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Choosing a Peerless jazz guitar
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PepeM



Joined: 07 May 2007
Posts: 16
Location: Madrid, Spain

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:53 pm    Post subject: Choosing a Peerless jazz guitar Reply with quote

Hi all,

I'm Pepe, an Spanish aspiring amateur jazz guitarist. I've been a member of this forum for some time, but in view of the average playing level of you guys and my playing level, I felt my best contribution was to keep quiet, so you haven't heard much about me. Yet. Smile

I've been away from the guitar for a few years and come back to it in the last year. I've been trying to learn some jazz, but my current guitar, an old SG copy just doesn't cut it. Moreso if we take into account that I usually play at home in the evenings, so it's either unplugged or through a modeler. Crappy sound either way. And I feel like giving myself a present!

So I thought I would get me a jazz guitar. After much shopping, the range of guitars that are in my budget and that look and sound (according to the samples) great, are the Peerless range. I particularly like the looks of the Jazz City.

But now I'm undecided about getting myself a Jazz City because of two factors:

- Body size: I'm a fat and not particularly tall guy, and usually play sitting. I'm not sure how comfortable a 17" x 3" body will feel.

- Scale size: my current guitar is a short scale strung with 0.010. I'm not sure if I'll feel comfortable with a full 25.5" scale guitar, strung, probably, with a somewaht heavier gauge.

Taking into account those factors I'm also considering the Monarch (17" body, but short scale) and the Journeyman (16" body but 25.5" scale).

So, I got in touch with a few British shops (they are way, way cheaper than current ditribution here, in Spain) to ask for advice and... one of them recommends the sunset, a 16" x 1.69" body, short scale guitar (does it have any unplugged sound with that thin body?) or the Port Town, a 16" non cutaway body, short scale guitar (poor access beyond fret 14 and some ugly looks in my opinion).

Finally, one of the shops I checked has the Jazz City in stock, but won't have the Monarch or Journeyman until September. Another one has the Jazz City and the Monarch (but they are more expensive) and don't have a date to get their first Journeyman from Peerless Co. and yet another one has the Journeyman in stock, and heartly recommend it, alongside the New York.

What a mess I have got myself into!

So, what would you recommend?

Thanks for taking the time to read this long message through my poor English and would appreciate any advice you could give me.

Pepe
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FlatFive



Joined: 10 Jul 2008
Posts: 30
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Pepe,

The Peerless guitars look great on the adds - really beautiful - and everyone who has played them has good things to say about them. So, if that's your price range, then I would say they would be a good choice.

I think you should think hard about what STYLE of jazz you want to play, and choose a guitar that would do that. As for your weight - there are some 'large-sized' famous names who play big archtops without difficulty. As for strings - if you put 13s on an SG you will be screaming for mercy, but on an archtop they don't seem so big. So it is difficult to compare.

One of the Peerless thinline, 335 types, has a completely hollow chamber - so that would be a lot more audible than your SG - not as loud as an archtop, but loud enough for woodshedding.

Try to get a cheap return flight to London, and try them before buying. You could do the whole trip in 24 hours.
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Generic Sobriquet



Joined: 03 Jul 2007
Posts: 804

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doc Dosco here sells them. PM him or wait for him to reply to this. Did you notice all the posts he has on them?
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Taqui



Joined: 17 Oct 2006
Posts: 33
Location: Bilbao (Spain)

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hola Pepe, bienvenido al Foro.
Wink
I want to purchase a Peerless...it's only GAS, but the model with floating pu....Please, could you tell us some links to these Brithish shops?

Un saludo, paisano.
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PepeM



Joined: 07 May 2007
Posts: 16
Location: Madrid, Spain

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi FlatFive

Thanks for your input.

FlatFive wrote:


I think you should think hard about what STYLE of jazz you want to play, and choose a guitar that would do that.


Right now I'm mostly interested in playing the kind of jazz that has traditionally been played with thick hollow bodies, standards, Joe Pass, Wes...

FlatFive wrote:
As for your weight - there are some 'large-sized' famous names who play big archtops without difficulty.


The image of BBKing comes to mind... and that's a thin body that he's playing! Smile


FlatFive wrote:
As for strings - if you put 13s on an SG you will be screaming for mercy, but on an archtop they don't seem so big. So it is difficult to compare.


We'll see how I fare with any of those.

FlatFive wrote:
One of the Peerless thinline, 335 types, has a completely hollow chamber - so that would be a lot more audible than your SG - not as loud as an archtop, but loud enough for woodshedding.


A Renaissance... now wait, you're not helping me. I need less options, not more of them! Smile

FlatFive wrote:
Try to get a cheap return flight to London, and try them before buying. You could do the whole trip in 24 hours.


This is funny: last week, in another forum, I read about a guy who flew from Spain to Germany to choose a guitar, and got *two* tickets so that he could sit the one he bought next to him on the flight back.

Pepe
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PepeM



Joined: 07 May 2007
Posts: 16
Location: Madrid, Spain

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Generic

Generic Sobriquet wrote:
Doc Dosco here sells them. PM him or wait for him to reply to this. Did you notice all the posts he has on them?


Yep, I've read about all that has been written on the Peerless guitars over here. I've listened to Doc's samples and, to a good extent, I blame him for me wanting to get one. Smile

But, at the current prices, it doesn't make sense to bring the guitar from LA to Europe.

Thanks for your input, though.

Pepe
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PepeM



Joined: 07 May 2007
Posts: 16
Location: Madrid, Spain

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hola Taqui,

I've seen your sig over at GORG, right? I also hang in there, occasionally but also keep quiet.

Taqui wrote:
Hola Pepe, bienvenido al Foro.
Wink
I want to purchase a Peerless...it's only GAS, but the model with floating pu....Please, could you tell us some links to these Brithish shops?

Un saludo, paisano.


Gracias, gracias!

*The* model with floating PUs? There are, at least three floating PUs models: Monarch, New York and Manhattan, I think.

As for the British shops, I chose them because they seemed better stocked and way cheaper than other European shops (I checked Spanish, French and German shops over the web). The British shops that sell Peerless are listed in Peerless site at

http://www.peerlessguitars.co.uk/#/unitedkingdom/4523596669

I checked many of those shops web sites and in the list and chose those which look like the kind of small / family business where they care about the product and the customer and the ones that seem to be the big ones. I emailed them all with a similar text as my original post here. The list of web sites is this one:

http://www.martinphelpsmusic.com/special_offers.htm
http://www.mannsmusic.co.uk/search.asp?criteria=peerless&search.x=0&search.y=0&search=Search
http://www.hoganmusic.co.uk/peerless-guitars-c-129.html
http://www.vintageguitar.co.uk/cat--Peerless-Archtops--PeerlessArchtops.html
http://www.electrohill.co.uk/acatalog/GuitarsSemiAcousticGuitars.html
http://www.ivormairants.co.uk/store/manufacturers.php?manufacturerid=78
http://www.soundsgreatmusic.com/electric_guitars/elecguitarbymanufacturer.asp?brnID=303&pk=

The first one, MartinPhelpsMusic has been really helpful and accomodating, throwing in some goodies (for instance a full setup, fret dressing included) into the mix and trying to reduce the costs here and there. This is the shop where I felt best treated and more confident about placing an order. But they don't have either the Monarch or the new range right now, so if you're in a hurry, this is not your shop.

The second one, Manns Music, has also answered promptly and has been informative. They seem to have the best stock of them all. They've already got the new guitars (like the Journeyman) that the rest will only get after summer or who knows when.

Hogan has also promptly answered my enquiries. More tersly, but still look like an OK place to buy.

The rest haven't even answered my emails after almost a week. I'm puzzled.

By the way, any British people over here that know these or other shops can recommend or dis-recommend any of them? I would appreciate your input on this matter.

As for the Spanish distribution, I did try and buy locally, you know, to support local business and so on, even if it's a bit more expensive, and this is what I found:

Peerless distribution is through Barullo Musica in Pontevedra. They are more expensive (1300€ for these guitars while the British shops sell them for around 750€, then will throw in a case here, a small discount there... you know, you'll have to bargain for your final price, which I hate). There are two shops listed as Spanish dealers, one is Estudio54 in La Coruña (they haven't answered my emails asking for information) and another one in your very city, "Musico's"... that doesn't even have an email address! C'mon! And they'll be surprised the day they notice their business has collapsed on their heads. Sad.

More info: http://www.barullomusica.com/index2.htm

As for information on the guitars, Doc Dosco's web site, http://www.jazzguitarzone.com/, has the best pictures and many sound samples, Peerless Britain or Peerless Spain have nice specs for the old range. Manns Music has specs for most of the models, even the new range.

Hope that helped, Taqui. Let us know what you get when/if you get one!

Hasta luego,

Pepe
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Generic Sobriquet



Joined: 03 Jul 2007
Posts: 804

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To clarify, I wasn't suggesting you purchase one from him. I was suggesting that his familiarity with them could help you in your decision. Let him know what all you desire, and he may be able to recommend something that would be a fine match for you.
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PepeM



Joined: 07 May 2007
Posts: 16
Location: Madrid, Spain

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Generic,

Generic Sobriquet wrote:
To clarify, I wasn't suggesting you purchase one from him. I was suggesting that his familiarity with them could help you in your decision. Let him know what all you desire, and he may be able to recommend something that would be a fine match for you.


That's the way I understood it. That Doc Dosco could enlighten me due to his extensive experience on the matter. He's of course welcome to chime in.

Pepe
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Phrygian Dominant



Joined: 14 Oct 2006
Posts: 583
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those are sweet looking axes! Very Happy Doesn't really seem like you could go wrong especially with the solid top models and the value.
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DocDosco



Joined: 03 Nov 2007
Posts: 251
Location: LA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PepeM wrote:
Generic,

Generic Sobriquet wrote:
To clarify, I wasn't suggesting you purchase one from him. I was suggesting that his familiarity with them could help you in your decision. Let him know what all you desire, and he may be able to recommend something that would be a fine match for you.


That's the way I understood it. That Doc Dosco could enlighten me due to his extensive experience on the matter. He's of course welcome to chime in.

Pepe


Thanks Generic and Pepe,

I will be happy to offer any assistance I can.

I have all of the jazz models here in the US, (the carved top models included).

It is a dilemma picking a guitar sometimes. I have had people come to look at a Peerless Jazz City and leave with a Peerless Monarch. I have had people come to look at a Monarch and leave with a Jazz City.

The Peerless Jazz City is maple. It is overall darker sounding (not bassy or muddy though). Maple is not as sweet sounding to me, but it has it's own character. Some players like the maple tone better for jazz and like the Jazz City because it has a tone control and they can make it quite dark. Others (like me) like the tone of the Peerless Monarch spruce and don't miss the tone control, as I can tweak my amp if need be. I play a tube amp with all EQ zeroed and I love the natural tone. If I need to I add a bit of treble for a 'dead' carpeted room or bass for a 'live' tile room, I can do it on my amp.

The scale is different. The Jazz City tends to feels like a slightly bigger guitar than the Monarch as the fret spacing is wider. However the body size is actually the same.

The Jazz City looks cool 'in person'. One might think the inlay is a bit gaudy, but it does look 'tits' with the matte finish. The Monarch is jut a gorgeous guitar any way you slice it.

The Journeyman is nice. I only have one that I got at NAMM. It is more compact, like a 175. Plays and sounds nice. I don't particularly care for the 2 pick-ups for jazz as I will never use the bridge PU. Maybe I will have them make me a one PU model one day. Now THAT would be killer.

I also have a Sunset I got for a travel guitar. I had originally wanted to special order it with a solid top and one PU, but I ended up getting the stock one for convenience sake. It is one of my favorites right now, oddly enough. Cool little kick around guitar that is light, plays like a dream and wasn't all that costly. Good 'going to the beach and park' travel guitar.

The Manhattan is another option. It is a spruce laminate but exceptional sounding for a laminate. Has that Benedetto look. No inlay, ebony neck, pick guard, tail piece.

The Peerless carved tops are upgraded versions of the Jazz City and Monarch. Both very, very nice but more expensive.

BTW, the feedback on the Peerless Jazz City and the Peerless Monarch aren't too bad. Pressed tops like this have a sound post like a cello. That helps cut down on feedback. It also reduces the volume by a bit acoustically, but it isn't that noticeable. I have played some Ibanez, Cort and less expensive laminates that sound like a wet blanket. These guitars are alive with tone, which is why they are so desirable for the price. The necks are straight, the workmanship first rate, and they always sound and play exceptionally well. No 'throw always' I have yet to encounter so far.

If you have any other questions or I missed anything just ask away....

Here are links to pictures I have taken....




And, I like the picture of the twins here:

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Doc Dosco
http://www.docdosco.com

Doc's Peerless guitar website
http://www.jazzguitarzone.com
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jazzkat



Joined: 19 Jul 2008
Posts: 29
Location: The outer fringes of planet bebop! England

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks!

You have answered some of my questions from another thread as well.

You have also massively increased my gas by posting those great pics again. Laughing Laughing

I can't wait to try a couple out later in the week.
The pic of the Jazz city certainly looks less garish in your picture. I must admit the monarch looks sweet, wish it wasn't quite so shiny. (some people are never happy, eh! )

The Manhattan looks fantastic, as you say very Benedetto. I love the look of the blank board, but I'm not sure how practical it is.

I can see it now...."sorry love, I've just bought three new guitars!"

Anybody got floor space for me to crash?

Laughing Laughing Laughing
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DocDosco



Joined: 03 Nov 2007
Posts: 251
Location: LA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jazzkat wrote:
Thanks!

You have answered some of my questions from another thread as well.

You have also massively increased my gas by posting those great pics again. Laughing Laughing

I can't wait to try a couple out later in the week.
The pic of the Jazz city certainly looks less garish in your picture. I must admit the monarch looks sweet, wish it wasn't quite so shiny. (some people are never happy, eh! )

The Manhattan looks fantastic, as you say very Benedetto. I love the look of the blank board, but I'm not sure how practical it is.

I can see it now...."sorry love, I've just bought three new guitars!"

Anybody got floor space for me to crash?

Laughing Laughing Laughing



I tell people, get 2 Peerless, and still spend half of what you would on a Gibson (selected models, of course)

A guy last week prefered the Jazz City to an $8,000 Gibson he just checked out at Guitar Center.

Who am I to argue?

The Manhattan has the little position dots on the side of the neck. I played one for 5 minutes at NAMM and at first, I actually never noticed there wasn't any fretboard inlay. Brian, the on staff jazz guitarist from Peerless pointed it out.

Doh!

So, it's not crucial to have there, that's for sure.

I would be interested on your report after you try the guitars.

The Monarchs seem extra shiny because of the way I photographed them with light coming through the window. This is probably a better picture:



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Doc Dosco
http://www.docdosco.com

Doc's Peerless guitar website
http://www.jazzguitarzone.com
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DocDosco



Joined: 03 Nov 2007
Posts: 251
Location: LA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PepeM wrote:


Yep, I've read about all that has been written on the Peerless guitars over here. I've listened to Doc's samples and, to a good extent, I blame him for me wanting to get one. Smile

But, at the current prices, it doesn't make sense to bring the guitar from LA to Europe

Pepe


Pepe,


You blame me?

Then I've done my job....

Wink

The US price and the UK price are about the same (euro to dollar). The Spanish price is crazy though.

I have shipped to Norway and Poland with guitars. Actually, to Spain several times but it was with another musical product. Oddly enough, I can ship to almost anywhere in Europe for about $100 if I don't use FED EX, UPS or DHL (the big 'robbers' of shipping that charge $300 to $500 from here). I use Express Air through USPS, the good old US postal service. There are a few countries that have restrictions but Spain doesn't seem to be one.

One problem with USPS is that it can only be insured up to $650 US. Of course, if the receipt reflects the insured value for customs, it wouldn't cost as much for duty.

I have found that as far as a package getting lost, stolen or damaged, it is exrememly rare. I had an insurance claim many years ago in Mexico when an item didn't arrive. It turns out the mail truck was stolen.

'Mexican bandits', no doubt. haha

Anyway, I have a question about import duty.

I had someone in Spain ask me about a Peerless a while back, but they seemed to think they would get hit with too much duty.

So... is it cheaper to get products in general from the UK than the US as far as import charges are concerned?
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Doc Dosco
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Doc's Peerless guitar website
http://www.jazzguitarzone.com
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FlatFive



Joined: 10 Jul 2008
Posts: 30
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, Doc, do you have any info on the Peerless Cremona - it looks beautiful on their website, but there is no info about it. Was it new at NAMM?
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