Well, I'm back from Michigan. No offense fiddlewood, but there are some crazy drivers in your state.
Had a good time, passed my recertification, which took two hours, not the half hour I thought it would be. Then off to Lansing for the good part.
I found the '43 D-18 you asked me about Mike and it was actually better than I thought. I also found a used D-18 Golden Era that I spent alot of time comparing it to. The neck on the '43 isn't as narrow and shaved down as much as I was expecting, but still too small for my liking. Going back and forth between the two is a considerable contrast and makes the GE feel huge. It's kinda hard to go back and forth, so I'm not sure how you would like it either. The bridge has been replaced with one with a drop in saddle which is a bummer and the top, back and sides have been refinished with a satin finish (no shine whatsoever). I suppose that's better than a new high gloss look. It definitely looks vintage and for the price could easily be tolerated. As far as sound goes, it's one of the biggest, bassy sounding guitars I've heard, but is a little too heavy on the bottom end, compared to the highs and mids. It's a great sounding guitar and would be perfect for bluegrass rythym songs with alot of low bass runs. It sounds good up the neck too, but shines on the bass side. The GE was also very strong on the bass, but more balanced. The GE was actually the best sounding guitar I played in the store to me. I played a Bourgeois Georgia dreadnought that was great, a Santa Cruz Tony Rice, a Santa Cruz mahogany pre-war style, which was good (played great), but not as strong as the GE, a couple Huss and Daltons, a Martin D-28V, three or four different Collings and a '67 D-35 which was... ehhhh, ok. I also brought my Collings for comparisons and can honestly say, I'm quite content keeping it. Hope that doesn't sound like I'm bragging, but I really am happy with the sound of it and playability. The one guitar that stood out the most was the D-18 Golden Era and the '43 was very pleasing too except for the neck and that's hard to admit, because I'm not much of a Martin guy
I'd really like to have a Mahogany guitar and keep my Collings as well. Someday hopefully. I really like the Adirondack with Mahogany. This one was $2400.00 used and there's one on Mandolin Cafe for $2000.00 which is a great deal if it's in good condition.
So I bought a set a TR monels a set of D'Addario EXP17's (I've never tried these, I always use EJ 17's. I don't care for Elixers, so I thought I'd try these) and two V-Picks. I spent a whole 25.00 besides lunch and the company paid for the gas. Not bad for a day's work.
Oh yeah, I played a Lowden O-25 too... again, ehhhh, ok. I also played a Recording KIng for the first time. Very, very nice and would highly recommend for a lesser money guitar. I'd say right up there with Blueridge and Easton.
Sorry guys, no beach babe pictures this trip, but I'll be back!