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I have a 2005 Claxton EM with Brazilian rosewood back and sides and German spruce top. It sounds incredible and plays effortlessly. I had Ed use vintage Gibson specs (24 & 3/4" scale and 1 & 11/16" nut) because I'm developing arthritis and I like shorter stretches. I've played guitars by Steve Grimes, Collings, Santa Cruz, Goodall, Taylor, Linda Manzer, Kim Walker, Froggy Bottom, David Eichelbaum and Kevin Ryan. The Claxton is the closest in sensitivity to a fine classical guitar. I like to mix folk and classical technique, and the Claxton is delicate enough to work really well for what I do. Happy playing!
 
Posts: 1 | Registered: January 03, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My EM is a 2003 with Adirondack over Braz with a cutaway, 25.4 scale and a 1 25/32" nut. It's a remarkable instrument, and does everything well. It took quite a while to break in, but I now place it in my top 4 guitars I own, and having owned everything you mentioned, with the exception of a Grimes (though I have played a few), I would have to definitely agree with you. That being said, my style is as far from classical as Boston is from LA, yet my Claxton suits me equally as well as yours seems to suit you. Ed is a remarkable builder, and among my top 3 or 4 builders making instruments today when all things are considered... and he's a great guy as well.
 
Posts: 730 | Registered: March 31, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I also hear he makes a to die for mahogany guitar. Top of the hog heap. Anyone played one of his hogs and compared it to, say a franklin hog. Two strong builders with both brazilian and mahogany.

Stuart


_________________________

Collings 000-3C ...
Nick Kukich OM (Franklin)
Gibson Nick Lucas Special (1934)
 
Posts: 814 | Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada (eh) | Registered: April 29, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Okay, I guess I should jump in here!

I own both an EM and a 12 fret Malabar, both in Brazilian and German. Both guitars are beyond special with the EM being in the top 3 guitars I've ever played (or owned). Now, these guitars aren't for everyone or even necessarily for me, at least all the time. Mine are primarily fingerstyle instruments with big, very rich, very complex voices. With "modern" types of tones these are the ultimate guitars for sweet, pretty hymn-like songs. Now, they can certainly do other styles, but I have other guitars and Claxton is certainly not my choice for a bluegrass jam or a funky blues song!

Of the two, the Malabar has a more fundamental, punchy tone which makes it a bit more mahogany-like. It's also a surprisingly loud guitar, louder than its bigger EM brother.

(Okay, full disclosure, both my Claxtons are now for sale at Luthier's Collection. Yes, it breaks my heart, but financial issues forced the liquidation of part of my collection and these guitars were just way too valuable to sit in my studio. I still have some really great instruments, so I'm okay.)

So, to the mahogany issue. Last Spring, when I still had lots of cash (!) I had Mike Joyce of Luthier's Collection send me the mahogany EM he (still) has for evaluation. I spent a looong weekend playing the mahogany EM, my Brazilian EM and my Malabar. I really, really wanted to like the hog, I was prepared to sell one of my Braz models to trade. At the end of the weekend I sent the mahogany back and elected to keep my two Braz models. I didn't hear either enough of a difference or enough magic to get the hog.

Now this can be taken two ways. Claxton guitars sound like Claxtons, regardless of the woods. The mahogany sounded a lot like the Brazilian which can be a very good thing. On the other hand, the mahogany sounded like the Brazilian! This can be a problem if you are expecting the kind of difference I hear between a D1A and a D2hBa (or a D-18 and D-28). Further, the price between the mahogany and Brazilian isn't that great, at least at Luthier's Collection, so you're not really gonna get a "Brazilian sound" at a "mahogany price."

Anyway, bottom line is that Claxton guitars are, to me, perhaps the best on the planet for what they do, how they sound, the construction and wood selection. They are very expensive and actually worth every dime you spend.
 
Posts: 812 | Location: Santa Fe, NM | Registered: April 20, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Cool.

I was looking at one of your guitars last night coincidentally.

I've heard that about one or two of the best builders. That regardless of the woods, the sound is very similar from guitar to guitar.

I look forward to playing a Claxton some time in the near term.

But have a couple of guitars coming at the moment that will flatten my piggy bank for a year or three. So a Claxton will have to wait.

I hope your situation clears for you very soon.



Stuart


_________________________

Collings 000-3C ...
Nick Kukich OM (Franklin)
Gibson Nick Lucas Special (1934)
 
Posts: 814 | Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada (eh) | Registered: April 29, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Charlie,

I agree with you 100%. I owned a mahogany EM a few years ago along with the Braz EM I currently still own. Both guitars were 2003's, and both had adirondack tops, both were remarkable instruments. I opted to keep the Braz one simply because it was the only guitar I owned with a cutaway at the time, and I felt that I needed at least one cutaway, otherwise, I probably would have opted for the mahogany guitar and saved a few $.

The tone of the two guitars was very similar, maybe the hog was drier and the braz was lusher by a few %, but for all intents and purposes, they were nearly identical. Ed makes a phenomenal guitar for sure, and a very consistent guitar as well.

In terms of comparing that hog EM I owned and the hog Franklin OM I currently own, I would say they are quite different sounding instruments basing what I remember the hog sounding like in comparison to my braz EM, and what the braz EM sounds like in comparison to the Franklin. The Franklin has more honk and a drier / woodier tone, whereas the Claxton is a more lush, fuller and colorful sounding instrument. I have not played a braz Franklin to compare the Claxton to, so maybe his braz guitars would match up closer to my Claxton... not sure. What I do know is that they are very different sounding guitars, and neither is really better than the other... they are just different. I would have to agree that Ed's mahogany guitars exhibit more of a RW edge than one would typically associate with a mahogany guitar, so if you are looking for that signature and historic hog sound, you would probably be better off with the Franklin. And likewise... If you are someone that likes the "idea" of mahogany and likes an edge of mahogany to your sound, but tends to prefer the characteristics of RW over mahogany based on what you've come to associate the historical pallet of the mahogany signature tone, then the Claxton would most likely be the better choice for you. It would be best to play each, preferably side by side, and make your decision... but we don't always have that luxury. My personal favorite between my Franklin and my Claxton is the Claxton, but others may feel differently...
 
Posts: 730 | Registered: March 31, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Interesting Mike,

sounds like I'd be drawn to the Franklin mahogany, but I'm thinking the magic of brazilian.

Life is rough.

Have either of you played the Dude at luthiers collection or know whose it was. I think it's a 000. It's been there a while, and that surprises me a little, though Mike says that three people have had deposits down on it.

Stuart


_________________________

Collings 000-3C ...
Nick Kukich OM (Franklin)
Gibson Nick Lucas Special (1934)
 
Posts: 814 | Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada (eh) | Registered: April 29, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Stuart,

I have a Dude OM-45 Deluxe at the moment (1999), and I've owned a few others over the years (D-28 12 fret, D-45 12 fret sunburst, D-18 and a OM-28 Deluxe). All of them were great guitars, and although I've never played one of Lynn's 000 guitars, I'm sure that 000 was a great guitar. I saw that one and considered it, but I'm really not a BIG fan of 12 frets. They don't suit my playing style well, so I'd rather invest in an OM or similar sized guitar. I remember the wood being spectacular on that guitar, and it was made around the same time as my OM, so it may have been a really good one.

The Franklin mahogany is hard to beat, especially when considering the price in comparison to other guitars on the market AND the price of Brazilian instruments nowadays. If you can afford to upgrade to Brazilian RW, it may be a good choice. I've never played one of his new RW guitars, but if it's anything like what I think it would be like based on my mahogany OM, it would be spectacular for sure.

- Mike
 
Posts: 730 | Registered: March 31, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I played a Malabar at Healdsburg. The instrument was elegant and sophisticated in tonal expression. And Mr. Claxton is one of the true gentleman in the industry. A master craftsman.


Thompson T1, T2, T2c
 
Posts: 75 | Registered: February 28, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks Mike,

I like 12 frets (obviously), though in fairness, this collings is my first guitar so to speak. Just taking my time as you know.

But mine is a cutaway, and boy do I use it. I was in fact a little put off by a 14 fret without a cutaway, but sometimes you can make sacrifices if the guitar maker is good enough I think.

I'd probably buy a dude 12 fret non-cutaway. Though I've decided to stay the original course. Buy the guitar I have in my site line, play it for a few years. If I don't like it, get rid of it and have some more fun buying.

It will give me tons of motivation to play. Not that I need a lot. Playing like a mad man.

Marc, long time no hear. Hope your playing is going well. Mike at Luthiers Collection has a deadly tedly that's a little over priced. A KOA.

I think I want two franklins. One Braz, one hog. I'm a glutton.

best,

Stuart


_________________________

Collings 000-3C ...
Nick Kukich OM (Franklin)
Gibson Nick Lucas Special (1934)
 
Posts: 814 | Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada (eh) | Registered: April 29, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ted deserves every penny he can get. His high standards, historical consistancy, impeccable taste places him up with far more famous and higher bracket builders.

The T3 Koa is gorgeous. I'm not an abalone fan, but I'm a Thompson fan. And the Braz/German T2 makes me long to play it. Such a white top and beautiful definition in the Braz. Ted gets great woods.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Marccd,


Thompson T1, T2, T2c
 
Posts: 75 | Registered: February 28, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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