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Old 03-24-2011, 04:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default best/favorite guitars

I know Strats and Les Pauls are among the most popular with SGs, Telecasters, Rickenbachers and Gretsches (among others) having their own followers. Brian May's Red Special is one that I have always admired-though I'm not aware of other artists using it (they are available). So which are your favorites and why? and what artists use which guitars more than others. I think guitarists opinions would be most appreciated, but other artists and even listeners/fans might have their preferences as well.
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Old 03-24-2011, 05:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by musiclistsareus View Post
I know Strats and Les Pauls are among the most popular with SGs, Telecasters, Rickenbachers and Gretsches (among others) having their own followers. Brian May's Red Special is one that I have always admired-though I'm not aware of other artists using it (they are available). So which are your favorites and why? and what artists use which guitars more than others. I think guitarists opinions would be most appreciated, but other artists and even listeners/fans might have their preferences as well.
The Red Special is actually a one-of-a-kind guitar made by Brian and his dad; the Burns Red Special and the other brands of Red Special models are just imitations of May and his dad's original design.

As far as my favorite guitars...well, I'll have to go with Languedoc first of all. Each guitar is built custom by Paul Languedoc, and they're gorgeous instruments. He's the man who's made all of Trey Anastasio's guitars. There are really nice touches to each instrument, you can pick the wood you want for him to use, the finish, etc.

He won't do custom inlay work, so he can keep the price fixed, and he won't build anyone but Trey guitars with koa - but I've actually seen someone else with a Languedoc, and it's a beautiful, beautiful guitar, albeit horribly expensive.

They look like this for the $10,000 model:


And this is the $7500 model:


I would love one of them. Thinline hollowbody guitars that sound great and look beautiful...*swoons*

Also, I wouldn't mind having one of these, a Gibson CS-356 Koa:
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Old 03-26-2011, 12:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Aren't all "non-custom" guitars copies of an original? Those pictured guitars are beauties-are you aware of other artists who use it (besides Trey)?
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Old 03-26-2011, 04:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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One of my favorite guitars is the Gibson Chet Atkins Tennessean, specifically the one Xan from Cake uses:

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Old 03-26-2011, 10:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by musiclistsareus View Post
I know Strats and Les Pauls are among the most popular with SGs, Telecasters, Rickenbachers and Gretsches (among others) having their own followers. Brian May's Red Special is one that I have always admired-though I'm not aware of other artists using it (they are available). So which are your favorites and why? and what artists use which guitars more than others. I think guitarists opinions would be most appreciated, but other artists and even listeners/fans might have their preferences as well.
I pretty much agree with all you mentioned. I never met a guitar I didn't like. I think no guitar is 100% soundwise if you are looking for to sound like another artist, if they play a Strat but one has a LP then it's hard to achieve the sound one wants. Someone told me they prefer the Stratocaster over the Les Paul because they can make his Strat sound like a LP but he can't make his LP sound like a Strat. I know some of my friends who are guitar players who feel the need to buy the same gear as their favorite artist. Although I think it a little be easier if you want your own sound to find one you can be happy with close to 100% satisfaction. I don't know that is how I look at it.

Each might be perfect in its own right, but comparing them to another guitar one can see they have their limits. The Telecaster is a slab of wood, and doesn't have the contour body of a Stratocaster, so after playing a Strat a Telecaster seem uncomfortable and you can't get the 2/4 position like on a Strat. I don't like the Nashiville Telecaster with three p-ups if I wanted a guitar with three p-ups I would play a Strat :/ The most comfortable Fender model is the Jazzmaster, way more comfortable then a Strat, but that doesn't has the Fender American Standard Strat Tremolo System. The Jazzmaster Tremelo system at the time was supposed to be an improvement over the Strat's Standard Trem system but in retrospect it wasn't, it has a bridge that is movable and rattles apart and a single spring system, which isn't adjustable like the Strat's. I haven't played a Fender Strat with a two point Tremolo so I can't really comment, but I think the 6-point vintage style tremolo with a bigger block is better, and more nostalgic if you are concern with the fine details of a guitar. The Stratocaster is limited with the sound possibilities though with only a 5 way switch, compared to the Brian May's Red Special which has 26 possibilities though some sounds repeated so it's like 16 different tones. The Gretsch are expensive for what they are, can't dive-bomb on them, but I really prefer the Bisgby Vibrato to other types. Fender released 2K DeArmond p-ups and have them on some guitars some line are discontinued but they are dullsville compare to real vintage DeArmond p-ups. My dream guitar would be a Jazzmaster with the full 25.5" scale length neck, soap-bar p-ups and with a Six point Standard Tremolo System. Rosewood vs Maple neck I prefer the feel of a rosewood neck. Where Fender give different p-up options that are noticeable, a Jazzmaster Jaguar Telecaster and Stratocaster pick ups look noticeable different from looking at them Gibson generally uses the humbucker on most of their guitar models, but the difference for them are the windings that effect output. Where Fender guitars have a similar look, the Gibson's models are much more varied compared to each other, such as Les Paul, Flying V, the Explorer, Thunderbird and ES-335 and Super 400 CES etc.

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So which are your favorites and why? and what artists use which guitars more than others. I think guitarists opinions would be most appreciated,
I think the Les Paul and the 60's Strat w/ Rosewood fretboard are the more popular models among pro-artist, imo. I don't think I could list favourite guitars, if I was force to choose one favourite among all of them, it would be a 50's style Stratocaster with a Maple neck - everyone from Buddy Holly to Hank Marvin to Jimi Hendrix to Eric Johnson played one. And for basses it's easy - the Musicmaster Bass.
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Old 03-26-2011, 10:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Aren't all "non-custom" guitars copies of an original? Those pictured guitars are beauties-are you aware of other artists who use it (besides Trey)?
I know independent / local artists who play Languedocs, but no one besides Trey of any renown who plays them.

Paul Languedoc was an apprentice guitar maker who caught the attention of Trey before Phish was famous, and made Trey his guitar(s).

Only recently did Paul start allowing himself to make guitars for the public. With the tone available from these babies, I'd imagine it's only a matter of time before they become more popular with other guitarists.

My friend Sam has a legitimate Languedoc, and the sound from this guitar is better than anything I've heard from 99.9% of hollow body guitars - the only thing that came close was a couple of Gibson customs. But the thinline nature of these guitars + the tone is not really accessible unless you get a Languedoc.

Plus - note that the headstock is made to be the state of Vermont. Pretty nifty and unique touch!
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Old 03-27-2011, 08:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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One of my favorite guitars is the Gibson Chet Atkins Tennessean, specifically the one Xan from Cake uses:

Royal Tenenbaum,

I don't know if you've noticed but Xan did a few mods with his Chet Atkins Tennessean guitar, it's mod with Radio Shack-type vol/tone knobs replacing the stock Gibson speed knobs and a B7 Bigsby Vibrato replacing a stop-tailpiece. What I thought interesting that Gibson do was not only taking the Gretsch model's name "Tennessean" but also have the fret inlays close to the edge like the half-moon inlays that Gretsch used on the Gretsch 6119 Tennessean. Chet Atkins (the person, not the guitar) complained that Gretsch (the people at the company) would ask for his input and he suggest that the block should run the length of the guitar from the neck joint to the end of the guitar, but they never complied with him. Finally with Gibson Chet got what he wanted. Gibson equipped the Tennessean with a 490T and 492R humbuckers specially made. Originally the Gretsch 6119 Tennessean had HiLo 'Trons for pick-ups, they were basically single coil p-ups I think Chet preferred them to the DeArmonds p-ups, he often complain the magnet pull DA pups was too strong on the strings and that would kill sustain, to fix that problem he had to halve the magnets in half, I don't know if he used a saw them in half or a hammer whack them in half.

I can't recall too many pictures with Chet Atkins (the person) holding a Gretsch 6119 Tennessean. I think George Harrison is more recognizable for playing the Gretsch 6119 Tennessean. He used it in "Help!" and brought it out again when he recording Sargent Pepper's Lonely Hearts Clubs Band album.


George Harrison pictured with his Gretsch 6119 Tennessean.
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Actually, I like you a lot, Nea. That's why I treat you like ****. It's the MB way.

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Old 03-29-2011, 02:48 AM   #8 (permalink)
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My favourites for acoustic would have to be the martin's. High quality construction and material. Beautiful to play.
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Old 03-29-2011, 03:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I love Gibson SG:



Played it with a marshall amp once like a year ago, and I liked the sound and feel of it.
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Royal Tenenbaum,

I don't know if you've noticed but Xan did a few mods with his Chet Atkins Tennessean guitar, it's mod with Radio Shack-type vol/tone knobs replacing the stock Gibson speed knobs and a B7 Bigsby Vibrato replacing a stop-tailpiece. What I thought interesting that Gibson do was not only taking the Gretsch model's name "Tennessean" but also have the fret inlays close to the edge like the half-moon inlays that Gretsch used on the Gretsch 6119 Tennessean. Chet Atkins (the person, not the guitar) complained that Gretsch (the people at the company) would ask for his input and he suggest that the block should run the length of the guitar from the neck joint to the end of the guitar, but they never complied with him. Finally with Gibson Chet got what he wanted. Gibson equipped the Tennessean with a 490T and 492R humbuckers specially made. Originally the Gretsch 6119 Tennessean had HiLo 'Trons for pick-ups, they were basically single coil p-ups I think Chet preferred them to the DeArmonds p-ups, he often complain the magnet pull DA pups was too strong on the strings and that would kill sustain, to fix that problem he had to halve the magnets in half, I don't know if he used a saw them in half or a hammer whack them in half.

I can't recall too many pictures with Chet Atkins (the person) holding a Gretsch 6119 Tennessean. I think George Harrison is more recognizable for playing the Gretsch 6119 Tennessean. He used it in "Help!" and brought it out again when he recording Sargent Pepper's Lonely Hearts Clubs Band album.


George Harrison pictured with his Gretsch 6119 Tennessean.
Yes, I know, dude Xan is more or less the main reason I picked up guitar. I've researched almost everything I can about Xan, his gear, and the entire band for that matter They're my main inspiration for getting into music. Also, the center block of the Gibson is actually Balsa wood
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