I've been through a few instruments since I started playing guitar in 1976 (crap I should be better...I digress) When I first told my parents I wanted to play the guitar and not the accordion you would have thought I slapped my them in the face by the look they gave me. "Guitar?....JOANNE!" After proving I was serious about playing by taking piano AND organ lessons they let my cousin Dennis loan me his Sears Silvertone guitar...oh boy! While my mates were learning Smoke on the water and Stairway to heaven, I focused on wooing the women in my life (a.k.a. none) by learning More than a feeling and Sunshine on my shoulders. Now that will bring em in like moths to a flame...ahhh the sweet guitar. After a year or so my folks actually bought me a guitar. An Ovation Applause. It was the cheap line from Ovation that had a plastic neck with an aluminum fretboard. That didn't last too long. When I was a freshman in high school, my parents upped the anti a bit by getting me a 1973 Ovation Balladeer. Not a bad guitar. It lasted me for a good 6 or 7 years. (I think my brother has it now). I had been playing some good guitars over at my good friend's shop Tobias Music Ken always let me play the best he had knowing I couldn't afford a dang thing but that's where I learned about Taylor Guitars. Now Kim is the girl I tricked into marring me (I knew the John Denver song would work eventually). Kim showed up one day with a Taylor 555 under her arms...I just about passed out. What a gift. Soon after that I bought a Taylor 615 and I thought I was set. I fell upon some rough financial times and wound up having to sell the only two things I owned that were worth anything...yup the two Taylors. Sad day. I spent a few years borrowing guitars from people and got real tired of being an instrument leach. My good friend Doug called me one day and said that his Mom has a guitar in her closet and she wanted me to have it. I was desperate so I flew to his house to claim the guitar. I then learned that it was a Takamine and it had been sitting in her closet for 25+ years...ugh.
The action was so high I could have used it as a cheese cutter. It didn't look like a Takamine but sure enough right on the headstock there was the name but it wasn't the font Takamine uses.
I took my so called prize over to Tobias and had Ken take a look at it. "Do you know what you have?"... uh nope. "This is a pre-lawsuit Takamine copy of a Martin D-28, right down to using Martin's font on the headstock." I left it with him for a few days to work his repair magic and went back.I opened the case and picked up the so called D-28 copy... oh my goodness this thing sounded amazing and played as good as it sounded. After doing a triple take, I handed it to back to him and had him install a Fishman matrix pickup under the saddle.
That had to be 8 or 9 years ago and I haven't even had the desire to look at another instrument. I get more compliments on the sound of the Tak than I ever got on the Taylors....Kooky eh?
The bindings are aging perfectly
Great inlays...killer rosewood
I use a Shure UC4 Wireless system
A Fishman Dual Parametric DI gives me the tone trimming ability I want.
I have hung my head in shame for a long time for poo pooing such a gracious gift.
I fully admit, I judged the guitar by the name. I have thanked Mrs. DeBarger (Betty) many times over the years and will continue to do so every time I see her.
Here's a sample of the sound not great because I am capo'd up the wazzoo here but you'll get the idea.