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Author Topic: Why did so many players go for dreadnaughts after their "re-discovery"?  (Read 3002 times)

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Offline Cartouche

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Re: Why did so many players go for dreadnaughts after their "re-discovery"?
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2013, 12:21:07 PM »
Hold onto that Martin AND buy the Ami...thats my advice. Sometimes you need that deeper bass...but I am a big fan of the Ami.

Well, I've also got a Martin OM, that seems to be plenty o' bass for me. I never play in group settings nor do I strum much, I just pick in the parlor. The dread just hasn't been doing much for me lately.

Offline Pan

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Re: Why did so many players go for dreadnaughts after their "re-discovery"?
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2013, 01:50:43 PM »
I'd like to add, to what has already been said, that maybe the players just played what was available at a reasonable cost there at the time.
The construction of guitars has changed during the years, and nowadays we see mostly bigger and more heavily constructed guitars that require heavier strings to drive the top. This has to do more with warranty issues rather than seeking for a perfect sound, I'm afraid.
I seem to remember at least one of the rediscovery bluesmen longing for an old Stella in an interview, but can't remember who exactly he was.  He could, of course, have been on a nostalgia trip.  :)

Cheers

Pan

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Why did so many players go for dreadnaughts after their "re-discovery"?
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2013, 03:29:16 PM »
@onewent ...great car. Heated seats?

Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk 2


Offline Rivers

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Re: Why did so many players go for dreadnaughts after their "re-discovery"?
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2013, 05:27:49 PM »
Don't forget John Hurt famously picked out the Guild F-30 Aragon when given the run of the store, an Orchestra size. Great choice, the extra body depth pushes just a slightly bigger sound than a small guitar but less than a dread or jumbo. Similar principle to the Nick Lucas. I love mine.

But I still play my Tonk 14 fret parlor more than any other instrument. Something about the bass, particularly when playing with others, no mush, plenty loud, everything clear and audible. The treble end is also striking.

I suspect the other posters are right, it's what was around at the time, and the relative price had come down so why not experiment. Did we mention Brownie McGhee yet? He was a Martin Dread guy, probably should have a commemorative signature model if he doesn't already.

Josh White stuck with small body 000 Martins.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2013, 05:31:16 PM by Rivers »

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Why did so many players go for dreadnaughts after their "re-discovery"?
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2013, 05:55:54 PM »
Are you sure your Tonk is a "parlor" guitar and not just a smallish body guitar? My idea of a parlor guitar is a late nineteenth early twentieth century bridgepin , narrow waisted , spruce top, rosewood, mahogany, cherry, pear, oak and rarely maple, slot head guitar. They were marketed. To women who couldn't afford pianos in the days when folks had parlors.
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Offline oddenda

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Re: Why did so many players go for dreadnaughts after their "re-discovery"?
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2013, 06:05:50 PM »
It's what the damn White folkies stuck in their hands upon "rediscovery"! Son House and the National being just one example. I was somewhat guilty of that myself in the 70s, but I did have a few really fine instruments for folks to chose from. Generally, they picked my Gibson SJ, or '39 National... see Trix LP covers for pics!

pbl

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Why did so many players go for dreadnaughts after their "re-discovery"?
« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2013, 07:21:30 PM »
Come on Pete, you think that when John Hurt was tryin out Martins & Gibsons & Guilds at Manny's or wherever he was thinkin' "Garsh if i could only get my hands back on my ol' shitbox sears & Roebuck gitar I'd be a happy man"?
If someone took me to say Matty Umanov's and said here get whatever you want...boy howdy! James Goodall? Fraulini? Froggy Bottom? 1940's j-200?..the mind boggles !
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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

Offline onewent

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Re: Why did so many players go for dreadnaughts after their "re-discovery"?
« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2013, 07:26:03 PM »
Quote
@onewent ...great car. Heated seats?
Yes, and they still work!

Offline bnemerov

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Re: Why did so many players go for dreadnaughts after their "re-discovery"?
« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2013, 07:27:26 PM »
Rivers, (and O'Muck)
According to Hurt, he picked the Guild 'cause he didn't want to abuse the generosity of the Newport committee paying for  the guitar of his choice---he really wanted the Martin that was there, but it was 50 dollars (or so) more.

That's one difference between us and MJH, O'Muck. ;)

best,
bruce

Offline bnemerov

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Re: Why did so many players go for dreadnaughts after their "re-discovery"?
« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2013, 07:31:21 PM »
Should also mention the lovely (Hooks Bros.?) photo of Frank Stokes with a gorgeous 000-28 slot-head, pyramid-bridge Martin.
best,
bruce

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Why did so many players go for dreadnaughts after their "re-discovery"?
« Reply #25 on: March 01, 2013, 07:35:51 PM »
I'd heard that actually. Skip James on the other hand actually preferred a Yamaha but chose a far more expensive Martin D-28 (35?) supposedly because it had a longer warrenty.

My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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

Offline Stuart

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Re: Why did so many players go for dreadnaughts after their "re-discovery"?
« Reply #26 on: March 01, 2013, 07:44:27 PM »
Did we mention Brownie McGhee yet? He was a Martin Dread guy, probably should have a commemorative signature model if he doesn't already.

The D-18 with the top crack was a gift from Andy Griffith. They were friends in NYC and I believe worked together there, as well as in the film, "A Face In The Crowd." When I  met Brownie back in the early 70s he emphasized that the guitar was a gift from Andy and talked about their friendship.

Offline Stuart

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Re: Why did so many players go for dreadnaughts after their "re-discovery"?
« Reply #27 on: March 01, 2013, 08:12:41 PM »
@onewent: let's start a thread on '87Saabs...

Not another Saab story... :P

Online Johnm

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Re: Why did so many players go for dreadnaughts after their "re-discovery"?
« Reply #28 on: March 01, 2013, 08:12:59 PM »
Hi all,
The recent vogue for ladder-braced, relatively small-bodied guitars for playing blues is just that:  recent.  I think anyone who came up in the pre-amplification era would be looking for two things in a guitar:  LOUD and relatively easy to play.  If the little guitars we see old blues players using in photos were so great, why did any of them who actually came into some money go for something more expensive, fancier, bigger, louder, etc?  Except in very rare instances, I think the players we admire sounded as good as they did not because of the instruments they played, but rather, in spite of the instruments they played.  And to say that the characteristic sound of the music is a ladder-braced sound, or a National sound, is to confuse cause and effect.  The characteristic sound of the music is the sound that was in the players themselves, which manifested and would have manifested on whatever instruments they happened to be playing.  I think the best quality any guitar can have for a serious player is absolute familiarity, to the extent that you know where to go on the instrument to get the sound you're looking for, and you know how to get that sound once you get there.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Why did so many players go for dreadnaughts after their "re-discovery"?
« Reply #29 on: March 02, 2013, 01:27:15 AM »
Johnm - I tend to agree and thank you for one of the most observant, intelligent posts in a long time.

If they could have afforded them, those old players in the 20s and 30s would not be playing cheap mail-order, ladder-braced guitars, but better quality, better sounding Martins, Gibsons, Larsons or whatever.
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

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