!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> John's Other Blog: My 15 Guitars

Monday, August 10, 2009

My 15 Guitars

Epiphone Texan FT79N SN 34586 (1961)




I bought this one in second-hand in 1969 in Norman Oklahoma. It is one of my oldest possessions and still my favorite guitar. I replaced the original tuners and bridge very early on and the bracing on the top has been modified twice by a couple of different luthiers to give it a livelier sound. It has been through a lot with me and has plenty of wear and tear to show for it. It has a beautiful tone, but it is not loud enough to be heard unamplified over a lot of other instruments.

Suzuki SST-20CS SN YO801002507




I bought this one in Egypt in April 2008. I got it so I would have a guitar while there. I used it to make this unamplified YouTube video in my hotel room:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTny0WQgIqE

It was very cheap, but made by a company that has many years experience building guitars. It was made to look and sound like a Fender Stratocaster but at a small fraction of the cost. The action, tuning and setup with the rosewood fingerboard are perfect and it is a joy to play. This model is not sold in the US.

Yamaha Silent Guitar



I bought this one in Cairo too in 2009. It is a better travel guitar than the Suzuki because it breaks down better and weighs less. You listen with earphones while playing. I tried to make a midi pickup work with it but did not succeed.

Mexican Midi Stratocaster




My reason for buying this one was to use midi technology for making guitar tablature and sheet music. I haven't learned how to do that yet, but it is fun playing it with midi patches and making unlikely sounds with a guitar.

Nicholas Mushkin Classical Guitar 1973




This one came from a classified ad found in the early 80s after I moved to Michigan. I paid too much for it and have never played it that much although it has a beautiful rich tone.

Taylor 810 1986 SN 4475



I got this one at Elderly Instruments. I needed a louder guitar because I was playing at weekly public jam sessions in a bar where amplification was not allowed and all the fiddles, banjos and other guitars were drowning out the sound of my old Epiphone. This was in 1986, and the other guitarists had never heard of Taylor at that time, so a lot of people were curious about it. I have played it a lot and it has gotten pretty battered. It has a crack in the top caused by changes in humidity, which I have had closed and sealed.

Taylor Dan Crary 1997




I got this one at Elderly Instruments too. It is has a great sound with lots of volume. I have mainly used it at the same public jam session. The cutaway was my main reason for buying it and after I got this one I pretty much stopped using the 810. It also has a crack in the top caused by changes in the humidity, which I have also had closed and sealed.

Peerless Cremona 2008 SN0807649




I got this one because I wanted to have a guitar designed to play jazz. I am not good at playing jazz, but I wanted to have the right sound for it. The Cremona has a carved maple top and maple back and sides, with ebony fingerboard, tailpiece, tuner handles and pickguard. I played it in this YouTube video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yvok2FZ0ST0

Peerless Tonemaster 2008 SN PE0603522




I got this one because it looks like a Gretsch, and in fact has most of the characteristics of a Gretsch 6120. Peerless makes guitars for Gretsch and uses the same build quality for its own guitars. This one has beautiful tone and plays very smoothly.

Peerless Renaissance 2007 SN PE0711445




Epiphone Casino VS 2004 R04H0577




The Peerless Renaissance and the Epiphone Casino are both made by Peerless and are essentially the same guitar with a few minor differences of detail, most noticeably the binding on the Peerless, which is more elaborate. They both have the same jack location on the top of the guitar, the same type of inlay on the neck and the same body shape and size. This guitar is made in the same shape and configuration as the old Gibson ES 330. An earlier Kalamazoo version of the Casino was made famous by the Beatles who used it on stage and in the studio.

Peerless Imperial 2009 PE0903240




The Peerless Imperial has a solid carved spruce top with maple back and sides, ebony fingerboard, tuner knobs, tailpiece and pickguard. It has a warmer sound than the Cremona and is also a little bit louder. The headstock on both the Imperial and the Cremona resembles the headstock design used by the late great American luthier Jimmy D'Aquisto, who worked for a time with Fender Guitars. I believe Peerless is still partly owned by Fender.

Eastman Oval Hole Archtop AR904 2008 SN2868




This guitar was made by the Eastman String Company in Beijing China. It has a warm sound that projects nicely. It has an arched solid carved spruce top, maple back and sides, ebony tuner handles, pickguard, fingerboard and tailpiece. I used it for this YouTube video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_c7g2YB27fU

Eastman AR910CE 2008 SN 3847




This is the loudest of my archtop guitars and one that I really love to play. Like the AR904 it is made with a carved spruce top, maple back and sides, ebony tuner handles, pickguard, fingerboard and tailpiece.


I liked the other AR910 so much I got this one too, special order from China. It has block inlays, serial number 5804.

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