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J-29 vs. Songwriter (Deluxe?)


NJ Tom
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I've got GAS, hardly an earth shattering revelation on a guitar forum.  Presently I have a Martin D-18 that's not going anywhere. I'm considering a rosewood companion after this exile is over when I can go on the prowl.  No mail order, the hunt is half the fun.  Not sure exactly what I'd like yet, but another dread is on the radar. Or not. GAS makes me indecisive, but for now let's assume dread.  I'm basically a cowboy chord strummer/poser/hacker and don't get too far beyond the fifth fret unless a capo is involved, so there's that.

Aside from body shape and cosmetics, what are the major differences between a J-29 and Songwriter?  Are all Songwriters rosewood, or just the Deluxe?  I'd prefer pre-owned. What are reasonable used prices for examples of either, assuming at least good condition with no structural issues?  Any particular years I should avoid? 

Thanks in advance.

Tom

 

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# of frets may be different and the fingerboard hits the top in a different spot.I have a J 29 , 2 years, and really,  its just ok...  sound peters out after 3-5 frets, and not a lot of soul-maybe you could find a better one BUT an AJ  could be what you need  (what I need )  ...

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29 minutes ago, jvi said:

# of frets may be different and the fingerboard hits the top in a different spot.I have a J 29 , 2 years, and really,  its just ok...  sound peters out after 3-5 frets, and not a lot of soul-maybe you could find a better one BUT an AJ  could be what you need  (what I need )  ...

With an AJ, you get the same long scale the OP will be used to in his D-18.

Used AJ's are typically similar in price to most used recent J-series guitars, if you shop around.

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The Songwriter Deluxe is a better guitar to my ears/hands/eyes than a J29. The J29 is fine but feels like a stripped down J45RW to me, and is perhaps missing the chunk and chime that the J45 RW/Deluxe has. The SWD is entirely it's own thing, and is a sweet guitar in its own right.

I'd heartily recommend that you try an AJ and J185, too. The 185 is a curveball but they are such a sweet and lyrical guitar, and you might just fall in love with one.

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I had both the J29 and Songwriter at the same time, a couple of years ago. The J29 was loud in a raucous, party at the honky tonk sort of way. Kind of sounded like a rosewood backed J45. The SW was more refined and rich in tone.  Almost rosewood Martin D28 sounding, but with a Gibson sound to it.  I always thought if I didn't own a rosewood backed Martin the SW would have stayed with me. The finish on the SW was very nice with some abalone trim, and on the J29 it was more utilitarian but still pretty nice.  Depending on your music style and what sound you prefer, either guitar would be worth owning. As far as used  prices I sold the J29 for 1350 and the SW for 1550 last year. They were both in excellent condition and  sold pretty quickly. Hope this adds to the information your looking for.

Edited by TomPhx
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