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Born under a bad sign, been down since I began to crawl. If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all - Albert King, Born Under a Bad Sign

Author Topic: Guitar Esthetics  (Read 2164 times)

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Offline Mr.OMuck

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Guitar Esthetics
« on: December 14, 2007, 08:48:34 AM »
I own a couple of Gibsons and a Martin which is my main instrument, but Gibson owns my soul. I am a sucker for sunburst (Gibson sunburst that is) and the Sophia Loren shapeliness of a J200 definitely taps in to some pre-musical, primate, lust spasm inducing mechanism. Yes, I know, sublimation is ugly but there it is. On the other hand my prim, Shaker like D-18 (purity defiled by the addition of six 1940's pin up girl decals) is so reliable, compliant, even and lovely sounding....you feel somewhat unworthy just to be holding it at all (of course that could just be a pathetic uptick of assimilation anxiety being expressed). In some strange time inverting lutherie esthetic reversal it is actually the older Martin esthetic that conforms most completely to Bauhausian reductionism. If form should follow function then Martin eschews practically all ornament in an effort to do so. Gibson on the other hand has an aspect of cultivated vulgarity (I know, contradictory and oxymoronic ...or just moronic) it represents the America of P.T. Barnum, Circus posters, comic books, Neon lights and all the multitudinous cacophony of honky tonk. If Gibson were represented by American modernist painters they would be Stuart Davis, Willem DeKooning, early Pollock and Philip Guston. Martin on the other hand would be Barnet Newman, Ellsworth Kelly, Ad Reinhart and Agnes Martin (un-punally the most Martin like of those mentioned). I'll leave it to a female member to describe what MEN these guitars are most like, but Sophia Loren in Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow pretty much captures the Gibson ethos for me, while Kelly McGillis in Witness pretty much delivers up the Martin's appeal in fine style. If they were food Gibson would be some dense ecstasy producing chocolate cake, Martin; extremely well made bread both delicious and both essential to a life well lived. Larsen Bros. = Anita Ekberg
Your thoughts?
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline Dave in Tejas

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Re: Guitar Esthetics
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2007, 11:17:37 AM »
Bartender,
I'll have what Mr Muck is having!

Offline CF

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Re: Guitar Esthetics
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2007, 12:04:44 PM »
Here, here! Well-said Muck . . . I wish I could respond with any kind of experience or knowledge of fine instruments. I'm of the 'whatever's cheap & handy' subgroup.
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Guitar Esthetics
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2007, 03:30:25 PM »
Bartender,
I'll have what Mr Muck is having!

AND THEN...there's BOOZE esthetics! Nyah hah hah hah!
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline Rivers

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Re: Guitar Esthetics
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2007, 04:31:54 PM »
Tone, volume and playability are first for me every time. If it happens to look good then it's got it all. I love Gibsons and Martins equally but have to say despite being outnumbered by Gibsons my 000 Martin is my best all round working guitar. It's probably not the best looking of the bunch but really I don't care about that.

Offline dave stott

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Re: Guitar Esthetics
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2007, 04:39:58 PM »
it is all about playability for me, followed by tone and then appearance.

Volume is inconsequential to me, since I always tend to mic a guitar when playing out.

I fell in love with a used Froggy Bottom H-12 about 3 years ago, solely because of it's playability..40 minutes of playing it during a long lunch break and it was screaming my name. By the end of the work day, I had devised a method of paying for it

It is a guitar that to this day calls to me to pick it up and play it everyday.

Dave


Offline Rivers

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Re: Guitar Esthetics
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2007, 04:48:51 PM »
I like volume because it equals dynamic range and I try to remember to use that in my stuff. So I like to have a big delta between too loud and too quiet. Metal fingerpicks can usually do the job on a quiet instrument but if it's loud enough without them that's just peachy. Plugged-in it's not such an issue.

O'Muck, you have a vivid imagination. Beyond the various types of racket I can make with them it's just wood and wires to me. Seriously I'll think about it a bit more and let you know if my analytical brain coughs up any literary, cinematic or other images.  O0
« Last Edit: December 14, 2007, 04:59:10 PM by Rivers »

Offline Dave in Tejas

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Re: Guitar Esthetics
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2007, 07:06:31 PM »
This is my latest build, it is a big sounding guitar with a sound that suits blues.

Offline Rivers

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Re: Guitar Esthetics
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2007, 07:38:40 PM »
Nice Dave, got any more pics?

Whereabouts are you in TX btw?
[edit: Beaumont. I checked your profile]

We should hook up sometime.

Rivers, in Austin.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2007, 07:44:31 PM by Rivers »

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Guitar Esthetics
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2007, 07:55:13 PM »
it is all about playability for me, followed by tone and then appearance.

Volume is inconsequential to me, since I always tend to mic a guitar when playing out.

I fell in love with a used Froggy Bottom H-12 about 3 years ago, solely because of it's playability..40 minutes of playing it during a long lunch break and it was screaming my name. By the end of the work day, I had devised a method of paying for it

It is a guitar that to this day calls to me to pick it up and play it everyday.

Dave
Froggy Bottoms are superb guitars, maybe my favorite contemporary builder. OK lookin' too. Wish I could afford one.


« Last Edit: December 14, 2007, 08:02:29 PM by Slack »
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline Mr.OMuck

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    • MuckOVision
Re: Guitar Esthetics
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2007, 08:04:32 PM »
Here, here! Well-said Muck . . . I wish I could respond with any kind of experience or knowledge of fine instruments. I'm of the 'whatever's cheap & handy' subgroup.

My two Gibsons cost a total of $325.00 and that was in the '90's. Three hundred purchased a mid 50's archtop L-50, which are superb yet undervalued guitars readily available. I found this in a newspaper add near Albany NY. The other is an '46 or '47 L-G2?  and it was a real stroke of good luck . Twenty Five bucks at a yard sale in Maine. My Martin D-18 was bought in a different era (1968 to be exact) at a pawn shop here in NY for $200.00-Total $525.00

The L-50's are still do-able at reasonable cost. It has by far the best neck of the three, and a pretty nice sound. I use it on my "Long Tall Mama Suite" on my myspace page.
http://www.myspace.com/mromuck
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Guitar Esthetics
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2007, 03:09:48 AM »

[/quote]

My two Gibsons cost a total of $325.00 and that was in the '90's. Three hundred purchased a mid 50's archtop L-50, which are superb yet undervalued guitars readily available. I found this in a newspaper add near Albany NY. The other is an '46 or '47 L-G2?  and it was a real stroke of good luck . Twenty Five bucks at a yard sale in Maine. My Martin D-18 was bought in a different era (1968 to be exact) at a pawn shop here in NY for $200.00-Total $525.00

[/quote]

Why doesn't that happen to me!!!  We never get those kind of prices over here in the UK.  Next time you find an LG-2 for a few dollars, think of selling it on (at a very modest profit) to the poor people over the water...
"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 dave stott

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Re: Guitar Esthetics
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2007, 06:31:52 AM »
I began playing with various dime store guitars (AKA finger killers) and then owned a number of Alvarez guitars made in the 1970's...

To this day, I am not a fan of Gibson or Martin guitars.... I have just never found one that called my name and screamed "buy me".

About 2 yrs ago, I inherited some cash, paid off some bills and decided that I needed to buy myself a "good guitar".  I spent hours in all the local stores in the Northeast and one day during a lunch break stumbled upon a Used Froggy Bottom H-12....

It screamed out to me that day and still does to this day.... it has the volume when needed, but most importantly it is extremely playable.

Dave


 


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