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Hates Richie Kotzen
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Discussion Starter #1
Sound off time.

I personally think that a lot of features throughout history are "desirable" solely because they were scarce or relegated to fewer/more expensive models. So it's interesting to see this past decade that things that were once comparatively "scarce" like non dot inlays and ebony boards are so common that I'm judging them on their own merits instead of as a symbol of elitism and finding I don't like them as much as when they were once heavily conflated with being a symbol of a more expensive/more elite guitar.

What do you think? Talking about features like ebony boards or "fancier" inlays or reversed headstocks, and especially features like figured tops and set/thru construction, which were once comparatively scarce, but are now so common it's more surprising to see a guitar without one.

Opinions? What do you think. Does spec'ing every model with "fancier features" actually lessen the appeal those features once had because they are not as scarce anymore? I definitely think so.

I definitely think we are going to see a big change with rosewood in the coming years, where people realize that the idea that rosewood was a less desirable wood for fingerboards than maple or ebony that permeated the industry for so many decades was mainly related to the fact it wasn't scarce, but now that it is, the appeal will start to go up pretty quick.
 

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Señor Member
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I personally think the biggest problem with guitars right now are the lack of abalone purfling around every face, surface and edge.
 

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Hates Richie Kotzen
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Discussion Starter #3
I personally think the biggest problem with guitars right now are the lack of abalone purfling around every face, surface and edge.
I miss old Schecter. New "wants to be Ibanez" Schecter is just boring. Caving to every single stupid trend actually makes them look cheaper than their "everything black cherry/abalone" phase. People always knocked their guitars for looking trashy, but fuck it. Trashy individualism > mediocre conformity any day of the week. I don't want a Schecter RG, bring back the tacky inlays.

This is tackier than anything from their circa-2008 glory days in all honesty. This is tacky pretending to be sophisticated. Which is worse than being unashamedly tacky.



Besides, I have a soft spot for their old stuff. I might not have liked the aesthetics, but they were durable as fuck.
 

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Tarantula Lobbyist
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I personally think the biggest problem with guitars right now are the lack of abalone purfling around every face, surface and edge.
Well, duh!

I like ebony boards for the intensity of the fundamental note. I like maple for the snap, and rosewood for what I at least perceive as warmth. I also like basswood bodies a lot because with high quality low output pickups (like Bartolinis) they are incredibly versatile, and occasionally gold hardware, so take all this with a grain of salt. What I DON'T like is charging an additional 3 grand for a Gibson Les Paul because of a neck carve or a bit of flame in the top, which to me is ultimate BS. And lastly, I don't give a rats ass what anyone else thinks of my kit, and always like seeing that in others as well.
 

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Premium Member
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This is basically elitism vs being a hipster - they used to be cool because you couldnt readily have them now they arent cool because you can.

My answer would be I dont care - I like what I like because I like it, the majority of my guitars are burst finish superstrats with 24 frets made out of mahogany with an ebony board and maple top of some sort. But If I were going to buy an ibanez i would buy a flat colour made out of basswood with a rosewood board because that is what I like in an ibanez. In fact the ibanez I own is the only guitar I have like that.

I think if you are buying guitars based on anything other than what you personally like you are doing it wrong.
 

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Read Only
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The only tangible (wrong word?) things I care about when picking guitars are things that matter, like body wood, scale length and pickup configuration. I know I like H-H 25.5 basswood and mahogany superstrats, so that's what I go for. Everything else I buy strictly for aesthetics or utility. Stainless frets last longer. Maple and ebony boards look cool. Offset/no dots look cool. Handles and lion claws look cool.

Shit like that, IMO, has such a miniscule effect on the overall sound of the guitar when it's buried in gain that I personally could never tell the difference tonally. I'm sure some goldenears out there will claim to be able to pick out a maple board vs a rosewood board when they're listening to someone shred through a Mark with the gain on 12 million, but I sure as hell can't. :lol:
 

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Retarded P.A Overlord.
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Currently all my guitars have rosewood boards. A cheapish acoustic, right through to my Blackmachine. It wouldn't be my first choice on a full custom sure, but it sure as fuck ain't gonna put me off buy something production. My RGD is literally nothing like I would order in a guitar features wise, but it sounds great, and looks cool as fuck. If it sounds tight and angry (not talking about my wife here btw...), then that'll do me.
 

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Tarantula Lobbyist
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Shit like that, IMO, has such a miniscule effect on the overall sound of the guitar when it's buried in gain that I personally could never tell the difference tonally. I'm sure some goldenears out there will claim to be able to pick out a maple board vs a rosewood board when they're listening to someone shred through a Mark with the gain on 12 million, but I sure as hell can't. :lol:
Once you start adding gain all of the little differences in woods and damn near everything else just disappears completely. I can't really hear the difference between a single coil and humbucker in a Tele bridge on high gain.
 

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Look what I can do
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Hearing and feeling are two things that I consider separate when talking about this stuff.

I don’t know if I can hear the difference between ebony rosewood and maple, because I haven’t really had any guitars with specs similar enough otherwise to try and make a comparison. But I can damn sure feel the difference between playing on an ebony board and a rosewood board. In most cases I prefer ebony, but rosewood and maple definitely have their place in my stable.

For aesthetic stuff you might be right might be wrong. I don’t think scarcity has ever really had much to do with my tastes, I pretty much just like what I like. I do agree though that mass producing some of what used to be the pricier features seems to be cheapening them. First couple times I saw highly figured burl tops with interesting bursts in flat finishes etc they were pretty striking. Never were something I wanted to get, but they were worth stopping for a bit of admiration. Now when I see ANOTHER new line from ANOTHER company and I can’t even tell who’s making it because it looks exactly like all the other shit...I just don’t even care to glance at them now.

Remember when you could tell an ESP was an ESP because it looked like one and the same with schecter and ibanez and the rest? Doesn’t seem to be like that anymore
 

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Premium Member
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The only tangible (wrong word?) things I care about when picking guitars are things that matter, like body wood, scale length and pickup configuration. I know I like H-H 25.5 basswood and mahogany superstrats, so that's what I go for. Everything else I buy strictly for aesthetics or utility. Stainless frets last longer. Maple and ebony boards look cool. Offset/no dots look cool. Handles and lion claws look cool.

Shit like that, IMO, has such a miniscule effect on the overall sound of the guitar when it's buried in gain that I personally could never tell the difference tonally. I'm sure some goldenears out there will claim to be able to pick out a maple board vs a rosewood board when they're listening to someone shred through a Mark with the gain on 12 million, but I sure as hell can't. :lol:
</thread>

Seriously, while I like things like binding and sharks on Jacksons, it doesn't make me buy them.

My current problem is with someone like Friedman selling relic'd Charvel-style guitars for $3K. Especially since I'm betting all the parts come from a parts mill.
 

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Hates Richie Kotzen
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Discussion Starter #12
</thread>

Seriously, while I like things like binding and sharks on Jacksons, it doesn't make me buy them.

My current problem is with someone like Friedman selling relic'd Charvel-style guitars for $3K. Especially since I'm betting all the parts come from a parts mill.
Didn't know Friedman had expanded into guitars. Took a look at their site and I guess it's a "partnership" with Grover Jackson.

Which honestly isn't the most reassuring thing. I've played three GJ2 guitars that were just straight up terrible for the price.
 

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Retarded P.A Overlord.
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Didn't know Friedman had expanded into guitars. Took a look at their site and I guess it's a "partnership" with Grover Jackson.

Which honestly isn't the most reassuring thing. I've played three GJ2 guitars that were just straight up terrible for the price.
The new Abasi guitars are Grover too I think.
 

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Señor Member
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Didn't know Friedman had expanded into guitars. Took a look at their site and I guess it's a "partnership" with Grover Jackson.

Which honestly isn't the most reassuring thing. I've played three GJ2 guitars that were just straight up terrible for the price.
The new Abasi guitars are Grover too I think.
FWIW, the pics of some of the Grover Abasi guitars weren't especially inspiring either. Some of the fret edges were razor back sharped, tons of sophmorish finish issues, etc.
 

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Señor Member
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Currently all my guitars have rosewood boards. A cheapish acoustic, right through to my Blackmachine. It wouldn't be my first choice on a full custom sure, but it sure as fuck ain't gonna put me off buy something production. My RGD is literally nothing like I would order in a guitar features wise, but it sounds great, and looks cool as fuck. If it sounds tight and angry (not talking about my wife here btw...), then that'll do me.
Ant: I play guitars with rosewood boards because I don't give a fuck about trends

Also Ant: I own a Blackmachine
 

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ya boi
ESP, Kemper, Marshall
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Hearing and feeling are two things that I consider separate when talking about this stuff.

I don't know if I can hear the difference between ebony rosewood and maple, because I haven't really had any guitars with specs similar enough otherwise to try and make a comparison. But I can damn sure feel the difference between playing on an ebony board and a rosewood board. In most cases I prefer ebony, but rosewood and maple definitely have their place in my stable.

For aesthetic stuff you might be right might be wrong. I don't think scarcity has ever really had much to do with my tastes, I pretty much just like what I like. I do agree though that mass producing some of what used to be the pricier features seems to be cheapening them. First couple times I saw highly figured burl tops with interesting bursts in flat finishes etc they were pretty striking. Never were something I wanted to get, but they were worth stopping for a bit of admiration. Now when I see ANOTHER new line from ANOTHER company and I can't even tell who's making it because it looks exactly like all the other shit...I just don't even care to glance at them now.

Remember when you could tell an ESP was an ESP because it looked like one and the same with schecter and ibanez and the rest? Doesn't seem to be like that anymore
The focus on appealing to shredder/djent types has indeed been stripping away the individuality from each brand. It's all burled maple and multi-color fade finishes, with heavy emphasis on singlecut and superstrat type guitars. They've all been introducing models to make their lines more like each other, like Jackson releasing that awful singlecut. That style was really cool and boutique when it was first introduced, but everyone jumped on the train so hard that it's just as boring to me as seeing a gun metal gray finish in 2007. I appreciate more visually interesting options are becoming accessible, but some variety would be nice.

It doesn't help that signature artists join another brand and then force them to make a guitar like what their old company made instead of allowing them to stick to their strengths. IMO, that PRS Strat that Mayer had them make is an abomination. If he wanted a Strat he should have stuck with Fender or went to another brand that already makes a Strat style guitar. It'd be like leaving B.C. Rich for Gibson and expecting them to make a ripoff Beast.
 

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Retarded P.A Overlord.
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Ant: I play guitars with rosewood boards because I don't give a fuck about trends

Also Ant: I own a Blackmachine
To be fair, if I hadn't lost my job, I'd have had one back in 2010 before djent happened :lol:

I've played maybe 15 different ones now, and while they're stellar guitars, I'd never buy a top end one. Not when there's many other builders just as good at MUCH less. I actually think mine might be the best sounding one I've played, and it's one of the 'cheap' ones :lol:
 

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Premium Member
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Ant: I play guitars with rosewood boards because I don't give a fuck about trends

Also Ant: I own a Blackmachine
To be fair, if I hadn't lost my job, I'd have had one back in 2010 before djent happened


I've played maybe 15 different ones now, and while they're stellar guitars, I'd never buy a top end one. Not when there's many other builders just as good at MUCH less. I actually think mine might be the best sounding one I've played, and it's one of the 'cheap' ones
To be fair not caring about trends does not mean not buying something because it is currently cool. That would be being a hipster.
 

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Super Moderator
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The wood choice for the fretboard makes a significant difference in tone--probably more so than the type of body wood. I like having all three main types of fretboard woods for different purposes.

'Premium' features have become devalued somewhat because they can be mass-produced now. In the end, quality fretwork and a high level of resonance are the most important things on a guitar.
 

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Eh, I can only talk for myself. Sure, there might be people out there who liked such things because they were rare, but I like things because I like them. I've owned more guitars with basswood bodies than anything else and more guitars with rosewood fretboards than anything else and more guitars with "regular" dot inlays than anything else, and I love all of those things. Basswood bodies, rosewood fretboards, and "regular" dot inlays rule. But I've also owned a guitar with no inlays at all (on one extreme) and with an elaborate tree of life inlay (on the other extreme), both things that are pretty rare. And they both rule (plus, I've owned guitars with offset dots and non-dot inlays such as the Les Paul boxes/rectangles). I've only owned one guitar with an ebony fretboard (my new one), but I've always just loved how ebony boards look. I thought they looked awesome 20 years ago and I think they look awesome now. As a bonus, they also sound good. That's part of why I really liked the rosewood board on my RG1527. It was super dark. Almost black in color (assuming it was properly taken care of and oiled at least once every 1-3 months).

I don't go for things because they're rare, but I also don't go for them because they're common. I go for them because I like them. :shrug:
 
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