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Atkin guitars - anyone played one?

Scrump 18 Sep 06 - 07:52 AM
breezy 18 Sep 06 - 08:53 AM
Pete_Standing 18 Sep 06 - 09:01 AM
Scrump 18 Sep 06 - 11:00 AM
Richard Bridge 18 Sep 06 - 12:04 PM
Strollin' Johnny 18 Sep 06 - 01:57 PM
GUEST,Jim Moray 18 Sep 06 - 03:09 PM
GUEST,Sarah in San Diego 18 Sep 06 - 03:26 PM
GUEST,Paul Lewis 21 Sep 06 - 10:05 AM
Richard Bridge 21 Sep 06 - 10:34 AM
Richard Bridge 21 Sep 06 - 10:36 AM
Scrump 22 Sep 06 - 05:58 AM
Grab 22 Sep 06 - 06:44 AM
GUEST,John G essex 25 Nov 11 - 04:16 PM
Brian May 26 Nov 11 - 03:00 PM
GUEST,Johng 04 Dec 11 - 11:01 PM
alex s 05 Dec 11 - 08:11 AM
alex s 05 Dec 11 - 10:13 AM
GUEST 06 Dec 11 - 03:44 AM
Richard Bridge 06 Dec 11 - 07:07 AM
GUEST,Slim Jim 07 Jun 15 - 09:13 PM
GUEST,Geoff Walsh 04 Dec 17 - 01:58 PM
Rusty Dobro 07 Dec 17 - 03:35 AM
GUEST,cardboard cutout 07 Dec 17 - 12:38 PM
GUEST,Warwick Slade 10 Dec 17 - 09:22 AM
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Subject: Atkin guitars - anyone played one?
From: Scrump
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 07:52 AM

I wonder if anyone here has played an Atkin guitar, and if they have any comments on it? How do they compare with other makes, such as Fylde, Taylor, Lowden, Martin, etc.?

I'm saving up for a new guitar (and I want a good quality one this time, that will last me for the rest of my life, hopefully!) and the above are some that spring to mind. Are there any others people recommend (for a UK buyer)?

I'm sure many of these have been covered in previous threads, but I didn't find many mentions of Atkin (I believe they come from Canterbury).


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Subject: RE: Atkin guitars - anyone played one?
From: breezy
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 08:53 AM

sorry no

gary hearn guitar, yes


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Subject: RE: Atkin guitars - anyone played one?
From: Pete_Standing
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 09:01 AM

Scrump

Where are you based? What is your budget? If it is a guitar for life, there might be a luthier within reach who could build something just for you. When I was approaching 50 I decided I would like something to keep until my decline. I tried some Fyldes, Martins and Taylors and didn't think the money was worth spending, they didn't seem to give a £1000-£1500 worth of extra value to what I already had. In the end I took a gamble with a luthier I had no experience or knowledge of but now have something that is quite special. It looks good, sounds gorgeous and plays beautifully and the money was worth spending.


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Subject: RE: Atkin guitars - anyone played one?
From: Scrump
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 11:00 AM

Breezy: Gary Hearn - that's one I didn't know. Just looked them up. How do they compare with the others I mentioned?

Peter: yes, I have that problem of not being sure whether it's worth spending that much for a guitar, unless I can be convinced it's worth the extra money. Are there any cheaper makes I should be looking at first?


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Subject: RE: Atkin guitars - anyone played one?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 12:04 PM

I played one briefly at Rochester Sweeps Fest probably 2002. It might have been 2001. My late wife (she was alive then, Jacqui Walker) was trying to find someone to trust to do some refurbishment work on her Hagstrom J-45 (we eventually decided to trust a man with a good reputation on banjos who actually seemed to know something about Hagstroms, which was nearly a first by itself. Unfortunately he was a real used car salesman and he nearly wrecked the guitar, including doing irrepairable harm to the original machine heads in direct contradiction to his instructions. Step forward Andy Perkins and take a bow.)

Anyway, she wanted something acceptable to play while hers was inside.

I tried the Atkin and looked at the price which was quite low for a second-hand luthier built rarity, and liked it. It was about OM sized, in dark wood, including the top, and it had, I thought, a dark and moody sound, not too twangy or zingy, with good sustain, good bottom for an OM size and a mellowness about the sound quite beyond its youth.

I rushed off to find my wife and dragged her complaining out of a singaround, to get her to try it. She hated it, and said it was dead and thin. So we didn't buy it.

In the end, while Perkins was wrecking the Hagstrom, he lent her a sequence of guitars none of which she liked at all but they must have sounded all right to others because people kept going and buying them from him (and so we moved on to the next one). The first was a Tanglewood Earth-200 Martin Copy dreadnought and the second was a Tanglewood jumbo that looked a bit like the big Takemine jumbo that "Travelling Charles" Fyson played, and sounded a bit like it too - too my mind too much "banjo effect" for a guitar.

But I disgress.

I have seen reviews in guitar mags of the Atkins that were quite favourable. However it might be a good plan if you are looking for something a bit special to have a look at Rob Armstrong's stuff.


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Subject: RE: Atkin guitars - anyone played one?
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 01:57 PM

I know a guy in Spalding who has one I believe. Small Jumbo-size and shape. Looks, sounds and plays nice.

If you're looking to have a guitar made, you could do worse than check out Oakwood Guitars in Leeds (just google Oakwood Guitars). Run by a guy called Martyn Banks, who also is involved with The Music Room in Cleckheaton. Very tasty instruments. 'Catter 'Hipflask Andy' has a couple.

S:0)


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Subject: RE: Atkin guitars - anyone played one?
From: GUEST,Jim Moray
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 03:09 PM

Yes. The best acoustic guitars you'll ever play. Alister Atkin is also one of the nicest men you could hope to meet. To my mind my Atkin guitars are better than anything else thats freely available (Taylor, Martin, Lowden etc) - they're most similar to Collings guitars from the US in the attention to detail and tone, and they are comparible with Sobell guitars from the UK in build quality and detail.

I have two - my original OM and a showy pearl-inlayed J45 that was made as a showroom piece and then sold to me to go on tour with Richard Thompson a couple of years back. I'm also contemplating asking him to build me a baritone guitar. I've never had any trouble with my guitars and when they've been dropped out of aeroplanes or dragged across campsites in a thunderstorm Alister has always re-setup and looked after them without complaint. I certainly don't expect to play any other acoustic guitars in the next 30-odd years.

Alister is in a little village just outside Canterbury. Give him a call and I'm sure you won't be dissapointed.


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Subject: RE: Atkin guitars - anyone played one?
From: GUEST,Sarah in San Diego
Date: 18 Sep 06 - 03:26 PM

Haven't heard fo Atkin. I have a McIlroy guitar, made in Ireland, which is probably the finest guitar I've ever played. I was leaning toward something else until I tried this, which eclipsed everything else I'd ever touched in my life. You should be able to get hold of one more easily than I was able to--check out his Web site. (I have the A25--cedar top, walnut back and sides.) A friend who's a professional musician played it and used the term "phenomenal" to describe it. So have several others, including someone who had a Lowden he dearly loved. And the price, even factoring in the crummy exchange rate for the dollar, is still a bargain for the extraordinary quality.

So many wonderful instruments to choose from! Good luck!

Sarah


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Subject: RE: Atkin guitars - anyone played one?
From: GUEST,Paul Lewis
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 10:05 AM

Isn't the internet great - I saw Jim at a gig last night (which was really good) and asked him about the Atkins guitars. Then I looked up Atkins on google and found this thread, with Jim on it tlaking about Atkins guitars again. So circular.

I know a couple of busy UK session guitarists and they swear by these guitars. I am interested in an OM shape but I want a good earthy sound - woody - nothing too clean. So I want to go visit and check them out. Trouble is.. I couldnt find any links on Google or elswhere - so Jim, if you have contact details could you pass them on.

Many thanks

Paul.


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Subject: RE: Atkin guitars - anyone played one?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 10:34 AM

Google Atkin, not Atkins. THey used to be there. Back soon


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Subject: RE: Atkin guitars - anyone played one?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 21 Sep 06 - 10:36 AM

http://www.atkinguitars.com/


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Subject: RE: Atkin guitars - anyone played one?
From: Scrump
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 05:58 AM

So many wonderful instruments to choose from! Good luck!

That's just the problem - too many! Thanks for all the feedback. My next move will be to raid all the guitar shops I know and try as many as I can, to get a better idea of what I want, and take it from there...


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Subject: RE: Atkin guitars - anyone played one?
From: Grab
Date: 22 Sep 06 - 06:44 AM

McIlroy was trained by George Lowden, so they're apparently fairly similar. I was tempted to go look at his stuff, but I found a nice Lowden instead. :-)

I'd second Oakwood as being good instruments - played a few of theirs at Whitby last year.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Atkin guitars - anyone played one?
From: GUEST,John G essex
Date: 25 Nov 11 - 04:16 PM

Iam looking now in 2011 and like the collings,which i saw at Olympia nut it was very noisy there nut hadna little time with an OM nut guitar huy from the shop owned by Mann in Notts said that buy a collingsmwoth an adarondack top amd rosewood back and sides with a dreadnaught depth and ebony bridge and pins and fretboard, bwing honest i think for mamy it would be the ultimate sound and tone, though if Atkin are that good amd less money i would lkke to hear one from Alastair.. Any thoughts, as i want a strummer that can do more if required?


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Subject: RE: Atkin guitars - anyone played one?
From: Brian May
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 03:00 PM

Err . . . have you been drinking ? ;o)


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Subject: RE: Atkin guitars - anyone played one?
From: GUEST,Johng
Date: 04 Dec 11 - 11:01 PM

No but i understand the reply, cant get used to typing on an IPad..sorry.


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Subject: RE: Atkin guitars - anyone played one?
From: alex s
Date: 05 Dec 11 - 08:11 AM

heard Anna Masssey play one last week - nice (both guitar and her)


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Subject: RE: Atkin guitars - anyone played one?
From: alex s
Date: 05 Dec 11 - 10:13 AM

Sorry - Anna Massie


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Subject: RE: Atkin guitars - anyone played one?
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Dec 11 - 03:44 AM

Take a look at this link.

http://mickjohnsonguitars.com/

Mick is a graet guy, who makes fantastic guitars.
The 000 belongs to my son, fantastic sound.


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Subject: RE: Atkin guitars - anyone played one?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 06 Dec 11 - 07:07 AM

Interesting. I'd be a bit wary of anyone who described the sound of a dreadnought as "strident", though.


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Subject: RE: Atkin guitars - anyone played one?
From: GUEST,Slim Jim
Date: 07 Jun 15 - 09:13 PM

The J45 is to die for, such good quality and playability. If you have the money invest in an Atkin, You wont regret it as the sound seems to get better with age!


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Subject: RE: Atkin guitars - anyone played one?
From: GUEST,Geoff Walsh
Date: 04 Dec 17 - 01:58 PM

I was in the Scottish Borders for a few days and purchased a 12 year old Atkin guitar ...much travelled and worn .
I was so taken by this Indian Rosewood instrument , it sounded glorious .
Struggled with the action a little , and living in Canterbury myself , took it to Alister
Atkin ( Canterbury ) who set it up for me .....a really nice unassuming guy .
and the maker of really fine guitars .
If you can afford one , buy one ....you won't regret it .


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Subject: RE: Atkin guitars - anyone played one?
From: Rusty Dobro
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 03:35 AM

Ross Burkitt, a first-class singer-songwriter, plays one out here in deepest Suffolk. He usually chooses it over his Lowden, which must tell us something.


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Subject: RE: Atkin guitars - anyone played one?
From: GUEST,cardboard cutout
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 12:38 PM

Yes still great, just like guest Jim Moray said in 2006.

Guest Geoff Walsh you are a lucky man!


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Subject: RE: Atkin guitars - anyone played one?
From: GUEST,Warwick Slade
Date: 10 Dec 17 - 09:22 AM

Sorry no but every guitar is different and sometimes one will just talk to you. Then the make is immaterial. I have an Avalon and I love it compared to my others, including Martin, Gibson etc. My recording guy reckoned it was the most balanced guitar he has recorded.. incidentally I have on old Harmony bought for £10. Dreadful action but great sound.


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