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#1
I am in the market for a new axe. And I want something specific but I can't seem to figure out a perfect match yet.

I want something with a real natural and smooth feel. So I don't think I wanna a "mostly made for shred" guitar so no Jackson, Ibanez esque. I want a fender strat-like inbetween pickup sound for some sexy blues but maybe not quite as airy and a bit darker, but still smooth with a lot of "character","life", "mojo" etc. But when I go for the bridge I want that really powerful mahogany, sustaining, almost searing lead maybe with a touch of EVH brown sound. The best conclusion I think I found so far is the PRS custom 24. But any opinions on Caparison or maybe Carvin? please advise if you can

Thanks
Last edited by dtscott2 at Feb 11, 2014,
#2
Lots of things come to mind- answer these questions and the options will narrow:

Budget? - What is practical for you and what is your limit?

Favorite Artists? - Are there any guitarists whose tone that you'd like to get close to?

Preferences? - What body shapes, neck profiles, brands, and number of frets do you like/want?

Pickups? - Do you want actives, passives, humbuckers, single coils? What configuration are you looking for?

New or Used? - Lots of great guitars out there used, and a guaranteed way to get the most bang for your buck.

Location? - Where are you located? The more detail you can give us, the more we can help you. We aren't here to stalk you but we need to know where you are in the world roughly, because prices and markets fluctuate throughout the world, and we can help further if we know what city you are in to see what used gear is available near you (ie craigslist, local shops, Guitar Center used section, etc).

Current Gear? - Also good for us to know.


Given what you've said so far, budget, location & new/used would be key...
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 Feb 11, 2014,
#3
Budget: up to 2000 brand new used is fine if a good deal.

I love everything literally and I own an American deluxe strat which is amazing. And I still want a john Mayer to jimmy bluesy tone but I want it a bit fuller and richer I guess. I live in Houston
#4
Oh yeah and the bridge has to scream. Rich and Sustaining so maybe neck-thru is best but I don't want completely lose the strat-like mojo. I know nothing is like a strat but humor me.
#5
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 Feb 11, 2014,
#6
Those two do look nice. Il find one to play on. But I think that PRS custom 24 with the FR might be calling me. But I really like the way carvins can be customized. I have just never played one. But heard they lack life. I have only heard amazing things about Caparisons and it almost sounds like a TAT would almost dit the bill. But that price is high and I want to be sure.
#7
Now the G&L's do look VERY interesting. Not quite as hard hitting as Caparison or PRS but closer to that of a strat just a bit different.
#8
Carvins are very nice, very well made. the one knock people have on them is that their pickups are...vanilla. But that's an easy fix.
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
Similar to Carvin but with a bit more attitude is US Masters:

http://www.usmasters.com/allmodels.htm
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!
#10
Guitars a little bit less expensive, but still capable of meeting or exceeding your expections are available from Reverend- here are a few:

http://www.reverendguitars.com/instrument/rick-vito-signature/
http://www.reverendguitars.com/instrument/tricky-gomez/
http://www.reverendguitars.com/instrument/gil-parris-ii/
http://www.reverendguitars.com/instrument/reeves-gabrels-ii/
http://www.reverendguitars.com/instrument/reeves-gabrels-signature-spacehawk/

With their korina bodies, they're going to have mahogany-like responsiveness and sustain. Their Bass Contour knobs, working with the Tone control, let them cover vast tonal ground. Very versatile guitars.

All of the current production are MiK, but they're among the best MiK guitars I've seen or played. Their earlier guitars were MiA, and you can find them on eBay typically commanding prices over $1000 even today:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Reverend-USA-Avenger-TL-2005-Excellent-Condition-/161222235357?pt=Guitar&hash=item25899814dd
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Used-Reverend-Slingshot-Workhorse-Rare-Color-free-shipping-/380836272038?pt=Guitar&hash=item58ab9c57a6
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 Feb 11, 2014,
#11
Also within your price range are customizable or even full custom guitars from American luthiers like Jon Kammerer or Gregory Bogoshian.

http://jonkammerercustoms.com/help-template_003.htm
http://www.angelfire.com/ny5/boggs.com/

I have guitars from both gentlemen- quite satisfied- but they're just 2 exemplars of the kind of thing you can get in the USA if you shop around with the little guys. Neither of those guys is in my STATE, much less my city...and I know of at least 5 luthiers in my general area I'd like to try out, only a couple of which price their work over $3500.
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!
#12
Quote by dtscott2
Oh yeah and the bridge has to scream. Rich and Sustaining so maybe neck-thru is best but I don't want completely lose the strat-like mojo. I know nothing is like a strat but humor me.

A PRS Custom 24 is sort of between a Strat and a Les Paul. Full of character and presence like a Strat, albeit not as bright; and thick, powerful like a Les Paul without sounding muddy as easily.

That said, i don't think the Custom 24 will satisfy that craving for "strat-like mojo". Its tone doesn't feel exactly the same.
Maybe try one with the pickup selector switch in position 4 (neck and bridge single-coils in parallel), and see if it at least gets in the ballpark of what you're looking for.
Squier "VMC" Stratocaster
PRS SE Singlecut
tc electronic polytune
CMAT MODS Signa Drive
Blakemore Effects Deus Ex Machina
DIY gaussmarkov Dr. Boogey
EHX Small Clone
Mooer ShimVerb
DIY Beavis Devolt
T-REX Fuel Tank Chameleon
Ampeg GVT52-112
#13
Thanks alot guys. i am really liking alot of these guitars. the Godin Passion series looks almost perfect besides the fact that you cant get an hss setup..witch is needed for that "inbetween" position 4 sound. but neither does the custom 24.
#14
Despite appearances, the Revs can get that sound or very close to it.

But Fret-King might be a better answer:
http://fret-king.com/blue-label.html
http://fret-king.com/green-label.html
http://fret-king.com/stvdio-series.html

I have a Blue Label FK, and I'd say it's between the MiM and MiA Fenders in quality- very good, but perhaps not what youre looking for. The Green and STVDIO lines are the premium guitars. The Black Label (not linked to) was FK's entry level, but they've put a few is models in that line that aren't exactly cheap.
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!
#15
ok i have a small update.

i have finally decided that i want a Floyd Rose on this one.
and generally a strat shaped body. im just to comfortable with this body style.

that G&L invader Maybe or US masters LeGrand Custom Legend

caparison Tat, Dillinger are still looking good as well
Last edited by dtscott2 at Feb 11, 2014,
#16
Either of those would totally pants a Strat in terms of quality.

If you're serious about a G&L, though, you might want to ask about them in the G&L thread- while they may LOOK the same, there are some tonal differences, and guys like JustRooster would be able to nail down the G&L you'd like most.

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1546485

Edit: can't argue against a Caparison, 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!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Feb 11, 2014,
#18
Suhr makes guitars that are a nice blend of the classic strat and modern sounds. 2K puts you in the used range outside of their Modern Satin.
#19
Quote by dannyalcatraz
You might dig a Bowes:


Those look amazing. im a bit nervous about these small, unestablished companies though. not enough people have them to really state the value. maybe im wrong
#20
Quote by paulhudginsgt
Suhr makes guitars that are a nice blend of the classic strat and modern sounds. 2K puts you in the used range outside of their Modern Satin.


VERY few lol i would have to do some major searching for one under 3000. they look really nice. and probably what i would choose if i had a higher price range, but as of now, just too pricey for me.
#21
With that budget I'd definitely give the PRS CU 24 a shot. I recently picked up a PRS SC245 that has a coil split option in the neck and it kind of gives the sounds you are talking about. Very versatile instruments. With the neck split it is less airy and darker than a strat but... if you are wanting that classic strat/tele single coil mojo you will probably be a bit disappointed. PRS guitars have mojo but its a mojo entirely their own. Even the 513 with single coils all around is not very strat mojoish at all.

I have a Carvin too and it is also a great guitar. But Carvin necks are very similar to Ibanez in they are thin and very "shreddy" and it sound like that is what you want to avoid. They fit my hand a lot better though than an Ibanez.
Play-ability wise I'd put the neck quality up there with anyone.
Last edited by cheesefries at Feb 11, 2014,
#22
Quote by cheesefries
With that budget I'd definitely give the PRS CU 24 a shot. I recently picked up a PRS SC245 that has a coil split option in the neck and it kind of gives the sounds you are talking about. Very versatile instruments. With the neck split it is less airy and darker than a strat but... if you are wanting that classic strat/tele single coil mojo you will probably be a bit disappointed. PRS guitars have mojo but its a mojo entirely their own. Even the 513 with single coils all around is not very strat mojoish at all.

I have a Carvin too and it is also a great guitar. But Carvin necks are very similar to Ibanez in they are thin and very "shreddy" and it sound like that is what you want to avoid. They fit my hand a lot better though than an Ibanez.
Play-ability wise I'd put the neck quality up there with anyone.


yes i have heard amazing things about their necks. esp on the DC series. the DC400 models look fantastic. but, i want that hss config and carvins pickups i have not herd many good things about. and i would prefer to pull it out an start recording vs getting it and having to by some seymours or dimarzios. but you might have just put the CU24 back in the run for me so thanks lol
#23
Quote by dtscott2
VERY few lol i would have to do some major searching for one under 3000. they look really nice. and probably what i would choose if i had a higher price range, but as of now, just too pricey for me.


I personally would also consider the MusicMan Silhouette Special. They are really nice guitars in that price range. They have that almost strat personality but handle distortion better...IMO.
#24
Quote by paulhudginsgt
I personally would also consider the MusicMan Silhouette Special. They are really nice guitars in that price range. They have that almost strat personality but handle distortion better...IMO.



i have one small problem with that one... in my opinion, its extremely ugly. i'm sure its a great axe though.
#25
Quote by dtscott2
i have one small problem with that one... in my opinion, its extremely ugly. i'm sure its a great axe though.


I agree it isn't as visually appealing as some. To me it is the pickguard shape that is a little weird. I think the best looking version is the Music Man Steve Morse SM-Y2D because the pickguard is clear.
#26
Quote by paulhudginsgt
I agree it isn't as visually appealing as some. To me it is the pickguard shape that is a little weird. I think the best looking version is the Music Man Steve Morse SM-Y2D because the pickguard is clear.


that one is definitely more visually appealing. ill play on that one a bit to see if i like the feel..thanks
#27
If I were you I'd just get a cheap strat, put a JB in the bridge and get a Floyd on it.
#28
Quote by hairmetalguy
If I were you I'd just get a cheap strat, put a JB in the bridge and get a Floyd on it.


You know I have pondered upon that idea for some time..but I really want 24 frets and a neck-thru. And I don't really like any strat that isn't American made so that kinda cuts the cheap idea out.
#29
Quote by dtscott2
Now the G&L's do look VERY interesting. Not quite as hard hitting as Caparison or PRS but closer to that of a strat just a bit different.



That's my cue!


I've got a couple of great ideas for you, Scott.


http://www.glguitars.com/instruments/USA/guitars/invader-plus/index.asp
http://www.glguitars.com/instruments/USA/guitars/invader/index.asp

I like the Invader Plus better than the Invader, but I'm a maple fretboard guy. Either one sounds almost exactly like what you're looking for. Super-Strat performance that still retains the soul of that Strat style.

If you don't dig a Floyd Rose, check these out with the G&L patented DFV:

http://www.glguitars.com/instruments/USA/guitars/s500-deluxe/index.asp
http://www.glguitars.com/instruments/USA/guitars/legacy-deluxe/index.asp

Very similar with a bit more of that Strat feel.


The best part is that all those guitars start at about $1,250. Realistically, you can call any vendor and custom order a G&L with a premium finish and the finish/hardware/neck you want for under $2,000. You can get a Deluxe Legacy with a Vintage V in a Blue-Burst for about $1,600, for example.


They're fantastic guitars, I'm an absolute believer. If you want more info, let me know!
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
#30
Quote by JustRooster
That's my cue!


I've got a couple of great ideas for you, Scott.


http://www.glguitars.com/instruments/USA/guitars/invader-plus/index.asp
http://www.glguitars.com/instruments/USA/guitars/invader/index.asp

I like the Invader Plus better than the Invader, but I'm a maple fretboard guy. Either one sounds almost exactly like what you're looking for. Super-Strat performance that still retains the soul of that Strat style.

If you don't dig a Floyd Rose, check these out with the G&L patented DFV:

http://www.glguitars.com/instruments/USA/guitars/s500-deluxe/index.asp
http://www.glguitars.com/instruments/USA/guitars/legacy-deluxe/index.asp

Very similar with a bit more of that Strat feel.


The best part is that all those guitars start at about $1,250. Realistically, you can call any vendor and custom order a G&L with a premium finish and the finish/hardware/neck you want for under $2,000. You can get a Deluxe Legacy with a Vintage V in a Blue-Burst for about $1,600, for example.


They're fantastic guitars, I'm an absolute believer. If you want more info, let me know!


My Good Sir,

You have just finalized my decision. i will be purchasing a G&L invader with the maple fretboard.

i would sincerely like to thank you all for all your input and advice!

every one have a good day
#31
You will NOT be sorry. G&Ls are fantastic instruments. Like the Godins, I've liked every one I've had a chance to play.
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
Quote by dtscott2
My Good Sir,

You have just finalized my decision. i will be purchasing a G&L invader with the maple fretboard.

i would sincerely like to thank you all for all your input and advice!

every one have a good day



You absolutely HAVE to post pictures here when you get it!

Here's a link to the G&L Thread (Otherwise known as the JustRooster and FumbleFingers thread): https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1546485

Here's another great forum for G&L stuff specifically: http://guitarsbyleo.com/

And just because, here's a cool photo my ASAT Special and Legacy side by side, because the finish is awesome.

OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
#33
That finish on your Legacy looks like the S-500 I almost bought last year.
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
Quote by dtscott2
My Good Sir,

You have just finalized my decision. i will be purchasing a G&L invader with the maple fretboard.

i would sincerely like to thank you all for all your input and advice!

every one have a good day


Congratulations on your decision, and enjoy!

I would like to make a couple of comments regarding Carvins, however, lest people reading this walk away with an unbalanced opinion.

In my stack of instruments, I have half a dozen Carvin guitars and one bass. Half of them I purchased new, half used. I don't know how they do it, but they manage to find some amazing woods. They routinely crank out quilts and flames and spalts and so on that are easily the equivalent of anything PRS or Nik Huber can manage and well beyond most Gibson offerings. They, and PRS, are the only folks who've truly *consistently* mastered the whole business of emphasizing grain by using black dye and then sanding it back.

They offer ebony boards as standard, and were one of the early adopters of stainless frets. I don't know that they've ever offered plastic inlays, and their MOP and Abalone has been impressive on the instruments I have. They have, over the years, offered a guarantee of action "as low as 1/16th" at the 24th fret with no buzzing frets" and have delivered. Their guitars arrive at your home set up beautifully (you can tell them how you like the action and it will arrive that way) and usually in tune. Except for a few years ago, when a long-time painter left them, their finishes have been amazing. It took them a while to get new painters trained and up to speed (it's a family business) and they once again churn out stunning bursts and great quality.

Internet myths, repeated and re-repeated usually by people who've never touched one of their guitars, have the pickups "sterile" and the necks "thin." The ordinary M22 pickups appearing on guitars through the late '80's were nothing to write home about in my opinion, but the M22SD is one of the really good all-time raucous rock pickups. The C22 pickups that now appear in their guitars are outstanding, and the H22 pickups that come stock on their Holdsworth models are absolutely world class. Carvin's neck profiles vary according to the guitar model and have also varied over the years. Most people find them among the most comfortable in the world, with the exception of those who need the extra leverage (for small, weak or arthritic hands) of the Gibson baseball bat '50's necks. Fretboard radii have been standard at, variously, 12", then 15", then compound radius, sometimes 16" and are now offered in your choice of 10, 12, 14 and 20" radius.

Because Carvins are so widely customizable and because they're thin on the ground, people sometimes get to play a single example for 15 minutes and then apply that experience globally. Often a single person's experience with a single guitar (which has been customized to a single original owner's preferences) will be repeated over and over in the Internet Lore until some folks (who rely on that lore as if it were their own personal experience), will hear it as consensus.

I'm pretty lucky in that regard; I live in LA and travel a lot to San Diego, and have not only been in the Santa Ana, Hollywood and Factory stores, but have also been able to find quite a number of Carvins in the surrounding area, so I've got a pretty wide database of experience with them, and I've voted with my checkbook. And as an aside, I can attest that the four Carvin amps I own (one dating to 1971, another dating to '88 and purchased new) hold up amazingly well, as do the guitars, even under touring conditions.
#35
Quote by JustRooster
You absolutely HAVE to post pictures here when you get it!



i sure will. i'm getting really f*&%^$#@ excited now. the very first time i pull it out of the case. i am going to tune it, turn on the backing track to comfortably numb just before the end solo, and just get lost...then il set it up the way i want lol..first things first you know lol
#36
Quote by dspellman
Congratulations on your decision, and enjoy!

I would like to make a couple of comments regarding Carvins, however, lest people reading this walk away with an unbalanced opinion.

In my stack of instruments, I have half a dozen Carvin guitars and one bass. Half of them I purchased new, half used. I don't know how they do it, but they manage to find some amazing woods. They routinely crank out quilts and flames and spalts and so on that are easily the equivalent of anything PRS or Nik Huber can manage and well beyond most Gibson offerings. They, and PRS, are the only folks who've truly *consistently* mastered the whole business of emphasizing grain by using black dye and then sanding it back.

They offer ebony boards as standard, and were one of the early adopters of stainless frets. I don't know that they've ever offered plastic inlays, and their MOP and Abalone has been impressive on the instruments I have. They have, over the years, offered a guarantee of action "as low as 1/16th" at the 24th fret with no buzzing frets" and have delivered. Their guitars arrive at your home set up beautifully (you can tell them how you like the action and it will arrive that way) and usually in tune. Except for a few years ago, when a long-time painter left them, their finishes have been amazing. It took them a while to get new painters trained and up to speed (it's a family business) and they once again churn out stunning bursts and great quality.

Internet myths, repeated and re-repeated usually by people who've never touched one of their guitars, have the pickups "sterile" and the necks "thin." The ordinary M22 pickups appearing on guitars through the late '80's were nothing to write home about in my opinion, but the M22SD is one of the really good all-time raucous rock pickups. The C22 pickups that now appear in their guitars are outstanding, and the H22 pickups that come stock on their Holdsworth models are absolutely world class. Carvin's neck profiles vary according to the guitar model and have also varied over the years. Most people find them among the most comfortable in the world, with the exception of those who need the extra leverage (for small, weak or arthritic hands) of the Gibson baseball bat '50's necks. Fretboard radii have been standard at, variously, 12", then 15", then compound radius, sometimes 16" and are now offered in your choice of 10, 12, 14 and 20" radius.

Because Carvins are so widely customizable and because they're thin on the ground, people sometimes get to play a single example for 15 minutes and then apply that experience globally. Often a single person's experience with a single guitar (which has been customized to a single original owner's preferences) will be repeated over and over in the Internet Lore until some folks (who rely on that lore as if it were their own personal experience), will hear it as consensus.

I'm pretty lucky in that regard; I live in LA and travel a lot to San Diego, and have not only been in the Santa Ana, Hollywood and Factory stores, but have also been able to find quite a number of Carvins in the surrounding area, so I've got a pretty wide database of experience with them, and I've voted with my checkbook. And as an aside, I can attest that the four Carvin amps I own (one dating to 1971, another dating to '88 and purchased new) hold up amazingly well, as do the guitars, even under touring conditions.


I am definitely not ruling out Carvins for a later purchase. I played on one just yesterday and the neck is EXTREMELY comfortable, better than any Ibanez neck in my opinion...actually i really dont like the way an Ibanez sounds in general but that is just my opinion. but the DC series really do look great and with all the selections of tone woods you can really get a great sounding instrument. i would most likely put Dimarzios or Seymours in it b/c i am a bit biased towards those pickups. but i would definitely be open minded to trying out the H22 and the C22 in the future.
#37
Quote by dspellman

In my stack of instruments, I have half a dozen Carvin guitars and one bass. Half of them I purchased new, half used. I don't know how they do it, but they manage to find some amazing woods. They routinely crank out quilts and flames and spalts and so on that are easily the equivalent of anything PRS or Nik Huber can manage and well beyond most Gibson offerings. They, and PRS, are the only folks who've truly *consistently* mastered the whole business of emphasizing grain by using black dye and then sanding it back.



Great post, I edited it down for size, and to give me an excuse to post the 10th anniversary Orca in all it's beauty.


OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
#38
Dspellman, I definitely love Carvins. I have a couple on my GAS list, like the SH550.

I just think their pickups are vanilla- not "sterile"- but just without distinction. That's not a knock on hme if you're looking for a flexible pickup that will be able to do a variety of tones, but if you have something particular in mind, they might not be up to the task.

The SH550 of my dreams, for instance, will be sporting some TV Jones FillerTrons, in all probability.
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!
#39
Quiet down, danny, I'm trying to listen to the whalesongs of those inlays.
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
#40
Quote by JustRooster
Quiet down, danny, I'm trying to listen to the whalesongs of those inlays.


I must say, even being a devoted strat body style fan...i would play that until the orca's fins flopped over from the captivity of my riffs...
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