gvcg guitars - is there really a difference

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by oscar100, Oct 6, 2006.

  1. oscar100

    oscar100 Member

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    or is it just hype?

    for instance is you buy a slab body suhr classic T with 9-12 radius and 6105s and put in teh gvcg alnico pups -

    what are you getting for teh extra $3k other than v precise relicing and some old pots (r they bettre than teh rs guitarworks t kit?)

    i would imagine both suhr and GCVG use top quality woods and processes

    now ive never played a really old t ( but have played 50's strats that i actually didnt like) so i cant compare first hand

    be interested to get your thoughts from owners and non owners

    :AOK
     
  2. Gerald Johnson

    Gerald Johnson Member

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    Well, Jo,
    As you know, I`ve only had my `63 Inca Silver slab-board for a week, but I am more than impressed. The body is aged northern alder, with thin nitro reliced finish. The maple neck is hardened nitro finished and has a beautifully rolled edge, giving that old, played-in feeling. It really does have that vintage vibe about it. The pick-ups are Jason Lollars, specially wound for GVCG. They have all the twang and bite of the old Fenders, but a lot more "clout", especially at the bottom end. The neck pick-up is a revelation - thick and powerful!
    I have a John Suhr all-koa tele, a Fender Custom Shop tele and a Fender John English Masterbuilt thinline tele. All are tonally completely different. The Suhr is much brighter and "chimey", with exceptional build quality and finish.The pick-ups on the thinline are surprisingly mellow and a little "thin" sounding. The custom shop model has a humbucker at the neck, so is really a different sound altogether.
    I`ve been lucky enough to play a late 50`s and early 60`s Fender tele and cannot honestly say that either was better than the GVCG! I would heartily recommend the GVCG to anyone, rather than pay crazy money for an early genuine article!

    Gerald.:AOK
     
  3. matte

    matte Senior Member

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    my body.
    yes. there is a considerable difference that i immediately notice, as regards both feel and tone. it would be absurd for me to state with confidence that you (or anyone else, for that matter) would make the same observations/draw the same conclusions.

    i've owned a slew of "50s and early "60s fender strats, as well as having had guitars of the same specs built by the fcs(mb by john cruz(50th ann 54 strat), greg fessler(50th ann 54 strat), john english(2 50th ann 54 strats, 60 strat), 15 maple neck relic strats, suhr(2 ash body maple neck strats built to my specs) and gvcg(3 strats and 2 teles). fender can still make an incredible guitar and they fall right behing gvcg, for my tastes.
     
  4. Rocktrans formed

    Rocktrans formed Member

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    So what happened to the new GVCGs that Cliff said, earlier this year, were "coming very soon"?
     
  5. Docgab

    Docgab Member

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    I have owned both a GVCG Tele ('59 Slab with Hamel pups) and a GVCG Strat ('61 also with Hamels). I have also had both a Suhr T and S. The GVCG are a different animal. Authentic relicing, vintage feel, vibe, and tone. I had my GVCG Strat in a friend of mine's shop (deals in vintage equipment). He said that if he didn't know that it was new he would swear that it was a real, early '60's Strat (it even smelled old).

    To me the Suhrs are a modern iteration of the Tele and Strat. Great guitars, more versital and modern sounding. Geat necks (full C huge is my favorite).

    With all this said the million dollar question still remains, are the GVCG worth the extra money? I can't say yes or no. But, I sold both of my GVCG's as I couldn't justify having so much money tied up in guitars. Further I was afraid to take them to gigs or jam sessions for the same reason.

    I still have my Suhr Tele and love it. Just added a EJ Strat to fill that bill.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  6. sanhozay

    sanhozay klon free since 2009

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    Only silliness ensues when people ask others to define a benchmark that would make them happy. Stand up and be brave, jump in with both feet and form your own opinions. Can't afford the coin? Then punch your weight and play everything in your price range. If GVCG is in your wheel house then have at it and decide for yourself.
     
  7. JMintzer

    JMintzer Burned Out Mod

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    The ONE GVCG I've had a chance to play was an incredible Tele. Fit, finish, relic'ing, playability and tone was all top shelf.

    Was it $2K better than my Cunetto Nocaster relic? Tough question. For me, probably not, but I can definitely see why others could think so...

    Try one, you just might like it.


    Jamie
     
  8. tonedaddy

    tonedaddy Member

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    I am here as you are here as you are me and we are
    This is the most concise/precise answer I've ever read on comparing gear.
    It should be posted at the beginning of every gear comparison thread.
    Read it 10 times before you decide to waste your time reading my much poorer, long-winded response.
    :D


    Comparing Suhr and GVCG?
    I'll agree with everyone above in that to me, they're 2 different animals.


    IMO,
    - To me, the difference in ALL guitars is not just the parts and the paint.
    - The difference is in the maker, and what objective they're trying to accomplish with that particular guitar.


    Some folks feel/hear a difference in a maker's work.
    Some folks don't.

    Some folks want that difference in a maker's work.
    Some folks don't.

    Some folks think the maker's skills are worth paying for.
    Some folks don't.


    So:

    Are Suhr's worth what they cost?
    Are GVCG's worth what they cost?
    OR
    Are vintage Strats/Teles worth what they cost?


    All of those guitars could be great guitars, and for any number of reasons, simply not work for you or me.
    And any reason someone offers up for not liking any of them won't diminish that guitar being great for someone else.


    If you've read many guitar comparisons here on TGP, you've probably heard folks talk about the "diminishing returns" of higher priced gear.
    For example, if spending $1500 on a guitar or amp gets you >90% to your tonal destination, it might cost you $3000+ to get that last 10%.

    And only you can decide if it's worth spending that last $3000.
    (And if you find you're close to 100% for $1500 or less, then stop hanging around here because I can ABSOLUTELY GUARANTEE you'll talk yourself into spending money you don't need to spend.)
    :D


    Can you hear/feel a difference in a $1000 guitar compared to a $3000 guitar compared to a $5000 guitar compared to a $25,000 guitar?

    I have.
    For me, some of those differences are worth paying for, and some aren't.
    But that doesn't mean they're not worth it to someone else.


    So, IMO,
    You can't answer those questions for anyone but yourself.
    And you can't criticize anyone else for their answers, either.

    As others have said, just keep looking for builders who can give you the specs/quality/feel/sound you need in your price range.
    There are great builders out there in every price range.
    And if you'd like some impressions of those who've owned/played GVCGs, just do a search on "GVCG", and you'll find lots of folks who've posted about them.

    Now see, you should have just read sanhosay's answer 10 times, instead of wasting your time reading mine.
    ;)
     
  9. mgrier1

    mgrier1 Silver Supporting Member

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    When I consider a guitar for purchase, the main question I ask myself is: "Does it have life, personality, and soul ?"

    Most of the guitars talked about here on TGP, have that. Single name makers usually are very intimate with instruments they ship...

    Jonathan's guitars have his soul poured into them - you can simply see it and feel it... Is it the best Tele??? Don't ask me... Though I own one and love it, I'm sure someone can create an argument that the Suhr is better, or it's not really a Tele since it wasn't made in Fullerton, California (though Jonathan's are now made nearby me in Topanga)...

    These are semantic arguments that fuel long-winded threads that go nowhere... You can find dozens of Tele-esque guitar makers who build superlative instruments that are all imbued with their own character... It really just boils down to your own opinion...

    sanhozay has it right... Plunk down the money and take your chances... Opinions are great to read about, but until you play any of these fine guitars we talk about all day, you never really know...

    For me, my Tele-quest has led me to assemble my own parts-caster just to "get inside" this venerable design and see what pieces really work for me... Maybe it will end up better than my GVCG (somehow, I really doubt it, though). All of these guitars are a combination of romantic and practical purchases (mostly romantic :rolleyes: )

    Buy one, try it, keep it or flip it... simple as that.

    2 cents and too much coffee :crazy

    Best,

    Mike
     
  10. martie6621

    martie6621 Silver Supporting Member

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    This may offend some but I am serious. I own or have owned some of the high end private makers guitars. Are they worth it? Only he who writes the check can say. Mostly subjective, but when one spends a lot for a piece they want to justify their expense - so at that time, it's worth it to them. Been there many times. The best way to judge is to ask how it will hold up on the resale side. If one takes a huge rinse off, it is hard to say it was "worth" the original expense. Things are cyclical. What is hot today may not be next year and of course the opposite is true as well. It's in the pursuit of the holy grail that makes it fun for some. The money, if one can afford it, is the price of the game. Ok spam dogs --- hit me:(
     
  11. AJ Love

    AJ Love Senior Member

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    I think that is true but only to a point. For those of us who have owned multiple different Boutique guitars, what speaks loudest is which guitars become "keepers"
     
  12. phretbored

    phretbored Member

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    I played a fantastic GVGC Tele that just kills.
    It had such a realistic "vintage and reliced" treatment that after seeing and playing it I was convinced there is no need to spend any money on vintage Fenders whatsoever...with all the conterfeiting going around and the fact that you can get such a high quality guitar from GVGC for much less the vintage Fenders look less appealing all the time.
    If you want the tone and the vibe and no worries spend some $$$ on a nice GVGC instrument.

    Suhr is putting out the best modern bolt on guitars IMHO.
    They are outstanding.
    If you want a solid, high performance, modern S-type instrument spend some $$$ on a nice Suhr.
     
  13. landru64

    landru64 Member

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    i played mrbungel's gvcg blackguard a couple of nights ago and it's pretty ridiculous. if i had the dough i'd have bought it. and i think it's still available..?
     
  14. matte

    matte Senior Member

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    my body.
    not anymore. east coast bound.
     
  15. landru64

    landru64 Member

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    Good news. That's a fine instrument! One can be sure I will be on the hunt when I sell my landgraff head....
     
  16. DestroyAllGuitars

    DestroyAllGuitars Member

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    Jonathan returns from Europe this week and we will continue working on all the things necessary to launch the new GVCG line. It's been slow going as we've had much business to tend to aside from the actual designing and building of guitars. JW will be back in the saddle shortly and you will all know when we are ready to unleash the guitars as it will by no means be kept a secret. Jonathan has a tremendous passion for the (T style) guitars he builds and I can guarantee that the quality of his guitars only gets better as time moves on.

    I care not to participate in the ridiculous arguments of which guitar sounds better or cheaper or whatever. I know what Jonathan is capable of and I know his motives, ethics and all the things that are important about him as a person. He's a Renaissance Man in the truest sense of the term and there are very few like him. He pours all of his self into everything he does whether it be building a guitar or crafting a song, and that is the difference.
     
  17. Rocktrans formed

    Rocktrans formed Member

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    Thanks for the update! Sounds exciting.
     
  18. J Purcell

    J Purcell Member

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    Thanks Cliff. You are a class act.
    Looking forward to the new GVCG's.:BEER
     
  19. 54GT

    54GT Silver Supporting Member

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    Cliff -

    can't wait to see the next generation of Jonathan's work.

    Corey
     
  20. Seegs

    Seegs Member

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    I'm crossing my fingers but hopefully it may be sooner than you think:AOK

    I know if I had the scratch she'd be comin home!

    Chow,
    Seegs
     

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