Mystery of James Tyler Guitars?

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by SKYHIGH, Apr 18, 2014.

  1. eliot1025

    eliot1025 Member

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    This was Jim's attempt to make the ugliest possible Alien Guano. It's deliciously hideous. The "regular" AG was Rog's idea for the ultimate in tastelessness. He wanted something that would get in the face of church ladies and/or anyone who admired the aesthetically correct. And it did that. IIRC, the red headstock (AAaagghh) was Rog's idea. Then Jim found a one-off magenta pickguard piece and took it "where no man has gone before." We laughed our asses off.

    Remember Jack Nicholson as The Joker? This is The Joker's Tyler.

    The red headstock (Aaaaaggghh!).
     
  2. jaeger28

    jaeger28 Member

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    I love it to bits!
     
  3. eliot1025

    eliot1025 Member

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    In those days the necks on Fenders varied quite a bit. I'm not surprised that your old '59 neck is not like your Tyler.

    I love the Tyler '59 neck shape, too.
     
  4. trap

    trap Supporting Member

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    When I first read about the Tyler "Mojo" I rolled my eyes.:rolleyes: But after playing this guitar for about 3 months now I can say that it is true! There is something unique and special to the feel of it. And the sound is huge!
    Comments about the headstock are off base. JT obviously has a devilish sense of humor and that is what the headstock and finishes are about.
    My only observation - criticism, is about the zinc block. It sounds thinner and the notes less defined than a steel block. I've checked this about 3 times now with 2 other listeners and they both heard it. With the Gotoh steel block this guitar kills it! The zinc low end is muddy and contrary to other opinions it does not sit better in the mix.
    I think he should offer an option on that. But even with the zinc it is a ripping guitar.
     
  5. Echomachine

    Echomachine Supporting Member

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    I put a down payment for a Tyler Classic order just a week ago. I have not seen a Tyler in person and was so skeptical about how they roll the fretboard edges , so I decided to get a Gibson R9 instead. How ever I still wanted to own a nice Strat/Superstrat someday. I'm only considering a Custom order Fender CS and a Tyler Classic with vintage spec appointments.

    Is there any chance you have A/b'd your Tyler against a nice Fender Custom Shop? What is your take, build quality wise? I know the fender will sound the most "straty" as expected. Can you give a little comparison?

    NOS
     
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  6. imonabuss

    imonabuss Supporting Member

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    I have two and have owned several others. It's hard, no impossible, to describe why they are so good. Perhaps Jim sold his soul at the Crossroads? We likely will never know. But truly they are superb, and there are very few of them, which makes used ones sell high. In any case as I need money I sell other stuff that is worth less, but keep hanging on to these. And there is one other I want to have him make, but I know he was so backed up I didn't even ask yet.
     
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  7. trap

    trap Supporting Member

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    No, I haven't tried against a Fender CS. But I have played Fender CS. Feel wise I would say the Tyler beats it. The neck is fantastic. Sound wise it's apples and oranges. But the Tyler can do classic sounds too. Workmanship wise The Tyler is near perfection.
     
  8. lifeson1

    lifeson1 Member

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    I am EXTREMELY biased toward my Tyler Classic. . . However, having an objective ear to a degree, and just from an all around playing experience, the Tyler Classic supersedes most CS builds I've ever played. There is no 'winning over' for the tone and playability, they are just like well fitting jeans and already broken in for you. The CS is what it is, and unfortunately I don't think that there is a lot of persona attachment to the building of the instruments, whereas in Jim's shop there are limited number of hands on the instruments, and I've seen Jim personally do some of the setup, tweaking, and inspection, and it's methodical love. . .
     
  9. superstratjunky

    superstratjunky Member

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  10. trap

    trap Supporting Member

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    That's a good deal!
     
  11. trap

    trap Supporting Member

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    Just a quick update. I never bonded with the zinc block, (I think I made that pretty clear) , but decided to give it another try. On a hunch I tried some raw vintage springs I had lying around and I don't want to jump to conclusions, but the early results are very very good! I got that low end that the steel gave and that sparkly high end, more sustain and the advantage of the lighter deep drilled block. For 20 bucks it's worth a try. I'll see if it still sounds great tomorrow.
     
  12. Jay K

    Jay K Member

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  13. superstratjunky

    superstratjunky Member

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    Like how much are we talking?
     
  14. Jay K

    Jay K Member

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    I don't feel comfortable giving the exact amount of my accepted offer, but the asking price for the Classic with Black Shmear finish was $3,100, and I paid a bit less than that.

    I also considered the Studio Elite HD mentioned above, and might have moved on that one if my offer on the Classic wasn't accepted. And there was another Elite I was interested in (I believe on Reverb) but that one is not longer for sale (probably sold).
     
  15. superstratjunky

    superstratjunky Member

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    After $3k a bit to me is about a grand. +- $500 & to me it shouldn't be that big of deal for something like a Tyler. Now a Suhr or Grosh, there's just more of them & you'll find deals. Just don't nitpick over $200/300, just buy it.
     
  16. trap

    trap Supporting Member

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    I got a good deal on mine off of Reverb too. That's good news for buyers. A boutique guitar for 3 grand is good.
     
  17. Jay K

    Jay K Member

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    Well, you and I see things a bit differently. If someone advertises a guitar for a particular price but also includes a "make offer" option, I assume they are planning on doing a little bit of negotiating, and don't necessarily expect to get their asking price. As a general rule, if the asking price is in the ballpark, and depending on a number of factors, I usually offer somewhere between five and ten percent less than the asking price to see what happens. Usually, but not always, my offers are accepted.

    There are exceptions in both directions. I recently saw a guitar I wanted that was grossly overpriced at $3,600 and I offered something like $2800, which I thought was a fair, but not particularly good (for me), price. The offer was refused and I expect to see that guitar still for sale a year from now unless the owner lowers his price substantially or decides to take it off the market and keep it. More recently I saw a guitar advertised at $8,500 with a make offer option, but because I thought there was a good chance someone would scoop it up quickly if I didn't (and I really wanted the guitar), I paid full price. I'll see whether is truly worth it this Friday, when it is scheduled to arrive.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2015
  18. DGTCrazy

    DGTCrazy Moderator de Emporio Staff Member

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    I've always thought I've missed something regarding Tylers. I've tried them, demo'd and played them, even gigged with them.........but for some reason I just haven't bonded with any of them. But I have a very particular tone I want which it only seems a Fender Strat can accommodate. But Tylers are beautiful guitars and they are very, very well made, (suppose I'm preaching to the choir here).
     
  19. trap

    trap Supporting Member

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    I bet it was the block. If you put a steel block in a lot of those Strat frequencies suddenly appear. Check out Scott Henderson's take on it:

    These well known boutique builders must not hear very well. The difference in the tone of a steel block and zinc block is night and day, in the mix or not. There's no bass whatsoever in a zinc block so high notes sound very thin and the whole tone of the instrument is tinny compared to a steel block.

    These builders should learn a lesson from the past - all the great strat tones we're used to hearing are from traditional 6 screw vintage bridges with steel blocks.
     
  20. Joe Perry

    Joe Perry Gold Supporting Member

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    Can't argue with the master.....

    With all that said, I need to get my hands on another Tyler. Years ago there was a (somewhat) local dealer to me that carried them that has since went out of business. I wish I bought one of those classics......
     

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