Odd-Arne Jacobsen about guitars

I very much like both accoustic and electric guitars. The Swedish guitarmaker Georg Bolin has built me a classic 6 string nylon guitar with cutaway. It is a wonderful instrument with a beautiful poetic sound. He also built me a 11 string alto guitar. I use this particular guitar when I play the "piano", by this I mean when I play a self sufficient bass line, like a pianist using his or her left hand. For ballads it is a jewel. When it comes to accoustic guitars, I very much like my Levin 12 string guitar. The Levin has a sound I feel is most at home in Asia.

When I first started playing in Tromsø (in Northern Norway, my home town), I had a Hofner, with a large body. I have also tried both Fender and several Gibsons. During the '80s, I tried analogue and digital guitars from Roland. GR.700, GR.50 and GR.1. I used G-707 guitar controllers for my synthesizers. Guitar amplifiers come and go out of fashion. My favourite is a Fender Super Twin Reverb (Black Face), which is very heavy (I live on the third floor in the centre of Oslo). For something lighter I use two Gibson GA15RV (pure valve guitar amplifiers). Now and then when I like the sound of the transistor (solid state), I use my Roland Jazz-chorus-77. My favourite guitar at the moment is my new Gibson ES-175 (on the picture below). It has a beautiful accoustic sound, that I am trying to develop. It is a sound not often heard today.

The following pictures shows Odd-Arne's guitars gallery-style, with his comments.

After playing guitar synth for ten years, from 1989 to 1999, a sound check with the OAJ band became the turning point.
"What rotten sound is that?" I asked. The sound guy answered: "That's your direct guitar signal."

I felt the time was ripe for buying a beautiful guitar, my Gibson ES175, with which I've worked extremely much the later years. It gives me the feeling of belonging to a tradition. I am proud of my European roots.

With Fishman microphone set up as bridge, I may mix the elctrical and accoustic signal, eg. send the electrical to my two Gibson GA 15 RV amplifiers, and the accoustic to a PA; making the frequency range huge. Mixed in this manner, I'm experiencing that the sound gets egal, smooth from the lowest to the highest pitch. I occationally use my Fender Super Twin Reverb Black Face, but usually chose the Gibson's because they're surprisingly springy, while being easy to carry around.

I practice a lot on my Gibson ES 175 without amplifiers. It makes me feel close to what I've always strived for, getting a song-like sound from the guitar. Using the plectrum softly, I enjoy the slightly hoarse sustain sound, which has the character of a female alto singer.

I've rediscovered and renewed my friendship with my Gibson Les Paul Gold Top. It's from 1968 or 1969. In the earlier days I used a lot of time and money experimenting with different microphones, but in the end it was the originals I fancied best. I believe strongly in trying different things until one's personal preferences or choices emerges.
This is my 11 string alto guitar, made by Georg Bolin in Stockholm anno 1979. A unique guitar, extensive as a renaissance lute. It's fantastic for playing music by John Dowland, one of my all time favourite musicians. For ballads and some Bossa Nova tunes my alto is supreme.

Generally, the alto guitar is unique for accompany. Bass lines one can but dream of on a 6 string can be made real time on this harp!
As a side note, it's great practising accuracy on its broad neck.

This Bolin Classical Guitar cut-away was especially built for me by the late Georg Bolin in the year 1981. It is my favourite classical guitar, very suitable for playing melody lines. I'm fond of its Nordic sound, making it fit for jazz, latino, and classical guitar.

I use hard tension strings on this guitar. If you like, you can hear a sample

My Manuel Rodriguez classical guitar has a latino sound, clearly contrasting my Bolin. The sound emerges immediately, from the first micro second.
Odd-Arne was using the guitar synth as his trademark during the 1990's. This picture shows him recording Far North in 1993, playing his Roland GR 707.

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