The first time I played my guitar was in Michael's studio. The sound quality and evenness between the strings was overwhelming. Coming from a 20 year old Taylor that sounded amazing, I was dumbfounded when I heard my Bashkin straight off the bench. The sound was amazingly dark, yet bright. Smooth – yet it had the attack that helps with fingerpicking – and crisp. There was no comparison between the guitars.
Every time I pull out the Bashkin out of the case, it's memorable. The sound is constantly transforming as the wood ages and my playing gets better.
The process of designing the guitar was an education on my part. Michael has a vast knowledge of the woods that he used. He knows the tonal quality of the wood and how they will sound together. In my case, he was very patient with me and my lack of knowledge, or wrong assumptions on wood combinations. There is not a detail that is left out, he thinks of everything. Not one detail is left out. He asks lots of questions to narrow down what works best for you. He tells you the difference between sizes of his guitars and how the wood affects the tone.
I am a Worship Leader at the Church that I attend so the style of music I play varies and hard to classify. I get to play it weekly in front of people. When I first played for a Worship service, I had many people come up and say how wonderful the guitar sounded. I'm not brave enough to record with it yet, but look forward to recording with it soon. Some sample recordings that I have done to chronicle the changes the guitar makes with age have been amazing.
What do I like best about my guitar? To me this is a loaded question. Since I was involved with many details of the guitar, I am happy with the guitar as a whole. One of the things that stands out is the grain of the Mahogany and the precise work of his bindings.
I don't collect but I do have along with my Bashkin is a Taylor 710, a Takamine, & ESP LTD electric. I purposely went with a wood combination (Cedar/Mahogany) that will complement my Taylor (Spruce/EIR) without sounding similar.
As nice as Taylors are, there is no comparison. The sound is leaps and bounds beyond what the Taylor could be due to the attention to the tone that Michael put in while shaping the braces and the thickness of the top. My Bashkin is my go-to guitar that will always be my first choice.