My Guitar Family

1952 Gibson ES-125  |  196? Ventura V-16  |  1977 Alvarez Yairi DY68
1990 Ibanez GB12  |  1997 Epiphone G-310 Jr  |  2000 Taylor XXV-DR  |  2005 Delta D42/SB
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1952 Gibson ES-125

1952 Gibson ES-125

I bought this one in 1977 out of guilt. My dad had an ES-125 that had a really sweet tone. He picked it up in a pawn shop in Kansas City, MO. One day I was practicing on it and left it leaning against a doorway at the top of the stairs. When I closed the door at the bottom of the stairs, the guitar came crashing down and ended up in a million pieces. To add to my guilt, Dad didn't buy another guitar for about eight years.

I got her at a music store in Springfield, MO for $300. This was an entry level guitar model introduced in 1946 for $125. Of course the $125 bought you a kit including the cord and an amplifier. In today's prices, this would be about $1150.

All the parts are original and still work. It's not the easiest jazzbox to play. The action is a little high and the neck is fatter than most modern jazz guitars, but it's still a pleasure and it has a really mellow tone.

I use nickel flat-wounds on this one to get that old jazz sound. I have a set of Medium Light Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Swings that I want to try on it.

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196? Ventura V16

196? Ventura V16 12-String

This was the guitar my dad bought after his son-induced, guitar drought. He got it at Massey Music in Joplin, MO circa 1967-1969. He got a few years of enjoyment out of this guitar before he died in 1972. I keep it as a memento, but it isn't built to handle the tension of twelve strings. The bridge kept pulling up even though it was tuned to D. I sent it back to Ventura twice. They fixed it each time, but they did not add the needed bracing. Pity, it had a nice sound.

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1977 Alvarez Yairi DY68

1977 Alvarez Yairi DY68 Rambling Dreadnought

This was a Christmas gift from my wife in 1987. I used to go by Loring's Guitar Center in Richmond, VA and pull this one down every time I went in. Of course I would go home and whine about how we couldn't afford it. She took me by to see about it and they said that it was sold. I just figured it was never meant to be and went on. Lo and behold, SHE had bought it.

This is probably the sweetest 12-string I have ever played. The action is so smooth, it's actually easier on your fingers than any 6-string. The sound is not as bright as an Ovation or a Taylor, but it has a beautiful, rich quality. I love it.

I've always used GHS phosphor-bronze on it, but I have a set of Elixirs that I want to try.

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1990 Ibanez GB12

1990 Ibanez GB12

Here's another gift from my wife. This was for our anniversary in 1990. Bet you guys wish you had married her, huh? This guitar was something I used to drool over in catalogs. Damned if she didn't go out and get a new one for me. She got it at I.R.C. Music Store in Indianapolis, IN.

You just dream up something to play and this baby will play it for you. Although I use it mainly for jazz and blues, the three-way switch allows you to use it for rock too. When I put it through my Marshall Valvestate 80V, I just drift away.

I was using the flat wounds that came with it, but I recently switched to using Medium Light Thomastik-Infeld Jazz BeBops. These things ring like a piano. I love 'em!

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1997 Epiphone G-310 Junior

1997 Epiphone G-310 Junior (EGGJ)

This was my most recent purchase. One of those "Ineeda" things. This time it was "Ineeda travel guitar. You know, honey, something I can take on an airplane and not worry about it." So when I was last visiting Mom I picked this up at Glory Days Music in Joplin, MO. I also picked up a gig bag and a Danelectro HoneyTone amp that runs on a 9V battery. I've taken this on three flights with no problem. The guitar fits nicely above suitcases in the overhead and the amp fits in my suitcase.

This guitar is my current problem child. The action is fine, but the damn thing won't stay in tune. I know the intonation is off so I have to take it in for an overhaul sometime.

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2000 Taylor XXV-DR

2000 Taylor XXV-DR (#443/500)

A literal dream come true. This was a gift to myself for being ... whatever. I got this in May 2000 at Melhart Music in McAllen, TX. They offered it for at least $200 less than music stores in Austin. Since they only made 500 of these, I consider it an investment as well as a joy to play.

This baby rings out! I love the sound this guitar projects. It came with Elixir strings and I don't think I'll ever put any thing else on it. They sound great and last about three times as long as other acoustic strings.

The case is something you would like to be buried in. This is the tightest fit on a case I have ever seen. You literally have to position the guitar parallel with the case to put it in.

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2005 Delta D42/SB

2005 Delta D42/SB

The newest travel guitar. A gift from my best friend. The case cost almost as much as the guitar.

Amazing sound for an inexpensive guitar. Bright, lots of volume and sustain.

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Maintained by Dennis Jay - 2006.05.20