For Fans of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine
Hey everyone, I would like to perform a simple survey of all that will reply to this. I am very curious what brand and model of guitar is the most popular among the flatpickers here. There are thousands of members here so it will be great information for someone trying to decide on a "friend". So lets have it flatpickers, what do you play?
I will start;
I play a McPherson MG 4.5 with bearclaw sitka spruce top and indian rosewood b&s
Blueridge makes fine guitars, good action good tone. If a Martin is not in your budget, by all means get a Blueridge.
I pick a 1990 Martin HD-28P. The P designates low profile neck. After 1990 the low pro neck becomes standard on all HD-28's because it just a neck with a perfect feel and playability. It also has a Cedar Top with allows for more brightness and add some nice punch to the notes.
Hear a short video Review I made on this instrument........
Are bluegrassers still partial to a Martin D28 or has that changed?
No, that hasn't changed, but there are a lot more options than there used to be. When I first started playing real bluegrass in the early 80s, Martin was just about the only game in town (not just the D-28, of course, but also the D-18). Occasionally you might see a Gibson, a Guild, some Japanese guitar, or even a Mossman, but 90% or more of the guitars at bluegrass jams, festivals, and performances were Martin dreadnoughts.
Nowadays there are many more choices, from high-end small factories like Collings, Bourgeois, Huss & Dalton, to lower-cost imports like Blueridge, Recording King, and Eastman, to individual builders like Leo Posch. Even Martin now offers a plethora of choices, dreadnoughts at varying price points, that would be suitable for bluegrass.
It is true, however, that the D-28 and D-18 (especially with pre-war features like scalloped bracing) tend to be the bluegrass standard by which all others are measured.
It's like going to the cereal isle for morning breakfast cereal. Lots of choices, but I still prefer corn flakes :) To each his own.....
There are still those that believe that a Martin Guitar is still the only way to go for Bluegrass. It's the guitar that started the sound and if want to be true the roots Martin is the way to go......
James You are correct. I do not put down other guitars, but Martins have the sound associated with Bluegrass.
I have a Gallagher custom Doc Watson 12-fret that was built in 1999. It has a wide 1 13/16 nut. I always kind of appreciate that extra room between the strings. It is a great sounding guitar & I can't imagine ever letting it go. It is also the heaviest guitar I have ever picked up.
In 2009 I picked up a Stanford PSOM28. I wanted to try a smaller guitar without breaking the bankand got this one pretty cheap on EBAY. I've been playing it quite a bit lately and it has really opened up nicely. I'm kind of amazed when I listen to it now.
After owning five Martins '67 D-18. '68 D-28, '69D-35, '02 D-16, 03 HD28, I found a '92 Larrivee Jumbo that was sweeter, louder, and more playable than any of the Martins. Alas, the bridge cracked and it was never the same instrument after bridge replacement.
needing something new, I did some internet research, and found a lot of Blueridge owners in a forum who were nuts about their instruments, and ordered a BR-160C online for $700. It hands down beat every other guitar I've owned. It's easily better than any of the Martins, and less than 1/3rd the price. The cutaway allows me to play swing, and bluegrass leads in the upper register, and is a nice addition - it was my first cutaway.
A friend of mine owns the nicest Martin I've ever heard or played, a 2005 D28V , and the Blueridge is it's equal. In fact, the BR160 is modeled after the D28V. Only difference is $700 versus $3000.
Maybe I got lucky, but I don't think so, as I've yet to come across an unhappy Blueridge owner.