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Radio Free Menga: Episode 10

Radio Free Menga: Episode 10 is out now!

Expensive guitars that I would actually spend the money on

This is a list of guitars that had I the money, yes I would spend the money to get them, and I have very specific reasons why.

Prices listed at those at the time I write this in June 2013.

G&L SC-2

The SC-2 is a guitar G&L makes that costs over $1,000. If there anything particularly special about it? Yes.

It's a dirt simple guitar, very similar to my Epiphone Les Paul Special I P90. Two pickups (both single-coil), one master volume, one master tone, a 3-way selector and nothing else. For a two-pickup guitar, that's as simple as it gets.

The SC-2 is not a vintage design but rather something that came about originally in 1982. It's just a smaller, compact shape with meticulous attention to detail. Weighted right (it's alder), bolt-on "C" shape neck, and hot G&L MFD (Magnetic Field Design) pickups. Players who swing their picking arm hard would really love this guitar design because the knobs and switch are set away from the pickups and put further back on the body (again, similar to the Epi P90 Les Paul).

The pickups basically have a hot-and-honky sound that's a cross between a Strat single-coil and a P90. It's a sound that would very much agree with my tone style.

I would not treat this guitar gingerly and would readily play the crap out of it, as it's the type of axe that just begs you to rake those strings and bang it around proper.

Final note before continuing: If there were a low-cost hardtail version of this guitar, say for around $299, it would fly off the racks instantly and G&L would make a ton of money on them. G&L should outsource to a Chinese or Korean company and make an import hardtail version of the SC-2. Maybe call it the SC-2 Special or SC-2S. G&L is missing out on a ton of cash (and potential new brand loyalty for low-cost buyers) by not doing this. They have the designs and technology, and all they have to do is open up a low-cost line and they could really make a splash. They'd probably do so well that they'd even give Squier and Epiphone a run for their money. Literally.

Epiphone Les Paul Ultra III

This is a $750 guitar, and absolutely loaded with tech goodies. In addition to the Probucker 2 and 3 pickups, there's a third "Nanomag" for acoustic tones. It's a chambered guitar so it doesn't weigh a ton either. In this guitar is also a built-in tuner plus stereo output along with a USB port on it as well.

The Ultra III is one of the most techy electric guitars that exists, but has tech in it that's actually usable and is in fact priced correctly for what's in it - and one of the very few where you get absolutely what you pay for. Sometimes on rare occasions, Epiphone releases an upper-end guitar that's priced right, and the Ultra III is one of them.

Gibson SG Tribute '50s Min-ETune

Gibson's original Robot Tuners just plain sucked and were way too complicated to operate. But the Min-ETune system on the other hand actually works correctly. Where the original 'bot tuners failed, these succeed.

I would have a genuinely good use for this as I could quickly switch from standard to DADGAD tuning to open G tuning and so on in just a few seconds rather than a few minutes when tuning by hand.

I specifically prefer the Tribute '50s over the '60s because - you guessed it - P90 pickups. Most other players would want the '60s because of the humbuckers, but I just really dig the sound of P90 pickups and single-coils in general. And besides which, for humbuckers I'd have the Ultra III as mentioned above.

Oddly enough, the Min-ETune I want in the '50s version is actually the lowest priced guitar Gibson makes that has it - about $1,100. All others go up in price from there.

Do I need any of the above guitars?

No, I don't need them. All are "nice to have" guitars.

The SC-2 in particular is the one I need the least. I just like it because it looks cool and has great-sounding pickups.

The Epi and the Gibson on the other hand have stuff I currently don't have - all of which are techy things. I wouldn't buy them for tone at all (other than the Ultra III's Nanomag for acoustic stuff) but rather just for the goodies.

Do I have any idea how any of the above guitars play? Nope. I've never tried any of them. But if I had the money, yeah I would go try them out and potentially buy all three, because with those three I cover the spectrum of just about every possible tone I want. Well, except for Strat and Tele tones, of course. 🙂

Some players dream about owning a Fender Custom Shop Strat or Tele, or maybe some super-expensive Gibson reissue or something along those lines. I don't. With me, if I had the cash to blow on expensive guitars, I'd be sure to buy axes that give me something I don't already have now. The SC-2 would basically be my "workhorse" guitar as it's a nice smaller-bodied comfortable player, the Ultra-III has the tech goodies for easy connection to my laptop along with the Nanomag for acoustic stuff, and the SG allows me to quick-change tunings while at the same time having a cool P90 guitar that should (keyword there) sound good.

Like I said, I don't need any of the above guitars. But they'd be nice to have. 🙂

Radio Free Menga: Episode 9

Radio Free Menga: Episode 9 is out now!

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