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What things are you REALLY picky about on a guitar?

FractalGarden

Member
Messages
1,723
Surprised no one brought this up by now.

BALANCE

A guitar that is always neck-diving, despite the remedial efforts with suede straps, weights, etc. is a real turn off. All my guitars save some newer/cheaper ones are well balanced on a strap, and I guess I just assumed this was the norm. Nope.
 
Messages
2,624
1 - I like glossy necks, it needs to feel between u and d shape but I can dig a fat C, reason is simple long sessions recording video game music tire my wrists and I need a neck that fills to my palm so I can have more endurance, glossy makes it faster for me.

2 - Loud hum, buzzing that show bad shielding ...

3 - Tone knobs that are either ice pick or muffled ... why I usually like good active preamps, especially on bass, love Sadowsky active onboard preamps.

4 - bridge humbuckers on 250k pots ... not my thing ... if it needs to sound like a Les Paul it should be wired like a Les Paul.
 

Ridgeback

Member
Messages
1,939
  1. Neck profile. By far the most important.
  2. Pickups. I'm finally done getting sucked into the after market pickup black hole. I don't mind changing pots (taper) and caps (value) but the pups have to sound good.
  3. Finish. I have to enjoy looking at it.
 

gennaroanesi

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
26
1) Intonation. Chords have to sound good on the upper frets (12 fret on)
2) Playability, mainly being able to set a ~low action and still have some nice 1.5-2 tone bends sounding good
3) Looks

I considered adding neck profile, but I like having guitar with different necks... it requires having a different approach while playing, which is often good.
 

kakev

Member
Messages
603
Peronally. I am far more picky than I originaly thought when I began my search for a new guitar.
SO anyways!
-I don't like\won't buy basswood bodies. They ding easily and tend to feel far too light for their size.
-I'm not buying it if it doesn't have 24 frets.
-I want a humbucker in at least the bridge.
-NO GLOSSY NECKS! I hate glossy necks, little bits of skin and sweat always stay behind and it feels weird. My hand doesn't glide across them as easily as it would on an unfinished neck or a satin neck.
-Made in Japan.

In short... Ibanez guitars.
what? Baswood light? All rgs i’ve tested were boat anchors.

I’m not too picky. I dont get on with look-alikes though. If it’s original shape, it has to be the original brand. And original weight. Never tested a strat from pre-cbs era which was heavy. No locking tuners, they only add weight and look weird. Other than that i’m open to any pre-74 stratocaster and pre -96 gibson Les paul as long as it has not been modified. Refin ok for the body, not for the neck. Unless made at the factory pre-64.
 

Mickey_C

1.428571428571429e-10 of humanity
Double Platinum Member
Messages
2,227
Tone then play-ability then looks.

But here's the kicker - I have such great guitars at this point of my life that I am not even going to be interested if it doesn't excel on all three and bring something new to the table - why bother if I've already got better?
 
Messages
451
I only play acoustics, but I need that body to thump or I can’t do my thing. Fat necks are great, and I would rather feel wood on the neck as opposed to slick finish. Since I don’t use picks, a pick guard is lipstick on a pig.
 

TTHX

Member
Messages
478
The only thing I can't and won't ever get is a guitar with a 24" scale length. It's the only thing that has ever given me pain from playing.
 

phillybri

Member
Messages
1,060
22 frets
Thin neck front to back and across the fretboard
Solid humbucker lead tone, but need the option to split to get some "in-between" tones
 

Bluefire98

Member
Messages
16
Like most people, neck profile and frets are the deal breaker for me. Anything super thin and flat just feels awful to me. Aesthetics too, any shape that's too "out there" is a no go for me. But the plugged in sound is something I'm pretty flexible with since I have no problems swapping out electronics. I mainly focus on how the guitar sounds at the upper frets acoustically. I'm always looking for this natural "singing" sound. If it doesn't have it, I'll probably pass. Something I've learned is that I tend to enjoy the feel of an older guitar more. 20-30 years old seems like a good sweet spot, not quite vintage but definitely not new. Something about the wood feeling settled in. Idk, but my 90s mij strat, 90s lp studio, and 80s kramer, while they all feel different, they're much closer to each other than to my newer baja tele.
 

Mikhael

Member
Messages
2,920
Neck profile (not too thick or thin), frets and their dressing, straightness of the neck, strings centered on the neck, pickups centered under the strings. Various woods can be interesting, but I don't like a maple fretboard. Nut width no less than 1-3/4". The rest I can live with, or modify to my liking.
 

npappas

Member
Messages
448
Fretboard. Cannot stand Rosewood anymore and would not select a Rosewood fretboard guitar unless it is clean and beautiful wood (like pinkish) or everything else on the guitar is too perfect to pass up.
 

JeffOlson

Member
Messages
2,909
1. How it sounds unplugged; and
2. Whether the strings ring clearly as I fret my way up the neck or buzz because the action is too low...
 

pugnax

Member
Messages
237
Having a guitar with a nice, naturally worn, true nitro, lake placid blue finish has pretty much turned me into a finish snob. And as a left handed player, them pickings is slim.

But for me the key factors are unplugged resonance, lacquer/satin finish, and how it feels under my picking arm when seated.
 

Larsenpeople

Member
Messages
228
For me it’s balance, neck divers are a pain. I hate to lift the guitar while playing.
Second would be fretboard edges. That angular edge distracts me as I often wrap my hand around the neck in full contact.
Then layout.


But really, it’s tone first by a mile. If I meet a tone machine that is clumsy, I would try some slight mods to improve it.
 




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