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Anybody play a Zager?

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I’ve heard of them, Zagar of Zagar &Evans fame is behind them. They’re supposedly hand made from what I’ve read. 100% guaranteed also. Hmmmm
 

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My son is a professional musician guitar player, he makes a living playing. He’s with Rob Thomas and had co written quite a few songs for various artists. I asked him about these and he called the “boutique “ guitars. He suggests staying with Gibson or Fender, the all time classics.
The Gibson J 45 is the one to buy according to him.

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Posted (edited)

I’ve played a Gibson in my youth and an Epiphone about 25 years ago. I’ve read virtually all the literature available and seen many videos on the Zager. 
I was hoping to hear from someone who has experience with one. The one factor that has impressed me so far is they are allegedly very easy to play, which, with my aging fingers, would be a big benefit. :D

 

Edited by Utah Bob #35998
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11 hours ago, Dawg Hair, SASS #29557 said:

Sorry, piano and trumpet.

Thank you. Very helpful. I played a clarinet. :lol:

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33 minutes ago, Utah Bob #35998 said:

I’ve played a Gibson in my youth and an Epiphone about 25 years ago. I’ve read virtually all the literature available and seen many videos on the Zager. 
I was hoping to hear from someone who has experience with one. The one factor that has impressed me so far is they are allegedly very easy to play, which, with my aging fingers, would be a big benefit. :D


Have you considered going electric?

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1 minute ago, DocWard said:


Have you considered going electric?

Acoustic electric.

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I have big fingers. Trying to learn, was advised to get a 12 string and have it strung for 6 as chords are tough with my very blunt large finger tips

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1 minute ago, Texas Joker said:

I have big fingers. Trying to learn, was advised to get a 12 string and have it strung for 6 as chords are tough with my very blunt large finger tips

I have little girly fingers. :D

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Posted (edited)

:lol:

My folks sold my ES 175 Gibson when I went into the army. I was okay with that. But I sure wish I still had it. $ :(
 

My garage band in 65

 

6849D254-057B-451F-93DB-FCC5FDD9E8FB.jpeg

 

 

 

 

The army gave me this to play. :lol:

 

E0CCEE95-CB3D-4BA3-AE1D-FE44A711BB8D.jpeg

Edited by Utah Bob #35998
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35 minutes ago, Yellowhouse Sam # 25171 said:

Bob have you looked at the Godin line of archtops?  Go to Reverb.com and take a look at the  Godin 5th Avenue model

I have actually considered a Godin solid body Radiator. I may pick one up later.

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1 hour ago, Utah Bob #35998 said:

I have actually considered a Godin solid body Radiator. I may pick one up later.

 

An old college roommate had a Godin, and it was a great sounding/playing guitar. Same roommate played a Gibson acoustic.

 

Sadly, I can't help much - I have no experience with Zager. My acoustics are a Seagull and a Taylor. The Seagull is comfortable like a well worn pair of shoes, but I think the Taylor has the slimmer, more electric-like neck. Both sound great.

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I have a friend that makes his living with a guitar, asked him about zager, he sent me this.

 

        " Well, You can make any guitar easier to play by just getting lower gauge strings and an adjustment to the neck, nut and bridge. Actually , the better the guitar , the easier it will be to play because the better quality instrument , the more refined workmanship goes into the product. Also, a shorter scale guitar is better than the longer scale instruments because the stretch is not as great between the frets.  

           I have read a bunch of reviews on the Zager guitars and there seems to be a scam thing going on with everything I look up so I would beware of that for sure. There are too many guitar companies out there to purchase from that won't be a rip off.  I suggest going to Sweetwater.com for the guitars. I buy everything that I need there . There are a few others but this place has been around many years and is reliable . Fender , Gibson are the more expensive long time brands but there are so many others that are just as good. I always suggest going to a music store first and trying out the guitars , but stay away from the salespeople that will try to give you a deal...
        One sort of interesting fact , Zager was part of the Duo that made that song in the 60's, in the year 2525.  There is a great place called Lay's in kenmore that does all guitar setup and work on guitars ..  They could make any guitar play well , just tell them what you want.."
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30 minutes ago, Crooked River Pete, SASS 43485 said:

You can make any guitar easier to play by just getting lower gauge strings and an adjustment to the neck, nut and bridge.

This + perfect fret work

 

You can bring every quality instrument to a good luthier and have it tuned to your liking. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Crooked River Pete, SASS 43485 said:

I have a friend that makes his living with a guitar, asked him about zager, he sent me this.

 

        " Well, You can make any guitar easier to play by just getting lower gauge strings and an adjustment to the neck, nut and bridge. Actually , the better the guitar , the easier it will be to play because the better quality instrument , the more refined workmanship goes into the product. Also, a shorter scale guitar is better than the longer scale instruments because the stretch is not as great between the frets.  

           I have read a bunch of reviews on the Zager guitars and there seems to be a scam thing going on with everything I look up so I would beware of that for sure. There are too many guitar companies out there to purchase from that won't be a rip off.  I suggest going to Sweetwater.com for the guitars. I buy everything that I need there . There are a few others but this place has been around many years and is reliable . Fender , Gibson are the more expensive long time brands but there are so many others that are just as good. I always suggest going to a music store first and trying out the guitars , but stay away from the salespeople that will try to give you a deal...
        One sort of interesting fact , Zager was part of the Duo that made that song in the 60's, in the year 2525.  There is a great place called Lay's in kenmore that does all guitar setup and work on guitars ..  They could make any guitar play well , just tell them what you want.."

Has your friend actually tried one though? What exactly is the scam?

Edited by Utah Bob #35998
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4 hours ago, Texas Joker said:

I have big fingers. Trying to learn, was advised to get a 12 string and have it strung for 6 as chords are tough with my very blunt large finger tips

You could go with a Classical guitars with nylon strings the fret board is a little wider. Easier on the fingers also. 

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1 hour ago, Crooked River Pete, SASS 43485 said:

I have a friend that makes his living with a guitar, asked him about zager, he sent me this.

 

        " Well, You can make any guitar easier to play by just getting lower gauge strings and an adjustment to the neck, nut and bridge. Actually , the better the guitar , the easier it will be to play because the better quality instrument , the more refined workmanship goes into the product. Also, a shorter scale guitar is better than the longer scale instruments because the stretch is not as great between the frets.  

           I have read a bunch of reviews on the Zager guitars and there seems to be a scam thing going on with everything I look up so I would beware of that for sure. There are too many guitar companies out there to purchase from that won't be a rip off.  I suggest going to Sweetwater.com for the guitars. I buy everything that I need there . There are a few others but this place has been around many years and is reliable . Fender , Gibson are the more expensive long time brands but there are so many others that are just as good. I always suggest going to a music store first and trying out the guitars , but stay away from the salespeople that will try to give you a deal...
        One sort of interesting fact , Zager was part of the Duo that made that song in the 60's, in the year 2525.  There is a great place called Lay's in kenmore that does all guitar setup and work on guitars ..  They could make any guitar play well , just tell them what you want.."

+1000 it’s all about how the guitar is set up! Any guitar can be made to play easier. 
 

Edited by Rye Miles #13621
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1 hour ago, Crooked River Pete, SASS 43485 said:

I have a friend that makes his living with a guitar, asked him about zager, he sent me this.

 

        " Well, You can make any guitar easier to play by just getting lower gauge strings and an adjustment to the neck, nut and bridge. Actually , the better the guitar , the easier it will be to play because the better quality instrument , the more refined workmanship goes into the product. Also, a shorter scale guitar is better than the longer scale instruments because the stretch is not as great between the frets.  

           I have read a bunch of reviews on the Zager guitars and there seems to be a scam thing going on with everything I look up so I would beware of that for sure. There are too many guitar companies out there to purchase from that won't be a rip off.  I suggest going to Sweetwater.com for the guitars. I buy everything that I need there . There are a few others but this place has been around many years and is reliable . Fender , Gibson are the more expensive long time brands but there are so many others that are just as good. I always suggest going to a music store first and trying out the guitars , but stay away from the salespeople that will try to give you a deal...
        One sort of interesting fact , Zager was part of the Duo that made that song in the 60's, in the year 2525.  There is a great place called Lay's in kenmore that does all guitar setup and work on guitars ..  They could make any guitar play well , just tell them what you want.."

 

I agree about Sweetwater.  Bought a bunch of gear from them and have returned a few items.  It's all be super smooth and easy.

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Yeah Sweetwater is a good company I bought some equipment for my son and nephew from them

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2 hours ago, Rye Miles #13621 said:

You could go with a Classical guitars with nylon strings the fret board is a little wider. Easier on the fingers also. 

I enjoy making. and daily playing custom classical and flamenco guitars.  I own other types of guitars, but they tend to sit in cases, stacked up in my home office.   The classicals have much. more tonal fidelity and stability/control (when properly played) than heavier acoustics or acoustic electrics.  But they are much harder to learn to play properly.  There is little mass to dampen and hide a bad note or off-chord.  They are also much more difficult to tune and keep in tune than a steel string instrument.   

 

It just depends what kind of playing you want to do.   And yes, a classical instrument can do everything an electric can do, once you learn how. 

 

One novel product is the kna (brand) piezo electric pickup.  It is very small and simple. It attaches with a sticky backed pad to the soundboard or box of any acoustical instrument, so it goes on and off very quickly and easily.  It plugs directly into any amp, with surprising sound fidelity and depth.  They will convert any acoustical instrument (even a piano) into an acoustic electric instrument,  but it is only a pick-up, not a pre-amp. so you have to rely only on the amp volume/mixing controls etc.  For $39, it is worth the space in any acoustical guitar case for whenever an amp is available.   

 

In considering a guitar purchase, look at brand names, to be sure, but also at construction materials.  On acoustic instruments stick with spruce, cedar or redwood soundboards/tops.  Look at and take time to learn something about  bracing pattern.  As mentioned earlier, short scale lengths are usually more tonally stable and clear than very long ones.  Check the bridge compensation. Be sure that the open string harmonic at  the 12th fret is EXACTLY  the same as the fretted note.  Dont trust your ear..  Check it with an electronic tuner.

 

Metal strings will be easier to play than nylon, on a narrow fingerboard, and easier to keep in tune.  But good nylon strings will give clearer tone with less distortion.  Metal strings hide player mistakes much better.  The clarion sound of a nylon classical will show off every bad note or mischord.  

 

I am really hoping Roger Rapid will chime in here (no puns intended).  Roger (Siminoff) is a well know and respected name in the world of lutherie.  His name is well known to every domestic or European commercial or custom luthier.  His many published books on the subject and magazine articles are both good instruction in instrument making,  and also good info to review when purchasing in the existing maze of components and materials.  IMO, Roger's Straight Up (brand) Strings are at the top of the quality pyramid.  I suggest searching the name "Roger Siminoff" and take a look at this SASS TG with whom we share our shooting stages.  He is an encyclopedia of musical instrument information

(sorry, Roger, the Devil made me  say it here). 

 

 

2 hours ago, Rye Miles #13621 said:

You could go with a Classical guitars with nylon strings the fret board is a little wider. Easier on the fingers also. 

electrics.  

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale
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36 minutes ago, Dusty Devil Dale said:

I enjoy making. and daily playing custom classical and flamenco guitars.  I own other types of guitars, but they tend to sit in cases, stacked up in my home office.   The classicals have much. more tonal fidelity and stability/control (when properly played) than heavier acoustics or acoustic electrics.  But they are much harder to learn to play properly.  There is little mass to dampen and hide a bad note or off-chord.  They are also much more difficult to tune and keep in tune than a steel string instrument.   

 

It just depends what kind of playing you want to do.   And yes, a classical instrument can do everything an electric can do, once you learn how. 

 

One novel product is the kna (brand) piezo electric pickup.  It is very small and simple. It attaches with a sticky backed pad to the soundboard or box of any acoustical instrument, so it goes on and off very quickly and easily.  It plugs directly into any amp, with surprising sound fidelity and depth.  They will convert any acoustical instrument (even a piano) into an acoustic electric instrument,  but it is only a pick-up, not a pre-amp. so you have to rely only on the amp volume/mixing controls etc.  For $39, it is worth the space in any acoustical guitar case for whenever an amp is available.   

 

In considering a guitar purchase, look at brand names, to be sure, but also at construction materials.  On acoustic instruments stick with spruce, cedar or redwood soundboards/tops.  Look at and take time to learn something about  bracing pattern.  As mentioned earlier, short scale lengths are usually more tonally stable and clear than very long ones.  Check the bridge compensation. Be sure that the open string harmonic at  the 12th fret is EXACTLY  the same as the fretted note.  Dont trust your ear..  Check it with an electronic tuner.

 

Metal strings will be easier to play than nylon, on a narrow fingerboard, and easier to keep in tune.  But good nylon strings will give clearer tone with less distortion.  Metal strings hide player mistakes much better.  The clarion sound of a nylon classical will show off every bad note or mischord.  

 

I am really hoping Roger Rapid will chime in here (no puns intended).  Roger (Siminoff) is a well know and respected name in the world of lutherie.  His name is well known to every domestic or European commercial or custom luthier.  His many published books on the subject and magazine articles are both good instruction in instrument making,  and also good info to review when purchasing in the existing maze of components and materials.  IMO, Roger's Straight Up (brand) Strings are at the top of the quality pyramid.  I suggest searching the name "Roger Siminoff" and take a look at this SASS TG with whom we share our shooting stages.  He is an encyclopedia of musical instrument information

(sorry, Roger, the Devil made me  say it here). 

 

 

electrics.  

The reason I suggested a classical guitar is because of the wider neck because he was saying his fingers are big. 

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34 minutes ago, Rye Miles #13621 said:

The reason I suggested a classical guitar is because of the wider neck because he was saying his fingers are big. 

Nylon string instruments have lots of advantages from a musical tone standpoint, but playability isn't always one of them.  The slightly wider string spacing can be a helpful for wide, shorter fingers, but a part of the reason for the wider spacing design in the first place is the wider string excursion inherent with the lower tension strings.  Simply put, they vibrate more widely.  So they can easily buzz against a fat fingertip.  With a poorly fretted fingerboard, the wider excursion also means much higher string set is needed, which is just as hard as narrow strings for big fingers to deal with.  Plus it invites buzzes and dissonance that occurs during the time the strings are being depressed/stretched so far down onto the fret surfaces.   So the  finferboard must be very exactly relieved for the added neck width to become much of a playing advantage.  

 

But being called "Classical" surely doesn't mean they only are suited for classical music.  Ten minutes watching good fingerstylists like Tommy Emmanuel or Richard Smith proves otherwise.   Google and watch

"Richard Smith,  The Entertainer" 

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale
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47 minutes ago, Dusty Devil Dale said:

Nylon string instruments have lots of advantages from a musical tone standpoint, but playability isn't always one of them.  The slightly wider string spacing can be a helpful for wide, shorter fingers, but a part of the reason for the wider spacing design in the first place is the wider string excursion inherent with the lower tension strings.  Simply put, they vibrate more widely.  So they can easily buzz against a fat fingertip.  With a poorly fretted fingerboard, the wider excursion also means much higher string set is needed, which is just as hard as narrow strings for big fingers to deal with.  Plus it invites buzzes and dissonance that occurs during the time the strings are being depressed/stretched so far down onto the fret surfaces.   So the  finferboard must be very exactly relieved for the added neck width to become much of a playing advantage.  

 

But being called "Classical" surely doesn't mean they only are suited for classical music.  Ten minutes watching good fingerstylists like Tommy Emmanuel or Richard Smith proves otherwise.   Google and watch

"Richard Smith,  The Entertainer" 

I agree with what you say and I’ll add there’s going to be problems with every guitar for a beginner, it takes a lot of practice and getting used to your instrument. That applies to all instruments as well. 

Edited by Rye Miles #13621
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So, no one has hands-on experience with the Zager?

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2 hours ago, Utah Bob #35998 said:

So, no one has hands-on experience with the Zager?

I've never held or listened to one.  Reviews by people who have are mostly mediocre.   For a little more money, a longer-in-tooth name brand can be had.  

Wasn't it Teddy Rosevelt who said. "An inaccurate rifle is of little interest to anyone"?  The same applies to poor sounding or non-durable guitars.  It's nearly always the best value to choose carefully and buy once.

.

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale
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Bob, I 'try' to play what I can get!!!

Both mine now I got at CAC from Tbone.

Now, without having knowledge on a specific brand, I find my first guitar, a Classical with nylon strings played smoothest/easiest.

I now put nylon Ernie Ball strings on my 'tars, and my fingers and hands are much happier!

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15 hours ago, Dusty Devil Dale said:

I've never held or listened to one.  Reviews by people who have are mostly mediocre.   For a little more money, a longer-in-tooth name brand can be had.  

Wasn't it Teddy Rosevelt who said. "An inaccurate rifle is of little interest to anyone"?  The same applies to poor sounding or non-durable guitars.  It's nearly always the best value to choose carefully and buy once.

.

On the videos I have seen seen they seem to sound fine. 

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19 hours ago, Utah Bob #35998 said:

So, no one has hands-on experience with the Zager?

No I don't, but I asked around. The reason they're advertised as easier to play is simply because they set them up with lighter strings with a lower action. That makes it easier for a beginner but might not be best for the way you play, and if it is you can do the same thing with any decent guitar. You can find other guitars with similar quality for less, so unless you find a good deal or somebody gives you one there's no reason to favor this brand. I hope that's the kind of info you were looking for. 

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