Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Best Little Guitar Shop in Milwaukee (2012 Martin HD-28)

I've been going regularly to Milwaukee since 1998 as class counsel for thousands of children in state care seeking to reform the foster care system through the courts.  Yesterday, I was in town for a day of meetings that included the public release of the most recent settlement monitoring data, which was strong.  The Journal-Sentinel featured the latest results with some of my comments to journalist Crocker Stephenson here.

A good day got even better when I decided to check out Wade's Guitar Shop for the first time before my flight back to the East Coast.  It's a small shop crammed with electrics and acoustics, with mostly new and some used instruments.  These guys have been around since 1989 and know guitars.  They are the go-to Martin dealer in the area and had several walls of these in stock.  Alex was extremely accommodating in suggesting and pulling down a half dozen guitars for me to try.

As a guitarist, it's always fun to try various makes and models to discover all the options and challenge one's particular tastes in size, shape, sound, etc.  The real magic of it, though, is that even supposedly identical models can have different personalities that I imagine the maker would be hard-pressed to explain.  The challenge is to find a good match, which can obviously be a very personal experience.  In this store, one guitar stood out - a new Martin HD-28.  It's a dreadnought with a solid Sitka Spruce top and solid East Indian Rosewood back and sides.  Staff was excited about this one, calling it a "cannon," and it did not disappoint.  It sparkled with life as soon as I started playing it.  I really liked its easy-playing low profile neck and the tone was wonderful.  I would have loved to spend more time with it, but this instrument lists for $3449, and I don't have the $2200+ I would have needed to walk out with this beauty.  I had to leave this one for some other lucky guitarist to snap up.  If you are in the area, be sure to give it a try before it's gone.

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