GUITARS - need advice on new electric

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by geshel, Mar 11, 2003.

  1. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    OK, so I know this is a BASS forum - but I don't know (and don't think I want to :) ) any gu*tar forums out there. I'm thinking about buying a new electric guitar, and would like feedback.

    I currently have a PRS Custom 22, and it's just not doing it for me. Main drawbacks:

    - glossy neck finish (horrible). I could sand it, but then the resale value would go down the toilet.

    - tuners (great idea, but it doesn't really stay in tune that well - I use a different tuning which is probably the culprit)

    - body is too smal, at least behind and above the bridgel: may sound strange, but I don't like the way the small, carved top feels under my right arm (though aesthetically I think it's great). Most of my guitar playing the past three years has been on an Ovation Legend, and I'm used to having my elbow at the edge of the body, and nothing rubbing against my arm in the middle since it's flat.

    - neck shape: too thin - again, I like the kinda thick (7/8" to 1"), slight vee-shaped neck on the Ovation (pretty close to Warmoth's "Clapton" profile)

    FYI I exclusively use New Standard Tuning, CGDAEG, on guitar. I think the PRS I have just doesn't like it. The neck is fine from what I can tell. The tone and tuning are a little bit iffy though.

    So here are the main two contenders: Klein and Hanewinckel. I've always loved Kleins (from a distance, never having seen one in the flesh). I've only heard good things about them. The ergonomics look almost perfect for me. Up until recently, I kind of ruled them out because of the headless thing and the tremolo thing: I don't want to be restricted in my string choices (I use Elixirs, and have the funky tuning), and am more of a fixed-bridge type.

    So, I recently found out that both of those are moot: for $20 you can get a deal which lets you use single-ball strings on a Stenie headless design, and the S-Trem has a lock which makes it a fixed bridge at the flip of a switch.

    Now, when I heard that Pete Hanewinckel also makes the occasional guitar, and saw a few nice examples, my reaction was "I'm there, dude!". I know I love his work, my basses are great, and I could work with him on getting one to be like I want. The thing is, the Klein body shape makes so much sense to me, that I'd probably end up having him build something almost identical, if he'd even do it. But then, with the Klein my choices are more limited as far as body and neck wood go, and they only come in bolt-on (I like the set-neck aspect of the PRS).

    The Klein would be more expensive, though not by a whole lot (unless the prices have gone up a lot lately). If you're wondering what a Klein is, check out Likewise, (though no guitar pics on his site).

    Soo. . .I keep going around in circles. Help me out, guys!
  2. Stupidnick


    Mar 22, 2002 room...
    get a rogue.. ;) :D

    Ill take that PRS off your hands for you buddy!


    I just playing standard tuning....rock and jazz... lol.. a custom 22 is very nice! what color is it??!

    I want a Flametop Lake Placid Blue..(sky blue)..some light light blue.. Mcarty Archtop II ...
    ohhhhh man.. what a guitar.. i actually played a sparkle top mcarty....what a guitar.. what a guitar!

    Im getting a new bass this summer too .. and a new amp.. well sorta.. im mostly just a studio guy so im getting a bass pod and prolly.. a Agave Blue Fender Jazz Fretless... Nothing too fancy..Just a good old workhorse.. my problem is finding a agave blue jazz fretless that has.. the mojo! gotta have the mojo man..

    But I suggest the Klein! really.. could check out Melancon.. My teacher has a Melancon.. iTS NICE!!!!!! very very NICE!
  3. I never had many problems with tuning stability in NST on my old MusicYo Kramer electric. I'm surprised that a PRS with locking tuners would.

    Idunno, you're in Seattle--find out if Fidelis Morphin will build for you. Tony Geballe seems to be happy enough :D
  4. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Honestly I haven't tried too hard to resolve the tuning thing, the thing though is that those tuners are VERY low ratio, and I think the high strings are tuned up tight enough that the tuners can't quite hold out.

    Oh I know - I love the look of his guitars, and again only heard good things. A number of my friends go to him for their setups, but apparently he's so busy (with what, I'm not sure) that the waiting list just for a SETUP is like six months or something. Again though, I'd probably end up wanting something that looked like a Klein. Thing is, I just need to try out a Klein to make sure I'm not deluded. Only guy I know with one is in New Jersey though. . .:)
  5. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    FG -

    Don't get me wrong, the PRS is very nice. A couple of my friends have them, and love them. I think it's just not the guitar for me.

    It's "black cherry", BTW :)

    Peter -

    Just curious - Have you ever been to an NST workshop or Guitar Craft course?
  6. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    my guitar playing buddies PRS Hollowbody II sounds great tuned AEADGF#B, no idea why your PRS would sound bad tuned higher. he basically uses the bottom 6 strings of 7 string guitar sets though...

    anyways, it really sounds like you need a nice telecaster, maybe a thinline with the humbucker in the neck position, or an ASAT. or some kind of musicman guitar - the John Petrucci sig guitar is quite nice even if you're not a shredder, probably one of the best guitars i've ever played.
  7. HA! ha-HA! ha-HA!

    Of course not. I found out about NST because I wanted to try to avoid conventional guitar licks and voicings wherever possible. I still really like the idea of a fifths-based tuning, and if I ever get a touch guitar will probably get an 8-string tuned ADGCCGDA so I can use fifths tuning on the treble side.
  8. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Well I didn't say it sounds bad - it sounds very good. I don't think a Tele would work either, because it's just too small - it'd be even worse, because my forearm would rub on it's sharper edge. The Ovation edge is right in the crook of my elbow, I wear it and the PRS very high up to help facilitate right hand technique (which is a big part of the way I play, and it's compounded by my funny wrist - I can't straigten it out completely, my hand "droops" - so I need all the help I can get putting the pick parallel to the strings).
  9. no4mk1


    Feb 21, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I am a G&L ASAT strung with 12s through a Fender Deluxe Reverb kind of guy.

    I don't understand what you mean by "reverse-polish-notation-tuning"... ;)

    Good luck with your search!:D

    Chris the knuckle-dragging 4-string bassist
  10. no4mk1


    Feb 21, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    That tuning you use...

    What is the advantage? Fifths with a minor third on the top string?

    Are the chord voicings easier?

  11. It has a couple of big advantages:
    1. It breaks your licks--the pentatonic boxes are unreachable.
    2. Seventh and ninth chords suddenly become a lot easier to voice.
  12. no4mk1


    Feb 21, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    O.K. I can see how that would be an advantage for a player interested in jazz and other experimental music styles, but I wonder if it could be a useful tool with more trad styles like blues, country, trad rock, etc.

    Chris "Not a luddite... Just curious"
  13. Probably not, but it'd never hurt to try!
  14. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    For a production guitar--since you seem to have a dollar or two!--check out a Hamer Monaco if you can find one. The slightly larger body might suit you, if you feel the PRS is too small. And the 25.5" scale might take to your tuning slightly better than the PRS's 25".

    For custom luthiers, check out Tim Diebert. His stuff is not the same ol' same ol', and he tries new things all the time.

    Finally, you probably know this, but Dave Pushic makes guitars too. One feature that might or might not be of interest is that he uses a 26.5" scale for these, which is longer than any other standard guitar I know of and, again, might help with your tuning.
  15. pc


    Apr 4, 2000
    Montreal QC
    I would suggest this


    but i think Rob Allen doesn't do it anymore...

    Actually, that's the gu*tar i would acquire if i had the respective amount of $$$ to spend

  16. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    How about ES335-style guitar? Body is larger, neck is not too skinny, and they are available in a huge range of prices, colors, pickups, bridges etc.
  17. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Thanks for the ideas guys.

    The Timtone guitars look very interesting, especially the one that's sort of between a Klein and an old Ovation Breadwinner/Deacon in shape. I'll have to check his stuff out more.

    The Turner's a beaut, but a baritone. You know, I didn't realize the PRS was a 25" scale. My Ovation is 25 1/4" for some reason. Both those numbers are just fine though - note that the tuning goes lower AND higher than old standard tuning. Maybe you're thinking fanned frets? :) I've thought of that too, but the guys in the CGT had some guitars made that way, and their words about how bad the low-register stretches can be is enough to put me and my small hands off (it's all I can do to make the 4-fret stretch from 1 to 5 on some of the pieces I'm playing nowadays - when I read about people doing the 2-6 on bass for Portrait of Tracy I just kind of shake my head. . .).
  18. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Don't know why but the Gibson 335 popped into my head as I was reading through these posts. I know nothing about them other than they've got a big body, they're rare and therefore expensive. I'll shut up now :)
  19. baba

    baba Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    3rd stone from the sun
    I always take heat for this, but there are much better guitars than PRS available for a comparable price. If you want to look at guitar porn and explore your options, go to He is an opinionated ass but has a great site, and is very knowledgable.

    Check out the JET guitars.
  20. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Wouldn't think of giving anybody heat about preferring something else to PRS, though I personally like them, but whether the alternatives are "much better" is of course a matter of opinion. I agree about the guitar porn on Roman's site (of which there is beaucoup), but I don't think Roman himself is very knowledgeable at all, at least not about the things that matter (like tone, as opposed to cosmetics and feature lists). He's just opinionated, and obnoxiously so IMO. Plus I think his aesthetic sense is pretty iffy, but that's just one man's opinion. There are a lot of other places to explore alternatives to PRS.