What makes a good guitar? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-30-2011, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
 
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What makes a good guitar?

Hi,

Ive been playing properly for over a year now and constantly sell and buy guitars, mainly because I like having new things every now and then.

When I ask people, about it they alllways say "it's what feels right" and I know some people will say exactly the same...but as I have never played a guitar that is great, or don't know how one should feel theoretically it is impossible for me to distinguish a good from bad guitar...

I know the basics, radius, action, setup intonation, neck width, scale, what type of tuners, nut's, hoow different things effect tone ect...

But I played my friends Gibson LP studio faded cherry...
I knew before hand that these where like the Epiphone les paul 100's of the gibson range, the "entry level" as it is, but when I played it, it felt horrible, the neck felt like plywood and like a baseball...it was ALOT lighter than my Tokai les paul, but felt cheap and tacky...but for a "Gibson" a person usually would expect the best, which is why it left me confused, and led me here...
My Tokai (Als4 only a cheap 299 compaired to the 800 gibson, felt alot better, easier, less cheap, better build than his...
Granted, it was probibly his setup, but is this right?
How should a guitar feel?

I am looking at selling my Tokai, but can't decide wether I like it or not...
I am looking at an Epiphone explorer, as I have alllways wanted an explorer (blame hetfield) but if a gibson cant live up to the Tokai, how will an epiphone fare??? also looking at the Chapman ML2, after talking with Rob and getting to know him for about a year now, he is a good friend and is never afraid to meet a fan, but also annouces that if Chapman guitars where gibson, this 350 guitar would cost about 699, so if a 399 epiphone costs just that, that would men its actually a 200 odd guitar to make???

Thanks alot in advance guys
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post #2 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-30-2011, 05:47 PM
 
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Re: What makes a good guitar?

Radius, Action, Neck Width or how heavy a guitar is have nothing to do with the quality of a guitar. Quality Hardware does, Quality Wood does, Quality Pickups do, Workmanship does.
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post #3 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-30-2011, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: What makes a good guitar?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dragsternj View Post
Radius, Action, Neck Width or how heavy a guitar is have nothing to do with the quality of a guitar. Quality Hardware does, Quality Wood does, Quality Pickups do, Workmanship does.
Ok, i getcha, but this really doesnt help much??
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post #4 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-30-2011, 06:34 PM
 
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Re: What makes a good guitar?

Put it this way: it's entirely subjective. Sure good quality materials, and build have a lot to do with it, but shape, radius, pickup type, scale length, bridge type, etc, etc are all entirely up to the player.

You've been playing a year, you obviously haven't worked out what does it for you. That's normal. Get out there and play as many different guitars as you can. Then you'll start to get the experience to work out what is a good guitar for YOU.
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post #5 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-30-2011, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: What makes a good guitar?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LonePhantom View Post
Put it this way: it's entirely subjective. Sure good quality materials, and build have a lot to do with it, but shape, radius, pickup type, scale length, bridge type, etc, etc are all entirely up to the player.

You've been playing a year, you obviously haven't worked out what does it for you. That's normal. Get out there and play as many different guitars as you can. Then you'll start to get the experience to work out what is a good guitar for YOU.

Oh ok bud, It's just...it's like i need someone to give me something to compair it to? if you get me, i understand it is very picky, and subjective as you said, but its like fishing in a 5 mile lake, you don't know where to start until a local tells you the best spots?
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post #6 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-30-2011, 06:55 PM
 
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Re: What makes a good guitar?

What makes a good guitar?

A cheap guitar can be made to play well with a good setup. I've played 200 guitars that were stunning that I bought on the spot and 1000 guitars that were awful.

The action/neck dimensions and hardware all contribute to the feel as well as less obvious things like the wood and construction method contributing to tone and way the guitar responds to your playing style. By contrast, expensive guitars can feel poor. Gibsons are pretty famous for having a great variation in feel between individuals. More complex still is that internally they have used a variety of different methods to tune acoustics or just relieve weight. When you add that to different neck profiles used over the years it is impossible to say that all Les Paul's are great guitars, let alone what the essential quality the defines a good guitar. The shape of a guitar means nothing. Bear that in mind when you are looking at explorers

Some different kinds of hardware or construction will be more suitable to certain applications, therefore they will feel right in that context. Tastes vary wildly also, so what is good for me may not be good for you.

I think that the question you need to home in on is, "what makes the right guitar for me?" One thing I know is that the only opinion that matters is your own.

Over the years I have bought, sold and made guitars and I am starting (after 10 years of seriously trying) to get down to the brass tacks.

If you are unsure as to whether you like your Tokai or not, tryand quantify what it is the you like and don't. Go to your local guitar shop and try a few different types of guitar out and see what works.

I am afraid that there is no single answer except go and find out more about what suits you.
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post #7 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-30-2011, 07:15 PM
 
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Red face Re: What makes a good guitar?

Price for new guitars! Not the absolute rule but pretty darn close...

$150.00-$300.00=Crappy beginner guitar

$50.00 leeway either way

$350.00-$600.00=Upper scale novice level

$50.00 leeway either way

$650.00-$900.00=Amateur scale pro level

$50.00 leeway either way

$950.00-$1,300.00=Pro scale mid level

$50.00 leeway either way

$1,350.00-and up=Pro level stuff

Having said that, a less expensive guitar might feel better and have the right pick up combinations for you personally... I love my $900.00 Ibanez AF‑105‑SM‑EE hollowbody, and a $3500.00 Gibson ES-175 just doesn't do it for me!
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post #8 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-30-2011, 07:15 PM
 
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Re: What makes a good guitar?

Go and play the Epiphone explorer. You may find you love the quality of it . If it is Korean made it may be one awesome guitar. And another thing. It does not surprise me that your Tokai sounds better or plays better than an entry level gibson. The reality (IMHO ) is that gibson does not make the best Les Paul style guitar anymore . And I also think some of the early Japanese imports were of as good or better quality. And the Epiphone Elite Les Pauls made in Korea are also wonderful. And price is not the be all end all to a guitar . I have some cheap guitars that sound great and play great. I think that goes back to the whole "its what feels right " thing . For me its a Ibanez RG , for my brother a telecaster . Again , both great guitars, but completly different feel , sound and components.
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post #9 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-30-2011, 09:01 PM
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Re: What makes a good guitar?

a good player.
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post #10 of 48 (permalink) Old 07-01-2011, 01:19 AM
 
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Re: What makes a good guitar?

Suhrs, Ibanez Prestiges/J-Customs, EBMM (atleast for me) are considered top notch guitars. If you could find any of the above, you might get an idea of what the deal is all about
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post #11 of 48 (permalink) Old 07-01-2011, 03:54 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: What makes a good guitar?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nickcoumbe View Post
What makes a good guitar?

A cheap guitar can be made to play well with a good setup. I've played 200 guitars that were stunning that I bought on the spot and 1000 guitars that were awful.

The action/neck dimensions and hardware all contribute to the feel as well as less obvious things like the wood and construction method contributing to tone and way the guitar responds to your playing style. By contrast, expensive guitars can feel poor. Gibsons are pretty famous for having a great variation in feel between individuals. More complex still is that internally they have used a variety of different methods to tune acoustics or just relieve weight. When you add that to different neck profiles used over the years it is impossible to say that all Les Paul's are great guitars, let alone what the essential quality the defines a good guitar. The shape of a guitar means nothing. Bear that in mind when you are looking at explorers

Some different kinds of hardware or construction will be more suitable to certain applications, therefore they will feel right in that context. Tastes vary wildly also, so what is good for me may not be good for you.

I think that the question you need to home in on is, "what makes the right guitar for me?" One thing I know is that the only opinion that matters is your own.

Over the years I have bought, sold and made guitars and I am starting (after 10 years of seriously trying) to get down to the brass tacks.

If you are unsure as to whether you like your Tokai or not, tryand quantify what it is the you like and don't. Go to your local guitar shop and try a few different types of guitar out and see what works.

I am afraid that there is no single answer except go and find out more about what suits you.
Wow a real answer!

Thanks alot for the info mate, you seem to have some good experience with alot of guitars!

I like some things, and i dont like certain things about it... such as, I like the way it feels, but I dont like the way that when I sit down, the guitar always wants to slide off, body first because it isn't that balanced, I don't get this problem with my Ibanez, but the body shape and overall mass would be the obvious problem- Not a bad thing though, I think it gives warmth to tone

Anyway, thanks for clearing a few things up!
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post #12 of 48 (permalink) Old 07-01-2011, 06:47 AM
 
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Re: What makes a good guitar?

To me its about the guitar's amplified sound and unamplified sound, the ease of moving around the neck, the weight and balance and also do the chicks like it? : )
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post #13 of 48 (permalink) Old 07-01-2011, 07:48 AM
 
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Re: What makes a good guitar?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmateurGuitarist View Post
Wow a real answer!

Thanks alot for the info mate, you seem to have some good experience with alot of guitars!

I like some things, and i dont like certain things about it... such as, I like the way it feels, but I dont like the way that when I sit down, the guitar always wants to slide off, body first because it isn't that balanced, I don't get this problem with my Ibanez, but the body shape and overall mass would be the obvious problem- Not a bad thing though, I think it gives warmth to tone

Anyway, thanks for clearing a few things up!
What about the guitar feels right? The neck, the fret ends, the action height?

Guitars sliding off your lap is annoying, but you can always sit a different way. Mass is an issue, but as you suspect, certain woods are heavier and can give a warmer tone.
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post #14 of 48 (permalink) Old 07-01-2011, 07:49 AM
 
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Re: What makes a good guitar?

Quote:
Originally Posted by crowhue View Post
......and also do the chicks like it? : )
You need a reverse headstock for this.
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post #15 of 48 (permalink) Old 07-04-2011, 04:36 PM
 
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Re: What makes a good guitar?

playability and sound are what do it for me. sometimes you find something that is just so much better than expected.
for the money, i would look at used guitars. you'll get better value for your money.
i have over 20 guitars. up until about 6 months ago, my main guitar was an ibanez 1570 prestige with a tone zone and air norton, stock single. then i got a beater hamer usa chaparral. put a suhr aldrich, air norton s, and a pro track in that guitar. this is now my favorite guitar out of all of my guitars. i wasn't expecting this and was very surprised.
this guitar is my first choice in a 6 string, over my lp,carvin kramer and ibanez.
once you find the right guitar, you'll know.
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