The guitar is built of full, all-solid maple that gives a nice clean tone and helps to avert some of the feedback prone to other fully hollow guitars. There’s a mahogany set neck to both help with longer sustain and to give you the premium fit and finish usually reserved for more expensive hollow-body instruments. The two ACH-ST humbuckers aren’t ultra-heavy metal pickups, so you won’t get a ton of snarling distortion out of the AF55, but you can push an overdrive sound to the next level if you want to. It all adds up to a sound that’s perfect for a player who’s looking to go for the jazz/blues vibe, or someone who’s looking to go for a singer/songwriter roots project. The trapezoid tailpiece also gives you a nice nod to vintage axes, too.
Much of this is probably thanks to an outdated a pedal with a two-function switch that is labeled “Chorus” and “Vibrato.” These words will trigger a sigh of awe and wonder from many a guitarist because, of course, they are the labels on the mode switch of the famous Univox Uni-Vibe. This pedal is a good place to start because it was one of the first of the transistorized effects of this type to become widely available, and it occupies a patch of ground all its own in the world of things that go “swoosh”. That said, and despite the name and switch labeling, the Uni-Vibe is more akin to a four-stage phaser than what we today consider to be a chorus pedal, even if that’s the label on its most-loved setting. The deception is forgivable when you remember that the Uni-Vibe’s intention was to reproduce the chorus-type sound—or “chorale” sound, as it was often labeled—produced by a Leslie rotating speaker cabinet used with a Hammond organ. Also, the unit existed before there was much categorization of such things: it was a guitar effects footpedal, it had its own sound… and that was all anyone needed to know. The Uni-Vibe—and the better clones that have followed it down the years—is based around a discrete transistorized circuit with four sets of light bulbs and light cells and a low frequency oscillator (LFO) which does the shifting work to move the peaks and notches. Unlike the drawing-board phaser discussed above, however, the frequencies of each stage of the Uni-Vibe are set differently, so it could be argued that there is indeed more of a chorusing of the sound.
When we talk about instruments, sometimes the guitar gets all the credit. Of course guitars are great, but an electric guitar on its own—even a hollow-body—is only so loud. For giving one of the world's favorite instruments its voice, guitar amplifiers deserve a little love too. These amps and speakers are the powerhouses of your audio setup, turning your guitar's output from a simple electric current into those familiar sounds.
No matter how good a tech may be, his preferences are going to be different than yours on string height, etc. And he is never going to use the exact same amount of pressure fretting a note as you do (affects intonation adjustments). So, the best you can hope for is finding a good tech with good comunication skills, willing to listen to what you want. I'll admit I've never tried to find one, but that sounds more difficult than learning to do the setups yourself, which is what I did.
A common theme with these models is the capability to easily access the highest notes of the instrument, alongside dual humbuckers and massive sustaining bodies. The Explorer, much like the V, is now a very common electric guitar shape in the heavy rock and metal genres, but was widely used in other styles as well. This is evidenced by one of the most famous Gibson Explorer players, Allen Collins of Lynyrd Skynyrd.
"Our expertise is to customize guitars according to the specifications of our clients. Owning the latest state of the art equipment, craftsmanship and skilled technicians. We take great pride in the quality and designs of our electric guitars and basses. From traditional to unique styles a U.S. Masters instrument rates with the finest in detail, woods, finish, feel, components and consistency. Our designs incorporate some advanced high performance features, some patented, to improve on aspects of sonic response and feel, upper fret access, the ease of playing, comfort and all designed to provide you with one of the finest responding instruments available. Our 100% satisfaction guarantee allows you to buy with confidence!"
A Flanger simulates the sound effect originally created by momentarily slowing the tape during recording by holding something against the flange, or edge of the tape reel, and then allowing it to speed up again. This effect was used to simulate passing into "warp speed," in sci-fi films, and also in psychedelic rock music of the 1960s. Flanging has a sound similar to a phase-shifter, but different, yet is closely related to the production of chorus.
“Move up to Alnico IV and the power rating comes up and the frequency response flattens out – you get a balanced and natural- sounding response from the coils, but not so it’s boosting the treble. The mid-range stays quite constant as well. And then you go to Alnico V, which has the highest power. Then the bass and treble do get boosted and the sound starts to get more aggressive – more ‘rock ’n’ roll’, for want of a better term.
Washburn is known for producing great value guitars, and they take their reputation seriously. While other guitar builders tend to compromise cosmetics, this company does not hold back on visual details even in the entry-level market. The WD7S shows the company's design philosophy in action, featuring elegant body binding and custom wood inlaid rosette that makes the guitar look far more expensive than its actual price.
Flexibility of the BOSS Katana-50 goes way beyond expectations for establishing a different path referencing to its predecessor the Roland type of practice amps. With 50 watts of power and a custom 12-inch speaker, the Katana-50 can deliver a commanding range of sound playing it clean, crunch, lead, and brown for electric and acoustic electric guitars. Moving on to other controls on the panel, it features customizable effects by using BOSS Tone Studio editor software and for adjusting sounds quickly, it has a dedicated gain, EQ, and effects controls. Tone setting memory is also included for storing and recalling all amp and effect settings.
This guitar is simply phenomenol and the build quality, materials, and attention to detail are just mind blowing! I have a collection of vintage Golden Era Gibsons, Fenders, Gretschs, and Martins, so it takes a very special guitar to impress me. The Kraus OM delivers in every way! Just check out the rosette: Paua shell bordered by curly Koa wood inlayed into a red Spruce top-simply amazing! And the curly koa fretboard binding is a sight to behold! The Honduran Rosewood is becoming exceeding hard to find, and will probably go the way of Brazilian Rosewood as a protected wood soon. The Honduran Rosewood used on this guitar took months to source, and it looks spectacular! The guitar itself took 16 months to build, and the wait was well worth it, and well beyond expectations!
Kingston guitars were built in Japan and imported into the U.S. by Jack Westheimer, who was an early pioneer of importing and distributing Japanese instruments during the late 1950s and 1960s. At first, Kingston guitar models were limited to acoustics that were similar in style to Harmony’s Stella line. Westheimer’s electric line at the time was built in Japan by Teisco and branded as such before the name changed to Teisco Del Ray. By the mid-1960s, however, Westheimer was no longer importing Teisco (or Teisco Del Ray) guitars, and he turned his attention back to the Kingston trademark, but added electric guitars this time.
Epiphone makes some great guitars for beginners, and they get the top spot on my list. Epiphone is owned by Gibson, one of the biggest names in the guitar world. As a subsidiary, Epiphone is allowed to make budget versions of classic Gibson guitars. This means newbies have a shot at starting out on a legendary Gibson design such as the Les Paul or SG.
R.E.M.'s guitarist was a less-is-more master who never needed much more than swarming melodies and spangled riffs. From the laser-guided arpeggios on "Radio Free Europe" to the supersize power chords of "The One I Love," his sound was both gorgeous and matter-of-factly aggressive – a DIY style that helped Eighties underground rockers push beyond punk rock. "They created 50,000 guitar bands after them," noted Billy Corgan, "America was inundated with jangly R.E.M. type bands."
It is easy to make the mistake that the tone control set-up in an electric guitar is a simple single stage Resistor / Capacitor filter, where the two components are in series, the other side of the capacitor goes to ground, the signal is applied to the other end of the resistor and the output is measured across the capacitor. If that were so then your first calculation is roughly correct, while in a practical situation in the second, the capacitor would be fed from the impedance of the signal source. Lets say this is a test generator with an impedance of 600 ohms – the -3dB cut off would be around 12kHz. This is not the case for the typical electric guitar.
Unfortunately it’s during this critical time that a lot of people get discouraged and may even give up on playing altogether. The first 6 months of learning guitar are critical, statistics show that if someone can still be playing at 6 months they will be much more likely to go on to play guitar for life, so the first 6 months are actually the most important time.
This is such a trite discussion. There are many more choices than Fender and Gibson, and to boil it down to those two players is detrimental to the industry and by extension musicians of all skill levels. Those companies made great innovations and came out with classic models, and the industry owes them a whole lot. But to me, you get more points for continued innovation, not making a few great models then resting on laurels for the next 100 years.
I recognize that these lists are really the preference of the writer and that in itself makes the list valid. However……Robert Johnson at #1? I realize that many people studied him and he was a great guitarist for his era, but he wasn’t even the best guitarist of his era. That title goes to Son House, who taught Robert Johnson. The fact is that you could have had a Clapton without a Robert Johnson. Johnson wasn’t the only player whom Clapton was inspired by.
This is not a complete list of former or current American guitar companies. Among the omissions are Steinberger electric guitars and basses, now part of Gibson and Carvin, who is still independently owned and sells only direct, not through distributors or stores. I have not included the past great archtop luthiers such as D’Angelico, D’Aquisto or current archtop makers such as Bennedetto. Nor have I included the many smaller USA luthiers who are currently building excellent guitars such as Huss & Dalton, Foggy Bottom or Collings.
Just SOLD OUT: here is a great sounding wonderful 43 year old Vintage Japanese OOO guitar in excellent vintage condition. We have already set her up with our Martin Bone Nut & Compensated Saddle and action is dialed in to Martin specs. We also upgraded the original plastic bridge Pins to SOLID Ebony with Abalone dot with brass ring and of course a new set of Martin Strings 80/20 Bronze 12's.. and this guitar Sounds like a true vintage classic if not familiar with the Morris brand thats ok many are not, I have know of these for 2 decades now many of these were made in the Terada factory in Japan... another name you may not have heard of none the less they are know to make the highest end guitars in Japan in those days and also today, for makers like Ibanez virtually all of their top end guitars like Musicians - Artists - George benson GB line and the old Aria L-5's and Ibanez L-5's and many others continuing on today in that great Custom Shop tradition. This is one of them and is very well constructed with top workmanship and fit and finish build quality is comparable to a Martin- Taylor_Gibson and so on... that is to say no worries this guitar Morris has an excellent pedigree. Guitars of great playability and great sounding what more do you need?.... This guitar was built from wods aged at least 20 years at time of build that was over 40 years ago and just look at its condition to this day... it has truly stood the test of time. See for yourself... it this price range a wonderful classic 000 style Japanese true Vintage guitar in its own right. Great Value and great fun Japanese vintage collectible. For a song. .
Straight out of the box you have over 68 on-board digital effects, 75 custom designed factory patches for iconic sounds, 5 amp emulations and 5 cabinet emulators, so you’re not going to run out of choices on stage or in the studio. In addition, you have access to the Guitar Lab software app that allows you to download new stomp boxes and patches regularly.
Fender instruments like the Stratocaster and Telecaster feature bolt-on necks and brighter tonewoods such as alder for the body and maple for the neck. They are easy to work on, and an owner with even a small degree of technical knowledge can fit replacement parts without professional assistance. Fender guitars are built to a 25.5-inch scale length, which lends to their brighter, more percussive tone. You’re more likely to see tremolo systems on this type of guitar, and hot-rodded guitars known as superstrats fall into this category.
Even with such a lightweight configuration, the Fishman F1 system is still more than capable of rendering the tone of the DCPA4R with a great deal of accuracy due to the superior tight focus on the preamp. This guitar is our pick for the top acoustic electric guitar if price is no object. There are many other awesome models out there and we urge you to check them out as well, but you'll likely find that your search could have ended right here.
History aside, modern-day Ibanez guitars are amazing instruments. They offer a very distinctive value and bang for your buck that is simply hard to match by other manufacturers. Ibanez has become huge in shred (fast lead playing) guitar and metal circles. High profile virtuosos like Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Paul Gilbert have been greatly responsible for securing Ibanez’s place in super-fast, incredibly technical, shred guitar playing. Not to mention that Ibanez electric guitars simply feel “easy” to play, fast and comfortable. As far as ergonomics and playability, Ibanez guitars are hard to beat. Plus, you can get some very good inexpensive models too. If I where going to call a brand, “the Toyota of the guitar industry,” it would be Ibanez.
But this was different. This was build quality, and it completely wrecked the sound, feel and playability of the guitar. A competent pre-shipment QC inspection should have caught this and sent it back to be fixed at the factory, and they didn't. No serious guitarist would stand for ANY guitar made this way, at ANY price point. Yet there it was, on display on a guitar positioned as the flagship model of the brand, occupying the most expensive price point in the market.
Fuzz gained much glory from the sixties and seventies when popularized by musicians such as Jimi Hendrix. Today, fuzz pedals have evolved into a staple for some bands and is capable of producing everything from a singing, warm sustain to a scratchy, velcro sound. The mainstay of a fuzz pedal's sound is produced by an electrical component called a transistor. Fuzz pedals today can be created from silicon transistors, or germanium transistors. Silicon is known to produce a slightly harsh or bright sound (some consider it sterile) while germanium typically accentuates the low end and produces a warmer sound. Just as extreme settings on a silicon fuzz pedal can easily produce a harsh, glass-like sound, extreme settings on a germanium transistor based fuzz can produce an overly warm, and muted tone.
You have tonnes of distortion models based on the likes of the classic DS-1 (Dist-1) and Pro Co Rat (Squeak) pedals and more as well as boost, delay and modulation effects. An onboard tuner, stereo/mono looper with up to 80- seconds of phrase recording, tap tempo, stereo headphone output for silent practice and the ability to use up to 7 effects simultaneously.
The Japanese copy juggernaut got off to a fast start, and the second major Univox guitar was the Lucy, a lucite copy of the Ampeg Dan Armstrong, again produced by Arai, introduced in 1970. This guitar had a surprisingly thin bolt-on neck (especially compared to the Ampeg original) and a slightly smaller body. The fingerboard was rosewood with 24 frets and dot inlays. This had a fake rosewood masonite pickguard with volume, tone and three-way select. Like the Ampeg, the Lucy had a Danelectro-style bridge/tailpiece with little rosewood saddle. Unlike the Ampeg – which had Armstrong’s groovy slide-in epoxy-potted pickups – this version had a pair of the chrome/black insert pickups jammed together at the bridge. Other Japanese manufacturers also made copies of the Ampeg lucite guitar, notably carrying the Electra (St. Louis Music) and Ibanez (Elger/Hoshino) brand names, with versions of the slide-in pickups. In ’71, the Univox Lucy (UHS-1) was $275 including case. Just how long the Lucy remained available is unknown, but it probably did not outlive the original and was gone by ’73 or ’74.
Growing up in the late '80s as a young teenage musician, my friends and I played on many a Japanese guitar. Sure, we thought Japanese guitars were cool and weird looking, but cost was the true deciding factor. You could pick up a Japanese guitar at any pawn shop in our town for under forty bucks. Harmony, Kay, Teisco, Univox, Silvertone, Lotus, and other names I can't recall were always popping up at practices and jam sessions. Nowadays, Japanese guitars from the 1960's and 1970's are increasingly hard to come across, but we are always on the hunt, and we have found some cool and interesting vintage Japanese guitars, amplifiers, and other stringed instruments from the Far East...
Unfortunately, there is very little documentation or early catalog literature on the Kingston brand, so it is nearly impossible to date their guitars or group them into series. However, we do know that these guitars were likely built by Kawai, Teisco, and/or Guyatone (other manufacturers are possible as well). At the time, Kawai was building guitars in the style of a Fender Jazzmaster as well as the uniquely shaped Burns double-cutaway. Your guitar has more of a Strat-shaped body and I have seen it called a “Swinga,” but I wasn’t able to find another exact comparison in my research. I think your guitar was made by Kawai in the mid-to-late-1960s, because Westheimer was likely done with Teisco when this guitar was built, and it doesn’t really look like a Teisco from that era anyway.
If the Schecter wasn’t quite fast enough, this lower priced version of Steve Vai’s signature guitar should get the job done. The Wizard III neck is a direct copy from its more-expensive variation, and when combined with the 24 jumbo frets, creates a speed machine. Because Vai himself is a versatile guitarist, though, this guitar can pretty much do it all, though if you like a chunky neck for chords, you’ll have to look elsewhere. You even get the Tree of Life inlay at twice price, which looks great.
The best course of action is to set a budget that is reasonable - right at the get go - while also considering the cost for other important gear like accessories, cables, amplifiers and effects, should you need them. A good rule of thumb to follow is that entry-level to mid-tier instruments are great for beginners, while more experienced players will want mid-tier to premium guitars.
Every guitar player has their own distinctive sound, and many guitar companies have created artist and signature electric guitar models that were inspired by and/or designed in collaboration with the very best guitar players from the past and the present. Some of the most popular signature electric guitar models we offer here at Sam Ash are the Eric Clapton Strat guitars from both Fender and the Fender Custom Shop, ESP Kirk Hammett guitars, John Petrucci guitars from both Ernie Ball Music Man and Sterling by Music Man, and many more!