Thursday, July 15, 2010

Making the case for a bigger boat... a little 12 string!

I've never been much of a mandolin or violin player... I reached a point where I was OK but nothing to get excited about and the truth of it is, it was just too much like hard work. That said, I have always really liked the tonal range of the mandolin and have from time to time wanted to add one to my quiver.

A long time ago (back when Brian Jones was the primal force in the Rolling Stones)... Vox got clever and put together a really neat mando-guitar which was a solid body downsized 12 string but at the time I was no great fan of Vox guitars, so while I thought it made sense, I was not overly interested...

For me, Vox always had a "clunk" factor that got in the way of very cool guitar ideas in that their concepts were awesome but by the time they had a marketable guitar it just did not feel... right.  But maybe that's just me.

I renewed my interest in the mando guitar however when Phantom Guitarworks started making better-than-Vox copies of Vox guitars and lo and behold their mando-guitar was no exception. While it looks like a Vox and talks like a Vox it is just so much more. The Phantom Guitarworks line makes me all warm and fuzzy (their teardrop 12 string is really awesome and makes me want to play "Good Things" really loud)... But we were talking about their Mando which seriously rocks!

But... and there is ALWAYS a "but" where guitars are concerned... Jerry Jones the ace guitar builder who mines the vein of Danelectro goodness also has a Mando-12 called the "Shorty" with a long horn body style and all the street cred available to those who get the incredible hipness of "masonite"! Is this guitar cool or what?

Ooh... The Phantom or the JJ Shorty???

Maybe both...