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  1. #1

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    This is a question for the Tele fans.

    I am an old guitarist, just getting started with Jazz. I am aiming at jazz and fusion, and listen to ear-blistering heavy metal also. Some of the guitar chops in the heavy metal genre are unparalleled.

    So anyway... I am not interested in an arch top, and the 335, while brilliant, is also a gigantic heavy beast.

    Since I fractured my spine in 3 places in 2016, I am looking for a lighter guitar that plays like a dream, and sounds like jazz.

    I am currently looking at two contenders. Suhr Alt T, and (don't laugh) Strandberg Salen Jazz.

    The Alt T is available today, which is great for me. Salen Jazz won't be available until some time in the fall. Both are Tele derivatives, both have a single "f" hole, but the Strandberg (for all its weirdness) is quite a bit lighter.

    I don't have a regular guitar consultant, and tend to avoid asking anyone with guitars for sale, as I find their answers often correspond to what they have for sale.

    Sorry for the completely out of left field question, but I'm eager to hear what anyone has to say about these two semi-hollows for jazz.

    Cheers.

    -Drew

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by MochaFiend
    This is a question for the Tele fans.

    I am an old guitarist, just getting started with Jazz. I am aiming at jazz and fusion, and listen to ear-blistering heavy metal also. Some of the guitar chops in the heavy metal genre are unparalleled.

    So anyway... I am not interested in an arch top, and the 335, while brilliant, is also a gigantic heavy beast.

    Since I fractured my spine in 3 places in 2016, I am looking for a lighter guitar that plays like a dream, and sounds like jazz.

    I am currently looking at two contenders. Suhr Alt T, and (don't laugh) Strandberg Salen Jazz.

    The Alt T is available today, which is great for me. Salen Jazz won't be available until some time in the fall. Both are Tele derivatives, both have a single "f" hole, but the Strandberg (for all its weirdness) is quite a bit lighter.

    I don't have a regular guitar consultant, and tend to avoid asking anyone with guitars for sale, as I find their answers often correspond to what they have for sale.

    Sorry for the completely out of left field question, but I'm eager to hear what anyone has to say about these two semi-hollows for jazz.

    Cheers.

    -Drew
    I haven't played either, so grains of salt. But the Salen has a 24-fret neck.
    This puts the neck pickup further back toward the bridge and result in a different/brighter tone than what you get with the placement that's typical of 20-22 fret guitars. For shredding fusion style tones it might be a plus. But if you want a more "traditional" warm jazz tone, the Suhr is more likely to give you that.

    Having had a 24 fret guitar for a long time (and never really being happy with the neck pickup sound), it's a deal breaker for me. But some people don't mind it. If you haven't played 24 fret guitars before, I think it would not be a great idea to buy one without trying it first.

  4. #3

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    I can't speak to either model. I had the first year run 8 string Strandberg years ago, and found that the Endurneck shape wasn't for me.

    You mentioned a 335. I had an Eastman T184MX last year that was an absolutely killer guitar. It's more like a 339, but fully carved. It had more of an acoustic voice, but could easily take on distorted tones. Nothing it couldn't handle, easy to play, and great sounding. The only reason I sold it is that I prefer prefer a 15" lower bout, otherwise that guitar was a keeper.

    You might also think about an Eastman El Ray, which has similiar dimensions to the T184MX, but is a singlecut and has a more traditional jazz tailpiece. This one is for sale at my local shop: Bernunzio Uptown Music

  5. #4

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    I haven't tried the specific Suhr but I have some experience w humbuckers in fender types as well thinline fenders. Imho thinline teles sound far more like teles than anything hollow. Sligthly warmer perhaps, but teles nonetheless.

    I love humbuckers in Fender style instruments. They retain a lot of the twang of the scale length, but with a thicker sound. It's a very malleable sound

    So while I haven't tried the Suhr, I'd expect it to sound like a very beefy Fender
    Last edited by Average Joe; 06-17-2021 at 02:23 PM.

  6. #5

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    Suhr Alt T owner here, I am a tele aficionado so when I spotted a used Alt T, I purchased it. Mine has the Thornbuckers and is an ash sunburst. I wanted to try a hum bucker tele, the Suhr's five way split has been very useful and musical. I would say that it certainly a keeper for me, but I almost never sell any guitar. I do like the light weight of the guitar and it is well made with good fretwork (SS).

  7. #6

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    Capnrory

    One of the things that really puts me off the Alt T is the saddle. I am having problems with a current guitar's intonation, and without a fully adjustable saddle, I'm not sure how the Alt T can say that it's precise. It can only be precise within a couple millimeters, and changing one side of the saddle requires changing the other side as well.

    I'm sure it comes perfectly set up, but I'm curious if you've ever had any problems with this saddle arrangement. To me, it just looks like a problem waiting to happen.

  8. #7

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    The Salen Jazz really isn't a Tele derivative. The original Salen is but only in the sense that it has a Tele style pickup configuration with a Strandberg hardware configuration and neck with an original body design (that only very vaguely hints at a Tele). The Salen Jazz however, with it's double humbuckers has reused the Salen body shape but with none of the Tele features. I think the Salen Jazz is an interesting guitar but to me, the Tele connection has been completely removed (and I don't think there's anything wrong with that).

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by MochaFiend
    This is a question for the Tele fans.

    I am an old guitarist, just getting started with Jazz. I am aiming at jazz and fusion, and listen to ear-blistering heavy metal also. Some of the guitar chops in the heavy metal genre are unparalleled.

    So anyway... I am not interested in an arch top, and the 335, while brilliant, is also a gigantic heavy beast.

    Since I fractured my spine in 3 places in 2016, I am looking for a lighter guitar that plays like a dream, and sounds like jazz.

    I am currently looking at two contenders. Suhr Alt T, and (don't laugh) Strandberg Salen Jazz.

    The Alt T is available today, which is great for me. Salen Jazz won't be available until some time in the fall. Both are Tele derivatives, both have a single "f" hole, but the Strandberg (for all its weirdness) is quite a bit lighter.

    I don't have a regular guitar consultant, and tend to avoid asking anyone with guitars for sale, as I find their answers often correspond to what they have for sale.

    Sorry for the completely out of left field question, but I'm eager to hear what anyone has to say about these two semi-hollows for jazz.

    Cheers.

    -Drew

  10. #9

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    Scale length of many bolt on guitars is 25&1/2" vs the shorter glued in neck semi hollow 24&3/4" Gibson style semi hollow instruments.. That as well as neck pitch amongst other variables all make a huge difference in feel and tone.

    If the 335 is to big consider a Gibson ES-339, 336, Pat Martino, ES-Les Paul

    Most of these instruments are excellent and it really comes down to personal taste. I'm currently enjoying both styles, LOL !

  11. #10

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    While I don't have a Suhr Alt T, I do have a Suhr Custom T and a Pro Series S-Type (Now the Standard Plus) in HSS format. Both are awesome guitars. The T has their Classic T single coils and the neck PUP provides a nice jazz tone. From what I've heard from a reliable source, the SSV's that look like are in the Alt T are great sounding PUP's.
    I might be a bit biased as I love his guitars, but I will also say that they customer service is the best. John has been very gracious in answering questions.
    Just my measly 2 cents...

  12. #11

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    Don’t sleep on the Seventy Seven Albatross Jazz that’s for sale on this very forum.

  13. #12

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    The intonation seems okay to me, the saddles also pivot somewhat around a center located locking screw. That may or may not be a problem, I've never fine tuned the intonation on mine.

  14. #13

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    I think a lot of the 'Jazz' sound comes from the player. How the chords are voiced, the type of lead lines, the use of turn arounds and chord 'walk ups'.
    You mentioned fusion, which is more electric than archtop anyway.
    (There isn't a lot of fusion talk around here. Much more discussion of the 'Great American Songbook'. I suspect there is a bias towards the archtop sound. )
    I think that if you have some physical issues, pick the guitar that is comfortable to play.

  15. #14

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    I would not get either the first is a headless and I dont like them. The other has pickups that are not good for jazz alnico 5 magnets are too mid scopped. You should get alnico 2 or 7 types and under wound they will have a more ballanced lower out put so they will work better with gain pedals.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by wzpgsr
    Don’t sleep on the Seventy Seven Albatross Jazz that’s for sale on this very forum.
    I just got an Albatross last week and it is a superb guitar

  17. #16

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    I've not had any intonation issues on either of my Suhr's. These guitars are typically set up for Feiten Tuning System so keep that in mind.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by JaxJaxon
    I would not get either the first is a headless and I dont like them. The other has pickups that are not good for jazz alnico 5 magnets are too mid scopped. You should get alnico 2 or 7 types and under wound they will have a more ballanced lower out put so they will work better with gain pedals.
    My favorite pickup uses an alnico 5 magnet.