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  1. #1

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    Hello everybody

    I'm starting this thread, hence the title, that may seem a little bit awkward on Jazz dedicated forum!
    Well I love jazz guitar, I like to play in a jazz style, but I nowhere consider myself a pure jazz player.
    I have a pretty good opportunity to purchase a used Gb10 (2013) in mint condition for 1600€.
    It's a guitar I've been lurking on for years, and it may be time for me to go for it.
    My question is, and asking for your advice and expertise on this guitar, does it work well with roundwounds, maybe 11-49 or so?
    I've tried many many times to bound with flatwounds, and while I kind of like them on the moment, they aren't versatile enough for the style I play, which is more rythm&blues, Reggae, jazz rock, fusion... Kinda Scofield may I suggest..
    I already have two guitars that I really love, a Ibanez AS50 from 1980 (a Es339 if you prefer) and a Fender Avri 57 for my hendrix/Srv crave.
    I want a full hollow body, not too big (the size is a very important factor in my decision), great neck (I know the Gb30 neck will suit me), but not a traditional jazz box.
    I play in a band with very different styles, going from Reggae, fusion, blues, calypso, funky groovy things some little overdrive sometimes, but no really distorted things..
    In fact what I play is definitely related to George Benson in a way, Grant Green and stuff
    So do you think the Gb10 can do it for me, or must I look elsewhere?
    A very interesting alternative could be the Ibanez AG95QA (the new version with super 58's, Ash body and ebony fretboard) which has body mounted pickups..
    Anyway I would really appreciate all advice from all you great guys here
    Thanks in advance
    Last edited by Jx30510; 05-30-2019 at 04:39 AM.

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  3. #2

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    I think you may be asking about an Ibanez LGB30 hollow body and not a GB30 (see image below), which was a small bodied semi hollow model from the mid-80's that lasted only a few years.

    As for using roundwound strings on the LGB30 hollowbody, they will produce a brighter sound, but still be fine for some jazz tones.

    You might consider trying 'Half-Round' strings as a compromise between rounds and flats. They should sound great on both hollow body or semi hollow guitars.



  4. #3

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    There's nothing wrong with stringing an electric archie with roundies--Peter Berstein does it and he has the yummiest tone I've heard in the more current players.

    Graham Dechter, another player with a pristine clean tone--he plays with rounds as well.

    Billy Bean--from what I've read--round wounds.

    Johnny Smith--he grinded his rounds from what another poster wrote here at JGF--very interesting. Many consider his tone--IT.

    I think Tim Lerch plays with rounds as well, I'm sure he'd respond if we asked him on the forum.

    I play rounds on a carved archtop, but it's a mounted pickup. If I played a floater, I'd still play rounds. It's definitely brighter than playing with flats. However, I never bonded with flats and I'm chasing a more "traditional(?)" sound. Many people here love flats and don't understand why anyone would string an archtop with rounds to get that "jazz" tone. I'm the opposite, I don't understand why anyone would string an archtop with strings that deaden the sound and cut out more than half of the tonal properties of the guitar. Everyone is different, you just have to find what's right for you.

    That said, if you wanted to play authentic reggae--I'm pretty sure those kats played with flat wounds.

  5. #4

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    No it's not the LGB30 that I'm willing to purchase, it IS the GB10
    And that is why I'm asking myself if a fairly light gauged 11-49 round wound set will be sufficient to move the top, and won't the guitar work in a way that it was firstly meant to be.
    I know a lot people put very heavy flat wound strings on this guitar 14 to 50 something
    I've also tried heavy gauge (for me), 12 to whatever, I can't remember, on a few arch top I had, and I don't like them. I prefer being able to bend the strings, and like a slight slinky feel. That's what I'm used to now.

    And I didn't know reggae players use flat wounds? I play a bit of reggae though, it's not the main style we play with the band, maybe 3 songs with a reggae favor on the dozen we have in our set.

    I really like the sound I hear when listening to GB10 demos, but I'm pretty sure these guys use heavy flat wound strings. I know I won't have that plunky staccato sound with round wounds, but will the guitar work ti it's potential with the strings i'm used to? That's really the question.

    And since I won't be able to try the guitar with my kind of strings before buying it, I don't want to find myself kinda upset when I'll have them mounted afterwards.

    Maybe this guitar is not designed for what I want?

  6. #5

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    oh I've just seen I've made a mistake on the name.... It is a GB10 YES .... SORRY
    i'm going to try and correct the previous posts

    ----title and posts edited GB30 >>>>GB10----- Sorry !

  7. #6

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    The GB10 will sound great with roundwounds. It certainly won't sound the same as if you had flatwounds on it, but you'll still be able to get great tone out of it—just a bit brighter. But for your needs that won't be an issue. I actually do the reverse of what you're doing. I put flats on my Strat! Sounds amazing to me. And that's all that counts.

    Fear not. Grab the GB10, slap on some 11s rounds and don't look back.
    On the Turntable: Wes Montgomery - Back on Indiana Avenue, Paul Motion Trio - It Should've Happened a Long Time Ago
    Guitar:
    Fender AVRI '59 w/ TI Swing 11s and Tyson Tone pickups
    Through: Polytone Mini Brute II

  8. #7

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    Oh thanks that is good advice
    Maybe I should not ask myself so much questions
    It's a big purchase for me and I can get a little nervous about it.. I've had a lot of guitars the past few years, sold them just to keep the really best for me.. I don't want to go threw the impulse buy and resale thing anymore.
    It was really fun to do that for a while, but today I prefer concentrating on time on the instrument
    But for the band I 'm playing these days, the Gb10 seems a perfect fit (and I have wanted it for years, but there are many guitars I have wanted to own for years..)
    If anybody here has tested the Gb10 with roundwounds I would be very interested

  9. #8

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    I have used round wound strings on my AG75. It was fine for pop/rock, and from what I have seen (not experienced) the AG pickups are brighter than any GB fitted pickup. If it is too bright you can roll off the tone control. A full hollowbody is IME not super for OD/distortion and at high volumes/small rooms it feed back (too) easily. Steve Howe knew how to exploit that in his playing. You might have the optimal tools already with the AS and the Fender - but if you lust for the GB - go for it :-)

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jx30510 View Post
    Oh thanks that is good advice
    Maybe I should not ask myself so much questions
    It's a big purchase for me and I can get a little nervous about it.. I've had a lot of guitars the past few years, sold them just to keep the really best for me.. I don't want to go threw the impulse buy and resale thing anymore.
    It was really fun to do that for a while, but today I prefer concentrating on time on the instrument
    But for the band I 'm playing these days, the Gb10 seems a perfect fit (and I have wanted it for years, but there are many guitars I have wanted to own for years..)
    If anybody here has tested the Gb10 with roundwounds I would be very interested
    Nothing wrong with asking these questions! But sometimes we all getting too far into our own heads.

    I have played a GB10 with rounds on it, though it was not my guitar. Through a Deluxe Reverb it sounds great. Brighter than your typical jazz box with flats, but not overly bright at all. Plus, I feel like it's easier to get rid of brightness from your tone than it is to add it into your tone, if that makes sense. I heard Nels Cline talking about this recently. He prefers a brighter guitar that he can adjust to tame some of the brightness rather than the reverse.

    Anyway, be sure to keep us posted on what you decide, and good luck!
    On the Turntable: Wes Montgomery - Back on Indiana Avenue, Paul Motion Trio - It Should've Happened a Long Time Ago
    Guitar:
    Fender AVRI '59 w/ TI Swing 11s and Tyson Tone pickups
    Through: Polytone Mini Brute II

  11. #10

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    No reason whatsoever to not use the strings you prefer, they will absolutely work just fine. Pat Metheny uses .11 roundwounds, seems to have done OK over the past 45 years.
    Ignorance is agony.



  12. #11

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    Tuff Lion talking about Reggae setup:


  13. #12

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    Tuff Lion is a great guy... Gotta love that man.


    You can't go wrong wit a GB10, my 1979 (used) came to me with round wounds on it. Though I prefer flats, TIGB12 flats to be precise, I left the round wounds on her. It sounds different but great. GB10s are such flexible
    instruments, and you will always have the option of going to flats and heavier than 11s would be a good idea.

    Best of luck, go grab that guitar.

    Big


    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    Tuff Lion talking about Reggae setup:


  14. #13

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    GB10's are fairly bright guitars. Using round wound strings will enhance that aspect of their tone, but as stated above, simply roll back your Tone control. Also roll off some of the guitar's Volume as well. That will warm up your GB10.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitfiddler View Post
    GB10's are fairly bright guitars. Using round wound strings will enhance that aspect of their tone, but as stated above, simply roll back your Tone control. Also roll off some of the guitar's Volume as well. That will warm up your GB10.
    I’ve never found GB10s to be particularly bright, but then I’m coming from my main guitars being Strats. So maybe compared to 175s or other hollowbodies the GB10 is bright.
    On the Turntable: Wes Montgomery - Back on Indiana Avenue, Paul Motion Trio - It Should've Happened a Long Time Ago
    Guitar:
    Fender AVRI '59 w/ TI Swing 11s and Tyson Tone pickups
    Through: Polytone Mini Brute II

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by rmpmcdermott View Post
    I’ve never found GB10s to be particularly bright, but then I’m coming from my main guitars being Strats. So maybe compared to 175s or other hollowbodies the GB10 is bright.
    No worries. Maybe I should have been more clear. Compared to other larger body archtops, the smaller GB10 with its laminate Spruce top, Maple back and sides tend to not be as mellow.

    Benson wanted a hollow body jazz box that could sound fat AND cut through in a loud band situation. The GB10 is perfectly suited for its intended purpose. In order to do this, it had to be more bright than a standard large hollow body guitar.

    I've played my GB10 with loud bands in medium sized venues, and it sounds fantastic. I hope the OP enjoys his GB as much as I have mine.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitfiddler View Post
    No worries. Maybe I should have been more clear. Compared to other larger body archtops, the smaller GB10 with its laminate Spruce top, Maple back and sides tend to not be as mellow.

    Benson wanted a hollow body jazz box that could sound fat AND cut through in a loud band situation. The GB10 is perfectly suited for its intended purpose. In order to do this, it had to be more bright than a standard large hollow body guitar.

    I've played my GB10 with loud bands in medium sized venues, and it sounds fantastic. I hope the OP enjoys his GB as much as I have mine.
    That makes total sense. Thanks for the clarification!
    On the Turntable: Wes Montgomery - Back on Indiana Avenue, Paul Motion Trio - It Should've Happened a Long Time Ago
    Guitar:
    Fender AVRI '59 w/ TI Swing 11s and Tyson Tone pickups
    Through: Polytone Mini Brute II

  18. #17

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    It's funny because I watched that watched that reggae guitar tutorial video just a few days ago!
    It's nice and very straightforward.. I don't see many reggae guitarist play with a semi hollow by the way, more stratocasters or Gibson type solid bodies?

    What is less funny is the guy sent me a mail yesterday evening to tell me his GB10 was sold... gosh..
    Well there's another one a little higher in price 1700€ from 2009..
    I shouldn't have waited so long for the first one.. I'm gonna try this one now

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jx30510 View Post

    What is less funny is the guy sent me a mail yesterday evening to tell me his GB10 was sold... gosh..
    Well there's another one a little higher in price 1700€ from 2009..
    I shouldn't have waited so long for the first one.. I'm gonna try this one now
    Less funny is finding out the person that bought that guitar read about it on the forum and thought "Gee, round wounds, what a great idea! I'd never have thought it!"

  20. #19

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  21. #20

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    Well I'm back!
    I have found another one at a fair price, from 2009, good condition>1650€
    I've also found a GB40thII (blue one) brand new >1099€
    And a new Gb10se for 1000€

    I cannot try them and compare them before purchase, very different places

    I read somewhere the Gb10se and GB40thII, made in China, are Very good

    Can anyone that has compared them (2 of them, or all 3) chime in before I pull the trigger

    I know the real deal is the Japanese one, but a few thoughts would be greatly appreciated

    Merci

  22. #21

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    I've had the GB10 and GB10JS; the JS is (was) Korean made. Probably the closest to the current SE model. Playability-wise it compared fairly well with the MIJ one, but didn't sound as 'good', likely because of the different pickups. I had the JS first, and liked it ok, but was always kinda/sorta wishing it was a 'real one'. I eventually sold it and got a MIJ GB10 which is a better guitar no doubt. If you can find an MIJ one for a good price, I'd get that one. But if you just want to try out the feel of a GB10 without a big $ outlay, the SE would probably be the way to go.

    AND OH YEAH! They sound great with roundwounds! You can still get a great jazz tone on the neck pup, and a surprisingly good rock/fusion sound on the bridge pup. If anything they are more versatile with roundwounds.
    Last edited by Rhythmisking; 06-26-2019 at 04:44 PM. Reason: forgot something

  23. #22

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    I have owned a 1981 GB10 for over 35 years. I prefer it strung with roundwounds to flatwounds. I have had 11-50 gauge strings on it many times and thought it worked fine. I just used it last night in a jam, actually, and it currently has Pyramid 12s on there. Great sounding, easy playing wonderful instruments. They are very versatile to a variety of genres. In addition to jazz, I have used it for straightahead blues gigs and have used it to play Grateful Dead cover gigs. I remember seeing a clip of BB King with his backup guitarist playing one of those.
    Beauty is as close to terror as we can well endure. -Rainer Maria Rilke

  24. #23

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    Very interesting thanks for your insights.
    Has anyone tried it with a TOM bridge (or abr-1)?
    I've always prefered these to wooden bridges, for intonation, sustain and "zing"

  25. #24

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    One thing, I'll go for the Mij version
    Otherwise I think I'll always regret it, even though the Mic ones are certainly very good

  26. #25

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    are gb10 ok to play sitting ?

    joni mitchell plays a few of these on the shadows and light gigs
    open tunings , rhythm sound
    and sounds great !

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu View Post
    are gb10 ok to play sitting ?

    joni mitchell plays a few of these on the shadows and light gigs
    open tunings , rhythm sound
    and sounds great !
    I’m currently playing a gb100 (same dimensions as GB10 except for a little deeper) that’s generously on loan as I don’t have an electric at the moment and it’s definitely giving me some significant back pain from seated playing. That is also extending to left arm numbness, which is something else I’ve struggled with when my posture isn’t good.

    I am 6’1” so it’s probably partially going to depend on your size and you back. I’ve had back problems over the years but before selling my L5 never once had back problems from it with that guitar (one of the many reasons I loved it). 16” archtops were better than the GB for my back (still some pain but not near what I’m dealing with now) but still not optimal so I think for me 17” and deep was ideal. If you don’t already have back problems, maybe aren’t quite as tall and aren’t sitting for multiple hours at a time playing then it might be a non-issue, hard to say except that it is presenting some significant issues for me.

    Might be hard to tell from a quick sit down but last time I was at guitar center they had one of the cheap GB10s there, maybe you could find one and sit to play for a bit to get a sense of how it would do for you.



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  28. #27

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    I am 6'3" tall and nearly 60 years old with some back troubles. I do find that playing the GB10 without a strap while sitting down makes my lower back hurt because I am more hunched over than I am with my 17 inch archtop. I always use a strap when playing that guitar- whether seated or standing- and that seems to solve the problem. Plus I find the playing position a little better; due to the small size of the body, it sits a little low for good left hand position. I was 27 when I bought it and for the first 25 years or so it wasn't a problem to play it seated.
    Beauty is as close to terror as we can well endure. -Rainer Maria Rilke

  29. #28

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    Normally I should road trip this week end to come and purchase a 2009 Gb10 (MIJ).
    Looks like to be in very good condition, 1600€.. I suppose it's a pretty good deal.. Can't wait to try it

    Maybe I'm going to purchase a TOM bridge to try (a Gotoh bridge is 30€ or so.. No big deal.. You always need a spare anyway)

    Can someone tell me what the string spacing and stud spacing are?

    I'm going to put 11-49 d'addario roundwounds
    Will that be enough to get the acoustic properties of the guitar work?
    I have a bluesy, Gilmourish style on certain songs and really need (and want) to bend those strings!

    Maybe I'll be the first guy to play Gilmour style on a Gb10