#1
So,I love watching guitar reviews and this term is always cropping up.90% of reviews i watch use the term "work horse".
"This guitar is a real work horse"

"The classic work horse guitar is back and better than ever"

What if anything does this actually mean?Only i've heard almost every guitar known to man(exageration) described as a "work horse"From cheap Ibanez's,Tele's,Gibbo's to high end US made PRS Customs.So what actually defines a "work horse"?
Last edited by EyeballPaul at Apr 8, 2014,
#2
It's a phrase that means different things to different people, so ultimately, means nothing.

For some, its a guitar that can cover a lot of tonal ground. For others, its a well made guitar that can handle the rigors of professional play. Still others, a guitar that delivers more to the player than other guitars of a similar price. Or any combination of those...or something else besides.

It is, however, always aimed at the guitar's function and suitability to the task rather than its aesthetics, and so it is high praise.
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#3
Quote by dannyalcatraz
It's a phrase that means different things to different people, so ultimately, means nothing.

For some, its a guitar that can cover a lot of tonal ground. For others, its a well made guitar that can handle the rigors of professional play. Still others, a guitar that delivers more to the player than other guitars of a similar price. Or any combination of those...or something else besides.

It is, however, always aimed at the guitar's function and suitability to the task rather than its aesthetics, and so it is high praise.


It seems that nearly every time someone references a "workhorse" guitar they're essentially saying what I bolded/underlined above.

Essentially, a workhorse guitar is one that provides a platform to play in a number of genres (good for many, but perhaps elite for none) and will hold up mechanically even after years of constant use.
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#4
Quote by sjones
It seems that nearly every time someone references a "workhorse" guitar they're essentially saying what I bolded/underlined above.

Essentially, a workhorse guitar is one that provides a platform to play in a number of genres (good for many, but perhaps elite for none) and will hold up mechanically even after years of constant use.


This. Durability is the biggest meaning I believe. It may also have something to do with great functionality, but maybe a very basic look. No frills, no flamed top or nice natural finish, something like that.
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#5
Quote by dannyalcatraz
It's a phrase that means different things to different people, so ultimately, means nothing.

For some, its a guitar that can cover a lot of tonal ground. For others, its a well made guitar that can handle the rigors of professional play. Still others, a guitar that delivers more to the player than other guitars of a similar price. Or any combination of those...or something else besides.

It is, however, always aimed at the guitar's function and suitability to the task rather than its aesthetics, and so it is high praise.


agreed.

it also does tend to be aimed at "better-value" (that's sort of a euphemism for "cheaper") guitars, though, I find. But ones which are remarkably good for how cheap they are. And which are still usable for professional (or semi-pro) gigging.

So, something like an MIM strat or tele, I'd say.

EDIT: ^ agreed. no frills, that type of thing.
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I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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#6
A workhorse, to me, is a guitar that performs that I can leave on the stand at a show, get beer spilled on it, and not really have to worry about it.
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#7
what's a facist?
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#8
A workhorse to me means staying in tune no matter the abuse. And it looks good beat up. My Cort DC is a perfect example.
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#9
Work horse to me is "get the job done and durability" ......

I like the story in the Telecaster alliance thread of the Musician walking down the street for blocks through a snow storm carrying his Tele by the neck no bag or nothing .... Walks into the studio , stomps his feet to get the snow off his shoes , taps the guitar on floor a couple times to get the snow off the guitar , then proceeds to walk into his recording session and record ... so for me a work horse would be a Tele
#10
Quote by Fumble fingers
Work horse to me is "get the job done and durability" ......

I like the story in the Telecaster alliance thread of the Musician walking down the street for blocks through a snow storm carrying his Tele by the neck no bag or nothing .... Walks into the studio , stomps his feet to get the snow off his shoes , taps the guitar on floor a couple times to get the snow off the guitar , then proceeds to walk into his recording session and record ... so for me a work horse would be a Tele

Ha,I never heard that before,I guess that definately constitute a work horse.
#11
Workhorse- A standard guitar of gig quality that stays in the game night after night without issues or problems. Not terribly expensive or precious. Same applies to amps.
(higher end Epi's, Mexi Fenders, Standard USA Fenders, Gibson LP Studio are some examples)

Showhorse- A highly refined guitar with rare woods, exceptional finishes and binding, a high pricetag and the finest of everything but sometimes too precious to gig. (Custom PRS, Signature LPs)

Racehorse- An 80s design superstrat type shredder with super low action, locking nut, hot pickups, Floyd Rose, and often lots of pointy bits. (top Jackson, Ibanez, Charvel)
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

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#12
Yeah, everyone has their own definitions, which is an unfortunate fact with pretty much everything in the guitar world.

To me, a workhorse is a cheap guitar (can't have a workhorse that cost you over $500) that stays in tune constantly, can fall down and not be affected notably, not have any real gimmicks, simple electronics. All kind of a minimal type of style in my head, I guess.

My RG520 is a workhorse.

I don't associate tone at all with a workhorse. I've never thought of that aspect before.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

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LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
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#13
My mum's ex-husband claimed to possess a "fender Stratocaster". Turned out to be some part-hollow monstrosity covered in emulsion with sky high action, mismatched switches and what appeared to say "Ranu" on the headstock...

That was a carthorse....
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#14
Quote by EyeballPaul
So,I love watching guitar reviews and this term is always cropping up.90% of reviews i watch use the term "work horse".
"This guitar is a real work horse"

"The classic work horse guitar is back and better than ever"

What if anything does this actually mean?


It's Marketing Department Copy for, "We've really cheaped up this guitar and it looks like crap but it makes sound."

Most guitar reviews are cut and paste foof, and "work horse" shows up when the author wants to note that it's a "generic piece of junk that makes sound...whatever."

Where you really want to back away is when the Marketing Copy screams, "Stripped down, no-frills Rock & Roll Machine!" It means that they're overreaching, because the company needed an Entry Level Something, so they left off the truss rod cover, put just two knobs on it, hosed the wood with some matte lacquer over a barely sanded body that could give you belly splinters and the metal bits scream "tetanus."
#15
Quote by dspellman
It's Marketing Department Copy for, "We've really cheaped up this guitar and it looks like crap but it makes sound."

Most guitar reviews are cut and paste foof, and "work horse" shows up when the author wants to note that it's a "generic piece of junk that makes sound...whatever."

Where you really want to back away is when the Marketing Copy screams, "Stripped down, no-frills Rock & Roll Machine!" It means that they're overreaching, because the company needed an Entry Level Something, so they left off the truss rod cover, put just two knobs on it, hosed the wood with some matte lacquer over a barely sanded body that could give you belly splinters and the metal bits scream "tetanus."


What about the LPJ now?
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#16
It means "Nothing fancy, and dead solid reliable." In other words, it means a Fender Telecaster.

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#17
My workhorse is a PRS CE22, it has no binding and none of the other "frills" that are available on the more expensive models. So I don't believe that a workhorse has to be a <$500 guitar, mine cost $1500 and I have had absolutely no issues at all in over 10 yrs of solid gigging.
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