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VPI
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IMHO mass produced guitars aren't what they used to be. These days they not even come properly adjusted and octaved. It's on small luthiers where the true value is, plus they have the personality that Dan is missing. Once they become famous and greedy, good quality is gone. Like on boutique audio amplifiers.

Regarding the amp, Jeff wants a Mesa or something like that ;D

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For amp, just get a Rivera Clubster -- my friend has a wall of amps, including the classic Marshall sound and the classic tweed sound and a lot in between -- and he gigs entirely (I think exclusively) with the Rivera Clubster.  It has the best combination of clean and overdriven tones.

I'm not personally a fan of PRSs.  I used to be, but they're guitars mostly without character.

How can you say that?  The one I saw had so many different combinations, it was just a matter of fine tuning it to the character you want.  Do they not all do that?

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The problem with the PRS guitars is you sound more like 3 Doors Down or Creed which is a very non distinct sound. Buying a guitar today is a function of playing every one in the style you like. I've played a wall of strats to prefer some that were custom shop guitars and some that were mexi. Set up and fine tuning can be accomplished rather easy with a trip to a good local tech and about $100 depending on services rendered. I'd go out and play a shitoad of makes and models. I wanted to love and buy a firebird but after playing one it just didn't suit me. Neck and body feel are critical. Lastly any guitar is going to sound like the player. I've heard two people play the same guitar and amp and have them sound different due to technique. Mesa Boogie Mark series amps are screaming deals I bought an older one recently that sounds very good clean and has a killer distorted sustain sound.

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Completely agree with the "sounds like the player" comment (not sure about the 3DD or Creed comment -- that sounded disparaging without meaning to, to someone who doesn't want to sound like Creed...and it also contradicts the "sounds like the player" comment) -- I was working on my "Gilmour clone" guitar, but then I realized that Gilmour would sound like Gilmour practically no matter what you hand him.

 

(PS  I've been listening to a lot of Altered Bridge lately, until I realized who they sounded like...so I kind of know what you're talking about, but that's also a function of the amp and effects you use.)

So the strength, and drawback, of the PRS is it's a chameleon.  It's a great "do everything" guitar, but for my taste, the magic's in the focussed weirdness.  Give me a jazzmaster, or a semi-hollowbody gretsch, or a thunderbird, etc.

That makes sense.  And I should have understood that, as most of the guitars I got before I started hanging out with Dave are...uh...very focusedly weird.  But sometimes I want some traditional sounds, too, so I got a mexistrat.

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Tried a bunch of different guitars. Could not tell a whole lot of difference in sound between most of the acoustics but I really liked the Collings Dreadnaught, mostly based upon looks and build quality. I tried several electrical guitars and several matchless, VOX and Mesa amps. Electric guitar was a lot of fun and the difference between amps was pretty dramatic. I really like the Mesa amps but the VOX seemed pretty good for a bit less.

This is the Collings I was looking at.

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Edited by VPI
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The chart is very nice. I think I saw something like that at Martin's website but I can't recall. The 000 is the most similar shape to a classical concerto guitar. What I liked most of that EC was how easy it was to hold the chords at any fret position, and also bending the notes, you can get a whole tone bending without really applying a lot of force.

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that should be a totally dependent on neck scale, neck radius and string gauge. 

 

You'd be surprised how quickly you go up in gauge for tone sake and learn to bend under higher tension. Super lights ion s a strat are easy to play but sound like  a toy guitar compared to 11 gauge or higher

Edited by jp11801
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