In the never ending quest to find tone there are two types of knowledge. The first is what i call “Forum Knowledge”. The internet is full of wonderful, and sometimes useless, information on guitars. Everyone has their opinion and the internet is the sounding board where everyone’s opinions get heard. The second is what i call “Hands on knowledge”. Pretty much anyone will tell you no matter how much you read about it and listen to sound clips you just can’t know for sure until you have it in your hands. Working at a world class guitar shop like Dave’s gives you a unique advantage in the eternal “Tone Quest”. Like any guitar player we are on a never ending search to refine and perfect our guitar tone. Be it a new guitar, a cool new pedal or a different amp, there isn’t a week that goes by that a couple of us trade off something and get something new. This gives us a unique insight into gear and an advantage into understanding the in’s and out’s of guitars. We have an unfair advantage when it comes to this for three distinct reasons:
1.) We get paid to sit in a giant toy box of guitars… ALL DAY LONG. Its our job to be knowledgeable about the stuff we are selling. So naturally we are going to spend hours trying every new guitar, amp and pedal when they come in.
2.) Dave is kind enough to allow us to test drive most of the used gear around the shop. If we like a guitar we may take it home and try it through our own rig for a practice. This is very important because until you get a guitar into your environment, playing through your gear you can’t really know how you are going to like it.
3.) We get to compare this stuff to some of the greatest guitar’s every built. I mean honestly, how many people can say they can compare this Historic ’59 RI Les Paul against an actual 1959 Les Paul Burst? Enough said…
So with that in mind i felt like it would only be fair to open up our own guitar vaults and share with you the gear we play and love. Today, the first part of the series, I am going to introduce you to my guitars and share with you my reasoning behind using these guitars.
My guitar playing is split roughly 70%/30% in two distinct genres of music. These genres, Arena Rock Gospel and Blues, require very different sounds and thus i was faced with a unique challenge, building a rig that can work with minimal modification for two distinct tones. Most of this i was able to accomplish through my amp/pedal board setup, however i was greatly helped by my now favorite guitar company Paul Reed Smith. Now most people have type cast PRS guitars into a more heavy genre guitar from their early years of endorsing bands such as Creed and POD and find it odd that someone playing my style of music would use their guitars. However their recent innovations have turned me from a skeptic to a full on lover of their guitars.
My main guitar for my Arena rock side is a PRS Hollow Body II. I was actually given this guitar and this was the beginning of my slide toward PRS. I had been on a quest to find a good hollow body guitar for this type of music as the individual note clarity that a hollow body offer’s is hugely helpful when playing guitar over synth, warm pad and two other guitar players. I had tried just about every one hollow body out there when this guitar was given to me and it just instantly fit my needs. At a 25″ scale with a wrapped bridge this guitar plays like a dream. I string mine with Elixir Nano Web .010’s with an unwound G-string. This is contrary to what they come stock with (.011’s with a wound G.) however i have not noticed any decrease in overall tone or the effectiveness of the Piezo due to the less string tension. The warm tone, clarity of notes and controllable feedback make this a wonderful instrument for anyone who plays with allot of other people. I tried using this guitar for my blues as well but it just lacked the “dirty” quality i needed to really get that soulful tone i was going for. Lucky for me there was a guitar in the shop i had been eyeing up for some time that had just come back used, so i took the opportunity and pounced on it.
This PRS Semi-Hollow Custom 22 fell right into my hands and fit my needs perfectly. Its more solid construction offers the fatter dirty sound that i was looking for with just enough Hollow quality to get up over the top of a Keyboard/Organ and bass during solo’s. Its equipped with a floating Trem but i cannot actually think of a time when i have used it. Both of these guitars come standard with locking tuners which i cannot praise enough. Prior to using PRS guitars (using mostly Fender stuff) i wasn’t sure how i felt about locking tuners, but having used them i will most likely never own another electric without locking tuners. It has cut my need to tune down by at least 80% and makes restringing a whole lot easier! Having both my electric guitars covered i moved onto finding an acoustic that i was in love with.
Now, anyone who knows acoustic guitars knows that this is an incredibly complex process. I could write pages and pages on wood selection, tone differences, brand preferences etc. But i wont bore you with that… in this post at least. Bottom line is this, I needed a guitar i could play for the occasional acoustic set we do at my church and to play around the house when i am learning new songs. Being that the majority of times i am going to be using this i will be playing with other people pumped through a PA i naturally fell towards Taylors. It also helps that i am an electric guitar player and Taylor’s play-ability make them very electric guitar player friendly. I saw a prototype of this guitar when i was out attending the Taylor University and fell instantly in love with it. Koa wood has always been my favorite tone wood. Its blend of Rosewood’s Hi-Fi property with Mahogany’s warmth has always really fit my playing style, and lets be honest who couldn’t love how this thing looks? The Taylor Koa GA-Fall LTD is a fully tricked out solid Koa guitar and to sum it up i will never be in the market for an Acoustic guitar again. Not that i couldn’t find other ones I like but at some point you just gotta cut yourself off 🙂
The last guitar in my collection is more of a novelty than anyting. A custom built Stratocaster i pieced together and played for a number of months. I think every guitar player has a desire to build their own guitar at some point. Its just a fun thing to do and you learn a whole lot more about the way guitars work. Its a practice i would suggest every guitar player do at some point. After piecing together your own guitar i promise you will be much more equipped to do work on your own instruments.
So there you have it. The guitars of Tylor Fischer. This is really only half they story as Amp’s and Pedals have as much impact on sound as the guitars themselves. That story will be coming another time however. Stay tuned for more employee’s gear and opinions on cool new and used gear we get into the shop!
– Tylor Fischer
P.S. If you liked anything you read about check out these link’s to similar guitars.
PRS Hollow Body II:
Taylor GS-Koa Fall LTD: