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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:21 pm 
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Just curious...

I started the first Electra information web page back in 1998. Sold my last two Electra guitars several years ago now, but I admit I am curious about the relaunch...

Sold another (Working Man) to my cousin, he is still gigging it today:

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Here are a couple of others I owned:

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:07 pm 
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Location: Tifton, Ga USA
I was fortunate enough to host the Electrafest 2013 this year and thanks to Ben and company driving up from Tampa I was able to see these new Electra models in person. Ben and company have done a fantastic job of bringing back our beloved Electra brand and ushering them into the modern age with todays best hardware and such. The build quality and materials are superior and live up to our expectations from those of us that have enjoyed our original Electra models. Playability, tone and comfort are 5+ stars on these models and they will not disappoint. As most here know I love my Electras of all models and I was also uncertain of how a new production model would stand up against my favorites. I can think of no one better qualified and suited to design, build and represent our Beloved brand other than Ben and company. I am eagerly awaiting the next releases of his Electra models. The Electra Bass is also off the charts as it offers the best of both worlds both active and passive pickups. Super Job and Super Products. :up:

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:25 pm 
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I'm hoping some of them make it to the Dallas or Arlington guitar shows this year or next...


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:27 pm 
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Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Welcome Back Red, your cousin is playing an Invicta there, one of my faves!

In response to your question, I have yet to play one, so I can not offer any substance concerning their quality, playability or value. As an aging Musician that was getting paid to play in Bars before I could pay to get into one, I have to say that I'd rather pay $350 for a 35 year old Japanese guitar (made in many cases with old growth materials) than pay a grand for a brand new instrument made in Korea. That may be a closed-minded, old crotchety view, but it's how I've always viewed new instruments. It's the same reason that Jay Leno owns rooms full of Buggati's and Duesenberg's and not many post 2000 super cars, there is a certain romantic loyalty to something that has lasted as long as they have.

I have no doubt that the Electronics are better suited for live use, as vintage era Japanese pickups are notoriously microphonic and touchy. The hardware is probably better quality too for that matter. Who knows, maybe in 20 years I'll find one of these new offerings in a pawn shop for a couple bills, until then, I'm happy with the originals.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:56 am 
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proendorser wrote:
Welcome Back Red, your cousin is playing an Invicta there, one of my faves!

In response to your question, I have yet to play one, so I can not offer any substance concerning their quality, playability or value. As an aging Musician that was getting paid to play in Bars before I could pay to get into one, I have to say that I'd rather pay $350 for a 35 year old Japanese guitar (made in many cases with old growth materials) than pay a grand for a brand new instrument made in Korea. That may be a closed-minded, old crotchety view, but it's how I've always viewed new instruments. It's the same reason that Jay Leno owns rooms full of Buggati's and Duesenberg's and not many post 2000 super cars, there is a certain romantic loyalty to something that has lasted as long as they have.

I have no doubt that the Electronics are better suited for live use, as vintage era Japanese pickups are notoriously microphonic and touchy. The hardware is probably better quality too for that matter. Who knows, maybe in 20 years I'll find one of these new offerings in a pawn shop for a couple bills, until then, I'm happy with the originals.


I had always heard the guitar in the first picked referred to as a Working Man...

I don't disagree on the 35 year old Japanese versus new Korean thang... but I will admit that I more or less switched to being a PRS fan boy :eek2: . I have a couple of those now along with a PRS amp (Dallas). Also have a David Thomas McNaught (DTM) rosewood necked G5, and a Fender Strat, USA Std with Deluxe tuners and Lollar blond pickups.

Still - looking forward to checking out the next gen Electra's!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:54 am 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
Re The Old vs New discussion. I have owned 12 or so original Electras, they all played well above their price level. I'm fond of Les Pauls & Strats, they don't all play well. I've played several 1950's Fenders & Gibsons, some of them are religious experience, some are nice old guitars. There's some fantastic guitars coming out of Korea and heartbreakingly, now China too. The Squier Classic Vibe series are mind boggling guitars that sell new for $379.00.

I'm very open minded when it comes to all guitars. I learned along time ago that what it says on the headstock or where it's made do not mean nearly as much as how it plays and sounds. Fender has proved to me that good guitars can be made anywhere for any price, it's all about quality control. I look forward to giving a new Electra a spin!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:02 pm 
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RedGuitars wrote:
The Squier Classic Vibe series are mind boggling guitars that sell new for $379.00.


I played one of the Classic Vibe Tele's and it was like a dream, and I really hate Tele's. Just saying... It was probably nicer than most of the Phoenixes I own. Most not all. If my wife wasn't standing there tapping 'er foot, I would have bought it. (I played 2 of the CV strats and was not impressed though)

As for the new launch, it is nice to see these guys are doing it right with ads, endorsements, etc. Until I can play one in person, I am relatively neutral. You got to admit the competition is really fierce, with so many good brand new low priced guitars. The prices seems high, but not really in historical, inflation adjusted dollars or compared to the Gibsons. The X150 I bought for $319 in 1982 would probably list for $799-999 in today's bucks. Wouldn't you agree. How much was the new car you bought in the 80's?

It would be awesome to see some Vee's and Explorer's, since we all seem to be short on those.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:54 pm 
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Agreed on the Vees and Explorers. I bought those models from another manufacturer, (still 30 yrs old and from Korea) because they just dont come up or when they do the price is just to high. I wanted a Strat but even a mexican strat was $500.00 or over, so I tried the china Squire Bullet and aside from the crooked pick guard screws it can hold its own. I do now have and play my X175 Phoenix's which are as close or better than a US Strat (30 yrs old). Come to think of it, everything I have except the bullet is 30 yrs or over.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:10 pm 
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I love Electras, but enjoy lots of great guitars in all kinds of price ranges and levels.

The new Electras are top notch. I don't say that because I have played one, I have not yet. I say that because I have played a lot of guitars that Ben Chafin has designed or has had a major hand in designing - and I like them very much. They guy only makes great stuff. Yeah, I still have personal preferences, but I think he does a great job honoring the electra legacy with his new gear. But he has a few updates and tweaks thrown in there to keep things up to date a fresh. If he made exact copies, what would be the benefit of that? There are lots of electras still floating around out there. He is doing a great job lifting the bar. I wish the new Electra team all the best.

I will eventually get one, I am sure. Gotta space it out though, too many at one time and the wife gets torqued :D

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:20 am 
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I've always heard that what made Electra guitars so great was the quality to price ratio. However I am not seeing this in the new models. I have not played one yet but just by looking at them you can tell the quality is there. The price on the other hand is a bit ridiculous. Think about it, for $500 you can get a Epiphone Les Paul PlusTop Pro with a beautiful AAA flamed maple top, set of "Probucker" pickups(THAT COIL SPLIT), Grover machine heads, with your choice of 10 different finishes. The Epiphone Les Paul Ultra III is also very nice and has tons of cool features for $750. Why would anyone spend $1000 on a new Omega when there is stuff like that out on the market. And even if they wanted an Electra they could buy a perfectly good vintage one for much less than that. Like I said, i'm sure the new Omegas play great but i just don't see how they justify the price. And don't even get me started on the new "Phoenix H"...one pickup, one volume, and a Floyd Rose in that hideous orange color for $1,750!?!? :-? .I suspect they will sell a few to the die hard Electra fans but won't really make a comeback in the mainstream guitar market. Just my opinion :)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:55 am 
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I don't think you are as far off as you think. The Korean omegas are just that - Korean. Korean guitars list more than Chinese ones. Look at the higher end Schecter, LTD, ESPs, PRS SEs. Also, I am pretty sure the new Omega splits coils as well. Plus it has name brand tone pros and Kluson hardware, an ebony board (generally considered an upgrade), and I believe the production models have real inlays.

As for the new phoenix, it is a hand-made custom guitar made by either Ben or his luthiers in the US - it isn't an import. Heck no, I wouldn't pay that for an import guitar. But for a hand made US custom shop guitar - if that is what I wanted - it would be a good price. PRS, Dean, Gibson, Fender charge several times that list, and retail about twice as much (at least). Most of us don't have that kind money, but most don't buy custom shop Gibsons either. Some people do. I had a Dean Hardtail that may have been made by some of those guys judging by when it was made, and it was UNREAL. I bought and sold it - USED - for more than that. I got over $2G for it used. I am pretty sure it was a Ben designed as it looks like a Ben design.

The new hierarchy of guitars tends to be:

USA, Western European, Japanese
Korean
Mexican
Chinese, Indonesian, Indian - and others

Forgive me if this sounds like I am trying to class people, I am not - only the price and general current status of guitars. Lines can blur too, as I have seen some killer Chinese guitars, and some really shoddy ones too - but lately they seem to improve each time I play one. Kinda like Korea was maybe 20-30 years ago when they started. Japanese guitars have gotten really high-end. Korean took over the place they used to hold. Now China has taken Korea's old place. Mexican guitars (namely fender) have moved up in class too - they are frequently almost as good as US in quality, but sometimes have cheaper parts/pickups. As with any generalization, you lines cross around the edges. You might find a FANTASTIC Chinese guitar, or a Mexican Strat that plays better than a US made one - but I am speaking in generalities and perception (and MY SUBJECTIVE OPINION).

I am frequently amazed at the quality that comes out of China for the money. Simply unreal. But look how nice the PRS SE models are for example - they are Korean. These Omegas I think are squarely going after that market niche, with an Original guitar rather than a copy of a PRS model.

That phoenix, it is a custom shop piece. Once they get their designs finalized, I would not be surprised to see them coming out of Korea for a whole lot less. I think those are just prototypes to work through their designs. It is one thing having it on paper, quite another to see how it plays out when it is finished. It is easier to go to a builder after you have worked out the details and say "I need a hundred of these" then to hand them a paper with specs and not be sure what it is going to be like when completed. They can send them a whole guitar and say build more of these.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:50 am 
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well said Thorny. The new electra models are just that, New and the phoenix in question was a hand built NAMM guitar prototype. I am certain that the production models will be forthcoming and will be very nice as well. It seems that fashion/history does go around in circles. When we were all young and in the 80's craze the louder the color and the simpler the design ie 1 volume 1 pickup and maybe a pointy here and there were the dream guitars everyone wanted. I have young sons and it seems the younger players of the rock and metal are indeed wanting the simple setups and wild colors again even though there are some that still love the more traditional shapes as well. I have a friend that plays classical guitar and he loves his single pickup original phoenix. I think that Ben has gotten the right formula and the new Electra models will be a big hit. He is gaining new endorsers from all types and ages of music which I think shows the appeal of the updated designs.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:13 am 
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Also, back in the 80's we saw a lot of purpose built guitars. The neck pick up went away because hard rock and metal, even Ed Vanhalen didnt use them. Almost every rock built guitar had a trem of somesort, and like you said lots of points were to be found. I thought i read that Ben was making a metal Phoenix. Is this the one your talking about?

I will buy a new LP model Electra, But for now i'm in the same boat as Thorney.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:45 am 
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It's no easy feat to relaunch a brand, mainly because you don't want to be the answer to a question that nobody was asking... know what I mean? Why relaunch something without demand?

To avoid this dilemma you need to recapture the "lighting in a bottle" what made the original brand a success. Arguably they were value, great construction, innovative electronics (probably the biggest one right there), and endorsement.

Ben is doing this to a degree, with great construction, endorsement (in the beginning stages), and overall value (it's a high quality Korean LP copy, though maybe it could be offered for a hundred or so less). The innovative electronics category would be tough to pull off nowadays without being gimmicky and immediately dismissible. You don't want to reissue modules. You could do color switches again, however, as in the Omegas. A useful active boost via switch may be a possibility, as well as bringing back the rotary switches, although they're not very stage friendly. Some of these things are what will make them stand out in a crowd and give a nod to the 70's which is a hot commodity.

I don't think that reissuing an Explorer shape would make any sense apart from making them electronically special in some way. You don't want just another Explorer copy, if Gibson would even let you nowadays.

Regarding V's, I think that a Dynasty model should be considered. Seriously, it would launch Ben into the "metal" market which has HUGE sales. When teenagers see my Dynasty they're drawn to it like a fat kid to cake, they love it. I've gotten more comments on my Dynasty than any other guitar I've played. Think about it, a Dynasty with jumbo frets, 2 humbuckers either actives or hot passives, a simple layout without fancy switching, slick blood red or black colors, a Floyd... then get a couple metal player endorsements and it may take off like a rocket.

For price, we'd like to see a lower price but this would not be possible until the brand takes off and dealers are buying them up.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:54 am 
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Quote:
I love Electras, but enjoy lots of great guitars in all kinds of price ranges and levels.

The new Electras are top notch. I don't say that because I have played one, I have not yet. I say that because I have played a lot of guitars that Ben Chafin has designed or has had a major hand in designing - and I like them very much. They guy only makes great stuff. Yeah, I still have personal preferences, but I think he does a great job honoring the electra legacy with his new gear. But he has a few updates and tweaks thrown in there to keep things up to date a fresh. If he made exact copies, what would be the benefit of that? There are lots of electras still floating around out there. He is doing a great job lifting the bar. I wish the new Electra team all the best.

I will eventually get one, I am sure. Gotta space it out though, too many at one time and the wife gets torqued :D


Ditto Thorny

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