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Best Guitar for UK folk club?

Big Al Whittle 03 Apr 19 - 03:05 PM
GUEST,Ray 03 Apr 19 - 11:32 AM
Big Al Whittle 03 Apr 19 - 11:30 AM
Big Al Whittle 03 Apr 19 - 11:06 AM
Backwoodsman 03 Apr 19 - 02:33 AM
Backwoodsman 03 Apr 19 - 02:31 AM
Tony Rees 03 Apr 19 - 02:16 AM
punkfolkrocker 02 Apr 19 - 11:37 PM
Big Al Whittle 02 Apr 19 - 10:47 PM
punkfolkrocker 01 Apr 19 - 08:40 AM
Backwoodsman 01 Apr 19 - 06:21 AM
GUEST,Ray 01 Apr 19 - 04:59 AM
Big Al Whittle 31 Mar 19 - 06:44 PM
Tony Rees 31 Mar 19 - 04:01 PM
GUEST,Ray 31 Mar 19 - 08:00 AM
Big Al Whittle 30 Mar 19 - 04:56 PM
punkfolkrocker 30 Mar 19 - 01:06 PM
Backwoodsman 30 Mar 19 - 04:54 AM
GUEST,Jerry 30 Mar 19 - 04:20 AM
Backwoodsman 30 Mar 19 - 01:03 AM
Big Al Whittle 29 Mar 19 - 01:54 PM
punkfolkrocker 29 Mar 19 - 01:31 PM
GUEST,Jerry 29 Mar 19 - 01:15 PM
Backwoodsman 29 Mar 19 - 01:05 PM
punkfolkrocker 29 Mar 19 - 09:54 AM
Backwoodsman 29 Mar 19 - 08:25 AM
punkfolkrocker 29 Mar 19 - 08:16 AM
Backwoodsman 29 Mar 19 - 07:59 AM
GUEST,Jerry 29 Mar 19 - 07:53 AM
Big Al Whittle 29 Mar 19 - 07:47 AM
GUEST,gillymor 29 Mar 19 - 06:00 AM
GUEST,Jerry 29 Mar 19 - 03:48 AM
Backwoodsman 29 Mar 19 - 02:35 AM
Big Al Whittle 29 Mar 19 - 12:50 AM
Gurney 29 Mar 19 - 12:16 AM
Gurney 29 Mar 19 - 12:14 AM
Big Al Whittle 28 Mar 19 - 06:31 PM
Backwoodsman 28 Mar 19 - 04:11 PM
Iains 28 Mar 19 - 02:27 PM
Big Al Whittle 28 Mar 19 - 02:15 PM
Jim Carroll 28 Mar 19 - 12:29 PM
punkfolkrocker 28 Mar 19 - 11:14 AM
GUEST,Jerry 28 Mar 19 - 10:56 AM
punkfolkrocker 28 Mar 19 - 09:37 AM
GUEST,Some bloke 28 Mar 19 - 09:21 AM
Jim Carroll 28 Mar 19 - 08:20 AM
GUEST,Ray 25 Mar 19 - 12:57 PM
Big Al Whittle 24 Mar 19 - 06:23 AM
GUEST,Some bloke 23 Mar 19 - 03:47 PM
gillymor 23 Mar 19 - 03:35 PM
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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Apr 19 - 03:05 PM

some of us live in the fast lane!!!


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 03 Apr 19 - 11:32 AM

I thought it was only electric guitars which were red. All mine are (mainly) brown.


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Apr 19 - 11:30 AM

Incidentally good article about Renbourn in this months Guitarist magazine. An interview with Clive Carrol who apparently was John's protege - I didn't know that.

also an article on the new fender acoustasonic.


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Apr 19 - 11:06 AM

well i've got the transacoustic, i haven't thought up a use for it yet. it does chorus and reverb and its red - which matches my elderly time ravaged complexion.

I've promised it an outing when it starts behaving itself. ....could be a while...!


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 03 Apr 19 - 02:33 AM

ďA little divide??? WTF?? Device!


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 03 Apr 19 - 02:31 AM

Al, if youíre an acoustic guitarist who likes FX, a decent solution is the Tonewood amp, a little divide you attach to the back of the guitar (using magnets, I think) which uses the soundbox of the guitar as itís Ďspeakerí. Itís not intended to be a means of increasing your guitarís volume, itís actually an FX device. I know a couple of guys who have them - they have reverb, chorus, etc. straight out of their guitarís soundhole!

Not for me, but still a very interesting concept.

Tonewood Amp website


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: Tony Rees
Date: 03 Apr 19 - 02:16 AM

The original poster gave a thumbnail of the notional requirements - "A room - usually in a pub - which holds 80ish people. No amplification. I want a guitar that will fill the room when playing a solo instrumental. That responds well to finger and plectrum style."

Could be geography-neutral, of course. Except if in a bar in Spain (for example) the requirements might be a bit different...

I guess we can also presume a seated, quiet, relatively attentive audience (from my recollections - tend to be a bit more talkative through the set over here in Oz, also not many purely acoustic venues unless you count some house concerts).

- Tony


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 02 Apr 19 - 11:37 PM

Al - handcrafted from pre 1954 timber...???


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Apr 19 - 10:47 PM

the title's a bit odd. Why would you need a special sort of guitar for a UK folk club?

i suppose a guitar that chucks out a bit is good - if you have no amplification, but quite a few places do..

No amplification but you like guitar effects, theres only really the yamaha transacoustic that fulfils that criteria.

Does English folk music have some special need that makes a certain kind of guitar preferable?


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 01 Apr 19 - 08:40 AM

My Crafter Mandolin, plastic bowl-back from approx 2000
has a bridge that anchors the strings;
passing through from front to back.
I can't remember if the bridge is just glued to the top,
or pinned as well.
But string tension started lifting it off not too long after I got it..
Of course I didn't notice until I think after guarantee ran out...

I never enjoyed playing it anyway, sounded crap...
So replaced it with a solid body mando for gigs.
Haven't even bothered looking for it for about 15 years..
It's in the house somewhere...


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 01 Apr 19 - 06:21 AM

"For those who donít know, the bridgepin doesnít hold the string in place. The ball end should sit in a notch in the bridge plate and the pin simply stops it slipping out.)"

True in a guitar with slotted pin holes (my Martins' pin holes are slotted and have solid, unslotted pins). This is the 'old-fashioned and, IMHO, the best, way. The ball 'locks' under the bridge-plate and cannot 'creep' into the pin-hole.

Not true in guitars with slotted pins and un-slotted holes - which are a huge majority of modern guitars. In those guitars, the ball-end sits against the bridge-plate but the tension on the string causes it to press against the pin - the result is often that the ball pushes the pin aside (especially in a guitar that has tapered pins in a straight-drilled hole) and 'creeps' into the pin-hole, damaging the bridge-plate in so doing.


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 01 Apr 19 - 04:59 AM

Ovations, along with Lowdens, are one of the exceptions insofar as they donít have pin bridges; i.e. the strings are attached to the bridge itself rather than passing through the bridge, the top and the bridge plate beneath with bll end held in place by a bridgepin.

(For those who donít know, the bridgepin doesnít hold the string in place. The ball end should sit in a notch in the bridge plate and the pin simply stops it slipping out.)


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 31 Mar 19 - 06:44 PM

I had an Ovation Baladeer for about fifteen years. The bridge lifting for about five of them. It always seemed to work okay.


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: Tony Rees
Date: 31 Mar 19 - 04:01 PM

Exactly right, Ray... I was wondering about that myself. You do see "bridges lifting" on some guitars but it must be for another reason (top bellying, glue drying) - in any case, the action of the strings will be to hold the bridge in place (mostly) rather than to pull it off... Cheers Tony


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 31 Mar 19 - 08:00 AM

Bit late again, just back from "up north". As Punkfolkrocker implies. Strings won't just "pull the bridge off" most guitars - possibly it could on a Lowden and certain others - purely because, on a bridge with pins, the strings aren't attached to the bridge but the bridge plate beneath it. The strings exert a downward pressure on the bridge (some rotational force) and an upwards pressure on the bridge-plate. If the plate gives way, you'll get a gaping hole in the top.


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Mar 19 - 04:56 PM

yes its all part of history - like the old stories of Yorkshire men playing darts with live hedgehogs.

Who knows what the truth of it is?


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 30 Mar 19 - 01:06 PM

I used to use my Dad'd old imperial micrometer to get a reasonably accurate measure of string gauges.
It was a real old world proper made in england 1940s quality tool,
until it broke early in the 21st Century [metal fatigue..???]...

Since then I can't get reliable readings off those affordable digital calipers...


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 30 Mar 19 - 04:54 AM

Yes, Jerry - I think there was a general adjustment of those by moving the descriptions up a gauge, perhaps in the '80s/early '90s, so it became...

14/above - Heavy
13 - Medium
12 - Light
11 - Extra Light
10 - Ultra Light
9 - Completely unsuitable for acoustic guitar, suitable only for electrics or cutting cheese.

My interest moved from playing electric to acoustic in the late '80s, and I've always seen 12s referred to as Light, and 13s as Medium.

But there is such a wide range of gauges, and mixes of gauges, available now, I seldom refer to strings as Light, Medium, yadda yadda, I refer to them by the gauge of the 1st string in the set.

The usual disclaimers apply......IMHO, YMMV etc.


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 30 Mar 19 - 04:20 AM

Yes, I remember it better now:
13 heavy
12 medium
11 light
10 extra light
9 ultra light
and that was fairly standard nomenclature for years, but many now regard 12 and 13 as standard. Bluegrass pickers went for the heavies, rock players for the skinny ones and blues and folk finger pickers for the mid range. There are also hybrid sets these days of course with heavier trebles and lower bass strings, the latter being the ones that were capable of damaging more delicate guitars.


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 30 Mar 19 - 01:03 AM

I think there's probably a move by string-manufacturers away from the 'old' descriptions of 'light', 'extra-light', 'medium' etc. towards using the gauges as a descriptor. Probably a good idea - less possibility of mis-understandings and confusion.

I've never used anything lower than 12-53 on an acoustic guitar. I suppose 10s (which I regard as Ultra-Light) could work on a Dread if you're a bender and play plugged, but unplugged I'm pretty confident I'd find them gutless. Even on a small-body, I'd use 12s.

But it's each to his own, one man's meat, etc. There's no wrong answer, just personal preference. I have 10-48s on my Strat.


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 Mar 19 - 01:54 PM

I've always regarded 11-52 as light

They didn't play very well on the paramount

I'm using 10-48 at the moment. They work for me. Its a dreadnought size - so its nothing to do with a small body.


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 29 Mar 19 - 01:31 PM

Jerry - no problems with the bridge glue,
it did a terrific job of adhereing to the ply laminate it splintered and tore out,
leaving a gaping dark ragged chasm in the soundboard...

Some time later my little sister, said if she got a bloke she knew to fix it,
could she keep it..

Ok.. why not.. it was no good to me since i got a decent solid body electric..

So the bloke fixed it with chicken wire, fibre glass and car body filler...

So was he our local luthier...???

My sister seemed happy enough...


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 29 Mar 19 - 01:15 PM

Forty years back, 10s were labelled as extra light, 11s as medium and 12s as heavy, and 13s as extra heavy, but fashions and technology changes over time. Electric players went for 9s called something like super light, but I guess manufacturers were more worried about tops and bridges lifting if people used heavy gauges in those days. There must be somebody out there who can verify this, not that it really matters. And yes, my first steel string guitar had a bridge that was wonít to lift, but possibly because glue technology hadnít advanced that far in the 1970s..


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 29 Mar 19 - 01:05 PM

Amen to that, pfr.


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 29 Mar 19 - 09:54 AM

BWM - yeah, that guitar was my xmas present from parents, 1973 when I turned 15...
A Shaftesbury acoustic [EKO manufactured...??]
They bought it on instalment plan from my mum's home shopping catalogue,
the same one we got our clothes from;
and some years earlier, I first noticed an interest in the pages of women's scanty underwear
models...

I learned to play on that guitar, trying and failing to finger pick like Donvan..
and after fitting a Schaller soundhole pickup, gigged with it in my first rock bands...

You're right, the finer points of guitar maintenance were a complete mystery to us small town kids..
There was no youtube back then, not even any guitar lessons at school.
That was frowned on.. the only activities encouraged were rugby and military cadets...
or school orchestra and choir for the 'softer' boys..
Definitely no teenage revolution guitar playing allowed...

If it wasn't for my dodgy weird hippy uncle who visited one day while he was hiding out from the big city,
I wouldn't even have learned the 3 chord trick,
which my mates were eager to learn off me...
Or an older local guitarist telling us splash out our pocket money to put 8s on,
so we could bend notes like rock stars..
or might have if they hadn't broke within minutes...

It's all so different and much easier for kids buying and learning guitar these days...


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 29 Mar 19 - 08:25 AM

The gauges I'm using are the ones recommended by the builders for the guitars in question, pfr. I'm pretty sure they know something! ;-)

When strings 'tear the bridge off' a guitar, I reckon it says more about the quality of the instrument, or the lack of care taken by the owner re: humidification, temperature, and selecting appropriate gauges, than it does about the strings themselves!

The usual disclaimers apply......IMHO, YMMV etc.


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 29 Mar 19 - 08:16 AM

30 odd years ago, heavier strings tore the bridge and a lot of laminate soundboard
off my mid 1970s Shaftsbury [Eko manufactured ?] acoustic...

[my first, and for a long time, only guitar..]

That was a surprise to wake up to.. it was perfectly alright the night before...


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 29 Mar 19 - 07:59 AM

Errrrrrmm.....11s are 'extra lights'.

Personally, the absolute lightest string I'd use on an acoustic would be 'Lights', 12-53 or 54. I have those on the Lowdens. Anything less is just too 'weedy' in both sound and feel, AFAIC.

On my Martin Dreads, I always have 'Mediums' - 13-56. A Dread needs Mediums to drive the top.

The usual disclaimers apply......IMHO, YMMV etc.


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 29 Mar 19 - 07:53 AM

I think they only put 11s on to make small guitars sound louder, when they are usually better and more expressive (for note bends and snaps) with extra light strings, to my mind.


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 Mar 19 - 07:47 AM

actually the guitar was pretty crap when it had an 11 1st string.

the revelation was when i put extra lights on, that's when the light came on.

as it is - its the best of my bunch.


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 29 Mar 19 - 06:00 AM

It's amazing to me how much difference 1/16" makes in the nut width and the string spacing in the feel of a guitar. I traded off a wonderful-sounding Collings 00 because the 1 13/16" nut and 2 5/16" string spacing at the saddle made me feel like I was working too hard (the pronounced "V" neck had something to do with it as well) whereas a 1 11/16" nut feels too cramped for me with my fairly large hands. I've finally settled on 1 3/4" nut and 2 3/16" saddle spacing as my comfort zone.


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 29 Mar 19 - 03:48 AM

Thanks for the measurements, guys. It sounds like standard Fender width, which is too narrow for me, since I lost the end of my index finger. It might sound trivial, but the extra 1-2mm makes all the difference, and especially for fingerstyle players. I suspect that this accounts for the low prevalence of Gibsons and Fenders amongst the folk fraternity, compared to say Taylors, Lowdens, and others mentioned above.


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 29 Mar 19 - 02:35 AM

"the total width of the nut is 4.2cm
from the middle of the 6th string to the middle of the first slot seems to be 3.8cm
I think!"


4.2 cm, or 42 mm, is 1-5/8" which is the same as my Strat's nut-width - a bit narrow for an acoustic guitar. The spec on Guitar.co.uk website says 43 mm, which is the more usual width for an acoustic guitar of 1-11/16", so I think your measurement might be a millimetre off.

That string-spread of 38 mm matches the spread on my Martin HD-28V which has a 43 mm (1-11/16") nut-width.

So the Paramount seems to have a bog-standard 43 mm nut and 38 mm spread.

I think! ;-)


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 Mar 19 - 12:50 AM

the folk clubs are in our heads.

even the ones that exist. they mean different stuff to different folks.

you could live your life in igloo at the north pole, but still retain a corner of your mind that's a UK folk club.


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: Gurney
Date: 29 Mar 19 - 12:16 AM

I should have said, it is about 45years since I set foot in a UK folk club, though.


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: Gurney
Date: 29 Mar 19 - 12:14 AM

I've been hesitant to join this thread, considering my meagre impact on the guitar market,...-Oh, and skill level, of course, but...
for value for money I'm a fan of J&D, or nowadays Jack and Danny Brothers acoustics. Made strong and heavy in Taiwan, they have a following online, and recommendations there for strings.
Mine cost the equivalent of 50quid online and is my favourite of 3, including one Taylor.


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 28 Mar 19 - 06:31 PM

Thanks BWM for that explanation

the total width of the nut is 4.2cm
from the middle of the 6th string to the middle of the first slot seems to be 3.8cm
I think!

My model is the dreadnought PM1. Obviously the others might be very different.


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 28 Mar 19 - 04:11 PM

I don't belieeeeeeeeve it! For the first time ever (and very likely the last) I completely agree with everything Iains says in his post.

Al - a ruler is the best way to measure the nut, either the full width, or the width from the centre of the low 'E ' to the centre of the high 'e', which is what I believe GUEST: Jerry is after.


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: Iains
Date: 28 Mar 19 - 02:27 PM

To argue one genre is superior to another is a subjective opinion.
In terms of sheer effort surely a composer that creates for an entire orchestra would have to win hands down over a simple illiterate peasant folk tune. Which of the two is the superior is down to personal taste. It is rather like a fine wine. A master sommelier may praise it to the heavens but others may compare it to swigging battery acid. To illustrate further I enjoy most of Ewan MacColl's songs providing he is not the one performing them. I like and can appreciate his creative artistry, but I simply do not like his voice.


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 28 Mar 19 - 02:15 PM

I'm sorry i don't know how to measure the nut. theres nothing about it in the little book, fender supplied with the guitar.


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Mar 19 - 12:29 PM

"folkie guitarists can only aspire to play their instruments as well
as 'eavy metal air guitarists...!!!"
Would they only leane to keep the volume down to that level :->
On the other hand, woud the HM mob aspire to the same level of mucicality as folkies
Jim


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 28 Mar 19 - 11:14 AM

Jim - a lot of folkie guitarists can only aspire to play their instruments as well
as 'eavy metal air guitarists...!!!


Everyone else - I just got a news email from guitarguitar.co.uk
that they're knocking down prices on Yamaha acoustics
[over £100 on some models approx £700..]

They're probably not the only shop doing this,
so worth googlig and shopping around for better deals...


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 28 Mar 19 - 10:56 AM

What with loop pedals, tablet scrolling lyrics and the like, surely itís only a matter of time before people turn up with orange oven mitts at clubs and open mic sessions.
Out of interest, what is the string spacing width at the nut for that Fender Paramount?
It does sound like a bargain, but if I buy any more, Iíll have to resort to renting a hotel room and visiting them on the quiet.


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 28 Mar 19 - 09:37 AM

From the first few seconds watched without sound..

It looks like young folks indicating what they think of old folkie tossers...???


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 28 Mar 19 - 09:21 AM

Reminds me of old codgers playing air telephone.


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Mar 19 - 08:20 AM

BEST GUITAR FOR UK FOLK CLUB IMO


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 25 Mar 19 - 12:57 PM

Punkfolkrocker - Sorry Iíve been ďway up northĒ for the last week and had no interthingy.

You only need to use creosote if you intend to leave it outside for any length of time.


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Mar 19 - 06:23 AM

I paid 700 quid for a B stock Fender Paramount PM1 mah Adirondack last year.. The prices of it seem to plunging, for whatever reason.

I think its one of the best guitars I ever played.

Heres a new one for a hundred quid less. Second hand ones are to be had for 450 quid.

I can't imagine better value for money coming up for while.


https://www.guitar.co.uk/fender-paramount-pm-3-limited-adirondack-triple-0-mahogany


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 23 Mar 19 - 03:47 PM

Iíll echo that Gillymor.

We have a box room off a spare bedroom. She calls it her ski cupboard. I call it the case cupboard. This is where matrimonial harmony can sound as if we havenít quite got the intonation 100% yet....

At present, the skis are with us in Canada but I donít get a chance to add more cases because Iím here with the skis.... Tíwas ever thus.


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Subject: RE: Best Guitar for UK folk club?
From: gillymor
Date: 23 Mar 19 - 03:35 PM

Yep, it's the cases she minds, not the instruments.


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