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Jinder

Has anyone else been surprised by their partner/spouse/friends' opinions on their guitars?

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My fiancée Amy and I have been together for a long time, and have known each other for over seventeen years...she has been to hundreds of my gigs and knows the tone of my guitars inside out, but doesn't have any theory knowledge with regard to tonewoods etc.

She can play, but doesn't pick the guitar up much. After a debate the other night about the tone of the '34 reissue Jumbo in the recently posted demo videos, I asked her to rank my guitars in terms of what she liked/didn't like. 

Her opinions were nothing if not interesting. Turns out she really dislikes the tone of Maple instruments and is a big Mahogany fan. Here was her ranking, which surprised me immensely.

 

1) 1967 J45..."It sounds warm and articulate, is easy on the ear of the listener and works brilliantly with male vocals. Hearing it sung with in a good room is like listening to a classic record"

2) 2003 Takamine EAN20C..."It sounds big and expansive but never harsh or demanding of the listener. I could listen to it all day with no aural fatigue"

3) 2005 Hummingbird 12 string..."I don't normally like 12 strings but this one is great. Really chimes without being grating like some 12 strings"

4) 2015 SJ200 Standard..."I've never been massively into this guitar, although I know how special it is to you (me). It's not unpleasant, but is a little unbalanced and sounds too "big" to me."

5) 1995 Dove..."I've never liked any of the Doves you (I) have owned. They look nice but sound sort of bland to me"

6) 2016 Advanced Jumbo Flame Deluxe..."Totally boring and characterless, I have never liked this guitar at all. Every time you pick it up it makes me yawn. Totally vanilla."

 

I was astonished. I LOVE my AJ. I've kept the Takamine for many years as it was my first "pro" level acoustic, and use it for certain recording tasks that require the Cedar tone, but I've never thought of it as anywhere near my Gibsons. I love the '67 J45 but the SJ200 is my go-to. My Dove records beautifully and is on almost every song I've recorded so far for my next record. The Hummingbird 12 is sensational-she's bang on with that one-but the rest of the list is very different to the way I'd structure it.

Proof that tone is subjective, I guess.

 

Edited by Jinder
Grammar correction in title

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hahaha  my wife would probably just say something like, "well they look different, but all sound the same to me."

 

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A few notes.....

The Better Half is fairly educated on my guitars - by me! But one time she said: “You wouldn’t really play that live, instead of your Dobro, would you?” So the happy, shiny Dobro that I have owned since Noah was taking guitar lessons is the only one to take to a gig. She may have a point - it does attract a crowd and I don’t even need to play it! And while she has heard me babbling about them - all my guitars, and played all of them for her on the couch.......I am not sure if she could pick any in a police lineup type situation.

Then.....a guitar friend was over and I thought he would go ape over my Dove cherry burst. Didn’t like it. Looks, play, zip. He wants a Taylor 717e Builder’s Edition like mine. I thought he would absolutely detest that one. He also couldn’t understand that I don’t want to play electric guitar in his jam band concoction. I must have spent the last 150 years learning fingerpicking to just upset him!

And......when the big virus lockdown begun, my sister interstate was going stir crazy-ish and I asked her if she wanted her guitar back to teach herself a bit (classical guitar she abandoned about 1975 that I had fixed ). No, didn’t want that one - but can she have the red one? (Dove cherry burst) - it would photograph well with the hats she is making at her millinery class......

 

BluesKing777.

 

Edited by BluesKing777

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Ah Jinder - You got a good one, paying that much attention.  Mine will pick between instrument types...  play the banjo, play the cigar box, play the acoustic...  but beyond that they're all the same to her.

 

12 minutes ago, BluesKing777 said:

 

He also couldn’t understand that I don’t want to play electric guitar in his jam band concoction. I must have spent the last 150 years learning fingerpicking to just upset him!

BK - I do wonder what type of fingerpicking magic you could do on an electric, I'm pretty sure it would still be phenomenal.  I love my acoustics, but seems to be less stress at least on the fretting had for an electric and that drives me in that direction every once in awhile.

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My wife and I for many years had an agreement that if I buy a guitar, I then buy her jewelry that she likes.  I pay double every time I buy a guitar as a result, but she loves me buying guitars.  Sound wise, after a long time she actually now understands the sound differences between them all.  Although, with her not be a player, she’ll never experentially understand how each guitar has a different feel to it and how each can bring out different musical explorations/muses to follow  in me.

All in all, though, I’d rate my wife an A+ in being this musician’s wife!  Some musicians I know have wives/spouses/partners who are jealous of their music thang or indifferent.  Mine isn’t, so the A+.  Plus, keeping that jewelry thang going with her, helps me to keep it that way, me hopes!😊

 

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

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MY wife goes strictly by looks. She loves my quilted J185, she loves the hour glass shape of it too. 

Thinks the J45 burst is "kinda plain looking"

Whatever!

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Of all the guitars I've owned, my wife has always yelled downstairs (she prefers I play at the opposite end of the house??) "Is that that Martin guitar?" every time I play my D-41 Special. It just has a ringing tone that carries throughout the house. 

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My wife pays virtually no attention to my guitars & never asks questions about them.

It works out extremely well.

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1 hour ago, Dave F said:

Of all the guitars I've owned, my wife has always yelled downstairs (she prefers I play at the opposite end of the house??) "Is that that Martin guitar?" every time I play my D-41 Special. It just has a ringing tone that carries throughout the house. 

I'll bet. I just played my 41 Standard for a bit. It's been called gaudy. I really think jealousy is the right word. Hold it in your hands, strum it and then make a decision. I wish I could afford one of those super gaudy 45's. My wife loves the 41.

I gotta admit the 15M is nothing special to look at but all hog sounds great.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper

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13 hours ago, kidblast said:

hahaha  my wife would probably just say something like, "well they look different, but all sound the same to me."

 

My wife is about the same.  She notices the difference in looks, but a guitar sounds like a guitar.  She does notice that the Dove is loud, so I rarely play it after she’s gone to bed.  As far as how many guitars and other instruments I have and what they cost it’s kind of been a “Ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies” situation.....lol.....but she knows her way around the internet, so I’m not fooling her.

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She sounds like a keeper!!  My wife is pretty knowledgeable about my gear and tone after all these years. 

I bought my first Gibson back in 2010. I wasn't planning on buying anything at the time, but my buddy was driving hours away to buy a Gretsch so my girlfriend (now wife) tagged along. Ahh to be young with no responsibilities to be able to take road trips at the drop of a hat.  Anyway, I have always dreamed about J45s since I was young. I would take my Musicians Friend catalog to school, hide it in the book we were reading, and circle guitars. Always a J45, even though I had never played one or even been in the same room as one. 

So while he is trying out Gretsches  we wandering around the store. I took a J45 standard off the wall and strummed a simple E chord and was blown away. Just floored. I look at her and she says "Buy it."  This was a LOT of money for us at the time, but not to mention I was supposed to be using that money for an engagement ring/wedding, but she really wanted me to have that guitar. I played a few other high end acoustics in the room for reference, but none compared so we left with it. To this day it is still her favorite of any guitar I own.  I have been able to play a lot of J45s since then, and while they are all usually good, there seems to be something special about this one...

 

744522643_ScreenShot2020-05-22at8_49_57AM.png.0b385a1c288aff524090c93a8c3dd614.png

Edited by Paulie2
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10 hours ago, MissouriPicker said:

My wife is about the same.  She notices the difference in looks, but a guitar sounds like a guitar.  She does notice that the Dove is loud, so I rarely play it after she’s gone to bed.  As far as how many guitars and other instruments I have and what they cost it’s kind of been a “Ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies” situation.....lol.....but she knows her way around the internet, so I’m not fooling her.

Deb (my wife) is quite supportive of what I do as a musician.  She is ok when I decided I'd like to add another one to the herd, never even bats an eye. 

  She's just not all that tuned into what the differences are, but she understands that I am completely aware of it,  and that's ok with me!   

She is very passionate about cooking, so for her, it's kitchen tools and cook books.  I'm ok with that, and really she's a wiz in the kitchen.  

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14 hours ago, rbpicker said:

Hmmm...telling your wife you have more than one guitar...interesting concept.   Nah.

 

rb

Tell my wife...sure. She bought me my 12 string to surprise me and it wasn't any special day. She knew I wanted it and one day a guitar I didn't order shows up. 👍

T5uk2On.jpg

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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51 minutes ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

Tell my wife...sure. She bought me my 12 string to surprise me and it wasn't any special day. She knew I wanted it and one day a guitar I didn't order shows up. 👍

super cool!

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Other than questioning why I have four guitars, my wife really pays no attention to them, or my playing.

The one exception was a few years ago after I bought my second instrument,  a used Washburn R320SW parlour guitar. A few weeks after buying it, she heard me playing my 1974 D-28,  which I've had since 1979, and commented that she could appreciate the better sound quality of the Martin over the Washburn.

Hardly earth-shattering, but it showed that even a complete instrument novice could detect the difference.

RBSinTo

 

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My wife notices quite a bit. Even on test drives at the guitar stores. Even when not being so honest would save us money when decision time is near. As much as $2k-ish options to the $3895 Hummingbird. (we took that bird home) 

She was as nervous as I was about the D-41 not sounding all that deep on day-1 last October,but was relieved when it opened up within days/weeks to follow.

She's also in the same room or in a room across the bottom of our house within straight eye and ear shot for the vast majority of my playing.

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My “X” wife could not come to terms that somebody could possibly need more than 1 guitar. She could not understand that concept at all. 

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14 minutes ago, Paul14 said:

My “X” wife could not come to terms that somebody could possibly need more than 1 guitar. She could not understand that concept at all. 

That's why she's the x ?

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6 minutes ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

That's why she's the x ?

Just a part of a much  bigger picture.

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52 minutes ago, Paul14 said:

Just a part of a much  bigger picture.

I know I got an x too. Marriage should be outlawed.

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12 hours ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

I know I got an x too. Marriage should be outlawed.

Ha........... well I got a lady now that I’m very compatible with. I haven’t proposed though.

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12 minutes ago, Paul14 said:

Ha........... well I got a lady now that I’m very compatible with. I haven’t proposed though.

I did it a second time. Better than the first but I'd rather be single.

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11 minutes ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

I did it a second time. Better than the first but I'd rather be single.

My 1st lasted 35yr & was wonderful. It was the 2nd one that got me!

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