I'm almost embarrassed to say how many guitars I've owned...... It's very close to (if not over) 50 with 22 being the most at one time. I don't have any good music stores close by so if I wanted to try a model, I'd buy one (used usually) online and play it for a few months and either put it away as a keeper or resale it. There aren't many brands/models that I haven't tried at one point or another (that I had interest in)... A few of the brands that have visited are takamini, ibanez, epiphone, garrison, indiana, ensenada, morgan monroe, Alvarez, Yairi (S & K models), Art & lutherie, Seagull, Simon & Patrick, Norman, Gibson, Eastman, martin, taylor, and even a Sitka/EIR Santa Cruz dread.... Probably left out a few but you get the drift.... Now I'm not rich and am not naming off all these guitars to boast... But just to say where I'm coming from...
Here's my take on what I've learned after owning all these. Remember, this is only my opinion and is based on what fit's me and my style of play. I'm sure others will disagree and that's cool
- Money doesn't buy tone
- Solid woods (back and sides) are overrated
- Solid tops almost always sound better
- The best bang for the buck is found in the sub $1000 category
- Made in China should no longer be a bad omen ( though they should be shopped carefully)
- Bracing of the top has more to do with the tone than the woods used (don't get too hung up on Eir vs Hog vs BRW vs Tas Blk )
- Some of the best values are coming out of Canada
- Playability will effect your tone much more than you would think
- Guitars should be bought based on tone first with playability a close second
- Cosmetics shouldn't be a real factor when shopping (Though it does help )
- Guitars with voiced tops will almost always sound better than production guitars with precut bracing
- Neck joints don't affect the tone as much as some like to believe
- Strings and picks play a huge role in the tone of any guitar!!
I could keep going but I'll stop there Like I said these are only my views.....
After all this experimenting my favorite guitars are Yairi's (Kazuo Yairi) from the early 70's to early-mid 80's, Second place goes to the Showcase line from S&P, and third would be Taylor.
Currently I own 8. Five are Yairi's, 2 are older S&P Pro models and the other is a newer S&P Showcase. I'm seriously considering selling my S&P's and becoming a straight up Yairi man Don't be surprised to see a few pop up in the classifieds this weekend
I have no idea what my guitars say about me..... 95% of my music is laid back and chilled though
Sorry if I missed the point and carried on a bit -Chris
[b][color=#FF0000]If your brain is part of the process, you're missing it. You should play like a drowning man, struggling to reach shore. If you can trap that feeling, then you have something.
[/color][/b] [b]Peace of mind. That's my piece of mind...[/b]