Will Ray's Bottom Feeder: Jay Turser ES-125 Copy

A copy of my onetime dream guitar—for $145.

In my youth I always wanted a Gibson ES-125TDC. I used to go to our local music store and salivate over the one in their window. But oddly enough, I’ve never bought one over the years. Oh well.

Fast forward to 2014. I saw this cool Jay Turser 125 copy on the ’Bay, and the youthful memories started flooding back. It sported two P-90 pickups, a Tune-o-matic-style bridge, and a thinline body with a Florentine cutaway. It had a buy-it-now price of $170 plus $20 shipping, which I thought was a good deal. But the auction also included the words “or best offer.” Well, alrighty now—my kind of auction!

Being the cheapskate I am, I immediately sent an offer of $145. I was going to give them a few days to reply before just paying their original asking price, which I still considered a bargain. But to my surprise, they accepted my offer within two hours.

Bottom Feeder Tip #284: Whenever you see a price with OBO (“or best offer”), go ahead and send a lower offer, but not so low as to risk making the seller angry. What have you got to lose? The worst that can happen is they say no.

After the first three notes I was in love. The action was nice and low, and I’ve never had to adjust it—it’s perfect!

But sellers usually entertain best offers because they’re unsure of their asking price. Take advantage of this when you can. But remember: Once you’ve submitted an eBay offer and the seller has accepted it, you’re committed to buying.

I received the guitar five days later. It had no case but was very well packed by the seller, who turned out to be a music store. After the first three notes I was in love. The action was nice and low, and I’ve never had to adjust it—it’s perfect! It does have one high fret that frets out when I bend the 1st string at the 10th fret, which I may deal with down the road. But honestly, the guitar is such a pleasure to play that I just overlook stuff like that. Plugged in, the P-90-style pickups sound fat and strong, but with enough high end to give your sound some snap.

The guitar has since become one of my go-to “TV guitars,” an axe I play acoustically while watching TV as part of my maintenance/rehearsing program. I reserve that position for guitars that have a nice acoustic tone and are fun to play, so I can hear myself over the TV.

So is it a keeper? Most definitely—at least for now. I can’t explain it, but some guitars just speak to me on a gut level, and this is one of them. I don’t own a guitar quite like it, and it’s sooooo much fun to play!

A faithful recreation of the Germanium Mosrite Fuzzrite with a modern twist.

Read MoreShow less

Presets extend the flexibility of an already expansive and easy-to-use reverb.

Intuitive. Great range in all controls. Well-built.

Some digital artifacts at long decay times.

$229

Walrus Audio Slötvå
walrusaudio.com

4
4.5
4.5
4.5

Walrus Audio is a prolific builder, but, as the five reverb pedals in their lineup suggest, they have a real affinity for manipulating time and space. The beauty of the Slötvå reverb (which is derived from the company’s very similar Spin FV-1 chip-based Slö reverb) is how satisfying and simple it makes dramatic shifts between time/space textures.

Read MoreShow less

With such a flashy flame top, the Silvertone 1445 was built to catch the eyes of department store shoppers.

I don’t know what’s going on lately, but I’m breaking down all over and my shoulder is the latest to crumble. When I was a kid I would practice guitar in my bedroom near a radiator with an ungrounded amp plug and I’d get a zap right through my guitar and into my hands. Well, my shoulder pain is like that now, only without the cool story of rock ’n’ roll survival. I simply woke up one day like this. After a few weeks of discomfort, I figured I’d try out a new pillow, since mine are flattened like a wafer. I ventured out to the mall and, much to my sadness, saw the local Sears store shuttered, with weeds growing up from the sidewalks and concrete barriers blocking the large glass doors. I know I don’t get out much, but, man, was I sad to see the Sears store I’d known since childhood closed-up like that. My wife was laughing at me because apparently it had been closed for some time. But since I seem to exist on a separate timeline than most folks, it was all news to me.

Read MoreShow less
x