Friday, July 4, 2008

The Acoustic Guitars

Thrice are mostly known for their electric guitars, but in the last few years especially, acoustic guitars have really made their mark in the Thrice sound.

The most notable example of acoustic playing with Thrice is Dustin's solo album, "Please Come Home". This album was assumedly recorded mostly with Dustin's Taylor GS acoustic guitar. This guitar was sold last summer, when Dustin decided it was time for a change. This is a $2100 acoustic guitar, and the Taylor name alone guarantees quality. This guitar was used for Dustin's solo shows (pre-summer '07) under the name Ursus Veritas, and as Dustin Kensrue. It's hard to tell whether this guitar is the model with a maple back and sides and a sitka spruce top or if it has a red cedar top and Indian rosewood back and sides. I can't be certain, but judging by the tone of the guitar pictures I've seen, I believe it's the maple/spruce version. The picture above shows Dustin playing a solo show with this guitar.

Dustin currently has switched to a Gibson Southern Jumbo True Vintage acoustic guitar. This was seen on the last Thrice tour (a switch from the Say Anything tour where he used Variax modeling to simulate acoustic sounds on songs like Come All You Weary). This guitar has a great sunburst finish and runs for nearly $3000 new. It has a sitka spruce top, mahogany neck, back and sides and a Madagascar rosewood fingerboard.

He's also been seen (most notably in the photo session for Please Come Home) with another Taylor guitar. It is easily distinguishable from the Taylor GS because it has a tortoiseshell pickguard. I have very little information on this guitar as nearly all Taylor's look very similar and with the pictures available it's hard to see anything "special" that would make it easy to tell what the model is.

Dustin is also seen in pictures (see below) playing a harmonica. I'm pretty sure it's a Lee Oskar harp in the pic, and I'd assume that's what he uses mainly. Lee Oskar have a lot of interesting tunings for their harps, but I'd say it's most likely just a standard diatonic harmonica. He's also wearing a Lee Oskar harp holder (I feel like I'm reporting for a fashion magazine now...). I use a Lee Oskar holder too, and let me tell you, it's a demon when it comes to putting a harp in it! There are ways to make it a tad easier, but it's almost weightlifting trying to fit the harp in. The picture below shows Dusin with his harmonica and old Taylor GS.

Teppei also has a Taylor acoustic that was used most notably in Thrice's acoustic shows promoting The Alchemy Index. Like the last guitar I mentioned of Dustin's, little is known about it. This guitar has a tortoiseshell pickguard like Dustin's "other" Taylor, but is different in that it has a cutaway body for high fret access. Maybe someone (and I'm looking at you, Russell, you guitar guru!! Hahaha.) has more information on these 2 guitars? There's a picture of Teppei's Taylor below.

Oh, and a happy 4th to the American visitors! Happy Friday to everyone else!


Russell said...

Alright, well let's see. The Taylors that they are playing are all dreadnought shaped whether they are acoustic or acoustic electric. The guitar from the Please Come Home shoot is tricky because I can't tell if it has an input in the strap button or not. I believe so which would make it a Taylor 710 (black binding, dreadnought shape, spruce top and indian rosewood sides). Similarly, in support of TAI III&IV, Teppei played a Taylor 710-ce which is only different in the fact that it has a venetian cutaway and is a little flashier with the abalone rosette. This was used in the videos shot at the OC register soundstage. The acoustic electric that teppei is playing in that picture though puzzles me. It could be a 410-ce which is my assessment due to it having white body binding. These are my best guesses and nothing concrete however. Models change over the years so that could explain some of the discrepencies. CE models have cutaways and the 10 of the model number (#10) means dreadnought in shape. Other than that, the differences are of wood varieties and other subtle differences. Hope this helps.

Mike said...

Whoa, thanks Russell. You really are without question the Thrice Guitar Guru.

Russell said...

Or someone with absolutely no life and an unhealthy obsession with guitars that will leave me poor and alone in old age... but I'll be with guitars and probably out of my mind anyway so I won't know the difference!

Anonymous said...

It's a Taylor 510 snow flake inlays :}

Mike said...

I'm really late in seeing that last comment. Thanks a lot as usual!

Ben Carsten said...

Holy crap. Red Eyed Fly is a tiny venue. I would have loved to be there.