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Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by slinger, May 24, 2018.
Two come to mind.
Back in the late 80's, local shop got a pair of 19-teens Gibson L-1 archtops. Both were missing about 90% of their finish, needed necks reset...but playable in 1st position. Shop owner was a fiddler and loved the Skillet-Lickers. That week, I spent a lot of time backing him on those L-1s...I sounded just like Riley Puckett! If I had any money at the time, I'd still have one of them.
Also got to play a fantastic prewar L-5C at Gruhn's back in the 80's (when they were still in the old shop on Broadway). I wanted that guitar...but didn't have the $2700 to buy it. Would have been a great investment...and had 'that sound', perfectly set up, etc.
I've played several outstanding Martins, pre-war D-18's, 00's, 000's. Local friend's wife has a prewar 00-18 that is amazing. I'd trade her a banjo for it...'cept she don't play the banjo.
I've had the good fortune to have played a lot of really good acoustic guitars. One in particular that comes to mind is the Martin Eric Clapton model which had an almost surreal combination of resonance and harmonics. Neither obscured the other in any way. My personal guitar is a Simon and Patrick Showcase Rosewood. It's a beautiful dreadnaught that plays well and sounds beautiful. It's very articulate both finger style and with a pick. It's the only guitar I've found that I couldn't walk away from. Better than the Clapton model? The S&P is certainly nowhere near as ornate. Playability? Mine is set up perfectly for me. Sound? Equal for sure with a flat pick, not quite as articulate finger style but it's mine and I didn't have to do without anything to buy it.
My old Gibson Dove . . . never should have sold it. Cherry burst finish, amazing guitar. Sigh. Oh, well, I have a new J-15 on the way, so maybe that will ease the pain a little.
I used to have the top of the line Ovation Stereo Adamas. Not bad sounding at all acoustically, and electro-acoutically, it was awesome sounding. I sold it 20 years ago when I essentially quit playing live. I could say I wish I had it back, but if I had it, it would just sit in the closet because I only play my Teles now.
I was lucky enough to go on a tour of the Martin factory recently and had an extra behind-the-scenes view in the museum. I actually got to play the "Holy Grail" 1941 D-45 and 1933 OM-45. The OM really was wonderful - enough that I looked around for anything remotely close. There's a new custom shop actually with Brazilian rosewood and 100% accurate - it's only $69k . Down the line are lesser pre-war OMs, like OM-28s, and scraping the bottom of the barrel you can get an "Authentic" for $5-6k. I played a couple of those and there was an OM-18A that had me on the verge of calling my wife, but I resisted. (At least until she gets home from her business trip - cannot get the dang thing out of my head!)
(Bad low-light phone pic of OM-45)
A used Guild D-55 at Guitar Center. Was $1500.
Should have snagged it but it was probably the right call not to.
Wasn't even my style -- bling like gold hardware and fancy inlays -- but sounded like heaven.
I've played a few Martins, Taylors, Gibsons, etc, but I really like my $300 Alvarez guitar. I like the way the neck feels and it just sounds good to me. Some of the more expensive guitars always seem to have necks that are a little wide or hefty for my tastes and end up making my left wrist hurt. I have been playing since I was 17, so it's not a matter of needing to toughen up. I guess I'm fortunate to be happy with my reasonably priced acoustic.
Maybe one day, I'll bite the bullet and get one of those HenWays I keep hearing about, though Either that or a Dickfour, I'm still not decided.
A J-45 from 1951 owned by an old friend of mine. Close second would be a 1947 D-18 owned by the father of one of my high school friends. Both of them are magical...
I really love mine! Had it about 6 months. Nice guitar.
Thomas Norwood D-35 style, but with a Spanish neck joint. It is truly one of a kind, and *easily* the best sounding acoustic I've ever heard. It's like a canon in terms of volume, and the tone is so insanely balanced that it's hard to believe. Brazilian rosewood, flamed maple binding, steamed/bent purfling inside (as in not notched). Decades ago he moved to France and took up the study and manufacture of European folk instruments (though he occasionally builds a nylon stringed guitar or two).
The runner up is my 1968 Guild F-50.
My '27 Martin 00-28K2 gets an honorable mention as well. Though it's an extremely quiet and mellow tone, it's super sweet.
Played a mid 50s SJ that was worn to sh@t but sounded amazing. The couple 50s J200s I’ve played in contrast were merely ok. Haven’t tried a pre-war Martin or AJ though. Would love to have the chance.
Have never played a bad Collings.
Gibson Dove. My wife got it (used) for high school graduation in 1970. She chose that one because it sounded like church bells. My Hummingbird of about the same vintage was good, but not that close. Lost the Dove in a fire, and sold the Hummingbird when we moved the music shop and needed stuff on the walls. Still looking for the right replacement.....
My '69 D12-35 with Brazilian rosewood back and sides, bought in '81 for $350!
I am loving my J-15, too. It just feels right!
An old run of the mill Hohner a friend of mine had. I was just a Martin demo a few weeks ago and picked up a 14k guitar. I'd like to say it resonated wonderfully and played like a dream, and after a decade or so it probably will, but I think I'm just too used to my electrics antmore
My Gibson J-35 and my takamine gs430s
I've owned a high and Martin and a high end Taylor both of which have been sold in favor of this old 1980 Japanese made Sigma D10 Anniversary. I've played none better.
Early 60’s D18. Belongs to a friend of mine. It seriously strains our friendship....not really, but I do have serious lust for this guitar. Best playing & best sounding acoustic I’ve ever held.