There are so many great guitars to choose from these days! I play a signature model Martin MC3H "OOOO" which you can view if you type my name into the Martin website, the 1958 Martin D-28 that I grew up on that I named "Ethel" after Ethel Merman because she is large and has a big voice, a Martin size 5 "Terz", a Shelley Park Gypsy Jazz guitar, a little Martin LX (purple!) that I can take anywhere, any time, a Tele off the rack and an Epiphone Les Paul Ultra that is inexpensive and shockingly good for Jazz, Country and Rock.
Thanks for starting this discussion, Irving! It's fun to read.
over my 40 plus years of playing (mostly norm blake style flatpicking) i have always made it a point to play every guitar that i could get my paws on in order to refine my search for "the sound" that really did it for me. last April i ordered up a Huss & Dalton traditional brazilian/adie dread. from "the podium" and was totally blown away by it's incredible, clarity, loudness, balance, tone, workmanship, etc. etc. man what a killer guitar and although a bit pricy still a much better deal than many others. any way thats my 2 cents, capt' vic
My D28 CW goes everywhere with me , and I havent heard the guitar I would trade it for.
It spoke to me the first time I played it, and it took about 3 months to convince myself I had to have it.
Actually it was the death of a friend, a guy who was my score keeper for about 8 yrs of t ball and Little League, during my coaching years, and the realization that life is too short, that sent me to the store.
My first guitar was a 73 Gibson Dove, flamed maple bodied dread. It still is the Guitar that is closest to my heart. I got Doc to sign the back upper bout a few years ago.. so he is always close to my heart when I play it ! The clips on my page were done with it.
Dave Anderson had a Thompson at Winfield , made of some wood Dave had, that was incredible..Really,simply , incredible !
I would say anyone looking for that one guitar, there really is only one way to find it .. My advise would be to play as many guitars as you can, make it a passion, and you will find one that speaks to you..it may take a lifetime, or a week.
Guess I have to reply again! :-) My new guitar is a Martin D18V. Tried all kinds of Martins, Gibsons (came close to choosing a J45) and Taylors, but decided on the D18V, because in my humbe opinion, it out performes the D16, and the D28 (of the $1800-$2200 range). I still have the Epiphone, but after 3 weeks of getting to know the Martin, all I can say is WOW! The $2700 something and change I spent was worth every penny! That $800 Epiphone sounds like a toy now. Keep it for a back-up though.
Most often I play a Martin D-28 that I bought new in 1981. I also have a Martin Alternative X (the aluminum-topped guitar in the X series) that I use when I need to plug in, which is very rare nowadays. I have a couple other guitars that I never play, but they have sentimental value and I can't sell 'em.
Like you (original poster), I decided over the last year or so to seek out something more. By way of advice I can only echo what others say: play a bunch of guitars. I went all over my area playing as many things as I could get my hands on. Ultimately I decided to take the plunge and have Ken Miller build me something, but that is not to say there aren't many, MANY great guitars out there just waiting for you to take them home.
Btw, if anyone is interested, Steve Gallagher says on the Gallagher Guitar Myspace page, that there are some good deals on Gallagher guitars directly from them. But you gotta contact Steve. Good opportunity to get in on a great guitar, fyi...
Lately an M-36 Martin. I loved my Galagher Doc Watson (not the signature) but I've always wanted a rosewood guitar. Also the Galagher was a little uncomfortable to play. My arms seem a little short and my belly a little big. So that made the reach to an uncapoed 1st fret a little far and the thickness of the lower bout made it hard to relax my right arm to increase speed.
The M-36 (0000) jumbo face and back with the 000 deapth did the trick for the playing position and reach. There's something magic about the size/shape of the M too. The Volume is superior to the Galagher D size. To my ear the M is not as chordal, that is, on the M you can hear the individual strings more. And outside, the M projects bluegrass breaks better. At least that is what the banjo player who stands on the other side of the bass and fiddle players tells me.
that is correct, there are many excellent guitar builder on the planet, I play a Martin D-18, Gordon Lightfoot sign. model, a very fine guitar, but also love to play my Martin D-45, both guitars are very handy for me to play. But the guitar I like most is a Blazer & Henkes from Germany, these guys are building the way Martin did in the pre war years, sound and playability are incredible, they are exact copies from that time, check there webpage www.antique-acoustics.de, you never stop playing once you got one...
I tried Martins, Collings, Taylors , Huss & Dalton and Santa Cruz.
Ended up with a Santa Cruz and am very happy with it, although I could be quite happy with many
of the other models too. They all make super instruments You will probably know "the one" when you find it.
"I recently came across a steel string parlor guitar made by P. Benson, in Minneapolis. It's really a nice little instrument--well built, comfortable, very much like an old Martin 00-18 (mahogany, slotted headstock, pyramid bridge, ladder…"
"My gear is much better than my skill - for straight flatpickin', I play a Martin D-18 Authentic 1937. My go-to guitar for just about everything else (and it flatpicks just fine, thank you) is my Huss & Dalton D-RH with a Red Spruce top.…"
"Hey Craig. Thanks for the kind comment. The credit for this version should really go To Steve Kaufman who's arrangement it is. Good luck with your bluegrass studies, it's wonderful music and great fun to play. I look forward to…"
"Thanks Mike. I have to prove to myself that I can play the material as written but once I've done that I start to allow myself some leeway to have fun and drop in my own bits. There's not too much space to do that in SK's version of…"