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Are You a Tone Hound or a Tone Found


zombywoof

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For me the tone I am seeking is something I can't describe but I know it when I hear it.

 

Was talking to a friend the other day. The conversation soon turned to guitars and we began regaling one another with stories of some of our more recent acquisitions. At one point he looked at me, laughed a bit and noted that I was the guy who had gone almost 30 years without buying any acoustic. Had to admit - yup, he was right.

 

After a series of real el cheapo acoustics I finally acquired a brand new Guild in the 60s. Then I moved on to used Martins in the early 70s (I could not afford a new one). Never really could make peace with those guitars and by the end of the decade I had settled in with a late 40s Gibson LG-2, late 30s National Duolian and 50's Epiphone FT-79 - all three of which cost me less than $500. Even slapped the DeArmond 210 pickup I had bought for the Guild acsoss the soundhole of the LG.

 

I must have been real happy cuz I did not buy another acoustic until the late -1990s when I ran across a '76 Guild D-25 in a pawn shop for $200 which I snapped up. Today, its a '60 J-200, '56 SJ and 1930s Kay Deluxe "Venetian" for slide. Also got me a "beach guitar" a 1920s Stromberg-Voisinet parlor. And yeah, I couldn't be happier - although there is another National lurking in my future. But there is enough difference in tone between the two Gibsons to keep things interesting interesting and the Kay has a nice, brassy almost resonator tone to it.

 

So are you a tone hound or a tone found - ya still seeking that "Holy Grail" of Gibson sound or are ya there. Or are ya just curious - ya think ya found it but then again, who knows what lies in wait around the corner.

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Pretty happy with the ones I have. I don't plan, to buy another. Of course I wasn't planning to buy one when I got my epi AJ500M.

The shop was selling it for $330 as a display model. How could I pass that one up?

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Zombywoof,

Sounds like we have been pokeing along down the same trail.:P

I only played my J45 for 28 years, then all of a sudden, in my 50s, I purchased a Guild D25, Guild D55, Martin D18, and finaly took control of Dads old late 40s LG-2. Complete with a early 60s addition of a DeArmond across the sound-hole pickup, and two top control knobs.

I was playing that old LG-2 back in 64, and I now again simply cannot put it down.

I started on my Grandfathers old maple, F-hole Resonator which I still have, and Dad, at age 82 is still playing is old , bassy Kay. My son, 31, is the real winner with free access to everything.

While I still want a couple of more Rosewood Dreds,( Martin and Gibson ), a old Gibson or Epi arch-top, and a 12_string, I can't put the LG-2 down long enough to shop around.

Its nice when you know you have found your sound, style, and main guitar. For me it was under dads bed all along.

A tones found member,

Dale.

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Interesting question. I bought the guitars I have now because they have the tones I want. When ever I go into a guitar shop I usualy play every guitar I haven't played before. I would say it's more out curiousity of what's new out there and who's doing what then actauly searching for a "Holy Grail" guitar. Every now and then I'll come across something that makes me think about getting a new one but never at the expense of getting rid of what I already have.

 

I think you will get a more interesting responce from those who are always buying and selling their guitars.

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I'm a tone found (my second Hummingbird-incredible and unexpected) and a tone hound (I've always wanted a Dove, now I have one and am tweaking it to my liking).

 

I cover both bases!

 

Changing my Hummingbird strings to Ernie Ball Earthwood 12-54 Bronze was a real eureka moment for me. I've never heard such a tonal improvement in a guitar thanks solely to string choice.

 

I'm currently trying every set of strings under the sun to find the same blisspoint with my Dove. I'm sure it will come soon :-)

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I agree with those that are both... I am a tone "found" on a couple... my Custom Shop Western Classic with an Addy top/Hog neck is one of them... my D-28 Marquis is the other... they are just the best super jumbo and dreadnought I've ever heard... but then again I haven't heard them all.

 

Still working on the perfect short-scale Gibby... I've had a Hog J45 and currently have a Rosewood and Koa. They're great, but they don't blow me away the way the WC and Marquis do... could be they need Addy tops to make me happy.

 

The search continues...

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Eddie, I tried a standard WC Prewar J200 at the London showrooms a couple of weeks ago-in fact, I'm playing it on the video on the enhanced CD feature on my band's forthcoming album...best acoustic guitar I've ever laid my hands on. You're a lucky man!

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Eddie' date=' I tried a standard WC Prewar J200 at the London showrooms a couple of weeks ago-in fact, I'm playing it on the video on the enhanced CD feature on my band's forthcoming album...best acoustic guitar I've ever laid my hands on. You're a lucky man![/quote']

 

post a link to that when it's ready!

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If it gets Youtubed I will...it's down to the guys at the label, but it's a really fun video. The three of us sitting in the Gibson showroom surrounded by jaw-droppingly beautiful instruments, playing some songs and being interviewed...it's such a vibey room acoustically-all the guitars sit there resonating sympathetically to your singing and playing!

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I'm a tone found kind of guy. My Gibson CJ165 Rosewood is without question the finest sounding acoustic guitar I've ever played. Couple that with the tone she gets playing into an L.R. Baggs AREF amp and there you have it. Every time I play out I get compliments on the tone of my guitar. Just sounds really incredible.

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Eddie' date=' I tried a standard WC Prewar J200 at the London showrooms a couple of weeks ago-in fact, I'm playing it on the video on the enhanced CD feature on my band's forthcoming album...best acoustic guitar I've ever laid my hands on. You're a lucky man![/quote']

 

I do consider myself very fortunate... why is it I just can't be satisfied with the one? I keep dreaming up different scenarios for which I need different, guitars... and then backup guitars for those same scenarios... etc., etc.

 

It's a sickness, I think...

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Jinder wrote:Changing my Hummingbird strings to Ernie Ball Earthwood 12-54 Bronze was a real eureka moment for me. I've never heard such a tonal improvement in a guitar thanks solely to string choice.

 

Jinder, are you describing the sound of these strings as you play plugged in, unplugged or both? I know you plug in on stage and was just wondering how these sound sans electricity.

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I own lots of guitars and they all have different tones which suit me fine. I like having many tones to choose from. Usually if I play a guitar I've never played before, I'll play to its sound and find things it does well. This can be the cheapest guitar or a very expensive one. For example, one of the cheapest guitars I own is my favorite to play slide on. I don't know if it's the low output pick-up configurations, size and shape of the neck, or the string action. I'm not one of those people who look for one perfect tone.

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I own lots of guitars and they all have different tones which suit me fine. I like having many tones to choose from. Usually if I play a guitar I've never played before' date=' I'll play to its sound and find things it does well. This can be the cheapest guitar or a very expensive one. For example, one of the cheapest guitars I own is my favorite to play slide on. I don't know if it's the low output pick-up configurations, size and shape of the neck, or the string action. I'm not one of those people who look for one perfect tone. [/quote']

 

very important to realize. though, thank god we are not satisified, there would be much less forumizing! jimmy page recorded 'stairway' on a $100 harmony sovereign. tone is lord. now i must pray.

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If it gets Youtubed I will...it's down to the guys at the label' date=' but it's a really fun video. The three of us sitting in the Gibson showroom surrounded by jaw-droppingly beautiful instruments, playing some songs and being interviewed...it's such a vibey room acoustically-all the guitars sit there resonating sympathetically to your singing and playing![/quote']

 

Jinder, I for one would really love to see this.

 

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the London Showroom a year ago to see the Larry Carlton Masterclass. What a totally brilliant bloke he is. You weren't there by any chance were you?

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TW-the Hummingbird Eureka moment was mainly for the acoustic tone-it is an intonation and tonal improvement' date=' so it does sound better plugged in, but more so acoustically.[/quote']

 

Thanks, Jinder. I'm going to give them a go as Iv'e never tried them.

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I'm early in the game yet as I'm only realizing what tone is. My first guitar in college in 1971 was a brand new Yamaha Nippon Gakki Fg 160E. 35 years later, I buy a red label Yamaha FG180 because I want to figure out what tone is ...I played the 180 continuosly for 6 months and loved it, the 160 ignored. I was hooked. I started going to the guitar shops and playing Larrivees and Taylors and when the CDN $ went par bought a Larrivee on-line from the US! I thought the Larry would do it....but no!! Beautiful sound but not what I wanted ...how could this be?

 

 

The Tone monster was on my tail, like Johnson's hellhound...where was I going to get money for this rapidly escalating need to know?. I started robbing banks...not.. just kidding...haha.

 

My fav music is acoustic blues so I started lookin at Stellas and parlor guitars...on ebay..bad,bad. I lucked out and got a 1920 ladder braced braz rw/adi top parlor repaired by McAllister of Gig Harbour....fantastic tone and I play it for hours on end and loose track of time.

 

Then I heard vintage J45's and L-00....wow hard to find and too expensive for me....I ended up buying a Kalamazoo K-11! And it has a tone...wow that dry crisp snappy mid sound...I'd found what I wanted....Gibson Tone.

 

I sold the Larrivee to finance the kalamazoo neck reset...heart surgery I read somewhere and I haven't got it back from the luthier..its been a month.

 

I played a Gibson SJ in the music store last week and knew it was true: the tone I'm looking for...yahoo!.

 

So things have settled down for me some and I pick up my old friend the fg160E, and I hear something...wow...that baby got some gibson tone going on and I had come full freaking circle. Of course, its the guitar John Lennon played...not! Thats the Gibson J160E. Thats it...thats where it all started...can you believe it!

 

So after that scattered little new to the board ramble I'd say ya..tone found.

 

Bill (me want Gibson AJ SJ J45...yahoo!!)

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enjoy the ride, billdraper! the search for tone is something we all know. it can wander into the dead zone of obsession though, if you're not careful. i once rationalized that if i went one year w/o lunch everyday, i could afford a new beast. however, after several weeks of near starvation, i saw the light (actually, it was a diabetic coma) and i soon realized (after doctor's orders) that some perspective was neccessary.

as soon as you start looking at things around you (refridgerator, washer, dryer, golf clubs, kids...) as a means to that new acoustic you know you've gone too far.

BTW, would anyone like to buy a dialysis machine? i'm thinking about buying an AJ.](*,)

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