To My Ear
Found this parlor-size '66 Gibson B25 with deep red mahogany sides and back, golden sitka spruce top and Brazilian rosewood fingerboard at The 5th String on Geary Street in San Francisco.
She was pretty beat up. Had a nice gash in the side and a cosmetic crack in the back.
I paid all of $175 for her.
A drummer and a writer, I never really played much guitar, but recently replaced the frets and tuners and swapped out Gibson's wacky adjustable saddle with an ebony bridge. Pure brilliance from luthier John Carruthers in Camarillo, California — placed a drop-in bone saddle just right. An exceptionally resonant acoustic guitar, the mid-range and high-end can cut through any mix and the bass notes are surprisingly responsive for the size.
The only parlor guitars I ever played that sounded as good to my ear were a 1969 Martin 00-28VS and the 000-28VS that David Poe plays. Those are 12 fretters with super wide necks and more a picker's guitar. Beautiful tone, but hard to bend notes on those. Finger board on the B25 is a tad narrow, but the action is oh so sweet. I see Robben Ford now plays one.
To honor this baby, I'm taking lessons from Jamie Findlay and it sounds better every time I play.
Someday, when I grow up, I hope to play for my sister Mickey, who once studied with Robben
and who is a better player than I will ever be...