© Paul Cooijmans
I have been playing guitar since early 1980. Here is a list of guitars and related equipment I have owned over time. My music can be found in this list of my compositions.
This was my first guitar, not counting a classical guitar I started on that was not my own. In (I think) 1982 I replaced the single-coil pickup in the bridge position by a DiMarzio Super Distortion humbucker. The change in sound can be heard in the first (single-coil) and second (humbucker) Qatweazle recordings (these recordings are not publicly available at the moment). I then played on a small 10 Watt solid state amplifier which was not mine. The original single-coil pickup was later reused in the neck position of my self-assembled stratocaster (discussed further on). I sold the Suzuki guitar to someone in Helmond, together with the small 7-Watt I.C.-powered amplifier mentioned later on.
Photos: [1981 (several)]    
This was a guitar I had for a short while to experiment with electronics, string settings (action) and string gauges. I did not use it much to play on. It is mentioned in the Qatweazle song "All through the U.S.S.R.": I sold my guitar to the local coal dealer / It was a Horrichel. I am not certain of the brand name, but it was something like that. The guitar had the name "Huib" on it. I sold it to the local coal dealer.
This was a good and very beautiful guitar, the most beautiful I have ever seen I would say. If there is any of my old guitars I would want to have back it is this one. It can be heard in the Qatweazle rehearsal and concert recordings of 1984 for the OJA concert (I used the mounting ring of one of the pickups as an extra fret for very high notes then). I sold it to a student in Tilburg, Netherlands. Serial number: 1070078
Noteworthy about this model is that it had a "coil tap" switch, so that the double-coil pickups could be used as single-coil ones. Also, Westone made a bass guitar of the same name and outer appearance, and a semi-acoustic model named Rainbow I (also with coil tap), similar to Gibson ES 335. Both of those are interesting instruments as well, and are still popular and kept in good condition by their owners. These guitars were all made in the 1980s in Japan by the Matsumoko factory.
Photos: [1984 (several)]  
A semi-acoustic guitar, a bit smaller than a Gibson ES 335. It sounded well and can be heard in the Qatweazle studio recordings of 1984 and 1985. It had a peculiar nasal tone in the 7th to 10th fret range. Serial number: J830 198. In hindsight I say it sounded better than the Gibson ES 335 I owned after this one, and it was the best-sounding electric guitar I have owned. I sold it to a conservatory student from Amsterdam.
Photos: [1984 (several)] [1984 (several)]   
A good guitar with a very good neck. The sound was more neutral and less nasal than that of the Ibanez Artist. I think it is used in my jazz recordings of 1987 and certainly in the recording of the Slow Bossa Nova for Flute, Electric guitar and Piano of the early nineties.
This model, with its big but shallow body and thick neck, is the most ergonomic of all guitar types I know, provided you play it using a strap so that it hangs freely without resting on a leg (so standing is better than sitting). The right arm rests perfectly on it, allowing the right hand to play easily without contortion. Much better than with smaller models like stratocaster and Les Paul.
The sound is a compromise between solid and hollow body. I do not like that anymore, I now prefer either completely solid or completely acoustic. I sold it to a conservatory student, possibly from Tilburg.
Photos:  
A black bass guitar of unknown brand, not bad. Not used much.
I bought it in second-hand parts over several years. The neck is very good and from a Squier Stratocaster. The body is from an unknown brand starting with "f" (Fernandez perhaps). In the bridge position I put a very good Seymour Duncan "SH-1 bridge The '59" humbucker which recaptures the sound of the Gibson P.A.F. pickup. Screwed into the wood such that the height could still be adjusted. In the neck position is the old single-coil pickup from the bridge position of the Suzuki Stratocaster. This is in fact the pickup that is heard on the first Qatweazle rehearsal recordings of 1982, but it sounds much better in the neck position of the self-built guitar. The remaining electronics were made by me and not very good. The bridge is also not very good. I fixated it so the vibrato bar can not be used any more. The guitar feels rather light (in weight).
Note as of May 2009: I removed the Seymour Duncan pickup, volume control and switches, and connected the single-coil pickup directly to the output jack. Note as of 2010: I sold the guitar to an I.Q. society member.
Photos:    
Photos of Seymour Duncan "SH-1 bridge The '59" humbucker:  
For completeness, I want to mention some interesting models I have never had in possession:
A semi-acoustic jazz guitar with a deep body, like the "Joe Pass" model, sounds very good for jazz, better than the shallow-bodied ES 335. I know this because I have often heard heard the two side by side, yet never got to acquiring one.
This is a very interesting concept, especially when equipped such that it can be amplified easily if needed. I like the sound of bass guitars, only it is a bit strange to play bass on your own. You need a "band" of some kind to put it to use.
This is a good-sounding guitar type — I mean the version with two different single-coil pickups. I would prefer it to a stratocaster, but a problem with telecasters (and many stratocasters too) is the too narrow neck.
This is the model I associate the most with the traditional overdriven or distorted hardrock guitar sound. That sound is easiest produced with double-coil pickups as typically found on Les Paul guitars, and it is said that the glued neck (as opposed to a screwed one) provides more sustain. Good is also the somewhat wider and thicker neck, compared to the stratocaster and telecaster which are the Les Paul's traditional competitors; I would rather have it even wider, almost as wide as a classical neck, say 48 mm at the nut. The fairly small body is not ergonomic in my opinion; the bigger ES 335 shape is ideal as mentioned before (but might be too heavy if made as a solid body).
A small I.C.-powered amplifier, not loud enough to be used in band rehearsals. I sold it together with the Suzuki guitar mentioned above.
The pre-amplifier and power amplifier are in separate wooden boxes. I have unfortunately never got to using it myself as the other guitarist of Qatweazle (whose small 10 Watt amplifier I used during rehearsals and concerts) always used this much more powerful amplifier, as he played the bass parts which required more power. Eventually the power amplifier became unusable because of extremely loud cracking noises it made, possibly resulting from leaking condensators. This amplifier was used in combination with two 40 Watt stereo bass reflex speaker cabinets containing two 10 inch broadband (double conus) speakers each. I sold the speaker cabinets, which had deceitfully been sold to me as being of the brand "Wharfedale" by our drummer but really were self-built, to our bass guitar player in the mid-1980s.
I still have this 60 Watt power amplifier (defective as explained above) and pre-amplifier (should be in good working order but not used in thirty years), and if anyone is interested in buying them, you can have them for € 10.
Photos: ["Wharfedale" speaker cabinet - 1982] [Amplifier with speaker cabinets - 1984]
A large, very heavy tube amplifier from I think the early 1970s, similar to Fender Twin Reverb in power and sound. Originally a "combo", but separated into a head and cabinet with two Celestion 12 inch speakers. It can be heard in the Qatweazle rehearsal and studio recordings of 1984 and 1985, with the Westone and later Ibanez guitars. It sounded well but could not make an overdriven sound at low volume, so I sometimes used an Ibanez Super Tube pedal for that (bought in 1985, I do not have it anymore), or a simple self-built overdrive device in a wooden floor construction. I traded the Ampeg VT-22 in for the Sessionette 75 amplifier mentioned below.
The VT-22 had four tubes in its power amplifier of the type 6L6 GC or equivalent, and the output was well over 100 Watts.
Photos: [1983 (several)]  
A small practice amplifier. It had an annoying background sound (kind of distortion) that could not be repaired. I sold it to guitar student from a nearby village.
A 75 Watt solid state amplifier that sounded good. Used with the Ibanez and Gibson guitars. I bought this amplifier shortly after seeing the guitarist of the Netherlandic band De Dijk play on the same model in an outdoor concert in Den Bosch. I used it in the recording of the Slow bossa nova for flute, electric guitar and piano (op. 16). I sold it to one of my own guitar students, who has a guitar he bought from the guitarist Jan Akkerman.
Since I played with a jazz-like sound in this period, I tended to turn the treble control fully or almost fully to the left. That may have been the cause that I once blew up the transistors of the power amplifier section, even though I never played loud; lower frequencies use up more power. The Sessionette 75 had an external effects loop, so that it was possible to go directly into the power amplifier; I tried that now and then and always thought it sounded better than the normal way. Pre-amplifiers in guitar amplifiers often boost the treble far too much (with the treble control in the "neutral" or middle position).
Photo:  
About 15 cm high, probably around 4 Watt. On batteries or adapter, 9 Volt. It sounded good especially with single-coil pickups.
A solid state amplifier for acoustic instruments (two channels), 35 Watt. It sounded well but there was a problem with the power switch; when being turned off, a loud click sounded in the speakers. I sold it to someone from Amsterdam.
A kind of digital virtual amplifier/effects box. So you still need a power amplifier or P.A. system behind it. It has 32 digitally modelled amplifier sounds of famous amplifiers and speaker cabinets, and a number of effects. You can also connect it to a computer sound card. I sold it to someone from a nearby village.
A bad guitar.
I had this for a short while and did not use it much. It had been destroyed by hitting someone on the head with it, and repaired by an amateur (actually the drummer of the band Qatweazle, which — the band — had meanwhile seized to exist) with black duck tape.
A light colour, matt. Beautiful and better than the Aria, but my guitar teacher at the conservatory found it not good enough. I sold it to one of my own guitar students (a girl). I later learnt the "A" in the model name stands for ahorn, the darker wood of the sides and back. The top was spruce (Fichte). Hanika still makes guitars looking almost exactly like this in the 2010s.
This was my main classical guitar for many years. I think it was built in the early 1980s or before. It had a cedar top and a deep warm dry sound with pronounced bass. It can be heard in some of the recordings of my guitar compositions, which can be found on my list of compositions. In the late 1990s I recorded most of my compositions using this guitar. I sold it to a member of a high-I.Q. society, who died within a few years thereafter. The E in the model name probably stands for "estudio", and the number behind it may indicate the quality of the guitar, but that is speculation.
Photos:   
A good beginner's guitar which I bought as a second classical guitar. A spruce top. I sold it to someone from a nearby village. It was really good for its money, and I have seen that more often with guitars of this brand.
A steel-string acoustic guitar with about the body shape of a classical guitar, and a neck almost as wide as that of a classical guitar. I use it to play the music I used to play on my classical guitar; it has a clearer and more transparent sound, and longer "sustain", but is less loud. Serial nr. 0017. It was built between 1999 and 2005. This was my main guitar from 2007 to 2015.
Photos:  
A classical guitar which I bought as a second guitar, made in the D.D.R. (East Germany) in 1989, serial number 63766. It has a spruce top, and the sides, back, and neck are all walnut as far as I can see. The most remarkable about it is its deep bass. Considering that these guitars were meant for beginners, it sounds surprisingly well. The construction is very firm, the neck perfectly straight, and the guitar looks like it has almost never been played.
This is probably the best classical guitar I have ever played on, with a spruce top and Rio rosewood back and sides. It is from 1971, serial number is 1301, or perhaps 4301 or 9301 (first digit is hard to read, if it is a digit at all). The label contains two autographs of guitar makers and the name Nippon Gakki Co. Ltd. I understand that in 1966 Yamaha let the Spanish guitar maker Eduardo Ferrer come to Japan to start this GC (Grand Concert) series. Apparently the GC guitars in the late 1960s and early 1970s were all built in the same way from the same high-quality materials, and prominent guitarists evaluated them to decide whether the model number would become GC-3, 5, 7, or 10.
Photos: [Label] [Close-up of serial number]
Since the late 1980s I have been using Jim Dunlop Jazz I picks, regularly polished with P1200 water proof sandpaper. These give a pure tone, so much ground tone and little overtones. But in 2007 I switched to playing with fingers even on steel strings. I have about 20 picks left, half of which are actually Jim Dunlop Jazz III (unused), one is Jim Dunlop Jazz II, two are Jim Dunlop Jazz I, and the rest are various rock picks. You can buy them for € 2.
For the electric guitars I have since the late 1980s used flatwound strings starting with a first string of .011 or .012, sometimes .013, inch. Main advantage of flatwound strings to me is that they do not make tiny scratches on the polished pick, which would result in a lower quality tone on the top two strings and require re-polishing often.
On the steel-string acoustic guitar I use phosphor bronze strings starting at .012 inch.
On classical guitars I have mostly used Hannabach Silver Special medium tension strings, as my guitar teacher at the conservatory advised that, although I really prefer somewhat higher tension strings with a wound third string as offered by brands like Savarez and La Bella. More recently I have gone to use D'Addario medium tension strings.
I have owned a Boss Equalizer GE7 (7 bands) pedal for guitar, an Ibanez Super Tube, Coron Octaver, Coron distortion pedal, and MXR Phase 90.
I tried it on the Rodriguez guitar.
I used this for one of my guitar compositions, "For who loves truth, the garrotte called life is daily tightened a turn", op. 39 (recording available on my page with compositions). I sold it to a nephew.
To put between (classical) guitar and upper leg, eliminating the need for a foot rest and therefore being more ergonomic (no contortion in the back). I have used several different types of guitar rests. This is the most luxury one.
This one is very practical and used relatively much. I had intended to sell it, but after the 2011 herniated disk operation I took it into use again.
This is somewhat less satisfactory.