Mudcat Café message #62880 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #9606   Message #62880
Posted By: Rick Fielding
13-Mar-99 - 05:26 PM
Thread Name: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
A few years ago I made a visit to Denmark street in London. (one of the few good things about being a professional musician is it allows me to visit music stores in a lot of places) Now Arabic literature has it's street of a 1000 whores, but London has it's street of a 1000 vintage guitars, all at 3000 pounds! I have to admit that the snotty attitude of the staffs in virtually all the stores was a huge turn-off, but not as much as coming to the realisation that most vintage instruments and all the current high end ones are way out of the price range of most musicians. I've talked to literally hundreds of store owners over the last 10 years and the market these instruments are aimed at is one made up of University educated 45+ businessmen who remember their teen folkie years with fondness (and their beloved Harmony guitars) and are back in the market with a vengeance. Several folks in this demographic are currently students of mine, and although they have enthusiasm, they all complain of having "no time to practice". Along with hundred thousand dollar salaries, a lot of them are carrying 60 hour weeks, and once you add on "cottage time" and family duties, the brand new Collings, Laskin, Graff,(I agree with Bill, they're superb) or Clapton endorsed Martin, gets pretty lonely. I get a lot of chances to play these instruments from my students (if I tried to sneak a new Collings past Heather she'd stab me with her claymore) and generally I find them excuisitely made. I'm dumbfounded at just how much attention to detail goes into the aforementioned instruments. Others that have impressed me are Santa Cruz,and Bourgeois. The only thing some are missing is "soul", and that gets played into them over time. Larrivees are still a good buy, but are generally soft voiced instruments. Biggest dissapointment in new guitars for me are the Gibson re-issues. Most I've seen are vastly overpriced and decidedly under-toned. Sloppy inside work as well, from what I've seen. And know what? They're selling like hot cakes. (even the $7-8000 ones) Maybe the answer is for the succesful corporate guys to quit their jobs, leave their families, back-pack around Europe and... oops..that Collings would get ripped off on day one! Now where's that old Harmony Sovereign!