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  #1  
Old 12-23-2021, 02:53 PM
tiltman tiltman is offline
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Default Best electric guitar choice...

Hey There,

I'm a singer/songwriter and play mostly acoustic guitar (and mandolin). I'd like to get an electric guitar to fill out the sound on simple demos/home recordings.
Old country/Americana vibe. Tone-wise, I'd like something versatile that can do the "twang" but also can play with a fuller sound if needed.
What's the best guitar for under $1,000 for my purposes. I'm also patient/not too picky so I don't mind buying used.

Any thoughts are much appreciated.

Kirk
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  #2  
Old 12-23-2021, 03:29 PM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is offline
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Hi Kirk, when you mention "twang" I'm thinking Tele, perhaps a Players Tele. What specific artists are you looking to play with that "Old country/Americana vibe" tone? That will help narrow things down.

An amp will give you ~50% of your tone so make sure you budget for that. It doesn't have to be loud but it needs to be good.
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  #3  
Old 12-23-2021, 04:24 PM
vcs700s vcs700s is offline
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Player Tele and Champion 40. Great setup.

The Player was on sale for $699 at MF or SW. Amp is $230.

Both for close to $1000. You’ll be happy.
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  #4  
Old 12-23-2021, 04:37 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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You might think about a Tele with both a single coil at the bridge and a bucker at the neck. The G&L ASAT is a good candidate based on your budget:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...andy-apple-red
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  #5  
Old 12-23-2021, 05:26 PM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
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Folks like a lot of different guitars even when aiming for "twang" and "full" sounding.

As mentioned, up thread the amp is a big part of the sound with an electric.

Telecasters are a classic model, and I find even the basic design very versatile. As mentioned above a classic style Tele bridge PU with a neck humbucker is a nice way to get some different sounds. Another Tele with a different option model is the "Nashville" Tele with three pickups, which is still in the current Fender lineup. This gives you some "Stratocaster quack" sounds too, and the Strat-style middle PU alone is a nice additional sound.

Steve will be here to mention current Electromatic Gretsch models. Nice guitars, can twang. I myself wouldn't choose one as my single electric, but that's me.

A personal favorite of mine, which is slightly off the beaten path but value priced is the Squier J Mascis Jazzmaster. P90'ish pickups* on this model which I think presents a very versatile sound, smooth, grungy, twang, crunch, all the adjectives are there. I love mine, and my "home town" is Telecasters. I really like the Jazzmaster's whammy bar too.

*Yes, I know original Jazzmaster pickups aren't P90s, but the ones on this model lean a bit more to the P90 side of the sound spectrum.
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Old 12-23-2021, 05:26 PM
Lillis Lillis is offline
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I’m loving my Gretsch 5420T and it certainly has that “twang”. Then again I also love my Player Plus Tele. Each is under $1000. If I had to sell one of them it would be a very difficult decision. Good luck.
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  #7  
Old 12-23-2021, 05:28 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiltman View Post
...Old country/Americana vibe. Tone-wise, I'd like something versatile that can do the "twang" but also can play with a fuller sound if needed...

What's the best guitar for under $1,000 for my purposes. I'm also patient/not too picky so I don't mind buying used...
New:
Gretsch Electromatic 5400-Series hollowbody: About as "old-country/Americana" as it gets, these Korean-made beauties have all the tonal/visual vibe of the iconic 1955-65 Brooklyn Gretsches, with better playability/QC than the vintage stuff (they were my hometown brand growing up, and during my lifetime I've played - without exaggeration - several hundred) - fully professional-quality, gigworthy instruments that just happen to sell at intermediate-player/step-up prices (under $1K - well under if you shop around and/or take advantage of holiday sales)...

Used:
Gretsch Electromatic 5600-Series semi-hollow: Although they're still being made in China, IME the pre-2019 Korean stuff is in a class by itself in this price range - same high-quality fit/finish as the 5400's but in a more feedback-friendly (and arguably more versatile) package, and the no-longer-available Super Hi-lo'Tron pickups (based on a modified Baldwin-era Filter'Tron humbucker, but with a single set of polepieces that duplicates the appearance of the single-coil Brooklyn design) are my favorite of the "new generation" Fred Gretsch-era offerings; FYI I've been using one of these for the last 5+ years as my go-to gigmeister - I also play a lot of country/country-rock/Americana (among other genres) and even with a Tele, Strat, Godin CW II (dual P-90 hollowbody in the Scotty Moore tradition), and two other Gretsch instruments (including a White Falcon) presently or formerly in my arsenal, I've never owned a single guitar that covers as much sonic ground:



BTW don't confuse this with the similar-appearing (but sonically/qualitatively-inferior) MF/GC-exclusive G2627 - different animal entirely...

Since you're using it for recording purposes I'm going to assume - correctly or not - that you're likely going direct-to-board with some sort of processing hardware/software, so I haven't budgeted an amp into the equation; that said, if you're a guitar-cable-amp stickler for period authenticity you'll likely want a low-/mid-powered tube amp of some kind. If you're going to be playing mostly or exclusively in a home-recording situation (where you won't be moving the amp off-premises extensively) these get a lot of love from the TDPRI crowd; essentially a no-frills version of the first-edition Laney Cub 12R (which sells for twice the price) it's a good first exposure to tube tone, and if you're an inveterate tweaker they're a popular mod platform:



https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=611815

FYI Monoprice runs sales on these periodically - catch one right, purchase your guitar wisely, and you should come in close on either side of your $1K figure...
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  #8  
Old 12-23-2021, 06:14 PM
rmp rmp is offline
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You're probably looking for a Gretsch. I would suggest one of the many fine MIK Electromatics.

A bit more than the MICs not as steep as the MIJs, good solid guitars.

Then again hard to argue with a word like Telecaster
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  #9  
Old 12-23-2021, 06:41 PM
Jeff Scott Jeff Scott is offline
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Perhaps, something with the letters Paul Reed Smith in script on the headstock.
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  #10  
Old 12-23-2021, 06:48 PM
Bushleague Bushleague is offline
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I bought my kid a Squire Tele with two humbuckers, and to me it seems like a pretty versitile guitar. The humbuckers are warmer than the single coils, but I can get alot more twang and bite out of them than I could with any of my Epi's or Les Pauls.

Recently I played a Godin 5th ave II, the one I played had two humbuckers, and man I loved that guitar. By nescesity I generally need to play an electric guitar far differently than I do an acoustic, just to avoid making it sound like a big noisy mess.... that Godin though, with minimal tweaking you could play it anyway you wanted and it all sounded great. Big cowboy chords with a lots of gain... somehow it sounded great, thin things out for a more typical electric playing style and it also sounded great, inverted powerchord and drop D nu-metal type riffs... it will get into that territory too. Pretty sure that will be my next electric.

Last edited by Bushleague; 12-23-2021 at 06:55 PM.
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  #11  
Old 12-23-2021, 07:06 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushleague View Post
...Recently I played a Godin 5th Ave II, the one I played had two humbuckers, and man I loved that guitar...with minimal tweaking you could play it anyway you wanted and it all sounded great...
I own the P-90 version (see my post above), and although I've never used it for metal it's a sweet-sounding axe for cleaner styles - very similar in this department to the vintage Gretsch hollowbodies, which were also constructed of exceptionally lightweight woods...
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  #12  
Old 12-24-2021, 09:56 AM
Bushleague Bushleague is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve DeRosa View Post
I own the P-90 version (see my post above), and although I've never used it for metal it's a sweet-sounding axe for cleaner styles - very similar in this department to the vintage Gretsch hollowbodies, which were also constructed of exceptionally lightweight woods...
Yeah, I think I played the single P-90 version, and I remember having the same impressions. Namely that I didnt actually need to modify my playing style to make it sound good, though I could and it still sounded good. The humbucker version could handle being pushed a little hotter, which for me made it seem a little more versitile.

Having played mostly acoustic for a number of years, usually when I pick up an electric theres a short period where everything sounds like a big noisy mess, as I figure out how to play whatever I've been working on a little differently... with both the 5th Ave's that just didnt happen.
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Old 12-24-2021, 10:53 AM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushleague View Post
...Having played mostly acoustic for a number of years, usually when I pick up an electric there's a short period where everything sounds like a big noisy mess, as I figure out how to play whatever I've been working on a little differently...with both the 5th Ave's that just didn't happen.
FYI the P-90 CW II is a bit more sensitive in that respect - as with a Gretsch you need to be more intentional and focused (which I'm used to anyway, so no problem) - but unlike most acoustic archtops the now-discontinued all-acoustic 5th Avenue is a pick-it-up-and go-for-broke guitar, surprisingly versatile and adaptable to a number of genres. Highly recommended if you can find one, and a great complement to the CW II if you're into older styles (Western swing, '40s jazz, postwar Nashville, etc.) that require both acoustic and electric during the course of a gig; they're a bit scarce but not expensive, and $350-400 should get you into the game...
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  #14  
Old 12-24-2021, 11:30 AM
TiffanyGuitar TiffanyGuitar is offline
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I think Tele, or a Gretsch. I would pick a Tele first, personally, but I like Gretsch too. I don't have one now, maybe one day.
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  #15  
Old 12-24-2021, 11:31 AM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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Twang is the back pickup. The neck pickup on a tele is plenty full.



You just can't beat a tele.
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