Current guitar brands, the innovators?!

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Current guitar brands, the innovators?!

Post by The Chad on Thu Jun 04, 2015 8:58 am

I live beside a Guitar Center, most brands in there seem run-of-the-mill, so to speak.  All sort of the same old fare.  Rolling Eyes   No

What current brands do you consider innovative?  Either in body style, character, electronics, vibe, whatever?

I'll say that Electra is one for me.  For capturing the retro's we love and bringing them back in full force!
Electra Guitars, click HERE

Another I like is Sozo.  For unique style, excellent craftsmanship in Korea, amazing prices, and Spirit!
Sozo Guitars, click HERE

I'll also through DBZ into the mix.  For body design and use of woods and colors.  They nail it!  
DBZ Guitars, click HERE

What brands do you consider as innovators?

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Re: Current guitar brands, the innovators?!

Post by corsair on Thu Jun 04, 2015 4:09 pm

I haven't looked at new guitars for twenty years, Chad, so not really qualified to comment on this one but will say that innovation in guitars seems limited to the robots that the likes of Gibson are producing...

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Re: Current guitar brands, the innovators?!

Post by The Chad on Thu Jun 04, 2015 4:25 pm

I mean innovation in a broader sense, simply bringing "something new" or ever something fresh to the table in various ways.  

The robot tuning was pretty neat.

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Re: Current guitar brands, the innovators?!

Post by Barry on Thu Jun 04, 2015 5:05 pm

Robot tuning is just one more bloody thing to go wrong. Adds a fair bit of weight too. Not a big deal I guess if you're already slinging a Les Paul around yer neck.

There are all kinds of wild and wonderful body styles out there, as well as material combinations, but I think that's that's more of an aesthetic thing and doesn't really add to the playability. Case in point: Avian Guitars. We have had one of THESE models on consignment in the shop for several months. It generates a lot of interest but it soon wanes when you actually play it. Meh.
Kinda typical of a lot of new stuff.

For my money I still think that Music Man does it right. Take the basics and engineer the crap out of them: superb tremolo bridge, outstanding neck, unparalleled playing comfort. It ain't new but it is done right.

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Re: Current guitar brands, the innovators?!

Post by mortarman120gang11c on Thu Jun 04, 2015 6:37 pm

I agree that the new Electra models are outstanding in both bringing back the styles we loved as well as having new and innovative pickups, electronics, hardware, and designs as well. The Diamond guitars are also pretty cool to look at and have interesting finishes and newer thinner body styles. There are also a few other private builders that have great stuff as well such as Black Diamond guitars. That's my two cents worth. I still love my Westones and Electras.

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Re: Current guitar brands, the innovators?!

Post by Barry on Thu Jun 04, 2015 7:49 pm

mortarman120gang11c wrote:... I still love my Westones and Electras.
Still the standard. Thumb Up

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Re: Current guitar brands, the innovators?!

Post by corsair on Thu Jun 04, 2015 8:17 pm

You know, I never ever seriously took a look at anything else once the VA900 was mine and I'd got used to the lo-o-ong neck and (then) trick switching; I had no need to as the Vantage did everything I wanted from a guitar; in fact, it is a much more capable guitar than I am a player! I briefly played an old Yamaha of some stripe set up for slide - higher nut & bridge etc.etc. - but as a player, nup; never contemplated or even yearned for anything else, hence the lack of interest in new gear!

I'd be interested in one of the new quilted top Talons from Electra if I was still playing out, but now that I don't play much at all, even my wall guitars are gathering dust.

The question must be, what innovations can be left for the instrument; yes, I know about fanned fretboards and in built modelling gear but really, how many of us need a fanned freboard? Isn't one of the small joys of the instrument that it is inherently ever-so slightly out of tune most of the time?? I suppose too, that the Floyd Rose type locking trems are an advance in technology... and of course, the likes of the Chapman Stick as well.

However, for every advance made and the few players embracing such advances, there's a landslide of players picking up Telecasters and Melody Makers - I picked up a Vantage Avenger AV 310! - and going back to basics; guitarists have to be the most conservative musicians around, I reckon!!

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Re: Current guitar brands, the innovators?!

Post by Guest on Fri Jun 05, 2015 12:56 am

As a new guitar maker - I see the issues of being unique.  But when it comes down to it, we all want the same basic stuff.  Electronic tuners are cool, but how far past that do you really want to go.   I'm shipping a guitar tomorrow to a customer,  Look at the guitar, then look at the wiring:













Simple controls for all those wires,.  This is really just a single vol/tone 3 way toggle set up with a piezo thing thrown into it.  Any innovation in the future have to be material I would think. 
n

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Re: Current guitar brands, the innovators?!

Post by Meadows on Fri Jun 05, 2015 1:41 am

Have not had a chance to try the new Electra's here in the UK and rarely spend time in the local store, it's just not a relaxed vibe any more. However innovation for me would be more about playability and comfort, the controls being in sensible positions, a trem system that maintains pitch without being overcomplicated to sett up, maybe that's an age thing and the two brands I have tried that do most of that are Suhr and Tom Anderson.

Yes I know they are both old school now and I'm not a massive fan of the boutique pickups per se, but they are so damn easy to just pick up and play. Innovation for me would be bringing that quality of playability to the masses at an affordable price.

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Re: Current guitar brands, the innovators?!

Post by corsair on Fri Jun 05, 2015 4:09 am

Gee, that's nice Sarc; I love the vibe of that guitar and that's a very pretty top!

Not quite as nice as a Spectrum 12, though.... Laughing

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Re: Current guitar brands, the innovators?!

Post by Barry on Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:58 am

Very pretty Sarc, but that wiring cavity gives me the willies!

Um, is the neck pup reversed on purpose, or is that just a slap down for the shot? rabbit

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Re: Current guitar brands, the innovators?!

Post by The Chad on Sat Jun 06, 2015 11:39 am

John, nice dig about that mythical Speccy 12... Laughing

I agree with your comments, electronic innovation seems mostly done already... although some have done new things with pickups.  The FISHMAN FLUENCE pickups for example, or the A LITTLE THUNDER pickups. 

Innovation regarding comfort, control layouts, or body design are always welcome sights for me.  They are refreshing.  It's like spice to the guitar world, adds interest and flavor.  Keeps me interested!

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Re: Current guitar brands, the innovators?!

Post by gittarasaurus on Sat Jun 06, 2015 7:34 pm

maybe something like this?

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Re: Current guitar brands, the innovators?!

Post by Guest on Sat Jun 06, 2015 11:39 pm

Barry wrote:Very pretty Sarc, but that wiring cavity gives me the willies!

Um, is the neck pup reversed on purpose, or is that just a slap down for the shot? rabbit
It's actually done on purpose - per the customer request.  and I have to say it sounds really good.   The neck PUP is a bit louder than the bridge when at the same height.   PAF's, and they sound awesome.  An I gotta say - it's the nicest neck I've carved so far.  I didn't want to deliver it to be honest - I wanted to keep it.   Hopefully I get to build one for myself soon

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Re: Current guitar brands, the innovators?!

Post by Westbone on Sun Jun 07, 2015 4:23 am

What's with all the piezo wires from the saddles. They look as though they're going through the body behind the pickup. Or is that just plonked together for the photo?

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Re: Current guitar brands, the innovators?!

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