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Canadian-made Guitars - opinions please?

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*daylia* 30 Apr 03 - 09:29 AM
Bee-dubya-ell 30 Apr 03 - 09:57 AM
Sandy Mc Lean 30 Apr 03 - 10:02 AM
Marion 30 Apr 03 - 10:07 AM
JedMarum 30 Apr 03 - 10:09 AM
*daylia* 30 Apr 03 - 10:30 AM
catspaw49 30 Apr 03 - 10:49 AM
GUEST,smokeyjoe 30 Apr 03 - 11:03 AM
Marion 30 Apr 03 - 11:04 AM
Rick Fielding 30 Apr 03 - 11:15 AM
*daylia* 30 Apr 03 - 01:43 PM
Big Mick 30 Apr 03 - 02:03 PM
Little Hawk 30 Apr 03 - 02:15 PM
Willie-O 30 Apr 03 - 02:24 PM
GUEST,JeffK 30 Apr 03 - 03:20 PM
*daylia* 30 Apr 03 - 03:31 PM
Mooh 30 Apr 03 - 03:35 PM
mandomad 30 Apr 03 - 03:42 PM
*daylia* 30 Apr 03 - 04:18 PM
Little Hawk 30 Apr 03 - 05:21 PM
harvey andrews 30 Apr 03 - 06:37 PM
Little Hawk 30 Apr 03 - 10:38 PM
CRANKY YANKEE 30 Apr 03 - 11:02 PM
Cluin 01 May 03 - 02:57 AM
Dave Bryant 01 May 03 - 05:33 AM
Big Mick 01 May 03 - 07:13 AM
MairSea 01 May 03 - 08:51 AM
Mooh 01 May 03 - 08:52 AM
Little Hawk 01 May 03 - 09:25 AM
Midchuck 01 May 03 - 09:39 AM
moineau nordique 01 May 03 - 09:43 AM
Willie-O 01 May 03 - 10:03 AM
*daylia* 01 May 03 - 09:59 PM
Willie-O 02 May 03 - 08:27 AM
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*daylia* 03 May 03 - 11:18 AM
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*daylia* 04 May 03 - 04:13 PM
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Mooh 04 May 03 - 05:40 PM
*daylia* 04 May 03 - 07:04 PM
Jon Bartlett 05 May 03 - 03:29 AM
Willie-O 05 May 03 - 08:49 AM
Big Mick 05 May 03 - 11:27 AM
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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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