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All mahogany question

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Hi guys, I’m in the market for an all mahogany dread. My two candidates are the Guild D 20 and Martin D 15. I’m a Gibson guy  and it’s curious but always when I play a Guild I think in Gibson like tone. I’m a singer songwriter, I would use only for strumming/ singing. Thanks!
 
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There’s a J45 and LG2 all mahogany versions out there from recent runs that you could find if you do a little searching. 

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I have a Martin D-15M. It's a nice guitar, and it got me back into practicing daily after many years of neglect when I retired in 2011. But then I got my old 1974 J-50 deluxe fixed and later got a 1965 and a 2008 J-50. I hardly ever play the D-15M anymore, it sounds kind of dull compared to the Gibsons. I guess that's just personal preference though. Nothing wrong with it, just a different kind of sound. I like the simpllicity of the D-15M, however it does seem a little "cheap" compared to the Gibsons. But I suppose that's to be expected with a ~$1000 guitar.

If you're looking for a Gibson sound, you won't find it in the D-15M IMO. But you should go play one for yourself. I will say, its strong point is beautiful-sounding open chords. It definitely has the "Martin sound" for those.

Edited by Boyd

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My DSS-15 slope shoulder dread plays nice with my J45.  It’s louder and oh so sweet sounding.  Perfect for singing behind/with.

 

rb

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The all-mahogany guitar (or more likely in this case Sapele) that surprised the heck out of me was the Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat.  While I did not have a clue who Tm Armstrong was,  it was one of those pleasant surprise guitars.    Basically an X braced version of the venerable  Harmony H165.   I see they are now offering it in a 12 string version.   That one guitar hanging on that one music shop wall turned more than a few of us into believers.

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My 2 cents....You say you are a Gibson guy?  That usually equates to liking the Gibson neck and the 12 radius.  The Martin neck will vary, but the radius is 16-very flat as you go up the neck.  If you are a strummer, you will find that barre chords are easier with the 12 radius.  Can'r remember the Guild radius...but if it's 16 the same outcome applies.[thumbup]

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I've got an all mahogany Alvarez.  Very nice guitar.  A bit on the quiet side, but that's fine.  If I need more volume I just plug-in.  Kind of all boils-down to what kind of tone you like.  I've been intrigued with the all-hog J45.  Might try to grab one someday.  I'm not looking for something louder than my Dove or J100.  Just looking for something I"ll enjoy playing.  Don't know a lot about the Martin or Guild guitars you mention, but if they are up to the standard of their respective brands, I think they'd be pretty sweet.

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1 hour ago, vacamartin said:

My 2 cents....You say you are a Gibson guy?  That usually equates to liking the Gibson neck and the 12 radius.  The Martin neck will vary, but the radius is 16-very flat as you go up the neck.  If you are a strummer, you will find that barre chords are easier with the 12 radius.  Can'r remember the Guild radius...but if it's 16 the same outcome applies.[thumbup]

Thanks for the help, the radius of the guild it’s 12, c profile neck and scale lengh its25.6"

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The J45 Mahogany is brighter than the D15. I still own my D15, and I used to own a J45 Mahogany that I played catch and release with.

 The Gibson is a great guitar, and I prefer it to a standard J45.  Play them both... can’t go wrong with either.  And because the J45 Mahogany is not a desired model by most, they come used very inexpensive.

 

This  was mine  

 

 

 

 

 

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Sal, you do a great job on that tune. And the all-hog J-45 sounds really good.

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Here's one of our members demo of an all mahogany '42 LG1 and the reissue that Gibson built using his vintage guitar as a model.

 

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I know you’re considering a D-15, but I’d also recommend the 000-15M. Personally I think it’s the gem of the all-mahogany Martin 15 series. I know the 000-15SM also gets a lot of love, but a really nice 000-15M is a magical guitar, regardless of its relatively low cost.  Personally I think the Martin 15 Series crush the Guild GAD all-mahogany models. I’ve also owned and played s few of the all- mahogany J45’s and prefer the 000-15M and a spruce-topped J45.

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Though it’s not a dreadnaught or jumbo size (which some of the subsequent models mentioned aren’t), surprised no one has mentioned Gibson’s LG-0 or it’s Epiphone counterpart, the Kalamazoo made FT-30 Caballero.  (Not the reissued laminated top Caballero, but the solid mahagony topped Gibson LG-0 and Epiphone FT-30 Caballero...circa 1960’s.)

I own a 1965 solid top mahagony  Epiphone FT30 Caballero in my collection.  Have owned it since 1973 (for $75 at the time.)  For some reason mine has a gloss top finish, where most other ones (including the LG-0) do not.  All are ladder braced

I like my 1965 FT Caballero.  It has a nice sweet mellow sound for fingerpicking and melodic instrumentals.  Strumming is only so so because of the ladder bracing, but for individual note finger picking it’s great.  Through an amp (I use a Rare Earth Humbucker sound hole pickup), it is sweet but punchy.    Quite a good value to them too for fingerpicking....for a low priced Gibson or Kalamazoo made Epi.  (Note:  I am not familiar with the laminated top mahagony Caballero in recent years.  Or, any of the other imported Epi Caballeros throughout the years.)

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

 

 

 

Edited by QuestionMark

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On 6/6/2019 at 12:52 AM, Dave F said:

Here's one of our members demo of an all mahogany '42 LG1 and the reissue that Gibson built using his vintage guitar as a model.

 

Wonderful demo by JT, and shocking that Gibson treated him like that.

That aside, that original '43  banner LG1 is to die for isn't it? So beautiful.

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9 hours ago, Jinder said:

Wonderful demo by JT, and shocking that Gibson treated him like that.

That aside, that original '43  banner LG1 is to die for isn't it? So beautiful.

I've got a players grade version of that LG1 and it blows me away. My current favorite Gibson. 

John's looks to be in great condition. I bought the RI that John is comparing. It's a real nice guitar but when I compare it to the vintage one  it falls a little short.

Here's a friend of mine doing a demo of the same reissue John used and my '42 LG1. Note that they're considered 1942 models since they were all built in 1942 but shipped over the next couple years.

 

 

Edited by Dave F

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16 minutes ago, FZ Fan said:

The one on the red velvet on the right has really dark wood as seen from the hole. Is it that dark or just the angle and lighting or darkening?

It's that dark. A '42-'43 no FON J45 The one to the right is a Legend.

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1 hour ago, FZ Fan said:

What wood is it. J-45's are Hog back and sides. That looks even darker than rosewood.

It is probably just a dark piece of mahogany. I have old pieces of Cuban and Honduran mahogany that are darker than most rosewoods. The mahogany we see today has to be stained to give it any color. Old-growth mahogany of the type used 75 years ago could be extremely dark. 

It may well have been an old piece that Gibson had not used before because they thought it was too dark. During the banner era, they used almost anything.

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On 6/5/2019 at 6:52 PM, Dave F said:

Here's one of our members demo of an all mahogany '42 LG1 and the reissue that Gibson built using his vintage guitar as a model.

 

Both sound great!

But, I am curious as to any differences, if any, between an all mahogany LG1 and an all mahogany LG-0 (or the Kalamazoo-made all mahogany Epiphone FT30 Caballero)?   Both are ladder braced, yes?  My only visual observation seems to be the mahogany LG1 has a gloss finish where LG0s have a satin finish and most Kazoo Epiphone FT30 Caballeros generally also have a satin finish, although I say generally because I own a 1965 Epiphone FT30 Caballero that has a gloss finish.  Any insights into the differences between a mahogany LG1 and a LG0/FT30 Caballero?

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

 

 

 

 

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1942 LG1 and it’s reissue are x-braced. 1942 introduced three LG models 1/2/3. All x- braced. Different tone woods and finishes. They made about 100 of each. After that they only made the LG2 until after the war. When the LG1 was reintroduced it was ladder braced. 

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15 minutes ago, Dave F said:

1942 LG1 and it’s reissue are x-braced. 1942 introduced three LG models 1/2/3. All x- braced. Different tone woods and finishes. They made about 100 of each. After that they only made the LG2 until after the war. When the LG1 was reintroduced it was ladder braced. 

 

Thanks for the info.  I automatically associated LG1s with ladder bracing.  I had no idea the mahogany LG1s were X braced.  No wonder those mahogany LG1s are special!  

QM aka “ Jazzman” Jeff

 

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I’ve got 1998 00-15. The first year Martin re-introduced this model. No “M” added, because these were Mahogany. This guitar has really opened up nicely over the last 20 years. It’s the only Martin I have held on to over the years. I have been seeing some “custom” 0-15 M’s lately. I would love to get my hands on one of those. Hope Martin puts these into regular production. i think the 15 series was one of the best decisions Martin made. Can’t go wrong with these. Whichever one you choose!

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1 hour ago, QuestionMark said:

 

Thanks for the info.  I automatically associated LG1s with ladder bracing.  I had no idea the mahogany LG1s were X braced.  No wonder those mahogany LG1s are special!  

QM aka “ Jazzman” Jeff

 

This is the kind of stuff I learn by listening to Tom B. , John T.  and Willi. 

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One all-mahogany guitar I owned and really enjoyed was the Martin 00-DB Jeff Tweedy signature. Small (00 obviously), but deep bodied and so punchy and warm. Amazingly rich midrange overtones and a really superb all-rounder. Wish I still owned it, but I traded it (along with a very averagey example of a D18) for my 2015 SJ200 when it was new...absolutely zero regrets there as the SJ200 is magnificent.

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