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A few AJ Questions


jw3571

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I was able to play an AJ yesterday which I really enjoyed. It's definately a different animal than the HB. A few questions, I see that some are from historic collection, what does that exactly mean? How would these compare to a Martin D41? I realize this is a Gibson board, but I think a few people on here have both. Is it redundant to have both? I think most people on here would agree that having an AJ and HB is a great combo. One last question, I see there is a also a red spruce Adirondack model. What does that combo sound like, is it brighter than the Sitka?

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AJ and a D41 are very different. One sounds like a Martin the other a Gibson. The over tones on the AJ aren't as overpowering where the D41 they are. This is just my opinion if the 2. Red spruce is known to e brighter but can be more articulate aswell. Takes longer to open up and is a stiffer wood. It's all in what you want really. I love a good Martin bs I feel the same for Gibson. I had a D41 for a few years. But I'm just not into rosewood I enjoy to sing and I find it really competes with my voice. But if those were my only choices I'd be looking for a good AJ.

Also if you want to save yourself some money and hold off on the bling buy a D28 rather than a 41.

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It's hard to go wrong with a Hummingbird. I have heard ,owned, seen,& played some damn good "d" shape boxes but the 'bird is the word (especially for a singer). The Aj and 41, lovely as well. Follow your h(ear)t my friend. Let us know where it rests. The Adi/Red Sruce tops take some commitment, if you just sit there so will they. As best I can tell. the "historic", "vintage" "authentic", "custom", "VCS", "true vintage" mean something only to Gibson.

If you are close by, let's go play a few. I am looking for one too.

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What is common: big, ballsy tone.

 

What is different: AJ is focused, D-41 is splashy

 

Do you like splash or focus ?

Never played a D41, but I was putting new strings on my D28 Marquis yesterday and I had my AJ out also. My AJ is two years old and has a Sitka top. The Marquis is adirondack. The Marqius is loud and "splashy" as described above. The AJ is more to my liking for finger picking. ( I use picks). If I could only keep one, I'd keep the AJ. The D28 goes to the Jams. The AJ goes to the gigs.

 

But, as usual, a personal choice. Also an economic one. The AJ is less expensive. Let your ear and hands decide. If you can't decide, flip a coin. You'll find out you're wishing for either heads or tails, so you'll know which one you want before the coin lands. [biggrin]

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Great flippin' answer. Trying to describe sound for me is one of those I can't put it in words but I know it when I hear it things.

 

That is indeed true, but it is also true that I would say the AJ is more like the D-41 than it is like the HB.

 

The D-41 (and its less fancy version the D-28) have the really big midrange, strong lows and clear highs that are the hallmarks of the Martin sound. That sound historically defined the rhythm role in a bluegrass band, and it totally excels at that application.

 

The AJ also does that very well -- arguably better (historically) than any other Gibson model. But the AJ shares with many other Gibsons a bass that is a bit more percussive, a mid range which is big, but a bit less overpowering than a D-41, and highs that are a bit brighter than a D-41. They both are power guitars and they both share the rich, lush, "roaring" tone of RW. I think of them both as great guitars which work well for many of the same kinds of stuff -- both very flexible. Perhaps the D-41 is just a tad better for rhythm and the AJ a tad better for melody picking IME.

 

All of our opinions are necessarily biased by the kind of musics we play, predictably causing a lot of variation in which guitars we prefer.

 

Best,

 

-Tom

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I like the fact that the AJ and HB are worlds apart, I didn't mean I wanted to play them together at the same time. I meant I didn't want two guitars that sounded very similar.

 

 

The Bird is odd man out in this discussion. I could see D41/AJ pair for 2-fisted bluegrass. Or a D41/HB duo for ringy-chunky folk-rock. What i cant hear is an aj/bird duo. That dry bark and thick chug are worlds apart (not a great match visually imo).

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[quote name='jw3571' timestamp='1385346164' post='1453424' , I didn't mean I wanted to play them together at the same time. I meant I didn't want two guitars that sounded very similar.

. Now, that would be a trick! no,the point is that guitars can be different, but complimentary in terms of the styles

of music they are best suited for. Ive had both at different times and i just dont hear an overlap. particularly, I dont hear the AJ as a folk-rock vehicle, which is where the a 'Bird fits in. But some folks jsut like having a buch of different gutiars, as oppsoed to gutiars to fit to a body of music. Fwiw, a friend of mine has a D45 by anybodys standard is an outstanding instrument, but It wouldnt fit in with my roots /old time shtick. Mileage may vary, so feel free to disregrd.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Interesting topic. I have just finished recording a new project in the studio a few weeks ago, and I had these guitars along to use on the songs I recorded.

 

1- Gibson Red Spruce AJ

2- Martin D45 in Madagascar and Adi

3- 68 Martin D28 Brazilian

4- Martin 0-18 Hog

 

Now I found it interesting that the Martins were less desired by my producer and the other players than the AJ. My producer actually asked if I was able to get him a "deal" on a new AJ. Don't get me wrong, the D45 and the D28 were used but were found to be too bright for some applications. The 0-18 was a very desired guitar for some lead blues work, and soft fingerpicking as it was excellent for this in the studio. But for most of the down and dirty rhythm work the AJ was the work horse. It had the power and the growl the others didn't.

 

GT

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re Aj specs--they are pretty music the same acros the board, tho you can get upgrades (red spruce, mad or brz rw). The historic moniker isnt significant in terms of specs--just a std sitka/IR AJ. As to the gutiar itself: where some gits growl and others ring, this gutiar barks. The lack of overtones are a feature for some and, for others, (judging from the freq. of pre-owned sales), a bug. Anyway, its unique unto itself.

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I sort of have both but they are not the standard models.

My AJ has walnut B&S. It's a cannon. The guitar just rumbles all over the place when I play it. If I was going to an acoustic venue with no mics I would take it and blow everyone away.

My D41Special is a world different than my D28. This is the only guitar my wife can differentiate when I'm playing downstairs. It has a very special sound that rings out and I love to flatpick with this guitar to bring out the tone.

In my opinion these two guitars are totally different and can coexist in the same household.

At least in my household.

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