Your Questions About Investing In Vintage Guitars

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Richard asks…

Guitar advice from pros or imtermediates (bass or acoustic)?

I want to learn how to play guitar. I like the sound of acdc’s electric guitar, but I saw a bass battle in a movie that was pretty awesome. I’m planning on taking lessons for either one. Any advice/or comments? Also, if I chose bass, what’s the difference between a 6 or 4 string bass? Is a 4 string lower sound?

Justin answers:

Oh so you’ve seen Scott Pilgrim? They don’t really do too much in that “bass battle,” sadly.

Play the instrument you like – or if you can afford the money and the time, learn both.

As far as different basses; the most common, “classic” design is the four-string bass. Its standard tuning is EADG (E being the lowest note). There are also five-string basses which add a low B string (so they’re BEADG). A six-string bass adds a high C string (BEADGC). Sometimes people do “alternate tunings” too. For instance, there’s no reason (if you got the right strings) that you couldn’t tune a four-string BEAD (some people do). Personally, I play a fiver because I don’t need the extra high notes from a sixer and I don’t like the neck to get too wide (every string you add requires a little more width in the neck).

My advice to a beginner would be to get a basic, affordable four-string to start with. It’s not that it’s any harder to play five strings than four – in some ways it’s actually easier – but four-strings are cheaper and you shouldn’t sink too much money into an instrument until you really know for sure the features you want to invest bigger money in.

If you want to go really cheap, get an SX from I would go with them rather than the brand name “starter packs” which are usually still not great quality but will charge you double what rondo will. These are the only $100 basses I’ve ever heard bassists praise (I owned one for a while myself and quite liked it). If you want a better instrument than an SX, get a Squier Vintage Modified or a Peavey Millenium, in the $200-300 range, plus $50-100 for a practice amp and maybe another $50 in accessories (cord, strap, tuner, and stand).

Chris asks…

Can anyone provide me with details regarding the place of origin of C. G. Winner electric guitars?

i have a black C. G. Winner guitar (copy of the B. C. Rich Warlock guitar), i bought it used, and i dont know anything about the manufacturer, or its country of origin.. please help?

Justin answers:

Clarence Griffith Winner (C.G.Winner), was an American luthier. He was a close friend of Leo Fender, with whom he also worked until the beginning of the eighties, when Leo Fender founded G+L. Around the same time, Winner also founded his own enterprise. He created own collections of guitars, mostly inspired by Gibson. They were produced by Matsumoku of Japan (Aria Pro II, Vantage, Ibanez). Unfortunately Winner was a bad salesman, he refused to invest any money in marketing and advertising, so his guitars were only known to insiders without a realistic chance on the market. Only a few years later Winner had to give up his business. In the US, C.G. Winner Guitars are well known amongst vintage-collectors, in Germany they are mostly unknown.

Michael asks…

Electric guitar question?

Okay so my first guitar was a behringer vtone, it was actually a pretty nice beginner guitar, but now I think I need a newer, better guitar, what do you recommend? Have in mind that I’m on a budget… the most I’ll spend is 250

Justin answers:

Price and brand name does not completely determine the quality of a guitar. At times there is a strong correlation, but there are countless exceptions.

A low price DOES NOT mean a guitar is automatically worthless. There are many affordable guitars that will suit you just fine. As a beginner, you aren’t able to hear, or appreciate the difference between a cheap 150 dollar guitar and a vintage 25,000 guitar anyway.

When it comes to big brand names, often you are paying for just that – the small logo on the headstock. A 500 or 1000 guitar by (insert big company here) might not really sound any better than a 200-300 guitar by (insert small lesser known company here). The expensive guitars are able to charge A LOT more just because of their name. This is not to say that they haven’t earned it, but business is business (maximize profits while minimizing costs).

Thus, lesser known brands are still able to build great quality guitars while providing you with the most bang for the buck.

The bottom line is don’t let others decide for you. The only way you will truly be happy is to go and try out a bunch of different guitars and choose the one that YOU like because after all, it is YOUr guitar that you will be playing, YOUr music that you will be making/playing, and YOUr sound that you will be hearing..not ours. (unless you make it big, then we might hear it…and if that’s the case..remember to hook it up ; ) ) Haha, good luck..

As for my personal recommendations, almost anything will fit your needs just fine because what is more important if the amp you get. You could have the best guitar in the world, but when played through a crappy amp, it will still sound horrible. Now, if it were the other way around, you could get a cheap guitar to scream and wail beautifully through the world’s nicest amp.

Here are some brands I’d recommend in general (it’s really hard to do so without knowing what kind of music you play), but these are more versatile:
-Fender, Gibson, Epiphone, Godin, Schecter, and many more that I’m forgetting…

If you don’t mind lesser known brands, I’d highly recommend checking out as their Agile copies are much nicer than when you compare the “big name” brand’s version of equivalent price. Also, they fit your budget perfectly. I guarantee you’ll get something of better quality there than from the low budget guitars of better known brands.

Bottom line – Try out a bunch of different guitars and go for one that feels and sounds good to you. There is no need to spend 1000 or even 400 right now when you’re not even sure if you will continue to play or eventually drop playing guitar altogether. Start with something that better fits your budget and practice at it. If you get better over time and really enjoy playing, then consider investing in an instrument of higher quality. (The exception is if you’re ridiculously wealthy and price is not an object..then I and many other envy you =) )

Good luck and have fun!

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