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#1
Hi,

First post, so hello and thank you for having me.

I'm a just-about-intermediate guitarist with a budget of about £1000 (UK), or $1,500 (US) for a guitar and an amp. I'm looking for advice about which guitar to pair with which amp. Below I describe what I'm after; it would be great if anyone out there could tell me if I'm in the right ball park with the guitars and amps I'm looking at for my purposes or if I could be doing better.

Mainly I'd be playing at home, trying to improve my skills, having fun. My only previous electric guitar (10 years ago!) was a white Epiphone LP copy going through a Laney amp of some sort. I liked it, but found the guitar a bit heavy to carry about. And there was something I didn't quite like about the feel of the fretboard that I can't put my finger on (pardon the pun). Perhaps it was the shape of the neck (too broad?). It was a long time ago, but I'm certain there are better options for me.

Now I have a bigger budget and your wisdom & experience to guide me, I'd like to choose more carefully. I also live in Sweden, which complicates things a tad: smaller country, fewer guitar shows, smaller choice. I can get anything I want, but it has to be ordered in for me to try, which might meet with reluctance from shop owners; what will they do with a guitar I order in and don't like enough to buy? Not that this should stop me from getting what I want, of course, but it means I should prioritize wisely on what I ask for.

Further thoughts on what I'm looking for below.

Guitar thoughts:

I'm looking for a good all-rounder, but the Black Keys and White Stripes (e.g. Ball & Biscuit) exemplify the tone I'll be after most of the time. Both these bands use guitars (e.g. by National) I can't afford, so looking for cheaper options. Appearance: the Fender Strat look bores me (and I dislike the giant contrasting plasticky pick guards). If possible, I'd like the guitar to stand out a little from the generic single- or double-cut looks, but this is not an absolute requirement. I'd like to stay flexible in terms of the type of pick-ups and in any case I don't have that much experience experimenting with tone to know exactly what I want in this dept. I plead for your guidance!


I have a shortlist of two guitars so far:

- Hagström Tremar Superswede with P90s. I like the look and the tone (what I can discern on laptop speakers) seems at least in the ballpark. Reviews have been very positive wherever I've looked (e.g. it's capable of both Gibson- and Strat-esque tones as the controls allow for the pick-ups to act as single or double coil, at least so I understand). Tremolo a bonus. Everyone says the quality and finish of the guitar is amazing. Concerns: Apparently, it's a very heavy guitar. I found an Epiphone LP copy weighs more than enough for me. But what do you think? Could it meet my requirements as I've described them? Alternatives?

- Gretsch G5435T Pro Jet. Looks great (love the black front, red/brown back coloring), Bigsby tremolo a bonus. Great reviews. It does have the Gretsch pick-ups which are, I'm told, world-famous for "that Gretsch sound" (seem extra-"twangy" to me). Unlike the Hagström above, this has a chambered body so I expect it to be lighter and be less like a Gibson. This is all good, but is it what I want?


Amp thoughts:

Dunno if I want tube or modeling. I want something I can experiment with and learn more about tones. E.g. just for sheer ease of getting different sounds, I like the idea of something like the Line 6 Spider IV 30W amp, but that specific one has quite a few negative reviews (from tone quality to reliability) and something inside me doesn't want an amp that you select the sound by band or song name (even if you don't have to do it that way), but I like the other features (especially the looper). Other candidates in this general area: Roland Cube 80XL, Peavey Vypyr 75, and Blackstar ID30 TVP. Any opinions on these? Would you say any of these are better suited to the sound I'm after (see above).

Otherwise, for quite a bit more cash, I heard great things about the Line 6 DT25. Together with the guitars I listed above, this would break the bank... but if it's worth it I might be tempted.

I'd like also to ask about what Marshall options you guys would recommend. What modeling amps do they have? Any good? Or should I just spend big on a Marshall tube amp and be done with it?


Ok. That's it. Thanks for reading all this. In the end, I feel like a novice; most of what I know comes from reviews, not experience and I know I'll have to try it all out for myself before I commit to a purchase. But I appreciate your input for guiding me on my search!

Thanks again!!!

Luke
#2
It's hard to just pick a rig for someone but since ur looking for opinions here is what I would do if I were you.

The most versatile rock type guitar I have played would be a prs of some sort. You can find an American made Starla here for around 800 used. Maybe even a CE 22 for 1kish. If those don't fit your style perhaps an Ibanez art or the likes.

As for amp I would go tube all the way. Think about buying a head + cab. You can get a Egnater 20 rebel for around 300. It is very versatile. You can switch between 2 sets of different tubes with a switch, and find many tones. Sound good clean and with crunch. Pair it with a $150 1x12 cab of your choosing and you're set!

Hope the ideas help. Have a good time shopping whatever you get. It is half the fun. 8)
Last edited by Starcounter1 at Aug 13, 2013,
#3
Guitar Thoughts

Both of those should be good options: Hagstrom & Gretsch make quality axes, and you've pretty much IDed those guitars' strengths and weaknesses.

You might consider looking at some of the guitars in the Reverend line. All of them are made with Korina, which has a mahogany-like tone, but is lighter. In addition to the volume and tone controls found onmost guitars, all Reverends are equipped with a bass contour control, which does for the lower end tones what your tone control does for the treble end. This means you have a LOT of control

Most models are equipped with some kind of HB, with P90s and singlecoils also in the line. Mixed in are models equipped with mini-HBs called RevTrons, with a tone modeled after vintage FillerTrons- a big part of "Gretsch sound". Visual styling ranges across a variety of unique quasi-retro forms.

With all of your concerns taken into consideration, I'd suggest the following Reverend models:

Double Agent III (or a used I or II): bridge HB and a P90 in the neck.
http://www.reverendguitars.com/instrument/double-agent-iii/

Buckshot
http://www.reverendguitars.com/instrument/buckshot/

Club King semihollow with or without Bigsby
http://www.reverendguitars.com/instrument/club-king-rt/

The recently discontinued 15th Anniversary Flatroc w/Bigsby (in a sense, a flashier solidbody version of the Club King with Bigsby)
http://www.wildwoodguitars.com/products/15215.php?CategoryID=200&n=18
http://www.wildwoodguitars.com/products/15222.php?CategoryID=200&n=19
http://www.wildwoodguitars.com/products/14877.php?CategoryID=200&n=24

Manta Ray 290
http://www.reverendguitars.com/instrument/manta-ray-290/

Tricky Gomez- essentially a Manta Ray with RevTrons
http://www.reverendguitars.com/instrument/tricky-gomez/

Pete Anderson PA-1 RT signature- as a new sig model, its probably not going to have a street price hat makes it feasible for you.
http://www.reverendguitars.com/instrument/pete-anderson-pa-1-rt/

(NOTE: retail prices listed on Reverend's site are typically a couple hundred more than you see in store.)


There are other guitars in their line that may work for you as well, but I think these are the closest.

Amp Thoughts

To emulate those guys, you REALLY want a decent tube amp. I'm no guru, but I'd be looking at a Fender, Vox, or anything else known for delivering vintage tones- especially cleans- and using pedals to dirty my sound.
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 Aug 13, 2013,
#4
Thanks for your ideas so far, guys. I looked into them a little, here are some initial thoughts:

Hi Starcounter1,

Unfortunately, it looks like the PRS guitars (the Starla and the 22) you mentioned would be hard to find used round my neck of the woods. New they cost too much for me, although they do look amazing. (Would you be able to suggest any alternatives a couple hundred bucks cheaper?) The usual suppliers here don't stock the Egnater 20 Rebel amp, but it is within my price range and now that you alerted me to it, I've seen some really positive reviews about it (they do indeed seem very versatile!), so I might dig around more and see if I can get my hands on one to try out. Thanks!


Hi Dannyalcatraz,

Thanks for your suggestions also, in particular the Reverend guitars. I never even heard of them before. Quick look on YouTube and I like what I hear! The Buckshot and the Tricky Gomez especially. They're all in my price range too! I'm a bit off-balance when it comes to discerning some subtler differences, e.g. I know nothing about RevTrons - what can I expect from those?

Thanks for the amp advice. I was curious (blame my noviceness here): why would you go with a great clean-sounding amp and use a pedal, instead of getting the dirt from the amp directly? (It's things like this that I need to learn.)


Thanks again for your time!

Luke
#5
Hey Luke, unfortunately those are the cheaper of the USA prs guitars. They do make many Korean models of guitars that are all In the SE line. They are supposed to be really nice guitars, but I wouldn't buy one with the funds you have available. I'd get something nicer.
#6
Quote by lukethechemist

Hi Dannyalcatraz,

Thanks for your suggestions also, in particular the Reverend guitars. I never even heard of them before. Quick look on YouTube and I like what I hear! The Buckshot and the Tricky Gomez especially. They're all in my price range too! I'm a bit off-balance when it comes to discerning some subtler differences, e.g. I know nothing about RevTrons - what can I expect from those?


I have one of those Flatrocs I mentioned- the RevTrons were designed to deliver a sound reminicent of the FillerTrons, and they do a pretty good job. But why am I talkin'? Check out this video demoing a Flatroc like mine:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcV_eFd199c&sns=em

Thanks for the amp advice. I was curious (blame my noviceness here): why would you go with a great clean-sounding amp and use a pedal, instead of getting the dirt from the amp directly? (It's things like this that I need to learn.)


First, I look at developing one's tone as kind of like cooking a new recipe: you add a little this & that and the other until you get something you like the taste of. However, once something is in the mix, you can't take it out.

If you start off with an amp that is dirty, you'll never be able to clean it up fully. That may not matter, depending on what you want to play.

Second, even an amp with great cleans can get dirty all on its own, assuming its being driven by enough gain and/or volume. I have a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe 40w combo amp. Awesome for cleans. I never play loud or with high gain, so all of my distortion comes from pedals. My former teacher, however, has the exact same amp, and uses it as his go-to for blues, C&W, classic rock and most everything else. When he gigs, his distortion (not that he uses much) comes primarily from his amp.
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!
#7
Funny, i was going to suggest a Pro Jet. Great guitars all around. Also agree with the PRS suggestion--an SE 24 would be perfect for you i think. You don't need a Starla or CE, that's way too much guitar for your skill level, total overkill.

For the amp, i'd stay away from modellers, but if you're bent on it, try for a Peavey Vypyr of at least 50W. MY personal suggestion:

PRS SE24 into a Blackstar HT5. That'll be able to give you almost any tone you want and will sound great at low volumes. Absolutely attainable for under 1000 euros/pounds.
Quote by yellowfrizbee
What does a girl have to do to get it in the butt thats all I ever wanted from you. Why, Ace? Why? I clean my asshole every night hoping and wishing and it never happens.
Bitches be Crazy.

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#8
The Gretsch Pro Jets DO kick ass.
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!
#9
Hi, and thanks for the continuing feedback, ideas and recommendations.


Dannyalcatraz,

Just watched the Flatroc video. It's one of the few online guitar videos where I was really impressed with the tone, even though laptop speakers. The first setting he's got on that thing seems so rich: raspy and creamy at the same time. How is your guitar to play? What's the fretboard like (width, radius, action?).

Looking around, it seems like there's only one supplier of Reverends in Sweden. It's the other coast from me, in Gothenburg, and... to add insult to injury... their website is down. The UK, I've found, has but one supplier for the whole country. Seems like these guitars aren't being as widely distributed as all that, at least in Europe. What a shame. I'll try to get my hands on one, but would months of waiting be worth it vs, say, a ProJet or one of the other options we discussed?

Thanks also for your excellent explanation re cleans, noise pedals, etc. With that in mind, I notice you like the Pro Jets. I'm a bit conscious that if I commit to one of those, I'll have "that Gretsch sound" (as they say) mixed into anything I do. Would that go against your philosophy of keeping it clean and adding as I go along? With a Pro Jet will I ever fully be able to turn down the twang (if I wanted)?

Thanks!


---


Ace,

Thanks for your reply! And thanks for looking after the budget: I agree that the Starla, etc. is a bit over the top for me at the moment. Too much, too soon.

I hope you don't mind, here come some noob questions based on what you said:

You like the Jet Pro but you went with the SE 24 on versatility. I think they look great too, esp. the bird fret inlays. How far can I go with a PRS to get a tone comparable to a semi-hollow like the Gretsch G5438T?

Why do you rank the Peavey Vypyr as the best of the modellers?

I don't know much about Blackstar but my vague impression (largely, and prob. very inaccurately acquired by some kind of pathetic, distorted osmosis) was that they're made much more for shredders than cleanmeisters. Is that wrong? I have heard that HT5 is a best-seller, so I'm guessing I am wrong...

What do you think of Danny's suggestion above, that I should start Fender-style clean and dirty it up with pedals as I build and go along?

Cheers!
#10
Every gear choice has its pros & cons- that's inescapable!

The key is making the right choices for your goals. Each genre of music is partly defined by the gear its played on. For all my love of my HRD, it really can't do heavier genres of meal very well, so I'm considering getting getting an Orange amp- the HRD does C&W blues & classic rock, but Orange amps kick its ass when it comes to heavier genres.

In your case, you're looking for a tone that has a certain amount of dirt, but its an organic dirt that doesn't really sound like what you get with solid state amps.

On the guitar/pickup front, you're not looking for the tones generated by EMGs or the hot passives favored by metal guitarists. You're looking for the output of classically wound pickups- things like the FillerTron, RevTron, Seymour Duncan '59, PAFs and so forth.

Yes, the Pro Jet would put its own stamp on your tone, and once its in there, there's no getting it out. At the same time, that sound IS genre appropriate. Very much so.

However, that concern of yours factors into why I actually prefer the Reverends. The Pro Jet is a guitar I'd love to own, make no mistake. But the RevTron equipped Reverends do a pretty good approximation of the Gretsch tones, while having the Bass Contour which broadens their tonal palate.

I'll try to get my hands on one, but would months of waiting be worth it vs, say, a ProJet or one of the other options we discussed?


Good question, but I'm not the guy to answer it.

The thing is, even though I live in one of the top 10 biggest metropolitan areas in the USA, many of the guitars I want to buy can't be found anywhere nearby. As a result, I have bought most of my guitars- and ALL of my electrics- without ever trying them out.
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 Aug 13, 2013,
#11
Quote by lukethechemist

Ace,

Thanks for your reply! And thanks for looking after the budget: I agree that the Starla, etc. is a bit over the top for me at the moment. Too much, too soon.

I hope you don't mind, here come some noob questions based on what you said:

You like the Jet Pro but you went with the SE 24 on versatility. I think they look great too, esp. the bird fret inlays. How far can I go with a PRS to get a tone comparable to a semi-hollow like the Gretsch G5438T?

Why do you rank the Peavey Vypyr as the best of the modellers?

I don't know much about Blackstar but my vague impression (largely, and prob. very inaccurately acquired by some kind of pathetic, distorted osmosis) was that they're made much more for shredders than cleanmeisters. Is that wrong? I have heard that HT5 is a best-seller, so I'm guessing I am wrong...

What do you think of Danny's suggestion above, that I should start Fender-style clean and dirty it up with pedals as I build and go along?

Cheers!


I like the Pro Jet because i've played Gretschs and generally speaking they do two or three things really well. Folks who like the sound, really like the sound. Good for rock, country, alternative, even a bit of jazz and fusion if you know what you're doing with knobs and EQ settings. It also plays pretty nicely, and the bigsby is a huge feature.

BUT as i said it nails two or three sounds really well but you won't be able to cover all the tonal bases. The PRS, on the other hand, was designed to be a jack of all trades guitar, an instrument that can do 9/10ths of almost any tone. If you put upgraded pickups in it you have a tone monster on your hands. If you can get one of the newer ones with a coil split push/pull pot, you'll even be able to get a little bit quacky Strat sounds as well. They are well made instruments, probably the best guitars in the "budget" range (MIM strats, Gretsch G-series, Ibanez SA, etc). Brilliant quality control.

As for the amp, i suggested the Vypyr because certain models of it do have a tube/solid state hybrid thing going on where the power section is tubes. The sounds you can get out of it are, again, 9/10ths the real thing. Meaning you'll have a ton of tones to explore without breaking your wallet--but it does have its limitations and you will eventually want a proper tube amp, hence my suggestion for a Blackstar HT-5. It has a nice sounding clean channel but not a lot of headroom given its low wattage. But it has a phenomenal drive channel.

My personal setup though that i really like and swear by is to get an amp with an outstanding clean channel, and yes use pedals to shape and develop your tone. I have a Traynor YCV50, which is a 50 watt all tube amp. The distortion channel is ok, but the clean channel is gorgeous--as good as any Fender. Using the right combination of pedals and fiddling with the knobs on those pedals i can pretty much dial in any tone i want. To be frank though that kind of rig is better for guys that know a bit more about guitars and amps and tone that have more developed ears for that sort of thing. You'll get there eventually, but using the sort of gear being suggested is ideal if you really want to sharpen your ear and understand how and why tones are achieved.
Quote by yellowfrizbee
What does a girl have to do to get it in the butt thats all I ever wanted from you. Why, Ace? Why? I clean my asshole every night hoping and wishing and it never happens.
Bitches be Crazy.

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#12
Where in Sweden do you live?

I know that Guitar shop No 1 in Göteborg are the only ones to carry Reverend guitars.

Musikverkstan do have a few PRS's, and so does Jam. The custom 24 dos have a wide fat neck, as PRS calls it. I settled for the Mikael Åkerfeldt signature. It's really rather nice, apart from the huge Opeth logo.
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#13
I have a Traynor YCV50, which is a 50 watt all tube amp. The distortion channel is ok, but the clean channel is gorgeous--as good as any Fender.


I have heard they have that reputation. How do they compare for price?
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!
#14
Hi Dannyalcatraz,

Again, thanks a lot for the generous reply. It's really helpful to hear your perspective, so thanks for taking the time. Now you mention it: a lot of guitar collectors, enthusiasts seem to get their stuff online (or, in the old days, through catalogs) without trying the guitar first. Have you found that to be a big risk? What happens if the guitar just isn't you?


Hi Ace,

Thanks to you also for the generous reply and explanations. As Pro Jets and PRS guitars aren't too hard to find round here, I'll be sure to compare them. Thanks to you and Danny (above) I have a much better idea on how to narrow my search for what I need.


Hi AtaBorMan,

I live in Stockholm. It's bizarre how few guitar shops there are in a capital city like this, and how obsessed they all are with cramming Epiphones into every nook and cranny. That makes the Göteborg Reverends right on the other side of the country. I'd contact them, but the website seems down at the mo. Maybe I'll look for their number using more traditional methods. (That seems odd: I honestly don't recall the last time I saw a phone book.)

The Åkerfeldt made it onto my shortlist quite early on... before it became a longlist. I like the deep red color; the logo... not for me either. What amp do you use, and what sounds are you into?
#15
How is your guitar to play? What's the fretboard like (width, radius, action?).

As I recall, it- like all Revs- has a 12" radius and a medium oval profile. So, at least as far as the neck is concerned, you'll pretty much either like or dislike all of their models.

The action on mine is currently just as it was sent in the mail: pretty low. And with those medium-jumbo frets, that makes for easy fretting.

It has been a pleasure to play, no question- a very comfortable guitar. The tuning stability with the locking tuners & Bigsby has been surprisingly good. To be fair, though, I'm no whammy wizard, so that doesn't mean that much coming from me.
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!
#16
Quote by dannyalcatraz
I have heard they have that reputation. How do they compare for price?


A bit cheaper than Fenders. If you ask me, i think for the money they're better amplifiers than all but the top of the top end Fender amps. Brand new the YCV50 came in several colours, with the blue ones and wine ones being the rarest. I think they retailed at $799 or something brand new, but i got mine for $150 + a Blackheart Little Giant combo amp...which in my opinion was highway robbery they are fairly common on the used market for around $450-$550 most of the time though, and at that price are a total steal. I mean 50 watts with headroom for days for $400? Amazing.

edit: given that Traynor is a canadian brand i guess it'd be more common for them to be on CL and the like than in the states somewhere
Quote by yellowfrizbee
What does a girl have to do to get it in the butt thats all I ever wanted from you. Why, Ace? Why? I clean my asshole every night hoping and wishing and it never happens.
Bitches be Crazy.

▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ஜ۩۩ஜ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
Last edited by Acϵ♠ at Aug 13, 2013,
#17
Quote by lukethechemist
Hi Dannyalcatraz,

Again, thanks a lot for the generous reply. It's really helpful to hear your perspective, so thanks for taking the time. Now you mention it: a lot of guitar collectors, enthusiasts seem to get their stuff online (or, in the old days, through catalogs) without trying the guitar first. Have you found that to be a big risk? What happens if the guitar just isn't you?

Well, I have to say that so far, I have been very lucky. I know this and admit it. But part of that luck comes from the way I buy.

First, I try to do my homework about the guitar beforehand. I'll read reviews, and nowadays, I'll try to hear samples or see videos of them being played. But I take my time: I have rarely bought a guitar as an impulse buy. Usually, it takes me weeks or months to decide to buy one.

Second, I try to buy only from reputable sellers with a good return policy. So far, this has only been an issue once. In that case, I was trying to buy a used Tacoma from Guitar Center. The first one I wanted, I waited to long to buy and someone else got it. The second one was a beauty...but it had a hairline crease or crack (I couldn't tell which) that started near the neck and went along the top of the guitar with the grain of the wood. Even though it sounded spectacular, I returned it because I couldn't be sure about that flaw. They gave me immediate store credit- which I asked for- and I turned that around immediately to buy a third Tacoma, which I still own.

I still own every other guitar I have purchased for myself.

As a result, I have bought most of my guitars- and ALL of my electrics- without ever trying them out.


I just realized that this is technically true, but it is not true in the spirit of the words.

Before I bought my Flatroc, I actually got to try one in a store. I went home to consider buying it, and would have but someone else bought it before I could. So the one I bought was found online in another state.

And I own 5 guitars from a Chicago area luthier named Jon Kammerer. I got to play his guitars at the Dallas Guitar Show, but didn't buy any. A few weeks later, I bought 3 because he made me an offer I couldn't refuse. In the years since then, I have bought 2 more for myself...plus another for donating to my Church's auction.

So, while I haven't technically had my hands on any electric guitar I own before I purchased it, I DID have my hands on something else by the makers.
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 Aug 13, 2013,
#18
Second, I try to buy only from reputable sellers with a good return policy.


I guess you can only return them if there is a flaw or damage of some kind. What happens if you order your guitar from far away, it arrives, and then you think "damn, I just don't like the way the neck feels in my hand..." Can you return it for something so personal and subjective? Or, at least, is there an etiquette to these things within the online guitar buying world that most sellers stick to?
#19
Not that this adds anything to anything, but don't you think "Reverend Tricky Gomez" sounds like the name of a dishonest Mexican priest? Much more fun - and easy to remember - than just some number.
#20
Since that hasn't happened to me, I can't really say.

But that is due to the way I shop. I know from shopping for my very first electric that I don't like Fender necks and subtle things about her ergonomics not found in guitars that mimic their body styles. So I would NEVER buy a Fender without trying it first. And if I saw a review of a guitar that mentioned how similar it felt to a Fender? Well, I'd give IT a pass as well.

I imagine that if I ever find myself disappointed in a purchase for reasons other than flawed manufacture, I'd probably just sell the guitar to someone else.
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!
#21
Quote by lukethechemist
Not that this adds anything to anything, but don't you think "Reverend Tricky Gomez" sounds like the name of a dishonest Mexican priest? Much more fun - and easy to remember - than just some number.

HA! Yeah, it does sound like a sketchy priest!

Anyway, this is how it actually came about:

http://www.guitarworld.com/tricky-gomez-enigma-legend-and-reluctant-star
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!
#22
What tone you're looking for is the kind of tone even I try to achieve (though not anymore since I'm more after my own sound now). But I'm a big fan of the White Stripes, and yes, on the amp front, A Fender would be your best bet. I've read on countless websites and seen it myself, Jack White uses a Twin Reverb.

Now while those are really expensive, the HRD should be able to emulate those tones really well, as long as you can dirty it up with some pedals like a Big Muff and other assorted varieties. If you have modelers in mind, I'd suggest a Mustang III v2 since they'll get you the Fender Cleans and you can throw pedals in front of them too if you don't really like the sounds the in-built effects give you. If not Fender, then the next option would be a Valvetronix from Vox.

But yes, tube over solid state any day. I live with a tiny Vox modeler and I'm desperately saving up for a small tube.
#23
There are plenty of amps cheaper than a Fender HRD that could do the job! Here's what Fender & Vox have between $250-700:

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/search.php?s=Fender+tube+combo+amp&sb=low2high&params=eyJyYW5nZSI6eyJQcmljZSBSYW5nZSI6eyJsb3dlciI6IjI1MCIsInVwcGVyIjoiNzAwIn19fQ

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/search.php?s=Vox+tube+combo+amp&sb=low2high&params=eyJyYW5nZSI6eyJQcmljZSBSYW5nZSI6eyJsb3dlciI6IjI1MCIsInVwcGVyIjoiNzAwIn19fQ

I'd also put the Carvin Vintage series in the same class as those, but I'd bet they're probably either unavailable or much more expensive where you live. Still, if they are available at a decent price, the 16, Nomad & Belair are worth a look.

http://www.carvinguitars.com/guitaramps/vintageseries.php

As for pedals, I have and like my Russian Big Muff, but I also own and love the Visual Sound Jekyll & Hyde- it is a nice mix of price and potential:

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/JekyllHyde
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 Aug 14, 2013,
#24
Thinking a bit more...

If I were starting from scratch building a pedalboard for this tone- accounting for my already known personal tastes and idiosyncrasies- I'd do it this way: a korg pitchblack tuner Wah, the aforementioned Big Muff & Visual Sound J&H, and the Epitome* from EHX:

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Epitome

That gets you a nice assortment of effects** typical of guitarists in the genre, with relatively few cables, simplified power needs, and minimal cord spaghetti.


* I want one anyway, but that's beside the point

** besides the tuner, you'd have wah, fuzz, overdrive, distortion, octave, flange, chorus, and reverb in 4 pedals.
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 lukethechemist
Hi AtaBorMan,

I live in Stockholm. It's bizarre how few guitar shops there are in a capital city like this, and how obsessed they all are with cramming Epiphones into every nook and cranny. That makes the Göteborg Reverends right on the other side of the country. I'd contact them, but the website seems down at the mo. Maybe I'll look for their number using more traditional methods. (That seems odd: I honestly don't recall the last time I saw a phone book.)

The Åkerfeldt made it onto my shortlist quite early on... before it became a longlist. I like the deep red color; the logo... not for me either. What amp do you use, and what sounds are you into?


Aw, synd. Vi har ju både MUG, Musikverkstan och No 1.

Anyway, I use both a Peavey Ultra 60 (valve head from the 90's. Predecessor of the XXX and JSX) and a Laney VC50.

Play a little of most stuff. Some jazzy stuff (neck pickup with tone rolled down a bit does it quite well), classic 70's rock stuff. I don't play very heavy stuff anymore. I used to, and the Åkerfeldt does that very well, being designed by and for the frontman in Opeth.

Basically, it's a great guitar for heavier stuff, does clean up rather well (depending on your amp, of course), blues and lighter rock is its weaker points, and it even does them quite well.

It's by no means the perfect guitar for everything, it just does most things well, and metal great.
Quote by Todd Hart
Shooting your friends with a real gun is a definite faux pas.

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Professor Plum in the Studio with a new Amp

Quote by snipelfritz
If only I were the only one at home right now. I don't need my parents asking who Mr. Wiggles is.
#26
Hi Danny and Norinder,

Thanks a lot for all the amp and pedal suggestions. I will look at them carefully and see what I can get round here, read reviews and get more informed. This will take me a while to digest. Thanks for taking the time out to make the list.

And thanks, Danny, for the story about Tricky Gomez. What a weird story, though. I love how knocking his cat off the couch influenced his choice of headstock.

Cheers!

-------------

Hi AtaBorMan,

Aw, synd. Vi har ju både MUG, Musikverkstan och No 1.


MUG and No 1 are only in Gothenburg - other side of the country; not much use for trying out guitars.

Musikverkstan stocks mainly Epiphones and Fenders - lots of guitars that will prove popular with beginners, students' budgets and so on... & a handful of guitars around the 20-30,000 SEK mark ($1500-$3000), which is beyond what I need and can afford.

My comment still stands: for a capital city like Stockholm, there are relatively few guitar shops. Musikverkstan, 4Sound and Jam.se are not dedicated to guitars either, but are general music stores. I lived in the UK for many years, both in Surrey and Bristol, and in both places there were guitar shops aplenty (just within 20 min drive I had Guitar Village in Farnham and Andertons in Guildford - both with massive and diverse stock and great reputations). However, you slice it, Sweden has fewer people and therefore a smaller market. And that makes it harder to find guitars I want to try in stock in a store.

I went today to one of the bigger stores in Stockholm - 4Sound at Friedhelmsplan (they have a decent number of guitars) - and showed them this list: Hagström Tremar, Gretsch G5435, G5438T or 5445T, PRS of any kind and any Reverend at all. They didn't have any of them. No Hagström, no PRS, no Reverends. And no LTDs or Godins for that matter. No Peavey amps. They told me to either buy online or select one or two to order in for me to try - but the guy re-iterated the risk for them of having to send them back if I don't want one or having to worry about how to sell it. Had I wanted an Epiphone of any kind though, the place would have been paradise! And as I'm into a giant whine now, I'll add that the websites aren't fond of listing what's in stock and what isn't or in which branch. By contrast, Andertons has 2 G5438Ts in stock right now and I can tell from checking their site. Just sayin'.
#27
I feel your pain, man!
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!
#28
Hey Danny,

Is your Flatroc's neck radius 12"? I messed around with a Gibson SG today, so I got a good idea of what 12" is like - freshest in my memory. Could you compare the Flatroc and the SG in this regard?

And whilst we're here: what was it about Fender necks that you disliked?

Thanks!
#29
Quote by lukethechemist
Hey Danny,

Is your Flatroc's neck radius 12"? I messed around with a Gibson SG today, so I got a good idea of what 12" is like - freshest in my memory. Could you compare the Flatroc and the SG in this regard?

And whilst we're here: what was it about Fender necks that you disliked?

Thanks!

1) Yeah, the Flatroc has the 12" radius neck.

2) Fenders present a challenge for me: their neck finishes are extremely "sticky" to me. And there is something subtle about their body ergonomics that simply strikes me the wrong way. I have tried other makers' "Strats" and not encountered either problem.

3) I haven't played too many SG-style guitars- besides a JKG doublecut hollowbody I've owned for a few years, only one or two starting last year, honestly. And that hollowbody, while wonderful, has a deep body that makes its upper fret access is less than ideal- something you can't say about solidbody SG guitars.

Reverend had an SG style guitar a while back called the Daredevil.

http://www.guitarcenter.com/In-Store-Used-USED-REVEREND-DAREDEVIL-108849500-i3084133.gc

http://elderly.com/vintage/items/30U-17637.htm

I'm considering one of those, but I've never had one. However, one of the guys in the Reverend Owners thread had one- his assessment (post #64) was that it was an awesome sounding and feeling guitar...but like most SG-type guitars, it had some serious neck-dive issues.
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 Aug 14, 2013,
#30
Fender necks indeed are sticky and i hate it. Nothing some fine sandpaper cant fix though.
Quote by yellowfrizbee
What does a girl have to do to get it in the butt thats all I ever wanted from you. Why, Ace? Why? I clean my asshole every night hoping and wishing and it never happens.
Bitches be Crazy.

▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ஜ۩۩ஜ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
#31
I'd rather not mod something I just bought new!
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
That's fair. But it is an easy fix. The ergonomic thing i totally get though. I used to have this Schecter C-1 Exotic in a killer finish. The neck was great, it sounded great, but everything about the positioning of the pickups, bridge, knobs, etc was just completely and utterly off. I just couldn't get used to it. I sold it
Quote by yellowfrizbee
What does a girl have to do to get it in the butt thats all I ever wanted from you. Why, Ace? Why? I clean my asshole every night hoping and wishing and it never happens.
Bitches be Crazy.

▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ஜ۩۩ஜ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
#33
But it is an easy fix.


Yeah- buy someone else's Strats & Teles!

Yeah, I could sandpaper the neck, but that doesn't help me during the tryout phase in the store. Why buy a guitar I'd have to mod to MAYBE feel comfy playing- and if I didn't, I just shot the resale value- when I can buy a new guitar WITHOUT that issue from Carvin, G&L, Fret-King, Fernandes, Vigier...you get the point.
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
Yeah i know, i get it. I've sanded pretty much every neck i've ever had and it's never been an issue when a buyer comes to pick it up.

But man, i would do dirty things for a Vigier strat.
Quote by yellowfrizbee
What does a girl have to do to get it in the butt thats all I ever wanted from you. Why, Ace? Why? I clean my asshole every night hoping and wishing and it never happens.
Bitches be Crazy.

▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ஜ۩۩ஜ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
#35
Sorry- You asked how my Flatroc compared to the SG, and I never quite got there- I had to go to church.

Anyway, I've gotten to play a Flatroc, a Reeves Gabrels II, a Rick Vito sig and a few others...pretty much got sold on the brand. I wasn't going to buy a Flatroc, I was interested in the more expensive Gabrels and the Vito or a G&L. But I tried it while waiting for my turn at those others, and was impressed. I decided to make it my first Rev.

It has Tele style controls and a Bigsby...pretty much known quantities. The RevTrons and the bass contour you heard in the demo. Its got some mass to it, but not too much, thanks to the korina and how it's carved. Balance is good- no diving. The neck is goldilocks comfy- not too big, not too small.

Overall, it is kind of part Les Paul, part Telecaster.
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 Aug 14, 2013,
#36
The UK brand Fret-King might also be to your liking, and may be more available where you are. They have models resembling Strats & Teles, but also designs that are all their own. They are well made and have a pretty cool vibe. Several of my favorite models are well within your price range. Check out the Black Label and Blue Label primarily,

(And of course, the prices at FK's website are just MSRP- actual prices in store are much cheaper.)

http://www.fret-king.com/intro.htm

I personally have a Blue Label Super 60 HB in a frosty Ice Green, but I'm thinking an Esprit or Ventura are closer to the aesthetic you seek.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlvT5J31crU&sns=em

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNavddxyL5s&sns=em

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cT6Nf4Tkp0k&sns=em

http://www.fret-king.com/venturablacklabel.html

http://www.fretsguitarcentre.co.uk/contents/en-uk/p1367_Fret-King_Esprit_3_-_Cherry_Red.html
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 Aug 15, 2013,
#37
Hi Danny,

Thanks again for the generous replies. You have laser instincts, me thinks; the FK Eprit 3 and 5 are right up my street aesthetics-wise. Better still, Sweden has a supplier in Stockholm! Might just go over and have a strum or two.

One slightly worrying thing is that the prices are very high compared to the UK. E.g. Esprit 3 sells for £429 ($680), whereas in Sweden same guitar is 8300 kr ($1300). There's usually a difference of +25% for Swedish prices vs the US/UK, but this is double! Unless there's something I'm missing here.

UK:
http://www.fretsguitarcentre.co.uk/contents/en-uk/p1367_Fret-King_Esprit_3_-_Cherry_Red.html

Sweden:
http://www.ilt.nu/fret-king-esprit-3-cherry-red--gigbag-p-5143-c-489.aspx

If I can't find any differences to justify this, I'll strum on it in Sweden and if I like it I'll get it sent in from the UK.

But thanks again to alerting me to the Fret King range, definitely something for me to investigate. I'm very grateful to you for this (and the Reverends) because they're guitars that were definitely outside of my radar, but ultimately seem like they're much more likely to be what I want for the budget I've got to work with.


I have a further question (of course!) about your Reverend: What is the finish like on the fretboard and is it the same thing across the whole Reverend range? I don't know much about the way these things are finished, but I remember from some previous guitars: those where I can see the rosewood grain coming through the finish seem to play a little smoother for me, whereas some guitars seem to have that matt stuff on top, at least to me, seem a bit "scratchy" to the touch. I don't know how much sense that sounds like I'm making, but it's the best things way I can describe it. Pardon the noobness, again.
#38
The neck is goldilocks comfy- not too big, not too small.


In which dimension? I have fairly small hands for a guy, I guess. (E.g. I find it hard on most guitars to play with my thumb coming in over the top).
#39
No luck on the Reverends in Svergie: the only shop in the country that claims to have them... has one in stock and it's not one I'm interested in. Seriously? One Reverend in the whole country?!

But... I found that the UK place has a Tricky Gomez in Sunburst and, if you add the shipping, the price is 13% less than if I bought it in Sweden!

The only question is: should I take the risk of buying it without trying? I'm really tempted. I love the look and sound of it from everything I've seen online.
Last edited by lukethechemist at Aug 15, 2013,
#40
Quote by lukethechemist
Hi Danny,

Thanks again for the generous replies. You have laser instincts, me thinks; the FK Eprit 3 and 5 are right up my street aesthetics-wise. Better still, Sweden has a supplier in Stockholm! Might just go over and have a strum or two.

One slightly worrying thing is that the prices are very high compared to the UK. E.g. Esprit 3 sells for £429 ($680), whereas in Sweden same guitar is 8300 kr ($1300). There's usually a difference of +25% for Swedish prices vs the US/UK, but this is double! Unless there's something I'm missing here.

UK:
http://www.fretsguitarcentre.co.uk/contents/en-uk/p1367_Fret-King_Esprit_3_-_Cherry_Red.html

Sweden:
http://www.ilt.nu/fret-king-esprit-3-cherry-red--gigbag-p-5143-c-489.aspx

If I can't find any differences to justify this, I'll strum on it in Sweden and if I like it I'll get it sent in from the UK.

But thanks again to alerting me to the Fret King range, definitely something for me to investigate. I'm very grateful to you for this (and the Reverends) because they're guitars that were definitely outside of my radar, but ultimately seem like they're much more likely to be what I want for the budget I've got to work with.


I have a further question (of course!) about your Reverend: What is the finish like on the fretboard and is it the same thing across the whole Reverend range? I don't know much about the way these things are finished, but I remember from some previous guitars: those where I can see the rosewood grain coming through the finish seem to play a little smoother for me, whereas some guitars seem to have that matt stuff on top, at least to me, seem a bit "scratchy" to the touch. I don't know how much sense that sounds like I'm making, but it's the best things way I can describe it. Pardon the noobness, again.

The Rev's fretboard definitely has a visible grain:

Near as I can tell, Reverend likes to maintain a certain mechanical & ergonomic consistency on their designs for certain features. The necks & fingerboards seem to all be pretty uniform, with the only differences being maple vs rosewood, and bold-on vs set neck. Other than that, the material quality seems consistent, and they all seem to have the same 12" radius.

As for getting a Fret-King, your instincts may be right. Your best bet for actually buying may either be shopping on eBay or buying directly from a UK seller. Like I have said elsewhere, I live in a big US metropolitan area, but I got my Super 60 HB from Frets Guitar Centre in England- good guys; very helpful. FKs are simply not available where I am, AFAIK. And- shopping for one on eBay, I found an Esprit 5 FGC is selling. FGC isn't the only seller doing that, either. Take a look:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/bhp/fret-king-guitar
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Fret-King-Blue-Label-Ventura-Super-60-SSH-Coral-Red-b-stock-/141022605470
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Fret-King-Blue-Label-Ventura-Super-60-HB3-Laguna-Blue-b-stock-/130953954040?pt=UK_Musical_Instruments_Guitars_CV&hash=item1e7d76c2f8

(Those Venturas looks like a steal!)

My ONLY dislike about the Fret-Kings is the Tremolo. The thing is an engineering marvel: it lets you do pretty much whatever you want, and will still stay in tune. However, putting the trem arm in place can be tricky, since it doesn't screw in, but rather slides in and is held in place by a screw. And that screw is in a tight spot requiring use of a skinny, skinny Allen wrench. And if you don't tighten it enough, it can slide into the body a little...or come out of its socket.

So it is a hassle to set up...but once properly in place, it works like a charm. Overall, a minor issue.

Quote by lukethechemist
In which dimension? I have fairly small hands for a guy, I guess. (E.g. I find it hard on most guitars to play with my thumb coming in over the top).


I'm 5'7", and don't have particularly large hands myself. I don't always play with my thumb over, but I do on occasion find myself doing so for certain chords. I haven't had a problem with the Rev in that regard.
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 Aug 15, 2013,
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