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Old 04-10-2021, 08:32 AM
macmanmatty macmanmatty is offline
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Default Guitar maker / brands to consider with a lonsome 1970's folk sound

I have about 3k-4k to spend on a new guitar (not new I'm going to buy used or possibly custom made ). I'm looking for a lonesome Sunday morning coming down sound. Think 1970's folk like Tom Paxton , Peter Paul and Mary, Bill Staines, etc. and really like the tone of Steve Kinnaird and Del Langhens guitars. Alas Del is no longer making guitars and Steve's guitars are out of my budget. Any other good brands luthiers other than the usual suspects like Martin or Gibson. I prefer larger body types and would like a cutaway and must have 1 3/4" or 1 13/16" nut.
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Old 04-10-2021, 08:56 AM
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The folk sound was simple and basic, and I'd be looking for a 60s Martin, Guild or Gibson to replicate that sound. I say that as someone who attended the original Woodstock and also saw numerous folk singers perform at The Main Point in Bryn Mawr, PA and the Philadelphia Academy of Music in the 60s...
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Old 04-10-2021, 09:12 AM
Shortfinger Shortfinger is offline
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Gibson Dove is the one for you.
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Old 04-10-2021, 09:19 AM
J Patrick J Patrick is offline
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....certainly the big three guitar companies that were making guitars that got used during that period were Martin Gibson and Guild....each with a signature sound....plenty of makers producing guitars based on Martin and Gibson designs...Guild not so much....a Jumbo with a cutaway seems to fit the bill for what youíre looking for...or perhaps a Dreadnought with a cutaway...(I personally donít like the look of a cutaway Dreadnought)....a number of makers other than Martin Gibson and Guild offer guitars that might work for you but youíll need to look carefully to find one used at your price point.....the big three all make guitars that might work for you....

....as far as recommendations other than the big three go....there is a used Kevin Kopp Trailboss on Reverb right now that is worth a look....

https://reverb.com/item/32018519-200...p-system-vg-ex

Hereís a video of the great Daryl Scott playing his....

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Old 04-10-2021, 09:30 AM
vintageom vintageom is offline
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Perhaps look at Lowden's O (original) series guitars with cedar tops and mahogany back and sides.

They get stereotyped as Celtic and alternate tuning guitars, but they are all-around excellent sounding and playing guitars.

The Jumbo body, paired with cedar top and mahogany back/sides sounds really organic and earthy to me. I play a lot of old folk and coffee house era stuff and these O-bodied Lowdens do the trick nicely. The warmth and overtones are awesome. Delicate or Aggressive attack, they stand up to what you put into them.

They are not Martin or Gibson or Guild or Taylor, as you asked for input for other than the standards brands.

Good luck.
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Old 04-10-2021, 09:34 AM
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For me, a "lonesome Sunday morning coming down sound" is James Taylor's guitar sound on 'Fire and Rain.'

I believe that guitar was a Gibson J-50. One of the resident experts here can correct me if I'm wrong about that.
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Old 04-10-2021, 11:32 AM
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Well, since "Sunday Morning Coming Down" is the standard here, shouldn't we be looking to Kris Kristofferson for some inspiration. Gibson SJ, and I think a D-28.
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Old 04-10-2021, 12:03 PM
macmanmatty macmanmatty is offline
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I want a Sunday Morning coming down SOUND. Because there's nothing short of dying half as lonesome as that sound. I don't Necessarily mean like the guitar part of the song, though on most recordings that guitar part was sad. Not Johnny Cash's however, But his was still a great recording.

The sound I'm talking about is resonant full sad rich suspended. The kind of sound they play in the movies after some guys girlfriend moves halfway cross the country to California. Then he wakes up the next morning hungover half baked and reads the goodbye note his drunken crying girlfriend wrote the night before after the fight but before the silence. Next he walks down the the sleepy city sidewalk on a chilly fall Sunday Morning passing a few sleeping lowlifes next to cheap magazines covered with filth, rows of run down brownstones with broken windows graffiti and replaced with garbage bags , damaged street parked cars with even more busted out windows replaced with trash bags or dirty shirts, rows of street sweet-gum trees losing their leaves and sweet gum balls and overfilled trashcans as he reconsiders his life choices. The sound/ tone a Guitar would play as he's walking those sidewalks that is kind of sound I want.
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Old 04-10-2021, 12:05 PM
bufflehead bufflehead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RP View Post
The folk sound was simple and basic, and I'd be looking for a 60s Martin, Guild or Gibson to replicate that sound. I say that as someone who attended the original Woodstock and also saw numerous folk singers perform at The Main Point in Bryn Mawr, PA and the Philadelphia Academy of Music in the 60s...
Having cut my musical chops in the early '70s, I'd agree that fundamental tone is best. I can't imagine anything better to do that than a D-18 standard or a J-45.

I might point out, parenthetically, that people in this thread are writing about folk music as if it's something from the past. The folk tradition is very much alive, as are at least a few of its practitioners.
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Old 04-10-2021, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macmanmatty View Post
I want a Sunday Morning coming down SOUND. Because there's nothing short of dying half as lonesome as that sound.
Fair enough.
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Old 04-10-2021, 01:01 PM
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The sound you are looking for may or may not be in your fingers. Any of those guys mentioned could play anything. A Marshall stack does not a Van Halen make.
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Old 04-10-2021, 01:11 PM
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With a Dove, maybe you can play along as does Mr JJ:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoeOjMCZduE&loop=0
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Old 04-10-2021, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macmanmatty View Post
The kind of sound they play in the movies after some guys girlfriend moves halfway cross the country to California. Then he wakes up the next morning hungover half baked and reads the goodbye note his drunken crying girlfriend wrote the night before after the fight but before the silence. Next he walks down the the sleepy city sidewalk on a chilly fall Sunday Morning passing a few sleeping lowlifes next to cheap magazines covered with filth, rows of run down brownstones with broken windows graffiti and replaced with garbage bags , damaged street parked cars with even more busted out windows replaced with trash bags or dirty shirts, rows of street sweet-gum trees losing their leaves and sweet gum balls and overfilled trashcans as he reconsiders his life choices. The sound/ tone a Guitar would play as he's walking those sidewalks that is kind of sound I want.
That would be a 1930s National or Regal. And you need Ry Cooder to play it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by macmanmatty View Post
The sound I'm talking about is resonant full sad rich suspended.
^ But this sounds to me like a traditional spruce and rosewood OM / 808 / grand auditorium sound. Full and rich, warm bottom end (but not boomy like a dred) good middle, clean clear treble. This sound is a very common target among guitar makers, second only to the big, shouty bluegrass dreadnought sound, and every manufacturer has something aimed along these lines, with varying degrees of success.

A really good small jumbo can do this sound too (think Guild), but most jumbos don't have enough treble to do it in a balanced way. The "Taylor sound" is this sound exaggerated - a bit too much of a good thing in my book, but plenty of people like it. And it doesn't have to be spruce and rosewood: some guitars achieve much the same sort of rich, clear, warm, full sound with different woods - a cedar top, for example, or any of several different body materials. Just the same, it is typically spruce and rosewood, and usually in a smaller (but not too small) well-curved body.
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Old 04-10-2021, 04:42 PM
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A used Larrivee might fit the bill. Be sure to audition it before committing.
Note that Peter Yarrow has used one for decades.
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Old 04-10-2021, 05:09 PM
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This is usually the sound I am after on most days. I'll mention what I think you might like rather than a specific model.

I think any dreadnought or larger 0000 from Martin, Gibson, or even Yamaha should fit the bill. A number of these guitars would have had straight or taper bracing in the 60s to reduce warranty issues. Many would have had Sitka or European spruce tops. Of course what we hear in recordings is always going to sound more full and boomy than the actual guitar acoustically. So, for my purposes, I prefer scalloped braced guitars even for folk. I suspect if you can find a style D-28, D-35, J-45, SJ or similar model with the better woods and appointments from any of the large or small makers you'll be happy.

All things being equal, my experience is that in a 14 fret dreadnought shape:

Sitka would be a good baseline top
European spruce will bring more harmonics and perhaps a little more volume
Adirondack spruce will provide more head room and more mids

Genuine mahogany would be the baseline back and sides
East Indian Rosewood will accentuate the highs and lows in comparison
Madagascar Rosewood will provide more bell like highs and mids
Guatemalan Rosewood will provide more bell like highs and lows
Honduran Rosewood will provide a very loud tone with accentuated highs and mids

12 fret standard scale will make a louder and more bass producing guitar.

If I had a nice budget (~$3,000) to spend on a folk/folk rock/Americana guitar, I'd probably buy what I just bought: a new Martin HD-28, or alternatively a new D-35. If I had more money to spend, I'd look at a Collings D2H (or H&D, Bourgeois, etc.) with a German/European top and scalloped braces.
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