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Lentz review with D'Pergo comparison

Messages
384
I got a Lentz Jr Reserve strat a couple weeks ago. This speciman is an ash with a capped neck with a rosewood board. It's finish is what's called "black leaf" and it looks spectacular. I was never s fan of black w/rosewood but after this guitar I'm a fan.

I was going to have one built but after visiting the CR showroom and playing this guitar a new build was not needed. The acoustic resonance of it is unbelievable, it's bright yet not harsh. Even when not amplified it sounds great, in fact I find myself playing it unplugged about 50% of the time. Through the amp it is such a joy to play, each note just rings. I found this guitar in particular works best with single note applications and finger style guitar.

The build of this guitar is top notch, it just oozes quality. I've played many many different brands of f style guitars and the Lentz steamrolls most of them. I found in many of the brands you just don't feel the quality that I feel in this guitar, before a note is even played you can feel the difference.

Speaking of the feel, it reminds me of a really great vintage fender. The neck is fenders wonderfull .880 carve. Yet it has all the improved features of a newer instrument like the flatter radius. I like the fact the string doesn't bottom out on the large bends high up on the fretboard.

Overall it's a wonderful guitar that I don't have any complaints whatsoever about. Needless to say I now understand what all the hype about Lentz is about. In fact it's not hype but commentary of how great these guitars are.


D'Pergo comparison

Several people have asked me to compare the Lentz to my D'Pergo Signature Limited's. I will say right off the bat that as glorious as the Lentz is, I would still rank the D'Pergo's above the Lentz. Every D'Pergo I ever played was uber refined in every way. The biggest differences that are immediately noticeable in the build are the Fretwork and hardware. I've never seen a guitar with fretwork like a D'Pergo. Even the logo is carved into the headstock. I should say the D'Pergo is also at an entirely different price point, it costs twice as much as a Lentz Reserve. So I expect more attention to detail on the Signature Limited.

When comparing tone everyone is different and this is just my opinion. I find the notes on the D'Pergo are more complex. It feels as if it is so perfectly balanced that all the frequencies of the note hit the ear at once giving a 3D effect to each note. I think that's why the D'Pergo excels with note separation.

The Lentz sounds like it's missing a very small range in the bottom mids. And has a ever so slightly weaker bass response. This does bring out the chime of the instrument which is a positive for me. The Lentz is warm just not as warm as the D'Pergo.

Both have a bell/piano like quality to the notes. I would just say the Lentz is like a 7' grand and the D'Pergo is like a 9' grand. My friend said the Lentz made his guitar sound like the toy piano he bought at Walmart for his daughter...lol

In closing I was extremely objective in this comparison, both D'Pergo and Lentz are wonderful instruments and some of the differences were very small. guitars just don't get any better than these.

Any one else think the Ash/Maple D'Pergo looks larger than the Lentz?
 

splatt

david torn / splattercell
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
26,913
If the magic ears don't result in an audience "getting it", or it can't be conveyed, it may as well not exist outside of your perception.
well, no..... for the purpose of argument, that can be seen as very simply untrue:
of course it matters, if you're the one playing the instrument by which you're communicating things musical..... because you play & respond to the sounds that you hear+feel in real-time, moment-by-moment for every piece of music in which you're creating/interpreting/performing that music: in real-time.
>mind heart hands ears, ears heart mind hands<

what's s actually important to the player's expression is, by dint of nature, also important to the audience's perception, whether or not they're all individually aware of the individual details (a statistical improbability, really, but), because gestalt.

that said, i love clips! i def don't need A/B comparison clips --- music is an expressive, interpretive art, after all, not some clever craftiness nor a digitally re-calculated science --- but similar rigs are nice, for the sake of a generality-of-sonic-regions.

i've got a couple of nice clips of my d'pergo, but not for free at the moment.
it's definitely on one track of my newest ecm release, "only sky", and it's definitely on at least one track of bowie's "the next day" release.
 
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sleep

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,341
well, no..... for the purpose of argument, that can be seen as very simply untrue:
of course it matters, if you're the one playing the instrument by which you're communicating things musical..... because you play & respond to the sounds that you hear+feel in real-time, moment-by-moment for every piece of music in which you're creating/interpreting/performing that music: in real-time.
>mind heart hands ears, ears heart mind hands<

what's s actually important to the player's expression is, by dint of nature, also important to the audience's perception, whether or not they're all individually aware of the individual details (a statistical improbability, really, but), because gestalt.

that said, i love clips! i def don't need A/B comparison clips --- music is an expressive, interpretive art, after all, not some clever craftiness nor a digitally re-calculated science --- but similar rigs are nice, for the sake of a generality-of-sonic-regions.

i've got a couple of nice clips of my d'pergo, but not for free at the moment.
it's definitely on one track of my newest ecm release, "only sky", and it's definitely on at least one track of bowie's "the next day" release.
I used to think artists became artists because they needed to convey something in a way that normal interaction doesn't. Otherwise it's self expression that can be done at home or for the purpose of employment, neither of which are bad.

I don't think that it's untrue at all that if the audience misses the point- assuming you have one- you've failed as a communicator. if you applied that same argument to other forms of communication via sound (like a speech) it would be very true that not delivering what you intended is failure (general you, not specifically any you).

If you have something to convey and you can't do it because your guitar lacks "bell tone" or whatever it's the player's fault for not being able to overcome it, not the guitar's fault for failing to convince the player that it's special.
 

splatt

david torn / splattercell
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
26,913
I used to think artists became artists because they needed to convey something in a way that normal interaction doesn't. Otherwise it's self expression that can be done at home or for the purpose of employment, neither of which are bad.

I don't think that it's untrue at all that if the audience misses the point- assuming you have one- you've failed as a communicator. if you applied that same argument to other forms of communication via sound (like a speech) it would be very true that not delivering what you intended is failure (general you, not specifically any you).

If you have something to convey and you can't do it because your guitar lacks "bell tone" or whatever it's the player's fault for not being able to overcome it, not the guitar's fault for failing to convince the player that it's special.
ok, i guess i really don't understand, so..... thanks!
back to music for me, whether folks get it or not, whether folks get my instruments & my (quite specific, very good, imo) reasons for choosing those instruments or not; nothing much to do with bell-tones or pianistic whatever-nesses.
 

splatt

david torn / splattercell
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
26,913
Funny your friend didn't mention the microphone/recording device/mic angle... seems like that would have been the first thing he noticed, or the compression codec, or any of the other equally important things that can color the sound as much as your room, but I guess that stuff can't be heard or doesn't matter as much as if you have corian or granite.
maybe not so funny.
i can often hear the type of room i'm listening-to, primary reflective/absorptive surface-types, range of size etc.... because by necessity, i've trained myself to do so.
if i didn't, i'd never know where sounds come from; since i can't naturally locate sounds in space, i needed to learn to hear what sounds are bouncing-off-of, to gain "pictures" of rooms & other spaces in my head for locational purposes. iow, something which typically 2-eared people simply take for granted, i needed to learn, and learn, i did & still do.
it's not foolproof, but you might be surprised at what we can learn to hear when we're desperate & have enough concentration + the capability to do so.
 

Jazzandmore

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
12,766
I think about this a lot, especially in terms of recording and mixing, but much of it applies to guitars.

The nuances DO exist and they CAN be recorded. SOME people can hear it, MOST can't or it doesn't matter enough to care.

The nuances ARE valid, especially in the creative process, where the instrument (or room, or microphone, or preamp) are providing feedback to the player, singer, engineer, etc... which will inform creative decisions, the sense of what is possible to achieve...

I've played a lot of guitars. Most are pretty good. Some are exceptional. Can the average listener hear the differences I hear? Probably not, but I know that they can hear ME hearing the difference and being affected by it.
Well said

I am often amazed how many comments on TGP seem to imply that because the average person can't hear nuances, that those nuances don't exist, or that others can't hear them. Even when professional musicians, sound engineers, etc. say something, it's not uncommon to see TGP posts that basically claim that person can't really tell a difference.

Anybody who is highly experienced/accomplished at what they do can sense nuances that someone less experienced will miss. Is it reasonable to believe that a pro musician/sound engineer/etc. can tell things about an instrument, a room, an amp, etc that most won't hear? Definitely. Does it matter that they can hear it, but the average listener can't? Definitely because their sonic impression affects how they produce that music. If the editor for Road and Track magazine drove my car, would I expect him to pick up on things about how my car steers, accelerates, brake pedal feel, etc that I have never realized? Definitely. why would I argue that he is sensing these things when he's driven hundreds of cars and has so much experience paying attention to fine details?

What we hear is based on a lot of things, but ultimately only your brain can process that sensory information. Makes no sense to categorically deny the sensory info that someone else's brain can process just because it's different from our own.
 

narad

Member
Messages
1,445
On several instances blind people have even managed to improve their perception and navigation in the world through a sort of make-shift echolocation, making clicking sounds with their mouths. So I don't think the issue is so much whether the brain can find sonic nuances and process them properly, it's whether they are 1.) musical, 2.) recordable, 3.) going to have an effect on the player playing and not on the recording. The age old debate.

I just have a problem with this "Yeah, some people "get it" and have "the ears". Others ... maybe not so much???" Some people are sound engineers and others not so much... If you train your ears to be sensitive to certain sounds, you're going to get better at it. But it seems a bit off topic for discussing what's fair/not fair in describing guitar tone, and finding musical sounds, and certainly isn't a better/worse thing -- I want to use my ears to experience a composition, not provide an estimate for new kitchen tiling over the phone. And then more to the point: we're talking about these bell tones that you'd just "instantly know" -- if it's such a blatant characteristic than surely it translates to a recording? Surely you don't need to be one of the best sound engineers in the country to latch onto it? Can anyone give me a clip of a characteristically D'Pergo or Lentz sound? Of one being more 3D than the other?

I'd love to own any one of OPs guitars, and not hounding on that at all - they're gorgeous. But despite hanging around on TGP for like 8 years, I've still never heard a piece of music that made a D'Pergo or Lentz sound head-and-shoulders above other boutique guitars (and still remember when D'Pergo owners would probably chase you out of the thread for having the gaul to mention Lentz in the same sentence! :p), or highlighted their differences. Isn't it about time? Or is it always going to be a "guess you had to be there"?
 

Teleplayer

Moder8er
Staff member
Messages
20,245
maybe not so funny.
i can often hear the type of room i'm listening-to, primary reflective/absorptive surface-types, range of size etc.... because by necessity, i've trained myself to do so.
if i didn't, i'd never know where sounds come from; since i can't naturally locate sounds in space, i needed to learn to hear what sounds are bouncing-off-of, to gain "pictures" of rooms & other spaces in my head for locational purposes. iow, something which typically 2-eared people simply take for granted, i needed to learn, and learn, i did & still do.
it's not foolproof, but you might be surprised at what we can learn to hear when we're desperate & have enough concentration + the capability to do so.
Well said David. Especially with cats like yourself and my friend that have made both livings from - and impacts on - "the industry", said people certainly train themselves to be able to tell the similarities and differences amongst (as you say) "pictures of rooms and other spaces".

To the mostly untrained audience ear, maybe not so much. To the trained ear, not a doubt.
 

Teleplayer

Moder8er
Staff member
Messages
20,245
On several instances blind people have even managed to improve their perception and navigation in the world through a sort of make-shift echolocation, making clicking sounds with their mouths. So I don't think the issue is so much whether the brain can find sonic nuances and process them properly, it's whether they are 1.) musical, 2.) recordable, 3.) going to have an effect on the player playing and not on the recording. The age old debate.

I just have a problem with this "Yeah, some people "get it" and have "the ears". Others ... maybe not so much???" Some people are sound engineers and others not so much... If you train your ears to be sensitive to certain sounds, you're going to get better at it. But it seems a bit off topic for discussing what's fair/not fair in describing guitar tone, and finding musical sounds, and certainly isn't a better/worse thing -- I want to use my ears to experience a composition, not provide an estimate for new kitchen tiling over the phone. And then more to the point: we're talking about these bell tones that you'd just "instantly know" -- if it's such a blatant characteristic than surely it translates to a recording? Surely you don't need to be one of the best sound engineers in the country to latch onto it? Can anyone give me a clip of a characteristically D'Pergo or Lentz sound? Of one being more 3D than the other?

I'd love to own any one of OPs guitars, and not hounding on that at all - they're gorgeous. But despite hanging around on TGP for like 8 years, I've still never heard a piece of music that made a D'Pergo or Lentz sound head-and-shoulders above other boutique guitars (and still remember when D'Pergo owners would probably chase you out of the thread for having the gaul to mention Lentz in the same sentence! :p), or highlighted their differences. Isn't it about time? Or is it always going to be a "guess you had to be there"?
Find one to play. As a musician and one that is likely "into gear", you'll get it. Or not?

Interestingly, find the YouTube video of Buddy Whittington talking about his Lentz Strat. And then find a couple videos of him playing it. HUGE tone.

In my case, my 3TSB Lentz - at least according to the Lentzes - is the single closest Strat they have made to Buddy's. When I play mine, I "get it" vis-a-vis Buddy's. And it's not about volume.

And while my pre-lawsuit 2TSB Lentz is a bitchin' guitar, my 3TSB is very, very different. Lighter weight (even though they are both 1-piece ash bodies), different neck size/feel, much more resonant, greater clarity and note separation.

And compared to other guitars I have/had, no comparison. My GF has become astute enough - sitting in the same room with me over time and hearing the guitars played acoustically and at house volumes through clean amps, she can tell. Seriously. Every single time I play my 3TSB she causally says, "That's your favorite Lentz, isn't it?" I kid you not. Let's face it, it's not rocket science; you hear something enough times, things become pretty evident.

If you have an hour to kill, track down my old thread about my Lentz, and the neck issue I had. Read the part about going to other stores and trying out axes from the "normal boutique suspects". Again, my GF could easily tell the difference in resonance when the guitars were played acoustically, and could also notice the difference in finish quality, etc. At least for her, it was a no-brainer; completely unprompted by me.

Just my own $0.02. Your - and others' - mileage may vary. And that's cool. As my mother once said, "That's why Heinz makes 57 varieties."
 

suckamc

Member
Messages
4,615
...it's definitely on one track of my newest ecm release, "only sky", and it's definitely on at least one track of bowie's "the next day" release.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is what street cred looks like. And he didn't even have to kill a guy!

...not saying he hasn't. Just saying that, if he did, it was supererogatory.
 

guitargeek94

the ORIGINAL guitar geek
Messages
248
I'm going to ignore the debate and get back to the guitars:

Having not played a Lentz reserve, I cannot speak for that level, but having played multiple Lentz, new and pre-lawsuit (including some from before the year 2000) I can say that they're definitely up there with the best of them, and sometimes the lack of certain things, imperfections, I'd say, really gives the guitar character (or personality if you like).

Having owned a Signature Limited, a Limited, an AVC, a VC and played several other D'Pergo's, I can truly say they are definitely a notch above in terms of fretwork and such, but you have to cough up the cash for it. whether its worth it or not, to each his own. I really like how balanced the D'Pergo's are, and they all just have a body of tone that is so full, that makes most, if not all of the other strats I've played, sound thinner (Tyler, Suhr, Anderson, LSL, Vintage strats, Lentz, GVCG, you name it I might have played it). Whether they're the most fantastic sounding guitars I've played, I still have not found the D'Pergo that absolutely killed it for me tonally. (then again I have one that I haven't played through anything else than a fender champ!)

I can speak for DeTemple, as I owned one, and I did a comparison. If you ask me today if I regret letting it go, the answer will be always yes, because it sounded like no other strat I've played, its noticeably different sounding even through iPhone clips, and I really thought it sounded killer. It wasn't as well built as Lentz and D'Pergo in some aspects, and the 7.25 radius with the medium V neck made me work for the tone, but at the end of the day, it was really really killer sounding!

In the end I still end up playing my Tyler more, just because I don't have to worry too much about damaging it, and its from my year of birth, so I have some special connection with it. IF I had my D'Pergo with me along with the Tyler, the Tyler would not get as much play time, but they're two VERY different guitars!

YMMV!

Jesse
 

Fingers

Member
Messages
708
Jeez, I feel sorta guilty for bringing up my non-understanding of the "piano-like" adjective of praise for electric solidbodies – didn't mean to start a riot, I just wanted to assure people that whatever it meant, it didn't mean a D'Pergo couldn't rock or put out intense sounds (i.e. wasn't too refined, or sterile, or any of those similar problems people here sometimes pin on axes).

What's interesting to me, in light of the great bell-tone controversy, was the OP's statement about his Lentz ("I guess you can call it raw, it sounds just like a really great vintage strat") had instantly made me think of the feeling I got from playing a '54 Strat more than any other guitar I've handled before or since, much like the OP's experience of only really hearing "bell tones" from playing his friend's '54. And with a collection like he's got, I take it for granted he's a reliable witness to the kinds of noises guitars make. Just goes to show, I guess (what it shows, I don't actually know).

And yeah, people - as in audience or other musicians playing - do often hear qualities from guitars that some TGPers confidently say no one would notice. People who play & who don't play can & do. If your experience says otherwise, that's all it says – your experience. Not everybody, of course, or even most – but plenty of people have always claimed they can't tell the difference between a good vs. bad stereo, or an mp3 vs. uncompressed, etc. vs. etc. Etc.
Though I totally agree that the best reason for having a guitar with subtle magical qualities most benefits the player, & that's easily a good enough reason to play one.
 
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Kid Tele

Member
Messages
387
STRATSofPLENTY knows his guitars and is not a shill for anyone, as evidenced by this thread. A while back I reached out to him to get his opinion on his Comins archtop. Comins was high up on my short list and it was not possible for me to "try before I buy". The OP's advice weighed heavily on my decision making process and in the end I ended up with the guitar in my profile pic, which gets most of my practice time. STRATSofPLENTY's description of what I should expect was spot on and I have no reason to believe that his comparison and description here would be any different.

Anyone who has read my posts knows that I am a Lentz freak. To my sensibility these guitars sound and feel as good or better than the best examples of vintage F style guitars that I have played over the last 35 years. While playing these guitars I never think to myself "I wish that the tone was more ____" or "I wish the feel was more ____". There is no question in my mind that any limitation lies with my own ability and that the harder I work, the more the guitar will give up. The only advice that I offered to the OP would be to make sure that his new Lentz is set-up exactly to his specs before casting final judgment. All of mine were great from day one, but only after being set-up to my specs with the right brand and gauge of strings was I able to truly appreciate the genius of these guitars. His D'Pergos have had the benefit of time and I would be surprised if over the same period of time he did not find his Lentz to be on at-least equal footing. I'm confident he will let us know either way, in his "tell it like it is" style (which I appreciate).

I would love to try a D'Pergo some day due to the reviews that I have read here, as well as the audio clips that I have heard from Mr. Torn. When I do, I hope I don't love it too much because I would have a tough time dropping five figures on a solid body bolt on guitar. Thats just me, because I would not hesitate to do so for a top notch archtop or acoustic guitar if I was in the right financial position. While its difficult for me to imagine a "step-up" from my Jr Reserve S and Hyde Park T, I don't doubt the OP's experience at all.
 
Messages
364
Any one else think the Ash/Maple D'Pergo looks larger than the Lentz?
I just tried swapping cases. They are form fit cases and I found the largest body is the pink one followed by the blonde one followed by the Lentz. The difference is not noticeable while holding it. It's just how tight it fits into the form fit case, it's microscopic.

It could be the camera angle that makes them look different in the photo.
 
Messages
384
I just tried swapping cases. They are form fit cases and I found the largest body is the pink one followed by the blonde one followed by the Lentz. The difference is not noticeable while holding it. It's just how tight it fits into the form fit case, it's microscopic.

It could be the camera angle that makes them look different in the photo.
Thank you STRATSofPLENTY!!!!!!!! That shot was driving me crazy. I know the D'Pergo is in a league of its own - build, feel and sound. Stefan goes way beyond on the time and passion he puts into his builds. Just his neck and fret work would run $2k from master builders.
Thank you for the comparison of the two builders work. I have been considering the Lentz myself - looks like a BIG bang for your bucks. Enjoy!
 

Doodlebum

Member
Messages
215
I just got my Lentz S (black) two weeks ago. It's not a reserve, and has a maple cap board. It is major big bang for your bucks! Two weeks is not enough time for me to really judge a guitar but I will say"it couldn't be better". I would love to play and own a D'Pergo some fine day but after playing the Lentz, I doubt I'll even think much about it.
 

suckamc

Member
Messages
4,615
clips clips clips clips clips clips clips

C'mon! I'll be your best friend! :)

(It's not something you'd brag about.)
 

Arcfan

Member
Messages
20
Thanks for the great review Mike. I own a 2014 Lenz Reserve in Daphne Blue that has a one piece swamp ash body and maple neck with a 1956 soft V neck. I could not be more happy with this guitar. Purchased it new from CR guitars.
 
Messages
364
Thanks for the great review Mike. I own a 2014 Lenz Reserve in Daphne Blue that has a one piece swamp ash body and maple neck with a 1956 soft V neck. I could not be more happy with this guitar. Purchased it new from CR guitars.
I remember that one being up for sale, stunning instrument.
 




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