My sales rep Scott Bennett is amazing. This is my third or fourth order with him and the one thing I learned is that Scott will listen, help and never push me into a sale. Truth be told, I have him saved in my phone and before I buy equipment, I call him.
The J15 is an amazing guitar. I wanted a made in America guitar. I wanted a guitar made from actual wood (no laminate, no plastic). I checked out the usual suspects and was sorely disappointed at what is available. From Martin, in this price range there is almost nothing. They do have made in Mexico guitars made from plastic (with an all wood top). A few grand for a plastic guitar?! No thanks. Another thing, Martin is using Certified Richlite on their necks and bridges. If you didn't already know, this is paper and glue put under extreme pressure. So, you are paying all of that money for paper and glue (and plastic in some cases). They have sure changed from the Martin that I bought 15 years ago.
Next, came Taylor: nice guitars, I thought I would love the 314, but when I played it, it wasnt for me. The finish on the 114, 214 and 314 just left me looking for something else. The idea of a bolt on neck is nice, but how often are you really going to get a neck re-set done? Also, the only place to have a taylor certified neck reset in my neighborhood is at the local Sam Ash. Based on my last experience with their guitar tech, its safe to say that I am never going to trust him again.
In the humador at the local guitar shop I picked up a J15. I had no intention of getting this guitar.. but why not try it, right?
Its AWESOME! The neck is a morph between a gibson les paul (shape) and a fender telecaster (it has a stripe). The feel is amazing. The build quality is fantastic (better in my opinion than the D15 I had). Scott called me back as I was playing this guitar and we put together a sale on the phone. He reccomended an appropriate humidifier and a few hours later, I got a note from FedEx that my guitar was on its way.
I realize that there are some unconventional woods being used in this guitar. I love the sound that this guitar can make. Its a very bright sound.
The guitar arrived on Friday and I let it sit and acclimate for about 30 hours. I opened the box tonight and started playing. The setup is pretty decent, the playability is the best I have ever experienced in a acoustic. One final note, if you look at the picures, you will see an abalone ring around the sound hole. Its beautiful! I believe its also a wink to Martin and Taylor that this CAN this be done for the price point and oh yeah, we can make it look extra special too.
Im bothered that there are so few options, but I am really excited that I got a great guitar that had all of the things that I was looking for.