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higher-end acoustic-electrics


Jersey Jack

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Here's my problem, I've come into enough cash to buy a nice acoustic guitar for the first time in my life, and I don't know whether to go for guitars with factory-installed sound systems. I've got 2-3K to spend, and I'd like either a Martin or a Gibson. (I do plug in fairly often, so whatever guitar I get will have to have either factory or custom installed electronics.)

 

Two questions:

 

1. Most Gibsons in my range come with factory-installed amplification systems, but I've never heard anyone comment on the quality of these systems. Do these guitars (J-45, Hummingbird, etc.) sound good when amplified?

 

2. Martin's latest acoustic-electric system incorporates the Fishman aura pickup/preamp, but they don't equip their famous guitars. No electrified D-28 for example; rather, Martin came up with new designations, which seem to set these guitars apart. I've heard they sound amazing, but I'm wondering whether they will be considered real Martins. I'm vain, I guess, and if I'm spending almost 3K I don't want to hear people sneering at what they consider a newfangled contraption; is the Aura series considered the real deal?

 

Disclaimer: I promise I will go to the store and try all these guitars myself before buying. I will follow my own ear. But it would sure be nice to hear some opinions before I go out.

 

PS: I don't think I want Taylor, as I have heard bad things about the ES system, and I already have a regular Taylor (410). I also have a mid-range Takamine which amplifies beautifully through its factory-installed pickup/preamp.

 

Perhaps a higher-end acoustic electric won't do much more? Perhaps I should buy the straight acoustic?

 

Help!

 

Thanks,

Jersey Jack

Jersey Jack

 

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Well, I would just find an acoustic with some magic. Don't worry about whether it has a pickup. I mean you can get one installed. I have a Fishman on my Taylor 12 and it sounds awesome. I bought my guitar and had it installed.

 

Personally sometimes I feel like the more electronics in it the more it takes away from the natural sound.. I dunno, just what I have noticed.

 

As for Gibson acoustics, there are some nice ones but I find them to be few and far between compared to some other brands. But who knows maybe you will play the best one in the store and be like, "I am sold" I played a beautiful Gibson reissue acoustic last summer than I LOVED. Since then I haven't really played any that floated me. I am kind of a Taylor guy, but the other day I played a really nice Martin. Played great. Much deader warmer tone than my Taylor. Not better or worse really. Larrivee, Taylor, Martin, Santa Cruz, all excellent choices.

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The ES system is great if you use it with the Neve pre-amp. Closest thing to a mic'd acoustic I've heard. Without the Neve...eh.

 

That said, I'd just find the box that I want and add electronics afterwards. You can always swap the the electronics out but you're stuck with the acoustic tone you've got.

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Thanks to everyone. I am very interested in the OMC Aura now, but I've been unable to find one to try out. I could go to NYC, I suppose, but given the number of big, well-stocked music stores I've tried in NJ, I'm beginning to wonder WHY these guitars are not in stock? The clerks are not saying that they're sold out--rather, they seem never to have had them.

 

So, another more pointed question: Is the Martin Aura model too much of a gimicky guitar? Will it start to seem dated quickly, making me long for the classic Martin, the D-28, for example?

 

Thanks,

Jersey Jack

Jersey Jack

 

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okay, the pickup systems nend to be facotry installed n=because installing one changes the tone, always to some degree.

 

My own choice was a Santa Cruz, and fotunately now Santa Cruz is using Schertler, which I love. Taylor has a great new system, too.

 

As I always suggest about aocustics, please do not go in with a preconcieved notion that you need to buy a Model X of manufacturer Y.... listen to the instruments and let them talk to you. When you are playing YOUR acoustic, it will speak to you, and you'll know that it si the instrumjent that you should buy.

 

Now, here's another tip on the on-board pickups... who really cares what they sound like? I will still mic them when recording, and when playing out, most any of the pickups are going to sound acceptable.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Thanks again to all. I decided on the Gibson Hummingbird. The local GC even threw in a Fishman acoustic matrix pickup because the 'bird came with no amplification--despite the claim on Gibson's website that these guitars have built-in electronics.

 

And truth be told, the first time I went to the store I was not all that impressed with the 'bird, though I loved the way it looks! When I returned, intending to buy a Martin HD-28, I picked it up one more time, just to be sure, and this time it really sang to me.

 

Tough choice, as the Martin was also in fine voice. But finally, the 'bird won!

 

Thanks again!

 

Best,

Jersey Jack

 

**************

Gibson Hummingbird

Takamine EF341SC

Taylor 410

Telecaster

Jersey Jack

 

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For what it's worth, I've found that many Gibson acoustics are marginal. But, if you find the one in 50 that is awesome, it's REALLY AWESOME.

 

I'm a Martin guy, through and through. I'm not crazy about the "traditional" fav's, like the D-28. My fav Martin are the 000-28 types...and the OM-28....esp. scalloped bracing models. I also love the HD-28. And, I like the 000-28VS for fingerstyle....it has a wider neck, and larger body than the "normal" 000-28, and it doesn't have a pickguard....it sounds incredible. I don't have a Martin with a pickup on it, so I can't say anything about their electronics.

 

Although Taylors play great, I would not buy one. I don't like the bolt on neck...I'm a bit of a old fashioned traditionalist, I guess. They are fine playing guitars, however. I find that they play too easily....in my experience, my favorite guitars usually are a bit "hard" to play. The great axes seem to play back at you, and make it worth while!

 

Hummingbirds are great axes. Congrats, and send us a photo if you can.

Don

 

"There once was a note, Pure and Easy. Playing so free, like a breath rippling by."

 

 

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=574296

 

http://www.myspace.com/imdrs

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Originally posted by mdrs:

I'm a Martin guy, through and through. I'm not crazy about the "traditional" fav's, like the D-28. My fav Martin are the 000-28 types...and the OM-28....esp. scalloped bracing models. I also love the HD-28. And, I like the 000-28VS for fingerstyle....it has a wider neck, and larger body than the "normal" 000-28, and it doesn't have a pickguard....it sounds incredible. I don't have a Martin with a pickup on it, so I can't say anything about their electronics.

 

 

I'm 100% with you on the 000 and OM bodied Martins. They're astonishingly loud for their size if played with an aggressive attack, but perfectly suited for delicate fingerpicking.
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I like some Martins but I don't think they have consistency like Taylor. I mean for every 4 Taylors that I like there is like 1 Martin in there. I did play an entry level Martin last week used for $380 that was a really cool guitar.

 

Alverex Yairi has some guitars. My other guitarist has one that is like 25 years old. IT NEVER goes out of tune and it hasn't had a setup in 9. Great tone, similar to a Martin. Doesn't have the presence of a Taylor more low endy and warm like a Martin.

 

I have to say the only drawback to Taylor is how sensitive they are. They require alot of maintenance, especially if you don't leave them in a case. Really in the end I just play guitars I like. I will try out whatever. NOt saying Martin sux. There are some nice ones, alot of them sound like there is a blanket on them. Maybe its those Martin Strings that I hate, dunno.

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