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Old 10-22-2012, 09:35 AM
greenchimneys greenchimneys is offline
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Default Jumbo for Jazz Playing?

I play jazz exclusively on acoustic exclusively. I've been playing a Martin 00015M that plays beautifully and has a nice warm balanced sound. I'd eventually (within the next two years or so) like to upgrade to something more acoustically powerful, and have been looking a jumbo sized guitars. I don't care at all for the bass heavy sound of dreadnaughts (had a Martin D15M and sent it right back) or, to be honest, the look. Never considered jumbo guitars until just recently, after reading more about them. I've been looking at the Guild F-50R. Seems jumbos are more tonally balanced than a dread, which is the opposite of what I had previously expected (bigger body=more bass).

I don't think I want to go the archtop route again, nor am I interested in the gypsy jazz guitars (although they are easy and fun to play and I have stolen some of that technique!). I guess a flat top is where it's at for me, playability and sound wise, but I'd like some opinions since it may be a while before I go out and try some guitars again.
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:04 AM
la palma C la palma C is offline
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I feel like jumbos have a little bit of delay in the sound due to the large body size. My only concern would be things getting a little muddy or jumbled due to the delay if you play with a lot of faster runs or fast arpeggiated parts in your jazz style. Something you could easily listen for when auditioning various models.
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:25 AM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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If I were using a flat top for jazz (which I do occasionally, for more modern sounds) I prefer something medium sized and mid rangey in tone...like an OM or a Taylor x14 size...right now I have a Taylor 214, and I'm planning on upgrading to a 414 in the Spring, as I find the sound is actually pretty similar--with a little more bass and better sounding electronics. Probablly I'd ideally find a 614 becuase Maple's great for jazz, but I doubt I'll find one in my price range.


I really want clarity...not a lot of overtones that get in the way of complex chords...that's why gypsy jazz guitars and archtops are so great for jazz--not to mention their percussive tone and quick attack and decay.

volume is nice, but few flat tops are gonna hang with a group unamplified anyway.
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:25 AM
guitararmy guitararmy is offline
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I have two Rosewood/Spruce jumbos, and they definitely are more balanced than most dreads.
Another option would be a mini-jumbo like a Taylor GS or a Yamaha LL16...
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:49 AM
Tony Burns Tony Burns is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenchimneys View Post
I play jazz exclusively on acoustic exclusively. I've been playing a Martin 00015M that plays beautifully and has a nice warm balanced sound. I'd eventually (within the next two years or so) like to upgrade to something more acoustically powerful, and have been looking a jumbo sized guitars. I don't care at all for the bass heavy sound of dreadnaughts (had a Martin D15M and sent it right back) or, to be honest, the look. Never considered jumbo guitars until just recently, after reading more about them. I've been looking at the Guild F-50R. Seems jumbos are more tonally balanced than a dread, which is the opposite of what I had previously expected (bigger body=more bass).

I don't think I want to go the archtop route again, nor am I interested in the gypsy jazz guitars (although they are easy and fun to play and I have stolen some of that technique!). I guess a flat top is where it's at for me, playability and sound wise, but I'd like some opinions since it may be a while before I go out and try some guitars again.

I believe you can use any guitar to play any kind of music - theirs no rules or laws . Ive always thought the gooses that keep saying you need a OM to fingerpick -must not be very creative . i also think if you have a niche sound and a Jumbo is what you use, that in itself might be your sound - Its also very common for Jazz players to slant towards classical guitars - just my two cents , I love jumbos !
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:10 AM
robatsu robatsu is offline
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I liked my Gibson J-200 for playing jazz stuff because it had really strong fundamentals, presumably from the maple construction. A lot of clarity for leads and chords, especially up the neck, above the 5th fret.

An archtop is better in this regard, obviously, but I found my J-200 to serve in this role better than any of my dreadnaughts, which definitely trend towards the warm overtones.

That doesn't mean all J-200's are like this, but mine was.
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:16 AM
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min7b5 min7b5 is offline
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Obviously you can play jazz, or any style, on any guitar, or instrument -I love Alice Coltraneís jazz harp! Itís great youíre thinking outside the box.

Go play the jumbo, if it lights your fuse, then itís great for playing jazz. For me personally, a jumbo would not be ideal. Smaller guitars are more responsive to a varied attack -in my experience. A large guitar often needs a fair amount of attack to get all that wood moving. Especially if itís a normal scale length or longer. And then a big guitar needs bigger strings for optimum tone... Again, for me personally, and what I do, a smaller guitar makes life easy, and the music more dynamic. I like a slightly shorter scale (24.9) for the more expressive left hand things Iíll do in jazz playing, like slurs, etc, as well as more complex chord shapes. I get my bass more from the guitar being a twelve fret design, a slot-head, having a smaller bridge, etc, rather just from body size.
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:01 PM
greenchimneys greenchimneys is offline
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Thanks for the replies

I should have mentioned the volume issue being mainly a concern for more intimate jams/rehearsals rather than with a group in a live setting, in which case I mic and amplify anyway.

I should also mention my technique- pick style exclusively with a 3mm pick.
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:05 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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I think the Jumbo could work for that. Definitely something I'd choose over a dred for that application.
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:08 PM
Big.Al Big.Al is offline
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The Alvarez maple jumbos work great for jazz, look and play really nice, and they don't cost a lot. My AJ60SC is loud. It has a very fundamental tone. It has an immediate and crisp attack without a huge amount of sustain. I use it for folk-style music and it works just fine, but I let a jazzer friend of mine try it out and I thought it was actually better suited for his style than mine. It's not a high end guitar by any means but it might have just what you are looking for.
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:29 PM
greenchimneys greenchimneys is offline
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Oh, and Eric, seeing your videos on youtube were the final push I needed to get away from the electric guitar completely!
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Old 10-22-2012, 01:18 PM
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Hey green chimneys...

The Taylor 615 with flamed Maple and Sitka top is a great guitar. Surprisingly non-Taylor-esque.

Powerful sound, with strong fundamentals and not a lot of overtone content. I have a friend with one, and playing it's like driving a very powerful car with a lot of power under the hood while cruising around really slow.

You know the power is there when you need it...but it cruises just fine.

Not sure if Taylor still builds them or not.

[EDIT]I just looked on the Taylor site and it's now made as the 616ce (or GS) instead of the old number of 615. I didn't see a noncutaway available...but it's the current model of the same guitar my friend owns. I like it better than the old Guilds which are pretty severly overbuilt comparatively.[EDIT]


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Last edited by ljguitar; 10-22-2012 at 01:27 PM. Reason: added in an edit
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Old 10-22-2012, 03:26 PM
tbp0701 tbp0701 is offline
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You said you're looking for something more acoustically powerful, but can you clarify what you feel the 000-15M is lacking? Is it more volume, responsiveness or tonal range?

I ask because I have a 000-15 and find it to be well balanced and comfortable, with a unique voice. However, I am also considering a more traditional spruce top 000 or OM type guitar for a wider tonal range. I'm wondering if you may be looking for something similar since you didn't like the dread.
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:26 PM
The Old Gaffer The Old Gaffer is offline
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Here is a video of the late great Gabor Szabo jazzing up his Martin D-45:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xz0zYA_12og
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:11 PM
Angiodan Angiodan is offline
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I use my GS6 for Gyspy Jazz in our group. The maple cuts through and of course it's easy to play(It is a Taylor !).
Dan
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