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Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?

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Subject: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: *daylia*
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 09:29 AM

Hi folks! I'm in the market for a new classical guitar, (or even an acoustic if I could find one with a slightly wider neck). I'd prefer to buy Canadian this time, but I'm totally unfamiliar with Canuck guitars.   Have any of you Cats bought or played one recently? What is your opinion of their quality? What name would you recommend in the $500-600 range? Or should I stick with the more familiar Yamaha/Martin/Takemines?

Thank you all in advance,

daylia


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 09:57 AM

I think that the Canadian-made Garrison guitars are a great value. Click here for their website. They are unique in that they have replaced the conventional bracing and binding with a one-piece molded structure to which the top, back and sides are attached. They sound a lot better than you would expect for the price. I've considered buying one as a travel / camping guitar.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 10:02 AM

I know nothing about classical guitars , but there are some nice acoustic ones made in Canada with great quality to cost value.
    Larivee in B.C. and Godin in Quebec (brands: Seagull, Simon&Patrick, Art&Luthrie and Norman) and Garrison in Newfoundland may be worth a look.
         Sandy


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Marion
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 10:07 AM

Hi Daylia. If you're interested in a Canadian cross between classical and acoustic, you might look at a Seagull Folk guitar. Seagull is one of the labels of La-Si-Do, the Quebec company that also makes Art and Lutherie, Simon and Patrick, and Norman guitars. The size they call folk is the same body size and shape as a classical, and has a neck that's a little wider than normal steel-strings (though definitely not as wide as a classical).

I had one of these once and I think it cost around 350 new. The top was solid, the back was laminated. I think the Simon and Patrick (which are a step up in the Lasido food chain) come in folk size as well.

Seagull - click on Product listings, then S-series and Artist-series.


Cheers, Marion


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: JedMarum
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 10:09 AM

Ya gotta look at the Larrivees. I love this model in particluar and think you would find comparable in sound and feel to the classical . You can get a wide neck version of the guitar, and in deed the stock model come swith a slightly wider neck.

Just try one or two. I think you'll be impressed.


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: *daylia*
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 10:30 AM

You Cats are just wonderful! I knew I could find the "inside skinny" here before I face the salespeople in the music stores and try them out - this is exactly what I wanted! Marion, the Seagulls sound like they're right up my alley - Bruce, Jed, Sandy thanks so much for the info and the great links. Gonna study them in more detail now ...

Purrrr - Just love studying guitars ....

daylia


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: catspaw49
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 10:49 AM

daylia....Enter the word Seagull in the filter box and set the refresh at "ALL"....You'll pull up a lot of threads. Then do the same with Larrivee. Both will give a lot of opinions and info. Also there is a thread on Garrison as well.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: GUEST,smokeyjoe
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 11:03 AM

It's a great time to be buying guitars these days. Companies have finally started to realize that they can make decent guitars starting at the $350.(cdn.) range by cutting back on a lot of the junk that was wasteful in the past. It used to be that guitars had tons of lacquer on them to make them nice and shiny, which also had the effect of deadening the sound. Also increased the price. A while back they started to realize that if they got rid of a lot of the fancy binding, cut back on the thickness of the finishes, and put some half ways decent tuners on 'em, they'd have a pretty good sounding instrument, that STAYED IN TUNE.
I bought my girlfriend a Simon and Patrick (cdn.) 'folk model' guitar for about $360. (cdn.) incl. taxes, for Christmas in 2002, and it sounds Great. I've recorded with it on several occasions, and am finding that I like to play hers almost as much as my Martin.
Cheers!


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Marion
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 11:04 AM

Daylia, you could also ask Clinton Hammond - he has a couple of Seagulls, folk-size I think.

I loved the look and smell of my Seagull, but I got rid of it because the neck was too wide - not compatible with learning a bunch of thumb chords.

Marion


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 11:15 AM

Thumb chords are your FRIENDS!

Larrivee is no longer a Canadian complany. Jean has flown the coop to California (for a number of reasons I'm told, one being lack of union hassles, benefits etc.) I haven't seen any difference in quality though.

The Seagulls are pretty plain, sound good, are cheap as dirt and DO offer that wide neck you mentioned.

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: *daylia*
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 01:43 PM

:>) So the Seagulls smell good too, Marion? Well that just adds to my curiousity - so much to consider, while making such pleasant choices! Just gonna HAFTA try one now ...

Thanks Spaw for the old threads re Garrisons - most informative about craftsmanship/materials and how that affects sound quality too! - and for the hints re using the search functions. What a great source of people's experiences and opinions - and now I even know which names to search for!

Rick, that's very helpful to know about Larrivee, and the inside scoop on the Seagulls is much appreciated.

Simon and Patrick guitars are available at a store only about 10 minutes from my home, smokeyjoe. I'll be sure to check them out too.
And to continue your thoughts re poorly-made instruments, here's what is says at the Seagull site Marion linked to -

"What's the difference? ... If we were to describe many of these instruments based on how they stack up in real guitar terms we might say, "made from genuine pressboard with rosewood wallpaper, with a club neck, painfully high action, and topped off with a sound smothering plastic finish". Of course none of these disadvantages are obvious to the new guitar player and it doesn't help that from a few feet away many of these guitars look just like the hand made instruments that they are copying."

That's the kind of thing I was hoping to avoid/save time with by coming to the Cat first! And it's encouraging to hear you think the quality of instruments is improving these days.

Thank you all so much again for your help

daylia


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Big Mick
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 02:03 PM

I own a Larrivee that was purchased to replace a Seagull that got destroyed by United Airlines. The Seagull product line, IMO, is simply the best value for the money available. By the way, I don't care for La-Si-Do's other product lines. My Seagull was a great combination of action and voice. And it aged wonderfully. Virtually every player that picked it up remarked at what a great guitar it was. It absolutely broke my heart when it got damaged beyond repair. I think I paid about $220.00 US for it years ago. I would commend these instruments to you strongly.

One proviso. Be very picky when you are buying any guitar. If you settle on Seagull as a brand, play a lot of Seagulls until you find the one that fits. All instruments within a brand are not the same.

By the way, I love my Larrivee too.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 02:15 PM

Seagull and the other brands coming out of Quebec are all excellent, and very low-priced. I also saw a very nice Yamaha classical guitar in Orillia a few days ago...inexpensive and great! Phone me about that one. It's at True North music, where they also have some very nice steel string guitars. If you want to drive up to Orillia any day this week, I'll help you out...it's fun checking out guitars together anyway, and it might help you out some if I'm there to check on the fine points.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Willie-O
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 02:24 PM

It's kind of funny the way the Canadian guitarmaking scene has developed. La Si Do churns out huge numbers of low-to-mid-range boxes under half a dozen names, pretty much all in one tiny Quebec town (La Patrie) about half a spit from the US border. As such, there's not a lot of competition for them anywhere else in the country--which is surprising, because they have done well by being cost-effective and selling a lot of units in the States due to the US/Canadian dollar differential. I've tried a bunch of them, Seagulls, S & Pat, Norman, and a Godin or two, and never once been really turned on.

I really like the little Larrivee 12-fret parlour guitar though. Cost about $950 Cdn. Other Larrivees are great too.   

Also see the 12th Fret Vintage listing page, classical section. Mostly high-end, needless to say, but its fun to dream and drool.

The other thing is that there are so many up-and-coming Canadian luthiers, that their instruments are often undervalued due to lack of name recognition. By undervalued I mean $1000 to $1600 or so.

Oh what fun to shop for a guitar.   It's like trying to have the perfect dream, isn't it?

W-O


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: GUEST,JeffK
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 03:20 PM

I've owned a Seagull for almost 10 years - I love it. The reason they smell good is that they're made of cedar :-)


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: *daylia*
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 03:31 PM

Mick, I'm sorry to hear about your losing your "baby". I know what that's like! I had to sell the first and only piano I've ever bought when I moved a couple years ago - a beautiful little Wurlitzer upright with a sparkling tone in the treble and such comfortable action. And though I've had the pleasure of teaching on my parent's Yamaha baby grand this year (!!), I sure miss my life-long "friend"!

Thanks so much for your sharing thoughts/experiences re Seagull and Larrivee. Good point about the differences within a brand too!

Willie-O, I've tried the Normans and Godins too, and never really been too impressed either, but it's been quite a while. Thanks for confirming that they ARE Canadian makes. And that's a great link - I'm just Drrooollliing now ... oh maybe I could *cough* up a bit more ... smoke a lot less .... eat a little less ... hmmmmmmm

Little Hawk - I'd LOVE to try out guitars in your wonderful company with your expert advice! And I'm planning to visit the stores in Orillia this week. I just got back from Gilbert Guitars on Bayfield St. and I was wrong - no Canadian makes. (Some really nice Fenders and Gibsons and Takamines and Yamahas and Ibeniz and Martins though ... oh all these guitar images in my head, and all these songs!)   I refuse to deal with "that other store" in Barrie though, where I must have seen them ... don't like their mark-ups and I find the salespeople very pushy. I'll call you okay? And thanks so much!

daylia


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Mooh
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 03:35 PM

I recently sold a Simon & Patrick (cedar top, cherry back and sides) dread to a friend. I was quite pleased with it after I hotrodded it a bit. It came to the local shop as a factory second in need of a fret job. I had the frets dressed, and installed decent strap buttons, machine heads and a pickup. Great axe, and I pretty much broke even on it plus got a couple of years out of it.

I have a La Patrie classical (same company) which only needed a set up when I bought it. It too was a factory second due a spot of overzealous sanding near the butt end. Nice cheap playable solid cedar top guitar. I use hard tension strings on it. The factory or store strings were sloppy, and the guitar sings better with hard tension strings.

Why this company appears to sell alot of seconds is a mystery to me but they're a good deal. I've seen many which would fill your requirements. Ask around.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: mandomad
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 03:42 PM

My fifteen year old Norman B20 is still wonderful, has got better with maturity...has a nice spruce smell, and is admired wherever it goes.    Just a shame I can't do it justice!


                        mandomad


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: *daylia*
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 04:18 PM

Gads Willie-O what have you done to me? I can't take my eyes off that $17,779 (cdn) Bendetto Manhattan, with the European spruce top and fiddle-back maple back/sides and gold-plated tuners (!!) and abalone inlays .... oooooo .... this must be guitar heaven!

Gotcha Mooh - La Patrie/Simon and Patrick. Hope I can find them ... maybe I'll try the 12th fret too ... Toronto, right? But that might be just too deliciously dangerous ...

Thanks for the tips re Norman, mandomad. The ones I've tried were definitely lower-end, and I found the sound "tinny". I've heard some excellent players over the years using the more expensive models though!


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 05:21 PM

I had a Norman way back in the 70's. It was so-so. I sold it after awhile.

Norman, La Patrie, Godin, Simon & Patrick, and Seagull are all made by the same outfit in Quebec. I t'ink dey are schizophrenic or somet'ing wit' all dose names for one guitar place! Sacre bleu! What do dey take us for??? Dey are like da Liberals (Canadian political party)...trying to please EVERY-BOD-EEE at da same time!

I can't imagine why Gilbert's in Barrie does not have Seagull guitars, cos their smaller branch store in Orillia has several of them. Weird. I agree that the other place in Barrie is an annoying place with pushy salesmen...I generally avoid them.

Well, give me a call and we'll do lunch and guitars in Orillia. Should be fun. True North is a quite likeable guitar store, and they've got some good stuff in now (including one Washburn that I am very sorely tempted to buy).

- LH


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: harvey andrews
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 06:37 PM

I have a Laskin. I love it!


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 10:38 PM

I bet! Laskins are formidable...and out of the price range of many. Some other marvelous guitar makes these days are Collings, Santa Cruz, and Taylor. Those are all American brandnames, however, not Canadian.

A look at the 12th Fret website will quickly acquaint the awed viewer with just about every top guitar line you can mention.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: CRANKY YANKEE
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 11:02 PM

Canadian guitars only play in the key of "A"   (eh?)


big smile


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Cluin
Date: 01 May 03 - 02:57 AM

Sure... Laskin, Manzer, Larrivee. All Canadian makers of excellent (if expensive) guitars, might be a bit of a wait, though for one from them.

Or you could try Glen Reid in Burk's Falls, ON. Very nice machines he makes.


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 01 May 03 - 05:33 AM

Last year I bought a small bodied "Art & Luthier" guitar (fits in a 3/4 size case) from Hobgoblin. I mainly got it because I got fed up with carting my old Yahaha FG180 (in a Hiscox case) around at festivals etc. It has a beautifully sweet tone, plenty of bass, and is surprisingly loud - all for under £200. I find I'm using it more than the FG180 these days.


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Big Mick
Date: 01 May 03 - 07:13 AM

Yep, I have played a Reid before and I must tell you that he makes a wonderful instrument.

A Laskin, eh? Harvey, you have a wonderful instrument there. Rick, Jed and I went to Grit's shop and I just stood there dumbstruck at his work. That man is truly an artist. I didn't give any of them a real workout but I did manage to play a bit on Stan Rogers Laskin 12 string. Wunnerful, wunnerful. Paul Mills has that guitar. Jed stayed at Paul's house while he was recording his latest CD. (If you don't have it yet, you need to get it, folks) He tells of laying there at night, with Stan's 12 within reach, sometimes he would just have to reach out and play it.

Daylia, if you happen to have an extra $6,000 to $8,000 laying around, you would love a Laskin.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: MairSea
Date: 01 May 03 - 08:51 AM

Hubby and I have Simon and Patrick's. Mine is Cedar and his Spruce. They have a lovely 'voice' and tone and we would certainly recommend them.

Love and Peace


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Mooh
Date: 01 May 03 - 08:52 AM

For half the money of a Laskin you could get a Beneteau (St. Thomas Ontario). Nice guitars. A buddy has a classical and I got 3 steel strings, but they're still likely out of your indicated price range, though I once saw an early one way underpriced and poorly strung at a music shop, second hand. I regret not buying it too.

I still recommend the La Patrie nylons. My local shop has a nice one with the pickup and a case. Much bang for the (Cdn) buck!

Let us know what you decide.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 May 03 - 09:25 AM

Bob Ardearn, a friend of mine, has a Beneteau and it's superb. First time I saw (and played) it, I figured it was an older Larrivee. I'd recommend Beneteau most highly.

I was just going by Burke's Falls yesterday and didn't know about Glenn Reid. Darn!

- LH


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Midchuck
Date: 01 May 03 - 09:39 AM

Two builders that I don't think anyone mentioned:

Mario Proulx in Northern Ontario, and Jesse Brace in British Columbia.

Any discussion of Proulx is probably Moulxt, since he has a long waiting list now.

My newest aquisition can be viewed by going to the Brace link above, if it works, and when it finishes loading, scrolling down to the last guitar shown at the bottom.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: moineau nordique
Date: 01 May 03 - 09:43 AM

Mario Proulx, in Northern Ontario, is another source of fine guitars.

http://www.proulxguitars.com/


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Willie-O
Date: 01 May 03 - 10:03 AM

Art & Lutherie is another of those many LaSiDo brand names. Some of the better ones are obviously good, judging from the affection many knowledgables guitaristas have for them, but I think you have to try many out to find that special one. As noted, their quality control is maybe not all that great, they focus on hihg-production and affordability.

Oskar Graf (see thread link in the list at the top thar) is every bit the luthier Laskin is (some say better) and his instruments are several thousand less (they don't have the decorative style of the Laskins). You oughtta come to Blue Skies Festival and meet him (it's at his property near Sharbot Lake, 90 minutes west of Ottawa, August long weekend, drop me a PM for more info). He makes a fine classical too--and I am lucky enough to be able to call on him when I have a guitar emergency.

Beneteaus are excellent value, he's been around for a long time and his instruments have gained a lot in value.

There's also a guy named Mayhew whose instruments have innovative, very artful body shapes. I've tried a few and haven't found them quite right for me, but their quality is obvious at a glance and the Ottawa Folklore Centre sells them for $1500-1800 which strikes me as a good deal.   

The 12th Fret vintage page is updated with slatheringly gorgeous expensive new guitars EVERY DAY. Except today. Maybe you should go check out that parlour guitar at the top of the page--if a rebuilt vintage strikes your fancy.

Of course, if you want to stay close to your budget, I recommend a field trip to Rick Fieldings basement--never know what you'll find there!

W-O
so many guitars
so little money
such a short life


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: *daylia*
Date: 01 May 03 - 09:59 PM

" so many guitars
so little money
such a short life "


Ah, ain't that the truth W-O! Good thing Cats have 9 of 'em! Spent the day in Orillia trying out guitars with LH - that was fun! Really liked the Seagull folk guitar we found - nice tone, so playable, that wider neck makes it easy to adjust to after many years on a classical! - and only $329(cdn). But the only thing definite is that it's gonna be a steel-string ... and that my taste has been just SPOILED ROTTEN by going through all those absolutely gorgeous guitars at the sites linked to above!

Ah Mick, I only dream ...

I'd love to find/try a Larrivee. The parlor models - at the 12th fret site too - look just about perfect. I want to check out the Garrisons with the new structural design. And a higher-end Seagull, and more of the La-Si-Do line ... more shopping tomorrow ... :>)!!

I enjoyed the luthier sites - SO informative, some of the instruments truly unique. Thank you so much moineau nordique, Midchuck, Cluin.

The list of related threads is very helpful - thanks ye Joe Clones! And thanks to all who posted for your thoughtful and excellent advice, and again for the wonderful links!

dreamingorgeousguitarsdaylia


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Willie-O
Date: 02 May 03 - 08:27 AM

...And I am forever dithering about whether I should keep or sell my 1973 Martin O-18, really a very lovable, comfy, and playable just-barely-over-parlour-size number. Martin hasn't made the single-O (their smallest modern body size) since the mid-70's, I like something just a bit bigger. If you see one, try it out. Wider, flatter fingerboard than most steels too--nice transition guitar from a classical.

W-O


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Devilmaster
Date: 02 May 03 - 12:00 PM

Hi Daylia,

Since Clinton has been slow getting to this page, I'll pass off his homepage and gear page. It should give some info on the Seagulls he uses....

Clinton's Homepage

His Gear Page

Hope it helps, eh!
Steve


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Jim Colbert
Date: 02 May 03 - 12:47 PM

Actually, isn't it just the higher-end Larrivees that are being made in the states now? I thought the division was anything with a satin finish is still being made in Canada, anything gloss was being done in California.

I think overall, Canadian guitars are the best bang for the buck anywhere. (And note that I'm somewhat impartial, as I live in the states and play mostly taylors!)

jim


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: *daylia*
Date: 03 May 03 - 11:18 AM

jim, thanks for your 'unbiased' the vote of confidence in Canadian guitars! And yes, the beautiful higher-end Larrivee's (!!) LH and I found at the Arts in Newmarket yesterday do show "California USA" on the inner label. I didn't see any 'lower-end' models though (less than about $2000 cdn), so I'm not sure about them still being built in Vancouver.

What a treat to play them - you were absolutely right, Jed! Warm deep resonance in the bass end, clear sparkling tones in the treble, a comfortably wide fret-board with easy low action, and so pretty too! The only guitar we felt even came close to the $3500 Larrivee was a Martin in the same price range - I forget the model number but LH was really impressed! Unfortunately, there were no Larrivee models under about $1500, which is about twice the budget I originally wanted to spend ...

Tried the Garrisons too. Big, heavy guitars, and in the lower price range the tone was too "metallic" for my liking, but the $1300 model - now, that was la creme de la creme! The synthetic bracing system would no doubt help to counter the effects of our extreme Canadian climate too ...

Devilmaster thanks so much for Clinton's homepage! I was especially interested in his comments on the 20th anniversary special edition Seagulls - tried one yesterday and was very impressed! It was $529 cdn, right in my price range, and included a light-weight case. Spruce top, bird's-eye maple back and sides, that comfortable wide neck and low action and excellent tone! It did have quite the lacquered shine though, which makes it look great, but according to what I've read here on the Cat that's not so great for sound quality? Yet, if a professional like Mr. Hammond sings their praises it can't be that bad I s'pose. I hope he checks in here today with more of the 'inside skinny'!

I'm really tempted to buy the special edition Seagull! But I'm gonna try to give myself a breather for a day or two now, go over the brochures and links again and think things over. Oooo, that sounds so boringly mature, doesn't it! Ha ha - maybe that beautiful Seagull will be gracing my living room tonight! And you Cats'll be the first to know!

And I really must mention that I had the pleasure of trying Bob Adearn's Beneteau last night after listening to him perform with Jennifer Ives at Newmarket's "Corner Coffeehouse" - what an instrument!!

Now, if I was a professional performer, not an amateur hoping to inspire herself to practice more (and STOP playing her classical with a pick for the rocky-folky type tunes I love, which really does no justice either to the music or to the instrument!) I could easily talk myself into spending a thousand more than i intended. Gotta love credit cards - (NOT!) But as it is, hmmmmmmmmmmmm ...

Thank you all so much again for your valuable hints and advice! I'll be back!

daylia


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Cluin
Date: 03 May 03 - 01:55 PM

Willie-O, DON'T sell it! You'll regret it.


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Willie-O
Date: 03 May 03 - 04:15 PM

So they say. But a guitar is just a guitar, (eh, Rick?) you can deal 'em out and get another one, continuing the quest for the holy grail. Dealing one out to have enough money to live on for a month or two, though--nah, that's what credit cards are for.

I went for months this winter just playing that guitar, but last night I was playing it and didn't like it. New strings and all. Go figure. The sound gets harsh in the spring or sometin' lak dat.

Weird. I never thought I could afford to maintain two good guitars (and I was right), now I can't deal with the thought of not having two to choose from.


W-O


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: *daylia*
Date: 04 May 03 - 04:13 PM

Well I'm now the happy owner of a beautiful new 20th Anniv. Edition Seagull folk guitar!!! :>)

And I really wanna be playing it (I'm listening to my son's debut on it right now - such a lovely tone!) but I just had to let you know, and thank you all for your expert guidance once again. You Cats helped make this decision fun and easy!

Oh yes, I meant to ask if anyone's tried the new "Elixer" brand acoustic strings. They cost about twice as much as a set of Blue Steels, and the sales pitch is that they're coated with a substance something like Teflon (?) which supposedly makes them last twice as long and reduces the "finger-squeak" when changing positions quickly (for those of us with less-than-perfect technique!). Can anyone vouch for this?

Thanks so much again to all!

dyingtogetpracticingdaylia :)


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 04 May 03 - 05:38 PM

That's great daylia! Best of luck with it!


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Mooh
Date: 04 May 03 - 05:40 PM

Much has been said here and on other forums about Elixirs. Do a wee search and you'll find all you need to know and more. Some like 'em, some don't, some'll pay for 'em, some won't.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: *daylia*
Date: 04 May 03 - 07:04 PM

Thanks Sandy! I'm just lovin it so far ...

Duhhh ... thanks for the reminder re using the search, Mooh! Just did that, and there's LOTS of great info on Elixirs, including Bluebelle's comment that they're like "strings with a condom."    LOL!!

They wanted $23.95 cdn (plus 15% tax) for a set at the store where I bought the guitar today - and that's pretty steep. Hmmmmmmm

My tender little classical fingers have that "steel-string bite" now -- gonna quit playin for a bit and search the forum for new scales/exercises/riffs/songs to practice. Thanks so much to Mudcat for being here and doing what you do!

Purrrr ... daylia


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 05 May 03 - 03:29 AM

Don't know why an unaccompanied singer is trolling this thread, but my old mate Michael Dunn makes some fine guitars, by all accounts.
http://www.michaeldunnguitars.com/

Jon Bartlett


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Willie-O
Date: 05 May 03 - 08:49 AM

Daylia, the Elixirs are worth the money. Get the "original" kind, the Polyweb (as opposed to Nanoweb). You should be able to find them a few bucks cheaper, but I would buy them. The squeak reduction is highly habit-forming. And most players can get six months out of a set easily. I got new Elixirs for all my instruments last summer cause I was going back to school and knew I'd be broke. There is now competition from other premium-priced strings in the 15-25 range, but I haven't much liked the premium Martin SP's by comparison. Cause you really get used to that squeak reduction which the Martins don't have.   

Naturally, having said what I said about LaSiDos, I found one I really liked yesterday, a Norman B-20 that a friend of mine just bought, used and nicely broken in, for $200 Cdn. Good deal, yes.   

Enjoy your new friend! Careful of that cedar top, don't lend it to Ani DiFranco.

Bill


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Big Mick
Date: 05 May 03 - 11:27 AM

Daylia, make sure that one of your first purchases is a humidifier. That cedar top requires that you keep that right. Also, make sure the action is adjusted right for you.

With regard to Elixirs, I have never yet got a set to last anything close to 6 months, but I play a fair amount of gigs. And a lot of our music has a real drive to it. They do last a bit longer, but the real advantage of them, IMO, is that they sound almost the same when they break as when you put them on. It is the tone that lasts, and that is why I like them. But............they ain't cheap!!!!

I would not recommend them for a 12 string, unless you buy a handful of the G octave strings out of the gate. You will break them fairly quickly.

Congrats on your new baby. It has a cedar top, yes? That is what mine had. I must tell you that if you treat that instrument right, it will develop this very unique and appealing tone. It truly mellows with time.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 May 03 - 01:03 PM

Here's another solid vote for Elixir's with Polyweb. They don't last twice as long as other strings...they last four or five times as long, and they stay fresh-souding. Do the math on that and see which set is the better deal for the money...

I use nothing but Elixirs now, and I love 'em!

You might also consider getting a set of fingerpicks, if you can't grow tough fingernails and keep them. I'll talk to Bob tonight at song circle in Orillia, and get his advice on which ones are good. I've seen him use them, and he's the cleanest fingerpicker I know, with the possible exception of Rick Fielding.

That Martin I saw was an HD-28 (Herringbone), and it was the best-sounding guitar I have ever heard under Cdn $5,000...maybe the best, period...downright scary, that guitar was! It just edged out the Larrivee. I was surprised. I'm not usually bowled over by D-28's.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 05 May 03 - 01:24 PM

Congrats on the 20th Anii! THERE'S a 'baby' -I'd- love to see pics of around Mudcat... :-)

But I gotta cast a vote against Elixiers... I just don't find 'em to be worth anywhere near the money... But I'm a guy who usually breaks a string before they tarnish badly enough to need changing... and at 20+ bucks a pack... it just not worth it...

I stick to plain old Martin Bronze light (.012-.054) for the twins and I'm currently experimenting with Phosphor Bronze for my 20th Anni... I don't remotely hate the sound of the PH Bronze, and I kinda like how they look on the guitar...


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Jim Colbert
Date: 05 May 03 - 01:55 PM

Yikes, I love elixir strings but I can get 'em for about ten bucks US here... not sure what the exchange rate is right now but that does seem steep at $23 bucks Can. I've actually been writing down when I change them to actually see how much life I'm getting out of them, cause I don't think it's as long as I've led myself to believe- but then my playing habits vary a lot too.

My real thought here is like most everything else- on the relatively smaller stuff like fingerpicks, herco thumbpicks, wide straps, shubb capos- try 'em at least once and form your own opinion. I like the comfort of the coating myself, I find it's easier for my (ahem, probably less than manly) art director's fingers after an hour or so of playing than uncoated ones. But that's just me. I can certainly understand how some people don't like them and find them a bit greasy feeling... all what you like and don't like, you know?

Congratulations on your new purchase! I haven't tried one of these (haven't seen one in real life yet) but it seemed like a heck of a bargain at that price. Should be a great instrument for you!

jim


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: GUEST,Marion
Date: 05 May 03 - 02:07 PM

Congratulations, Daylia.

You said:It did have quite the lacquered shine though, which makes it look great, but according to what I've read here
on the Cat that's not so great for sound quality?


Actually there's more debate about that than this thread suggests. It seems to me that if the non-gloss finish were so much better for the sound, we'd be seeing a lot more of the top-end guitars in non-gloss.   I do prefer the look of the non-gloss, but it is more easily scratched up, so I glued on a pickguard.

Mick, sorry to hear about your Seagull. That's awful.

Willie-O, wouldn't one or more of the kids be interested in the little Martin?

Marion


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: *daylia*
Date: 05 May 03 - 03:20 PM

Bill - Congrats on finding your Norman B-20 :>) - and what a great price too. I really liked the higher-end Normans I tried - it was the Seagulls oh-so-comfortable wider, less rounded neck and that easy low action I couldn't pass up. And I amgoing to try a set of Elixirs. I liked the feel of them, and between my son and I the guitar has had nary a break in the last 24 hours. With that kind of "mileage", the longer life will be worth it!

BTW - My guitar actually has a solid spruce top, bird's-eye maple back and sides, but you know it does smell good! There was another 20th Anniv. Seagull at the same store - lovely cedar top, satin finished back and sides, same easy action and comfortable feel but I liked the tone of the spruce-topped better - enough to pay another $60 for it! Sounded just a little warmer and deeper, I thought. And I was sorely tempted to buy the other for my son, and let him pay me back monthly, because they sounded so awesome together. That idea is still "in the works"!

Clinton - The light colored wood is so pretty - I wish I could post a picture of it here but my computer skills/equipment are not that advanced. It actually looks very much like the lighter colored one on your webpage! And I want to thank you for being the "last word" in my decision making. After your reassurance about the tone only improving in time in spite of the lacqered finish, my mind was pretty well made up! Re the Elixirs - I'm not much of a string-breaker myself, but my son is ... hmmm, there's a split-the-cost scheme arising now! Thanks for the tip!

Mick, I was considering getting a humidifier yesterday, as my little place is heated with a forced-air gas fireplace which is VERY drying. Not so bad now that it's spring and the windows are open a lot, but I know I'll need one by the end of the summer anyway. And a strap, and a time-saving tuner, and a stand, and a ... and a bit more money!! Thanks for assuring me that spending the extra on a humidifier will be well worth it tone-wise as the instrument "matures"!

Thanks Jim for your hints re Elixirs and your encouragement! Only $10 in the States, eh? Good for you - I know I can find them cheaper around here too. Little Hawk, my new "guitar guru", will know where to look for better prices.

And the finger-picks are a good idea, LH, because as a piano player I just can't have long nails on either hand. And I'll get to try out the Elixirs on your guitar tomorrow, right? I did like the feel of them in the package, but I haven't heard or tried them yet.

Carol, I did break down and glue a pickguard on it last night - very reluctantly (for esthetic reasons). If my son does continue to play it a lot - which I'd be loathe to stop him from doing - I might end up glueing a clear pickguard on the other side of the soundhole. He's left-handed, and learned to play "upside down and backwards" - pretty amazing how good he's getting playing that way too! :>) But two pickguards just might look REAL funny ... hmmmmmmm

Off to teach piano now ... switchin gears ... and giving my sorefingers a break!

Thanks so very much again to everyone .... veryhappydaylia


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 May 03 - 11:09 PM

About the only time I ever break a string is when I change back and forth between alternate tunings, Clinton. I'm betting you're a flatpicker, eh?

- LH


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Mooh
Date: 06 May 03 - 11:13 AM

I've never adapted to fingerpicks, though I use a thumb pick. My fingerstyle involves occassional frailing which always tears the fingerpicks off my fingers, and I've tried every fingerpick at Elderly and The 12th Fret.

Anyway, congratulations on your new guitar! You'll be wanting another soon, maybe a 12 string, classical, tenor, baritone, 6 string for other tunings, electric, resonator, lapsteel, travel guitar, 7 string...

And speaking of Canadian guitars, did you see the Linda Manzer 8 string on the 12th Fret website? Droolworthiness incarnate.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 06 May 03 - 01:36 PM

Ya... I'm a flatpicker... actually, I'm mostly just a strummer...

I fingerpick on occasion... the quiet story ballads and such like...

Maybe one day I'll learn to really play...

:-)


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: *daylia*
Date: 07 May 03 - 09:26 AM

ARRGGHH Mooh! I just don't have enough "parallel lives" to afford all those lovely guitars! And yes, the Linda Manzer is to DIE for - but 8 strings? I have quite the challenge already trying to be accurate with 6!

Clinton I'm a strummer and a flat-picker too when it comes to folk/rock, and on a classical guitar that style does sound like doo-doo. Betcha it would be fun to have our guitars "meet" - they're family, after all! And it sounds like we have much the same style too. Gotta make it down to hear you - c'mon, summer!

My fingerpicking technique needs improvement - I think that's the only way to get out of the 'rut' I've been in for quite a while. LH showed me a couple different styles yesterday - Travis picking etc - and I'm working on those.

I also pulled up some old threads re fingerpicking, and was delighted to read Don Firth's comment that classical technique is really the most "efficient" for all styles of guitar playing! So I haven't been too far off then - I just need practice!

I found some excellent advice on the old threads last night, including this one from the great Rick Fielding.

I'd like to try his exercise -- "tune your guitar to D,A,D,F#,A,D (the open chord means you only have to think 'right hand') and try this roll. T6, T4, T6, I3, T4, M2. It's a great right hand technique for playing with a "bounce". The first two notes are quarter notes, and the last four are eighth notes. It should sound like Bum, Bum, bada bada. Just play it slowly and quietly until you're not even thinking about it...."

At the risk of sounding really guitar-dumb (ahem!!), what does "T6, I3, M2" mean?? I'm guessing it's the strings, ie. T6=low E, I3=G, M2=B?? Gonna search the threads again - I was pretty tired last night - but if any of you wonderful souls would like to make it easy by just saying "yeah" or "nay" to my guess above, that would be just peachy!

And if anyone is looking for a new custom built mandolin, here's another up-and-coming Canadian luthier worthy of your attention, my old friend and neighbour Peter Cox. He moved a couple weeks ago, and is in the process of building a workshop large enough to accomodate guitar-building again, but for now he's sticking with mandolins and other smaller instruments. His newest website is still "in the works", and the address/phone number at the link I gave you is dated now that he's moved, so please PM me if you'd like his new number. He makes LOVELY instruments, fine quality and tone, that "yummy" exotic wood and from what I can see excellent craftsmanship!

Cheers -- daylia


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 07 May 03 - 09:34 AM

" T6, T4, T6, I3, T4, M2"

Thumb playes the 6th string
Thumb playes the 4th string
Thumb playes the 6th sting
Index finger playes the 3rd string
Thumb playes the 4th string
Middle finger playes the 2nd string

At least that's what I assume it means...

;-)

"Betcha it would be fun to have our guitars "meet" - they're family, after all!"

Have you read how many Seagulls I own?? LOL... in the house right now are 2 A series "Folk", a 20th Anni Cedar, and an OLD S6 Cedar... and my S6+Spruce is in Chatham... I know what ya mean about "family"

Heh


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: *daylia*
Date: 07 May 03 - 10:46 AM

AH Clinton, thanks so much for "decoding" that roll! I had it most mysteriously "dawn" on me while I was out for my walk this morning that maybe the letters stood for the RH fingers -- T = thumb etc -- Just got back and here you've confirmed it for me!   :>)   

Hey, maybe we "connected" through that "psychic void" of music !! ;)

Sounds like you've got quite the flock of Seagulls there! Must be great fun keepin 'em all fed and happy!

daylia


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: GUEST,Wa Ban Zhou
Date: 07 May 03 - 11:29 AM

I bought an Art and Luthrie about five years ago. It's kind of a strange color, but I like it very much and it always stays in tune. Cost me about $350 U.S. I felt like I got a good deal.
                                    Wa Ban Zhou


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Willie-O
Date: 07 May 03 - 03:36 PM

Daylia: well, the Norman's not mine, a friend bought it. If you bought a new spruce top guitar that sounds great now, it will only get better as you play it. Cedars have a much shorter breakin--you get a much better idea right out of the box what they'll always sound like.

Say hi to Peter Cox from Bill Cameron, I have a mandola he made. It's sitting right behind me on a stand, strung with Elixirs and ready to rock. Super-nice guy, and how many luthiers with his experience and ability make such affordable instruments for players? Only one that I know of.

Marion: a little Martin looks cute strapped onto a kid, and if either of them acted serious about wanting to learn to play, I wouldn't be thinking along these lines. However...   

Bill


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: *daylia*
Date: 07 May 03 - 09:47 PM

Bill -- Peter says hi back, and thanks! A mandola of Peter's strung with Elixirs no less! That's rockin indeed!

Visited him at his new place in Waubashene this afternoon. Had the pleasure of playing one of his only two remaining smaller guitars, picking up a few more fingerpickin techniques too   :>)   

So much to practice, so many instruments, so little time   ... *sigh*


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 May 03 - 10:14 PM

Waubashene...that's just down the road from Port McFiveCents, isn't it?

- LH


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: GUEST,Grubby
Date: 08 May 03 - 02:20 AM

Daylia
One Canadian luthier that hasn't been mentioned is Ted Thompson, from Alberta I think. I live way down south in Tasmania Australia and happened across a Thompson guitar in a local music shop and just had to buy it. It is truely a beatiful instrument and the envy of many of my fellow muso's.I know of three other Thompson owners here in Tassie and they are all of the same opinion.
I also have a seagull for band work and that fits the bill well. Good servicable guitar for that kind of work.
Regards
Grubby


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Mooh
Date: 08 May 03 - 08:14 AM

Daylia...

Hi to Peter Cox from me too. He'll know me as the instrument guy at the Goderich Celtic Roots Festival. There are more than a few of his instruments around here because of his regular displays, though I've yet to spring for one. I like his funky offbeat designs, solid woods, and personal attention.

Glen Reid (have we mentioned him yet?) makes some lovely guitars, and there was recently one secondhand on the 12th Fret website.

Grubby mentioned Ted Thompson and I concur...great guitars. A good friend has a mahogany one which sounded so mature when it was brand new that you'd swear you were playing a 30 year old instrument! I've heard rumours that his production is on again and off again, but I don't have that on authority.

I'm saving my pennies again for another instrument, so I'm trying to keep current. At the moment I like the look of the hotrodded Regal resonators that Folkway music in Guelph is promoting.

So many guitars, so little time indeed.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: *daylia*
Date: 08 May 03 - 09:33 AM

LH, yeah Peter's near Port McFiveCents, just around the corner from Dick Shrivels (in Coldwater). Bout half an hour west of Dick Hurtz (from Beeton). HE he he he :>) Gads I luv you guys first thing in the morning - sometimes!!

His new place in quiet little Waubaushene is cozy and cute, lots of gardens and a great view of Georgian Bay. Too bad he's feeling so cramped for work-space right now, till he builds the addition he's planning. He's had more than his share of family/money troubles over the last little while - just lost his younger brother a couple weeks ago too :>(   When I read Willie's message to him over the phone last night it was a real pick-me-up - so thanks again Bill. Sometimes it's hard to understand why rotten things happen to such good people ...

I'll pass on your message too, Mooh. So you're the instrument guy at the famous Goderich Celtic Roots Festival! Gotta make it down there this summer - I've never gone but Peter's told me about it so often.
I love his funky designs too. The little parlor guitar I was playing yesterday had the most beautifully marked piece of bird's-eye maple - so carefully chosen! - and little purple-heart moons/triangles inlaid into the headstock, easy low action, comfortable cutaway design, lovely cedar top, black cherry back and sides. YUM YUM! But I like the tone of larger instruments better - more depth. Didn't have the heart to tell him about my new baby yet *sigh*

Anyway, Peter's new phone number is 705-538-2652, mailing address Box 626 Waubaushene Ontario L0K2C0. Email still "in the works". And he will have his regular booth at the Goderich Festival this year, the second weekend of August! He does a lot of other festivals in Ontario throughout the summer too.

Grubby, thanks for the 'scoop' re Seagulls and Canadian luthiers from way down under! It's good they can weather the climate changes well. The Thompsons sound intriguing - I'll keep my eye out for them.

And Glen Reid's instruments got an excellent review in the posts above too. So thanks again, Mooh!

Oh, and thanks for your opinion re Art and Lutherie, Wa Ban Zhou! I've yet to try one, as I was looking for something with a wider neck, but it does sound like you got a good deal!

Back to strummin -- oops! that's fingerpickin -- now!

Purrrr - daylia


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: *daylia*
Date: 08 May 03 - 09:44 AM

PS - Rick, if you're still scanning this thread I gotta tell you that I really like the exercise you gave on that old thread! Got it down pretty well last night, even tried it in regular tuning, using G and Em chords, when I was comfortable with it. Sounds great, even lends itself to adding expression and dynamics well! I'm hooked!!

Thanks again for helping me "decode" it Clinton!

daylia


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: GUEST,the french canadian who ripped me off
Date: 14 Feb 04 - 04:09 PM

I ordered a custom guitar through rampart guitars and I must say, they ripped me off blind. I paid 1400 dollars to have a copy of a jackson roswell star built. I ordered a case and hardware too..

What I got was total garbage, they promised me a 5A top, I got a 2A top if it was even that. The ebony fretboard they used on the neck looked like rosewood because it had so many streaks, the clearcoat finish had a whitened hue to it, a total nightmare!!! They did not even send me the hardware I paid for or the case!!

I will be filing with the better business bureau against this scamming company, what a rip!!

They also post on ebay from time to time so beware, I don't know where they get their reviews from on ebay because the guitar they sent me was an absolute joke. I have to send the guitar to LGM guitars to get the whole thing redone!!!


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Mooh
Date: 15 Feb 04 - 10:00 AM

Rampart? Never heard of it. Where's it? Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 15 Feb 04 - 12:07 PM

Well it should be obvious who I like.
Martins are the standard of the bluegrass world.
Gibsons are the standard of all country singers.

Why is this? The pro knows. The rest are all wannabes. There are now a whole line of lower priced Martins. Gibson hasn't compromised there name yet, but a decent used small body LG or B25 series can be had for $500-$600. That, and they will never lose their value.


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: GUEST,Alan
Date: 16 Mar 04 - 04:42 PM

I bought an '88 Simon & Patrick Rosewood in a music store a couple of years ago for $425 Cdn., and I love it. I have played it almost every day since, for fun and on gigs. I have four other steel strings, including a Taylor and a Tacoma, but my S&P is far and away my favorite. I have played high end Gibsons, Martins and Larivees that may play and sound as good, but certainly no better, than my S&P.


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Big Mick
Date: 16 Mar 04 - 06:54 PM

I find myself agreeing with Martin Gibson a great deal of the time. But not this time. If ever there was a golden age of lutherie, this is it. There are many guitars out there that are every bit the equal of anything Martin is putting out now. Same for Gibson. If you are talking vintage stuff, I have no argument. But I must tell you that the Larrivee D-05 I play will run with anything put out by Martin or Gibson of the same vintage. Collings is another, and on and on. In fact, and I will catch a load of shite on this one, I believe that most of the Seagulls put out are (dollar for dollar) a much better deal than Martin and have a sound that is very comparable. Would I like to own a Martin D-28? I would love to, as they are fine instruments. Are they building better instruments than the Canadian made Larrivee's? Nope. Is there low end model any better than the Seagull? Nope, not in sound or action. And the Seagull costs less.

Just my opinion.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: GUEST,Obie
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 04:47 PM

I was just watching Roger Whittaker being interviewed on TV. He was holding a Seagull 12 string.


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 09:18 PM

Big Mick

I have to admit I haven't given some of the newer stuff a chance but what I have hasn't been all that bad. Fact of the matter is, even lower end stuff like the cheapie Epiphones, Squires, and Yamahas really aren't all that bad either compared with the low end stuff of days gone by. Most everything today comes with a spruce top at least and doesn't have a painted on pickguard!

What I see lacking in some of the Seagulls, Larivees, Takamines, etc. is a lack of character and soulfullness in sound. It's probably a state of mind to a degree, but I get real heady about all that heritage when I'm playing my old D-18 or one of my '60s Gibsons.


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: GUEST,jaspersridge@msn.com.au
Date: 14 May 04 - 05:38 AM


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 May 04 - 09:33 AM

DO be careful to try a range of Seagulls. The sound is very variable from instrument to instrument. If you play hard the B strings tend to go out of tune.

I'm right off Garrisons, having recently seen one with a large crack in the side - reason? When wood dries out, it shrinks. On a Garrison the fibreglass frame does not. Result - wood pulled itself apart. Also some sound only average.


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: black walnut
Date: 15 May 04 - 08:58 AM

If I had LOTS of money, I'd definitely get Grit to make me a Laskin covered in stars (the guitar he made for James Keelaghan is stellar) or maybe a garden or glow-in-the-dark fish. Click: Grit .

If I had less money, I'd buy myself a Simon & Patrick from the 12th Fret, like the one I bought for my daughter. Or a Larivee like JeffM's...his Larivee plays like sugar on a hot day. Whatever I'd get, I'd get it from the 12th Fret. The 12th Fret is a GREAT store. GREAT. GREAT. GREAT. Click:Twelfth Fret .

But I don't have any money, so I'll just borrow my daughter's Simon & Patrick. Or strum my ancient beat up old nylon string Yamaha. (Sorry, no photo available at this time.)

~b.w. (in Torana Canada eh)


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: GUEST,evan
Date: 20 Jul 04 - 12:25 AM

I've been playing my La Patrie for about 10 years and continue to find it remarkable. The woods are superior, the sound is fantastic, and the price is about 1/2 of what you'd expect to pay. I ordered the top of the line La Patrie complete with electronics and haven't had a moment of regret. Good luck with your search and have a good time.


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Willie-O
Date: 20 Jul 04 - 04:02 PM

imagine finding this old thread again...
nothing new to report except I still have the O-18. Put it up for sale for several months, no offers (what fools these mortals be) so I took it home and found that since it had been away:

  1. it had been restrung with D'Addario's which I liked better than Elixirs
  2. I had gotten obsessed with learning jazz styles, and this is a great jazz guitar!


I'm keepin it.


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Sky-Coyote
Date: 24 Aug 04 - 03:37 PM

Hello Everyone,
Has an employee and a player of Larrivee guitars I can say without a doubt that here in Canada we build the finest guitars with the best materials. I have worked at the shop for 6 years and have seen and heard some incredible guitars for all styles of music and technique. Our revamped parlor guitars and LR-3 models are my personal favourites. The innovative designs and technology that our company founder created is second to none. The Canadian competition can only offer a pale comparison to our product simply because Larrivee is in part the originator and stalwart of the Canadian Guitar business. All of us at the shop work very hard to produce the BEST guitars you can buy. You can not buy better unless you have the fortune to find a Luthier who can spend the time, money and expertise that we do and you will pay double or triple the price.
Buy Canadian, Sky-Coyote the Jazzin' Hobo.


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 24 Aug 04 - 03:48 PM

Of course it's raging personal opinion, but every single Larrivee I've ever played has been surpassed by every single Seagull I've played...


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Sky-Coyote
Date: 24 Aug 04 - 04:12 PM

Hello Everyone,
I can appreciate that not every one can afford a Larrivee L-10 or the Brazilian Rosewood custom models but you can save and get a superior Larivee guitar that is affordable dollar for dollar compared to other instruments and even more so if you can find a second hand deal. I wish I could convey how much love and detail go into Larrivee Guitars as we all want the world to know that we want to give you the tools to make you music.
Thanks, Sky-Coyote the Jazzin' Hobo


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: GUEST,M Klein
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 01:09 AM

Larrivee is still a Canadian company. They have two shops: one in Vancouver that builds all the the satin finish guitars and one in California that builds the high finish guitars. They sound amazing too!


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 11:49 PM

It is not so much a matter of Canadian-made Guitars as it is where the wood was grown.

Because of its short/long/short growth cycle most Canadian-made Guitars manufactored from wood harvested in Canada....are considered inferior to those guitars made from wood contracted from the southern-climates...ie. closer to the equater with a long/long/long year cycle.

Much like the pasta spaghetti...the closer to the clime...the better.


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: GUEST,Big Mick
Date: 02 Sep 04 - 03:32 PM

Well ... I have had both a Seagull and a Larrivee. I have found them both to be superior values for the buck. In fact, regardless of the price, I have never owned instruments that were better built, nor have any others had the sound quality and playability of these. My Seagull, as I have mentioned before, got ate by United Airlines and I miss it today. My Larrivee D-05 is a helluva pickers instrument, and has great tone. I have heard Jed Marums Larrivee, and it simply is the a wonderful instrument.

I think that the value in these guit's is amazing.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: *daylia*
Date: 03 Sep 04 - 01:13 PM

I am so pleased with the Seagull I bought last year, inspired by the all wonderful advice on this thread - so thank you all so much again. My new baby has a wonderful resonance, it's comfortable to play, great workmanship .... and it's so pretty, too! I've received a lot of compliments on it :-)

Since that time I've had the opportunity to play on a Larrivee or two - impressive! It must be hard to find one second-hand.
Maybe someday when I'm rich ....

BTW, one of my little students bought a half-size Simon and Patrick last fall, and she is very pleased with it. It does have a very nice tone, and an easy, comfortable action too.

daylia


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: GUEST,stevie sinn
Date: 12 Nov 04 - 07:34 PM

Daylia, I see you found an axe that your pleased with and thats wonderful. If you're interested I happen to have a Norman B10 for sale right now. Its a mid seventies model and is in wonderful condition. Excellent lockable hardshell case included.Plays like a dream,I LOVE this guitar but over the years many have passed thru my hands and this one has to go. I buy them,play them, love them and then leave them. Im in Ontario about 2 hours from Barrie. If your looking for a second guitar ( or third or fourth, whatever your collection consists of now) this is a beauty. I bought it cheap and I'm letting it go cheap ..... Im not in it to make money, just to constantly change. I cant afford to keep them all. Interested or know anyone that is email me steviesinn@hotmail.com.
Thanx and happy playing !!!


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: GUEST,Marduk
Date: 11 Dec 04 - 10:45 AM

Hi guys, me just join in the party.
just bought an art & luthrie electric acoustic today!
wish me luck!


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Mooh
Date: 11 Dec 04 - 10:53 AM

I'm not sure how much work Ted Thompson is doing but I did a setup on a mahogany one this morning. One of the nicest guitars I've played in a very long time, maybe ever. Fit and finish were top notch of course, but the sound is heavenly! It's not for sale, not that I can afford one right now, but I've told the owner to consider me first if he decides to sell.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: *daylia*
Date: 11 Dec 04 - 12:52 PM

Good luck and congrats too, Marduk!

Funny thing, Steve - I was just thinking yesterday that a second acoustic guitar to leave at my studio would save me a lot of time and energy hauling this one back and forth for teaching. I'll let you know when the Happy $$$$ Season is behind us - thanks!

It is not so much a matter of Canadian-made Guitars as it is where the wood was grown.

Because of its short/long/short growth cycle most Canadian-made Guitars manufactored from wood harvested in Canada....are considered inferior to those guitars made from wood contracted from the southern-climates...ie. closer to the equater with a long/long/long year cycle


Interesting comment, GUEST! The first couple years Yamaha made pianos for sale in Canada, the pianos warped and deteriorated in short order. They'd been built of Asian woods, and just couldn't stand up to Canadian climate conditions. So Yamaha started using Canadian woods instead - and now Yamaha pianos are among the finest sold in Canada.

I imagine it would been the same for guitars, no?

daylia


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: GUEST,Cluin
Date: 11 Dec 04 - 01:58 PM

When you are talking about guitar tops, the slower growing season is a plus. When spruce cedar, etc. have their growth rigs closer together, the strength/weight ratio is better for guitar tops. The best spruce for many years was Engleman spruce grown in high altitudes in the Alps (before it became scarce and ultra expensive).

For backs, sides, and necks, the tropical hardwoods are traditionally favoured, each species contributing its own particular strengths to the guitar's tone. Mahogany was considered to contribute to a more mellower sound than Rosewood, etc. (as with cedar to spruce). Plus certain sizes of guitar bodies worked better with certain woods (cedar/mahogany with smaller guitars, spruce/rosewood with dreadnoughts/jumbos, etc.) All of this is just general rule-of-thumb though and by far, the biggest contributing factor is the lutherie involved. Consider the Pallet Guitar by Bob Taylor, a fine guitar built by Bob Taylor & Co. out of scrap wood from discarded pallets in the parking lot. Excellent wood of course makes an excellent guitar, but it can also make a shitty one in the hands of a hack.

I've mentioned Glen Reid before (*grin*)... He was recently making guitars using tamarack and there was nothing lacking in the tone of his instruments at all. Glen uses mostly Canadian-grown woods, if I'm not mistaken.


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 11 Dec 04 - 01:58 PM

Also wood grown in a cooler climate with a shorter growing season has narrower tree rings, which mean a finer grain when quarter sawn, so I also find the comment on Canadian wood a puzzle.


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: GUEST,Cluin
Date: 11 Dec 04 - 02:01 PM

We cross-posted, Sandy, Great minds, eh?


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 11 Dec 04 - 02:02 PM

Hey Cluin,
You beat me to the same point. Don't great minds think alike, or is it that fools seldome differ? LOL :-}
      Sandy


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: GUEST,Cluin
Date: 11 Dec 04 - 02:10 PM

One or the other, Sandy. One or t'other.


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 02:27 PM

hi, i want to bay a new guitar can u give me some hins or advice for buying a new guitar .

bay :)


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: sian, west wales
Date: 04 Feb 05 - 04:29 AM

I just wanted to second the comment about buying from 12th Fret in Toronto. I bought my Seagull 12 string there on the recommendation of the Cat's own Rick Fielding (pause for fond memories) and they were great. I was looking for something to keep in Canada for when I'm visiting 'home' and did the whole deal by email and telephone. I could have been buying a pig in a poke but the staff there were great, posted my purchase to my Mum's place and said that I could bring it back to the store if I didn't approve of it.

I love it, and highly recommend the store. They apparently do a lot of international trade and send 2 or 3 guitars to the UK every week. I'm not surprised - I paid, in dollars, pretty close to what I'd expect to pay in pounds for that guitar and hard case.

siân


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 04 Feb 05 - 12:28 PM

My story - went to buy a Martin 18 years ago - tried several; bought a Norman ST68 instead - no contest - beat the Martin D28 (and others)hands down - came in at half the price. Been gigged to death a thousand times - never a hitch with it - just brilliant.

Just bought a Norman 12 string on Ebay. Most of my guitar-playing friends have Simon & Patricks. I heard that Godin ships more guitars worldwide than anybody else. Maybe true, maybe not, but it should be.

There's nothing to touch them at the price, and even at twice the price. Sorry Martin........


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Jim Tailor
Date: 04 Feb 05 - 01:36 PM

Lovely Canadian guitar photo essay


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Bassic
Date: 12 Dec 05 - 04:35 PM


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 12 Dec 05 - 05:11 PM

No Opinion gordon ?


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 12 Dec 05 - 05:11 PM

In that case 100 !!


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: GUEST,Susanne
Date: 28 Nov 06 - 02:47 PM

I am looking into a Simon & Patrick acoustic guitar (2nd hand)ProRosewood (Sixth Edition) SP2634 with a pick up by Godin. The price was 500.00 and they told me that the original was around 1100.00. Does this seem like a deal and how about quality of the guitar?


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Rusty Dobro
Date: 29 Nov 06 - 07:46 AM

I've just spent a week as a house-guest in Spain, and played the resident Art and Lutherie practically non-stop, including an informal gig for ex-pats. I thought it was quite remarkable for an entry-level guitar, felt and sounded good, and had stayed in perfect tune since the last guests used it during the summer. I've got a Seagull on my shopping list for next time, but I would certainly not talk anyone out of buying an A & L.

So many guitars - so little time (and money!)


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Mooh
Date: 29 Nov 06 - 09:13 AM

Warning, shameless plug for a friend.

Joshua House (www.house-guitars.com) has one for sale at Folkway music in Guelph (www.folkwaymusic.com). His work is getting scary good, and he has one started that I'd love to have. Some recent pro orders have kept him busy and I get to drool with regular visits to his shop. Josh made a "teaching" guitar for me three years ago which has worked out for me beautifully.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: leeneia
Date: 29 Nov 06 - 12:14 PM

Years ago I bought a Canadian guitar called a Kamouraska Etude. I've told my husband, "If there's a fire, grab that guitar and crawl out the front door with it."


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: GUEST,John G
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 05:57 AM

Hi there

Just been cruising through the net as I'm looking to get another guitar and found this thread on Canadian Guitars.

I first discovered Seagulls about 8 years ago when I was in my local shop just trying out various models to replace my old Yammy 12 string. tried a Seagull S6 (had never heard of a Seagull before)and just loved that clear crisp sound. bought it there and then and I still love it. Added another Seagull the Artist Studio about a year ago.

The Artist Studio is an absolute gem for the money, craftmanship is excellent, Spruce top and solid rosewood back and sides give a great clear sound especially on the attack, Action is great and haven't had to have the truss adjusted at all. I play mainly blugrass/flatpick style but sounds just as good for fingerpick or strum.

I absolutely love it !! best guitar I've ever had.

If other Canadian makes are anything like the Seagulls you can't go wrong.

Currently looking to treat myself to a new addition and am looking at either a Gibson rosewood J45 or a Martin D28 0r D45. If anybody out there has any views on these It would be good to hear them. My preference at the momet is for the Gibson.


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Mooh
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 08:03 AM

Further to my comment about Thompson guitars, I played a fantastic maple and cedar one at Woodshed music in Guelph (Canada) last week. Easily one of the best sounding guitars I've played, and fit and finish was top notch too. Folkway music in Guelph had a nice selection of guitars as well, but that Thompson is the stuff of dreams.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: GUEST,Bubblyrat
Date: 12 Jan 07 - 06:24 PM

I have had a bit of experience with Canadian guitars---Some years ago,I bought a Simon & Patrick cedar -topped dreadnought, & I have to say I liked it very much.--I have a thing about cedar tops !! It sounded good plugged in, and it was loud enough for acoustic sessions.
I would be happy to use one again, BUT---I was talking to a VERY good luthier in Christchurch, England, who said he had had to repair quite a few as there was a build fault whereby some components inside the body were compression -fitted,not glued, and often worked loose . I also know some people in Dorset,England, who are very "at home " with Seagull guitars,which seem to have acquired a good reputation.
But when I was in Bielefeld,Germany, I got to play a Larrivee, & all I can say is ---WOW !! Oh Lord ,give me the money !!


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: number 6
Date: 12 Jan 07 - 07:54 PM

Bubblyrat .... are you sure that Larrivee was made in Canada ... Jean Larrivee moved (himself) and a good part of the guitar production to California in 2001.

Regardless Larrivee's are good guitars.

As to Seagull ... I owned an S06 for a while, then sold it. I was disappointed as I found it to be a very inconsistent guitar. I much prefer my Chinese made Blueridge over that Seagull.

biLL


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Mooh
Date: 12 Jan 07 - 09:04 PM

Bubblyrat...."I was talking to a VERY good luthier in Christchurch, England, who said he had had to repair quite a few as there was a build fault whereby some components inside the body were compression -fitted,not glued, and often worked loose."

No sir, they may be vacuum clamped and glued, but surely not compression fitted without glue. I've serviced dozens and NEVER seen such a thing in an S&P or any of its family members (Seagull, A&L, Norman, LaPatrie, Godin). Little would stay together for any length of time in a guitar without glue. Do you know specifically which parts he was referring to?

Fwiw...There's a cedar topped A&L folk for sale from me right now. Very good condition $200Cdn. It has been the student guitar in my studio for a year and a half, but I need to create space for other instruments.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Jul 08 - 12:22 AM

While we are known to be the nicest people in the world, mild mannered and always polite. well I have had enough of being mistaken for an american. I do not really care but it has got to the point where another stupid brit who says "all you guys are the same " will be picking his teeth out of the gutter. as long as my wife is there. mike


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 27 Jul 08 - 12:53 AM

Dear Guest Mike:
What your comment has to do with guitars leaves me a bit perplexed!
Canada and the USA are sibling countries of common heritage. I am sometimes mistaken for my brother who is of similar looks and build but I have never considered that to be an insult. While I often differ with USA's international policy I consider it's people my kin.
If Britain is the parent country perhaps it should know better but I have often been called the names of my siblings by my own parents. Take a deep breath and smell the flowers!


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: GUEST,JC in Maryland
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 02:20 PM

I purchased a satin finish Seagull Artist Rosewood/Cedar cutaway with the LR Baggs Duet-ll in January 2000. (apx $1200.00) It came with a solid cedar top, solid indian rosewood back, and triple HPL rosewood sides. I had problems with the original guitar I bought in a local store. (the electronics crapped out) So I contacted Godin customer support in Canada to explain the problem. They were amazing! very concerned, and very professional! After I return shipped the ailing guitar back,(at their expense)Godin/Seagull shipped me a brand new one direct from the factory several weeks later. Amazing craftsmanship.. very unique spin on the dreadnaught/cutaway design.. electronics with stero output and condenser / bridge pick-up are perfect for live or recording.

my collection includes, 1972 Guild D-40, 1987 Guild D-15, 1988 Gibson Chet Adkins Solid Nylon electric, 1994 Guild D-412, 1997 Guild JF30, 1999 Guild S4CE, 1999 Guild DCE-5, 2004 Taylor 415 Jumbo, 2005 Martin JC16R-GTE, 2008 Martin HD 28, and the Canadian Seagull.

This is my "go to" guitar. It sounds and plays as good as any, and I'm not terrified of scratching it. I played some $2500.00 Gibson acoustics last week that sounded like they were stuffed with dirty sox.. Canadian guitars are good ones.. oh.. I forgot the 2004 Godin Exit 22.. sorry

JC


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: GUEST,JC in Maryland
Date: 29 Jul 08 - 02:25 PM

I purchased a satin finish Seagull Artist Rosewood/Cedar cutaway with the LR Baggs Duet-ll in January 2000. (apx $1200.00) It came with a solid cedar top, solid indian rosewood back, and triple HPL rosewood sides. I had problems with the original guitar I bought in a local store. (the electronics crapped out) So I contacted Godin customer support in Canada to explain the problem. They were amazing! very concerned, and very professional! After I return shipped the ailing guitar back,(at their expense)Godin/Seagull shipped me a brand new one direct from the factory several weeks later. Amazing craftsmanship.. very unique spin on the dreadnaught/cutaway design.. electronics with stero output and condenser / bridge pick-up are perfect for live or recording.

my collection includes, 1972 Guild D-40, 1987 Guild D-15, 1988 Gibson Chet Adkins Solid Nylon electric, 1994 Guild D-412, 1997 Guild JF30, 1999 Guild S4CE, 1999 Guild DCE-5, 2004 Taylor 415 Jumbo, 2005 Martin JC16R-GTE, 2008 Martin HD 28, and the Canadian Seagull.

This is my "go to" guitar. It sounds and plays as good as any, and I'm not terrified of scratching it. I played some $2500.00 Gibson acoustics last week that sounded like they were stuffed with dirty sox.. Canadian guitars are good ones.. oh.. I forgot the 2004 Godin Exit 22.. sorry

JC


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: the outlaw
Date: 03 Jun 09 - 09:48 AM

seagull are good if you got $1500 the cheaper ones are made of laminated(plywood)wood although some have solid wood tops.the reason you want to buy an all solid wood guitar is the sound is alot better and more clear/bright,I have played most of the high-end guitars and alot of them sound nice but over-priced(gibson,martin,taylor,etc)and the most impressive guitar I played was an EPIPHONE MASTERBUILT they are all solid wood,dove-tail neck,bone nut,all the features the high end ones have they are just not as fancy looking(looks mean nothing when it comes to guitars--sound is everything)MASTERBUILTS come in a few different styles and sell for $500.00 - $1000.00
COPLEY is another brand to check out the CA-7e model 300.00 on ebay
they are 1300 but these are display models so they are selling cheap.
solid cedar top/solid mahogany back&sides,5band EQ and a built-in tuner.I live on CAPE BRETON ISLAND,CANADA and it only cost a little over 300.00 with shipping and conversion(btw the copley is awesome)


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: GUEST,fret nut
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 12:49 AM

I'll dive in right now and say I have not read 1 post above this!
I have a Seagull SM12 made in 1995, I bought it after trying a Fender and a Takamine and there was no contest as the Seagull was the runaway winner for depth of sound and clarity...Am I on the mark here.....This is a very loud and playable guitar

Cheers Neil


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 08 Nov 09 - 11:41 AM

Just got a Thomsley 'Seaturtles' model. plys real nice. He used to build for Larrivee.
Does anyone know anything about them????


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 08 Nov 09 - 11:25 PM

Aww come on, somebody, somewhere knows something about Heath Thomsley guitars......
Help me out!


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: Mooh
Date: 09 Nov 09 - 07:56 AM

"Aww come on, somebody, somewhere knows something about Heath Thomsley guitars......
Help me out!'

Harmony Central has reviews and there are pictures elsewhere. Google is your friend.

Peace. Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 09 Nov 09 - 04:21 PM

I tried that website, and Googling..to no avail..so I thought I'd try here. Still needing input. Thank you..GfS


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