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Weekend Jamboree


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Don't know if this is thread-worthy, but I visited a big, but in no way gigantic Guitar Gathering today.


Should have brought my camera, but simply forgot as I hadn't slept enough and needed to rush out the door. Had not eaten breakfast either and that mix actually made me somewhat dizzy by arrival. But everything for the mission, so into the bee hive I went. Have to say the scenery in the beginning felt slightly unreal. It wasn't ! Line after line of all kinds of string instruments created a maze in which I drifted around in search for primarily vintage Gibsons and Marts. Saw this as the ideal opportunity to compare and learn in that process. The attractive A/B/C/D/E platform - not an every day situation.

Found a zone with plenty of G.'s. 4 vintage J-45's. 2 from the late 40's, one 1953 and a 1966. Plus a swarm of small body's.

One of the 40's had a neck thicker than anything I ever imagined – would have sanded 1/3 away, had it been mine, then again that would never happen. The 2 40's sounded okay, but not to the degree of the tag at all. Sorry JT – if you're reading, which you probably aren't – but I have the feeling not all of these oldies live up to their legend-status. Then it must to be said that many oldies forsome reason just don't sound as good in the shops/stands as they will after being taken home and nursed. It's as if they feel kind of betrayed on 'official ground'. Not more than 20 meters away stood the antitheses – a cherryburst 1964 J-45 with ceramic saddle and clean white ovals (the Donovan guitar). This charmer obviously hovered above the norm. Though the buzzing of the bee-hive rose to new highs and my dizziness threatened to overturn me (had to keep a strict eye on every move with the guitars), it was clear that this one was the winner. Hyper comfortable neck'n'set-up, good state of health and lots of open warm G-voice. The kind of guitar you don't wanna lay down once you've taken 5 chords. Of the 6 guitars played, that one and a Mart. D-35 from 1969/70 took the prize. The 35 was 15 years 'better' than mine, if that makes sense – guess it means deeper and more vintage voiced. Still, , , , have to say only 20 % of the instruments sounds came through in this great sonic-zzzumming-circus. That's not much. . .


For some reason not more than a couple of squares (vintage and new) were present. 2 late 60's J-45's. And btw. only one J-200 reached was spotted. Apart from that there was a handful of other models and brands I would have liked to try, f.x. the Fan Fret – but as you understand, the circumstances were close to absurd. An ocean of excellent guitars there to see, feel and compare - yet almost impossible to hear.


Managed to spend 3 hours there without fainting. That's how it is when you have a chance to speak with experts on bridge-plates and flint-picks, isn't it. . . .

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I've been to a couple of vintage guitar shows, and they were well worth the effort, for just the reasons you mention. Like you, I found a number of the vintage instruments to be not as good as expected.


On the plus side, dealers at these shows tend to have new strings on higher-value vintage guitars, so you can often get a better feel for tone and character than you might otherwise. The other good thing is that they are often ready to deal, particularly on the last day of a multi-day show, or later in the day on a single-day show. And I'm always looking for a good deal.


The one problem I have found is that the ambient sound level can make it pretty impossible to hear the guitar properly.


All in all, they have been a good experience for me, although I've never bought a guitar at one. I've certainly learned a lot, however.

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