Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Martin and Taylor are part of my guitar family . . .

Someone asked me recently, "I thought you were an exclusive Martin Guitar guy?"

Well, the answer is "Yes", but it is also "No."

Yes . . . my first choice in guitar is a Martin. I have a DC-16gte. I named it "Marty." It is a pleasure to play, and has that Martin sound I want coming out of a guitar with the Martin name on it. When you hear it . . . you know it is a Martin. This is the guitar I most often use when playing in our band. It handles anything you throw at it, especiall rock-n-roll.

My first true love in terms of musical instruments is the 12-string guitar. I had the chance to get one of several very nice Taylor's, but held out for a Martin, finally locating, after a long search, a brand new J-12-16 at Sound Vibrations Music Store in Corpus Christi. I love this 12 string, and it is what I take when I play and sing at hospitals and nursing homes. It has the best action of any guitar I have every owned or played in my life. Without exception. Pete Seeger would be proud of this guitar. I know I am. If ever a guitar spoke to me . . . it is this one. I named her "Christi."

I started looking a year or so ago for a decent nylon string to use when doing solo stuff, as I have been hoping to get a restaurant gig in the area on Friday nights. I actually got to play a 1980 Martin N-20 at an old music/craft store in Jefferson, TX of all places during the Thanksgiving Holiday a year ago. Same model as Willie Nelson plays (his is a 1979), but with a more classical head stock. I would have named it "Butter" if I could have purchased it . . . however, I didn't have $3,500 at the time . . . and in truth, I would have been afraid to take it anywhere and even more afraid to ever let it get out-of-my-sight.

Since Martin no longer makes a classical . . . I gave Taylor a shot. And Sean at Grapevine Guitar Works helped me get into an NS-74ce.

Mercy, what a guitar!
The Taylor electronics are simply outstanding . . . and it's a 14 fret neck! Western Cedar top. What a great guitar to have playing when I sing solo.
Love it Love it Love it Love it Love it!!!!
I named her "Butter." She handles, sounds and plays better than the Martin N-20, which to tell the truth, I would buy if I had $3,500 lying around, if for no other reason than to have it as a collectible.

My Yairi DY-38 just sort of fell into my lap, again thanks to Sean at Grapevine Guitar Works. I was visiting with Sean at the store one day, and he says, "You need to play this guitar." I have learned to listen to Sean. Doing so pays off in many ways.
It's now my acoustic back up guitar, and its the one I take to camp grounds, or when I play out-of-doors. Classic dreadnaught folk guitar shape ... and I hope that my Martin DC-16 sounds as good as this one in a year or so. No, the Yairi does not sound like a Martin, but it has this full "older guitar" sound. I am not worried, because "Marty" will get there soon enough.

I was recently informed by a good friend that they have ordered me a Taylor GS Mini for Christmas as a gift.

Wow! Now that's a GOOD friend.

And, to be honest, before I recently took my "no new guitar pledge," I wanted a GS Mini to take the place of the Little Martin I got rid of. I truly have never ever been as disappointed in a Martin product as I was in that Little Martin. I ended up breaking even on it. The Taylor GS Mini will come with the Taylor sound hole pickup designed for it. It's going to be a good travel, hospital, nursing home and song writing guitar. The two I have been able to play both amazed me with their sound. And since it is a gift, my pledge is still in tack.

So . . . "Yes," I am a Martin man. However, they don't make a classical nylon string, so the best option for me was Taylor, and that NS74 will end up being a guitar I pass down to a grand child one day. Martin makes a small travel guitar, but I just don't like it. Taylor makes a travel size guitar that sounds like a full size guitar, one that will fit the bill for me very well.

Now, do I not like Taylor steel string acoustics? I sure as heck do!!!! But, I like the Martin sound better. Ah, but I have been warned ... that the 900 series model Taylor's sound even better than Martins. But then, we are talking $4,000+ . . . an amount I don't ever see myself paying for an instrument, and then using it a lot. But, one can only dream and think of the possibilities down the road . . . maybe in 2012. Perhaps a 716ce (CS body / western red cedar top)????
Am I a project or what??
God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

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