Ch-ch-ch-ch-chime! One of the guitar world’s ultimate buzzwords, but what does it actually mean? Well, let’s take a closer look…
For many music fans, the term ‘chime’ is best associated with the British Invasion of the early 1960s, and epitomises the uplifting, joyous music of the time, catapulted in to the world courtesy of Vox’s Alnico speakers. It’s a term mostly used to reference those classic jangly, sparkly and harmonically rich sounds that sound so magical on record, and captured the imagination of a legion of young musicians.
However, it’s easy to forget that there are a multitude of different guitar types that marry up well with those amps, with each having a slightly different effect on the way the amp shines. Typically, we’re looking for single coil, low-output pickups, some kind of floating bridge and a strong sense of string-separation, to make enormous sounding chords and vocal-like single note lines.
We’ve pulled together three not-so-obvious choices, that each deliver the chimey goods with their own spin. Gretsch is perhaps the most popular name in the game for classic chime tone, and their Broadkaster Jr doesn’t let the side down. This timeless design combines the best of Gretsch’s tonal history, with a more modern, semi-hollow body design and Full’tron pickups, delivering some more heft to the sound when required, as well as hum-cancelling capability. Coupled with the desirable Bigsby bridge unit, it’s easy to see how Gretsch made this sound famous.
Fender’s Jazzmaster model is often overlooked, but it could be argued that its significance in musical history is quite remarkable - not least for its ability to provide incredibly detailed, open sounding tones with increased bandwidth and definition over its more famous brothers. This Custom Shop offering displays the best attributes of this classic design, with classic looks and a vintage feel, this alternative option may be the tone you’ve been hearing all along, without being able to quite put your finger on it before.
Lastly, Duesenberg’s Starplayer TV provides an exciting alternative to many classic guitar designs - they manage to make an instrument that feels fresh, new and inspired, whilst also feeling familiar and desirable. Their unique P90/Humbucker pickup setup, with the beautiful 'Phonico' covers on this particular model, affords you more tonal versatility, as well as a bespoke vibrato unit to get the chords fluttering. It’s this unique ability to make a chameleon instrument that lands them the final place in this triumvirate of tone. A true champion of chime, when required!So, you know the drill here… enjoy the video, pick a favourite for yourself and let us know your choice in the comments below! If you’d like to find out more about each of these three stunning instruments, check the links to the Peach Guitars website below.
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Jump to the clips!
0:00 - Introduction & What is 'Chime'?
1:09 - The Three Champions
2:40 - The rest of the Rig
3:20 - Tone Comparison
4:16 - Jazzmaster Overview
5:45 - Jazzmaster Demo
8:10 - Gretsch Overview
9:59 - Gretsch Demo
12:21 - Duesenberg Overview
14:45 - Duesenberg Demo
16:17 - Conclusion