D55almost therebut what about Bluegrass?

fronobulax

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Tony Rice had an album with Tony holding an Ovation guitar. Would the bluegrass crowd ushered him to the door with that crazy thing?

The closer you get to the Appalachian Mountains the more likely the answer would be Yes.

Just generalizing from unpleasant, personal experience.
 

Br1ck

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When you're Tony Rice, you can get away with anything. There is a guitarist in a bluegrass band, forget witch one, who has a carbon fiber guitar. They make so much sense out on outdoor stages, but look so wrong.
 

adorshki

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Well, I’m almost ready to pull the trigger on a D55. I play a variety of styles, but I’ve been playing a lot of bluegrass lately. I don’t want a bluegrass-only guitar, but I also don’t want a non-bluegrass guitar. I guess what I’m asking is whether the D55 will hold its own at a bluegrass jam? Will it have the bass and volume?

Well after all this time, nobody's remembered that the D55 was originally nothing more than a D50 Bluegrass Special with an F50-type neck, special-ordered by Tommy Smothers and labeled "D50 Special".

As I like to say, "read between those lines". ;)

Eventually, after being seen on the Smothers Brothers TV show, it was offered as the "Television D55" by special order only from '68-'74, when it became a standard production model.

I seriously doubt its bluegrass roots have been watered down much as it evolved, but there's the backstory and the "street" (or should I say "dirt road" ?) creds. :)
 
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Bill Ashton

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Listen to @Taylor-Martin-Guild! The few times I have used my NH D-55, I could not hear myself, nor could anyone hear me.

The D-55 is a WONDERFUL guitar, very well rounded and can play most things...but up-front bluegrass IS NOT its thing. Funny, when you figure that a Collings D2H, same materials, KILLS in that situation. Yet, the Collings is a one-trick-pony, not subtle and not good for fingerpicking...at least, mine wasn't.

A Guild D-50 or a GAD (yes!) 50 is a much better bluegrass guitar. From my experience, a Martin HD-28 will do bluegrass and probably some other styles, but will be lacking in some. D-28 I hold away with a ten foot pole except for bluegrass. A Guild D-40 or Martin D-18 would also cover that style and probably others.

A Guild D-55 is THE guitar if you are going to stand up at an open mic and play solo, no one will touch you! Probably would do well with old time/string band style pieces. Bluegrass AIN'T its thing. And don't EVEN THINK about plugging in if you are not the featured band ;)
 
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Bill Ashton

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Tim Stafford plays a first generation (NOT Peavey) Composite Acoustics guitar. Sounds fantastic on stage, and sounds fantastic in the music store (played one at our favorite Central Massachusetts store). Sounds great acoustically, perhaps just a bit bright, but not more so than the Mahogany/Rosewood competition. I would buy an old CA guitar in a heartbeat. Spoke with him one evening after Blue Highway's show at the Joe Val Festival, when they were snowed in...he said THIS WEATHER is why he uses it on the road.

For extra laughs, on his instruction video, which is pretty old, he plays a Guild/Martin franko-dread :)
 

Bill Ashton

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My NH F47R, which has an Adi top, is actually a banjo killer. Hard to believe. You cannot sit in the back of a class and think "I will play quietly and no one will hear me." NOT! @Default , back me up here...
 

JohnW63

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Is it the distinct note separation that is needed for the bluegrass flat pickin' that a D-55 might not give? I would think with some bright strings, it could do that. I just don't like super bright strings.
 

Taylor Martin Guild

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John it isn't note separation.
That is a good thing for Bluegrass leads.
The problem with a D-55 for Bluegrass music is that the guitar is built for a lighter touch and does very well when played fingerstyle.
When playing Bluegrass on a guitar, you strum quite hard in order to be heard in the mix.
When you overdrive a D-55, it gets muddy and looses clarity.
This condition is called headroom.
Can a D-55 be used in Bluegrass? Yes just know it's limitations.
I own a Mar5tin D-35 and it has the same problem in a Bluegrass mix.

Adirondack is a top wood that does very well in Bluegrass music.
The old Martin guitars had it.
These guitars are sought after for Bluegrass playing.

The newer Guild D-50 guitars have Adirondack tops, which make them a better choice for Bluegrass.
 

Br1ck

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It is the ever puzzling nature of guitars that my Custom D 35 is a great bluegrass machine. Martin's custom shop, and the guy who originally ordered it, couldn't have foreseen the final result, and may have been very disappointed in the guitar. Rosewood bridge and fingerboard, maple binding and a koa wedge were the custom features, yet it is a very dry rosewood dread and came from a bluegrass player via Bryan Kimsey. D 35 starts at 39:56

 

JohnW63

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My F47R is Adi top but rosewood back an sides. Maybe the top wins out over the back and sides for bluegrass. I never play bluegrass, so it's an none issue, but it someone invited me to a jam and bluegrass happened, it could be the best of my Guilds to bring.
 

valleyguy

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"Only the Bluegrass Special versions from Tacoma and New Hartford have adi tops."
That makes them the best choice for Bluegrass.

Yep, my adi-top D50 from Tacoma works well for bluegrass.
 
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