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Playing your BEST gibson out as opposed to babying it......


kebob

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We play a couple places that are fairly close quarters and can get rowdy with dance floor right in front of us. I've typically played my J-45 the past few years and it has a couple dings on her with all the playing out she's been to. I just took my SJ-200 out last weekend for her first gig because we played on an elevated stage that was set off from the dance floor. The SJ-200 sounded so good -- I loved every second of playing it that night.

 

Now I'm going back and forth as to taking my prized SJ-200 to every gig. This will likely lead to getting a ding here or there on her, but isn't that what these great guitars are for? I doubt I would ever sell the guitar, so resale value isn't a big issue. I'm trying to reconcile playing my best guitar out in the trenches so to speak at the risk of getting her banged around a little.

 

Anybody here ever wrestle with this issue?

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I am wrestling with it now. My SJTV has no pickup, and I had no intention of playing her out. I figured I would just throw a pup I have in a cheap $200 Yamaha (which plays and is intonated great). However I am having a change of heart and really want to play the Gibson. I think I am going to throw a K&K in her.

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Nope, I want the best sound (and look) so all my guitars that are worthy get a run. My main gigging guitar is also my most expensive guitar (Hummingbird TV) and has a few dings, but I really like it, starting to show character and battle scars.

 

As you said, its how it should be.

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I have never seen the point of keeping a guitar locked away where it will be safe and sound. They may be works of art but when it comes down to it they are still tools. And yeah, stuff happens. But I can also say from experience it all becomes a record of your history with a guitar. Over the years those annoying little dings and dents become memories.

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I'm not taking an acoustic out (LP. Sorry!) so my worries about breakages (peghead excepted) are lesser but anytime I play out I always take my #1 with my #2 as back-up.

The #1 has amassed a fair few wounds over the last few years but that's OK and, in fact, they'll both be out with me tomorrow.

 

I'm with EuroAussie and zombywoof in that, firstly, that's what they were made for and, secondly, any dinks and dents acquired will simply become part of the guitar's history.

 

P.

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Strange that this would come up on the eve of me taking a signature J200 out to an acoustic jam. Wern't they made to be played? If you have any skill (talent) shouldn't it be shared with others?? I say play 'em...play 'em all. I have 17 guitars, and I play them all or have played all in public at one time or another. I constantly rotate my electrics on gigs. Acoustic gigs are few and far between, but I do alternate when circumstances allow. I say quit coddling them...let them breathe bar air and be subjected to abuse like any real musician is.

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I think there are a number of factors to consider.

 

E.g., I have several "backup" archtops I play out instead of my #1 for several reasons. Not the least of which reason has to do with sensitivity to temperature and humidity that has messed with #1 a cupla times. That's why I made a number of changes in guitars taken out for varying types of playing over the years. The -40F temps are harder on some guitars than others when there's a whole batch of equipment being hauled.

 

m

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dman...

 

I hear what you're saying... but in my case I don't think there are expectations other than a grouchy old man pretending to grin while he plays one style/genre or another. I've used an AE for jazz and an archtop electric for "cowboy," so... what more to say?

 

I actually got my first "board" guitar for playing country/rock because I didn't wanna haul an archtop literally at -30 to -40 regardless. Later on I got a cupla semis for the same thing but... ended up playing about anything I do on about any guitar I have.

 

Then again, I howl on the electric/lounge side of things that I think folks tend to get over-concerned about "tone" on electrics too. Whatever. <grin> That's just the take of a grouchy old picker.

 

Come to think of it, in the early '70s I got my first AE guitar - Ovation kinda had a corner on the early AE market - as an Ovation Electric Legend. Backed up dozens of old time fiddlers over 8 years or so with it as well as using it in a country band. Besides the AE thing, I liked the fiberglass when it came to my region's winter weather.

 

m

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I am wrestling with it now. My SJTV has no pickup, and I had no intention of playing her out. I figured I would just throw a pup I have in a cheap $200 Yamaha (which plays and is intonated great). However I am having a change of heart and really want to play the Gibson. I think I am going to throw a K&K in her.

Trance Mono... you won't be sorry. Private affairs along with my duo partner Jeffrey, its the JB. Barn jambs, the SJ. Open mics and bars the J-45, it just fits. Though I will say I was a bit disappointed last week with the Lyric in the J45- might've been the sound guy was trying to EQ when its best left alone, or it might have been the new material... [crying]

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Dan I definitely dig the Trance. Your videos sold me. I am just so anxious about putting something complex into what is my lifetime guitar. I,like the K&k for the simple, light, and clean footprint. I would guess the Trance is superior, although I have been able to coax good sound out of my past guitars that had the K&k installed.

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Dan I definitely dig the Trance. Your videos sold me. I am just so anxious about putting something complex into what is my lifetime guitar. I,like the K&k for the simple, light, and clean footprint. I would guess the Trance is superior, although I have been able to coax good sound out of my past guitars that had the K&k installed.

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I take whatever guitar I want to play. It makes no sense to me to own a guitar that just stays home. That said, I do have a cold weather guitar - my '90 Guild D-40 CE. It's a very solid guitar that seems to manage cold weather well. I don't go out of my way to play in the cold, but sometimes it happens.

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Hmmmm...

 

Best is a funny word.

 

We buy for sound, and I generally have a lot of pleasant choices. Since the value history of vintage guitars is part of the reason we can own them, I can't say that is not and issue when we take them out. But in every case I can think of where we have a spectacular high dollar instrument we also have some lesser (in a $ sense) guitar that is its equal for sound. It is always a joy to play our old guitars -- that is primarily why we own them. And like many of you, the places we gig can be less than perfect -- the temperature on stage at a summer bluegrass festival can cook an egg.

 

I guess our most expensive Gibson is our all original 1936 AJ -- sort a a national treasure for history and sound. But I would not say that makes it our best Gibson. There are several others that might win that honor -- but I am not going to rank them. But if I did, another one that would be in the top cluster is our much repaired 1935 Jumbo. It is worth south of 4k -- at least that is what I paid -- books value the old AJ at well north of 50k. The more important fact from a Gibson perspective is that these guitars are in the same class as the old Martins for bluegrass -- a fact that is obvious when you play them, but is widely missed because of their rarity.

 

Given its sound and utility (and cool factor too if truth be known), maybe the old Jumbo is my best Gibson -- just not our most expensive Gibson.

 

Let's pick,

 

-Tom

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You all know I don't play out much anymore, but when I do, I use my Dove or my Jubilee.

 

I think both are excellent guitars, and the Jubilee is a true 'beater' and the Dove has been "played" for 30 years.

 

I do NOT take my DIF nor my 'Bird 'out', but I do play them...but I won't wear Levi's or a button shirt when I

play them at home, (if I do, I have an apron I wear), but I bought them for my grandkids, and I want to pass them

along in as pristine a condition as possible, (so THEY can scuff 'em up!).

 

While the Dove is a great playing and sounding guitar, the DIF is amazing! So if I did 'play out' on a regular basis.

I might have to include it.

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OK, somebody has to play the devil's advocate. Yes, they're made to be played. Acoustically. Is your gig in someone's living room? Are you mic'ing the guitar? No? Because if you're using a magnetic, under saddle or surface mounted pickup system, that's 90% of what you'll be hearing. The difference between a Gibson J-200 and an Epiphone J-200, through the same pickup and amplification system, is going to be negligible. Next question: Are you ever going to sell it? I went through a lot of acoustic guitars over the course of 10 years or so, looking for the keeper in my avatar. Because I bought them all "used, near-mint" I got my money back out of every one of them.

 

That was a very good reason to keep them pristine and take a Tak to the gig.

 

P

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It is a moot point for me because I dont gig and I am no where close to gigging, but I am so terrified of theft more than anything else that I don't know that I could be comfortable going to unfamiliar places with it. I would have to take it to the bathroom with me and never turn my back on it. As far as babying it I am not there. I play it and I dont keep it spit shined or cry about scratches and dings but losing it would be devastating to me. At least at home it is covered by H.O.ins. My best guitar is worth over a months salary for me which makes it pretty much irreplaceable. If I got to the point of playing out I have a couple other guitars that would be adequate.

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You all know I don't play out much anymore, but when I do, I use my Dove or my Jubilee.

 

I think both are excellent guitars, and the Jubilee is a true 'beater' and the Dove has been "played" for 30 years.

 

I do NOT take my DIF nor my 'Bird 'out', but I do play them...but I won't wear Levi's or a button shirt when I

play them at home, (if I do, I have an apron I wear), but I bought them for my grandkids, and I want to pass them

along in as pristine a condition as possible, (so THEY can scuff 'em up!).

 

While the Dove is a great playing and sounding guitar, the DIF is amazing! So if I did 'play out' on a regular basis.

I might have to include it.

 

Rob what's your jubilee? Is that the Aaron cowell build?

I play them all out in don't matter! I never forked out 2-4000 on a guitar to have it sit at home while I'm out strumming my epiphone not a chance

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We play a couple places that are fairly close quarters and can get rowdy with dance floor right in front of us. I've typically played my J-45 the past few years and it has a couple dings on her with all the playing out she's been to. I just took my SJ-200 out last weekend for her first gig because we played on an elevated stage that was set off from the dance floor. The SJ-200 sounded so good -- I loved every second of playing it that night.

 

Now I'm going back and forth as to taking my prized SJ-200 to every gig. This will likely lead to getting a ding here or there on her, but isn't that what these great guitars are for? I doubt I would ever sell the guitar, so resale value isn't a big issue. I'm trying to reconcile playing my best guitar out in the trenches so to speak at the risk of getting her banged around a little.

 

Anybody here ever wrestle with this issue?

 

 

I thought on it some more.

 

And....pretty well all my Gibson acoustics are my 'best ones'....

 

But the best guitar(s) for a gig would be the Blues King or my J45 Standard, both with the company issue Baggs p/u.

 

All good to go....

 

 

BluesKing777.

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I take them out and play them since that is what they are made for. If you worry about one getting knocked over or someone stepping on it, do what I do, when I'm on a break I put it in the case that I lay on the floor behind me.

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