#1
The pickup combination capabilities on this thing are ridiculous!

There's a 5 way switch for the 3 pickups on the 3 bass side strings and a 5 way switch for the 3 pickups on the 3 treble side strings.

Unfortunately I can only find one youtube video of some noobs playing it in a shop through a Peavey amp on distortion. I really want to hear all the different combinations on this thing! I imagine it to be versatile as hell!

Does anyone know of any other guitars that have a similar setup?

Also, what do you guys think of the styling?

The official specs page:
http://www.italiaguitars.com/new/guitar/imo.html

"Which road do I take"? she asked.
"Where do you want to go?" was his response.
"I don't know", Alice answered.
"Then", said the cat,
"it doesn't matter.”
#2
Not a fan of the headstock, but I'm fascinated by the pickup arrangement!
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

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Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#3
How do you keep finding these awesome, but outlandish guitars?
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#5
I found the DiPinto in a book called 500 Guitars A-Z which contains the wackiest looking guitars I've ever seen.

I discovered Italia when I googled "cool guitars" and 4th link down is a musicradar article titled "20 best budget electric guitars" and the Italia Rimini caught my eye so I went on the Italia website and discovered the Imola

Here is the Rimini btw:




Personally love the 12 string. Saw Proguitarshop review it too.

But yeah my go-to websites are usually:
Musician's friend
Music radar
GAK
Proguitarshop's youtube channel is pretty good for reviewing unheard-of guitars.
"Which road do I take"? she asked.
"Where do you want to go?" was his response.
"I don't know", Alice answered.
"Then", said the cat,
"it doesn't matter.”
#6
All of Italia's guitars have interesting features, but A) their headstocks are always piss-ugly and unbalancing and B) the guitars simply aren't made all that well, even for their price point. I wish they made more refined and better-made versions, because I'd have an army of them by now.
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#8
I don't ''think'' they're poorly made, I know they're poorly made because shops around here are full of them and I've yet to play one which didn't have awful, basic construction flaws.

edit: also, why you'd trust in MR reviews, I have no idea. You do realise that media outlets are given review samples, i.e. guitars, under the condition that they give a minimum review score? There is no point trusting in Music Radar, Guitar World, Guitarist or any similar outlet. The manufacturers' distributors dictate to them what they can and can't say about a piece of equipment.
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Last edited by MrFlibble at Apr 11, 2012,
#9
You can't know something without also thinking it.

What I meant was what is it about the Italia Imola you don't like? As in, give examples or stories of your experiences, you know...
"Which road do I take"? she asked.
"Where do you want to go?" was his response.
"I don't know", Alice answered.
"Then", said the cat,
"it doesn't matter.”
#10
Among the range of Italia guitars I have played, I have observed:
  • sharp fret ends overhanging the fretboard
  • Tuning pegs loosely installed, enough to shift
  • Poorly cut plastic nuts
  • Inlays featuring cracks, gaps and glue build up
  • Bubbles in the finish
  • Uneven finishes
  • Peeling binding
  • Crackling, loose and in one case completely disconnected pots
  • Flash and mold lines on plastic hardware parts
  • Loose jacks
  • Loose and ineffective switches


In other words, all the bullshit you get with the cheaper MIK and MIC guitars. I'll grant you that the bits which have worked have been pretty nice - their stock pickups seem a lot better than most - but beyond that, they're entirely style over substance. They've got some great ideas but they need to be put into use by a better company, one that maintains much stricter QC and uses better quality parts from the ground up. They're the one brand that has stuff made in Korea that manages to not be up to snuff. MIKs can be great so there's no reason Italia couldn't fix these problems.
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#11
I've also been disappointed by the quality of the Italias I've played. They feel like plastic toys, the hardware seems cheap (pickups are ok), and the workmanship (paint, frets, etc) have been spotty.

It seems like a lot of these 'novelty' guitars are made to be flashy and interesting with all that celluloid and bright paint and preposterous electronics, but all of that stuff contributes to the cost without actually adding anything in the way of sound or reliability to the guitar. If your accountants tell you that the guitar has to sell for $699, you can only do so much with a guitar, and if you decide that you need four pickups, a celluloid back and neck, and some chrome, you're going to have to cut corners elsewhere. The guitars are certainly unique, but the emphasis is definitely on aesthetics.
#12
Damn, doesn't sound good at all. Is there any chance they may have improved since you last had experience of them?

I will certainly have to try before I buy one these things. MrFlibble, which shops you been to that stock them? I live in Reading, not too far from Bath so I might be able to visit them.
"Which road do I take"? she asked.
"Where do you want to go?" was his response.
"I don't know", Alice answered.
"Then", said the cat,
"it doesn't matter.”
#13
They've been crappy for 12 years, and I played one two weeks ago that was still crap. So, unlikely.

I just don't see how they could make a decent guitar with all those bells and whistles for the prices they're going for. There's just too much high-overhead stuff. Look at the Rimini - that's a custom tailpiece and control plate, and the tooling for those inlays, binding, and sideways tuners isn't free. Retail on those is, what, $600? It's hard enough to make a decent semi-hollow without all that bling for $600, so it's no surprise that you're just paying for the looks with these guitars.
#14
I dno if i could bring myself to playing a guitar named after imola being a senna fan..

or if i'd love it cause the imola track is awesome.

But if you want something a bit different which might(?) have staggered pickups, look into fret king/G&L.
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#15
Quote by BadBanshee

I will certainly have to try before I buy one these things. MrFlibble, which shops you been to that stock them? I live in Reading, not too far from Bath so I might be able to visit them.
In shops I've tried them in DS&P (no longer around), Sounds International (their stock is random and small, not worth travelling down for), Absolute Guitars (in Bristol), Reidy's (in Blackburn), some place in Frome I've forgotten the name of and two places in London (I forget 'em, there's only about a hundred guitar stores there). Plus three of the Rickenbacker copies from other players.

Like I said, I want to like them and wish they were better, I've picked up every one I've come across. But I've never found one that's even up to the standards of other MIK guitars.

Quote by Roc8995
They've been crappy for 12 years, and I played one two weeks ago that was still crap. So, unlikely.

I just don't see how they could make a decent guitar with all those bells and whistles for the prices they're going for. There's just too much high-overhead stuff. Look at the Rimini - that's a custom tailpiece and control plate, and the tooling for those inlays, binding, and sideways tuners isn't free. Retail on those is, what, $600? It's hard enough to make a decent semi-hollow without all that bling for $600, so it's no surprise that you're just paying for the looks with these guitars.
Pretty much. Guitars can't look good, have many special features, be built well and be cheap. The only brands that can afford to be cheap and still put out something half-decent are the big hitters like Epiphone and Squier where they know they'll shift so many units they don't need to make as much on each sale, or the ones that sell almost direct from the factory like the brands Rondo deals in.

In all fairness, the Italia guitars I've tried would be alright for beginners, though I don't know what any beginner would do with their weird pickups, convoluted switching and bizarre shaping.
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#16
Quote by Glenn Guitar
I dno if i could bring myself to playing a guitar named after imola being a senna fan..

or if i'd love it cause the imola track is awesome.

But if you want something a bit different which might(?) have staggered pickups, look into fret king/G&L.


Saw some nice guitars on their websites with what we're calling staggered pickups (trouble is google understands staggered pickups as staggered pole pieces -.-) although they didn't have a 2x5way switch.

Anyone know what the proper name for these kind of pickups are? I even googled 3 pole pickups but that got me nowhere.
"Which road do I take"? she asked.
"Where do you want to go?" was his response.
"I don't know", Alice answered.
"Then", said the cat,
"it doesn't matter.”
#17
I tried a variety of search terms- near as I can tell, they are Italia's own design, "Duplex Pickups."
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#18
To slightly relate to the OP, this is why I like Tele's, at least my Tele. Its very utilitarian. You seems to pay for the guitar, as opposed to the paint, coil-tapz, binding, and other things that are nice, yes, but usually dont add to the overall quality of the guitar.

VVVVV IMO.
Caution:
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#19
Quote by MrFlibble

edit: also, why you'd trust in MR reviews, I have no idea. You do realise that media outlets are given review samples, i.e. guitars, under the condition that they give a minimum review score? There is no point trusting in Music Radar, Guitar World, Guitarist or any similar outlet. The manufacturers' distributors dictate to them what they can and can't say about a piece of equipment.


What guitar reviews do you trust then? Cuz user reviews are easily biased too by a lack of experience.
"Which road do I take"? she asked.
"Where do you want to go?" was his response.
"I don't know", Alice answered.
"Then", said the cat,
"it doesn't matter.”
#20
Quote by AWACS
To slightly relate to the OP, this is why I like Tele's, at least my Tele. Its very utilitarian. You seems to pay for the guitar, as opposed to the paint, coil-tapz, binding, and other things that are nice, yes, but usually dont add to the overall quality of the guitar.

VVVVV IMO.


I've been very close to buying the Baja Telecaster for a while now. Which Tele do you have?
"Which road do I take"? she asked.
"Where do you want to go?" was his response.
"I don't know", Alice answered.
"Then", said the cat,
"it doesn't matter.”
#21
Finally found a video! The Imola is from 1:20 onwards. Makes me fall in love with it even more! Especially when he goes from bass to treble whilst bass strings are on neck pickup and treble strings are on bridge pickup @ 3:00. I really need to try one out for myself.

http://vimeo.com/642199
"Which road do I take"? she asked.
"Where do you want to go?" was his response.
"I don't know", Alice answered.
"Then", said the cat,
"it doesn't matter.”
Last edited by BadBanshee at Apr 12, 2012,
#22
Quote by BadBanshee
What guitar reviews do you trust then? Cuz user reviews are easily biased too by a lack of experience.
Well of course user reviews are biased. All opinions are biased, and all reviews - bar ones that are bought and paid for by distributors - are opinions.

I don't know why so many people have a hard time getting their heads around reviews. Some (most) ''professional'' reviews (and this goes for anything, not just guitars) are controlled in some form or another by the makers, distributors or sellers of the product in question. The ones that aren't are purely opinion and it's completely stupid to expect something objective from them.

Trust in your own opinion. Try some guitars out, see for yourself. Can't try them out, or want a second opinion? Ask someone who's opinion you do trust. Find someone that you know has similar taste to you and see what they think.

If I read a review that slags something off, but I know the writer usually has opposing taste to mine, then I will usually take that to mean the product might interest me to some extent. If I read a review by someone who I know to have similar taste to mine and they really like the thing, I can usually bet I will like it too. Read reviews by people you know, or do some research on the reviewer if you don't already know them.

The important thing is to ignore the big outlet reviews and when reading user reviews don't expect them to be some objective and completely neutral. If a review was completely objective and neutral with no bias and no opinion then all the review would consist of is the words "this is a product that exists", the score would come in as 'N/A' and it'd be of no help to anybody.

For the record, when it comes to guitars and amps I don't read any reviews, I find a shop that has one and I try it for myself.
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#23
I bought my first guitar based purely on internet reviews. For my 2nd guitar I really should try before I buy lol.

The Imola sells for £379 in most shops but guitarbitz.com is selling it for £299 :O So seductive with their pricings! lol
"Which road do I take"? she asked.
"Where do you want to go?" was his response.
"I don't know", Alice answered.
"Then", said the cat,
"it doesn't matter.”
#24
Hey, any guitar maker can make trash or treasure: if you can afford it, get it. You'll learn something, guaranteed. Who knows, if you like the pickup arrangement but hate the guitar, you might be able to work something out with a luthier...
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#25
Quote by dannyalcatraz
I tried a variety of search terms- near as I can tell, they are Italia's own design, "Duplex Pickups."

Italia cetainly didn't design the split pickup. G&L has been using them (they call them Z-coils) on guitars for longer than Italia has existed as a company, and let's not forget that the P-Bass had them in, what, 1952? Mixing and matching the 3-string coils is a bit of a novelty, but they sure didn't invent that pickup and I would be willing to be that somebody had the coil-mixing idea before them, too.
#27
I'm not sure G&L's pickups are truly split as the Italia's seem to be. The Italias seem to be distinct 3-pole pickups.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Apr 12, 2012,
#28
G&L pickups are "truly split."

Not sure how you would get pickups that are more or less split. They're either the same coil or they're not. G&Ls have two coils.

G&L just puts one cover over both coils, where Italia puts a cover over each coil.
#29
They may be capable of the same type of trick as is done on the Imola-I don't know- but they are physically unitary in design, as I recall.

While I don't see any advantage in doing so, the Italia pickups could let you have a different number of pickups for the bass and treble courses, say...2 bass and 4 treble, for instance.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#30
Again, the plastic pickup covers go over the whole thing instead of one coil each. It doesn't mean anything electronically or sonically. It just means they use a cover that makes it look like one pickup instead of two.

And yes, the switching is different from the stock G&Ls, but the pickups themselves are not different. They are two distinct coils. With a bit of wiring and a few switches you could make a G&L do the same thing.
#31
Italia cetainly didn't design the split pickup.


Didn't say they did. I'm just saying that the ones Italia use were their own design, answering the question asked.

Asfor the rest of it, I simply haven't been able to find any 3-pole pickups for sale, either.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#32
He asked for the name of "that kind of pickups." Yes, I assume Italia designed the specific pickups that are in their guitars. The name of that kind of pickup, though, which Italia did not originally design, is a split-coil pickup.


Here are some for sale. You'd have to aftermarket the switching options if you wanted to have the same setup as the Italia, but they are three-pole per magnet.
http://www.glguitars.com/shopping/shopexd.asp?id=234

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/fender-super-55-split-coil-stratocaster-pickup-set
#33
Thanks!
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#34
I'd only want split coil pickups if you could get that 2x5way switch that you can see on the Italia Imola. Aren't split coil pickups basically just a single coil with 3 of the pole pieces shifted up or down a little? I would have thought it was wired as a single pickup so as to make it impossible to turn 3 pole pieces on and the other 3 off on the same pickup.
"Which road do I take"? she asked.
"Where do you want to go?" was his response.
"I don't know", Alice answered.
"Then", said the cat,
"it doesn't matter.”
#35
There are separate coils and magnets for the bass and treble side. All you would need to do would be to wire the coils separately.

So, yes, stock a G&L is wired like a regular single-coil pickup, but the construction of the pickup allows for splitting the coils. Just like a humbucker, really - your Les Paul might not be wired for a coil split out of the box, but the possibility to add one is inherent in the pickup design.

Of course, if that switching system is what appeals to you, it's going to be much cheaper to just buy the Italia than to add tons more wiring and switches to a strat or a G&L.
#36
G&L guitars don't suffer from QC issues.

not the 5 i've played in the past couple months.

both USA and imports.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
Last edited by gregs1020 at Apr 12, 2012,