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Author Topic: Guitar Shop Visits  (Read 1031 times)

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Online GhostRider

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Guitar Shop Visits
« on: September 30, 2012, 12:25:26 PM »
Ladies, Gentlemen, And Unkie Bud:

As I live in Western Canada, I don't get to visit a lot of guitar shops with quality new and used acoustic guitars. So I really appreciate hearing from other knowledgeable folks about interesting fingerstyle guitars.

This weekend I had a chanced to overnight in Toronto, and ideal chance to visit The Twelfth Fret guitar shop in east Toronto. They have a great selection of new and used acoustic guitars. Here are some that caught my eye.

1961 Martin 0-28 NY. This is a "folkie"-style slotted headstock guitar that Martin put out in the 1960's. 1 7/8 nut. The thing had a great feeling, classic Martin-style soft V neck. Beautiful and loud sound, great note separation. Bass was decent but not exceptional. But the vibe was great, and not too "clean" sounding. Beautiful brazzo back and sides, as only the old Martins can do. $3670 Cdn.

2007 Gibson J-45 Legend. This guitar is supposed to be an exact recreation of a 1942 Banner J-45. The most surprising thing was the neck. Quite fat, D-shaped (almost a fat V). I swear it was the most comfortable, fingerstyle neck in the place. ( I have a medium hand). With a 1 3/4 nut ( I measured it), it was a great sounding and playing CB guitar!  much to my surprise. It takes some getting used to the v. strong base, but boy, it hung in there with the Oms and other fingerstyle guitars. I'm a fan of the woody-sounding Gibson sound, but this guitar was a shocker. Used $3500 Cdn.

Collings 0000-1 Brand new. Fantastic. Loud, superb tone and playability. Head shaking good. $3750. It has the shape of a late 1920's Martin 000-18, relatively long and slim (like your signature Johnm). The similar 000-24 had Indian Rosewood back and sides, a little cleaner sound, $3600-3800

My favorite was a Bourgeois OM with Madagascar rosewood back and sides. Used. $3300 Cdn.  It had every thing, tone and playability and a beautiful, articulate but not too clean sound. I've only ever played two Madagascar Rosewood-backed guitars, but both have sounded fantastic. The other was a Martin OM and was priced more that $2000 more that this one ( I own neither).

Of the lesser priced guitars, the ones that stood out for me were the
Eastmans. Played 3 or 4. all under $1000 Cdn, and all were great.

Tomorrow, off to NYC (business), but taking some days off, one of which will include Mandolin Bros. More to come. Where are you, O'Muck. (also played a 1972 Gibson J-200.....)

Please, lets hear from the rest of you-all.

Offline Kokomo O

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Re: Guitar Shop Visits
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2012, 12:50:09 PM »
In addition to Mandolin Bros., you should visit Lark Street Music in Teaneck, NJ. It's equally inconvenient to Manhattan, but if you can get to Staten Island you can get to Lark Street. With the Jewish holidays over the next week or so, you need to check to make sure it's open when you want to go, though.

Online GhostRider

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Re: Guitar Shop Visits
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2012, 06:42:07 PM »

Well, today I'm in Brooklyn NY and had a chance to visit Retrofrets, Butler Street,


They don't stock new guitars. But, what a selection of used acoustics. Entirely high end. At least two dozen vintage Martins, same amount of old Gibsons, parlour guitars, Stellas, Recording Kings etc. At least a 4 hr. visit to play everything ( I was there a bit longer...).

The selection is amazing. They had a Martin 00-21, 1926 brazzo. beautiful neck, played like butter, out of this world sound, $14,000. Where else can you get a chance to play a guitar of this quality?

The folks are really nice, low pressure (no pressure). And the selection is fabulous!! Four Gibson L-00s.

Three harp guitars (couldn't figure out how to tune the bass strings), fraulinii 12-string.

The one bad thing is that in the humid NYC air the string are pretty dead. A place like this can't afford to change 60+ sets of strings every couple of weeks.

There was this Weymann, Which had beed re-X braced. 18" lower bout, the guy said it fit prefectly in a Gibson Super 400 case. The damn thing sounded amazing, I mean awesome.

If you can get to this palace, go! Fabulous guitars Nice folks. Just don't thinks you're going to spend 15 min. in this place.

Prices are high, but I suspect there's lots of scope for haggling.

Mighty fine,


Offline Rivers

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Re: Guitar Shop Visits
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2012, 07:25:04 PM »
Four Gibson L-00s

Oh... four Gibson L-00s. Really? Four? Gibson L-00s? In one store? Arrroooooo...

Bacon? Really? And you gave it to the cat?

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Guitar Shop Visits
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2012, 06:33:30 PM »
Retrofret is truly amazing. Don't forget to look up Rudy's Music at their two locations funky and small on west 48th st. and huge and magnificent on Broome st. between Green & Mercer in soho. The largest collection of primo archtops anywhere, D'Angelicos, D'Aquisto's you name it plus Goodalls, Gibsons, Martins antique everything...whew.
Matt Umanov's on Bleeker St. always has primo old guitars often very rare always worth a stop, And Carmine St. Guitars is the place to go for the odd old guitar and a good supply of well setup recent Chinese guitars like Blueridge. Plus Rick does good repairs cheap and makes one of the best solid body electrics out there . His Bobness has two of 'em.
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

Online GhostRider

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Re: Guitar Shop Visits
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2012, 07:48:36 PM »
Matt Umanov's on Bleeker St. always has primo old guitars often very rare always worth a stop,

On my list for tomorrow.



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