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Everything posted by sbpark

  1. I can play and post about it, don't you worry!
  2. Both of those guitars sound great. I played a all-mahogany J45 that looks just like the one you have there; natural finish, gold tuners, etc. and it sounded AMAZING, but the shop that had it were selling it for (in my opinion) way too much and wouldn't budge off of MSRP. So I ended up finding the other version of the all-hog J45 in a burst (basically looks like a J45 Standard, but the top burst is a little darker due to the mahogany top) and ordered one for a great price. Big disappointment when it arrived and sounded dull and lifeless. For an all-mahogany guitar I really think it's tough to beat the Martin 000-15M. These really are such sweet, versatile and beautiful sounding guitars. If the 1 11/16" nut is too narrow, LA Guitar Sales does a CS version with a 1 3/4" nut and also does it in a gloss finish for a little more $$$, but they really are stellar. Not knocking the all-hog J45's because, as I mentioned I think they can sound great as well. The one that sounded great is hard to describe. It sounded like a J45, but was just a little warmer and lusher and more polite that a Standard J45/J50. Paired really well with the human voice, but you do lose just a little of the mid-range articulation and note separation you get with the spruce top. Not better or worse, just different!
  3. Agree 100%. I use GB for just laying down quick ideas/demos and use Logic Pro for more polished recordings. Both platforms are very useful and have their place.
  4. Thats just another reason not to use Elixrs.
  5. I'm someone who thinks dulling a guitars finish is a waste of time and effort, but I just basically overhauled my J45 with new tuners, removed the OEM pickup and installed a K&K, replaced the "flubber" Pickguard that kept peeling off, and had a bone nut and saddle made. Plenty of people would think that was a waste of time and money as well. And I wholeheartedly welcome comments from anyone who thinks that's the case. Those people are entitled to voicing their opinions, which dont matter to me because I like the results and the way the guitar turned out. My point being, if I didn't want to read negative comments or replies from people who disagreed with me, I wouldn't have started a thread explaining what I did to the guitar and posting pics of it. Instead of getting super defensive about why you like a duller finish, how many records you've recorded, how much you play your guitars vs how much time is spent sanding them (maybe that's a new subset of guitar ownership...some are players, others working/performing musicians, some are collectors, and other are...sanders!) instead grow a thicker skin and worry less about what others think and focus more on the people who reply offering advice and support.
  6. I understand what you're saying here, and can see both sides to the debate. I'll start by saying that first, these are Internet forums, and if it weren't for different opinions and people voicing them, these would be even more boring places to visit and be participating in! I also have no problem with someone disagreeing with me and voicing that in a thread. It's their right to. Sure, many may come across as (with full intent or not) as being very judgmental or self-righteous, and for sure there are many who just want to troll and poke the bee's nest with a pointy stick, but when people make comments like that it says more about them than it does about the OP of the thread. The thing is, if you want to be able to ask opinions and get advice, you have to take the good with the bad and understand that not everyone is going to agree with you or support you, and many may even have a contradictory opinion or viewpoint. There's nothing wrong with disagreeing with someone or having a different opinion, it's more about how they phrase it, but the guy who doesn't like relic'ing or altering the finishes on guitars and prefers to pay them has just as much right to voice his/her opinion as the OP does in starting the topic in favor of it. Just be glad this isn't the AGF! They're posting threads about $400 guitar chairs, worrying about if they ruined their sound hole humidifier because they used tap water (the manufacturer recommends distilled. Oh, the horror!), and how to "properly" launder the cloths you use to wipe down your guitars and debating callous development of nylon strings vs steel strings! I bet those guys are super fun at parties!
  7. I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with you here about 80/20's and PB's being similar. I really don't think they sound anything alike. Obviously they are going to sound different on each guitar, and we all probably hear things differently to some extent. PB's on my J45 sound a little muddy and cluttered, full bass, but sounds muddy and not very defined. 80/20's on the same guitar have much better clarity, articulation and note separation. The bass is still big and growly, but it's more defined with 80/20's. I've also experienced this same difference on my Advanced Jumbo, where it seems like 80/20's were made for that guitar. Consequently, 80/20's sound dull and lifeless on my Martin guitars, both rosewood and mahogany and PB's give a lusher, fuller sound, while 80/20's sound dull and choked on the martins. The only guitars I've ever liked Retros were on an all-mahogany Martin 000-15 and a Waterloo WL-14XTR. I've tried them on every other guitar mentioned above as well, they just seemed to suck some of the life out of the sound on other guitars. Less bass, duller and overall loss of volume,e as well (which is a bad thing if it's the sound you're after).
  8. Just an update...this guitar is pretty amazing. It's light as a feather after swapping out the Rotomatics and getting rid of the UST with the internal 9v battery. It has sustain for days and rings like a bell, and has become a very responsive guitar. It's fuller, clearer and way more resonant and has much more complexity to its overall sound. The one thing ai've always been unhappy with when it came to J45 Standards were how they sounded "wet" or a little dull or dampened. I also always felt like there was something weird going on with the B & E strings on J45 Standards that just didn't sound right, like they were balanced correctly with the other strings/the tone was just off in a way I can't describe, but am not hearing any of that after the changes. I really can't attribute the improvement in sound to any one particular change that was made, but I'm guessing it's a combination of the sum of it's parts and maybe it's a culmination of all the things that were done, some being more influential than others. I feel like I've come full circle in a away. My first "nice" acoustic was a J45 Standard several years ago, and in that time I've acquired a few other Gibsons and Martins that have come and gone, and now this J45 is my favorite. I still love my AJ (use it mostly for fiddle tunes and neither of my Martin dreads can touch it), and also have a little 00-18 12-fretter that's perfect for fingerpicking, but this particular J45 is really all I want to play at the moment.
  9. Only one way to find out, and it's a pretty cheap and easy experiment. I personally would never buy strings off of eBay. Strings cost a couple bucks. Even coated strings aren't worth buying off of eBay. You'll save maybe a couple dollars, and as others have mentioned, you have no idea of their authenticity. I personally just use D-Addario EJ's. I use 80/20's on my Gibsons (EJ11's on the J45, EJ12's on the AJ) and PB's on my Martins (EJ17's on the D-28 and D-35, EJ16's on the 00-18).
  10. Dare I say, the same time put into the guitar to distress the finish could be spent playing the guitar, and in that time I'm sure you could acquire some scratches and whatnot. I have a 2017 J45 that has a TON of swirls and some small dents and dings. It's been played. In the right light you can see a LOT of those light surface scratches and swirls that accumulate from playing and handling, and it's those, that over time build up and dull the finish when the guitar is played in naturally. Not knocking someone who wants to speed up or alter the look themselves by any means since it's their guitar to do to it what they choose, but with a guitar with a darker finish (as opposed to a natural finish) like. J45, the wear and tear, scratches and dulling of the finish tends to show up and accumulate a little quicker.
  11. Double pickguards don't seem to bother Jeff Tweedy with his two J200's...
  12. That guitar looks like it was made for you! If you have the funds for it and would trade a Taylor in toward it, why not?!?!
  13. Nut width looks a little narrow for finger style.
  14. So it's basically a J-15 with a cutaway, burst finish and full-size Rotomatics for tuners (can't tell if those are the full-size or mini Rotos)?
  15. I think it had some high frets way up the fretboard. I know they PLEK these at the factory, but I swear the last few frets were a bit high. Plus, the PLEK is only as good as the person operating it, and it was a brand new guitar when it was PLEK'd, so maybe things changed a little since, the guitar settled, etc. Who knows. All I know is the problem is gone now. I had them PLEK the guitar, which is basically a fret level and crown, it's just done by a human operating a computer instead of someone just doing it the old-fashioned way by hand.
  16. Finally finished all the changes to my J45 Standard. It's been a bit of a wild ride for this one. I bought it brand new, and after several months decided to downsize and never fully bonded with and sold it locally. Told the guy if he ever decided to sell it to contact me first. Well, almost a year to the day he wrote me, and because I was sans J45 at the time I bought it back. Felt like I made a mistake and put it up for sale AGAIN! Well, this time all I got were ridiculously lowball offers and it sat for sale locally for months. I had been through several J45's, including a couple Standards, a couple of TV's and a V that left me pretty disappointed. As time passed and this current J45 didn't sell, I really began to appreciate the thunderous low end, and the magic that happened after I put on some 80/20's (same thing happened with the 80/20's for my AJ, btw!) I said to myself, what the heck, and decided to commit and turn this one into my own. No going back after this one because there's no way I'd ever recoup what I would end up putting into it. Here's what I ended up doing to it: - Kluson 3-on-a-plate tuners to replace the gaudy, heavy Rotomatics. I did this mod myself and previously started a thread explaining how I did it. (Funny, I don't mind them on my D-28 and D-35, but they just don't look right on the J45). - Black truss rod cover (purely cosmetic) - Bone nut (purely cosmetic, and prefer the look of the white bone over the black Tusq. I'm not one to hear crazy differences in "tone" with different nut materials, plus once you fret a note the point is moot. - Bone saddle - New pickguard to replace the rubber/flubber pickguard that just wouldn't stick. (I replaced it with an OEM Gibson guard used in the new Vintage models and installed it myself after I brought the guitar home from the shop earlier today). - Removed the stock LR Baggs UST and installed a K&K Pure Mini pickup - Set of bone bridge pins from Bob Colosi (I ONLY did this for cosmetic reasons and always hated the Tusq pins. I always thought the top of the pins looked way to flat and squashed.) - PLEK (Yes, I know Gibson PLEK's these from the factory, but for whatever reason there was something slightly off with the frets. I forgot to ask when I picked up the guitar about what they ended up determining, but I was always getting a buzz on all strings strings, even with slightly higher action despite messing with different amounts of relief in the neck, and it happened as you played up the neck and it wasn't a nut slot issue, action wasn't super low, etc. This was a tough pill to swallow because it wasn't cheap to have done, but it plays perfect now and all the previous issues are gone, so whatever they did worked and I'm very happy with it). I picked up the guitar from the shop this afternoon and loving it. Props to the guys at Gary Brawer's shop in San Francisco. They do amazing work, and every time I've ever brought them a guitar or bass it's always come back perfect. They're real professionals. Compared to the way the guitar sounded before, here's what I'm hearing...the guitar is a but more touch-sensitive, a deeper low end and an authoritative thump (the guitar already had this characteristic before, but there's just a little more of it now), it's clearer and even maybe a little louder. Plus I really do love the way it looks now. I feel like the changes I made were very tasteful and they actually do justice to the guitar and it isn't over the top at all. Here are a few pics:
  17. I've played two of them. One sounded AMAZING, the other was just alight. Basically just like most acoustics out there, you have to play them first.
  18. I was just at Gryphon in Palo Alto this morning and picked up one of her father's Bluegrass books.
  19. You guys are too kind. I listened to it again and cringed! Just got excited about posting an example of the first time using the VE8 and got a little ahead of myself, and went with a song that is a bit harder for me to sing. Should have went with something Im more familiar with! I promise my playing is better than that, but my singing needs a lot of work! And yes, the buzz is annoying as heck. Have a dimmer in the room that was off, but was also in from of a pretty big monitor.
  20. My D35 is tuned down a 1/2 step. I can barely sing that high even with the guitar tuned down. I think the original is in Standard tuning with the capo on the first fret.
  21. Got the Boss VE8 last night after going back and forth deciding between it and the TC Play Acoustic. I'm no singer, and apologize for the flubs in playing, but wanted to post a clip of a Band o fHorses song I butchered. Using an LR Baggs M! (the older, non-active version) through a Radial PZ Pre (VE8 couldn't pickup the M1 without a preamp) and going USB out of the VE8 into Garage Band. All effects are from the VE8.
  22. When I lived in Colorado it was hell on my guitars. I'm in Northern CA now, which is pretty much heaven for guitars. Dont really need to tweak and adjust much at all out here.
  23. Thanks for the replies everyone. I ended up ordering the VE8. I've been eyeballing these two boxes off and on since 2016 and briefly considered the the TC VL3X. I just plan to use the device as a very basic songwriting tool. Wanted something that sounded better than recording ideas into my iPhone, but something easier than going full bore and breaking out my entire recording setup. Honestly, I'e be using it pretty much the same way BluesKing777 seems to be using his; acoustic guitar and a vocal with some very basic harmonies that are far enough back in the mix so they don't sound so artificial (and I think his use of harmonies with the VE8 sounds fantastic, btw). I also liked the more flexible IN/OUT options of the VE8. At first I thought the TC Play acoustic was going to be the one I went with because of the lack of a screen with the Boss VE8, but in my opinion the VE8 seems (to me) easier to just "plug and play" so to speak. All the basic/rudimentary controls are right there on the device and tangible, while the PA requires going through screens for essentially everything. I think this is just a matter of personal preference and I just preferred the controls for the most basic functions to be right in front of me all the time. It does seem to get a little more complicated when you want to dive a little deeper into the VE8 controls, but I watched this video which really explained a lot about using the VE8 and how to use it: The other thing that muddied the waters and had me going back and forth between the PA and VE8 were that most thought the PA's vocals sounded better, while the VE8's guitars sounded better, and even though I'm primarily getting one of these for the vocal harmonies and for songwriting ideas/demos, I still went with the VE8 because of how nice BK's tunes have sounded using the VE8. If someone is looking for a device that does EVERYTHING, including automation of effects, editing, importing loops and whatnot, recording performances, etc., the VL3X seems to be the clear winner, but I use Logic to record and can do all that stuff in Logic. If I was a serious solo performer with a setlist of songs that required backing tracks and what not, the VL3X seems to be the perfect device.
  24. I've never been much a fan for boxes like this, and usually just prefer capturing ideas into my iPhone so I dont forget them, then later on going into Logic to record a better version. But lately I've been thinking about picking up a TC Helicon Play acoustic to use as a songwriting tool, especially to experiment with harmonies and just get a more polished sound for demos. I could also use the USB out and record directly into Logic and later add more textural sounds, overdubs, etc. SO what say you guys? Anyone use the Play Acoustic as a singer/songwriter tool?
  25. I own both Gibson and Martin acoustics, and don't feel that I have to justify to anyone why I like both or why one day I'll prefer one over the other because my tastes change daily, sometimes several times a day. I started out as only a Gibson acoustic guy, but have also grown to love the sound of Martins as well. I actually have more Martins these days than I do Gibsons. My current stable includes" Gibson Advanced Jumbo Gibson J45 Martin D-35 Martin D-28 Martin Custom Shop 00-18 VTS (12 fret, slot head) I have owned two J200's and one was total garbage in the sound department, but the other was magical and I say that that's one of the few guitars I regret ever selling.
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