Thursday, March 21, 2013

Brad Davis And Takamine Guitars

So Who Is Brad Davis?

Who is Brad Davis? Well, simply put, Brad Davis is a man who's dedicated his working life towards musicianship. Specifically, Brad Davis plays the acoustic guitar, and the greatest bit of his playing all involves the flatpick or plectrum .
If you do not know specifically right off hand who exactly Mr. Brad Davis is, then I'm really pretty certain that if you are reading this, then you have definitely heard of some of the following musical artists: Willie NelsonSheryl Crow ,Earl Scruggs, David Lee Roth, Emmy Lou Harris, Pam Tillis, Marty Stuart, Dwight Yokam, Tommy Shaw, Travis Tritt, Merle Haggard, Johnny CashSteve Earl, Billy Bob Thornton. You see, Brad Davis has recorded with all of those persons, and that is hardly the complete list, it is only the list I picked.
As for myself, I've not actually met Brad Davis, which is odd considering how I've met a lot of the great flatpicking guitarist of today, and odder still when you consider that Mr. Brad Davis is from nearby Dallas, Texas. I do happen to own a guitar that Brad used to own, but that isn't so odd, as Brad and/or his family used to own a music store, which I believe was in Grapevine, Texas. I bought the guitar from a man who worked with Brad on a flatpicking instructional publication known as "Flatpicking In The Public Domain." I've still got several of those old publications, and besides all that, I've got ten times more of Brad's instructional column's from his contributions to Flatpicking Guitar Magazine.
Besides being a monster guitarist - the type of guy who can play the most technically challenging of guitar music, Brad Davis excels at being a guitar instructor, and a publisher of guitar instructional material. You could say Brad is very much the contemporary of someone like Steve Kaufman, and while both of them play Celtic and Bluegrass styles, their personal tastes and styles of playing are very very different.
Before we get into the guitar oriented section of this article, I think it wise to hear and see a performance by Mr. Brad Davis, acoustic guitar virtuoso.

Brad Davis...Shredding The Tune "California."

Takamine Acoustic Guitars

The Takamine guitar company was founded in 1962 in Japan, and they are entirely a noteworthy company for one thing, and one thing alone - steel string acoustic guitars.
In 1978 the Takamine guitar company became one of the first companies to introduce acoustic-electric models, where they pioneered the design of the pre-amp/equalizer component. In regards to Brad Davis, the acoustic/electric steel string dreadnought guitars of Takamine are exactly what he is endorsing.
I'm not going to beat around the bush here - the best Takamine guitars are always outright copies of instruments created by C.F. Martin & Company, and they always have been. Takamine, however, could possibly have a leg up on Martin guitars in regards to their electronics for acoustic/electrics.Some of these Takamine acoustic/electric guitars come with their own built in electronic tuner, and who can argue about how cool that is? I don't speak for Brad Davis, but I'd imagine his endorsement means just what I now alluded to.
So what Takamine guitar does Brad Davis endorse? Well, a lot of them, actually, if one peruses a bit around Youtube one can see Brad playing many of them.
I don't want to sound like a snob here, Takamine makes some great guitars, but a lot of these guitars are more what one would think of as stage guitars. Guitars in the five hundred dollar price range, and if you were to ask Brad Davis if he truly preferred a five hundred dollar Takamine to one of his Santa Cruz or Collings guitars....well, I hope you get what I'm saying here!

Takamine EAN10C Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Cutaway Guitar

Takamine EAN10C Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Cutaway Guitar

So what Takamine acoustic/electric guitars does super shredder Brad Davis endorse? Well, a lot of them, really, he's become a major Takamine salesman, and good for him, I say. If you search Youtube for Brad Davis and Takamine guitars, you'll find a whole host of videos of Brad demonstrating various and sundry models.
It would be pretty tedious were I to go over all of them, so instead I've picked the one that I like the best, and you can find the video on your own.
Why do I like the Takamine EAN10C? Well, several reasons, but first and foremost this is a all solid wood guitar, it is not just a solid top, but solid back and sides too - this guitar is the kind of guitar someone invests in owning, and cares for and plays for a lifetime, and then leaves as an heirloom to his or her children, or whoever they wish.
Like the most of the great Yamaki guitars, this guitar features a cedar top rather than a spruce top. The combination of a cedar top and mahogany back and sides this guitar provides flat out intrigues me as an audiophile. No, I've not ever got the chance to spend a minute with one of these, but you can bet that I want to. This guitar is simply going to sound different than most, and it is going to sound GOOD whether it is plugged into something, or played without electricity involved.
While I would prefer folks always buy American made products, I am enough of a guitar music fan to know that any guitarist will always play and sound better, make better music, with the guitar he likes best, and if that favorite guitar is a Takamine, well so be it. However, at just over eleven hundred dollars, I'd suggest that anyone interested also play the Taylor 410ce for a nice American made comparison.
Thanks for reading, and go play your guitar.


Anonymous said...

Brad plays the Takamine TF360SBG which is one of their bluegrass guitars, and he exclusively plays it on records and tours with it. I have seen him on tour and he swears by it. There are many you tube videos where he clearly says that he loves it and records with as well as tours with it. He even has said that he re-cut many of the songs on the Tim McGraw tribute album that he did back in 2006, after Takamine gave him his bluegrass model, because he said it recorded better then his 6000$ Meril. Before he choose to be a Takamine artist, he played Meril's. I personally own a EF340SBG and it is every bit as good as a Collings dread or a HD-28. Takamine Bluegrass models are sleepers because not many people get their hands on them, but the ones that do rave about them. They are probably some of the best guitars that Takamine makes, better by far then the EAN10C.

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