#1
Hi guys.

What would you say is the ultimate guitar for a session player?

I know session players generally have a wide selection of guitar, but say your just getting started, don't have the budget for the large collection yet, and just need one guitar to start you off in the job.

The guitar must be versatile, reliable, hold tuning very well, be easy to travel with, feel and look suitable for a wide variety of styles and be very user friendly.


This is not a what guitar should I buy thread.

Its just an ultimate session guitar threat.

What would you choose?
#2
Probably a PRS 513 - it's pretty much the most versatile guitar I've ever come across, and it's sexy as hell
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#4
I'd have to go with my japanese-made ESP Horizon. Classic double cut-away look, black with mother-of-pearl binding, ebony fretboard, Seymour Duncan 59(N) and JB(B) with coil-tap, locking tuners and a very smooth gain reduction on the volume knob.

Maybe not the most exciting guitar, but I've yet to find something it can't do.
#5
Quote by Sonny_sam
Probably a PRS 513 - it's pretty much the most versatile guitar I've ever come across, and it's sexy as hell


As I was reading the original post I was thinking "PRS"

+1


PRS are just so versatile, they're great. I've played a couple and they play and sound brilliantly.
#6
Quote by AJScott
As I was reading the original post I was thinking "PRS"

+1


PRS are just so versatile, they're great. I've played a couple and they play and sound brilliantly.



I own a US Singlecut 245, and a Korean Santana SE that I've modded with Duncans and a coil tap, and they are both beautiful, playable guitars that I'd highly recommend to anyone who's looking for versatility.
Quote by griffRG7321
become a circumsizer, you get like £60,000 a year + tips.

Quote by Flying Couch
Because I'm not aerodynamic. All the other airborne furniture laugh at me.

LIKE PORTISHEAD?
#7
Some PRS, maybe this 513 thats been mentioned, but I personally think a Custom 24.
Actually, I go by Dave, but there are already too many Daves on this forum.


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#8
Any of the 3-pickup PRSs will do, so long as they've got humbuckers with coil splits. The new one they've done which is HSS with some new single coil sized humbuckers would be the best pick. Alternatively a Fender American Deluxe HSS Strat.

The real 'ultimate' session guitar would be HHH with 5-way switching, a switch for neck+bridge combinations, phase reversal switch on one of the pickups, independant coil splits for all three pickups, lightly chambered korina body, fairly thick but not a carved top and a set maple neck with a pau ferro fretboard. 25.25" scale, a non-locking trem of some kind with a roller nut, angled back headstock and locking tuners. And a piezo pickup, twin stereo jacks, voluem and tone for the piezo, tone for each of the three pickups and if there was room volume for each pickup as well. I've never heard of such a guitar being made though and I imagine to have one made would cost a few thousand.
#10
I think that although the 513 is the most versatile, the PRS Studio is very close behind, it has a great tone and it is EVEN SEXIER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
#11
Telecaster. If it doesn't work, you're doing something wrong.
Bearing in mind sessions rarely tend to be metalesque, you can't really go wrong, and a tele has much more straight up vibe than a PRS (IMO, naturally). Who needs coil splitting, custom scale beasts when a tele sounds so good in 90% of applications?
Dude, where's my band?
#12
Quote by grohl1987

The real 'ultimate' session guitar would be HHH with 5-way switching, a switch for neck+bridge combinations, phase reversal switch on one of the pickups, independant coil splits for all three pickups, lightly chambered korina body, fairly thick but not a carved top and a set maple neck with a pau ferro fretboard. 25.25" scale, a non-locking trem of some kind with a roller nut, angled back headstock and locking tuners. And a piezo pickup, twin stereo jacks, voluem and tone for the piezo, tone for each of the three pickups and if there was room volume for each pickup as well. I've never heard of such a guitar being made though and I imagine to have one made would cost a few thousand.



Sounds expensive.

Can I ask why you say a lightly chambered korina body and not an arch top?

Thats new to me.


Quote by TomMon
Telecaster. If it doesn't work, you're doing something wrong.
Bearing in mind sessions rarely tend to be metalesque, you can't really go wrong, and a tele has much more straight up vibe than a PRS (IMO, naturally). Who needs coil splitting, custom scale beasts when a tele sounds so good in 90% of applications?


A teacher I once had did say Telecasters are the best guitars for this because they are easy to maintain and if you break a string it will still stay in tune.

He told me this whilst I was trying to tune my floyd equipped guitar as quick as possible.
Last edited by jkielq91 at Sep 8, 2011,
#13
I Believe The greatest session guitar is A gibson less paul or a Stratocaster with stacked humbucker ( the ones that look like single coils but are humbuckers lol sorry noob)

Because seriously in every style of music there is always some one playing a gibson or a fender Strat They aren't my first choices for personal guitars but for versatility they deff have a huge advantage.
#14
Quote by jkielq91
Sounds expensive.

Can I ask why you say a lightly chambered korina body and not an arch top?

Thats new to me.
Korina has a tone right in between mahogany and alder so it's a good all-rounder. Having a carved top means adding maple which will brighten the tone which isn't always wanted on guitars that don't have mahogany bodies. Chambering the body increases acoustic resonance which is great with single coils and piezo pickups but can make humbuckers sound muddy so you don't want to have the guitar fully hollow.
#15
Quote by grohl1987
Korina has a tone right in between mahogany and alder so it's a good all-rounder. Having a carved top means adding maple which will brighten the tone which isn't always wanted on guitars that don't have mahogany bodies. Chambering the body increases acoustic resonance which is great with single coils and piezo pickups but can make humbuckers sound muddy so you don't want to have the guitar fully hollow.


Nice.

Are arches always maple then?
#16
No. Maple is common, but mahogany and spruce are also used, often with maple - e.g. mahogany body and maple top.

I've got to say a telecaster for this one. I might change my mind when I get my hands on a 513, but all the mega-switching guitars I've used haven't actually been that versatile. They've got a bunch of sounds, but many are fairly useless to me. For example, the Jimmy Page wiring that gets tossed around a lot - a split coil pickup in the neck of a LP isn't a usable sound for me. Neither are any of the out of phase sounds except in very rare cases. A telecaster doesn't have a million switches but the tone knob is useful throughout the sweep (it's a tool, rather than on a PRS where it's a utility), and the big metal bridge allows for some cool sounds when picking close to the saddles. Plus, in the middle pickup position and with the right OD it can sound real close to a Les Paul.

Actually, if you have to have one guitar for studio work, a Variax is the one.
#17
I think generally it would be hard to get one guitar for a session player.

You'll probably want at the minimum, something that can do "Strat" and something that can do "Les Paul" sounds. So something like a PRS 513 or something like that would do an alright job, but probably wouldn't satisfy all employers.

...though I'd be tempted, in that situation, to go with a Godin Session. It can technically hit many tones, and is pretty much based on this situation.

But generally I think a session player should start working up to getting a strat, a les paul, a telecaster and a hollowbody. After you have all that you should pretty much be covered for even the pickiest employer.
#18
Quote by Punk_Ninja
I think generally it would be hard to get one guitar for a session player.

You'll probably want at the minimum, something that can do "Strat" and something that can do "Les Paul" sounds. So something like a PRS 513 or something like that would do an alright job, but probably wouldn't satisfy all employers.

...though I'd be tempted, in that situation, to go with a Godin Session. It can technically hit many tones, and is pretty much based on this situation.

But generally I think a session player should start working up to getting a strat, a les paul, a telecaster and a hollowbody. After you have all that you should pretty much be covered for even the pickiest employer.


What if like me and my friend you find Les Pauls awkward to play?
#19
A Flaxwood guitar. Google em. You can get them in quite versatile pup combinations and they're easy to maintain thanks to the synthetic neck material which doesn't react to humidity/temperature at all.
#20
i think really the "ultimate" session guitar depends on what is required for that particular session.

as a general thing i'd be inclined to say a PRS would be a good start but really, you'd be best off knowing what the guys who are hiring you are specifically looking for and the genre of music they want you to play.

@jkielq91: in that situation you could always get something that'll give you a similar sort of sound to a les paul that you do find comfortable - there are plenty of alternatives out there in all price ranges.
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

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#21
PRS is probably your best choice for versitility. If your straped for cash, look into the PRS CE22/24 you can find them @$1000 used. If you can go more, look into the 513/studio/custom. Also dont forget about the PRS Mira it is a versitile yet cheapish PRS.
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#22
single cut hollowbody private stock prs. it has 59/09 combination, and since its a private stock i would tell them to wire it up like a custom 24. oh yeah, it also comes with their piezo system... so yeah/
#23
Telecaster plus Axe-FX.

Done.
Caution:
This post may contain my opinion and/or inaccurate information.

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#24
Quote by Blompcube
i think really the "ultimate" session guitar depends on what is required for that particular session.

as a general thing i'd be inclined to say a PRS would be a good start but really, you'd be best off knowing what the guys who are hiring you are specifically looking for and the genre of music they want you to play.

@jkielq91: in that situation you could always get something that'll give you a similar sort of sound to a les paul that you do find comfortable - there are plenty of alternatives out there in all price ranges.


this is pretty much it. unless you are known for having a superior (fill in guitar here) sound then having just one guitar would be a detriment. i'd say you'd want one good humbucker equiped guitar and one good single coil equiped guitar to cover most bases. to be a true session player you also have to have the ability to sound good on any guitar. often you may show up at a session and be handed a guitar and amp to use (for various reasons). this thread seems to be another approach to the old "whats the best guitar" question but as always there really is no answer.
Last edited by monwobobbo at Sep 8, 2011,