2021 Issue of The Journal of Acoustic Guitar is out and I’m in it

Martin: The Journal of Acoustic Guitar 2021 is Out and Available

Focusing on Environmental Sustainability

And featuring an in-depth article on the SC-13E by T. S. Phillips

There was some minor editing going on after my official proofreading and approval. But they paid me well enough that I can live with an awkward sentence here or there.

Martin Journal Cover and SC-13E page onemanz
https://www.martinguitar.com/martin-journal.html

My article starts on page 36.

 

D’Angelico New Guitars and Aged Mahogany Finish for 2021




New High End and Entry Level D’Angelico Acoustics

Retro Looks Awesome on Modern D’Angelico

Two new solid-wood models have been released by D’Angelico, each has mahogany back and sides, a Sitka spruce top with scalloped bracing and an abalone rosette, and a bound pau ferro fingerboard. They also feature the Scroll-style Excel headstock, seen for the first time on D’Angelico acoustics, and a Fishman INK-4 pickup system with controls in the treble side of the guitar, as well as an onboard tuner. Finish options include Vintage Sunburst, Walnut Stain, and Vintage Natural.

Click on Photo to Enlarge

Excel Tammany XT

The OM sized Excel Tammany XT is here seen in Vintage Sunburst.
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Excel Gramercy XT

An upgraded, all-solid version of D’Angelico’s top-selling single-cutaway grand auditorium instrument, the Excel Gramercy XT is seen here in Walnut Stain.

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Aged Mahogany Finish

D’Angelico’s Premiere Series offers affordable acoustic-electric models in various sizes and shapes made with laminated mahogany back, sides, and top, and an artistically distressed finish, equipped with an onboard preamp and tuner.

Visit D’Angelico Guitars to learn more

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Eastman Music for 2021 Includes Acoustic Upgrades and a New Electric Guitar

The Men of the East at Eastman Continue to Improve

In my previous post, I mentioned how Eastman is partnering with Dana Bourgeois to create a more-affordable line that will be partially made by each company, before being sold under the Bourgeois brand, with an emphasis on world-wide distribution. Delayed for obvious reasons, I am looking very forward to the results!

As for the Eastman brand, they are another acoustic guitar company that got into the electric guitar business, and their only new model for Winter NAMM is one them.

Romeo LA

This thinline semi-hallow body electric guitar features a laminate spruce top, with mahogany laminate back and sides, maple neck with a “swept curve neck joint,” ebony fretboard and a 24.75-inch string scale. The neck joint features a swept curve for player comfort.

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AE Series Upgrades

But they have updated their upper-tier acoustics for 2021 to include sound ports on all their AE models, and upgraded appointments that include figured maple trim and maple leaf fretboard markers, as well as new a top shading option.

Click on Photo to Enlarge

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Visit Eastman Guitars

Bourgeois Guitars Winter NAMM Collection

Dana Bourgeois and His Stunning Guitars

A Sampling of What 2021 Has to Offer

Keeping busy the best way he knows how, Dana Bourgeois and his small company of dedicated craftspeople are putting out some stunning one of a kind instruments. Here is a small sampling.

Click on Photos to Enlarge

Bourgeois Nova

Made with “Panama Red” rosewood and aged Adirondack spruce

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Bourgeois OMS Style 42

Slothead 12-fretter in master grade koa

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Visit Bourgeois Guitars to See Many More

*** Update on Bourgeois – Eastman Joint Venture***

It has been over a year ago that Eastman announced a joint venture partnership with luthier Dana Bourgeois, (link to jan 2020 post) to create a line of guitars more affordable than the high-end boutique guitars made by Bourgeois in Lewiston, Maine. The global pandemic has disrupted the timing of that new business arrangement, just like everything else. But I do look forward to seeing one of those instruments eventually.

The arrangement will create guitars similar to Martin’s old Shenandoah Series, which had the guitar parts made in Asia, before being assembled and finished in Nazareth, PA. In this case, much of the woodworking is done in Maine, before the guitars are assembled and finished in China, and then given their final setup in the USA.

This isn’t the first time Bourgeois partnered with outsiders to make a play for wider market presence. But it resulted in him being unable to market guitars under his own name for some years.

This time, he retains greater control over the quality of the final product, while gaining a serious overseas presence, and offering a line of guitars considerably more affordable than the $4K – $10K guitars currently available from Bourgeois Guitars.

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Dana Bourgeois “voicing” a new guitar



Santa Cruz Guitar Company Recent Glories

Santa Cruz offered no new acoustics for this year’s Winter NAMM show

But they did put out awesome photos of recent customs

These include luscious tonewoods like quilted mahogany and 3,000 year old Sitka spruce!

 

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Visit Santa Cruz Guitar Company

Hoover and redwood onemanzLovers of Santa Cruz guitars can be as passionate about them as any make or style of musical instrument in the world, with good reason. Founder and woodworking wizard Richard Hoover has a lot to do with that. Here he is in a recent photo, doing what he loves best, working with wood. In this case, he using a metal detector to search for bullets and other possible metal hidden in some reclaimed redwood.

 

 

John Mayer NAMM Set 2021

John Mayer plays Martin guitars with Engelmann spruce tops

Winter NAMM Mini Set for Martin’s Jam in Place Series

Here’s a decent opportunity to hear what Engelmann spruce sounds like after it has some time to mature and get played in. It is paired with East Indian rosewood on the OM-28JM, the original John Mayer signature model from 2002 (released January 2003,) and it can be heard matched with Guatemalan rosewood on his 2016 D-45JM later in the set. In between the two can be heard Sitka spruce, backed by cocobolo rosewood on the 12-fret 00-42SC Stagecoach model released on 2013.

 

Breedlove New and Different for 2021

Breedlove 2021Guitars Debut

A breed apart, Breelove continues to impress

Saddened they could not do this in person, I am sure, Breedlove releases their 30th Anniversary model, the

30th Anniversary Northwest Classic Concert CE.

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Handcrafted and hand voiced from clear-cut free, sustainable master grade Sitka spruce and highly figured Oregon myrtle, this versatile new Breedlove has figured walnut binding and myrtle appointments, this “Sound Optimized® Masterclass limited edition” is an acoustic-electric guitar has a maple neck, and a fingerboard and winged bridge made of ebony. LR Baggs Anthem electronics and a custom Ameritage case come standard with this anything but standard guitar.

New Breelove Premiere Series Instruments for Winter NAMM 2021

Made from East Indian rosewood and Sitka spruce, these high-end Breelove acoustic guitars are available in their three standardized sizes, the Concertina, Concert, and Concerto.

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Jeff Bridges Charity Signature

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Breedlove is now offering the new Jeff Bridges Oregon Concerto Bourbon CE signature model, made with Oregon myrtle and an LR Baggs Anthem TRU-Mic pickup system.

“Powerful and responsive like a dreadnought, tonally the acoustic electric Breedlove Jeff Bridges’ Signature Model emphasizes the unique qualities of myrtle, with a deep rosewood-like bass, the fundamental clarity of mahogany and the enchanting shimmer of koa… co-designed by Breedlove, Bridges and Jeff Bridges & The Abiders’ lead guitarist Chris Pelonis, is fitted with a signature gigbag and furnished with an inside label and certificate of authenticity signed by Jeff Bridges, who reminds us we are “All in this Together.”

The Breedlove Jeff Bridges signature “All in this Together” project benefits Amazon Conservation Team, which works in partnership with indigenous colleagues to protect rain forests and traditional culture.

JEFF_Bridges Breedlove Bridges myrtle onemanz

Visit Breedlove Guitars

Taylor Guitars at Winter NAMM




Optimistic Travel Guitars from Taylor for 2021

Two new Taylor models made in their recently-invented Grand Theater size

Taylor’s Grand Theater size sounds gigantic and yet it designed to create a more compact instrument with a 24.5” string scale and a 1-23/32” nut width, and body shape similar to their largest models, only smaller. These “travel guitars” come with a lightweight but protective Aerocase, and their asymmetrical C Class bracing, which is designed to increase bass response in guitar designs that need it.

Both instruments are larger than ukulele size guitars out there, while still satisfying those who want a petite instrument that is easily portable and and easy to play.

The GT K21e features all-koa construction, while the GT 811e features solid Indian rosewood back and sides and solid Sitka spruce top. Each model has the C Class bracing, ES2 pickup system, and an ebony fretboard and bridge, with wood from environmentally-friendly sustainable forests in Africa.

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The rosewood 811e has 800 Series appointments that include an abalone rosette, and the GT811e has burst edge finish to the koa top, a maple rosette and decorative vine fretboard art.Taylor-GT811e-frl-2020 onemanz

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Visit Taylor Guitars

Other 2021 Acoustic Guitar News to Come…

Gibson Artist Signature Models for 2021

Gibson Artist Signature Models Anticipated after NAMM 2021

Electric Guitars Dominate Gibson’s Winter NAMM

Gibson USA  focused on electric instruments for Winter NAMM 2021, including a gold top Les Paul Slash signature model and a Pelham Blue Thunderbird bass. They confined their acoustic guitar releases to vague references to upcoming artist signature models, including a signature model for Noel Gallagher of Oaisis, based on his favorite J-150, a less-decorated version of the SJ-200, made 2019-2005. “I sent it there to be photographed, the grain and the whole thing,” Gallagher told Guitar Magazine. “It’s not even a J-200, you know. It’s a J-150 that I just took off the shelf in London, played it, and I was like, ‘Yeah, I’ll take it.’ I never thought anything of it. But I’ve written some great fucking songs on that guitar.”

There will also be two SJ-200s with various cosmetic differences: a yet to be seen posthumous Tom Petty “Wildflower” edition and a red signature model with a lotus flower pickguard and a for Australian star Orianthi, which includes a customized L.R. Baggs pickup system and a neck derived from an ES-345.

Gibson-Orianthi-SJ-200-Photo-Jim-Iouveau onemanz

“Having an electric guitar neck on the acoustic body is like just a perfect scenario.”

That’s what she said. And it is right in line with the times. From Martin’s converting their line to their High Performance Neck in 2018 and the hybrid SC-13E acoustic-electric released this time last year, the trend toward making acoustic guitars to please electric guitarists first and foremost does march onward.

There is some irony involved here, since Bob Taylor first was the first person to make a success out of putting what was essentially an electric guitar neck on an acoustic guitar, way back when, only to have Taylor Guitars evolve their neck joint and neck shapes over the years toward a more acoustic guitar-esque feel and construction. And we will take a look at the 2021 Taylor models next.

 

Visit Gibson USA

Guitars of Winter NAMM 2021




New Acoustics in Short Supply at NAMM 2021

The 2021 Winter NAMM Show was a virtual event, understandably enough, with virtually no acoustic guitars

Still, there were hundreds of events, including performances by musicians, famous and not so famous, as well as interviews and discussions. But while there were also actual products being released, few acoustic guitars were among them, compared to normal years. Even lil’ ol’ Huss & Dalton of Lynchberg, VA has recently gotten into making electric guitars!

Huss & Dalton Statesboro SC Classic Winter NAMM onemanz

C.F. Martin & Co. made a valiant effort for 2021, by offering four new acoustic guitar models across their pricing tiers, and four ukuleles. While it was reduced from what was originally planned for this NAMM show, it was considerably more of an offering than anyone else could muster, among the major players in the acoustic guitar industry.

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There is still some news of interest, from companies like…

Click on Links

Gibson,

Taylor,

Breedlove,

Collings,

Santa Cruz,

Bourgeois,

Eastman,

D’Angelico

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