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Everything posted by Idunno

  1. Is there a microphone that records better than another at that proximity to the guitar? I know quality of microphones varies but at such close range I would think it to be very nuanced. That said, the arrangement/placement of the microphones is actually more important to my experience than most other aspects. I use a Shure SM58 on the guitar as well as a Zoom Hr recorder. The SM58 handles the job pretty well but being a home recording hack with little to gain (in every sense) over it by spending a lot more isn't something I'd do. Now, I do see some people placing two small diaphragm condenser microphones in an X-Y pattern in front of the guitar, and some use a single large diaphragm microphone (Studio-1, et al), achieving equal results (in my ear). I think the mods here are studio techs by trade and can lay it all out better than my novice experience can. I will say that the Zoom H4 recorder gives very fine results with its onboard X-Y mounted small diaphragm condenser microphones. Like the SM58, I place it at the 12th fret, pointed towards the sound hole, and it never fails to faithfully capture my playing, such that is it. Let's be clear on one point, though. The quality of the sound starts with the quality of the guitar.
  2. Howard, my first steel string was a Yamaha FG230 12-string. I think the exchange rate between US and Pound Stirling at the time was about $2.90. That Yamaha with cardboard case cost me $135.00 (or £46), but I was a union laborer at that time knocking down a whopping $7.10/hour. My apartment rent was $235.00/month, I was single and could afford to lavish myself with a much more expensive guitar. But, my ignorance of guitars let me choose by ear and that Yamaha sounded great.
  3. You will evolve a practical (relative) sense of value, or you won't, depending upon how romantically involved you are with the whole of the acoustic guitar as an object and as an instrument for making music with. I suspect many are taken in by it as an object with an intrinsic value that eclipses any (mere) monetary valuation. In this sense money is an irrelevant method of valuation. If you do not have that sense of the guitar, and value it strictly upon it's benefit to making music, your evolved ears and hands will determine the value of a guitar, distinct from all others, and they cannot be influenced or persuaded by the builder's asking price. I see countless private builder's used guitars on the market and this tells me a couple things. People with means bought them and then decided to divest them. Why? Should I suggest that money alone did not provide them with the magical sound they were searching for. Or, should I suggest that money alone did not make them good players? Or, name your reason, they were bought and by some measure presented a less than satisfying experience to their buyers. Now, I've perused all of the private builder sites and have seen their products. They are beautiful examples of finely crafted woods brought together in the most aesthetically pleasing variety of ways. But, I'm guessing many of those guitar's appeal stops right there. I've played many, many of them in my short excursions around one day's reach and have not found any I would invest $1000.00 in, much less they're asking price. I did buy a guitar that wholly consumed me in 2007. I chose it over many other high-end boutique builder's guitar's. I found a shop in an off-beat town that carried many of these guitars. At the end of the visit I walked out with a guitar that I would have never, in a more rational moment, purchased. But, moreover, I was imbued with a sense of disappointment insomuch as a first hand acquired sense of mediocrity regarding the other boutique guitars I'd played. With lot's of forum-speak support heaping accolades onto those guitars I could only think such chatter was mostly from inexperienced people of means rather than evolved skills - ears and hands - who embraced the guitars as precious objects first, musical instruments second. Last word, the boomer generation is huge and has a lot of buying power. Throw a few guitar forums at hobbyists and watch a boutique market blossom from it. I suspect the reputation of the average private builder to be born of forum speak alone, driving demand, driving up prices and I expect it to all come crashing down when the boomers slip past their newly retired spending sprees. It's already starting if we glance at the used market. Bottom line, the boomers inflated the prices of guitars and that alone is economics 101, meaning, no, the guitars really are not worth their asking prices.
  4. That piece will rest flat against the rib cage (rib rest). If you've ever played a long session, in the non-classical posture, you will have experienced the sharp edge of the guitar digging into your ribs at that area of the waist. This angled rest the OP has designed into that edge will relieve the player of that. At least that's the purpose I'm guessing it to be.
  5. Jaded? Well, yes, as a matter of fact I am. I feel stuck in a turnstile with the same geriatric questions and answers competing for renewed relevance. It's like a meme unto itself. That said, I never was interested in the acoustic guitar as a topic of discussion so I suppose I'm off that grid.
  6. Eye-balling it in his pic, I'd put the angle of the rib insert 65-70° relative to the side. That assumes constant thickness.
  7. I want to play one but haven't found one yet. The box stores carry the cheaper models and all of them have excellent playability. I've owned a few.
  8. In 73 there wasn't much else out there to compare. Gibson (a non-contender to this day) was the brand I asked myself what the fuss was all about. Compared to the sound of a Martin, I thought the entire Gibson line-up was meek. I was 18 and could hear a pin drop in the next room (with a carpeted floor). But, I've been told that's because I don't appreciate the Gibson sound, which is a defensive forum-coined term that suggests subjectivity without sacrificing a reputation for quality of sound (in the right ear). I've simply determined Gibson owners to have tin ears - which is also a permissible citing in subjectivity. Tit for tat. Then there was Guild, second to Martin, leaving the Gibson brand a very distant third but well appointed for store wall decorations. I played Cort Jumbos that made the Gibson J-200 sound like it's in the next room (also carpeted). Of the (then) big three, Martin was clearly (clean ears) the only choice for quality of sound, Guild held its own and with the F-412/512 series 12-strings (I owned the F-412) it blew away all others, and Gibson was there for the people who liked bling on their shirts, fingers, belt buckles, boots, hat bands and guitars.
  9. I agree with that. I've tried the mahogany from guitars using it with back and sides to guitars using it everywhere. You do things like that when people rave about it enough to brainwash you into pursuing mahogany like it's an elixir of tone. Anyway, back to spruce over rosewood, that's my preference. The Martins I've owned are few. The models were D-35, D12-35, D-18, DM and OMV-16E. I bought one of those HPL concert size Martins I bashed into a nylon string cross-over for a friend to learn on but that was bought to experiment with so I don't count it. The only memorable one of those was the D-35. I liked its sound a lot. The last one flew the coup in 2005 and I haven't seriously considered the brand since then, or played one. If I was to get curious again it would be about the D-35. I liked it over the D-28 series. But, I prefer classical these days so that will probably not happen.
  10. No more cats around the house but, yea, they competed for the elusive strings at changing time. Pet talk - I had a Cockateal that was very loyal, and very jealous of anyone or thing that it determined was a threat to its station in life as my buddy. I'd scratch its head and it would push into my fingers. When I played guitar (finger picking) it would fly to my right shoulder, climb down my arm, perch on my picking hand and nip at each finger as it plucked a string. Not sure, but I think it was jealous of me "scratching" something other than it. Its name was Pepe.
  11. Played a bunch but best, within the brand itself, never occurred to me to sort out. Not sure I know anyone else who has, or anyone who has ever attempted to sort it out and state the outcome. But, then again, I don't know many players and those cats don't play Martins.
  12. I've never played either of them but have to give Yamaha points for making good guitars affordable. The AC3R (rosewood) and AC3M (mahogany) may have a slight difference in sound but I probably wouldn't be able to hear it. Like DeepEnd suggests, you'll have to either try them both or take your chances and flip a coin if you can't. My preference is rosewood vs mahogany, and tea vs coffee, for what it's worth.
  13. You have good spirit. The knowledge here can sometimes compete in suggesting something for you to take to heart. Just think of it as a camaraderie of players looking out for someone's best interests. Have fun getting started.
  14. Meranti has a mahogany appearance (Red Meranti). It should look nice with the Gmelina soundboard. Meranti shares a Janka hardness with mahogany (hence the name Philippine Mahogany, I guess), and looks similar when finished. Are you using it for the neck as well? Lot's of questions but I'll just see how this plays out.
  15. Coconut shell rosette? That's some pretty hard stuff. What abrasive are you using on your drum sander table? I can well imagine you're going to develop some heat taking the shell down to the Gmelina. I took a look at the materials you're using and I'm curious about the Gmelina's sonic characteristics. I read it's used for musical instruments, among other things. Do you have any instruments made to-date using it? Thanks for starting this thread.
  16. Something the caters to your hands, first, then when you progress you'll naturally pick up cues about refining your search. We all know the first hurdle is our lack of motor skills in fretting and picking the strings. No sense exacerbating that by getting a guitar with strings that are easy to fret (nylon) but the neck is too wide (classical) for small hands. For all intents and purposes typically everyone has small hands starting out until they develop the motor skills needed to use them well. The first step is to view the major chords (A thru G) and pick a couple to try out on guitars at your local store. The C, D and E Major chords are beginner's chords by virtue of their placement being easier than A, B, F and G Major chords. Know the fingers used for the C, D & E and take your time placing them on various guitar necks. It's your money so get something that will make it well spent starting out. Guitar necks vary greatly between models and classical guitars are typically the widest of them all. If you have the means, seek out a nylon string guitar that has steel string physical dimension necks. They're called cross-over guitars. I bought one for my son to learn on and he's done well by it. It's the best of both worlds providing ease in fretting the strings. The appearance and sound of the guitar is something you will consider important after you have the skills to make music with one. Don't encumber yourself at this point looking for the grail of sight and sound. As your progress you'll quickly learn that every guitar you buy is the grail when you buy it, only to be bested by another. That means there's no such thing as a grail.
  17. For your own edification, here's a link you can use to compare individual string tensions. Then you can get an aggregate differential between sets to compare. https://www.curtmangan.com/guitar-string-tension-chart/
  18. Wegens have a pretty good reputation among flat pickers. I'm a hack with picks, though, and keep them forever because they just don't get the practice time lying safely in a box. Guess I'll have to bring back my Neil Young inspiration.
  19. On a different instrument, I bought some violin strings but instead of just the strings D'Addario makes a violin kit that includes the strings, a clip-on tuner and rosin for $34.00 (retail store). The strings alone are $27.00. Cripes that's expensive. Anyway, I strung up the violin, clamped the tuner on and its works really well. Sold separately, D'Addario charges $3.99 for the rosin. That makes the tuner (Jethro Bodine, where ought plus ought are you) $3.00? The Snark is now about $19.00 retail.
  20. I put two new 2032 batteries in the Intellitouch, switched it on and clamped it to the headstock of my classical. With new batteries that tuner's sensitivity and accuracy is very good. I plucked the low E string on the classical and the tuner displayed that note. Then, leaving the Intellitouch clamped to the headstock of my classical and plucking the open low E string on my steel string (plugged), the Intellitouch again displayed the low E note no differently than it did on the classical. I unplugged the steel string and plucked the low E string again from about three feet away with the same result. This tells me the tuner is Piezo based. All of them probably are.
  21. Music & Arts didn't have any. Too bad they didn't work out. Like Grant, I tend to switch corners when appropriate from the pointy corner to one of the more rounded corners. That's pretty much on Neil Young stuff. But, 60mm is the pick I've decided works best for me. I haven't touched an electric for 12 years.
  22. Yea, I can see how they'd catch your eye. When I was attempting to learn flat picking I found the best tone from 60mm but best playability from very thin picks. That one looks to be incorporating both. I'm going to Music & Arts tomorrow to pick up some violin strings so I'll see if they have some. Worth a try.
  23. Hi Neil. Yes, I play often in DADf#ad and EAEac#e. You're right about the mesmerizing drone. It has an alluring quality. I write for both tunings these days more so than standard. I'm curious about slide because I think I will explore it far from the usual open G blues standards, or country use of it, in the same manner I explore standard and alternate tunings when not covering stuff. It's just a new direction to take finger picking and my interest.
  24. Good question. The things utilize physical contact but I would imagine the acoustic guitar will transmit all ambient noise to the tuner. I'll try it with another guitar plugged in the same room as the one with the clip-on tuner.
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