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inexpensive gigging guitar


My primary guitar is a custom Lowden. I love it and I am really happy with the gear I use to amplify it - a Sunrise and a McIntyre through my rack - a Sunrise stereo buffer, Raven PMB1, a dsp and a stereo compressor - but I don't always feel comfortable playing the Lowden out. Sometimes we gig outside and that makes me a little nervous about the guitar. And sometimes we use a full band and the subtleties of the Lowden get lost plus the complexity of the tone muddies things a bit.

So I've been looking for another guitar that would work for me in the other settings, basically a guitar that I wouldn't worry about and that is a bit more simple in sound.

I bought a Silver Creek D160. I had read the reviews and played a few other Chinese factory guitars that were reasonable so when the SC's were on sale, I thought I'd take a chance. I could always return it, right? I was astounded at the guitar. The tuning machines were not very good so I replaced them. It is easily the equal of many other factory built guitars that cost 3-4X as much.

Then I had to amplify it. I don't like UTS's at all. And I often need more feedback rejection than I can get with just an SBT. I tried an M1. I liked the sound but the percussion bits didn't have any bottom to them and I do a lot of banging on the guitar's body. I decided to go with an SBT and a Sunrise. I like that pairing plus I figured I wouldn't have to mess much with my rack to get an acceptable sound since that is what is in my primary guitar. I ordered the Sunrise and a 3 bug set-up from jjb electronics. The Sunrise does what it does - huge bottom, great feedback rejection, trebles a bit electric sounding. I haven't used a K&K so I can't tell you whether the implied claims are accurate for the jjb but it is very nice. It has more gain than my McIntyre and just sounds very good. If the transducers are the same as the K&K's, I don't think they're the mini's... they look bigger than the photos I've seen of the mini's. They add what the Sunrise doesn't have and together they give me a huge sound that I really like a lot.

I'm really pleased with a gigging guitar that with two pickups still cost me way below what a reasonable gigging guitar should. It isn't my Lowden but it sounds good enough - better than most of the factory electric/acoustic guitars out there - that the Lowden will only go to gigs where it will be appreciated. And, if it blows off a stand, I'll be upset but not heartbroken.


Great report, Roy. I suspect that a lot of people will be interested in your discovery of the Silver Creek and what you've done with it. Congratulations!



I use an Indiana Scout with 3 band eq and built in tuner .
It's my first E/coustic,and I had feed back problems so I got a feed back pug for the sound hole
but the wholee thing cost @ 200 bucks and sounds pretty good for what I do
Pit orchestra for musicals

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