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Least expensive becomes the keeper


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After an extended bout of not playing (raising the family and such), when I finally got back into playing regularly I was faced with having only electric guitars…nothing to sit back on the couch with and just play. So I began what would would be a 7-8 year acquisition trend and during that time I was the keeper of some wonderful acoustics. Among the wood and steel would be a few Taylors of various wood configurations, a Washburn, and even a custom built, small luthier shop job that was simply a work of art. Now, not being a working musician and relegated to basement rock star status, it wasn't long before I realized having 4 acoustics was overkill as I spent more time worrying about summer de-humidification and winter humidification, changing strings, etc. etc..

 

I began to assess each of those acoustics and try to rate them as to which I would not want to part with most. Then during a trip to a local shop for strings, I perused the acoustics hanging on the wall and saw a curious Gibson model I had never seen nor heard of before….it was a Hummingbird Artist. I sat and played, and played, and played. An hour later I came back to reality, placed it back on the rack and went home. Over the next couple of months I was back at that shop playing that guitar every week. Finally, it had to come home with me thus starting my ranking assessment all over again.

 

So after many months I realized that the one guitar I reached for most, above all others which were more expensive than this Gibby (the Washburn was the first to go). Thus, the others are gone and I can honestly say that there isn't a day that goes by that I don't get a big :) on my face while playing that HBird Artist. I love everything about it..tone, looks, feel, comfort, everything. And what surprises me most about it is every time I play in a group everyone wants to play it and comment on the sound of that somewhat humble Gibby offering (compared to so many other, more costly models).

 

So lesson learned by me…I will never buy another guitar without playing it (or at least have the ability to return it at no or very little cost) and I will never pass up an opportunity to try one based on it not being a "premium" model.

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I have never ranked my guitars. I am just too fickle for that with the favorite status being only fleeting. Favorite to me is a matter of whim and probably emotion. Any kind of a logical assessment based on sound or particularly what they cost me or are worth does not seem to enter into it. I know in my head which of my guitars sound and play better than others. My ears and fingers tell me that. But I just came off a rather lengthy binge of playing my Harmony Sovereign while my 1942 and 1946 Gibsons sat in their cases. While I can't exlain it the guitar I am most attached to though is my 1956 Epiphone FT-79. Not the best sounding guitar I ever ran across. It is pretty heavily braced and sounds like it. I must have taken this thing home at least three times to goof around with (the owner of the music store I found it in was to say the least a highly motivated seller) before I decided to claim it as my own. Even then I did not play it very much. But over the months I just started to warm up to the guitar to the point where I put it up for sale not once but twice and pulled back both times. Considering the offers I was getting were for about three times what I had in this thing, it has to be love.

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Now, not being a working musician and relegated to basement rock star status, it wasn't long before I realized having 4 acoustics was overkill

 

I am very glad for you that you now have the time to spend on music and have found a guitar that you love. But I have to admit that the above statement is complete anathema to me!!!! [biggrin]

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Not sure if anyone else falls into the same boat but all the years I taught and gigged I usually owned only one electric, one amp, and two acoustics. Nowadays when I gig only rarely I own two electrics (both lap steels), three amps, and like six playable acoustics. I do realize that my wallet (along with my waist line) has expanded since then but in a way it really makes no sense.

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The actual price doesn't seem to make much difference to my attachment to instruments. I paid $1250 used for one of my favorite guitars, a blonde CJ-165 maple. Drove across the Golden Gate up to Marin county to get it, a guy advertised it on one of the bulletin boards. One of the cheaper good guitars I have but I really love it. I like the fullness and volume of the 185 and whenever I play something in the key of G I usually haul it out, but the 165 maple is a wonderful guitar for jazz oriented stuff. Seriously, minty used Gibsons are a spectacular value.

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Not sure if anyone else falls into the same boat but all the years I taught and gigged I usually owned only one electric, one amp, and two acoustics. Nowadays when I gig only rarely I own two electrics (both lap steels), three amps, and like six playable acoustics. I do realize that my wallet (along with my waist line) has expanded since then but in a way it really makes no sense.

 

I can relate. I had one electric when I gigged back in the late 70's/80's.

The only time it became a challenge was if I broke a string at an inopportune

time. I couldn't afford 2 guitars back then.

I own 5 acoustics now, 4 more than I need but I enjoy all of them.

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