Duds and other disappointments.

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The Outcast
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Duds and other disappointments.

Post by The Outcast » Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:44 pm

Hello all,

First time poster, and very new to the Japanese import game. So,... I am considering buying some type of Greco LP, to scratch my recent LP itch. Thanks to great sites like this, as well as others, I feel I have learned a great deal about Japanese LP clones, in a fairly short time.

My problem (and it’s not really a problem), is that I very seldom hear anything negative about any of the various models/years of Greco LP’s. As one can imagine, this makes it quite difficult to try to narrow down a model/year to consider buying (at the best price)

So I guess my question is; are there any models/years that
the collective feels are less desirable, not because of collectability but because of performance? I obviously want to try to procure the most guitar for the fewest amount of dollars (don’t we all?). But aside from the old bolt on Greco’s (which are probably good guitars), what should I absolutely steer clear of?

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

villager
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Re: Duds and other disappointments.

Post by villager » Fri Oct 04, 2019 11:27 am

check your PMs

BrazenPickerNew
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Re: Duds and other disappointments.

Post by BrazenPickerNew » Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:58 pm

I've probably owned or played at the very least 50, probably more like 80 or more. I've never really come across a bad guitar per se, meaning, a guitar that couldn't be made good with a good setup or refret at most.

What you do get is:
  • One guitar being more resonant and lively feeling than the other. Even so, that doesn't necessarily predict a better tone plugged in. That's just a risk that comes with buying online. As long as you didn't overpay, you should be able to resell it without taking a bath. Unless you already know exactly what you want, it's a learning process.
  • Guitars that are heavier than you hoped for. Again, after the initial disappointment some of those became my favorites. Especially for Strats, I avoid the featherweight ones these days (like 3kg). I understand the weight thing for people who gig out a lot, but if it's just for the "studio" (aka bedroom), I think it's an exaggerated problem.
  • Specs that aren't perfectly vintage correct. For this, just read up on it, that's easy to find. Again, some of those are very nice guitars. For instance, the pre-super real Greco LPs that are pretty cheap because they copied the Norlin construction. Great guitars, but disappointing if your ideal standard is the 1959 LP.
  • Maybe the biggest problem for me (and this includes also/especially the "boutique" guitars I've had: guitars that are good or even very good, but don't live up to the price tag and online hype.

    Especially on TheGearPage there's a sometimes ridiculous positive bias, and the rare critical voice gets his head bitten off immediately. But when you PM people you get a much more nuanced account and there's underwhelmed buyers out there for every builder I've looked into. They just don't post about it. The main problem there is the price tag. Wood is going to be wood, and if you just paid 5,000 dollar for a Strat, it better be mind-blowing.

    In the context of MIJ guitars, the high end is relatively overpriced, and a cheap one is just as likely to sound and feel nice. For instance, since moving to Japan I've been on a buying spree of MIJ vintage strats, partly also as a discovery process, and the original price level says absolutely nothing about how good the wood is, and how much you'll like the pickups. For instance, I have a Tokai SS-38, ST-42, several ST-50 and 60 and 2 ST-80. My favorite of that lot is an ST-50, but they all have something going for them and it would be very hard to rank them in a way that's consistent across people. There's some really underpriced gems too among Fernandes and Greco.
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The Outcast
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Re: Duds and other disappointments.

Post by The Outcast » Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:06 am

@ Brazenpickernew,

Thank you so much for the detailed reply. I guess what I really am looking for is a nice cheap (but well built and good sounding) substitute for a Les Paul Standard.

I’m a Tele player at heart, and sold off all my Gibsons (a Standard, a Smartwood, and an ES 347) years ago. The only one I kept was my Les Paul Special w/P90’s. However lately I’ve been wanting to get another Standard, or something similar, and discovered the whole Japanese clone thing. I’d always heard about the whole “lawsuit” era stuff, but never really payed much attention to it before.

I do have another question tho that maybe you, or someone else can help with. As I peruse the usually sites looking at Grecos, I notice what appears to be a large number of them that have cracks in the finishes, particularly around the heel and near the nut. Is this common with the older Grecos, and do these tend to be in the finish or the wood?

BrazenPickerNew
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Re: Duds and other disappointments.

Post by BrazenPickerNew » Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:07 am

I can't really say I've noticed a lot of them with cracks. That would always be a concern if you're unsure if it's finish checking or not. There's lots of options, but for a good, inexpensive vintage MIJ, I love my 1978 Greco EG-900. These came stock with Dimarzio PAFs and mine sounds really great. Norlin construction though with pancake body and maple neck. Lots of 1970s rock music was recorded on those. Had a 1978 EG-800 that was really nice as well. I'm not entirely up to date with current prices, but I'm guessing around $800 dollars, possibly as low as 600 if you're lucky and IMO you're not compromising much (I have some super expensive ones too to compare with). For regular construction and maybe a tad more expensive but still affordable, Super Real era Grecos, Burny and Tokai are good choice too. The newer ones like Bacchus are good and cheap as well, but vintage has a bit more appeal to me, other things equal, and may hold its value better in the long run as well.
Last edited by BrazenPickerNew on Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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villager
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Re: Duds and other disappointments.

Post by villager » Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:08 am

greco mint collection too...

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