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#1
My name is Mark and I am hoping to get back in to playing guitar. I played violin and viola through high school and played in a country band as a rhythm guitar player here in Ohio. I now live outside of Washington DC and want to start playing every night when everyone goes to bed. We were mildly successful but I had to make a choice between college adn playing in a band. I obviously made the right call and now 10 years later I am looking to start playing again. I sold all my gear to buy a house for my wife and kids. Now I am married and have 4 kids and I need music back in my life. I have always played Fender's and really enjoyed them but I am trying to broaden my horizon and really just looking for opinions on value and what to get. I would like something that I can also upgrade adn keep forever and maybe start playing in a band and gigging every now and again. Hell even just going to a jam session somewhere.

So what style do I want to play? I am 36 but my dad raised a blues man, my biggest influences and styles that I like (musicians) are Walter Trout, SRV, Mark May, Gary Moore, Papa Chubby, Jack Pearson, Govt Mule, Johny Lang, Joe Bonamassa and Albert King and some of the older players as well.

Instruments I am looking at:

Fender American Standard Strat
Fender Roadhouse Deluxe MIM
Fender Starcaster (new remake one)
Gibson SG Studio Faded
Gibson Les Paul Studio Faded T
Gretsch 5420t Electromatic
Godin 5th Ave Kingpin II (nervous this one doesn't do overdrive well)
PRS SE 245

I really liked the sound of the roadhouse w/ the new electronics but was still leaning towards an American strat and slowly changing out what I dont like to build my own sound. I will be playing through my computer mostly at night w/ Guitar Rig or something similar.

If you read this far...thank you haha.
#2
That's some good axes to choose from. The Kingpin isn't the Godin I'd look at though. Given what you want to play and the Fenders & Gibsons on your list, i'd be looking at their solidbody singlecuts & doublecuts- IOW, their versions of Strats, Teles, & LPs.

Similarly, I'd say G&L and Carvin/Kiesel are worth checking out.

Let me ask: what is it about the Gretsch and Kingpin that attracted you? They're going to sound the least like what the artists on your list play. Also, they're going to be louder acoustically than solidbodies- not ideal if you intend to practice quietly.
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 Sep 26, 2016,
#3
I had a chance to play the Gretsch and loved how it looked and felt. The Godin I didnt get to play. My budget is about 800 so I am probably looking for used ones but do not want to exclude anything.
Last edited by K0wboy at Sep 26, 2016,
#4
4 kids? Jesus.

You're looking at a very wide range of guitars that all share almost nothing in common. You need to specify what exactly you're looking for. Do you want humbuckers, single coils, P90's? Do you want a singlecut, a doublecut? A solidbody, a hollow or a semi-hollow? What bridge do you want? What neck profiles? etc. etc.

You need to specify that sort of thing otherwise everyone is just going to recommend you a guitar that they like and not necessarily what might suit you.

If you don't know, then you need to go to a guitar store and find out by playing as many different guitars as you can. You live in DC, you'll have plenty of places to go to play some guitars and you will have a solid local used market.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Sep 26, 2016,
#5
haha 4 kids is crazy but it would be weird without them. I forgot to mention...it was late when I wrote that. I went to guitar center and played the American Strat, SG Faded Studio, Les Paul Faded, Gretsch and PRS. My favorite by feel alone as the American Strat or the SG followed by the Gretsch. I know the Gretsch is really different but was curious to see if I could get a similar sound to it. I also just want to hear others thoughts on it as it may bring something to my attention that I didn't think about.
#6
Shopping by feel is best, if you can. What is it about those you liked that you liked most?
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
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Shopping by feel is best, if you can. What is it about those you liked that you liked most?


provided the sound is what you want as well.

OP you have a nice list of influences but they used different guitars so perhaps you might consider what type of tone you want. based on your list I might lean more toward an SG as it is a good halfway point. one thing to consider is that thru your computer many of these guitars will sound very similar. are you planning on getting an amp? thru computer not exactly the traditional blues way
#8
The SG and American Strat had low action and my fingers just really felt like they flew across the fret board. I figured based on what I got with my PC I coudl also twist tones a lot to get the sound so I lean towards more on what felt good. I would love to get an amp and play but for now I live in a townhouse and will only play at night. I honestly felt the SG and American strat are where I would want to go. I looked at G&L but there really isnt a place close to me where I could go and play one. I am thinking a gretsch or godin might be a good 2nd guitar.
#9
monwobobbo, as you well know, it's a LOT easier to change pickups & electronics than the overall ergonomics.

K0wboy, any guitar can have its action set low. How did you feel about their necks? Too skinny? Too fat? Just right?
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
Quote by dannyalcatraz
monwobobbo, as you well know, it's a LOT easier to change pickups & electronics than the overall ergonomics.

K0wboy, any guitar can have its action set low. How did you feel about their necks? Too skinny? Too fat? Just right?


The SG felt like it had a fatter neck which I liked a bit more. I like the look of the Fender more. I am 6'5" with long big hands so its tough
#11
Well, players from 5'2"-6'7" play on guitars ranging from 24" scale to 25.5" (the scales before getting into baritones), so that's mostly about practicing your technique. Still, you MIGHT find 25.5"+ scale guitars easier to master.

That means most mainstream Gibsons are going to be too short- except the Buckethead signature- and Fender/Fender-like guitars will be your buddies.

As I recall, PRS & Carvin make a few in the 25" scale. I think Godin does as well.
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
I sat up watching videos last night...then ended up watching a Hendrix documentary but sound wise for my budget the strat is #1 followed close by the SG. I did play a PRS SE 245 and it felt nice but I really want to go for a USA built guitar. The PRS ones built in the US are way out of budget.
#13
Carvin/Kiesel is going to be among the most affordable USA made guitars out there. USA-made PRS can be affordable on the used market. Godins are all Canadian-made, AFAIK, which is comparable IMHO. But Korean-made guitars are pretty good, as a whole, and offer a good bang for the buck.

Is USA manufacture important for any other reason?
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 Sep 27, 2016,
#14
dannyalcatraz

I will look at everything. I have just always wanted an American guitar and support our local guitar shops. I guess growing up with my dad too he doesn't play but always talked about American guitars.
#15
I really like the look of Godin and have heard great things. Which one of their guitars would fit teh best? I loved the 5th ave but it isn't exactly what I am looking for.
#16
I have been looking at guitars for weeks and I honestly think price wise as of today the Godin Session (black burst) is by far my favorite. I would get a maple fret board and go from there. For the price it is hard to beat and I love the finish. I could always change out pickups and customize it a bit more down the road.
#17
Quote by K0wboy
dannyalcatraz

I will look at everything. I have just always wanted an American guitar and support our local guitar shops. I guess growing up with my dad too he doesn't play but always talked about American guitars.


The current state of the industry is that- regardless if the brand's home country is America, Japan, England, etc.- Korean factories make the bulk of mass-produced guitars on the market. Other major factories can be found in Mexico, Indonesia, Vietnam and China. Many of the better factories produce guitars for multiple companies.

Godin is one of the few exceptions- AFAIK, all of their guitars are made in Canada or the USA.


Carvin/Kiesels are all made in a plant in San Diego, but they're more like an oversized freestanding custom luthier than a mass-producer.

There can be noticeable quality differences depending on country of origin, but the single biggest difference you'll see is price. Part of that is when companies make their stuff at home, it tends to be made by higher salaried employees, not necessarily more competent ones. (Whether it does or not depends on the particular company.) And the better companies tend to do a final inspection & setup in their home offices before sending the products to the retailers.

That said, most companies make their custom/hand-made stuff (if any) at home, and those generally WILL be made by their best craftsmen...for which you'll pay a premium.

So- while laudible- don't get TOO stuck on buying American.
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 Sep 27, 2016,
#18
Do you know the big difference in the Session vs Session LTD? I know the humbucker is different but other than that they seem similiar and 579 is an amazing price. I just wonder how close to a strat it plays.
#19
The Godins? The difference is the LTD has a Seymour Duncan humbucker in the bridge as opposed to one of Godin's and has finishes not seen on the base model. IOW,you're paying for paint and a pickup.

The latter is probably an audible upgrade- Godin makes good pickups, but it's the rare guitar company that makes pickups as good as or better than the companies that specialize in them.

The color is clearly a luxury that has no effect on tone. But I'd be lying if I said it didn't matter. Appreciation of visual aesthetics are part of the irrational part of the brain, but they can be a powerful influence on whether or not we like a guitar. Which translates into whether or not we PLAY the guitar in question, thereby improving into the juke box heroes we all secretly long to be.

Compared to a MIM Strat, the most noticeable difference will be the neck. Fender prefers to use a 9.5" radius neck, Godin- and I believe G&L- prefer to use a 12" radius. That means their fingerboards are going to be flatter than a typical Fender's. For some players, that's not a major issue. For others, that's a HUGE difference in ergonomics.
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 Sep 27, 2016,
#20
Quote by dannyalcatraz
monwobobbo, as you well know, it's a LOT easier to change pickups & electronics than the overall ergonomics.

K0wboy, any guitar can have its action set low. How did you feel about their necks? Too skinny? Too fat? Just right?


yeah I understand that but have pretty much found that if the guitar doesn't sound half way decent stock then it might not benefit as much from changing electronics. there is no scientific basis for that view just an observation from years of playing. agree that feel is very important and it that isn't there then the guitar is a no go.
Last edited by monwobobbo at Sep 27, 2016,
#21
Yeah, I can see that.

Still, while I haven't done it myself, I could see the value in ripping the electronics out of a guitar that felt awesome and replacing them with all new stuff to get the tone I wanted. I mean, it was a different time in the early days of R&R, when there were but a fraction of the makers there are today, but that USED to be what people did.
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
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Yeah, I can see that.

Still, while I haven't done it myself, I could see the value in ripping the electronics out of a guitar that felt awesome and replacing them with all new stuff to get the tone I wanted. I mean, it was a different time in the early days of R&R, when there were but a fraction of the makers there are today, but that USED to be what people did.


well don't get me wrong I agree in principle with what you are saying. a great feeling guitar is certainly worth the effort. I have tried a few guitars over the years that felt good but just sounded dead. now perhaps with a really good setup and new electronics it could sound great but I guess I prefer to pass and not risk investing in disappointment. I'm kinda funny when it comes to buying guitars. the guitar has to have "it" and that isn't something I can describe in real terms. I just know when I feel it and hear it. I have no problem changing out parts to improve y sound but I guess to a reasonable degree it has to be there to begin with.
#23
Oh no, like I said, I've never done a massive swap out myself, but I can understand why someone might do it. The most I have so far invested in altering a guitar has been a pickup upgrade. (Beyond needed repairs, of course.)

But there are some guitars I own that I would be very tempted to do such a thing with if I couldn't find one on the market.

BTW:
investing in disappointment.


Perfect album title for Goth or Metal!
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!
#24
So reading on teh Godin and the SG it looks like I can get the best of both worlds. The SG neck on a strat body w/ a more strat like sound. I watched some videos on the sounds and I like it. My question is what do you think,...a brand new Godin Session or a used American Strat?


I love this color..its only in the base model
http://www.godinguitars.com/godinsession_34055_34048.html
Last edited by K0wboy at Sep 27, 2016,
#25
Quote by K0wboy
So reading on teh Godin and the SG it looks like I can get the best of both worlds. The SG neck on a strat body w/ a more strat like sound. I watched some videos on the sounds and I like it. My question is what do you think,...a brand new Godin Session or a used American Strat?


well the ? really is what do you think. seems like the Godin is the better choice for you but what do I know. I know that Godin isn't well known and many might hesitate to buy them but they make fine guitars. dare to be different and go for it. (I play my blues that requires humbuckers on a BC Rich Eagle which is't exactly a standard blues axe but it works for me)
#26
Quote by monwobobbo
well the ? really is what do you think. seems like the Godin is the better choice for you but what do I know. I know that Godin isn't well known and many might hesitate to buy them but they make fine guitars. dare to be different and go for it. (I play my blues that requires humbuckers on a BC Rich Eagle which is't exactly a standard blues axe but it works for me)


I think the Godin is how I am going to go, it seems like a great fit and everyone says they are great guitars and worth way more then they cost. I love the see through black finish and I can get a maple neck which I love. I played rhythm guitar so long it is time to get my blues adn leads down. I always struggled coming from violin/viola where we never had to improvise but I am destined to be great! (or at least impress my kids)
#27
My experience with Godins is this: I own a (discontinued) Godin Richmond Belmont and would like another. Before I bought it, I got to try several used Stratclones- mostly Sessions & Progressions- but never pulled the trigger because I didn't have the $$$. I'd go back intending to buy, and lost out every darn time. Besides Belmonts, I have many other Godins on my eBay & Reverb watched lists.

Here's the caveat: I don't like most Fenders & Gibsons. That dislike has ZERO to do with quality, and everything to do with feel. I've seen guitars of theirs I wanted and could afford, but when I took them down to try them, they just didn't feel right. That's on me, not them.
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
It's tough, I wish I could try one but I played fenders a long time and lived them but I am trying to keep my eyes open. I did like the neck on the sg. The godin seems way better then the sg so...

I have a couple months to keep looking
#29
Definitely keep your eyes open! You never know when a steal of a deal will pop up!
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
Yeah for sure, I think I have a plan if I go new...if not then who knows but when I get it I will post. I am going to start prepping and studying again.Really going to try to learn as much as I can this time and work on octaves, arpeggios, scales and really just learn to feel music again.
#31
Quote by K0wboy
It's tough, I wish I could try one but I played fenders a long time and lived them but I am trying to keep my eyes open. I did like the neck on the sg. The godin seems way better then the sg so...

I have a couple months to keep looking


good attitude and one not often found on the board. to many players are locked into the same old same old. there is so much out there that may be better for any given player. personally I love trying different guitars (even if I'm not in the market) and will go out of my way to try guitars from a brand I'm not familiar with.
#32
I love the finish on the godin. I love music and just want to play again. I am an audiophile and just want to get a good guitar at a good price. Who knows I may end up with a godin tattoo haha
#33
Quote by K0wboy
I think the Godin is how I am going to go, it seems like a great fit and everyone says they are great guitars and worth way more then they cost. I love the see through black finish and I can get a maple neck which I love. I played rhythm guitar so long it is time to get my blues adn leads down. I always struggled coming from violin/viola where we never had to improvise but I am destined to be great! (or at least impress my kids)


1) here are a couple of searches I did on a couple of my favorite higher-end Godin LP clones. Worth a look if you want an LP style guitar:
Icon 3 (hardtail sporting 3 Lollar P90s)
https://reverb.com/marketplace?query=godin%20icon%20type%203
LGXT (HH or HSH with custom Seymour Duncans and tremolo)
http://www.ebay.com/sch/Electric-Guitars/33034/i.html?_from=R40&_sop=15&_nkw=godin+lgxt


2) after voice, my first instrument was cello. I struggled with transitioning to guitar until I read a couple of stories in guitar mags. The first was about how Bo Diddley played violin as a youth, and would sometimes tune his guitars to a similar tuning. The second was about Robert Fripp's creation/rediscovery of what is currently called New Standard Tuning (NST). Standard tuning for guitar is EADGBE, as you probably recall. NST is CGDAEG. I'm sure you recognize the CGDA. I certainly did, and I tried it out- all of a sudden, I was playing music I'd been playing for 20 years, but on a different instrument. This let me practice certain techniques without focusing as much on where I needed to fret; I was "home".

My comfort level with guitar soared, and that eventually translated into greater facility with E Standard. Trying out violin tuning like Bo Diddley or NST might accelerate your return to guitar nirvana. Still, while it is certainly POSSIBLE to do, I'd advise against playing blues in NST. Some of the fingering on standard blues progressions are more awkward than in E Standard.
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 Sep 30, 2016,
#35
Any thoughts on the session for rockabilly? I am possibly joining a band soon again finally.
#36
The Session is essentially Godin's version of the Strat. There ARE notable rockabilly tunes played on Strats, Teles and other iconic guitars that use traditional singlecoils or even humbuckers, but they're rare.

Still, fact of the matter is that that if you know what you're doing, you can make any guitar sound good for any genre. It will just be harder or easier for some. (And pickup swaps are always an option.)
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!
#37
If your budget is less than 1k, I'd highly, HIGHLY recommend looking at Chapman guitars. I've got an ML-3 Modern, and I can honestly say that, in my experience, the ONLY actual competition out of the box below a grand is the PRS SE line. The Chapmans are beautiful guitars, built like a tank, and have features that you normally don't get on guitars of their price - good quality ebony fretboard and TUSQ nuts, to name a few. I'd suggest looking at the ML-3 Traditional going by what you posted, but you could check the ML-1 as well. They're super versatile, and at just around $600, you'd have some cash left over for a pickup swap if you wanted, or something else as well. Believe me, they play like guitars well over $800. I've got guitars that range from $500 to just under $2k, and I enjoy my Chapman as much as any of the more costly ones.

“We’re built of contradictions, all of us. It’s those opposing forces that give us strength, like an arch, each block pressing the next. Give me a man whose parts are all aligned in agreement and I’ll show you madness. We walk a narrow path, insanity to each side. A man without contradictions to balance him will soon veer off.”



silentfall.bandcamp.com
#38
I cannot speak to the exact guitar you are looking at from Godin, but I do have 2 Seagulls (made by Godin in Canada) and I think they are the most for the money of the major manufacturers. I also recently saw Phil Collins and his lead player was using a Godin, so they are gaining steam.
#39
So I have looked at all kinds of guitars, never got to play a Godin but read a ton and I think it is a good guitar. Especially at 579, the only problem is that it is a possible 6-8 week turn around. So I am trying to decide if I want to wait or get a used Fender Roadhouse MIM or Fender Nashville Deluxe Tele MIM. Guitar Center has both of those used and also a couple Gibson Faded Les Pauls or SG's in my price range now as well. I am really looking at about 600 bucks tops now....eek what to do
#40
Generally, I prefer Godin products over Fender and I'm a patient person besides. So you know which way I'd go.

Did you check out any on eBay or Reverb.com? That would cut down your wait time...
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!
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