Sunday 13 March 2022

I bought an electric guitar!

Perhaps this comes as no surprise based on my my recent post, but after half a century I actually purchased an electric guitar. "Am I reading this right JAW, is this the first electric guitar you have ever bought?"  Yes, that is correct.  While I have mentioned that I do own an electric guitar that my mum bought for me when I was 16, I never really got into it, and have been playing nylon and acoustic all my life instead.  So no, I had never bought an electric guitar, until now.

Before you get too excited, it is second hand, not new. I see that as a good thing - worn in, with history! But since my last post I had already been watching the local classifieds for telecasters.  One came along that really intrigued me.  Because this one has an acoustic pickup in addition to the normal magnetic coils. I kept telling myself no, I don't need it, I won't like it, but it was too late, curiosity got the better of me.  I had to try it.  And then when I did, I still didn't know if I would be able to do anything with it, but I had to have it.  I was pretty ruthless; the poor dude who was selling it had been trying for two weeks to unload it.  He probably paid around $AUD1400 for it new, he started the price at $800, he let it go to me for $500.  Nice bloke - thanks Will.

Guitar styled after a 90's Fender Telecaster.

So what is it JAW? It's a Michael Kelly, in 1955 Telecaster style.  I think it is quite pretty - it has a book matched maple front, quite a thick chunk from the look of it.  A nice sunburst finish around the edges. The white pearl styled pickguard is a bit much, I am already picturing a project down the track to make a replacement black one - it will look slightly reminiscent of the George Harrison Tele.  The volume and mic selector switch is very 50's telecaster.  But it is the acoustic pickup that sold me.

If you look carefully there is a three way switch on the front up near the guitar strap, and a knob towards the bottom.  The switch controls whether the acoustic pickup is included (acoustic only / acoustic + electric / no acoustic) and the knob controls the mix level.  When I played it, I thought the (Fishmann powerbridge) acoustic pickup - part of the bridge - it sounded fantastic. I will talk more about this pickup in the future.

But also, the whole guitar was lively - quite lively.  I could feel the vibration through the whole thing as I was playing it. Like every part of it was resonating.  I haven't played many electrics, but that was new to me.  It's only really my Esteve classical guitar that I have noticed that every part of it is trying to produce sound like that.

So it's at home, I have played it a bit.  Still don't like the skinny neck.  The intonation is not right, I think I will be able to fix it, but electric guitar intonations never seem right.  The light strings - the light touch is, well, kinda nice.  Acoustics are brutal on the left hand, unforgiving.  Nylons are touchy, also unforgiving.  We will see if this is also unforgiving in its own way.  But being an electric, well, if I don't like the neck I could always buy a wider one and bolt it on :-)

Another toy arrived a week later - a effects pedal.  But that is a story for another day.


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