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Everything posted by GAS Man

  1. Man, I'm an accountant, been one professionally for over 34 years so I'd have to charge for a complete answer, but short answer is, it costs. Wages, + ~ 40% benefits, then calculate how many hours are they actually working, i.e. subtract breaks, sick leave vacation leave. Then add management overhead, factory cost overhead which includes maintenance, custodial, machinery, tools, utilities, property taxes, etc, marketing, customer service, shipping. By the time you're done, their $15 to $18 build rate per hour balloons. Then divide that hourly rate by the amount of the cost of the guitar that is not raw material to derive build time and you'd find their costs are reasonable. Ask any of the builders here how long it takes to build a guitar, even with CNC machines and you'd probably be surprised at the relative efficiency of the big builders. And don't forget that owners/stock holders want to see some profit too. Now if you want to discuss something that interests me, then I'd say, wow, how come some Indonesian made guitars are now topping $1K I mean, as I've gotten older, I now believe Milton Friedman was a tool, but still, market competition does indeed have a big influence on price. In other words, if better could be done cheaper, it would exist and prevail. If nothing else, it keeps Gibson's pencil sharper than one might think. Now if you're talking the highest end custom shop pieces, then indeed "panache" plays a significantly larger role.
  2. Okay, so now what do we do now that Photobucket instituted blocking 3rd party posting. I mean, that was about the only reason I got a Photobucket account. Other options besides paying tribute to them?
  3. I have a few short scale guitars, like a couple different Mustangs, Jaguars and a Duo-Sonic. So far I've left them with stock 9-42. I'm always tempted to change them to 10-46 (or possibly 11s), but when I'm playing a short scale guitar with 9s, I'm often finding that the slinky feel will have me creating more nuances of bends that just doesn't happen in my playing as expressively as with that low tension set up. Like bending multiple strings in unison or full chord bends, just becomes more accessible and allows more nuances to be affected. So I find it to be a bit of a conundrum of ease of bends vs wanting a bit less of a wispy tone. I guess since I have a large collection of guitars, I find it makes a bit more sense to have a wider spectrum rather than trying to mod all my guitars more towards a similar median.
  4. I'm a long-term fan of Fast Fret for helping to preserve your strings BUT! I also learned after some time that it is important to use the enclosed cloth to wipe the strings down after you apply the Fast Fret. I have a large collection of guitars and so my practice had been to wipe the strings down each time with the Fast Fret stick before I put a guitar away. What I found was that if I grabbed a guitar back out of storage and took it to band jam, that the residual drier oils from the Fast Fret, plus some perspiration from my hands would create this slowing gunk on the strings. Reapplying the Fast Fret during a jam would only give me some brief relief to that gunky feel. It was almost like creating an invisible sticky lather on the strings. So rather then leaving a film of the Fast Fret oil on the strings to help coat and preserve them, I now run the cloth up and down the strings a few time to remove any excess. If I do pull out a guitar and find the string are a bit gunky, I'll sometimes use a small bit of cloth (like a bit of old T-shirt cloth) put a couple drops of Gibson's Luthier's Choice String Cleaner/Lubricant http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/gibson-luthiers-choice-cleaner-lubricant on the cloth, wrap it around the string and slide it up and down the string. That really helps to remove the gunky build-up. (note, the link I provided says the product is not available and that's only because I've seen retailers start to abandon selling the individual bottles and instead prefer to market the 3-packet of fret board conditioner, polish and string cleaner - but they're all good products so why not get them all). So while I used to be an avid fan of Fast Fret, I did discover the downside of it creating that gunky feel, but the wipe down has helped and it indeed helps remove the corrosive elements put on the strings through your playing. And indeed, wash your hands, if practical, before playing. Summary, I like FF, but it was a bit of a "no-duh" to realize that they include that cloth in there for a reason. Use it and I think you'll be generally happy with Fast Fret if you are like me and string changes are not one of your favorite things to do.
  5. Sunn Stinger 60. Durable but didn't have much clean headroom and didn't come close to the Fender sounds I had in my head. Bought it around '84 or so, later sold it for ~ $50.
  6. Still have it. Dad brought it home from a TDY trip to Germany around '66. Framus With an arched back like a violin My second guitar I wish I still had. Sure it was a bit of a POS, but today it would have more panache being a good representation of an early MIJ import '60s garage tone. It simply said "Prestige": on the headstock. Not mine, but this is what they looked like #3 Finally got a guitar that was well set up and facilitated my learning to play guitar. 1983 Custom Shop Edition Les Paul Studio "Standard" (The "Standard" is what I see these called now, but at the time I bought mine, they were just calling them the LP Studio since they were the 1st Studios made. So first 3 guitars might be "breaking the thread rules" but it shows a story , or a journey. Also wish I knew then what I know now about setting up guitars.
  7. Freeman's other thread on 12-strings reminded me of the 12-string guitar song I've actually spent the most time playing - like "duh" [video=youtube;yoxHGxQw9ws]
  8. My 12-strings in order of purchase ~1993 A Takamine/Jasmine 12-String Dreadnaught from the despicable "laminate top" era, but at least it was still from the era where they were made in Korea. But I added a thinline piezo to it, and it's a nice jangly guitar with good play-ability, just less depth than I'd like. From there I added a Ricky 360-12, Fireglo of course. Gibson 50th Anniversary SG-12-String and finally a Danelectro Semi-Hollow 12-string I've long liked the sound of a 12-string, ever since I picked up a used Guild 12-string dreadnaught in a music store back in '84, gave it a few strums of my minimal chord knowledge back then, and to my ears I heard angels singing. Buying the Jasmine was something I'd get in my time machine and do different, since it was about $250 and I could have gotten a solid top Seagull with electronics for just $100 more. Later on I spent that much more adding the piezo to my Jasmine. While it's purdier than that Seagull, it will never have quite as much depth. But that was back in the day when I was not "wise to laminate tops". But still, it's not a bad guitar and would actually be a great band guitar since the laminate tops are less prone to feedback. I got the 360 because it's so iconic, but yet it didn't have the tone out of the box I expected. Still need to buy a Jangle Box for that. Plus their fingerboards are a bit cramped. Still, it's a beauty and I'll keep it until the day comes along that we click. The Gibson SG-12 has more presence and nice action, so that's cool. But I'd say I'm probably particularly fond of the Dano. Good "bang for the buck" and lots of vibe and comfortable to play. Regarding playing, I often drop the tuning down one-half step and then increase it back up to standard tuning by putting a capo on the first fret. I just find that little adjustment, reducing the string resistance, eliminates some of the hand cramping I get from chording on a 12. But despite owning 4 of the critters, they are far from a mainstay for me. The last time I had one out, I was working on this song. [video=youtube;yoxHGxQw9ws] I keep getting most of the way there on that song, but never have worked on it enough to where I've got it all memorized. Not that tuff, just my bad. ;^)
  9. On the original article: I certainly get that as a manufacturer, Amazon must be a total pain to work with. I applaud Mike Matthews for pulling his product out of Amazon since it will also aid the musical gear dealers. But OTOH, when it comes to pricing below MAP on Amazon, what's the real difference between that and a store like Musician's Friend advertising Store-Wide Deals of 10% to 15% off? I mean, I do know that MF says "on select gear" but there's also their "wink wink" that if you call or chat they'll cut you a similar deal. Amazon OTOH never has site-wide discount sales.
  10. Well, my first thought was Mr. Tambourine Man, so I guess I'm done. LOL
  11. "Knuckle-head" is right. I didn't even hear him add anything worthwhile. Just odd harmonics started jumping in making one wonder where they were going. OTOH, while I liked your slow blues jam, you need to work on your Keith Richards chops. [video=youtube;KyK0y02HvVc]
  12. Indeed, you make a good point about the solid slab body. Unlike the "wood doesn't affect tone faction" I'm very aware of the coupling effect of guitar to pickups. A good recent example of that was slapping a set of Gibson Burstbucker Pros into an Epi G-400 Deluxe with Maestro trem. I'd seen Gibson use the BB Pro on a few SG style guitars (like on a later version of the Diablo) but what I found was that BB Pros belong on more deeper resonant toned LPs. So I ended up with a guitar with tons of presence, which might be great "in the mix" of a band, but is a bit top sounding at home. But back to the Wilshire, indeed, the slab body is another reason why I think I might be happier with the Alnico Liverpool in the bridge position. But I'd bet the Nashville might work well enough in the neck. Indeed, those GFS Retrotrons might not make a silk purse out of my little pig's ear, but I'm hoping I can get it closer to the sound of a Gretsch Corvette. Must admit, about 50% of my p'up mods have been "fail". ;^)
  13. I've been long tempted to get some GFS Retrotrons. Lately I've been wondering if the best combo would be a Nashville in the neck for a sweeter trebley tone and a Liverpool in the bridge for a bit more warmth. Any thoughts? I have a few guitars that could possibly benefit from the Retrotrons but my "first up" would be an Epiphone Wishire Pro, which currently sports some rather dull sounding Epi HBs, but is set up for coil split.
  14. Funny, just yesterday I was looking at that model Duesenberg guitar wondering which color I want. Eventually I will get one, haven't decided for sure which color yet, but indeed, that red and black is striking. When I've gone to car museums, like the one at The Imperial Palace in Las Vegas NV, the Duesenberg cars always blow me away. You had to be uber rich to afford one, even back in the day. But they are indeed beautiful hand built cars that were like the jet airplanes of their day. Either that, or a Stutz Bearcat the decade before, seemed to be the choice of the Silver Screen's more dashing personas. But I remember reading where even the full annual salary of a Doctor wouldn't even come close to the price tag of a Duesenberg. I guess you'd have to compare them to a Bugatti Veyron of today. So indeed, a "guitar Duesenberg" will be the closest I'll come, but I need to thin the herd first. :-O
  15. My 2nd to last NGD was a MF SDOTD on this "Belair Green" G&L ASAT Special". My band mates were indeed groovin on this retro classic color when I showed up for a jam night. Not my picture, but this is what they look like: But I think that Green and White combo fits the bill rather nicely.
  16. I agree. I don't see the reason for the negativity on this thread. While the playing may not be something that hasn't already been done as well or better by the likes of Albert Lee, Kenny Vaughan, or Brad Paisley, it's still a reminder of a style that's worth the effort to attempt if not master. I was in a local band that focused too much on lame cover tunes (worn out top 40 crap from the 70s and 80s - some of which I enjoyed - some of which I loathed - and they would look at me like I had two heads if I tried to squeeze in something a bit less mainstream - like Drive By Truckers, The Pixies, The Cranberries, etc.) but the leader in our band is a veteran performing touring keyboard player and he has a good sense of "what gets people out on the dance floor". And certainly the chicken pickin genre works well and has good crossover with crowds. If I could play those licks, I'd be stoked. And while that style may indeed sound like chicken pickin, at least it doesn't sound like strangling a cat. I'm a rock lover, but gotta appreciate all styles, otherwise we'd all be glued to Segovia.
  17. I understood Freeman's comment, and largely agreed with the sentiment, on the other hand, I've also had the same type of thing happen to me. There was a store in my town that used to close at 5:30, so I was lucky to get there after work 15 minutes before closing. Even though I had bought several instruments from them, the owner usually treated his customers like they were a distraction from whatever else he wanted to be doing. It used to blow my mind that he had a job selling big kid toys and instead of rolling out the red carpet for good customers you were largely ignored and they just seemed to want to go home. Sometimes it's just hard to give some folks money. They finally did go out of business with now just one ma n pa guitar store left in town. I sympathize with the brick n mortar store owners, but they can prevail over the online stores if they simply provide a little value added, such as customer appreciation.
  18. Thanks for the added info. I mainly had in my head the price board from Randy Parson's shop where he added somewhere around a Benjamin for fret jobs on bound boards, so that may have simply been his thing.
  19. From a quick look, I'd say the Classic 2017T. I prefer a more natural lightweight body design than "weight relieved" so it does tend to pay off to spend as much as you can on a Les Paul (assuming it has the electronics you want) since the quality does indeed go up with the price of admission. I own several Les Paul models (3 Epiphones including an Elite and a Slash Alnico II Pro model; and 17 Gibson models) so I've heard a lot of tonal variation within the "Les Paul" design. A couple of my Epiphones, like the Slash model and the Epiphone Elite are actually very good tonal representations of a Les Paul. Some of the lighter Gibson models stray quite a bit from the more classic tone of a Les Paul but are still good instruments in their own right. For pickups, my favorite are the Burstbucker 1 & 2 combination. Secondly, the '57 Classics. I find that with these more vintage voiced pickups I get a sweeter sound with a more versatile guitar. If you're more of a harder rock player, then a 490/498 combo will be just fine. or the 496/500T if you want even higher output. But I prefer the more vintage voiced pickups knowing that I can add all the gain I need on the amp or with an overdrive pedal. I do also like the BB Pros, but I believe they sound better on the more solidly built bodies, like a traditional Standard model. They can be a bit too vibey and not as deep sounding as they should be on the more light bodied guitars. So it's about finding that balance of internal resonance and the electronics. Happy hunt!
  20. If you don't have neck binding, I'd see about just having that one fret replaced. I used to visit the well known luthier Randy Parsons in Seattle, and I remember he had a deal for replacing the top 4 frets, but it's more costly if neck binding has to be taken off and replaced. Maybe you could just smooth out the ding so it doesn't catch as much. My first good electric guitar that I basically learned my chording on is an 83 LP CSE Studio and its got dents in the first frets on the high end string side from using death grip strength (before my hands learned any finesse) and also zero vibrato. But those dings don't seem to affect its playability now, even when I am now using string vibrato. So I'm thinking maybe a bit of dremel tool polishing?
  21. Remember that Fender amps have 5 year warranties. So unless it's tubes, you may be covered, assuming you're < 5 years.
  22. Say what you want about Gibsons, but (excluding some of their recent import/domestic hybrids) I think they produce in their entry level lines some of the best tonal bangs for the buck. I attribute that to their exclusive Gibson pixie dust.
  23. I think it's interesting. I could see a use for a guitar like that, but not for me. I view my Steinberger Spirit GT Pro as my "ultimate travel guitar" but OTOH, its tone and play-ability are less than stellar. So I can see that this guitar could avoid the flight attendant challenges on an airplane for overhead bins, but I'm not that much of a jet-set guitar player. And then again if one were one, wouldn't they just have a better more conventional ax with a flight case for checked baggage?
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