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  1. #1

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    This is the famous Guitar owned by Don Dean. Don had a collection of over 200 high end guitars. Many Super 400’s, Merles guitars, Chets Guitars.. But when he passed away, this was the last guitar he had. Under his bed, in the case. I hope when I am sleeping, Don sneaks the guitar up to heaven so he can awe his friends with it once with it. Don, I will leave the hanging wall display case unlocked for you buddy..

    Heritage 18" Johnny Smith-img_4030-jpg
    Heritage 18" Johnny Smith-img_4040-jpgHeritage 18" Johnny Smith-img_4039-jpgHeritage 18" Johnny Smith-img_4044-jpgHeritage 18" Johnny Smith-img_4031-jpg

    I’ve been blessed to have made friends with some really extraordinary people on this site. There are people who look after my sorry ass. I am not much of hunter, and even less of a bargainer. Our resident Heritage guru MartyGrass, helped me with the purchase of all my HJS’s. He remembered my hankering for an HJS with a rose on the pickguard (yeah, I know who can forget). Mint condition HJS’s are rare. Finding one with a Rose inlay in the Pickguard is even more improbable. It was a very expensive option on this guitar so not many were made. MG called me one night and said there is a beautiful sunburst HJS with no Rose on the Ohio Craigslist. He suggested I consider it. I did and I bought it the same day. That guitar is GREAT. Well, a day after I bought the sunburst HJS, Martygrass found this guitar. He made a trip down to Kentucky and came home with it, for me! He didn’t expect me to pull the trigger on the sunburst so quickly. He eventually sold the guitar to our beloved Big Mike. Big Mike is a wonderful and unique guy. He should be called GentleMikeofChi. Mike is one of the kindest gentleman I’ve ever met. I find so much enjoyment watching him fulfill his bucket list dreams. Just like he makes sure that homeless animals don’t get discarded, he made sure I got this guitar. He is a gem. Black Opal from Mintabie. He will know what I mean.. And he has had numerous opportunities to move it on to other people. Nuf said. Thanks MartyGrass and Mikey.

    I received this beautiful guitar from Mikey in excellent condition. It was built in 1996 and kept in wonderful, original condition. My ungreatful ass stripped it of all the DNA passed onto it by other humans - with a deep polish and 2 coats of Virtuoso topped with a coat of Pure Carnuba. I used my old standby TI jazz swing 12’s and I am glad I did. I like the 12/50’s. I feel the reduced string tension puts less strain on the neck. My soft playing style favors the lighter strings too.
    A while back I spent a weekend with Patrick’s 18” Unity before I shipped it to Vinny. The 1st thing that jumped out at me was the way the notes “swirled” around the guitar when you played them. Each note was a chord and each chord was a symphony. The 18” HJS projects the same complex tones. It’s a high to midrangy guitar, and that’s with flatwounds on it. It’s a symphony, plain and simple. My GJS is a focused and responsive lead instrument in the symphony. Its output is clear and defined, just like Johnny’s playing. The 18” HJS is the entire symphony. If there was ever a guitar that qualified for a premium Barbera Transducer, it is this one. I will have to investigate that further.

    The intonation is spot on. The neck is true all over, with just the right amount of relief. It is a fast neck that is maybe an eyelashe deeper than my other HJS’s. Very close to my GJS in that respect. It takes low action well. The 18”x 3-3/8 body is surprisingly comfortable to play. Vinny pointed out its because the upper bout tapers down a little. This thing is LOUD! A new set of strings make loud, crisp sounds. My previous HJS’s turned TI’s into “thumpy”flatwounds rather quickly. I hope that doesn’t happen with this guitar. I like the brightness.
    As with anything new, its gonna take some time to learn this guitar. It will challenge my abilities and make me better. This guitar was not made for me, it was made for Don. But its gonna be an absolute thrill to get to know it.

    Here is a video of the Guitar. Pardon the noise from a grounding issue. Once I get that sorted out, I will delete this video and post many more.


    The quest will never end. But along the way, some great friendships that I’ve forged here gave me the opportunity to try some of the greatest guitars ever made. This one is right up there. And once again I have a label, hand signed by one of my heros right next to my heart. Thanks for looking.
    Joe D.

    Last edited by Max405; 09-15-2017 at 04:20 PM.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Just... exquisite.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  4. #3

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    I really hope this serves you well. You make this instrument sing beautifully.

    I noticed that there is good sustain on the high notes.

    This is a big ass guitar, the way the old school guys had them made. May it carry on forever.
    MG

  5. #4

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    BTW, your photography skills are superb.
    MG

  6. #5

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    One last thing. This is the only Heritage Johnny Smith built like this. The rose is different and bigger on the pickguard. The f hole has triple binding. It is 18" across- one of only two made that size. And it is the deepest one ever made.
    MG

  7. #6

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    I need a cigarette, and I have not smoked in almost 25 years.

    Congrats. May she inspire your playing for many years to come....
    .................................................. .......................................
    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass

  8. #7

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    That is beautiful. Thanks for sharing the photos & story.

  9. #8

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    Great story, wonderful instrument, excellent playing, well done Joe.

  10. #9

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    Awwwright! Joe , you deserve this magnificent guitar, and you will do it justice. Congratulations, and play the dickens out of it in good health!
    Best regards, k

  11. #10

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    Joe,
    What a gorgeous guitar ! This forum certainly has an inner circle of terrific people as you noted.

    There is something special about the voice of an 18" guitar - and your version of "My Romance " certainly brings out the best of this instrument .

    Wishing you many hours of enjoyment - and Heritage 18" Johnny SmithHeritage 18" Johnny Smithto Mike and Marty.

  12. #11

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    I loved all the videos and JS guitars you have had the courtesy to demonstrate here / on Youtube but let me tell you that no other JS guitar has nailed the JS sound as much as this one does. And your playing is just wonderful, you do it so much justice! It's like hearing Johnny play, absolutely incredible. Please never let that one go. Congrats & enjoy this guitar in good health!

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    Just... exquisite.
    Graci!

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Grass View Post
    I really hope this serves you well. You make this instrument sing beautifully.
    I noticed that there is good sustain on the high notes.
    This is a big ass guitar, the way the old school guys had them made. May it carry on forever.
    It's well made and the neck is good for me. It's not as shallow as my other HJS's and the HDA. Don was a big guy. He makes the Tal he plays look like a Les Paul.. thanks MG.
    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Grass View Post
    BTW, your photography skills are superb.
    Thank you buddy. Trying to match up to 2b and Archtop Heaven..
    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Grass View Post
    One last thing. This is the only Heritage Johnny Smith built like this. The rose is different and bigger on the pickguard. The f hole has triple binding. It is 18" across- one of only two made that size. And it is the deepest one ever made.
    Thanks MG. And thanks for finding the little screws for the truss cover..
    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger View Post
    I need a cigarette, and I have not smoked in almost 25 years.
    Congrats. May she inspire your playing for many years to come....
    SS, I gots me another 18! This one is a lot different than yours. Your top is thicker. Your neck is a hair shallower. We are both happy hombre's..
    No cigarettes! Go get a garden pizza with garlic, red onions, diced tomatos, basilico, olive oil, vinegar, salt pepper and oregano with a little mozzarella, no red sauce.. then get a bottle of Pinot Grigio. No cigarettes! Thanks Marco.
    Quote Originally Posted by M-ster View Post
    That is beautiful. Thanks for sharing the photos & story.
    You got it buddy. Thanks.
    Quote Originally Posted by ESCC View Post
    Great story, wonderful instrument, excellent playing, well done Joe.
    Thank you sir. The pleasure was all mine.

  14. #13

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    Joe, listen to what Drifter says.

    I'm not sure this is exactly the JS tone, but it is one of them. And even if others dispute that, it sounds great- not really good, not monster- truly great as in historic.

    I don't think your HJS sounds like your GJS. The HJS has more range in its tone. My point is that these guitars complement each other. It would be pointless if they were the same.
    MG

  15. #14

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    Thanks as always Joe.

    There's always a kind word from you and then there's the good stories too.

    There is much to be learned by paying attention to you.

    Then of course there's your playing, and here again is another wonderful example of how these instruments were meant to be played.

    Nice going Joe, and thanks again for your contributions here.

    Dennis

  16. #15

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    Thou shalt not lust after thy neighbor's guitar.

    guess I'm going to hell.

  17. #16

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    There's the HJS, then there's the: 18" HJS!!
    That guitar has tone as rich & smooth as melted French butter!
    A hearty congratulations to you!
    (I confess that I'm in love with 18" Heritage archtops). Your's sounds great!


  18. #17

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    Great to see you fell in love with it in person, you've been waxing poetic for the right HJS with a Rose for too long. It didn't seem right to me that I had what I was sure was the perfect foil to your GJS just sitting in my closet relatively unplayed. Glad it got there in one piece and that the romance is in full bloom...

    Big

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by TedBPhx View Post
    Thou shalt not lust after thy neighbor's guitar.

    guess I'm going to hell.
    I'll meet you there!
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  20. #19

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    Hope in Elizabeth, NJ

    "From the train
    it’s a city of roses
    and rose keepers,
    bald men in spectacles
    and torn shirts.
    There are miles of roses
    in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

    Backyard arbors
    shadowed by refineries
    and the turnpike,
    jungles of scrap,
    still brown water, and poisoned marsh.
    None of this matters
    to the rose keepers of Elizabeth.
    From the backyards of row houses
    they bring forth pink roses, yellow roses
    and around a house on its own
    green plot, a hedge of roses, in red and white.
    Surely faith and charity
    are fine, but the greatest of these
    is roses."

    And now...another Rose in NJ, none finer than yours bro! Congrats, you're already making some sweeet music with that rare 18" HJS!
    "You've got to be in the sun to feel the sun. It's that way with music too." - Sidney Bechet

  21. #20

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    WOW that axe has it all ! Gorgeous tone and looks.

    Mikey your heart is bigger than the Grand Canyon !

    Mark, Dick Tracy has nothing on you !

    Thank you both for taking care of our boy !

    Trust me behind that beautiful 18' maple back is another piece of wood.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Grass View Post
    One last thing. This is the only Heritage Johnny Smith built like this. The rose is different and bigger on the pickguard. The f hole has triple binding. It is 18" across- one of only two made that size. And it is the deepest one ever made.
    Cool guitar. Beyond the variation in inlay/plastic/tailpiece and (in this case) increased rim depth, what are the differences between this and an acoustic Super Eagle? Shorter scale & wider nut or is there something else?
    "Somebody get me out of this chair." - BOB WILLS
    Hammertone is a registered Hofnerologist.

  23. #22

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    The Abalone on that axe is beyond beautiful. Holy Moly.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k View Post
    Mikey your heart is bigger than the Grand Canyon!
    Joe, reminds me of Bill Evans playing a ballad - His playing too was all from the heart. Beauty personified!
    "You've got to be in the sun to feel the sun. It's that way with music too." - Sidney Bechet

  25. #24

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    Joe,

    Simply put--a wonderful marriage of guitar and guitarist. You make that guitar sound as it should. AND, it is a superb instrument.

    Heritage had it all going on with this guitar. Congratulations.

  26. #25

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    Joe,

    I hope you found the TI GB12 flats and the GB picks he sent me in the case pocket.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74 View Post
    Awwwright! Joe , you deserve this magnificent guitar, and you will do it justice. Congratulations, and play the dickens out of it in good health!
    Thank you c74. I certainly will!
    Quote Originally Posted by QAman View Post
    Joe,
    What a gorgeous guitar ! This forum certainly has an inner circle of terrific people as you noted.
    There is something special about the voice of an 18" guitar - and your version of "My Romance " certainly brings out the best of this instrument .
    Wishing you many hours of enjoyment - and Heritage 18" Johnny SmithHeritage 18" Johnny Smithto Mike and Marty.
    Thank you Stevie. And you very much apart of the circle. it's really cool when you get a guitar that has a history. It kinda pulls you along. An 18" guitar does things only an 18" can do.
    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter View Post
    I loved all the videos and JS guitars you have had the courtesy to demonstrate here / on Youtube but let me tell you that no other JS guitar has nailed the JS sound as much as this one does. And your playing is just wonderful, you do it so much justice! It's like hearing Johnny play, absolutely incredible. Please never let that one go. Congrats & enjoy this guitar in good health!
    Drifter, thanks for your great post. I hear what you are saying. This guitar has a special sound. I promise, I will learn it and do it more justice. Thanks buddy!

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Grass View Post
    Joe, listen to what Drifter says.
    I'm not sure this is exactly the JS tone, but it is one of them. And even if others dispute that, it sounds great- not really good, not monster- truly great as in historic.
    I don't think your HJS sounds like your GJS. The HJS has more range in its tone. My point is that these guitars complement each other. It would be pointless if they were the same.
    You are absolutely right MG. I've learned. The guitars I will continue to go after will bring something new to what I already have. This guitar was a slam dunk when you found it for me but I wanted it even more after I listened to the 18" HDA. It's nothing like what I had. Now it's a Keeper!
    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis D View Post
    Thanks as always Joe.
    There's always a kind word from you and then there's the good stories too.
    There is much to be learned by paying attention to you.
    Then of course there's your playing, and here again is another wonderful example of how these instruments were meant to be played.
    Nice going Joe, and thanks again for your contributions here.
    Dennis
    Dennis, thank you buddy. Again, the pleasure is all mine. There some great people here. You are one of them. An absolute gentleman.
    Quote Originally Posted by TedBPhx View Post
    Thou shalt not lust after thy neighbor's guitar.
    guess I'm going to hell.
    Ha! Don't worry, guitars like this are only found in heaven.
    Quote Originally Posted by helios View Post
    There's the HJS, then there's the: 18" HJS!!
    That guitar has tone as rich & smooth as melted French butter!
    A hearty congratulations to you!
    (I confess that I'm in love with 18" Heritage archtops). Your's sounds great!

    Thank you Helios. I love seeing this passion about guitars. This instrument will never fade into the sunset. Guitars are amazing. Especially big ones.

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigMikeinNJ View Post
    Great to see you fell in love with it in person, you've been waxing poetic for the right HJS with a Rose for too long. It didn't seem right to me that I had what I was sure was the perfect foil to your GJS just sitting in my closet relatively unplayed. Glad it got there in one piece and that the romance is in full bloom...
    Big
    Quote Originally Posted by BigMikeinNJ View Post
    Joe,
    I hope you found the TI GB12 flats and the GB picks he sent me in the case pocket.
    It's a piece of art. But for me, I had to connect to it. I am so glad I did. It didn't take long.
    Mike, I can't thank you enough. I couldn't have done it without you Mikey.
    I will try the strings, but I wanted to feel the guitar with strings I am familiar with. The puck, like I told you yesterday, they went right into the display case.
    You are the best Mikey!

  30. #29

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    Wowwwwwwwwww! It must have been made an 18 incher simply to be big enough to hold all that gorgeousness.

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k View Post
    WOW that axe has it all ! Gorgeous tone and looks.
    Mikey your heart is bigger than the Grand Canyon !
    Mark, Dick Tracy has nothing on you !
    Thank you both for taking care of our boy !
    Trust me behind that beautiful 18' maple back is another piece of wood.
    Great post Vinny. I just cracked up after I figured out the last line.. very clever bro..
    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop View Post
    Hope in Elizabeth, NJ

    "From the train
    it’s a city of roses
    and rose keepers,
    bald men in spectacles
    and torn shirts.
    There are miles of roses
    in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

    Backyard arbors
    shadowed by refineries
    and the turnpike,
    jungles of scrap,
    still brown water, and poisoned marsh.
    None of this matters
    to the rose keepers of Elizabeth.
    From the backyards of row houses
    they bring forth pink roses, yellow roses
    and around a house on its own
    green plot, a hedge of roses, in red and white.
    Surely faith and charity
    are fine, but the greatest of these
    is roses."

    And now...another Rose in NJ, none finer than yours bro! Congrats, you're already making some sweeet music with that rare 18" HJS!
    2b, thanks buddy. I was thinking about you with the pics bro..

    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k View Post
    The Abalone on that axe is beyond beautiful. Holy Moly.
    not quite a monster, but classy. Very classy bro.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop View Post
    Joe, reminds me of Bill Evans playing a ballad - His playing too was all from the heart. Beauty personified!
    Thank you 2b. That is a beautiful thing you said. I mean it.

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone View Post
    Joe,
    Simply put--a wonderful marriage of guitar and guitarist. You make that guitar sound as it should. AND, it is a superb instrument.
    Heritage had it all going on with this guitar. Congratulations.
    GT, thank you buddy. They really did a great job on the guitar. And it's been appreciated for 21 years. Damn I feel lucky! I wonder if Don Dean was a Johnny fan??
    Quote Originally Posted by tonedeaf View Post
    Wowwwwwwwwww! It must have been made an 18 incher simply to be big enough to hold all that gorgeousness.
    Ha! Even the Rose is bigger. It's a knock out!

  33. #32

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    Schwing! Max got a boner!

  34. #33

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    What a beauty. Congrats!

  35. #34

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    JD,

    16 inch, 17 inch and 18 inch archtops all have a thing about them. Welcome back to the 18 inch club. We both have superb examples. I am truly happy for you bro!
    .................................................. .......................................
    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky View Post
    Schwing! Max got a boner!
    Look out baby!

    Quote Originally Posted by nikotro View Post
    What a beauty. Congrats!
    Thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger View Post
    JD,
    16 inch, 17 inch and 18 inch archtops all have a thing about them. Welcome back to the 18 inch club. We both have superb examples. I am truly happy for you bro!
    Listening to old clips of the 18" HDA is what made me really want another one. As it turns out, they are very different guitars. Top carve and neck. Also my JS has quite a pronounced widening on the back too. It has the deep carve at the hips too, like the Unity. It doesn't have very flamey rims either. It doesn't matter. I got a rose now!

  37. #36

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    Joe,

    Yeah, the pictures remind me of the carve of a Unity. I wonder if the folks at Parsons Street asked Aaron Cowles to put his two cents in?

  38. #37

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    GT, That would be cool right? Maybe Mark knows already.
    what is the purpose of the thicker back and thinner hips? I want to take some pics of the inside of the guitar. See what makes it tick.
    JD

    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone View Post
    Joe,

    Yeah, the pictures remind me of the carve of a Unity. I wonder if the folks at Parsons Street asked Aaron Cowles to put his two cents in?

  39. #38

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    Wow! What a stunning vision.
    Regards,

    Gary

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max405 View Post
    ...Also my JS has quite a pronounced widening on the back too. It has the deep carve at the hips too, like the Unity. ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Max405 View Post
    what is the purpose of the thicker back and thinner hips?

    I do not understand what this means. Please explain.
    Last edited by Hammertone; 09-16-2017 at 12:39 PM.
    "Somebody get me out of this chair." - BOB WILLS
    Hammertone is a registered Hofnerologist.

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max405 View Post
    GT, That would be cool right? Maybe Mark knows already.
    what is the purpose of the thicker back and thinner hips?
    JD
    The fitment of a form fitting dress of course.
    Regards,

    Gary

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone View Post

    I do not understand what this means. Please explain.
    The back is thicker than the front. More carved at the edges, especially in the hips. Guitar Thickness at the rim, 3-3/8 and the middle I'd have to guess 3-3/4??
    i love the shape. Joe D

  43. #42

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    wow wasn't expecting that!! slippin an hjs in!! haha...congrats

    lovely tone/performance (per usual)..very clear articulate sound..love it

    enjoy Joe D

    cheers

  44. #43

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    Bowl carve.
    MG

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic View Post
    wow wasn't expecting that!! slippin an hjs in!! haha...congrats
    lovely tone/performance (per usual)..very clear articulate sound..love it
    enjoy Joe D
    Thanks Neatomic. It's nice having this guitar, I gotta tell ya.
    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Grass View Post
    Bowl carve.
    Thank you MG.
    Do you know why they do that? One thing I am noticing. This guitar is certainly deeper than all my others. It's not just the volume. It's the way it produces notes. Like a D note - A string, 5th fret sounds like an octave (with a drop D). But just like a Vinny said, it's an older Cadillac. It has a nice ride.

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max405 View Post
    Look out baby!


    Thanks!

    Listening to old clips of the 18" HDA is what made me really want another one. As it turns out, they are very different guitars. Top carve and neck. Also my JS has quite a pronounced widening on the back too. It has the deep carve at the hips too, like the Unity. It doesn't have very flamey rims either. It doesn't matter. I got a rose now!
    There ain't nuthin' like an 18. Hey baby, I'm bringin' home a Rose honey!

    Joe, would you be comfy playin' an 18 that's 3 7/8" at the rims?
    "You've got to be in the sun to feel the sun. It's that way with music too." - Sidney Bechet

  47. #46

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    Yes this guitar is becoming special me.
    My playing on it kinda sucks because I've yet to find the range on it yet. But when I do, I will take advantage of the sounds it makes.
    I was telling Vinny earlier. This guitar has fingerstyle built into it. It's the only way Don Dean played it for 18 years and he left something in there. I'm learning Joe Pass White Christmas in particular. Now all of a sudden I'm playing fingerstyle. I never really did but now it's just happening. Just 3-4 fingers but they are automatically plucking strings.

    2b, I think a bigger guitar would be too much for me. This one is my max.
    JD

  48. #47

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    yes.. (even from the one brief/hummy vid), that guitar seems to have enough tonal definition, clarity, volume and nuance that it would be great for fingerstyle use!!!

    makes complete sense...

    fact that the previous owner dd used it that way..well..it's in the wood

    explore!!


    for me - fingers...what you lose in (single line) speed, you make up for in soul & texture

    cheers
    Last edited by neatomic; 09-16-2017 at 07:39 PM. Reason: clarity-

  49. #48

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    All the 18s I have played have been very memorable. They are, if you will, the concert grand pianos of the guitar world. Even more than a well-made dreadnought guitar, e.g., Martin D-28 through D-45 of fine vintage, great 18" carved archtops are clear, even, authoritative, and exhibit a bass-to-treble timbre that the 16"-17" guitars just don't match.

    Although the "18s" were originally carved to produce big volume to anchor big bands, they really excel in the George Van Eps/Johnny Smith solo guitar music arena.

    You can see and hear this in Joe's clip, IMO.

    If you ever get to play a D'Angelico, a vintage acoustic Super-400, an Epiphone Emperor, etc., you will "get it." This won't necessarily erase from your minds what it is that makes a 16" Gibson L-5 from the 20s so spectacular, or what makes a great acoustic 17" carved archtop just right. It will, however, let you know that--just as there exists a Stienway Model D, or a Bosendorfer Imperial Grand to push out the big repertoire--there exist big guitars to effortlessly ring out the authoritative bass along with the pure mids and trebles. It's a clear, dry, airy sound that says "this is quality."

    Joe, do enjoy your 18" HJS.

  50. #49

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    It's a SpinalTap moment Joe, another 11 on the cool scale. And talk about big bottoms, between the 18 size and low end tone this baby's got em.

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max405 View Post
    Yes this guitar is becoming special me.
    My playing on it kinda sucks because I've yet to find the range on it yet. But when I do, I will take advantage of the sounds it makes.
    I was telling Vinny earlier. This guitar has fingerstyle built into it. It's the only way Don Dean played it for 18 years and he left something in there. I'm learning Joe Pass White Christmas in particular. Now all of a sudden I'm playing fingerstyle. I never really did but now it's just happening. Just 3-4 fingers but they are automatically plucking strings.

    2b, I think a bigger guitar would be too much for me. This one is my max.
    JD
    I can't believe you never played FS before. It's 90% of what I play. I can't wait to hear more. That guitar has an exceptional range. And finess...One can clearly hear that in your trial clip.

    Joe, I couldn't be more happy you're now the owner of this really unique 1 off of a HJS!

    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone View Post
    All the 18s I have played have been very memorable. They are, if you will, the concert grand pianos of the guitar world. Even more than a well-made dreadnought guitar, e.g., Martin D-28 through D-45 of fine vintage, great 18" carved archtops are clear, even, authoritative, and exhibit a bass-to-treble timbre that the 16"-17" guitars just don't match.

    Although the "18s" were originally carved to produce big volume to anchor big bands, they really excel in the George Van Eps/Johnny Smith solo guitar music arena.

    You can see and hear this in Joe's clip, IMO.

    If you ever get to play a D'Angelico, a vintage acoustic Super-400, an Epiphone Emperor, etc., you will "get it." This won't necessarily erase from your minds what it is that makes a 16" Gibson L-5 from the 20s so spectacular, or what makes a great acoustic 17" carved archtop just right. It will, however, let you know that--just as there exists a Stienway Model D, or a Bosendorfer Imperial Grand to push out the big repertoire--there exist big guitars to effortlessly ring out the authoritative bass along with the pure mids and trebles. It's a clear, dry, airy sound that says "this is quality."

    Joe, do enjoy your 18" HJS.
    After owning so many 18" SE's I've always wanted to own an acoustic Super 400. I came close to buying one w/a D1100 for $7k. Still, I'm hearing that Joe's specific 18 is very special. I'm guessing its larger 18" size, 3 3/8" depth, with a thicker back, would balance out any brightness of a thinner top.

    It was brightness and lack of bass that caused me to sell a unique 17" HJS - w/a rose.
    "You've got to be in the sun to feel the sun. It's that way with music too." - Sidney Bechet