Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A few notes about the equipment I use

Since some of you have been asking about some of the guitars I have been using recently, I decided to write a few notes here on the blog to answer your questions and tell you a little about my current guitars. As a matter of record, I should start by mentioning that I had a large collection of guitars that were destroyed in the October 2007 "Harris" fire. I had some excellent guitars including a few vintage pieces. After the fire, it was time to replace some of the instruments so I could get back on with my life. I decided that this time around, I would go for "quality" rather than "quantity." As I selected guitars to purchase, I tried to make sure I was getting the absolute best instrument in each category, one that would suit my needs. Most of the guitars I have now are unique in this respect. I will begin with the acoustic guitar I use most often.

The guitar I use most often is a 2006 Martin D-42 K2, which is made from highly figured koa wood, top, back and sides. Koa is by far the most responsive, resonant and beautiful-sounding wood for guitar building, and it’s also the most expensive and rare. This particular model has been discontinued since 2006, and this is one of the last ones made. I've been told that the days of all (highly figured) koa guitars have passed, mainly because of the scarcity of top grade old growth koa wood, and the value of this instrument has already doubled since I purchased it.
The inlays and purfling are D45 style, and the fingerboard inlays are the vintage snowflake style, and there are also snowflake inlays on the solid ebony bridge. The tuners are Gotoh Gold with butterbean knobs.

The guitar has been fitted with a Fishman Ellipse Blend pickup system, which consists of a piezo bridge pickup and an internal microphone on a gooseneck which can be positioned through the soundhole for different tonal effects. There is a blend control to balance between the pickup and the microphone. This is the best system I have found so far for amplifying acoustic guitars, but unfortunately, it has been discontinued.

I use Elixir light phosphor bronze strings, .012 - .053. The tone of the guitar is bright but well balanced, full and loud. My previous guitar was a Martin 000-28EC, which was a more comfortable size, but it didn't have the big sound I get from the big dreadnaught body.
I often go to music stores and look at acoustic guitars to see if there is anything better, but I haven't found anything else I like. The only guitars that sound as good are a few of the models that are hand-made by Rob Ehlers, an American luthier living in Mexico.

Here are some photos:




Post a Comment

<< Home