What is the greatest guitar you've ever had the honor of playing?

Mpcoluv

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,236
For me it’s several:
A Zion maple top T model w/Zion labeled Bill Lawrence pickups. Now resides in Ukraine of all places
A 82 ish ES-335 dot with Shaw buckers
A 52 ES-5 I used to own
A 62 335 w/PAFs
A 80’s Tele standard with Harmonic Design vintage plus pickups
 

Mr Fingers

Member
Messages
3,873
A true vintage L-5. That was the "greatest" one in terms of price as it was golden age, in wonderful shape, and a true classic. It was far from what would be "greatest" for me, given what and how I play. While I could immediately feel how the guitar could deliver the kind of jazz tones and sound with which it is associated, I was not enamored of its voice or the bulky feel of the instrument.
 

Jonathan0996

Member
Messages
32
Greatest guitar? Probably the ‘62 Strat I took on the road when I was 18. I think I paid 300 bucks for it.

Didn’t lose a dime when I sold it either!
 

musicman10_1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,133
I owned this EBMM EVH for about 20 years and I think that it sound as good as any guitar that I've ever heard.

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I received this Gibson Hummingbird for my 50th b-day from my wife and after a few adjustments to the nut and saddle it plays and sounds as good as any acoustic guitar that I've played with few exceptions.

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I've been lucky to play a lot of guitars at NAMM shows over the last 30 years and I've been able to visit some guitar shops around the country that have had some incredible stock that they let me play.

I remember one Martin D28 that I picked up off the rack at a local Guitar Center a few years back that took my breath away. I should have bought that one.

I dream of owning one of the Taylor Liberty Tree guitars. I played one in the Taylor booth at the NAMM show when they were released. I am a History and Government Teacher in my real life and that guitar was the perfect link between my professional life and my personal life. If only I had had the money back then. It was a glorious piece of art that also sounded and played amazingly well (at least the one that I was able to play).
 

RicOkc

Member
Messages
3,541
Modded Strat owned by Gordon Payne, guitarist for Waylon Jennings.

That was the first time I ever saw a Strat that used three on/off switches, one for each pickup.

I noodled on Ted Nugent's guitar once too in his hotel room.
 
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Larsenpeople

Member
Messages
462
I once was handed a 62 strat in a shop.

Light, heavily contoured, a sensual neck profile. Then I plugged it in. Oh my. The biggest surprise was the majestic bass coming out it. But really all the bandwidth seemed perfectly tuned to let you play anything.

No custom shop ever came close to this feeling of holding a true musical instrument.
 
Messages
661
Ignoring set-up/playability altogether and judging a guitar by its sustain unplugged - the best I've heard were a R7 goldtop, an '85 LP Custom, and a fairly boring Custom Shop Strat, which rang like a tuning fork longer than both of those Les Pauls combined (somehow).

I also have an Alvarez that I paid $60 for that turns heads (ears) from 20 paces. It plays like crap though. If I didn't think it would ruin whatever magic is happening sound-wise, I'd pay up to $5000 for a neck reset.

As for iconic guitars, Hendrix's lefty Flying V would be the greatest I've ever fondled. It really doesn't matter how it played.
 

ducker 1

Member
Messages
2,349
Back in 91 I played a 59 amber flame top Les Paul at Guitar Crazy in Portland-at that time the price was $68,000 and was eventually sold to Ron Wood of the Stones. Not to be confused with the one I have in my avi.
 

Tag

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
45,324
All the PRS Artist III and IV semi-hollow trems. Have played and owned a bunch. Every one has been as good as it gets. My number 1 for years.
 
Messages
18
1958 Les Paul Junior DC in white.
I gravitate to single pickup Guitars,
be it a Junior or an L5 Wes Montgomery
there is an undeniable BEAUTY in the
Tonality of a single pickup Guitar. The
Esquire is still Leo's best Six String &
the Tone of a Precision Bass...
Oh my.
 

Bluedano1

Member
Messages
7,553
I will always regret that I did not think ( me stoopid!) to take a few pictures...
Story, please:

About 7-8 years ago i tagged along with a few guitar buddies to a private (home collector/dealer). My buddy brought a few guitars he was interested in selling...

Anyway the dealer took us down to his guitar room/TV lounge, sits me neck to a '66 Vibrolux Reverb, and just for kicks ( after hearing I was a decent player) starts bringing out a parade of vintage guitars for me to try- " Here, check this one out!" ( Tele, Strats, SG, J-45's...)

Then he brings out the coolest guitar I have ever seen or played- amazing sound and feel:

An ALL GOLD 1952 Les Paul! The entire body and neck-gold! ( except front of headstock, black). A little green oxidation on the gold, but in great shape- comfy neck. Lightweight too!
It had that 'out of phase' Freddie King, kind of sound with both pickups ON. Crystal clear tone at low volume. I did not mind the trapeze tailpiece.

So I'm playing it, IN LOVE!, and dealer says " That's about $30K, you're holding there!"

Which is when I handed back the LP- a mind-blower of an instrument!
 
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Surfreak

Member
Messages
2,886
A pre-war D-28, basically a whole orchestra on six strings. It was the only guitar that made me hit a G chord and just smile while I'd let it ring... and ring...
 

WW2PT

Member
Messages
191
This Strat. Not sure of year, but it was a 1950’s hardtail strung with flats, feather light, owned by a late NYC session guitarist whose daughter brought it to our shop for an appraisal. True “road wear,” not a phony Custom Shop poseur job.

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