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Author Topic: John How Guitars - Ladder Braced Roadtrip  (Read 11325 times)

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Offline Blue Poodle

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Re: John How Guitars - Ladder Braced Roadtrip
« Reply #30 on: November 30, 2007, 09:16:40 PM »
Hi All:

I was the lucky one who got to try the roadtrip guitar first, so I'll post the first review.

First off, it's a pretty little guitar.  Light as a feather.  The neck is a very comfortably shaped, low profile rounded V.  I thought that it fit my hand perfectly.

To my eye, the workmanship was very fine.  Nice fretwork, and a good clean look all around.

The guitar responds nicely to bare fingers, and I found it to be louder than I expected for a concert sized guitar. 

Compared to the best of the old Oscar Schmidt guitars that I have played, it seemed a bit less bluesy and sweeter sounding.  Kind of half way between being an old blues machine, and an elegant little parlor guitar, with the playing comfort of a modern instrument.  Comfortable, and fun to play.

All in all, I was very impressed.   Thanks very much for giving me the chance to try it out, John!
All the world loves a lover, but a lover doesn't always love love.

chipmonk doug

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Re: John How Guitars - Ladder Braced Roadtrip
« Reply #31 on: December 01, 2007, 04:56:44 AM »
how about a map John so we can follow it around

Offline Blue in VT

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Re: John How Guitars - Ladder Braced Roadtrip
« Reply #32 on: December 06, 2007, 12:45:42 PM »
Can we get an update on the route this guitar is traveling and ETA on it reaching people!

thanks

Blue
Blue in VT

Offline John How

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Re: John How Guitars - Ladder Braced Roadtrip
« Reply #33 on: December 14, 2007, 08:39:59 AM »
Very sorry about the delay guys but I have been waiting for address info from some of the participants. I still need RobBob, Coyote Slim but I will go ahead with what I have to get this this going. So as soon as I make contact with him, the guitar will be on it's way to Wisconsin for a visit with BluesMikedk. From there it will make it's way to New England for visits with Blue and E.R.D. then on to NYC, FlatD7 before heading west again.
Tickle your guitar daily and it will tickle you back

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: John How Guitars - Ladder Braced Roadtrip
« Reply #34 on: December 15, 2007, 03:17:12 AM »
Very sorry about the delay guys but I have been waiting for address info from some of the participants. I still need RobBob, Coyote Slim but I will go ahead with what I have to get this this going. So as soon as I make contact with him, the guitar will be on it's way to Wisconsin for a visit with BluesMikedk. From there it will make it's way to New England for visits with Blue and E.R.D. then on to NYC, FlatD7 before heading west again.

And when they've all done with it, gift wrap it, package it really well and send it off to Ol' Parlor Picker in England as a free gift.... >:D
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline Bald Melon Jefferson

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Re: John How Guitars - Ladder Braced Roadtrip
« Reply #35 on: December 17, 2007, 04:50:22 PM »
I picked this guitar up from Dr. Insouciance a couple weeks ago. He told me I was going to enjoy playing this guitar and he was right.
Out of curiosity I had to look-up ?Insouciance? in the dictionary; Carefree, Jaunty, Breezy, Debonair, Lighthearted. 
With those descriptions I could have ended my review of this guitar right then and there.

Carefree, Jaunty, Breezy, Debonair, Lighthearted.

This guitar is a fine instrument in every way. Nicely put-together, nice vibe, lovely to look at, perfect size, easy to play, (what a great neck!) fun to play, very responsive to a light touch but with endless head room, great note separation, loud and clear. Nice bass and great bright sound across the board. IT?S ALIVE! Perfect for rag, old-timey, piedmont type finger style etc..  It was very happy in open D as well. Overall, believe it or not, it sounded a lot like my 1930?s Gibson L- maple bodied x-braced guitar. That?s a good thing. The mids on the How a bit brighter.
This is not your grandfathers crappy- old mass-produced -unplayable -where?s the bass- antique ladder braced guitar. This modern guitar has some sustain, it definitely has overtones, it has warmth and depth.  Not quite the wonderfully primitive, in your face, out of control, wheels about to come off, train wreck quality my old Stella had?but enough of that and more. More refinement, more versatility and (the reason I no longer have the Stella) far greater playability. 
To the un-converted I say; Take it from a guy whose go-to guitar is a polar-opposite, deeeeeep, dark, serious, well-mannered, prim and proper Froggy Bottom H-12.  Try out one or two or three of the handfull of high quality modern ladder braced guitars being made in America today. These bad boys are fun fun fun.

  I began missing this guitar the moment I packed it up last night to send it on to Sheboygan.

Thanks John,
Gary
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Offline Coyote Slim

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Re: John How Guitars - Ladder Braced Roadtrip
« Reply #36 on: December 18, 2007, 12:42:08 PM »
I just sent you an e-mail.  I've been so busy I forgot all about this until I got sick and took today off!!! 
Puttin' on my Carrhartts, I gotta work out in the field.

Coyote Slim's Youtube Channel

Offline Michael Kuehn

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Re: John How Guitars - Ladder Braced Roadtrip
« Reply #37 on: December 22, 2007, 08:33:28 AM »
Just in time for Christmas, John's guitar arrived successfully here in Wisconsin late yesterday. I'll be posting a review and perhaps some sound files next week.

First impression: A beautiful instrument!

Cheers,

Mike

Offline Michael Kuehn

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Re: John How Guitars - Ladder Braced Roadtrip
« Reply #38 on: January 02, 2008, 06:27:54 AM »
I've had the John How "road trip" parlor guitar on loan for the last week or so. These are my observations.

First, appearance. This guitar is great looking, with fine detailing around the soundhole, binding, and back. Very cool bridge design -- reminds me of some of the pre-war guitars I've seen. I found the "aged" red spruce top particularly appealing, as it simply glows with a great caramel sheen, like it's being viewed by candlelight. The flamed back is beautiful. Fit is good and I love the gloss lacquer finish. There were a few very minor cosmetic issues I found by going over the guitar with a fine tooth comb, but considering this is essentially a prototype and a travel demo, I won't hold those against it. The tuners look great and authentic for this vintage reproduction, but I found them just a bit "sticky" and imprecise, and, given an option, would opt for an upgrade on them. All around, though, a beautiful instrument. John definitely puts a lot into his craft.

Then there's that subjective "feel" or playability of the instrument. This guitar just "feels" right to me. The parlor dimensions and shallow depth make this guitar a comfortable play. I find a 1.75" neck width perfect for fingerstyle blues and ragtime, and so I was surprised that the slightly wider 1-13/16" neck of this parlor required a bit of adjustment for me. I found it a bit more difficult to do those "thumb over the sixth string" F-shape slides to the third fret moves -- however, with a little practice I was able to overcome that, also due in large part to the nicely smoothed V profile neck. This guitar compares very favorably with my Larrivee P-90 Parlor which is one of my favorite guitars, though in all honesty, this John How parlor is a much more accurate representation of the old parlors, and it bests the Larrivee easily in most every category, which is what I would expect for an instrument nearly 3X the cost of the Larrivee.

Ah, the sound. This light little box really sings. The two things that amazed me the most were the bottom end volume and the great tone separation among the highs, middles, and lows. It is a pretty sounding guitar, and seemed at home with Mississippi John Hurt or Blind Blake. It takes a little work to "dirty" up this beauty, but I was able to get a fairly decent Lipscomb-like chunk out of it with a thumbpick and some heavy damping. Add a fingerpick, and you can get some nice Rev Davis from it too -- it has that nice ringing tone, and it sounds much bigger than it is.

This is a very versatile guitar. If I didn't suffer from Guitar Acquisition Syndrome and instead had to survive with a single guitar, this John How parlor might be it. It's a real keeper. For someone like me who will probably never own an old Stella, this is an even better very playable alternative. A beautiful instrument.

Thanks, John.

Offline Blue in VT

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Re: John How Guitars - Ladder Braced Roadtrip
« Reply #39 on: January 14, 2008, 07:20:19 AM »
 :( :o >:( :( :o

Well Weenies....I have some sad news for you...I recieved the John How traveling guitar on saturday...and when I opened it I found a significant crack at the base of the headstock!!!!  Even though it had been well packed by Bluesmike in what seemed like a bulletproof box with plywood renforcement and custom cut foam padding....the damage was pretty severe...see the pics below.  I spoke with John on Sunday and he would like to have the guitar returned to him for repair.  So unfortunatly this will put an end to the traveling guitar show....at least for now.... :( :(

Sorry to be the bearer of such bad news....

Blue





Blue in VT

Offline John How

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Re: John How Guitars - Ladder Braced Roadtrip
« Reply #40 on: January 14, 2008, 08:05:29 AM »
Just a temporary setback gentlemen. This guitar has been on the road now since October of 2006 so I think I have been pretty lucky so far. This would have been it's second trip thru the New England area so I guess I was overdue for a hickup. Anyway, I'll get the guitar repaired and back out to Blue and it will continue it circulation. That is after all what it's for. Take care all and stay tuned for more
Tickle your guitar daily and it will tickle you back

Offline Dave in Tejas

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Re: John How Guitars - Ladder Braced Roadtrip
« Reply #41 on: January 14, 2008, 08:10:22 AM »
Wow, John, what a great attitude. I hope when this happens to me, I will be so gracious.
I pack the stuff I ship as well as possible, but I know that if someone tosses the box from the back of the truck onto the pavement, something is gonna give.

Good looking neck and head, by the way...

Offline Michael Kuehn

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Re: John How Guitars - Ladder Braced Roadtrip
« Reply #42 on: January 14, 2008, 08:16:04 AM »
Thanks, John, you're taking it better than I am. I was sick over it when I heard from Blue. I hope it's back on the road soon -- I miss it already. And John, thanks for the great  program.

Mike

Offline Blue in VT

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Re: John How Guitars - Ladder Braced Roadtrip
« Reply #43 on: January 14, 2008, 08:26:40 AM »
Yeah...I have to say that John has a great attitude about this whole situation....I can't tell you what I kind of panic I was in until I could call him on Sunday Morning...of course with the time difference I had to wait till about 12:30pm EST to do it...I almost called at 9am until my wife remined me that it was only 6am out there!!!  of course she was in a panic thinking that I was going to have to buy it cause it was damaged!!!

Anyway...thanks for being so accomadating John...I'll get this baby back to you soon.

Blue
Blue in VT

Offline eagle rockin daddy

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Re: John How Guitars - Ladder Braced Roadtrip
« Reply #44 on: February 17, 2008, 12:46:00 PM »
John,

any word on the status of the road trip guitar?

Mike

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