Video Fridays: My Next Acoustic Guitar

In my mid-teens learning to play the guitar took part in saving my life. It wasn’t at all that dramatic, at least on the surface, but learning to play and dabbling in songwriting gave me a mostly benign emotional outlet for my adolescent confusion. The first guitar I purchased was a blonde Gibson copycat bought at a tiny mom and pop guitar store in Laguna Beach for 135-dollars. That was a lot of money for me and my mom didn’t approve of the purchase and would later ridicule me when she vetoed my attempt to by someone’s used Volvo saying, “why don’t you just jump on your guitar and drive away.” Yeah, family.  

That guitar served me well through the rest of 1970s, through the 1980s, all the way to 1997 when I bought my Ovation Balladeer (with hard case and Crate Acoustic amp) for over $1000. It had a built-in pick-up, when all of my friends got clip-on pick-ups or wrestled with mics and feedback when they performed. Interestingly, I was no playing in public at all and was kind’a stuck playing the same crap I’d been playing since the early 80s and hadn’t even tried to write anything new since the early 80s.

1997-12-24 Guitar man with new Ovation guitar
1997-12-24 Guitar man with new Ovation guitar

The emotional turmoils of the early 2000s brought back the refuge of playing guitar and the importance of music in my life, but I wouldn’t venture out to play for others until my last couple years living in Florida around 2015. That was around 40-years after I started learning how to play and I was more than a little rusty. Which brings us to now, as we begin to come back from our year of social hibernation, I was invited to play on some tracks being recorded by “Some Assembly Required” band mate, Carson, and it came to my attention that, if I intend to continue to play and play in public, I really should update my aging gear. 

2018-04-15 my guitars: pre-CBS Fender Telecaster
2018-04-15 my guitars: pre-CBS Fender Telecaster

The first guitar, the Gibson copycat, called a Thumb guitar, was retired long ago because it suffered from a second irreparable broken neck. But I still have it and it’s 47-years-old. Next, I bought my blond Fender Telecaster used from my brother-in-law, Joel, around 1978, which he purchased while serving in the Navy in the late 1960s. So I’ve had it for 45-years but it’s vintage goes back possibly another 10-years. It had a warped neck that I had replaced in mid-2000s. It’s still in service, though the high-E-string is a bit buzzy for my tastes. Next, as mentioned before, I’ve had the Ovation and Crate amp for 24-years. Alas, either the guitar’s pick or the amp has proven to not be reliable, which inspired this most recent spending spree. Oddly it was the electric guitar amp that I bought in 2005, my Line 6 Spider II, that I replaced first with a new Line6 Spider V amp. I picked the amp because of everything that’s changed in the last 16-years, including the possibility of using it with my acoustic guitar. Alas the Ovation won’t play through the amp and is less than stellar playing through the old Crate amp. So, that leads me to my current search for a replacement acoustic(/electric) guitar for less than $600. 

I want something that sounds decent without the need for an amp (not another Ovation…), but reflects current technology. I asked friends in FaceBook for suggestions, the best one being that I really need to go and play the things before deciding on what to drop my money on. Taylor, Fender, Alvarez, the usual suspects were suggested. When I was doing a little research on Amazon I ran into this fine fellow and have been contemplating something very unexpected… 

LAVA ME 2 Carbon Fiber Guitar

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