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The 70s-Bad decade for Guitars-Why?

MK 06 Feb 00 - 11:36 PM
Willie-O 07 Feb 00 - 09:20 AM
Midchuck 07 Feb 00 - 10:32 AM
JamesJim 07 Feb 00 - 12:12 PM
MK 07 Feb 00 - 12:30 PM
Willie-O 07 Feb 00 - 12:34 PM
catspaw49 07 Feb 00 - 12:54 PM
Easy Rider 07 Feb 00 - 01:10 PM
Rick Fielding 07 Feb 00 - 02:56 PM
Peter T. 07 Feb 00 - 03:02 PM
Rick Fielding 07 Feb 00 - 04:56 PM
catspaw49 07 Feb 00 - 05:06 PM
Willie-O 07 Feb 00 - 05:41 PM
Sandy Paton 07 Feb 00 - 08:16 PM
Sandy Paton 07 Feb 00 - 08:19 PM
Troll 07 Feb 00 - 10:00 PM
GUEST,ddw 07 Feb 00 - 10:23 PM
Rick Fielding 07 Feb 00 - 10:40 PM
GUEST,DAVE G. 07 Feb 00 - 11:02 PM
Sandy Paton 07 Feb 00 - 11:09 PM
catspaw49 07 Feb 00 - 11:14 PM
sophocleese 07 Feb 00 - 11:24 PM
catspaw49 07 Feb 00 - 11:35 PM
Rick Fielding 08 Feb 00 - 12:01 AM
GUEST 24 Aug 13 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,mrandolphmason 24 Aug 13 - 02:15 PM
GUEST,Ray 25 Aug 13 - 04:09 AM
Little Hawk 25 Aug 13 - 08:41 AM
Big Al Whittle 26 Aug 13 - 06:01 AM
GUEST,HughM 30 Sep 14 - 08:35 PM
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Subject: The 70s-Bad decade for Guitars-Why?
From: MK
Date: 06 Feb 00 - 11:36 PM

I read a lot about guitars, manufacturing processes, vintage collecting, etc..etc...mostly from sources I consider reputable (ie: Martin's Illustrated History--Washburn/Johnson, Frank Ford's commentaries on Fret's Website, George Gruhn, and others.)

The one thing I keep hearing over and over again, is that there was a general decline in the quality of guitars manufactured during this decade from Martin, Gibson and other supposed reputable manufacturers with reputations for quality instruments.

This is NOT to say that EVERYTHING that was made during this decade was garbage. There were of course many exceptions. I for one, owned a beautiful '73 D-28 that I purchased new, and regretably had to sell a few years later ---but pined to have that instrument back in my possession for many years --before moving on.

I can also see why around 1977/78 it would not have been the best time to have bought a new Martin as the workers were on strike for 8 months (thanks to Frank Martin's ''get-tough-on-the-workers-policies''), and management were in the factory attempting to continue some semblance of production, but the vast majority of them hadn't built guitars in years and years, and some not at all.

But the general consensus is that it was not a good decade for higher end guitars, regardless of the manufacturer.

Is this because -- thanks to groups like Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (proponents of Martins) who rekindled the interest in acoustic guitar music and introduced a new generation as well to it --renewed buyer interest and demand caught the manufacturers off guard, and in order to keep pace with the demand, they replaced many of the handcrafted aspects of the manufacturing process, and mechanized and automated almost all aspects of production, thus resulting in a severe lack of quality control? (....hmmmm.....did I just answer my own question?) 8-) ....or were there other mitigating circumstances?

I'd be interested in other's opinions, and hopefully this is somewhat music-related.


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Subject: RE: The 70s-Bad decade for Guitars-Why?
From: Willie-O
Date: 07 Feb 00 - 09:20 AM

Well consider the 70's. The hair, the clothes, the music, the drugs, what do you expect the guitars to sound like?...it was the time when the counter-culture was being co-opted by capitalism, everywhere. But most opinion is that Martins made in the 80's are the least desirable, However I toured the plant about '83 and it was far from automated--there were clearly very skilled craftsmen in every area, each making a particular part (not an assembly line, just a separation of tasks). This is in fact almost the same way commercial violins were made in Germany when CF Martin was still there, it was a cottage industry--people worked at home making tops here, necks there, and the shops would buy these batches of parts and put them together.

My own '73 O-18 definitely suffered from quality control deficiencies, the top was all cracked and finish checked when I got it in 1980, and the intonation was just plain wrong until an expert repair guy re-routed the saddle slot and set it right six years ago. Poor quality control, though, is not a result of automation--it's a result of lousy quality control procedures! (Consider Sigma guitars, which were factory made in Japan (?) but inspected and labelled by Martin in Nazareth. Those that didn't pass Q.C. were sold under another still cheaper label--I forget. Martin-branded guitars which didn't pass were supposedly destroyed, which makes me wonder how mine got out into the world intact.

There is no doubt that by the 80's Martin had to rethink what they were doing, since they were pricing themselves out of all but the very-high-end market, but simply could not compete in overall quality with the small, custom luthiers who professional guitarists were coming to prefer.

Getting away from just Martin, it's hard not to think that 1970 will continue to be a critical datepost in the collectability of an instrument for some time to come, much like "pre-war/post-war", due largely to the "Brazilian Rosewood" business. But even now, an early-seventies guitar is considered "old" and they will develop their own niche market if they have a desirable pedigree--nobody sniffs and turns away when I tell them mine's a '73--and have been cared for and maintained. (If not, the profit in doing a major--say, $800-- restoration of a mid-70's dreadnought is way, way lower than that for a mid-60's model.)

Willie-O


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Subject: RE: The 70s-Bad decade for Guitars-Why?
From: Midchuck
Date: 07 Feb 00 - 10:32 AM

This being a subject close to my heart, allow me to pontificate at perhaps greater length than anyone is interested in reading, based on a total lack of firsthand information.

At the beginning of the sixties, when I was in college, it became mandatory to play acoustic guitar if one was a college student. At that time, there were two American flat-top, steel-string guitars, Martin and Gibson. There had been others but they died, like Washburn (today's Washburns have no connection with the historical Washburns except that some Pacific Rim outfit managed to acquire the rights to the name) or were absorbed, as Epiphone was into Gibson. There was also Guild, but they were brand new and unknown at that point.

So Martin and Gibson found they could sell anything they made, and people would yell for more. That's a good position to be in, if you're a manufacturer, in the short term. But it's bad in the long term, because, 1) it gives you the idea that quality control isn't that important, and 2) it makes you a prime acquisition target for conglomerates.

Gibson got acquired by a conglomerate in the end of the sixties. End of Gibson as a player (pun intended). At least in acoustics, they sell a lot, but the quality isn't there any more. The quality control decisions are being made by accountants, and that always means the same thing. There are a lot of Gibson fanatics around, but they always seem to be being fanatical about Gibsons made in the 50s or earlier.

Martin stayed family-owned, but it tried to grow too fast, and let go of its historical quality control. They almost had to, because at about the mid-sixties the tidal wave of pacific rim instruments, built by people who, if they were lucky, made as much in a month as American workers did in a week, hit the country. I remember first buying a little Yamaha in '70 or so, and thinking, "This is three-quarters of the guitar a Martin is, for a third the price!" And of course the earlier oriental imports were direct clones of American instruments, mostly Martin, so they had no design costs. Check out a '70s Takamine. Even the style and font of the logo on the headstock are the same. It says "Est. 1962" right where Martins say "Est. 1833." Funnier than a rubber crutch.

So Martin had to rush instruments out at a great rate, and put pressure on their workers to produce faster. And trying to do fine hand craft work fast ruins it.

The word I get is that there was a signifcant decline in average quality of Martins in the 70s, the most common and most obvious symptom being that a lot of them are poorly intonated. The bridge saddle is just a little bit forward or back from where it should be to make the strings sound in tune when fretted. A lot of people have had the saddle moved, either by removing and replacing the bridge, or filling the saddle slot and cutting a new one, and ended up with fine instruments.

So what turned things around?

TGTDNSIN came along (The Guitar That Dares Not Speak Its Name – The California company that has been making really excellent guitars for the last 25 years or so, but has ordered its dealers not to mention them on the net, so I feel they should be obliged in this regard until the Federal anti-trust people pay some attention to the matter), and demonstrated that you could build guitars of very good quality, and sell them at prices that were competitive with the oriental products, by using a lot of computer-controlled processes to cut labor costs. Martin eventually got the idea, and started building a high-quality low-end line using a lot of computer manufacturing processes to meet price pressure.

Collings and Santa Cruz came along, and did a good business building unabashed copies of the great Martin products of the '30s and '40s, and selling them at high prices. Eventually, it occurred to Martin that they might do the same thing themselves, hence their high-end "vintage" line.

Chris Martin (C. F. Martin IV) took over at Martin, putting them back under the control of a CEO who was really interested in guitars and really understood them.

So now you can buy a private-luthier instrument for several thou, or a Collings, Santa Cruz, or high-end Martin or TGTDNSIN for a little less, or a middle-line Martin or T, etc., or any of many others – Larrivee, Guild, etc. for a little less than that, or many really amazingly good instruments for street prices under a thousand. Now is really the best time in history to be shopping for an acoustic guitar, even with the ridiculous (to an old guy) prices that inflation has created.

All of the above IMHO, obviously.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: The 70s-Bad decade for Guitars-Why?
From: JamesJim
Date: 07 Feb 00 - 12:12 PM

Thanks folks. This is just excellent information - things I have never thought of, or would have had any way of knowing. Jim


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Subject: RE: The 70s-Bad decade for Guitars-Why?
From: MK
Date: 07 Feb 00 - 12:30 PM

Thanks for the comments Peter. I was pretty much aware of what you'd written, and agree with you......about T----r being the ones responsible for turning the industry around.....but their advertising policies and policing of their dealers are a matter for the courts to decide. It was interesting that Mandolin Brothers (one of their biggest dealers) gave them the finger, and I was kind of hoping Elderly and a few others would follow suit...It will be interesting to see how things play out. If anything, I think it will lower the resale value of those instruments that are already out there....but again it remains to be seen. I did like the fact that Mando Brothers wasn't afraid to stand up to them. Mind you those that have purchased (oh shit I can say it [grin]) Taylors, seem quite loyal to them, and enjoy their instruments.

Willie-O, thank you for your comments as well. I was curious about 1 aspect of what you mentioned; that being that when you got your O-18, you mentioned it was cracked and full of laquer checking. Do you really believe this was a ''quality'' problem, and if so what makes you convinced of this?

Reason I ask, is that generally these kinds of things more often than not, tend to be the result of dehydration and lack of humidifying the instrument........or, from taking the instrument from a very dry environment (ie: your car in the winter) and bringing it into the house (warm environment) and not giving the instrument enough time to ''warm up'' to room temperature before taking it out of its case. One should generally let it sit in its case and warm up for at least an hour. But I am sure you are already familiar with how to look after a decent guitar.

Rick Fielding and myself have noticed that almost all Martins we've come across tend to intonate either a little sharp or a little flat at the 12th fret, and most seem to require saddle adjustments, or compensated saddles to correct the problem. This would appear to be one of the remaining quirks about Martins in general.

I didn't have any intonation problems whatsoever with the Collings OM3H I also have. Just had the action lowered slightly on it, and it was all set to go and has stayed consistent in the 2 years I've had it....but the bolted neck might be a factor too.


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Subject: RE: The 70s-Bad decade for Guitars-Why?
From: Willie-O
Date: 07 Feb 00 - 12:34 PM

Midchuck--oh yeah, you mean Taylor!? I never got the hang of them myself. Their restriction is not, now, against saying their name, just listing discount prices. (Mandolin Brothers, the most expensive but most enjoyable to read guitar website catalogue, among others had a lot of fun with this policy, largely because Taylor couldn't keep them from posting any info they wanted to about used Taylors.

It just boggles my mind that of all the things they could mess up on, Martin shipped guitars with lousy intonation. They were suffering from complacency for many years before that, though--look at their resistance to adjustable truss rods, and the weird way they glue pickguards, then finish the bodies, and how completely predictable their top cracks became. They were overdue for a shakeup and they got it, much to their improvement.

Yours aye Willie-O


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Subject: RE: The 70s-Bad decade for Guitars-Why?
From: catspaw49
Date: 07 Feb 00 - 12:54 PM

Haven't found much here to disagree with guys, although some of the problems such as lacquer checking can be because of a poor job at the factory due ti shortcutting the finishing process (too many coats without sanding and surfacing).......

I think the Japanese influence on Martin cannot be overlooked. I have one of those Taks (D-18 copy) and if you can get hold of one, check it out. Play it and have a GOOD look at the fit and finish, inside and out. Seriously, take a mirror and look at the interior of the soundbox. It doesn't just equal Martin, its better. And remember this is perhaps what the Japanese do best.....copies that are better than the originals. I think Tak and Yamaha a little later scared the hell out of Martin.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The 70s-Bad decade for Guitars-Why?
From: Easy Rider
Date: 07 Feb 00 - 01:10 PM

There was a piece, on Martin Guitars, on NPR's Morning edition radio show, last Friday. It was interesting because they talked about the change in quality and the introduction of automation into the manufacturing process.

C.F. Martin IV attributes the drop in quality to his father's policy of making Martin into a global conglomerate, instead of concentrating on their core business. Chris is known to be responsible for bringing the focus back around to making quality guitars and for getting into the lower end market, with new models.

The market was pretty dead, in the 80s, but it has been revived lately. In 1980 Martin made 3,000 guitars; in 1998 they made 55,000. The automation has enabled them to increase productivity per worker and to get better, more consistent quality.

Some people say that this is another "Golden Age" for Martin, and that they are making even better guitars now than they did in the 30s and 40s. After all, they didn't have adjustable truss rods back then.


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Subject: RE: The 70s-Bad decade for Guitars-Why?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 07 Feb 00 - 02:56 PM

Wow! Good thread Michael K. Lots of good information and quite a bit that I agree with totally. There's one thing that no one has mentioned though. I almost defy anyone to find someone who owns a 70s Martin (or sixties Gibson) that will admit that their axe is a dog! The majority of folks who buy high end instruments are brand-name driven, and if it says "Martin" (or whatever) they feel they've reached the pinnacle.

George Gruhn wrote an article a few years ago and had the other dealers swearing at him big-time. He said that virtually NONE of the vintage instruments selling for sky-high prices by the eighties were top quality. As he put it, "the good ones don't change hands". He might have said, "the good ones still change hands, but at the kind of prices only business executives can afford".

As to the intonation problems with older Martins (almost inevitably sharp on the 6th string at the 12th fret). Think of how many old or newer Martins you've seen with a split saddle...maybe one in a thousand? So obviously 999 people neither know nor care that it's sharp. The Japanese and Later Taylor, made intonation and action part of their advertising campaigns, and I think eventually Martin wised up. Smarter consumers are out there today, I think.

Rick


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Subject: RE: The 70s-Bad decade for Guitars-Why?
From: Peter T.
Date: 07 Feb 00 - 03:02 PM

Two words: Richard Nixon.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: The 70s-Bad decade for Guitars-Why?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 07 Feb 00 - 04:56 PM

Wow! Good thread Michael K. Lots of good information and quite a bit that I agree with totally. There's one thing that no one has mentioned though. I almost defy anyone to find someone who owns a 70s Martin (or sixties Gibson) that will admit that their axe is a dog! The majority of folks who buy high end instruments are brand-name driven, and if it says "Martin" (or whatever) they feel they've reached the pinnacle.

George Gruhn wrote an article a few years ago and had the other dealers swearing at him big-time. He said that virtually NONE of the vintage instruments selling for sky-high prices by the eighties were top quality. As he put it, "the good ones don't change hands". He might have said, "the good ones still change hands, but at the kind of prices only business executives can afford".

As to the intonation problems with older Martins (almost inevitably sharp on the 6th string at the 12th fret). Think of how many old or newer Martins you've seen with a split saddle...maybe one in a thousand? So obviously 999 people neither know nor care that it's sharp. The Japanese and Later Taylor, made intonation and action part of their advertising campaigns, and I think eventually Martin wised up. Smarter consumers are out there today, I think.

Rick


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Subject: RE: The 70s-Bad decade for Guitars-Why?
From: catspaw49
Date: 07 Feb 00 - 05:06 PM

Geeziz Rick...I'm surprised you can still play!!! Your finger twitch reaction has REALLY SLOWED DOWN!!! Two hours between posting the same thing...simply amazing. Or did you cork off for a couple of hours at the keyboard?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The 70s-Bad decade for Guitars-Why?
From: Willie-O
Date: 07 Feb 00 - 05:41 PM

Hey my O-18 isn't a dog.

Any more.

Bow wow.

If it was I would have sold it to another sucker long ago.

It isn't a perfect instrument either. But its got some very nice playing qualities and sound, fits me like a glove, and the wear marks are all mine.

W-O


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Subject: RE: The 70s-Bad decade for Guitars-Why?
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 07 Feb 00 - 08:16 PM

Midchuck hit it right on the head. I had a 000-28S (custom ordered by the guitar shop in California where I got it) from the early 70s. First played it, really, in the Grand Tetons where we were staying with a ranger friend for a couple of days. Couldn't get the darned thing to sound in tune! Decided it must be the cool night air, etc. Tried to play it for about a year. Finally gave up and had Ray Frank check it out for me. He discovered that the bridge saddle was almost 1.4 inch out of place! Martin wasn't interested in replacing it and having to refinish the entire face of the guitar. "We'd just adjust it," they told him when he called. Well, Ray split the bridge, and got its intonation almost acceptable. At least I could play it, since I never go above the third fret anyway. Rick would have been driven mad by it.

Anyway, I lived with the frustration for a wee while longer, then Michael Cooney offered to buy it from me as a back-up to a 000-28S that he owned. I grabbed his money (a small amount) and ran! Last summer, I asked Michael what had become of that guitar. He told me he had just sold it a few months before I asked -- to a Japanese collector for a $5000 ballpark figure!

Sandy (muttering under his breath)


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Subject: RE: The 70s-Bad decade for Guitars-Why?
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 07 Feb 00 - 08:19 PM

SOrry, kids. That's supposed to read 1/4 inch (Not 1.4)! I should read before I submit!
Sandy


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Subject: RE: The 70s-Bad decade for Guitars-Why?
From: Troll
Date: 07 Feb 00 - 10:00 PM

I must admit to being a Gibson fan and I agree that the 70's Gibsons were mostly bow wows. Their QC went by the boards. But one of the major problems that they had and, I think, the reason so many bad Gibsons are now out there was their practice of selling their guitars that were not up to spec as seconds.The dealers had them marked as seconds and sold as such but there was no way to controll re-sale.

Right now I play a 70's D-18 that belongs to my wife because my main guitar - a Recording King built by Regal in the 30's is in the shop. But my backup is a 70's Yamaki that is a Martin clone. For electric I use a 50's Harmony Meteor wiht DeArmond pickups.

In Gibsons defense, they are now making some excellent guitars anaig. I just wish I could afford one.

troll


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Subject: RE: The 70s-Bad decade for Guitars-Why?
From: GUEST,ddw
Date: 07 Feb 00 - 10:23 PM

There was a rumor back in the '70s that here had been a fire at the Martin factory in the late '50s in which they lost a lot of their wood and they couldn't get stuff that was as old and well-cured. The rumor had it that they bought up a huge chunk of Guild's stock. Does anybody know if part or all of that's true?

david


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Subject: RE: The 70s-Bad decade for Guitars-Why?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 07 Feb 00 - 10:40 PM

Why Sandy Paton, I'm surprised at you. Did you tell Cooney about the intonation? Actually when Michael was hanging about in Toronto one of the things I noticed about his playing was that he would go to the higher positions (where the intonation might still be out a bit) only when he was playing blues, and stuck to the lower for ballads. It's not that crucial in blues playing 'cause of the slides and bends. Actually I've NEVER played a National that was even close to being in tune at the twelfth fret. I've asked 50 people (including National employees why this was so, and No one could give me a satisfactory answer. My guess is that the same patterns and molds have been used for years and unless a LOT of people complained, they just weren't gonna change.

Spaw. This has happened twice now. It ain't my fault. My computer shuts down when I don't want it to.

Sandy: But what you DO with those three frets!

Rick


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Subject: RE: The 70s-Bad decade for Guitars-Why?
From: GUEST,DAVE G.
Date: 07 Feb 00 - 11:02 PM

THIS PAST SUMMER AFTER OWNING 2 MARTIN D-35'S I HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO PURCHASE A 1971 MARTIN D12-20, I HAVE ALWAYS CONSIDERED MARTIN TO HAVE VERY HIGH QUALITY INSTRUMENTS. BUT IT DIDN'T TAKE LONG BEFORE I REALIZED THAT IT HAD A SERIOUS INTONATION PROBLEM STARTING AT THE 4TH AND 5TH FRETS. I ENDED UP IN HAVING A COMPINSATED BRIDGE INSTALLED WHICH TOOK CARE OF MOST OF THE PROBLEM BUT STILL HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE 8TH A & 10TH STRING BEING SHARP. I HOPE TO BE ABLE TO HAVE IT CORRECTED AS THELOWER RICH SOUND IS STILL REMARKABLE, BUT IT DID OPEN MY EYES TO SOMETHING I HAD NOT EXPECTED FROM MARTIN DAVE G.


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Subject: RE: The 70s-Bad decade for Guitars-Why?
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 07 Feb 00 - 11:09 PM

The bridge job done by Ray Frank had minimized the problem, Rick, and Michael played the guitar here at the New Golden Ring recording sessions. I didn't feel guilty at accepting his offer. At that time, by the way, I switched to a Guild D-50. I was playing that when the good folk in Hartford laid the lovely Laskin on me (to my complete surprise). I later sold the D-50 to Jerry Rasmussen. All in the family, you might say.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: The 70s-Bad decade for Guitars-Why?
From: catspaw49
Date: 07 Feb 00 - 11:14 PM

The Martin factory fire story is one of those myths that seems to gain credence with each re-telling.

IT NEVER HAPPENED!!!

Spaw - (but it makes a good story!)


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Subject: RE: The 70s-Bad decade for Guitars-Why?
From: sophocleese
Date: 07 Feb 00 - 11:24 PM

Okay all you guitar people. I am new to the world of guitars, I bought a second hand one over a year ago, which I'm learning on. Its a Goya by Martin I guess, that's what the label inside says. Can anybody tell me whether this means its lousy, or acceptable or nice? I like it but when you talk of comparing guitars I want a better idea of what you're talking about.


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Subject: RE: The 70s-Bad decade for Guitars-Why?
From: catspaw49
Date: 07 Feb 00 - 11:35 PM

Hi Soph...There's about a ton of guitar info in the old threads and that's some interesting reading for opinions and education. But, before anyone gets into the plusses and minusses of your guitar or any guitar, let me ask you:

1) Is it comfortable to hold?
2) Is the fretboard feel about the right size?
3) Does it sound good to you?
4) Is the "action" (string height above the fretboard) reasonably low?
5) Does it play in tune with itself?
6) If you answered yes to the above, then do YOU like it?

If you answered yes to all of the above...Its a fine guitar.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The 70s-Bad decade for Guitars-Why?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 08 Feb 00 - 12:01 AM

Martin bought the Goya name. Goyas used to be made in Sweden (where they were called Levin). I think yours is Japanese, Soph.

Rick


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Subject: RE: The 70s-Bad decade for Guitars-Why?
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Aug 13 - 02:13 PM

I have a 1964 Goya G-13 (classical, made in Sweden) which is the most beautiful guitar I have ever seen or owned. She is perfect for that kind of intricate work (intonation [all of the way up the neck], action, timbre, etc.)

Came 1973 and I needed a 12 string, so I bought a used (date unknown) G-65 (also "made in Sweden). It was a dog for anything but open chords and big sound. The action was terrible. In 1997 I took off the harmony strings and used it for a blues axe... terrible action and all.

I've been nurturing it along. I guess I feel sorry for it. But, I have a suspicion it IS NOT a real Goya.


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Subject: RE: The 70s-Bad decade for Guitars-Why?
From: GUEST,mrandolphmason
Date: 24 Aug 13 - 02:15 PM

previous thread is mine (about the Goya).
www.mrandolphmason.com


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Subject: RE: The 70s-Bad decade for Guitars-Why?
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 25 Aug 13 - 04:09 AM

Anyone wanting to know more about the famous Martin fire, should read Mike Longworth's book "Martin Guitars A History". From memory, he says that yes, there was a fire, when a bench sander overheated but the only damage was to the guitar body being worked on.

I would agree that the 70's were a bad time for the big firms but I would tend to say that quality was inconsistent rather than entirely bad.


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Subject: RE: The 70s-Bad decade for Guitars-Why?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 25 Aug 13 - 08:41 AM

I think Cheech and Chong had a great deal to do with the general decline in the quality of high end acoustic instruments at that time. Oh, and Nixon too, of course. Sort of the Yin and Yang of guitar decline, you might say.


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Subject: RE: The 70s-Bad decade for Guitars-Why?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 06:01 AM

It was also the decade when Japan really started making great guitars and banjos. That must have hit Martin very hard.

It was the decade of the fabulous F85 from from fender. the Tama (as played in England by Tony Capstick). The Kasuga banjo. Not to mention Yamaha;s FG series..


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Subject: RE: The 70s-Bad decade for Guitars-Why?
From: GUEST,HughM
Date: 30 Sep 14 - 08:35 PM

I went through six D-18's in the summer of '71 at Manny's in NYC before I found one I liked - new out of the plastic bag. It never came into it's own until the bridge pulled up one day and I had another bridge put on. Since then, the tone has improved and it's louder. Oh, and the bridge is in the right spot, as it wasn't from the factory. Sounds like a vintage D-18 should!


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