Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Y'know, if you browse through my blog, there's a lot of posts about cars, movies, electronics, music, etc. But there's one hobby that's a major part of my life that I've seemed to have ignored - my guitar.
Last saturday, I had a nice day off, so I decided to go to the music store and try out some new guitars. As a guitar player, its always nice to keep up to snuff about what's on the market. For the first time, I had the opportunity to play a Paul Reed Smith - a McCarty model at that. Actually, the first guitar the guy handed me was a Custom 22 - and there's always this etiquette with guitar stores. You don't really ask to play the nicest guitar first - because you have to establish a trust. I mean, when you're dealing in the $2000+ range, you shouldn't blame them for being reluctant to hand you a guitar. So, I played the Custom 22, and once the guy saw that I had some decent skill, he handed my the McCarty model.
I'm a Les Paul player- and to date, the nicest electric guitar I've ever played is my Les Paul Standard. But I gotta say, the Paul Reed Smith's are definitely close. I still think the Les Paul is better, but the Paul Reed Smith's definitely have their advantages - the number one being its body. The Les Paul is a heft guitar and can become quite cumbersome after awhile - but the Paul Reed Smith almost feels like a strat (well, not quite, but definitely on that end of the scale). So, its really like the best of both worlds- the fat, robust sound of Les Paul with the jump-around-the-stage lightness of a strat. Not to mention its looks. PRS's are gorgeous guitars - especially the ones with the bird inlays. The tops are sweet too.
The other guitar I tried when I was there was the Gibson ES-335. Now, when I started playing guitar, I was big time into Oasis and Noel Gallagher at the time was a big advocate of semi-hollow Archtops. Since that time, I've bought a Epiphone Supernova and am quite happy with it. The narrow neck is a very nice touch. Anyway, back then, before I really knew what I was talking about - I went to a guitar store and tried an ES-335. It must have been the first $2000+ guitar that I tried. Back then, the store clerk was staring me down when I played it, so I never really got a good feel of the guitar. That must have been 7-8 years ago. So that's how long its been since I've picked up an ES-335.
Last saturday, I decided to revists my love for the archtop - and let me tell you, I was rather dissapointed. Now, granted, it's really hard to tell how good a guitar is in a guitar store - but overall, I wasn't very impressed. Both clean and distorted tones were kinda ugly - the overall playability was shabby, and the newer models were rather heavy. I'm sure if I had more time with them, my opinion might change - but maybe not. As it stands now, it must say, rather dissapointed.
Not last saturday, but awhile back, I did try an amazing guitar though - The Taylor T5. This is a sick guitar! For those who don't know, it's in the realm of the Chet Atkins SST and the Godins - basically an acoustic that's designed to be plugged in. Of al those guitars- the T5 is for sure my favourite. I plays an sounds so nice. The Chet Atkins SST has been a favourite for a long while (mainly due to Dave Matthews), but the Taylor T5 (now played by Dave, and Jason Mraz) is taking the winners seat. It is such an amazing guitar. What completely blew me away was how good this thing sounded even unplugged.
When all is said and done, in my life to date
-The best electric guitar I've ever played is a Les Paul Standard
-The best electic/acoustic guitar I've ever played is a Taylor T5
-The best straight acoustic guitar I've ever played is this 10 year old Yamaha 400 series
Thanks for reading.