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New guitar recommendations

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GUEST,John Barden 02 May 03 - 10:09 AM
Willie-O 02 May 03 - 09:35 AM
GUEST,leeneia 02 May 03 - 09:34 AM
GUEST,jonm 02 May 03 - 09:31 AM
Midchuck 02 May 03 - 09:25 AM
John MacKenzie 02 May 03 - 09:22 AM
Grab 02 May 03 - 09:04 AM
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Subject: RE: New guitar recommendations
From: GUEST,John Barden
Date: 02 May 03 - 10:09 AM

The advice given to you by GUEST, JohnM was good

I have a Fylde Oberon which I bought from Roger Bucknall in 2001 at the Fylde Folk Festival. It's simply stunning, has the 14 fret joint you're looking for, has no fancy abalone etc, and is just simply wonderful to play. You also get a lifetime guarantee, plus they are always happy to give advice.

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Subject: RE: New guitar recommendations
From: Willie-O
Date: 02 May 03 - 09:35 AM

No, no, no, he's in the UK. Imported guitars from North America, Martins, Collings etc, are charged a ridiculous tarriff rate, so that unless your one and only dream is to own a particular N. American made instrument, the value for money is highly dubious.

You want to go try out some good Irish Lowdens. Like an O-10. Every Lowden I've ever picked up has been a fingerpicker's dream guitar. Compare them to your local luthier, then decide.

Also, Fylde seems nice. Archie Fisher plays 'em.

Good luck. LOWDEN

happy low-end Lowden owner

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Subject: guitar
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 02 May 03 - 09:34 AM

Get a copy of Guitar for Dummies (preferably at the public library for now) and read Chapter 17.

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Subject: RE: New guitar recommendations
From: GUEST,jonm
Date: 02 May 03 - 09:31 AM

I'm in a very similar position to yourself, with the added disadvantage of being left-handed, so I cannot readily walk into shops and try instruments.

Check out these UK manufacturers - can't do blue clicky things, but the website names are all closely related to the company:

Fylde - excellent fingerstyle guitars, very helpful and informative, some custom options are free. This is probably where my money is going. Many household names play 'em and quality control is back after a dip in the '80's.

Northworthy - handmade to special order at not-so-special prices in the wilds of Derbyshire. I knew Alan Marshall in a former existence and I'm sure if he can help, he will.

Lowden - made in Northern Ireland, lovely unique-sounding instruments (though the tone is so complex they don't record well, so a sound engineer friend tells me); the company seems to have outgrown its organisation and there are currently long lead times for replies to enquiries and for instruments.

Brook - hand made in Devon, a mate bought one second-hand and they sound great and are very well made.

McIlroy - a guy who used to work for Lowden and has set up on his own, apparently making instruments which out-Lowden Lowden!

There are lots of others, Moon (personally, I don't like their guitars' tone for fingerstyle), Atkin etc. but any UK-made guitar will come out much cheaper than the equivalent Martin/ Taylor/ Larivee/ Collings/ Santa Cruz etc. If, like me, you have a budget, you'll get a much finer instrument for your money.

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Subject: RE: New guitar recommendations
From: Midchuck
Date: 02 May 03 - 09:25 AM

You want a Collings OM, or possibly Bourgeoise.

That money would buy one in the States, I don't know how much the markup is with Customs and transport and stuff by the time it gets to the UK.

If you want to pay my transport, I can buy you one over here and bring it over. I'll even start playing it in for you. I note Tom Russell is at the Mirage Hotel in Castelford again on July 1. That was one of the best shows, in one of the most unlikely venues, that I ever saw in my life.

Oh well, I tried.


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Subject: RE: New guitar recommendations
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 02 May 03 - 09:22 AM

You've got a big enough budget to take yourself to several music shops, and keep trying out guitars till you find what you want. Everybody has their favourite, mine is a D28, but if I had your budget, I'd be looking on Elderly Instruments for a vintage Martin. In other words, different strokes for different folks.
Good luck

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Subject: New guitar recommendations - higher-end instrument
From: Grab
Date: 02 May 03 - 09:04 AM

OK, I know this topic comes up all the time, but usually it's either with regard to beginner instruments or high-end fantasy instruments. This is slightly different.

After 6 weeks of working 60-70 hour weeks, and trashing my health and not seeing much of my wife in the process, I've got myself a fair-sized bonus. I intend adding this to last year's Xmas bonus (and maybe this coming year's Xmas bonus) and getting myself a decent guitar with it, the kind of guitar that will last me for years, if not for ever. Adding all this up, that gives me a £2K war-chest (about $3K), although I'd prefer to spend less if I can get away with it.

My question is simple - what instruments should I be looking at? I don't give a damn how it looks - in fact the less gold, silver, abalone, ivory or any other flashy crap on it, the more I'll like it! And if I can get that instrument for less than my budget, I'll be even happier. Technical details: No cutaway needed, but a 14-fret join might be helpful provided it doesn't affect the tone. I'll only be using it for fingerstyle playing (I hardly ever use a pick), so I'm looking for something with a clear, sweet, even tone from bass to treble (nothing too bass- or treble-heavy). For best tone and volume it'll probably end up being a jumbo/dreadnaught kind of size - I don't have a problem with guitar weight because I also play a steel-body resonator so I'm used to it. :-)

From other threads I know about the cheaper guitars like Seagulls, Takamine, Yamaha, etc, but I don't really know of any of the better makes apart from the usual suspects like Martin and Taylor. My worry is whether I'll get value for money on an expensive guitar, or whether there are cheaper guitars which sound just as good or better. A friend dropped £2K on a Taylor a couple of years back, and although it's a nice instrument, frankly I don't think it was worth the money - I played a £500 Yamaha in a shop a few months back which felt better. I'm trying to avoid that situation, which is why I'm looking for instruments that people can personally recommend. I know some of you browse music shops extensively (Rick Fielding for one), so I'd appreciate any advice you can give me.

At this kind of price, also an option is to go to a luthier and get one made. There's a guy in Lewes with a website whose instrument go from about £1.5K to £2K, so that's an option - there will be others around too (I've seen lists of phone numbers) but I haven't done any research yet. I like the idea of supporting British craftsmen, but again I'd need to be sure that the instrument I get would be better than the one I'd buy off-the-peg.

At the moment I really don't have much of a clue - I've lived with my old cheap guitar for so long and not been able to afford a replacement for so long that I've basically never considered upgrading. Also I've never been anywhere that have a music shop selling this kind of level of instrument, so apart from a couple of Taylors owned by people at our local folk clubs I've not seen or played anything of this kind of quality. That's why I'm asking for more expert advice, so I don't buy something and then kick myself a couple of years down the line!

I'm planning a "research" trip to London soon to check out the "proper" music shops and get an idea for myself what kind of instruments suit me. But any advice people could give me would be great, then I'd know in advance what to look for and what to avoid.


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