There has been little mention of what acoustic guitars RF played before Guitar Craft, but with Guitar Craft and the DGM diary things got clearer. The recommended Guitar Craft guitar is the Ovation 1869 model, a very thin guitar with a shape in many ways similar to an electric guitar. Having played Ovations for almost 20 years, RF has started playing Beaudoux Guitar Craft guitars. The first mention was in this diary entry as modeled on an Ovation, all wood and with a 24,75″ fretboard scale (with picture here). Beaudoux has started making this model in two versions for Crafties, the Professional and Student models.
Chris Smith writes about the acoustic guitars used in the early days: for the first album RF used a Guild borrowed from Judy Gyble. Later he bought a Martin which was eventually sold to Hank Marvin.
For “Formentera Lady”, a Yamaha acoustic was used (now in storage).
Ben Crowe has made an acoustic called the NST I and there has been mention in the workshop diary that he would like to build more of these.
For sale are two Gibson J-45 acoustics: one model with rosewood back and sides and a sunburst finish, bought in NYC ca. 1978, and one with mahogany back and sides and a cherryburst finish, bought on Denmark Street in London ca. 1972. The cherryburst guitar has had a soundhole pickup and output jack installed (now removed but availiable) so it seems to have been the designated live acoustic guitar during the 1970’s. Also one blonde Ovation 1677 and a high quality Ovation copy without brand name.
This diary entry confirms a cherryburst Gibson J-45 (with photo) as the guitar used for “Exiles” on LTIA. It is unknown, though likely, if this is the guitar currently for sale.
In the 1970s King Crimson both RF and David Cross would play Mellotrons onstage. This photo from the French TV session shows this clearly; each player has an M400 model Mellotron with a Hohner Pianet N placed on top of it.
With the 1980s King Crimson RF used a Roland keyboard, seen here with its own pedalboard containing three Boss pedals (CE-2, DS-1, SP-1), a Roland volume pedal and three unknown footswitches, two small at the front and one large at the back. From the photos on the DGM website, it looks most like an RS-09 Organ/String synthesizer.
RF did not play keyboards live onstage again until KC8. The setup was detailed by Trev Wilkins in a Facebook update quoted by DGM Live on 11th June, 2014 as a Korg MIDI keyboard patched via an IK Multimedia iRig Pro to an iPad running an app called Thumb Jam. The keyboard pads send Program Change messages to select sounds as required. This is goes into the Axe FX via the Tascam line mixer and its FX loop return block.
RF long used the same picks as he started playing with that are made from tortoise shell. When the manufacturing of these was banned, he moved on to Herdim 3 gauge picks. With Guitar Craft, the Guitar Craft Pick was created from leftover materials from Herdim’s factory. This was also a finite supply and they are now all sold out – the regular stealing of picks at gigs was an issue frequently referred to in the diary. A few years ago a solution was found, and the new generation Guitar Craft Pick is now sold online at Guitar Craft Guitars in packs of twelve and comes in three different thicknesses. RF uses the light gauge for electric and medium for acoustic. Read more about this here, here and here.
Red Bear offer their high-spec plectrums in a “Crafty” shape.
RF used John Alvie Turner strings in the 70’s, but currently uses D’Addario strings (heavy bottom-light top sets to accomodate the New Standard Tuning). Most if not all of his newer guitars have been Buzz Feitenised.
At least for some guitars, RF currently uses strings from Octave4plus.com, as can be seen in this diary entry.
Apparently RF keeps a String Archive with strings from possibly memorable occasions!