I live in a small area, so I don't have to worry about anyone else having a model I have, but seeing the Prestige line at Musician's Friend makes me think twice about buying one.

And a good point made be vaijem77 is versatility. *I am now looking for guitars to give me a different sound and inspire me to play a different way. *I don't have any guitars that have the same neck or pickups, and because of that, I have a wider pallette from which to play.

There are certain brands that have websites dedicated to them and have a great reputation. *But there's always some bad apples too. *I try my hardest to PLAY the exact guitar I'm going to be buying beforehand, but that's not very feasible around here.

After having my share of BAD RG 4xx's, and Kramer's and Peavey's I just IMMEDIATELY noticed the overall quality when I picked up my first JPM. *Its just felt comfortable. *I was no longer struggling against the instrument to get what I wanted out of it. *The instrument was facilitating me to play better. *I think that's the one thing I always look for now.


later,
Chris


(Edited by HIS ROYAL DARKNESS at 5:24 pm on Jan. 4, 2002)
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2002, 02:31 PM
 
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How does one judge whether a guitar is good or not???

Quote:
HIS ROYAL DARKNESS on 2:22 pm on Jan. 4, 2002
I always (if I can) play the guitar unplugged. *Strumming and picking. *I let the guitar "talk" to me. *I want a guitar that has something to say. *You can tell how the sounds shimmer and chime on whether or not I feel this guitar in my hands has that TONE that I'm looking for.
Now that is a good point.

A guitar should always be played unplugged to begin with, that way you can judge more the characteristics of the wood before the pups come into play and take over, also the construction quality can in some ways be measured by this, ever heard a well made thinline tele unplugged? etc...

Steve
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2002, 06:42 PM
 
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How does one judge whether a guitar is good or not???

i think personal comfort is the first. if it looks cool too, great. i have a cort viva, probably made of plywood, that has the sweetest neck i've ever played, better (TO ME!) than any jem or other.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2002, 07:40 PM
 
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How does one judge whether a guitar is good or not???

Quote:
jemsite on 10:22 am on Jan. 4, 2002
here is probably as good a place as any to talk guitar quality :) ....glen
Sarcasm duly noted.

If you leave it here, and you should have one in EVERY topic.
Otherwise, I think it can go in "Misc."
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2002, 08:46 PM
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How does one judge whether a guitar is good or not???

Quote:
Kevan on 7:40 pm on Jan. 4, 2002
Quote:
jemsite on 10:22 am on Jan. 4, 2002
here is probably as good a place as any to talk guitar quality ....glen
Sarcasm duly noted.

If you leave it here, and you should have one in EVERY topic. Otherwise, I think it can go in "Misc."
what the heck are you talking abut there is no generic GUITAR topic area that this discussion fits and moving it would be an exercise in over-moderating ...glen
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-07-2002, 07:55 AM
 
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How does one judge whether a guitar is good or not???

Perhaps I'm being niave, but I expect a guitar above the price of say, £1000, to play really well-this is getting into the professional guitar arena and playability shouldn't be a variable (although my experience with JJ Hucke showed that this isn't always the case). *Whether a *neck is to ones taste etc in another matter, but I feel if I pick a PRS, Jackson, Ibanez etc it should feel good to play even if it's not my cup of tea. *Soundwise, I agree with Spiral Acid, amp selection and EQ settings are perhaps more obvious than say mahogany vs basswood (unless you're Eric Johnston!). *

Uniqueness? *Personally I thought this was very important, which is why I attempted to go down the custom guitar route (JJ Hucke). *But when I came back into the Ibanez fold (forgive me Father for I have sinned....) I avoided the Jem series because I felt THEY were a bit too high profile!! *Of course this could be due to the circles I move in! *I'd never seen a J-Custom until a few weeks ago but I've seen LOTS of Jems around which is part of what promted me to go for the JC.

So, if as I expect, all the other factors are taken for granted (build quality, tone and materials etc)the one defining parameter for me is the LOOK of the beast! *

How shallow am I?

Anil
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-07-2002, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
 
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How does one judge whether a guitar is good or not???

Quote:
Anil Sahal on 7:55 am on Jan. 7, 2002
Perhaps I'm being niave, but I expect a guitar above the price of say, £1000, to play really well-this is getting into the professional guitar arena and playability shouldn't be a variable.
Well, I'd disagree with this statement. I personally don't find LesPauls very playable, no matter the make. The body, the heel joint, the lacquered neck. Just can't play it. So I guess that's what I mean by playability.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-08-2002, 06:02 AM
 
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How does one judge whether a guitar is good or not???

Perhaps I should say 'guitar constructionally WORTH £1000'! *Les Pauls/Strats are expensive because of hype and the desire to own part of the 'Dream'-if you have a strat you're one step closer to Hendrix! Yeah right!
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-08-2002, 10:54 AM
 
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How does one judge whether a guitar is good or not???

Let's face it Anil, not only are Les Pauls and Fenders expensive because of the hype; so is just about every guitar out there. *Jems, JPM's, Wolfgangs, whatever..........they are ALL overpriced and overhyped. *Certainly there are some great guitars out there quality-wise, soundwise, etc.....but when it comes down to it, is a Jem really worth $1500 brand new? *Or a J-custom? *I don't know. *I am glad they are not as overpriced as Les Pauls and some other guitars, but the way people seem to be paying out the ying-yang just to have a Jem is unfortunately driving up the price beyond what I think the guitar is really worth.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-08-2002, 11:46 AM
 
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How does one judge whether a guitar is good or not???

You're right Jem777az. *In the UK the Jem 7V retails at £1899 ($2659!!) and having seen one backstage at a Vai gig close up (a young fans guitar not Steve's actual 7V) I must say I was underwhelmed! *They're all overpriced and we in the UK and Europe seem to suffer this hiking of the price even more.

Anil
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