Played A Friend's Olson Yesterday Evening - Super Nice.

László

Too Many Notes
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I have a friend who's probably the finest finger-style player I know, and has toured with some of the greats, like Art Garfunkel, etc. He's also a wonderful composer. I was over at his house yesterday evening for dinner, and afterward he wanted me to play his 1995 Olson. These are incredible guitars that go for a ton of money.

The instrument is beautifully made in every way, and it sounded absolutely wonderful. Played great, too. I was quite taken with his.

Surprisingly (or perhaps not), I like my Tonare Grand PS as much.

They're different, but both are incredible examples of the luthier's art. It was pretty cool that I could think of the PRS (which cost a lot less) as being pretty darn comparable to the Olson. You never know with this stuff; especially with acoustic guitars, each one's got its own personality. But I had a great time.
 
I got on the Olson waiting list about 20-25 years ago, when they were still reasonable...

Unfortunately, being on the waiting list didn't hold the price, so by the time my name came up, it was more than I wanted to spend... Stupid me...
 
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James Taylor has been playing them for years , very fine instruments . a bit out of my range .. $26,5oo but oh so pretty brazillan with cedar top
5cTbGRMV-2011-olson-sj-brazilian-rosewood-cedar-1374-1.jpg
 
James Taylor has been playing them for years , very fine instruments . a bit out of my range .. $26,5oo but oh so pretty brazillan with cedar top
5cTbGRMV-2011-olson-sj-brazilian-rosewood-cedar-1374-1.jpg
Yeah, they're super nice. My friend's is very similar to that one, only the fretboard inlays are less exotic.

I realize it 'ain't about deserve', but if anyone I know deserves to play the finest acoustic guitar money can buy - whatever that may be for a given individual - it's my friend. He's a phenomenal, world-class, player.
 
David Wilcox plays Olson guitars too. Seen him a few times. Keeps guitars in different tunings and with partial capos onstage.

You mentioned James Taylor.

I'd love to try an Olson someday.

But I'm very happy with my Oregon made Breedloves!
 
Acoustic instruments made by a master luthier have always seemed more worth the money than electric guitars.

I can't see spending more than $2000 for an electric and my Bernie Marsdens with pickup upgrades sound and play just as well or better than my SC58.

But if had the bucks, I can see the value in a super fine $10,000 acoustic guitar.

Not that I own one. I don't.

Regardless, the level of craftsmanship and the shaping of the acoustic tone by a master luthier justifies the cost, whereas with electrics it's more a vanity thing, IMO.

You're paying for a fancy guitar that doesn't really sound better than a plain Jane guitar when you pay more than $2000 for an electric.

You're paying for looks...not superb acoustic tone.
 
@Greywolf mentioned James Taylor playing Olson’s for years… I’ve been infatuated with the sound of those guitars ever since but, man they’re way out of my price range. I am more than satisfied with my PRS acoustic guitars.
 
Regardless, the level of craftsmanship and the shaping of the acoustic tone by a master luthier justifies the cost, whereas with electrics it's more a vanity thing, IMO.

You're paying for a fancy guitar that doesn't really sound better than a plain Jane guitar when you pay more than $2000 for an electric.

You're paying for looks...not superb acoustic tone.
Lew, I'll have to register serious disagreement on this one.

Before I do, though, I'm sure you know that this is getting into a heavily subjective realm, so though what you're saying might be valid for you, it's not true for everyone. It's certainly not the case for me.

I can only speak for myself. I don't try to universalize my beliefs. YMMV. Stick with whatever you think is right!

In the world of electric guitars, my PS models have a richer tone than my Core models, and feel nicer, too. They don't look much nicer than my Core models, but I didn't buy 'em for looks. I think they even sound better unplugged than my Core models. I'd sell a Core if I had an itch for something else. I'd never part with my PS models.

I'd rather have one Core model than 10,000 SE models. I think they sound and feel better. Just the way it is, in my admittedly subjective opinion. I've played the SEs. They're nice for the money. They're not in the same league as the Core stuff, your feelings about Bernies and Stripped 58s notwithstanding. I've owned a 58, I've played the others. Sorry, I'll disagree.

On the other hand, my PS Tonare Grand sounds every bit as high quality as my friend's Olson that's worth more than twice as much. Different, yes, but every bit as nice in terms of tone quality, sustain, feel, and the other stuff most of us look for in an acoustic. Mine rings out more, too. Thankfully, it was made here, by people, in a US factory. The fact that several people made it, instead of one guy working alone, well, I'm good with it if the woods and quality are as high.

I'm not saying the Olson isn't worth the dough - if you want THAT tone, of course it is!

Everything that works well for a given player is worth the dough. If that's an SE - more power to ya, save money. They don't float my boat.

If that's a 26 kilobuck Olson, hey, go for it! Wouldn't be a waste of money for me, but I'm just as happy with my PS Tonare.
 
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Remember folks small luthiers don't have high volume , so to make a living the focus on mastery and charge accordingly
Everyone who's truly mastered something desirable deserves to get PAID!

Unfortunately, we live in a world where the idea, 'cheaper is better' seems to be the prevailing attitude. It devalues all of our work, and sends the bulk of opportunity to overseas manufacturing, with the talented masters dwindling and flipping burgers for a living.

Of course, that's temporary.

Soon, overseas manufacturing will give way to AI. People unnecessary.

I'm imagining AI designing guitars, programming the CNC machines, or still worse, 3D printing a bunch of guitars. Then again, with AI, who needs people to even play guitars? Just create a bunch of virtual stuff and call it real.

As the world becomes more and more anti-human, I'm glad I'm old enough that I won't have to witness it - or at least, not for very long.

It's been time to say, "Enough, this is stupid and counterproductive!" for many, many years.

We've sown the wind, and now we're reaping the whirlwind for our blindness and stupidity in an awful LOT of areas.

It strikes me as a cruel joke that we're now seeing universities - should they even be in the professional football business in a sane world? - pay football and basketball players millions of dollars legally.

Some 17 year old kid is going to make millions, maybe not even be all that great in the long run, while schooled professionals, creative people, and workers are living far less well.

It's NUTS that the doctors who saved my life will earn far less than some teenage boy who can throw a football.

Of course, that very football player will also eventually be replaced by an AI creation who can do it better. Too bad, suckah! ;)

Sorry. It doesn't add up.

End of Luddite rant! :)
 
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Everyone who's truly mastered something desirable deserves to get PAID!
Fortunately for good luthiers, it's hard enough for a tree to make good tonewood and it takes a huge amount of skill to take that tonewood and make it into an instrument at the level of a PRS/Olson/Monteleone. Masters like Olson and Monteleone will still be getting paid after most of us have been replaced.
 
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Everyone who's truly mastered something desirable deserves to get PAID!

Unfortunately, we live in a world where the idea, 'cheaper is better' seems to be the prevailing attitude. It devalues all of our work, and sends the bulk of opportunity to overseas manufacturing, with the talented masters dwindling and flipping burgers for a living.

Of course, that's temporary.

Soon, overseas manufacturing will give way to AI. People unnecessary.

I'm imagining AI designing guitars, programming the CNC machines, or still worse, 3D printing a bunch of guitars. Then again, with AI, who needs people to even play guitars? Just create a bunch of virtual stuff and call it real.

As the world becomes more and more anti-human, I'm glad I'm old enough that I won't have to witness it - or at least, not for very long.

It's been time to say, "Enough, this is stupid and counterproductive!" for many, many years.

We've sown the wind, and now we're reaping the whirlwind for our blindness and stupidity in an awful LOT of areas.

It strikes me as a cruel joke that we're now seeing universities - should they even be in the professional football business in a sane world? - pay football and basketball players millions of dollars legally.

Some 17 year old kid is going to make millions, maybe not even be all that great in the long run, while schooled professionals, creative people, and workers are living far less well.

It's NUTS that the doctors who saved my life will earn far less than some teenage boy who can throw a football.

Of course, that very football player will also eventually be replaced by an AI creation who can do it better. Too bad, suckah! ;)

Sorry. It doesn't add up.

End of Luddite rant! :)
Bravo and AMEN !!
 
Fortunately for good luthiers, it's hard enough for a tree to make good tonewood and it takes a huge amount of skill to take that tonewood and make it into an instrument at the level of a PRS/Olson/Monteleone. Masters like Olson and Monteleone will still be getting paid after most of us have been replaced.
I sure hope you're right!
 
Sounds like most of the big guys these days too. They’re pricing folks out of the market.
I'm certainly priced out of that end of the market. The music business hasn't gotten any easier, that's for sure.

And yet there's still a multi-year waiting list for lots of these custom guitars. Go figure.

But it's all about demand, and if someone can make more dough, more power to 'em.

My feeling is that we're in a golden age of wooden instrument builders and manufacturers, kind of like the late 17th and early 18th centuries in Cremona (Incidentally, Stradivari also made guitars). If so, these instruments will be heirlooms down the road, and they certainly won't get any cheaper.

There are a lot of wealthy collectors who don't mind the prices, but there are also lots of professionals who think of their instruments as lifetime investments. My friend is one of the latter. He only has a few guitars, even though he's pretty big-time.

I know symphony players who have taken out mortgages on their classic, old instruments in order to buy them. It's not unusual in the classical music world, where lots of the instruments cost the price of a nice house.

I guess it's all a matter of how much money you can plunk down, and/or how much you can earn with the instrument in your hands. It's all about context.
 
I'm certainly priced out of that end of the market. The music business hasn't gotten any easier, that's for sure.

And yet there's still a multi-year waiting list for lots of these custom guitars. Go figure.

But it's all about demand, and if someone can make more dough, more power to 'em.

My feeling is that we're in a golden age of wooden instrument builders and manufacturers, kind of like the late 17th and early 18th centuries in Cremona (Incidentally, Stradivari also made guitars). If so, these instruments will be heirlooms down the road, and they certainly won't get any cheaper.

There are a lot of wealthy collectors who don't mind the prices, but there are also lots of professionals who think of their instruments as lifetime investments. My friend is one of the latter. He only has a few guitars, even though he's pretty big-time.

I know symphony players who have taken out mortgages on their classic, old instruments in order to buy them. It's not unusual in the classical music world, where lots of the instruments cost the price of a nice house.

I guess it's all a matter of how much money you can plunk down, and/or how much you can earn with the instrument in your hands. It's all about context.
If you're a pro musician, I would think purchasing an expensive guitar would be tax deductable.

Right or wrong?
 
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