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Cheap guitar report for September 2013

A written addendum to the video above to say a few extra things.

I've had my Bullet Strat for about 3 years and Les Paul P90 for a little under a year.

The Strat at this point "sounds like a Strat" where at first it really didn't. It's pretty much true with Strat guitars that they sound a bit plain until you play it for a while. And by plain I mean an ordinary-sounding guitar with nothing special to it. This can happen even with American models. When it's new, well, it's new. You have to break in a guitar and that's just the way it is. Pickup tone does change the longer you play an electric. The more you play, the more vibration is passed across those pickup magnets, and when played long enough, subtle changes happen and that's when a Strat is truly "yours", so to speak.

The P90 Les Paul still more or less sounds like it did when I first got it because I haven't owned it long enough yet for the pickups to change their tone. I can say however with no hesitation that the neck on the Paul is one of the best I've ever laid my hands on.

And no, the Paul's neck did not feel as good as it does now when I first bought the guitar. As I've said before, whenever buying a guitar no matter what it is, it's a risk. In time, the guitar may become one of your favorites, or you may grow to hate it. With my Paul, oh yes, it's become one of my favorites, no question about that. The more I worked in the neck, the better it got. The "worn" finish on the back is what makes this possible, because the back of the neck is slowly having its finish worn away the more I play it.

This is basically the same reason why I like my Bullet Strat's neck so much because that neck was treated more or less the same way with a light non-gloss polyurethane coating.

These days I find that I really gravitate towards guitars with necks that are non-gloss. Necks with a gloss coat may look real pretty, but it just doesn't feel good as on my fret hand.

And yeah, I know, the vast majority of electrics have a gloss coat on the back of the neck, so you really have to search to find a guitar that doesn't have that gloss. The Epi P90 Paul is one of them, the Squier Bullet Strat is another and the Squier Affinity series also doesn't have gloss on the neck either, which makes for a really good neck after you play it for a while, work your finger oils into the neck and start wearing that finish down some.

It's good to know what you like so you can buy with confidence. It also saves you a ton of money in the guitar buying process as well, because when you know what feels good in your hands, you can seek out cheaper axes that have everything you're looking for. And that can literally save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars.


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