Dear Mr. Hammond:
To make a long story short, we loved your guitar.
When I say "we," I mean my wife, myself and our son, who is a gifted
amateur and occasional performer here and there. We all play finger
style guitar, crippling along in the manner of Doc Watson, Merle
Travis, Elizabeth Cotton, John Hurt and various folk singers and
guitarists. Our favorite guitar is a Martin 0018, made in 1943. We
could never afford to buy that guitar, but we wound up with it by
accident. We got it as a gift from a guy who got it in a trade, before any of us knew what it was worth.
We also have a Guild, about the same size, from the 1970s.
The thing that struck me right away when we started playing your
daughter's guitar was how much sound it produced. It's really alive.
I assume that comes from the quality of the wood and the careful
strutting inside,and maybe the soundhole in the top, but the thing
really hums. By the way, I would like to know more about the wood.
It had a nice, tight grain and was beautiful. Spruce top and walnut back and sides?
Being a finger-picker, the next thing I noticed was the action of the
neck. The neck is nice and flat, the strings very close to the frets
all the way up the neck, and still a clean sound. Easy to play. Very easy.
Actually better than my Martin. I've always thought the action of the
Martin is too high, but I'm afraid to mess with it. Years ago I had
an old Country & Western model Gibson that had a high action, and I
filed the bridge down to make it work better, but I just can't make
myself do anything to the Martin.
Finally, the balance of sound between the bass and treble strings is
just about perfect. Most guitars lean toward one or the other,
depending on what they are made for, I guess, but yours has a rare balance.
My son and I make the rounds of shops once in a while and play the new
guitars. I really like many of the Taylors, and some of the new
Gibsons, but I have to tell you I like your guitar better than any of
them. I can play a hundred guitars and maybe really like one or two.
In the last 3 years, I have found a Gibson, a Martin, and a Taylor
worth buying and keeping, but I believe that if given the choice I
would buy the one of yours I played.
We really appreciated getting to play the guitar, though I was
terribly worried that something might happen to it while it was in our house.
Thanks to your daughter and to you, and as far as that goes to your granddaughter, because if it weren't for her we would never have had