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Big Three Guitars: Design Standing The Test of Time

Big Three Guitars

Recently I posted about some of my favourite fonts and I subsequently mentioned that although not quite my number one favourite Garamond gets my vote for the greatest achievement due to its longevity. Let’s face it (aagh, car-crash pun), Garamond has been with us since the beginning, that’s a huge achievement.

A Bit of Guitar Kicking Dude

Last week I spent a bit of time in London and (as ever) found myself in Charing Cross Road and Denmark Street. As it has always been the three instruments that you see above were still in the guitar shop windows. Yes there are others in all shapes and sizes but, these three are still there. From left to right the Stratocaster, Les Paul and Telecaster are designs that have stood the test of time.

I suppose if you don’t play guitar they are just three guitars. However, although similar they are at the same time very different. In many ways the two Fenders are a more basic construction compared to the Gibson Les Paul with its glued on neck design. Whilst they are all wood to a point the types and qualities of the wood are different. The pickups all work in a similar way but the Les Paul has the twin coil Humbuckers. The Strat has the tremelo arm, not usually seen on the other two.

I can’t help but be fascinated by the fact that the three that were there pretty much at the start are still with us. Now, before you dust off the anoraks and start banging on about Rickenbachers (later to become Rickenbackers) from the mid ’30s, yes I know. But. The Tele in particular, or Broadcaster as it was known then was really about the first solid body electric and the other two were there at the off.

A Beaten Up Old Tele

I was prompted to post this last night after watching this. OK so it’s not cutting edge stuff but if you get to the end the small showoffy one is playing a battered old Tele much like the one that I once had for about four hours. Yes, sadly I got mine home started to set it up and found that someone had butchered it with a router and then filled the holes with David’s Isopon (resin). So back it went to Alpha Music in Leeds and I returned home with an AV 2681 bought from one of Leeds’ finest dodgy 2nd-hand shops on Boar Lane. I still have it 25 years on.

Would I have a Tele?

Of course I would, but don’t ever call me Wood Eye.