5 Features that should be on all Modern Guitars
There are many, hundreds if not thousands of guitar manufacturers out there, and I have started to notice something that has annoyed me. The more expensive guitars are missing features that cheaper guitars have, features that make playing the guitar and living with that guitar easier.
I have put together this blog to list a few things that modern guitars should have as standard! Features that are missing from modern guitars that should be on every new guitar! When we say modern guitars we mean, new models not guitars based on old guitars (Custom shop Gibson 59’s for example). We are also considering the price and are on about guitars that are £500+. We are aware that some of these features will increase the sale price. So let us get right into the first one!
Better Neck Join
This one shocks me that it isn’t done more. However, looking at heal joins on some modern guitars and then looking at the join on Guitars like Les Pauls and Strats, I am shocked that manufacturers aren’t putting nicer and easier-to-play neck joins on their guitars.
I believe (but I could be mistaken) that Fender has put a different Heel joint on some of the Newer Stratocasters. However, when you look at the standard Stratocaster and look at the heal joint, amazingly, we are still using the “block cut” neck join! Look at guitars like Solar or LTD and their neck joins! They make the guitar easier and more comfortable to play. I think some companies need to improve their heel joints.
My custom-built S Type has a more modern heel join and feels amazing and easier to play. There is no negative to a better heel join except “it isn’t what they use to have”. Helps me play better, play faster and be more comfortable. It’s a win, win.
If you have ever used a locking tuner you will understand how much time they can save. They make restringing so much easier and changing a string on the fly is a breeze. You could also argue that tuning stability is increased as the string can’t move. I will say that they do come with a price increase. As they have more parts in them, they tend to be a fair bit more expensive so would put the price of a guitar up (only ever so slightly).
I have come across two kinds of locking tuners, one is full locking, where you wind the string through, tighten the tuning post screw and then the string is locked in place. I would call these fully locking. However, there are a few other kinds that can help. The set of tuners I have on my Telecaster build (Klusons) has a split post that you can put the string into and then begin to wind. Not fully locking but does speed up restringing. Both types are useful.
More Sustainable Woods
Why oh why are we all still obsessed with Rosewood? There are thousands of wood types out there but we all still want rosewoods fingerboards. We have in recent years seen a switch to Ebony for fingerboards, however, there are so many woods that could be used for not only a fretboard but the whole guitar, which are also better for the environment and more sustainable are arguably look a lot better!
If we look at the woods that Lewis used on my Custom Strat build (Article here), They were all sustainable sourced and that could be tracked! I may be biased, but If you look at the neck on the Strat, I would say that is better than any rosewood neck I have ever seen. I have even seen some guitar scrap wood altogether and go for a different material completely! Resin pours and carbon fibre is slowly becoming more popular in guitar building. This leads to other designs, patterns and more variety to choose from.
For every guitar I own I have replaced the strap for strap locks! I don’t see any downside to this. There isn’t one! Keeps your guitar secure and will prevent any kind of mishap. It is a simple upgrade and one that you see on a lot of “Metal” guitars, however, you don’t see it on the more vintage style guitars. I don’t know why as it doesn’t change the look or feel just makes everything safer.
It doesn’t have to be the expensive kind, you can even get the little rubber washers if you want to! Although I highly recommend you get proper strap locks! Another upside is if you use multiple guitars at a gig, then swap guitars can be done while using the same strap (Great if you only have one wireless pack).
Truss Rod Access
This one was the last one I thought of. Greenheart Guitars made me think of this. Truss Rod Access. I can’t believe that some guitars are still built meaning you have to take the neck off to adjust the truss rod!
As we mentioned, Greenheart Guitars, made it so you could access and adjust the truss rod through one of the frets. I thought this was an amazing idea. Doesn’t affect the playability of the instruments but makes it easier to maintain, and until he pointed it out I didn’t even notice it, so it wasn’t like it made the guitar look different.
So that are the 5 things I think should be on all modern-built guitars! Do you agree with these? If not, why? If you think we have missed anything please let us know over on our Instagram! We would love to hear what other features people think should be on guitars! Everyone has a different opinion! If you want to see more articles like this we have a few lined up and ready to be released, so make sure you stay up to date as we have a lot of content planned! Alongside more reviews as well! Plenty more of those to come!
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