We love receiving testimonials from everyone about our guitars… here’s a recent one that we just had to share. You can read a ton more on our testimonials page. Thanks for sending, Jim!

So, here’s the deal. My guitar lineup was a wee bit on the wimpy side, sonically speaking. I was a little “O” heavy with an OM, a OOO and a Small Jumbo. All lovely sounding to be sure, but somewhat lacking in testosterone and more comfortable playing songs by sensitive new-age guys like Steven Bishop than say, manly-men like Richard Thompson or Guy Clarke. So, using this (slightly shaky) reasoning as an excuse, I began the always thrilling quest for a new horse for the barn. Not a racehorse this time, I had enough speed in the stable. This time I saw a powerful workhorse, a handsome Clydesdale like those big bad boys that effortlessly pull the massive Budweiser wagon up a hill through three feet of snow while nodding condescendingly to lesser ponies staring wide-eyed as they pass.

Lucky for me, I had but a short drive to the lair of Brian Wolfe, proprietor of AcousticMusic.Org, one of the Northeast’s great guitar destinations. I called ahead and asked Brian to pull out a selection of “boomers” with J-45, slope-shoulder DNA.  And there they were, standing at attention as I walked into the room, waiting silently, beckoning. A room, might I add, that most of those who will read this piece would find to be the actualization of every one of their guitar porn fantasies. It’s in an old New England clapboard house with a fireplace, an oriental rug, a comfy place to sit, row upon row of killer guitars and – here’s the kicker – on the fireplace mantel, an easily visible tuner that can hear the whole room so which ever guitar you’re playing, just look up and tune! Such hospitality.

Years ago I was steward for a while to a Santa Cruz Vintage Southerner. I remembered it fondly as possessing a lot of “thumpy” confidence and it certainly had the testosterone factor covered. So, it was a VS that I used this day as the baseline against which I compared a series of applicants for the position. One by one Brian handed me J-45-ish guitars, actual modern J-45’s and J-45 clones. One by one, they fell to the power and honesty of the Santa Cruz VS.  In the end, I brought the VS home and played through my calluses into the night. This is one of those guitars that, as the years go by, we are either glad we kept or regretful that we lost. A real thoroughbred – not a prancing show horse, just a workhorse – but sometimes there’s work to be done. Thanks Richard – for keeping the bloodlines alive.

Jim Downey 2/20/12  Westport, CT

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