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A New Toy

December 15th, 2005 Posted in General Media / Stuff, Music

About 15 years ago I borrowed by father’s cheap nylon stringed classical guitar and decided I would become the next Slash or maybe Jimmy Page. It depended who I was listening to at the time. After learning how to play The Animals version of “House of the Rising Sun” I was hooked.

After playing with my old man’s guitar for a few months it was time to go electric, ‘cause I wanted to be so metal it hurt. I tried to scrape together a few bucks here and there and over the next few summers I upgraded from one crappy used guitar to the next crappy used guitar. I kept trying to convince my parents that they should get me a nice guitar, but there was a lot of pushback because “you would just stop playing and it would be a waste of money”.

Finally, after a few years of nagging and also complaining that my little sister got a piano (sure it was “technically” for the family) they gave in and got me a decent acoustic guitar for my high school graduation present. Jump ahead 11 years and I still have that thing. It was a nice little Alvarez, but about a year ago the bridge started to pull up from the body. This is what you get for putting on way too heavy strings because it had such a great tone.

Recently the guitar picked up a bad buzz from the bridge damage and since I pretty much sit around every night playing it I might as well go out and get a new acoustic. Initially I wanted to get a Martin dreadnought but I ended up going with a Taylor. I went down to the new GC in San Francisco, sat down and played about 18 guitars in my price range.

The first guitar I grabbed was the Taylor 414-CE because it was actually the best looking one in the range. It is a really bright guitar (all Taylor’s I have played have been bright) and it played like a dream. I then grabbed a Martin that was the same price and it sounded dull and lifeless, and felt hard to play compared to the Taylor. I tried a whole bunch of other Martin’s and Gibson’s and I kept going back to the Taylor. Just for shits and giggles I grabbed one of the $4k Martin’s and that thing was way amazing, but far more then I was ready to spend (or even consider spending).

Anyway, I ended up getting the 414 and I am so happy that I picked it. The electronic pickups they have are stunning (and designed by Rupert Neve) and I can’t wait to sit down and mic this thing in the studio. Mmm… guitar.

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