Gear ... What gear? ...  Whiners gear

KEITH writes:

I love the sound and feel of the Gibson and it's hard to choose a favourite. I mostly play the Southern Jumbo and the J-160E (which is the early Beatles acoustic model you see in A Hard Days Night).

Both sound great through the Band in a Box. The Crow guitar I hold onto as a collector's item and don't like to bring it out that often but it is a fabulous guitar.

The J-200 has lots of balls but is the full scale Gibson and I'm used to the shorter scale now.

The silent guitar is an absolutely terrific travel guitar and has both an electric and acoustic feel. I use this a lot in the winter when I hate taking out the Gibson to shows when it's cold.

As for electrics, I am so very much a HUGE closet rocker now. I just love the crunch of an electric through a tube amp but, oddly enough, a 40 buck vox "amplug" through my PA sounds just awesome. It's a VOX for 40 dollars! You'll be hearing a more electric Whiners because of all this cockamamie electric buzz - already are actually.

I use Fishman undersaddle pick ups. On the Southern Jumbo I use a Natural 2 - I've played around with using a second pick up such as the Dean Markley passive soundhole pick up together with the Natural 2.  I've left that in for now since I can use it with the band in the box set up (need two outputs for that).

The J-160E had a P90 Gibson pick up but I brought in a true P100 for a bit more punch. I added the Natural 1 to the guitar as a second jack. And this has become my main playing guitar as it gives me the best of both worlds.

Back to the beginning

I learned on an old Fender acoustic that I got from a student (working with me at the time). Paid him $50 for it and was able to sell it later for $100. It was not easy to play.

Went from there to a couple of Epiphones and an old Norman which I learned how to do saddle adjustments and truss rods etc. I also had a couple of Framis acoustics, a Tokai knock off of the J-160E (not bad but I changed the pick up and machine heads to true Gibson parts - otherwise the guitar is poor), a Yamaha 12 string and three Tekamines - a jumbo, a cutaway and a 12 string.

Consolidated to the Gibsons since I wasn't playing the others. I also took the P100 out of the Tokai and used it in the Gibson J160 E.   The Gibson part is now in the Tokai.

I do like the Tekamine brand though and would suggest anyone starting out to try to pay for a Tekamine. Jamie uses the one Tek I still have but, (KEITH says quietly), I plan to give it to him formally as part of a wedding gift very soon. Hey, Jamie - you aren't reading this page are you now?

Gibsons cost a pretty penny but the Teks are real good value and are certainly easier to play and will hold their tune compared to a $100 or so guitar. I guess parents (and kids) may have trouble spending a lot of bucks on something that may not be kept with. Judgement call but, if it's easier and more satisfying to play, you might just stay with it. Is that worth 500 dollars more on an investment? Maybe!!!