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  1. #51
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    The "best" categories are tough (the answer depends very much how you define them-- I think of custom guitars, Warmoth builds, and brands like G&L, Heritage, etc. as being in a different category to mass-produced overseas made "copies"). But the worst is an easy one for me.

    When I was living in Germany a few years back, my host student had a "Harley Benton" strat copy. It's the house brand of their big online music retailer, Thomann.de, somewhat analogous to Musician's Friend's "Rogue" brand. I tried to set it up for him and make it halfway playable, but there wasn't much I could do. The hardware was crap; tuning one string to pitch usually resulted in knocking the others out. I never did get it to intonate properly. The neck felt like rubber and the body like hollow plastic. The action was a mile off the neck and turning the truss rod was an exercise in futility. Things didn't get much better when you plugged it in: the thing put out MASSIVE amounts of hum (I wonder if it was even grounded inside?) and just sounded like fizzy mud when you hit a chord.

    By and large, we young people have it good, growing up in a time when even the cheapest starter guitars tend to be quite playable. But make no mistake, there are still some serious turds out there.

  2. #52
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    My favorite of the "best clones" out there are from Carvin. And yes, you youngsters are fortunate in these times! The entry level guitars from most brands are quite playable and much improved from when I was a kid. I ended up just working longer and saving until I could buy good equipment.
    Some contend that rock 'n roll is bad for the body & bad for the soul
    Bad for the heart, bad for the mind, bad for the deaf & bad for the blind.
    It makes some men crazy and they talk like fools.
    Makes some men crazy and they start to drool.

  3. #53
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    In my first band I was playing my 1974 Strat, and the other guitarist was playing his (about) 1980 Ibanez Strat clone.

    The Ibanez was really quite a nice guitar to play - we used to swap fairly regularly. It didn't have quite the same tone as the real thing, but it had the stock pups, whatever they were. Would be interesting now to hear it with some good pups in it.

    NFI on the LP clones, although my son has an Epiphone LP. Don't like its tone much - too dull for me.
    I play all the scales, including the bad ones

  4. #54
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    IMHO, Epiphones sound great once you gut them out, and replace everything with the good stuff. YMMV.




    How 'bout that? I put a double disclaimer on that one!
    Some contend that rock 'n roll is bad for the body & bad for the soul
    Bad for the heart, bad for the mind, bad for the deaf & bad for the blind.
    It makes some men crazy and they talk like fools.
    Makes some men crazy and they start to drool.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by The amazing Phil View Post
    Can't beat Warmoth in my opinion, I'd stand a good parts guitar up against any mass produced instrument.

    I definitely agree with the quality of a good parts guitar. If you like Warmoth, though (as I did and probably still do), you will love USA Custom Guitars - also in Puyallup, WA. Tommy Rosamond, who owns USACG, used to work at Warmoth and went independent. IMHO, he has taken it a few notches up.

    Srini

  6. #56
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    Oh yeah! USA is every bit as good as Warmoth.
    Some contend that rock 'n roll is bad for the body & bad for the soul
    Bad for the heart, bad for the mind, bad for the deaf & bad for the blind.
    It makes some men crazy and they talk like fools.
    Makes some men crazy and they start to drool.

  7. #57
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    Tommy and I have developed a great relationship over the years. His necks are better than Warmoths, IMO. I get my necks and bodies from him, spec'ed for the customer, and sometimes I ship exotic blanks to him for something different. He also offers roasted maple for necks, an option which puts him in a whole different league.
    The Human Torch was denied a bank loan.

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by tele savalas View Post
    Tommy and I have developed a great relationship over the years. His necks are better than Warmoths, IMO. I get my necks and bodies from him, spec'ed for the customer, and sometimes I ship exotic blanks to him for something different. He also offers roasted maple for necks, an option which puts him in a whole different league.
    Same with me - I think that's one big difference between Tommy and the sales guys at Warmoth. Tommy takes the time to respond to emails multiple times patiently, and make sure you get exactly what you want. And you're right - his necks are THE best I've every played. The roasted maple thing must be new, I don't remember him doing that when I got mine - all three of my guitars are USACG, well...one of them has a Warmoth body, but a USACG neck. My most prized possession is a chambered mahogany body with a redwood top, with mahogany neck and madagascar fretboard. Its sounds like nothing I've heard anywhere else. In terms of quality, its every bit on par with a very expensive Suhr I used to own. Of course, much depends on who builds it, and I'm lucky enough to have a luthier near me who even Tommy thinks is "world class".

    Srini

  9. #59
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    The vintage Ibanez LP clones were great. Nowadays you can get a Korean Agile and do a mod or two(or not) and be really happy with it.

 

 

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