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Old 04-15-2014, 08:50 AM
rmyAddison rmyAddison is offline
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If Martin disappeared tomorrow I would buy Santa Cruz, but as Wade mentioned not every guitar from any builder is great each and every time.

Santa Cruz/Collings/Bourgeois/H&D/Froggies, and in my experience, comparably priced Martins are all capable of building great guitars, depends on you tastes.

We all have different "bests"..........
Rich - rmyAddison

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Old 04-15-2014, 08:58 AM
Play Play is offline
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When compared with the vast majority of Martins, Gibsons, and Taylors I've ever played, Santa Cruz guitars typically far exceed them in terms of build quality, fit and finish, playability, and tone (in my personal opinion). But you'll also pay for that.

When compared with other boutique brands, I tend to find them on par with most, both out-shined by some and better than others on average. But at that level, it often comes down to personal preference in tone. And even when compared with some of the higher level big name brand guitars, it often comes down to personal preference in tone.

As my ears and fingers continue to develop, though, I tend to find things I like about some of the boutique brand guitars that aren't offered or don't stand out at the same level on even some of the high end big name guitars. Not always, but in general.

One thing to keep in mind is that as a player improves and develops over the years, their experience with each guitar they pick up will continually become more personal and individualized. The aspects of tone, feel, and aesthetics each player focuses on will not only change from player to player with each guitar, but also from session to session with each individual player over time. I certainly don't hear or focus on the same things I used to when I was playing even a couple years ago, and certainly not 10 or more years ago. Keep an open mind and remember that the guitars aren't the only things that will change over time.
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:00 AM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Originally Posted by kerbie View Post
Yes, they are... as are Collings, Bourgeois, Froggies, etc.
I agree. I think Santa Cruz, Collings, Huss & Dalton, Froggy Bottom, Bourgeois, perhaps some I am not remembering are all well-made guitars. Guitars vary and not everything you play is going to appeal to you. But these guitars are certainly worth checking out. I own a Collings OM1ADD and 2 Santa Cruz guitars: OM/PW and FS. I also own an Olson SJ and a Sheppard GA. The Collings and Santa Cruz guitars fit right in with the Olson and Sheppard guitars.

I have also played some guitars from the makers in my first sentence that just did not appeal to me. But if half the guitars I pick up from a manufacturer strike me as outstanding examples, I think that's doing pretty well in this world. And that's about my record with these guitars. A high percentage of what they make appeals to me.

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Old 04-15-2014, 09:06 AM
Scallywag Scallywag is offline
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I've played some that really impressed me (a particular OM Grand comes to mind.) Others were disappointing (a particular F model comes to mind.) Being that I'm a fingerstyler I'm most intrigued by the FS model, though I've yet to try one. I can't speak on their dreadnoughts - I'm not a fan of that body type.

Anyways, the fit and finish on SCGC instruments is excellent. As is the case with any maker, you need to play a bunch to find one that really stands out (and justifies the high price tag.) Tonally speaking, most are good but some are really excellent.

FWIW, I would look at Bourgeois before Santa Cruz but that's just me.
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Old 04-15-2014, 10:03 AM
usb_chord usb_chord is offline
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They definitely are if that's the sound you're into. I personally think SGCGs sound *very* different from most Martins. They're typically more balanced, less "growl" as the Martin guys like to say, and a much more sparkle in the highs. Almost modern to my ear.
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Old 04-15-2014, 10:23 AM
ewalling ewalling is offline
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Originally Posted by SuperB23 View Post
Santa Cruz guitars are great!! They are built very lightly and combine that with the incredible voicing talents of Joeseph King and Richard Hoover. They are very responsive and a joy to play!!
Yes, I played a used OM in the Hallandale GC, and I was also struck by the light build. It sounded great, too.
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:07 AM
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fishstick_kitty fishstick_kitty is offline
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SC happens to be my favorite boutique builder. They just speak to me. YMMV. I also like Richard Hoover (youtube him), and their forum is pretty good too ( Richard Hoover posts there a couple times a week, which is a nice touch. I have interacted with SC a couple of times with questions and they really REALLY stand behind their product.
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:08 AM
cu4life7 cu4life7 is offline
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Yes. Next question.

If funds were limitless, I'd have a couple. The 1929 00 and 000 are fantastic. The OMPW is classic. I have never bonded with their dreads, but their small bodies are fantastic.
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:22 AM
Andy Howell Andy Howell is offline
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Yes. I have had one for 15 years which still blows away more expensive opposition. I've also played a load of others and never one which disappointed. The new OM Grand is one very serious guitar which is amazing value for money!
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:31 AM
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devellis devellis is offline
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They're very nice guitars. Perhaps a more relevant question for a Santa Cruz or any other guitar is, "does it fit with the player's needs/desires?"

I owned one and have played several others. As I said, they're very nice. But what they deliver isn't what I find myself looking for these days. The 000-12 that I owned had a rich, full voice with amazing sustain. It enveloped me in sound. Problem was, that wasn't what I came to want from a guitar. I wanted greater clarity and immediacy. So, although it was a great guitar, it wasn't a good fit. I think the sustain in particular was a problem for my style of playing. I couldn't get enough articulation from it and the notes seemed to all run together. For slow, courtly, lyrical pieces, it was superb but for gutsier blues, it was "too pretty." Other Santa Cruz guitars I've played shared that sweetness and sustain, though to varying degrees. Some players can do magical things with those attributes. I, ham-fisted clod that I am, cannot.

Beyond a certain quality point, the issue of "fit" becomes really important to me. There are lots of great guitars, judging by any criterion you can think of. But not all of them will optimally suit a particular player's style.
Bob DeVellis
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Old 04-15-2014, 12:06 PM
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ljguitar ljguitar is offline
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Hi jw...

The ones I've played are really good. I've played a small body, a 12 fret, and several Dreadnoughts (14 fret).

Really nice guitars, with a genuine reputation earned from producing great guitars - not hype.

Larry J

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Old 04-15-2014, 12:37 PM
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BBWW BBWW is offline
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Um hum!

[IMG][/IMG]Um Hum

I have a 1990 OM and a 2014 OO 1929.

Last edited by BBWW; 04-15-2014 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 04-15-2014, 03:06 PM
Landru Landru is offline
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My brother-in-law owns a SCGC 00-Skye - from direct experience playing it, my opinion is that the Skye is a great guitar. Better than a great 00-28vs? No, but different sounding. Better built? Maybe cosmetically - maybe, but I haven't really leaned in with my electron microscope. Lighter? Yes.

It all depends on the ears being used at the time of the comparison.
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Old 04-15-2014, 03:47 PM
jimmybcool jimmybcool is offline
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I have a SCGC Vintage Jumbo. I purchased it used from an expat in Thailand which is where this guitar lives.

When I am gone it sits in an un-airconditioned condo for 3 months at a time. I've had it for 4-5 years now. It's life before me was pretty heavy coming from Hawaii and being played heavily by prior owner who gigged.

It has finish worn. And a few bumps.

In comparison to my stable of guitars here in the state which includes R Taylors, McPhersons, a Petros, which I list so you know I have other high end guitars. I've owned Martin Marquis (OM 28) and a few others.

The SCGC is a very fine instrument. It holds tune. Has required a setup every few years due to going between 90% and 30% humidity. My gut says the only wood acoustic that might have held up better to the extremes this one has been through is a McPherson which seem to be built like tanks.

Having said all that I have no desire to import another acoustic guitar. It sounds wonderful and plays great. ABout a week after I get there and it is in the dryer air from AC it starts playing again. And has a wonderful even tone and excellent projection. I've also played it through PAs and it sounds very natural. I would not hesitate to buy another SCGC product.

If you are looking in the smei-boutique area of guitars I feel SCGC merits consideration by anyone looking at Collings, Bourgouis, R Taylor, Huss and Dalton, Lowden, etc. A fine manufacturer of guitars.
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Old 04-15-2014, 03:49 PM
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Dirk Hofman Dirk Hofman is offline
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Originally Posted by jw3571 View Post
I've been reading people's reviews on here and other sites about how great their SCGC guitars are. Are they really that great? I've never had the chance to play one, as no one around me carries one. I have a Martin D42, Gibson AJ & Hummingbird, and a Taylor 618fe. Would I really notice a difference compared to the guitars I have? I don't want to buy based on hype but if they are really that great, maybe I should check one out?
Definitely check them out. Great guitars, but IMO they've priced themselves out of my consideration for new guitars. Way too many great guitars available for less. Not sure what they're thinking the last 2-3 years.
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