Happy to share!
I have seven children now… my dog Crosby, and my 6 guitars …
my first guitar, that was somewhat neglected and moved from one storage area to another for seven years, before I finally took it out of the case and started learning about 2 months ago… it’s a Seagull Maritime SWS SG Acoustic - no mods… actually a wonderful warm guitar in the intermediate range… I grab it sometimes when the Taylor feels a bit to bright for a song:
Hm, it’s not attaching the photos. I’ll describe then upload photos in a separate post.
Second and third acoustics joined the family/were adopted together… I really wanted to learn pingerpicking/fingerstyle/poor man’s piano guitar… and Taylor’s are phenomenal at that - also, I’ve found in life that if I make a significant financial commitment, I’m more likely to follow through … so the week after the 4th of July, a week into learning, I took advantage of the special they had at most Taylor dealers in July where if you buy an upper level Taylor, you could get a baby Taylor for only an extra $99 or a gs-mini mahogany for an extra $199… I went with a list of guitars to try and actually thought I preferred the Taylor AD27e or a 224ce-K… but the bottom of my list guitar was the one that just felt right… so I got the Taylor 414ce v-class special edition. I then chose to get the gs-mini in mahogany… which was the best move I could have done (despite being annoyed at first they wouldn’t let me pay the 100 extra to get a gs-mini-e… ended up being the best thing, since it turns out I’m not crazy about the ES2 electronics and bought an LR baggs voiceprint DI for the 414ce, that it runs through when plugged in, and uses an IR I made in my phone and adjusts the pickup output sound so it sounds like the guitar does in the room with it… there’s a few IR pedals like this - I HIGHLY recommend voiceprint di over the others after extensive research - unless perhaps you’re doing what Justin is doing and running acoustic through a $1500-1800 Kemper… but if you’re spending that much on a modeler I recommend getting a quad cortex which has superior hardware and is future proofed for quite some time. Anyways, I got the voiceprint for a lot less than the new price on reverb in great condition. Back to the gs-mini… I really loved Ed Sheerans percussive playing and looping and started watching a bunch of others, and after a lot of research, purchased a Fishman powertap rare earth pickup/body sensor and had that installed professionally - it sounds AMAZING plugged into anything lookup the classical guitarist Martin and listen to his insane level of playing - he’s using the Fishman powertap earth)… that was a long winded rabbit hole… the gs-mini… comes with a great backpack, wonderful warm sound, less bright than most Taylor’s because, well, it’s mahogany… and because it’s portable, it comes everywhere with me… if I’m going anywhere other than the store down the street, it goes in the backpack case in the car and comes for the ride. I actually made the mistake the first several weeks of almost exclusively using it because it’s so convenient and portable… then when I went to use a full size guitar was having difficulties… so now whenever home, I force myself to use the Taylor 414ce (which I’ve named “Swift-mini which is my travel and percussive acoustic, I’ve been calling “Small Bump”… that covers the acoustics… for electric guitars, my first electric (which has actually never come out of the case since it arrived, I told myself I wouldn’t take it out until I reached upper intermediate, which hasn’t happened - yet), is a Lowden GL-10 KO… it’s a masterpiece. It took me a few weeks to find a brand new one (or any, they’re rare, the Koa being the rarest). Lowden makes under 100 GL-10s a year including all the dif wood types. Mine had a AAAA Koa top, brand new, serial #086… so the 86th one ever produced in the first official production year 2018. Lollar imperial PAF humbuckers, and all gold gotah hardware. It’s truly a thing of beauty.
Second electric: 2023 PRS SE McCarty 594 SC. Slight mods, I swapped the stock knobs with the core American model lampshades, then swapped out the standard vintage tuners (which are incredibly stable, I’m just coming to love the convenience of locking tuners, they’re essentially beginner proof for changing strings ) with Kluson Revolution Vintage non-collared tuners in gold, keeping the stock silver collar, which gives it the core model gold post/silver ring look. I absolutely love this guitar, it’s my favorite electric of the two I actually play. Highly recommend. I currently call this one “Blue’s Clues” until a better name comes up.
Third and most recent electric: I wanted a pure single coil guitar, but I’m not crazy about the fender high end harshness/quack some love… I listen to pretty much all genres/types of music and wanted something versatile that could go from playing Eric Clapton, to 90s grunge, to blues, to modern top 40 etc… enter PRS SE Silver Sky in Stone blue. Another great guitar that I highly recommend… btw PRS SE line is generally regarded as the best guitars in their price range whether you’re a beginner or a pro… they’re all studio quality as Paul has steadily improved the line over the years and the QC is second to none. Whether the SE, S2 or flagship core lines, they are consistent and one of the few brands you can order sight unseen and played and know exactly what you’re going to get… anyways I absolutely love this guitar. It’s seriously incredibly and I prefer it for comfort, tone, and playability to pretty much every fender I’ve tried. After I found out it was John Mayer’s signature guitar, I started referring to it as “The Mayor”. No upgrades yet, but will be upgrading the tuners to the Kluson revolution non-collared (same as the McCarty, they’re direct replacements and drop ins for both… this time I’m going to use nickel or chrome colored though, with the vintage pearl buttons).
-Fender Mustang GTX100
-Fishman Loudbox Artist (acoustic)
-Boss Katana 100 MKII - this has become my go to, though I did get something new last night I’ll probably be driving for awhile)
-New addition picked up last night, a Vox AC10c tube amp that was upgraded to celestion greenbacks for speakers, and all the Chinese tubes were swapped out/upgraded for UK manufactured which made a huuuge difference over the other AC10c’s I’ve heard… it sounds much closer to the UK manufactured AC30.
-Vox 2X12 speaker cab with 2 vintage 30s in it (a bit warmer, I switch the AC10 to use this for output with single coils and use the built in greenbacks with humbuckers, which keeps the tone well rounded. I also use the cab for the next item on the list
-Quilter Superblock UK… If you haven’t heard of quilter, look them up. It’s not a modeler, just solid state amps… They’re truly the only solid state amps I’ve played with that sound EXACTLY like a tube… while being significantly cheaper and lighter weight. The tube junkie guitar store down the street stocks them - it’s the only non-tube amp they recommend and are an authorized dealer for. Pat quilter is a genius. I actually got the superblock uk to try out for a week or two to see if it sounded as good at home as it did in the store, before swapping it out/returning it and getting their flagship Aviator Mach 3 head, which combines the US/UK superblocks and Tone201 block etc… it’s the flagship with all their best advances. Incredible amp. Swapping the superblock for it tomorrow.
This was a lonnng post, ive been suffering from Acute/severe G.A.S. From week 1. When I’m not practicing for hours a day, I spend hours researching gear and guitars/pedals etc…
My acoustic pedal Board is centered around the LR Baggs Voiceprint DI… then I have the full LR Baggs Align series of pedals, a polytune 3 noir, and a strymon cloudburst. I found out someone I used to volunteer with created a pedal company, that has perfect ratings, so I’m ordering her blessed mother transparent overdrive pedal for the acoustic side.
Just building my electric pedal board… polytune 3 will do double duty for now on the tuner side. For overdrive, so limited. I have a GCB95 Cry Baby wah, just ordered the PRS Horsemeat transparent overdrive. I’ve mainly focused on using the katana for learning which sounds and tones I like, so I have the GA-FC EX pedal for the katana, an EV-5 expression pedal, and a boss fs-6 I use for delay tap and pedal fx on/off.
Something that has become a gem that I didn’t expect (besides how truly good the PRS SE line is) - Peterson Strobo Clip HD clip-on strobe tuner… most tuners have an accuracy of 1/10th cent (1/1000th of a semitone/fret) compared to your standard tuner (snark/etc - I had snark previously) which has an accuracy of +/- 1-3 cents. If you have acute hearing, or even often if not, you can hear the difference of the output… my guitars sound “sweeter” now. Not sure how to explain it… the difference is esp apparent above the 12th fret, and as I’ve started playing around with finger picking/triads, scales, etc etc.
Future gear aspiration list:
Guitars: PRS core McCarty 594 SC with TCI tuned 85/15LT+ humbuckers most likely in cobalt|PRS core McCarty 594 Hollowbody II in whale blue|Heritage custom Les Paul - look them up if you’re not familiar… when Gibson split they stayed in the original factory where the 59 Gibson LP was manufactured. They’re more vintage Gibson than Gibson lol| Eric Clapton signature Strat in white… the core McCarty will prob come next in the spring as I’m trying to treat my G.A.S… I’ve contemplated trading the Lowden GL-10KO for a core PRS Hollowbody II, but can’t bring myself to, so that one prob won’t happen until next summer.
Pedals: RC-600 looping station | Strymon Big Sky| Quad Cortex| ReAmp… looping station and reamp will most likely be next up.
Current project outside of practice and study… incorporating ableton live into my electric guitar signal chain… so I can go through my pedals, into the interface, use any plugins in ableton (ie the free neural amp modeler, which is phenomenal - and free), then outputting it from the interface through a reamp box and back into the amp I’m using.
I started working for tech companies at 13, 24 years ago… I love tinkering with things by nature. So other than some of the pedals above and a future desire to build my own pedals, my current focus is on really playing with tones and dif sounds and using what I now have. I’m beginning to write songs and put together my own stuff after I’m done practicing and learning new songs, typically right before bed… which is why I started this whole journey… up until 10 years ago, music was my journal. I wrote and recorded over the music I purchased from producers. So work was becoming incredibly stressful and less rewarding lately as I reached a level in my career where I was no longer actually hands on doing things/solving challenges, and instead find myself in back2back meetings planning how other people would get to actually do those things and strategy and other leadership/exec nonsense - and I needed a creative outlet to stay sane, so fell back to what I used for 17 years - music. I’ve always admired singer songwriters… I can write songs, but never learned the music part of the songwriting. Also, my music taste has become more refined and to write songs to reflect my life today and capture the emotions I need a guitar because the music is a huge part of that. It’s a language of emotions… annnnd here we are - thanks for reading my Novella