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  1. #1

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    Hey friends, i just joined the forum. I want to ask you guys a one important question. I am going to buy a new guitar for jazz. I am not a new guitar player, i am playing guitar for 5-6 years but i am new for the playing jazz. So i searched on the internet and found some guitars.
    1) Gretsch Streamliner G2420 485 € ( 543 $ )
    2) Epiphone Wildkat 398 € ( 446 $ )
    3) Epiphone Casino Coupe 449 € ( 503 $ )
    4) Epiphone Emperor Swingster TO 449 € ( 503 $ )
    5) Epiphone ES-339 PRO 455 € ( 509 $ )
    I can't decide which one should i buy, so i would be happy if you give me some advice.
    Thank you guys already.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    You can play jazz on any guitar. For example, there is lots of love for Telecasters here.
    Build bridges, not walls.

  4. #3

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    Only very rarely, jazz players use guitars with vibrato systems. So that leaves the Casino and ES-339 as more traditionally suited for jazz. I have an Epiphone Emperor Joe Pass Pro II and an Epiphone ES-175 Premium both are suitable for jazz with their hollow single cutaway bodies. You should also look at Ibanez and Yamaha brands for affordable jazz "boxes". Youtube is your friend.
    -----------------------------------

    "The instrument keeps me humble. Sometimes I pick it up and it seems to say, "No, you can't play today." I keep at it anyway, though." Jim Hall

  5. #4

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    I wouldn't choose any one of those guitars for jazz for the prices given. Spend some time finding out what really makes a guitar good for jazz, not just what looks jazzy.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    I wouldn't choose any one of those guitars for jazz for the prices given. Spend some time finding out what really makes a guitar good for jazz, not just what looks jazzy.
    Thank you for your reply and i am open for any suggestions.

  7. #6

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    gretsch streamliner g2420 is great bang for the buck...very nice quality control on those...full hollow.with more paf than typical gretsch filtertron style pups..

    really good sounding nice playing guitar for the money


    other, i'd choose is the casino coupe...slightly smaller version of the casino...a full hollow thinbody with p-90's...whats not to like?..the grant green tone!


    wildkat and 339 are semi hollows...eh...heavy and not too resonant..esp the wildkat

    swingster is an epi joe pass with import bigsby and some gretsch wannabee looks...stick with the real thing

    cheers

  8. #7

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    Pretty different guitars... it is important to know what's your preference.

    I personally would either go for an archtop with single (preferable floating pickup), or - quite the opposite - a Tele with singles.

    All these double pickups bigsby stuff are only unecessary extra weight imfo.

  9. #8

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    Best regards, k

  10. #9

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    As noted above, lots of guitars can be used to play jazz. Part of that is how the guitar feels when you play it.

    However, as my suggestions, I have both a Tele [many great jazz guitarist use one] and an ES 339. I like them both since they sound good to me and feel very comfortable when playing. I'm not great on guitar [awful, actually] but these are the ones I settled on.

    Good luck with your selection and welcome to the group.

  11. #10

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    Welcome!
    There’s no such thing as a jazz guitar. Who are the players whose playing and tone you most admire and want to emulate? Find out what types of guitars and amps they typically use. You might not be able to afford what they’ve got (e.g., if it’s a Gibson L-5), but people on this forum can help suggest affordable instruments that might get you in the ballpark.

  12. #11

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    How much would an Epiphone ES-175 run?
    Build bridges, not walls.

  13. #12

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    Te best guitar is the one you bond with. Me personally, I’d go with the Epiphone Casino Coupe (which I ALMOST bought before I got my Godin) or the 339 Pro, but that’s because I’m not a Bigsby fan. If you like the Bigsby, that Emporer Swingster looks very intriguing. I’m not a Gretsch guy, but there’s nothing wrong about them. They just don’t seem to fit right as I play them.

    But I’m not the one buying, you are. So you need to find a way to play some of these, if that’s possible where you live, and make an informed decision.
    Redeemed, Husband, Father, Veteran. Thankful for all four!

    I play a customized Godin 5th Avenue, Córdoba GK Studio, and a Hamer Korina. I also play a Kala uBass on occasion

  14. #13

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    I have something a little controversial to say,

    Some of you know that I'm leaving LA. Well, today I finally had the chance to visit Norm's Vintage Guitars. I've been to Mandolin Bro's in Staten Island, Rudy's in Manhattan, and my favorite, Guitars n' Jazz in New Jersey. Norm's was interesting. They are really about their Youtube presence. While I was at the shop, they filmed two guys playing different guitars. I thought it was cool, the whole promoting the shop, the guitar, and the player (people off the street to actual pro's). I didn't like that everyone else had to be quiet, and it interrupted my acquaintance with an old Epi Regent.

    Anyway, on to the controversy. I tried some Gibby's, two Heritages, and a Guild. I also tried two Eastmans, just for the hell of it. I have an Eastman, so I thought, I guess I'll try them out to see how the company is doing. I tried a Pisano and one of their lower end archtops.

    I was expecting to LOVE the Gibby's, the Heritages, and the Guild. I was expecting to be really jealous of people who could afford those guitars (hey, there's always the Lotto!)

    I actually liked the cheapest Eastman I played the best. It was used and under 1K.

    One thing is for certain, and I can't hide it anymore... I HATE flatwounds... Yikes, that was hard to say They just don't bring out the characteristics I love in a guitar--warmth, sustain, and dimension. Granted, this is all my opinion.

    I thought that the Gibby's (a Johnny Smith, a 175, and what looked like an ES-150--without CC pups, why?) sounded dead--even with round wounds.

    This isn't to say these guitars are bad. They are unquestionably iconic. However, they don't fit the sound that I'm chasing.

    I love my Eastman 803 because I've "grown up" with it, fixed it, and modded it to my own liking. Even with my Eastman, I can get those sounds that I've always loved of Wes, Grant Green, Howard Alden, and Peter Berstein.

    All that is to say, you have to go to a guitar store and actually try out guitars. What you like, others may hate. Some perspective is needed. You mentioned Gretsch. A lot of great jazz guitarists in the 50s actually played Gretsch Guitars. For instance, my new favorite guitarist, Billy Bean, played a Gretsch. Listen to Billy Bean's tone and playing, he did that on a Gretsch.

    Even within the past 15 years, guitar makers in China, Korea, and elsewhere are making archtops that are giving the big names a run for their money.

    If I had the money these days, I'd get a top Luthier to make me a custom guitar... One can dream, can't he?

    Remember, this is all opinion. Everyone has different tastes. That's why you gotta try before ya buy.

  15. #14

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    yeah man!

    billy b w gretsch



    cheers

  16. #15

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    How about this:



    Granted, it's a repro

    Still cool!

  17. #16

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    I hope I didn't piss too many people off with my initial post on this thread. Maybe I played a bad batch, or maybe my ear is attuned to my own guitar. I was just really surprised that I didn't prefer the Gibsons, Guilds, or even the Heritages that I played.

    One huge caveat. For the archtops built across the seas in the Far East, the electronics suck! I had to replace everything in my Eastman, pots, caps, pups, everything.

  18. #17

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    I don’t see why anyone would object to saying which guitars you prefer. That’s just a matter of taste.

  19. #18

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    The 339 is a good and versatile choice. You can do anything with that guitar. Epiphone has improved the pickups in the 339 Pro models and it has coil tapping available also.

  20. #19

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    80% of success is just showing up...with a guitar in hand. Try not to overthink this: the Epi ES-339 Pro looks like a fine guitar for jazz. Sits well in the lap, small and portable, plays well, sounds very good.

    Set it up right.
    Great Deals with Great Folks: max52 (Guild-Benedetto Artist Award); prickards (Ribbecke GC Halfling); Cincy2 (Comins Concert)

  21. #20
    For jazz, most players choose either a hollow body (for authentic, old fashioned mainstream tone), or a semi hollow guitar (for more modern styles and more versatility). So that's one first decision to make. Then look at guitars. On your price range I'd look at the used market for much better value. Personally I prefer Ibanez for budget jazz guitars, but also gretsch is good value, Godin and the full follow bodies from Epiphone

  22. #21

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    According to your price range, look at Ibanez and nothing else.

  23. #22

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    I agree with the notion of getting a hollowbody box if you are mainly interested in jazz guitar from last century.

  24. #23

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    The guitars you listed don't all have the same scale length. And, they certainly don't have the same neck dimensions.

    So, a fundamental issue is which ones feel comfortable in your hand?

    My experience is that most 25.5 guitars feel too big, but there are exceptions, if the other neck dimensions are small enough.

    So, you can narrow down the field by figuring out which ones feel best.

    Beyond that, my only suggestion is to get a 30 day or more return privilege when you buy. It's really hard to tell from a tryout in a store whether you're going to like the guitar.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    My experience is that most 25.5 guitars feel too big, but there are exceptions, if the other neck dimensions are small enough.
    Please explain.

    Albert

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKA View Post
    Please explain.

    Albert
    Scale length is the length of the vibrating string. Bridge to nut. Some guitars are longer than others.

    Of the ones the OP listed, some are 25.5 inches and some are 24 3/4. That means the frets are a little further apart on the first one. Players can feel that.

    The other dimensions of the neck -- every which way you can measure it -- also vary. The width the fingerboard, the neck front to back, etc etc. They all feel different.

    Great players have used every kind of guitar. They don't all sound or feel the same.

  27. #26

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    Thanks. More specifically I was referring to your observation that 25.5” scale length guitars may feel “too big”. In your reference are you referring to the fret spacing?

    Albert

    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    Scale length is the length of the vibrating string. Bridge to nut. Some guitars are longer than others.

    Of the ones the OP listed, some are 25.5 inches and some are 24 3/4. That means the frets are a little further apart on the first one. Players can feel that.

    The other dimensions of the neck -- every which way you can measure it -- also vary. The width the fingerboard, the neck front to back, etc etc. They all feel different.

    Great players have used every kind of guitar. They don't all sound or feel the same.

  28. #27

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    I have an Epi 339 and with the right amp setting, I can get a very nice tone. It's also great for rock and blues as well. I'm looking at an Ibanez also....then, no more electrics.

    I think you'' find more versatility in the semi-hollows.

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by sorcues View Post
    Hey friends, i just joined the forum. I want to ask you guys a one important question. I am going to buy a new guitar for jazz. I am not a new guitar player, i am playing guitar for 5-6 years but i am new for the playing jazz. So i searched on the internet and found some guitars.
    1) Gretsch Streamliner G2420 485 € ( 543 $ )
    2) Epiphone Wildkat 398 € ( 446 $ )
    3) Epiphone Casino Coupe 449 € ( 503 $ )
    4) Epiphone Emperor Swingster TO 449 € ( 503 $ )
    5) Epiphone ES-339 PRO 455 € ( 509 $ )
    I can't decide which one should i buy, so i would be happy if you give me some advice.
    Thank you guys already.
    Whose playing do you like?

  30. #29

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    I think it's all about 1) ease of playing 2) a mellow tonal quality. Maybe the guitar you currently play provides these already - ?

    After a lot of years and way too many guitars - archtops, solid bodies, the works - I am very happy performing with a Cordoba nylon-string electric-acoustic, which I play with a pick.

    It is a jazz guitar, because I play jazz on it!

  31. #30

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    Of the five, I currently own the Gretsch and the 339. The 339's neck shrunk and twisted within three months. I regret that because I've been loyal to Epiphone for fifty years (and I'm not kidding). But I'm done with them. I wish I had that '68 Howard Roberts though. Or even the Sorrento. Anyway, the Gretsch plays far above its price and it's a keeper. I've had it for two years. The neck is beefy and hasn't moved a smidge. Get the Gretsch. You'll be playing like Van Epps in no time The Ibanez AFJ 91 or 95 which I own is also very good. And, to feel young, this monring I played a very tasteful "Moonlight in Vermont" on my Schecter Omen (not kidding)!

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBear View Post
    I have an Epi 339 and with the right amp setting, I can get a very nice tone. It's also great for rock and blues as well. I'm looking at an Ibanez also....then, no more electrics.

    I think you'' find more versatility in the semi-hollows.
    Here's a couple of real nice jazz demoes on a 339:


  33. #32

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    Well the good news is that the OP got overwhelmed and decided to stick with his Ibanez Steve Vai model, and the bad news is that the thread will probably keep going....

  34. #33

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    OK, so strictly as an observer, (fighting not to buy something before I have any clue at all), I'll keep this going with a question of my own ...
    I saw one post that mentioned Godin.
    From a sound, playability, quality of build, and 'bang for the buck' perspective; where do they fit in the scheme of it all ... ?

    ~ Paul

  35. #34

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    To the string lenght conversation... string length affects tone. All other things equal, longer = brighter, the upper harmonic overtones ring out more..
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  36. #35

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    "From a sound, playability, quality of build, and 'bang for the buck' perspective; where do they fit in the scheme of it all ... ?"

    While this is a sincere question, the problem is, there is no scheme. There is no graph where one can plot various guitars and then try and determine from the graph that a particular guitar is better suited far a particular player for a particular genre of music. There are just too many variables. Learn how to play on what you have first, and over time you'll understand better for yourself what "ticks all the boxes for you" in terms of what you want in an instrument.

    Or you can just get a 335 and be done with it. (See the 335 thread.)

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwparker View Post
    " ... There are just too many variables. Learn how to play on what you have first, and over time you'll understand better for yourself what "ticks all the boxes for you" in terms of what you want in an instrument.

    Or you can just get a 335 and be done with it. (See the 335 thread.)”
    Thank you ... and fair enough. Although I’m not sure giving a toddler the keys to a Rolls Royce is the approach I’ll be taking ...

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ludere View Post
    OK, so strictly as an observer, (fighting not to buy something before I have any clue at all), I'll keep this going with a question of my own ...
    I saw one post that mentioned Godin.
    From a sound, playability, quality of build, and 'bang for the buck' perspective; where do they fit in the scheme of it all ... ?

    ~ Paul
    Way better than anything in the OP, that's where.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    Way better than anything in the OP, that's where.
    Duly noted.
    From my research and listening, that was my suspicion, but I am working with little to no personal point of reference regarding hollowbody electrics.
    Thank you, Sir.
    ~ Paul

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    Beyond that, my only suggestion is to get a 30 day or more return privilege when you buy. It's really hard to tell from a tryout in a store whether you're going to like the guitar.
    +1

    It's also hard to really tell how good a guitar is if the guitar isn't set up correctly. I have a Howard Roberts Fusion III and when I first picked it up I almost set it back down. The setup was really bad. On a whim I plugged it and and it sounded so good I took a chance on it and bought it. I got home and set it up and took it to my teacher who tweaked the set up just a hair and he said it was the best one of that model he'd ever played. It sounds great too.