Saturday, September 13, 2008

My next guitar

I've recently found myself wondering what guitar I'd like to get next. This is a little weird, because I really don't play the guitars I already have anywhere near enough, but lately I've found myself thinking about it more and more, so it might be time to get started again.

My current guitars are:

  • A blue Les Paul Studio Lite M-III, which is lovely and has an extremely flexible pickup arrangement that allows it to be played as a strat-style 5-combination single coil guitar, as well as a standard double-humbucker Les Paul.
  • A Charvel Model 3 (I think. It looks like this in red, but I see so many pictures of Charvels with the same name that look completely different, it's hard to know) , which is unfortunately in need of a bit of love. The bridge's fine-tuners aren't well at all, the locking nut doesn't lock any more and the pickups sound very lifeless (especially the bridge). On the other hand, it has a lovely neck, and also features a self-performed customisation in the form of an additional switch which reverses the connections to the middle pickup, adding an extra two pickup combinations.
  • A Washburn D10S12 12-string acoustic, which I actually bought brand new last year.
Now I'm not a guitar collector: I have little interest in spending money on and storing lots of instruments that are minor variations on the same model. So I won't be buying another Les Paul any time soon. When I look for a new guitar I want it to give me something new that the ones I already have doesn't.

Looking at that list, some sort of Fender immediately jumps out as a possibility, but the Les Paul does the three single coil job already, and while it won't really sound like a proper Strat, it's close enough for the time being.

As I was reading Paul Draper's emails about the recording of Six, I was reminded of the Gibson ES335 (as played by Mansun's Dominic Chad), which is a double-humbucker instrument like the Les Paul, but with the distinction of being semi-hollow. This gives it a quite different sound to other solid-body electrics, and so nicely fits the bill of adding something new to what I already have.

Unfortunately, the ES335 is very expensive. Yes, that's $1,999, and that is the cheapest model I could find on that site (the most expensive was $3,849). This is far more than I am willing to pay.

Fortunately, there is an alternative in the form of the Epiphone Dot, which is significantly cheaper at $459 including case ($399 without a case, but I see the case as being essential, and $60 isn't bad anyway).

I have read very positive reviews of this model, and looking around youtube there are a number of videos of people reviewing it and even comparing it to the more expensive Gibson model, with positive results. It's definitely on my list now.

No comments: