Help Spoon Toward His Next Album – which microphone?
The previous test had some tech flaws. This one is better.
You can listen to the MP3 online.
But you must go to the link and download the actual wav file if you want to hear the hi res version. (click on the upper right where it says SOUNDCLOUD.)
Please let me know which of these 8 mic parings you like best, you can comment on as many as you wish.
Blind Test for Now. I will reveal the mics in a few days.
Same guitar, and the mics were set up in the same positions and same distance from the guitar (quick measuring tape confirmations.)
One of the six examples sounds much more like the actual guitar than the others. But for me that is not important, compared to what listeners hear and “that sounds good” or “pleasing” or “listenable without fatigue” etc., when it comes to someone listening to a 45 minute album of guitar music, etc.
There was no EQ or compression etc. I just played the same piece over and over six times, as fast as I could switch microphones and adjust levels.
I was surprised how different some of them sound in terms spacial effect in the virtual soundstage.
I am curious to know what YOU hear, think about the six mic pairings in this test. Which one(s) do you like?
Please use the comment form below, or contact me via email@example.com
I have gotten some confirmation from within Martin on the following:
Typos on the spec sheets – All instances of 2-3/16″ string spacing are incorrect.
All models with the High Performance taper have string spacing of 2-5/32″. The change was universal when they first made it. If you see 2-3/16″ on the spec sheet of a current model it is a typo. I saw at least three models listed that way in the past couple of days.
The new D-28 (2017) – it is NOT a typo that it has forward-shifted non-scalloped braces.
I had expected this makeover to go with scalloped bracing, as the D-18 had.
But after the sonic success of the GPC-28E, they decided to add forward-shifted bracing to the D-28, but keep the braces non-scalloped. I can’t wait to hear the results in person. I liked the sound of the GPC-28 a lot.
The GPC-28E, OMC-28E, 00-28, and soon to be released GP-28E and OM-28E are all moving to this new styling, with the aging toner and tortoise guard, antique white binding and mother of pearl dots of the new D-28. This decision came pretty late, so the latter two were not ready for the show.
The 00-28, and all OMs are retaining their scalloped 1/4″ bracing. But we can expect to see all large guitars made in Standard Style 28 to have non-scalloped bracing from now on.
I got a “probably soon” as to if the current OM-28 was going to lose the herringbone, short pattern diamond fret markers and grained ivoroid binding.
I got silence regarding the 000-28. But may learn something soon.
Likewise nothing on the HD-28, but I assume it is safe for now since the D-28 did not get scalloped bracing or herringbone.
The Jason Isbell model – spec clarification
Tim Teel confirmed this guitar has Golden Era style bracing and bridge plate – except it is rear-shifted. That is a first that I know of, unless someone has ordered customs like that. I bet it is a monster. Can’t wait to see and hear for myself.
It has High Gloss thin finish, not the Vintage Gloss of the Authentics. The spec sheet currently says “Gloss.”
Million Dollar Babies
Lloyd Loar Gibsons to Bring a Tear to Your Eye
and Put a Song in Your Heart
About this same time each year a good friend of One Man’s Guitar visits this part of the country to see old pals and meet some new ones, while enjoying good food, good talk, and good music. Social calls are made, cases appear from behind doors, and coveted old instruments are cradled like newly arrived infants, inspiring the same sort of onlooker responses of delight and preciousness.
Few vintage instruments inspire such devotion, and price tags, like Lloyd Loar Gibsons, the exquisite vintage guitars and mandolins made at the Gibson Musical Instrument Company during the tenure of Lloyd Loar. And on this particular day you couldn’t swing a dreadnought without hitting a priceless Loar – shutter the thought.
Mr. Loar began working at Gibson in 1919 and left in 1924, apparently after disagreements with new management. Among Loars many innovations, he is credited with developing the F-hole archtop design, similar to a violin or cello, and for the floating fingerboard, which, like violins, extends over the soundboard without touching it, and is now a standard feature of the modern archtop guitars used for Jazz music. But when they debuted, archtop guitars like the L5 were used for all sorts of music, and at times that holds today. For example, Maybelle Carter played her Old Time tunes on an L5 made in 1928, and fingerstyle acrobat Howard Emerson plays sliding bottleneck blues on his 1930 TGL-5, which had been converted from a tenor guitar to a 6-string 1935 (see comments below.)
We played an L5 from January 1925, which would have been built during 1924. It had maple for the back and sides, instead of a birch back used on earlier examples. And alongside it was played a 1930 L5, with large block inlays on the headstock. Dry and punchy, each guitar had a clear voice with surprising volume.
But it is the mandolins for which Loar is most remembered, like the one played by Bill Monroe, the father of Bluegrass music. Monroe’s was graced with a flower pot inlay on the headstock. But the ones with the fern are much rarer, and will command prices in excess of $200,000. Although Loar is credited with making one A-Style mandolin, with a symmetrical teardrop body, it is the fancier carving on the F-Style mandolins that are admired for the craftsmanship they exhibit, even if both styles can provide the classic ting and ring Bluegrass musicians revel in.
There were two Loar F5 mandolins present, a fern signed by Loar on March 24, 1924, and one without the fern signed on April 12, 1923. Also present was a stunning K-5 Mandocello, one of only six known to exist. This one was signed by Loar on October 13, 1924. With serial number 76980, this instrument is not listed in the mandolin archives.
1925 L5 Guitar
1923 F5 Fern Mandolin
(click photos to enlarge)
1923 K5 Mandocello
Golden Age Oldies
In addition to the Gibsons, there were two Martin C-3 archtops from 1934, two serial numbers apart from one another. And with Brazilian rosewood backs that undoubtedly came from the same log. Interestingly enough, the grain pattern on the backs are upside down from each other. While it was an archtop kind of day, flattops were well represented by the 1937 D-18, belonging to a guest, which is one of the supreme examples from what is considered the supreme year for pre-war D-18s.
1934 Martin C-3 Backs
Martins Most Expensive Model of 1934
(click photos to enlarge)
Room Full of History
And that is one man’s word on…
Lloyd Loar Gibsons, Pre-War Martins: Million Dollar Babies
Taylor Guitars celebrates their 40th Anniversary in business with a series of special performances, and a whole new bunch of Taylor guitars at NAMM 2014, January 23 -26, in Anaheim, California.
After 40 years making guitars, Taylor has risen to become one of the most popular brands of acoustic guitars in the country. Their fast, sleek necks and on-board electronics are favored by many electric guitarists when the time comes for playing an acoustic guitar on stage. They are also seen in the hands of acoustic-oriented artists like Jewel, Taylor Swift, and Leo Kottke.
For those not able to attend the show, which is not open to the public, Taylor will be streaming live from their showcase area.
The schedule of performances is currently as follows
Among the new and very cool NAMM items, I am most looking forward to the latest edition the CS Series, the Martin CS-00S-14, which will be unveiled at the NAMM show, January 23, in Anaheim, California.
Just as I was about to post a news item with some details of this and other new and exciting guitars, I received a gag order from one of my sources on my revealing any details. Sigh.
This latest model continues the new tradition of luthiery offered within this series of unique guitars, each made by the Martin Custom Shop, combining vintage vibe with cutting edge features as designed by Fred Greene, Vice President of Manufacturing at C.F. Martin & Co.
The new model has features that appear on previous CS models, like the CS-OM-13, and the CS-D18-12, among others, but also significant features never seen on a Martin before now. Chairman of the Board C.F. Martin IV has been quoted publicly mentioning the fact his company was on the verge of introducing one such feature, so it will not be too big a surprise for some people.
An anonymous source within Martin’s highest executives went on record to say “…it is very different from anything we have done before.” And since those with a keen eye for detail may already have some knowledge of this model, I am prepared to come clean with more details, should other media sources or Martin Guitars publish such details first.
But for now, I shall simply remind people that some CS models were limited to specific build totals the moment they were announced, while others were not. So someone interested may not want to wait too long before deciding upon a purchase in the near future.
Some years ago I wrote a product review for Maury’s Music, on the G7th Performance Capo.
I have greatly revised my original review, as I have come to appreciate this capo more and more overtime. Basically, I learned how to attach it to the guitar neck better over time.
Unlike many capos, the G7th Performance Capo was the brainchild of a guitarist, Englishman Nick Campling, who is also a professional product designer. After 30 years of capo dissatisfaction, he fixed his eye upon the challenge of making a better mousetrap, err, capo. To do so, he looked at those produced in recent decades and how they may have fallen short in his demanding estimation.
His primary concerns were the effect of the capo on a guitar’s intonation, the ease of use in terms of applying and removing it, making sure the capo did not damage the guitar’s neck or get in the way of the guitarist’s fretting hand, and finally, a capo that was attractive to the eye. The G7th Performance capo does a good job in all these respects.
This is no easy order, given the long and not always pretty history of this little piece of guitar gadgetry…