Your cheap guitar that you love and hate

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Aleks
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Your cheap guitar that you love and hate

Postby Aleks » Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:18 pm

Do you have a guitar like that? I have this guitar that is cheap Les Paul copy, but yet the action is great on it, it has chunky neck, chunky body, the neck is really tight fit, well constructed and it has full dark sound even with those cheap pickups and hardware. The things I hate about it - it's black! And also, I hate the fact that I like it. I've put it like three times in the ads, and when people would call to buy it, I would change my mind :lol:

Frank Carvalho
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Re: Your cheap guitar that you love and hate

Postby Frank Carvalho » Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:08 am

Yeah. I have developed a fondness for old japanese copy guitars. I also have a black "jedson" LP copy just like that.
And even worse, my first guitar was a japanese copy of a Melody Maker D, bought new in 1978. I sold it and later regretted it. Found one just like it, in terrible shape. It needs a fret job, and someone did something terrible to the bridge. But it sounds fantastic and some things are easier to play on that instrument than on any other guitar. It's like my fingers grew up on that fretboard, and just know their way around.

/Frank
Vox, Selmer, Yamaha and Leslie amplifiers. Rickenbacker, Epiphone, Ibanez, Washburn, Segovia, Yamaha and Fender guitars. Hammond, Moog, Roland, Korg, Yamaha, Crumar, Ensoniq and Mellotron keyboards. Xubuntu+KXStudio recording setup.

apathity
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Re: Your cheap guitar that you love and hate

Postby apathity » Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:07 am

I have an Epiphone Goth Explorer (only 350$ or something) and I love it a lot. It looks quite used after 3 years of heavy usage. It even has the original mediocre pickups in it but it sounds great. I have played several very expensive vintage Gibson Explorers from 78 at some guys house once but somehow I prefer this very Epiphone model I have. Then there are days where I hate the shape and weight of the Explorer and then somehow I begin to like it again.

lazyklimm
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Re: Your cheap guitar that you love and hate

Postby lazyklimm » Tue Aug 04, 2015 9:47 pm

I don't have any, but there's a Carvin DC135 which is least loved one, since I'm a headless fan now(though it's very-very nice sounding and looking guitar anyway).

bluetypea
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Re: Your cheap guitar that you love and hate

Postby bluetypea » Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:55 pm

:lol: hahaha

i hate my guitar too coz i cant play it well, but i'll always practice so i love it :mrgreen:

bluetypea
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Re: Your cheap guitar that you love and hate

Postby bluetypea » Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:59 pm

i hate my cheap guitar coz cant play it well, but i love it too coz everyday i only play with him. :mrgreen:

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GMaq
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Re: Your cheap guitar that you love and hate

Postby GMaq » Sun Aug 16, 2015 11:54 pm

Hi,

Cool stories so far, That Epi Explorer sounds killer in your guitarix video! And Carvin!? are they still in business?

I bought a yellow "butterscotch" Fender Squier Telecaster in 1984, at that time the Squiers were built in Japan and reportedly the factory had better machining facilities than the American factories at the time. Anyway over the years I've pretty much replaced everything in it including putting a Les Paul mini humbucker in the neck position. Sadly I play a lot tuned down a whole step to D and even C and despite numerous experiments with string guages and tuner heads this guitar has never been able to hold those tunings reliably for gigs so I replaced it with a longer scale baritone Tele which is now my main axe, I'll always have a soft spot for "old yeller" though, we've travelled a lot of years and miles together..

mongrol
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Re: Your cheap guitar that you love and hate

Postby mongrol » Fri Oct 09, 2015 11:41 am

I have an Epiphone acoustic. Cost me 100 pounds brand new in 1989. It was absolutely rubbish straight out of the shop but oddly, has never changed in 25 years, infact, it might actually play better now since I "know it" intimately. You have to tune it for a 3 fret range. Tune at fret 5 and its out at fret 8 or open. It goes camping with me, gets thrown around, sounds like crap and I can whap it like a crazed mutha and it still keeps going. Hate it, will never leave it. :)

My good box is a Tanglewood. Not "Martin" costly but sounds and plays awesome.

ssj71
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Re: Your cheap guitar that you love and hate

Postby ssj71 » Fri Oct 09, 2015 5:23 pm

My first electric was a $35 second hand GTX 23 strat copy. It plays pretty well and I've always loved it, but I've since got a second electric that made me realize the pickups are terrible in the gtx. I'm trying to save up now to put in some lace alumitones. I think it will breathe new life into the ol' girl.
_ssj71

music: https://soundcloud.com/ssj71
My plugins are Infamous! http://ssj71.github.io/infamousPlugins
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sadko4u
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Re: Your cheap guitar that you love and hate

Postby sadko4u » Wed Dec 30, 2015 9:21 am

I've got an ESP LTD M-100FM Guitar made in 2008 (that time it was about $350). This was my second one after the really bad chinese one (that cutted new strings with a bad bridge, had very bad frets and so on).
The original saddles of the bridge have died after 1.5 year of usage and I've replaced them with good ones.
Then I've replaced original pickups with DiMarzio D-Activator X and wired a push-pull mechanism to the tone control.
After some time I've removed the neck, covered the heel of the neck with rosin and bolt-on neck again.
It has very good frets and the licensed ESP floyd good (not perfectly, but good) holds the tune, the playing is very comfortable. The sound is a bit bassy, but when you switch to the clean tone and single mode...
Currently I still use guitar for playing and recording (one man noticed that my basswood guitar sounded for him like mahogany in the mix) and I really like it.
LSP (Linux Studio Plugins) Developer and Maintainer.

Broomy
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Re: Your cheap guitar that you love and hate

Postby Broomy » Wed Dec 30, 2015 10:51 am

I think the biggest problem with cheap guitars is the setup, the days that frets are out of tune, hardware malfunctions are past times.
I've recently bought the cheapest acoustic baritone guitar out there (Alvarez ABT-60) and converted it to my liking:
- Flatwound strings
- All Fifths Tuning (Low C (one step above low B of five string bass) to B of a regular guitar)
And made a simple pickup to electrify it.

Besides these modification I had to lower the nut and bridge. The bridge is set a hair to far away from the fretboard (probably to compensate the high action, which results in sharp notes when a string is fretted), which is something to be dealt with in time (for now I've put two sewing needles on the right spot to act as a bridge...).
I've made two soundclips, here and here

All and all I'm happy with the result and love playing it.

Hans
The Quintar Project:
- Popularizing an all fifths tuning for guitarlike instruments
- Youtube: Playing and Building
- Files: Sourceforge

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GMaq
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Re: Your cheap guitar that you love and hate

Postby GMaq » Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:16 pm

Hi Broomy,

I missed this post before, glad I found it!

Love the soundclips, you are a very impressive player and that combo of the Guitar, C 5ths Tuning and your homespun pickup sound great! Very cool! The walking bass with your thumb really swings and in that tuning it actually sounds like a bass.. :D

I'm a Baritone player also and play tuned to B and C (regular intervals), and I've often wondered about the quality of ABT-60 as it would be nice to have an acoustic baritone as well. Can you comment more on your impressions of the ABT-60 now that you've had it for a while?

Broomy
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Re: Your cheap guitar that you love and hate

Postby Broomy » Thu Jan 21, 2016 5:55 pm

GMaq wrote:Hi Broomy,

I missed this post before, glad I found it!

Love the soundclips, you are a very impressive player and that combo of the Guitar, C 5ths Tuning and your homespun pickup sound great! Very cool! The walking bass with your thumb really swings and in that tuning it actually sounds like a bass.. :D

I'm a Baritone player also and play tuned to B and C (regular intervals), and I've often wondered about the quality of ABT-60 as it would be nice to have an acoustic baritone as well. Can you comment more on your impressions of the ABT-60 now that you've had it for a while?


Thanks Gmaq for you kind response.

Regarding the ABT-60: I think you get a good value for the money, the sound is good and technically it's a fine instrument. There where four things which I have to note:
1. the frets were a bit rough on the beveled sides, but this was more a visual thing.
2. The action was too high, both at the nut and at the bridge, so you have to be willing to sand both down a bit
3. The bridge was set a bit too far off, resulting in a slightly flat intonation. I made a brand new custom build bridge saddle out of a, well ehh... a piece of string and bamboo skewer. Bit rough and dirty but it works fine. :roll:
4. The body is a kind of heavily braced. Advantage is that the instrument is strong, downside is that the tone may lack a bit "life" (this is always the fine equilibrium of an ideal instrument: strong enough to hold the tension, light enough to resonate). For me this was an advantage because for the All Fifths Tuning needs a bit more tension to work because of the low string.

I bought the fully-acoustic version, because I build the pickup myself, which is good sounding and cheap (around 10 dollars all in), this saved about $120,-.

If needed, I happily provide more info.

Do you have some Bariton recordings on the net?

Hans
The Quintar Project:
- Popularizing an all fifths tuning for guitarlike instruments
- Youtube: Playing and Building
- Files: Sourceforge

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GMaq
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Re: Your cheap guitar that you love and hate

Postby GMaq » Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:02 pm

Broomy wrote:
GMaq wrote:Hi Broomy,

I missed this post before, glad I found it!

Love the soundclips, you are a very impressive player and that combo of the Guitar, C 5ths Tuning and your homespun pickup sound great! Very cool! The walking bass with your thumb really swings and in that tuning it actually sounds like a bass.. :D

I'm a Baritone player also and play tuned to B and C (regular intervals), and I've often wondered about the quality of ABT-60 as it would be nice to have an acoustic baritone as well. Can you comment more on your impressions of the ABT-60 now that you've had it for a while?


Thanks Gmaq for you kind response.

Regarding the ABT-60: I think you get a good value for the money, the sound is good and technically it's a fine instrument. There where four things which I have to note:
1. the frets were a bit rough on the beveled sides, but this was more a visual thing.
2. The action was too high, both at the nut and at the bridge, so you have to be willing to sand both down a bit
3. The bridge was set a bit too far off, resulting in a slightly flat intonation. I made a brand new custom build bridge saddle out of a, well ehh... a piece of string and bamboo skewer. Bit rough and dirty but it works fine. :roll:
4. The body is a kind of heavily braced. Advantage is that the instrument is strong, downside is that the tone may lack a bit "life" (this is always the fine equilibrium of an ideal instrument: strong enough to hold the tension, light enough to resonate). For me this was an advantage because for the All Fifths Tuning needs a bit more tension to work because of the low string.

I bought the fully-acoustic version, because I build the pickup myself, which is good sounding and cheap (around 10 dollars all in), this saved about $120,-.

If needed, I happily provide more info.

Do you have some Bariton recordings on the net?

Hans


Hi!

Thanks for the info, it pretty much is what I expected and echoes what some online reviews also say. It is quite reasonably priced so I'm glad to hear that it is well braced . As you said the tension of larger gauge strings has to be taken into account..
I'm curious what are the gauges of the strings you've chosen?

As far as baritone stuff on the net. I just released an EP this past November and the whole EP was done with a baritone Fender telecaster tuned to C . My guess is it may not be your kind of music but here it is FWIW:
https://soundcloud.com/rated-blue/sets

Broomy
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Re: Your cheap guitar that you love and hate

Postby Broomy » Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:57 pm

GMaq wrote:As far as baritone stuff on the net. I just released an EP this past November and the whole EP was done with a baritone Fender telecaster tuned to C . My guess is it may not be your kind of music but here it is FWIW:
https://soundcloud.com/rated-blue/sets

All right, first things first: You can call me any moment for some go' ol' blues. :o
I like it man!

About stringlengths:
Theoretical between two strings tuned a fifth apart the highest string should have a gauge of 2/3 of the lowest string gauge.
Practical the strings should decrease a bit faster because bass strings need more tension then treble strings to get an even feel.
As a rule of thumb I use the golden ratio (0,618) as the factor between two strings.
On my acoustic I start with the thickest roundwound available (0.135 I think it is) and then downwards. The highest string is 0.013.
The instrument is tuned a low C (one octave lower then a bariton C) up to a b (same as a guitar b).

Hans
The Quintar Project:
- Popularizing an all fifths tuning for guitarlike instruments
- Youtube: Playing and Building
- Files: Sourceforge


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