We all like to believe in our private moments that we are always right and never wrong, but sometimes, in those quiet times, we do some reflecting and we reconsider what was said before. Today is one of those moments when my private reflections must become a public recantation, and I appreciate your attention and kindness in the forthcoming rebuttal of two of my recent BolesBlues.com reviews.
In my original review rundown, I ultimately picked the Clapton guitar as the best Blues guitar, but over the last week or so, I’ve come to believe the Gibson Les Paul may be a bit better because it behaves better when bending and the short scale makes it super easy to play up and down the fretboard for finding those classic Blues runs. The original electric Blues guitar in widest use was, without question, a Les Paul — and I understand that better now because I’ve been using my Standard more and more…
That recantation leads me to a sub-recantation concerning my disappointed review of the 1957 Les Paul Custom VOS — yes, the action is too high, but that action also means the strings are easier to bend without sounding other strings.
The tone of this ’57 is also totally unique and it feels great in your lap — standing up with it is a different, back-breaking story — and I suppose that’s why it’s an expensive piece of wood.
The VOS paint is starting to crack a bit on the back after less than eight months of ownership. That’s not a good thing. All my guitars are properly and constantly humidified. I still love the sounds it makes in my hands — it both growls and purrs.
The second, and final, recantation has to do with my original review of the DR Tite-Fit Strings. I spent too much time obsessing on the packaging and warnings and not enough on an extended experience with playability.
I rediscovered the DR Strings when I picked up my ’57 Les Paul and started toolin’ around with it a bit. The guitar sounded incredible. The Les Paul VOS used to have Gibson Vintage Strings but I had replaced those a while back and fitted it up with DR Tites.
DR Strings are strange in that they are round-wound and DR tells you NOT to stretch out the strings when you install them because that only creates weak spots in the steel. Not stretching your strings means they can take longer to “come in” to their right sound and that seems to be what happened with my DR Strings.
I had my DR Strings on my ’57 for a couple of weeks and played it and tuned it up every time. Then, for a week or so, I was working with other guitars and didn’t touch the ’57.
When I finally returned to my DR Tite-Fit ’57 Les Paul… I was shocked by the outstanding sound and playability. The DR Strings had found their voice in that week I left them alone and the strings sang with a quiet and mellow and clear tone that I really dig .
I have since put DR Tites on all my guitars to test this sound break-in theory and I admit, confess and recant that every single guitar sounds better with DR Tite-Fit strings than any other brand I’ve tried.
My fingers no longer get cut with the DR Strings and the only thing around here that is bleeding now is my heartfelt regret for being so wrong about the Gibson Les Paul and DR Strings early on and now, in the heat of my current recantation, I’m hoping the healing can begin.