I re-read my original post and I may have come off a little too negative. The show itself was fantastic and educational. I even served as a French translator a couple of times. Ha ha!
I learned alot about myself as a player/shopper: what I look and listen for in a new guitar. I realised that the feel is way more important than I previously thought. I feel I'm pretty adaptable, but apparently not THAT much.
There were a few guitars that had wonderful tone and balance but I couldn't get my fretting hand comfortable with the neck. The missus was really excited (#1 fan) a few times, but I had to break it to her afterwards that they were difficult to play and probably wouldn't get used much.
I was really excited to try a few baritones too, as I had previously played only one from Grit Laskin. I know there's a lot of buzz amongst players surrounding baritone guitars so I was not surprised to see builders offering these models.
I questioned myself on a baritone's usefulness for my own playing. I felt I might get bored with it pretty quickly as only a limited number of tunes I know lend themselves well to this instrument (learn more songs!). Also, it seemed the body really needed to be larger (perhaps uncomfortably so?) than what I played to capture the tone with a comparable amount of volume. I don't know.
It was a tricky balance of attributes to consider, in attempting to find "the ONE". It certainly wasn't first and foremost in my mind when I built my own - which I love dearly - but I've come to recognize their importance as a buyer. It was exciting to see and play other peoples' interpretations of the guitar - and the few that struck a chord with me.
Overall, I can't wait 'til next year, especially if my negotiation (read: begging and pleading with the aforementioned missus) falls through this time 'round.
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