I looked at several Taylor dreadnoughts (even had one), a couple of Bourgeois dreadnoughts, Santa Cruz, and Martin. I chose this one because it has a rich bass much like rosewood dreadnoughts, but a steely high end that stays sweet and cuts through a large ensemble without a problem. This guitar never "squashed" or gave up no matter how hard I played it, and at the same time respondely sweetly to a soft touch. It responds well to fingerstyle or a pick. If stolen, I'd buy another. I wouldn't mind if the instrument were a bit more ornate, as it is very plain. My fav aspect of this guitar is its tone. It is "the" folk acoustic tone, very reminiscent of David Crosby's tone from CSN. It's worse aspect is probably that it can be too loud if I'm not careful. It really is a cannon! In summation, if you seek a vintage D-18 style instrument, you owe it to yourself to try one of these. Actually, if you're in the market for a dreadnought and have the means monitarily, you really, really should check one out.
Model Year: 1999
Price: $2650.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Appalachian Bluegrasse Shoppe
Made in Austin, Texas. A 6-string dreadnought-style acoustic made from Mahogany with a naturally finished spruce top, 21 frets, 14 free of the body, 6 strings, Waverly-style tuners, no pickup was included.
With .013 strings it plays better than some electrics. It has a fairly beefy neck, which I really like.
Tonewise I'd say there is no better mahogany dreadnought currently being made.
Workmanship was stellar, much better than some so called "Custom Shop" instruments from other builders
I use a B-Band Core99 pickup system, an LR Baggs ParaAcoustic DI box, a Boss Lo-impedience volume pedal, and run it all through either the house PA or an SWR California Blonde amp and Blonde on Blonde powered ext cabinet. The guitar is suited well for bluegrass, blues, or folk. It has a very crisp and steely tone (think CSN and Jackson Browne tones), outstanding note definition and note purity, tremendous sustain, and unrivaled power. I own three Taylors - one if which is a Custom Shop instrument (512) and one of which is a limited edition (150 made) walnut grand auditorium. I also own a 414KCE koa grand auditorium. Although each is very different, the Collings D1 really bests them all. I added a John Pearse arm rest to keep my fore arm off of the top, otherwise the instrument is stock as there's absolutely no reason to modify anything. The guitar is great for both stage and studio, just put a mic in front of it and you'd be amazed. Fair warning - it is a very loud instrument if you're singing unmic'ed.
The D-1 is a thoroughly profession instrument. It's built as well or better than anything on the market - period. All hardware is working/looking as new. As with most acoustic guitars, it might need minor adjusting with the changes of seasons.