By selecting any one of the filters, the catalog listing will update showing ONLY guitars that have the attribute you selected but the filters list will also update to show you what options still exist with the remaining guitars available.
This is a brilliant (if I do say so myself!) way of honing in on the perfect guitar for you.
My recommendation would be to start with the most critical filter first and then keep selecting filters of less relevence after that and hopefully you will find an instrument that you will definitely love for a lifetime.
Here is a quick summary of the options which may also help you decide on which ones are right for you - in order as they appear in the menu above...
3 options here include Hand Carved Maple, Hand Carved Mahogany and Laminate. If you are looking for a marked improvement in the acoustic tone of the guitar then you will select either hand carved mahogany or hand carved maple. Mahogany is a warmer tone - maple being brighter and both will give you a wider range of "overtones" than laminate.
However, bare in mind that if your predominant use of the guitar is performance (plugged in playing) then solid woods will cause more issues with feedback than laminates and this will get more obvious the deeper the body and the wider the body (or combination of both).
If you need a bigsby - check this option!
Ranging from 1.75 to 3.31 inches (I converted the measurements from the brochure - I just cannot stand all those old fashioned measurements like 3 3/8ths!!!). Deeper bodies will provide greater resonance and fullness of acoustic tone whilst some people will appreciate a slimmer design for comfort - just as they may with acoustics guitars.
Personally I would leave this option until later or use it more as a mental reference so you are aware the guitar you are looking at is slimmer or deeper. Do not select it too early as you may be ignoring very suitable guitars by filtering them out.
I will change this to series at some point. El Ray isnt actuallu the designer - he is the player of the El Ray series so my mistake! How dare he spoil my system! Just felt that there will be many people looking for these very popular series - they are stunning so now you can head straight for them.
If you are left handed - don't shoot the messenger. Really sorry.
This is quite an important one. The measurement of the widest point of the guitar where you reach across when playing. The combination of both lower bout and depth will effect both acoustic volume, range of acoustic tone but also feedback when performing plugged in and of course overall comfort. I LOVE an all solid wood archtop with a 17 inch lower bout and deep as they come - Its a power house tone machine but just be warned when plugging in at volume. It can be done but you need to be aware its more of an issue.
If you are planning on plugging in then this is going to be very important to you and depending on your needs could be a good place to start your filtering process.
1 HB = Humbucker in the neck position. It is important to note that this pickup will be set directly on top of the body and by its nature provides a very warm fat tone. If your ideal jazz tone is deep, dark and moody then this is perfect.
H - H = 2 humbuckers. This is often the option for someone who wants to play a range of styles from jazz through to classic rock. The brighter back pickup enables a diverce range of tonal options. As this kind of player is clearly a "rockier" kind of guy, you will not generally find all solid wood archtops with twin humbuckers - for reasons already mentioned above.
1 X P90 This guitar would have a P90 pickup instead of the humbucker. A P90 can be considered as a "hot wound" single coil. By having it overwound you still retain the clarity and presence of a single coil but it is much sweeter and fuller toned due to the extra windings. I LOVE the P90 sound from a blues playing perspective but also popular in jazz.
1 X Floating
The floating pickup option will provide you with a different plugged in tonality to that of the set neck humbucker pickup. The characteristics of the floating pickup are light, airy, acoustic, maybe even woody textured. Your guitar has an air of acoustic quality and less deep, dark and moody. You will often find this option on all solid wood instruments to take advantage of the guitars natural woody, acoustic tone.
Just as with an acoustic guitar the top is an important place to start if you want wonderful acoustic tone. Spruce is the most common and cheaper option whilst maple is stunning visually but more expensive. However, if you are concerned about feedback issues and want a visually stunning guitar then a maple laminate is a great way to move forward. Maple laminate is much cheaper than solid carved maple, will not give so many problems with feedback and looks gorgeous too.
Thinlines are exactly what they say. Thin bodied guitars but still very much semi hollow or even full hollow body - whilst archtops are more your classic jazz type and will be deeper.
Enjoy Your Selection Process!
I suggest having a play with the filters and see what you come up with. If you reach a dead end just click back up the "breadcrumb trail" in the navigation to get back to a previous selection.
Once you have a short list just give me a bell (click on my live chat most hours) and I can help you further - or I can ensure the guitars are here for you to try in person.
I do hope this guide along with the search filters themselves help you. Fingers crossed!