Good morning Douglas from an old fogie to an old duffer (be 71 in July) and thanks for another very informative contribution to my 12-string saga. I must also congratulate you on an excellent and eclectic taste in music, similar to my own. I’m also a percussionist, Bodhran being my main instrument, and Irish Trad music being my first love. After that I love Brazilian MPB, Jazz, folk, rock along with a few others thrown in for good measure.
I took up the guitar last year, mainly because having written numerous songs in several styles, I found myself with no one to back me singing them and this became even more pronounced during the Coved lockdown. I have always liked the sound of 12 string guitars, especially when used ion Irish music and songs along with the use by groups such as America on their numerous albums
I have read a number of scary stories regarding the stress that 12 strings place upon the body and neck of guitars which are essentially designed for 6 strings. Then I came upon the Haustrum Silgan 12 string and upon further investigation, discovered that Hagstrom guitars are fitted with a, H-Expander Truss Rod, which the company claim is way better than a round truss rod, and theirs will prevent any neck from bending, but also from twisting. Which in my amateurish opinion, seems a great additive to any 12 string.
The only shop dealing in the Hagstrom 12 in Ireland is situated in Dublin, and they don’t keep any of this model in store but would have to order one in from the supplier. Now here’s the deal, I would have to make a down payment of E300, half the price of the guitar. However, and here’s the catch, when I go and try out the guitar, supposing I actually don’t like it, then I either forfeit my deposit or else cough up another E300, and purchase a guitar that I don’t particularly like. Hobsons Choice in my case, but the shop can’t lose either way, not that either party should be out of pocket. In my opinion, if any retailer is going to advertise any item on its website, then they should have at least one in store so people can at least see what they are buying, the onus here should be on the wholesaler and retailer. I would appreciate if you would send me the names of the mail order companies in Ireland that sell Hagstroms. In that respect, and something that I find slightly strange is the fact that the Hagstrom company themselves don’t seem to stock any of these guitars, and furthermore, it’s rathe difficult to find stockists, even in Sweden. This may tie in with one review which claims that Hagstrom sold on the brand name to a Chinese company who now manufacture and distribute the guitars, nothing strange in that, almost everything these days seems to be made in China these days, that is where my Eastman was made and I’m happy enough with that, touch wood.
As regards tuning down, well funnily enough, most of the trad guitarists do use DADGAD tuning, it really suits the trad and folk music especially when backing songs. But to tune down and then place a capo at the first fret in order to use standard tuning means that a capo always has to be on the first, and if I wanted to capo up, then a second capo would need to be placed at the appropriate fret. To be honest with you I’d prefer to avoid using capos altogether if I could manage it, if not, then one would be enough for me. (getting cocky now)
I have always been interested in drums especially the old Ludwig and Gretsch, Silvertone played by the old great jazz drummers, and later I’ll check out the Camco kits.
Just as a matter of interest, I am listening to a cd of Chris Wood, called Albion, an anthology, brilliant songs and tunes by Chris, Andy Cutting on Accordion along with Karen Tweed. Some years back, I was lucky enough to catch Chris live at a recital he gave at the WORLD Music Centre at ULH.
I would be very grateful for any further information regarding my quest that you may come across through the grapevine.
Thanks again bye for now and stay safe and well, and keep on rockin in the free world.
P.S, sorry for such a long winded reply