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sbpark

I guess I'm a junkie...I fell off the wagon!


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I started another thread talking about selling off a bunch of guitars a couple years ago and paying off about $57k in student loan debt in a little over 2 years, and how a guy I sold a 2017 J45 Standard (I bought in 2016) got in touch with me the other day asking me if I wanted to buy the guitar back. Well, I caved in to the temptation and bought the guitar back for what I sold it for, and it's in the exact same near-new condition. It sounds fantastic. It has low end for days and the low E is really incredible with all the thump and growl you could want. It's a pretty complex sounding J45, which was pretty hard to find (a lot of them I tried over the last few years including several other Standards, True Vintages and the latest Vintage models, always left me unimpressed.

 

But now I still have a bit of buyers remorse simply because I have been so diligent and disciplined about not spending, and I do have an unwritten rule with myself (that I actually forgot about conveniently when I picked up this J45 this morning) of "one in, one out", so something has to go!

 

My other two acoustics are a 2012 AJ and a Martin D-35. Just to be clear, the D-35 isn't going anywhere. I've always enjoyed the AJ, but being totally honest, compared to the J45 it can sound a little stiff sometimes, and it has WAY more mids than the J45, which is great when you're playing with buddies and want to be heard and punch through, but does tend to get in the way when I try to sing over it. It's not necessarily about the volume of the AJ (yes, it's a bit louder than the J45), it's more the voicing of the guitar. I've been getting into fiddle tunes lately and it works perfectly for that stuff, but for the couch/singer songwriter type stuff that I also like to play, the J45 is the clear leader. It's sweeter, more intimate and a little more complex sounding than the AJ, but no where near as good for fiddle tunes as the AJ. The AJ also has better highs in my opinion. They are fatter and warmer than the J45, where the highs can sometimes sound a bit thin and tinny to my ear. The D-35 is a lush, warm, well-balanced beast that's more of a jack-of-all-trades guitar. If I could only keep ONE of the three, this would most likely be the one.

 

Decisions, decisions...so if you were in my shoes and enjoyed playing everything from singer/songwriter type stuff to cross-picking and flatpicking fiddle tunes now and then, which two would you keep?!

 

Advanced Jumbo: Rosewood back and sides, sounds best with 80/20 13's, Loud, punchy and very "forward" in your face sound, less "sweet" sounding and less complex compared to the J45 and D-35, but it has much thicker, warmer highs than the J45, no pickup. Ideally suited in my opinion for flatpicking. Less expressive than the J45, and not the best for fingerpicking. Can push this guitar as hard as you want. You will always be heard.

 

J45 Standard: Mahogany back and sides, short scale, sounds best with 80/20 12's, big low end, "sweeter" and more complex than the AJ, better for singing over and for accompanying voice, also a great finger picker, but falls short for flatpicking and not the greatest when hit hard, has factory pickup Bags Element VTC (which I'm not the biggest fan of, but I never really plug in). Best suited for songwriting, singing, fingerpicking, strumming, and it records the best compared to the other two.

 

Martin D-35: Rosewood back and sides, strung with PB 13's, massive, full and enveloping sound but still surprisingly balanced and you can literally feel the guitar vibrating through your body when you strum chords. Seems to work equally well as a strummer and can hold its own when flatpicking, but it's not a D-28. Not quite the punch of the AJ, and is decent for fingerpicking, but not as easy as a short scale with 12's.. Sounds best strung with 13's. This guitar can pretty much do everything REALLY well, is a strummer and singers dream, but as mentioned can get buy for bluegrass/fiddle tunes. . No pickup.

Edited by sbpark

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I’m with grunt, but then again I say you keep all three at this point, enjoy them, and continue your frugality by eating ramen noodles and making your own coffee... and drinking blend whiskey and Miller lite.

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I’m with grunt, but then again I say you keep all three at this point, enjoy them, and continue your frugality by eating ramen noodles and making your own coffee... and drinking blend whiskey and Miller lite.

 

Ha, well, I'm headed in that direction already. I only brew my own coffee at home with a pour over or drink whatever someone brewed in the break room at the hospital I work at, and I don't drink simply because even if I have two drinks I feel like poop the next day. One thing I wont skimp on is good food, but 90% of the time I cook for myself.

 

I just feel pretty guilty for no real reason that I let myself slip a bit! I don't have kids to worry about or anything like that. My bills are paid.

Edited by sbpark

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My kids are grown... last one headed to college in the fall... school is paid. I have fun. And anyone who remarks that I have too many guitars etc., I remind myself and sometimes them that it’s a crap ton cheaper than golf. And divorce.

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It won't matter, as I predict you'll be back and forth to the well. GAS never dies. It just rattles around in your gut. Have a drink, have a toke, whatever it takes to enjoy the moment with your remorse, but let the guitars decide for you. You're surrounded by better guitars and worse ones. You'll have to settle in with what you like to play, even if it has a short shelf life in your collection.

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if you could part with any one of them Id say sell them all and get an OLD j 45...

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I would adopt a new rule and keep all three, as each one seems to fit a specific niche in your music making.

 

Red 333

Edited by Red 333

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My policy is 40 max (that's negotiable) not counting the cheapies** or sentimentals*** so I still have a little head room

 

Gibsons

'40's Banner J45

'53 ES 150

'94 Centennial 1934 Jumbo RI

'94 1933 Century of Progress

'99 Vintage AJ

'04 Chet Atkins CG

'04 Dwight Yoakam Honky Tonk Deuce

'07 J200 CUSTOM KOA

'07 CJ165 RW

'10 J45 Legend

'10 Jackson Browne

'11 Kristofferson SJ

'12 J200 Custom RW

'13 ES 175

'13 J185 Wildwood Modern Vintage

'13 LG-2 Banner RI (All Hog)

'14 Stage Deluxe LTD

'14 1932 L00 RI

'14 Les Paul Std

'14 L5 Premier

'15 Stage Deluxe RW

'16 Nick Lucas Mystic Rosewood

'18 L1 F-hole

**C1 Classical

**C400 Classical

 

 

Martin's

HD28 Brazilian

D40MS

000-28 EC SB

'08 D28 Elvis Presley

'11 Martin D41 Special

'14 All Koa Custom

OMCPA1 Plus

**Martin 12-string

 

Various

'65 Gretsch Country Gentleman

'07 Gretsch Round Up

814CE Taylor

***Ovation '70 Tornado

***'61 Kay 6-string

'12 Fender Tele Select Viola

'07 TELE STD

**Alvarez 12 fret palor

Edited by Dave F

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Just to clarify.

The advice given to you in the earlier thread about setting priorities and focusing on a house is very sound and I agree with it 100%

I had a Kay acoustic, Ovation semi-hollow, and a Squire Strat that covered me for over 40 years.

I did not start laying out dollars for better guitars until my mortgage was paid off, my only child had completed college (8 yrs) and I had a comfortable retirement fund.

Keep your priorities straight and enjoy what you have.

On the other hand, It's nice to have a hobby that you can cash in and get some/most/more of you money back.

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Funny how everyone has said they'd go D'35?J45. I've actually decided to go D-35/AJ.

 

The J45 does seem to sound a little more open, but it just sounds a bit weak and thin in the highs, and you can't really push it. The AJ just sounds fatter, thicker and has balls. Same with the D-35. That guitar sounds BIG, but it can be dialed back a lot easier than the AJ. I guess I just prefer the bigger sound and a guitar I can push if need be. J45's just seem to collapse and cave in on themselves when pushed. SO consequently I'll be selling the J45 (again!)

Edited by sbpark

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If I owned a J35, I'd likely keep it, but I've never had a real longing to get one. Might eventually. If I owned all three guitars mentioned, I'd likely be keeping and playing all of them. Having too many guitars really isn't part of the equation for me. I like guitars and since I've saved/invested wisely over the years, I can afford them, so I usually get one when I really want it. What I'm needing/wanting at the moment is just a regular ol' AJ. Nothing special. Just a standard AJ. I need it like I need another n scale steam locomotive, but that's all the reason I need. Don't know that I've ever fallen off of the proverbial "wagon," but if I have or do, no need for excuses. I simply like guitars. Throughout life, we spend a lot of money on bullcrap things that we want at the moment, then we set them aside and rarely, if ever, use them. For most reading this thread, a good guitar is not set aside and forgotten.

Edited by MissouriPicker

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The old wobbly wagon!

 

 

I was speaking on the phone to 2 totally different types of people - my sister and a friend interstate. I have sold a guitar and have another on consign and I was thinking of........2 guitars the shop has...if I sell the other fairly high end one..... [biggrin] . The sister says: “Why don’t you put the money towards another car?” My friend’s standard giggle, nothing to do with my sister’s comment is: “When are you getting rid of that car? Ha Ha.”

I like my old car, it is like a comfortable pair of shoes. My baby, 1989 BMW 318i. I have spent a lot on it, my fault blew a motor, then a cambelt snapped and...blew the head, and then the light didn’t come on when the water pump went west....another head....and then I scraped the manhole cover and tore the sump off. All fixed and going pretty well. [smile]

 

Now I have driven my sister’s car but not my friend’s car but they are both mid priced anonymous Asian builds that get 5 years warranty, cheap service etc, etc, all good, BUT, my sister wants to update to the new model ...$20,000 approx and they will give her something pathetic for a trade in of the 4 or 5 year old one she has. So basically another loan for most of the $20K. :unsure: Hmmmm.

 

So the guitar I sold a few months back was bought in about 2005 and I got used more than I paid for it. I know this can be shaky, but if I sell the 2 I haven’t bought yet for what I paid in the future, well........ [smile]

 

And I have a great mechanic that specialises in my old car and if I keep on top of it, just do running repairs......as needed.....

 

 

Anyone with me on this?

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

Edited by BluesKing777

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My kids are grown... last one headed to college in the fall... school is paid. I have fun. And anyone who remarks that I have too many guitars etc., I remind myself and sometimes them that it’s a crap ton cheaper than golf. And divorce.

 

Sal , I truly hope that it’s not just the money side of things that keeps you away from golf

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Funny how everyone has said they'd go D'35?J45. I've actually decided to go D-35/AJ.

 

The J45 does seem to sound a little more open, but it just sounds a bit weak and thin in the highs, and you can't really push it. The AJ just sounds fatter, thicker and has balls. Same with the D-35. That guitar sounds BIG, but it can be dialed back a lot easier than the AJ. I guess I just prefer the bigger sound and a guitar I can push if need be. J45's just seem to collapse and cave in on themselves when pushed. SO consequently I'll be selling the J45 (again!)

 

Try heavier strings or raising the action a little at the bridge. I’ve owned three j45s, all of which could and can take a LOT of pushing and don’t collapse sonically. My ‘67 J45 has an insane amount of headroom. Totally understand the buyer’s remorse but I’d definitely give it a chance now the deal is done.

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J45 Standard: Mahogany back and sides, short scale, sounds best with 80/20 12's, big low end, "sweeter" and more complex than the AJ, better for singing over and for accompanying voice, also a great finger picker, but falls short for flatpicking and not the greatest when hit hard, has factory pickup Bags Element VTC (which I'm not the biggest fan of, but I never really plug in). Best suited for songwriting, singing, fingerpicking, strumming, and it records the best compared to the other two.

 

Sounds like you've just made a strong case for keeping the J-45. It records better than the other two as well? Also- very uncommon that you hear your AJ as having fatter highs. In either case, you did a fine job getting rid of all of that debt. Doubt you went deep back into that situation, if at all, to get the J-45 back. The fact that you asked it's buyer to give you the right of first refusal should he sell is either brilliant marketing, or a testament to how you felt about a J-45 you'd already gone through a fair amount of trouble to find. Bottom line- you deserve to reward yourself by keeping the trio together.

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If I needed to get rid of one, it would be the AJ. It seems the D35 has you covered for the AJ's role. Then I would replace it with something in maple, like a J185.

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Try heavier strings or raising the action a little at the bridge. I’ve owned three j45s, all of which could and can take a LOT of pushing and don’t collapse sonically. My ‘67 J45 has an insane amount of headroom. Totally understand the buyer’s remorse but I’d definitely give it a chance now the deal is done.

 

I considered heavier strings, but my D-35 and AJ both wear 13's, and they work great on those guitars and was thinking that something shorter scale with 12's would be better for the quieter stuff, fingerpicking, etc.

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Wrong guy to chime here. I'd probably buy another one just to have an even number of instruments. I think they call that logic ….. justification rationalization!

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I considered heavier strings, but my D-35 and AJ both wear 13's, and they work great on those guitars and was thinking that something shorter scale with 12's would be better for the quieter stuff, fingerpicking, etc.

 

I use 12s on my J45, but find D’Addario 12s to have a thinner core wire than Martins, so Martin 12s get the nod with the J45 as they have marginally higher tension and a stiffer feel, which I like on short scale guitars...they sort of feel like 12 1/4s!

 

A slightly taller saddle with a bit less neck relief suits me too, giving more string clearance up at the dusty end which stops any choking out for hard strumming or flatpicking. I have a maple AJ which is great but quite “hard” sounding...the J45 is much warmer and is a superb studio instrument.

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My policy is 40 max (that's negotiable) not counting the cheapies** or sentimentals*** so I still have a little head room

 

Gibsons

'40's Banner J45

'53 ES 150

'94 Centennial 1934 Jumbo RI

'94 1933 Century of Progress

'99 Vintage AJ

'04 Chet Atkins CG

'04 Dwight Yoakam Honky Tonk Deuce

'07 J200 CUSTOM KOA

'07 CJ165 RW

'10 J45 Legend

'10 Jackson Browne

'11 Kristofferson SJ

'12 J200 Custom RW

'13 ES 175

'13 J185 Wildwood Modern Vintage

'13 LG-2 Banner RI (All Hog)

'14 Stage Deluxe LTD

'14 1932 L00 RI

'14 Les Paul Std

'14 L5 Premier

'15 Stage Deluxe RW

'16 Nick Lucas Mystic Rosewood

'18 L1 F-hole

**C1 Classical

**C400 Classical

 

 

Martin's

HD28 Brazilian

D40MS

000-28 EC SB

'08 D28 Elvis Presley

'11 Martin D41 Special

'14 All Koa Custom

OMCPA1 Plus

**Martin 12-string

 

Various

'65 Gretsch Country Gentleman

'07 Gretsch Round Up

814CE Taylor

***Ovation '70 Tornado

***'61 Kay 6-string

'12 Fender Tele Select Viola

'07 TELE STD

**Alvarez 12 fret palor

 

Be still, my heart.

 

Red 333

Edited by Red 333

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