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How did you find the "one" guitar for you?

WELLL i guess i can provide some story time and share some pictures, i love this stuff.

my #1. 'the one'.

story starts with Jimmy Page. i was a classic rock kid growing up in the 90's. my parents always jammed 60s-70s-80s era music. i was introduced early on to the 'mount rushmore' groups and players. zep was my favorite and i remember i got the dvd set that featured the royal albert hall performance for Christmas. i saw page play the Black Beauty for one of my top favorite zep songs, Bring It on Home. then i did more research and found out that Page has used his BB for most of Zep II; which was my favorite Zep album. i had to have one.

when i looked at page's BB, every spot on the guitar had something going on. the switches, the triple hums, bigsby bar, double bound body, block inlays, split diamond headstock; all wrapped up in a snappy black and gold scheme. unfortunately, the Gibby Black Beauty was TOP SHELF hardware in the realm of guitars and i was a paycheck to paycheck guy.

eventually i was able to score an EPI Black Beauty, and month by month i bought parts and upgraded it how i wanted it

it was a GLORIOUS looking guitar, but still just wasnt my #1. i probably spent the whole price of the guitar in mods and i still found myself reaching for one of my SGs to riff on.

years went by and i was doing pretty well for myself professionally. i had 'put my nose to the grindstone' and started working a ton of hours and getting serious with getting some life goals in line. it paid off when i received a promotion to shift supervisor that provided a healthy upgrade in pay, so i logged into my gear supplier's website and after surfing for a few minutes, a gem caught my eye.

ES Les Paul Black Beauty.

i was out of the guitar game for like....3 years. i didnt surf message boards, i didnt browse ebay for projects, and i didnt browse supplier websites for new models and deals. i was, and still am balls deep into blues / blues rock playing and the ES Les Paul fit that aesthetic. i was going to get a standard until i saw they were having a closeout on the Black Beauty Variation and i needed to call in a forklift to pick my jaw up. this was the Ace1432 Gibson signature model i didnt even know they were making :rotflmao it ticked all the boxes for me, so i snapped it up. there was a HOT SECOND i dismissed this guitar because i read that it had a richlite fretboard. im a guitar purist and at the time felt that richlite had NO PLACE on a gibson guitar.....but the guitar just had way too much going for it otherwise and i willed myself to overlook that and snapped the guitar up.

this is THE guitar for me. i still enjoy playing new guitars and on a rare occasion will add a new one to the pack, but with THIS guitar, frankly i dont need anything else. it BARKS when you strum and when you hit that glorious E chord it raises goosebumps on everyone within earshot. the neck shape is literally my dream neck profile. slim 60's C shape i believe, my hand just forms to it like putting on a glove. no fatigue playing anywhere on the neck its all smooth as gravy.

this is the guitar that will never be sold and if i knew i was dying tomorrow i might ask to be buried with it. or sent to my favorite guitar player so they could give it a proper rocking.
Annnnddd now I have GAS for an ES Les Paul black beauty! I’ve never seen one of those before but that’s a truly amazing looking Les Paul!


Haggled a junk store owner down to 90 bux after a year with 5 strings bouncing around his place.
It was a pity rescue project that kept getting better.
It's almost due a refret, should be even better then, but it's already passed that bar.

Just a chance thing, I didn't really even want it.
Another month it would probably been glued to the ceiling fan.


Walked into CME this past April only intending to browse - walked out with THE best sounding guitar I have ever played: Collings I-35 LC with Throbaks. Done.


I'd read quite a few positive comments on Ron Thorn guitars, but couldn't justify the price of a new one based on my abilities and the fact I don't play out. I also frequently perused the Thorn forum and Ron's website to learn as much as possible on the various models. One particular one was in the emporium but was above my comfort level on $ and thankfully sold quickly! It's still around and teases me mercilessly! A second one listed I almost traded my R7 for but we couldn't come together on it. Another model I really like was the Junior Ninety Koa but Ron only made 10 and I didn't hold out much hope on finding one for sale. Fast forward two years and I'd put together a nice bunch of $500 guitars; all nice players, but nothing that really hit me. Then one day I was browsing the emporium and there it was, “FS Thorn Junior Ninety Koa”! The last thing I needed was another guitar, and I'd really grown tired of keeping fresh strings on all of them. I made the hasty decision to grab the Thorn and sell the stable to justify it. Again, my needs/abilities don't demand high dollars! As soon as it became official, I started listing guitars for sale. Those of you that do this a lot know the work involved in listing, selling & shipping 5 guitars in a week or so! Anyway, it all eventually came together and I'm down to one electric, Thorn Junior Ninety #5! View media item 132223
congrats...I own a all Limba Jr. 90 (and a good friend owns one like yours) and this Thorn model is excellent.


Silver Supporting Member
I always have a number 1. They usually stay in that spot for 4 to 10 years. Some I’ve played half to death and moved on instead of getting a fret job.

I love a guitar that has versatility and has a little originality. I used to mod guitars a lot but now I just like to find new guitars that I like stock.

This PRS Studio has been has been my no. 1 four 4 years and I’m still crazy about it.



Silver Supporting Member
My Journey went like this, from my 1st at age 13 to “The One,” today:

1987 - Harmony Les Paul copy
1988- Tanara (Jackson dual humbucker knockoff)
1989- Peavey Predator (Strat copy, what I developed
most of my technique on)
1990-1992- Gibson Les Paul studio (got it because I LOVED
Randy Rhoads, couldn’t afford a Jackson V, and this
was the next best thing!)
1993-1997- Jackson Dinky
1998-2000- Fernandes Strat Copy
2001- Yamaha Pacifica Strat style
2002-2006- Fender American Standard Telecaster, Carvin DC127, Carvin DC727
2007-2018- Fender Thinline Tele, Carvin H2, Fender 50’s Strat, Soloway (Amazing sound!!! But 27” scale was a no-go,) G&L Legacy, Rice Custom 7 String Strat, Carvin HH2T, Fender Player Strat, Fender American Standard Strat
2019- Ibanez RG752AHM Prestige.........

Drum Roll..........

1983 Fender Elite Strat!!!

Took me 32 years to find, but it sounds PERFECT for everything I play.

For metal, fusion, clean, thrash, anything.... I love it.

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David Garner

Platinum Supporting Member
I’ve got two that are home base for me. The first, an EJ Strat, I picked up on a whim at a music store. I knew I was going to buy it when I played it unplugged. The second, my 93 Les Paul Standard, I got from the Emporium here. I was going to flip it if I didn’t like it. That wasn’t a problem as it turns out — it’s been my no. 1 for five years now. It still is even though I now have a second LP.

Here’s the two of them together:



If you want to play broad styles, no one guitar is likely to do it for you.

i have always asked myself what i would play if i was to only play one guitar.
Answer is its probably not an electric.
I would likely play an OM, probably a Martin OM28 or Santa Cruz OM Grand.

If only because they are the perfect acoustic to me, and i have never found the perfect electric.


Platinum Supporting Member
Bought my first Ibanez RG in 1990. Still have it along with four others. Tried all the classics since but the RG's remain. Yeah I still own a couple Strats, a Tele but my RG's just feel right for me. Bob

My 90 RG. Have nicer ones but this ones still here.



In my experience, You usually get used to a guitar in a certain amount of time and end up bonding with it.
I've been gigging for 56 years and for the first few decades I only owned one guitar at a time; guitars that grew on me so to speak. (they have overlapped a little though)
I've bonded with a Rickenbacher, a Les Paul Jr, A custom Tele, a Hamer...

There have been only two that I couldn't connect with . One was a 1963 Jazzmaster I bought in '66. The other was a new Tele I bought in '72.

My current three main favorites; a '71 Strat I've been playing for 38 years, an '85 Strat with a '67 Tele neck I've played for the last 18 years and a Gretsch 6120 Jr I've played since 2011. These three do seem to have something 'special' but ...

I have about a dozen others that could each be a main player after a short adjustment period. (mostly Strats, Teles, Gretsch, Warmouth, USACG)
I'm not on the lookout for any more :)

S Mac
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Average Joe

Trial and error, and so far I only have it down to types, rather than individual guitars. I like strat styles, sometimes with other pickups, and I like 335s. I have good examples of either, keepers. otoh, I don't believe I'll ever be one of those guys who have a "The One" in absolute terms. Guitars are somewhat interchangeable to me. I'd hate to lose what I have, they're good instruments, but I'm sure I could find others that would work for me


Isn't it funny how many peoples 'one' guitar have been through chance or luck it seems. A few of the posts in this thread so far have been guitars that have come along when we've not really been looking for them. A lot of the time a big expensive custom never turns out as good as expected, at least in my experience anyway.

I'm pretty sure I've not found my 'one' yet. I have 3 or 4 very good instruments though that all have their uses.


I went on a telecaster hunt. I had a Gibson LP and a Fender Stratocaster at the time and wanted a Telecaster.
Tried every single one I could find (except a Ritchie Kotzen because it was out of my price wrange) and the very last one I tried was the one.
Spent one month talking to the guy in the store to get a better price and, once I got the money and saw he was not going any lower, I bought it.
It didn't immediately became my #1 but slowly crawled up to the top of the list and it's been the one I always go back to for the last 10 or so years.



Gold Supporting Member
How did I find “the one”?? I dunno... I still haven’t found it! (playing 4 decades)

Nowadays, I always say my PRS is my “#1”, but that’s mainly cuz it’s basically the nicest guitar I own

Although, forced to choose just one... it’d have to be a Strat of some kind (though not necessarily my current one, so it comes full circle again)


Silver Supporting Member
I have a #1 for jazz and a #1 for everything else. The semihollow for jazz I had built.

The tele took several months of trying everything from Fender CS, G&L, Melancon, Anderson, Grosh, etc., until I landed on a Nash.

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