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EdwardMarlowe last won the day on January 18

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  1. Personally - and this really only is a subjective personally opinion - it's a rare Gibson I would find worth the spend. (Bear in mind, of course that the left handed options I see are more commonly the closing in on two grand end of things new; I'd struggle to justify that when I could go to a reputable builder and have something custom made to my specs for that....). These tributes look nice, though, and around the price that I'd feel comfortable with if I wanted a Les Paul again. Buying new given these price points, I'd stump up for the Gibson,. I'm sure the Epi is a fine guitar (I've never played an Epi I thought was truly "bad", beyond muddy HBs), but for my tastes Gibson have rather started to push the prices of Epiphones up. After yeas of them selling Epi as a budget brand, I'm afraid I find it hard to look at their new guitars and thing "expensive Epiphone-alike" rather than "Bargain Gibson!" If I was already going to buy a copy of a Gibson, I'd probably look at Vintage or Tokai instead, rather than spend more on something which, no matter how 'official' it is, is no less a 'copy' just a more expensive one. I still believe that's a major reason why Epiphone's Elite/ Elitist series failed - if they'd badged it 'Gibson Japan', I honestly think they'd have made a mint. Course, it's still very early days for these new Epiphones, so it's possible they will begin to hold their own moneywise. Proportionately, I think Epis always did (at least for the LP models) hold a similar proportion of their resale value to higher end (non-rare) production line Gibsons, but to me they're no longer worth the new prices given the range of competition out there. At least their marketing department have finally cottoned on to the impact of headstock shape in the market, though - always seemed a strange choice to me in a world where the market does care about these things that Gibson would give its own budget line a headstock shape that immediately made it less close a replica of the real thing than many other legit copies on the market (I'm not talking counterfeits). TL/DR: if I was going to buy a LP nowadays, the Tribute would be the one I'd choose, especially if available used.
  2. That's what intrigues me about it, I think... it just seems so offbeat. Be interesting to see how it played left handed. I like that it's a bit different from another variation of the same thing, though the logical thing for any hardcore Hendrix fan to do is to buy a 60s spec Strat of the other orientation and flip it if what they want is Jimi's guitar. I'd love to hear from the guys who designed this one about how it came to be.
  3. I'm not much help, but fwiw..... I'm assuming this isn't an original from the 50s/60s, but a repop. It's not a Jerry Jones, so thast would put it in the Dano period from the late 90s. From memory, Dano made guitars again up til 2003ish, then pedals only until a new owner reintroduced the guitars in small batches from 2006ish onwards. I don't remember the changes o this one - the better bridge, non-concentric pots, different headstock shape - being something that was around in that first stage, so I'd guess it would be a post 2006ish. It doesn't match anything in the current range - https://danelectro.com/all-guitars/ - the bridge *could* have been changed (pots look "right), but the variation on the headstock shape is notable. It's obviously some variant of the 59 (shorthorn) model, but I couldn't say which. If it's2006 or later as I suspect, it's probably one from a very specific run as the model since then has been to do limited runs and sell them out. THere's a Dano forum over here: http://www.guitarsite.com/database/Guitars/rec/1353/ - I'm not a member, but if anyone can identify your model specifically, they will be able to. Nice looking guitar, btw.... When I first moved to London in 1999, I was living in rental accommodation and didn't want to being my much-prized American Strat over yet. Went looking for a cheap guitar - being a lefty, the range of options was highly limited so eventually I talked myself into buying a new Korean Epiphone Les Paul with what would now be considered a "plus top". Still got the Epi, but tbh I'm so over humbuckers in general and Les Pauls in particular by this point.... I looked in a guitar shop on Camden High Street and they had a really cool singlecut Dano, around £150 in pink.... was tempted, but decided a Dano was too niche to have as a main / second guitar, so left it. These days I wish I'd bought the Dano instead of the Epi. The Epi is a nice guitar, the Dano is just much more me now. Would probably be worth more, too!
  4. I've never owned a signature model guitar (unless you count an Epi Les Paul, I guess). I fidn them interesting to read about. Almost more interesting, however, are the guitars that are inspired by a specific player, but bear no direct link to them. I'm seeing a lot of ads at present for a mid-price range (300-400) of Aria Pro instruments that are modern versions of Fender styles in the tuest sense - much like the PRS "strat", someone has tkaen it back to the drawing board and redeveloped it. These are the ones I mean :https://www.ariauk.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=59_93 Left handed options are limited, sadly (similar with the 'Icon' Vintage guitars, or I'd be tempted by one of those for a bit of fun), but today I saw this one: The snappily-named 714JH Yeah, it looks like alefty.... until you see the right handed trem. Amnd the strap button on the shorter, lower (now upper) horn. It amuses me too how the reversal of the jack socket (the 'normal' model has it the other way up than on a Strat, the obvious advantage being obvious if you thread your lead through your strap.... ) is "corrected" by this.... It's a really interesting concept, to Hendrix a guitar that's less taditional than what Jimi played.... I guess if you're a lefty SRV fan wnating something different it's also convertable... I fidn what aria are donig with this range more generally quite interesting - a good compromise perhaps for someone who wants more modern features but with a more classic look, perhaps? FWIW, I think the first tihng I saw the reversed strat jack socket on ewas the Red Wing guitars that I think Patrick Eggle made when he first sold off the Patirck Eggle Company (ared they still around? I remmeber them being tohught of as a sort of "cheaper, British PRS". In fact, I'm pretty sure I remember them running an Ad in Guitarist UK mag with pioctures of their modsels beside the Gibby / PRS equivalents and listing the (significant) price difference. One of them was an Iommi-sig model SGalike.
  5. I remember the Gibson case well (followed it out of both personal and professional interest). I wasn't surprised PRS won on Appeal. The first instance decision was nonsense - nobody spends that much on a guitar without having a fair idea what they are getting into, and the idea that anyone in any way would assume the PRS was a Gibson is bunk. Pretty transparently Gibson were trying to shut down a competitor who made them feel threatened, imo. Otherwise, Vintage would be a better rand to sue (look a lot more like Gibson, and really are a "copy" rather than "inspired by". That said, what I meant was guitar players were like "ok, fine, it's the PRS version of a Paul, that's cool" - the same people, by and large, who went apeshit when PRS did their version of a Strat. Granted, it was a step further away from *most* of what PRS is known for, style wise (it seems everyone has forgotten their early 90s EG models, which are pretty damn close to these, if less blatantly "our version of the Strat), but still.... why was one shrugged at and the other the apparent crime of the century in the eyes of so many? I don't think for a minute that any of them thought twice about the Gibson v PRS case. Fender, if memory serves, did register their headstocks as TMs in the mid 50s, though they couldn't do that in the UK prior to 94, or much of the rest of the world as shapes weren't registrable as TMs until the TMs At 1994 (in the UK). Prior to that, it would have been the much murkier common law issue of passing off / goodwill in the overall look and such. AFAIK, they can still protect the headstock shape now, but yes they lost everything else about the look of a Strat or Tele long ago. (As an aside, it amuses me that the headstock is the bit they're still able to protect, given that was the one bit of the Strat that they ripped off from somebody else, arguably - see Paul Bigsby's early prototypes.) Endorsements are an interesting thing. Definitely true that they sell product; Gibson and Fender so rarely advertise outside of the hobbyist press, but they continue to dominate the market largely because they got there first - all yer heroes play F or G, so you want F or G and when the next generation make it b ig playing F or G because their heroes did the new raft of kids in the audience want 'em.... self-perpetuating loop. At least we have some more variety in the market these days, but still. It's what makes me laugh a bit about people who whine and complain about "me too" brands.... generally exactly the same people I've often seen say they *would* buy X, but for "that ugly headstock - why can't they do a nice one, it's just not as good looking as the Fender..." Another thing that sort of intrigues me is how I've also long been intrigued by Fender's approach to these things: they might dabble with a few oddballs under the Big F for those who won't buy anything else, but they prefer to buy entire brands rathe than compete, then let the brand be what it was. Why copy Gretsch when you can own Gretsch? I see they've even revived the Starfire range that they killed off when they bought Guild, though interestingly now it's being sold as "Guild Starfire" with Guild on the headstock - a stratification of the main brand same as has worked for Gretsch. But I'm digressing here.... If some big name played Shijie, they could take off right enough. I remember Hagstrom becoming much higher profile after Pat Smear played one in Nirvana, and we'd probably not have brands like Eastwood around if Kurt Cobain, Jack White et al hadn't popularised a lot of those defunct sixties oddballs like Airplane and Univox. Let's not forget "Mosrite of California" (nothing to do with the original Mosrite company), who owe their entire existence to the Ventures and Johnny Ramone.
  6. Ha, well that rules me out!
  7. I believe they're open to doing work for a big brand, though TBH I'd rather see them succeed on their own. I have a feeling it's going to be the 'Made in China' image they're going to have to get past more than being a new brand, but we'll see. Asia has shed the image it once had. Fender Japan took a bit to be viewed as well as it is now - ironically, I think it took Fender shifting its European / US targeted midprice line to Mexico for the Japanese guitars to really start to be prized. Korea was very much loo0ked down on at a time, now it's China.... I wonder if Chinese manufacture will begin to getsome respect when the very cheapest stuff moves again to Africa? (not impossible, especially for an EU market, and Chinese conglomorates have been investing heavily in several central African nations over the last decade). It'll be interesting if their new UK representation can get them reviewed in the UK guitar press, that could be a big help. While the right to stamp "Fender" on the top end would certainly help them shift units, I suspect there's a niche market there for people who like the idea of a Suhr or similar, aren't wedded to the "big" names, but can't justify spending two grand. I suppose it all keeps coming back to the same thing - whether there's a market that connects with what they are trying to do or not. If I can sell off all my old stuff for what I think might be possible, I may well spend some of it on one of these, though obviously not sight unseen. I wouldn't buy *any* guitar much about £200 without getting a chance to play it first, even a Fender custom shop.
  8. That's another thing I see too. Part of it is that it's getting cheaper all the time to production line many guitars (and with older designs retaining the strong market share - I mean how long ago did Fender recoup their R&D costs on the Strat, or Gibson the LP - the trad versions that seem still to e their biggest sellers - forty years ago? Fifty? ) . It feels to me - and Fender's re-arrangement of its line with the Player series is a prime example, Gretsch with its 5xxx vs 6xxx series too - that for all the blurring of geographically produced ranges as compared to how it once was, we're increasingly seeing a stratification on hobbyist vs "professional" levels. If I was playing professionally, I suspect I'd be prepared to pay out much bigger money for a guitar I'd be using every night rather than a hobby piece... At least, that seems to be how the marketing works, though the average working musicians I've ever known were far more likely, pre playing on a Gold album at least - to be playing workhorse, mid-range instruments, while the wealthy hobby players bought the top end stuff.
  9. There's definitely a much bigger price spectrum than when I was starting out. Back then - early 90s - there was a very stark difference between bands - a Squier was a Squier, a Fender MIJ (MIM not being around yet then) one thing, and Fender USA another. Much less blurring of the lines than nowadays. The custom shop guitars from Fender all look amazing, though there's definitely a huge upcharge for intangibles like it being "built by masters" (I don't honestly much care, as a rule, who built it if it's good!), and then also basic 'choice' aspects - greater range of colours and other options. Being able to choose whatever pickups you want is great, though it may be debatable how much having that choice in and of itself is worth (as opposed to the actual cost difference of the pick-ups themselves). It'll be interesting to see if these guys can make it take off. For my entire playing years, there's been this notion of "the original and the copies". A guitar built to 1950s patterns by people who didn't make the originals or design them is "real" if it carries the same brand as the guitars designed and made before the current builders were born, but otherwise it's a copy. IT is what it is. Marketing. With acoustics, nobody points at a dreadnaught shape and says "Oh, that's a Martin copy", nobody points at a violin and says "oh, cheap crap - that's just a Stradivarius copy". Seeing how many big companies with their own established brand are now doing their own takes on a classic, I wonder will the next generation of guitar players be beyond the idea of "copy", and just see a "traditional" design? Maybe that's what's going on with PRS.... I can't help but be bemused that as long as they aped Gibson nobody batted an eyelid, but as soon as they made a "Strat".... Interesting that they've gone for the Fender market now as well as the Gibson... I wonder if they'll ever do an SE Strat type? Would like to try one of those (if they ever do a lefty), though I think the PRS neck would be too wide for me.
  10. The innards look pretty good here, though of course there is the question mark about a 'review special' as with any brand: http://www.shijieguitars.com/home-products-index-catId-16.html Found this on Youtube, production video from the factory. Looks likes sort of Gordon Smith type affair - not entirely 'hand made', if you want every last bit done 'by hand', but not a huge plant affair: I'm going to be interested to see what the UK guitar press makes of this; for all the accusations of going easy on advertisers over the yeas I've always found the likes of Guitar to be pretty reliable as to what's worth looking at. The thing that caught my attention here is the attention to the details - the trem isn't just a copy of the Fender version; brass block; that stripe in the neck... Sure, they're Fender "copies" to a great extent, but there seems to have been a lot of thought gone into how they would do their version, even down to the 12" radius as standard, rather than just copying the Fender norm of 9.5.
  11. It seems to be a small custom shop, building their own stuff, it's not contracted out at all. They did have an agent for a bit doing all their sales, but they've taken that back in house. They're in Guangdong, if I recall correctly; they're certainly based not too far from the Epiphone factory, though they're not making them there. Could be they drew some of the expertise from there, though. The concept is really sound: a custom guitar that would cost over two grand from the US for less than half that - but they certainly will have to face down the stigma of Chinese manufacturing stereotypes in the West. Same old same old - the West orders cheap crap from China, China obliges, and then the West thinks China can only offer cheap crap. I've been saying for years (based on experience out there) they're just as capable given the budget and materials.... this might be a chance to prove that theory! Web talk seems to be evenly split between folks who have one and love it, and folks who refuse the believe a Chinese guitar could be any good (and haven't played one). I'm hoping now they have UK distribution that I'll get a chance to try one out - I wouldn't buy one unseen, but then to be fair I don't think I'd buy any guitar unseen. If they are really all that and I had one and loved it, there would be a temptation to buy a second; I really like the 'standard' versions, and I'm very much a single coil guy. The relic'ed versions look pretty cool, though (I'm not normally a relic guy - I can admire them, but my aesthetic preferences are more geared towards the vintage look as was back in the day when those guitars were new rather than forty years old and beat tae feck)... there'd be the temptation to have the relic'ed version of the same colour, perhaps with the HB in the bridge, almost as if it was the first guitar at a different stage in its life. I'm not normally a HB guy at all - for years, the HSS layout has been a deal breaker to me - but I've actually really warmed to the look of it on these. I also like that they have the original layout in terms of tone features - would put it at another variation from my existing Strat. I've been planning for a while to pick up a Player Strat once I sell some stuff, but I'm toying with the idea of one of these first. They're certainly different enough that a Player would still slot in nicely for variation. My current Strats are my original 1994 US Standard (an anniversary year model, but the left handers made that year were for whatever reason not given the additional anniversary badge that went on all the right handers) and a Squier Std I modified with GFS lipsticks, but the latter is going to be parted out and sold off. I'm actually going to shift the bulk of my collection (around 13 currently; only keeping the Strat, my CIJ Tele and a Brandoni P Bass), including amps, so I should have a nice little bit of cash to play around with, and I'd be happy to take a punt on one of these Shijies as long as I can play first and be sure it works for me. Thereafter, who knows.... if Fender get their act together and extend the Mod Shop to the UK (an idea I was pushing on forums twenty years ago, I wodner if someone at Fender ever saw that, ha...), that might even supplant the Player....
  12. Depends how you bracket it, I suppose. The design intent behind these is to provide something closer the quality of the Custom Shop - i.e. a two grand Tele - rather than the production line Fenders. The quality of materials all seems to be there. They are shooting to be a similar operation to Suhr or Tom Anderson, who both sell Tele "copies" for about three times that price. Obviously the saving here is that a good wage in China is much lower, given relative economies, than the same in the USA. (Which is not to say these people are being exploited; I know Chinese academics who chose to work for a Chinese university rather than a job in the UK. On paper, they earn 50% in China what they'd have made here, but relative to the local economy they have a much higher standard of living than they could possibly have afforded in London, or most other major UK cities.) I suspect the biggest challenge they're going to face is prejudice about Chinese manufacture, given the "China makes crap" stereotype, despite the fact they make what the West orders! If they can pull it off, though, it will be a very significant move in the market, given how major a manufacturing nation China has become for almost everything else.
  13. As ever, viewer emptor, but I've discovered over the last few months that Youtube can be a fantastic resource for this sort of information. ONly problem is I'm now wild keen on spending significant money on a Shijie STE....
  14. content://com.android.chrome.FileProvider/images/screenshot/16091911806661275422068.jpg content://com.android.chrome.FileProvider/images/screenshot/16091912028751606406301.jpg content://com.android.chrome.FileProvider/images/screenshot/160919122066076764646.jpg Scguitars.co.UK Anyone had a chance to try one of these Chinese beauties? Lots of positive buzz around. I'm hoping they do lefties...
  15. Ah - according to Wikipedia: "Lace Sensors are true single-coil pickups; however, internally they are different from classic single coils. The chief difference is that, like the pickups used on the Fender Jaguar, the coil is surrounded by metal barriers which are designed to reduce electro-magnetic interference such as power line hum. According to the manufacturer, these barriers also help concentrate the magnetic field, allowing weaker magnets to be used, which results in less string pull. Less string pull, in turn, means truer pitch and intonation, and superior sustain." So it's more a different means of putting together a sc pup... Looks to me like it broadly speaking puts the coil between magnets rather than wrapped around it... Seems Fender dropped them when they got their own Noiseless series developed. I remember a lot of Neanderthals howling that the Laces weren't "proper" pickups because they had no polepieces, but lace sis develop a "Holy Grail" model with fake polepieces on it for that market.
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