Other Guitars

I’m Hopeless. And NGD


Wasn't it just a couple weeks ago that I was bragging about how I was thinning the herd, and made progress toward that by trading two guitars for one? Yeah, I thought so. And I was doing OK, but then I went into TrueTone and they had the Deltoluxe pickups in stock. They'd already put one into one of their Gretsch 00 acoustics and it looked pretty cool. "Well I have to have one!," I thought. But every acoustic guitar I own already has a pickup in it. So I passed. But as always, that got me ta thinkin.'

And I remembered that some time ago, Gary Mandell over at Boulevard Music got a deal on a closeout of a big quantity of Cordoba Acero guitars. These are all-solid-wood dreadnoughts, some with electronics, some not, some with cutaways and electronics, mahogany, acacia, or rosewood backs and sides, spruce tops. These guitars were supposed to MAP for $800-$1,000, but for whatever reason, they didn't make it in the marketplace. So Gary bought a large quantity and he was blowing them out for as little as $399. At the time, I saw them, I played them, I liked them. Like a lot of Chinese-made guitars, there's some variation in the sound quality, but there were some gems among Gary's batch. But I didn't need another acoustic guitar so I let them be.

So after seeing the Deltoluxe I thought, "I wonder if Gary's still got any of those Cordobas?" I dropped by, and there was an acacia one on the wall, no electronics, and it spoke to me. I liked it better than the rosewood one. Better than the other acacia one they pulled out of the back. Am I daft enough to buy a guitar just so I can put a particular pickup in it? Well, yeah, I am. For $399? I paid about that much to have a soundhole pickup custom-mounted in my Gumby guitar, so this wasn't an outrageous investment by comparison.

Well anyway, here it is, wood binding and rosette, humidified hardshell case, and all. Sounds as pretty as it looks. Review of the Deltoluxe to happen as soon as I can get it done.


Well, it was your birthday, so you get a dispensation for that. The guitar is very pretty, with a hardshell case to boot, and the price was right. And who am I to cast asparagus at anyone's acquisitive habits?

HowEVer...I always think the best use of a soundhole mag pickup is to redeem a substandard or bog-ordinary (probably concert-or-smaller rather than dreadnaught-sized) acoustic guitar from its mediocrity by turning it into the mother of all ringing resonant bucking feeding-back hollow body electric ravers.

This notion is probably based on the glorious results I got decades ago from putting an old DeArmond soundhole pickup (the chrome one with the thumbwheel) in ... I don't even remember what the guitar was, but it was surely an overbraced cheap plywood thang. Raise your hand if you remember the Moodies' "Lovely to See You Again," with its marvelous rising riff-based intro. This guitar sounded ludicrously fat and juicy on that bit, and fed back harmoniously at the end of every phrase. It was a joy to ride.

May you have such fun with your birthday present to yourself!


My birthday present to myself was a new headlight and taillights for my bike. This was unwarranted excess, albeit reasonably-priced excess.

I have at least several guitars that amplify well and sound like an acoustic guitar when doing so. I want to this to sound like an acoustic guitar with a soundhole pickup in it, and it does. There are those occasions where I want to have that old-timey, western-swingy, thumpa-strummin' rhythm sound without upsetting the mix, and this I've only only tried through my electric guitar rig (where the Atomic Brain and Aphex Acoustic Exciter, I believe, gave it a tonal quality boost), and the clean channel of my Quilter MicroPro 200-8. With the latter, after hearing it through the added Brainpower and Aphex excitement of the former, it seemed a bit duller and lacking in high-end response, along with none of that high-end brilliance you hear in a good acoustic pickup. On the positive side, there's none of that piezo zing to be found anywhere, either.

I've only just begun trying it out, I have a couple of acoustic guitar preamp/DIs to try it through, plus a PA board or two, and even direct into some powered PA speakers. And that's just with the original strings. Once I get through that, I have some GHS White Bronze strings, designed for acoustic guitars with magnetic pickups (though they're neither white nor bronze) to take through the whole testing regimen. It's gonna be a while.

The bonus to this all is, if I don't plug it in, this guitar sounds absolutely wonderful all by itself. Oh, and did I mention it has a 1.8"-wide nut?


Frank. do you know which acacia wood it is. They've had really good luck with Acacia koa and Acacia melanoxylon (Koa and Australian Blackwood). Not aware of any others but that doesn't mean anything. The picture shows the blackwood on the left and koa on the right).


Congratulations on your birthday and new guitar giffenf. I've birthday gifted myself a few guitars over the years as well. My last birthday acoustic was a Canadian Seagull Artisans, made by Godin instruments. It has cherry back and sides a Sitka spruce top and an LR Baggs Anthem True Mic pick up system. These are absolutely gorgeous instruments, and play remarkably well. This year I'm planning to get a 2018 Gibson SG 61 reissue, my wife doesn't know about it yet, she just doesn't understand GAS!


The more I look at it (and I like to look at it), the more it looks like a really light mahogany and not acacia. The guy at the store didn’t know for sure and Gary was busy so I just wishfully assumed it was acacia. But I do think it sounds more like koa than mahogany.


Not sure what to say besides Happy Belated Birthday!


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