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--- Aug 14 2001 Go to category
Subject: Cheap old guitars
Category: Guitars
From: Jack  Rugan (Westlake Ohio)

Hi Pat, Excited about the new lineup along with the upcoming album and tour. Just a quick question regarding guitars. Are you a fan of old "cheap" low-end models. You know, the likes of 60's Harmony's, Original Danelectros,Kay, etc. Back in 1994, I purchased a 68 Harmony Rebel hollowbody just for the hell of it. I gotta say, nothing like the sound of plywood and Dearmond pickups! I've purchased a few higher end new guitars since that time, however, none have achieved the sound of the old Harmony. I have since purchased a 72 Olive green Rebel and it's currently my main player. What's your take on all this?

Sincerely, Jack Rugan

Pat’s Answer:

hi jack,

i think most guitars are good. it is totally about the player and how he or she feels about the axe they are playing, and then especially about how that particular instrument is set up. i often pick up peoples instruments and i am sometimes surprised by how i wind up sounding on a foreign instrument - each axe does seem to bring out something different in the person that is playing it.

however, often i pick up someones guitar and i can't believe how poorly they are set up; strings buzzing, intonation messed up, notes not speaking, etc. all of these kinds of issues can be found (and fixed) whether it is a 20,000 dollar custom made archtop or a 50 dollar harmony. for me, it is almost totally about the set up and the feel of the axe.

i often joke by saying that guitars are really simply pieces of wood with strings on them. of course there IS more than that going on, but that IS basically it. i think that the romance that one has with the idea of a particular instrument is often largely psycological - i know it is in my case. if you spend a lot of time with a halfway decent instrument, you tend to bond with it somehow. could be a silvertone or a d'angelico. me,i like em all -- it is the time that i spend with an instrument that takes it to that other level of appreciation.

thanks for wrting in from pat