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 have played too many guitars over the years. I am guilty of taking GAS more seriously than the music at times. However I am currently playing my all time favorite which is a Merrill C28. This guitar has me back to making the music come first. For that matter so is this forum.