i'm currently playing a dangelico nyss, and though i really like the guitar and i've never seen a better looking guitar, i don't think it's the right one for me.... for one thing, i know the nut width is standard for a semi, but i feel like the neck feels a bit wide further down the neck...does anyone know if this guitar's neck is wider than other semihollows? i'm looking for other alternatives...looking at the ibanez as artist series..i really like ben monder's sound, he plays an as-50, does anyone know anything about that guitar? i don't know what to expect with the AS series because the clips on youtube i've seen of people playing them sound really bright and rock-sounding, i don't know if the stock pickups are good or not, etc.... of course i dig kurt's sound, also mike moreno, and some guys who use thicker guitars like lage and gilad hekselman. any advice?
guitar advice(20 posts)
This is a somewhat tough yet liberating place to be.
It's exciting to k ow you are going to get something different and that it won't be what you are currently playing. However , unless you have fully articulated your ideal stuff to yourself and have nailed a product that dials these desires in for you, it can be a hunt. Also, I have seen several times that choosing something versatile is important because this is subjective ( ... So much so that I change over time ..." this is the shit"... " this is so not the shit anymore ") that having a balanced set up that is intune with itself powerful enough for your needs and can roughly get near the various goals of a wide range of tonal sensibilities is something I feel is important.
This can be like putting your hand on your own forehead to check for a fever. Also , be very careful in guitar shops. You're already going to spend a chunk of change ( and that's all they care about ) so feel comfortable to get your needs met if you aren't getting straight answers from a junior sales person. Also with ALL your might- really find a time when you can HEAR the guitar- don't match it with your dream amp , matc it to what is closest to what you play. Differentiate betweeen the novelty of it not being your current guitar and consider that this may be it( or not). It is a nightmare to attempt to assess a guitar with a kid playing seek and destroy to your right ; victor wooten tapping out some bubbly Seinfeld madness through the newest and biggest ampeg rig ; some dude playing SRV's version of little wing; a salesperson calling a manager over the intercom and the extreme motocross cockrock piping in throughout the store. Good luck!
I like a lot the Ibanez guitars, and play an AF75 because they sound good and, most important to me, their necks are the most comfortable I've ever found.
They have different necks on different series, but to me they're almost the same, with only minor differences and the obvious scale lengths.
My advice is to try one (if you can't find the exact model try one that looks alike, they have probably the same dimensions) and see if you are comfortable. Then it's mostly a thing of changing pickups (which should be easier than to change a neck, if you know what I mean...)
I support Jorge about Ibanez Artist series. I play an AS-93 and it's really confortable to play.
They are pretty cheap, and very good quality work guitars. IF you change the stock pickups.
But ... if you have a d'angelico ... i don't know .. i think lots of people on this forum would love to have such a high quality guitar. i think if i were you, i'd try to get used to the neck by working my technique on this guitar rather than change a guitar that is supposed to be super good (and super expensive) to something else. To me, if the sound is great, keep it, and get used to it. Also remember that everyone has a strong tendency to want basically anything that you don't have. and be dissatisfied with it as soon as you have it...
I myself try to work on a deeper level to try to get out of this 'the grass is greener elsewhere' thing. It has everything to do with meditation, ego, and to me, becoming a good musician, live a better life, and the music that kurt plays..
That doesn't answer your question, but maybe it can help too..
New age thoughts aside, buying a new guitar is cool :)
For what it's worth, I'm fairly positive that Ben just uses the stock pickups in his Ibanez.
I personally dont like the Ibanez Artist Series, I think exactly the oppostie Jorge and add4 said, I dont like their neck. The Ibanez Monder uses is no longer made and its an excellent guitar - I have played an As 200 from the 80s (now its called the Scofield Model) and its AMAZING, it has nothing to do with the Artist Series (or even the current Scofield model)... But try one and see if you like it!
Also as add4 said, if you have a Dangelico... thats a GREAT guitar! I mean, who in the world would trade a Dangelico for an Ibanez AS? Those guitars are very tricky to play sometimes, Kurt said he had to learn how to play his Moffa and Kresiberg complains his 175 is hard to play.. I myself have a old Guild X 500 and its a very delicate instrument, I also have a Cort Source for reharsals and small gigs, but you cant compare them... learn how to play with the Dangelico!
Don't be mistaken,
i'm quite certain that an ibanez artist serie is no comparison to a d'angelico. i was stating that for the price you pay (which is very cheap), you get something decent.. but it's definately not a great guitar. as i imagine a d'angelico would be...
If i were you, i'd stick with the d'angelico and try to get over the technical side of it.
As jorge said, you can't change a neck, but i think that it's possible to get used to any neck with a bit of work as long as it doesn't damage your health.
I know it's a cheap guitar, but you won't believe how good they can sound when there's someone comfortable playing. I've said this many times, even my teacher (who's classically trained and studied in the MI with Scott Henderson) compared it with his Yamaha AES 1500 (a 2000 euros guitar), and we couldn't decide which one sounded better. Maybe high speaking of the artcores, or low speaking of yamaha?
Anyway, my point is that you really can make a guitar sound much better if you don't have to struggle with it, so to me it's not a matter of model, brand, price or anything else. For me the first thing is always the ease of play. If I grab the guitar and it doesn't fit my hand instantly, I know it won't work...
get a solid body stratocaster.
Paul - The only answer to this question is that you need to try out as many guitars as you can get your hands on to get a frame of reference. Whats right for me might not be right for you - everyones hands and tastes are different.
For whatever its worth - I was a rock/blues guy before getting more into jazz in the past year. I use a strat but am looking to get a more suitable jazz guitar myself. I played a gibson ES-339 which is like a smaller 335 and it almost played itself. Sounded beautiful. I'm considering the 339, a 335 possibly, and I really want to look more into Eastman guitars. Gotta play them all a lot before I get a strong frame of reference.
That's right Basile, the key here is to play them and try.
By the way, look at Peerless too. Everyone I've heard put them way above eastman, and they're worth basically the same
FWIW I tried a bunch of guitars today - Epiphone Sheritons, an epiphone casino, epiphone dot, 2 of the Ibanez artcore (not sure which models they were called - basically an es335 and then one that was more like an epiphone joe pass), Two Gibson ES-335s (a satin finish one and then the more expensive 3K+ gloss one) and also a Gibson ES-339 (same one I was talking about earlier). Oh and a used cheap 335 knock off that was only like $169 bucks - quite a deal.
The actual gibson es335's were my least favorite suprisingly. I dont think it was a design flaw but these two particular ones were just dead feeling. The pickups were hot but the wood didnt want to resonate much. Just luck of the draw thats all.
The biggest problem with all the cheaper epiphone 335 style guitars is the fret wire in my opinion. I bend a lot; way less on a jazzier style guitar, but even with my vibrato the frets leave a grindy feeling which I can't stand. Its my biggest pet peeve on a guitar and is an immediate deal breaker. I think ibanez makes a superior instrument in terms of consistency for the lower price range.
The casino played particularly well even though I don't think its semi hollow - or atleast theres not a solid block down the center like a 335. Pickups werent as hot but you could still get a good tone.
The one that took the cake for me was the Gibson ES-339 (the $2,199 version not the 3K+) Comfort, tone, playability and fit and finish were the best out of them all - however I've only played this specific one. Played it 3 or 4 times over the past couple weeks and it just speaks to me. But the big thing is I don't know if they're all that sweet. Like any guitar its luck of the draw.
Didn't get a chance to go to the shop that has eastmans (theyre by appointment only). I will have to look into peerless.
Again this is all my opinion and whats right for me might not be right for you - but it just goes to show that the prettiest, most expensive guitars aren't always on the money. Some just have dead wood that sucks all the resonance out. Sorta like old flatwound strings versus roundwound.
hey basile if you are willing to spend 2000 bucks on a guitar you probably have a lot more options than a Gibson 339.. I personally feel Gibsons is a brand that sells most guitars based on how they sounded 30 years ago... The 339 is a great guitar, but if you live in the US you can access the biggest market for vintage instruments in the world and with that money you can buy a vintage Gibson from the 70s that will be vastly superior to a current one! If you try a vintage Gibson (or even an 80s Ibanez) you will see the difference... if you go something new in that price range try the Yamahas, they are great.
Just a little off topic, as you mentioned roundwounds and flatwounds... I used D addario EXL 011 for some time im my cheap 335 imtation and recently I have adopted 013 56 as a better gauge for me and have changed to D Addario Chromes. At first I was quite happy with them but now I realize most of it was from the gauge change, flat strings sound kind of dull to me. I will be switching back to rounds and will try La Bella strings because I also fell D Addario are overated (I will also try Perase Jazz Rounds Pure Nickel on my archtop). What you feel about rounds vs flats?
I have to say that I had a problem with the neck taper on my old Epi-Riviera. That guitar was a disaster, it was a factor second that had been refinished and NO sound came from the body. It totally ruined my taste for semi hollow guitars. That said, I recently sold my full hollow Eastman to cut down on gear and ended up buying one of these:
It has a great neck, even compared to my 1956 ES-125, which plays like butter. Even better, I got it off ebay for a really good price with case almost unplayed and with new Gibson Classic '57 pickups in it. It sounds amazing through my Jazzamp. It is the first guitar I have bought without playing first that I have had ZERO problems with and it sounds great and the body resonates! Yet I feel like I got lucky. Plus I can't emphasize the versatility aspect enough. If you like a sound this year you may not like it next year or next month for that matter, get an axe that gets a
good tone, strong without effects. Don't always assume a good quality jazz tone comes from a Hollow Body, and don't over pay. Play a guitar until you determine what it is you like about it, eg strong single lines/clarity of harmony or nice acoustic quality. Let that determine what you buy.
thanks for the advice - i don't know if i'm confusing the artist series, but it's the series that says artist on the headstock, i'm thinking guitars from the 80s like the as-200 that scofield plays and ben monder's as50..right?
hey Jorgemg - in relation to new/vintage I think Gibson is like Fender in a way where its still luck of the draw. Some are good and some are dead. But the ratio of good to not so good has shifted for the worse I'd say. 2 out of 3 lack any kind of resonance it seems like. On the other hand, I've played some vintage guitars from the "golden era" that just didn't have the magic going on at all. Sure they have a little more vibe to them and look cooler but sometimes playability suffers from flat pitted frets, old hardware, scratchy pots/switches etc. But I suppose its about the wood in a vintage instrument. Even still, some are not good at all. Just like today's guitars you've got to play them all. I'd never buy a vintage instrument off ebay or anything like that. It would have to cross my path and play really well.
But I definitely get your point. I used to be a brand loyal type guy - especially to the big names like Marshall, Fender, and Gibson. Now it just has to be strong, reliable and sound good. From there I don't care who makes it. The Gibson 339 I tried just is one of those ones that came off the line right. I still have to try other guitars as well. Trust me the 2 grand wont be in my hands for a while, I'm just doing the research now so I know exactly whats going to suite me the best.
I tried chromes and felt the same - they were dull. But I think thats probably a characteristic of flatwounds in general. They were suprisingly darker as well. I MUCH prefer roundwounds and rolling the tone knob back a little to take off some of the highs.
I'm still excited to try Eastmans and whatever else I find.
Check out this website....I think they're based in Canada but they have some beautiful looking instruments
http://www.12fret.com/new/index.html#ARCHTOP & THINLINE SECTION
I haven't played a yamaha I don't think.
@jazzbum I always wanted to try that ibanez - do they still even make them? And also - I've played a 50's gibson ES-125T and it was amazingly light and warm. That will always be one of those ones that got away! It was cheap too - below 1200 I think because it had a repair and a non original pickup. Still killed though.
Basile865 - Those Ibanez models are discontinued sadly. The one I got is from 2008 and they are often on eBay used. I really like mine with the pickup upgrade but I also took a chance just as you would with any factory built guitar, even Eastmans. ES-125s are usually pretty cheap, I picked up mine with original pickup for 1100. It need a couple hundred in neck work but it is still great. If you are looking for a good box, those are cheaper and from the same factory as 10000 ES-175s from the 50s.
Well basically try everything you can and dont have any preconceived ideas about brands, cheap / expensive, jazz / rock guitars or old / new. Just get anything you like, a squire can be better for you that the D angelico (as weird as it is...)
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