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Pegleg

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Been thinking about expanding a little. I have an electric amp collecting dust in the closet. What would be a good electric for an acoustic rhythm player? Gretsch Country Gentleman comes to mind as a possible candidate. What other's would y'all recommend?

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Man for my money you just can't beat a Gretsch 6120! Short scale, great feeling neck, unique sound for sure! It was the guitar I used for the last 3 years or so of my gigging days and I wish I'd grabbed one a lot sooner than I did. No offense to any of the other makers, and everyone has their own tastes in tone, but do try a 6120 before you buy anything!

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I'd say two things should be involved in the choice, assuming at least Epiphone Dot quality or above.

 

1. What are you playing now that is the most comfortable feeling for you? Odds are good that a relatively similar size/scale, or at minimum "playing geometry" will work best. For example, the playing geometry of a classical guitar, 175 and (chuckle) SG, all "work" for me, but the 335/Dot/other "full size thinbodies" all seem like the neck is around 27 inches long or the nut is about 1.5 inches wide stedda another quarter inch plus or minus. And I have two of 'em.

 

2. What kinda music are you going to be playing? A full hollow archtop 16-inch lower bout is the most comfortable electric for me, period. But it ain't necessarily the best if you've gotta have your amp howling away behind you, because it's too likely to howl when you don't want it to. Consider feedback potential. If you wanna do jazz, look for an archtop without that silly whammy bar.

 

Bottom line is player comfort/playability followed by style of music playing you plan to do.

 

Honestly, until those two questions are answered, I think everything else is like asking us "what's your favorite electric." IMHO that's meaningless to your personal quest - or at least, it should be.

 

m

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What's the price range?

 

"Reasonable" for what I get... not trying to be a smart A$$, but I can see myself going either way; high end, with the intent to keep and pass down to the grand son(s), like my J45 and Jackson Browne or, just a kick around guitar. Or, I may continue to let the dust settle on the amp. Don't know yet... but, "high end" to me would be the price range I paid for my Gibsons.. and I had to "fall in love" to keep from choking on the price tag on those two, especially the JB!

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I'd say two things should be involved in the choice, assuming at least Epiphone Dot quality or above.

 

1. What are you playing now that is the most comfortable feeling for you? Odds are good that a relatively similar size/scale, or at minimum "playing geometry" will work best. For example, the playing geometry of a classical guitar, 175 and (chuckle) SG, all "work" for me, but the 335/Dot/other "full size thinbodies" all seem like the neck is around 27 inches long or the nut is about 1.5 inches wide stedda another quarter inch plus or minus. And I have two of 'em.

 

2. What kinda music are you going to be playing? A full hollow archtop 16-inch lower bout is the most comfortable electric for me, period. But it ain't necessarily the best if you've gotta have your amp howling away behind you, because it's too likely to howl when you don't want it to. Consider feedback potential. If you wanna do jazz, look for an archtop without that silly whammy bar.

 

Bottom line is player comfort/playability followed by style of music playing you plan to do.

 

Honestly, until those two questions are answered, I think everything else is like asking us "what's your favorite electric." IMHO that's meaningless to your personal quest - or at least, it should be.

 

m

Fair enough;

1. I'm currently playing a Gibson J45 rosewood and a Gibson Jackson Browne... they couldn't be more different in the way they sound and feel. But that's why I like them. They compliment each other. Depending on..

2. Whether I'm doing a Jackson Browne tune or country... or, said another way... mellow or twag.

 

I have a Alvarez Yairi in the closet (with the amp), it's been there since the J45 arrived in 2005. I'll keep for sentimental reasons but I just can't seem to get excited about playing it.

 

Lastly, it's a hobby, I only play for an audience if I'm playing for family or friends.... or, my monthly gig at the ole folks home. Which, they like classic country and gospel the best... and, Jimmy Buffet believe it or not. They like "sing alongs" too, sometimes they drown me out! So, there's not going to be any "howling" going on. No jazz either. Mostly "cowboy chords" strummed, occasional travis pick.

 

Hope this helps you, help me....

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Okay...

 

I'd look into an archtop, short scale, not loud but not quiet, that could do "cowboy" or country. It's the scale you're used to, albeit on a bit smaller instrument.

 

You're not currently using a whammy, so I don't see why you'd want one.

 

An ES 175 would be about perfect. With both pups there's an incredible variety of sound possible - but it's likely a "happy medium" would be a medium "tone" on the neck pup and just a tad of similarly-set bridge pup dialed into the mix.

 

The body depth is less, but it's also designed to be electric regardless that it can be played as a "parlor strummer" acoustic. It'll work for about any style of electric "rhythm" you want. There's still enough body for it to feel like a guitar instead of a board - more than the Gretsch for my money, and I've had a Gretsch. (Still do, but I'll sell it tomorrow, it's a 16-inch lower bout single pup jazzer archtop louder than the 175 acoustically but - the longer scale ain't quite as comfy.)

 

Just with how you strum - and you're already aware of different tone from where and how - the archtop offers a pretty good ability to do well for you in your style with roundwound strings. Scale and fretboard radius are quite similar. A bit thinner than you're used to, but still big enough that it won't feel like a board - or "flat" as on some of the Gretsch electric variations, although they ain't bad if you can pin the whammy outa operations.

 

If the 175 is a bit pricey - and it would be today for me too - look into the Eastman as an exceptionally similar piece that's far better quality than one might imagine from an import. Relatively inexpensive for quality, the two pup version AR372CE lists at $1,225 US and the single pup AR371CE version at $1,125 - both with hard case. I have the one-pup version and it's quite nice, and not just "nice for the money." The weakness is that, as all guitars that have come from more moist climates, including "G" instruments, there's a tiny, tiny bit of fret extension past the fingerboard up toward the 9th-12th fret - less than the width of a human hair but I can feel it though it doesn't "catch" on anything. I got mine to protect the 175. http://www.eastmanguitars.com/ar372ce/

 

Again, the archtop works pretty well with relatively heavy strings, although I'd personally not put heavier ones on mine because of the way I mostly fingerpick - or use a big-body flattop AE with a little heavier than normal (for me) for acoustic strumming.

 

Don't forget the 175 and its Gibbie cousins were what really took on the switch from flattops to electrics for rock, rockabilly and country variations in the '50s. They worked well in a part electric, part acoustic environment with relatively small amps - and that's regardless the style being played. The "boards" and semis worked better when the volume cranked up - and when kids without acoustic background wanted to go directly "electric" while learning guitar.

 

m

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For what it's worth, I just got thinking...

 

A friend of mine uses two old Gibson 1950s CF100 models. One's the CF100e that has a P90 pup at the end of the fingerboard and is slightly modified from the acoustic-only CF100 that he added a Fishman to. He's been using 'em for "cowboy" material for ages - long before his family ranch home got telephones in the '70s.

 

Imagine a flattop 175 single pup. Oddly the only current Gibson-brand box similar to it is the Epi PR5e that's the longer scale. I have one and it's marvelous except - although it's an inexpensive all-laminate box, I'd pay double or triple the price to have a decent luthier pop the neck and figure how to put on a 24-inch scale... I like the basic size and shape that well. A Brit video team experienced in music vids who heard a cowboy gig I did were asked to be critical of the guitar sound AE through the board and they thought it was a Gibson-price guitar.

 

Here's Bob and his old CF100e.

 

http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/cowboy-poet-to-perform-at-museum-s-cowboy-christmas/article_a597ab0a-0b0c-11e0-b980-001cc4c002e0.html

 

m

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Get the Gretsch, they're phenomenal guitars. Had a lod of them down the years and still have a 6120-DSW (hark at the bling).

 

The country Gent 62 style model is another of my favourites, but also look at the Tennessee Rose model with the painted f-holes, they're great too.

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You ever use it at gigs PM?

My guy brought his led paul to a couple of gigs. Was terrific for a few songs , but as an acoustic duo , two thirds of the stuff sounded better acoustically. Laziness also dictated that he just brought the acoustic but if it was up to me I would've insisted the electric was ther for the few songs that it worked for.

Excellent for slower stuff using the volume control to build dynamics.

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You ever use it at gigs PM?

My guy brought his led paul to a couple of gigs. Was terrific for a few songs , but as an acoustic duo , two thirds of the stuff sounded better acoustically. Laziness also dictated that he just brought the acoustic but if it was up to me I would've insisted the electric was ther for the few songs that it worked for.

Excellent for slower stuff using the volume control to build dynamics.

 

In the past yeah, with the wee acoustic combo, no.... Although we have discussed the possibility of me switching to electrics for one of the sets. The idea being We'd do an acoustic set, have a break then do an electric / acoustic set with the rowdier stuff taking advantage of the beef that an electric would provide etc... but to be honest we haven't rehearsed more than twice since December. The big French Jesus cajon bloke had a bad back/hip combo, I've been procreating, dealing with a bit of death and completely renovating a property ..and the singers little lad was in hospital for a bit.

 

The singer lad has a list of songs for us, all I'll say is if you thought Donna Summer was a quirky one, wait till you hear the next batch......

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I have only owned three electric guitars... A strat I scraped to buy in my teens, which I loved, a Gretsch Floyd Tennessee Rose - which played well but the bigspy whammy drove me crazy - it wouldn't stay in tune for long ever, and the Mexican - made Tele I have now.

 

There is something so nice and simple about the Teles. Go for a standard, and swap stuff out if you like. Or if you want to drop more coin, check out the Suhr guitars. They are gorgeous and play great - but pricy.

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Bigsby's work great. ....if well set up, the bridge has to be in tip top shape and you can't use it like a whammy bar on a strat, floyd rose etrc... it's a more subtle tremolo bar. Never had any real tuning issue with a bigsby at all. My favourite whammy bar by a country mile.

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http://www.gumtree.c...gsby/1052038310

 

Just appeared on the local ads.

Oh to be rich

 

Gretsch is one of the brands I have found the most significant step-up between the budget lines to the more fancy lines. I tried one of these when they first appeared BBG, was decent enough guitar to play but it didn't have the Gretsch sound or feel at all. Grab one of the prolines to try, you'll really see the difference, honestly not being snobby here. Huge step-up.

 

The prolines feel like playing an acoustic and they sound like a Gretsch no matter what the hell your settings are these were more generic electric guitar in feel and sound. Good modders platforms though for those inclined, quite a big scene about it on Gretsch-talk. But the prolines are tremendous guitars. Some get a bit chin-strokey because they're made in Japan, totally baseless though. Phenomenal guitars.

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Thanks for all the input folks, I've a good starting point at least;

 

Epip Sheraton II

Gretsch 6120

Gibson ES175

Eastman AR372CE

 

All appear (at least on paper) to be candidates.

 

I'll rule out the Tele. I've owned two G&L Teles (purchased from a friends music store) and they're not "my cup of tea"

 

Again, thanks for taking the time to respond; two high end options, one mid range and one "entry level", price-wise. A good mix to consider.

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Gretsch. I have played both electric and acoustic my whole life -- made a living at both for decades. There was always separation of style and skill set.

 

That changed when I started playing Gretsch guitars. I can play any of my Gretsches exactly as if they were acoustics -- not so with my Les Paul and not so much with a strat either. I came to Gretsch later in life, but I own three of them now, and they are my absolute go to for electric now....

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You can play any guitar for rhythm really -- just find one you like. Me, I play a tele because I love the simplicity of it and the way it feels. That, and it has balls.

 

Exactly!!! [thumbup] My most recent purchase was a Limited Edition "Thin Skin" American Vintage '52 Tele from Wildwood Guitars and a new '65 Deluxe Reverb Reissue amp. (my retirement present!!!)

52Tele_zps9ba9f9cd.jpg

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Exactly!!! [thumbup] My most recent purchase was a Limited Edition "Thin Skin" American Vintage '52 Tele from Wildwood Guitars and a new '65 Deluxe Reverb Reissue amp. (my retirement present!!!)

52Tele_zps9ba9f9cd.jpg

 

Throw in a can of cheap beer and you got yourself a helluva date.

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