D'Pergo an honest review

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by pageburst, Feb 9, 2008.

  1. pageburst

    pageburst Silver Supporting Member

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    I finally got to play a D'Pergo with a beautiful swamp ash body and maple neck. Had a little guitar powow with some friends aquiantnces etc., There were a lot of wonderful strats present -more than twenty, including a 56 refinish, a variety of CS and masterbuilt strats, a couple of Suhrs a Grosh and several very nice partscasters including one made up of early 60s parts. A lot of great amps everything from a from a Carr Mecury to a Komet Concorde

    Now for me a guitar is something that once you lay your hands on it you either bond with it or you don't. to try to put it into words and offer an acurate desription is not easy. So to assist in this I will try to describe the D'Pergo in terms that are important to me: Tone, Articulation, Dynamics and playability.

    Articluation:
    this is where the D'Pergo excelled. Hold your hand out with your fingers close together (an average strat tone with bunched up mids) now spread yourt fingers as wide as you can. The D'Pergo had huge note seperation Very clear and spacious. Piano like depth very nice.

    Playability:
    This particular D'Pergo was an excellent guitar fit and finish wise impecable as were the frets. The neck too felt very natural in my average sized hands. Overall this and the balanced weight of the guitar combined for just a great playing experience. Now I'm partial to
    well broken in guitars but for a new shiny instrument the D'Pergo was very complelling in this regard - in a word excellent

    Dynamics:
    While I felt the D"Pergo lacked MacroDynamics particlarly when we turned up the gain on some of the higher output amps, it did excell at clean settings and at moderate volume levels where you could really lean in and listen to the microdynamics and harmonics of each note

    Tone:
    This is probably the most subjective area and is really up to personal taste. The D'Pergo despite its vintage moniker had a more of a modern tone to my ears. it had hints of tele to my ears and a slightly more extended if polite presentation than some of the other more up front Strats I played. As I played it I kept thinking this is not your fathers strat. Whether this a good or bad thing really depends on your perspective. I think it really would make the D'Pergo a compelling compliment to someone whose got the more vintage Strat thing covered.

    To my ears and hands the D'Pergo is a fantastic guitar and was definetly one of my favorites of the day.
    It ranked in my top 5 in articularion and playability and in my top 10 with regard to dynamics and tone

    Now you can be yeah or nay for vintage woods recelaimed or otherwise. To me while that makes for great add copy, I've heard my share of new wood guitars that sounded spectacular.

    This I can tell, having played many boutique strats over the years, the reason why some of these boutique makers turn out exceptional
    guitars consistantly is because they take the time to seek out best tone woods, listen to each piece, match complimentary electroncis and hardware. in short it's a labor of love that cannot be replicated with higher throughput manufacturing

    The D'pergo is not magical nor is it night and day better than every other strat I've played. What it is is an exceptional guitar that embodies all the fanstastic qualities of a maker who builds em one at a time with great thought and care.
     
    slowerhand likes this.
  2. JackButler

    JackButler Supporting Member

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  3. mbrown3

    mbrown3 Member

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    Great review! What were the specs of this one? Did it have the aged wood?
     
  4. GAT

    GAT Gold Supporting Member

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    What others made your top 5?
     
  5. pageburst

    pageburst Silver Supporting Member

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    The 56 refinish, a modded Suhr, and a couple of partscasters (one of those would probably be more aptly described as a one off by a luthier who from what I was told is more known for his acoustic creations and a modded CS with a de temple or callahan can't remember which titanium block and saddles.

    I also liked the 60s parts caster a lot too and have to give it honarble mention, initially it was one of my faves but I have to remember I am a little biased toward vintage guitars and as I really played it I found it not quite as nuanced tonally as some of the others mentioned above including the D'Pergo.

    But let me add this with the exception of a couple masterbuilts and CS strats which were rather flat sounding in comparison, I would have been happy walking away with any of these guitars.

    I think with the Fenders you gotta play em first because compared to the boutique guys the Fenders even the high end ones tend to be more hit n miss. Though I will say when they hit they can be outstanding.

    All in all it's a nice time to go Strat shoping. While some of these guitars are pricey paricularly for bolt-on, amortized over a lifetime the great ones regardless of price will always amount to a bargain.
     
  6. gregory49

    gregory49 Member

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    compaired to the prices of vintage guitars today . it sounds like your saying that the D'pergo is quite the bargain!

    was it the limited one?
     
  7. HBK

    HBK Member

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    very good review ~ Thanks mate

    I think price is also a factor of a guitar or any musical instrument, if you can make a price adjusted rating, which is the sum of all your rating score * 100 / the actual price of the instrument to your TOP 5 guitars, I think the result might be interesting.
     
  8. atquinn

    atquinn Supporting Member

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    So then, the other D'Pergo reviews have been dishonest?!?

    -Austin
     
  9. CDaughtry

    CDaughtry Member

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    I don't think that is what he is saying at all. This is his personal experience with the guitar, along with many fine others, and I, for one, appreciate hearing his perspective.
    Doesn't it all just boil down to personal choice?
    Go over to the "Guitars in general" section and hear the soundclips that Hogy put up of a bunch of really nice sounding vintage guitars, a reissue and a replica. People are all over the place on which one sounds the best.
    It's all good!:dude
     
  10. Kappy

    Kappy Member

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    Thanks for your review. I like that your review was more detailed than reviews typically get here in blurb form (with some refreshing exceptions, of course). But I need to know more detail about what model D'Pergo we're talking about here. Also, helpful would be to know which pickups, what kinda' wiring configuration, etc. etc.

    I know Stephan himself makes a big distinction between the Vintage Classic (formerly sold by dealers, the "affordable" one with the neck being the only aged/recovered wood) and his Aged Vintage Classic. And I think he makes an even bigger distinction between those and his Limited. I'd like to know which one is being compared here.

    Thanks for the info.

    Dave
     
  11. Ogre

    Ogre Member

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    At last, some sanity instead of all the breathless hyperbole. Thank you!
     
  12. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

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    Great review, Pageburst. What is a macro/microdynamic?
     
  13. Leucadian

    Leucadian Guest

    ...very nice thought-out review...but c'mon...macro/microdynamics? You get an A for "Creative Use of Corksniffing Terms.":D

    ...but seriously folks, I have to laugh at a review which uses terms like the above that is then lauded for its lack of "breathless hyperbole.":jo

    ...anyway, I play mine hours everyday and I have to disagree about the macro/microdynamics part...mine sounds like dynamite no matter the amount of gain...thanks for your efforts, Pageburst!
     
  14. Mark Kane

    Mark Kane Gold Supporting Member Silver Supporting Member

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    This is the key, personal experience, he actually played one. Maybe we should breakup the forum into two sections, one section for people that experience very little but like to talk about things a lot(I'm not talking about questions, I'm talking about baseless opinions) and one section for people that actually have experience with the things they talk about. That would save a lot of time reading a lot of this crap.
     
  15. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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  16. Tonefish

    Tonefish Member

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    Nice writeup, thanks! But without intending to take away from your conclusions, I must say I have to wonder that with over 20 strats and "lots of amps", can you really have had the time to compare in that much detail?

    I would also be curious as to what model and pickups these were? Do you happen to know?
     
  17. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Member

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    I'm struck by the fact the D'Pergo only made your top 10 in terms of tone and dynamics. Tone, in particular, is an area where they're known to excel (based on many other impressions posted on TGP). I'm maintaining a healthy dose of skepticism.
     
  18. Mike Dresch

    Mike Dresch Member

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    Well, that's certainly your right, but one thing to remember is everyone's ears are different in the way they hear or interpret things. What may be cool to you might not be his cup of tea and vice versa.

    I don't think there's anything incorrect about someone's honest review on something. It's how they feel about the object at hand.
     
  19. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Member

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    I agree 100%
     
  20. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    As opposed to all those "dishonest" reviews here?


    :rolleyes:
     

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