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

VonBonfire

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I have a low end custom shop Yamaha classical ( $2000 22 years ago ) that is as good or better than stuff I've tried at $6000....having some guitars now in the 44 to 25 year old range I can tell you that yeah they sound really good after about five years but as you get older yeah you don't want to wait that long!
My only real gear mistake was selling a '63 Gibson LG-1 to fund a National Tricone. That guitar would ring sympathetically on other strings just playing a 12 fret harmonic. Was like a bell. Was a blues machine I got from a guy who wanted a Takamine. Don't ask me. Gave him $150 for it. Sold for about $700. Easy come, easy go I guess. Wound up selling the Tricone cause if you touch the nickel finish it turns into a mess and it weighs a ton to carry around.

My old lady is a bigger guitar junkie than me she's has well over a dozen acoustic in the last 15 years. I know that isn't a lot compared to some but we ain't collectors or rich. This Hohner is my first acoustic since I sold the Tricone unless you can count the cheap-o Recording King spider resonator.

As far as strings I only use EB Earthwoods on my acoustics and Just Strings brand generics on my electrics. They take more abuse than D'Addario and Deans IME and I can get 12 sets for under $40.
 

imwjl

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@Randwulf my prized guitars are what I think they are. The truth was a pleasure. What I mean was the brief dealings with Richard Hover and Bill Collings when I got them. Richard said my acoustic is not made of particularly exotic but old and well matched wood. Bill Collings said he thought my guitar looked too nice for and didn't need a pick guard and I'm paraphrasing, but that the SoCo 16 model was a fun project or effort.
 

Ebidis

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I know exactly what my favorite guitars are, and they are exactly what I think they are.

Labels and brand names are for impressing other people. I don't care what other people think about my guitars because I'm the one playing them.
 

oregomike

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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!
Why would you think we’d want that much text? TLDR.
 

mexicanyella

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I have a low end custom shop Yamaha classical ( $2000 22 years ago ) that is as good or better than stuff I've tried at $6000....having some guitars now in the 44 to 25 year old range I can tell you that yeah they sound really good after about five years but as you get older yeah you don't want to wait that long!
I am pretty sure I have never picked up a guitar that cost more than $1,600 or so and have never owned one that cost more than $500 in 1995 dollars.

I have to like how it feels and sounds, and it has to stay in tune, and it has to fit within my tiny budget. I know my main guitar is Indonesian and my main bass is Chinese, but it’s just random info, really. I didn’t know any of that when I picked each up (different times). I just knew I liked them immediately.

It might say something about who I am as a musician or person, but I don’t think about it much. I label myself as a bottom feeder for self amusement and then dismiss the thought, mostly.
 

dreamingtele

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I have been using Stringjoy for a couple years. My kid bought me some Pure Blues and they felt and sounded great. Then about 3 weeks on I thought the D felt weird. The winding was broken at each of the first 8 frets so it was basically like a bunch of springs on a wire. I have never had that in all these decades. So I changed the set. And I made a lovely bowl of rice and black beans with some leftover grilled sausage. Topped it off with some homemade pico de gallo. And the weirdest thing happened last week. I am missing 1 shoe. I rarely lose things but I cannot find it. They’re some weird Sperrys that I only use for yard work and they’re pretty ugly and my wife hates them. Wait, you don’t think she tossed one, do you?

Ive been trying to really look into Stringjoys but just couldnt pull the trigger for expensive strings. My body chemistry would probably make them dull just as fast as Ernie Ball burlys (11-52) set I always put on my guitars. I seem to have a phase going with Ernie Balls for a time then going back to Daddario, but since I can buy the Ernie Balls for 10bucks each for a set of three versus 12-14bucks each for Daddario, i chose to save the difference. And I love Tabasco on grilled sausage, whats your favorite hot sauce? I dont know if you guys there in the states have Sebago, but I like them better than Sperry’s, i think they are made with Horween Leather which is very good quality for a dockside boat shoe. I love mine but it takes a while to break them in which makes my feet hurt for a while. Maybe your wife might like them and wont toss them out?
 

dreamingtele

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I used to be a guy who likes to have “Fender” or “Gibson” on the headstock.

Then I come across guitars which are unbelievably good, i just didnt care about what it is. Specifically, those first run of Squier CV’s before they went to Indonesia.

After a while, I just looked at guitars as guitars. I just recently got proven wrong again when I developed a certain taste on guitars. Absolutely no strats. no one-pc maple neck, no v-shape, only rosewood board. Then I came across a 57 AVRI strat that blew me away. A guitar that absolutely doesnt have my preferred specs and color. Go figure. I love this strat to death.

Untitled by D Y, on Flickr


I also went shopping for a slope shoulder acoustic. I went to the store and sampled three budget range acoustics versus a Gibson J-45. Guess which sounded 1:1 with the Gibson?

A humble budget, solid top, ply back and side, micarta fretboard and bridge Sigma JM-SG45 for around 1/3 of the price of the Gibson. I paid happily that I felt like I stole the tone of the Gibson and got waaaaaaaaaay more guitar for my money.

Untitled by D Y, on Flickr


I got intrigued with Boucher guitars when I read your original post (unedited, continuous stream of conscious thoughts with no paragraph structure) - but then, i got reminded that even if its VERY GOOD, it may probably just be some percentage better than my cheap one that diminishing returns kick in.

Have you tried lower end guitars first before going to the high end shop you were referring to? I guess to fully justify this post, i was hoping you wouldve tried entry-mid level guitars before talking about how good Collings and Boucher guitars. I know how good Collings guitars are. They use the best of the best materials and really good craftsmanship, so its a bit ironic to talk about not caring about labels and makers, when these guitars are the creme dela creme of acoustics.
 
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Skyhook

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Did you know D'Addario uses the best high quality German steel used for radial car and truck tyres?????? Thought so! lol!
I chose D'Addario because "that's what Joe Satriani uses".
And I've stuck with the brand because "hey... it worked before, right?".
Now you're telling me these things are objectively good?! :lol:

I guess I shouldn't heed the siren song coming from GHS then. I'll just say "ok, Boomer"(saw what I did there? :D)
and stick to D'Addario. 🙃
 
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teletimetx

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I guess I shouldn't heed the siren song coming from GHS then. I'll just say "ok, Boomer" and stick to D'Addario. 🙃

Yep, totally confusing! I want to purchase the GHS Boomer strings to be like Quorthon, who endorsed Boomers, yet his actual status birthdate seems to indicate he does not qualify for boomerhood, or at least he is borderline, and then he goes and after inventing Viking metal and all, dies at the unpopular age of 38, when everybody, (including the kleptocurrency fluent gen qq’ers) knows that the most elegantly tragic age to die is 27! That alone represents a margin of error of more than 40%! No blind testing required for that math - and the badge on your handheld calculating device won’t change the inefficiency of its lithium battery, either! Do have any idea what a burden it is to have been the first person to have discovered that you don’t have to pay too much! And then to try to explain it to forum dwelling simpletons who couldn’t find Andorra on a map if their obviously banal lives depended on it? Let alone apprehensively knee boarding the genius of my stream of consciousness? !!!
 

mad dog

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My writing teacher in college always said "less is best", referring to long run-on sentences. I have carried that through life. However with guitars, "more is best". The more you like it, the bester it is.:)

This is an interesting angle. Brevity is best, until it isn't. Everything depends on the writer's skill, his/her intent and the context (subject, et al.) Pretty much the same with improvising.

With guitars, it's always the inner child. Once in awhile constrained by outside forces and norms. Not always.
 

imwjl

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come on you didn't know about the red spruce or the german steel....be honest!
I always knew more about the materials than music, and what was really important with provenance was the ethics behind their acquisition as much or more than some of the materials. There can be a lot of hype with marketing and OEM sources for components and materials. For strings firms like Mapes. Also for strings low volume sales that are higher costs. Nothing in that was or felt like a scam.

There is crazy brand loyalty but for my earlier post I in essence said that Martin 000 and ES-335 I wanted so much are neither, and there was nothing deceptive or a scam dealing with Santa Cruz or Collings. The Collings SoCo 16 is much more disguised ES-335 than my SCGC is a disguised Martin.

Steel is just steel but the Germans who made one of our cars did a good job with it. IIRC, the German metal parts I have for guitars are more red metals and chrome plating.

Personally, I'm attracted to things at all sorts of price points.
 

Matt Sarad

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I use D’Addario, Elixir, SCGC, Strings on my acoustics.
I use SIT,D'Addario, Ernie Ball, Dean Markle, GHS, on my electrics.
I read lots of books, about 6 in the last month.
I play guitar every day.
The mandolin occasionally.
I. I. I...
 




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