Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Bill Nash Guitars - Not just relic's
The relic crazy. At first thought I was certainly suspect of relic guitars because I have disdain for being a slave to fashion. Indeed, at first this concept was truly one where a person could own a guitar that looked like it had be played by a seasoned musician and had many sordid tales if only the instrument could speak. Without investigation I assumed that the instrument would have worn frets and basically was trashed and who in their right mind would pay EXTRA for this privilege? Let me allay some of these myths. Yes, most relic instruments have dents and scratches. Yes, there is a basic coolness to this look but let me assure you that most of these instruments are painstakingly prepared and generally play like a dream come true. The necks might be worn, the backside of the neck unfinished but the hardware (frets & saddles, etc..) are in fine working order. In many cases they are simply tarnish the hardware but the base product is top of the line hardware and electronics.
I first saw Bill Nash guitars at Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto, California. This store is known globally for selling top quality instruments and therefore I trusted that someone knows something I didn't know at first glance. I picked up a Stratocaster (Nash calls them S- models to avoid copyright infringement) and found that the action was excellent.
The playability and tactile sense of the instrument has a profound resonance that I didn't feel on any of my most recent purchased pretty guitars. In addition, I didn't have to worry about bumping, denting or wrecking my destruction derby survivor guitar. The neck feel is exceptional. I've tried the boat neck Telecasters, Stratocasters and hopefully will someday try the Nash LP (Les Paul) guitar.
Nash uses nitrocellulose finish on his instruments and top drawer electronic with names like Lollar, Seymour Duncan and DiMarzio pickups. Sure, I've tried some that I wouldn't buy but for the most part, a great number of these instruments I've tested are winners. Have I bought one? Not yet but I've got a few friends who own them and call these instruments their "go to guitars." For the money, it's hard to find a better instrument for gigging. My only gripe would be the lack of a hard shell case but it the instrument are supplied with a top quality soft case. Again, for the money - Bill Nash guitars are certainly on my wish list. I especially would like to test the LP model. For now, the Stratocaster (S-model) and Telecaster (T model) are more than sufficient tone monsters for the ardent tone chaser.
Other manufacturers that make similar models are:
Both of these manufacturers make excellent instruments and I will review them individually in the near future. Scott