Nobody knows the truffles I have seen

39martind18

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Posts
4,167
Age
72
Location
Spring TX
I gig regularly, usually 2-3 afternoons a week, mostly electric, but occasionally acoustic, using either my avatar or a 98 Taylor 815ce. Each gives a different sound, but both work well with my voice, both amplified or not. 1939 Martin D18:
_585.JPG


I've had this old guy for just shy of 50 years.
 

jrblue

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Nov 14, 2010
Posts
3,531
Location
Santa Barbara
First of all, thanks for sharing your musical adventure. These threads get full of posts focused on gear -- which is fine; that's the purpose -- but it does lead to an over-emphasis on gear and sometimes a consequential disregard for the greatest purpose and priority: making music. Your readiness to put yourself and your music forward, and the engage with others through music, is inspiring to me, for sure. As to this comment, which generated some heat:
Yamaha's Old RED LABLE's (Sucked) they are a FABLE~ sorry- but its really true - also in the SUCK category were three Harmony H1264's Jimmy Page models
I agree with you. Those Yamahas stand out as decent and reliable for their time, and able to stand up to use by non-musicians. But great? I never heard one that sounded remarkable at all. And the Harmonys do suck, across the board. That they record well -- a few of them -- is no big deal, as what makes a guitar record well for the purposes for which those were used are qualities other than harmonic complexity, volume, or other virtues. There is nothing whatsoever recorded with a Harmony Sovereign, any model ever, that could not have been recorded the same or better with another guitar. It's Page's playing, and certainly not his Sovereign, that make his music. Like all the people chasing Nick Drake's "Guild" tone, buying a brand and model that he was pictured with (when on vacation... not his main guitar at all; the main one was a Martin) and swearing that they wanted that magic, well, not the guitar, not the guitar, not the guitar. Believers are welcome to disagree with both of us.
 

Sal A

TDPRI Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2020
Posts
79
Location
Nj
I gig regularly, usually 2-3 afternoons a week, mostly electric, but occasionally acoustic, using either my avatar or a 98 Taylor 815ce. Each gives a different sound, but both work well with my voice, both amplified or not. 1939 Martin D18: View attachment 1040432

I've had this old guy for just shy of 50 years.

what year is that Martin? Yowza. 1939? That guitar is in great shape. And it could fund a retirement!
 

39martind18

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Posts
4,167
Age
72
Location
Spring TX
what year is that Martin? Yowza. 1939? That guitar is in great shape. And it could fund a retirement!
Long story short, it was purchased as NOS in1940 by the original owner who dragged it all over the Pacific in WW II. When he came home from the War, he formed a band in the Panhandle of Texas and played live on the radio in the late'40s and early '050s. He later had a career in law enforcement, and was a Campus Polce Officer at UT Arlingtonn where I met him while I was in school there. One evening at the Girl's Dorm, where some friends and I would gather and play to troll for available female companionship, he pulled me aside, showed me the old Martin, but informed me that it wasn't for sale. It took me two years of gentle, insistent pressure, but he finally sold it to me for $425. Best investment I ever made!
 

39martind18

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Posts
4,167
Age
72
Location
Spring TX
Thank you for that most excellent history…
You're welcome! an interesting aside: the original owner was not in the best of health in the early to mid 70s. I kinda lost track of him afterward. I Googled him a couple of years ago and found out he had lived till 2011, and passed away at age 96.
 

naneek

Tele-Holic
Joined
Mar 19, 2010
Posts
811
Location
PNW
his Home Tapes my good one out of the 3 sounds just like that - but it needs a neck reset it needs crack repairs it needs frets it needs a saddle and bridge repair/MOD
I have a regal branded h1260, and love it. I like that gentle 'thud' sound when you pick. Very percussive. The note swells nicely. This guitar doesn't just resonate, it shakes and quivers.

Mine was played by a woman who sang country western in tennessee and sold the guitar when she retired in her 80s! She played it hard for 40 years and wore long false fingernails which basically turned it into a scalloped fretboard. It sounds good!

You're right its a good camping guitar, I needed something with enough projection to play outdoors and still be heard. I was living in Santa Cruz and performing on the beach, or in the old outdoor amphitheater on the UC santa cruz campus.

I couldn't do any better for an acoustic guitar under $300, and played it as is for about 6 years. I did eventually put about $300 more into it, which got me a neck reset, a steam and heat treatment for the top to correct some minor warping, and a few other things. I still think I did good for $600. I wouldn't pay current prices for one.

I will say, after the repairs, it sounds a little more normal. Maybe these sound best with a higher action so the strings can really get going when you play hard.

Are they all great? no. like any old department store guitar they are hit or miss. Some are not even decent. Some left the factory before the glue set, they never had a chance. Many are a warped mess, or a ship of Theseus with altered bracing and a million crack repairs.

I don't think they compare to a Martin, ladder braced guitars have their own thing. They don't have the high end of something with more complex bracing. But I like to hear that ladder braced top vibrating loosely as hard as it will go, and hear the resonance of the wood balanced with the volume of the strings. More projection, more mids and bass, less high.

It's like these have more wood resonance, and more air movement inside the soundbox of the guitar. And guitars with more modern bracing have much better transfer of vibrations from the bridge into the bracing, preserving the highs.

I listened to the video of the ladder braced vs xbraced conversion. after the modification, it lost the deep "thud!" in the pick attack on the bass strings, and the highs became stronger, but also reedy and thinner.

New taylors actually sound constrained and stifled to me. apparently they take electronic measurements of the eq response and use that to tune the bracing to make each guitar sound as identical as possible.

Just my untrained personal thoughts. Maybe I just have bad taste, my other favorite acoustic was an all mahogany gibson LG-0 with ladder bracing and the original crappy plastic bridge. And people used to hate those cheap student model gibsons.
 
Last edited:

Happy Enchilada

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Mar 25, 2021
Posts
4,088
Location
God's Country
OP: You inspire me!
Back when I was young and hairy, I was in a couple three duo acts and had a ball.
Played everything from "Route 66" to "Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother."
Mostly John Prine/Steve Goodman/Bonnie Raitt folksy stuff. Some blues, some country, little rock.
Now that I'm semi-retired and have the time to mount up an act, I can't find a partner.
So I will endeavor to go it alone.
With my luck, I'll find someone with similar values and end up in a duo again.
That would be peachy.
After all, it's all about the music, and making people happy, right?
 

arlum

Friend of Leo's
Platinum Supporter
Joined
Jun 7, 2018
Posts
2,997
Age
68
Location
O'Fallon, MO
Don,
Now that was a great read. Everything about it is someone saying "I've got to be me". No hype. Not adhering to the latest and greatest. Just someone peeling off the layers and revealing who they are. 👏
👍✌️👍☮️.
 

39martind18

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Posts
4,167
Age
72
Location
Spring TX
Probably after 40 years regretting that he sold his trusty guitar to that pesky college kid!
Well, he wanted a D35, and I found one he really liked at a 40% discount at a store where I did almost all my business back in the day, so I don't think he was terribly upset at the transaction. He did extract a promise not to sell the D18 without him having first right of refusal, and I still have it, so there is that.
 




New Posts

Top