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  1. #401

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    Quote Originally Posted by DB's Jazz Guitar Blog View Post

    And in the end it's always the player and never the instrument. Never.

    Just my opinion.

    DB
    I'm glad that someone who is respected here on the JGF is saying that. I've said it before, you can have a premium instrument and still sound lousy. I'll take myself, for instance. My Eastman isn't top of the line, but it isn't entry level. Well, last night at a jam session this kid shows up with an Ibanez Artcore and a ZT lunchbox. I thought, okay--how's he gonna be heard above everyone else. BOY, was I wrong. He had the best guitar tone, and the most exciting playing of the night. I'm talking Wes Montgomery/Bruce Foreman kinda playing--no joke! An Artcore isn't a bad guitar, but it ain't a GB10 or a Tal Farlow. But he made it sound like BUTTAH, like I was listening to an old record with new ideas.

    If I could afford it, I'd get that Benne on sale right now. But the guitar will never make the player. The sound has to come from within (not so hippy dippy bs, I mean you have to hear it in your head and know how to actualize it with your fingers). DB would still sound like DB on an Epi (they still make great guitars). Reg would still sound like Reg on a Godin (I've heard Jeffy B play them--so I know what they are capable of).

    Gear is great--but it's never a magic pill... unfortunately.

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  3. #402

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    I'm glad that someone who is respected here on the JGF is saying that. I've said it before, you can have a premium instrument and still sound lousy. I'll take myself, for instance. My Eastman isn't top of the line, but it isn't entry level. Well, last night at a jam session this kid shows up with an Ibanez Artcore and a ZT lunchbox. I thought, okay--how's he gonna be heard above everyone else. BOY, was I wrong. He had the best guitar tone, and the most exciting playing of the night. I'm talking Wes Montgomery/Bruce Foreman kinda playing--no joke! An Artcore isn't a bad guitar, but it ain't a GB10 or a Tal Farlow. But he made it sound like BUTTAH, like I was listening to an old record with new ideas.

    If I could afford it, I'd get that Benne on sale right now. But the guitar will never make the player. The sound has to come from within (not so hippy dippy bs, I mean you have to hear it in your head and know how to actualize it with your fingers). DB would still sound like DB on an Epi (they still make great guitars). Reg would still sound like Reg on a Godin (I've heard Jeffy B play them--so I know what they are capable of).

    Gear is great--but it's never a magic pill... unfortunately.
    All quite true, but also bear in mind that a great instrument can inspire a player to play his/her best whereas a mediocre instrument may not, and also a poor instrument (or even a great instrument with a poor setup) can hamper a great player's playing.

    Gear is no magic pill, but it is still a seriously important part of the equation.
    _____________________________________________
    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass

  4. #403

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    Strings, that's a huge part too--knowing how to setup the instrument to make it speak best for your playing.

    You can have a stellar instrument and a shit setup. That guitarist I heard last night with the Artcore? I spoke to him thereafter. He plays with an 18 and a 15 for his B and E strings, and he played through a Quilter pre-amp to a ZT (I've never seen this type of amp setup before--like I said, it was loud). I thought you couldn't run strings that heavy on an Asian made guitar--I'm still scared of running a 14 on my high E (but I love the sound) because of the neck stability.

    I still want a Bennedetto, but I think I'd still spend the money on lessons and forgo getting a new archie... at least for the next...um...20 years

  5. #404

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    Irez87,

    IDK, some of the MIJ guitars have the most rock-solid necks, as you suggest. I have never had a problem with big strings on an Aria or Ibanez.

    Great observation about the value of lessons. Everything sounds better when you play good lines.

  6. #405

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    I have mixed feelings about this issue.

    I have heard a great player (a name you'd know) sound absolutely like himself on my Yamaha Cheapie and a Yamaha Silent nylon.
    Not the same tone as his usual extremely expensive instrument, but sounding great. So, I sort of think that any humbucker guitar, set up properly, is likely to sound reasonably good, at least up to the high D or so. (The last octave on the high E string seems to vary more among guitars).

    At some point, I'm going to make a recording of several different guitars, including that Yamaha cheapie and a boutique archtop. My guess is that people may be able to tell which is which, but that not everybody will like the expensive instruments better.

    Now, on the other side of the argument, I've never heard Wes' tone come out of anything other than an L5.

    For me, inspiration comes when the guitar sounds and feels like I think it should. At that point, I can forget about the gear and focus on the music. That's happened with my Yamaha Cheapie and with more expensive guitars.
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 06-25-2019 at 02:56 AM.

  7. #406

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    Perfect Jazz guitar?-img_20190206_200214-jpg
    Hi ! This is my Gibson Solid Formed 17" Venetian Cutaway. My favorite jazzbox. It's a ES175 1959 neck in mahogany, a L5 body but more lightweight and resonant, a Jonnhy Smith pickup. For the record the solid formed is a 25.5 scale and not 24.75... This was a mistake even in the gibson describe section. Ununderstandable ! But I assure you. It's a gorgeous guitar with a marvelous acoustic sound. The pick is a little bright for me but the tone button is really efficient. So it's my favorite jazzbox with a 25.5 scale and maybe the best I've ever had especially for low volume ! The only real issue for this guitar is to play loud for concert...The feedback is really inconvenient. But I love this guitar which by the way is a mysterious model with an inappropriate name... so weird to call it that way, and somehow a kind of commercial flop ! But when you have the guitar in your arms, the carved or press wood and the name, you don't care, because it sings so marvelously nice... And it's a beauty ! In my opinion, this guitar which is I think a commercial failure, is going to have its reputation growing and growing over time. Because if you meet it, you'll be captivated ! Love this Gibson SF ! My second choice, is my gorgeous ES175 VOS 1959, and last but not least my wonderful Yamaha SA2200 more a 335 like, but so versatile ! And to be fair I have to talk about an other wonderful jazz guitar which is of course the telecaster... I own a wonderfull Maybach Teleman T54, much better than all the fender including custom shop and masterbuilt I've ever tried. With Amber handmade pickups (like the original telecasters) and sugar pine body (like the original fenders !), it sounds great for jazz and so more. Also a wonderfull jazz guitar !
    Last edited by Zzapata; 06-28-2019 at 01:01 AM.

  8. #407

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    Perfect jazz guitar? The next one I purchase...
    "Talent is a pursued interest; anything that you're willing to practice, you can do." - Bob Ross

  9. #408

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    Perfect Jazz guitar?-kala-0-jpg
    "Thanks, but you should have heard what I was trying to play!" - T. Monk
    http://network.online.berklee.edu/profile/1200078

  10. #409

  11. #410

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alter View Post
    Perfect Jazz guitar?-l5sigfront1-jpg
    oooo that's nice Alter
    what is that ? What scale ?

  12. #411
    not mine Just chiming in on the thread, it's a random Gibson L5 pic from the net! Not so easy to find one of these left handed for a normal price where I live.

    I would put a 175 next to it though, for a gigging jazz musician..!

  13. #412

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    Normal size L5 huh ?

    Ok it looked smaller , sorry
    I'd kinda like a smaller L5 with a shorter scale

  14. #413

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    I believe the blonde L5 shown on the white leather sofa above _is_ an unusually short-scale version. Here is the normal L5-CES Wes:
    Perfect Jazz guitar?-l5-wes-jpg
    Notice the difference between the two pictures as to the distances from the tailpiece and the bridge, and the bridge and its relationship to the f-holes?

  15. #414

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    Good I wasn't seeing things ....

    i would like one of those !

  16. #415

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    The guitar must've been made by the Custom Shop to be like one of Lee Ritenour's personal guitars. Here is one of his personal L5 Lee Ritenour 15" that had the old-style tailpiece (not fingers) and set pickups. Notice the similarities with the nice, blonde sofa guitar that was posted.
    Perfect Jazz guitar?-l5-rit-jpg

  17. #416

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    I have played many archtop but the most versatile and best sounding jazz guitar I've ever played was a Chinese made Tele with a fake peavey logo on it!.
    It was my friends guitar which he bought it for INR 8000 new. 115 us dollar today. It was probably more than 10 years ago. I put 11 earnieball round wound on it. It has a humbuker neck, but it sounded more like a mini bucket.
    I even record a simple jazz blues. I wish I could upload the sound. But it's in my Computer..and I'm a noob here and dont know how to upload audio at the moment.
    I do know how to upload YouTube ved tho. Lol

  18. #417

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    Quote Originally Posted by gravyTrain View Post
    I don't think it is possible to have a perfect jazz guitar, and here's why.

    Regardless, I love the Gibson ES-137, and intend to get one, but I'll bet it's not even close to the best sounding jazz guitar out there; but I like it, and when everything is all said and done -- isn't that all that matters?
    That is interesting to me because one of the guitars that stands out to me as overpriced rubbish the past 10 years is the 137. I have repeatedly tried them in shops not wanting to believe how poor and uneven the quality is and repeatedly I see a model built with an embarrassing lack of care. So I am glad to hear that you are liking them, but I wonder where you are finding these gems.

    I see the 137 as a reduced cost 135, which was a surprisingly well built guitar in the 90's and early 00's.

    That said, a good used 135 is a bargain in the $800-1500 price range. And it is a versatile guitar. It handles club rock volumes just fine. String it with .011's and it will be quite responsive to touch dynamics...not as much as a carved archtop, but more than most solid bodies.

    But with Gibson's, I'd only purchase an older axe that I have play tested. The brand name only means more $$ than a comparable axe from another brand (e.g., Guild, Yamaha) and it certainly has no relationship at all to quality expectations.

    My $.02.

  19. #418

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    [QUOTE=benrosow;970870]That is interesting to me because one of the guitars that stands out to me as overpriced rubbish the past 10 years is the 137. I have repeatedly tried them in shops not wanting to believe how poor and uneven the quality is and repeatedly I see a model built with an embarrassing lack of care. So I am glad to hear that you are liking them, but I wonder where you are finding these gems.

    I see the 137 as a reduced cost 135, which was a surprisingly well built guitar in the 90's and early 00's.

    That said, a good used 135 is a bargain in the $800-1500 price range. And it is a versatile guitar. It handles club rock volumes just fine. String it with .011's and it will be quite responsive to touch dynamics...not as much as a carved archtop, but more than most solid bodies.


    Does the 135 have the sustain and tuning stability of the 137 and get a deeper tone in your opinion on neck PU ?

  20. #419

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    Aside from the 137 seeming to be a later version of the 135 to a reduced price point, they "should" be about the same in construction. They both come in various P/U and bridge configurations so the variations within one model are probably greater than those between the models. e.g., My 135 has P100 stacked humbuckers where others have P90's or PAF types. They all have a big fat solid block from heel to end pin like a 335, but deeper since the body is deeper. I like the geometry of the guitar very much. But I think the sound of an apples to apples 137 vs 135 should be about the same, general quality issues aside. Less sustain than a Les Paul, but more resonance and greater response to pick attack. More sustain than a 175 but less picking dynamics and greater feedback resistance. I would not expect the neck P/U to be deeper or bassier on a 135 than a 137.

    For your 137, just make sure you play test it first and, if it passes inspection, then go for it. But I would not ever buy one off the web because I have seen too many junk examples. The 135's between '95 and '05 are more reliably of good quality.

  21. #420

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    If only two. Gibson 175 and Gibson 335. I like my old Ibanez Johnnie Smith and reissue Gretsch synchromatic. They don’t really do it for me, but they are great chordal chunka chunkas.
    Gibson 175, 335, 355, SG , Les Paul, Chet Atkins. Plus a few others.

  22. #421

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    Take a "short neck" 330, put only one P90 in neck position, add one inch to the body depth, give it a beefy mahogany neck and also mahogany back and sides. Color it blonde or sunset burst.
    I'll certainly buy it.

  23. #422

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tatayoyo View Post
    Take a "short neck" 330, put only one P90 in neck position, add one inch to the body depth, give it a beefy mahogany neck and also mahogany back and sides. Color it blonde or sunset burst.
    I'll certainly buy it.
    A 50's ES175 might get you close. But no Mahogany backs, unfortunately.


  24. #423

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheThunder View Post
    In your opinion, what would you describe as the best all around jazz guitar, either currently produced or out-of-production, and what makes it so amazing.

    just for fun

    Thunder
    For me - my '06 Gibson ES-175 with '57 Classics. Looks great, plays great, feels great, sounds great. A keeper.
    Best regards, k

  25. #424

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    Gibson got very close to perfection at least three times: ES-175, ES-350 (original style, before short-scale and PAFs), and the L5-CES.

    I realize that one has a shorter scale, but it is SUCH a sweet jazz guitar. I played one for 30 years, for goodness' sake. At this point, it's like a marriage.

    Still, the 17" archtops, i.e., the L5 and the ES-350, are virtually unbeatable for getting it done on the job. I will, without regret, sub a Fender in there on the band stand--but it is a substitute for what I truly have in mind.

    I am always imagining, "How would things sound, right now, if I were playing an L5?"

  26. #425

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    The perfect jazz guitar is whichever one I am selling at the time.
    "Somebody get me out of this chair." - BOB WILLS
    Hammertone is a registered Hofnerologist.