independent and unofficial
Prince fan community site
Wed 20th Mar 2019 3:03pm
Welcome! Sign up or enter username and password to remember me
Forum jump
Forums > Prince: Music and More > Any reason why Prince rarely used Gibson guitars?
« Previous topic  Next topic »
  New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
Author

Tweet     Share

Message
Thread started 08/27/17 3:07pm

rogifan

Any reason why Prince rarely used Gibson guitars?

I don’t really remember him talking about his gear much. Was it just personal preference or was there something specific about Gibson’s he didn’t like?
Paisley Park is in your heart
#PrinceForever 💜
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #1 posted 08/27/17 4:14pm

Boydie

My guess would be that Gibson use a different "scale length" - the distance between the nut and the bridge

His Mad Cat is the same as Fender telecasters and strats (25.5in)

Gibson favour the shorter 24.75in, which gives them a "sloppier" feel when playing them, which isn't really suited to the tight, funk sound/style Prince had

The longer scale length also favours a brighter, cleaner, sound

Interestingly though, the Cloud and symbol guitars were the shorter 24.75in so perhaps these were built as an alternative to using a Gibson

The one thing I would say about Gibson guitars is that the Les Paul's can be REALLY heavy so his dancing may be compromised, and he wasn't the biggest of chaps
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #2 posted 08/27/17 4:44pm

crimesofparis

I'm thinking weight might be a factor -- it certainty wasn't scale length. I don't know how much a real Mad Cat weighs, but Gibson guitars can be quite heavy.

They also tend to use P90s or humbuckers and Prince seemed to prefer single coils, at least in the neck, and either single coils or humbuckers in the bridge. Correct me if I'm wrong! That's just what I've noticed between Mad Cat, cloud, and strat use.

Or maybe he just didn't like the vibe. Or the owner. I have a few Gibson guitars and adore them, but if they weren't used I probably wouldn't have supported them.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #3 posted 08/27/17 5:06pm

rogifan

Boydie said:

My guess would be that Gibson use a different "scale length" - the distance between the nut and the bridge

His Mad Cat is the same as Fender telecasters and strats (25.5in)

Gibson favour the shorter 24.75in, which gives them a "sloppier" feel when playing them, which isn't really suited to the tight, funk sound/style Prince had

The longer scale length also favours a brighter, cleaner, sound

Interestingly though, the Cloud and symbol guitars were the shorter 24.75in so perhaps these were built as an alternative to using a Gibson

The one thing I would say about Gibson guitars is that the Les Paul's can be REALLY heavy so his dancing may be compromised, and he wasn't the biggest of chaps

Interesting, never thought about weight but it makes sense.
Paisley Park is in your heart
#PrinceForever 💜
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #4 posted 08/28/17 2:57am

Knightoflight

crimesofparis said:

I'm thinking weight might be a factor -- it certainty wasn't scale length. I don't know how much a real Mad Cat weighs, but Gibson guitars can be quite heavy. They also tend to use P90s or humbuckers and Prince seemed to prefer single coils, at least in the neck, and either single coils or humbuckers in the bridge. Correct me if I'm wrong! That's just what I've noticed between Mad Cat, cloud, and strat use. Or maybe he just didn't like the vibe. Or the owner. I have a few Gibson guitars and adore them, but if they weren't used I probably wouldn't have supported them.

+1 for weight

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #5 posted 08/28/17 5:21am

emesem

You play what your idols played. Not many funksters played gibson and Jimi of course played a strat. LP and SG are great for blues but don't let themselves much to funk as the sound would be too muddy.

By the time Prince went all arena rock for Purple Rain et AL he opted for custom made guitars with EMGs otherwise he likely would have gone gibson like Jimmy Page who played a Tele on the early Zeppelin albums but then switched to his iconic Les Paul later for his live shows

Wendy played a rickenbacker I think and probably because of Lennon (and perhaps the short scale)

His last guitar the Vox 77 was essentially a Gibson 335 copy tho
[Edited 8/28/17 5:24am]
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #6 posted 08/28/17 5:56am

rogifan

emesem said:

You play what your idols played. Not many funksters played gibson and Jimi of course played a strat. LP and SG are great for blues but don't let themselves much to funk as the sound would be too muddy.

By the time Prince went all arena rock for Purple Rain et AL he opted for custom made guitars with EMGs otherwise he likely would have gone gibson like Jimmy Page who played a Tele on the early Zeppelin albums but then switched to his iconic Les Paul later for his live shows

Wendy played a rickenbacker I think and probably because of Lennon (and perhaps the short scale)

His last guitar the Vox 77 was essentially a Gibson 335 copy tho
[Edited 8/28/17 5:24am]

Gibson 335 that’s what Dave Grohl uses, right? When I think of Gibson the two names that immediately come to mind are Jimmy Page and Slash. Then I think back to Appetite for Destruction, probably my second favorite album of the 80s behind Purple Rain.
Paisley Park is in your heart
#PrinceForever 💜
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #7 posted 08/28/17 6:10am

emesem

Yep also Gary Clark Jr

rogifan said:


Gibson 335 that’s what Dave Grohl uses, right? When I think of Gibson the two names that immediately come to mind are Jimmy Page and Slash. Then I think back to Appetite for Destruction, probably my second favorite album of the 80s behind Purple Rain.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #8 posted 08/28/17 6:37am

novabrkr

They're big guitars and he preferred small guitars, at least during the 80s and 90s. Big guitars just made him look smaller on stage.

I'd also dare to say that the Gibsons have a really different feel to them compared to Strat and Tele style guitars. The fretboard, the shape and everything else about them just feels different. I constantly make mistakes if I pick up a Les Paul style guitar and try to play something more technically demanding on it. However, some shredders have used them as well, so I suppose you'll just have to get used to them.

edit: correction - they look bigger than many other guitars. It's not necessarily the case, but the shape fools the eye quite a bit in that regard.

[Edited 8/28/17 6:40am]

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #9 posted 08/28/17 8:58am

crimesofparis

emesem said:

Wendy played a rickenbacker I think and probably because of Lennon (and perhaps the short scale)
His last guitar the Vox 77 was essentially a Gibson 335 copy tho [Edited 8/28/17 5:24am]

Wendy's Rick was just a standard 360, right? Not the extreme short scale Lennon played (325 I think)? 360s have the same scale length as a Gibson standard scale.

.

I played one of those Vox 77s at a guitar shop in ATX. They weigh next to nothing. I'm gonna guess that's why he favored it.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #10 posted 08/28/17 8:59am

crimesofparis

I guess another consideration is that Prince seemed to prefer maple fretboards, yeah? Not very common to see one stock on a Gibson.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #11 posted 08/28/17 10:31am

coldasice

crimesofparis said:

I'm thinking weight might be a factor -- it certainty wasn't scale length. I don't know how much a real Mad Cat weighs, but Gibson guitars can be quite heavy.

They also tend to use P90s or humbuckers and Prince seemed to prefer single coils, at least in the neck, and either single coils or humbuckers in the bridge. Correct me if I'm wrong! That's just what I've noticed between Mad Cat, cloud, and strat use.

Or maybe he just didn't like the vibe. Or the owner. I have a few Gibson guitars and adore them, but if they weren't used I probably wouldn't have supported them.

Wrong. Same EMGs from 84 till he started playing those vox guitars
Single in the neck double at the bridge active with a 3 way selector. The strats were even modded to this configuration. I'm not sure what he had in the honer, but something versatile. It could go from super clean to dirty sustain.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #12 posted 08/28/17 10:33am

coldasice

coldasice said:

crimesofparis said:

I'm thinking weight might be a factor -- it certainty wasn't scale length. I don't know how much a real Mad Cat weighs, but Gibson guitars can be quite heavy.

They also tend to use P90s or humbuckers and Prince seemed to prefer single coils, at least in the neck, and either single coils or humbuckers in the bridge. Correct me if I'm wrong! That's just what I've noticed between Mad Cat, cloud, and strat use.

Or maybe he just didn't like the vibe. Or the owner. I have a few Gibson guitars and adore them, but if they weren't used I probably wouldn't have supported them.

Wrong. Same EMGs from 84 till he started playing those vox guitars
Single in the neck double at the bridge active with a 3 way selector. The strats were even modded to this configuration. I'm not sure what he had in the honer, but something versatile. It could go from super clean to dirty sustain.

He used Gibsons in the studio or at least in the videos for Cinamon Girl and Dinner w/Delores. I'm sure he didn't have them for no reason.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #13 posted 08/28/17 10:57am

crimesofparis

coldasice said:

crimesofparis said:

I'm thinking weight might be a factor -- it certainty wasn't scale length. I don't know how much a real Mad Cat weighs, but Gibson guitars can be quite heavy.

They also tend to use P90s or humbuckers and Prince seemed to prefer single coils, at least in the neck, and either single coils or humbuckers in the bridge. Correct me if I'm wrong! That's just what I've noticed between Mad Cat, cloud, and strat use.

Or maybe he just didn't like the vibe. Or the owner. I have a few Gibson guitars and adore them, but if they weren't used I probably wouldn't have supported them.

Wrong. Same EMGs from 84 till he started playing those vox guitars
Single in the neck double at the bridge active with a 3 way selector. The strats were even modded to this configuration. I'm not sure what he had in the honer, but something versatile. It could go from super clean to dirty sustain.

Yeah not seeing where I'm "wrong" in regards to the pickups. I said single in the neck and humbucker in the bridge. Three way selector would be a given in 95% of guitars. Madcat looks to have single coils in the bridge.

EMG page: http://www.emgpickups.com...id/75#info
[Edited 8/28/17 11:04am]
[Edited 8/28/17 16:20pm]
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #14 posted 09/01/17 1:27pm

bergowitz

avatar

They're very heavy and sound different. Compare the sound of Gotta Broken Heart Again (a Fender, presumably) and Sweet Child O' Mine (Gibson)

i wish i had a river so long, i would teach my feet to fly away
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #15 posted 09/01/17 1:29pm

jjam

I'm only going to repeat what people have said, but it's pretty hard to jump about like a fecker with a Gibson guitar owing to their weight.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #16 posted 09/01/17 1:54pm

MD431Madcat

avatar

heavy axe vs teeny tiny Prince.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
  New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
« Previous topic  Next topic »
Forums > Prince: Music and More > Any reason why Prince rarely used Gibson guitars?