The Samick, Part 1

Do you remember your first guitar?  If you’re reading this, and haven’t purchased it yet, trust me – you will.  Mark Knopfler, one of my favourite musicians, once described his relationship with his first guitar, “I remember not wanting to let go of it, once I’d got it.”  Some of us never do let go of these “first love” instruments.

My Samick, a Korean made acoustic with composite sides and top, is the ultimate starter guitar.  I remember Steve Seaman, a friend in High School and my first teacher, walking up the driveway with it after picking it up for me at the shop.  “I’ve picked out the best sounding one they had,” he said, and he was right.  In that price range, of course – but beginner guitar or not, it retains a lovely tone, and a brilliant bass response that has surprised every seasoned guitarist or luthier who has ever picked it up.

After 25 years of playing, it’s time for a fret job, a new saddle, and a thorough set-up.  The neck still responds to the truss rod, and there are no cracks in the top or sides (composite or “plywood” is used in instruments for a reason, whatever reasonable or unreasonable objections exist against it – it resists movement far better than solid wood).

The adventure continues as I make time between customer instruments to restore the guitar that started my musical journey.  I’ll give Mark K the last word: “You never stop learning about this stuff… A guitar will be a friend to you all your life.”

All quotes from Mark Knopfler appear in “Guitar Stories” by Sky Arts, first debuted in the UK on October 16th, 2012.  Retrieved from

2 Replies to “The Samick, Part 1”

  1. Kirby does excellent work. He is also, importantly, a very good communicator and listens to you carefully. He is very knowledgeable about the different woods and has great respect for older instruments. He has done some great work for me. Tom O’Carroll

    1. Thank you, Tom! Such a pleasure to get to know you, and contribute in a small way to your wonderful music!

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