Eenie Meenie Minie Mo, Which Guitar is Going to Go?

In our last episode, Timmy had fallen down the old abandoned well and Lassie had gone for help, but had stopped at the guitar store first to strum on a few axes.

Which brings us to my dilemma: which guitar should I sell in order to get a Gretsch semi-acoustic?

The choice is between these two:

1977 Ibanez Les Paul and 2000 Gibson SG Special

1977 Ibanez Les Paul and 2000 Gibson SG Special

Do I keep my first guitar, the 77 Ibanez and sell the 2000 Gibson? Or do I get rid of the faux Les Paul and keep the SG?

Decisions decisions.

Here is a close-up of the Ibanez:

Ibanez is ready for its closeup

Ibanez is ready for its closeup

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, it had been poorly stored and suffered from moisture damage. You can see some of the rust on the screws and a small amount of corrosion on the bridge. This is after I took a small wire brush attached to my Dremel and tried to grind away some of the rust. While doing that, some of the chrome on the bridge flaked off. The bridge and tail are much shinier now than they were when I first pulled the guitar out of the case, but there is still a good amount of corrosion.

You’ll probably also notice that the humbucker pickups are exposed. They originally had those traditional chrome metal covers like the vintage PAF (patent applied for) humbuckers had. But years ago I pried off those metal coverings. I’m sure that wasn’t good for them. I think I recall that there was a buzz or vibration from one of them and I thought it was caused by the metal cover. Turns out it was the pickup itself. I found a matchbook wedged on the right side, which I put there to supposedly stop that buzz.

So those are my choices. Ibanez or Gibson. Gibson or Ibanez. Which one stays and which one goes? What would you do? What do you think I would do?

Well, as I implied in my last post, I’ve already made my decision.

And the winner is *drum roll*

The Ibanez! Yes, I’m keeping the Ibanez. Why? Sentimental value. It was my first guitar, after all. The body still looks nice, with only minor cosmetic blemishes. All the issues are with the hardware. So not only will I keep it, it’ll become my project guitar. I’ve already ordered new parts from various sources.

Another reason is, I’ve never been truly happy with the Gibson. I mean, it’s a good guitar, but honestly, it never blew me away. In fact, I could never really tell the difference between the Ibanez and the Gibson in regards to tone (maybe the Gibson had an edge in beefyness and certainly it’s pickups didn’t buzz), or sustain, or playability. The only thing the Gibson had going for it was that it was, in fact, a Gibson.

In other words, the Ibanez has my heart and the Gibson never won me over, unlike my new baby, the Gretsch, which I fell in love with almost immediately. It not only feels as if it was made for me, it sounds beautiful.

Gretsch G5013CE Rancher Jr

Gretsch G5013CE Rancher Jr

Some of you probably think I’m crazy to get rid of the better, American name-brand guitar over what is essentially a Japanese knock-off, and maybe I am, but I can’t help the way I feel about the Ibanez and my lack of feeling for the Gibson. And essentially, they are the same guitar: solid body with double-humbuckers.

Additionally, when I sell, or trade-in, the Gibson, I’ll be taking the Peavey Backstage Plus amp with it (pictured in the first graphic). Talk about disappointment, that amp has never ever given me the tone I was looking for. Oh, sure, its loud, 35 watts loud, but I just have always hated how it made my guitars sound. I want something that provides crunch, a decent metal tone, like Black Sabbath or AC/DC, or even some Al DiMeola. Instead, it’s given me Wes Montgomery. Not that there’s anything wrong with his playing or his music, but his tone was always too clean, there was no snarl, no growl, no rumbling like I was attempting to control thunder.

Seriously, the little handheld, battery operated, Smokey mini amp I have gives me more crunch than that Peavey did. But I’m not down on Peavey, they’re a good amp manufacturer. I just have always hated my Backstage Plus, which is why the next amp I’m considering is the Peavey Vypyr VIP 1. I’ll be stepping down in power, 35 watts down to 20 watts, but I’ll be picking up 36 guitar amp models to choose from. So then if I want to play clean like Wes Montgomery, I can, but if I want to play loud brutal riffs like Tony Iommi, I can do that, too. Plus, one other thing it does: it is also an acoustic guitar amp. I’ll be able to use it with my acoustic guitar, as well as with my electric.

So there you have it. I’m trading in the Gibson and the Peavey for a Gretsch. Sometime. In the future. When that will be however, I don’t know. Could be tomorrow. Could be months from now. But whenever it is, you can rest assured there will be a blog post about it.

Oh, and here is a picture of my wife’s Journey signed Texarkana:

2015-05-21 21.06.34

Guitar signed by the band Journey

And now you’ve met the entire guitar family as it stands today.



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