Sunday, November 12, 2006

Guitar Quest

My guitar is dying and I'm sad. Well, it's not really's just very sick. My Takamine G-334 was a birthday present from my family nearly fifteen years ago, and though it's probably considered a mid to low-end guitar, it has considerable sentimental value to me. It was my first real guitar and is my baby.

For about the past year there's been a noticeable string buzz when I play. I could see that a couple of the frets were worn and figured it would need a partial re-fret job. Since I haven't performed publicly in several years, I just ignored the buzz as I dinked around at home. I would just reposition my fingers so that the buzz would disappear. This past summer I recognized a definate itch to write and perform again, so I called around to different music stores for quotes on a partial re-fret.

After finding an acceptable quote, I took my baby in for surgery only to find out the damage was much more extensive. Upon inspection, the luthier discovered a bow in the neck of my guitar near the headstock. He told me he could repair it, but that it would be nearly three times the original price. I was speechless. The repair price was not much less than the original price of the guitar. I told him I'd think about it.

Well, I've thought about it, and I think it's time to step up to the next level. My Tak has served me well, but I think I'd rather use the money toward a new guitar. Please don't hate me, baby! I'm not getting rid of you...I'm just adding to the family! I've been going to a couple of music stores in the area and playing different guitars to get an idea of what I want. So far here are the finalists.

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This is the Breedlove AD25/SR Plus. It is the dark-horse surprise of the finalists. I picked this little beauty up at Guitar Center and was amazed by its deep full tone and beautiful low-end. I love the sleek look of it as well, except for the gold hardware (even though my Tak has gold hardware). It is the least expensive of the finalists.

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Next up is the Taylor 310ce. I've been eyeing Taylor guitars for years now and this is my nostalgic pick. It is beautifully crafted, sounds great (although a little thin on the low-end for my taste...I love a big, deep, rich low-end), and I know it will sound fantastic when plugged in. This is the frontrunner.

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And finally, the Gibson Songwriter Deluxe Cutaway. It's fricking expensive. It costs twice as much as the Breedlove. It's busy. There's a lot going on with this guitar with the fancy pick guard, the curled saddle, the gold hardware, and the pearl inlays on the frets. But when I see artists playing this guitar, it looks pretty freakin' cool. Also, it sounds amazing with great low-end.

Hopefully, I'll be able to make a purchase in the next couple of months. I'm still a little bummed about the current condition of my Takamine, but excited about the prospect of buying a new high-end guitar. And who knows, maybe someday I'll restore my baby.

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