Aristides Owners. Was It Worth It?

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by Carl Kolchak, Oct 14, 2020.

  1. Xykhron

    Xykhron SS.org Regular

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    Absolutely!. They are amazing instruments. I own 4, 3x7 string + 1x8 string and I still want more of them, although prices are super-high
     
  2. Restarted

    Restarted SS.org Regular

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    Worth depends on perspective and purpose. Do you want a tool that does the job, or do you want a perfectly-made instrument? If you expect an Aristides to be something completely different than other guitars, then you'll probably be disappointed. They're just perfectly built guitars, that come with excellent customer service and a nice community. If I were a touring musician, or if money was tight, those aren't things I'd care about. But I'm a spoilt, well-paid engineer so I like having the best toys. My 070 is the best guitar I've ever played, and I don't regret a cent spent on it. I've also got a second Aristides on order now.
     
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  3. Carl Kolchak

    Carl Kolchak Last of the famous international playboys

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    You could've just said yes, it was worth it. ;)
     
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  4. budda

    budda Do not criticize as this Contributor

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    Put the deposit down flip it and reverse it.
     
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  5. oracles

    oracles Australian in Canada

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    I've owned 6, and was a pretty vocal supporter of them for a number of years, however I won't order any more of them.

    As many have said, they're very stable and remarkably well built instruments. From an overall quality perspective, they're very well built and very consistent. Flaws are rare and usually fixed very quickly.

    That said, after owning 6 and playing 40-50 of them, they lack personality and thats what lead me to sell mine. They sound like whatever pickups you put in them, which isn't inherently bad, but I wanted more tonally and once I heard it, I couldn't unhear it.
     
  6. Stuck_in_a_dream

    Stuck_in_a_dream SS.org Regular

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    By far, my 070R has the the best construction, best playability, best craftsmanship, it's the best playing guitar I have. The action is insanely low it plays itself basically. I'm thinking about pulling the trigger on an H/08R early in 2021, a multiscale 8-string headless w/ trem (even just for flutter) would be insane!
    My only regret about my 070R is my choice of pickups (Fluence Reyes), not sure what it is, but I still haven't really bonded with them. I don't hate them, just not blown away as much as I did with other Fluences.
     
  7. Carl Kolchak

    Carl Kolchak Last of the famous international playboys

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    This is interesting. So what you're saying is that they're basically blank slates tonally speaking? If so, wouldn't this be almost ideal in that you could conceivably have as many guitars as there are pickups?
     
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  8. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    you can already have as many guitars as there are guitars.
     
  9. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    If that's not the epitaph of everyone on SSO then we're all kidding ourselves.
     
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  10. mbardu

    mbardu SS.org Regular

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    And now for the oldest joke in the book : how many guitars does an sso member need?
     
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  11. steinmetzify

    steinmetzify CHUG & SLUDGE

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    N+1, with N being the Number of guitars you already have, of course...
     
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  12. oracles

    oracles Australian in Canada

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    For me what it came down to was that while they're impeccably well built, they're boring. Everything sounds clinical, theres no personality to them. I wasn't getting the personality from mine that I get from my RAN's or my E2, and it really bothered me.

    Im not trying to slight them here either, they're all really nice guys that do a stellar job, and lots of people love theirs, I was very happy with mine for a good 3, almost 4 years. My experience definitely doesn't negate the hundreds of people who are very happy with theirs.
     
  13. narad

    narad Progressive metal and politics

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    I think I'm in a fairly good position to give a balanced view on this as I've played some, owned one, sold one, and will likely own one again:

    Pros:
    -- fit and finish is truly top-notch, and consistent. I think above all brands, one can place an order with a high expectation of what you'll receive.
    -- comfort at the heel. Really smooth. I don't think heels get in the way in general and has literally not stopped anyone from being 100% as amazing as they would be without, but it's also nice in that your brain never gets that tiny little signal to change your hand position at all.
    -- customer service. Those guys are nice guys, and I've seen them step up a number of times. I've never heard of an Aristides custom support horror story. A good example to Kiesel that this is actually possible.

    Cons:
    -- comfort at the arm contour. Honestly not far off from a telecaster in terms of what that edge is like, though it seemed a bit thinner than a tele at that point IIRC. But I'd get up from playing with a line across my forearm. I have teles and LPs, and regiuses that get a lot of flak for this too, so it's not a big deal, but it's also really obviously non-ergonomic aspect of the design.

    Maybes:
    -- sound. This is the most important point to me is that I would argue against the above characterization that they are somehow transparent sounding, though we may be picking up on the same thing. In fact all 3 that I've played had a certain characteristic sound, that could be a good thing or a bad thing. I imagine it's a good thing in the ERG down-tuned slightly sterile or industrial world, and a bad thing in the wooly 59 les paul world. But I'm really convinced it's there, to the point where I sold the one I had because it lacked something I find pleasing in the timbre of wood guitars and I was just rarely reaching for it. I have guitars with graphite necks and they too sound different IMO from my wood guitars in ways that are for me, suboptimal. I still love them, but for a lot of stuff I don't use them.
    -- tuning stability. This is a myth imo. My Aristides wasn't even my most stable guitar. If you have a bunch of bad guitars, then your Aristides will be more stable than them, probably.

    I think an 8-series would probably be a great alignment between what you want to play and how Aristides sound. I'd also count the non-R price as a con, but since it's Reverb, non-issue.
     
  14. Dyingsea

    Dyingsea SS.org Regular

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    Not questioning their quality but you see a ton of them for sale at any given time and constant turnover it seems at that. Just something to consider. If they are for you they are for you but it seems like there's a bit of a gap in the "mojo" department with some players ultimately not bonding with them.
     
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  15. pott

    pott SS.org Regular

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    I concur with most of what's been said. They're not magic and definitely are very pickup sensitive. This is what I enjoy most about them. They sound how I want them to sound.

    The neck is very stable. More so than most wood guitars, maybe, but my area has stable weather so I do not know. I don't know where folks thought these would also somehow never get out of tune: tuning stability is good, for sure, but again, these aren't magic items. They're guitars. If your nut is messed-up or your strings unstretched or your tuners loose or your trem worn-out, they won't stay in tune.

    I'm not a natural simp but I've been fairly vocal about being rather happy with mine (not publicly, but when asked): an early 060 I sold (and which did NOT keep value AT ALL. It was excellent), a 070 which is just incredible, an 060 which I don't quite jive with pickup-wise, and an 020 which is just a great, versatile guitar.

    They're a consistent brand. But I do feel mine got better each time. It's subtle. But I rarely change specs and yet, I get more pleased each time. But that's just me.

    Yes, worth it for me.
     
  16. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician SS.org Regular

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    I am 100% sure I have posted this comment before.

    So scientifically it has been peer-reviewed and is now SSO science.
     
  17. narad

    narad Progressive metal and politics

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    The Aristides owners FB group is like possibly the most fiscally irresponsible of any guitar group I've ever seen. Everyone's like "Threw down 3 new yellow sheets today!!", then 8 months later, "Ah, car broke down so these babies are up for grabs", then later that year, two more new orders for the next latest and greatest spec.

    I wouldn't read into it much -- I think those guys honestly flood the market a bit with their rampant selling and reordering.
     
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  18. Dudley

    Dudley SS.org Regular

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    Currently own one and it’s certainly a well-built guitar, lovely fret work, but that’s probably the highest praise I could give it... and there are plenty of other well-built guitars out there for similar money.

    It may well come down to pickup choice, and I’ve only played the one, so it wouldn’t be fair to bash the brand on this, but I really do not gel with the amplified sound at all. Super uninspiring. Unplugged though it feels very snappy and lively, which makes it a nice guitar for just jamming on unplugged for 10 mins here or there whilst working from home during the whole COVID-19 crisis, but it’s a lot of money to have tied up in what’s essentially a beater.

    I can see why some people love them, and I’m keen to try a one with a different set of specs, but the takeaway reaction for me whenever I pick it up is “What a lovely instrument... but now I want to go and play a Mayones or ESP instead to really have some fun.”
     
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  19. budda

    budda Do not criticize as this Contributor

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    It's been around for a long time. It's also correct.
     
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  20. Cheap

    Cheap .....ite

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    I'm taking a chance on an 020 that should hopefully arrive early next week. I've played a bunch of 060/070/080's but I think only a couple of 020's and that would've been at least 2 years ago

    I've got high hopes for the specs because I adore hardtail wraparound bridges, shorter scale lengths, and rounder neck profiles, but I'm wondering if anyone here can shed some light on maybe similar neck profiles on more common guitars? Curious to know how shreddy it might still feel with the thickness starting at the thickest point of an 060--im not the biggest fan of how thin those feel

    Pic of the 020 on the way attached. This color is SO sick and I feel lucky because these are typically way less fun looking than their 060 line
     

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