Author Topic: Frivolous thread: Guitars  (Read 7042 times)

David Garner

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Frivolous thread: Guitars
« on: February 21, 2013, 02:19:15 PM »
Hoping this will meet with some interest.  As some of you may know, I play guitar in a local band.  This thread is to discuss interests in guitar, gear, and related fun stuff.

My main guitar is my 40th birthday present -- an Eric Johnson Signature Stratocaster, and while I currently gig with a Mesa Express 5:50, my heart is still with my Deluxe Reverb clone that sadly stays upstairs and doesn't get nearly as much love as it deserves.  I also have a nice Taylor acoustic that I tried and tried to talk myself out of (because I wanted a Martin) and in the end just couldn't.  It just played nicer than anything else I put my hands on, and was less expensive than the Martin and had onboard electronics.

I still play my old Telecaster more than the others, primarily because it's what I usually have with me for rehearsal (I don't like to leave the Strat in the car).
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Coach-Rev

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Re: Frivolous thread: Guitars
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2013, 02:51:43 PM »
I have an Alvarez that sees the light of day perhaps twice a year.  Like the band "REM," I know 3 chords well.  So I'm probably not the best one to participate in this discussion.  I'll probably be a frequent lurker though as a proficient guitar player wannabe...

exegete77

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Re: Frivolous thread: Guitars
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2013, 02:55:39 PM »
I have been playing guitar for 51 years. My starter was a 1934 Montgomery Wards guitar that my father bought when he left home (at age 14); that action was about ½ inch! Many bloody fingers for that time!! Then for confirmation in 1963 I received a handmade guitar from my parents. Two brothers began making guitars in the early 1960’s. This was the second one that the older brother made, and he only made nine. I gave this to our oldest granddaughter three years ago; it is the only surviving guitar from that line. Those two brothers taught me how to play. They were (and still are in their 80’s) superb guitarists.

In 1964 I paid $400 for a 1956 Gibson, thin body, double cut away with single pickup—bright cherry. One of the smoothest playing guitars ever made. I played that in taverns, dancehalls, etc. beginning in 1967 (yeah they were lax about age then). The brother who made my guitar also played rhythm guitar and would sing, while I played lead on the Gibson; then he would switch to the fiddle and I played his flattop (one made by his younger brother).For my 21st birthday we played at a tavern doing that kind of thing. When we finally left at 5:00 AM, I made $3 and he gained two quarts of dill pickles.  ;D It was the only time I ever made money on playing guitar.

I kept that Gibson until 1992, when I sold it so that I could buy a handmade guitar by the younger brother (he has made about 225, plus about 175 Mandolins). It cost $1300 at the time. Today his guitars sell for $3500, and Mandolins for ~$6500. I have played this in church services, weddings, family gatherings, etc.(no more taverns!). When I do play with others, this guitar stands up well against any Martin or any other top-of-the-line flattop guitar. In the early 1960’s he had made a few classical guitars, and one was played by Segovia who commented that it was one of the best he had ever played.

So, right now I have one guitar. My preferred style of music is bluegrass (flat-picking) and old (pre-1965 mostly) style country music. Over the years, guitar playing has been one place of solace for me, especially in my teen years. But even now I can begin playing to relax.

(Thanks for starting this thread)
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 03:08:08 PM by exegete77 »
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exegete77

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Re: Frivolous thread: Guitars
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2013, 03:06:31 PM »
Here is the link to the younger brother discussing the background of making the guitars and mandolins. I have played many times in that kitchen setting where the interview takes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_EOLuc8u5U
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David Garner

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Re: Frivolous thread: Guitars
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2013, 03:17:54 PM »
I have been playing guitar for 51 years. My starter was a 1934 Montgomery Wards guitar that my father bought when he left home (at age 14); that action was about ½ inch! Many bloody fingers for that time!! Then for confirmation in 1963 I received a handmade guitar from my parents. Two brothers began making guitars in the early 1960’s. This was the second one that the older brother made, and he only made nine. I gave this to our oldest granddaughter three years ago; it is the only surviving guitar from that line. Those two brothers taught me how to play. They were (and still are in their 80’s) superb guitarists.

In 1964 I paid $400 for a 1956 Gibson, thin body, double cut away with single pickup—bright cherry. One of the smoothest playing guitars ever made. I played that in taverns, dancehalls, etc. beginning in 1967 (yeah they were lax about age then). The brother who made my guitar also played rhythm guitar and would sing, while I played lead on the Gibson; then he would switch to the fiddle and I played his flattop (one made by his younger brother).For my 21st birthday we played at a tavern doing that kind of thing. When we finally left at 5:00 AM, I made $3 and he gained two quarts of dill pickles.  ;D It was the only time I ever made money on playing guitar.

I kept that Gibson until 1992, when I sold it so that I could buy a handmade guitar by the younger brother (he has made about 225, plus about 175 Mandolins). It cost $1300 at the time. Today his guitars sell for $3500, and Mandolins for ~$6500. I have played this in church services, weddings, family gatherings, etc.(no more taverns!). When I do play with others, this guitar stands up well against any Martin or any other top-of-the-line flattop guitar. In the early 1960’s he had made a few classical guitars, and one was played by Segovia who commented that it was one of the best he had ever played.

So, right now I have one guitar. My preferred style of music is bluegrass (flat-picking) and old (pre-1965 mostly) style country music. Over the years, guitar playing has been one place of solace for me, especially in my teen years. But even now I can begin playing to relax.

(Thanks for starting this thread)

Here is the link to the younger brother discussing the background of making the guitars and mandolins. I have played many times in that kitchen setting where the interview takes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_EOLuc8u5U

Wow, that is very cool!  Loved the video -- he sure builds a beauty of a guitar.

I'm about to build another Stratocaster, but I wouldn't know where to start building an acoustic.  That's a rare skill.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

George Erdner

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Re: Frivolous thread: Guitars
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2013, 03:28:55 PM »
I started in the 60's with a nameless, el cheapo acoustic with terrible action. My first real guitar was a Kapa Continental solid-body six string, which had German-made Hohner humbucker pickups. . I eventually acquired a Harmony H-27 bass (Fender P-bass copy) which also had a Hohner pickup. At the time, I didn't even know that Hohner pickups had a good reputation. I played through a Martin SS-140 AMP (actually a re-labeled RMI) and a Heathkit bass amp I assembled myself. I sold all my gear in the mid-70's, and didn't touch a guitar again until the late 1990's.


I traded a pro-wrestler's jacket I got because he owed me money for a BC Rich Warlock bass, which I then traded for a Squier DG-6 acoustic. I installed an Artec single-coil sound hole pickup and an Artec preamp to electrify the DG-6. Then I got a Photogenic bass on eBay. It's an Ibanez with a brand label usually only sold in Japan. It has the common hybrid P and J pickup setup. Then I got my main, go-to guitar, an Alvarez acoustic-electric 12-string.


I play everything through a Peavey KB-100 keyboard amp. Several people recommended it because it was designed to also serve as a coffee-house rig with a channel for a mic and another for keyboard or guitar, and because it had enough bottom to easily handle a bass guitar. I use a Zoom pedal on the 12 string to remove the "quacky" piezo sound and make it sound more like an acoustic playing louder.


Until around a year ago, I played quite often. Since last December, I hardly ever play at all. I miss playing. I miss it a lot.

Jeremy Loesch

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Re: Frivolous thread: Guitars
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2013, 03:32:04 PM »
George, why don't you play anymore?  I remember seeing a youtube video of you playing and singing some hymns.  I thought it was quite nice. 

Jeremy
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exegete77

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Re: Frivolous thread: Guitars
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2013, 03:36:13 PM »
This a photo of it now. When I bought it, the front wood was very very light almost creamy colored. But aging of the wood has darkened it to this beautiful result.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/filosofer777/8495113711/in/photostream
Rich Shields (TAALC)

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David Garner

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Re: Frivolous thread: Guitars
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2013, 03:36:53 PM »
I started in the 60's with a nameless, el cheapo acoustic with terrible action. My first real guitar was a Kapa Continental solid-body six string, which had German-made Hohner humbucker pickups. . I eventually acquired a Harmony H-27 bass (Fender P-bass copy) which also had a Hohner pickup. At the time, I didn't even know that Hohner pickups had a good reputation. I played through a Martin SS-140 AMP (actually a re-labeled RMI) and a Heathkit bass amp I assembled myself. I sold all my gear in the mid-70's, and didn't touch a guitar again until the late 1990's.


I traded a pro-wrestler's jacket I got because he owed me money for a BC Rich Warlock bass, which I then traded for a Squier DG-6 acoustic. I installed an Artec single-coil sound hole pickup and an Artec preamp to electrify the DG-6. Then I got a Photogenic bass on eBay. It's an Ibanez with a brand label usually only sold in Japan. It has the common hybrid P and J pickup setup. Then I got my main, go-to guitar, an Alvarez acoustic-electric 12-string.


I play everything through a Peavey KB-100 keyboard amp. Several people recommended it because it was designed to also serve as a coffee-house rig with a channel for a mic and another for keyboard or guitar, and because it had enough bottom to easily handle a bass guitar. I use a Zoom pedal on the 12 string to remove the "quacky" piezo sound and make it sound more like an acoustic playing louder.


Until around a year ago, I played quite often. Since last December, I hardly ever play at all. I miss playing. I miss it a lot.

If you are able, try a K&K Pure Western pickup system on that Alvarez.  A friend of mine has one on his Martin OM, and it is amazing.  Similar to the ES system on Taylor guitars, in that it has mini microphones that are attached to the bottom of the soundboard with adhesive, but unlike the Taylor, it doesn't have a magnetic pickup under the fingerboard.  The K&K has 3, mine has 2.  They are very transparent.  I like the Taylor system because I can turn these on or off as needed (or I can turn one off and leave the other on).  But the K&K setup is very nice.  I highly recommend it.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

George Erdner

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Re: Frivolous thread: Guitars
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2013, 03:39:25 PM »
George, why don't you play anymore?  I remember seeing a youtube video of you playing and singing some hymns.  I thought it was quite nice. 

Jeremy


Several factors, including age and some personal issues. I'm glad you liked the stuff I put on YouTube. I have the entire set of sheet music for the folk mass "Rejoice" available as a .pdf file. It's been out of print for decades. The guy who wrote it said he doesn't mind me sharing copies.

George Erdner

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Re: Frivolous thread: Guitars
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2013, 03:43:48 PM »
If you are able, try a K&K Pure Western pickup system on that Alvarez.  A friend of mine has one on his Martin OM, and it is amazing.  Similar to the ES system on Taylor guitars, in that it has mini microphones that are attached to the bottom of the soundboard with adhesive, but unlike the Taylor, it doesn't have a magnetic pickup under the fingerboard.  The K&K has 3, mine has 2.  They are very transparent.  I like the Taylor system because I can turn these on or off as needed (or I can turn one off and leave the other on).  But the K&K setup is very nice.  I highly recommend it.


I thought about that, but if I'm going to go that route, I think that I'd rather just trade the guitar for a 12 with a Florentine cutaway and an internal mic pickup system. Alvarez and others have guitars like that on the market. I've heard guitars with the internal mics like you describe. I think they sound great. Likewise the ones with contact transducers. My Alvarez is really nice, and I like it a lot. But if I'm going to upgrade, I'd like to not only get better pickups, I's also want an all-around better guitar.

David Garner

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Re: Frivolous thread: Guitars
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2013, 03:46:07 PM »
This a photo of it now. When I bought it, the front wood was very very light almost creamy colored. But aging of the wood has darkened it to this beautiful result.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/filosofer777/8495113711/in/photostream

Beautiful.

Here's my Taylor:

http://i1237.photobucket.com/albums/ff473/DGarner211/Taylorfront2-1_zpsf7ffc433.jpg

And my no. 1:

http://i1237.photobucket.com/albums/ff473/DGarner211/DSCN0823.jpg

Deluxe Reverb clone with my Telecaster and PRS DGT:

http://i1237.photobucket.com/albums/ff473/DGarner211/100_2551-1_zps81203f9b.jpg

And the workhorse, my main gigging amp, a Mesa Boogie Express 5:50:

http://i1237.photobucket.com/albums/ff473/DGarner211/DSCN0825.jpg
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Frivolous thread: Guitars
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2013, 03:47:36 PM »
I started playing guitar in 1964 with a classical guitar. Bought a Yamaha 12-string in 1968 for use in a Gospel singing group. In 1972-3, while working in a music store at seminary, I bought a Guild D-50. It's an acoustic 6-string guitar with rosewood back and sides. (I believe that Guild has changed owners since then.) Of all the guitars in the store it was the best sounding one and somewhat less costly than a Martin. I was into the folk scene. (New models run from $3300-3600.) I'm still using it.
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David Garner

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Re: Frivolous thread: Guitars
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2013, 04:04:29 PM »
I started playing guitar in 1964 with a classical guitar. Bought a Yamaha 12-string in 1968 for use in a Gospel singing group. In 1972-3, while working in a music store at seminary, I bought a Guild D-50. It's an acoustic 6-string guitar with rosewood back and sides. (I believe that Guild has changed owners since then.) Of all the guitars in the store it was the best sounding one and somewhat less costly than a Martin. I was into the folk scene. (New models run from $3300-3600.) I'm still using it.

I love Guild guitars.  Fender owns them now.  Not sure if that's a good or a bad thing.  I'm a huge fan of Fender electrics.  Not so much their acoustics.  But I assume they use the old Guild designs.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

exegete77

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Re: Frivolous thread: Guitars
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2013, 04:06:28 PM »

Here's my Taylor:

And my no. 1:

Deluxe Reverb clone with my Telecaster and PRS DGT:

And the workhorse, my main gigging amp, a Mesa Boogie Express 5:50:


Nice guitars! I still miss having the Gibson, but don’t play enough to justify buying a new one.

I had a pickup unit (but no controls) put into this flattop so I can play with whatever amp is available, and even works plugging directly into sound systems.
Rich Shields (TAALC)

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