Is your prized guitar really what you think it is, or, can you handle the "truth"???

Randwulf

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Seems like some of you prefer paragraphs? And here I thought I was being all hip by posting a non binary non biased non gender specific stream of consciousness guitar infused rambling musing???? Ah well, paragraphs it is!

Everyone seems to have some sort of bias, guitar players are no different, so after seeing many posts praising one make whilst deriding others, I offer my own take on this.

A few years back a well known and respected guitar magazine rounded up five notable players who for some reason or other "swore" by the strings they used, and asked them to participate in a "blind" string test as to which string they liked the best. Every single one of them picked and preferred, uh, wait for it, the D'Addario strings that were the same gauge as they were used to over their "perfect" other strings. Not one, not two, ALL five. Of the five two used D'Addario strings if I recollect correctly. This isn't a plug for D'Addario, it's just what the test revealed.

When I bought my first dreadnought, I had no bias back in 1976, I simply wanted the "best" guitar for the money I had to spend, $800 to $1000 in 1976 ( which could get you a good guitar back then ). I bought it according to how it felt, sounded, and played. It was an unknown name back then, and I picked it over a more expensive Guild and Martin, both of which I could have bought, and had they performed better to my ears and touch, I would have gladly walked away with either. I didn't. I still have that guitar to this day, and after some work, it's still as good and sounds better than any Martin I have played. I'm not saying the Martin's I've tried have been bad, they just haven't been as good for me as my original choice, and after 46 years of almost daily playing, it's safe to say it's held up very well indeed!

Luthiers come and go, and the same people are not building Martins, for example, that were in 1940. Or Taylors. Or most anything else. I have a 2017-18 Breedlove Oregon that plays like a $12,000 guitar! I don't know who actually made it, but it's as close to perfect as I've ever seen in every way.

Now I play classical as well so it's smaller than a dread which is one of the reasons I bought it. Most comfortable steel string I have. Doesn't sound like a Martin, isn't supposed to, but for what I use it for sounds better to my ears.

When I had to repair my 40 plus year old dread a few years ago ( refret neck set tuners etc.). I realized it was getting fragile so I was looking for a new one. Went to a specialty high end store where an amazing player was having a dilemma between a Collings and a Boucher ( I hadn't heard of either at the time ). He heard me play a bit and then asked me to play them both so he could give a listen from a ways back in the room.

Then we got to talking. He said if I was looking for a dread he'd let me buy the Boucher as he already had a good dread and I believe the Collings was a smaller auditorium style and he was actually looking for a smaller guitar to finger pick with. So he took the Collings and I took the Boucher but he was seriously considering the Boucher even though he had a good dread ( he didn't say what make it was ). There were numerous other well known "brands" there, all decent and high priced, which we also tried, but our consensus was the Collings and the Boucher were the best of the ones we tried.

Sound is a subjective thing, but what also stood out about those two guitars was their ease of playability and their obvious quality....they were a cut above the others. Case in point neither of us gave a hoot about the name on the headstock, we were looking for a tool to fill a certain niche, so it was all about the feel, response, playability, sustain, projection, and tone.I get loving what you have and wanting to think it's the best out there, especially if you dropped a lot of coin for it, but may I suggest that before you feel the urge to "dis" some other make that you may not have even tired, or that you're unfamiliar with, maybe you should take it for a test drive first.

I don't comment on anything I haven't tried or compared, so If I say something about any brand, it's just relating my own experience with that brand, however broad or limited that experience may be. Arguably the best red spruce comes from Canada, because it's where the Appalachians start ( or end, depending on your perspective ).

I say this because 1. it's true! ( the U.S. cut down almost all it's red spruce during world war 2 ( over 90 percent of it, so the oldest trees there are less than 80 years old and most occurs along the coast at close to sea level ) 2. Canadian red spruce forests are at a higher altitude ( 1000 to 1800 feet on average ) and have a longer, colder winter so the rings are straighter and closer together, which makes for a better sounding and stiffer top.

Boucher guitars makes most of the highend Adirondack soundboards in the world, so your AAAAA Adi top on your custom Collings, Bourgoise, Martin, or whatever was probably made by them. In fact, they only make around 400 guitars a year themselves and have four luthiers who just make Adi tops for others.........like Jack says in " A few good men "....." you can't handle the truth".....lol! Enjoy whatever you have and keep plucking, eh?!

I would offer to suggest that the model number stamped or written on the sticker in the soundhole, and the name on the headstock, is not nearly as important as the actual people who chose the wood and parts and put it together, whoever they were, and wherever those parts came from, eh?

Did you know D'Addario uses the best high quality German steel used for radial car and truck tyres?????? Thought so! lol!
 
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bgmacaw

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kbold

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My son is studying philosophy. I'm sure he would have no problem reading that paragraph, as he probably comes across long paragraphs often.

But for me .... I can't even get the enthusiasm to start.
 

jimmywrangles

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I buy my brand of strings (Rotosound Yellows) because they almost never break and the come with an extra E in case one does break. I really can't tell the difference between brands anyway so durability is key for me.
I'm also of the school of thought that for the price of one Gibson I can buy half a dozen or more other guitars, with modern CNC machining they're pretty much all the same anyway except for the pickups, with pickups you get what you pay for.
I also believe tonewoods are a myth for electric guitars and aliens exist so I'm not sure anyone should believe what I have to say.:twisted:
 

kbold

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A few years back a well known and respected guitar magazine rounded up five notable players who for some reason or other "swore" by the strings they used, and asked them to participate in a "blind" string test as to which string they liked the best. Every single one of them picked and preferred, uh, wait for it, the D'Addario strings that were the same gauge as they were used to over their "perfect" other strings
I guess none of them were using Pyramid strings.
I have a 2017-18 Breedlove Oregon that plays like a $12,000 guitar! I don't know who actually made it, but it's as close to perfect as I've ever seen in every way.
I think Breedlove made it. Breedlove make some very nice guitars .... they miss some of the limelight, like Godin electrics IMO.
I would offer to suggest that the model number stamped or written on the sticker in the soundhole, and the name on the headstock, is not nearly as important as the actual people who chose the wood and parts and put it together, whoever they were, and wherever those parts came from, eh?
Although the name on the headstock gives a fair indication of their attention to detail and quality control.
Once the price tag gets beyond a few grand, the law of diminishing returns kicks in.
 

Randwulf

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ontario
I guess none of them were using Pyramid strings.

I think Breedlove made it. Breedlove make some very nice guitars .... they miss some of the limelight, like Godin electrics IMO.

Although the name on the headstock gives a fair indication of their attention to detail and quality control.
Once the price tag gets beyond a few grand, the law of diminishing returns kicks in.
I meant I don't know the actual person ( people ) who made it, as they come and go.....I have noticed for example the newer Breedloves I've tried aren't up the level of mine
 




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