September 8, 2019 at 5:45 am #2844
Hello, really enjoying the podcasts!
Before I ask my question, I wanted to offer some positive feedback. I ordered my “67 Grand” and had said I wanted advanced X and deep body for enough bass for strumming. You explained to me it wouldn’t work with both, it had to be one or the other. I just wanted to follow up with you on that and say that it was not offensive and I thought you did a great job with handling that. If I use the right pick for the guitar it tends to have enough, and finger style it has plenty. With a lot of stiffer picks while there is plenty of bass it’s tightness is actually the sounding factor of lack (lots of volume tucked away into the undertones that don’t punch you in the chest vs fundamental maybe?). I always trust that Santa Cruz will deliver and I always have a journey to be on. After nearly 10 years of experience with the company, I think I can say I’m just now starting to understand intimately the sonic ethos. I just wanted to say though that I think you do a good job, and I appreciate all of you guys that make it happen.
When you were talking about violins and seeking out the best tools and instruments a player can get ahold of, it made me think of my pick situation. When I use a Blue Chip Pick (.88 mm of any shape is usually my go to for different things) the guitar just responds too tight and thin (audience routinely attests to ‘thin’ sound when solo unplugged or wife at home). When I use a Dunlop Tortex .73 it almost sounds as though I’m using my index finger nail as a pick in a good way. It is the most musical pick that I have found to go with my guitar. As a pick (grip, bevel, quality etc) I much prefer the Blue Chip, and following traditional knowledge that tortoise shell and such picks are best I have been using them for the past 7-8 years. They do sound really good (and everyone also says that), but it does bring out a tighter overall effect and more thinness. I mention other people to reinforce as an artist it is not just my own delusion that I am speaking to but a scientifically controlled survey that I am always undertaking as an effort to improve myself 🙂
I was curious if you guys test guitars with tortoise shell, blue chip, or something like that… or if people tend to just use a Dunlop or nylon pick laying around with the guitar voicing. I could see this going several ways, so rather than just assume and ponder forever I wanted to ask.
I was also curious when you’re looking at people who have heard a Brazilian backed guitar in person and liked the effect, but may have opted for cocobolo in the meantime until they can acquire such a thing in the future… What is a wood that might be a little drier and have more clarity than Cocobolo (without going full on mahogany)? I notice Cocobolo has a rich robust character profile, which to me can sound very dense, wet, and dark bell tone. Not in a way that isn’t used to good effect, but the effect is rather striking, bold, and dramatic in my case. I know that a lot of other things plays into that though, and that may not be a question that can be fully answered when speaking about the back and side wood choice. I haven’t ever played an African Blackwood Santa Cruz, but hopefully in a few months with the OM G gets to Guitar Resurrection in Austin I can drive down for a good old fashioned A/B between OM G models.
I know in the future when I order a guitar, I’m not even going to include specs for what I care for in cosmetics of the wood. I’m just going to tell you what I want to hear and forget the rest! While pretty wood is nice, it makes me wonder if I inadvertently picked out a tonally darker variant of the cocobolo. It makes no difference while playing, that’s for sure, how pretty it is unless it first qualifies sonically.
All statements made in this post are not in reference to universal good/bad tonal judgment. Only in terms of what it is usable for and how inspiring I personally find this or that. I think the 67 Grand that I got has a great ‘pow’ instead of ‘punch’ because of the shallow body and string tension. For me it works really well as an accent guitar layered into a track or to add some richness or bold color. Still one of the best SC guitars I’ve played! Looking forward to a 12 fret sloped shoulder mahogany backed guitar though for singing with and a custom OOO variant.
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