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Guitars..what do you play?

Mick Lowe 06 Nov 98 - 07:41 PM
The Shambles 06 Nov 98 - 07:57 PM
Guy Wolff 06 Nov 98 - 08:12 PM
Allan. S 06 Nov 98 - 10:08 PM
Paul Jay 06 Nov 98 - 10:15 PM
Chet W. 06 Nov 98 - 10:18 PM
Snookums 06 Nov 98 - 11:57 PM
Big Mick 07 Nov 98 - 12:47 AM
Dave T 07 Nov 98 - 02:30 AM
Musicman 07 Nov 98 - 03:10 AM
Frank in the swamps 07 Nov 98 - 05:33 AM
DWDitty 07 Nov 98 - 06:13 AM
Animaterra 07 Nov 98 - 06:45 AM
hlyster@c2i.net 07 Nov 98 - 09:43 AM
Rockaday Johnnie 07 Nov 98 - 10:27 AM
Mick Lowe 07 Nov 98 - 11:12 AM
Einnor 07 Nov 98 - 11:38 AM
DonMeixner@aol.com 07 Nov 98 - 12:01 PM
Bill Cameron 07 Nov 98 - 01:05 PM
Roger in Baltimore 09 Nov 98 - 01:32 PM
Bert 09 Nov 98 - 01:53 PM
Liam's Brother 09 Nov 98 - 05:19 PM
Sean Ruprecht-Belt 09 Nov 98 - 05:58 PM
Mick Lowe 09 Nov 98 - 06:50 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 09 Nov 98 - 07:26 PM
Big Mick 09 Nov 98 - 09:54 PM
Dave T 09 Nov 98 - 10:43 PM
09 Nov 98 - 11:41 PM
Brad Sondahl 10 Nov 98 - 01:10 AM
Barbara 10 Nov 98 - 01:10 AM
Frank in the swamps 10 Nov 98 - 01:33 AM
Rockaday Johnnie 10 Nov 98 - 01:48 AM
Mike 10 Nov 98 - 11:10 AM
FIDDLER MIKE 10 Nov 98 - 11:40 AM
Dan Keding 10 Nov 98 - 02:52 PM
jdzabinesq 10 Nov 98 - 04:46 PM
The Shambles 10 Nov 98 - 06:04 PM
Maj Marvelous 10 Nov 98 - 08:02 PM
StuBs 10 Nov 98 - 08:11 PM
harpgirl 10 Nov 98 - 10:24 PM
Big Mick 10 Nov 98 - 11:06 PM
Mark Clark 10 Nov 98 - 11:25 PM
Big Mick 11 Nov 98 - 12:03 AM
KingBrilliant 11 Nov 98 - 05:22 AM
Bert 11 Nov 98 - 03:40 PM
Moon'sGoin'Down 11 Nov 98 - 05:19 PM
Mick Lowe 11 Nov 98 - 07:35 PM
Roger in Baltimore 11 Nov 98 - 09:15 PM
Dan Calder 11 Nov 98 - 09:16 PM
Big Mick 11 Nov 98 - 11:49 PM
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Subject: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Mick Lowe
Date: 06 Nov 98 - 07:41 PM

Just thought I'd start create thread to start an arguement really
That and the fact I'm a smug so and so cos I play a Martin D28 serial no 359739. I do so in the knowledge that there isn't a better made or sounding guitar in the world, than a Martin.... That should stir up a hornet's nest or two..
Keep plonking you non-Martin players..


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Nov 98 - 07:57 PM


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 06 Nov 98 - 08:12 PM

Diferent kinds of attack on an instroment call for different boxs.I mostly finger-pick so I play an 018 martin.I hit hard and so make the 00028s sound over used.{though they sound great on a studio mike} I love the sound of certain arch-top acustics for blues work and also find the resonated guitar a usfull tool.Taylors have a wonderfull sound as well and finaly it comes down to the magic in the wood and the life the guitar has had for the vioce the instroment has. I also liked what was said above about good guitars /good players and so on. I'm so happy you like your guitar for you.. Thats whats inportant..........


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Allan. S
Date: 06 Nov 98 - 10:08 PM

It all depends how they sound.... My 1950 0018 Martin w/ Nylon strings does not sound as good as one called a ESPANIA made in Finland also have a Goya Classic {Barf.} Most of the time I play a FG140 Yamaha Picked up at the Flea Mkt for $20 It had the best sound of all of them.Have just put a set of Martin silk and Steel on the Martin hope it will improve. so Who knows. Try different things untill you find what you like THats whats important. Bugger what other people use.


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Paul Jay
Date: 06 Nov 98 - 10:15 PM

I've played a Martin 00017 for about 32 years,an old mahogany body with the best sound in the world, until last summer that is, when I found a Tony Rice Santa Cruz at a major discount (divorce) price. I couldn't put it down what a great sound. My first gig about 2 weeks later had the sound man complaining that it was too loud-could I please back the mike away from the guitar? My Martin is now permanantly in open tuning,slide is where it sounds best (great silde thread). I also spent two years looking for the perfect (for me) 12 string and purchased a Taylor 750 and I've been in love with it ever since.


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Chet W.
Date: 06 Nov 98 - 10:18 PM

Allan, for God's sake put a set of steel strings on your OO-18 (I would recommend a light gauge phosphor-bronze such a D'Addario's J-16 set). It was made for steel strings and anything lighter is not only going to sound worse, but you may do serious damage to a wonderful instrument by not loading it correctly. If it's had those nylon strings a long time, you are lucky if it still has a straight neck, and it may take it a while to start sounding good under the correct load, but please don't endanger such an instrument. We all want it.

Chet W.


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Snookums
Date: 06 Nov 98 - 11:57 PM

Talk about starting an argument, how's this? I play an Ovation Celebrity deluxe. It's ok, it was the best accoustic/electric I could get around these parts (Iowa is not the acoustic capitol of the world) that I could afford. Would rather have a Martin or Gibson, but oh well, I can dream.

Snookums


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Big Mick
Date: 07 Nov 98 - 12:47 AM

Jazus, Mick. Is it the knees that you are sick of in their present location? :->)) The aul Martin is indeed a grand sounding instrument, but if I could get you to clean the wax out of your ears for one sweet minute and listen, in an unprejudiced manner to the guitars currently being made in Canada by La-Si-Do, you might have reason to believe that you have spent a lot of Quid for no better sound out of the Martin. (Did I really write that last sentence?)

While I certainly admit that the vintage D-28's are special instruments, I will match the sound out of my 1964 Guild 12 string against any other. Voice like a choir of angels. She would make you feel something grand, Mick old chap. Especially since I started stringing her with DR Rare Phosphur Bronze lights.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Dave T
Date: 07 Nov 98 - 02:30 AM

I play three different guitars. My favourite is a 1967 Martin 000-18 with D'Addaro Phosphor Bronze Lights. By the way, Allan, I agree with Chet. If you're really concerned with the tension of the strings (although lights are no problem), try D'Addario Custom Lights.
For bluegrass I have a Norman ST-68 made by La-Si-Do. It's a spruce and Rosewood dreadnought size guitar. I have an Yamaha "plywood box" (FG-200), that I use for open G blues.
That's about it for me folks.
Dave T


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Musicman
Date: 07 Nov 98 - 03:10 AM

Yo there, I've got me a Daion that I picked up about 16 years ago. I do both strumming and picking (with the fingers) and it sounds great with both. I use light strings, no particular brand. I've noticed a BIG difference with picks. I usually use mediums. I was given some Dean Markley mediums and loved the sound. Tried all other types I can get but none sound as good, including the Tortise brand, fender, martin and what ever else I could find. None sounded as good as the dean Markley's. They gave me a clean, bright solid sound. Only problem is, I can't find them anyway for retail on the west coast. (Canada or US!!!!!) BUMMER! Anybody recommend a GOOD pick up for acoustic that retains the full body sound of a great guitar. For those quiet fingerpicking songs and the louder struming songs. ?Sound hole or under the bridge???

happy picking


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Frank in the swamps
Date: 07 Nov 98 - 05:33 AM

There was a guy once who got his moneys worth out of a martin. He was freezing to death and used it to start a fire.

For classical, I have an Alvarez Yairi (spell?), a good instrument, but small sounding. I used to play a Taylor, probably the sweetest sounding guitar I ever had, but I never could get used to that skinny little neck, then a friend sold me a Lowden. What a bully critter! A finely balanced, robust sound with a wide neck, and LOUD? I play with a bunch of folks who include violins, violas, double basses, mandolins, saxaphones, flutes, clarinets, pianos and on rare occasions, a tuba. Still my guitar is right there in the crowd, without amplification.

I did hear this fella get a reasonable facsimile of music out of a martin once, he threw a handful of marbles in it and used it for a rattle.

Frank i.t.s.


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: DWDitty
Date: 07 Nov 98 - 06:13 AM

Over the years I have owned a Gibson L1 (1917), a Yamaha 360, a Dobro Model 36, a 1927 Martin 0-18K (by far the prettiest), a Gidson J-45, and now, a Guild F-50. While I love the big sound of the F-50R (formerly Jonathan Edwards stage guitar) set up with D'Addario J-17 Medium Phosphor Bronze, I still miss the balance and playability of the J-45. It has occurred to me that the J-45 crosses all musical boundaries - you see them in folk, blues, rock, jazz, bluegrass, etc. The "J" must stand for journeyman.

DW


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Animaterra
Date: 07 Nov 98 - 06:45 AM

Move over, boys, For those of us not in the Martin-et-al league, I am happy to say that my sweet little Seagull that I bought last summer used for $220 has a sweet sound just fine for my never-amplified use. Makes 'em rock in the gymnasium once a week for all-school assembly!


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: hlyster@c2i.net
Date: 07 Nov 98 - 09:43 AM

I am the happy owner of the Martin D35-360009. I also have a Fylde Lysander. I prefer the Martin,strung up with Dr.Tomastik,Bronze


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Rockaday Johnnie
Date: 07 Nov 98 - 10:27 AM

I love guitars - each one has it's own individual sound - for blues I sure love the old Gibsons - I've an early 40's Southern Jumbo (banner headstock) and an early 40's Super Jumbo J100 (one of about 140 made) for flatpicking the SJ also sounds great but I also enjoy Martins - I've got a 1970 D45 and 1972 D41 as well as a 1943 D18 - for fingerpicking I love my 1934 00-42 and my 1964 00-21 although I've got a number of Martins in reserve -2 000-28 herringbones -one is a 1944 the other a sunburst 1938 - a 1977 SOM-45 (Torch headstock) that rings like a bell and a nice 1950 00-18 --sure would like a 30's or 40's D28 to add to my collection though.....


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Mick Lowe
Date: 07 Nov 98 - 11:12 AM

I said I'd stir it up with this thread. Ain't it amazing how attached you can get to a lump of wood? All I can say to Rockaday Johnnie is you are a very wealthy man. See Frank even us mere mortals that are lucky enough to own a Martin can still be envious.
However a slightly serious question for those of you in the know about Martins. I was told that you should never buy one made after a certain date (don't ask me when cos it escapes me), due to them moving factory or changing their wood stock or something. Is this bullshit or not?
You know what they say about knowing whether you've found a good guitar or not. Cos you'll never part with it.
Mick


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Einnor
Date: 07 Nov 98 - 11:38 AM

I had the good fortune to sit in on a conversation with some top notch pickers at a bluegrass festival in Coombs British Columbia Canada. The all knowing pickers opinion was the change in wood from Brazilian rose wood to Indian rosewood. But the Indian hasen't been around long enough to be judged. It may age better than Brazilian. Who knows? I have a D-28, ST68, MD40 and an EM-150 Mandolin, all of which I love to play even though I am a relative beginner. Einnor from the tall timber.


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: DonMeixner@aol.com
Date: 07 Nov 98 - 12:01 PM

I own several guitars , all but one of which I love to play, only one of them I can play anymore.

I own a 1960 Guild F-30, a Martin 0-16NY from 1973, A Yamaha FG-180, (my first guitar) from 1971, An Ovation Adamas Collectors 1985 guitar. In 19 86 I ran my hand through a table saw which significantly reduced my ability to play anything for quite some time. I am left with finger that have little spread and they won't open beyond 75%. Consequently the only gyuitars I can play any more are the Guild which I love and the Ovation which I am at best indiferent to. The Guild was recently damaged when a tornado hit our house so thats out of play till it comes home from the shop. Most of my time is now on an ODE Long neck 5 String.


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Bill Cameron
Date: 07 Nov 98 - 01:05 PM

I play a 1973 Martin O-18, a real plain Jane model that's a few years too new to be from the Golden Era (pre 1970), but it's been played most days for the 18 years I've owned it and sounds and feels fine. It improved a lot five years ago when I finally found someone who knew how to _really_ repair and set up a Martin or other fine guitar (Rufus Stewart, but he's in Vancouver now). Many have tried...the non-adjustable truss rod was a conceit the company was wise to finally leave behind.

It's not my ultimate guitar, though. I would really like to get a well-broken-in D18, for the fuller tonal range (the O18 is crisp but lacks boom). And in my dreams, a Lowden--I've only tried one, but it was completely in a category of its own.

The new low (for Martin) priced D1 is a nice instrument. For some reason D28s have never turned my crank.

Bill in East Ontario


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 09 Nov 98 - 01:32 PM

I started my guitar playing on a little Gibson classical. As soon as I became competent with a G chord I wanted more sound and put metal strings on it. Well, of course, one day I opened the case and the bridge had detached from the top. It was nicely repaired by an old gentleman who cursed me under his breath.

I was, therefore, in the market for a real steel string guitar. It being 1965 and I being a folk-nik, I longed for a Martin D-28. I let many people know I was looking and in a telephone call, someone told me there was an ad under "Money to Loan" in the papers that sounded like what I was looking for. The guitar was in an ad for a pawn shop and the next morning I was there. They had a mint-condition D-28 and they wanted $185 for it. I bought it. Serial No. 153633 puts it at 1956 I think.

It has served me well. While I was at college, my father rolled out of my bed and onto my guitar in its case. The case took the damage well, but the tuning pegs were bent. The repairman up-graded the tuners to the then new Grovers (sp?), so my guitar is no longer pure. The blessing, though, is that it is a good sounding Martin and not as "boomy" as some. My main trouble now is I love the guitar, but I am fearful to travel with it.

My second guitar is a Guild F-212 12-string. The serial # AN-1775 puts its manufacture about 1967. I bought it used in 1990 to celebrate my divorce. I shopped for quite a while playing new and used 12's. When I picked this one up and started playing it, it sounded just like the 12-string music in my head. Fortunately, the shop owner did not know I would pay whatever he asked. He gave me a decent price.

I own a Mc Nally Backpacker guitar, probably 10 years old. Mc Nally has sold this guitar for many years through craft shows. A few years back, he sold design to Martin. Some say it sounds like a banjo. To me it is reminiscent of an old Lightnin' Hopkins record, an early electric played through a cheap tube amp. I feel comfortable taking it any where, so I can still practice guitar whenever I travel. Most days, my backpacker stays in the bathroom (no jokes about perfect pitch) I play it nearly every day (nice reverb).

Finally, a few years ago I bought a new National Tri-Cone with the paint finish. It was an impulse buy and it still gets only a little playing time. Frankly, it cries out for a bottleneck and I am still a learner in that area.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Bert
Date: 09 Nov 98 - 01:53 PM

It depends what mood I'm in and what I am singing.

My favourite is a Vantage in Birds Eye Maple. I bought it using Peter's Placebo 'An ounce of image is worth a pound of performance'. It has a nice bright tone which suits a lot of my songs.

For lower pitched songs I use an Ibanez which I picked up at Goodwill for $20. It came with a case for that price and had never been used. The peel off plastic was still on the pickguard.

If I'm feeling sentimental I pick up my old Yamaha folk guitar. I bought it in 1979 and it's been knocked around some but still sounds good.

I got an old Kay at Goodwill a couple of weeks ago for $5.50. I cleaned it up and put a new set of strings on it; sounds surprisingly good. The action is a bit high and I'm not sure yet whether I'm going to reset the bridge or fit it with a tailpiece. I was going to take it to work when it's finished but it looks like I'll have to fight my son for it.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 09 Nov 98 - 05:19 PM

My first guitar was a 1951 Martin 0-18. I bought it 16 years ago and chose it because I was a salesman and it seemed very portable for business trips. It might have belonged to Woody Guthrie (and others) before me because it had seen a lot of hard travelin' before it came to me... a couple of wars, multiple bar brawls, mucho zooey frat parties, uncounted groovy happenings, etc.

A year and a half ago, when I decided to get serious about backing Irish dance tunes (I am still getting serious about backing Irish dance tunes), I looked for a replacement that could be strummed with gusto and could take medium strings but was still sensitive enough to finger pick. After some research, I decided on a Martin M-36. They day I bought it, a couple of guitar playing buddies came along and they both played while I listened and listened while I played and sang. I bought the 2nd best sounding one because it cost considerably less than #1 and was still fine. It was in particularly nice condition.

The first time I took it to a seisuin, an individual asked to borrow it for a song. Not wanting to seem like a mean, stuck-up jerk, I let her borrow it and she proceeded to smack the Sitka straight into the Shure (cream the top against a microphone)... and that was just for starters.

The following day, I commenced my search for guitar #3. I settled on a new Sigma DM-4M: solid plywood, 3-piece neck, came with a simple bridge pickup and all for $300! All the fiddlers, banjo players, etc. hate my brown bomber. All the guitar players love it. "Hey, where'd you get this? Do they have any more?" Drunks spill Guiness on it and I smile like Alfred E. Newman, "No problem, man! Could happen to anyone." Thrasers explode 2 or 3 strings during a single song and I just say, "Isn't that a great guitar?" and under my breath to myself... "Milner, you were a genius to buy this!" I have grown very fond of my DM-4M.

I take the M-36 to concerts but, anytime I'm expecting tight spots, drunks and guest artistes of questionable intelligence, the Sigma gets a night out.

I have one other guitar but to tell you about it would be too much like going to confession.

All the best, Dan


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Sean Ruprecht-Belt
Date: 09 Nov 98 - 05:58 PM

Glad to see that this thread hasn't degenerated into the musical equivalent of 'My Dad's tougher than your Dad.'

I started years ago with a Silvertone electric guitar that was so awful it sounded more like a car horn than a guitar. I miss it terribly.

These days, I play a Gibson J-45 left to me by my Grandfather. I think it was manufactured around 1955 (about the same time I was). I've also got a Yamaha G-60A nylon string guitar that I bought in 1970. Both have great sound and feel and I wouldn't trade either for anything. The Gibson is great for about any music I play from Blues to backing fiddle tunes and the Yamaha has a wonderful mellow tone that I like for singer/songwriter kinds of things.

Then there's my banjo, which is a complete mystery. It appears to be homemande, but is pretty nice for all that. And it suits me just fine.

Regards, Sean


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Mick Lowe
Date: 09 Nov 98 - 06:50 PM

This is all fascinating stuff guys, let's keep it coming in. I think I've learnt more about that most versatile of instruments reading through these threads than years spent either down the local music store and/or pub.
Don I sympathise with your not being able to play as well since your accident. I know a couple of guys who through one reason or another are no longer able to play (one of them has taken up the accordian...no comment). When the old Arthur Rightous is particularly bad I have trouble myself.
Roger all I can say is you bought a D28 for $185.. I daren't tell you how much I paid for mine.. lotsa moola... but then eh aren't we worth the guitar of our dreams, whatever it may be?
To close another old saying my grandma told me (as if).. a good guitar is like a good woman.. better if played with everyday (sorry no sexism intended.. delete woman and insert man where required).
Mick


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 09 Nov 98 - 07:26 PM

I just got a Maton (made in Australia) BG808L. This has the body size of a classical but a more pronounced waist (it is shaped very much like the Taylor of the same size.) The top is solid Sitka Spruce and the fingerboard and bridge are rosewood. The rest is Australian woods.

What I like about it is, in common with some other small bodied guitars, it is slightly wider at the nut than most dreadnaughts which suits my fat fingers. On the other hand, the neck has a slightly slimmer profile than some others which suits my short fingers when I want to use my thumb.

It came set up with D'Addario EJ16 strings (Phosphor Bronze Light) and it sounds good with them so I will stick with them a while. I have gravitated toward Plectrum AC112 over the last half-year.

I just bought my first guitar about a year ago. It is an Epiphone PR200 (Dreadnaught) with a Nitro-Satin finish. I was really happy with it until I started to get good (relative term) at fingerpicking and then the booming bass began to get on my nerves. Also the narrow fingerboard and the large body was causing some physical difficulties.

I saw a Sisme Model A (made in Italy) really cheap in a pawn shop a while ago. It was a wreck, but I bought it and did what repairs I could myself and paid for some others. It has the shape and size of a classical, but less depth. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a heavy neck and has no truss rod, so I couldn't go better than extra-light strings; but it felt so much better that I decided to save up for a small-bodied guitar of more standard construction.

Chet, I didn't know that underloading could harm the guitar. Can't you adjust the truss rod accordingly?

By the way, here is a question for the experts. A steel string guitar seems to always have the place where the strings go over the bridge (be it the bridge itself or the saddle) angled while a classical guitar doesn't. This is of course to compensate for intonation; but is it for the strings or the body design. That is, if you do put nylon strings on a steel-string guitar, should you remove the angle of the saddle?

Murray


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Big Mick
Date: 09 Nov 98 - 09:54 PM

Mick Lowe, Great thread, my brother, I just love the give and take. And all done with good humor and just a little edge. Bravo to all.

Animaterra, When I referenced the guitars being made by La-Si-Do in Canada, the Seagulls are what I was talking about. I will tell you, brothers and sisters, there is no better guitar being made for the money. They have great sound, solid tops and backs, and a great guarantee. You Martin folks better pay attention to these.

Roger in Baltimore, Your Guild 12 and mine are the same vintage, roughly. Isn't the sound out of these old gems marvelous. As you may remember from an earlier thread, I was having a tough time with strings, but these DR Rare Phosphur Bronze seem to be the ones.

And finally, to Rockaday Johnny, If you decide to take up skydiving, tightrope without the net or any other somewhat dangerous avocation; could I hold your wallet AND your guitars for you? :-))

All the best,

Big Mick (one of three such creatures who inhabit these parts)


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Dave T
Date: 09 Nov 98 - 10:43 PM

Animaterra and Big Mick, I'm with you; for the money you can't beat Seagulls. I've been thinking about getting one with built in electronics (an S6)for open stages where you never know about the mics or the sound system.

To Bill Cameron AKA Bill in East Ontario: Is that you? I think I've played around a kitchen table with you once or twice up in MacDonald's Corners at Gary's or on the north side of Dalhousie Lake at Pat's. It was at least a few years ago though; I was probably with John T. the banjo player. Let me know if this rings any bells. If you want, add to this thread, start one "To Dave T" or email to "dtilston@netcom.ca"

By the way, Mick Lowe, as Big Mick says, great thread.
Dave T


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From:
Date: 09 Nov 98 - 11:41 PM

Alan, I agree about putting steel string on your Martin. Nylons are easy on the fingers but they haven't the power to drive the top correctly. If you can't handle steel strings on you finger tips yet, at least go to Silk and steel. You maybe damaging the guitar by not having enough force on the neck. That Guitar will handle medium gauge strings but I also agree with using lites. I like Martin Bronze or Marquis, if you can find them anyplace Darco New Yorkers were my favorites. My brother has a 00-18 from about 1960 which he plays a mixed set of GHS strings on, heavier than lites , not quite mediums.


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Brad Sondahl
Date: 10 Nov 98 - 01:10 AM

I have a 65 Martin 00-18, which I worked in the fields for two months to earn the money to buy second hand in the seventies. It had been cracked and mended in a couple places on the sides, with visible chunks of wood missing, and was rumored to have been a studio guitar, which would explain its abuse. I favor Marquis lights. It's a great fingerpicking guitar, though I generally can't hear myself in a roomful of big box guitars, resonator banjos, and fiddles. The neck is still straight, often stays in tune for weeks even with the ungreasy tuners. Brad Sondahl http://www.camasnet.com/~asondahl/bradindex.html


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Barbara
Date: 10 Nov 98 - 01:10 AM

I'm another Seagull fan here. I have their cutaway fire maple dreadnaught, tho I intended to buy one of the mellow smaller cedar ones when I hit the store a couple years back.(and I haven't the skill/style to need a cutaway) Ah, but I was seduced by the maple's voice. It has such a lovely clear tone.
I may yet go buy one of the cedar 00 size Seagulls.
Since I use guitar for vocal accompaniment and rhythm, I don't know about how it handles for the fancy stuff, but for singing with and playing with others, I love it. I don't think I would trade it for my brother's D-28 Martin if he offered. (which of course, he won't)
And as well as sounding wonderful, the book fold golden flame maple on the back is a joy to behold.

Many of my friends have Martins, and they have a slightly different sound than my Seagull, but I'm not sure it's better. And many of them (the Martins, not the friends) are getting a little quirky with age (and suffering as much as we are from their misspent youths).
On the down side, I have heard it said, that the newer guitars these days with the polyurethane finishes will never age the way the older instruments did.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Frank in the swamps
Date: 10 Nov 98 - 01:33 AM

I first saw a Seagull about four years ago, the shop wanted $250 for it, with hard case. I wasn't in the market for a guitar but would've bought the damn thing anyway, if I hadn't a been broke! In any event, I told a pal who was looking for a guitar and he had it the next day. Last time I saw it, it was still a great little instrument, and this guy doesn't take care of them. Mick's right, keep an eye on these guys.

Martins have certainly earned their reputation, it's just fun to give 'em a kick since the collectors have turned them into investment icons, besides Mr. Lowe did come out swinging;-) But this thread has got me feeling nostalgic for all the old companions I've had and left along the way. My first guitar was a red & black beast from the S&H green stamp catalogue (remember them?). Its sole reason for existing was to punish aspiring young pickers. Man I had callouses that made doctors jump out of their skins, and military guys step back. So much skin used to peel offa my fingertips fungus used to try and mate with me! My teacher, Tiny Hostetter (a GREAT SOUL) finally took pity on me and upgraded me to a cigar box. He turned the S&H, red & black beast from a pickers purgatory into a lap steel.

I'm currently living pretty good, I'm not rich, but I have been poor as hell, and there are three things I never cheat myself on... good food, good shoes and good guitars.

Frank i.t.s.


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Rockaday Johnnie
Date: 10 Nov 98 - 01:48 AM

--Just to put the facts in place --I'm sure not wealthy, but I've sure been lucky --found the D45 in an Ill. shopper and paid $475.00 for it (that INCLUDES the speeding ticket that I got scurrying to find it..The 00-42 was found in the Madison Wi paper --after running for a few weeks, I figured it was either gone, or out of my price leauge - but no, got it for $375.00. the most I've ever paid is for the early 40's J100, had to come up with $2400 for that one ---but it's all original in A1 shape and one of less than 150 made(See what Mandolin Brothers is selling a non original (new pick guard)for at their website. Which proves the good guitars from the old days are STILL out there and if you keep your eyes open you never know what you'll find.....


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Mike
Date: 10 Nov 98 - 11:10 AM

This question may be off the topic but you guys sound like you can give me some advice (all is welcomed). I have a Norman acoustic, not a very high quality guitar but it has a great sound and i'd like to keep it. I want to own an acoustic-electric mainly because of the freedom of movement it allows (I find it hard to remain still in front of a microphone). . . I have two problems: I really can't afford to buy an acoustic-electric (i'm a starving student) and I tend not to enjoy the sound of many acoustic-electrics I hear . . . I find them too trebly, no guts. I can get my acoustic modified into an acoustic electric for a reasonable price and I'b be willing to do it. Could anyone out there tell me if this is a good idea? Will it ruin the sound of my guitar, will I be able to retain that deep bassy acoustic sound I so much adore? Thanks to all who have any answers for me.


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: FIDDLER MIKE
Date: 10 Nov 98 - 11:40 AM

Mike

I've had some electric pickups (the kind that fit in the sound hole) that reproduce the acoustic sound beautifully. I'd say try before you buy.

I have a Martin Mahogany Dreadnaught (1997). Low price, light weight, each note like a Medowlark. Good base and treble,no frills. My brother-in-law, has a D-45 and a D-28, but I often find him opening my case instead of his. Maby he doesn't want to scratch his.

Mike T.


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Dan Keding
Date: 10 Nov 98 - 02:52 PM

Great Thread!!! I play Larrivees and I've got four; L 19, D 19 (maple body), OM 10, and a L 10 12 string (which I'm currently trying to sell, great guitar just don't play it anymore and don't want it wasted.) I love the sound, especially for a singer. They're the best accompanying guitars I've ever played. (And yes I did own a D 28 for about 15 years) For banjos I play a Wildwood open back and a Bacon and Day Silver Bell. I use Calton cases ( I fly a lot and they've done the job for me) with Small Dog case covers. Guitars are a joy. Dan


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: jdzabinesq
Date: 10 Nov 98 - 04:46 PM

I have a 1975 Guild D-40 SB (sunburst) that I will never get rid of. To my ears, it has an amazing balance between string and body, and it projects like nothing else.


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 Nov 98 - 06:04 PM

I thought I had just stumbled in to the Tall-Tales thread there for a minute.

Just joking, I am getting greener and greener though.


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Maj Marvelous
Date: 10 Nov 98 - 08:02 PM

I just as well tell another Martin story, I bought my 0-18 new in 1969 for $250.00 and have held onto it ever since. I could only play about three chords for the first several years so it didn't get worn good. I bought a Yamaha F-150 in a PX to bang around Viet Nam with and it filled the gap. I kept it for several years after I returned but gave it to my grandson to mess with. He isn't doing anything with it right now. A Luthier in Sioux City, Iowa (USA) made me a D-28 kit with the tree of life on the fingerboard which is a beautiful guitar but it hasn't mellowed to sound as good as my 0-18 yet. I am not a professional musician but I do like a good instrument to improve the sound of my 65 year old voice. I won't make Nashville, I guess, but I enjoy what I am doing


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: StuBs
Date: 10 Nov 98 - 08:11 PM

In 1972 my Giannini was getting tired so i bought an Ovation Balladeer in stead of the Martin I couldn't afford. I still have it and love it. Occasionally I go to try out others ,In a store with asmall and acoustically good play room but after going around the cirle of guitars on the wall, I wind up thinking Ovation is as good as the traditional best, and far better than any of the popular off the rack guitars.

One must play an Ovation in a good room to appreciate it, or listen to someone else play it, since it tends to project its sound away from itself, so its' fullness is not easily heard by the player.

Meanwhile, I still like Laskins and Larivees, Martins and Gibsons but I already have a 12 string Balladeer and an old Dobro as well as several 'party' guitars, so must dream of having anything more.


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: harpgirl
Date: 10 Nov 98 - 10:24 PM

since it's mostly guys bragging about their equipment (that's typical, huh Barb?) I'll jump in here. My first baby was a Takamine I bought in Fayetteville Arkansas in 1980 (F340) for $180. It knows me so well and it's not even jealous of it's new sibling, a Gibson J100 xtra (91346012) with a moustache bridge I bought last year.I haven't settled on the right strings though; any suggestions? I'm still not sure if I have what I want. I like that new Martin "Ladies" model. The Tak is like a second skin but the J100 sounds so great! harpgirl


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Big Mick
Date: 10 Nov 98 - 11:06 PM

Hey Harp, being as how you jumped in with the "guys" comment, I just have to say one thing. My guitar is bigger than your guitar. ***scratch, spit, grin***

Mike,

I was worried about the very same things with regard to putting electronics in my mid 60's Guild 12 string. Stan Werblin at Elderly Instruments recommended that I put a L.R. Baggs Dual Source pickup in it. The only modification is they have to slighty ream out the endpin hole. Dual source refers to the fact that it has a mike inside and a ribbon transducer. You can mix the two with the controls which pressure mount on the soundhole. It is a great pickup system for around $200. It had absolutely no effect on the sound of the instrument. The only negative thing I could say is that the control wheels are small and take getting used to. But overall I am extremely happy with it. Look it over.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Mark Clark
Date: 10 Nov 98 - 11:25 PM

I guess I can't read about all these great instruments without wanting to talk about my own. Since acquiring my 1970 Martin D-41 about twenty-five years ago, I've never found a guitar I'd rather own. It's rich tone just never gives up no matter how loud or soft it's played. It has colored beautifully in both color and sound. It was voiced in Nashville (1972) by Randy Wood and he may have done as much for the sound as Martin did. I've played other D-41s that didn't come close to this one.

I currently play SIT Royal bronze strings. They are a little on the heavy side and when played (gently) with a heavy pick seem to suit the instrument well. When I did band work I used to use the strings sold by James Boyce, a guitar maker from North Falmouth Ma. I was introduced to them by a folk singer from the east coast named Jamie Brockett. He used the Boyce strings on his specially made D-45 prototype. His guitar sounded almost like an organ.

An early guitar of mine (c. 1961) was a Gibson LG-1 from the early fifties. It had a great sound for a little guitar. Unfortunately it was ripped off in the seventies.

One guitar I wish I had back today was a National guitar I once found in a pawn shop for $20. It had a spruce top and mahogany sides and back and the neck and fingerboard enclosed a heavy solid metal casting that was fastened to the body with set screws so the angle of the neck to the top could be varied over a fairly wide range. The frets had been filed down, the top painted gold and a crude pick guard fashioned of some counter-top material that looked like mother-of-toilet-seat. A D'Armand pickup sat across the sound hole. The guitar, when amplified, sounded allmost like the one Brownie McGhee plays on that little ten-inch Folkways record he made in the fifties. I've never seen another National guitar of that model, even in good condition.

I sure am enjoying reading about everyone's guitars. Surely we haven't uncovered them all yet.

- Mark


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Big Mick
Date: 11 Nov 98 - 12:03 AM

My first guitar cost me $18.95 from an Arlan's Department store. You could through a rather large Manx Cat between the fret board and the strings and it would pass through without touching either. I then saved $220.00 and bought an Epiphone FT79, Cherry with a sunburst finish. It disappeared when I went to the service. I would give much to have it back. I loved that guitar.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 11 Nov 98 - 05:22 AM

Hi I am just about to start looking for my first decent guitar (I currently still play the one I had at school 20 years ago, and it is really aweful - I'm just waiting til the debts get manageable enough to be able to justify the expense, which can't be too high anyway). I have seen a Tanglewood Earth 200 ( I think) which I really liked the sound of, but what I really need is some advice.... Also - I quite fancy the idea of a resonator, but can you do general picky stuff and strumming on them, or are they very specific? I play finger-picky stuff, fairly aggressive strumming, and am just getting into bluesy type of stuff. So the question is really, which horses for which courses - and is there just a general all-round good performer. HELP!!!!! All advice gratefully appreciated.

Kris


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Bert
Date: 11 Nov 98 - 03:40 PM

Kris,
There's lots can be done to improve a 'really awful' guitar.
I remember once removing the back from an old junker and adding some more bracing inside the top. It mellowed it down considerably, didn't sound quite so like a banjo after that.
If you tell us what's wrong with yours we'll give you lots of conflicting advice from which to choose.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Moon'sGoin'Down
Date: 11 Nov 98 - 05:19 PM

Good Thread, here. I play one and only one guitar (can't afford any more! But, someday ...). It's a Martin OM-28, and I love it. I tried several guitars in several different places at several different times and kept coming back to the OM-28. I guess it was kinda like getting a new puppy; this guitar just kept wanting me to play (with) it!

I found the best place to pick out my instrument was at Mandolin Bros. in Staten Island, NY. Just about any instrument, vintage or new, was available there, and you can play anything to your heart's content and no one bothers you. The prices also seemed competitive.

The runner-up was a Franklin OM model. A really sweet guitar, but about twice the price of the Martin.

BTW, I too use J-16 light phospher bronze D'Addario strings. It seems to give the best sound for my ears. Once in a while I'll string with medium guage, but I like the lights best.

MGD


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Mick Lowe
Date: 11 Nov 98 - 07:35 PM

Don't have a great deal to add (I think I've said enough already), just wanted to add the 50th thread. But whilst a lot of us seem to be mentioning strings. Can I ask you whilst stating your preference also to add what type of music you play/ style of playing. I notice a lot of you prefer "lite" strings... tried them once.. the remaining 2 after 1 session are in the bin..
I should say here that I play Irish trad/ceili music. Need to compete with boxes galore/ banjos/ fiddles not to mention mic-ed up instruments, so the old Martin gets a fair whacking. Therefore medium strings are a must. Even so in a "good" week I only break one. The trouble is ( and this is where you city folks take things for granted), getting decent replacement strings ain't that easy. The local music stores are geared up for either keyboards or drums... try asking them for a decent set of strings... Anyway, enough of my whinging.. there must be lots more guitarists out there who want to wax lyrical about their favourite instrument.
Mick


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 11 Nov 98 - 09:15 PM

Mick, It seems you use quite a few sets of strings. You may find mail-order is the way to go and order in bulk. Elderly Instruments at elderly.com has been helpful to me. Bring out the drool cups before you go there, they have everything your little acoustic music heart may desire.

The early Martin guitars have relatively small bridge support. With years of medium strings the top may bow and the bridge may rise up. Many luthiers, therefore, recommend that we old Martin owners (the Martins are old, not the owners, well not all of the owners) string our guitars with light strings. I have done so for many years. In my youth, I once (maybe more than once) put heavy gauge strings on my Martin. What a sound! I've had the guitar 35 years or so and have had the bridge redone because it started to move.

I play a mix of fingerpicking and flat picking and I occasionally whale away and I have been happy with light gauge strings. My Martin projects very well, it is a loud guitar.

Of course, you could easily amplify your instrument if you wish. Elderly Instuments has many devices in their catalog. Some require no modification of the guitar and can be effective, especially if you choose loudness over acoustic tone.

I use D'Addario Phosphor Bronze Lights. They hold tune very well and I haven't broken one yet.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Dan Calder
Date: 11 Nov 98 - 09:16 PM

It surprised me to see the Seagull mentioned so prominently in this thread. I have their SM 6-string that my wife surprised me with one Christmas about eleven years ago. I wouldn't part with it even if it weren't for the sentimental value. A few years after that she gave me a Yamaha FG-410 12-string. It's great for that jangely 60s folk sound. I've also got an old El Degas I picked up at a yard sale that I keep at my camp. It doesn't seem to mind an occasional beer spilled on it.

I'm not in the Guild/Gibson/Martin league, but I get more than my money's worth of enjoyment out of all three instruments. The Seagull and Yamaha I worry about and take care of...the Degas is tougher than tree bark.


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Subject: RE: Guitars..what do you play?
From: Big Mick
Date: 11 Nov 98 - 11:49 PM

Mick,

I play primarily Irish, the whole variety. I flat pick planxty's, provide rhythem for the jigs, reels and hornpipes, fingerstyle the ballads,......you get the drift. I will play D'Addariou mediums on the 6 string and DR rare phosphur bronze lites on the Guild. You are absolutely correct about the lites breaking, especially the octave G on the 12. If I am playing a three hour gig, I will most assuredly break that string during the course of the evening. I also by my strings through Elderly, and the solution was to buy them bulk. They have a great mail order department.

Once again, my friend, great thread.

All the best,

Mick


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