Brand differences in looks and feel
There are so many features that vary between brands. And most of the time it isn’t an easy choice to separate them. For example, say a purchase came down to two guitars. You loved the look of the Fender Telecaster, but the Friedman Vintage-T had a better feeling neck for the size of your hand. What do you pick under the circumstances? This might be a clear choice. You still pick the Fender, you’ll wear it in and get used to it. Or is it? Maybe you take the viewpoint that you’d learn to love the Friedman because of the way it feels.
What about sound against looks? I had the choice between an ESP and a Schecter, virtually the same guitar, even built in the same factory. But the ESP had abalone binding along the fretboard which looked great, while the Schecter had push/pull coil tap pickups. I went with the ESP because I thought it was more striking to look at. But I’m sure some of you would think that’s crazy. Boiling the subject down to its logical core, a guitar is meant to be heard. So why not go depending on the sound?
As a guitarist, you work your way up the price ladder with more experience and savings. If you keep buying good looking guitars, when you reach around the £1200 mark, hopefully it plays well regardless of style.
As a case in point from the video, Chappers associated covered pickups with a worse sound than uncovered pickups. Obviously, it’s not true. But how you see a guitar and the experiences you have with particular features can skew future perceptions. If you owned a guitar you didn’t like, it’s possible to associate bad traits with other guitars from then on.
It seems as if a decision will always come down to looks. If you love a guitar tone in a song, then see the guitar, you’re going to decide if you like it depending on the looks. No one buys a guitar they don’t like to see.
There are plenty of ways to change how a guitar feels or sounds anyway. Changing the pickups, hardware or a good setup from a professional can do the world of good. But it depends how much money you want to put down for such a task.
It’s not a simple situation to quantify. The best option is to wait until you try a guitar that you know is perfect in as many ways possible. This could mean saving up a bit longer or keeping an eye out for a guitar that’s not even on for sale yet.
Another way to approach it is to play guitars out of your comfort zone. Give a metal player a Gretsch and see what happens. That player might’ve always thought an Ebony fretboard or a super thin neck were the most optimal features, simply because that’s what other people within the genre use. Until you play something, you won’t truly know if you like it. And taste in guitars changes over time, so give as many unique features you can a chance.
Even like in the video, being able to play a guitar without seeing it could alter your views. Keep an open mind and experiment away!
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Want to feast your eyes on some guitars that look great and play effortlessly? Check out the Andertons online store here.