PRS and Dave’s NOS Guitars

Over the last 6 Months we have been recieving some awesome NOS Artist Brazilian and Korina McCarty guitars from PRS. Check out these videos of Paul discussing talking about these guitars!

PRS NOS Artist Brazilian

PRS NOS Korina McCarty






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Taylor Find your Fit Event

We are hosting a Taylor find your fit event on Saturday Oct. 12th. Taylor’s factory experts will be on hand to help you learn more about Tone Woods, Body Shapes and Taylor Guitars. They will help you navigate the confusing acoustic world and figure out what type of guitar is right for you! We are booking free appointments with the experts and anyone who books an appointment and comes that day will receive a free set of elixir strings! Go here to book your appointment today!

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1935 Martin 000-45 Demo

Check out this awesome video of one of our Customers Don Johnson playing the 1935 Martin 000-45.

1935 Martin 000-45 Played By Don Johnson

And here is Mike Munson with a little Slide Action.

Mike Munson Playing 1935 Martin 000-45

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Weekend Rockfest!

A cool event to help support the local arts!

Weber Center Weekend Rock Fest Release

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PRS Clinic June 1st!

We are happy to announce that on June 1st we will be hosting Paul Reed Smith, Tony Mcmanus and Davy Kowles for a clinic! They will be showing off new products and the features of the guitars that they love!

The clinic will start at 1pm!

Come on in and check it out! We will also be offering a live stream of the event! We will share the link for the live stream a few days prior to the event!

Looking forward to seeing you all!

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Email Changes!

Attention Customers:

We will be discontinuing the use of our email address: AOL has recently made some changes that have rendered it unusable. Please forward any general questions you have to: Any questions for Dave directly can be sent to:

Thanks and keep rocking!

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PRS 2007 Brazilian Guitars

The recent supply of 2007 Brazilian Artist Package Guitars that we have received has raised some questions and we would like to answer them.  Back towards the tail end of 2007 PRS’ wood supplier went under investigation for the authenticity of their wood sources.  PRS decided to stash these particular guitars as they were built using this wood supply and they have been stored for the past five years as the legal process took place.  The investigation into the wood supplier has passed and PRS had gotten the okay to release these models and we have acquired the majority of these Artist package guitars.  Please feel free to call or email anytime if there are specific inquiries on any of these NOS Artist Package models or any other PRS guitars we have in stock.

Check Them Out Here:

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New Gibson CC# 10 Tom Scholz is Here!

Check it out!

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Newest Gibson Collectors Choice Les Paul Will Be Here Next Week! Meet “Sandy”…

Get Excited! The new Collector’s Choice #4 “Sandy” Les Paul’s are slotted to arrive this next week! We got some great ones coming! Give us a call and reserve yours today!

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30 Years and Still Going Strong!

July 1982. This date may seem insignificant to most people. For some it’s just another month of summer 30 years ago. For some people, like me, it seems like an arbitrary date before we were born when people had crazy hair and wore crazier clothes. Still, for some it marks the beginning of a journey into rock and roll that isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

Dave Rogers knew one thing: he liked guitars. Growing up in Marshfield Wi, Dave played in bands and fell in love with the world of guitars early. When it came time to figure out what he wanted to do for the rest of his life he went back to the one thing he knew the best: Guitars. Having been turned down by other music shops for his lack of knowledge in other areas of musical instruments he finally listened to the chiding of some of his buddies and just started selling his own guitars and replacing them as he sold them.

That was 30 years ago. Today Dave’s Guitar Shop stands as the Mecca of guitar shops. While there are countless other great guitar shops out there today, few offer the expansive selection and huge show room that we do and none offer the museum of nearly 500 vintage guitars and amps featuring such perfect examples of early Fender and Gibson guitars that the companies themselves envy them. Year after year we stand as a top 10 dealer in all of the Major brands and continue to enjoy the opportunity of bringing you the latest and greatest guitars from your favorite company.

It has been a great 30 years and we have no plans of slowing down. A big Thank You to all of you who have made the last 30 years possible! We look forward to many more years of the same!

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A little more Steve Miller…

Check out this video of Steve testing out Dave’s ’59 “Burst”….

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Steve Miller is in the Shop!

We have the great honor of welcoming Steve Miller to our shop today! Its always exciting to get to meet the legends in person! Here is Steve checking out Dave’s 1959 Les Paul “Burst”.

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1954 Fender Strat

Some Times we get some seriously awesome guitars in here. Check out this EARLY 1954 Fender Strat! This is one of the earliest guitars from Fender we have seen in a very long time. When we got this guitar the body had been completely sanded down. We painted and refinished the body. Remarkably the neck needed almost no work. This is one of the best playing Fender strats i have ever had the privileged to play. I don’t like most strats and i didn’t want to stop playing this one!

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The Photo Taking Process

So just about everyday i get one of two questions regarding our photo taking process. Allot of people contact us asking “How do you make your photos look so good?” while many other ask “Can you send me pictures of that guitar with your phone? Those photos cant be accurate.” While this is often perplexing, and can be frustrating considering the amount of time we put in to assuring our photos are as accurate to the guitars as possible, there are a number of variables that we cannot control that can change what you the viewer are seeing on your computer. I thought i would briefly cover our photo taking process and touch on the technical issues we run into that can effect the end photo that you are viewing.

So as we were deciding how to shoot photos we had one major issue we had to deal with. We are located in Wisconsin. The best we to get accurate photos of how a guitar looks is by shooting it is direct sunlight. Sunlight is what is referred to as “Full Spectrum” light. It includes all visible light plus UV and infrared light. Under this “full spectrum” of  light is the one way you can accurately show what the guitar looks like and have it be consistent. If you look at the guitar under incandescent light or iridescent light its color and grain pattern will look slightly different due to the fact that those light bulbs are only releasing a partial spectrum of visible light and normally have a weighted color temperature. (If this isn’t making sense, just hold on. I will tie it back around) The biggest problem with this is that A.) When your store is in Wisconsin you only have about 4 months in a year you can take guitars outside to photograph them because of weather. B.) When your shop get in as many as 40-50 guitars a day you can’t really cross your fingers and hope that mother nature is going to cooperate with you so that you can get your guitars shot.

So we have to figure out a way to take the photos in a consistent manner, that doesn’t consume to much time due to the large volume of guitars we deal with, and that gets the colors as accurate as they can be. Enter the Photo Gear.

The Photo Setup

(Photo gear nerd out disclaimer: If you dont care about the technical aspect of taking photos skip to the next section.)

The Gear is a pretty standard setup. Cannon 7D being remotely triggered through Adobe Bridge. 3 Paul C. Buff Alien Bee 800watt strobes set at about 50%. The two with softboxes are set at 45 degree angles at about a 30% pitch, the 3rd is reflecting off from a white panel on the ceiling. (this is mostly to light angled headstocks.) All photos are directly loaded into Adobe Bridge and then pulled into Photoshop CS5. The RAW files are adjusted to match color profiles in Camera Raw and then minor adjustments are made in Photoshop.

For those wondering what the adjustments we make to the photographs are, this is the Basic Workflow:

Minor Contrast and Clarity Adjustments to match the guitar as sitting on the desk under a UV Full Spectrum Light > Color Temperature adjustment if needed > Curves adjustment to assure that background is true 255 White > Crop > Resize for web >Save.

We shoot on a white background simply because it is A.) Easier to get consistent 255 without color clipping on white then pure 0 black. B.) There is a phenomenon that is known in art and color theory where surrounding an image back black actually increases the contrast that the eye sees. It is obviously an illusion and completely subjective to how the image is edited but if you take the same image and drop it on a white background and a black background the latter will appear to have more contrast.

This is obviously not a “Best” and “Always” solution, but it made the most sense for the majority of our guitars and our workflow.

So Are Your Photos Accurate?

This is the million dollar question. The best that i can answer is: As far as we can tell, yes. You might ask why the ambiguity in the answer? You are one of the largest guitar shops in the nation. Shouldn’t you be sure your photos are accurate? The answer to that is Yes. We do take great care to assuring that as we see the photo on our calibrated monitor they appear as accurate to the guitar as possible. However there are a number of variables that we cannot control that can effect how you see the image on our website. The most significant one of these is your Monitor and its calibration. From someone who has spent years in photographic training and years working as a computer tech trust me. This cannot be understated. This has a HUGE impact on how the photo appears to you.

Our main photography monitor has been calibrated to the sRGB IEC6 2.1 color profile. This is the “standard” in color profiling but many monitors can be calibrated in Adobe RGB, PhotoPro RGB, ColorMatch RGB and Apple RGB just to name a few. The Age, Brightness and Contrast settings, and color tone settings on a monitor all have a major impact on how the photo shows up on your end and most computers, even brand new ones, don’t come with the software need to complete a full color calibration. You normally have to buy a very expensive Software/Tool combo to assure that your monitor is correctly calibrated. These are all of the technical issue you have to deal with when working with digital photographs. The best example of this is some of our monitors in the shop. When a photo is viewed on the one used to actually take the photographs it will be perfectly accurate. Proper colors and temperature, the binding will be clearly visible, the flame and grain appear to be perfectly accurate to the guitar. However when it is viewed on some of our older computers it will appear that the contrast is way to high, the binding will appear blown out and the guitar will be to dark. So we have to make the decision on how to edit the photograph. Per standard practice in commercial photography you always edit to the Calibrated monitor as that is the “Industry Standard”.


So many of you might be wondering what the differences in the light temperature and spectrum that i was talking about earlier really is. Well here is a guitar that i shot outside in full sunlight, in the shop under florescent lights and the image that we took of it in our photography setup. The first two were taken with my iPhone, the last was taken with our photosetup:

As you can see each photo has a different aspect of it that is accurately represented. This guitar, as it is sitting on my desk, has a super heavy flame that aspect of it is most accurately represented in Studio image, however the color and burst are most accurately represented in the outdoor photo. The photo taken under the florescent lights doesn’t accurately show the flame and the colors are not accurate either. You can now see the issue that we deal with when photographing guitars. This problem is worst on Les Paul’s as the burst and flame can change greatly depending on what angle you are looking at the guitar at and how you are holding the guitars. If i turn the guitar on my desk 30 degrees now the studio photo looks to most accurate to color and burst. This issue isn’t prevalent with double stained guitars such as PRS because the flame doesn’t move and obviously Single color and non-flamed guitars are much easier to photograph.

Final Thoughts:

So the big question is what can we do to assure these guitars are as accurately displayed as possible. As i have explained we take great care to assuring that this photographs are as accurate as we can. As i sit on this computer the studio shot and the outdoor shot look dead on close. Is the studio shot 100% of what the sunlight shot is in terms of color representation? No, but its about 98% and it is a more accurate representation to what the flame looks like. The photo taking process is complex in nature and has so many variables in it that it is impossible to assure 100% accuracy. Especially with Les Paul’s. We understand here that you really can’t know what a guitar looks, feels and plays like until you get it in your hands and that why we have our 48 approval period. But the bottom line is we use all of the tools that we have here at the store to assure that we a representing our guitars accurately and hope that it transfers well to your computers. Unfortunately we just can’t know what they are going to look like to you.

As always your comments are appreciated.

Tylor F.

P.S. As any technically trained commercial photographer knows i will mention there is a constant battle between making a photo look awesome and accurate. We always try to make these photos look as good as possible without compromising accuracy but if the occasional one slips through that is leaning a little more towards the “awesome” side then “accurate” we apologize. We are always happy to snap a couple quick pics on a phone and email them to you if you are seriously interested in one of our guitars!



Posted in Hello World! - Life Inside DGS | 1 Comment

1965 Fender Stratocaster… With just a little TLC

So, almost daily we get emails, phone calls or walk-in about really cool old guitars. Some times people are just wondering what they are worth, sometimes people are looking for insurance appraisals or sometimes people are looking to sell them. We are lucky enough to work in a place like this and after a while you just get used to it. Here is a snap shop of what my morning looked like:

I walked in rushed as i was running late this morning. I swung through the repair shop quickly and glaced over to see Carl and Lock bent over a pick guard and a guitar body. Not thinking much of it I continue on with my day. Between answering emails, phone call’s and helping Dave get some things arranged i stopped up in his office and this was laying on the Floor: a 1954 Gibson J-200 in great condition. These are fairly rare guitars and not all of them have survived in such good condition. One of our dealers found an old couple who had this one, bought it and traded it to Dave for some gear. This one will be going in his collection!

So naturally i stopped and played it for a little while. Once I had my fill I went back to it, answering emails and selling guitars. Shortly after this another gentleman came into the shop looking to sell an old guitar. I opened the case and laying there was a 1959 Martin 0-18. Its a little rough around the edges. Has a few cracks that need repairing, it will need a neck reset and some fret work, but when you have some of the best repairs guys around working at the shop thats not an issue. After Carl is done with this one it should be a great sounding little guitar!

Anyways, remember that guitar that I said Carl and Lock were working on earlier? I stop back in the repair shop to have Carl take the plate off a 1930′s National Resonator for me and notice that the guitar they have been working on all day isn’t just any old guitar. Its a 1965 Fender Stratocaster that Dave had bought earlier in the day! The guitar had been refinished and was covered in some type of preservative. Who ever refinished this thing didn’t bother to take ANY of the parts off. They just shot some kind of varnish over the whole thing. It wasn’t anything that couldn’t be fixed however!

After a few hours of work removing the varnish and cleaning this up this thing looks amazing! Everything in the guitar is original, other than the color and this guitar plays great! The finger board on this guitar has to be one of the craziest Brazilian rosewood finger boards I have ever seen! The grain pattern in it is crazy! Whoever ends  up picking this thing up is going to get a great old guitar for a great price!


-Tylor Fischer


Posted in Hello World! - Life Inside DGS | 1 Comment

Say hello to our friends… Coalition Drum Shop

Its always exciting for us to get a chance to support other local music shops! It was 30 years ago that Dave started a small guitar shop in La Crosse, Wi, never would he have imagined that it would grow into what it is today! I am excited and proud to announce Coalition Drum Shop to the La Crosse and Online music industry. Coalition is a drum specialty store located in down town La Crosse. It is a joint venture by Response Custom Drum CEO Travis Hagen and local business owner and drummer Carl Johnson. If there is one thing we can say for sure, these guys know what they are talking about!

Coalition is a full line percussion and Drum shop offering all of the major lines of drum kits, cymbals and hand percussion. They have a full feature repair department that can help you fix and tune an old kit or setup a new one! They are also the only current dealer of Response Custom Drums. Response Custom Drums is a brand new drum company that has been taking the drum world by storm for the last few years. They are a fully custom drum company and all of their kits are build to order. With seeming endless options and great prices they are one of the best kept secrets in the drum world right now. Having played guitar in front of many different RCD Kit’s for a couple years now i can personally speak for their amazing tone and volume. Be it a traditional kit, an acrylic kit, or a custom idea you have always had they can make it a reality and do it with style! Head on over to their website and check them out!

Coalition Drum Shop:

Response Custom Drums:


Posted in Hello World! - Life Inside DGS | 1 Comment

Acoustic Guitar Top Wood – What does it do?

So back to the world of Acoustic Guitars… this wonderfully confusing world can be more than complicated. Previously we have talked about tone wood on Acoustic Guitars and the sound difference that this makes. Now we take a look top wood and the difference that this makes on sound. So the big question that everyone should know is: what does the top of an acoustic guitar really do?

The best way to think about the top on a acoustic guitar is to think of a billows. When a acoustic guitar is strung and tuned to pitch there is roughly 180-200lb’s of Tension on the guitar. When you strum the guitar the sound waves, generated by the strings, are transferred into the top causing it to move in and out. This flexing acts as a billows and push the sound waves throughout the guitar body and out the sound hole generating the tone that we hear. Because of this function the most sought after quality in Acoustic Guitar tops is elasticity/strength/weight ratio.

Spruce – The Age Old Stand By.

Sitka Spruce

By-and-large Spruce of some variant is the most common top wood. Walk in to any acoustic guitar room anywhere in the country and you will see that at least 80% of the guitars hanging on the walls have some sort of spruce top. The reason for this is that Spruce has a very high strength/weight ratio and it also has a significant amount of elasticity to it. The Function of a guitar top requires a large amount of strength and elasticity and thus spruce has always been a popular option.

Types of Spruce

There are a number of different types of spruce you will find on acoustic guitars. The most common type is Sitka Spruce. Sitka spruce, from the area in Alaska with the same name, is an incredibly popular and a affordable topwood. There is currently an incredibly large supply of this wood and it can be purchased at very reasonable prices so it is the most commonly used wood. Sitka spruce started to be used as a substitute to the more popular Adirondack Spruce during the late 21st century after Adirondack spruce became increasingly rare from over use. Adirondack

Adirondack Spruce

spruce is commonly seen on pre-war guitars and is still used today on many high dollar Acoustic’s. The grain patterns and property’s of Adirondack Spruce give it a even higher Elasticity/Strength/Weight Ratio. This is partially due to the wider grain pattern that is common in Adirondack Spruce.

Spruce’s composite consists of dark “hardwood” and lighter “softwood”. The lighter lines in spruce are a very flexible light material with the consistency roughly equal to that of Styrofoam. By having wider grain Adirondack spruce has more flexibility and elasticity to it making it a more responsive and brighter wood than Sitka spruce. Generally speaking spruce is known for its durability and its clarity. It does not compress or distort when played aggressively and can act as a great sound board wood.

Ceder – The Finger Picking wood


Ceder is on of the most popular alternatives to spruce. It is softer, not as strong or as elastic as spruce. It is, however, more stable with changes in moisture content. Colors range from light brown through reddish browns to chocolate brown. It has a powerful fingerstyle tone with much brilliance and sustain, wonderful clarity, and focused bass, with a dry sound. Cedar does have a tendency to compress if you play it aggressively with a flat pick. Cedar is very common on classical guitars but is seen on steal string guitars.

Mahogany and Koa – The Other Options

When working with warm tone woods it is not uncommon to see guitars built with the same top as the back and sides. This is because the warmer, more elastic woods work as soundboard woods and


provide builders with unique options to expand tonal quality. The tonal characteristics, as outlined in our previous post, of these woods hold true when they are applied as top woods. Generally these guitars will have less overall volume due to the less elasticity in the wood but have great variety in tone.


Posted in Guitar Anatomy | 2 Comments

Gear Guru: 1902 Martin 1-30

1902 Martin 1-30 #9475


Every so often, a guitar hits the bench that I fall in love with. It was in pretty rough shape and I could tell it was going to be a lengthy venture but something about it was just too unique to do anything but give it what it needed. Everything on it, including the pins, saddle, and tuners was original and it has avoided repair work save one 2 inch back crack and a crude attempt to save a section on back binding.

The first thing I noted with this guitar is how feather light it is. The lack of metal tuners, the small body(size1) and the thickness of its sides and back being .050″ and .070″

respectively, all contribute to its minimal weight. It weights in at 2.6lbs vs. an average of 3.75lbs on newer 12 fret size 0 models.

Being unusually thin Brazilian, the wood over the last 110 years has developed a series of hairline fractures that need to be addressed.

Another apparent issue was the back being at least 50% detached from the sides and  missing 75% of its original ivory(or whale bone?) trim. Upon separating the remaining glue joint holding the kerfing the back to the sides, it became obvious why they had parted in the first place. There had never actually been a solid glue joint holding the pieces together. During the building process, the Spanish Cedar kerfing was notched too shallow to allow the bracing to sit  deep enough to allow the back to make contact with  the triangular blocks. For those of you who work with hide glue, you’ll know that a .020″ gap in your joints isn’t ideal.  It’s a good lesson.

Having the back off made it easy to glue and cleat the cracks cleanly. Just about every crack lined up so I didn’t have to force anything. This helps me sleep at night.

After putting the back onto the sides, I started to deal with the binding situation. Anyone who has ever tried to find 30″ pieces of ivory can tell you that there are easier things to procure. I’ve been told that whale bone is whiter than ivory and  much easier to get in long sections. I ended up buying an ivory brush for $40 at the local antique mall that I sliced up into 7 inch sections and used them to bind the back. The color was just a hair off from the original binding on the top.

The neck went back on, the high frets were pressed down and I replaced one tuner because it didn’t feel stable. While you work on a guitar for this many hours, you can’t help but daydream about how it’s going to sound in the end. I have to admit that this one sounded different than I anticipated. It’s by far the most brittle and dry guitar I’ve ever felt. When your fingers go over the top you can hear every little sound your fingerprints make as the go over the grain lines. Being braced for gut strings, the bracing and top thickness are very minimal so it got a set of classical strings. It’s not a loud guitar but it has a softness, smoothness and warmth that make up for any lack of overt volume.


-Carl Meine


Posted in Gear Guru | 4 Comments

Guitar Anatomy: Acoustic Guitar Tone Wood

Here in the acoustic room of D.G.S. we get allot of questions like “So whats the difference between all of these guitars?”. To a trained guitar player the difference in acoustic’s may seem obvious but to the average player it can be allot more difficult to understand. When you walk into our Electric show room it is easy enough to see the differences between the guitars. Les Pauls LOOK different than a Stratocaster. You can see they have different shaped pickups or different colors of necks. But when you look at a wall of 125 Taylors that all of the same basic shape and colored top its often hard for people to understand why a Mahogany guitar is $1500 and a Koa guitar is $3500. My answer to this question is always the same: Wood, Wood, Wood.

Acoustic guitars are defined by the wood that makes them up. Don’t get me wrong, there are build differences that dictate sound. This is especially true between brands. Play a Taylor and a Martin with the same wood and body size, they sound REALLY different. But within brands an acoustic guitar is the wood that it is made out of. Now there are a handful of parts that will change the tone of the guitar. The 3 major places you will see variance in woods on an acoustic guitar are:

1.) The back and sides.
2.) The top.
3.) the bracing.

Each one of these can have a prominent impact on the tone of an acoustic guitar and deserves their own explanation. So for this post i am just going to discuss the first of these.

The back and sides of an acoustic guitar is arguably the most important part when trying to decide on a wood type. Being that this wood will make up roughly 65% of the guitar it is going to have a very significant impact on the tone of the guitar and thus is often referred to as the tone wood.

Laminate vs. Solid Wood

One of the first things to consider when it come to the tone wood’s of acoustic guitars is that not all of them use solid wood. For years guitar companies have sought to find ways to make more durable and cheaper guitars. The invention of laminated wood was warmly received by the guitar industry as laminate is a easy material to work with, you can make it look like whatever wood you want and its a cheap alternative to using solid woods. For this reason many of the more budget friendly acoustic guitars on the market today use laminated back and sides.

-Advantages and Disadvantages of Laminate

There are some advantages when it comes to laminate guitars. Generally speaking laminate is much stronger than solid wood due to the laying process during its creation. It is also less susceptible to humidity change over the years. You can get a variety of looks in laminate with out much of a up charge and it generally had a pleasing tonal quality to it. These same qualities that serve as a benefit of laminate also serve as disadvantages. While generally speaking laminate guitars have a pleasing sound it is a very confined and static sound. No matter what the outside of laminate guitars look like the tonal characteristics are generally the same. Normally laminate guitars are paired with a solid spruce top to provide a little richer tone, however this can also lead to cracking in the top as spruce is very susceptible to humidity change. You can imagine if the back and sides of the guitar don’t move and the top wants to move this can cause cracking.

There have been some notable improvements to the world of Laminate guitars over the last few years. Taylor has developed a brace-less heat pressed back used in their 100 & 200 series guitars that vastly improves the sonic properties of laminate and Martin has developed a braced High Pressure Laminate in their “X” series that sound amazing.

Sonic Properties of Solid Tone Woods

So you have decided to dive into the world of solid wood acoustics and are now faced with the choice… which wood do you choose? This is an incredibly complex decision and one that has no “Right” answer. Allot of this choice comes down to the style of music you play, your personal ear and your technical habits. Do you play mostly with your fingers or a pick? Do you play bluegrass, blues, or pop music? These are all things you are going to want to consider when selecting the proper wood for your guitar. Here is a brief description of each of the major tone wood’s sonic properties:

 -Mahogany:  This wood is often referred to as the “warmest” of guitar woods. Its natural emphasis in the Mid range with a gentle slope to the lows and the highs provides a non-abrasive inviting tone. These guitar preform really well when played with picks or fingers and is a very popular choice for Blue’s and Bluegrass players.

-Rosewood: Often referred to as a “Hi-Fi” tone this is probably the most common of the Tone Woods. Made popular by the famous D-28′s of the 30′s-40′s. rosewood produces a wide sonic range with a gentle scoop in the mid range. This wood is very popular in just about every style of music and is commonly seen in finger style or pick played guitars. There are many different types of rosewood, all of which have slightly different tones.

-Maple: Naturally the brightest of the tone woods maple puts a heavy emphasis on the high range of the guitar. This is a very popular choice for finger picking guitarist as its bright characteristic’s provide a wonderful contrast to the warm tone of finger picking.

-Koa: Koa is probably one of the more unique tone woods. Its static quality is very similar to maple’s however as the guitar is played it has a tendency to open up considerably and tunes into more of a “Mahogany on Steroids”. If you talk to anyone who owns a Koa guitar they will often recommend that you make sure the guitar is played regularly to keep it sounding its best. This accelerated maturing period can change in as quickly as a month depending on how much you play the guitar.

-Ovangkol: Sometimes referred to as “Poor Man’s Rosewood” ovangkol is almost a high-bred of Mahogany and Rosewood. It has generally the same tonal range as Rosewood but rather than scooping the mid range it actually boosts it. This creates a very rich and inviting tone.

-Cocobolo: Often called the “Piano of Tone Woods” Cocobolo produces beautiful and even tone across the full spectrum of tonal range. The individual notes ring clearly even when played in a complex chord. This is one of the most popular woods for Limited and Custom run guitars.

There are a number of other tone woods that are used in guitars, as you can see in the chart above. The 6 mentioned above are the most commonly used woods and thus require the most explanation. Next time we will tackle Top’s and Braces!

-Tylor Fischer

Posted in Guitar Anatomy | 2 Comments

Tours: Taylor Guitar Co.

Every once in a while we get the opportunity to visit guitar companies for training and tours. Its always a great time and we wanted to give you the chance to see a little bit of what we get to see! I wont drag on… the photos speak for themselves! Questions? Ask below!

Like What you see? Check out the full selection of Taylor Guitars Here:

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Gear Guru: Tylor Fischer’s Guitars

In the never ending quest to find tone there are two types of knowledge. The first is what i call “Forum Knowledge”. The internet is full of wonderful, and sometimes useless, information on guitars. Everyone has their opinion and the internet is the sounding board where everyone’s opinions get heard. The second is what i call “Hands on knowledge”. Pretty much anyone will tell you no matter how much you read about it and listen to sound clips you just can’t know for sure until you have it in your hands. Working at a world class guitar shop like Dave’s gives you a unique advantage in the eternal “Tone Quest”. Like any guitar player we are on a never ending search to refine and perfect our guitar tone. Be it a new guitar, a cool new pedal or a different amp, there isn’t a week that goes by that a couple of us trade off something and get something new. This gives us a unique insight into gear and an advantage into understanding the in’s and out’s of guitars. We have an unfair advantage when it comes to this for three distinct reasons:

1.) We get paid to sit in a giant toy box of guitars… ALL DAY LONG. Its our job to be knowledgeable about the stuff we are selling. So naturally we are going to spend hours trying every new guitar, amp and pedal when they come in.

2.) Dave is kind enough to allow us to test drive most of the used gear around the shop. If we like a guitar we may take it home and try it through our own rig for a practice. This is very important because until you get a guitar into your environment, playing through your gear you can’t really know how you are going to like it.

3.) We get to compare this stuff to some of the greatest guitar’s every built. I mean honestly, how many people can say they can compare this Historic ’59 RI Les Paul against an actual 1959 Les Paul Burst? Enough said…

So with that in mind i felt like it would only be fair to open up our own guitar vaults and share with you the gear we play and love. Today, the first part of the series, I am going to introduce you to my guitars and share with you my reasoning behind using these guitars.

My guitar playing is split roughly 70%/30% in two distinct genres of music. These genres, Arena Rock Gospel and Blues, require very different sounds and thus i was faced with a unique challenge, building a rig that can work with minimal modification for two distinct tones. Most of this i was able to accomplish through my amp/pedal board setup, however i was greatly helped by my now favorite guitar company Paul Reed Smith. Now most people have type cast PRS guitars into a more heavy genre guitar from their early years of endorsing bands such as Creed and POD and find it odd that someone playing my style of music would use their guitars. However their recent innovations have turned me from a skeptic to a full on lover of their guitars.

My main guitar for my Arena rock side is a PRS Hollow Body II. I was actually given this guitar and this was the beginning of my slide toward PRS. I had been on a quest to find a good hollow body guitar for this type of music as the individual note clarity that a hollow body offer’s is hugely helpful when playing guitar over synth, warm pad and two other guitar players. I had tried just about every one hollow body out there when this guitar was given to me and it just instantly fit my needs. At a 25″ scale with a wrapped bridge this guitar plays like a dream. I string mine with Elixir Nano Web .010′s with an unwound G-string. This is contrary to what they come stock with (.011′s with a wound G.) however i have not noticed any decrease in overall tone or the effectiveness of the Piezo due to the less string tension. The warm tone, clarity of notes and controllable feedback make this a wonderful instrument for anyone who plays with allot of other people. I tried using this guitar for my blues as well but it just lacked the “dirty” quality i needed to really get that soulful tone i was going for. Lucky for me there was a guitar in the shop i had been eyeing up for some time that had just come back used, so i took the opportunity and pounced on it.

This PRS Semi-Hollow Custom 22 fell right into my hands and fit my needs perfectly. Its more solid construction offers the fatter dirty sound that i was looking for with just enough Hollow quality to get up over the top of a Keyboard/Organ and bass during solo’s. Its equipped with a floating Trem but i cannot actually think of a time when i have used it. Both of these guitars come standard with locking tuners which i cannot praise enough. Prior to using PRS guitars (using mostly Fender stuff) i wasn’t sure how i felt about locking tuners, but having used them i will most likely never own another electric without locking tuners. It has cut my need to tune down by at least 80% and makes restringing a whole lot easier! Having both my electric guitars covered i moved onto finding an acoustic that i was in love with.

Now, anyone who knows acoustic guitars knows that this is an incredibly complex process. I could write pages and pages on wood selection, tone differences, brand preferences etc. But i wont bore you with that… in this post at least. Bottom line is this, I needed a guitar i could play for the occasional acoustic set we do at my church and to play around the house when i am learning new songs. Being that the majority of times i am going to be using this i will be playing with other people pumped through a PA i naturally fell towards Taylors. It also helps that i am an electric guitar player and Taylor’s play-ability make them very electric guitar player friendly. I saw a prototype of this guitar when i was out attending the Taylor University and fell instantly in love with it. Koa wood has always been my favorite tone wood. Its blend of Rosewood’s Hi-Fi property with Mahogany’s warmth has always really fit my playing style, and lets be honest who couldn’t love how this thing looks? The Taylor Koa GA-Fall LTD is a fully tricked out solid Koa guitar and to sum it up i will never be in the market for an Acoustic guitar again. Not that i couldn’t find other ones I like but at some point you just gotta cut yourself off :)

The last guitar in my collection is more of a novelty than anyting. A custom built Stratocaster i pieced together and played for a number of months. I think every guitar player has a desire to build their own guitar at some point. Its just a fun thing to do and you learn a whole lot more about the way guitars work. Its a practice i would suggest every guitar player do at some point. After piecing together your own guitar i promise you will be much more equipped to do work on your own instruments.

So there you have it. The guitars of Tylor Fischer. This is really only half they story as Amp’s and Pedals have as much impact on sound as the guitars themselves. That story will be coming another time however. Stay tuned for more employee’s gear and opinions on cool new and used gear we get into the shop!

- Tylor Fischer

P.S. If you liked anything you read about check out these link’s to similar guitars.

PRS Hollow Body II:

Taylor GS-Koa Fall LTD:



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Hello World! Meet Lock…

The first time I met Lock, I knew he would be a perfect fit for the repair shop here at Dave’s. A spot previously held by Sig Lombardi who, being Italian, had a genetic predisposition to venture off and study the fine art of the Violin. We thank Sig for his fine work.
It’s a position not everyone is cut out for. Work of this nature requires a myriad of talents that take a life time to develop. Patience, perseverance, attention to minute detail, a love of guitars, music and the ability to improvise when the situation demands, as it so often does. Not only does Lock excel in all the aforementioned but he brings a certain calm, coolness and modesty to the environment that is crucial when things get hectic. Being that said, I didn’t think it would be appropriate to ask him to write is own biography so I thought I would take the liberty.
Noritsugu Lockhart, or “Lock” as he goes by, hails from Tokyo, Japan where he spent the first 20 or so years of his life. He’s an amazing artist, speaks Japanese, kills it on the guitar and has the ability to sit in one place for hours and focus on one tiny thing until he has it down perfectly. Locks skills as an artist lend themselves beautifully to so many things that we do in the repair shop. Give him an old part, some dyes, pigments, stains, and he will make a new part old that even I have trouble distinguishing from the original.
All of us here at Dave’s are really lucky to have Lock on board. World Meet Lock.
-Carl Meine

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Hello world! Welcome to DGS!

So imagine this… You work in one of the coolest guitar shops in the world. Every day you get to play with, talk about and look at, not only the latest and greatest stuff that’s new to the guitar world, but some of the most unique, rare and valuable vintage guitars still circling the shadowy world of uncles basements and grandparent’s closets. Every day when you walk into your boss’s office you get to walk through one of the most comprehensive collection of vintage guitars in the world. Your desk is surrounded by hundreds of the nicest acoustic guitars available and when you pick up the phone the person you are talking to could be anyone from your local buddy who plays around town to some of the coolest people in the guitar world. Sound like a dream you would like to never wake up from? Well, this is the exact situation we find ourselves in every day.

This blog is just a little taste of what it is like to work at Dave’s Guitar Shop. For the last 30 years guitars have been filtering through the doors of Dave’s in the small town of La Crosse, Wi. Staffed with people who love playing, fixing and looking at guitars this shop is always full of stories worth telling and we are excited to bring these stories to you. Be it interesting repairs, unique gear, personal opinions on new gear or just a funny story this blog will be your inside track to what life is like inside Dave’s Guitar Shop.

- Tylor Fischer

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DISCLAIMER: Dave's Guitar has made every effort to be accurate with this information, but cannot be held liable for errors contained herein. Items are subject to prior sale, price change, or withdrawal without notice. Therefore, all information contained here should be independently verified and confirmed.