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Fender Custom vs Suhr?

pauliusmm

Fractal Fanatic
I am gassing for this Blone Fender CS strat i just tried. I currently own a Suhr Classic which is a really nice guitar also, but it lacks some mojo of a fender. What do you think when it comes Fender Cs vs Suhrr?

Pic:
GG Image
 
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R.D.

Forum Addict
I've always felt like "mojo" is a pretty personal thing .... Yours won't be like mine ..., mine won't be like Mark Day's etc; etc; ....

Personally, I think the Suhr is going to be a better instrument in any & every possible way you could measure it ....

But, if it dosen't speak to your soul, I think even John Suhr himself would tell you ..., it's o.k. to move on to something else that does !

Good Luck !
 

Sleestak

Forum Addict
It's always interesting to me to consider which guitars speak to us as individual musicians. I have a late 80s black Fender Stratocaster that was built in the custom shop. It has an ebony fretboard, fairly standard two-point trem, and locking tuners. I am not the original owner. I first noticed it as a used guitar, hanging on the wall of a local shop in the early 90s. I played it for about 30 minutes before plugging it in. The acoustic tone was really good, and it played beautifully. After plugging it in, I noticed the tone was pretty good, but definitely could be improved; it was equipped with lace sensor pickups and sounded a little sterile compared with vintage tones. It was a good price so I bought it, and ditched the pickups for a set of Fralins. It's been my primary guitar ever since.

My strat isn't perfect. The neck pocket isn't a perfect fit for the base of the neck, and it has be occasionally reset. It isn't even that valuable. I bet it's only worth about $750 on the open market. It has honestly-earned nicks and scratches from 25 years of international touring / recording. I would honestly bet I've played at least two thousand gigs on that guitar. I wore out the frets on that guitar and had Mike Lull (renowned local luthier) refret it with stainless steel frets a few years ago. That fret job cost me more than the guitar originally did!

I've owned MUCH more valuable boutique guitars. A few years ago I bought an Eric Johnson strat. I loved that guitar, but honestly the trusty black strat just seems to have some kind of personal mojo for me. I sold the EJ strat to a friend recently, and am glad to see it getting played.

So, in terms of "will this guitar inspire me to play", that's a much better guide than anything else in my opinion. I have (ahem) a few guitars in my collection... I have other guitars that sound great and make me happy - I have numerous strats, teles, hollowbodies, and a lovely Les Paul gold top with P90s. But, that black strat just has something that made me fall for it all those years ago, and it's still my #1. We've had some great adventures together, and it just seems to be the one I always reach for. That guitar's appeal is not universally magical. When other people play my strat, they say "yeah, it's pretty good", or something to that effect. I've never encountered another person who reacts to that guitar the way I do. One of my longtime friends was quite shocked when I sold the EJ strat, because (to paraphrase) "why would you give up a perfect high-value boutique guitar that was painstakingly crafted to play and sound like a vintage strat, when your black guitar is an old mutt with weird idiosyncrasies?" Mojo is subject to the individual. If you find a guitar that makes YOU want to play more, and play better, and has a vibe that pulls you in, then go get it.
 

barhrecords

Axe-Master
For me, an instrument has to inspire me first.

The brand and price *do* matter to me, but without the inspiration they don't matter at all.
 

yek

Moderator
Moderator
Owned a Suhr GG. I agree, it lacked mojo.
Bought a Haar Strat, and it improves on the Suhr in every way, and cheaper too.
It does have Suhr ML pickups though, love them.
 

JCBitB

Inspired
My Suhr strat completely changed my stance on guitars. I was a "Gibson" guy through and through, but I've always fully respected strat's. I just preferred the approach of a carved maple top, short scale, humbuckers, and the typically "warm" character of LP's in general, along with some family history. Played a Suhr strat, which is the brightest guitar I've ever liked, has a thinner neck than I was used to and essentially was diametrically opposed to every thing I had decided was my personal preference in a guitar, and it's EASILY my #1 now. Despite being a gibson guy, I've put hands on all manner of strats and tele's from folks I play with. I even have a buddy who has more guitars than he can even store in his home and he pays for a mini storage spot just to house his others... I would say I enjoyed almost every strat he has. There might be 5 or 6 I've EVER played that I didn't gel with, and if I compare the best of the best Fenders to my Suhr I couldn't possibly tell you how they could improve, I just know that I wouldn't trade my Suhr for 10 of them. Not even to flip them for MORE Suhrs, lol!
 

Promit

Inspired
I'm a Suhr guy through and through - I want precision and perfection, not whatever the hell 'mojo' is. And of course, Suhr has that in spades. That said, if you want a Strat with more character I keep hearing that Grosh is phenomenal.
 

luke

Fractal Fanatic
It sounds like mojo in this circumstance has a lot to do with headstock decal. I'm sure there are Suhr dogs and exceptional Fenders, but it is not the norm, and for you to have former and have found the later sounds like folklore to me.

Do guys trade in Ferraris on Vettes to gain mojo?

If you love the Fender buy it and keep both for a year, if the Suhr isn't being used, then sell it.
 

Rick

Fractal Fanatic
Whichever one makes the mojo in your hands. My guitars are all pretty much better than I can play them, but I play some of them better than others.
 

pauliusmm

Fractal Fanatic
So im seeing here that people think even custom Fenders cannot be compared to Suhrs? John Suhr was once a fender custom master. I thought these were on the same quality league.
 

addedc

Veteran
I have a Gibson LP, Gretsch, Parker and a couple of PRS's. I bought a used Jeff Beck Strat on Craig's list a year ago that reintroduced me to Fender. That guitar plays and sounds so great that I bought the Fender American Standard Tele with the b-bender. I haven't owned a Suhr but I have played them in the store. My Fenders are far and away my favorite guitars to play at home or gigging. Although the PRS is the same scale length, there is just a different vibe with the Fender that I personally really like. Of course, it very much depends on each individual guitar.
 

sam

Veteran
Suhr worked for Fender long ago. Now he runs his own show. Think of it as an ideal version of a Fender guitar. That's how I look at it.

I've never seen a Fender with the same level of precision build and setup as my Suhr or other Suhrs I've played. The action and perfection of the neck and frets on my Classic T is so good it's hard to believe. That doesn't mean you can't get a Fender with great feel, setup, and tone. I just think that Suhr is operating at much closer to perfection in the process of build and setup and it is reflected in the final product.

I know for me I would never order a Fender if I could get a similar Suhr in a similar price range. I feel the same way about my Tom Anderson Classic strat as well by the way.
 

tgunn

Veteran
I have a Suhr GG which is a great guitar (truly), but it doesn't have a certain type of vibe that I was missing from a Fender cs guitar I used to own. Last year I tried out a Suhr classic antique with ml single coils and the ssv humbucker (much lower output than on the GG), and there was that vibe. In spades. What's more is that it plays better than any fender I've played. So I went back and bought it. It's fiesta red which I wasn't sure I liked but I'm totally into it now. My $.02
 

Bojangles

Veteran
Technically you build a Suhr, and you build into what ever mojo you need or want
When you get the guitar, the guitar will be precise, if it feels wrong, you muddled up the specs, or bought someone elses dream specs

Yeah sure Suhrs aren't the best guitars in the world, however the attention to detail is second to none
 

Stratman68

Fractal Fanatic
Playing fenders for 30+ years.... A suhr is a different guitar. strat is a strat-I also don't go in for the CS BS either.

I have an 89 USA Standard strat and a 2006 USA Deluxe Strat that I would put up against "any", yes any guitar - sound, playability and quality.

I've played suhrs and I did not like the neck-plain and simple. But that's me. Not because Fender was better or I was used to it.......just like the way my guitars feel.

When you get into USA made guitars and do your homework, It's a matter of feel, sound and playability, not my guitar is better than your guitar. Such crap-sorry...........Just tired of the same old bull-

You get to a certain point and the differences are bells and whistles and personal likes and dislikes.
 

Bojangles

Veteran
I've played suhrs and I did not like the neck-plain and simple. But that's me. Not because Fender was better or I was used to it.......just like the way my guitars feel.
All fair points, however remember just about all suhrs are custom orders, and they will make the neck how you want / like it

The only thing you can not like about a suhr is the limited scale length options and the limited body shapes, everything else is basically customization

Anyway all good, i do like other guitar styles too
 
John Suhr makes the best guitars on the planet! I now own a Suhr Classic S and a Antique T. I will never go back! Why pay more money for lesser quality? Suhr just does it better for less:)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Rick

Fractal Fanatic
Fender has more "Guitar in the Room" sound... Suhr sounds more FRFR :roll

Just playing :) Mojo is what you make of it. Some guitars just sound bad. Some guitars have mojo because of where they've been (Jimi's or Stevie's strat, for instance). If a guitar inspires you and you play better on it, there's your mojo. If it doesn't, move it on. You might be holding someone else's mojo guitar. It's always going to be the melding of player and instrument that makes the magic. I heard Paul Gilbert rip on a guitar made of cheap grade plywood! That was his mojo, brought to the instrument. Fender Custom, Suhr, PRS, Carvin/Keisel, Tom Anderson all make great guitars. From there, it's all in what happens when it's hanging from your shoulder.
 

Stratman68

Fractal Fanatic
John Suhr makes the best guitars on the planet! I now own a Suhr Classic S and a Antique T. I will never go back! Why pay more money for lesser quality? Suhr just does it better for less:)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
How do you get "why pay more for less- or better for less? My USA 89 Strat was $700 and My 06 USA Deluxe was $999. Granted, today they are $1,200. and $1500. You pick the right Strat Deluxe and you get a quality guitar for 1/2 the price.

But that's pretty much 1/2 of the price of a Suhr/

I agree, Suhrs are nice guitars for folks that like them-that's the key my friend - I also agree that CS Strats are way over priced.

Suhr best on the planet? Of course, because you own 2.................... No such thing as the best..

I think Rick, Post #19 said it very well....................
 
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