Guitars, basses and other noisemakers

Purple Stickpin

Over 5000 posts
A few notes on the Fender viddy for those who might be wondering:

0:51: this looks to be the initial body formation of what might have ended up as a slab Precision bass. These were originally made for the UK market in the '50s, but I don't know if they were still in production in '59. In about '66 they made another run for the US market. They lack the body contours that you can see being added from 2:33-2:41. I suppose that made the bodies of higher mass, which might have added some thump to the low end, but those beasts can be very heavy.

5:10: this Stratocaster body is lovely. I've nothing to add to that.

5:33-6:00: the women appear to be doing pickup winding and other electronics-related prep, but I can't be sure.

6:23: What appears to be a tobacco sunburst Strat being held by the shirtless man would likely fetch $50,000 or more in that condition today.

6:36-6:42: Installing strap buttons (sure looks that way to me). What's odd is that, in this era, Fender had the "upper" strap button on the back of the headstock, but may also have offered the upper bout of the body option, which is what looks to be going on here.

6:44-7:10: final touches to that tobacco sunburst Strat. Shirtless dude is a jazz guy based on his voicings.
 

Otto jr

Over 100 posts
Some of those guitars are not considered vintage either way. Old does not equal vintage. A 1973
Strat is old but should not be considered vintage. To me vintage is 1964 and earlier. After the Beatles appearance on Sullivan every kid suddenly wanted to be a guitar player and all the mass production began. The Guitars made before this event are the vintage guitars.
 
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mjp

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I know the Les Paul Special that I have now - with the very thin, not-grain-filled, flat modern finish - sounds great though.
I restrung the Special yesterday (no more tailpiece overwrap), and I was playing it and playing it and thinking, damn, you know, this cheap ($499 - clearance sale, baby!) 2012 guitar feels better and plays better than any guitar I've ever picked up, including the vintage Juniors, Strats, Les Pauls, Telecasters, Steinberger, and various and sundry other axes that have passed through my clumsy fingers.

Just wanted to say that. For the permanent record.

2012 weren't exactly halcyon days for Gibson, so I'm sure there are plenty of not-so-great 2012 Gibsons out there. But this one has that certain indefinable yes-ness that you either feel or you don't when you pick up an instrument.
 

Purple Stickpin

Over 5000 posts
I know the feeling. After all these years, my favorite bass is the one I got used for $180 back in the late '90s. It's a fretless Crafted in Japan Fender Jazz and it just feels like a custom-tailored suit. Unfortunately, my favorite strings for it have been discontinued: Fender Nylon Filament (7120s). I've got a set on there and two NOS sets in the string drawer, but those will have to last me.
 
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d gray

tried to do his best but could not
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Do you like his playing? He’s one of my faves.

Also, i’m sure you guitar guys have played those types of classic, high end models - are they as great to play as people talk about?
 

mjp

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I never listened to enough Pink Floyd to really know anything about Gilmore's playing. I know he uses the BK Butler Tube Driver, which I also enjoy, though the one I have doesn't get a lot of use here in the house. I also had a 1969 Stratocaster, like the one they're auctioning off (though mine was white, not black). I didn't care for it. Strats aren't really my bag. I like Gibsons, mostly the low end models.

I played a Les Paul Deluxe during my punk rock days and I played Sonny's Les Paul Custom, and I have to say that a Les Paul or a Strat -- I don't know man. You pick up a guitar and you know within a few seconds whether it's going to work for you or not, and I never got the feeling that an expensive or high-end guitar was any better than any other guitar. I liked the Deluxe, it was cool, but eventually I sold it.

You can see in my last post here, and Purple Stickpin's, that the cost or quality or whatever is less important than the feel. If you love a guitar you love it, it doesn't matter what it's worth and there's no logic to it. It's all voodoo and vibes and hippie shit.





That being said, if anyone wants to gift me a 1958, 59 or 60 Les Paul, I'll accept it.
 

d gray

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yeah i figured alchemy and all that. i'd imagine a specific series or model could vary from guitar to guitar too.

tools of the trade are interesting in art. i'd imagine for classical musicians high end instruments are a must - it sure makes
a difference as far as art supplies are concerned (for me).
 

mjp

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Carol has shown me the difference between a $10 tube of oil paint and a $100 tube. You're right though, two different instruments, same model, made in the same factory on the same day can be very different. But the tube of paint is going to be pretty consistent every time.

I don't know about the classical instrument thing. There is obviously a big difference between a million dollar violin and a thousand dollar violin, but I wonder how many of us could really hear it (or appreciate it) if we're not classical musicians ourselves?

In the guitar world there's a law of diminishing returns, so there isn't that much difference between a $12,000 custom shop Les Paul and an "everyday" $3,000 Les Paul you can pull off the rack at your local Guitar Center. And a $300,000 1959 Les Paul does not sound or feel or perform 100 times better than that new, off the rack Les Paul. I don't know anything about classical music instruments, but I have to imagine that there's a law of diminishing returns there too.

Of course if someone says to you, "Look at this, it's a two million dollar violin, listen to how beautiful it sounds," and then they play it, you're going to think, damn, that does sound good! Same thing with a 1959 Les Paul. But I'm pretty sure no one here can listen to a record they've never heard before and say, "That's a Stradivarius," or, "That's a '59 Burst."





But again, if anyone wants to gift me a 1958, 59 or 60 Les Paul...
 

Otto jr

Over 100 posts
There's a few songs where I can tell that the guitar is a '59 Burst. I'm not sure if its because I already knew or if I can just tell.

Tea for One -- Led Zep



It Sure Got cold After the Rain Fell -- ZZ Top



Jumping at Shadows -- old Fleetwood Mac w/ Peter Green

 

mjp

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It would be an interesting test, trying to identify the guitar on songs that you don't know or haven't heard. And a blind test like that would really be the only way to prove or disprove that there is some kind of sonic fingerprint that certain notorious or famous guitar vintages have.

But personally, I don't know. If you had raw recordings of just two Les Paul Standards playing unaccompanied and relatively cleanly through a relatively "flat" amp, maybe. Maybe. But once you bring in the rest of the band, distortion, compression, different kinds of amps -- I don't know, man.
 

Otto jr

Over 100 posts
Another odd thing, whenever I hear Warren Haynes I hear a modern day Les Paul. Again, is it because I knew he plays those? I don't know. I think I mentioned it way downstream in this thread that I was involved with a Stradivarius demo where violin players were tested to see if they could pick out the Strads. As I recall they failed to do so.

Back to Gilmour, I see he's not selling his beloved '56 LP gold top. I always thought that was his favorite but I think now its confirmed.
 
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