Sunday, January 10, 2010

Cheap, Good Guitar

Tuned the old Fender Gemini II down to C# standard today to noodle after learning a bit of Den Standiga Resan. I picked up some of the intro, but got distracted by some meandering improv. Somehow tuning down three steps made the guitar sound better in addition to making it easier to play with the reduced string tension. I'd always thought the Gemini was a nice guitar for the money I payed way back when (and was the only acoustic under $250 I found that had good intonation and action with no setup), but, like most dreads, I thought it was a bit boomy on the bottom end for my tastes. Tuning down balanced it out a lot more and made the treble sound richer and louder.

I'm honestly surprised by how well the laminate top on the guitar has aged over 20 years. It's responsive and woody, but has never had any of the problems with humidity that a lot of solid tops develop. This was especially nice when I was in Colorado, where the humidity dropped alarmingly in the winters. In fact, other than one little issue with one fret fairly far up the neck (and on one string only...need to tap or file that sucker down), it's been entirely maintenance free for the whole time.

Good little Korean made guitars, those Gemini.

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