Friday, October 5, 2012

Lastest GAS Pains - the Ibanez and Gretsch Hollow Bodies

Here are the lastest two guitar acquisitions: 

I love both of these guitars. They both sound and play great. I had to adjust a high fret buzz out of the Ibanez; the previous owner had just set the bridge a bit too low. Other than that, they're both just incredible.

I love the heavy look of the Gretsch with that Bigsby tremelo and pick guard and the clean fret board. It's just an awesome-looking guitar. I also love having a master volume control right there (the single knob up by the neck). On the down side, I like my pick-up selector switches mounted on the bottom side of the strings where the rest of the knobs are. But, since I don't mess with it much I guess it doesn't matter. I don't really use the tremelo, either, but I love the way it looks on this guitar. This model comes with open tuners, which I don't really like but they seem to work as well as any tuning mechanisms I've ever used. Also, this guitar seems a little  unbalanced. It's surprisingly lightweight, but if I just let it hang around my neck from the strap the head drops. It's not noticeable when I'm playing, but if I let go of the neck with my left hand the guitar wants to lean to the left. Might not be an issue with a better strap. The case is made to fit this specific guitar and hugs it very securely. I'd have to say the case made this an even better buy. I've seen the same guitar for sale, used, without a case for about what I paid.

The Ibanez is also gorgeous but in a more subtle way than the Gretsch. There's no pick guard or big tremelo bar, but the real beauty of the Ibanez is that it just feels so good to play. There's binding everywhere so there's not a rough edge to be found. The edges of the neck are smooth as silk. Sustain is amazing - at least on Rocksmith. The 6-measure open E string sustain in Angela is no problem for this guitar. The Ibanez is a little heavier than the Gretsch, oddly enough, but it's not heavy like a Les Paul. I can play this for hours at a time without shoulder pain. And, it's well-balanced. The pick-up selector is down by the tone/volume knobs where I like it. I don't really like the fret markers; I really wish they'd have just left them off altogether rather than using run-of-the-mill dots. Compared to the Gretsch, the knobs are a little plain, too, but those could be changed out easily, unlike the fret markers.

All in all, it'll be hard to choose one or the other. But, I'll have to decide soon.

I'd really love to have the Ibanez guitar with the Bigsby trem and a pick-guard, add coil tapping pick-ups, and get custom abalone fret markers with chrome knobs and matching abalone inserts. . . !

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