Acoustic Guitar Recommendations

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kurt B, Jan 22, 2002.

  1. Kurt B

    Kurt B Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2000
    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hi,

    Not wanting to hijack Rain's thread on electrics, I've been looking at getting an acoustic and not sure where to go. I'm a rank beginer here.

    I've looked, but to be honest, it all starts to jumble together on me after a bit.

    I'd like a 6 string, something to begin with that I can grow into.

    Thank you,

    Kurt
     
  2. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 1999
    Messages:
    2,312
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Back when I started (started? I still suck!), I bought a Washburn D12, mainly due to price ($220 or so, I think).
    I've dorked around with a lot of different brands at our local Mars Music, which has MANY MANY acoustics (>150), and I like Martin the best. Ovations have a unique sound, but the way the Martin just rings- there is a richness to the sound that I haven't heard before.
    They make one with a solid spruce top for about $600. The solid top is worth the money- more resonant quality to the sound. Make sure they set the action (string height on the board) for you. If it's too high, it'll be too hard for a beginner to play. If it's too low, the strings will buzz.
    I still have the old Washburn, and I still don't like the sound. I'm trying to set a goal of mastering basic Travis finger picking before getting the new one. It might be a while.[​IMG]
    Todd
     
  3. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 1997
    Messages:
    10,513
    Likes Received:
    707
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    I too love Martins. But I can't afford the "real" ones (i.e. over $1500). There were some dark wood ones that I liked around $600-$800, but I recently played a Taylor that I loved! Unfortunately I didn't get the model number, but it's retail about $1200, can be had by bargaining for under $1000. I don't think there are many Taylors in that range so it shouldn't be hard to find out which one it is. Choosing between the multiple $600-$800 Martins I've played and this new Taylor is a no-brainer. I'd have the Taylor if I had the money. Unfortunately I'm going to be broke for a while.

    I can't stress enough how important it is to play the guitar you want to buy. Not even guitars of the same model will sound or play the same. For acoustic the sound is way more variant than for electrics of the same make and model (IMO). I'd consider buying electrics over the net, but not acoustics.
     
  4. Matt Stryker

    Matt Stryker Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2000
    Messages:
    1,307
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    IF you are beyond the point of considering whether to continue/drop the hobby, I would wholeheartedly recommend (or second after Todd) Martin Guitars. I paid $550 for my Martin D-15 two years ago, and have never regretted it.
    [​IMG]
    http://www.mguitar.com/MartinGuitar/...sp?RECORDID=40
    Martin gives you a lifetime warranty (as long as the original owner is alive) on their guitars; my fathers 1973 D-35 needed work last year, and they reset the neck, fixed various scratches, and refretted the guitar for FREE. These repairs would have easily cost around $400+. Most other makers do not give you this peace of mind. AND they come with a free hard case, something that usually runs you an additional $80.
    The 15 gives a lot more punch than the spruce guitars, but it is your personal preference that matters most. I played every single guitar in the store (Mars Music) including ones that were over $4K, and the D-15 was the one I liked best.
     
  5. Rain

    Rain Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2001
    Messages:
    5,015
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I paid about $500 Canadian for my Seagull.

    Will I ever buy another acoustic guitar? Ya, probably many.

    Will I ever give this one away? Not in a million years.

    My guitar teacher also plays a Seagull acoustic.

    Obviously, they are a bit more affordable that what has been suggested thus far, but they still sound very sweet.
     
  6. Darren H

    Darren H Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 10, 2000
    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    What Rain said. Pick a budget, then go buy the best Seagull you can afford. I got mine ten years ago, and it's just gotten better with age.
     
  7. John*K

    John*K Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2001
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I use a Takamine. Resonant and very fast. I recommend them highly!
     
  8. John Besse

    John Besse Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2000
    Messages:
    569
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Trinity, FL
    Real Name:
    John
    I love Takamine and Taylor. However, they are probably going to be way out of your budget. I'd take a look into an entry level Alvarez. Great acoustic guitars.
    Here's a web addy if you want to take a look: http://www.alvarezgtr.com/
     
  9. Tim Hoover

    Tim Hoover Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 27, 2001
    Messages:
    1,422
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Talk about deja vu!

    Yes, definitely check out Seagull. I own the S6+ spruce and the S12. Both extremely good guitars and damn cheap!

    Some of the lower-end Martins are actually quite nice. The DX-1 has very good tone and goes for around $500-$600.

    On the subject of Taylors, yes these are my personal favorite. When I get my big fat recording contract I'm gonna get a 414ce. This is my favorite one, even comparing to their higher models.
     
  10. Kurt B

    Kurt B Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2000
    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thank you all for your insights.

    I did look into the Seagull line, and affordability is an important consideration as I'm just starting out.

    Rain, what model do you have?

    Thanks again,

    Kurt
     
  11. Dave Morton

    Dave Morton Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2000
    Messages:
    753
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Dave
    Laravee makes a nice acoustic, too. There are many good ones out there. Just make sure you get one that is made of solid hardwood. The cheaper models are made with the plywood, echhh.

    Just my $0.02.
     
  12. Kurt B

    Kurt B Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2000
    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Good info and thanks all. I'll be doing a road trip to some dealers this weekend to check them out and see how they feel in my hands.

    ~Kurt
     
  13. Rain

    Rain Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2001
    Messages:
    5,015
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  14. Kurt B

    Kurt B Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2000
    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    No problemo Rain. 'preciate your input here.
    Good luck on your hunt for the new electric. I'd be interested in hearing what you end up with.
    Now to find some good learning courses [​IMG]
    ~Kurt
     
  15. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 1999
    Messages:
    6,873
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ditto on Seagull.

    I have an S6 and it is a very solid instrument. For the price nothing can touch it, not even close. Made in the Great White North by fairly treated workers. Think about that when you see cheaper guitars made in China and Indonesia. How is the labor being treated? It takes a great deal of skill to properly make an acoustic guitar. And don't sweat the solid wood / laminate on your first acoustic. Maybe someday if you love playing you can upgrade to a solid top, back, or all solid guitar. For now don't worry about it.

    If you happen to see any "Norman" guitars don't hesitate, they're exactly the same as Seagulls. Made in the same factory with a different word on the headstock.

    I love my Tacoma bass, I'm sure their guitars are great, also, but much more expensive (maybe not?).
     
  16. Anthony_J

    Anthony_J Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2001
    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'll make a different suggestion. I've been playing guitar pretty intensely for the past 6 years.

    Depending on your budget and interest level, you may not be wrong to spend $300 to $500 on your first acoustic if you know you'll keep it for two or three years. On the other hand, do not blow a lot of money if you're not sure you'll stick with it. I've taught too many people who buy great guitars when they start and then lose interest after a couple of months.

    I actually recommend buying a dirt-cheap starter guitar (one of those Fender jam packs or Yamahas) for less than $150, and seeing if the hobby is for you. Not only will you save the money should you decide to stop, but you'll also learn exactly what you like, build and style wise, for a guitar in the mid/high price range.

    For example, do you want a narrow or wider neck, higher action or lower, classic jumbo or cutaway body, built in pre-amp or pure acoustic? These are questions you'll need to answer before spending a lot of money on an instrument. Unfortunately, you can only get the answers after you've been playing for a while and can develop your own style and personal taste in playing.

    I started with an $80 Alvarez, which was a real POC. I played that for over a year before deciding I was ready to buy a "real" guitar. I didn't feel bad about blowing over a grand on a good one, either, because I knew I loved playing and I knew that guitar was exactly what I wanted. Plus, you'll appreciate the better guitar more when you can coax great sounds out of it, which makes delaying the purchase more worthwhile and the upgrade totally satisfying.

    Don't worry about getting a guitar you can grow into, I've never seen someone limited by their instrument's capabilities just because it was cheap. For all intents and purposes, a $100 guitar plays just the same as a $2,500 one.

    The important thing is to make sure your first guitar has a low enough action to let you build finger strength gradually, that the thing is comfortable to hold and play (I don't mean sore fingertips, everybody gets those at first), and that the build quality looks OK (oozing glue, or loose necks and tuners). Really, a cheap Fender or Yamaha should fit your initial needs fine.

    One side note - if you can find it and you want to spend the cash, the Gibson Gospel is one of the best sounding $500 jumbo body acoustics out there. It's got a very bright, crisp sound, and the fretboard is amazingly responsive.
     
  17. ikiru

    ikiru Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 1999
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I also have a seagull and I recommend them highly. I own a C6 Cedar (the beginner model I think). I started playing almost 2 years ago and I still love the sound of the seagull (especially in my favorite open e tuning...eabebe).

    Good luck!

    -ikiru
     
  18. Rain

    Rain Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2001
    Messages:
    5,015
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  19. Anthony_J

    Anthony_J Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2001
    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  20. Rick Deschaine

    Rick Deschaine Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2000
    Messages:
    193
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If your looking to save a little money I would recommend "Art & Lutherie". They are owned by the same company that owns Seagull. They are a little company in a small town in Canada where most of the population has a hand in building the guitars.

    The price for the most common model is around 200$ and has sound and build quality equal to much more expensive guitars, say the 400$ to 500$ range.

    Granted, it won't sound as good as a Martin, but will compare to some other nice guitars.

    Later, Rick
     

Share This Page