The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #1

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    I wonder how refined people's ears are. I've devised a blindfold test to see how much knowledge we've got on the forum. I'll reveal the answers in a couple of weeks.



    Using the video above, try to guess which guitar matches each clip. The three options are Gibson L5, DAngelico Excel, and Trenier Broadway.

    Submit your answers in this google form.


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    Please do not post your answers in the thread because it will bias other people's responses. Only use the google form to respond!
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    Last edited by omphalopsychos; 01-13-2022 at 01:19 PM.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2
    Responses are coming in! Keep em coming. Thanks everyone who has participated. Pretty interesting statistics from the responses that have come in so far.

  4. #3

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    May I ask which version of the L5 you're using?

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by guitarcarver
    May I ask which version of the L5 you're using?
    The Gibson is 1928
    The D'Angelico is 1936
    The Trenier is 2022

  6. #5

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    This is very difficult!

    To be fair, when you are in the same room with the instruments, there's more to respond to, even blind.

    Three great guitars!

    I filled out the form, but I'll go out on a limb.

    Edit: Deleted as requested.

    Who knows?
    Last edited by furtom; 01-11-2022 at 10:54 PM.

  7. #6

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    How can I tell what any guitar sounds like if I can't see it?

    Just kidding. Very cool blindfold test. Will ponder and enter...

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos
    The Gibson is 1928
    The D'Angelico is 1936
    The Trenier is 2022
    As the other two in this comparison test are 16s, I thought that the D'A was a ringer at 17" until I looked it up. I don't know a lot about D'As, so this may seem naive (or worse) to those who do. But there may be more on the forum who don't know this, so I hope it's helpful to more than me. I'd always thought that all Excels were 17" from the first one in 1936. I just searched the web to learn more about them and found references to a 16" Excel. Further confusing me is a few articles in which the Excel is said to be a 16.5" guitar.

    I know that his inspiration was the "L5". But Gibson went from 16" to 17" for them in 1934, 2 years before the first Excel was made. So.....

    1. First, which L5 was the inspiration for the Excel?
    2. Second, did John D'A make Excels in 16" and 17", or are they all the same? And if they're all the same, what size are they?
    3. Third and last, if there are 16s and 17s, which is the Excel in this test?

  9. #8
    Hey guys, if you don't mind, please remove your responses from the thread. I will share the results, but I don't want people to bias others by displaying their opinions.


    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please do not post your answers in the thread because it will bias other people's responses. Only use the google form to respond!
    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    Last edited by omphalopsychos; 01-11-2022 at 06:28 PM.

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by nevershouldhavesoldit

    1. First, which L5 was the inspiration for the Excel?
    2. Second, did John D'A make Excels in 16" and 17", or are they all the same? And if they're all the same, what size are they?
    3. Third and last, if there are 16s and 17s, which is the Excel in this test?
    1. I think the Excel is not directly inspired by the L5. The Excel was John's refinement of his Style A, which was originally based on the late 20s-early 30s L5.
    2. I have seen them in 16.5" and 17" for sure and maybe 16".
    3. The Excel in this test is a 17.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos
    The Excel was John's refinement of his Style A, which was originally based on the late 20s-early 30s L5.
    just nitpicking…. but not totally correct . The Excel is not an evolution of the Style A. In the ledger the first Style A even appears after the first Excel (although that is debatable as many numbers are missing)

    DA from 1932-1936 almost exclusively built copies / his own interpretation of the 1930s L-5 with the snakehead headstock shape. These early examples do not have a model name, they are not style A as you are probably confusing

    Then in 1936 he establishes his own model range and names being A-1, A, B, Excel (on very first examples spelled as Exel). All models are built rather alike just differ in quality of woods , finish, hardware, and number of bindings etc. These guitars are definately very much based on the earlier 16” L-5. Then in a few years time, body sizes increase from 16-3/8 to 17-5/8, New Yorker is introduced, and styles A / A1 and B are dropped

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by fws6
    just nitpicking…. but not totally correct . The Excel is not an evolution of the Style A. In the ledger the first Style A even appears after the first Excel (although that is debatable as many numbers are missing)

    DA from 1932-1936 almost exclusively built copies / his own interpretation of the 1930s L-5 with the snakehead headstock shape. These early examples do not have a model name, they are not style A as you are probably confusing

    Then in 1936 he establishes his own model range and names being A-1, A, B, Excel (on very first examples spelled as Exel). All models are built rather alike just differ in quality of woods , finish, hardware, and number of bindings etc. These guitars are definately very much based on the earlier 16” L-5. Then in a few years time, body sizes increase from 16-3/8 to 17-5/8, New Yorker is introduced, and styles A / A1 and B are dropped
    I defer to you on all DA history.

    Hoping to get some more responses in the google form and I’ll share the results soon!

  13. #12

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    Looking forward to the outcome.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  14. #13

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    No clue but my preferences are 2, 3, 1. The difference between 1 and 2 were really noticeable.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Soloway
    No clue but my preferences are 2, 3, 1. The difference between 1 and 2 were really noticeable.
    I agree. Om, were they all strung the same or did you choose string types and gauges for each that you felt bring out their best?

  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by nevershouldhavesoldit
    I agree. Om, were they all strung the same or did you choose string types and gauges for each that you felt bring out their best?
    Yes to both. Philippe bosset 80/20 Bronze .13 .17 .25 .32 .42 .53. This is the setup that consistently brings out the best from my archtops for my style of playing.

  17. #16

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    Not to derail the thread, but I'm interested in early D'Angelico sizes! Here's my Style A which you can see is just a little bit wider and less deep than the 16in Gibson next to it. I believe it to be from 1935 but I've never seen the ledgers. It's #1148

    Blindfold Test - Match the guitar to the audio! (Gibson, D'Angelico, Trenier) ANSWERS-pxl_20210516_224121865-1-jpg

  18. #17
    No worries about derailing.

    Here are a couple of pics comparing the size of my DA to the L5 and to Stringwinger's Excel.

    Blindfold Test - Match the guitar to the audio! (Gibson, D'Angelico, Trenier) ANSWERS-img_8267-2-jpegBlindfold Test - Match the guitar to the audio! (Gibson, D'Angelico, Trenier) ANSWERS-two-das-jpeg

  19. #18

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    Wow pretty much a shot in the dark cannot wait to see the results thank you Om for the thread and comparison. What is more beautiful in a Guitar than an Excel? I want my 1953 back but I have no idea where it is...............someone sell me one at a fair price.

  20. #19

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    John D'Angelico's guitars vary in specs as he customized them to his customers needs. About the only thing that can be said about them that is arguably always correct, is that they are the pinnacle of the craft of guitar building.

  21. #20

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    DA sizes are all over the map. I've seen 16 3/8" 16.5" 17" 17 3/8" 17.5" 17 3/4" 18" 18 1/4" 18 3/4" and one 19" [how many forms did this guy have?]

    Body depths vary too, I had a '36 Excel that was about 2 5/8" deep

  22. #21

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    I had a 1953 blond New Yorker was listed on ledger as an excel. However the inlay was the Chrysler with New Yorker on it. It had plain block inlay which is why I think listed as excel.

    Oh, it was huge 18 3/4 across lower bout hair under 19. Full depth of 3 1/2 inches. Truthfully was easy to play but I am 6 1 so not a problem.

  23. #22
    I believe Marc's Excel is 16.5" and mine is 17". Mine is also slightly deeper as you can see. Additionally, mine has a really thick neck (I believe it is >1" at the first fret), but it is extremely playable thanks what I consider the most perfect fret job I've seen in my life, done by Norio Imai.


    Keep the form responses coming! There were a few more in the past couple of hours, I don't want to close the poll prematurely.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos
    I believe Marc's Excel is 16.5" and mine is 17". Mine is also slightly deeper as you can see. Additionally, mine has a really thick neck (I believe it is >1" at the first fret), but it is extremely playable thanks what I consider the most perfect fret job I've seen in my life, done by Norio Imai.


    Keep the form responses coming! There were a few more in the past couple of hours, I don't want to close the poll prematurely.
    My 1935 Excel is 17' at the lower bout, 12" at the upper bout, 2.75" thick and the neck is 7/8" at the first fret. Scale length is 24.75". My fret job was done by New York luthier Manny Salvador and is extremely well done.

  25. #24

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    I probably didn't identify these correctly, and I will likely never own guitars of this caliber. However, I do know which I prefer most: probably in the order 1,3,2. Guitars 1 and 3 are close though: both of these sound more alive and nuanced to my ears.

  26. #25

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    I have no idea.

    You could convince me that it was all the same guitar.

    Computer speakers.