Play your guitar a while like this, and notice how much more ring, richness, and sustain you get out of it. The strings should now vibrate for close to the full potential of the instrument (which, of course, also depends upon factors such as nut and bridge type and condition, body style, neck and body woods, and so forth). Put simply, your tone is likely to sound bigger and fuller, and to bloom with a broader voice and a longer note decay than previously. If this as-high-as-you-can-hack-it setting is a little too much for every-day playing, try backing the strings down a hair at a time, and hopefully you can find a height that offers a healthy compromise. Sure, it’s also possible you preferred it the way it was before you adjusted it at all, and if your playing style involves a lot of speed riffing, hammer-ons and pull-offs, or extreme bending, you might simply require that as-low-as-it-goes actions (and will very likely mask its drawbacks with some judicious high-gain tone). With any luck, though, you’ll have discovered an easy means of achieving a fatter tone, without purchasing or modifying a single thing.
For our example pedal board, we’ll pick the ST-2 Power Stack. Another category with many choices is modulation.These are effects like flanger, phaser, chorus, tremolo, and others. Let’s use the most versatile of these—the BF-3 Flanger. Another group is ambience effects, such as delays and reverbs. We’ll use one of each: a DD-7 Digital Delay and the FRV-1 ’63 Fender Reverb. There are some pedal effects that can add notes or alter the pitch of what you’re playing. For want of a more esoteric name, we’ll call these “pitch-altering” pedals. From this category, let’s throw in a BOSS OC-3 Octave.
Certain aspects of this thicker sound can only be achieved by using a bigger gauge of string.  Pat Martino, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and other guitar masters are a testament to this philosophy.  A bigger string will offer a bigger sound, if we are willing to make sacrifices in other areas.  Again, these sacrifices may be negligible depending on your genre.

When you first start out playing electric guitar, it goes without saying that it all begins with a guitar and an amplifier. Those are the two most basic parts of your setup, and they’re all you need for learning the fundamentals. Once you have a grasp of your foundation, though, you’re probably wondering how professional guitarists manage to get so many different sounds out of their instruments. Effects pedals are the answer to that question.

Midco International, a former musical distributor, sold the Lotus brand as an exclusive trademark of guitars during the 1970s and 1980s. Like many other distributors, Midco commissioned a manufacturer in Asia to build guitars under a unique brand name. However, many of these factories in Asia received requests to build guitars for multiple manufacturers/distributors, meaning the same guitar could essentially end up under multiple trademarks. This isn’t much different from what Harmony, Kay, and other house-brand jobbers from the Chicago area were doing in the 1940s through the 1960s.
Can you scientifically prove the role of these influencers? Lab geeks and gadget gurus can measure signal strength, decibels, frequency distribution, gamma radiation, and other ranges. They can graph this data, create new data by creating logarithms, create even more data by creating even more logarithims, but they can’t decide what’s good or bad. Like it or not, you simply can not use a computer to prove that a ’63 Strat sounds “better” than a cheap 1988 import.

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I don't understand why everyone is so "Gibson is the best". They have been going downhill for years. Unless it's a custom shop job, it is hit or miss. the same with Fender. Everyone likes them because of the mystique of the players that played them over the last decades. It's a "lifestyle cult" with name recognition. If you want a guitar that plays and sounds like a Gibson of Fender is supposed to but want to be guaranteed of the quality you are receiving and spend for a fraction of the money, then get a used USA Custom Shop made Washburn. You will never look back. I say used because the Chicago custom shop has apparently closed. Anything made there from about 1993 - 2008 that looks like a competitors guitar will outmatch the competitors version every time. You will notice that it is hard to find a used custom shop Washburn around. That's because they are the guitar worlds best kept secret. The people in the know get them - at a massively reduced price - and keep them. People hang onto their USA Washurns for the most part and there i a reason for that. They are that good.
It wasn't long before Southland went to hell in a hand basket. I would like to acknowledge the professionalism of people like the late Lee Ingber who was quality minded enough to know that junk will ruin any business. It's too bad that the last owners of Southland never learned that, even as their company faded into the sunset of the graveyard of greed.
For the typical two-figure Boss pedal price, the RC-1 gives you the stereo connection, some onboard memory and a little more recording time. However you do lose the true bypass and analog dry-thru circuit that makes the TC Electronic Ditto so attractive to guitar players. Still, for acoustic rigs, I find the Boss RC-1 to be the most ideal looper pedal option and a better value than something like the Ditto. 
Masacre takes a great deal of my time, but in normal days I am also a guitar teacher in my hometown, Medellin. I counsel young rock bands as well, with the purpose of sharing my knowledge and experience with those who start in this road. I've been part of the selecting jury at several local rock festivals and when I am available and things work out, I join some of my friends and put together tribute bands to play at local clubs, paying homage to those bands that inspired us since childhood, such as Black Sabbath, Kiss, Ozzy Osbourne, Dio, and others.
Following the lead of Electro, which was having some success with their cast aluminum alloy bodies, Dobro – still a separate company – introduced its first cast aluminum Dobro Hawaiian electric lap steel guitar, probably in late 1934. Along with the aluminum lap, Dobro also debuted the Standard Guitar, and the Mandolin. Accompanying these was the Dobro Amplifier. All four listed for $67.50. These are all shown in the ’35 Tonk Brothers catalog.

If any item fails to meet your expectations at any time, please return it for a refund or exchange. From tuners to endpins, everything we sell at Stewart-MacDonald is backed by our rock-solid guarantee of satisfaction. This is how we do business, ever since selling our first 5-Star Banjo Head in 1968. We proudly continue this tradition by offering quality products and standing behind them.
Well, to be more specific, we're talking about Twin Reverbs made between 1965 and 1967. Throughout the decades, these sought-after tone machines have turned up in the rigs of countless guitarists, including Stevie Ray Vaughan—who used a mid-Sixties 85-watt blackface model during his 1985 tour of Japan—Steve Howe, Johnny Marr, Jack White and Dweezil Zappa. The Fender Twin Reverb is considered a standard model for players seeking a clean sound, and it is especially known for the quality of its built-in spring reverb.

When jazz guitar players improvise, they use the scales, modes, and arpeggios associated with the chords in a tune's chord progression. The approach to improvising has changed since the earliest eras of jazz guitar. During the Swing era, many soloists improvised "by ear" by embellishing the melody with ornaments and passing notes. However, during the bebop era, the rapid tempo and complicated chord progressions made it increasingly harder to play "by ear." Along with other improvisers, such as saxes and piano players, bebop-era jazz guitarists began to improvise over the chord changes using scales (whole tone scale, chromatic scale, etc.) and arpeggios.[2] Jazz guitar players tend to improvise around chord/scale relationships, rather than reworking the melody, possibly due to their familiarity with chords resulting from their comping role. A source of melodic ideas for improvisation is transcribing improvised solos from recordings. This provides jazz guitarists with a source of "licks", melodic phrases and ideas they incorporate either intact or in variations, and is an established way of learning from the previous generations of players.


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The Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar Bass has major “cool” factor, and the sound holds out, too. With a P-bass style single in the neck position, and a J-bass style single in the bridge position, you’ll actually get the best of both worlds in terms of tonal options on the pickups. You have a choice between basswood (on the sunburst and crimson models) and agathis (on the black model), so there isn’t anything special about the woods they’re using in these basses. But the slim, fast-action, C contour of the maple neck will give you a nice, smooth J-bass feel that plays well above this guitar’s pay grade.
I spoke with Matt “M@” Picone, of Fractal Audio, about the increasing use of modelers for today’s biggest acts. Their flagship modeler, the Axe-FX II XL+, is used by bands as diverse as U2, King Crimson, and Taylor Swift. Increasing numbers of top-level guitarists are discovering Fractal’s dozens of effects/amps/cab/microphone models and the obsessive tweakability inherent in their designs. In the credits of Fractal’s products, Matt Picone is listed alongside Cliff Chase, the company’s founder, president and DSP/Hardware engineer, as contributing to “everything else.” He says that title suits him because it spans a range of duties including support, artist relations, brand development, sales, marketing, PR, sound design, docs & manuals, e-commerce, business development, infrastructure and much more. Their products are not just for ultra rock stars, as Matt explains:

Left Handed 1968 Fender Strat with an insanely rare Blonde Custom Color! This had to have been a special order guitar – has “Blond” written in the neck pickup cavity(see pic). I think I’ve seen one other factory left-handed Blonde Strat, but certainly not from the Hendrix era(both the white Woodstock and black Band of Gypsies Strats were from 1968).
If you prefer to pay monthly you can get started with $19.95. To take advantage of this offer follow the link below and key in your email address. I suggest that you wait until you receive an email from Guitar Tricks. You should get a username and a password. Use these details to logon to the site. Once you are inside of Guitar Tricks select the Upgrade button and choose the Monthly Membership option.
Today, if you shop around, you can pick up the Martin D-200 Deluxe for a mere $119,999, but if that doesn't suit your style you can always go for the Martin D-15M which we announced as the highest rated acoustic guitar between $1000 and $2000 in October 2016, or the Martin DCPA4 Rosewood which we announced as the highest rated acoustic-electric guitar in the same price range at the same time.
également et la corde pourra alors être ajustée à la hauteur souhaitée. L'Ibanez DOWNSHIFTER vous permet de réduire la hauteur d'une corde à une hauteur prédéfinie en actionnant simplement un petit levier. Pour que l'accordage soit précis, aussi bien en position haute qu'en position basse, vous devez régler les deux positions du levier avant d'utiliser le Downshifter.

The Tone knobs on electric guitars are really just potentiometers. It’s important to know that they do not ADD treble or bass to your sound, they only remove higher frequencies as you turn them down and restore those frequencies to the sound as you turn them up. When they are set at 10, you are getting all the frequencies that your guitar and pickups can produce. In some cases, this may sound too shrill or harsh so if you turn the tone knob down, you are removing some of the higher frequencies or “rolling off “ the treble. Turning the knob back up towards 10 restores those frequencies, but isn’t actively “adding” treble frequencies to what your pickups are capable of producing.
* 3 most basic reverb modes: Room: Simulates the spaciousness of a room; Hall: Simulates the spatial dimension of a music hall; Plate: Simulates the unique reverberation character only coming from a plate reverberator. * One reverb control balances the dry/wet signal, simple enough to dial in the perfect amount of reverb for your tonal needs. * True bypass for zero tonal coloration. * Extreme mini size for great compactness. * Heavy-duty metal casing for great stability and durability; Connectors include input, output, and power supply; Powered by 9v DC. W/ a 6 inch patch cable included. SONICAKE Digital Reverb is reverb pedal designed to add dimension and spaciousness to your tone. It is extremely straight-forward to use with only one “Reverb” knob to adjust the balance between the raw d.
However, John Leckie states an interesting preference for an SM58 and U67 rig instead: "SM57s tend to be that little bit brighter than the SM58, which really isn't what you want when you're miking up an electric guitar amp. You really want to pick up a flat signal, an 'unstimulated' signal I suppose is the word... The U67 gives you the warmth and a broader sound."
According to the official information Guitar Tricks has more than double the number of song lessons than any other guitar learning site. It goes on to say that there are more than 600 but I feel that the number could be even higher by now because new songs are added regularly. The songs available on Guitar Tricks are the ones that I want to learn, oldies and modern songs from major artists like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Eagles, Blink-182, Extreme, Good Charlotte and many more. Check out this list of Guitar Tricks Artists. Did I mention that lots of songs have a beginner and an advanced level lesson? I just love that the advanced level songs are taught based on the original arrangement and not some vague resemblance used to avoid copyright issues. This is because Guitar Tricks has licenses for teaching the original songs.
When Electric Guitars first hit the music market way back in the early fifties, they weren’t easily accepted by the people. However, later electric guitars became an integral part of the music industry throughout the world. The following article describes this amazing music instrument, which unlike its conventional counter-part, works on the laws of electromagnetism.
With that in mind, we would like to preface this article with the statement that a certain body style doesn’t necessarily mean that the guitar will be a good fit for the genre it’s associated with. However, we have also included some info on pickups. With knowledge on how the combination of pickups and a guitar’s body style impacts your end tone you should be ready to start shopping!
Fender released the first successful solidbody electric guitar, the Broadcaster, in 1950. (Remember, the original Esquires were problematic.) Gibson produced the first Les Paul 24 months later. And a mere six years after that, a small run of sunburst Les Pauls flowed out of Gibson’s Kalamazoo, Michigan factory. Originally just another instrument, those Les Pauls now occupy a mythic status in the minds of guitarists and collectors everywhere. The instruments, along with a small handful of Fender Stratocasters and examples from one or two other manufacturers from roughly the same era, represent the Holy Grail in guitar tones.

You'll then learn G major and the variation you can play of this chord, where you hold the B string at the third fret, or just leave it open. The final chord you'll learn is F major. This one is tricky because its a barre chord, but there is a way of making these types of chords a little easier to learn, as shown in the video. You will also be shown the partial barre chord shape of F major, and will see how moving this shape around gives you any major chord you want to play.

Sorry Joe but I don’t really any value of this arrangement. It could work only in super bright guitars that would always need some treble bleed. It’s much better to change pot values for guitars like that, go from 500K to 250K etc. When changing pots doesn’t cut it it’s better to get rid of the pickups/guitar than to have a bleed circuit on all the time, some of the magic is always lost.
What is it about the Japanese and the Ventures? I mean, I cut my teeth with the Ventures. They were the perfect band to learn guitar from. The Ventures took songs with often complex harmonic structures—like the wonderful Johnny Smith classic—and stripped them down to their basic melodies, gave them a simple rock groove, and played them clean. I had the sheet music to Smith’s song, but there was no way in you know where I was gong to play off that. But follow along with the Ventures’ single? You bet!
This is the Autumn Brown El Dorado. The finish is outstanding, and it’s also very easy to handle at only 7 lbs. We used 24 extra fat frets. Dual humbuckers provide the sound, and it comes with a whammy bar. We used gold hardware to complement the nice finish. Like other Big Lou guitars, this one features our 1 7/8″ nut width and 8mm string spacing. The construction involves a “set” neck, so it can’t be swapped out, but the factory is ISO9001 certified, so this guitar is a very high quality instrument. Considering the price at $379, it’s a great value. I really tried to keep the cost down, but that arched top costs a small fortune to build. If you can make a statement by playing, that’s the best. But if your still in training, this guitar will make a statement just sitting there. I took the first one off the assembly line for myself. I had to have it.
Semi-hollow, slim, and designed with a comfortable ‘C’ shape exterior, the D’Angelico EX-DC Standard is a high-price electric guitar with professional grade features. Creating a more natural tone that delivers an organic quality to its sound, the Standard guitar uses Kent Armstrong Vintage humbuckers for a focused sound free of excess reverberation. The Super-Rotomatic tuners maintain their tuning accuracy for a longer time, due in part to the turning radius within the design. Strings remain at a comfortable tension due to the unique Stairstep tailpiece, creating both a strong resonant sound and assured sturdiness. A semi-hollow body designed with maple on the top and back, other features include a 3-way toggle that provides two modes of volume as well as two separate tones. Meant for use throughout various genres of music, the EX-DC Standard is an electric guitar to please the masses.
While these guitars are known for their warm woody sound, they are capable of being used in almost any genre that doesn’t require massive amounts of gain, which is prone to feedback.  The guitarist for the Black Keys, Dan Auerbach, is a modern example of a player who will drive the instrument to distortion, but still maintain the jazzy blues quality these instruments are known for.
We now know why series wiring attenuates the highs, but why is it louder? Why do you end up with such a beefy, meaty tone? Let’s assume each pickup on your Strat puts out 100 x of power. When wiring two pickups in parallel, each pickup loses 3/4 of its output when combined with the other. This drops each pickup’s output to 25 x, instead of 100 x. Together, you get a total of 50 x (25 x + 25 x). This power drop is why any dual-pickup combination on your Strat doesn’t sound as loud as a single pickup.
It’s a good idea to make a template for your wiring on any guitar where the controls aren’t mounted to a pickguard (like a Strat) or a control plate (like a Tele). To make the template, put a piece of non-corrugated cardboard over the guitar, use finger pressure to find where the control holes are, and very carefully poke through the cardboard with a punch or a nail to make a hole for your template. You can enlarge the holes with a pencil or a round file until they are big enough for the controls to be mounted snugly. It’s also a good idea to write what is supposed to go where on the template with a marker.
The DI approach most likely to capture the spirit of the original sound is to take a DI feed from the speaker output of a conventional guitar amplifier and feed this into the type of speaker simulator that also includes a dummy load to keep the amplifier happy (valve amplifiers can be damaged by running them into an open circuit). Emulators with a built-in load are generally very much larger than the regular DI box-size emulator-only products. Some of the emulator-only devices can be run from a speaker output, but you still need to plug in either a separate dummy load (usually an 8Ω resistor rated at over 100 Watts on a heat sink) or the original speaker to protect the amplifier from possible damage. Apart from the dummy load, which is passive, the circuitry may either be passive or active.
This list is insanely bad! First of all, John Mayer is only as good as your typical high school amateur. And before anyone starts spouting off, I’ve tried to find some obscure videos of him to prove myself wrong. But I can’t, it’s all Minor Pentatonic stuff with nothing innovative added to it. Secondly, how about some finger pickers on the list: Doyle Dykes, Scotty Anderson, Chet Atkins, Merle Travis, Tommy Emmanuel. Let’s not forget DANNY GATTON the greatest guitar player you’ve never heard. Also, if we’re talking about the best of the best, BRENT MASON should ALWAYS be in a Top Ten list, although he never is. But, you’ve heard him on all sorts of Nashville recordings. Acoustic guitar players like Andy McKee, Ewan Dobson, Don Ross, (I wish I knew more than that but I only recently discovered their Chuck Norris like awesomeness). Never limit yourself to the mainstream! There are many guitar players that are mentioned only because they are famous and have influence because of that. They may come up with a catchy riff or played in a well known band. But, that doesn’t make them a truly great guitar player.
Frankly, learning to play a song the Rocksmith way is exhilarating. If I (Carl) had looked up the chords online, I could have played the song just as easily. But I might have stopped to scroll down on the computer screen or to relearn the first half of the song until I got it down pat. After a few progressively more difficult play-throughs on Rocksmith, I'd memorized the song without even thinking too hard about it.
I borrowed the above quote from an article on effects pedals by Robert Keeley (a maker of seriously fine effects pedals) which can help you remember the order to place your pedals. I have a few slight modifications and additions to this that I use, but this is a great way to remember the rough order quickly, and it comes from one of the great pedal masters.

Look, as far as we know, our asymmetrically coiffed party pal has never held a guitar in his life. But no contemporary musician has a more primal understanding of adrenaline-pumping, pulse-raising, chest-caving bulldozer riffs than dubstep mosh ambassador Skrillex. Somewhere between the unfiltered piston-pumps of nü-metal and the twinkling emocore melodies that weaned him is a gaping sarlacc of yawping melodies and buzzsaw edges. The bass drop to “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” might just be this generation’s “Smoke on the Water” — look no further than the obscene number of “Skrillex guitar cover” videos on YouTube!

Single coil pickups are the simplest to wire because they typically have only two leads – hot and ground. Some humbuckers have their coils connected internally and are pretty much the same to wire as single coil pickups. That’s why we will call them both “two conductor pickups”. Ground leads are typically connected to a common grounding point and hot leads are switched in and out of the circuit. Let’s take a look at standard Strat-style switch.
Les Paul was an extraordinary pioneer of music and instrument development, and he also paved the way for popular music today from blues and jazz to rock, country, and metal.  The Les Paul electric guitar stems from one of the best electric git brands to date – Gibson.  This came to be with Paul’s and Gibson president Ted McCarty’s collaboration to find the best electric guitar with resonance and sustain but with less distortion.  Since they couldn’t find one, they had to make one.
Eddie's Guitars represents the finest in boutique amplification. We have the largest selection of quality amplifiers available today. We focus on keeping up with the industry's most current builders. Stocking guitar amp brands like Fender, Marshall, Mesa Boogie, and Orange, providing completely original designs or modern reproductions of your favorite classic amps, we truly have something for everybody.

The two common guitar amplifier configurations are: a combination ("combo") amplifier that includes an amplifier and one or more speakers in a single cabinet, and a standalone amplifier (often called a "head" or "amp head"), which passes the amplified signal via a speaker cable to one or more external speaker cabinets. A wide range of speaker configurations are available in guitar cabinets—from cabinets with a single speaker (e.g., 1×10" or 1×12") or multiple speakers (e.g., 2×10", 4×10" or 8x10").
Dude everything your saying about Martin is basically true of Taylor. They are the two big brand names. Taylor is to acoustic guitars what Tagheur is to Swiss watches. The low end of an expensive world where thhe best stuff comes from tiny companies who don't advertise much or pay for all he shelf space at a place like guitar center. I'm not saying Taylor's aren't good-that would be ridiculous. I'm just saying your distinction between Taylor and Martin is laughable. They are both well known companies that can charge way more because of their names just like fender and Gibson can with electrics. For the same money think you get better sounding and lasting guitars from Takamine and Breedlove than Taylor and Martin just to name a few. But there are so many smaller luthiers that will make incredible stuff.

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When you’re starting to become serious about playing the guitar, the question of “what amp should I get” is bound to pop up. There’s quite a deal of variety out there, with many brands and models, and constant innovation adding new features to choose between with each passing year. It’s enough to baffle even an intermediate player, let alone a rookie who’s just getting started. To ensure that you get the right amplifier for your needs, you’ll first need to know a bit about how the amp’s specifications translate to real life.
Description: Body: Mahogany - Neck Attachment: Set - Neck Wood: Mahogany - Fingerboard: Rosewood - Binding: Cream - Frets: 22, Medium - # of Strings: 6 - Scale Length: 24.75" (63cm) - Headstock: 3+3 - Bridge: Tone Pros - Hardware: Chrome, 2x Volume Control, 2x Tone Control, 3-Way Switch, Grover Tuners - Pickups: Duncan Designed - String Instrument Finish: Vintage White, Vintage Gold Top, Black
Super nice !.... Beautiful Patina exceptional Booming sound much like the old Martin 000 or old Gibson for that matter for a fraction $ and this ONE is a really good one folks. These are a well kept secret sort of ... known for their GREAT rich mature sound. This example is in fine all-round Original condition without any of the over 60 group problematic issues- none found anywhere upon close examination, no NONE nada -- neck issues -frets ARE good - tuners ARE good - bridge IS good - Solid Top is without a crack it s wood is FREE of cracks, Back is OK no buckle rash , no buldge to its Spruce top, The bridge is tight and NEW MARTIN STRINGS and just JVGuitars Set up this baby plays and sounds amazing at this price point unbelievable! Made in Japan quality with a beautifully grained high grade Mahogany medium soft V NECK feels like an old Martin too ....looks at the neck grain they used a beautiful Honduran mahogany not African or other this one is cool See the Pics of that ...its original Tortious pickguard is nice too..... nearly 40 years old its amazing but she's not new or mint of course she has a few minor doinks and plenty of that natural vintage patina and such but overall she's JVG condition rated at vintage excellent used condition rated. She Plays with easily and will bring a warm smile to your face when playing GREAT TONE fingerpicking rich and punchy its a very fun guitar to play... she's over 45 years old and in this kind of condition..... you better snap this gem up before she's gone or I change my mine and keep her for myself...haha this is my business I need to sell but you get my point its a good one folks. This is one amongst several of the FG150's Red Label Nippon Gakki's we have and I call it ( # 3 ) Contact Joe by email to BUY it: JVGuitars@gmail.com.
Gibson also tops the list of best electric guitar brands that retain a consistent design. Among the popular models, the Les Paul is a favorite guitar that has been ruling the music world for several decades. It is a high-end, USA-made instrument that comes in a variety of variations. Other famous Gibson guitars include the SG, Explorer, Flying V, ES-335, and Firebird.
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Jazz guitars are big bodied, often semi-acoustic, and designed to coax out some wonderfully rich, warm tones. Historically, jazz was played on acoustic guitars. However, in the days before amplification, the guitar often became lost in the mix of the big band sound. Until, that was, the introduction of arch top acoustics. Containing a magnetic pickup, arch tops ushered in a new era of guitar manufacturing. This meant that players could be heard in the way they wanted.
I have $100 guitars that play and sound great. I have $15,000 guitars that play and sound great. That said, a great middle of the road guitar that won't break the bank is an Epiphone Masterbilt. I find them to sound remarkable AND play great, ESPECIALLY for the money. I like buying guitars used and save about half from the retailers. A good used Masterbilt will cost about $300 on Ebay or Craigslist.

We considered more than 40 guitars for this guide, and we tested the 13 most promising models. A couple of models aside, our testing panel thought, as Lynn Shipley Sokolow put it, “These are all of good quality and are all adequate.” In fact, certain models we didn’t pick may be a better choice for beginning guitarists who are into a specific style—most notably metal, which is clearly the primary market for brands such as Ibanez and Jackson.


Basic distortion boxes can be built around a simple network of transistors and clipping diodes, to both boost the signal and alter the waveform. Most units, however, very roughly resemble the standard mass-production overdrives detailed above, with the heavy work done by opamps, some tone-shaping stages, and input/output buffers. The ProCo Rat set the standard for heavy distortion sounds above and beyond the capabilities of the MXR Distortion + and the Ibanez Tube Screamer, although in fact its design is surprisingly similar to the former (discussed above), with silicon diodes in place of germanium, and an added tone control.

Overdrive pedals are very different to distortion pedals, and without getting too technical, they drive/push your guitar signal harder rather than changing the sound completely like a distortion pedal does. An overdrive pedal retains a lot of the original sound of your guitar and amp but pushes the amplifier harder to give it a heavier, thicker signal. They’re ideally used with valve/tube amps as they push the tubes to their limit and allow them to bring out the more natural distortion that tube amps are so renowned for. Incidentally, we wrote about the best tube amps for home use here, but if you wanted some great practice amps, we also wrote about them here too!


The only guitar instrument I can think of that is NOT sampler-based and that actually sounds decent would be RealGuitar. It's not the most realistic (IMO) and it's $160+. But if you ask most people for recommendations on realistic guitar instruments, you will hear stuff like Shreddage, Electri6ity, ProminyLPC, Lyrical Distortion, Strawberry Electric Guitar from Orange Tree... all Kontakt libraries, and all undoubtedly better than the 3 products you listed in your initial post, two of which are simply synths and not at all meant for realistic playing!
Want to know more about how to distinguish all these guitars? Until a few years ago there wasn’t a good (or any!) English language reference book for Japanese guitars of the 1960s. But my co-author on this piece, the esteemed Frank Meyers of Drowning In Guitars, has written an excellent primer on this subject which can help demystify the confusion around a lot of these guitars. You can pick up your own copy here.
Some solid-bodied guitars, such as the Gibson Les Paul Supreme, the PRS Singlecut or the Fender Telecaster Thinline, among others, are built with hollows in the body. These hollows are designed specifically not to interfere with the critical bridge and string anchor point on the solid body. The motivation for this can be to reduce weight, to achieve a semi-hollow tone, or both.
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