July 13, 2007

Strip-Mining All That Is Cool In The World, pt. 92003

by Chris Randall

It is with a certain amount of dismay that I read this press release. These "recreations" by Fender have always made me throw up in my mouth a little bit: the fake cigarette burns on the "Blackie" recreation, the belt-sanded "wear" on the Jeff Beck Tele, that sort of thing. But this is just too far. Please stop, Fender! You're already one of the icons of American instrument manufacturing. Is this really necessary? When you release an acoustic that has "This machine kills facists" hand-written on it, I swear to christ... Oh, wait. That would be Martin. Ugh.


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Jul.13.2007 @ 2:59 PM
There's a Malcolm Young Signature Gretsch. That's right: a signature model for the short guy in AC/DC who doesn't jump around and take ripping solos.

Guitarists are dumb.


Jul.13.2007 @ 3:13 PM
I'd like to point that I wouldn't pay a cent for any of these special "worn out" looking stuff. If I wanted something like that, I'd do it myself, like Aahzekiel said. And yeah, what I said was obviously my personal preference, everyone has their own tastes. Mine run contrary to Fender (visually, anyway).

Anyway, as for what bass should look like? Hmm, I like the shape of Yamaha's RBX375 or something like that. Also one of the best looking basses is the ESP LTD F255, or F405 or whatever, doesn't matter, that's the bodyshape I'm talking about. Essentially, something fairly modern. (God, I hate these model numbers and acronyms and crap)

I don't actually have any specific preference, those are just two out of top of my head. I tend to like body shape that "flows" well, and has some angles to it to balance it out. I like balanced shape that's not perfectly round. The headstock is a major thing for me (for some reason), and I somehow always feel as if the Fender headstock is wrong shape and size for the instrument. It's just a feeling, and it bugs me.

That said, I'll buy a Jazz bass sooner or later. But I ain't playing it live. :p


Jul.13.2007 @ 3:36 PM
"I always wonder why these reissues cost more than newly developed products. You're getting (arguably) inferior technology at a higher price."

I don't wonder at all - they're selling fashion/design. The fact that it's actually a playable instrument is largely incidental given the obvious audience. Still, it's rather hilarious (in a nauseating way) that they can milk several thousands of dollars out of people for reproduction "vintage weathered" instruments like these.

If I'm going to drop several thousand on a guitar, I'll get an ES-335 reissue that looks nice (i.e. new), thank you very much.

However, I've always had the best luck with cheap/hand-me-down/free instruments. I can't believe how many compliments I've gotten on my cheap dreadnought Yamaha acoustic that was given to me. Better than that, I had to wood-glue the face back to the siding, using a C-clamp (a luthier I am not!).

So there, Fender!


Jul.13.2007 @ 3:38 PM
beauty pill
Is there any question Joe would dislike this?

- c

p.s. Rhetorical question, btw.


Jul.13.2007 @ 4:01 PM
It seems a fine-line between signature models & these truly crass custom-shop "tributes." Signature models are definitely designed for the GC denizen who has no imagination; mass-produced gtrs. that are knock-offs of already existing models which can be associated with "famous" musicians. These custom shop abortions are another matter altogether. And like most, I have no idea who would drop that kind of coin on this - theme restaurants seems a pretty reasonable guess, or crappy rock clubs? But, ultimately, either says a lot about its owner that is not entirely favorable.

I've actually seen one of the Custom Shop Fenders ("65" Strat variety), and while the neck and workmanship are indeed impressive (hand-wound pickups, etc.) for the life of me I do not see the point of the distressing. Like those shitty jeans at Old Navy that look like you found them in the trash. And for that kind of money you could buy a few recent era guitars that play and sound just as good. I like Tele's; maybe someday I'll own one that costs more the $400. But, come on, even one that was licked by Hendrix himself is only going to do so much for you.

That said, one of the best guitars I've ever played was the Elliot Easton (!) model Gretsch. Yeah, guitar players are idiots.


Jul.13.2007 @ 4:02 PM
Yes. Its stupid. But the sad fact is that stupid people buying stupid things like this give a certain very successful portion of our worlds population a financial incentive to develop things that enhance the quality of life for everyone.

Plus, if shitty people don't really like shitty stuff like that, they are eventually going to find something else 'cool' to buy a whole bunch of. They did it to analogue synthesizers and classic guitar effects and such, making them unaffordable to people that might actually use them as more than just a show piece, and they will do it to something else awesome until someone puts a stop to it. Or just makes more of these shitty things to distract them with.


Jul.13.2007 @ 4:45 PM
Adam Schabtach
I've never understood the attraction of the faux used look. I think it started with leather jackets. WTF would I want something new to look used? It just doesn't make sense to me.



Jul.13.2007 @ 4:52 PM
Every instrument has it's dumb hypemarket stuff (Planet phatt?) But this guitar market has this extra-chromosome-retarded Civil War re-enacter quality that makes me queasy.

Jul.13.2007 @ 5:11 PM
Looking forward to the Brian Eno edition DX7...

free with sinwave patches!


Jul.13.2007 @ 5:44 PM
I'm looking forward to Ambient Hero 2 with special tape-machine controller.

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