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Thread: Gsr t-400

  1. #11
    You know, I hate to pull a pickup on a new guitar, not to mention the fact that once the the guitar is set up properly you may not want to take all the strings off at one time (for the purpose of removing a pickup) unless you have to, so that's why I suggested a small mirror.

    By the way, I believe you when you say the guitar's response is consistent with a solid top. It's more just curiosity than anything else.

    My old DE-400 was a mahogany laminate and that body was as tight as a drum. Once, in my old rehearsal space, I was sitting 15' from my drummer with the DE400 in my lap. I was facing the drums and 'Sticks' just sort of nonchalantly hit a cymbal with a drum stick. The whole top of the DE-400 vibrated when the sound wave hit it. I couldn't believe it, I asked him to do it again; same result. Man, that guitar would feedback in a hurry! If I'd kept it, I would have a put sound-post inside it.

    Speaking of sound-posts, if you're interested, I do have one arch-top with a sound post in it (if you are not interested, you can skip the next three paragraphs!).

    It's a '68 Epiphone Howard Roberts Custom model. The 'original' Howard guitars were built on a 16" sharp cutaway body with oval sound hole, carved top and X-bracing. Epiphone built about 300 H in all. 250 were the medium-scale Standards and 52 or so were the long-scale Customs. My HR isn't particularly feedback prone, but the second owner put a sound-post in it and it makes a difference when you are playing with a band.

    The philosophy behind it's use is very subtle. It's a single, rubber-tipped wooden dowel and is designed to minimally impact the ability of the guitar to vibrate. The post is barely touching the top and bottom of the guitar. In fact, if you take all the strings off, the top will 'raise up' just a bit and the post will fall over inside the guitar!

    The placement of the sound-post is interesting, too. The 2nd owner, Gary, spent a lot of time playing arch-tops in an 'Organ Trio' (B3/guitar/drums) back in the early '70's. He had a fair amount of trouble with feedback (with all his arch-tops) and developed the knack of finding just the right spot to put a sound-post on a hollow-body arch-top guitar. He would turn on an amp, turn the volume up on the guitar and let the unattended guitar feedback. Then, Gary would move a single finger all around the top of the guitar until the very slight pressure of his finger on one particular spot would make the feedback stop! That's where he would put the sound-post inside the guitar! Pretty cool, huh? Kind of a cross between dousing and guitar-repair!

    Continued good luck with your T-400. I'm enjoying reading about it. HH
    Quote Originally Posted by fronobulax View Post

    And I like Harry's approach.
    '66 Starfire I SB bass, '67 Mark IV pear wood, '75 Mark 4 P padauk, '00 Bluesbird black,
    '66 Thunderbird amp, '68 Thunder 1 RVT amp, '70 Superstar Combo

  2. #12
    Senior Member Walter Broes's Avatar
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    If you're happy with the guitar, it really doesn't matter if the top is solid spruce or not, of course. I'd be very surprised if it's an actual carved top, I don't think they can do that for the prices these guitars sold for. (look at what the carved top AA sells for, for example) Maybe it's a pressed solid spruce top.

    In my own experience, the main difference between solid and laminated archtops is the front end of the note, the attack is entirely different, you get some kind of bell-like attack that extremely hard to describe in words (especially in a language that's not my mother tongue...) you cannot get from a laminated instrument. Volume, strangly, is all over the place with archtops, I've played laminated ones with incredible bark, power and acoustic volume, and I've played solid topped ones that were "silent giants".


    Quote Originally Posted by Synchro View Post
    Fender spent a lot of time and effort developing the Guild line and now has sold it, probably to reduce debt in anticipation of another attempt at an IPO. I just can't imagine walking away from all the work they put into the N.S. lineup, not to mention the fine flattops and other guitars built in New Hartford. FMIC's secondary brands (Gretsch, Jackson, Guild, etc) have suffered a real setback. I just hope that CMG respects the brand, respects the work that went into the N.S. reissues and makes wise use of their investment. I really fear for what will happen if they don't continue the N.S. series. Guild may continue to exist, but there will be no entry level path the to brand. .
    Very true. That's the thing that freaked me out a little about FMIC selling Guild right now - after all the work Mike Lewis put in on the NS line? I wonder how he felt about that. The guys strikes me as a little too much of a music and guitar lover to figure "did the job, got paid, shrug", I'd be surprized if he'd be that cynical about it. It's downright weird. And it doesn't really matter now, but I wonder for how long FMIC had the plan to sell Guild, because the NS line was criminally/suspiciously under-promoted during it's whole "lifetime" at FMIC.
    Even the Fender rep the store I work at works with told us awhile ago "yeah...I don't know where they want to go with those MIK electrics, there doesn't seem to be a plan, no brochures, publicity, endorsers, no nothing - maybe they're still figuring that out"

    I'd be very suprized if the new owners decided to ditch the GAD and NS guitars, because they'd probably sell 20 GAD's for every US-made guitar sold, and 50 NS guitars for every AP guitar. And the profit margin on the import stuff is probably higher than on the US built guitars.

    There's always the chance they want to turn Guild into a very exclusive US built boutique-y kind of brand, but I don't know if that would be wise, because as far as the general guitar buying public knows or cares about Guild, that's almost the opposite of the general perception of the brand.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by gilded View Post
    You know, I hate to pull a pickup on a new guitar, not to mention the fact that once the the guitar is set up properly you may not want to take all the strings off at one time (for the purpose of removing a pickup) unless you have to, so that's why I suggested a small mirror.

    By the way, I believe you when you say the guitar's response is consistent with a solid top. It's more just curiosity than anything else.

    My old DE-400 was a mahogany laminate and that body was as tight as a drum. Once, in my old rehearsal space, I was sitting 15' from my drummer with the DE400 in my lap. I was facing the drums and 'Sticks' just sort of nonchalantly hit a cymbal with a drum stick. The whole top of the DE-400 vibrated when the sound wave hit it. I couldn't believe it, I asked him to do it again; same result. Man, that guitar would feedback in a hurry! If I'd kept it, I would have a put sound-post inside it.

    Speaking of sound-posts, if you're interested, I do have one arch-top with a sound post in it (if you are not interested, you can skip the next three paragraphs!).

    It's a '68 Epiphone Howard Roberts Custom model. The 'original' Howard guitars were built on a 16" sharp cutaway body with oval sound hole, carved top and X-bracing. Epiphone built about 300 H in all. 250 were the medium-scale Standards and 52 or so were the long-scale Customs. My HR isn't particularly feedback prone, but the second owner put a sound-post in it and it makes a difference when you are playing with a band.

    The philosophy behind it's use is very subtle. It's a single, rubber-tipped wooden dowel and is designed to minimally impact the ability of the guitar to vibrate. The post is barely touching the top and bottom of the guitar. In fact, if you take all the strings off, the top will 'raise up' just a bit and the post will fall over inside the guitar!

    The placement of the sound-post is interesting, too. The 2nd owner, Gary, spent a lot of time playing arch-tops in an 'Organ Trio' (B3/guitar/drums) back in the early '70's. He had a fair amount of trouble with feedback (with all his arch-tops) and developed the knack of finding just the right spot to put a sound-post on a hollow-body arch-top guitar. He would turn on an amp, turn the volume up on the guitar and let the unattended guitar feedback. Then, Gary would move a single finger all around the top of the guitar until the very slight pressure of his finger on one particular spot would make the feedback stop! That's where he would put the sound-post inside the guitar! Pretty cool, huh? Kind of a cross between dousing and guitar-repair!

    Continued good luck with your T-400. I'm enjoying reading about it. HH
    That's kind of where I'm at. I slap a set of Thomastik flat wounds on pretty much every guitar I obtain and in the dry climate of the desert I can get a couple of years from a set easily. So, as you can see, once the strings go on I tend to stay hands off until Restringing time, when I strip off the strings, treat the fretboard and restring it. I may take a look in there with a mirror but everything in my life is on hold right now pending rotator cuff surgery and a vacation a month thereafter. I've been concentrating on taking care of things around the house because I'll be laid up for a while.

    I have a Gretsch Country Club with a soundpost and it's quite effective. I've played Rock with it in a large venue and had no feedback issues. I think that they are a great idea. The T-400 doesn't seem prone to feedback, but I haven't used it in a high volume setting as of yet. I hope to squeeze in a band rehearsal Saturday and crank it up a bit. The last time I brought it to rehearsal I hadn't addressed the wolf tones, etc, so it wasn't a fair assessment.

    I've always liked those old HR model Epis.
    When Guild guitars are outlawed only outlaws will play Guild guitars.

    Visit my non-monetized guitar website.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter Broes View Post
    If you're happy with the guitar, it really doesn't matter if the top is solid spruce or not, of course. I'd be very surprised if it's an actual carved top, I don't think they can do that for the prices these guitars sold for. (look at what the carved top AA sells for, for example) Maybe it's a pressed solid spruce top.

    In my own experience, the main difference between solid and laminated archtops is the front end of the note, the attack is entirely different, you get some kind of bell-like attack that extremely hard to describe in words (especially in a language that's not my mother tongue...) you cannot get from a laminated instrument. Volume, strangly, is all over the place with archtops, I've played laminated ones with incredible bark, power and acoustic volume, and I've played solid topped ones that were "silent giants".



    Very true. That's the thing that freaked me out a little about FMIC selling Guild right now - after all the work Mike Lewis put in on the NS line? I wonder how he felt about that. The guys strikes me as a little too much of a music and guitar lover to figure "did the job, got paid, shrug", I'd be surprized if he'd be that cynical about it. It's downright weird. And it doesn't really matter now, but I wonder for how long FMIC had the plan to sell Guild, because the NS line was criminally/suspiciously under-promoted during it's whole "lifetime" at FMIC.
    Even the Fender rep the store I work at works with told us awhile ago "yeah...I don't know where they want to go with those MIK electrics, there doesn't seem to be a plan, no brochures, publicity, endorsers, no nothing - maybe they're still figuring that out"

    I'd be very suprized if the new owners decided to ditch the GAD and NS guitars, because they'd probably sell 20 GAD's for every US-made guitar sold, and 50 NS guitars for every AP guitar. And the profit margin on the import stuff is probably higher than on the US built guitars.

    There's always the chance they want to turn Guild into a very exclusive US built boutique-y kind of brand, but I don't know if that would be wise, because as far as the general guitar buying public knows or cares about Guild, that's almost the opposite of the general perception of the brand.
    I wouldn't bet against it being carved, it appears to be, bit I wouldn't bet my savings account on it either way. I know what you mean, solid top guitars have a different voice. Perhaps they've found a way to carve tops inexpensively with CNC equipment.

    I think you're right, the GAD and NS models have got to be money makers. CMG would be foolish to walk away from that. All manufacturers need entry level products to build a customer base over time. Sell a Korean instrument and a few years later the same customer is back with enough money to buy something high end.

    I know what you are saying about volume. My old Johnny Smith was not at all loud, in spite of being a fairly high end guitar. The Korean Gretsch G3161 I had for a short time was quite loud acoustically. A friend of mine owns an old Super 400 CES that used to belong to Chet. It's a beautiful instrument, but acoustically a bit lacking. My N.S. Starfire III is surprisingly loud acoustically as is my G6120-DC. The A150 Savoy I just bought is gaining it's voice and is fairly loud, but hardly a "rhythm cannon".
    When Guild guitars are outlawed only outlaws will play Guild guitars.

    Visit my non-monetized guitar website.

  5. #15
    well, after using my #10 exclusively in studio and on open stages for 6 weeks now, let me add some comments.

    first, I don't get this bridge pickup thing. my regular small setup contains a koch superlead preamp pedal and a t.c. nova delay and I use whatever amp I can get on regular jamsessions ( ok, on the most regular open stage I can use an early 70s princeton reverb, nothing to complain about that at all ;) ) my experience is that the T-400 is the most expressive, responsive and versatile semiacoustic I ever tried. I don't see the bridge piclup lacking soundquality in any way, just the opposition. this guitar delivers everything perfectly, if you work with the volume knobs.

    Usually I do the settings on the amp (and preamp (clockwise) bass: 10.30, mid: 1400, treble 12.30) with both pickups on and the volume pots around 8 and tone full on my T-400 (you'll have to check on each guitar which setting will be the best for your "sweet spot" and check the pickup and pole pieces height thoroughly before .) from there I can go in any direction - from clean, classy jazz chords to fantastic rock leads with only few easy controllable simple switches (of course a channel switch on the koch preamp included). personally for me the T-400 fulfilled a dream since I played an original DE-400. I have all sounds I need and absolutely no feedback that is not easily controlable in any live situation. it is even better, it is so delightful to play with the feedback, because I can direct it to where I want it and the T-400 always delivers this resonant percusive, almost audiophile tonequality that I was looking for for 33 years (or at least as long as I knew I was looking for it...). and the neck is simply to die for.

    do yourself a favour and try one if you are around a shop that still has one. you wont be disappointed if you try what I do. and the craftmanship is beyond any critics.
    and last but not least, these guitars have a lot of songs in them, if you know what I mean. ;)

    I am so happy, because I was able to fulfill what I said to Dave Gonzales at LTG II in 2011: "if you do a reissue of the DE-400 I'd buy it."

    I have found my holy grail in electric guitars. now go and get yours! ;)

    thanks for your attention.

    edit: and all the pro's I was able to present the guitar to have been in awe! ;)
    Last edited by krysh; 07-12-2015 at 12:12 AM.
    my 2 ct, all the best,
    michael.

    * '81 D-46
    * '84 Pilot SB-602
    * '86 T-250
    * '87 Nightingale
    * '89 Pilot SB-602FL
    * '94 Crossroads CR-01
    * '98 Starfire IV 1/2
    * '13 GSR T-400
    ...some more stuff and
    myself. ;)

    *official WUZZATONE (made by Coastie99) endorser*

  6. #16
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    Mine had a definite deficit with regard to the bridge pickup output. The bridge pickup was as high as it could be and it still crapped out in comparison to the neck pickup, when set at the same volume. One pickup swap later and I couldn't be happier.

    The same OEM pickups are on my Capri and it has perfect balance, so go figure. :)
    When Guild guitars are outlawed only outlaws will play Guild guitars.

    Visit my non-monetized guitar website.

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