A few months ago I cast around looking for a guitar that, like my favourite acoustic so far - the Vintage VE2000GG, had a pinched narrow waist and relatively larger body. I love the combination of the depth of sound from the larger body, but the sweeter top end and more controlled bottom end that shape gives. But I found it impossible within my budget as only bespoke high end builders seem to make such instruments. I ended up casting the net wider, got something that was "different" to what I had and then found it failed to gel!
I realised a few weeks back that I had missed an obvious possibility. The all mahogany Vintage V2000MGG - same shape and design as the VE2000GG but a very different sound to that cedar topped instrument. So I started on line searching as the instrument is as rare as rocking horse droppings around here. Nearly everywhere I looked they were not in stock. I looked on the JHS site (the distributors) to double check specifications - it wasn't there. I drew the obvious conclusion it was probably no longer being made and to say this was a depressing thought is an understatement.
A place that had two listed on e-bay the night before suddenly had none.
I started ringing around and found that the places that didn't have an out of stock note on their website didn't have any in stock. Richard was my first call and after an interesting chat we left it that I'd get back in touch if I wanted him to order one up from the distributors. A later call elsewhere that found it was not in stock also elicited the information that they wouldn't be able to order one up as they'd tried and been told be the distributors it was discontinued and there were none left.
Thankfully I hit lucky. Unfortunately not with somewhere that would set up the guitar. They would take it out of the box and check it was "playable" ... end of. But beggars can't be choosers and I ordered one up. Two days later it arrived and in trepidation I opened up the box and started to try it out. The action was too high but I was expecting that. The sound was great and despite the action the comfort and ease of playing was also very good.
Three weeks later and I am playing the hell out of the guitar. The sound is perfect for the sort of music I like to play. Nicely balanced, warm without being muddy, and nice sweet treble notes. A goodly amount of sustain without it getting in the way of later notes. Best of all it makes me want to play and to create.
Nice and simple - no fancy banding. The money has gone into the design and sound.
This is as fancy as it gets. No ornamentation.
Nice simple headstock too with just a Rob Armstrong decal on the truss rod cover.
It just needs a setup now and I really don't fancy parting with it for a week!
To be done in a wee while when the novelty has worn off a bit.
Just a few sound samples - it does have a decent range for style / genre.
Loosely based on Martin Simpson Gsus4/4 arrangement of a trad tune ---> soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=13605945
A DADGAD composition ---> soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=13605943
A 3 track improvisation in D Phrygian that ended up a bit fusion-ish ---> https://app.box.com/s/bupase8bj6hyigreg7bw5amwij6hoky3Regarding that last track. A fun thing to try. Pick a scale. On track 1 record bass notes only using that scale, concentrating on rhythm and avoiding thinking about what notes are played and avoiding the usual bass patterns and any chord shapes. On the second track play 3 or 4 note chord clusters and arpeggios while avoiding chords you know - make it random and listen to what happens and try and repeat good clusters. on track 3 while listening to what is on tracks 1 and 2 try and weave a melodic line (using the scale) that fits in - concentrating on what interval to jump up and down that might sound best. Result is a total surprise and unplanned. I could never have planned that recording above and I have no idea what chords and progressions are in there.