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I miss my guitar!

PoppaGator 08 Dec 04 - 06:58 PM
GUEST,mkebenn@work 08 Dec 04 - 07:03 PM
RichM 08 Dec 04 - 07:17 PM
DADGBE 08 Dec 04 - 08:41 PM
Once Famous 08 Dec 04 - 08:50 PM
Little Hawk 08 Dec 04 - 09:55 PM
Gypsy 08 Dec 04 - 10:02 PM
number 6 08 Dec 04 - 10:22 PM
Amos 08 Dec 04 - 11:32 PM
Big Al Whittle 09 Dec 04 - 12:07 PM
GUEST,Jim 09 Dec 04 - 12:15 PM
GLoux 09 Dec 04 - 12:16 PM
Cluin 09 Dec 04 - 12:21 PM
PoppaGator 09 Dec 04 - 12:32 PM
Rapparee 09 Dec 04 - 12:42 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 09 Dec 04 - 01:12 PM
Wesley S 09 Dec 04 - 02:52 PM
Leadfingers 09 Dec 04 - 10:41 PM
PoppaGator 18 Jan 05 - 11:22 AM
Wesley S 18 Jan 05 - 11:32 AM
PoppaGator 18 Jan 05 - 03:07 PM
Wesley S 18 Jan 05 - 04:14 PM
Peace 18 Jan 05 - 04:30 PM
Once Famous 18 Jan 05 - 04:43 PM
PoppaGator 18 Jan 05 - 05:01 PM
Bobert 18 Jan 05 - 05:44 PM
Pauline L 18 Jan 05 - 10:15 PM
Terry K 19 Jan 05 - 01:21 AM
PoppaGator 19 Jan 05 - 10:07 AM
Wesley S 19 Jan 05 - 02:06 PM
Pauline L 19 Jan 05 - 04:25 PM
Terry K 19 Jan 05 - 06:08 PM
GUEST,Wesley S at Home 19 Jan 05 - 08:29 PM
PoppaGator 20 Jan 05 - 02:08 PM
Pauline L 20 Jan 05 - 09:15 PM
Peace 20 Jan 05 - 09:54 PM
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Subject: I miss my guitar!
From: PoppaGator
Date: 08 Dec 04 - 06:58 PM

For the first time since 1972, my guitar is at the luthier's for refretting and a neck reset. I have to do without for a week and a half, give or take a day or two.

Now I understand why so many of you find it necessary to own multiple instruments. I've got nothing to play! My only consolation is the knowledge that when I get it back, it will be better than ever. Well, it had *better* be better than ever!

The frets had gotten pretty seriously worn down, and I need a new saddle -- the high E string (well, to be exact, hundreds of high E strings over the years) had cut a notch into the saddle, causing a bit of buzz. The buzz has been going on so long I've probably incorporated its sound into my playing, and might miss it when it's gone! It's been almost like having a resonator on that one string -- more appropriate to some styles/songs than to others.

The neck is basically in great shape -- no bow or warp -- but the action is a little higher than ideal, increasingly so as you go up the neck. The reset job will give me better action all the way up and down the fingerboard than when the instrument was new.

I'm also getting a cosmetic touch-up that's long overdue.

The guy who's doing the work served his apprenticeship with the man who last dealt with this guitar 33 years ago. And the guitar, by the way, is a well-loved 1969 Martin D-18.

I want it back, all fixed up, NOW!


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Subject: RE: I miss my guitar!
From: GUEST,mkebenn@work
Date: 08 Dec 04 - 07:03 PM

I feel your pain, my '71 D-35 is going in next week to have the bridge reglued. I do have an Ibanez elec. to pick on. Mike


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Subject: RE: I miss my guitar!
From: RichM
Date: 08 Dec 04 - 07:17 PM

Not that I want to encourage GAS (Guitar Acquisition Syndrome), BUT--
EVERY guitar I have, has greatly increased in value over the years.

I wish I had kept my 72 Martin D35, and the Gibson Les Paul Goldtop too.

I've always had better value from my guitar investments, than any other investments! And you can play them too.

Rich


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Subject: RE: I miss my guitar!
From: DADGBE
Date: 08 Dec 04 - 08:41 PM

Courage PoppaGator! When you get it back you'll be glad that you went through the pain of separation. My ol' 68 D-28 recently got the same treatment and WOW!

Now if I could get the same rejuvenation on my aging body...


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Subject: RE: I miss my guitar!
From: Once Famous
Date: 08 Dec 04 - 08:50 PM

It's worth the wait P-Gator. As a fellow vintage D-18 owner, get ready for it. Your going to love it even more.


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Subject: RE: I miss my guitar!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 08 Dec 04 - 09:55 PM

Ow! I feel your pain too. Bill Clinton feels your pain! But Hillary doesn't...

Well, 2 out of 3 ain't bad. You're gonna love it when you get that guitar back.

I'm beginning to wonder if I should keep the Martin D-28 I'm selling, just as an investment. I sure don't stand to make money on it at this particular moment. (it's only about 3 years old, but very good)


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Subject: RE: I miss my guitar!
From: Gypsy
Date: 08 Dec 04 - 10:02 PM

Oh man, it is REALLY nice to have two wonderful instruments! Himself got me the second matching dulcimer for the 25th anniversary....now when one is sick i have the other. One for gigs, one for home. Too delicous! I feel your pain at having your friend gone.........but will be such a joy to play, when home! And, mebbe, smarter!


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Subject: RE: I miss my guitar!
From: number 6
Date: 08 Dec 04 - 10:22 PM

It'll be back before ya know it poppagator. As everyone else here has noted it will be singin better than ever.

Little Hawk, I'd hang onto that D-28. If you let go you'll regret it.


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Subject: RE: I miss my guitar!
From: Amos
Date: 08 Dec 04 - 11:32 PM

I hear ya, PG....recently had to go two months of hospital time for my Dreadnought. Nearly went bozo.

Hang in there, this too shall pass. At least your guitar isn't shipping out to Fallujah.

A


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Subject: RE: I miss my guitar!
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Dec 04 - 12:07 PM

Fallujah sounds a bit like a rude word - as in he's got a big fallujah, or...... look at those fallujahs

best of luck with the repair!


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Subject: RE: I miss my guitar!
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 09 Dec 04 - 12:15 PM

Life's too short PPG'r - treat yourself this Christmas - get into the instrument-collection syndrome
Good luck


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Subject: RE: I miss my guitar!
From: GLoux
Date: 09 Dec 04 - 12:16 PM

Poppagator,

Why don't you ask a friend (who has more than one) to borrow a guitar while yours is in the shop?

Just a thought to help get you through this...

-Greg


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Subject: RE: I miss my guitar!
From: Cluin
Date: 09 Dec 04 - 12:21 PM

GUEST Jim, stop it! I've been trying to talk myself out of buying yet another guitar as a Christmas present to myself and here you come in and try and support my habit.

A thousand's not enough! A THOUSAND'S NOT ENOUGH!

(Oh no! The tic is back!)


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Subject: RE: I miss my guitar!
From: PoppaGator
Date: 09 Dec 04 - 12:32 PM

Amos -- two months! Jeezum!!

In the course of preparing for this brief "hospitalization," talking about it with family, etc., I learned that my brother-in-law has a small pre-1900 Martin that he was given by a family friend at too early an age -- he hit his brother over the head with it and cracked it (!) but apparently (and amazingly) still has all the pieces, more or less intact.

I mentioned this to the luthier and he said, yeah, he can reconstruct just about anything and would be glad to check it out and give a price. He warned me that the instrument might actually be *too old* to be really valuable -- which surprised me. He says Martin had not yet become the excellent maker that they would eventually be, that they may not yet have begun using really select woods, etc. Still in all, it would be nice to have such an old guitar rebuilt, even if were more a luxury and conversation piece than an investment.


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Subject: RE: I miss my guitar!
From: Rapparee
Date: 09 Dec 04 - 12:42 PM

I once sent my trumpet in for a renovation treatment -- new feltings, new corks, etc. After a day or so the shakes went away, and I regained bladder control within a week. By the time I got it back I was only having the occassional nightmare and the tic in my lips was hardly noticeable any more.


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Subject: RE: I miss my guitar!
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 09 Dec 04 - 01:12 PM

For those who have a hard time justifying owning a second guitar:

I firmly believe that any acoustic guitarist who doesn't limit his playing to strictly bluegrass or rhythm guitar roles needs a decent small-bodied guitar as well as a D. I speak from personal experience. After 25 years of playing on nothing but dreads I picked up an inexpensive 00 and quickly discovered that I could do things on it that just don't work well on a big box. I also found that the tone of a smaller-bodied guitar seems to fit my voice better than a D. I quickly became addicted enough to shell out for a Santa Cruz OM which is now my primary axe. The only time my D-28 or J-45 comes out of the case is if I'm going to be playing in a session where maximum volume is an issue.


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Subject: RE: I miss my guitar!
From: Wesley S
Date: 09 Dec 04 - 02:52 PM

PappaGator - I feel your pain. My first good guitar { which I still own } is a 1967 D-18 - Also well loved. Here's hoping for a Christmas reunion.


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Subject: RE: I miss my guitar!
From: Leadfingers
Date: 09 Dec 04 - 10:41 PM

My 1970 D35 had to go away for Serios remedial , so i bit the bullet and bought a 'spare' guitar - Tanglewood Earth series with all the 'pretty bits' . Means now I have spares of all the one that make
life bearable - guitar , mandolin and 5 string banjo !! Repairs ? ?
Dont bother me !! All I need now is another short scale tenor !!


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Subject: RE: I miss my guitar!
From: PoppaGator
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 11:22 AM

I just (finally) got my guitar back last night -- five weeks and two days after dropping it off and being told that it would take "about a week and a half." So, my Christmas present to myself was late, not even in tiome for "Little Christmas" (Jan 6).

I was of course overjoyed after weeks of having nothing to play (except by visiting guitar stores and "test-driving"), and everything looked great -- shiny new *even* frets, and moderately low action the exact same height up and down the fingerboard. (The reason for getting the neck reset was that the action got higher and higher from nut to saddle.)

After I got it home, however, and got warmed up playing more and more freely and unconsiciously (i.e., picking harder), the top two strings started buzzing and snapping against the frets. Yikes!

Now, the luthier did provide a new set of strings, and he put on a much lighter-guage set of phosphor bronzes than I customarily use. Hopefully, this is the explanation. I currently use mediums (also phosphor bronze), and years ago when I was playing long hours on the street and developing my current technique, I even used heavy-guage strings for a year or so (for their "unbreakability"). So, I *do* hit a pretty hard upstroke with my metal fingerpicks, and probably pull those light-guage strings back like an archer's bowstring (whereas heavier strings presumably hold their position better).

The guy who did the work is *highly* reputable, and last night as I was about to leave his shop he emphasized that he stands by his work, absolutely guarantees it, and that I shouldn't hesitate to come back for further adjustments if necessary, etc. I'll give him a call, tell him what's up and that I intend to restring with my customary mediums, and that I'll bring the guitar back if I still have a problem.

If anyone out there has horror stories about this type of experience, I'm not sure whether I want to hear them...;^)


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Subject: RE: I miss my guitar!
From: Wesley S
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 11:32 AM

It couldn't hurt to play the guitar in front of the repairman - if you havn't already so he can see the attack you use on the instrument. That might help. Good luck.


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Subject: RE: I miss my guitar!
From: PoppaGator
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 03:07 PM

Yeah, Wesley, that's just what I plan to do.

Actually, I played a little bit before leaving his shop the first time, but I was somewhat cursory and tentative, and didn't discover a problem until later when I had gotten warmed up.


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Subject: RE: I miss my guitar!
From: Wesley S
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 04:14 PM

I have a brand new Collings OM2HG and I tend to whang it a little too hard on the low E-string. I'm hoping the guy that sold it to me can fix it at the next guitar show.


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Subject: RE: I miss my guitar!
From: Peace
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 04:30 PM

If the bass E is doing that

1) You likely have a 'high' fret. You can find this out with a straight edge metal ruler. If your neck has a small warp in it, that can be a contributing factor.

2) The nut is too shallow in the bass E string groove.

3) The bridge/saddle are a bit low.

4) A combination of the above.

Amateurs can file a fret or replace a nut. However, after 45 years with guitars, I take anything to do with the bridge/saddle to a luthier (pro guitar repair guy/gal). And if you determine the neck is warped, don't be doing adjustment yourself. That should be done by a pro also.


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Subject: RE: I miss my guitar!
From: Once Famous
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 04:43 PM

First of all, get rid of those light pantywaist strings if you are going to do some manly strumming. get mediums on there, again.

There is an easy bridge fix for this. Your luthier can either give you or put in a thin plastic shim made for Martin bridges.

The saddle lifts right out and you can lay under it either a 1/32, a 1/16, or a graduated 1/16-1/32 shim that fits right in. Put the saddle back in and you should be fixed.


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Subject: RE: I miss my guitar!
From: PoppaGator
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 05:01 PM

Heh heh -- "pantywaist" strings, indeed, MG. The guy should have realized what kind of attack I use just from observing the wear-and-tear patterns on the spruce top!

Well, at least he didn't give me silk-and-steels...

I picked up up a set of mediums at lunchtime and will install 'em tonight. Hope that's all it will take.


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Subject: RE: I miss my guitar!
From: Bobert
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 05:44 PM

Yeah, like I said in my PM to ya, P-Gator... Get a set of 13's on it asap...


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Subject: RE: I miss my guitar!
From: Pauline L
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 10:15 PM

I play violin, and I have routine maintenance done on my violin and bow every 6-12 months. Of course, I have several. Since I don't play guitar, I'm curious. Do guitars need routine maintenance now and then? How about a general checkup? Is it customary to let 32 years pass before taking a guitar to a luthier?


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Subject: RE: I miss my guitar!
From: Terry K
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 01:21 AM

Wesley S - does your OM2H really have a G on the end - if so, what does it stand for?

Or was it just a typog?

cheers, Terry


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Subject: RE: I miss my guitar!
From: PoppaGator
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 10:07 AM

First things first: I got the 13s (medium guage strings) yesterday, put 'em on last night, and ALL IS WELL. Phew!

Pauline:

I went for years without playing, and my guitar was very much overdue for a new set of frets when I finally got this work done. If the instrument had been in use steadily over the years, it would probably have been worked on somewhat sooner and maybe once or twice more often.

On the other hand, I don't think that guitars are as "tempermental" as fiddles and don't require the same kind of frequent attention. The neck reset should be a once-in-a-lifetime thing, and fret replacement only becomes an issue after thousands of hours of playing. I can probably go for years now without another visit to the shop, unless it's for "elective surgery" such as installing a pickup.

There are probably others who can give a more definitive answer to your question. What I just wrote is opinion plus guesswork.


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Subject: RE: I miss my guitar!
From: Wesley S
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 02:06 PM

Terry - The G stands for German spruce. It's not quite as pricy as adirondack spruce but it is an upgrade. The guitar had already been ordered with that combo so I went ahead and bought it. It's a wonderful sounding guitar - trust me. I think it will be my "nursing home guitar". For now my GAS is satisfied.


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Subject: RE: I miss my guitar!
From: Pauline L
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 04:25 PM

Thanks, PoppaGator. Now I have another question. I put new strings on my fiddle every 6-12 months, and the fiddle sounds a whole lot better. Do you replace your guitar strings periodically?


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Subject: RE: I miss my guitar!
From: Terry K
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 06:08 PM

Thanks for the explanation Wesley - I like the term "nursing home guitar". I'd already decided my OM2H (bog standard, no upgrade) will be there with me. It'll probably take longer than I have left in order to do it justice!

cheers, Terry


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Subject: RE: I miss my guitar!
From: GUEST,Wesley S at Home
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 08:29 PM

Terry - If you have a Collings have you visited here yet ?

http://www.collingsforum.com/


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Subject: RE: I miss my guitar!
From: PoppaGator
Date: 20 Jan 05 - 02:08 PM

Pauline --

I don't replace my strings as often as many people do. My feelings: when they're brand new, they sound terrific, but they stretch, lose pitch, and require constant retuning. I hate that! Then there's a period when they're stable but still sound quite bright. I'm not sure just how long this ideal situation lasts, but eventually the tone gets duller and duller, but very gradually. I don't really notice the slight gradual degradation, and just live with it indefinitely.

When I was much younger and much more active -- playing on streetcorners 40-50 hours per week, loud and hard -- I'd break strings often enough to ensure that I bought a new set about once a month. I'd keep my old strings for emergency on-the-spot replacements, and generally didn't buy a new set until 2 or 3 of the latest set had broken.

But nowadays, I'm playing an hour or two a day in the privacy of my home (after a decade or so of playing very little at all). I haven't broken a string since I can't remember when, and I'm not trying to impress an audience, so I can go indefinitely without changing strings.

If and when I start playing out again (I know when and where all the local open mike nights are held), I'll have reason to change strings more often, like any other real musician.


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Subject: RE: I miss my guitar!
From: Pauline L
Date: 20 Jan 05 - 09:15 PM

Poppagator, thanks. Your description of the aging of guitar strings sounds like it would describe violin strings, too.


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Subject: RE: I miss my guitar!
From: Peace
Date: 20 Jan 05 - 09:54 PM

When I worked as a singer/performer, I used to change guitar strings every other night. I used mediums, but they just didn't keep their clarity worth a darn for the third night. Three-four sets a night and three four hours of practise/writing per day wore them out, right quick.


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