Saturday, February 24, 2007

Guitar geeks - please help me!

hi folks, i'm having a crazy dilemma

for about 20 years i've been waiting to buy myself 'the right strat'. i wasn't gonna wimp out and buy a cheapie or anything, because, long story short, i know how right 'the right strat' feels to me.

i just sold the beautiful guitar i've been using in the meantime, i have a bunch of money in my hand, and i'm in the middle of searching to find 'the right strat' and purchase it

well, suddenly i'm having a MAJOR crisis, while at a shop looking for strats, i picked up a brand new G&L legacy. it has *all* the features i'm looking for in the strat i wanted, same color, same fretboard, same pickup type.

only things that weren't 100% ideal is that the tremolo bridge is a little big and 'floyd roseish' for my taste (but not nearly as bad as the big FL monstrosity), i'm not sure about the plastic nut, it's brand new and not an older model, the headstock is wierd looking, and, well, it's not a strat

ok, so that's a lot of things, but on the other hand finding these '100% ideals' in the strat i'm searching for probably won't happen all in the same guitar either, so i'm going to have to compromise on some of the things anyway.

but here's the other thing. while it doesn't say 'strat' on it, it's a strat. it's all the last final step in the evolution of leo fender's design for the strat. this much i know. i played it, and it's ROCK SOLID, and feels great, better than the brand new Strats i've tried (which is why one of my criteria was always an older strat, like up to 88-89 or so i guess). so that sort of eliminates the 'its not a strat' and the 'its not old' criteria.

and the headstock and tremolo things are cosmetic only, i'm sure they both add up to making it a better guitar.

anyway, besides this (all of which i've just learned today), i don't know a damn thing about G&L guitars, except that it was Leo Fender's company before he died.

I've waited my whole life to buy a strat and now i almost blew the money on something else that 'seemed' a better strat. am i succumbing to trend and marketing? wtf should i do?

can any of you guitar headz out there please do what you do and wax on and on about the merits of G&L vs. the Fender Corp, and their products, how do you all feel about these guitars, this goes out to Fender players and G&L players and otherwise guitar geeks who have an opinion on this.

thanks a bazillion


felix said...

I can't comment on the G&L vs. Fender as I've never been that much of a "strat guy" despite my first guitar being a strat.

As cheesy as it might sound, to me finding a guitar is almost like finding the right woman. Find and play as many different guitars that you like the look of and you'll immediately know which one is "the one". Also, I wouldn't let too many small details sway your decision...sometimes these can lead you away from what may have been "the one"

I used to work in a used gear consignment shop and had the chance to play (and buy) a lot of different guitars none of which I was ever ultimately happy with, but at the time rationalized that it would be the "last one I would ever buy".

It wasn't until I happened upon a particular PRS that when I played it I literally fell in love with it. I have played many guitars since, many twice as much or even twice as "vintage" but nothing has felt as good to me as that PRS. I now only own two guitars, my original strat (for sentimental reasons) and my PRS.

/end sappy guitar nerd diatribe/

Zerosum said...

Can you take it back?
If its got a slightly unsatisfied feeling i would take it back.
However, A friend of mine i havent seen in ages(probly wont again) had a G&L Rampage-a very simple and somewhat complicated in ways it shouldnt be guitar.
It had a Floyd Rose, which i dont have a problem with, however there is one humbucker and a volume knob-simple,
but the floyd rose kinda defeats the "simplicity" aspect for a guitar like that....
Although it felt really good, I loved it.
My friend Colin has a G&L strat, maybe its the same one you have?
Ill have to have him bring it over.

I dont believe that there were as many, or are as many G&L's produced as their are Fenders,
so there may be more time and quality spent on building these.

That nut-I hate plastic nuts, in general i hate stock nuts, some manufacturers put horrible nuts that are almost unusable,cut way to sharp, just so it plays while it sits in the shop waiting to sell, I doubt that G&L does that, but anyway...
I had a nut custom made, he took a piece of bone and shaped it to the guitar and made a nut,
Some people like graphite nuts which *seriously* cuts back on string breakage, I opted to try the bone nut after talking to a few guitar gurus and i like it, pretty much anything is better than the stock nut in some cases.
I did get graphite saddles and probly will continue to get those on future guitars as i havent broken a string since i have had them on there(thats a long freaking time...and yeah the reason that Eric jokes about guitar players not changing their strings because they spend their money on dope is different in this case, i just havent done it because im lazy)

If it feels right keep it, If it still has that slight uncomfortable feeling like you get with that "one sock" that the seam isnt quite right, get rid of it.
However maybe look into a new nut.

I would still like to get a strat, an old broken in nasty strat that has a character unlike others, something that is different from other strats because its well..different in some sort of mystical way..
All ive had are squires(2 of them a long time ago) and i have 2 Fernandes Revolers(super strats with a kickass sustainer system-kinda like having an ebow in your pickup, check em out) in storage.
After a few strats i wanted something a bit more "aesthetically pleasing" and a bit more less traditional and ended up with my BC Rich Virgo with blood drop inlays and changed the pickups,nut,saddles,
tuners and had it decked out.
However its uncomfortable to play at times because the headstock ways more than the body and now im wishing for a strat again...
so ill be down that road in the future seeking out a used strat.

yes guitars are like women-they arent one size fits all and sometimes the wrong size fits better than the size you had in mind...for the strangest reasons..

Muff Wiggler said...

thanks guys, really appreciate all the advice :)

indeed, they are JUST like women, personal preference, and 'fit and feel' is so individual

and i've found with women, for me it's ALWAYS the wrong size that fits :)

with guitars, it's always been a strat shape and feel that works. in this case, i thought i was looking for a fender. Having spent three days in a shop, A/Bing this guitar against every strat in stock, i LOVE this G&L way more, in every way

this guitar was made for ME, i am certain of this

so....after a lot of soul searching, i now own the most perfect guitar i've ever laid my hands on.

it's a G&L legacy, vintage white lacquer, cream pickguard and controls, and maple neck with the hand-rubbed gun-oil finish. Standard G&L dual-fulcrum tremolo, and G&L single coil PU's

i really, really like it a LOT. turns out the perfect strat IS designed by Leo Fender, it's just not sold by the Fender company. I'm a very happy camper today :)