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Old 12-25-2020, 04:39 AM
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Methos1979 Methos1979 is offline
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Default NGD: Froggy Bottom H12 Deluxe - 2nd Update: Video review & demo vs. Martin D-1

Second update: Added YouTube review and demo video with A/B vs. Martin D-1 Custom

So I went ahead and did my usual YouTube review & demo video where I talk way too much and play too little. I also added an A/B section vs. my Martin D-1 Custom just to see the difference. As I did in the first update, I'll give you time stamp queue's so you can jump to the playing of the different styles between the two guitars which some people find helpful when trying to hear the differences between the two. I also played the Froggy at last night's AGF Open Mic and I was extremely happy with the sound of the performance. In fact it was my all-time favorite from an overall guitar tone and vocal perspective. I think this guitar is going to be a winner and keeper after all.

Here are the time stamps in case you want to jump around:

6:11 - Froggy Bottom, fingerstyle (no nails)
7:23 - Froggy Bottom, pick (Blue Chip CT-55)
7:59 - Froggy Bottom, simulated pick (using fingers/nails)
9:24 - Martin D-1 Custom, fingerstyle (no nails)
10:26 - Martin D-1 Custom, pick (Blue Chip CT-55)
11:16 - Martin D-1 Custom, simulated pick (using fingers/nails)

Video:




Update: One week in with performance link

It's been a week since I acquired my first Froggy Bottom acoustic guitar and I've had a chance to play the H12 a bit including a nice hour-long New Year's Eve Facebook Live Stream performance with my wife and acoustic duo partner which was very enlightening. I even did a little AGF intro at the beginning. Note - it really needs to be listened to on good speakers or headphones. Computer speakers (at least mine) are so awful. So if you are on Facebook and want to check out that here is the link:

Live Facebook Streaming NYE show featuring Froggy Bottom H12

Here's a good demo of four styes of play on four consecutive songs with minute:second counters to help you jump around:

9:30- a fingerstyle song (no nails) all the way through.
14:06 - a mellow song using a pick all the way through.
18:59 - an upbeat song using muted pick strumming.
23:14 - a mellow song that is played fingerstyle in the intro and verse and uses a 'simulated' pick strumming using just thumb and index finger on the choruses. I talk about this more below.

My main thought just a week in is I can now see why so many people love Froggy Bottom guitars and the H12 in EIR in particular. It's been many years since I've owned a rosewood guitar and so the incredible lush and wet overtones is nearly overwhelming as compared to my all-mahogany 12-fret dread. Played fingerstyle this is very pleasing to the ear. But played with a pick these overtones, combined with incredible volume of the Froggy Bottom H12 build, threatens to overwhelm everything in the room. I can see why this guitar is marketed and preferred as a fingerstyle instrument.

If you watch the video you may or may not notice that when I play with a pick on the strummer songs that I take a full step back from the mic (Ear Trumpet Labs Edwina) while my wife leans in. What you can't see is that I'm also strumming just as lightly as I possibly can because the guitar is SO loud. One thing I was very pleased with was how great the guitar sounded when I do my 'simulated' pick technique where I press my thumb and index finger together tightly to simulate holding a guitar pick. On most guitars this gives a halfway decent head-fake toward a pick sound but on this guitar when I listened back I was extremely happy with and even preferred the sound of this over the actual pick use. This is good thing since now I won't necessarily have to switch guitars between fingerstyle and strumming songs on our future live stream shows.

In summary, the Froggy Bottom H12 continues to wow me in every way possible. The concern with the narrower 2 3/16" string spacing is a non-issue and I did not notice it one bit during last night's hourlong show. Anyone considering adding a Froggy Bottom guitar - especially an H12 in rosewood - add me to the long list of fans and wholehearted enthusiasts that recommend these guitars. Sure, they don't give them away and at the prices they command you can buy a whole lot of guitar from just about any builder but they are a worthy contender amongst their fellow boutique builders.

Original NGD post:

First of all, since it's 4 AM Christmas morning as I begin to write this let me say Merry Christmas! In what has become a delightfully dangerous trend four years running now, I have treated myself to a new guitar on or around Christmas. I'm beginning to consider retirement so I started thinking about looking into my 'retirement' guitar, something nice that I would buy myself as a present and at the top of that list was Froggy Bottom. I was leaning towards a C model which is their 00 size in 12 fret but the H12 was a close second as it's pretty much Froggy Bottom's flagship guitar and their most popular model and best seller for the past 20 years. I do like that these guitars are built in Vermont, just a stone's throw from New Hampshire. It's a New England thing.

There was one on Reverb that looked interesting and stood out from the pack. It was a 2006 H12 Deluxe in Adi over EIR with a few custom options like a nice burst finish, gold Waverly tuners, and a nice little scrimshaw cap of a mountain lion and evergreen trees by the brilliant but now retired Pietra Mitchell who did custom inlays and scrimshaw caps for 25 years at Froggy Bottom. In addition to those three custom features it had a slotted & bound headstock, curly maple binding, abalone fretboard inlays and Paua abalone rosette and backstripe which looks awesome on that perfectly straight grain and very dark East Indian rosewood back. Even the abalone Froggy Bottom logo had an interesting and attractive 'burst' pattern to it that matches the burst finish.

Visually the guitar is nothing short of stunning. The photos the guy posted were really pretty bad compared to how it looks in person. He did describe the guitar as near-mint with only a small ding on the back bottom corner of the heel to keep it from being mint. There was plenty of saddle height and no fret wear at all. Short of the date on the sticker inside the sound hole you would never know this guitar is a 2006. Even the excellent TKL American Vintage hard case is in perfect condition. The guitar is of course light as a feather and the tone is exactly what you'd expect from a Froggy Bottom guitar - excellent. It's been quite some time since I've owned a rosewood back and sides guitar and I'd forgotten how much I love the lush, wet overtones and scooped mids. It's the opposite of my Martin D-1 in tonal color.

The guy's starting price was on the high side for an '06 but he dropped it pretty quick a significant amount. We traded a few messages and he answered my questions and provided additional crappy photos but I got a good vibe from him. Finally, I made a lower but respectful offer which he countered with a fair price and I pulled the trigger. Now, I had no intention of this guitar arriving for Christmas. He said he would ship Monday morning from Florida and with the current state of backed up shipping all over the country I figured I'd be lucky to get it the day after Christmas. But it arrived on Christmas Eve making me four for four in 'Christmas miracle' guitars for the fourth year in a row. Hence the delightfully dangerous statement earlier. I figured this was my chance to 'dip my toe into the Frog pond', as I've come to refer to my entry into the Froggy Bottom guitar owner club. And while it's still early, this guitar appears to be a winner.

Where to from here? Well, first up of course is a front strap button because I always need one of those since I play standing. And while I generally doubt I'll take this guitar out for live play I still might throw a pickup system of some type in it. Maybe a Dazzo or something similar. But no rush on that as I have my gigging guitars for live play. I figured I'd better write and post this now as the winds are picking up outside and we're due to get a Christmas day storm all day with wind gusts up to 70 mph which will surely lead to massive power outages in the Northeast. Yay. Oh well, at least I'll have a nice new toy to play with all day while the generator keeps the lights on!

Photos (more farther down):


Last edited by Methos1979; 07-20-2021 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 12-25-2020, 06:30 AM
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Haasome Haasome is offline
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Lucky man! Your guitar arrived safely and ahead of expectations. That’s a great start. I hope you enjoy your H-12 and look forward to your upcoming posts. Merry Christmas Scott.

Just saw the pictures — gorgeous!
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Last edited by Haasome; 12-25-2020 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 12-25-2020, 06:48 AM
Kerbie Kerbie is offline
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Congratulations and Merry Christmas! Hope you enjoy it... I have no doubt.

Wow... gorgeous!

Last edited by Kerbie; 12-25-2020 at 07:07 PM.
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Old 12-25-2020, 07:25 AM
jschmitz54 jschmitz54 is offline
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Congratulations and Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-25-2020, 07:53 AM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is offline
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Fantastic! Wow, what a great Christmas Eve surprise. Looking forward to some pics. Enjoy!
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Old 12-25-2020, 08:09 AM
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Methos1979 Methos1979 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerbie View Post
Congratulations and Merry Christmas! Hope you enjoy it... I have no doubt.

BTW, I just tested loading a pic through the app and it worked fine. Let me know if I can help.
Just sent you a message before seeing this. Not sure what the deal is but my app is not working for some reason. Only with AGF. It works on the other forums I access.
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Old 12-25-2020, 08:58 AM
Deliberate1 Deliberate1 is offline
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Best wishes on your Christmas joy. Nice to have my H12's cousin back in the neighborhood - I'm in Maine. It's a New England thing, like you said. I checked out the images on Reverb. And while they are remarkably poor for a sales presentation, the beauty of the instrument shines through. A stunner, for sure. We also share that retirement horizon, though mine is closer than yours - at the end of next week. I took up the guitar last year in anticipation of this life change - after 55 years as a woodwinds player and current (pre-pandemic) lead tenor in an 18 piece big band. It has been a joy to have another musical outlet. And the Froggy I bought in May from Raymond at Acoustic Music Works has been a great inspiration. My fingers may be feeble, but my ear is not. I hope that yours gives you endless hours of musical joy. Frankly, given the winters we have been experiencing, the flakes on your neck may be the only snow you see.
Best wishes
David
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Old 12-25-2020, 09:11 AM
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Methos1979 Methos1979 is offline
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Photos


Last edited by Methos1979; 07-20-2021 at 02:41 PM.
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Old 12-25-2020, 09:12 AM
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And a few more


Last edited by Methos1979; 07-20-2021 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 12-25-2020, 09:22 AM
Emil Emil is offline
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Wow!
That thing looks amazing!
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Old 12-25-2020, 09:26 AM
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Whoa! A burst. And scrimshaw! Congrats.

You did right to get a rosewood.
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Old 12-25-2020, 09:33 AM
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Now that's a Merry Christmas! Beautiful...I can almost hear it.

Wouldn't surprise me if a FB is in my future.

scott
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Old 12-25-2020, 09:41 AM
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WOW! Absolutely stunning. Congrats!
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Old 12-25-2020, 09:43 AM
Rwpierce Rwpierce is offline
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Default NGD: Froggy Bottom H12 Deluxe

Congratulations, beautiful Froggy and from Santa no less!! Santa was good to me as well, a Collings 290 dcs showed up on Christmas Eve and I spent two hours with it last night. What fun great fun, guitars for Christmas!
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Old 12-25-2020, 09:49 AM
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Beautiful guitar! Merry Christmas!!
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