Guitarists who recorded great albums with actual cheap gear/guitars

grunge782

Member
Messages
507
I used to be of the opinion that musicians can use all different kinds of equipment to get some great sounds. Sometimes the pricier stuff does the job better, but there are places for gear that isn't "boutique", "vintage" etc...the musician is what it really comes down to.

I usually thought of Josh Homme as a good example of someone who used what I thought was a cheap Korean guitar to make some really great songs. But that GP turns out to be assembled in the US and was a guitar that Ovation did work hard on. He also uses a Univox super fuzz and some other pricier gear...

As the years go on, I seem to just find that just about every guitarists tone I really enjoy seems to be using quite pricey gear. It just seems like music is more exclusive in this sense than I had previously believed.
 

treeofpain

Gold Supporting Member
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7,253
It's really no different than chefs who like to cook with a gas stove and professional cutlery and cookware, or carpenters who work with pro quality tools. Does that make cooking or carpentry "exclusive" (as in excluding people from participating)? I don't think so.

That said, there is a LOT of great gear out there for reasonable prices. I do a lot of small gigs with an inexpensive strat and a Vox Valvetronics amp - total investment = $500.
 

eicca

Member
Messages
1,264
It's true that sometimes the expensive stuff makes the best sound, but just this last week I replicated the debut Boston tone with a cheap-ass lousy DigiTech. I'm of the opinion great stuff can be had with just about anything if you use it right.
 

+3kk!

Member
Messages
772
Tom Morello,he used a unknown pawnshop guitar to record their first grammy award winning album with RATM.

Jimmy Ray Vaughn, Mexican Signature model tho he has a good selection of other guitars

Lissie, mainly AVRI

theres also a very good following of epiphone users
 

crhfish

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,572
Van Halen comes to mind as well as Rush. There is allot of good Rush recorded using what I would call a strat copy parts guitar.
 

Hulakatt

Has done terrible things for a klondike bar
Gold Supporting Member
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14,425
To be fair, a lot of the gear that some musicians use was cheap when they started using it but it became more expensive and sought after when it became known that it was used by the artist to create such unmistakable sounds.

The Ultra GP that JH uses was a well built guitar that never caught on and could be found quite cheaply when he picked it up. Once he made it popular, prices rocketed up.

Even at the time that Eric Clapton started using Brownie and Blackie, maple neck strats were uncool relics and could be had for peanuts.
 

Tweedledee

Member
Messages
1,403
Jack White on the first few White Stripes albums. Those Res-O-Glas guitars and Silvertone amps bring in decent money now, but they were pretty widely regarded as second rate gear before he rose to fame (and still are by many). And his main pedals were a Digitech Whammy and Big Muff.

Cobain on Nevermind (whatever you think of Nirvana). They used some decent gear in those sessions, but his DS-1 and Small Clone are all over that album.
 

guitarrista#5

Member
Messages
164
I used to be of the opinion that musicians can use all different kinds of equipment to get some great sounds. Sometimes the pricier stuff does the job better, but there are places for gear that isn't "boutique", "vintage" etc...the musician is what it really comes down to.

I usually thought of Josh Homme as a good example of someone who used what I thought was a cheap Korean guitar to make some really great songs. But that GP turns out to be assembled in the US and was a guitar that Ovation did work hard on. He also uses a Univox super fuzz and some other pricier gear...

As the years go on, I seem to just find that just about every guitarists tone I really enjoy seems to be using quite pricey gear. It just seems like music is more exclusive in this sense than I had previously believed.
 

guitarrista#5

Member
Messages
164
I agree with eicca on this. A lot of the guitars that are called "vintage" now ie: Fender 1956 Stratocaster like the one that Clapton used on Layla at that point and time in the 1970's were not regarded as something special and could be bought for just a few hundred dollars in a pawn shop. Of course, many famous guitar players knew that the 1950's Stratocaster was a better guitar but the general public like me had no clue. Another thing, a great guitar player can make just about anything sound good. For example, a gifted guitar player can play a certain guitar or have it set up a certain way geared to his preferences, you or some other guitar player tries to play that same guitar and you can't play it as well as the gifted guitar player can and the guitar itself may be a poorly made guitar but this guy can get amazing sounds out of it. I think gear is important but only up to a certain point. I try to buy the best gear I can afford within my budget. Great guitar players can play and have access to a wider variety of guitars, amps, ect... than an average guy like me. Nonetheless, beyond a certain point it's not about the gear, it's about skill level, how much you practice, how long you have been playing, How hard you work at it, ect... In the main, I try not to get too hung up on gear, I just keep on practicing hoping one day I will sound like the player I want to be.
 

Rayzaa

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Messages
1,543
Im watching AXSTV rght now and Fallout Boy is the band playing from 2013 and a couple of them are playing Squiers. The Bass and one of the guitar players.
 

ASATlove

Member
Messages
354
Rick Holmstrum(early years) played Harmony guitars. junior Watson STILL plays Silvertones and Harmony's.
 

cowboytim

Member
Messages
751
Mike Bloomfield Beat the crap out of his guitars.....Its said he blew the snow off his tele before he laid down the licks for Dylan "Like a Rolling Stone".
He played a 54 gold top LP through a cheap Gibson falcon amp on "East West" song that altered Jerry Garcia to the bone. He Traded Dan Erlewine his 54 Lp and 100.00 bucks for Dans 1959 LP. Which he promptly bet to hell.....and left in a bar after a gig...never to be seen again.
Mikes skilled phrasing and ability to use his finger tips, was the big star. His rig was used like a carpenter uses a hammer. I love Mike Bloomfield....he musta been part cowboy! Wish I had half his talent.
 

DustyRhodesJr

Member
Messages
11,946
Jeff Baxter played several cheapies, and recorded a Donna Summer session using a $25 guitar.

Chris Rea- Italia guitar

Von Bondies- Eko electric

Buzzcocks- broken Starway guitar and Shelley currently plays a $99 Epi LP Special onstage.

Rowan Robertson (Dio)- played LTD guitars and currently plays Epi Les Paul

East Bay Ray- played a Marquis Tele knockoff on early DK albums/concerts

Omar Rodriguez-Lopez- has used Ibanez Jet Kings

King Ad Rock (Beastie Boys)- Hondo strat
 

Redbell

Member
Messages
1,439
I read an interview with George Lynch (some guitar mag, probably) who grew up with Ed Van Halen since they were kids and he said the famous Red/Black/White Frankenstein guitar was one of the worst he ever picked up, couldn't believe it.
 






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