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Old 02-04-2010, 09:00 PM
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riorider riorider is offline
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Central Rural Oklahoma, off old Route 66
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Default Short comparison clips between the Baranik CX and the new Baranik Meridian Concert

I posted this on the "Volcano" thread, but it's a bit different than just about that guitar. I thought therefore it warranted a fresh thread to open discussion on Mike's new model.

Ok. I'll go out a bit on the limb, here. I'm a long-time player, but there were years in which I never picked up a guitar. I've always managed to amuse myself, but I'm in awe of many of you better players. One coffee house player a friend of mine was talking to said it best: guitar players are the most humble musicians in the world. Why? Because it's so easy to find someone who plays better than you do! You'll notice the errors - but I think you can hear the tone comparisons that I wanted to investigate.

That said, here's two clips I recorded on 3 Feb 2010. The setup was into a Zoom H4n - but I couldn't fathom how to set the record level for L/R or channel 1/2/3/4 differently (the Highlander is much hotter than the mic), so I ended up going first through my little Behringer mixer. Left channel on both is from the Highlander IP-1 pickup (in both guitars - same pickup). Right channel is into an Audix VX-5 condenser, using the Behringer's preamp and phantom power.

The only EQ (set on the Behringer) was to drop the lows a bit to tone down the D string freqs - otherwise as flat as I could set everything. Post-recording processing was into Audacity, using only the Normalize effect to smooth the volume, out to an MP3. Recorded in the Zoom at 96khtz/24 bit to a wav file.

The first progression on each clip is a simple original. The second is a variation on a Tom Rush cover of Joni Mitchell's "Urge for Going".

CX Brazilian / German Spruce (venetian cutaway in the pic below)

Meridian Concert "Volcano" (florentine cutaway in the pic below)

I didn't realize the perspective would be so extreme - in the first picture the Meridian looks much bigger, so I took the second from the other side and you can see that the CX looks bigger. From straight on (I didn't get a shot) they look very similar in size. The Meridian is a slight bit smaller in the upper bout and the waist is a bit tighter. The asymmetry is a bit more in the Meridian, and it is really comfortable to play.

My own observations of the tone is that - without the headphones on and listening to the guitar "live" from the players point of "ear", the Meridian is much bolder - stronger lows, brilliant highs, nice even mid range. The Brazilian is gentler - perhaps the different spruce tops, or that the CX top is 5 years older - more mellow and a bit rounder. Both have amazing presence and personality.

Let me know what you think, what you hear. Thanks for being gentle with the player!

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