The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Thread Tools
Old 03-04-2024, 10:07 PM
Robin, Wales Robin, Wales is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Eryri, Wales
Posts: 4,604

Originally Posted by EasilyAmused View Post
But I’m going to know it is a $300 guitar!

I just played some shows this weekend where we were mic’d with condensor mic’s, the audience was quiet enough that you could hear a pin drop, and l was paid near 1K per night…. The group I was with had rave reviews and booked 5 more shows with similar money from that night alone…. As I mentioned, I’ve done gigs this year playing with orchestra- the cellists aren’t going “ah, why bother bringing a good instrument, the audience won’t notice.” While they aren’t going to notice in the louder country gigs, they sure are going to hear it in these more intimate acoustic settings!

I should add, more than likely, this guitar will end up being recorded too - I get calls for recording work on electric all the time, and with the way my acoustic live gigs are picking up, I could certainly see that then spill over to studio too.

Back to the guitars: There’s also the playability thing. I’ve been playing professionally for 25 years and I hate to sound snobby, but I’ve just gotten used to a certain quality of feel/playability/dynamic response.

I do have a cheaper dreadnaught guitar, and it is good for what it is, but it also does not have the dynamic response or range of a higher quality instrument. My 00015m is a far more dynamic instrument, better neck, frets, everything I’ve picked up enough high quality dreads to know that a lot of the shortcomings of my dread are more about quality as opppsed to body style...

Anyway, I really just want a high quality, workhorse guitar. It doesn’t need to be the last guitar I ever own, but it probably needs to be the only other acoustic I can buy for at least the next 5 years.
This is good! You are starting to find answers to your own question.

What is it precisely that you think you are missing at the moment? Where have you heard "that timbre" you are looking for? On a recording? Live show? Specific artists "sound"?

Your perfect all rounder may not be the all rounder for someone else. But I bet that given your extensive musical experience you have the timbre in your head that you are chasing. You just need to identify its match in reality.

I'll throw a J45 into the mix for you to consider trying. There's been an awful lot of classic tracks laid down on one of those over the years.
I'm learning to flatpick and fingerpick guitar to accompany songs.

I've played and studied traditional noter/drone mountain dulcimer for many years. And I used to play dobro in a bluegrass band.

Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2024, 10:23 PM
BluesKing777 BluesKing777 is offline
Registered User
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 3,540

Originally Posted by EasilyAmused View Post
I’ve found myself getting called for more acoustic guitar than ever before this year, which has been a nice change in my gig life! For years, I’ve worked with national touring artists in all sorts of styles, playing electric guitar, despite having studied classical guitar 20 years ago and having some pretty strong finger style and flat picking chops.

Anyway, this year, things kind of shifted. I’ve ended up playing acoustic in so many settings - with country bands, with a symphony, doing bluegrass, folk duos, pop gigs, church gigs, solo finger style for weddings, etc….

My only “good” acoustic is a Martin 000-15m. I LOVE that guitar, but it does sound a little small for stronger strumming, though it has great punchy mid range for single notes, and mine is surprisingly loud acoustically. It is a great guitar, but not necessarily the best “everything” guitar for me.

So I’m curious, what is your go to “all rounder”? Fwiw, my budget is probably capping out around the 3k range for an additional guitar at this point.
Are you getting nicely paid for all this lovely acoustica?

If so, there is only one you need - a used 15-20 year old Martin EC! (000-28EC or higher end versions depending on wallet).

Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2024, 10:24 PM
gmr gmr is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 523

It sounds like you’re looking for a real nice J45 to my senses. They really do seem like they’ve earned their “workhorse” moniker. But I’m no pro, I just play at home to entertain myself. And the cats. And the dog. And my wife tolerates my playing too.
Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2024, 10:32 PM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 4,902

Congratulations on the opportunities to play you have right now. Now on to your question.

You're you. You're experienced. You're likely to know or can estimate more than many (most? all?) of us what will work for you. Some of us would like to help, but by its nature your question is hard for us to answer for you.

A great many stage and recording guitars use a great many models. As an experienced player, you likely know that, but I'll say this here for completeness. For the exacting player there's even the widespread belief that acoustic guitars are individual, so one person's "Model xxxx from Company YYYY" is just the thing -- but it might have qualities that another example of what is sold as the same model may not have.

For stage playing in a wide range of roles including bluegrass* and recording the Martin D18 or a similar model is a classic solution chosen by many. There are a lot of them out there since it's been a standard model for some many years. You could spend more or less than what Martin charges for a current new model, but from my view that's a consensus choice that won't seem out of place in any of the contexts you're listed.

*You mention bluegrass as one on the contexts you're being asked to play in.
Creator of The Parlando Project

Guitars: 20th Century Seagull S6-12, S6 Folk, Seagull M6; '00 Guild JF30-12, '01 Martin 00-15, '16 Martin 000-17, '07 Parkwood PW510, Epiphone Biscuit resonator, Merlin Dulcimer, and various electric guitars, basses....
Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2024, 10:34 PM
gurroz gurroz is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Sep 2023
Location: Arizona
Posts: 263

I know a couple of guys that gig 15-20 gigs per month. One played a Taylor 814 the other played a higher-end Eastman. The one with the Taylor recently switched to a Yamaha AC series. He liked it so well that the guy who played the Eastman bought one as well. One has mahogany and the other has rosewood. They love them, they say they have really good electronics and is almost impossible to get feedback. I've never played one, they seem to be designed for performers.
Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2024, 10:40 PM
jspe jspe is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 295
Default j45

Another plug for the J45. Mine has been taking me everywhere for more than 10 years now, and just keeps getting sweeter. One upgrade I would recommend is an easy, already footprinted switch over from the Baggs Element to the Anthem SL.
Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2024, 10:59 PM
Bridgepin Bridgepin is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Northern Ca.
Posts: 2,572

For me it's my Martin D-28 Marquis.
Proud member of OFC
Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2024, 11:12 PM
Monty Christo Monty Christo is offline
Join Date: Jan 2023
Posts: 615

My immediate first thought was J-45, but a J-35 or Songwriter should also be on your list of Gibsons to try. All of them can cover a lot of ground, but each has its own flavor.
Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2024, 11:42 PM
Mbroady's Avatar
Mbroady Mbroady is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Asheville via NYC
Posts: 6,329

Some great suggestions, some over the 3 grand mark. Boucher was one but if you get a chance to play one you might find it worth the extra coin. It would also be one of the louder unplugged guitars you might run across, if that’s important to you.

You might want to try a Furch vintage 2 or 3 or, better yet if you can find them, an older Stonebridge D33 Sr (Spruce /rosewood) or D 32 SM. (spruce/Mahogany). They would be a great working man’s guitar. And you can save some coin along the way. I see them listed around $1500 US. Not as loud unplugged as a Boucher but They’re a great reliable guitar for live gigs and recording.

Good luck on your search.
David Webber Round-Body
Furch D32-LM
MJ Franks Lagacy OM
Rainsong H-WS1000N2T
Stonebridge OM33-SR DB
Stonebridge D22-SRA
Tacoma Papoose
Voyage Air VAD-2
1980 Fender Strat
A few Partscaster Strats
MIC 60s Classic Vib Strat

Last edited by Mbroady; 03-04-2024 at 11:49 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2024, 12:48 AM
Brushwood's Avatar
Brushwood Brushwood is online now
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee area
Posts: 421

I’d suggest checking out a Martin 000-18 Norman Blake Signature. A limited number of them were made and built to Mr. Blake’s specifications. You can occasionally find one used for around $3,000.
Martin 000-18 Norman Blake
1997 Seagull Rosewood Custom Shop Model
Brunner Basic Outdoor Guitar
Eastman T386SB
Aria Sinsonido AS-100C/SPL (customized to steel string)
Mid 1930’s Kay Kraft Deluxe K2 archtop
Seagull S12 converted to 6 string lap slide
Takamine TF740FS
2008 Pono PGKC (flamed Hawaiian Koa 0 cutaway)
Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2024, 03:18 AM
Mr. Paul's Avatar
Mr. Paul Mr. Paul is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: in the shadow of Humboldt Peak
Posts: 4,018

Originally Posted by sinistral View Post
For an all-rounder, I would suggest an OM (e.g., OM-18, OM-28 or variants/similar) an M-36 (that’s the guitar that Carl Miner took to the B.I.G. guitar show the other year), a J-45 or a x14 series Taylor. Since you already have a mahogany guitar, perhaps go with rosewood (or the maple 614ce). If you can spring for it, an OM-28 Modern Deluxe, Pre-War Guitar Co. OM or Collings OMJM would be higher-end choices that would make great gigging guitars.
I enjoy my guitars that are good for this and good for that, but the best all around guitar I know is my buddy's M38. The combination of rich and articulate is hard to beat.

Goodall, Martin, Wingert
Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2024, 03:27 AM
PapaLobo PapaLobo is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2023
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 78

There is no one does all , but my favorite all around acoustic is my PRS Angelus private stock in Cocobolo and Euro spruce. Rich , clear , loud and gorgeous.
Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2024, 06:20 AM
mimmo mimmo is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2022
Posts: 97

My all-round is my Gibson J-45 Original 50s.
Give the J-45 a try, you won't regret it.
A world where rats turn into stars
Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2024, 06:22 AM
musicman1951 musicman1951 is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Albany, NY
Posts: 5,030

My first choice would be a 000-42 Marquis, balanced tone and great for both fingerstyle and strumming. But they only made 155 of these, so if you can't find one a 000-28 is an excellent choice.
Martin 000-42 Marquis
Taylor Classical
Alvarez 12 String
Gibson ES345s
Fender P-Bass
Gibson tenor banjo
Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2024, 06:50 AM
abn556 abn556 is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2023
Location: Kingwood, TX
Posts: 1,267

Originally Posted by porterr68 View Post
Even though my current pick is a good OM, a Gibson J45 is probably the king of versatility.
+1 on the J-45 pick. I love my Custom Shop J-45. Its just a killer all around guitar. Second choice would be my 000-18. Not as loud, but killer tone.
Gibson and Fender Electrics
Boutique Tube Amps
Martin, Gibson, and Larrivee Acoustics
Reply With Quote

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Thread Tools

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:44 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=