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Old 12-12-2018, 08:03 PM
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justonwo justonwo is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 5,426
Default NGD: Circa 000-12 Adi/Brazi #137

I've been drooling over this guitar since it arrived at Luthier's Collection. I'm a big fan of the 000-12 design because it gives a little more low end and "bigness" than a comparable OM, at least in my experience. In my mind's eye, I imagined this guitar would have more bass depth than my Schoenberg (which is mahogany), more scooped mids, and a little more overall reverb and sustain.

I hesitated at first because the guitar didn't have a cutaway, but I can get away without one for about 90% of what I do. And, as Mike Joyce reminded me, you can always use another guitar for those songs where the non-cutaway 12 fret won't work.

I'm happy to report this guitar really fit EXACTLY into the niche I was hoping it would fill. It is, without a doubt, a show stopping, jaw dropping, I can't-believe-what-I'm-hearing tone fiesta. I've played a lot of great guitars over the years, but this one may take the cake. I'm not sure if the Brazilian is adding that little extra something, but it just gives a little extra shimmer and sustain that pushes it from excellent to other-worldly. John is certainly building some of the very best guitars that can be had, in my opinion.

Compared to my OM, which has a surprising mid hump that's more akin to what I hear in a mahogany guitar (it's Madrose), it definitely has that mid scoop you would usually expect from rosewood. Relatively speaking, in the broad spectrum of guitars out there, it still has strong mids. Just not quite as much as with my Madrose OM. I don't like guitars to be too scooped out, as I think a lot of the real voice of the guitar lives in the mids. The bass is more substantial for sure. The sustain is longer and the guitar generally has more reverb. It sounds like a bigger guitar, but not cavernous. It still has the punch in the mids, upper mids, and highs to keep the voice of the guitar from getting swallowed up.

It would be hard to imagine a tonal improvement to this guitar, which to me exemplifies the very best of that 000-12 Martin platform and the very best of what Adi and Brazilian can do together.

The previous owner kept it in like new condition so it's pretty much a brand new guitar.

A couple more cool tidbits:

1) This guitar was built in the same batch as my OM (#142) in 2016. In fact, it's pictured here in the middle of the shelf in the back, third from the left. This photo is from my OM build thread. OM #142 is getting the box closed up in this photo.

2) Burton LeGeyt, another luthier whose work I admire greatly, made the bridge pins. They're kind of awesome, which is par for the course when it comes to all things Burton.

The Brazilian rosewood is pretty much the straightest stuff that can be had. It truly represents my ideal for what I like to see in Brazilian. Very straight and quartered. I'm not usually a huge disciple of Brazilian, but this guitar may convert me. It is truly very special. Perhaps the subtle "wow" qualities in this guitar are in part a result of truly exceptional Brazilian. It's always hard to know for sure since all of these variables are interwoven.

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