LB's Blues Guitar Sound Test

Note: Mic position is hard to identically match for each guitar recorded so these are mainly to compare tonal qualities and differences and not a volume comparison. You also will not get a correct impression unless you listen with headphones or decent speakers. It's still fun to hear how different these guitars perform depending on the style. They each have a wonderful quality that makes them special. None are really better or worse. I choose many of them based on the playing they pull out of me.

  GUITAR MODEL

Open G Blues with NO SLIDE

 Open G Blues WITH SLIDE

 4 Song Blues Fingerpicking Sampler Medley


1920s OS Stella Gambler
12.5" bout , 24.75" scale

Notes: Small but huge dry bass with throaty nasally midrange and sharp biting trebles. Great for slide but also any kind of 1920s blues. Light strings and medium action.


 

Open G  NO SLIDE
mp3

mp3 GLASS Slide

mp3 BRASS Slide

Sampler Medley
mp3


1920s OS Stella Pearloid
 
13.5" bout 24.75" scale

Notes: Still the throaty, nasally tone but a little more bass and a broader range than the Gambler with pretty sweet trebles that are a little more silky and less biting. Nice fingerpicker but still does good on slide. It's got light strings and medium action.


 

Open G  NO SLIDE
mp3

mp3 GLASS Slide

mp3 BRASS Slide

Sampler Medley
mp3


1930s Kay Kraft
(Curley Weaver played one)

Notes: See story of this guitar. Has a very strong almost harsh trebles and a real ragtimey sound. Adjustable neck and ultra modern styling and features. Snappy strings and snappy sound with a lot of funk and character. Very loud and responsive to the lightest touch. It's also an archtop. Read the story on this very rare museum piece. Only use light strings on this one.

Open G  NO SLIDE
mp3

mp3 GLASS Slide

mp3 BRASS Slide

Sampler Medley
mp3

Ragtimey Tune contributed by DBerch.


ToneKing
Stella/Harmony/Regal?
30s Era
13.5" bout. 24.75" scale

Notes: This is an amazingly loud guitar with huge bass. Not much string separation in the sound but a very throaty midrange and raspy trebles. Was a fantastic slide guitar and when fingerpicked sounds like a 1920s 78 rpm record. Friend Gary Davis NRGD owns this one now. I hated to sell it but needed the bread. 
 

 

Open G  NO SLIDE
mp3

 

mp3 GLASS Slide

mp3 BRASS Slide

Sampler Medley
mp3

1937 Stella 12 String
15.5" bout 25.5" scale

Note: Stella was in a transition at this time but still making the good ones. This was a super deluxe model with mahogany back and neck with adirondak spruce arched top. Ladder bracing of course and a sound that's so close to Blind Willie McTell it's scary. In person with the right strings, songs and perfect tuning this thing is as loud as a bar room piano and a huge chorus like wall of sound. You have to get these bouncing with the thumb. These samples don't do it justice. It was expensive but I've seen other Stellas from the late 20s sell for 13,000 dollars. This one comes in around 3-4 grand but sounds and plays better than anything I can buy new for the same price. One of the best purchases I ever made and from expert Neil Harpe's collection. The burst is amazing too. You just don't want to restring it. I have heavy strings on it right now and tuned to Low-C like McTell.


 

Open G  NO SLIDE
mp3

mp3 GLASS Slide

mp3 BRASS Slide

Sampler Medley
mp3

1930's Regal Parlor
13" bout
24.25" scale

Notes: One of my recent scores and it really made me consider the Tone King above might be a Regal due to the bridge shape and tone. This thing is loud as God with huge bass that defies logic for such a small short scale guitar. It's also deluxe as they come with Oak stained to look like wild Brazilian and a super multicolored perfling and rosette. The headstock is a peach colored pearloid while the fretboard is black and white and pickguard grey and brown. Huge ball bat neck and plays surprisingly well but it's only something a blues player might appreciate.

Open G  NO SLIDE
mp3
mp3 GLASS Slide

mp3 BRASS Slide
Sampler Medley
mp3

 

2001 Dell Arte Leadbelly BARITONE
12 string 16" 27" scale

Open G  NO SLIDE
mP3

mp3 GLASS Slide

mp3 BRASS Slide

Sampler Medley
mp3



2003 Greven Prairie State Jumbo 17"

 


 

Open G  NO SLIDE
mp3

mp3 GLASS SLIDE

mp3 BRASS SLIDE

Sampler Medley
mp3


2004 Clarksdale Crossroads
12 fret L-00
14.75" bout
(80/20 strings)

Open G NO SLIDE mp3

GLASS SLIDE mp3
 

BRASS SLIDE mp3

Sampler Medley
mp3

 

1930s Kalamazoo KG-14
(L-00) Robert Johnson Guitar 14.75" bout

Open G NO SLIDE mp3

GLASS SLIDE mp3
 

BRASS SLIDE mp3

 

Sampler Medley
mp3

 

1940s Kay L12-47 Jumbo
15.5" bout

Note: I also have one of
these pickups too!

Open G NO SLIDE mp3

GLASS SLIDE mp3
 

BRASS SLIDE mp3

 

Sampler Medley
mp3



Donmo Relic Reso
Custom tricone design hidden under single cover plate. Steel body, biscuit bridge, arched back. Wolf in sheeps clothing.



Open G  NO SLIDE
mp3

 

Another newer recording in Open G with vocals and guitar. 

mp3 GLASS Slide

mp3 BRASS Slide
Sampler Medley
mp3

2001 National Style EN
Single Cone Biscuit, Brass Body
14" bout

 

Open G  NO SLIDE
mp3

mp3 GLASS Slide

mp3 BRASS Slide

Sampler Medley
mp3


Pre-Gibson Dobro
Single Cone
(quarterman 10" biscuit)
24.75" scale, 14" bout
1-7/8" nut, small profile

Open G  NO SLIDE
mp3

mp3 GLASS Slide

mp3 BRASS Slide

Sampler Medley
mp3