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Everything posted by sbpark

  1. Funny how everyone has said they'd go D'35?J45. I've actually decided to go D-35/AJ. The J45 does seem to sound a little more open, but it just sounds a bit weak and thin in the highs, and you can't really push it. The AJ just sounds fatter, thicker and has balls. Same with the D-35. That guitar sounds BIG, but it can be dialed back a lot easier than the AJ. I guess I just prefer the bigger sound and a guitar I can push if need be. J45's just seem to collapse and cave in on themselves when pushed. SO consequently I'll be selling the J45 (again!)
  2. Ha, well, I'm headed in that direction already. I only brew my own coffee at home with a pour over or drink whatever someone brewed in the break room at the hospital I work at, and I don't drink simply because even if I have two drinks I feel like poop the next day. One thing I wont skimp on is good food, but 90% of the time I cook for myself. I just feel pretty guilty for no real reason that I let myself slip a bit! I don't have kids to worry about or anything like that. My bills are paid.
  3. I started another thread talking about selling off a bunch of guitars a couple years ago and paying off about $57k in student loan debt in a little over 2 years, and how a guy I sold a 2017 J45 Standard (I bought in 2016) got in touch with me the other day asking me if I wanted to buy the guitar back. Well, I caved in to the temptation and bought the guitar back for what I sold it for, and it's in the exact same near-new condition. It sounds fantastic. It has low end for days and the low E is really incredible with all the thump and growl you could want. It's a pretty complex sounding J45, which was pretty hard to find (a lot of them I tried over the last few years including several other Standards, True Vintages and the latest Vintage models, always left me unimpressed. But now I still have a bit of buyers remorse simply because I have been so diligent and disciplined about not spending, and I do have an unwritten rule with myself (that I actually forgot about conveniently when I picked up this J45 this morning) of "one in, one out", so something has to go! My other two acoustics are a 2012 AJ and a Martin D-35. Just to be clear, the D-35 isn't going anywhere. I've always enjoyed the AJ, but being totally honest, compared to the J45 it can sound a little stiff sometimes, and it has WAY more mids than the J45, which is great when you're playing with buddies and want to be heard and punch through, but does tend to get in the way when I try to sing over it. It's not necessarily about the volume of the AJ (yes, it's a bit louder than the J45), it's more the voicing of the guitar. I've been getting into fiddle tunes lately and it works perfectly for that stuff, but for the couch/singer songwriter type stuff that I also like to play, the J45 is the clear leader. It's sweeter, more intimate and a little more complex sounding than the AJ, but no where near as good for fiddle tunes as the AJ. The AJ also has better highs in my opinion. They are fatter and warmer than the J45, where the highs can sometimes sound a bit thin and tinny to my ear. The D-35 is a lush, warm, well-balanced beast that's more of a jack-of-all-trades guitar. If I could only keep ONE of the three, this would most likely be the one. Decisions, decisions...so if you were in my shoes and enjoyed playing everything from singer/songwriter type stuff to cross-picking and flatpicking fiddle tunes now and then, which two would you keep?! Advanced Jumbo: Rosewood back and sides, sounds best with 80/20 13's, Loud, punchy and very "forward" in your face sound, less "sweet" sounding and less complex compared to the J45 and D-35, but it has much thicker, warmer highs than the J45, no pickup. Ideally suited in my opinion for flatpicking. Less expressive than the J45, and not the best for fingerpicking. Can push this guitar as hard as you want. You will always be heard. J45 Standard: Mahogany back and sides, short scale, sounds best with 80/20 12's, big low end, "sweeter" and more complex than the AJ, better for singing over and for accompanying voice, also a great finger picker, but falls short for flatpicking and not the greatest when hit hard, has factory pickup Bags Element VTC (which I'm not the biggest fan of, but I never really plug in). Best suited for songwriting, singing, fingerpicking, strumming, and it records the best compared to the other two. Martin D-35: Rosewood back and sides, strung with PB 13's, massive, full and enveloping sound but still surprisingly balanced and you can literally feel the guitar vibrating through your body when you strum chords. Seems to work equally well as a strummer and can hold its own when flatpicking, but it's not a D-28. Not quite the punch of the AJ, and is decent for fingerpicking, but not as easy as a short scale with 12's.. Sounds best strung with 13's. This guitar can pretty much do everything REALLY well, is a strummer and singers dream, but as mentioned can get buy for bluegrass/fiddle tunes. . No pickup.
  4. The specs can vary a little. Best is to email the serial number to Gibson and they’ll email you back a spec sheet. Mine has an unusually low profile neck. Mine is a 2012.
  5. He said it's in the same condition as when I sold it to him, only a year older. He's not much of a player these days and said he's playing more electric over acoustic. Tentatively meeting him tomorrow to check it out.
  6. About two years ago I did a MASSIVE thinning of the herd. I had a lot of guitars and gear, and basically sold everything except for two acoustics (AJ, D-35) and two electrics (SG, Tele). I wanted to finally be rid of student loan and credit card debt. Fast forward to the present day and I paid off a total of $57k in debt. I'm currently student loan and credit card debt free, have excellent credit, and now I can sleep at night and it feels great. My only significant bills are rent and a car payment, and I've been trying to save for a downpayment for a house. A couple days ago I had a super nice guy who bought my 2017 J45 Standard (I bought it in 2016 when they first released them) asking me if I was interested in buying the guitar back for the same price I sold it to him (I had mentioned to him to ask me first if he ever decided to sell it). It was a great guitar, but a little bit of an impulse purchase at the time, and as previously mentioned I had decided to buckle down and thin the herd to crush the debt. But recently I've been wanting a mahogany guitar, and would also be nice to have something with lighter gauge strings on it, shorter scale, etc. (I have 13's on both the D-35 and AJ, and use the AJ for fiddle tunes and flatpicking mostly, and the D-35 for everything, but it just sounds so much better with 13's). I've always preferred 12's on J45's. I have the cash for the J45, and like I mentioned, it would be nice to have a mahogany guitar given my AJ and D-35 are both rosewood, and something shorter scale with lighter strings would be a nice change, too. I know you all are enablers, and this may be a lost cause asking on a forum, but what would you guys do in my situation? Buy back the J45 or just suck it up and make due with the two acoustics I have now and ignore the GAS?
  7. Am I the only one here wondering exactly what/where/what kind of venue/situation this gig occurred in?! Random jugglers who weren't booked, but show and just perform for the heck of it for well over an hour?! At least he was only juggling balls and not chainsaws, flaming torches, machetes, etc.
  8. Haha! I jut watched the new Jim Jeffries special on Netflix (he's a pretty offensive comedian) and he talked about how it throws him off when there is a sign language interpreter at any of his shows.
  9. First thing I saw when I opened this thread was, "balls kept flying..."
  10. An M80 fit into my 000-15M, or it may have been am M1, the M-80's predecessor, but I had to remove all the strings, and to get it in there I had to remove the two screws completely on each side piece, place the pickup, then reach under and place each piece into place, and put the screws in. Was a tight fit, but it did fit installing it that way. I personally do not like the sound of the M80, and your clip reaffirms that. Not criticizing the playing at all, it just has that weird M80 tone that just doesn't sound right to me. In your second clip I actually think the Schertler mag/mic combo sounds decent, the KM84 obviously sounds great, and the M80 sounds more like a hollow body electric reminiscent to the Merle Travis sound he would get on his old records, not even close to sounding like an acoustic guitar.
  11. So far I'm really liking them. I've never "warmed up" to 80/20's on any of the other guitars I've tried them on (J45's, D-28, HD-28 and D-35), but they seem to work really well on the AJ. About a day after I put them on they calmed down and lost the zing. I've always thought 80/20's sounded "duller" than PB's, and maybe they do, but they just seem to work really well for the AJ. Don't get me wrong, PB's sound great on the AJ as well, but the 80/20's seem to mellow and even it out just enough without killing it's punch. It's a tad more reserved with the 80/20's, which in my opinion is a good thing, because strumming an AJ with PB's can be a bit much at times. Even flatpicking fiddle tunes the 80/20s sound great on the AJ, but with the flip side of also having a slightly warmer, smoother tone that works better when singing with the AJ (I've found PB's can just be a bit too forward and bright and overpowering when trying to sing with the AJ). Obviously this is just all my opinion, but if you have an AJ and want to calm it down/tame it just that little bit, maybe try a set of 80/20s. I currently have D'Addario 13's on mine. I will say this, and many already know this, but I'm sure many (myself included) don't adhere to it...when you try a new type of string, bet it a different alloy, gauge, manufacturer, etc., than you're normally used to GIVE TE NEW STRINGS TIME TO SETTLE! Also, give your ears a chance to acclimate and reset themselves so to speak. You're used to the way PB's sound, and yes, 80/20's are going to sound a lot different, but your brain is trained/used to that one sound and you're going to probably be resistant to change. My advice is string up the guitar, play it, and even if you don't like the strings sleep on it and revisit the guitar in the morning with fresh ears. You may be pleasantly surprised, and then give it a few more days. If you still cant stand them, then so be it. But that next morning, and over the next few days I picked up on things I wasn't hearing when I first put then on. I've been using D'Addario PB's for like 20 years family consistently, and when I've put 80/20 s on other guitars I just removed them as fast as I installed them. Give it some time!
  12. sbpark

    Gibson QC

    I've read all the threads here and there about Gibson QC, and have owned quite a few "newer" Gibsons myself, from 2012 onward. About half were bought used, and half bought brand new, ranging from two J200's, several J45 Standards, a J45TV, J45V and an Advanced Jumbo. I have NEVER seen or had any QC issues with any of these guitars as far as fit and finish were concerned and no structural issues. They all looked great, neck angles are always perfect with Gibson acoustics (but seem to vary with Martins, and I'm not bashing Martin...I have a beautiful sounding D-35 and considering pulling the trigger on a 000-18 as we speak). However...the one thing I have noticed with Gibsons is they really do vary a LOT in terms of sound from one guitar of the same model to the next. Yes, these are acoustic instruments made of organic materials, etc., and as a result there will always be a variation in sound from one instrument to the next, even if they're built with identical specs, wood species, and so on. But I will admit that other guitar manufacturer's guitars tend to be a bit more consistent sound-wise from guitar to guitar of the same model compared to Gibsons. I was chatting with someone from a very well-known, reputable shop that we all most likely have heard of, and a few of the guys form the shop went out to the Bozeman, MT factory for a tour and to spec out some custom models they were going to have Gibson built, and he told me he thinks it's because of some of their manufacturing techniques. Seems like they pride themselves on doing a lot of things on the building process the "old-fashioned way", and these techniques may be contributing to their inconsistency. It's just a theory and was his opinion, not mine, but I could see that. Lots of people scoff at things like CNC, and automation, e tc., but lots of those techniques tend to allow for more consistency from instrument to instrument and can lead to an increase in production. I'm not saying that Gibson doesn't use these techniques at all, because they do, but apparently they retain certain practices that are just archaic and could be modernized in the manufacturing process apparently, but didn't give be specific, and if he did I cant remember them. I'm not bashing Gibson at all. I love my AJ (which is my only Gibson I have currently). I sold the J45's and J200's a while ago (still regret selling one of the J200's, it was glorious, but the other one sounded thin and weak). I'm just participating in a discussion, and like I said, have NEVER had a bad Gibson as far as QC or fit and finish was concerned. Sound-wise, ys, they tend to be all over place and less consistent than guitars from other manufacturers.
  13. I've always thought the J35's sounded thin and to bright. Take the same bracing pattern in the 35, give it a long-scale neck and rosewood back and sides and you have a winner (Advanced Jumbo). If it came down to preferring one over the other I'd take 45 over a 35 any day.
  14. sbpark


    Oh, I know all about your "addiction". I've been there. Had a spare bedroom turned into a music room with nearly 20 guitars. These days I'm cool with the two acoustics, (MIGHT want to add a third, but not really looking too hard at the moment). I'm concentrating on Bluegrass flatpicking and dabbling in Chet/Merle-style picking with a thumb pick. It's funny, when I concentrate more on getting better as a player I worry less about searching for guitars. When I am in a rut and feel like I'm stuck with progressing I tend to spend more time thinking I need another guitar.
  15. sbpark


    I only own 2 acoustics. Way cheaper to mess around with different pics to get different sounds/tones than go through a ton of guitars. My two acoustics are an AJ and a D-35. I can cover a lot of ground with just those two guitars and a bunch of different picks.
  16. sbpark


    I've been playing guitar since I was 14. I'm 42 now. It's whats been acquired over the years.
  17. sbpark


    I agree those red and purple Dunlops are great, but even the thicker purple sounds a bit to thin/airy for my taste. But man, the stiffness and point on those makes for a great flatpicker!
  18. sbpark


    The "perfect" pick? Just one?! It doesn't exist! My pick preference changes depending on what I'm playing, the style of music I'm playing (strumming vs flatpicking, etc.) the tone I'm trying to achieve...the list goes on. Most people post what their perfect pick is but never mention what kind of music they're playing with that pick. The most versatile for me is the Primetone 1.0mm. I can get away with flat picking and strumming with it with great results. Any thinner and it starts sounding too thin for flatpicking, and if it's much thicker, it gets a bit dull yet clacky with strumming, so I usually go with the 1.0mm Primetone for strumming, and a Dunlop Celluloid xtra heavy or 1.3mm Primetone for flat picking. And trust me, I've been through a LOT of picks. I have a double sided parts organizer that I keep picks in, and a separate smaller parts organizer for thumb picks!
  19. I have Grover Rotomatics on my D-35 and open back, Sta-Tites on my AJ. Yes, the Rotomatics are clunky, but I would never say they weren't smooth. Quite the contrary. Compared to the Sta-Tites the Rotomatics are super smooth and accurate. I think many people just dont like the look and are looking for an excuse for replacing the Rotomatics that aren't the most appealing to the eye, but they work flawlessly. The Sta-Tites are crap. I'm on my second set on the AJ and it's only a 2012. They became super stiff, crunchy and were not smooth at all. I've come to peace with leaving the Rotomatics on the D-35 simply because when that model was created in the 60's it had Rotomatics on it from the beginning, so they're staying on the D-35. It's so nice tuning with them after struggling with the Start-Tites on the AJ.
  20. For those of you who have a maple back and sides "Advanced Jumbo" how would you describe the sound? How does it sound compared to a J200? I love my AJ, and also love J200's, but can't really justify shelling out for one (I've owned two and foolishly sold them in the past). A used maple back and sides AJ can be had for a nice price.
  21. Interesting about capo'ing...I agree with capo'ing a Martin and it tends to control some of the "boominess", but for some stuff I find that capo'ing an AJ it can sometimes suck the sustain of the bass out of the guitar just a tad bit too much, and results in a really fast decay compared to the other strings. Not always a bad thing, but still an interesting finding with a rosewood dread because I'm used to the low notes lingering for a longer period. This attribute comes in handy though when played without a capo because the AJ's bass is very "vertical" like you mentioned but still prominent, and it stays out of the way of the other strings, unlike a Martin dread where the bass can linger and start stepping on other notes long after you've played those low notes. I'm not saying it's necessarily a bad thing though, because I like both depending what I'm playing, and each guitar makes you play it differently. It's kind of fun and refreshing to be able to have that tight, punchy, direct, crisp attack of the AJ, then switch to my D-35 and have that lush, rounder, warm, full sound. If I was to cut through and be heard with either volume or more miss I reach for the QJ, if I want fullness and warmth I do for the D-35.
  22. I'll take my 2012 AJ over any J45 any day fo the week. Does almost everything a good J45 can do, sounds great when lightly strummed and fingerpicked, but also is n incredible flat picker and can hold it's own in a big campfire jam with a bunch of other acoustics. Mine has a really slim neck, which isn't an issue for me, as I can pretty much play anything, and it's super comfy to play. I just made a new nut and saddle for mine this past weekend, and had it PLEK'd last year. I set it up with 13's and it plays like a guitar with 12's. Ridiculously versatile guitar. Several J45's or different incarnations (J45 Standards, Vintage, True Vintage) have come and gone, and the AJ has reigned supreme. I always loved the low end of a J45, but never liked how the B and E strings sounded. I always thought they sounded unbalanced compared to the rest of the guitar, sounding thin and clangy. I think the AJ is more balanced. It's a big sounding guitar, but without the extra boominess that a Martin dread typically haw. As someone who has owned a D-28, HD-28 and currently owns a new D-35, I'd respectfully disagree that owning an AJ and a Martin dread would be redundant. Not even close. The AJ is super direct and in your face. Not the best strummer, but a killer flat picker, cross picker and finger picker, and little phrasings and embellishments really pop out. The Martin is a killer strummer, and obviously a great flatpicker, but embellishments and what not can get a little buried/not as prominent as with an AJ, and martins are much boomier in the lows (some call this muddy I guess, I call it "warmth"). Two VERY different sounds that will make you play the guitar differently.
  23. I have a 2012 AJ that's my #1 (and currently only acoustic, as I recently sold my Waterloo WL-14 and J45 Trie Vintage). AJ is kind of the jack of all trades and in an interesting combo with the long scale neck and rosewood back and sides. Mine has been through the ringer a bit with a previous owner as it's reported to been on the road a bit, has a few battle scars and a repaired broken headstock, but I love it. Has a lot of the warmth of a traditional rosewood back and sides guitar but without the muddiness and still retains a crisp, clear high end. Shines as a fingerpicker and is just as good strummed. More projection and louder voice than a J45 but even though it has warmth, it does sacrifice a little compared to the J45TV I had. Mine has a very slim/low profile neck that I usually don't go for, but this one feels great for whatever reason. It can be a pretty loud guitar, but I just dial it back while playing and it can sound sweet and delicate as well. If I want a little warmer sound I use a 1mm nylon pick. Really great all-arounder. One thing worth mentioning though...the stock Grover open tuners absolutely suck! They get worse and worse over time, and have had these same tuners crap out and just not work very well on other guitars, and have been meaning to pull the trigger onside wavily replacements.
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