Best Acoustic Guitars reviews the finest acoustic guitars from Martin, Gibson, Taylor, and others that were designed and built by the highest skilled craftsmen and strummed by the greatest artists of the last century.
Best Acoustic Guitars also reviews or will review the best in current acoustic guitars from makers such as Collings, Guild, Breedlove, Santa Cruz, and Larrivee as there are more and more fine affordable acoustic guitars around than ever before.
Best Acoustic Guitars is dedicated to paying homage to the finest acoustic guitars that helped shape the history of popular music and set the standards by which modern acoustic guitars are measured. The popularity of the acoustic guitar has never been greater.
In fact, it has been said that this is the Age of Acoustic Guitars - a time when it is hip to be unplugged.
This popularity can be traced back to the '60s when the likes of the Kingston Trio, a young Bob Dylan, and Peter, Paul and Mary brought folk music closer to the mainstream.
Eventually, groups such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Buffalo Springfield began recording acoustic guitar-based songs and before long folk or country rock was born.
Crosby, Stills & Nash, Neil Young, Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris, the Eagles, and the Byrds further engrained the acoutic guitar into the mainstream of popular music.
The modern history of the acoustic guitar is predominantly shaped by the history of Martin Acoustic Guitars and Gibson Acoustic Guitars.
These two guitar builders have directly influenced nearly all of the acoustic guitars on the market today. They also are still two of the major players in the market today.
If you are looking to purchase a new or used guitar you should try a Martin and/or Gibson in addition to the other brands since they probably were the first to introduce the model that you are considering.
It's always good to have a benchmark. If you can find a guitar that surpasses the benchmark, then you found something special.
Many enthusiasts agree that the acoustic guitar sound spectrum is defined by the Martin sound and the Gibson sound.
The Martin end of the spectrum has power and bass projection with brilliant high notes while the Gibson end of the spectrum is sweeter, less boomy, usually not as loud, and often with a fuller sound on the high strings.
Sure there are other unique sounds from other builders but the main spectrum is defined by Martin and Gibson, at least for the time being.
Sure Taylor and Larrivee among others will argue the point, but hey, they don't have the history of Martin and Gibson.
There are some well known individual acoustic guitars that deserve mentioning. Arguably the most recognizable guitar on the planet is Willie Nelson's "Trigger", which ironically is a rather unpopular Martin N-20 that never really sold very well. The trigger is distinguished by a large and evolving hole Willie wore through the top with his strumming and Trigger usually sports a red, white, and blue garter of some sort. The sound Willie gets from Trigger is also one of the elements that make his guitar famous.
Another renowned acoustic guitar the may not have the distinguishable look as Trigger but for my money, has probably had more influence on the music produced over the last 35 years is Bob Dylan's Nick Lucas Special The Nick Lucas Special was built by Gibson in the late '20s and '30s. Dylan's first acoustic guitar was a Martin 00-17 which he played before his first album was released.
His next guitar was a J-50 that can be seen on his first album cover from 1962.
The J-50 went missing and Dylan bought the Nick Lucas special from Marc Silber who ran the shop Fretted Instruments in NYC. The rest, as they say, is history.
The Nick Lucas Special was the main acoustic guitar that Dylan used in concert from 1963 through 1966, and which can be heard on "Another Side of Bob Dylan" and "Bringing it All Back Home" and can be seen and heard in the excellent film "Don't Look Back" where Dylan, Joan Baez, and Donavan all have a turn on it. Dylan's Nick Lucas era is when he made his mark and influenced everyone from the Beatles to Johnny Cash.
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