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Unread 12-18-2004, 10:07 PM   #196
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thesteve
as far as MF and GC go, they're operated by the same company and GC almost always honors MF prices (which are usually the same or lower).
yes, too true, but I don't think there is any problem with trying out gear from a store with no intent of buying there. I wonder how many people that enter GC actually buy a guitar. Most of the time, there is some dude in there that looks like Kid Rock showing off

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Unread 12-19-2004, 02:31 PM   #197
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playing without intent to buy... who cares.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sabertooth181
yes, too true, but I don't think there is any problem with trying out gear from a store with no intent of buying there. I wonder how many people that enter GC actually buy a guitar. Most of the time, there is some dude in there that looks like Kid Rock showing off
I go in guitar stores and look all the time. I was just talking about leading the clerks into believing you are going to buy. I really don't care where or how you buy your guitar. I don't know anything about GC, but yeah most stores I go into have 3 or 4 lose.. uh. bored people that are in there everyday playing their "awesome licks" trying to make you feel inferior.

Nothing I SAY is to be TAKEN LITERALLY!

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Unread 12-19-2004, 02:46 PM   #198
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Originally Posted by i'llcondescend
I go in guitar stores and look all the time. I was just talking about leading the clerks into believing you are going to buy. I really don't care where or how you buy your guitar. I don't know anything about GC, but yeah most stores I go into have 3 or 4 lose.. uh. bored people that are in there everyday playing their "awesome licks" trying to make you feel inferior.

Nothing I SAY is to be TAKEN LITERALLY!

Chris
hehe, i didnt post what i wanted to say very clearly. i wasnt tryin to like argue with you or anything
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Unread 12-19-2004, 02:52 PM   #199
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it's cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by sabertooth181
hehe, i didnt post what i wanted to say very clearly. i wasnt tryin to like argue with you or anything
I didnt think you were. Actually I thought you took what I said the wrong way. It's cool.
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Unread 12-20-2004, 05:29 PM   #200
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#1 was not a piece of junk, IMO. It was a guitar that was pretty well made to go through all that beating and still sound great.

Chris, I hope you don't mind if I comment on some of your points.

Quote:
Newbies... what can I say. It wasn't that long ago I was one myself. I can't tell you to go out looking for certain types of woods and components because I'm not even a newb and I don't know a ton about that stuff. I say you have to go with the feel of the instrument. Ask some friends and do your research, then go and TOUCH AND CARESS AND LISTEN TO THE INSTRUMENT. A little much? You may not know much about tone and it may be confusing to hear people describing tones as clunky, twangy, or any other thing with a "y", but usually you can tell what sounds good to you. Shop with a guitarist so you don't get ripped off. I went with my dad and I was able to get the price dropped and a free gig bag on my new strat.
Always shop with a guitarist. And make sure you have that guitarist gives you advice on your situation, and not their own personal preference. Take everyone's advice, but keep in mind what your goal is: to get a guitar best for you.

Quote:
Know what kind of guitar you need. Do you need an acoustic or electric? Are you going to be playing lead or rhythm? What kind of tone do you need, a twangy strat tone or a clunky Gibson tone. (Sorry for using the words I bashed) You may not know any of these things so as I said, take someone with you.
The electric or acoustic thing will by far be one of the easiest thing to decide. As far as lead vs. rhythm, that really doesn't have a ton of bearing on what guitar you're gonna play. Most players will probably use the same guitar for both lead and rhythm work. Now what you rewally got to look into is probably the bands you listen to. They are what will give you a basic idea of what guitar you want. Check out what guitars and amps they use. For example, I found that I lean a lot towards Les Paul style guitars by what I listen to.

Quote:
Plug it in. Plug it in and turn it up. Get the store clerk to show you how to adjust your amplifier. Plug into some pedals to see how the guitar responds. Plug into more than one amp in order to see if the tone your getting is your guitar or your amp. If you can't play good enough to tell have a friend or a clerk play, assuming the clerks know anything about guitar.
Now here's the thing. You really need to either try the guitar through a variety of amps to see how the sound changes (or have your guitarist friend there talk you through it), or play the guitar through the exact amp you're gonna be playing it through. Don't mess with pedals yet. Just go with the guitar and the amp at first. Ideally, the pedals should fit into your base guitar and amp rig, not the other way around. Have your guitarist friend listen to the band/artist you want to sound like, and ask them you see if they can match it with any guitar/amp combo in your range. Most practice amps are going to not have much power, and solid states don't change much tonally when cranked, so the only reason you'd need to turn up is if there's a tube amp. Also, unplug the guitar and turn up the amp to see if there's any underlying hum.

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Ask questions. What does this knob do? What does this switch do? What is the difference between a humbucker and a single-coil? What kind of strings are on this guitar? (that could affect your tone)
Ask most of them here or somewhere before you buy anything. Maybe get most of them answered before you go shopping. CGR is a great place for that. An experienced guitarist can probably tell the string guage by just playing it.

Quote:
Have a good time! This is the only time you will ever be searching for your first guitar. Make it a good one. Have fun and shop around. Don't be to hasty. Don't settle for mediocrity because you buy the first thing you see. Go on CGR and pretend like you know what your talking about!!! (like yours truly ) Just enjoy it!

Chris
Yes, pretending to know what you're talking aobut gets you pretty far on here.
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Unread 12-20-2004, 05:54 PM   #201
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainer.
Yes, pretending to know what you're talking aobut gets you pretty far on here.
hehe, that didn't work very well for me
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Unread 12-21-2004, 11:39 PM   #202
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What I've found funny about reading these 14 LLLLOOOONNNNNGGGGG pages full of great advice...and some not so...it that there's no "blanket" guide for newbies.

I would be the WORST person on the world to talk to about gear. When I was a newbie I wanted a Kramer...because that's what EVH was playing (yea...a long time ago). Instead of buying a newbie guitar I mowed grass, saved every penny, and bought me my '83 Kramer Pacer Deluxe. I busted my butt to get the money for it...looking back I should have worked a little harder and bought a better amp...

For me the biggest question that would need to be answered before recommending anything to a newbie is "What's your commitment level?" (wow...what a crappy question?! I should have phrased it better). A newbie that's going to take lessons...and not the lessons where the teachers are going to teach you the latest Green Day song...lessons that are all about theory, that's the newbie that has a greater interest in the art of guitar. That's the kid I would tell to wait an extra month or two, save the extra cash and buy the better instrument. I wouldn't recommend a Mayes acoustic to that guy on the Lite Beer commerial w/ the refs "We've got intentional acoustic romantisism on Dave, girls not buying it, tent invitation denied!"...But I would recommend it to that little kid guitar player in School of Rock.

I know that not every newbie is going to fully understand how involved music can be or even care about theory or wood. My daughter wants to start playing guitar...she has to start with piano. How many of us started because we wanted to rock out, or for "acoustical romantisisms"? I've been playing for a long time and I finally took lessons that were 30 mins a piece...with 33 mins of talking about music theory...made my brain hurt.

For what it's worth.

...BTW...I still have my Kramer...

Peace,
Mark
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Unread 12-22-2004, 01:09 PM   #203
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I gotta say, though, I had no idea that I'd be this into guitars back when I started playing back in 5th grade. I started playing so I can play along with some Creed songs. It wasn't until about a year after I started playing that I actually started to get serious, and tried to learn more about the instrument and music theory and whatnot. Now, IMO, I think if I started out on music theory, I would have quit (actually one of the reasons I quit playing piano a long time ago... the other reason was that my sister was the one teaching me, and it bugged me. [and BTW-I play piano now that I have a greater interest in the art music ]). So I was the guitarist that started out wanting to play the new hits on my guitar, with some interest about the other stuff, but ended up a music freak. There's gotta be a cheaper, but not-too-cheap guitar out there for people that start out like me...

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Unread 12-22-2004, 01:29 PM   #204
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I started out as that guy though. I've always loved music. ALWAYS.

After having some friends and close relatives that played music, and were good, I knew it was something I wanted to do. I told my best guitar buddy, "You'd better watch out, because as soon as I learn the basics of guitar, I'm going to be better than you." I knew it was true, and it was.

I started out knowing the most basic of theory (I knew a treble clef, the notes on it, and the value of the notes from a recorder class in elementary school), and now I'm immersed in it. Music and guitar to be specific are now the greatest passions of my life...

So I guess your first statement was correct, "there's no "blanket" guide for newbies."
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Unread 01-03-2005, 12:52 PM   #205
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Bill Edwards speaks on buying a guitar...

Thought I would post this....


Quote:
GN: Do you have any advice of your own when it comes to buying a guitar?

BE: Yes. Take along an “expert” to annoy the sales help. I'm a big fan of playability and affordability. Once the basics are there - straight (correct) neck, flat face (no bowing), low action, light strings, etc., it's about personal tastes and preferences. Some guitars just seem to speak to you. They say stuff like “If you don't buy me right this minute I shall gently weep...” Over the years I've learned not to fall in love with my guitars. Why? All my guitars eventually get stolen, so I don't own any collectibles. Also, I've taken the precaution of winding crime scene tape around them so they will be easy to identify in a line up. (This also works visually when I'm doing Korsakov's Flight of the Bumble Bee.)
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Unread 01-23-2005, 10:05 AM   #206
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woltrap

...BTW...I still have my Kramer...

Peace,
Mark
I still have mine too (1987 Pacer), and wouldn't trade it for the world. After nearly 20 years it is hands-down the best playing guitar I've owned, followed closely by a PRS I sold a few years ago.

It's getting the bridge back-routed as we speak. The posts for the Floyd finally started to give (bend towards the nut), so it was time. I rewired it once to take care of an issue with the 5-way switch a few years ago, but the pickups are stock. The frets are on their last legs, no more recrowning material left in them - next time it's a fret job. Not bad for nearly 20 years of HARD service.

You can pick a great first/second/third guitar, and there's lots of good advice in here. One important point of advice it to get whatever guitar you pick set up by a pro. Even plywood boat anchors can turn into great players with a good set up.


One further point:

Few, if any, guitars are truly junk any more. Most all of them are cut on CNC milling centers, which means they are 100% dead-on dimensionally. What you are paying for now is hardware, pickups, wood selection, finish, construction and NAME. The high-line instruments are better in all of those areas, but dimensionally a CNC milling center cuts wood more accurately and less expensively than any human being who ever lived ever could... well, except for 1...

Samick is the #1 guitar manufacturer (by numbers) on the planet. If you're buying a low-line Ibanez, ESP, Fender, Schecter, Brian Moore, etc... odds are it's actually a Samick or Cort out of Korea.
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Unread 01-23-2005, 11:30 AM   #207
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I fully agree that very few guitars now can actually be considered unplayable junk straight off the store shelves. However, cheaper guitars are very commonly badly set up, something that a human actually has to do, and a beginner will probably not enjoy putting up with it, and maight need to pay for a set up, which might not be worth it on that particular guitar.

Also, it does cost money to get hardware, and usually, cheaper guitars will be loaded up with cheaper hardware, and that will end up with somescratchy electronics, slippy tremolos, rough bridges, etc.

1 more point:
CNC's do cut wood more accurately then human luthiers, but the margin of error is usually so incredibly small, it's unoticible. (and we're talking really, really high end guitars here)
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Unread 01-23-2005, 11:49 AM   #208
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainer.

1 more point:
CNC's do cut wood more accurately then human luthiers, but the margin of error is usually so incredibly small, it's unoticible. (and we're talking really, really high end guitars here)
Take a good hard look at some vintage Gibson and Fender pieces. What you're going to find is that for all the hype, they really aren't put together all that well. They have great tone, and set the stage for all that we know in electric guitars, but the construction can be little short of awful.

Regarding high-end guitars, the CNC cut guitar wins hands-down, AS LONG AS there's a human being selecting the wood and doing the assembly and set up. The magic is in wood selection and matching, assembly (particularly gluing the thing together), and not what/who cuts the thing out...

Although the CNC machine NEVER has a bad day or is bummed out because it's girlfriend broke up with it...
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Unread 01-23-2005, 12:00 PM   #209
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PacerX
Take a good hard look at some vintage Gibson and Fender pieces. What you're going to find is that for all the hype, they really aren't put together all that well. They have great tone, and set the stage for all that we know in electric guitars, but the construction can be little short of awful.
I bet they are. I wasn't talking about vintage Gibsons and Fenders. I'm talkin stuff like newer Alembics, Andersons, Warriors, stuff like that.

Quote:
Regarding high-end guitars, the CNC cut guitar wins hands-down, AS LONG AS there's a human being selecting the wood and doing the assembly and set up. The magic is in wood selection and matching, assembly (particularly gluing the thing together), and not what/who cuts the thing out...

Although the CNC machine NEVER has a bad day or is bummed out because it's girlfriend broke up with it...
There's a thread aobut that you might have fun looking through, and possibly resurrecting.

http://www.christianguitar.org/forum....php?p=1340012
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Unread 01-23-2005, 07:45 PM   #210
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainer.
I bet they are. I wasn't talking about vintage Gibsons and Fenders. I'm talkin stuff like newer Alembics, Andersons, Warriors, stuff like that.



There's a thread aobut that you might have fun looking through, and possibly resurrecting.

http://www.christianguitar.org/forum....php?p=1340012
I read enough of the first page to get an idea of the nonsense flying about there... I'll read more later, but gonna go back to practicing.

A little word about my experience:

I am by no means a luthier. I am, however, a mechanical engineer with a fair amount of experience with machining centers and what they can do, and I can tell you this beyond the shadow of a human doubt:

In any contest of consistency, the CNC machining center wins, every time.

What the machine cannot do is match the woods up the way a luthier can, but it sure as heck makes for more solid glue joints, more consistent fits, more repeatable quality.

The best of both words is a highly experienced luthier making the design choices and selecting the woods and doing the assembly, with the machine cutting the parts out.

You wouldn't want a human being machineing your bridge by hand (no one does anymore...), so why would you want a human being doing the cutting on the wood? In the end, they are both parts of a machine (the guitar) which can only benefit from more repeatable production techniques.

The funny part on the first page is the claim that a CNC machineing center only costs around $20,000... HEH. I'll take you to see a middle of the road 3-axis Cincinnati my friend owns sometime... he bought it USED for a mere $400,000.

The reason the small shops don't use CNC machines is simply because THEY CAN'T AFFORD THEM.
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