Quantcast Ryan's Guitars: New Guitar!! James Tyler Classic Strat

Monday, February 11, 2008

New Guitar!! James Tyler Classic Strat

Yes! It finally happened... I got a Tyler. I've been wanting one of these for a couple of years now, but I could never just pull the trigger and buy one. It turns out that Jim Tyler is now sick with a number of ailments and the future of Tyler guitars is uncertain. It is rumored that he may even decide to stop building instruments altogether, so naturally I just had to snap this one up when it came along.

A very nice friend from the Gear Page (that also lives right down the road from me) grabbed this brand new beauty at a guitar show in Nashville, TN over the weekend (this guitar was unplayed and still in factory packing). At $3200.00 and some change the price was slightly less than retail with no tax, which I was happy about. ;) This particular specimen is a Candy Apple Red Classic model with a covered humbucker in the bridge position and two singles in the middle and neck with a 5 way switch, a volume and two tone knobs. It has a Wilkinson vintage tremolo bridge, standard Graph Tech nut and awesome quality Kluson tuners that I've never seen before. Not sure if these are Schaller, Sperzel or Grovers... but they are very nice tuners.

The whole guitar is a work of art from the ultra smooth finish to the precise fretwork and perfectly sculpted neck and body. It is a real pleasure to play and it sounds fantastic! The bridge pickup is low output, very clear and not too bright (not sure yet if this one is a Tyler creation or a Duncan). However, it sounds more like a single coil on steroids than a true humbucker. The two single coil pickups are almost certainly DiMarzio Virtual Vintage singles. I have two of these in another Strat and so I am pretty familiar with them. The overall sound of the guitar is nice and dark with Stratty overtones... this is definitely a modern sounding Strat... no ice pick here. This a pure progressive rock, fusion guitar with plenty of balls for when you need it, but still gentle and elegant when you're going for the melodic lines.

The weight is nice at 7.69 lbs. and the fat neck is dream to play on. With tall wide frets, multi-radiused fret board and neck join cut-away shred licks are a breeze and the satin finish guarantees fast playing action. The only mod I've done so far was to drop a Strat tremolo arm spring into the Wilkinson trem arm holder to keep the tremolo arm from sinking too deep into the hole. This is a design flaw on vintage style Wilkinson tremolos, but a super easy fix nonetheless. I have the trem float set to about one full step of pull-up on the G string at the 12th fret. This is usually where I set my floating Strat tremolos as a rule, and this guitar is no exception. This gives me enough pull-up for good vibrato and cool 80's style flutter effects when desired. ;)

This is a fantastic guitar and I am so happy to finally have one in my collection. I waited to the last minute to buy one, that's for sure. But had I bought sooner I'd have surely paid too much, so it really did work out in the long run.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:14 PM

    Very nice guitar. Thank you for sharing.