My guitar collection - G&L


G&L is known as a builder of electric guitars. Still around 1995 they contemplated releasing its own line of acoustic guitars. But how would one acquire the necessary expertise? Turns out acoustic guitar builders are an interesting bunch. Not only do they all seem to know each other but nobody seems to be unwilling to help others by providing tips, methods, and techniques to reach the nirvana of the marriage of woods, glue, and maybe some bolts here and there. So G&L partnered with some folks at Martin and Taylor, the 2 major players in the acoustic guitar market, while enlisting Tacoma for the production of these instruments. A batch of about 200 acoustic guitars were built. They had already been shipped to dealers before G&L recalled them all and had them returned to the Tacoma factory. There, they were subsequently rebranded to Washburn guitars. However, about 10-12 guitars were not returned and were kept behind mostly by G&L employees. Of the dozen or so, I have seen evidence for 4 in all, each slightly different. G&L’s Executive Vice-President Dave McLaren has a Dreadnought prototype looking very much like what later became the Tacoma “18 Series” DM18: solid Sitka spruce top, solid mahogany back and sides, and tortoise body binding. It is played by Guitars by Leo (GbL) webmaster Craig Dewey in a picture in this post. The other 3 could either have been the inspiration for the Tacoma “21 Series” or even “28 Series”, one a Jumbo (“JF”) and 2 Dreadnought (“DF”) guitars, one with white bridge pins and this one with ebony bridge pins. Both have a solid Sitka spruce top, abalone rosette, ebony bridge, flame maple back with the beautiful bookmatched highly figured chevron seemingly flowing over the edge into the sides, white/black/white binding on front and back of the body, bolt-on mahogany neck, (unbound) ebony fingerboard with abalone dot inlays, headstock with East Indian rosewood veneer, gold plated unbranded, closed (Schaller?) tuning machines, and all finished in Natural Gloss. Beyond the body shape, the only difference between the 2 seems to be the bridge pins which are white for the Jumbo and ebony for the Dreadnought. Except for some hints from the “Blue Book of Guitar Values” and the provided links to GbL posts above, I have not been able to gather a lot more info. Be on the lookout for the “equivalent” Tacoma models in the different marketplaces if you want to know more.


Dreadnought (“DF”) prototype

The story behind this guitar


Serial number:

Neck date:

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Another birthday present from my wife, for 2017 this time. It happened to be listed in the GbL Marketplace a week before my birthday and arrived about 5 days after. The beautiful original hardshell case was made by Kris Datt and his company in Vancouver, BC and feels and looks as good as any other I have for my high-end acoustics. It was great to find something on the heel looking like a Serial Number. And undoubtedly the blue-ink “TG” is for “Tacoma Guitars”. The seller mentioned beforehand the neck did not have the right angle for him. In the end, the truss rod just needed to get loosened a tad using a 5mm Allen wrench to have it play perfect with the Light gauge strings. Bright sound, powerful and lovely. A great strummer as well as fingerstyle guitar. Which is a good thing because the one thing later Tacoma guitars had and is missing on this prototype is the transparent pickguard sticker.

The story behind this guitar


1272 (prototype)


none, marked ‘TG’ in blue ink stamp

D’Addario EJ16 Phosphor Bronze Light (12-53)