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  1. #1

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    There's a bunch of posts about sub $1000 guitars here and I thought we could help folks who are just thinking about an archtop for the first time.

    Aside from the few mid price range guitars I have, there are a few remarkably well done guitars I bought on the cheap. Owning the two opposite ends of the spectrum gave me an objective look into what sounds great without being over the top expensive.

    Anyone who is looking for a guitar and is on as limited budget can serve themselves well by considering any of these. Note I obtained all of them at less than $500 with HSC's.

    1. Guild / DeArmond X-155. Acoustically one of the best I own, electrically excellent. A nice compliment to my Tal Farlow

    2. Epiphone Joe Pass (Korea) has a fantastic neck and tone out the kazoo. Closest big name is my H575

    3. Harmony 335 with new pups (DiMarzio and Schaller) easily as good as my Heritage Prospect

    4. Epi Casino stands shoulder to shoulder with my ES330L

    5. Aria PE-175 Herb Ellis could substitute for my ES175 in most situations.

    So, what do you folks have that you would consider viable substitutes for more well known archtops?
    Regards,

    Gary

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Yunzi gypsy jazz style archtop. Amazing at only $900.


  4. #3

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    Wow, that one looks charming!

  5. #4

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    Note I obtained all of them at less than $500
    I got most of my guitars within the last years under 500€. Only one surpassed that figure. Got some good unknown European weirdos. Some (not a few) having solid spruce tops and some even hand carved plates. Many turned out as real keepers regardless of being hand carved or laminated... But who cares about old European weirdos.

    The Harmony you mention is a Korean one isn't it? TThe former US made Harmonys are sure bets. Killer guitars though some folks will never admit it. I had a bunch of acoustics, thinlines and full bodies and none was even mediocre. All were good, some excellent. Sadly their prices are rising and rising, but there are still chances of getting real Harmony bargains. Don't skip them.

  6. #5

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    I found this 1960 Guild T-50 on Ebay for $560 a few years ago.



    Its a 16" thinline version of the full body X-50.....sort of the unsung counterpart to GIbson's ES-125T

    Its a great jazz guitar (among other things). Had no expectations......its just surprised me to no end.
    Even though this one went cheap with all the funk and play wear, some much cleaner old "student" Guilds can still be found for very reasonable prices.
    Before it came to me, someone down in South Carolina had played it for years and it shows it.
    I think thats what got my attention in the first place!

    z
    Last edited by zizala; 04-04-2013 at 06:08 AM.

  7. #6

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    I really like my Godin Kingpin. Traded it for an old amp I didn't use plus some money. Total cost - with setup, ebony bridge, new electronics and Bare Knuckles Half-Note P90 - was 500€. Amazing guitar, incredibly versatile.

  8. #7

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    The Phillips Noveau 16 is an outstanding bang for the buck, unfortunately they're no longer produced. You see used ones selling on ebay in the $550-$700 range.

  9. #8

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    The Phillips Noveau 16 is an outstanding bang for the buck, unfortunately they're no longer produced. You see used ones selling on ebay in the $550-$700 range. I agree with jorgemg1984, Godins are quite nice.

  10. #9

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    Hello.
    About six or seven years ago, I bought a Classical Electro-Acoustic Guitar, new, from a company called Gear4Music, for the princely sum of £69 (about $99 US). It plays well and sounds great.


    Your LEAST expensive great sounding/playing guitars-gear4music-classical-electro-acoustic-guitar-jpg



    Music is the key that can open strange rooms in the house of memory.
    Llewelyn Wyn Griffith

  11. #10

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    Another happy Godin Kingpin owner here...the ultimate worry free archtop.

    I own other guitars that I play more, but the truth is, if all I had was the Kingpin, I wouldn't be held back in any way.
    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

  12. #11

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    Well not a guitar, but a few years ago I bought a phenomenal elec bass called "Palmer" for about $250 new. Two pickups, active electronics, vol, balance, bass, mid, treble knobs. Gorgeous natural finish solid mahogany body, super straight full-scale rock maple neck with dark rosewood fingerboard, and NO INLAYS, way cool. Plays like butter, looks great, sounds fabulous for anything from jazz to funk and in between. Through my MarkBass it can't be beat. Sold my Fender in a heartbeat.

    WS
    .

  13. #12

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    I'm surprised that some solid body users - Telecasters and so on - haven't chimed in.

    My favorite "cheapo" - a Washburn Strat knock off with a Seymour Duncan Cool Rails neck pickup. Surprisingly full sound with a good amp. And the neck, though not like a Gibson. is thin, easy to play and fairly fast. Total cost, around $160.

  14. #13

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    Ok, here we go....

    Your LEAST expensive great sounding/playing guitars-dsc00190-480x640-jpg

    This is a Cort/Tanglewood TRG 1 bought second hand. It's designed by Jim Triggs and made in Korea. Maple neck and laminate body plus a few Jazzbow tweaks (VV CC rider, CTS pots and bone nut). It came with a Mighty Mite Humbucker which is fine but I prefer the cut of the CC. All in cost? £400/€470/$607.

    Your LEAST expensive great sounding/playing guitars-sdc11568-640x480-jpg

    Take one 'Phat' orange drop cap

    Your LEAST expensive great sounding/playing guitars-sdc11277-480x640-jpg

    And solder into a bog standard Squier J Mascis Jazzmaster (JMJM) rhythm circuit and you get a passable 'Phat' tone on yer plain 'G'
    Cost? £349/€412/$530 + a few pennies for capacitors & pots.

    I prefer to play the JMJM more as I can go from mellow to blues to rock at a flick of a switch. The neck is a peach.

    But the TRG 1 always brings an 'Ahh!' moment and I'm gone.......
    “When a wise man points at the moon the fool considers the finger.”

  15. #14

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    I bought my Gibson ES 335 with a broken headstock...on ebay for $500. Luckily, I fix guitars...and I now own a guitar that is way above my price bracket. The guy told me his ex stepped on it with high heels. Sexy.

  16. #15

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    My Ibanez AS73, $400 with the case. This one isn't mine, but here's what mine looks like:

    Ibanez.com | Hollow Body Guitars | AS73

    I have the "brown sunburst." An unbelievable value for the money.

  17. #16

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    my old Aria PE-180 [Gibson Super 5 copy] that I got for $600.
    the orig owner had played it to death, frets worn to the board.

    a fret job later and it plays itself, it's my couch guitar and even sounds good acoustically believe it or not.
    I have lots of great high end acoustic archtops, but this is the one I play.

  18. #17

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    Loar LH-350. Plays really good and gets a great tone, for just 700 bucks. Sounds better than many more expensive guitars out there.

  19. #18

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    Your LEAST expensive great sounding/playing guitars-sheraton4-jpg
    I picked up this Epiphone Sheraton 10 years ago and it still sounds great. They're usually 350- 500 used

  20. #19

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    My practice/travel guitar is a Fusion Blues "Villager". It's a pretty rare bird as far as I can tell, however there were other models with f holes that are still hanging around music stores. It plays great, however like many asian guitars the "Chinese Johnny" pickup is a bit weak. Looking to upgrade the pickup soon. I paid $350.00 after seeing it collect dust for several years at a music store in Bakersfield.
    Attached Images Attached Images Your LEAST expensive great sounding/playing guitars-fb400vsb-jpg Your LEAST expensive great sounding/playing guitars-img-20120614-00003-jpg 

  21. #20

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    What kind of strings do you put on your Ibanez?

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzbow View Post
    Ok, here we go....

    Your LEAST expensive great sounding/playing guitars-dsc00190-480x640-jpg

    This is a Cort/Tanglewood TRG 1 bought second hand. It's designed by Jim Triggs and made in Korea. Maple neck and laminate body plus a few Jazzbow tweaks (VV CC rider, CTS pots and bone nut). It came with a Mighty Mite Humbucker which is fine but I prefer the cut of the CC. All in cost? £400/€470/$607............
    But the TRG 1 always brings an 'Ahh!' moment and I'm gone.......
    Well, ya beat me to it. I have the same guitar (in what I like to refer as "Gretsch Orange"), although mine is still entirely stock. (Hmm. Yours appears to have Tanglewood across the headstock, and mine says Cort. I was not aware of these shared models. Hmm.) Bought it back in 2004, used, for $390 (inc. used Gibson 335 case). I'm very, very happy with the Mighty Mite pickup, too, although I gotta say that your mods look very cool!
    I saw it hanging in my local Mom & Pop store back then, walked by... picked it up, thought about it... yup, entirely hollow, nice feel... went and plugged it in. Played for like 30 seconds (I'm usually much, much pickier), and I was immediately in love with the neck and the tone of this baby. WOW. Looked up from my playing at my (entirely too supportive wife), and she's got this look on her face of, Oh, my, that's nice. I played it for another twenty minutes or so—more having fun than anything else—and then I paid for it. Nope, no contest there! What a lucky find.
    Funny, but I was just playing this last night, once again appreciating what a wonderful guitar it is... and up pops this thread.
    Guys, be on the lookout for these TRG 1s. There's usually one up every so often for auction. IIRC, hmm...... yup, there's currently a black one on the 'Bay with a BIN of $400.
    Last edited by ooglybong; 04-06-2013 at 09:10 PM.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by ooglybong View Post
    Well, ya beat me to it. I have the same guitar (in what I like to refer as "Gretsch Orange"), although mine is still entirely stock. (Hmm. Yours appears to have Tanglewood across the headstock, and mine says Cort. I was not aware of these shared models. Hmm.)
    Great guitars indeed. Much respect for South Korean guitars here.

    Did I mention I have 2?Your LEAST expensive great sounding/playing guitars-040-jpg

    The blue one is stock, the gold has tarnished to a silver shade and the rosewood fingerboard has gone black with use. Both are set up with flatwound TI 13's.
    “When a wise man points at the moon the fool considers the finger.”

  24. #23

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    Any thread praising the DeArmond X-155 and X-135 gets my vote! Right on Gnappi...talk about ridiculously priced!










  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzbow View Post
    Great guitars indeed. Much respect for South Korean guitars here.
    Did I mention I have 2?
    The blue one is stock, the gold has tarnished to a silver shade and the rosewood fingerboard has gone black with use. Both are set up with flatwound TI 13's.
    Nice. Kinda like fire and ice. huh?
    I imagine that they now sound rather different with that CC pickup onboard, huh? I've never tried one before. What brand is it?
    And, yeah, Korean guitars are usually quite nicely put together, IMO. (I also have a Cort Neil Zaza signature model solidbody that is simply superb.)
    My "Triggs" is strung with D'A Chrome 12s. Oooh... Now I'll have to go play it some more tonight...

  26. #25

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    In this bad picture there's my Jazz box, which I bought for under €180,00 a couple of years ago:



    Since this picture, I've added a nice pickguard, an A3neck/A2bridge modded Duncan Jazz set, a hi-quality harness and Grover Imperial tuners.

    It's a MIK, an all-maple carved body, sides and neck, rosewood fingerboard copy of a Gibson L-5 CES, branded Tamaki, from mid-90s.

    It sounds wonderful both acoustically and through an amp.
    Last edited by LtKojak; 04-06-2013 at 10:07 AM.
    Pepe aka Lt. Kojak
    Milano, Italy
    https://soundcloud.com/theodore-koja...hy-bro-project
    Hy-Bro Test Sound Files

  27. #26

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    Squier Telecaster, "Affinity" level, made in China cheapo. THE loudest, most in-yo'-face rock'n'roll pickups I have ever heard. Kept in open G for Instant Keef applications, but also produces fairly fiery country/blues/r'n'b tones.

    I was in a studio helping out on a demo and the soundguy pityingly asked me if I wanted to use his Fender instead before hearing it. After I'd done the track, he asked me how much I wanted for it.

    Cost me £80 second hand. For that money, I kept it and will use it for all my non-Jazz stuff.

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by ooglybong View Post
    Nice. Kinda like fire and ice. huh?
    I imagine that they now sound rather different with that CC pickup onboard, huh? I've never tried one before. What brand is it?
    It's a Vintage Vibe CC rider by Pete Biltoft. Do a search on the gizmo section of this forum. A lot of guys here have these. You can swap out the magnets really easily. A great pickup indeed.

    Vintage Vibe Guitars
    “When a wise man points at the moon the fool considers the finger.”

  29. #28

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    Epiphone ES175 copy for £300 notes. Nice beefy tone which compares well with a pupils Herb Ellis model for jazz.
    Also a very old Ibanez AS50 for £500 which is a keeper as the neck is nice and wide for my dinnerplate hands

  30. #29

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    I found a Korean Squier Strat at a flea market, white, used and bumped around. It had a very nice neck, and resonance!!!

    A gig bag and the guitar for $75.00. I went home to get a battery powered amp to test it. Before leaving the house, I plugged in my CS Thinline Strat to get a basic sound reading.

    At the flea mkt. I plugged in the Squier. All p/ups worked, no shorts. The sound was as good as my CS Strat's.

    I offered the guy $60. He said, "c'mon now, I gotta make a living". I said, " it's scratched, dinged, and needs frets".

    He said, "$70 with bag and a strap". I said OK

    New frets $100, and new Fender p/ups, a killer Strat

  31. #30

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    One of my gigging guitars is an Affinity Squier Tele. As stock it was surprisingly good and an excellent way to see if I liked playing jazz on a Tele. My weirdness being what it is, I ended up putting on a Warmoth neck and replacing the pickups with Dimarzio stacked hummers, CTS pots, etc. It sounds very good, even a bit fatter than Ed Bickert before he put in the Gibson bucker. Eventually I want to try a Warmoth semi-hollow body, maybe mahogany and maple...

    At that point, it will be like my great-grandfather's axe that has had three handles and two heads...

  32. #31

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    I can't believe nobody has mentioned Eastman. My AR 403 cost about the same as an off the rack Epiphone and offers incredible quality for the buck. I have more expensive guitars but I could be content if all I had was the Eastman.

  33. #32

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    I'm relieved to find that, over the years, I have made a few good choices judging from the replies mentioned here: Godin 5th Ave, Epi Joe Pass, Epi Sheraton (I much prefer the playability of this over the Ibanez AS103 I tried, although the Ibanez is probably a better guitar), DeArmond X155 (picked up cheap when it was discontinued); but the best bargain of the lot has to be a Yamaha 'Pacifica' (the Tele-like 120 not the 112 Strat copy). Think it cost 170 GBP. I swapped out the Duncan 'designed' pups for Duncan 59s. Lovely little guitar, but hard to find these days.

  34. #33

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    My bargain guitar is this one:



    i bought it from a kid who "needed money for college" for $150. It was the product of an extreme relic'ing project. The original body was painted black over white and heavily sanded/distressed.

    He told me it was originally a MIM Tele, but the neck has a Warmouth logo on it. Super-cool vintage Kluson tuners and awesome Seymour Duncan pickups. I'm not overly fond of the varnished neck with worn fretboard look, but it doesn't affect the playability, so I have left it alone. I replaced the rather heavy ash body with a GFS paulownia body, and it's now very lightweight.

  35. #34

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    A Samick Greg Bennett LaSalle JZ3 I picked up for $250 as NOS with a HSC. Great player with TI Jazz Flats, nicely built.

    Generic image

    Your LEAST expensive great sounding/playing guitars-greg-bennett-lasalle-jz3-1-jpg

    A Squire Tele with a Jazzmaster neck and Jazzmaster neck pickup I got on sale for $200. Bridge pup is meh but it sounds really mellow on the neck pup. Adding an ashtray one of these days.

    Generic image

    Your LEAST expensive great sounding/playing guitars-squire-tele-jazzmaster-neck-jpg

    And my go-to couch guitar is a Godin 5th Ave acoustic. IIRC, I got it on sale with the case and case cover for $490 almost 3 years ago. I plan on adding a DeArmond with a volume "under the PG" pot when they are available as accessories from FMIC.

    Generic image

    Your LEAST expensive great sounding/playing guitars-godin-5th-ave-jpg

    I'd recommend any of these as good instruments for someone looking in the $200-$500 range. Even cheaper used.
    "Talent is a pursued interest; anything that you're willing to practice, you can do." - Bob Ross

  36. #35

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    My Korean Epi Sheraton That I swopped for a Godin Artisan TC.I paid £270 for the Godin.
    I replaced the stock Epi PUs with "Sound of Sin"Classic PAFs.Replaced the pickguard,Bone nut and switch tip.
    The switch tip makes the big difference.Now my favourite guitar.
    Attached Images Attached Images Your LEAST expensive great sounding/playing guitars-001-jpg 

  37. #36

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    My first guitar back in 1997 was proof that low cost could mean quality. My father bought me a Squier Anniversary Strat that to this day I still love. The electronics are very loud (why I never gigged with it), but the neck is perfect. Someday I am going to get an EMG Gilmour electronics set for it. My father still has that guitar hanging in my old bedroom from before I left for the Army. Says whenever he goes in that room (now a guest room) that it makes him smile.

  38. #37

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    Peerless Sunset, used for $480
    Epiphone Broadway; new $700
    Fender Telecaster MIM new, $450

  39. #38

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    Just curious: what kind of (how High) frets did you replace with?

  40. #39

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    Riff 335 copy, made by Samick. Swapped pickups for SH2s. Really good sounding guitar. Nothing too fancy, but it's a solid build. It has supreme sustain. Currently setup with EJ21s, it's got a tone.
    Attached Images Attached Images Your LEAST expensive great sounding/playing guitars-20191012_213412-jpg Your LEAST expensive great sounding/playing guitars-20191012_213225-jpg 

  41. #40

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    I know it's a bump, but here's my big one: https://i.imgur.com/hvuaGtX.jpgOld epi sheraton. This guitar is shockingly good and plays incredibly well. Think you can get 'em for $250 used.

  42. #41

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    The used market is of course rife with opportunities. As for new guitars, a guitar tech outside Helsinki buys cheap Epiphones etc. from web auctions. These typically have a neck damage around the nut. He repairs and sets them up expertly and sells them for 150-200 EUR less than the ordinary street price.

    As for new guitars, Ibanez offers a (too?) wide selection of budget-priced archtops and semis for under and above the 500 EUR mark. I've had a few in the past, and find myself gigging mostly with a Jet Blue AFJ-91. The confusion/controversy around Super 58 PU's of different vintage and origin aside, I'm happy with the one on my guitar and get praise for the tone all the time. Great and stable neck, no structural issues apart from a lousy tailpiece I replaced before it broke.

  43. #42

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    Squier ProTone Fat Tele, purchased new in about 1994 for around $350

  44. #43

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    Ibanez AG75 – bought new in 2002 or 03 when the Artcore series hit the market. I think I paid under 400 €. I retrofitted a wooden bridge a few years later which made the tone more airy and acoustic compared to the original TOM bridge. It's kind of a poor man's George Benson GB10 and as I recently got the real deal I could compare the 2 guitars. The GB10 sure has a more balanced and refined tone (it should as i costs 6 times more) but the AG75 is no slouch, either. I roll back the volume slightly and plug straight into a fender tube amp to get the tone I like.Here it is hiding a bit behind her more expensive sister:
    Attached Images Attached Images Your LEAST expensive great sounding/playing guitars-img_5441-jpg 

  45. #44

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    I've got to include my harley benton on that list. Thomann sells it for about 220€ new. It's a great guitar (and i don't say "for the money"). Attachment 63661The Stock floater sounds fine, but i want to add a cc pickup to make it a poor man's es 150.Here's a Little Demo i did with the guitar. Everything stock:
    (The rhythm-track is the same guitar, just unamplified)Paul

  46. #45

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    A few years ago I got an '05 Squier mini strat. I paid $30 for it and I think the tone is better than my '04 MIM fat strat. The pickups are noticeably louder in the mini.

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdaguitar2 View Post
    Peerless Sunset, used for $480
    Epiphone Broadway; new $700
    Fender Telecaster MIM new, $450
    I paid $650 for my Sunset but I only paid $150 for my mongrel Tele (supposedly a MIM Tele but with SD pickup upgrades and a Warmouth neck) so I think I beat you LOL...

    (I never had a Broadway, but I had a Samick-made Epi JP which was also a marvelous guitar. Paid $400 for it used.)

    The Sunset is my go-to guitar for playing out when I don't want to take my ES-135. It stays in the case most of the time just so I can grab it at a moment's notice to play at my friend and neighbor's. The build quality, looks, playability, and sound are phenomenal.

    Your LEAST expensive great sounding/playing guitars-8d6744a5-3869-432e-a257-49ab16674945-jpeg

    The Tele is my real sleeper. It has an SD Alnico 2 in the neck position, and will get that smooth yet defined Ed Bickert sound with ease. Plus since I changed out the ash body for a GFS Paulownia body, it's not even that heavy. Hard to believe the basic design literally hasn't changed in 67 years--as they say, Leo got it right the first time with this one.

    Your LEAST expensive great sounding/playing guitars-5e407af8-f448-461d-98fe-4c8602db1336-jpg
    Last edited by Doctor Jeff; 10-14-2019 at 12:59 AM.
    “Without music, life would be a mistake”--Friedrich Nietzsche

    Current lineup: Gibson ES-135 ('02), Peerless Sunset, Harmony Brilliant Cutaway ('64), Godin 5th Avenue, Alvarez AC60 A/E classical, Kay K37 ('56), Fender Squier VM Jazz bass, several ukes. Amps: Fishman Artist, Fender SCXD, Pignose 7-100.

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by guavajelly View Post
    Ibanez AG75 – bought new in 2002 or 03 when the Artcore series hit the market. I think I paid under 400 €. I retrofitted a wooden bridge a few years later which made the tone more airy and acoustic compared to the original TOM bridge. It's kind of a poor man's George Benson GB10 and as I recently got the real deal I could compare the 2 guitars. The GB10 sure has a more balanced and refined tone (it should as i costs 6 times more) but the AG75 is no slouch, either. I roll back the volume slightly and plug straight into a fender tube amp to get the tone I like.Here it is hiding a bit behind her more expensive sister:
    I just picked up an Ibanez AF105 with dual humbuckers. I have a couple of 25-1/2" scale archtops, a Triggs San Salvador and a D'Angelico EXL-1, but I finally had to admit I can't manage the scale length. The Ibanez is a "me size" guitar with a smaller body and 24-3/4" scale. The neck is great, kind of reminiscent of an early mid-60s Gibson and the smaller body is very comfortable. But for the life of me I can't tame the excessive brightness, and this is using the neck pickup only. I've lowered the pickup nearly as far as it will go, swapped the tune-o-matic for the included wood bridge, fiddled with the volume and tone controls every which way, and currently have my amp EQ'd a bit on the extreme side for me, with the treble rolled off, the presence nearly all the way down, the mid boost on, and the parametric EQ set to even things out. It's still bright!!! Pity, really, because it's a decent instrument, not a Triggs of course, but eminently playable. I don't think I'm going to replace the pickup – doing so may wind up an exercise in futility. I'll probably just play it a while longer and then return it under the vendor's return policy.

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by buduranus2 View Post
    I just picked up an Ibanez AF105 with dual humbuckers. I have a couple of 25-1/2" scale archtops, a Triggs San Salvador and a D'Angelico EXL-1, but I finally had to admit I can't manage the scale length. The Ibanez is a "me size" guitar with a smaller body and 24-3/4" scale. The neck is great, kind of reminiscent of an early mid-60s Gibson and the smaller body is very comfortable. But for the life of me I can't tame the excessive brightness, and this is using the neck pickup only. I've lowered the pickup nearly as far as it will go, swapped the tune-o-matic for the included wood bridge, fiddled with the volume and tone controls every which way, and currently have my amp EQ'd a bit on the extreme side for me, with the treble rolled off, the presence nearly all the way down, the mid boost on, and the parametric EQ set to even things out. It's still bright!!! Pity, really, because it's a decent instrument, not a Triggs of course, but eminently playable. I don't think I'm going to replace the pickup – doing so may wind up an exercise in futility. I'll probably just play it a while longer and then return it under the vendor's return policy.
    What kind of strings? Nickel flats generally make a big difference. Also, I don’t have any experience with this personally, but some people will change out the caps for a darker tone. But then maybe you’re getting into the “more trouble than it’s worth” category...
    “Without music, life would be a mistake”--Friedrich Nietzsche

    Current lineup: Gibson ES-135 ('02), Peerless Sunset, Harmony Brilliant Cutaway ('64), Godin 5th Avenue, Alvarez AC60 A/E classical, Kay K37 ('56), Fender Squier VM Jazz bass, several ukes. Amps: Fishman Artist, Fender SCXD, Pignose 7-100.

  50. #49

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    I often gig with a Yamaha Pacifica 012. This is a guitar which sold new, with amp, bag, strap and book for $179. Mine has replacement tuners and a Lil 59 in the neck position. I bought it used for $140 with a bag. Impulse purchase and I may have overpaid (it had the new tuners, but I added the Lil 59 later). I did replace the switch and output jack, but that was cheap.

    I like it because the neck is small in every dimension and is therefore easy on my arthritic hands.

    It sounds fine. Overall, I think my Comins GCS-1 sounds better, but that's "overall". In some situations the Yamaha sounds better because the Comins is just a little too dark and I can't dial the darkness out.

    Recently, I posted some clips from a gig where I brought both. I can't tell which is which on the recordings.

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff View Post
    What kind of strings? Nickel flats generally make a big difference. Also, I don’t have any experience with this personally, but some people will change out the caps for a darker tone. But then maybe you’re getting into the “more trouble than it’s worth” category...
    It's got flatwounds on it, as does my Triggs. With no EQ on the amp and no tone control on the guitar the Triggs gives me a sound reminiscent of Tal Farlow. (Please don't misconstrue that I somehow have deluded myself into thinking that I play like Tal Farlow.) A very pleasing "thunk" with a solid focused attack and no sustain to speak of. With the Ibanez I can't get in the ballpark. I know it's not a reasonable comparison, but I've never had such difficulty dialing in a sound I can work with. Like you say, changing the cap might help. It's a very comfy guitar otherwise.