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  #1  
Old 09-02-2019, 06:10 PM
whvick whvick is offline
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Default Shop Hopping

So I finally get a day off, and my wife suggests I drive 90 minutes to the big city and check out guitars. Never argue with a wonderful wife!
I am just now getting back into playing after nine years spending my spare time photographing 20 grandkids. But my wife got me a D-15 in April and that has stirred my interest again in both guitars and this forum.
I was particularly interested to check out the new Taylors and see if I could tell a difference in the V bracing, and
I hoped to look at a Grand Pacific.
First stop was Ciderville Music In Powell Tennessee. Great place to shop, with lots of Martins and some other brands. The friendly staff let me try them all.
The D-28ís and other high end Martins are great, but my ear is not. The lower end Martins sounded great also.
Then I drove a few more miles into Knoxville and tried the Guitar Center. I found basically the same thing with the Taylors, and a staff Too busy to chat with the customers, but it was not their fault as it was a busy day. And there was not a Grand Pacific there to try.
Another shop had a sign for a Labor Day sale but was closed at 2:30.
The other small shops were closed.
And what did I learn? I am even more impressed with the advanced players on the forum that can tell the nuances of tone and sound from different guitars and tone-woods. Perhaps with more time and a quite room I could tell more.
So I will designate myself as an intermediate player who appreciates having three good intermediate guitars suited for different types of music. And I will still enjoy listening on the opinions and advice of the players on the forum.

Last edited by whvick; 09-02-2019 at 06:26 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-02-2019, 06:15 PM
donlyn donlyn is offline
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whvick,

Try visiting the big shops as early as possible on a weekday. You may have a good chance to try out whatever you wish in a quiet(er) venue. Then you can really hear what the guitar sounds like. Have a salesperson play a guitar which you may like so you can hear what it sounds like on the other side.

Good luck and good hunting.

Don
.
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  #3  
Old 09-02-2019, 06:21 PM
whvick whvick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donlyn View Post
whvick,



Try visiting the big shops as early as possible on a weekday. You may have a good chance to try out whatever you wish in a quiet(er) venue. Then you can really hear what the guitar sounds like. Have a salesperson play a guitar which you may like so you can hear what it sounds like on the other side.



Good luck and good hunting.



Don

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Good Points
Thanks
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  #4  
Old 09-02-2019, 06:30 PM
guitar george guitar george is offline
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That is one of the best ways to shop for a guitar, going from store to store. You get to look at and try a variety of guitars before buying. If you buy online you could run into problems and disappointments with regard to condition, sound, shipping etc. Conversely, if you buy online everything could go well and you will be pleasantly surprised.
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Old 09-02-2019, 06:45 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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I've been playing nearly 57 years...

I can hear the nuances of tone you allude to above...

FYI "intermediate" guitars are every major manufacturer's bread-and-butter - some have a complete dedicated lineup within their catalog, others specialize exclusively (or nearly so) in such instruments...

Here's a little secret: they're far better than you think and, if you're the kind of player who likes a variety of tones at his/her disposal, you can assemble a well-made, broad-based acoustic arsenal - large- and small-bodied steel-strings, nylon-string, 12-string, archtop, resonator, banjo, mandolin, ukulele - for the price of a couple of prestige-label boxes; FWIW other than the mandolin they all use (or can be tuned to) some variation of guitar tuning (TMK the late "Wrecking Crew" guitarist Tommy Tedesco strung his mandolin with a custom-gauge set that allowed him to use DGBE or GCEA tuning), which will open up new sonic and employment possibilities - 25 years ago I was in an acoustic trio where I played everything but guitar...
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Old 09-02-2019, 07:03 PM
whvick whvick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve DeRosa View Post
I've been playing nearly 57 years...



I can hear the nuances of tone you allude to above...



FYI "intermediate" guitars are every major manufacturer's bread-and-butter - some have a complete dedicated lineup within their catalog, others specialize exclusively (or nearly so) in such instruments...



Here's a little secret: they're far better than you think and, if you're the kind of player who likes a variety of tones at his/her disposal, you can assemble a well-made, broad-based acoustic arsenal - large- and small-bodied steel-strings, nylon-string, 12-string, archtop, resonator, banjo, mandolin, ukulele - for the price of a couple of prestige-label boxes; FWIW other than the mandolin they all use (or can be tuned to) some variation of guitar tuning (TMK the late "Wrecking Crew" guitarist Tommy Tedesco strung his mandolin with a custom-gauge set that allowed him to use DGBE or GCEA tuning), which will open up new sonic and employment possibilities - 25 years ago I was in an acoustic trio where I played everything but guitar...


Just to give an idea of where Iím at with my stable
I have:
a 1998 Taylor 414 Ovangkol
2003 D-15 mahogany
1970 Aria A-560 Classical
1960ís Harmony Broadway archtop
2003 Tacoma/Orpheum solid rosewood/spruce deep body grand auditorium size made in Indonesia
Whvick/OP
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Old 09-02-2019, 07:15 PM
whvick whvick is offline
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I did get to try a six string banjo, and confirmed it was just not for me. [emoji848][emoji6]
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Old 09-02-2019, 07:22 PM
Tico Tico is offline
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When trying out guitars, especially in a large or noisy space, I like to sit close to and facing a wall.
It reflects sound back to my ears.

It may not be possible but tyry to face a wall that isn't covered with soft sound-absorbing material like carpeting, or covered with hanging guitars.

Be sure to sit in the same place, and face the same wall, when comparing guitars.
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Old 09-02-2019, 07:34 PM
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TBman TBman is offline
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I wonder what your wife was buying on the Home Shopping Network during those 3 hours you were gone....
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  #10  
Old 09-02-2019, 07:48 PM
whvick whvick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBman View Post
I wonder what your wife was buying on the Home Shopping Network during those 3 hours you were gone....


LOL
But really...she finished cleaning, painting and restocking the pantry. I offered to stay and help, but she said I would be in the way. [emoji848]
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  #11  
Old 09-02-2019, 08:14 PM
whvick whvick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tico View Post
When trying out guitars, especially in a large or noisy space, I like to sit close to and facing a wall.

It reflects sound back to my ears.



It may not be possible but tyry to face a wall that isn't covered with soft sound-absorbing material like carpeting, or covered with hanging guitars.



Be sure to sit in the same place, and face the same wall, when comparing guitars.


Good idea!
I like to do that in the bedroom.
However in guitar shops I am usually facing a wall of guitars. Would that affect the sound?
Thatís why I keep thinking sound portals may be a good idea
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  #12  
Old 09-02-2019, 09:27 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whvick View Post
Just to give an idea of where Iím at with my stable
I have:
a 1998 Taylor 414 Ovangkol
2003 D-15 mahogany
1970 Aria A-560 Classical
1960ís Harmony Broadway archtop
2003 Tacoma/Orpheum solid rosewood/spruce deep body grand auditorium size made in Indonesia...
Quote:
Originally Posted by whvick View Post
I did get to try a six string banjo, and confirmed it was just not for me...
You're most of the way there already - FWIW I own a '99 415 ovangkol and a 2001 D-15S, and my first guitar was a pre-truss rod Harmony Broadway that fell prey to the ravages of Black Diamond strings - and as far as the banjo is concerned it's hard to find a six-string with any real tone for less than four figures (I own a Deering D-6 - $1500+ used and ~$3500 new these days); that said, I'd recommend checking out a four-string banjo, either tenor (go with a 19-fret for all-around use - IME the 17-fretters are good for Irish tuning but little else) or plectrum (essentially a 5-string banjo minus the short fifth string), as they can not only be readily strung/tuned in some variation of guitar tuning and sound more lively, but can be found more easily (especially the tenors) at a reasonable price. I scored my '94 Deering Boston tenor for $300 w/OHSC about 15 years ago (a new one would run you ~$2K today) and set it up in drop-G tenor uke tuning (GCEA low-to-high, like the first four strings of a guitar capoed at the fifth fret) - once very popular among Jazz Era uke players looking to make the transition to banjo and all but forgotten today (TMK Chuck Romanoff of Schooner Fare is the sole active proponent); FYI it's an extremely versatile setup which I've used for everything from '20s jazz to traditional/neo-trad folk to Irish to sea chanteys to ersatz Scruggs-style - makes a great alternative lead instrument when a guitar just isn't "right," and you've got enough reserve volume to be heard in any situation...
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