VE2000GG-12 vs VE8000PB-12 ... any thoughts?

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Oldbones
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VE2000GG-12 vs VE8000PB-12 ... any thoughts?

Postby Oldbones » Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:52 pm

Has anyone in this forum been in a position to try and to directly compare the VE2000GG-12 Vintage Gordon Giltrap 12-String Signature Guitar and the only other real 'contender' in the ranks of affordable mini twelve strings - the VE8000PB-12 Vintage Paul Brett Signature 12-String Guitar?

If so, what were your impressions - objective or subjective?
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Re: VE2000GG-12 vs VE8000PB-12 ... any thoughts?

Postby BRC » Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:06 am

Oldbones,

I have found a YouTube demo by Paul Brett http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vvIrWTb0AU.

You may have already looked at that, however have you tried playing along with the 12 string parts. I have and, interestingly, he has the guitar tuned down a full tone. Having read comments elsewhere, and especially by Gordon, that this guitar is designed from scratch up as a 12 string, I have found that something of a surprise. I am not in a position to give a critical view of the instrument, until I have tried one, and it does sound like a fine one, it would seem that this muddies the waters a little.

As I have said elsewhere in posts I shall endeavour to try a Paul Brett 12 string in very early April - hopefully alongside a VE2000GG 12 string - and can then give an honest opinion. I have an uncomfortable feeling this may well come down to individual taste and 'fancy' when making the final decision. There is certainly nothing really in it in cost terms, providing you go for the best price of course.

Gordon has probably made the decision not so easy in, as you have referred to, his generous comments on the Paul Brett model. Where and who else would be prepared to be so unbiased when his own signature model is there in the marketplace? I think you could probably count them on one finger.

I am off now for a cuppa tea, followed (with luck) with a little backing recording, including using the VE2000GG 12 string - then our two and a half year old granddaughter arrives like a tornado.

Brad

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Re: VE2000GG-12 vs VE8000PB-12 ... any thoughts?

Postby Oldbones » Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:17 am

BRC wrote:I have found a YouTube demo by Paul Brett .... interestingly, he has the guitar tuned down a full tone.

Yes - I think I listed the URLs for both Paul Brett's demo of the GG12 and his own PB12. I commented that it was interesting to bounce between them. To my ears, the GG12 has a sound more akin to a traditional dreadnought 12. By that I man, it seems to have a fuller and more rounded sound whereas the PB is designed for the more 'jangly' end of the twelvestring spectrum.

Paul Brett virtually NEVER plays his 12's at standard - he downtunes by anything up to two whole tones. He explains this in one of his uploads. He's also a wizard with alternative tunings.

BRC wrote:As I have said elsewhere in posts I shall endeavour to try a Paul Brett 12 string in very early April ... I have an uncomfortable feeling this may well come down to individual taste and 'fancy' when making the final decision.

I've started a new post about Guitar fairs in the hope that members will post information about anything happening in their own areas. I will attend an acoustic guitar fair next Sunday which will be my only real hope of finding someone there with both the PB12 and the GG12.

I've been doing a LOT of research for details about both guitars, including string spacing. On balance, the PB12 now seems to have a slight edge over the GG12 for me .... but until the proverbial fat lady sings or this oldboney dodderer gets out his plastic and plays, I'm not making any final decisions.

BRC wrote:Where and who else would be prepared to be so unbiased when his own signature model is there in the marketplace? I think you could probably count them on one finger.

Quite right.
I get the impression that one other might well be Paul Brett.
I recently dug out and listened again to my PB LP's - especially 'Earthbirth', the 12 string suite. MAGIC.
Next on my agenda is to listen again to my collection of GG recordings - especially the 'Visionary' trilogy.

Oh yes - I've been using Audacity a lot over the last couple of days to trim, edit and generally process a lot of Youtube audio mp3s of 12 string playing by non-professionals. That's proved to be seriously illuminating and inspiring. I'll probably now burn myself a couple of CD's so that I can listen when and where I want to.
It isn't how fast you can play that counts - it's that you only play as fast as you need to play that is important.
Silence can be as eloquent as sound.

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Re: VE2000GG-12 vs VE8000PB-12 ... any thoughts?

Postby Oldbones » Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:15 pm

Not sure if this will be of interest to anyone else, but I thought I'd post it just in case. (I hope the formatting works).

In my search for information about the Paul Brett 12 and the Gordon Giltrap 12 as a precursor (I hope) to finding examples I can try, I wanted to study how some of their specs compare to other instruments I have. It's proved an illuminating exercise.

As I say at the end, if you spot any errors, please let me know and I'll adjust the table.

==========================================================================================================================

Part-of-the-guitar------------Gordon-Giltrap--12-----------Paul-Brett--12---------Lag-parlour--6------------Taylor-GS-Mini--6-----Crafter Dreadnought


Nut string spacing ------------------41mm-----------------------40mm--------------36mm-----------------------36mm------------------------41mm

Saddle-string-spacing---------------59mm-----------------------57.5mm-----------53mm-----------------------56mm------------------------58mm

Frets-----------------------------------20----------------------------18------------------20---------------------------20---------------------------20

Scale--length-------------------------642mm-----------------------650mm------------650mm---------------------596mm---------------------650mm


Information gleaned from a variety of sources so I can’t guarantee absolute accuracy.
If you have any more accurate information, please add a reply and I’ll update this table.
Thanks
Last edited by Oldbones on Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
It isn't how fast you can play that counts - it's that you only play as fast as you need to play that is important.
Silence can be as eloquent as sound.

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Re: VE2000GG-12 vs VE8000PB-12 ... any thoughts?

Postby BRC » Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:21 am

Oldbones,

Catching up after a hectic day yesterday.

I checked your string spacing table and noticed that I inadvertently put '51mm' instead of '41mm' for the nut. My corrected figure is right as I have just re-measured. I can only put my original error down to carelessness in typing, distraction by something (probably unimportant), incompetence or my age. Your chart shows 36.25mm, which is narrower than any of my 6 stringers, but that may just be due to the formatting of your chart to give the side-by-side comparison not lining up as you intended on my screen.

I have just checked my Ovation 12 string and that is 41mm at the nut and 60mm at the saddle, if that is any use to you.

The scale length depends on where you measure from - your figure is round about right. If you want exact measurement let me know where on your chart you are measuring and I shall update. I am not sure that is a critical factor in the context of the comparisons as there is not a huge difference in the various guitars The neck width across the strings is more likely to be so for some people though, as I have said in another thread, the width is fine for me, with small hands - not that I am attempting any of the stretches that Gordon or Paul Brett use.

Good fortune in your quest.

Brad

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Re: VE2000GG-12 vs VE8000PB-12 ... any thoughts?

Postby Oldbones » Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:58 am

BRC wrote:I checked your string spacing table and noticed that I inadvertently put '51mm' instead of '41mm' for the nut ......there is not a huge difference in the various guitars

Thanks Brad. I've updated the chart.
About your other comment that I lifted for the quote .... that thought struck me too, especially when I put my Carver dreadnought 12 into the mix.

I'm now about to post a new thread with a list of all the Youtube uploads I've so far found which feature both the PB and the GG twelvestrings. There are more examples of Gordon's than I at first thought. I'm hoping that anyone who finds or uploads demos for either guitar will add the approriate links.
It isn't how fast you can play that counts - it's that you only play as fast as you need to play that is important.
Silence can be as eloquent as sound.

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Re: VE2000GG-12 vs VE8000PB-12 ... any thoughts?

Postby Oldbones » Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:45 am

BRC wrote:Good fortune in your quest

Went along to the acoustic guitar fair this morning in Skipton.
The place was stuffed (as it always is for these events) with an unbelivable number of instruments and makes. Good range of prices as well - everything from around £150-£200 for the beginner (eg: Richwoods) up to £3000+ for exotics, handmade luthier-built or top of the range Taylors, Martins, Gibsons, Larrivees, Breedloves et. etc. Just about every type of stringed instrument was there as well.

Except ...

Total and Utter Frustration
Not a single Vintage PB or GG, 6 OR 12 string.
In fact, only one old Vintage 6-stringer was there. No others anywhere.

So it does now look as if I'll be forced to rely on written reviews and Youtube uploads like those I listed in a separate thread.

Two other comments about guitar fairs such as this one are worth making -

(1) In the fairs I'm able to go to, there are so many stands which have guitars both ON the stands and in front of them - that it becomes really difficult (and also risky) for folks to try them in comfort. I'd certainly feel vulnerable holding, say, an expensive Taylor amongst crowds of people passing by - and I'm sure the dealers would feel even more nervous. The Skipton fair had dealers all around the edge of the room (so absolutely no room for tryouts) and also dealers around a central island. I suppose folks could be invited inside that area to try guitars - but that would be far from ideal.
What experience do other members have of guitar fairs?

(2) I got talking to the one dealer who had that old Vintage. I said what I was looking for so he called over to a neighbouring dealer who presumably stocks Vintages. I explained what I was looking for and he said he could get one in and it would be on offer at around £500. I mentioned that Reidys currently sell the GG12 for £359.00 to which his response was "I could match that".

£150 mark-up ........ ??!!
The lesson, it seems to me, is that when buying from small outlets, there should be room to bargain if you have at your fingertips examples of prices being offered elsewhere for identical items. Everyone needs to make a profit - but there are profits and there are huge profits whih don't take account of other outlets or online forces.

Anyway - my own personal search now goes on.
If anyone has actual experience of the Vintage PB12, it would be very interesting to hear from you.
Ditto for any new or added thoughts about the GG12.


-Alan-
It isn't how fast you can play that counts - it's that you only play as fast as you need to play that is important.
Silence can be as eloquent as sound.

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Re: VE2000GG-12 vs VE8000PB-12 ... any thoughts?

Postby Roger » Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:05 pm

Oldbones,

Very interested in your comments about guitar prices.

Last year I bought a Vintage travel guitar LH-VTG100N (left-handed) on the recommedation of Gordon. Great little guitar and ideal for me - couldn't be more pleased :D I did a lot of research regarding price - the lowest on-line I could get the guitar for was £139 including postage. The Northern on-line retailer you mention came in at £145 including postage, while the JHS website quotes a price of £209. Armed with this information I went To Musicroom in Portsmouth and they came up with £169. They also agreed to take one of my guitars in p/x, thus saving me the time and effort of trying to sell it. So I decided to buy the guitar from Musicroom. While the price wasn't the cheapest, I chose Musicroom for the following reasons (in no particular order of importance):

1 I was supporting a local music shop.

2 They would take an instrument in p/x.

3 When the guitar arrived for me to collect I could inspect it and reject it if there was a problem.

4 I could play the guitar before buying.

5 When a problem arose they organised it's return to JHS (to have the frets levelled and dressed FOC under warranty) for me.

6 They offer a loyalty card system. My purchase meant I could buy a set of strings a month or so later.

7 I could talk to the guitar players there about p/u options, strings, their thoughts re the guitar etc etc.

While some of the on-line retailers can offer very low prices, which must be because they are shifting large product volumes and so can survive with low profit margins, I think there are significant advantages of using your local shop. While competition is a good thing I know of at least one local store that is struggling to survive because of aggressive on-line pricing. On the other hand if stores are being greedy margin-wise they don't deserve to be supported!

When buying from a music shop I've always asked about discounts, price matching, throwing in a few "goodies" etc etc. I've found most places to be receptive if it helps them get a sale that makes some profit. I've always enjoyed browsing around music shops (a particular favourite was one in Stratford-upon-Avon, where the owner was always friendly and so helpful that I eventually bought a guitar off him!) and it would be a great shame if our local stores disappeared because of lack of support.

Just my thoughts.

Best to you,

Roger
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Re: VE2000GG-12 vs VE8000PB-12 ... any thoughts?

Postby Roger USA » Mon Mar 24, 2014 1:09 am

Roger wrote:Oldbones,

Very interested in your comments about guitar prices.

Last year I bought a Vintage travel guitar LH-VTG100N (left-handed) on the recommedation of Gordon. Great little guitar and ideal for me - couldn't be more pleased :D I did a lot of research regarding price - the lowest on-line I could get the guitar for was £139 including postage. The Northern on-line retailer you mention came in at £145 including postage, while the JHS website quotes a price of £209. Armed with this information I went To Musicroom in Portsmouth and they came up with £169. They also agreed to take one of my guitars in p/x, thus saving me the time and effort of trying to sell it. So I decided to buy the guitar from Musicroom. While the price wasn't the cheapest, I chose Musicroom for the following reasons (in no particular order of importance):

1 I was supporting a local music shop.

2 They would take an instrument in p/x.

3 When the guitar arrived for me to collect I could inspect it and reject it if there was a problem.

4 I could play the guitar before buying.

5 When a problem arose they organised it's return to JHS (to have the frets levelled and dressed FOC under warranty) for me.

6 They offer a loyalty card system. My purchase meant I could buy a set of strings a month or so later.

7 I could talk to the guitar players there about p/u options, strings, their thoughts re the guitar etc etc.

While some of the on-line retailers can offer very low prices, which must be because they are shifting large product volumes and so can survive with low profit margins, I think there are significant advantages of using your local shop. While competition is a good thing I know of at least one local store that is struggling to survive because of aggressive on-line pricing. On the other hand if stores are being greedy margin-wise they don't deserve to be supported!

When buying from a music shop I've always asked about discounts, price matching, throwing in a few "goodies" etc etc. I've found most places to be receptive if it helps them get a sale that makes some profit. I've always enjoyed browsing around music shops (a particular favourite was one in Stratford-upon-Avon, where the owner was always friendly and so helpful that I eventually bought a guitar off him!) and it would be a great shame if our local stores disappeared because of lack of support.

Just my thoughts.

Best to you,

Roger


Hi Roger,

I couldn't agree more with you.

Like the UK, the retail landscape over here continues to change as a result of online competition. A number of areas such as books, sports goods, office supplies and electrical goods have all experienced major retailer closings as a result of online competition - sometimes their own. The next five or ten years are going to bring some substantial changes.

No shop can ever compete purely on price terms with an on-line retailer who doesn't have to support the same real estate, overheads and staffing costs. Also the local shop cannot hope to offer the breadth of inventory that a nationwide online business can offer, but its important to support those retail areas where contact with both people and the product is important to us. For me buying a musical instrument without any opportunity to hold and test it, or ask questions, is akin to buying a car without the opportunity to sit in it and drive it.

Obviously some online retailers get round this by allowing customers to order and return goods, as they have done in clothing. For me that doesn't quite work, because I like to go back to the same guitar shop more than once during my decision process as I compare and test.

The future will no doubt be a blend of both, but that inevitably means fewer shops, so if we want that shop to be close to us we need to support it!

All the Best,

Roger

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Re: VE2000GG-12 vs VE8000PB-12 ... any thoughts?

Postby Oldbones » Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:39 am

Roger (UK) and Roger (USA) make totally valid points. I've had two experiences which tie in with what they wrote - both nagative but in two VERY different ways:

First, the truly negative experience.
Some time ago, I was looking for a particular guitar (much as I am at the moment). It so happens that half way between where I live and where I then worked in Bradford, there was an excellent music shop. Quite often, after work, on my drive home I'd be forced to stop outside when traffic lights brought me to a temporary halt. I studied the stock and thought it would be a good place to visit. The result appalled me. The manager was unfriendly, unco-operative and almost downright rude. In brief, he said he didn't stock that make and I should get on the bus outside and go to Leeds. He didn't have the basic common sense to say he stocked other guitars which matched my needs which (in fact) I realised he did once I was inside the shop. For a time I thought maybe it was me but I subsequently found other folks' reviews and they recounted the same sort of experience. How he manages to stay in business, I just don't know. Maybe it's coincidence, but I've recently noticed that he is opening the shop on fewer and fewer days during each week. It so happens, that his shop stocks a big range of Vintage guitars I'm interested in and so me may have - or could get - the Vintage PP12 or GG12 signature guitars that I want to try an compare before buying. But there's no way I'd want to go there again.

Second, the sadly negative experience.
Soon after the above experience, online searching caused me to encounter a small 'boutique' guitar shop over a 100 miles where from I live. I emailed the owner (Paul del Nevo) and received a wonderfully friendly response. Without going through the whole story, I bought the guitar online (which he set up to my requirements) and in the following year I drove down to see him and bought other instruments from him.

So where's the negative aspect?

Three factors combined to strike me as the main reasons why his business failed:

(1) Paul's business was literally miles from any large local connurbation, so his trade was mostly online. As a small retailer, he had little scope to offer discounts.
(2) Apart from some mid-range electric guitars in the front of the shop, Paul mostly specialised in high-end acoustic guitars so his outlay for stock was high.
(3) He opened his business just before the credit-crunch, so after initial success, his sales dropped off.

Part of Paul's shop's website featured excellent demos of instruments that he stocked. After his business failed, I accessed these (with his permission), edited them and uploaded a lot to Youtube as instrument demos - and as a tribute to him and his shop.

I also made and uploaded a full tribute, this included two examples of his demos, so if you're interested .....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWn2lO1AW8Q

On my Youtube channel I also created a playlist of his demos that I edited.
His technique was to use a very limited number of melodies for his demos so that folks could more easily compare instruments.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... 9S7KQro0Zl


So - the message HAS to be one that agrees with what the Two Rogers wrote, but for me the caveat is that I will deliberately NOT support a shop whose owner seems to have no interest whatsoever in the people who could bring him a LOT of business. I don't understand that mentality. Perhaps he just keeps the shop so that he can play with his own stock?

Weird.

Thanks to Roger 1 and Roger 2 for your responses.

- Alan -
It isn't how fast you can play that counts - it's that you only play as fast as you need to play that is important.
Silence can be as eloquent as sound.

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Re: VE2000GG-12 vs VE8000PB-12 ... any thoughts?

Postby BRC » Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:10 pm

Today was the day I visited the shop I shall not mention the name of in case prices go up again.

Sadly I was not able to try the VE8000PB-12 as there wasn't one in the shop - in fact finding an acoustic (even electro acoustic) was very difficult. I did find a Fret King Elise 'GG', though that was not within the terms of my mission, nor a guitar that I would be likely to want. No offence intended - just simply I am not in the market for one.

So, Oldbones, I am still not able to proffer an opinion on the elusive Paul Brett 12 stringer.

What I would comment on is that I did not feel in anyway 'at home' in the shop. The guy sitting at the shop counter did not seem to have any interest in asking what I wanted and when I asked about instrument was greeted by a monosyllabic 'yes' or at best a grunt. I had the impression that I may have interrupted his meditation period.

Quite the opposite was my experience in three other shops I visited in Denmark Street. One of the shops did not have something else, not the PB, that I wished to try out so directed me to one of the others. That tempted me to buy a new guitar stand - read my comments update under the' VE2000GG - my experience' for more on that.

One thing that did come out of my perambulations in London today is a definite interest in eventually getting a baritone guitar. I shall leave that there for now.

Brad

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Re: VE2000GG-12 vs VE8000PB-12 ... any thoughts?

Postby Oldbones » Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:08 pm

Thanks Brad. It sounds to me as if you visited that famous shop-named-after-a-certain-guitarist ... if so, it's clearly a shop that's living on its name and past reputation. Elsewhere in this forum I've described what happened to me when I visited what looks to be a great little music shop half way between where I live and Bradford where I then worked. Same thing .... greeted with replies that could only be inferred to mean "Shove off and go somewhere else". 5 stars for stock. 0 stars for service and friendliness. I've advised a great many friends to steer well clear.

Since we last swapped thoughts, I've done a LOT of research and have tracked down just about every upload of the GG12 and PB12 that seems to be out there. (URLs all listed in a separate thread). But like you, I can't find any shop near to me where I could actually try and thereby compare the two guitars. The uploads have been very helpful and gradually steered me towards one rather than the other - and then back again - and then back to where I started.

As a result of posting comments on Youtube, or a couple of PM's, I've been in touch with players of both the PB and GG 12s. One sent me a link to a live performance in which he played the PB12. (I've posted that into the thread which gives links for demos, reviews or performances of the 2 guitars). After all this, I think I've almost come to a conclusion .... I'm making the final irrevocable decision as soon as I've had a reply from Reidys. When that's done, I'll add a further comment and then - eventually - a full review of whichever guitar I get.

Until then - as 'they' say - watch this space .... daaan - de daaan daaan - DAaaaaaaan
It isn't how fast you can play that counts - it's that you only play as fast as you need to play that is important.
Silence can be as eloquent as sound.


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