Taj Mahal

From Geartome

From Acoustic Guitar Magazine, April 1999, No. 76: "Taj Mahal has always loved guitars. "Any book that had a bunch of guitars in it, I could just look at them for days," he says. His first instrument was a Silvertone: "One of those Sears models with the round hole." In high school he made enough money to buy himself an Epiphone Texan. "That was the first guitar that I had around for a long, long, long time," he recalls. Mahal got into resonator instruments early on with their "ringly, tingly sound." The brown National Duolian he used on his first records was a long-term loaner from a friend who was sent to prison. "He said that I deserved this instrument more than he did." Today he confesses, "I don’t know how many guitars I have. It’s probably about time for me to count. I’d probably say about 25 or something like that. I’ve got a ’50s Gretsch Eldorado, a couple of Dobros (a signature Dobro that Dobro made for me), a really nice Guild 12-string that I love." He also owns three black McPhersons (McPherson Guitars, PO Box 537, Sparta, WI 54656; [608] 269-2728; fax [608] 269-3120) that have three soundholes: a small-body model "built like a 00-18," and a six-string and 12-string, both "built almost on the J-200 size." These instruments feature spruce tops and mahogany backs and sides. As for string gauges, Mahal says, "Generally I use an .011 to a .047 or .012 to .052 on the bigger guitars, the necks and bodies that can hold it.""

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