Vintage Jumbo Versus Vintage Southerner

Welcome to SCGC Players Forum Forums A General Discussion Vintage Jumbo Versus Vintage Southerner

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    • #5246
      jw3571
      Participant

      I haven’t been able to play either of these as I don’t have a dealer nearby.  What are the differences in tone between the two?  Are either of these what you’d call a cannon or are they more for strumming?  Is the VJ modeled after Gibson’s advanced jumbo?  Any opinions would be helpful.

    • #5249
      Acoustic Soul
      Participant

      I haven’t played a VJ, wouldn’t be interested in the long scale for it.  I played a VS but not an RS unfortunately.

      I can compare the VS to about 10 1940s and 1950s gibsons mostly southern jumbos and j45 models in nashville.

      The gibson has a finger style charm, but the Santa Cruz is definitely better for strumming.  The one with sitka spruce was a total let down, maybe not setup well.  The one with adirondack was serviceable but still was kind of a dud.  I haven’t gotten to experience a proper VS.  It didn’t respond to strumming the way it could have, and it wasn’t as good for finger style as something else.  I went there thinking I’d buy a VS, and I would custom order mine, find an excellent vintage guitar, or find a very special VS that’s already been built and I could bond with in person.

       

      I would not call them a cannon, they were not very powerful like a dread but had a better voice.  I was not impressed with their strumming purpose though.  I would love to have better words for my experience but that is as I lived it.

       

      If the advanced jumbo had rosewood I’d say no it wasn’t modeled on that.

       

      I would absolutely get one with old adirondack and good woody mid range punchy mahogany with a deep end because that’s what was missing… maybe a bit thicker top to handle the extra in put of strumming because it lost it’s voice composure when played harder.  Hide glue and adirondack braces of course.  I would also check about doing a rosewood bridge and fingerboard, the ebony didn’t seem to go with it for me.  I didn’t even record a video, because none of the vintage gibsons and none of the santa cruz guitars that I played there were very good.  I did find a nice strat but it was like 23,000 dollars.  I have not been able to find or play any past that one store unfortunately, because I think I would like a VS or RS more than almost any other Santa Cruz if I could find a good one.  I think the only thing I would like more than that is a 16 or 17″ F model with african blackwood and adirondack to have a good jumbo.

    • #5250
      bert
      Participant

      Both are slope shoulders, the primary diff is the VJ – fullscale and the VS – short-scale. I have a 20yr old (2001) VJ, some things have changed over the years. Mine has some of the most perfect honduran mahogany and sitka that I have ever seen, I don’t really play rhythm but arpeggio off chordial patterns. Some (or most) of the new models might have red spruce (adi) tops.

      Not the same, but along the same lines.. I have a 2008 Collings CJ short scale with red spruce top. The Collings is more of the cannon because of the red spruce. Can’t say for sure but that would likely hold true for the VJ or VS would be my thought (vs sitka). I don’t see any likeness to the Gibson AJ, I disliked one for a while back when. shut up Bert

    • #5252
      jw3571
      Participant

      Thanks for the responses.  How does the RS fit in to the equation?  I’m guessing being a 12 fret it may be more of a cannon.  I have a D12 already so would that be redundant?

    • #5254
      indexless
      Keymaster

      The RS is a deep body, an amazing sounding guitar, The VS for me was better than any J45 I ever played and I’ve been down that road,  with your D12…what about an OM?

    • #5255
      Acoustic Soul
      Participant

      RS seems like it’s going to be notably drier and barkier than the VS which would be more jangly and less ‘profound’ in the low end.  I haven’t done an A/B so that’s my guess.  I can’t find an RS in a shop anywhere.  I did think the VS was too jangly and not enough of a cannon on both accounts that I played, sitka or adirondack… I don’t know how much they will change the voicing on request.  I would only want it for strumming I don’t care much about finger style.

    • #5265
      jw3571
      Participant

      On the RS do you think i’d be better of with Italian Spruce or and Adirondack top?  Definitely looking for more  a cannon with huge bass.

    • #5276
      Acoustic Soul
      Participant

      My personal opinion is that I’d shout at you ADIRONDACK!  One meant for strumming, and old if you can swing it.  There is something Adirondack does for SC that italian or sitka does specifically not do, and I don’t think a cannon is suited to any other wood.  I’ve had both italian and sitka, the italian had too much added to the upper voice of my guitar, and the sitka with EIR was too plain but very enchanting.  If you’re using a pick I really think adirondack gives that quality to the attack and handles the input, Italian or Sitka is great on their finger style models which they seem to make a ton of – even larger guitars.  I specify my builds are going to be strummed harder and need more input headroom.  Adirondack + African Blackwood best sounding Santa Cruz or acoustic flat top I’ve ever heard FWIW over Brazilian and anything.  In person it was just the ticket for me, but I didn’t like the rest of the guitar.

      You could argue for the RS since it’s so big it could benefit from that extra added singing metallic top end harmonic that’s cold, but I would say just get a brazilian rosewood bridge and fingerboard to add it in behind the attack instead of on the front.  If you’re wanting a slope shoulder you are probably not wanting the typical santa cruz attack voicing where there is more metallic sounds from the top strings sticking out than anything when you lay into it , and if you don’t tell them to not do that, they probably will – so if you pick it up and strum hard the voice is going to shift.  I like a more compressed voice that can handle higher input like the Gibson style because when I’m singing I get the gusto and  play harder… I guess I just don’t have the finesse haha but that’s what’s fun for me.

       

      I don’t think you could get a big enough african for RS and if you did it would probably be too much.  Mahogany is definitely a good choice for that and a brazilian bridge will liven it up in the larger body from what I’ve discovered.  I would probably also get a cutaway on an RS because it’s big enough to not miss it and they do a good job with cutaway acoustic properties

    • #5280
      jw3571
      Participant

      Thanks for the replies, I have a D with African Blackwood and it’s just killer.

    • #5286
      Acoustic Soul
      Participant

      I don’t say this often , but ‘ NOOOOOO SHUT! UP!’     Can you please post some video of it up for us to listen to?   The low end of African is my favorite… so deep and powerful yet so clear and tight, just perfect.  .  .  and such a sweet top end that responds like my Heritage Archtop with Sitka/Maple

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