As you may know, I have been on a minor quest for a new 6-string guitar. As in, I've been looking at guitars for a couple of years, trying to find one that felt right, but I haven't been pursuing it obsessively.
This past weekend at ConClave, Barry Childs-Helton had a Tacoma Road King RM6C which he allowed me to play. This is an American made solid wood guitar, with some unusual construction features including a bolt-on neck, a small offset soundhole, somewhat unusual bracing, and a curved bridge which is heavier at the bass end than the treble, all of which give it really powerful bass response without losing the high end.
I liked it. I can't remember Barry's exact words, but he said something to the effect of "I can recognize a man in love when I see it." As I said at the time, it's the first guitar I'd tried since I started looking that spoke to me without saying "I cost way more than you can afford".
My local guitar store had one on the shelf. The truss rod was out of adjustment and the strings were so old they were rusty, but even so it felt good. And at $750 including case, strap, strings, and sales tax, I could live with the price. So I bought it.
Here's a shot of the whole guitar, showing off the unusual sound hole and bridge.
Here's a closeup of the headstock.
I bought the guitar on Monday, with the understanding that it was going to get the action fixed and the strings changed and they should be able to finish that by Wednesday so I could take it with me to OVFF. They called me later on Monday and told me it was done, which was great, but when I got there, I discovered that they hadn't changed the strings. Apparently they adjusted the overtightened truss rod without taking the strings off -- didn't know they could do that, but they seem to have gotten it right. I really hate changing strings, but they didn't charge me for the adjustment and threw in a free string winder (since I didn't have one in town and I wanted to do the job while I was at my mom's that evening to do laundry and play bridge). Getting the new strings on was not so bad, and I was impressed to discover that I got them on and up to pitch and played a couple of songs fairly vigorously and it was still in tune! I like this guitar a lot. The only thing I'm not going to like is that I'm joining the ranks of people carrying way too much stuff to the filk, since I don't want to leave my 12 behind.
I've never named one of my instruments before, but I think this one may be Tiger. You'll get to meet him at OVFF.