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Everything posted by sbpark

  1. I don't think it has anything to do with the finish not curing. The arm haze thing happens on ALL of my acoustics, new, old, Gibson and yes, it also happens on Martins, it's just harder to see due to the natural finish. Also happens on Fender electrics, Gibson electrics, etc. It's just something that happens.
  2. My thoughts would be this...stop thinking and just play the guitar.
  3. Whatever you decide to use (I'll leave my own personal preference or recommendation out of the discussion to avoid derailment of the thread), use is SPARINGLY. Whatever amount you think you need, use less, wipe it on, let it dry then do a really good job of wiping off the excess. Too much product will end up collecting gunk and do more harm than good in the long run.
  4. That Country Western looks and sounds great. I tried going down to just one Gibson and one Martin. I still pined for, and regretted selling some the guitars I sold (and I had quite a few), and during their absence I bought and sold others, then was lucky enough to buy back two of the guitars I parted with, both from two totally different buyers. Save yourself some agony and do what I ended up doing...two Martins and two Gibsons, one rosewood and one mahogany from each. Since I did that I have pretty much had no want, need, or desire for any more guitars, and it's been that way for a while now.
  5. That's too bad. You really should just play the living $h!t out of that guitar and worry less about scratching/denting/dinging it. It's meant to be played! I know if it was mine I'd keep it out on a stand and just play it. I keep my Ren-Era AJ, J45, D-18 and D-35 out on stands. Dings and dents happen. I didn't buy the guitars to admire or keep in the case, I bought them to play, but with that said I'm not criticizing you. More like trying to encouraging you to keep it and play the snot out of it! But if I had a guitar that I didn't feel comfortable playing or was super valuable and I was worried about damaging it, taking it out of the house, etc., I'd sell it in a heartbeat.
  6. As already mentioned, the 15 Series are USA made in Nazareth. They’re also exceptional guitars and sound amazing. I’ve owned several 15 Series Martins including a couple 000-15m, a custom 00-15m and played my fair share of 000-15sm and D-15m models. Seriously great sounding guitars, and I hesitate saying, “great guitars for the money”, because they’re just great guitars regardless of the price. Only reason I don’t own them anymore is because I just prefer dreads, and own 2 Martin dreads (D-35, D-18) and 2 Gibson’s (J45, AJ), and not in the Market for any more guitars. If I was in the market for another guitar though, it would be a 000-15m. They’re that good.
  7. I know you’re considering a D-15, but I’d also recommend the 000-15M. Personally I think it’s the gem of the all-mahogany Martin 15 series. I know the 000-15SM also gets a lot of love, but a really nice 000-15M is a magical guitar, regardless of its relatively low cost. Personally I think the Martin 15 Series crush the Guild GAD all-mahogany models. I’ve also owned and played s few of the all- mahogany J45’s and prefer the 000-15M and a spruce-topped J45.
  8. Ive also owned a few 15 series Martins, specifically a couple 000-15m’s and a custom 00-15m. Again, all were great, but I’m a dread guy and prefer a bigger guitar both in feel and sound, but with that said the 000-15m would be my choice. Not even close to a D-35, but that has nothing to do with quality, they just sound vastly different. I love a big, rich, complex sound, and although I’ve tried to like smaller guitars with several Martin small bodies, a few Waterloo’s, etc., I always go back to dreads. I still think it’s pretty darn hard to beat a good D-35 as a great all-arounder. I think it’s touch-sensitive enough to be a great finger picker, and a wonderful strummer that just blends really well with a singer. I always feel like my D-35 compliments my voice while my AJ, which is a monster, always seems to compete with my voice if I’m not careful. Really though, any guitar can be a singer/songwriter guitar.
  9. I have a D-18 and a D-35. Both are great singer/songwriter guitars. The D-18 is a little more punchy and projects while the D-35 blooms and is more enveloping with less projection than the D-18. The D-35 sounds big, but isn't overpowering, but again, it's a BIG sounding guitar but still pairs well with (my) voice. The guitar sounds like it has built-in reverb. If I want projection, like when playing fiddle tunes I'll reach for the D-18, when I'm doing the singer/songwriter stuff there's something about the D-35 that just always makes me sound better when singing. It's a very rich sound that just sounds like a band is playing with you. Hard to explain, but there's something a nice D-35 has that the others don't. I've also owned a few D-28's and an HD28 and never been a fan of either. I greatly prefer the D-18 and D-35 over those other two. D-28's always sound stiff and choked to me, and HD28's always sounded unbalanced with boomy lows and thin highs. The D-35 sounds much more balanced to my ear and the highs sound richer on the D-35 compared to the 28 series dreads.
  10. I have 2 Martins and 2 Gibsons; D-35, D-18, J45 and an AJ. I really love them all equally and really don't think I could go down to only one of each, but if I had to I'd pick...actually I can't pick. The D-18 and AJ are both KILLER flat picking and Bluegrass guitars, and the J45 and D-35 are so good for the singer/songwriter stuff. Impossible decision!
  11. Build quality issues? Chips?! Sorry to say, even with your close-ups pics I cannot see anything wrong with your guitar. My advice would be play that guitar more, and put away the magnifying glass and stop looking for something wrong with it.
  12. I’ve owned two J200’s, several J45’s and never played a Hummingbird (prefer Martin dreads for the square-shoulder thing). One J200 was glorious while the other was a dog, but man, the good one was amazing and wish I never parted with it and that could easily be my singer/songwriter strummer. My current singer/songwriter guitars are a J45, Martin D18 and D35. All are great for a singer/songwriter, but there’s something special about the J45. Although it has a somewhat smaller sound than he two Martins, it’s low end is growth and thunderous and the guitar overall just has “that” sound where the guitar just sits in that pocket and messes wonderfully with my voice when I sing, never competitions or overpowering. J45’s are short scale, and I kind of think of my J45 as a smaller body guitar trapped in a large body guitar. My vote would be for a good J45.
  13. It’s not as much work as you think, and yes it most likely will create a noticeable difference. What will also determine how much of a difference you’ll hear is what material you decide on for the new saddle. if you stick with the stock Tusq material or go with bone, etc. You could also just use a hardwood shim. Bob Colosi sells a shim kit that has rosewood shims, but honestly, shimming the bottom of the stock Tusq saddle is almost as much work as just buying a pre-shaped saddle and fine tuning with some sandpaper. It’s a pretty simple job that might take an hour or two. Benefit of getting a new saddle is you can keep the stock saddle and return the guitar it to its original condition later on if you decide to ever sell the guitar or if you want to put the stock UST back in, etc. I’ve replaced the stock Tusq saddle on a couple J45 Standards and have always preferred the sound of removing the UST, regardless of if I used bone or Tusq for the new saddle, sans UST. Both yielded a noticeable improvement to my ears with the UST removed. My J45 Standard I have now has the UST removed, installed a K&K pure mini pickup and a bone saddle, bone nut and Kluson 3-on-a-plate tuners and have no regrets. I’ve also owned a J45 True Vintage and newer Vintage model and still prefer my modified J45 Standard.
  14. Geez, some of you guys are pretty harsh. I’ve never been much of an R.E.M. fan (and that’s putting it nicely), but I’d never say the pretty crappy things others have said. I mean, some of you post links to songs that apparently meant something to you or moved you in some way, and when I listen to it I think to myself, “this is total garbage”, but would never post that. Songs mean things to people for many different reasons, and just because you’re not s fan doesn’t automatically discredit its importance to the people who it holds value and meaning for. I still think this particular version is crap because of the guitar sound. The Jools Holland version with he pedal a steel player is much, much better.
  15. Obviously a great song, but damn, it’s hard to get through that one with all those awful UST’s!
  16. I haven’t played any AJ’s other than the 2012 “Standard” I personally own, and it has the standard 1.725” nut width and mine has a very slim/low profile neck. It plays really fast and is a monster of s guitar. My 2016 J45 Standard has a chunky neck by comparison.
  17. I’d also like to add, given the OP lives in the Bay Area, he’s lucky enough to have some amazing shops nearby. As already mentioned, Gryphon, Gary Brawer, Eric Schoenberg, etc. you just cannot beat The reputation and quality of work these shops are known for.
  18. And I’m sure their prices reflect their reputation, which is justifiable. OP is looking for cheap prices with high-quality, speciality service. Ain’t gonna happen. Plus, the price paid to ship back and forth would pretty much cancel out any possible savings sending it to a part of the country where prices are a little lower, and you have to worry about the guitar getting lost, damaged, etc. during shipment. Another thing to consider when shipping a guitar out for repairs, is if you get the guitar back and something isn’t to your expectations or needs tweaking, fine-tuning, etc., you’ll have to shell out to ship the guitar back to the shop again. Basically there’s no free lunch here. Pay now, or pay later.
  19. Try re-seating the saddle, make sure the pickup element is sitting flat/flush with the bottom of the saddle slot in the bridge, make sure the pickup element is covering the entire bridge slot (it can sometimes slip back and that high E is at the end of the saddle element). Also make sure the bottom of the saddle itself is flat/flush so it’s making even contact with the pickup element and putting even pressure across the element. If it’s the stock pickup it’s most likely an LR Baggs Element and one of the fixes mentioned usually fix the issue.
  20. I’m sorry to be the stick in the mud, but why did you buy a guitar that needed that much work, knowing that you couldn’t afford (or simply don’t want to spend the money) for the work needed to made it playable and do it justice? Never really understood people who buy old guitars, vintage amps, etc., who either don’t factor into the budget the cost of bringing the guitar back to life or don’t want to shell out what the item needs to make it usable/functional/playable. I’ve had Gryphon do a neck reset, refret, plane the fretboard, fix a couple loose braces, new bone nut and saddle, and made s new pick guard to the tune of $1,200 on an old Martin D28. Without the work done the guitar wasn’t playable. After the work was done the guitar was a dream to play. I ended up selling the guitar and breaking even on what I bought the guitar for and what I spent on the work done to it, and thought I was a great experience. Either way, dare I say if you try to cheap out and try to save a few bucks you could really be disappointed in the end, and potentially end up spending more having to pay someone else to fix the problems the cheaper shop made, or didn’t do properly, when you could have just bit the bullet and spend the money getting it done right the first time. You’re actually asking for a “Gibson specialist” but don’t want to spent specialist rates to fix a vintage guitar? Good luck. A wait list is usually a good indicator that they are a busy shop because they do good work. I waited 3 months for Gryphon to be done with my D-28. It’s like tattoos...the reputable guys who do good work are going to be in demand, and worth the wait for something that’s going to be on your body forever. Or would you rather get something from a guy in a shop who has no clientele just to get it done right now? Also, shipping and insuring a guitar isn’t cheap, and you run the risk of the guitar getting damaged, lost, stolen, etc. in transit not once, but twice given you have to send the guitar to he shop and then hey have to send it back to you. Jut the rush of it getting damaged in transit kept me from sending the D28 out to a shop in another state, and preferred to just drive the hour-plus each way to Palo Alto or deal with the he bridge traffic and take my other guitars to Gary Brawer. Yes, Gryphon in Palo Alto or Gary Brawer in San Francisco are expensive, and they have a potential wait list, but there’s a reason, and these are arguably some of the best around and well worth it. It also takes time to steam off a neck, refret a guitar, etc. These aren’t repairs that can be done over a day or two. Have patience. I’d go to Gary Brawer any day of the week before I took my guitars to SF Guitarworks. They specialize in and are also an authorized Gibson repair shop, and I’ve taken a lot of guitars to them and have nothing but wonderful things to say about that shop.
  21. Exactly, so it’s an Element Active. The one with two thumb wheels was used several years later, called the Element Active VTC. VTC stands for Volume Tone Control. .
  22. In that case I’d also disclose its a garbage pickup! Ha! All joking aside you could just unscrew the endpin jack and pop it out and you can see what it is.. I’d bet it’s this one...
  23. Doesn’t really matter, because it most likely sounded like garbage. Was probably an Element pickup.
  24. sbpark


    I apologize For this not being a Gibson NGD, but I included a couple Gibson’s in the pictures to make up for it. A few weeks ago I picked up a brand new D-18 Standard. I have to say that this thing is the best “all-arounder” I’ve ever owned. Of course you can play any guitar for any style, and there are no hard and fast rules, but I tend to favor my J45 for e singer/songwriter type stuff and my AJ for flat picking. The J45 doesn’t really cut if for me with the shorter scale and lighter gauge strings for playing fiddle tunes, and the AJ is such a beast it can be a bit much for the quieter stuff. The D-18 pretty much sits somewhere right between the two and does everything equally well. The J45 still has the low end growl that no other guitar can touch, and the AJ cuts like a knife, but man, this D-18 is such a sweet guitar. Of course it’s voiced differently than the Gibsons. All three sound different, and I can’t say that one sounds better than the other, just different. J45’s and D-18’s are always being compared, which has always surprised me. Sure, both have spruce tops and mahogany back and sides, but the difference in body shape, scale length,, and the difference in string gauge (although you can string either with whatever gauge you want) along with different body shapes, etc. make them very, very different from each other. (For what it's worth I’ve found J45’s sound better with 12’s and Martin dreads sound better with 13’s). The D-18 is also a “bigger” sounding guitar for sure, but that doesn’t mean the J45 is inferior, just a slightly different tool for a slightly different job. I’m just happy I’m fortunate enough to own one of each as they really are VERY different from each other and compliment each other.
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