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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Songbob Guitars..what do you play? (227* d) RE: Guitars..what do you play? 17 Nov 98

Bill D. told me a week ago about this thread, so now I've seen it. Some thoughts, commments, and answers to various questions:

Bill D's wife's guitar is a Gurian J-R (jumbo rosewood) and is a killer finger-picking guitar. Very nice indeed.

Some one wrote: >By the way, here is a question for the experts. A steel string guitar seems to always have the place where the strings go over the bridge (be it the bridge itself or the saddle) angled while a classical guitar doesn't. This is of course to compensate for intonation; but is it for the strings or the body design. That is, if you do put nylon strings on a steel-string guitar, should you remove the angle of the saddle?<

The intonation correction is needed because of the stiffness of the first unwound string (the B string), and the difference between the strings in "trueness." This is not nearly so evident in nylon strings, so a classical guitar typically has no angle to the saddle at all. HOWEVER, this does not mean that you should re-string your steel-string guitar with nylon strings, because the scale length is different, and you risk popping strings like crazy putting nylons on a long-scale steel string guitar.

Now, about my guitars. I play whatever I feel fits the song, or, alternately, whatever is easiest to get out when it's time to play. I have, in no particular order, these guitars:

1963 Martin D-28 with replacement top. There is a story about this instrument, a story I've put into a song. I think I may have even included said song on my web-page at -- I'm not 100% sure this song (called "Reunion") is there, but if it isn't, I'll send it to Digitrad (if I haven't already done that!). My main guitar, the one I prefer to sing with and play in Sidekicks, my band.

1942 Martin 0-18. A gift from my late mother-in-law's at-the-time boyfirend. Lovely little thing, but the action is too high, and I'm gonna hafta fix that one of these days.

1942 Orpheum 17" archtop, made by Kay. Thick, no-steel bar (wartime, you know) neck. Fun to play; good for jazzy stuff or Carter Family songs.

1930s May Belle. Flat-top steel string guitar with classical-style (flat) fingerboard. Nice for bluesy fingerpicking, but good enough all-round guitar.

1950s Valco-made National resophonic guitar. Single cutaway solid-body style guitar with short (22") scale and biscuit-style resonator in it. Has an after-market lipstick pickup someone added, making it a bastardized "Reso-lectric." Fun to play, but not as loud acoustically as I'd like.

1998 Strato-clone. Odd guitar; BC Rich neck on a Dean strat body. Two single-coils and a humbucker, with fancy tremelo bridge (I've blocked it off). Adequate beginner electric, but nothing to shout about. I'd probably trade it for a Squier strat, just to have something that's all factory-made instead of cobbled together, but that would depend on the pickups. They'd have to be an improvement, or why trade?

Unknown date classicals (two). One is Brazilian, and needs a higher bridge (not just saddle, but bridge -- the fingerboard is too thick and I can't get the action high enough), and the other is a Spanish almost-flamenco guitar that I like a lot.

1990s Golden-tone guitar-banjo. Strictly speaking, not a guitar, but it plays like one. Fender-style neck makes chords easy, but the balance is truly awful -- it rotates to "five o'clock" at the slightest excuse, and I haven't been able to get it to stay in playing position without basically holding it there at all times. Might hafta put a hook-eye in the neck itself, which I hate to think of.

I think that covers the guitars. Let me know when the banjo thread starts. I have five five-stringers, a banjo-mandolin, a tenor, and one or two banjo-ukes.

Great bragging thread, ain't it?

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