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Lentz 2-P90 versus Gibson Johnny A.

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by 55custom, Nov 20, 2005.

  1. 55custom

    55custom Member

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    If any owners of the new Lentz 2-90 guitar also have a Johnny A hollow body, please report in with a clean-tone comparison of the two using Jazz chords and riffs.

    I have both and am finding that the Lentz can do everything the Johnny A can do. Clean clear big bottom end with both, except the Lentz is clearer/slightly brighter. But I'm still testing through various old tube amps.
     
  2. JeffD

    JeffD Very slow but persistent Supporting Member

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    I've refrained from responding until now because I have no experience with any Lentz guitars. Only know what I've read about them here on the GP. (I'm sure they are stellar guitars). However, I've owned a number of 2-P90 guitars, (currently own one) and have a Johnny A. I agree that you could (very effectively) use a solid body P90 guitar for many different styles of music, including jazzy stuff (assuming the pickups aren't _too_ hot). It makes sense to me that the P90 guitar would be slightly brighter and clearer, since it is a single coil pickup. The main difference, I think, is that the JA gives you that hollow-guitar tone. I don't know how you can get that except with a hollow-body guitar. The humbuckers won't sound like the P90s, and a neck humbucker in a hollowbody is a great sound. I just don't think the P90 sold body can give you that. Of course, the Lentz no doubt covers ground that the JA does not. Can you keep them both? Seems like the best thing to do, assuming you want to do so.
     
  3. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Supporting Member

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    I saw Johnny play a few weeks back and was quite impressed with him and his guitar! Great player and great tone.

    I couldn't even begin to compare the two but will add the L-90 pickups are not wound hot like most modern P-90s. They are modeled after the pups you would find in a '50s L-5 Anyone who has ordered a P-90 guitar from us in the past, before we started building our L-90s will recall us using only vintage Gibson pickups from the '50s as there is not anything out there close to what we are building now.

    Combined the pickups with the light weight ash the guitar can cross through the corner of hollow body territory.
     
  4. 55custom

    55custom Member

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    On the Lentz guitar I had both pickups on, with the neck volume full up, and the bridge volume rolled off slightly, and the master tone pot rolled off about a third or so. That setting closely matched the neck pickup on the J.A. with it's volume and tone full up.
    The only reason I compared the two guitars was because I noticed the Lentz had an unusally big clear bottom end, so I wanted to know just how versatile it was and on a lark, compared it to the J.A. and started dialing in the Lentz to get that particular jazz tone. I had no idea it would be that close.
    I ran the guitars through a '52 Gibson GA40, a '53 Bandmaster and a '62 Fender Pro.
    The J.A. is still a great guitar and does it's own thing well.
     
  5. KLB

    KLB Member

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    What is the neck shape and thickness on the JA?

    You gotta wonder about relative value compared with the Lentz. The JA is only a few hundred more, though sold through a dealer who is getting a cut. The JA requires more detail work with the binding, inlays, neck joint, etc. Then there is the Bigsby, if you like that sound.

    I was very impressed with the Lentz '54 S-guitar I played last year, however, the current Lentz prices seem high, especially since they are sold direct.

    Johnny A sure blew me and my buddys away with his tone and playing when he opened for EJ here in Atlanta a few months ago!
     
  6. 55custom

    55custom Member

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    21.5 mm at the 1st fret, 24.4 mm at the 11th.
    Shape = inbetween "C" and "D" on mine.

    Mine were roughly the same price. They're two different animals, so value is subject to individual interpretation. That said, in the event of fire or flood, I'm grabbin' the Lentz on the way out the door.
     
  7. KLB

    KLB Member

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    55Custom,
    Thanks for the info. I've not played either the new Lentz guitars or the JA, so I don't know which I'd prefer, though I'd like to be in a position to have them both at once! In a fire, I'd probably get stuck in the door trying to save 'em both. :)
     
  8. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    If my experience with Gibson quality control is any gauge, you *might* luck out and get a great playing/great-sounding Johnny A... then again, it might have garbage fretwork, like most of my recent Gibsons have had.

    A Lentz, on the other hand, will be an incredible-sounding, incredible-playing guitar, without a doubt. You're resale on the Lentz will also do better than the Gibson.


    That said, they are different guitars in too many ways to really compare them as apples-to-apples...

    But I'd take a new Lentz long before I'd take the Johnny A...
     
  9. Den

    Den Member

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    I haven't had the good fortune to spend any time with a Lentz, but I'm sure they're amazing. However, since I've gotten my Johnny A, I have no real desire for anything else like it. It's really a great guitar.

    I too was concerned about Gibson quality control, but Eric at Willcutts assured he had a perfect J A for me and, as always, he didn't let me down. Even though I'm spoiled with the quality and playability of my Suhr, I can't find any fault with this Gibson ... and I wouldn't change a thing about it.
     

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