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Everything posted by mountainpicker

  1. Dan, I'm curious as to why you think phosphor bronze strings aren't as suitable as 80/20's when down tuning? Just something you've picked up along the way through experience or are there other reasons too? I don't tune down but this is the first I've encountered a preference based on the metal composition of the strings. Interesting.
  2. I think I'd leave the signatures alone for a bit and play and live with the guitar for awhile and see how it sits with you over time. You can always remove them (love the link to the Goof Off stuff!) at any time in the future but you can't put them back. I mean, what if Tommy or Phil become the Prime Minister ten years from now or figure out a way to end all wars or some such? You'd be posting up a story about how you once had a guitar that had their signature. Then again in ten years they might be some obscure name, like some 1930's singing cowboy's inlaid name on early J-200's we see now and then that we haven't a clue who the person was.
  3. jvi, even though it's hard for myself to remember it at times, I try and keep in mind the old saying that when one points their finger if they look at that hand there are three fingers pointing back at them.
  4. A couple of string changes ago I decided to do some experimenting with the 60 day old strings still on my J-50 before I changed them out for freshies. I had a Colosi bone saddle and bone pins on it and went back and forth between the original Tusq saddle and the bone one. After a couple of changes to accustom my ears a bit I decided that I liked the glassy sounding trebles I got with the bone but I preferred the deeper bass I got with the Tusq. Just prior to this I had a friend swear that his experience with the Larry Cragg bridge pin configuration (buffalo horn for the three high strings and ebony for the three low strings)was the way to go. I didn't have any ebony pins around but I had some rosewood and I figured three of my existing bone pins could fill in for buffalo horn. So, I ordered a pre-made Tusq saddle and cut it in half for the three low strings and then made a half saddle of bone for the treble strings, leaving 1/16 inch space between them in the saddle slot. I went with the pins as mentioned above. It worked, to my ears, as expected and I've left it that way for awhile now and I don't think I'll go back. But I tell you what made the biggest difference was something Eminor7 said in a posting not long ago. He recommended really attacking the guitar with loud, aggressive Pete Townsend type chords for as long as you and the people nearby can handle it and then playing each string at each fret up the board being deliberate about getting a clear, singing, loud tone at each fret. After doing this routine three or four times I've been amazed at the transformation. I have also noticed just the slightest belly has formed behind the bridge, which wasn't there before, and I think that is a sign that this guitar has "arrived". Prior to all of this I always thought this guitar was...just...almost...there, but not quite. Between these two tinkerings I now think my J-50 has become what I always hoped it would be. For what it's worth. And, thanks, Eminor7!
  5. I like Sal's perspective because the main thing I've learned from the little that I have played plugged in is that each component added becomes another "instrument" I have to learn how to "play". And I'm still trying to just play the guitar. I think the best thing about the acoustic guitar, for me, is the simplicity of being able to just pick one up, tune, and play and sound somewhat decent. The closer an amplified rig gets to that ideal the more I like it. You guys amplifying, especially for an audience, have to get the other instruments in your chain dialed in to get a good sound so it makes sense to focus on those other components if you already have a decent guitar. And that's definitely established.
  6. I'm really interested in what responses come in on this post. But in the meanwhile EuroAussie I was wondering about your stage setup and if you are playing solo? If you run into a preamp, like a Zoom A3 or the like, why you can't choose another guitar model/profile and then roll off the bass side of things and get your Hummingbird to sound more like you want it to when plugged in? That way you'd get to keep your Hummingbird for all of the great qualities that it has but still gig it by molding its tone to suit the occasion. But, being a biased J-185 guy, when it comes to short scale maple guitars I'm sold on all that I get from a 185. It's all that I use anymore when I play with other people sitting in. I love the balance across the strings but it has the bass when I dig just a little bit but only when I reach for it.
  7. MartinL89, just a note that this is the acoustic guitar part of the Gibson forums and it sounds like you are an electric guy. But you ought to look at a Gretsh 5420t and get yourself a hollow body to go with those LP's...like Neil Young.
  8. So why is it that there only seems to be a few modern builders that can more easily capture that sound in their new guitars than even Gibson themselves can except on rare(based on total guitars produced relative to the ones that have "it") occasions. It can't be just the age alone....or can it and there are just a lot of us that won't live long enough to hear our guitars get in the zone?
  9. Just try to avoid doing something like this: when the original was done and sounded like this: But in all seriousness, just be your self and go with your gut.
  10. I haven't looked back through my threads but a year or two ago I tried leaving a set of phosphor bronze strings on my J-50 to see if the old string thing would be something I liked. I think I got to about eight months before I couldn't take it anymore and had to abandon ship for some new strings. I haven't tried it again since. Instead of old and funky and bluesy sounding they just became lifeless and dead to my ears. Once the trebles go it ain't fun anymore. But I will say that my experience with D'Addario Nickel Bronze and Martin Retro monel is that they do last considerably longer than PB's or 80/20's. And by "last" I mean that they sound good enough to play with other people without being embarrassed for the guitar. I can get about four good months out of the Nickel Bronze and right around six months out of the Retro's. The caveat is that I play my six guitars in rotation so no one guitar gets played into the ground string-wise.
  11. Yes, looks just like mine. I was thinking your bridge especially looks like Mad rose. I thought maybe they only used it on TV's but yours looks like it has it too. Any chance yours is a TV? The guy I bought mine from told me it was a TV and it came with the Cali girl case but I guess there is a chance that your case isn't original. Or maybe Gibson shipped some of them in standard cases. Mine is a very light build too. Regardless, yours has a beautiful look. The back looks slab cut but still has some flame which strikes me as a contradiction. Very distinctive.
  12. My only regret, guitar-wise is that I didn't begin at a younger age (like 9 or 10). And even in my early 20's I was living in the summers in a remote cabin that would have allowed me lots of time to play. Fortunately it had a huge library so I read a lot of books instead back then. As for ambitions I can't really come up with any other than to continue to play every day. I have faith that if I, or anyone, does that you can't help but get better. The guys I play with twice a week have a tradition after ending any song we do particularly well with a, "We'll be famous" comment which gets a laugh every time. Besides, being famous anymore means you probably have to have a bodyguard in attendance. No thanks.
  13. Nice looking guitar sbpark. I can't really tell from your pictures so far but the fretboard and bridge look like the same wood, Madagascar rosewood, used on my 2007 J-185TV. Mine is a natural finish too and I think the mad rose goes well with that finish. Play on.
  14. Congrats on freeing yourself from credit card debt. Bask in the feeling of freedom and don't forget how that feels. I say go for option 3 keeping the 000-15M. My reasoning is that you have the dread size covered with something you like so ditch the HD28 as a near redundancy. Keep the 000-15M because it's all mahogany and a 12 fretter and a Martin. I think you need a minimum of two if you're really playing guitar a lot because if you have only one and it has to go into the shop you got nothin' to play and THAT would be a true disaster. Once you're down to two the SJ200 will start to prey on your mind and/or one will immediately appear on your radar and then you can move on it and sell the Martin once it's in hand. And first world problems are the problems that happen in the first world. Give thanks to whatever god(s)you worship that this is the world you get to be in.
  15. Gotta love the clarity you get with Italian spruce. That, coupled with the headroom you get, and I don't think I'd ever choose a Sitka guitar again.
  16. All of the ones mentioned so far are high on my list of ones to try on any guitar but I would add DR Rares to the list too. My J-50 loves'em. They have the power of an EJ16 but are just a little rounder in tone.
  17. If you want a variety of stores to shop amongst you have to support them with your spending. I believe that this diversity is a good thing because history is rife with examples of what happens when it gets down to only one maker/distributor of something....the recent Epi pen fiasco being an example that comes to mind. Having said that, I think the trend since the advent of the internet has wiped out more places you can walk in to and play a guitar than anything I can think of and I don't see this trend slowing down. Looking at the trajectory since about 1998 I can only conclude that the brick and mortar guitar world will probably be reduced to Gruhn's, Gryphon's, Schoenberg's and Elderly within twenty years (tongue in cheek)and given what happened to Mandolin Brothers on the passing of its owner even that might be an optimistic outlook. We decide, with our spending, what is available to us.
  18. The drunk Van was the one I was subjected to also plus he had his girlfriend-du-jour on stage with him and kept trying to get her to sing his songs for him. It was a mess and I never would spend money on a ticket to see him since. Generally I've stayed away from guys and bands from my youth because of the disappointment factor in their sound as they've aged (I had a friend call me at one o'clock in the morning once to rant about how disgusting a Dylan concert he just walked out of was). But this past fall when Neil Young decided to finally play Telluride for the first time I took a chance and bought tickets for Friday and Saturday night and I have to say that it ranked right up there in the top ten concerts I've seen in my life. He and his band were stellar. So, you never know for sure up front.
  19. When it comes to a cutaway on a J-45 let me practice the second language of our newly elected orange man: Nyet!
  20. Dan, I'm not that far away from you so I know what you mean about the sun. I used to play a lot more outside than I do now as it gets noisier than it used to (I can tell you from experience that drone noise is NOT a good thing). I was never that concerned nor found any evidence of UV damage on any of my guitars, whether natural finish or sunburst. What I did discover is that the darker, sunburst finish got hot to the touch if I faced directly into the sun. Hot enough for me to be concerned about it. So, I would change my chair's angle so the sun was striking more obliquely and this made a really noticeable difference. But, you know as well as I that more than the guitar is getting cooked by that much solar radiation and it's a good idea to keep changing which parts of your skin is getting torched too, moving around about every fifteen minutes. I also found that my natural finished guitars stay way cooler than the sunbursts do when it comes to direct exposure so my J-50 and J-185 were the way to go in Spring and Fall when the sun comes at you from a lower angle. As for carbon fiber, years ago I bought a Composite Acoustics Cargo model for a Grand Canyon trip and, at first, I was very impressed with its tone. It even had so much bass response for its size I was kind of blown away. But the more I played it the more I felt the bass was too prominent and unbalanced and shortly thereafter I just thought the whole guitar was too sterile so I sold it and have never regretted doing so. I think that little guitar was around $900 and for around $300 you can get a pretty good Recording King, or the like, and play wood and not worry about damage so much. But I just play what I've got and figure that when my skin has had enough my guitar has too.
  21. Juan, were those Century's you played the thinline body with the single P-90 pickup? What impressed you about them? Red or sunburst?
  22. I'd like to see one made of Tasmanian or Australian Blackwood. It's another acacia and looks a lot like koa, is more plentiful and many say it's more consistently good tonally. Seems that the way to buy koa would be to get an older one that's seen some playing time given how many comments about tightness I come across.
  23. I have found this topic very intriguing for some strange reason. I don't own a Hummingbird but if I was into D- style guitars it would be the one I'd go for...at least Gibson had the sense to try and dress up what I consider a pretty boring style/shape AND it has a short scale. But, I looked at the Epiphone copy on a couple of big sites and it gets rave reviews from quite a few people. They may not know what a real Hummingbird is supposed to sound like but they like what they bought. But what came to mind is that just about anyone who makes guitars, the large producers and the small shops, produce their take on Martin D-18's and D-28's and there is much discussion as to how close a lot of them get to that Martin sound; pre-war especially. It must drive Chris Martin to distraction as to why people don't just buy a Martin. Meanwhile Gibson keeps making the Hummingbird with a couple of slight variations (and they own Epiphone) and the guitar building world sleeps. It strikes me as a stroke of genius (or good luck perhaps) that in making the H-bird distinctive, through the cosmetics that Gibson decided on from the outset, there just isn't a horde of imitators to contend with and few, if any, ways to get THAT sound other than buying the real deal. Another lesson in how to carve out a niche in a market. A huge market in this case. I sense another Martin CEO model/copy in the works. Or have they already done a CEO-HB?
  24. I really like the look of open back tuners and that bound headstock looks great. This talk about tuners reminds me that it's January and time to put a drop of oil on each of mine.
  25. I'm really not trying to be funny or sarcastic here, and I'm a huge fan of any project that T Bone involves himself with, but he has to have the perfect hands for playing the guitar. I mean, look at his pinkie finger alone using the pick guard for scale! Beautiful guitars too but the guy must have a seven fret reach.
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