Category Archives: guitar player

Fender Made in Mexico Fretless Jazz Bass

I know for a fact that almost everyone reading this title pictured a certain bassist when they read it, which is one of the reasons i’m writing this. The Fender Fretless jazz bass is one of the most famous types of electric instruments that ever was. It’s unescapable association with Jaco Pastorius is one of its main selling points, as Fender makes this lower priced model available to those of us not willing to shell out two grand on an similar instrument, just with strategic, American-made wear marks all over it. It’s familiar hybrid tone of an upright bass in electric clothing has attracted thousands of musicians to adopt the fretless bass as a red-headed stepchild to their ventures in recording, taking advantage of seamless slides, docile tones and the softer edges of notes that only an instrument without metal frets can provide.  Well, that’s what you would hope, right? Alright, go to a guitar store, pick one of these up straight out of the box, and you’ll understand exactly why Fender Mexico will never be mentioned in the same sentences as Gibson, Rickenbacker, Jackson, or even Ibanez.

You may be asking why i’m reviewing this, and i’ll tell you why, I bought one a few months ago. As a guitarist first, I figured it couldn’t hurt to expand my instrument collections. I’ve got a drumset, harmonicas, keyboard, and now i’ve got a violin, so you can read this from a perspective of someone who realizes I am all for being a multi-instrumentalist. The bass was an impulse by in a state when I was a huge Jaco fan, and I was really digging the sound of a fretless jazz bass, so I felt it would be alright to drop around 500 dollars on a fretless bass. So, I went to my local guitar store…where else? Guitar Center.

The Specs: It’s got an alder body, maple neck, rosewood fretboard, and the standard hardware accompaniment you’d expect on all Fender Jazz bass. The only “difference” that Fender touts is that they put the American electronics into it to beef it up. There’s got to be some sort of profit reason behind it, because this is really a cut and dry bass. It’s the exact same electric bass they’ve been making for years, but for some reason it costs the same price as a normal bass, despite using a lot less labor and material to make. The fretboard doesn’t have frets in it, and instead uses little plastic lines which look like they just cut white plastic from a box and slid it into already made bass fretboards. So they save money on materials by not having to install frets, or fret markers on the front of the fretboard. All they need to do is run a 9.5 radius sanding block across the top, and call it a day. Hopefully you can see some sort of theme developing in my tone towards this bass. Don’t worry, it doesn’t end here.

The Neck: There’s not much to say. To me, all Fender bass necks feel the exact same. Nothing really astounding, and nothing to say it feels bad. The sad thing is that there is a lot of room between the end of the neck and the neck pickup, and for some reason they limit it to a 20 fret range. Not only that, but the fretboard was poorly done. The little plastic fretline fillers didn’t fit properly, and they were moving out of the fret slots. I had to sand the things down because I couldn’t play the 2-4th frets on the D and G strings without buzzing, and the only way to overcome it was to loosen the truss rod. Sorry, not about to sacrifice the action of the entire bass because the shop workers couldn’t run the sanding block a few times more. Not only was it poorly made, but they could’ve extended the fretboard over the pickguard, for petes sake. It’s not like there are frets or anything. It’s proof that Fender really doesn’t intend to reinvent the wheel. They feel they did a good enough job inventing the first wheel, so why improve/change it?
The Body: I’m glad they didn’t change this. It’s what makes a Fender bass look like a Fender bass. However, to my surprise, when i took off the pickguard, there was a 3/4 inch cylindrical hole under the pickguard, and it was filled with sawdust. For some reason, I had trouble contemplating how sawdust could get into a hole on a bass which was already finished.  There should be no reason for an instrument to come in contact with a sawdust creating process after the instrument has already been painted, clearcoated, and buffed. Stretch your own imaginations, I could use some explanation.

The Electronics: To me, the pickups seem underpowered, but really, the bass sounds like a Fender Fretless jazz bass. I’ve got no complaints there. Roll off a little of the neck pickup and you’ve got that Jaco sound. The only thing is, i’m/you’re not Jaco, so whenever you butcher Portrait of Tracy, people know it. It doesn’t change anything that you’re playing a Fender Fretless.

The Hardware: It’s typical Fender hardware. Big club-shaped tuners, ultra generic, cheap volume knobs, vibration prone bridge saddles, and the same bridge they’ve been using forever. Again, not reinventing the wheel.

The Whole Shebang: I bought a Fender fretless jazz bass, and it’s what I got. I went against my own pillars of guitar religion and bought something that wasn’t very good. It was terribly set up, and when I mean terribly, I’m not exxagerating. It took me days to finally set it up to where poorly made fretlines weren’t buzzing, the bridge was properly adjusted and the truss rod wasn’t bent like a 400 foot flagpole in a Chicago afternoon. Literally, the sales person admitted you could “drive a truck under the strings” because the action was so high. The problem was, when most people think about a guitar’s action, they look to the bridge. But the bridge was alright, it was the truss rod which looked as though they had never set it up. They just slid it into the neck, put the bass into a box and sent it to the Guitar Center from where I bought it. It’s probably the reason they didn’t sell it to anyone and the same one had been there for years. If a person who’s new to an instrument can’t play it or adjust it, then they won’t buy it. I only used it’s poor condition as leverage to drop the price from 450+ tax down to 375 out the door.

For the most part, Guitars aren’t like cars. Honda can still call the same thing a Civic for 20+ years, but improve it as technology changes. Fender can – and will – call their jazz bass the same thing forever, and they won’t change a thing. They won’t attempt to make that giant bolt-on block any less wieldy, they won’t add more output to their pickups, and they won’t add more frets.  The only way I turned it into a more tolerable instrument was with almost 50 hours of work to clean out pockets, clean up bad sanding jobs, tighten screws, adjust the bridge, tighten the truss rod and wait for hours for it to adjust. I basically paid 375 dollars to cause me stress, and to buy something that fills up my closet. The only good thing about is that when I want to play a Fender Made in Mexico Fretless Jazz bass, I can. Woo boy.

The Pros: It’s a Fender Fretless Jazz bass, so the Tone, and fretless sound. Comparable to buying a Chevy Bel Air if Chevrolet was still making it indentical to how they did in the 50’s.

The Cons: Just about everything else.
The Grade:

14 Comments

Filed under bass, Electric Bass, Fender, Fender fretless jazz, Fender Guitars, guitar, guitar center, guitar player, guitar review, Jaco Pastorius, Jazz Bass, music, negativity

I’m still alive

Just as a reassurance that i’m not dead, look forward to reviews and rants coming an a day or two. I’ll be talking Parkwood acoustics, BC Rich platinums, and possibly a Fender Fretless jazz bass rant.

1 Comment

Filed under Bc Rich, Fender fretless jazz, Fender Guitars, guitar, guitar player, guitar rant, guitar review, Guitar store, Parkwood, player

And more guff?

For all of the people who might disagree with what i’m doing/done/have yet to do, I feel I might as well respond in a blog, because it can further give an idea of what i’m trying to do here. This person actually asks some good questions, and for that I will hopefully respond and further explain myself.

  1. Norrin Radd Says:
    September 6th, 2006 at 4:46 pm eSeems to me that Jimi D had more issues with your facts than with your opinions. AND, if you’re “just another one of those people who plays lots of instruments at music stores; so what people get are gut reactions from me, not some polished reviewer “, then why even post a review?

    A published review ought to be borne out of professionalism – in the sense that it is your job to do so. If you’re just another guy playing a guitar in a music store, what value does your opinion have? Why should anybody be interested in what you say? Give me some reason to care about your opinion!

    I think it does the reader a dis-service to publish a review on a site like this where the assumption is that you’re a trained professional giving an objective review. Otherwise, why not just post it up at Harmony Central?

No one else does what I do on a blog, especially not one that registers into Google so quickly. No one publishes something from the view of the majority of guitar players. Many of which go to a guitar store but have no reason to write about what they see and feel when they’re there. We all read the magazines with creative-writing majors touting the glories of some guitar like a BC Rich Bronze series because he’s advertiser friendly, but what do we really gain from it? Do you really trust a company when they’re telling you how they’re doing? I hope not.
Instead, I am the friend of yours you ask when you’re thinking about buying a guitar. I’m the guy staring at a guitar in a window. And I’m the guy who knows what I like, and you compare your opinion to mine and figure out what you like. For instance, you’re thinking about buying a Charvel San Dimas 1H (You better be) and you want to look up what people say about it. You read the short blurbs on Musiciansfriend’s reviews, you read the specs on Charvel’s site, and maybe you’ve read a review in Guitar World. Then what? You’ve read something from the manufacturer, an advertisment, and an owner, none of which have done what I write about; go into a store, pick up a guitar that looks good and play. I’m not trying to be some sort of person speaking for the little guy, be it the 12 year old picking up a squier, or the 45 year old rekindling their youth, I am speaking from little guy to little guy. Those reviewers know what’s coming, they know they’re getting a Les Paul Supreme in their office. Me, however, i’m staring at a wall of guitars, waiting for one to sing to me. And i’m hear telling people if I like the tune.

This is the basis of opinion and critical thought. You know where the opinion is coming from, you judge accordingly. To believe you are informed, one must attempt to get as many opinions from as many different viewpoints as possible. You can take every opinion with a grain of salt, then you take what you’ve learned and evaluate accordingly. In this case, it’s musical instruments.

So why am I doing this here? Harmony Central is for anyone. Here it’s just me. How can you be sure that the review you’re reading on Harmony Central isn’t written by someone in the company? How can you be sure it’s not written by an advertiser? You can’t. Here, you can see that i’ve given reviews to some of the most highly competetive guitar companies honestly and unbiased. And, there’s only one person writing here. Not a mish-mash of bulletin board posts which are difficult to find and decipher. Here it’s simple.

I hope i’ve answered your question, Norrin, and answered others to come.

-The G.

2 Comments

Filed under 20th Anniversary Silhouette, Ernie ball, guitar, guitar center, guitar player, guitar rant, guitar review, Guitar store, music, Music Man, Nay-saying, negativity, Rabble Rousing, Silhouette

Rabble Rousing?!

Apparently i’ve received my first flack for some of my comments on the Ernie Ball. Who knew they had such a militant following? Here it is for all to see, someone pointing out my flaws as a reviewer, something I would willingly admit on a business card. Instead of simply leaving it in the realm of comments, I feel I shall put it up here. Leaving the comments open to comment, including my response.

  1. Jimi D Says:
    September 6th, 2006 at 12:22 pm e
    This review is worthless – the reviewer is an inarticulate troglodyte and his opinions are valueless and misinformed. The 20th Anniversary Silhouette does not have the same neck profile as the Petrucci Sig. – in fact, the necks are tangibly and undeniably different. The 20th Anniversary Silhouette does not have active electronics – no 9-volt battery would ever be required. And lastly, Ernie Ball Music Man guitars are revered for their incomparable necks – check any decent guitar forum (The Gear Page, Birds & Moons, FDP) and you’ll find dozens of proponents of the Music Man gun stock oil & wax neck finishing, and every print publication for guitarists (including Guitar Player, Guitarist, Total Guitar, Guitar) that has reviewed the Axis has praised it’s neck. In fact, the Axis neck is a digitally carved copy of the neck from Eddie Van Halen’s # 1 favorite frankenstrat, developed when EVH had his signature guitar with EBMM, and this writer’s suggestion that he played an Axis that had an “unfinished” neck where “they forgot to round out the back” demonstrates an ignorance so monumental that it’s frightening. His assertion that it is somehow a substandard neck simply illustrates his complete lack of appreciation for a contemporary classic design that has found favor with a huge number of amature and professional musicians throughout the world.

As it turns out, this person is the moderator of an Ernie Ball forum…
Touching. Simply touching. Who knew that my few hours with a guitar in a store would be no match for that of someone who practically works for Ernie Ball. Anyway, on to my response.
However informed you believe you are, being an Ernie Ball owner, i’d like to direct you to this page:

http://www.ernieball.com/site/flyers/20th_ann.html

If you’ll notice that it says Piezo available, which was what I played. It was my mistake, I corrected it. I’ll pony up to that one.

However, if you had read my post, you may have read that I was at a Guitar Center. Maybe with a little bit of decisive reasoning, you could’ve concluded that it may have been a floor model, and it’s poor quality was attributed to that. And despite the fact that people say “one bad apple doesn’t spoil the whole bunch,” it did in my case, 6 years ago, when I was new to electric guitar. It should be a testament to either Guitar Center or Ernie Ball that no one was taking responsibility for making the flagship model of a company in excellent condition at all times. Unless you work for them, I have no idea why you’re standing up for them.

Also, had you read my posts, you’d also know that I am just another one of those people who plays lots of instruments at music stores; so what people get are gut reactions from me, not some polished reviewer who has had time to sit down and practice his sucking up to a company. These are my opinions, and opinions give people extra data that people can use in the event they purchase a guitar, and more knowledge for judging what they like in other guitars.

And I don’t know why you’re going out of your way to give me grief, I said the guitar was one of the best i’d ever played, and it might be the next guitar I buy. So I insulted the integrity of your favorite company in part of my post? Sorry I didn’t suck up to them for every sentence like you’d assume in the publications you quoted from memory.

-The G.

3 Comments

Filed under 20th Anniversary Silhouette, guitar player, guitar rant, guitar review, Music Man, Nay-saying, negativity, Rabble Rousing, Silhouette

Ernie Ball Music Man 20th Anniversary Silhouette

I’ll admit it, for the my entire career as a guitar player, I have hated Ernie Ball Music Man guitars. I have very vivid memories of going to a Guitar Center, picking up a really nice looking Axis, only to have the experience ruined by the neck. It felt triangular to me, and almost like they forgot to round out the back of the neck. Not only that, but the wood was dirty due to some lack of sanding and finishing. So it stuck in my mind as one of the most uncomfortable guitars ever made, so I never picked one up again. It kept me away from Ernie Ball altogether until one of my favorite guitarists got picked up to do a signature guitar. John Petrucci, the guitarist for Dream Theater, rekindled my interest in Ernie Ball and gave me reason to touch them again. Maybe i’ll review the JP Signature at some point, but right now, we’re on a different mission with coincidental undertones (I’ll explain in a bit)

I went to Guitar Center with a friend of mine who plays bass. He had just purchased one of Ernie Balls new HH basses, so he felt some sort of brand loyalty to Ernie Ball. He sat in front of one of the cheapo Crate amplifiers, ready to butcher a song on guitar, an instrument he’d never really excelled at. He picked up the nearest Ernie Ball, it was the 1800 dollar, 20th Anniversary Silhouette which was positioned quite close to him. He played the guitar, and I looked at it with contempt, still remembering the experience with an Axis a long time ago. I’d never played the Silhouette, but I just assumed it had the same neck as the Axis, but with a double cutaway body. My friend got a phone call, and was just sitting there holding the guitar. I decided to take his seat, and he handed me the guitar. The transformation had begun…

The Specs: It’s a 24 Fret, Dimarzio Loaded beast of simplicity with no tremolo, locking tuners, three way pickup selector, volume and tone knobs. The top is an odd beast, a layered top like a triple ply pickguard, but with wood, plastic, then wood again. It was different, to say the least, from anything else i’d ever seen, as most guitars with plastic around the side consisted of cheap plastic binding, but this was a black plastic with a maple veneer on the top. Very attractive.

The Neck: This was what converted me. My hands fell into an immediate pattern which i’d never felt before. A different kind of comfort i’d never felt on medium jumbo frets. They were spectacularly finished, and with 24 of them, I was in heaven. My ideal prescription for a guitar consists of a 24 fret neck, and one as good as this will most definitely go on my list when some company comes to approach me about building a signature guitar. (I won’t hold my breath) It was smooth, unfinished (They did a bang up job!) and despite being a bolt-on, I felt no limitations like I would on a Fender Strat or Telecaster.

The Body: This might be the only thing I’ve got a problem with. The horns are stretched a little much for my tastes. The bottom one has a perfect curve to it, but the top is a little long, giving it an almost Danelectro Longhorn look to it. But it was perfectly contoured for playing, which is really all that matters. I say that knowing perfectly well that BC Rich wouldn’t be as well known as they are had feel been all that matters when people were buying guitars (Another review some time). Qualms aside, it was light, the pickups fit in there perfectly, and there was no clutter to it; just a beautiful looking guitars. Also, since my ideal guitar has a fixed bridge, (Though a trem is an option on some 20th anniversary Silhouettes) this one is starting to fit the bill as one of my favorite guitars.

The Electronics: Simple active (I am mistaken. An eloquent comment proved me wrong. What I thought was active pickups, was actually a piezo preamp.) circuitry with Dimarzio pickups. I’ve always been a fan of Dimarzios, but these just had a different dynamic, which was excellent. The were clear and crisp in all settings with no muddiness like some single coils tend to do, and some stock Humbuckers. Though, I’m not a big fan of active circuitry, as most people can’t find a 9 Volt battery when they need one.

The Hardware: Good bridge, nice knobs, what else is there?

The Whole shebang: Now, what I mentioned before was that the only other Ernie Ball I really had enjoyed was the JP signature, and I have a feeling this guitar took some of it’s ideas from John Petrucci’s ideas for Ernie Ball. The neck is probably the exact same one, and the fact that the action is perfect shows that a real player had something to do with it, not someone trying to make one-off guitars without caring about playability. (Gibson SGs, anyone?) As simple as it is, this is a great guitar. It feels great, sounds great (even through a cheap amp), looks great, and is a product of American craftsmanship, of which I am a huge proponent. The Ernie ball 20th Anniversary Silhouette has brought me back into the realm of Ernie Ball, and I’m here to stay.

However, i’m not going to give it the A+ that the Charvel had. This Ernie Ball has everything i’d ever want in a guitar, no hassles, fuss or anything that would bother me, and it would sound amazing. The Charvel I reviewed only had 22 frets, and it had a Floyd Rose, some of my biggest irritations in guitars. The thing is, there was an electricity I felt when I picked up that Charvel; an almost undescribable feeling that just made me want to play, and I thought it was an amazing guitar. This Silhouette is, without question, my ideal guitar, and something that fulfills that criteria is a diamond in the rough. I want it to be my next guitar, even if they triple the price. However, it didn’t inspire me like that Charvel, and for that it get’s an A. That plus is reserved for something out of this world.
Pros: Everything is fantastic. My ideal guitar, all the way.
Cons: None.

The Grade:

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Filed under 20th Anniversary Silhouette, Charvel, Ernie ball, guitar, guitar center, guitar player, guitar rant, guitar review, music, Music Man, Silhouette

Why I Dislike Guitar Center.

Edit: A few months later, I realize that hate is such a strong word.

Preface: I’ve been to 6 different Guitar Centers. Hollywood, San Marcos, La Mesa, San Diego (pre La Mesa move), San Francisco, and San Francisco 2 (pre Van Ness move). So I think i’ve seen enough Guitar Center’s to accurately complain about them, but that’s up to you. Lets get started.

Guitar Center is the bane of the guitarists existence; the be-all end-all of guitar stores for the guitarist’s vernacular. When someone wants to try out guitars, they go to Guitar Center. When someone wants to buy an amplifier, they go to Guitar Center. When someone needs just about any musical gear, they go to Guitar Center. Every person who’s ever been to one knows the feeling they get. You’re outside the door and you hear someone butchering a popular song; Stairway to Heaven, One by Metallica, or some Green Day. At any other time, you’d be irritated, but when you walk in, you completely ignore that kid playing an American Telecaster on Neck Pickup through a Line 6 on full distortion, you ignore the guy who’s always too loud when he plays a small combo, and you forget the Metalhead shredding his pants off at the Mesa Boogie Triple rectifier. You see that wall of guitars and think “Damn, I want that wall.” Then it all sets in. The attractive woman at the door (I’ve been meaning to ask, but it might sound rude asking “Why are all of the guitar center door people attractive women” as I might sound creepy coming from a guy in a faded hat, old sandals, shorts, and an ACDC shirt that’s too big) says hello to you, you start looking for that guitar you want to play around with, and there are already 10 people’s eyes watching you, judging you.

Now why would I take time out of my day to rant about Guitar Center? Simple. Guitar Center is a business, and their business is music, so they run music like a business. Confused? I’ll explain.

The Levels: When you or I walk into a Guitar Center, everything is thought out about how it should look when we walk in. Their gear is organized in levels on the walls. They symbolize yearning and affordability, so basically the lower it is, the easier to buy, and with the elevation increase on that wall of guitars, the price follows suit. But the proof is in the pudding, so here’s an analysis of the “levels.”

The Low Level: The Squiers, Mexican Strats, Jackson Dinkys, PRS SE’s, Epiphone Les Pauls, BC Rich bolt-ons, Ibanez’s low numbered RGs, Jasmine acoustics, Baby Taylors, Fender acoustics, and so on. Usually, the lowest guitars are the guitars meant to introduce people to playing the instrument, and they only cost 100-300 dollars. So you’d think that they’re there for the new guitarist? One would hope so. These are the Guitars that the parents buy for their kids on Christmas, the younger player gets when they save money, and the older person gets to try and rekindle their youth. However, the companies that make the guitars are trying to keep a steady profit while also selling expensive instruments. Rarely does a company specialize in top of the line gear without making cheap stuff to keep the money flowing in. The thing about the cheap stuff is that the companies don’t really care about it. They use cheap materials, cheap labor, and no quality control. These mass produced instruments should be used by no one, but there’s no getting around it. The companies don’t set the guitars up when they send them to Guitar Center, so when that young kid who gets a guitar complains that his fingers have been hurting too much, his strings keep breaking, and the sound keeps cutting out, it’s because there’s absolutely no setting up at the factory. I actually feel like the companies might be deliberately keeping the action on guitars high so people will want the more expensive ones, therefore associating easiness with the more expensive guitars. These cheap guitars are meant to be played for about a year, then the person either gives up guitar or is forced to buy a better guitar.

The Middle: At mid-level are the middle range guitars which are good bang for your buck instruments which will last awhile, and still sound pretty good. I’m talking the Ibanez Prestiges, Fender American Strats and Teles, Jackson bolt-on Soloists, Gibson Faded models, Schecters, Takamine and Parkwood acoustics, amongst plenty of others which cost anywhere from 400-1000. These are actually good guitars, but they don’t have the construction quality of the upper level guitars. These are the guitars for the player who wants to upgrade or get another guitar of equal quality to another guitar. They are perfect backups to the ultra expensive guitars, and are great for experiments customization such as pickups, hardware, and different wiring. Guitar Center puts these there because they are slightly harder to reach than the cheap ones, therefore signifying that someone might know what they’re doing if they’re going out of their way to grab one. These guitars are semi-well set up, which means the guitar player used to the cheap guitar might associated these guitars with something better, and give them a reason to beg their parents for one. Personally, i’d save up for a better one, but for a temporary halt to the begging of your kids, these will work for about 5 months.

The Upper Level: These are the instruments you’re supposed to aspire to, and they take a months pay to get. Gibson Les Pauls, Fender Player’s choice american Strats, Jackson American Soloists, Charvel San Dimas’, Ernie Ball Music Man, PRS Santanas, BC Rich Platinums, Ibanez JEMs, and pretty much any guitar from 1000 to 5000 dollars. These are the instruments that the companies know you want, so Guitar Center puts them out of reach. You’re only supposed to look at these things until you can actually get one, and rarely does anyone have the brass to ask a Guitar Center sales person to reach down a $3000 Gibson Les Paul Supreme unless they have the money to afford one. These guitars are made with good quality materials, most likely constructed in America (Partly the reason for the price), and they have been professionally set up. If anyone gets a chance to pick one up, the company wants you to know that this represents the best in instruments and is what the pros use.

First you get the money: Guitar Center makes musical instruments a Corporation style event, and while you’re looking for the best instrument for yourself, they just want you to buy anything. They don’t really care if you get the best deal, really love the instrument, or if you’re getting a quality instrument. The salespeople are paid on commission, and the prices of everything are hiked up in the first place. That means that the Fender Telecaster that says 400 dollars plus tax, you can probably get it for 350 flat if you actually talk to the sales person. Experience shows that a Fender Fretless Jazz bass for 450 plus tax can be bought for 375 with no tax. The sales people are willing to haggle because they just want you to buy anything. That’s why they wander around the store aimlessly looking for their next victim, and I referenced it when I talked about the experience of entering guitar center and seeing the 10 people judge you. 5 of those people are the wandering musicians in the store, and the other 5 are salespeople figuring out how much money you might spend. That’s why if you’re dressed as a college student, you’ll get the cold shoulder, but if you’re an older man, if you’re a mom with your son, or if you just look rich, the salespeople will swarm you like vultures to a dead gazelle.
What does it all mean?: Guitar center wants you to think that the best guitar for you is the one at the top of the wall, they want you to think that the most expensive thing must be the best thing. You have to look up to see it, you have to think about it from afar, and it catches your eyes and memory, so you have to associate it with the best.

But it’s not. In fact, there is no best, especially not the ones at Guitar Center.

Guitar Center doesn’t really put competing guitars and gear in their store. There’s only a handful of modeling amps there, mostly Line 6, but there are lots of others out there which are better, and better priced. There are only a few of each expensive guitar at the store, and there are limited options, but the company has made thousands of these expensive guitars. There’s only one Fender Eric Johnson strat at each Guitar Center at a given time, and it’s to keep up the idea that it’s being sold (Don’t get me wrong, the Eric Johnson strat is one of the best sounding guitars ever made). They only sell the Line 6 Pod, when there are actually a good amount of other Pods out there for a better price and more functionality (Behringer V-amp, Johnson J-Station). There are literally thousands of distortion pedals out there, and Guitar Center usually has about 30 of them, mostly Boss and Digitech.

The companies out there actually pay Guitar Center to keep one of a certain iconic object available, instead of giving options that would be available had there been more.

Sadly, there’s no alternative. Mom-and-pop stores are pretty much nonexistant, their prices can’t compete, and there’s no one out there willing to fight Guitar Center’s unorthodox style of musical instrument selling. And what should be a fun hobby/joy/profession such as music, is instead turned into a car dealership.

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Filed under center, guitar, guitar center, guitar player, guitar rant, Guitar store, music

Welcome to the Guitarist blog.

This is the blog of the normal guitarist out there.

I am the guy who goes to the guitar store and plays different guitars for hours, i’m the guy who looks for all the information about guitars he can get, and i’m the guy who wants a big house with a room just for guitars. I know i’m not alone, and I decided to be a voice. There are millions of people just like me who save every dime they get so they can some day own their ideal instrument and then some. But in the mean time, i’m one of the many guitarists who spends hours in the guitar stores and irritate the hell out of the owners for not buying anything, but getting their fingerprints on everything.

Being one of these guys, i’ve had lots of time with lots of different guitars. I intend to review them honestly so the guitar player willing to drop 500+ dollars on a piece of wood, plastic and metal knows what they’re getting into. I will review guitars, amps, pedals, and miscellaneous gear. Obviously there will be a little aire of personal preference, but it is absolutely impossible to be honest without hints of it.

Being a guitar player, I have aspirations as a guitar player, and have spent a large amount of my playing time trying to find the guitarists who I like. I will do tributes to the guitar players and will also do tributes to their guitars. Those who have had such an impact on me deserve the returned favor of respect and adoration.
I may occasionally do album reviews if they really catch my fancy as a guitarists, so we’ll see how that pans out.

I hope that anyone who reads this finds something useful. From the expert luthier to the aspiring guitar player, I hope to bring something new to every possible reader interested in guitar.

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Filed under center, guitar, guitar center, guitar player, guitar review, music, player