Guitar Ratings

This page rates the guitars I'm playing, concerning assessment of: 


Tonal Quality 


Aesthetic Nature

Modifications Made

Overall Rating: * thru *****   *****, being the best


Epiphone SG Special VE (Modified) ****3/4

Used almost exclusively when songwriting. Also, for recording.

Comfortable, and easy to play. Solid Body. Sounds great, since modified. Stays in-tune well.


Seymore Duncan "Hot-Rodded" Pickups installed.

All pots replaced with Bournes 500K Audio Taper pots. 

All caps installed are CDE Sprague "Orange Drop":

 Neck Tone - .022 Bridge Tone - .022

Neck Volume - .010 Bridge Volume - .015

This particular SG VE has been so extensively upgraded and modified, it could probably be compared with one of Gibson's best SG models.


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Epiphone Casino *****

Mostly, for Recording.

 Very easy to play. Excellent tonal quality. Stays in-tune well. The only modifications done were for aesthetics...darkened the fretboard, and installed different control knobs...nothing else required.

Feature: What it does:
Alnico P-90T and P-90R dog-ear pickups High-output single-coils; biting treble response
Fully hollow body Single tone chamber, resonant and alive sound
Set-neck construction Solid joinery for great sustain and feel
Pau Ferro fretboard Delivers strong midrange presence and punch

Gretsch G5230T Electromatic Jet FT ****1/2

Mostly, for Recording.

Moderately easy to play. Chambered Body. A unique sound, all its own..."The Great Gretsch Sound". Black Top Filter'Tron Pickups. Gtretsch's answer to a Les Paul...a better, brighter answer.


Removed "teble bleed" circuit from master volume, and installed a Bournes 500k audio taper pot w/a CDE Sprague "orange drop" .022 cap.

Feature: What it does:
Black Top Filter'Tron pickups Tight, bright and focused vintage tone
Black walnut fretboard Bright maple-like tone with added "growl"
Mahogany body Rich, warm, focused sound; added sustain
Maple top Long sustain with crisp, bright tone

Squire Affinity Fender Telecaster ****1/2

Mostly, for Recording Country-Styled Music...but can be used in any genre.

Somewhat difficult to play error-free...this guitar will give you away if you make a slight mistake in playing. Solid Body.


Installed Fender Pure Vintage '64 Pickups.

Installed Bournes 500k Audio Taper Pots on Volume and  Tone Controls.

Installed CDE Sprague "orange drop" caps...

Volume Cap:   .022

Tone Cap:   .022

Hand-crafted, genuine maple wood, veneer crafted and applied to pickguard by DrmJ




Ibanez AS7312 Semi-Hollow Body Electric 12-String Guitar   ****

Mostly, for Recording. Somewhat difficult to play. Nice Tone. Well worth the price.


Installed GFS "Liverpool" Humbucker Pickups on Neck & Bridge.

Installed all 4 Pots...w/500k Bournes Audio Taper Pots. 

Installed 4 New Caps (CDE/Sprague "Orange Drop):

Bridge Tone - .022 Neck Tone - .015 

Bridge Volume - .010 Neck Volume - .010


"Rickenbacker 660/12" Chinese Copy.   ***1/2 

Mostly, for Recording. Difficult to play. Construction is much better than anticipated...worth the nominal price (apprx. $350).



NECK: Alnico V Pickup & Ring Assembly For Rickenbacker Guitar (Single Coil) 

BRIDGE: Gretsch Electro Lap Steel Guitar Pickup

Appropriate String Strainer.

Removed Polyurethane finish from fretboard.

New Control Knobs, New Pickguard.

Flatwound Pure Nickel Strings.

All 5 Pots (Bournes 1m linear); .047 CDE/Sprague "Orange Drop", "Treble Bleed" Caps on all 5 Pots.

NOTE: All Pots & Caps now under scrutiny to be changed to more appropriate values, to produce tonal quality of desired results. 


CD-140SCE-12 Cutaway Acoustic/Electric 12-String Guitar  ****

Solid Spruce Top, Rosewood Fretboard, Body, Sides & Bridge. Mahogany Neck.

Mostly, for Recording. Somewhat difficult to play. Sounds great. Fishman Presys Preamp & Tuner. Graph Tech Nu-Bone Nut.


Hand-crafted and applied Freshwater Abalone Fret Markers (.006" thickness).

Installed Rosewood String Pins...Rosewood Bridges should have Rosewood String Pins for optimum tonal quality. 

NOTE: At present, this guitar is tuned to 435Hz, instead of the standard 440Hz...tuning to a lower frequency on 12-string guitars reduces stress on the neck and strings, making it easier to play as well as relieving the pressure on the neck and strings. Tuning this guitar to 432Hz is a likely possibility.