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Author Topic: Best guitar you've ever played?  (Read 16534 times)
brainman
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« Reply #80 on: January 09, 2010, 11:00:39 PM »

How much better can a Traugott possibly be than a Lowden at 1/4 -- 1/3 the price?

I have read the whole thread and it raises some interesting issues.  As the the above question, the answer is unqestionably yes.  I own a Traugott.  I have returned one Lowden including a custom built one.  Every one hears and feels music differently.  Some people are collectors and neither hear nor feel the music but have to have the biggest collection.  I collect rare woods in the form of guitars, and I am very picky about the tone of those guitars.  Some people hear what I hear, some do not.  I have never played a Ryan than I cared for, but some will spend $30K on a Ryan, including JT and I won't argue with his ear.  The average audience cannot hear the difference in a good guitar and a great guitar.  The majority of guitar players could not tell the difference if listening in the audience. But in an intimate setting, like a very small theater with great acoutics, you can hear a difference.  In order to understand, if you ever have the chance, go to the Luthiers Guild in Healdsberg CA, which meets every other year.  Play the guitars.  There are usually between 50 and 100 luthiers there.  You will find something that you would kill for.  It may be out of reach, many are, but they are awesome guitars.  And it becomes the difference between a mass produced Chevrolet (Gison, Martin, Epiphone et al) or small batch maker like Larivee/Santa Cruz/Collings (BMW/Mercedes/Lexus) and the hand built custom order jobs like Traguott, Wingert and Manzer equivalent to Spyker, Rolls, Ferrari.  And just because I don't drive like Michael Schumacher doesn't mean I can't enjoy driving a Ferrari if I want to buy one.

Are those builders worth it?  Depends on your pocket.  They are indeed a Luxury.  I remember plunking down $800 for my first Gibson when it took me a year to save it up.  It was a huge step up from $100 Yamaha.  I cringed when I signed up for a $4500 Traugott to be delivered 4 years down the road (its been a few years ago ). I love all three of those guitars. I still play them all, and have kept on playing for 35 years.  Am I poser because I own a Traugott or a Wingert or because I have owned half a dozen other custom built guitars?  I am not John Mayer or Alex Degrassi famous, but I may play well enough to entertain myself and my friends.  And that's all that counts.

Play what you love to hear.  I tell people who ask my advice to buy the guitar that sounds right to you and feels alive in your hands.  Anything else is a waste of money.

Play on.

Dave
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Trinity Guitars
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« Reply #81 on: January 09, 2010, 11:29:25 PM »

The OM that my daughter  Meg and I built for her. Sitka top sapele sides and back. An amazing guitar. Had a friend in the shop today play most every om I had then I pulled this one out., he lamented it was the best one bar non. When will you build me one? was the question. See Sapele is a great tone wood.  Now I have to send it back to Meg  crying
Jim
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Jim Holler, Luthier
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leftync
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« Reply #82 on: January 10, 2010, 05:11:09 AM »

For me it's all about dreads. Heard a 50-year-old D-18 years ago that set the standard. I was blown away by the lush, first Collings rosewood-spruce guitar I heard. Since then I've heard similar, outstanding sounds from other Collings dreads, a Bourgeois Country Boy, a Santa Cruz and the Larrivee D-03R I traded last year. The fellow I traded with had two customs, a Burkett and Rockbridge, that were impressive. Never played or saw a Manzer, Froggy Bottom, Olson, Ryan, etc., but I'd be happy with any of the ones I've mentioned. Harry's in Raleigh had a D-35 lefty that impressed a lot, and I'd love to see a special edition Adi HD-28 for a lefty.
Best all-around guitar I know for sound, comfort, looks and feel is the D-50 90s rosewood Larrivee I've had a year now. It comes from a time when larrivee was more of a boutique company like Collings, and the original owner told me JCL worked on it and gave it his personal guarantee. Today it would likely fall into the $3-$4K range that strikes me as the point of diminishing returns. I feel privileged every time I pick it up.
The great thing about this thread is that everyone is right; there is no best and there lots and lots of great instruments, factory, boutique and custom.
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John R
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« Reply #83 on: January 12, 2010, 01:23:13 AM »

My mates L 09 Lacewood. Does strumming ok but fingerpicking it is awesome. It looks (and smells) unique: beautiful to behold
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God is Good
Larrivee L09, L05, L05 MT, P 09, OM 03 MT 12 string
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ditto in red but hard tail
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Big Eric
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« Reply #84 on: January 20, 2010, 01:31:23 AM »

Best guitar ever - Dakota Dave Hull's Gibson Jumbo.  The guitar is not just a cannon, but magical sounding.  It was a wreck when he got it and has had a ton of work done.  But having played a lot of Gibson guitars over the years, this is the best I've ever heard.  Or played.

Another friend has an all mahogany Collings D-1M that is one of the best.  But it took that guitar years to reach that point.  (Should know, passed up on buying it twice.)

Lastly would be another friend's Epiphone Navarre.  D sized ladder braced guitar from the '30s.  Killer sound. 

I've owned a lot of "decent" guitars.  But not sure if any would be close to those.
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Eric P.
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dmcginnis
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« Reply #85 on: January 20, 2010, 07:14:47 PM »

Well, I have had my McIlroy A30 for over a week now...giving it plenty of time for comparison to other guitars.  Before getting it, I would have listed my Larrivee FIII IS/Hog as the best I had played.  But now, I have to say the McIlroy is the best...and I own it, to boot.  It has a lush sound, woody and full with incredible sustain.  It goes far beyond anything I have experienced before.

Dave
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2001 McIlroy A30 #75, Spruce/Rosewood
Martin OM-15M, all mahogany
Paddy Burgin Bouzouki, Redwood over Claro Walnut
Keith Newell mandolin, Spruce over Claro Walnut
1916 Gibson A mandolin
1927 Langestyle tenor banjo
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« Reply #86 on: February 01, 2010, 08:01:43 AM »

Collings....Collings.......Collings (most any of them dreads)

And an old Green almost antique (but not that bad) '59 Gibson ES335 w/Bigsby(electric sorry) used by big name country artist in his prime -- worth it's weight in gold literally, that's impressing.

!!But the real deal is THE Larrivee has got to be the most well rounded, versatile, right on, strumming, picking thing around!!

(hmmm...wonder if Gibson has any trademarks on The)

 
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Mark
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« Reply #87 on: February 01, 2010, 11:54:25 PM »

I can't say that I've found that in terms of an acoustic yet (though Larivée in general has been the closest so far), but I have for electrics (though two different ones for two different reasons).

For the guitar I would take if I could only have one guitar for the rest of my life (desert island guitar), it would be my First Act Sheena LE. For those of you who only know First Act for their cheapo Walmart toy guitars, they also make incredible custom axes for legit rock stars and have a series of limited edition guitars hand made by their luthiers in Boston. The Sheena is one of those guitars. It looks incredible, plays like a dream, and is incredibly versatile (I go from blues, to metal, to country and everything in-between with ease). The ONLY thing I would change about it is the glossy neck (I prefer satin or unfinished).

For the guitar I wish I owned, the one that just blew me away when I played it, it would be a used pre-VOS Gibson SG 61 reissue I played at Guitar Center in Boston (which is one of the few GC's that carries good instruments -- the one in Durham, NC where I live now might be the worst music store I've ever been to). It wasn't the same thing as the 61 reissues that Gibson sells now--the way the manager described it me (again, the managers--not necessarily the regular staff--there are quality and know their stuff, unlike what I've experienced at other locations) was that it was basically what would now be a VOS from Gibson Custom, but it was made right before the VOS designation existed. I can't remember if he gave it a name, or if I'm even getting it right (I may be WAY off), but that guitar was INCREDIBLE. I only played it because he told me I should (I wasn't shopping for a git or even had the funds for one, but he knew I had a thing for SGs) and I really, really wish I could have bought it. It was gone later that day.

Anyway, I'm hoping a Larrivée is going to be that guitar for me in the acoustic realm!
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Gordon

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Larrivée D-03R
Alvarez AD-60K
Alvarez 5020SB
First Act Sheena LE003 (don't knock it, it's a handmade, insanely good axe)
Schecter C7
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