Guitarist Series: My Dream Guitar

I think when we started playing guitar, most of us were drawn to the instruments of our idols. If you are into Jimi Hendrix you might be attracted to strats, while metal heads might be more into soloists, or some of the more aggressively styled instruments. After owning a few instruments though, our tastes probably become a little more refined and we eventually find that instrument that is the perfect compliment to our style while having the sound we want and the feel we like... our dream guitar.

One of the guitar related sites I read quite regularly, Electric Guitar Review, posed an interesting question to it's readers the other day related to this: What's your dream guitar? I thought I'd take them up on this question for part of my guitarist series.

So, what is my dream guitar?

Well, when I first started buying more guitars I thought I'd have to build a custom instrument to have my perfect guitar because there just wasn't a guitar that had all the features I wanted in production... And so I did.

Actually I built two customs. The first was a white PRS styled instrument with three humbuckers, strat switching and a fully scalloped fret board... crazy I know... and I paid dearly for it (that neck has since warped on me). My second custom was a bit more restrained because my tastes were getting simpler the more I played the ones I owned. This second one ended up looking like a nice black burst Les Paul, except with a Wilkinson vibrato for those Jeff Beck inspired bar maneuvers I thought I'd miss doing on a regular Les Paul (I don't use it as much as I thought, oddly enough). This guitar is currently my favorite of the guitars I own and is pictured in the header at the Soul of Rock 'n' Roll.

Since building these two, my tastes have simplified even more, to the point where, for the time being at least, my dream guitar is:

A Chambered Series VOS Reissue Cherry Burst Les Paul... either a '59 or a '60. You can see a picture here at GuitarSale.com. Also take a look at the price and you'll see why I don't own one... yet: http://www.guitarsale.com/Gibson-1959-LP-Chambered-Reissue--VOS--Double-Washed-Cherry-i622694.music

This guitar is my dream guitar for a lot of reasons. I'm a huge Led Zeppelin fan, and the Jimmy Page Influence is obvious (he played a cherry burst Les Paul almost exclusively). I'm also know from playing a variety of guitars that I'm partial to 24-3/4" scale length and humbuckers over 25-1/2" scale length, single coil guitars like Strats. The infamous Les Paul seems like an obvious choice as it has the features I like and is a living icon of guitar heritage, especially the cherry burst. I also like the simplicity of only two pickups with a set of controls for each and a fixed bridge as it seems to give me the options I want, but still is simple enough that I need to work to be as creative as possible musically. I picked a VOS version because nothing quite compares to a vintage Les Paul for tone and Gibson's VOS series is probably as close as I'll ever get, plus I really like the look of these worn in instruments, both the Gibson reissues and the Fender relics, as they have so much more character and style than shiny new guitars. I like the chambered reissues though because, although I like the weighty feel of LPs, the chambered feature means a little more midrange bark and a guitar that won't completely break my back.

In the end, there is just something about the Les Paul heritage, style and vintage tone that I like and feels right and like something I want to be a part of.

To really make it my perfect instrument, I might have it upgraded with a set of locking tuners, but only if there is a set that perfectly matches the look and weight of the vintage style tuners. Tuner weight really changes the tone of a guitar and I want something as close to that vintage tone as possible. Throw in a great fret job, low action and a set of Ernie Ball .010s, and I'd be set. Oh, and maybe a nice vintage Marshall JTM or SLP amplifier to play it through.

If anyone wants to buy me one of these pricey vintage reissues, I'd appreciate it.... I will also accept a true vintage Les Paul as an alternative...

So that is my dream guitar, and eventually I will own one... It's probably won't be anytime soon, but I will... before I die. Maybe picking this guitar says something about me, but I'll let you decide what.

Take a look over at the Electric Guitar Review and see what some other people have said about their dream guitars and see if you agree. If you're a guitarist, think about what yours would be and why. If you're not a guitarist, maybe seeing why we like our dream guitars will give you a another little glimpse at the mind of the guitarist.

You can read the original post here: http://www.electric-guitar-review.com/2007/05/25/reader-poll-whats-your-absolute-dream-guitar/

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