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James Owl Smith

Does the Perfect Guitar simply exist?

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Hi Folks,

"Does the perfect guitar simply exist?"

That's quite a question, one would tell! Strange thing really: everyone knows that:  scientists on the one hand and objective knowledge on the other hand would confirm that such a thing as the perfect guitar simply don't exist, i suppose. This is the very reason why - and i'm the minority perhaps - i think quite on the opposite the perfect guitar just does exist. So which is it or who is she, would some people certainly ask?

My answer is: the perfect guitar certainly would differ from this player to that player, that's almost obvious. Nevertheless, i still believe that the perfect guitar is that guitar you are love strucked with, still and always, from the very first day you met until this very day and tomorrow; this is that special guitar is missed all day long when you just cannot either see her or play her because a working day is to be done and at the time you're not at home... So you think of her all day long and you miss her all the time & when you're back home at last, you're tired because it was a long day & your work was demanding; nevertheless you try to sit down a couple of minutes and have a rest, and although that you hardly can breathe, you open the case and at last you can see your guitar again and you try to play and then true life starts again for you at last: that guitar not only is a real beauty but you just can't believe the sounds she delivers although that's not the first time you can hear the sound and you play on and on until you're completely exhausted and both your hands hurt a great deal. Don't you agree?

So being supposed you can agree with my words, please express yourselves and tell me which one is your perfect guitar and why. From my part, the perfect guitar is the Hummingbird. I play a 2017 HB as my fellow colleagues using  this forum can guess according to those topics i've initiated before on this website. She truly is a beauty and "she sounds like an organ", my wife says frequently. Shades, nuances, a mighty powerful mellow sound and unexpected timbers in spite of a great volume makes the HB quite an addictive guitar. Just to say that people are wrong when they tell you that nothing in this world can be perfect. On the other hand, what about people who didn't yet find their own perfect guitar, would one ask me by any chance? I suggest this: when you want to find something special, just don't look after it & sooner or later you sure will find it much unexpectedly:  although that might sound paradoxical to human reason, the fact is human heart knows it's perfectly true.

Thanks for reading.  Peace!

 

 

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I'm sorry, but I dont think such an instrument exists. Now, you might feel you've found a "perfect" guitar, but as your own abilities and preferences evolve, that will surely change. In fact, if your opinion doesn't change over the years, I'd say you have stopped growing artistically. That doesn't mean you can't have a favorite guitar, or a cherished guitar. But a perfect one? I don't think it exists, and have no interest in trying to find one.

Edited by Boyd

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Rather than finding the "perfect" guitar, I would say that one can certainly come across the "most satisfying guitar you've ever played" - up to any given point in your life.  And even then, I'd have to break that down into acoustic & electric categories.

Personally, I find having a variety of guitars to be musically stimulating.  Regardless, whether it's one or thirty-one (as in my case), we are lucky to have so many fine guitars to choose from & to experience the joy that music can bring! 

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The perfect guitar does not exist.   Doesnt matter how much you spend or who built it.  

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Neither I believe in the concept perfect. Hardly ever use the word. So no perfect guitar as well

With that said we can draw 5 to 10 percent off and immediately change the game. For yes, , there are 90s or even 95ers out there to pick up.  They are perfectos !

Still as Tpbiii insinuates no instrument will do it all. The art is to find out exactly what is wanted and why. After that we can begin to zoom in.  Now our wish-lists may be long, but minus the 5-10 % it's possible to get the sublime answer to our points.  Sometimes it will appear in steps. Suddenly - perhaps after 3-8-20 years - it becomes clear we are in the territory of the great P.  From there the chances of moving closer only increases.  Example :

A person has been playing for quite some time - say half a decade - and tried a broad array of models. One day a Gibson slope comes within reach. An instant and obvious AHA-experience occurs. Now she/he has landed on the island - next step is to find and dig up the treasure. So there the lifted spirit goes > Historic Collection, Modern Classic, Standard, Legend, True Vintage, actual real vintage ones, 60s-50s-40s, , , maple creatures too, both old and new. Eventually the person of course steers to these pages and decides to ask us all for guidance.  And naturally we reply by re-posting the late onewilyfools's marathon-list.  A gesture which will set the good newbie both blessed and flabbergasted.  

 

J-45 

1. Gibson J-45 Classic
2. Gibson J-45 Modern
3. Gibson J-45 Custom
4. Gibson J-45 True Vintage
5. Gibson J-45 Pro
6. Gibson J-45 Artist
7. Gibson J-45 New Vintage
8. Gibson J-45 American
9. Gibson J-45 Legend
10. Gibson J-45 Studio
11. Gibson J-45 Pre-war
12. Gibson J-45 Deluxe
13. Gibson J-45 Limited
14. Gibson J-45 Standard
15. Gibson J-45 Studio reissue
16. Gibson J-45 Custom Koa
17. Gibson J-45 Custom Maple
18. Gibson J-45 Custom Rosewood
19. Gibson J-45 Long scale
20. Gibson J-45 Antique Natural
21. Gibson J-45 LTD 1960'S Ebony Black
22. Gibson J-45 LTD 1968 Cherry Red Finish
23. Gibson J-45 Wine Red
24. Gibson J-45 Vintage Sunburst
25. Gibson J-45 Cobraburst
26. Gibson J-45 Amberburst
27. Gibson J-45 Red Spruce Sunsetburst
28. Gibson J-45 Historic Collection
29. Gibson J-45 Brad Paisley Signature
30. Gibson J-45 John Hiatt Signature
31. Gibson J-45 Celebrity
32. Gibson J-45 Reissue
33. Gibson J-45 Dwight Yoakam Honky Tonk Deuce
34. Gibson J-45 Custom Vine Rosewood
35. Gibson J-45 Reissue Historic
36. Gibson J-45 V.O.S.
37. Gibson J-45 Pure Voice
38. Gibson J-45 Koa Maui Wowie
39. Gibson J-45 Standard CST Madagascar Rosewood
40. Gibson J-45 Western
41. Gibson J-45 Modern Classic
42. Gibson J-45 Gold top
43. Gibson J-45 Brazilian
44. Gibson J-45 Flamed Maple LTD
45. Gibson J-45 Mystic Rosewood
46. Gibson J-45 Kazuyoshi Saito Signature
47. Gibson J-45 Banner WWII
48. Gibson J-45 Donovan
49. Gibson J-45 Northern
50. Gibson J-45 Pelham Blue
51. Gibson J-45 Brown Top
52. Gibson J-45 Ltd. White
53. Gibson J-45 Zebra Wood
54. Gibson J-45 Early
55. Gibson J-45 Buddy Holly
56. Gibson J-45 Mellow Yellow

And this don't even mention the J-50, , , eeeeh plus. . .

But there we are. Following approximately 20 odd trips around the sun, the 95er is a reality. By that time we can only hope there are some 5-10-15 years left before ears and hands start to decay. Not to mention the intact awareness of why the journey started in the first place.                                                                                                                                 "Passion !?!, , , what passion", is a scene that must be avoided. 
If all remains OK, the enjoyment will be immense. It really will - as if every side-road and experiment was more than worth it.  A fest - a nest - rest.

Ask one who got through. 

 

And then, , , , then the person finds out about Birds. . . 

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I like the small body L00

I like the L5 neck (it’s a special ‘D’ shape)

I had a custom L00, no fret markers with an L5 shaped neck made.

For me, it’s pretty darn close. If it had the Gibson sunburst, I think it would be there. 

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I love my 37 Gibson L-0 to play, but I don't want to alter it to install a pickup...

I love my 59 LG3 to play even with the skinnier neck, but I don't like the installed pickup so use other gadgets to enhance the pickup...

I love my Maton 808s (X3) with the sensational pickup system, but they have a skinny neck too!

I love my custom made Cargill guitar with perfect sound, playability and neck (I picked it all), but the K&K I installed is flat sounding and needs gadgets.

Etc, etc, etc.

I could install the Maton AP5-Pro pickup system in any of these guitars, but major horrible surgery is required (large rectangle cut out behind bridge and another rectangle cutout on upper bout...)

 

Nope, just have to pick the best guitar in my rack for the job - Gary Davis said "If you think you got it perfect, you made your first mistake!"

 

BluesKing777.

 

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Nothing is perfect. The very nature and geometry of a guitar dictates that it's slightly out of tune with itself when fretted. Perfection is subjective and is also dictated by the arc of appreciation during the ownership period.

Viz: infatuation>honeymoon period>becoming accustomed>becoming overfamiliar>awareness of other potential options 

Any guitar that survives this and is still in the collection afterwards is as close to perfect as it gets. I have a few that have been with me for some years now and won't be going anywhere (my Custom Shop Hummingbird 12, SJ200, Maple AJ, '67 J45), and I strongly suspect my '95 Dove and '97 D18GE prototype will stay too. I've cycled through a good many guitars over the years and have gradually distilled my collection to things I truly love and appreciate, and that inspire me as a writer. 

 

Edited by Jinder
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A  'yes'  vote here. 

Depends on  each person's definition of  'perfect', doesn't it? 

OP took time and effort to define his definition.  Based on that - I'd say all 3 of my Gibsons are  perfect.   IE. "perfect to me, at this point in time, not having played every guitar in the universe'. 

I don't define perfect as  'unattainable, spiritually pure, artistically pristine and scientifically flawless' ...  .  Just 'perfect to me'.  

Would Segovia have wanted to play my SJ200 in a concert?  Nope.

Would  Keith Richards want to play my H'Bird in the studio?  Nope. 

But more to the point -  Would I trade my SJ200 for one of Segovia's  classical guitars?  Nope.

For one of Keith's  electrics?  Nope again. 

Does that mean I have  ... (shudders)  Imperfect Taste or Faulty Criteria?    Probably.   (yawns)

Does it mean I leave my strings on  Too Long ?  Definitely. 

But I think my Ford Taurus SHO is perfect ...  so....   

And then there's   Emmylou Harris  ....  

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Near perfect, yes. Perfect no.

Reasons have already been covered. 

I agree with Bobouz - a variety of guitars is what I prefer.  The differences are interesting and stimulating. While a single guitar might be perfect for a certain situation, it won’t be perfect for every situation. 
 

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3 hours ago, fortyearspickn said:

Depends on  each person's definition of  'perfect', doesn't it? 

 

That is "perfect" for the era we live in. If you don't like the meaning of a word, just create your own definition suit your own purpose.  😄

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38 minutes ago, zombywoof said:

As long as there are guitars that make you happy who cares.

 

James Owl Smith. 😄

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I remember eating a perfect ice cream. I also remember what seemed to be perfect situations. 

Still they were fleeting glimpses (as Pink Floyd would say) and remained excellent in the form of precious memories. 

Surely had superb guitar-moments too, but the acoustics s are there the next day as well, and the next and the next, , , and you change like they change. It's over time you find out whether your instrument is a 90er. Goin' up there more or less staying between 90 and 95 is a blessing, which must be taken care of. 

I have some kind of rule. If the guitar frequently makes me feel/think it's rare and clean privilege to own'n'play, it's keeper.  Simple, , , not easy. 

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Well I won't say my 45 is perfect but there is absolutely nothing I would change on it nor about it.............it's right as it is just now.  Pleases my ear and suits my style of play quite well.  Nothing more I could ask for from a guitar.

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jeeze I hope not, cuz I'd have to try to finagle buying it, and I'm sure it'd cost a lot and a whole bunch-a others would be in line before me.

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I'm guessing that back before the Internet people in general tended to live contentedly with far fewer things. Now with forums like this you can surround yourself with a virtual community of like-minded individuals. In this case many of these individuals own more than one guitar (or many, many more). All of a sudden such behavior becomes normalized (even though most people would not consider it normal). That is not to say that there haven't always been people with a tendency to collect things. In addition people buying guitars more than 25 years ago or so were probably far less likely to discuss so often and in such detail things such as the impact of tonewoods, size and construction. This doesn't just apply to guitars but all kinds of different things: cameras, hifi gear, motorcycles, cars, you name it. For a lot of people I believe such information leads to less contentment with what is already owned and more desire for what is not — rinse, wash and repeat.

In the end I believe that the perfect guitar has less to do with the guitar itself and more to do with the outlook of the individual playing it. 

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24 minutes ago, Guth said:

I'm guessing that back before the Internet people in general tended to live contentedly with far fewer things. Now with forums like this you can surround yourself with a virtual community of like-minded individuals. In this case many of these individuals own more than one guitar (or many, many more). All of a sudden such behavior becomes normalized (even though most people would not consider it normal). That is not to say that there haven't always been people with a tendency to collect things. In addition people buying guitars more than 25 years ago or so were probably far less likely to discuss so often and in such detail things such as the impact of tonewoods, size and construction. This doesn't just apply to guitars but all kinds of different things: cameras, hifi gear, motorcycles, cars, you name it. For a lot of people I believe such information leads to less contentment with what is already owned and more desire for what is not — rinse, wash and repeat.

In the end I believe that the perfect guitar has less to do with the guitar itself and more to do with the outlook of the individual playing it. 

 

I reckong you're  exactly right 

Forums etc are an excellent resource and I'm many ways a great thing , but obviously  , for some , its ruining a potentially happier situation .

People cant visit a restaurant anymore without spending a half hour reading that 'doris' from 'wherever' only gave it 3 stars .... and the chances are that doris is a pain in the *** and you couldn't please her. 

 

 

Same thing goes on here 

 

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Yep, there is a forum for pretty well everything now......

My sister has been learning millenery with a focus on horse racing women’s hats and that involves multiple forums! She did a course recently in France and used the Smoker’s Forum to find the little hidden airport smoking rooms in a number of locations!

So it is not just weirdo guitarists!

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

Edited by BluesKing777

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On 9/23/2019 at 10:33 AM, blindboygrunt said:

My j45's perfect,  just saying 

 

Mine is too.

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2 hours ago, blindboygrunt said:

People cant visit a restaurant anymore without spending a half hour reading that 'doris' from 'wherever' only gave it 3 stars .... and the chances are that doris is a pain in the *** and you couldn't please her. 

Same thing goes on here 

 

that's pretty much THE problem with everything these days.  Social Media has turned into a boil on the arse of society.

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