Entries in takamine (1)


Guitar history - High school and college

I've been meaning to do a log of the guitars I've owned across the last 20+ years. This is a pretty daunting task if I try to tackle it all in one big list, so I'll break it up into chunks. To get the ball rolling, I'll start with high school and college (Cal Poly and Grinnell), which goes up to summer of 1996; later editions will cover other eras (split by academic markers: grad school, pre-tenure, post-tenure).

  • Fender Gemini II (mid-to-late-80s, I assume) - My first steel-string acoustic. I got this for Christmas in 1990 (I think...maybe the year before that?). Bought used from the music shop in Davis, CA. Sold it to a guy in the dorms at Cal Poly when I got the Landola jumbo (see below) in 1993.

Bad circa 1990 fashion with the Gemini II.

  • Fender Stratocaster (Lake Placid blue, maple neck, MIM, early-90s) - Christmas 1992; bought used at a (now forgotten) shop in San Luis Obispo. Consigned it at some point in graduate school in West Lafayette.


  • With the Landola jumbo, summer 1993.Landola jumbo...I don't remember the model number (early-90s) - Purchased new in spring 1993 at some shop in San Luis Obispo, Los Osos, or Morro Bay. I'm shocked how bad my memory is! An interesting jumbo guitar, made in Finland, with a solid spruce top and laminated birch back/sides, and matte finish. Landola went on to make a run of acoustic guitars for Peavey (the amp company). Sold it in West Lafayette. Never saw another Landola until the fall 2012 Philly guitar show, where I ran into a similar one. A nice guitar.
  • Cheap-o Aspen 12-string (unknown year) - I don't recall where this one came from. I assume I bought it off someone at Grinnell; $40 rings a bell. The bridge started to pull off and had it reglued by a guy in Marshalltown at least once. We ended up playing this as a six-string to keep the bridge from flying off; I think I handed this down to Wulfy.
  • Takamine N-1012 (early-90s) - My first decent 12-string; this one came used from the Guitar Foundation in Iowa City in late-1994 or early-1995...Solid cedar top with (laminated) mahogany back/sides. My buddy Dave and I played this one a lot; I had it until 1997 or 1998, when I sold it West Lafayette.

Dave with the Takamine N-1012 and Ben with the Landola jumbo.

  • Guild 12-string (can't recall the model or year, although I'm pretty sure it was a jumbo or mini-jumbo from the '70s...maybe a 212XL?) - If I recall correctly, I got this at Ye Olde Guitar Shoppe in Des Moines. What I remember more about YOGS is that's where I saw my first Martin...I remember that vividly: a 1989 D-16A (ash); that Martin was probably around $800, but it seemed like a million bucks. But I'm thankful for running in to it, as it put Martin on my radar screen. I think that Guild had some (neck?) issues, and I have no recollection what happened to it. I assume I sold it when I got the Guild D-40SB. I wish I would have paid more attention to this guitar; it was probably pretty nice!
  • Martin Backpacker (1995; serial #23,058) - This came from a shop in downtown Santa Rosa...I remember buying it when I was home for winter break in 1995. Sold it on craigslist once I moved to Pennsylvania (maybe 2005 or so?).
  • Guild D-40SB (1976; serial #158276) - My first venture into quality solid-wood American guitars; this likely started my affinity for sunburst guitars. I found it at the music shop in Grinnell for $500, which was a fortune for a college student in 1996. I maxed-out my credit card to buy it. A nice guitar...Build like a tank with a sweet sound, although it wasn't that loud. I traded this one at Elderly Music in Lansing towards the Rickenbacker 360 (to be described in the next edition).

The only picture I could find of the Guild D-40SB.

 Next up...Student loans in grad school = the start of guitar collecting.