Rather than do a ‘best of’ style post, every year I’m doing a rundown of what guitars I’ve had my hands on, and what I’ve learned from the experience.
This post covers guitars that I play at home for fun. I’ll cover the guitars that I gig with tomorrow.
I still love my Les Pauls, but this year, I’ve found a couple of really special guitars that are helping explore a wider range of what I enjoy playing.
I Found My Telecaster!
Last year, I said: “I’d rather have options atm than just one damn good Tele.” This year, I bought that one damn good Telecaster … and immediately sold the others. So, if nothing else, don’t take advice from me about anything!
I can never remember the exact model name of my new Tele. It’s a Fender Postmodern 63 Telecaster, but I’m sure that’s not the complete name. From the moment I played it, I knew it was the one. It simply made me sound and play better. And, with its neck humbucker and reverse-mounted bridge pickup, it doesn’t quite sound like a Telecaster either – in a good way.
I’ve still got the two little go-karts, the Squier Esquires. They’re not going anywhere. Thanks to the upgrades, both of them sound great, and remain fantastic to play. If you feel that you need to add a Telecaster to your collection, but can’t justify paying Fender US factory prices for one, find yourself a Squier that you like the feel of, and upgrade the bridge and electronics. You’ll get a guitar that’s good enough, for a lot less money.
My 50th Birthday Guitar … Buyer’s Remorse? Perhaps A Little
Earlier in the year, I bought myself a PRS Paul’s Guitar as my 50th birthday present to myself. I wanted a special guitar for this milestone, and had high hopes that this would fit the bill perfectly.
I’ve had four PRS guitars from their Maryland factory over the years. Two of them – including this one – have been seriously flawed. I don’t ever want to hear people complain about Gibson QC ever again. PRS products sell for premium prices. There should be zero objective faults in products at this price.
My Paul’s Guitar has pickups that were noisier than my Strat or Tele single coils. It also produces audible clicks and pops whenever I touch it. I’ve had it into my local tech a couple of times now – to add extra shielding and to re-solder the grounding – and it has helped a lot. It hasn’t cured the problem entirely, though, and every time I play the guitar, it gets me down.
So why have I kept it? Because – just like with Deadnote – I’ve fallen hard for it. The Paul’s Guitar really brings out a different side of me, something that doesn’t come out when I play my Les Paul. While it doesn’t sound like a Strat, it’s completely replaced my Strat for when I don’t want to just rock out. And it complements my new Telecaster very nicely too.
If the next couple of years go to plan, I’ll hoping to order a Private Stock version of this guitar for 2026. There’s a few things I want to change from the factory spec, and they’re changes that really need to be made during production. Who knows? Maybe I’ll be talking about Stu’s Guitar in a few years time 😉
Any Plans For 2023?
I’m still looking for a suitable Les Paul to put those Sigil Pickups’ Snakebites into. I’d love to find a great lemon-drop for that. I’m also starting to think about putting them into an Eastman 59/v instead.
I can’t do anything, though, until I’ve sold a couple of Les Pauls to pay for it.