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Looking for a beautiful guitar

black walnut 01 Sep 04 - 10:51 AM
ThreeSheds 01 Sep 04 - 11:26 AM
Midchuck 01 Sep 04 - 11:29 AM
mooman 01 Sep 04 - 11:34 AM
catspaw49 01 Sep 04 - 11:39 AM
dwditty 01 Sep 04 - 11:43 AM
GUEST,Mr Sooze 01 Sep 04 - 12:08 PM
Mark Clark 01 Sep 04 - 12:58 PM
Strollin' Johnny 01 Sep 04 - 01:39 PM
Wesley S 01 Sep 04 - 01:47 PM
black walnut 01 Sep 04 - 02:40 PM
kendall 01 Sep 04 - 03:19 PM
Sky-Coyote 01 Sep 04 - 03:28 PM
Once Famous 01 Sep 04 - 03:31 PM
Sky-Coyote 01 Sep 04 - 03:38 PM
Herma 01 Sep 04 - 03:53 PM
Sky-Coyote 01 Sep 04 - 03:59 PM
Mark Clark 01 Sep 04 - 04:03 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 01 Sep 04 - 04:19 PM
black walnut 01 Sep 04 - 04:30 PM
Mark Clark 01 Sep 04 - 04:44 PM
Mark Clark 01 Sep 04 - 05:04 PM
Richard Bridge 01 Sep 04 - 05:53 PM
Mooh 01 Sep 04 - 05:59 PM
Pete_Standing 03 Sep 04 - 10:53 AM
Grab 03 Sep 04 - 12:52 PM
GLoux 03 Sep 04 - 03:46 PM
black walnut 07 Sep 04 - 03:40 PM
Once Famous 07 Sep 04 - 04:05 PM
CraigS 07 Sep 04 - 05:09 PM
English Jon 07 Sep 04 - 05:38 PM
GUEST,Bardford 07 Sep 04 - 06:42 PM
GUEST 08 Sep 04 - 09:16 AM
GUEST 08 Sep 04 - 09:18 AM
GUEST,Dave of Mawkin 08 Sep 04 - 09:29 AM
black walnut 08 Sep 04 - 09:32 AM
GUEST,Gordon 08 Sep 04 - 12:16 PM
KateG 08 Sep 04 - 12:58 PM
Midchuck 08 Sep 04 - 01:13 PM
KateG 08 Sep 04 - 01:24 PM
KateG 08 Sep 04 - 01:25 PM
Little Hawk 08 Sep 04 - 01:46 PM
Midchuck 08 Sep 04 - 07:05 PM
black walnut 08 Sep 04 - 07:06 PM
Naemanson 08 Sep 04 - 07:56 PM
Richard Bridge 08 Sep 04 - 09:32 PM
GUEST,Townes 09 Sep 04 - 02:21 AM
GUEST 09 Sep 04 - 03:45 AM
GUEST,Terry K 09 Sep 04 - 01:54 PM
GLoux 09 Sep 04 - 04:15 PM
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Subject: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: black walnut
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 10:51 AM

I'm looking for a beautiful guitar - make that 2 guitars (one steel string, one nylon) - that won't bother my right ulnar nerve. When I try out the 'parlour' guitars, they don't have the oomph that I love. Any suggestions?

And by beautiful, I mean both voice and looks.

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: ThreeSheds
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 11:26 AM

To me my Lowden is one of the most beautiful and sonorous guitars on the planet,In view of the lowden company saga perhaps you could look athe Avalon range. I understand the ulna nerve is in the wrist is it the size of the guitar that is the problem (I appreciate this might be a issue as lowdens are big buggers)or is it a bad wrist posture
Also have a look at some of the German Lakewoods I've seen some crackers in the past


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: Midchuck
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 11:29 AM

BW, I strongly suggest checking out some 12-fret slothead 000's. I have been accumulating them, because I also have trouble with handling a dread or larger, but want to make real noise. And the wider neck on most of them is less of a switch if you're playing classical guitar part of the time.

Martin 000-16SGT
Martin 000-28VS
Collings 0002H (or 0001A if you could find one)
Froggy Bottom H-12 (I just lucked onto a used one - My God!)

And here's some pictures of a real beauty that I'd go after if I have any more room.

Of course, I happen to be a fanatic on these instruments for the past year or two. It's a matter of personal fit and taste.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: mooman
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 11:34 AM

I second the Lakewoods (as a Lakewood owner) but probably the most comfortable to play (because of their design) are Linda Manzer's guitars made in Canada. But those are pounds/dollars many...!

Peace

moo


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: catspaw49
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 11:39 AM

Great advice here!!!...........Especially the bit about where to go to buy one. They'll help fit you right out. Anyway, it seems that poster knows what they're talking about.(:<)) And of course you might also take a trip to Elderly.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: dwditty
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 11:43 AM

I 2nd Peter's emotion regarding the slotted head 12 fret (ala my Collings 000-2H). I play almost nothing else. How about a beautiful Santa Cruz Custom Model H 12 string, all koa, with 42 style inlays...she is a beauty and sounds like a cathedral organ? She is way too much guitar to keep on the wall.

dw

PS: Check out Mandolin Bros: www.mandoweb.com


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: GUEST,Mr Sooze
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 12:08 PM

No question.... listen to mr andyintheshed... go for a Lowden S-series
- small body with bagsof ooomph........my Sc33x in rippled claro walnut/redwood spruce top is beeeuttiful


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: Mark Clark
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 12:58 PM

Say no more, say no more. What you want is a couple of beautiful guitars by luthier Dave Plummer. Plummer guitars are played by such notables as Thom Bresh, Jerry Reed, Buster B. Jones, Tommy Flint, Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers), and many more. These players are fingerpickers and demand great-sounding beautiful guitars that are easy on the hands. Dave makes both steel string and nylon string models and his design and craftsmanship are excellent.

Give him a call.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 01:39 PM

Mr. Sooz is right about Lowdens, but they have a very wide fingerboard which you may have a problem with if you have ulnar troubles BW. They are extremely L-O-U-D and have a really 'woody' sound. Can't agree with Mr. S. about the S-series, I find them rather 'toppy', loud but thin-sounding, very short on bass and I much prefer the 'O' models (which he and I both possess) and which have a nicer, rounder sound. (That statement will probably end up with a duel at the Drovers' Call - Pints of Guinness at ten paces! ROFL!).

If you need a narrower fingerboard, try a Martin 000, or an O000, or if you like the jumbo size body try a J-40 (that one's very balanced and sweet).

I guess a guitar's a personal thang, one guy will tell you one thing, another will tell you something else. They're both right of course, just that their ears differ. There's no definitive answer. Best bet is to allocate a day, or even several days, to go around good dealers and try lots of them until you find the one that your ears and eyes like the best. No-one to blame then but yourself!! LOL!

SJ :0)


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: Wesley S
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 01:47 PM

What kind of price range can you afford ? That would affect some of our suggestions. A good 000 Collings can run between three and four thousand. More if you want a work of art. Lowden, Goodall, Collings, and Larivee all have guitars that anyone would be proud to own.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: black walnut
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 02:40 PM

Price, hmmmm....let's say mid-rangish.

Many years ago I was a classical flute player with a $5000 flute. I'm used to that kind of figure for a good instrument, although less would be nice too. Guitar isn't my main instrument. I'm more piano/Celtic harp. I'm a simplistic guitar player, but I want an instrument I can grow into. I refuse to 'settle' for an inferior sound. I want a good sound now, even if I can't do the fancy stuff.

Thank you everyone for all of the suggestions. I promise to take a good look at them in a few days - I'm going out of town for a few days (we're taking my drummer boychild to college - by jetplane!).

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: kendall
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 03:19 PM

Santa Cruz koka bolla


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: Sky-Coyote
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 03:28 PM

Hello Black Walnut,
Try http://www.larrivee.com and inquire about our custom guitars (think black walnut). I would recommend the L-3Rosewood model as it is an excellent guitar for all styles and is priced affordably with out exception. The L-3R I have is used for both fingerstyle jazz and old-time roots music.
with regards David-Sky Marchant.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: Once Famous
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 03:31 PM

Buy American quality.

Buy the standards of accoustic guitars.

Why watch your investment depreciate?

A Martin or a Gibson are what most everything else has been based on over the years.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: Sky-Coyote
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 03:38 PM

Hello its Sky again,
Just thought I would also mention to look at Larrivee's custom inlay options as done by Wendy Larrivee as well as our re-introduction of the Jean Larrivee Classic Guitars. Jean Larrivee's guitars are of the highest quality from both shops in Canada and the USA. Being an proud employee gives me a unique opportunity to say how much we care about the instruments we make.
With regards David-Sky Marchant.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: Herma
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 03:53 PM

Have a look at this website:
www.gitaarbouw.nl      ...don't know where you are....but this guy is building the most beautifull guitars (and lutes and such) in the world as far as I am concerned....


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: Sky-Coyote
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 03:59 PM

I would add that Larrivee Guitars is a family owned and operated multi-generational business whose founder works on the floor of the shop every day. Several generations of guitar builders have been mentored by Jean Larrivee as he is one of the founding fathers of Canadian Lutherie. Larrivee Guitars has been a close knit family of long time employees who are given the best materials, pay and knowledge to make a product few can equal. Black Walnut buy what suits you so get out to the music stores and "test drive" them all (ie let your hears and hands to the judging).
With Regards.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: Mark Clark
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 04:03 PM

Sky-Coyote, I can't speak for Debbie but based on what she's said here, I'm guessing she'd prefer an LSV-30 and an OMV-10E among the Larrivee models, assuming you'd agree to make the necks to her specifications. There's nothing on the website that invites special orders.

She's looking for beautiful guitars with top noctch sound whose necks don't hurt her hands to play—a fairly specific set of requirements.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 04:19 PM

There've been a couple of mentions of Santa Cruz models already on this thread. The OM-PW CLICK is the least expensive 'Cruz and it'll hold its own against much more expensive guitars. It's not a fancy guitar, but it is beautiful in a minimalist fashion. It's sensitive enough for pretty fingerpicking, but loud and solid enough for rhythm work like backing up fiddlers.

Note: The guitar on Elderly's website has Waverly tuners. Elderly usually also carries them with cheaper Grover tuners for about $150 USD less. They seem to be out of them at the moment.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: black walnut
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 04:30 PM

Thanks Mark. Actually it's the size and shape of the body that is crucial for my right ulnar.

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: Mark Clark
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 04:44 PM

Debbie, Obviously you've tried different sizes, have you developed a set of dimensions that you know will be acceptable?
  • Width of lower bout
  • depth of body, top to back
  • general shape (i.e., parlor, OM, etc.)
Thanks, I'm trying to keep your thread from becoming yet another list of everyone's favorite guitars.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: Mark Clark
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 05:04 PM

Debbie, I got a line on luthier Mike Baranik who has designed and builds a small guitar, the Baranik PX with beauty, small size, and big sound as specific parameters. Baranik's work is highly regarded. Here is another small guitar he built whose owner, Ken Totushek, seems very pleased.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 05:53 PM

Undoubtedly the best single guitar I have ever seen close up and played was William Pint's Koa Goodall - but it was the result of much hunting by him and was also very costly. It was also very big.

If you want a really good modern guitar at a reasonable price you are probably better off avoiding the USA and trying some of the custom shops in England - Brook, Fylde, Atkins, Kincade, Northworthy, Armstrong, Manson, and many others.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: Mooh
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 05:59 PM

Two names I'd recommend: Marc Beneteau, and Joshua House. I have 3 from the former and will soon have my second from the latter.

(See my PM too.)

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: Pete_Standing
Date: 03 Sep 04 - 10:53 AM

Anyone got any opinions or information about the following luthiers/builders from the UK?

Bill Finlayson, Anthony Dixon, Nick Benjamin, Christopher Eccleshall, Stephen Sedgewick, Oakwood, Ralph Bown.

Other suggestions would be handy too.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: Grab
Date: 03 Sep 04 - 12:52 PM

My money went on a Lowden O, for sound quality. For both sound quality and looks, I chose spruce-and-rosewood. Cedar-and-rosewood sounds nice but doesn't sound or look as good (IMO). But as someone above said, Lowdens are *large*.

From the guitars I've played, I don't rate "American build quality" in guitars, except maybe for Collings. I think Taylors tend to have a narrow neck and they look nice, but I don't like the sound of them.

If it's a chording-hand problem, could you not take your existing guitar to a good luthier and get the neck shaved down? Or get that done to whatever guitar you eventually choose? Maybe better to face it that a certain amount of customisation of instrument and action will be needed, than to restrict yourself to ones that are OK out of the box.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: GLoux
Date: 03 Sep 04 - 03:46 PM

The Collings 000 12-fret slot-head is a great guitar...I think it sounds better than it looks...

-Greg


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: black walnut
Date: 07 Sep 04 - 03:40 PM

I just got back from The Twelfth Fret. I'm overwhelmed. So many choices!

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: Once Famous
Date: 07 Sep 04 - 04:05 PM

How about a Gibson Dove or a Gibson Hummingbird?


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: CraigS
Date: 07 Sep 04 - 05:09 PM

Gibson dreadnaughts would be too big. If I knew where to find one I'd recommend a Martin 0025K. A 0015 or 0017 would be comfortable and loud, but don't look other than small brown guitars. Re luthiers : Chris Eccleshall builds nice, large - ish guitars, which play well - very nice for gypsy jazz. Ralph Bown builds good guitars. In this case, where we want pretty, small, punchy, and easy to play, I'd recommend Bill Dinsdale as a luthier. If you can find any guitar by Keith Johns of Brighton, that would fit the bill to a T, but he has some progressive nervous disease and stopped building guitars years ago. He made the prettiest guitars on earth.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: English Jon
Date: 07 Sep 04 - 05:38 PM

I'm very happy with my "parlour" size Tak - EF407, although what I know about guitars fits on the back of a beermat. If you want something a bit more unique, Nick Benjamin in Sussex makes nice sounding instruments.

Hope the nerve thing isn't too much of a pain.

Cheers,
Jon


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: GUEST,Bardford
Date: 07 Sep 04 - 06:42 PM

Judy Threet in Calgary makes some beautiful instruments.

Haven't actually played one, because my hands have been issued restraining orders ensuring they don't get too close to quality instruments.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Sep 04 - 09:16 AM

Mid-rangeish? What are your parameters for 'mid-rangeish' ... I'm a cheap player so mid-rangeish for me is about $600-800 USD. If you are used to a $5000 flute, then $2000-3000 would be midrangeish? Tacoma guitars have a good sound and look good too imo...don't know if they will be comfortable enough for you though....

Gallagher guitars are more customized, more expensive, more beautiful, great sounding. Click on the 'spec sheet' for measurements, etc. You might be able to find a better fit for you here, but be prepared to pay.

Mel McCullough

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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Sep 04 - 09:18 AM

...message was cut off for some reason. Mel McCullough would work extensively with you to build a guitar exactly to your specs and he'd probably be cheaper than Gallagher. Scroll down to the bottom of the linked page for contact info.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: GUEST,Dave of Mawkin
Date: 08 Sep 04 - 09:29 AM

Im looking for a Martin D-18 if someone wants to sell one,incidentally, has anyone trid the Martin DM's? I really liked the one I played, its quite a reasonable price too.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: black walnut
Date: 08 Sep 04 - 09:32 AM

I love looking at the clickies. Thanks. Lots of good information and photos are seductive.

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: GUEST,Gordon
Date: 08 Sep 04 - 12:16 PM

Have a look at L'Arrivee.I bought an OM-1 a few weeks ago and I love it.Its a simple,small-bodied guitar,but has a beautiful sound.I got it two days before Whitby,and played it at every gig I did,as well as at Wadebridge - now I've retired my Martin and Abnett.They cost £899 full price,but you can get them for about £600 if you look around.

       Gordon T


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: KateG
Date: 08 Sep 04 - 12:58 PM

While you're fooling around, check out the Martin 00015-S - the baby in their 12 fret slot head line. Not an eye popper, but the sound is amazing. I spent an afternoon at Mando Brothers, playing virtually all of their 12-fret slots, and just kept coming back to the 15-S. My budget went well above it, and the looks didn't enthrall me, but there was something about the tone. It was richer and warmer that everything else I played, except perhaps one of the really high-end Collins - which were out of my price range. In addition to my mediocre playing, I asked a fellow customer who was doing some mind-bending fingerstyle blues to play it and my other short-list instruments, and we all agreed it was the one to buy: in fact, he got one too! I could wish it had a real sound hole rosette, or none, instead of a tacky decal...but after all an instrument is about sound, and I've never regretted the purchase. Of course, every instrument is its own individual, and I might make a different choice given a different batch of guitars. But worth a check at any rate.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: Midchuck
Date: 08 Sep 04 - 01:13 PM

Careful, Kate. You start with the 000-15S, you decide 12-fret 000s are fun, you end up like this.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: KateG
Date: 08 Sep 04 - 01:24 PM

Thanks for the warning Peter. I think what's saving me for the moment is how nice the 000-15s looks with my two dulcimers: mehitable and Mahalia (a baritone). They both have redwood tops, so when the three of them are together, I think of a dark and lovely variation on the three graces. A fourth instrument would spoil the arrangement.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: KateG
Date: 08 Sep 04 - 01:25 PM

I forgot to say, your trio looks yummy. What are they? I recognize the Martin on the right, but what are the other two?


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: Little Hawk
Date: 08 Sep 04 - 01:46 PM

In the Toronto, Canada area you cannot do better than go to the Twelfth Fret on Danforth Avenue. They are probably the best acoustic guitar store in the country, and they have the most unbelievably lovely guitars there for you to play. I was there a couple of weeks ago, and played several smaller body OM size guitars that sounded utterly superb, and very comfortable to hold and play, due to the smaller body.

The best were a Santa Cruz OM and a Bourgeois OM. Hard to choose between them. They were in the Cd $3000 to $3500 range, and well worth it.

I'd happily buy the Santa Cruz, but it would be a pointless extravagance for me to do so at this time.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: Midchuck
Date: 08 Sep 04 - 07:05 PM

your trio looks yummy. What are they? I recognize the Martin on the right, but what are the other two?

L to R:

'96 Collings 000-2H bought blind on eBay in Spring of '02, now my usual gigging instrument.

'95 Froggy Bottom H-12 acquired in a swap a couple weeks ago for the Collings D2H I had gotten from Jack Lawrence. As of now, my principal living room instrument.

'01 Martin 000-16SGT (from when they still had striped ebony, not micarta, fingerboards and bridges). Acquired from a Flatpick_L list member a year or two ago. Used whenever I want to travel with a gigbag rather than a hard case.

P.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: black walnut
Date: 08 Sep 04 - 07:06 PM

Thanks L.H.
I decided to start guitar lessons from someone at the 12th Fret, who specializes in open tunings. I start lessons in a couple of weeks. I can't wait.
I have guitars to borrow (including my daughter's) if I don't get a new one of my own before the lessons begin. And then at least I'll have my foot in the door. Gradually, a workable knowledge of these strange 6 stringed beasts will begin to sink into my mushy brain.

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: Naemanson
Date: 08 Sep 04 - 07:56 PM

Your price range is way outside of what I would ever expect to be able to pay for an instrument so my offering is minor but I don't think there is a better guitar for the price than a used Haruo. I got my 12-string at a garage sale for $70 and everyone who has played it has declared it to be a fine instrument. It has a deep bottom and yet the high side is sweet and fine.

And before you say you are not looking for a 12 you should know that there are 6s out there too. Not long after I bought the 12 I contacted some other Haruo owners asking about the maker. They were all amazed that Haruo made a 12 and most wanted me to contact them if I decided to sell. They were all convinced their Haruo was a quality instrument that was under appreciated and lost behind the NAME guitars.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 08 Sep 04 - 09:32 PM

From the lower end of the market, mostly I hate Washburns (I used to have one) but they do do a very nice slotted head short-scale with extra light strutting and a beautiful singing sound - but I can't remember the model number. It was only about GBP 350


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: GUEST,Townes
Date: 09 Sep 04 - 02:21 AM


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Sep 04 - 03:45 AM

I'm another vote for Collings OM-2H. I went to Mandolin Brothers really to buy a Martin OOO28EC but came away with the Collings and absolutely love it.
Wasted on me of course, but hey....

cheers, Terry


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: GUEST,Terry K
Date: 09 Sep 04 - 01:54 PM

whoops, that last GUEST was me. I must recookify myself.

cheers, Terry


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Subject: RE: Looking for a beautiful guitar
From: GLoux
Date: 09 Sep 04 - 04:15 PM

Another suggestion is to go through a couple of issues of Acoustic Guitar magazine. There was an article on small-body acoustic (many were 12 fret) guitars back in the mid-nineties that got me more than interested in them. The article was entitled "Small Wonders" and I think it was in the March/April 1995 issue. I think you can buy back issues at Acoustic Guitar magazine web site. Or perhaps your library has it...

-Greg


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