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strayGoat

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  1. Re. the bolded portion, I don't know that I'd agree. All other things being equal, surely significantly lighter bracing will contribute to accelerated bellying, etc., which will eventually necessitate a neck reset unless correctible via something like a JLD- a faster eventuality than with more overbuilt guitars. I consider Martins in general to be exceptionally well constructed, but have known a few to require resets within only a few years of purchase [new]. From memory, in Frank Ford's bracing photos there was one of a Breedlove's interior with some very aggressive scalloping, and the JLD-like device they used to use as a standard countermeasure (I'm not sure whether Breedlove still does this). It's good to hear that you were able to improve your OM (cedar over cocobolo must be damn nice) by Kinsey-style tinkering. This is what I'm planning to do with my Yamaha LL-16. And I was planning pretty much the same tool approach - little green German palm plane from LMI (what an incredibly useful tool that little thing has been!). Hopefully I won't screw it up...
  2. HNGD Misha! Beautiful. The cat, too! Happy playing.
  3. People of Teh Interwebz! I'm experiencing a problem with hideous buzzing. Using an Orange Crush 20RT as a practice amp, w/ headphones. Clean channel. First with a Strat- and the noise is horrendous even in the bridge/mid position. Then the same problem with HBs. The noise basically disappears if the Tone is turned ALL the way down on the guitar, but who wants that? When I unplug the headphones, buzz gone. Is my problem just crappy headphones? I'm using Yamaha 'phones that probably cost me about 20 bucks... Or is it a circuitry thing that's going to annoy the hell out of me no matter what headphones I'm using?
  4. Hey FK! Is what I'm trying to get at here really so mysterious? What I meant was that I get the sense that certain builders - Larri in particular - have long resisted scalloping less out of a conviction that their own bracing system yields a more desirable tone and more out of concern that reducing the mass of their bracing will make their tops explode. I cannot recall who said it (CFM? Richard Hoover?), nor the precise phrasing, but it was along the lines of, "If you want a good-sounding guitar, you have to tweak the bracing to the point where the top is in danger of exploding." Again, that is a ROUGH paraphrase. But I tend to agree with the basic sentiment. To your point about there being many non-scalloped bracing systems out there, yes. I don't mean to suggest that I think there's only one way to make a "good" guitar. I've owned a couple of non-scalloped Martin models (an old D-1, a D-15M). Past tense. Reason being, I just don't think they hold up very well against comparable lighter-braced dreads. Didn't Bryan Kimsey work on a D-18 of yours? But also to your point, perhaps I should really be referring to bracing with reduced mass rather than specifically "scalloped" bracing. Because ultimately what I mean is that I think virtually every acoustic guitar made by Larrivee and Yamaha would benefit from lighter bracing. Evidently, Larri and Yamaha agree (at least up to a point), or they wouldn't be adding the practice to some of their models. OTOH, maybe they are simply reacting to market demand rather than a sense that their systems *need* upgrading- I have no idea. I will say that I think the post-2012 D-18, with its scalloped & forward-shifted bracing, is an infinitely more appealing animal [to me] than its non-scalloped predecessor. Kind of a side note: I find myself more or less constantly wanting a D-18 because I love the current iteration so much. But my love affair with my M-36 has me wanting to experiment, so I'm planning to try building something along the lines of a D-18 with an approx. 4" depth. I used to spend a lot of time staring at Frank Ford's pics of various braces. Thanks for posting that! It's interesting as hell. And where my own builds are concerned, tbh where I generally lean is toward narrower, taller braces as opposed to actually much in the way of "scalloping." So again, a bit of a misnomer on my part in the OP. I ran across a pic of Taylor's new "V Class" bracing only very recently, and it looks REALLY interesting in that it seems to leave a pretty large bit of top surface unencumbered. I would really love to try out one of their guitars with this bracing. I'm currently repairing an old ladder-braced dread for a friend. Hondo. All lam. I think he bought it at Sam Goody many years ago for 150 or so. Funny thing is, it's really not a bad-sounding instrument.
  5. Howdy fellers! This has vexed me a bit for years- trying to understand why several prominent acoustic makers are still resistant to scalloping their braces. Particularly, lookin' at you, Yamaha and Larrivee. Several years ago, I owned a Larri D-60. Nearly perfect for me - at the time - in every single respect. Except for the frickin' non-scalloped bracing, which naggingly muted the guitar and ultimately led to me selling it off. So why didn't I just get an HD-28? Probably because I'm an idiot. Still, what accounts for the reluctance of JL to scallop? To forward-shift? Is it merely a desire to be different from Martin and other existing brands? Or is it more- as I tend to suspect - about overbuilding out of fear that a bunch of customers will start demanding warranty-covered neck resets? Yamaha has actually begun scalloping the braces on their FG line, which I think is absolutely brilliant. I have a Yammo FG730S (the non-scalloped predecessor to the FG830), and I love it. Will never let it go. Not that it's the best guitar ever made, but it was made with excellent attention to detail, plays very comfortably, stays in tune, sounds like a guitar and has never let me down even when busking in the busking-hostile streets of Philly. But I have fantasized once or twice about replacing it with the new scalloped version... Annoyingly, Yamaha has not carried this practice over to their LL series. I also own a LL-16. Like my bygone D-60, the LL checks all the boxes for me... except for the damn bracing. Somewhat less annoying in the case of the LL compared with the Larrivee, because the former is of course significantly less expensive. I like it too much to get rid of it, so I've decided I'm going to try to do a Bryan Kimsey bracing surgery in it. Wish me luck. Larrivee, also, has introduced a "hybrid" scallop/parabolic bracing system in their 40 series. Again, though, rather frustrating that they are not bringing that concept to their higher-end guitars. Or ALL of them, for that matter. Ultimately, I just do not see what is to be gained by not scalloping. Does anyone here see a particular advantage- tonally, that is? It just seems to me that Yammo & Larri's respective, tentative forays into scalloping, finally, reveal a grudging admission of the obvious voicing benefits. It seems inevitable to me that both brands will adopt the practice on a broader scale. I just wish they'd quit taking so frickin' long.
  6. Holy carp! It was a beautiful guitar to begin with, but the mods are brilliant. Small tweaks = huge visual improvement. Nicely done. Re. the poker chip specifically, it's a small thing but I can't quite get used to seeing LPs without these. I much prefer with over without.
  7. He was always a favorite of mine. Loved his playing, writing, vocals, the evident sense of humor in some of his lyrics and his videos. I was also a big fan of the Traveling Wilburys. I'm socially jumpy and really tend to hate crowds, so I mostly avoid theaters, concerts, etc., like the plague. He was among the few musicians I ever went to see at a large concert venue. Saw him & Bob Dylan in Jerusalem in 1987. Great experience. In my mind, I always see him with a Rickenbacker. Since the news of his death, I'm noticing that in every photo I see he seems to have a different guitar. So whether or not fellers here on the forum were fans of his music, he was certainly a fellow gear-lover. Serious bummer to lose him at 66.
  8. I guess there is a point to be made about made-in-USA offerings in the $500 to $1k range, but to some extent this is only if made in USA is a priority. If not, there are some excellent offerings in the same range from a pretty wide array of manufacturers. Some really excellent guitars from Fender in that range, IMHO.
  9. Well said! I still love even the repetitive, hackneyed Blues stuff, but the artists who really flip my sh*t and keep me interested are the rare few who pop up every now and then with a completely fresh, original take. GCJ definitely is one of those guys. What got me really interested in Blues in the first place was Robert Cray in the 80's. Just a completely new sound/tone/approach in both his playing and vocals. You know instantly when you're hearing him play. Gary Clark Jr. is equally original, different, unmistakable.
  10. Wow, the original pic definitely didn't do that top justice. That is seriously purty. Congratulationisms again! Question: Do you like Les Pauls?
  11. On the LP Special, I have to say that I really like the wraparound bridge. Very PRS-like. Not very helpful if you want to tweak intonation, but there aren't any issues there thus far. I just really like the overall simplicity of the instrument, bridge included. And I can't get over how much I like the neck. I never even noticed myself edging into this preference, but I noticed recently that all but one of my electrics have bound fingerboards, and the same is true of all but one of my acoustics. Ultimately I can take or leave f/b binding, but obviously I'd rather take it.
  12. FK, I'm with you on being confused by some of Gibbo's practices. I have no idea how/why they maintain such an enormous array of model variations, multiplied and complicated not only by finish, but also by their peculiar habit of frequently changing specifications according to model year... Almost building in obsolescence (not actual, but perceived by the market), sort of like the auto industry. I've had my own relatively minor QC issues with Gibson in the past, like an approx. 1" finish crack on the back of a brand new SJ-100 (which in fairness could have been the retailer), or the very spotty finish on the back of an otherwise perfect Songwriter Deluxe Studio (because the serial no. pegged it has having been VERY recently made, my assumption was that they simply hadn't allowed enough time for the nitro to cure). I currently own three Gibsons - one acoustic and two electrics. Fortunately, they are all flawless or near-flawless. Lucky, particularly as they are also all online purchases. As a general observation, I would have to say that I often question Gibson's top-grading practices compared with other builders. While I'm not someone who favors the idea of wasting qualitatively good wood based on visual flaws that do not impact performance, a lot of what Gibson considers to be AAA is, to my eye, more often than not on par with AA from most other manufacturers. The LP Standard I purchased very recently is a good example. I love everything about the guitar, including its appearance; nevertheless, there is no way I would give the top an AAA rating. The book matching is unimpressive (an unfortunate feature of many Gibsons, IMHO), with a very obvious difference in figure between the bass and treble surfaces and several small marks on the former. Not even remotely an issue for me, but just not something I would feel comfortable selling as AAA. By contrast, take a look at the tops on Eastman LP copies. In all other respects, though, I'd have to say my three Gibbos are perfect. The LP is easily the best electric I've ever owned and has already usurped my Strat's "Favorite Electric" spot. I'm in love with the thing. Got a crazy discount and thought I was buying a case queen that I'd inevitably sell for a tidy profit. I'm never selling it. I also own an Epi ES-339 that I purchased several years ago for barely $300. It came out of the case flawless and still is. I'm crazy about the thing. My limited experience with Epi has left me very impressed with their quality and attention to detail.
  13. I bought the exact same guitar, same price, different finish, with "Special" on the truss cover. The model is extremely similar to the 2-pup Junior in a lot of ways, but what you've got there is the Special. I've noticed over the years that Gibson can tend to play a little fast and loose with the labeling on their truss covers. I bought a Songwriter Deluxe Studio years ago that came with a truss cover labeled "Standard." And that's not the only time I've received a Gibson with a wacky truss cover. They also tend to do the same thing with tuning machines, I've noticed - what you get is not always what you see on the spec sheet, though I've never cared because this will almost always mean either enclosed Grovers or Kluson-style tuning machines, and I like both. It's always seemed to me as if someone at the factory will occasionally run short of the correct truss cover or tuning machines and just say to hell with it, I've got these handy...
  14. Beautiful guitar. Happy NGD! They pretty much always look better in person, don't they? Hope you enjoy it.
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