I consider myself more of a singer than a guitarist, so for a long time considered myself immune to the game. Then one day I actually counted the 6-strings, 12-strings, strumsticks and ukuleles, not to mention the tenor guitar and guitar banjo, and nearly had a fit.
So that’s quite enough, I don’t need another one, do I?
Here’s the thing; my only decent 6-string acoustic is actually the old 12-string EKO my parents gave me for my 21st birthday a-hem years ago. Some 20 years ago, the neck got broken, so in the repair it got restrung as a 6-string. It looks battle-scared, with visible cracks, screw-holes and years of wear and tear. I love it to bits, both for sentimental reasons, and because of the sound it makes. I will always love it.
An EKO dreadnought is not a subtle guitar, but boy does it have a voice; and a voice that suits the aggressive rhythm style I have used for years. But for things like finger-picking, it isn’t so nice, and even with the action improved by the wonderful Jon Haire of Peterborough, barring it is a bitch.
The other thing is that it has a really cheap home-fitted bug in it. This hasn’t bothered me much, as I tend to just stick a microphone in front of it. But I am planning 2017 to be my year of new music, and for some things I need a decent pickup – for (some) recording, for looping and for interfacing with my harmonizer.
So over the last few months I have been searching for the one. I haven’t mentioned this to a soul, because it is a natural thing for friends to suggest shopping trips, and then – I know from experience – you end up buying what your friends think is good (this is my failing, not theirs).
This meant playing a lot of guitars, and some rather pricey ones too. Eventually, someone put a Fender PM-1 in my hand – Fender’s new(ish) dreadnought with solid spruce top, and solid rosewood back and sides. I loved it, and found it easy to play. It had some real oomph when played rhythm, but rang nicely when finger-picked. It was a real contender, but I went away to think about it. Sensible me.
A couple of weeks later I went back to the shop. I had decided I was being silly. My EKO is a dreadnought, as are two 12-strings I own (a new EKO and a Yamaha). Surely it made sense to go for something different. As I had liked the Fender, the obvious choice was to go for the PM-3. In the same range, this had a cutaway Triple-0 body, it was less deep than my dreadnought (both in dimensions and sound), but still sounded gorgeous.
As I played the guitar, I realised I had noticed it before. One of the YouTubers I follow had played the Sunburst version of this guitar, which looked wonderfully retro.
“Do you have the Sunburst?” I asked, but they didn’t.
So I thanked them again, and came home to think about it, including watching this and a couple of other videos a few dozen times.
In the end, I decided to go for it, throw caution to the wind, and order online. After all, I had held and played the guitar, knew what it was like, and so should expect an online purchase to equally come up to scratch. It was also considerably cheaper; although I think if the shop had had the one I wanted, I would have bought it from them.
So here it is. Isn’t it pretty?