After all the damn fuss about the Zoot Suit SG I just decided to go play one. Well not really I was out trying out Teles and saw one. Terrible. The pickups are way too hot, it sounds dull and lifeless with the tone and volume rolled off and just peaky and screechy with them full on. I played it through a Dr. Z Jr. 18 and even that didn't help. It is very heavy, uncomfortably so. It has the fit and finish of a LP studio or worse. The edge of the fretboard was so sharp it wasn't comfy to play. It also has a log for a neck which I liked but isn't what you think of on an SG. Just pass unless you are a collector buying for looks.
Second disappointment... Fender Teles. I played a American deluxe and it was awful. It felt really cheap. The pots were scratchy and sticky. It sounded ok but nothing really special. I guess I expected a lot more of a $1200 guitar. Craftmanship was on par with cheaper, import guitars, not what I would expect for something made in the US. The S1 switching system seemed kinda useless but it does give you an extra sound in the in between position.
And then the good stuff. A Gadow Nashville. This guitar was seriously sweet. Every note vibrated through the guitar and neck. The tone was superb dirty and clean. No dead spots, no fretting out, just pure sex. What really impressed me was the neck joint. The neck fit so tightly in the pocket. If you are looking at Tele style guitars you have to check this one out. Played through a Peavey Classic 30 Custom Shop the thing just sang. It even did some pretty raunchy rock tones well, which surprised me.
Now the question. As you can tell I am obviously looking to buy a Tele. After today Fendr is out for sure. I got my hands on a G & L ASAt for just a second but didn't have a chance to plug it in. From what I could tell it was pretty nice but I need to hear it juiced before I can decide about it. My question is what other Teles should I check out. I am going to try out an Anderson and a Suhr as soon as I can make the trip to a boutique dealer about an hour away. Just want to know if anybody knows of anyhting I might be overlooking. Price isn't a huge issue but I'm not trying to spend ridiculous amounts of money so no Fender custom shops and that sort of thing lets say three grand tops. I play all kinds of stuff but this will be for twangy cleans and some on the verge of breakup kinda stuff. Yeah I've got amps, and will probably buy something new in the future (mmm Top Hat) so don't ask. I would really like to hear from some people who have played or owned a Suhr or Anderson.