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Need help finding my last ( haha ) guitar....looking for that sweet action and sound


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So, still looking for that final ( haha ) guitar to add to my 1975 D-35 Martin and 2012 D-55 Guild ( both Rosewood back and sides )......I play and sing along mostly folk/country...think John Prine, Townes, Petty and Dylan ballads, James Taylor, you get the idea...I'm a product of the 60's.....looking for that sweet spot guitar.....to finalize my group.....have considered Dove, Hummer, J-150/200....should I consider Santa Cruz, smaller Martin...any ideas especially from people who understand what I play...I mostly finger pick ( my own style ) and light strumming without a pick, I play by myself or for my girlfriend and not in a group of musicians ......thanks in advance....my budget is $5000, approx... I want to find that go to guitar, although my 35 is my standby right now......

Edited by lhnewman
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I have heard it said that you know you have the "best" there is when other musicians come up to you and ask "what are you  playing" because "it sounds like you have a piano up there."  Not sure I buy it but I do get what they are saying. 

The problem is "good" sound has no objective measure.  For me, it was a long and hard row to hoe finding the Gibsons I would eventually settle down with.  Lots of twists and turns along the way.  I could have saved myself a heap of money in the process but it was all part of a learning curve.   Mine just seems to have been a rather steep one. 

 

 

Edited by zombywoof
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With respect, ihnewman,open-ended questions like yours simply result in everyone suggesting that you purchase what they like.

Describing a sound in words is as futile an exercise as trying to explain a colour to someone blind from birth.

The guitar that produces the sound you desire will only be found by playing a number of different guitars of various makes, models and tonewoods, until you and it meet.

RBSinTo

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4 hours ago, lhnewman said:

schweet!! best years?

In my opinion the best years for newer Gibsons, are the years that Ren Ferguson was in charge. Minus the first couple of years when things were being set up . 
I have a 2000 J-200 that I consider the best guitar I’ve ever owned. I’ve owned a lot of guitars.

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59 minutes ago, Paul14 said:

In my opinion the best years for newer Gibsons, are the years that Ren Ferguson was in charge. Minus the first couple of years when things were being set up . 
I have a 2000 J-200 that I consider the best guitar I’ve ever owned. I’ve owned a lot of guitars.

thanks for responding.....would a 1996 Dove be included in those Ferguson years??.....I played it....alot like my 1975 D-35 Martin.....I found a 2012 J-200 for sale...there is not much out there used

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9 hours ago, lhnewman said:

So, still looking for that final ( haha ) guitar to add to my 1975 D-35 Martin and 2012 D-55 Guild ( both Rosewood back and sides )......I play and sing along mostly folk/country...think John Prine, Townes, Petty and Dylan ballads, James Taylor, you get the idea...I'm a product of the 60's.....looking for that sweet spot guitar.....to finalize my group.....have considered Dove, Hummer, J-150/200....should I consider Santa Cruz, smaller Martin...any ideas especially from people who understand what I play...I mostly finger pick ( my own style ) and light strumming without a pick, I play by myself or for my girlfriend and not in a group of musicians ......thanks in advance....my budget is $5000, approx... I want to find that go to guitar, although my 35 is my standby right now......

  1. When you're poking around the Internet, checking out samples and demos galore, which ones give you the warm fuzzy insides?
  2. Do you have a list of types of sounds you want from your collection?
  3. What do you listen to, hear and wish you could make those sort of sounds?
  4. Post a link or two of things you like. Some of those demos helped me buy my last two.

I've gotten 5 nice guitars after buying my first nice one, which was a 2015 Taylor 614CE. Those became mine due to a lot of listening. I didn't plan the order, but I did know the ones I wanted for the most part. The one Monkey wrencher was the SJ-200 Historic Collection Pre-War Rosewood, and it might be the star of the group. It was not because it was pretty. It was how it sounded on two well made videos. It cost me my slope slot and i sold my 614 to partially fund it. The Dove was going to replace the 614 anyhow.

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9 hours ago, BoSoxBiker said:
  1. When you're poking around the Internet, checking out samples and demos galore, which ones give you the warm fuzzy insides?
  2. Do you have a list of types of sounds you want from your collection?
  3. What do you listen to, hear and wish you could make those sort of sounds?
  4. Post a link or two of things you like. Some of those demos helped me buy my last two.

I've gotten 5 nice guitars after buying my first nice one, which was a 2015 Taylor 614CE. Those became mine due to a lot of listening. I didn't plan the order, but I did know the ones I wanted for the most part. The one Monkey wrencher was the SJ-200 Historic Collection Pre-War Rosewood, and it might be the star of the group. It was not because it was pretty. It was how it sounded on two well made videos. It cost me my slope slot and i sold my 614 to partially fund it. The Dove was going to replace the 614 anyhow.

that all makes sense Biker...problem is I don't perform or amplify...so watching demo's of artists or others the guitar is usually miked or particularly bright to get the sound out....and there are no used ( 20 years old or more ) on the market....I think Covid has made people re-love their guitars.....I found 2 J-200 on the Internet ( theres probably a few more, Ebay, etc ) but who buys a $4-5 thousand guitar without playing it?  There just is no inventory.  Back to your thoughts:  my goal in life ( I'm 72 ) is to polish my semi-Travis picking.  To me there is nothing sweeter than to hear an artist ( Prine, Clarke, Townes, Foley, Petty ) play an acoustic guitar fingerpicking style along with a the voice ( I once saw James Taylor mesmerize a crowd in 1967 with a nylon string guitar and his voice, no accompaniment  ).well I'll never be like that...I'm good on the low end picking, but haven't got my ring finger going good.....I'm starting to think about a D-28 Martin, which should be a little brighter than my D-35 or the J-200, Dove (Maple )......its just next to impossible to put your hand on them! and so it goes.....if you know of any " vintage " sites or stores that aren't Reverb, Sweetwater, Norman's....please let me know ...I'm in Stuart, Fl....Newman

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6 hours ago, Brucebubs said:

James Taylor used a Gibson J-50 earlier in his career and he made it sound wonderful - maybe go look for one too?

good idea....I played a 1970 the other day...problem was it had hardly ever been played...was very bright even on the low end...maybe it was the strings as well

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17 hours ago, RBSinTo said:

With respect, ihnewman,open-ended questions like yours simply result in everyone suggesting that you purchase what they like.

Describing a sound in words is as futile an exercise as trying to explain a colour to someone blind from birth.

The guitar that produces the sound you desire will only be found by playing a number of different guitars of various makes, models and tonewoods, until you and it meet.

RBSinTo

agree....problem is there are like NO used guitars for sale hardly at all.....not going to buy a $4-$5K guitar without playing it.....seems Covid helped people fall back in love with their guitars....I'll know it when I touch it...like you said 

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54 minutes ago, lhnewman said:

that all makes sense Biker...problem is I don't perform or amplify...so watching demo's of artists or others the guitar is usually miked or particularly bright to get the sound out....and there are no used ( 20 years old or more ) on the market....I think Covid has made people re-love their guitars.....I found 2 J-200 on the Internet ( theres probably a few more, Ebay, etc ) but who buys a $4-5 thousand guitar without playing it?  There just is no inventory.  Back to your thoughts:  my goal in life ( I'm 72 ) is to polish my semi-Travis picking.  To me there is nothing sweeter than to hear an artist ( Prine, Clarke, Townes, Foley, Petty ) play an acoustic guitar fingerpicking style along with a the voice ( I once saw James Taylor mesmerize a crowd in 1967 with a nylon string guitar and his voice, no accompaniment  ).well I'll never be like that...I'm good on the low end picking, but haven't got my ring finger going good.....I'm starting to think about a D-28 Martin, which should be a little brighter than my D-35 or the J-200, Dove (Maple )......its just next to impossible to put your hand on them! and so it goes.....if you know of any " vintage " sites or stores that aren't Reverb, Sweetwater, Norman's....please let me know ...I'm in Stuart, Fl....Newman

Good point. there are production artifacts that murk up the waters. I'm a home project studio rat with 65-ish originals and 8-10 covers in the past 10 years. I suck, but it has helped me develop an ear for some of this. As such, I can pick things out well enough.

That said, there is tone galore in those videos. Anyone can hear what they like and dislike. Use a GOOD set of headphones, the same set 100% of the time. If they are open backed headphones, make sure you listen to them in the same one or two places. For example, watch a few Dove videos and you'll eventually hear some characteristics that make it a Dove. This will happen to varying extents, of course, but it will even if it is a live performance using crappy onboard electronics. 

LOTS of people buy site unseen. I was right there with you. A liberal return policy is key. If it's a private sale, maybe discuss your goals and specific things your looking for with the seller? Others here might advise differently. I have no experience on that end. I buy new for warranty purposes, which has now paid off three times.

Your example of a D-28 may or may not come in a little brighter or deeper than your D-35.

As far as Vintage sites go - A couple in Nashville are famous. Gruhn's and Carter Vintage. The other guys here know ton more than I do. Want a treat? Go to Dream Guitars' web site. The video demos are exceptional and the variety of tones and guitars are incredible. https://www.dreamguitars.com/shop/new-arrivals   In fact, looking at a site like Dream Guitars with tones of non main-stream guitars might help you decide with more conviction what you want from a guitar that you don't have. I cannot help a bit on selecting guitars as my finger picking stinks and I don't do it. (Arthritis sucks.)

The classified sections on the Acoustic Guitar Forums and Mandolin Cafe sites have some listings that contain video and audio demos, not to mention a big variety.

If you se something you really like the sounds of, post a couple. Myself and others will chime in and point out real verses hyper-reaslistic. Just don't throw up a lot. Narrow it down first. 

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Sounds like you’re hooked on the Martin RW sound and there’s nothing wrong with that. I’ve always loved that sound. I’ve always preferred the 40 series dreads over the 28’s. I’ve always preferred the Gibson looks and comfort. I’ve went through a lot of Gibson RW guitars and currently have two that I like a lot . An NL Mystic RW and one of the newer baked top SJ’s. 
Good luck with your search. That’s the part I enjoy. 

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On 5/21/2021 at 2:37 PM, lhnewman said:

thanks for responding.....would a 1996 Dove be included in those Ferguson years??.....I played it....alot like my 1975 D-35 Martin.....I found a 2012 J-200 for sale...there is not much out there used

Yes

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I do think that the slope-shouldered Gibson J-50 / J-45 / Southern Jumbo / Country Western has enormous merit.

I think it would complement the sound of your other guitars. You might enjoy the woody tone and note decay.

Above all, it is reliable - the quintessential acoustic. It is the go-to guitar of many of the kind of artists you like, and is both a strummer and a picker.

A great many musicians would choose it if they could only have one guitar.

I find a lot of guitars quite uncomfortable, especially for my hands (I have short fingers but big palms), but my J-50 fits like a glove and the Gibson Jumbo in its various forms is famously comfortable.

I appreciate that you want a vintage guitar, but will just say that the modern versions built to 1950s and 1960s specifications are very good.

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3 hours ago, lhnewman said:

you said " yes " in response to the Dove or the SJ-200? or both?  thanks in advance Paul

I think he was there for both. I think he left in 2013??? Could be wrong about that though. Someone else could probably tell you for certain. He was definitely there for the Dove.

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1 hour ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

Try a 00 or 000. I never though I would like the smaller guitars, but they are so much fun to play. 

I thought for sure you'd pop up with a Preston Thompson. Used mid-sized are in that $5k range, maybe? If I ever go bow-teek, they are on a short list.

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