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northcntryblues

Thoughts on your most recent guitar shop visit...

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I visited my local Long and McQuade for the first time in about 6 mos. the other day. They usually don't have very good inventory, but I was pleasantly surprised that they actually did have a bunch of really nice stuff atm - Gibsons, Martins, Taylors, Larrivee. The winner hands down was a 2016 J-45 standard. That thing was feather lite and absolutely rang like a bell. Fantastic vibration in the neck of that guitar. I can say honestly that it is the only guitar I have picked up that has ever given me a gas pang since I have owned my L-00. When I got home, I picked up my L-00 with trepidation, but that soon dissipated. I am still a one guitar guy - my guitar is just set up to perfection and "fits" my style. But that J-45.....if I ever win a lottery or something....hmm.

 

The other guitar I really liked was a Taylor 12 string, not sure of the model. It had a terrible looking grain on the top, but the action was incredibly low, was really easy to play, and sounded good with no buzzing. I usually like 12 strings in small doses only. I played a few R.E.M. tunes on it - 'Talk About the Passion' and 'So. Central Rain' and boy did it sound fantastic. I also played a really nice Larrivee slothead, not sure of the model. Quite nice.

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The winner hands down was a 2016 J-45 standard....

 

On my most recent visit to GC I took in 5 lesser-valued acoustics that were not getting played to possibly trade in for a J-45 standard. (I've already got the 12-string I want - a Guild JF30-12.) I knew GC only offers about 60% of a guitar's value, but their offers were utterly ridiculous. I wasn't impressed by the J45s they had either. I sold my guits on reverb for a reasonable price and ended up picking up a New Hartford built Guild F50R, which is freaking awesome.

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Having the week off from work, I ran over to my favorite little music shop yesterday. If you sit around a while it tends to turn into a picking parlor so is always fun (the owner is one heck of a guitar player). They have a fairly eclectic stock and it is pretty much hit or miss. On this trip, they had a 1940s Martin 000-28, a 1959 Gibson J-45 and an early 1970s Gibson SJ on the wall. Played 'em all plus assorted el cheapos like an Epihone Everly Bros. I keep going back to this 1970s Ventura knock off of a Martin New Yorker. A really good feeling, playing and sounding little guitar for not a lot of money.

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Our only local shop is a GC, 50 miles to the next one.

 

0 Gibson Acoustics

3 Martins, including an EC00028 that has been on "Special Clearance" for about two years now

7 or 8 Taylors

542 Epiphones

37 Ibanezii

26 Yamahas

Some others that I don't remember or know about

 

So to call it a mildly underwhelming visit to the acoustic saloon is the height of understatement.

 

rct

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Well recently I went to a major music store. They had a bunch of M guitars and I tried a nice little 00016GT, if my memory serves me right, and man that one sounded pretty pretty good. It didn't help having second thoughts on my Bird though ( see my thread) and about half the price.

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Well recently I went to a major music store. They had a bunch of M guitars and I tried a nice little 00016GT, if my memory serves me right, and man that one sounded pretty pretty good. It didn't help having second thoughts on my Bird though ( see my thread) and about half the price.

 

Weird. I have a 000-16GT and an M-36.

 

rct

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Hey countrybluespicker-your tale is very similar to mine.L&M in my "hood had a rental ('14) and after some backing-and-forthing and horsetrading They got it to a number I could justify so I pulled the trigger.They ARE nice machines for sure and I'm having a hoot with mine. Good luck with your decision re. GAS.

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Went to our local big box store this weekend, primarily to look at Telecasters. Nothing of real interest there, so went up to the acoustic room. A wall of maple and spruce, but little time, so had to choose between the new Epiphone Masterbilt archtops and a couple of J185s. None of them really in my price range at present, but figured the Epiphones are more affordable. Plus I've never really had a chance to play a decent acoustic archtop despite playing in a trad jazz band for a couple of years at college.

 

Picked up the Deluxe, which is the biggest in the range. Wasn't that impressed to be honest: still feel like I've not played a decent acoustic archtop. I know they don't sound like flat-tops and are meant to cut through, but I couldn't perceive any middle or bass at all. Nor that much projection. No real sense that any air was moving. Another customer walked in and wasn't very impressed from the audience side either. Found the action rather high and unwieldy too. The set-up resisted any techniques other than comping.

 

None of the round-hole versions were on display, and though the store had one hidden away on order, I didn't have time to wait while they went to find it. That might be closer to the sound I've got in my head, but I figured that even in a band context I'd rather try something else first - a Maccaferi or even a resonator.

 

Left wishing I'd tried the J185s - and I bet they're not there next time I visit. Blink and anything interesting has gone from that shop.

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I went to GC this morning. Fender has significantly dropped the retail price of=n the American Standard Stratocaster by several hundred dollars, and GC is offering 15% of of that right now. Both GC's had a few in stock. Most weren't the colors I wanted, but I did find 2 in the color I wanted but these seemed to have suffered the same fate that many guitars there usually do. one was loaded with dings and paint chips on the back of the body around the neck pocket. The other appears to have fallen off the rack and taken a direct hit to the strap button, which resulted in the strap button being driven into the guitar. Great deals on these American Standards right now, but still not worth it to me given the way these "new" guitars have already been mistreated. I'll be turning my focus now to CL to find a nice used one. Only problem is people are asking ridiculous amounts for their used American Standards because they are basing their used prices off what these guitars cost before the price increase. Also with Black Friday just around the corner I'm going to hold my horses and see what kind of deals pop up at the last minute. Buyer's market right now and I'm in no hurry at all.

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Gretsch Electromtic. Not exactly like my old Nashville but had a vibe. Great guitar for someone on the electro-acoustic divide.

Gibson SG (unsure vintage). Fingerstyle friendly and a clean humbucker sound sound, but the long neck from the extreme cutawys is weird.

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My most recent visit to a guitar shop was a 'targetted' one.....

 

I need to go back a bit>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> [biggrin]

 

 

I had tried a few of the new Martin 17 series at another shop and while they sounded great, I thought the setup was a bit high, especially after playing a few new Martins with the Plek setup that were very, very good to play straight out of the box, so I thought the 17 series had been leaning against the heater or something. Went home empty handed..... And the ones I tried were sold that day and the next and out of stock until next round it was.

 

 

A few weeks later, I was about to order one from O/S as a newer version of the model came with fancy Fishman pickup included, but would not get to try it.... I did a quick search of the internet and a shop that normally sells kiddies guitars and electric junk guitars and cheap drum kits and ALL the guitar gadgetry said they had one Martin 000-17 Black Smoke model no pickup. Aha, I will get a pickup later, in the car, half hour drive including red lights, walked in the door, went straight to it, asked the guy if I could try it, tried it, fabulous, asked how much he could do it for, took it! Mine, ha ha ha ha!

 

 

And the guy must have been thinking: "What happened? What was that?"

 

A BK777 surprise attack, that's what it was!

 

 

Then bought a Hiscox case for it:

 

 

 

Caseandguitar6_zpsundwkkq5.jpg

 

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

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Mine was at SamAsh in October when I bought the Epi Olympic described/reviewed in another thread. They just, as all big box music stores seem to do, just left me alone to try and play what I wanted. One sales guy came by for a few moments and actually shot the breeze with me for a few moments about his personal guitar collection as well as mine. He seemed shocked I actually wanted to buy something. Not a bad approach in my book to have a low pressure approach, but, I know guitars. Hope he's a bit more knowledge sharing about the instruments to newbies. Assume he is...

 

Was a good experience for me.

 

QM aka Jazzman Jeff

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Slightly wierd but I've never been to a music shop of any kind. Most of a day's drive to get to a place big enough to be called a town. I've had to buy everything sight unseen. Good way to learn about doing setups and repairs. ;).

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Elderly, when I can get there, is my main go-to for trying and buying. There are a couple mom and pop places I wander through occasionally as well. Basically, I'll buy whenever the guitar, the inclination, and the available cash coincide. The whereabouts doesn't often enter into it. As long as there isn't some high-pressure sales person involved, I can deal with almost anyone.

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I did a recent visit also to our big box shop. they normally stock a bucketload of Taylors and had many Gibsons in past, now few and far between.

 

However they did have a J15 and a J-29 there. The J-15 was just sooooooh sweet and nice and so full of character that i so wanted to take it home .... but it would not make sense.

 

The J-29 suprisingly sounded flat and very average against the J-15, maybe the stings but it didnt grab me. But those two models always had that effect on me, the J-15 just puts a huge smile on my face while the J-29 sort of confuses me.

 

And ..... get this, I played a few Taylors and really, really like a maple limited edition 214ce. I though it was a 600 series Taylor, sounded really like maple but this one had character and mojo, I admit I rather loved it.

 

Thought maybe something was wrong with my ears so i tried the solid bodied Taylors, even $5k 900 series and they all sounded like the old Taylor, nice but emplty feeling. This 214ce maple was a corker !

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I did a recent visit also to our big box shop. they normally stock a bucketload of Taylors and had many Gibsons in past, now few and far between.

 

And ..... get this, I played a few Taylors and really, really like a maple limited edition 214ce. I though it was a 600 series Taylor, sounded really like maple but this one had character and mojo, I admit I rather loved it.

 

Thought maybe something was wrong with my ears so i tried the solid bodied Taylors, even $5k 900 series and they all sounded like the old Taylor, nice but emplty feeling. This 214ce maple was a corker !

 

 

 

 

Oh Oh!

 

 

EA's feverish, needs to take his temperature.... :mellow:

 

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

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Oh Oh!

 

 

EA's feverish, needs to take his temperature.... :mellow:

 

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

The return of TaylorPrague is upon us...

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I was in Austin last year for a conference and found time to stop at Hill Country Guitars. They had an entire wall of Collings (also built in Austin), nobody else in the store and a couple of knowledgable salesguys that answered my questions when I asked and otherwise left me alone to try anything I wanted. I stayed for at least 2 hours and missed one of my meetings. I liked the looks of an OM2, but I liked the sound of a deep body OM1. They said, "No problem. You can order a deep body OM2." I went home, thought about it and called them up with a custom order for

Deep body OM2

EIR sides and back

German spruce top

Adi braces

upgraded backstripe and a small inlay in the headstock.

 

It took about 4-5 months to build and shipped directly to my home (Long Island, NY). Its the guitar that replaced the J-165 I sold.

I'm really happy with it. Total cost was $4800 which I thought was reasonable for a completely custom guitar.

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Local Willis Warehouse sale. They had a nice Gibson (ES175) and a nice Martin (D41) at very good prices but I passed. Otherwise the shops near to me are like Taylorland. Willis did away with Gibson and only get nice Martin's when you order one. The local GC is pretty pathetic on Gibson. They usually have one J45 and two HB Pro. I can't remember the last time they had any other Gibson. They usually have a few more Martin's but none of the high end models. Usually one HD28 and one D28 then it goes down from there. That's why I usually order on line or pick something up when on vacation.

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My local guitar shop is a one-man operation called Stockade Guitars in Kingston, NY. For a small shop, the owner Ted Lawrence, gets lots of cool used guitars through his doors. He recently had a 1965 Gibson Country-Western for $2250 and it flew out the door before I could figure out how to reconfigure my finances to grab it. Now, I walk in and he has a gorgeous '63 L-45 with plastic adj. saddle and swooning cherry burst. His price is good, too, at $3750. The guide I looked at had that price somewhere on the lower end. If I didn't already own a '64 J-45, I'd be tempted.

 

One of the store's advantages is its proximity to Woodstock, NY, where many established, veteran musicians have settled down. It's not uncommon to learn that a particular amp or guitar was once owned by Rick Danko or Larry Campbell, John Sebastian or Richard Buckner. Quality vintage stuff floats in and out. If you're visiting Big Pink (now a B&B!!!) or attending a concert at Levon Helm's barn or the Bearsville Theater, be sure to wander through Kingston. Record stores, book shops, guitar shops, cafes...both cheap eats and fancier stuff.

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I haven't been in a music store in a year when I picked up my mandolin from Gruhns after a fret level.

 

I could hit the lottery and spend an hour in there loading stuff and putting it in the truck.....

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I visited the local guitar monger last week. He had lots of shiny, pretty instruments in stock. He picked up a number of interesting new lines. Added the Heritiage Guitar company and had about six new hollow body guitars. Added Huss and Dalton and had three of them (one was described as the best J-45 style ever....). They also added Red Line mandolins. A couple beat-up old Norlin era Doves were one the wall (one '67 with a stripped finish and one black '80's model). There are many days I go in and out and never get interested in anything they have but that was not the case this time.

 

This time it was not to be. Someone else was smitten by their goodies...he traded in a custom Collings C-10. I know some guys might think its a little understated...

 

I completed the deal a couple days ago...the C-10 now lives at my house.

 

Fun day visiting the LGM (local guitar monger).

 

 

2_zps83zlnilk.jpg

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Nice, Dotneck.

 

I tend not to go to CG's now. It is a simple reason. I walk in to buy a replacement capo but walk out with a new and expensive git, amp, cables, etc and then I have to return because I forgot to buy the capo. Rinse and repeat. Very dangerous place is a GC.

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