i love guitars. i thought i'd share some (hack) pics i took earlier this morning of three guitars i've been using a lot recently; a 2008 PRS Hollowbody II with splittable 57/08s, a 1997 Gibson '57 Reissue Goldtop with stock '57 Classics, and a 2003 Tyler Studio Elite HD "Burning Water".
i bought the PRS earlier this year. it was around the time of my birthday (February). i saw it online and was taken by the simple elegance of it. i decided to treat myself. classic black, no frills, no bling - a perfect "sister" to my other PRS hollowbody that is it's visual opposite (double "10", birds, piezo). the PRS hollowbody II model is one of a few "perfect" guitar models, IMO. the thought of a splittable set of 57/08s really appealed to me as well (modded by the previous owner; notice the mini-toggle - he did a good job). Its currently strung with .11s, and they play like .10s.
The goldtop i've had the longest of the three pictured. i bought it used maybe around 2004 or early 2005 and then proceeded to play a couple dozen shows with it. it's one of three guitars that i had in regular live rotation right up until my first child was born over four years ago. it's the kind of guitar that i feel i can play anything i want on. it doesn't hold me back at all. the neck is very full and shaped perfectly for my hand with no drag. the heaviest of the three pictured, this one weighs in at 9 lbs 4 oz. even though it has a gorgeous clean sound, i love to play hard on this one. i catch myself punching chords and really digging into notes when playing leads. it resonates wonderfully - it's even enjoyable to play unplugged.
the Tyler i've had for almost a year (in July). i had always wanted to try one, and managed to find a used one for a very good price. people seem to hate the headstock aesthetic - i get that. but just try one and then you'll know. i am not ashamed to say i like the look of the headstock. yup, true story. but this story is about performance. i remember being blown away when i first plugged it in and started playing. there is something about how Tyler does their necks that i love - the edges are rolled for a great worn in feeling, the frets are big, but not too big, the shape and depth feel like a Gibson LP to me, and the compound radius is a very nice touch. the body is chambered, which adds something to the sound of the guitar that i can't really describe except to say that i love it. it weighs 6 lbs 11 oz. - almost a pound lighter than my strat. i had abandoned strat-type guitars about twenty years earlier, but this one is my kind of guitar. it can do both vintage and contemporary tones very sincerely (if not a little on the hot side - careful with that boosted signal!). i will have another Tyler (if i ever find another great deal or become rich).
it's funny, i wouldn't consider any of these three my #1 if forced to pick, but candidly i don't think i have a single guitar that i value above all the others in my collection. i have been fortunate enough to put together a fun group of guitars that blow me away when i play each of them. it's taken a lot of trial and error to get to this point, but i'm really happy with what i have and don't take any of it for granted.
thanks for letting me rant. please share your pics and stories! doesn't need to be about your #1 (assuming you can even pick only one).