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Old 11-07-2019, 01:43 PM
AVTaylor83 AVTaylor83 is offline
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Default Upgrading and need feedback (T-3, Jazzmaster, Gretsch 5622...)

I'm trying to figure out my next upgrade at electric. I want to stay around $1k, definitely no more than $1.5k.

I play electric at church in a worship band, and have been using an Epi Casino that I got second-hand for a good price, but would like something that has more grit and clarity, that can handle overdrive without getting so fuzzy. I play mostly rhythm, with lots of picking. I’m trying to fill the gap in the mix where we need some extra thickness and grit. I mostly stay on the bridge pickup. I'm also an acoustic-first player, so this has been a newer venture for me these past couple of years.

I keep coming back to:
Fender Jazzmaster, Gretsch 5622, Used Taylor T-3

The Gretsch 5622 I've looked into is now the 'older' version with the Super HiLoTrons. It seems to be the closest to what I have, with more grit. Though I'm still unsure about going the Gretsch route. The filtertron style pickups still sound kind of different to me. I don't want tele twang when picking, but these seem to go further in the opposite direction than I want. I played a 5657T at GC the other day with blacktop filtertrons, and while I liked the added clarity, I was actually more impressed with the Squier J Mascis Jazzmaster when it came to handling some overdrive. More grit. I was kind of amazed I was drawn more toward a Squier than a mid-range Gretsch. I used to own a tele but it was too twangy and thin for my taste. I would be open to a Jazzmaster, but I noticed the 'entry level' Fender Player version has now been fitted with humbuckers (a downgrade if you ask me), and the next one's up are now at or above $1k.

Being a Taylor guy, I have looked into a used T-3 as well. They're hard to find in stores, but I did play one a couple of years ago, but didn’t really get to test it out with a lot of overdrive. To me, the pickups had a Fender-like tone to them, like a tele with less twang…even though people seem to compare the T-3 more with the Gibson 335's due to the hollowbody style. But I have read several posts saying the T-3 had too much of a "hi-fi" sound, with few options to change pickups outside of the Taylor alnico's. So I hesitate on the T-3...perhaps it's better for jazz and its bright pickups wouldn't work for 'rock'? But from a neck/build/intonation and comfort standpoint, it checks all my boxes without question. I capo at times, so a good neck that consistently stays in tune is vital for me. And I know a lot of guitars in the under-$1k price range can struggle with that.

So I'm kind of stuck. Which may not be a bad thing because I kind of need to sell some gear in order to move forward (ha)

But I'm wondering if I need a solidbody to help give me a tighter sound, given my style of playing. I'm not doing the traditional chimy 'worship guitar' single note stuff the vast majority of the time. I'm not just strumming chords either, but I want something that can handle overdrive and not get muddied in the mix. But lighter overdrive, where at can play open chords at times. Not metal or punk.

Happy to hear any thoughts. Particularly if you own a T-3, because I really want to like that one...I'm just unsure on roi with the pickup options.
2016 Taylor 514ce Fall LTD

1999 Taylor 314ce
2010 Taylor 614c
2004 Taylor 714
2009 Taylor GA5
2011 Taylor GA7

Last edited by AVTaylor83; 11-07-2019 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 11-07-2019, 02:30 PM
frankmcr frankmcr is offline
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Originally Posted by AVTaylor83 View Post
definitely no more than $1.5k.
Tough to beat a Les Paul Studio.
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Old 11-07-2019, 02:33 PM
gfirob gfirob is offline
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If you don't like twangy, I would certainly stay away from the Gretsch (though I think a Gretsch with Filtertrons is a fabulous sound). I have a 67 Gretsch Nashville with the original Filtertrons and I really like it. But my other electric guitar is a Tele, so I like thin and twangy. I just think there is more character in the Gretsch than in the Strat or Les Paul. But sounds like that is a character you don't like, so I'd go with the Fender.
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Old 11-07-2019, 04:56 PM
Chickee Chickee is offline
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Go American for your price point.
I love playing guitar
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