Guitars anyone?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Mike_Ped, Mar 7, 2004.

  1. Mike_Ped

    Mike_Ped Second Unit

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    Ooooooook....

    I've played trumpet for about the last 12 ywars of my life. But now that I'm not able to play with a group anymore, I don;t find it as enjoyable. It's not the type of instrument I find easy to just break out and play...

    So, I've been trying my hand at guitar. Only problem is that I don't have a guitar of my own and am borrowing a cheap one at the moment.

    So, my question to all you guitar savvy people out there is:

    If I were to go out and buy my first guitar, what would you recommend?

    I know I need to go out and try them...but what should I be looking out for?

    Danke!
    Mike
     
  2. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

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    Acoustic or Electric ?

    While I'm just a plinker, I really enjoy the sound of my Takamine GS-390 acoustic. Affordable (~350.00), decent quality build and good sound. I just bumped a thread from earlier this month that had some good info in it. Also search for "guitar" in this forum and you'll see a few other threads.

    Good Luck !
     
  3. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  4. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    Acoustic:
    -My friend just got a Fender 12 string for like $300. Not sure of the model, it may be this one.....
    http://www.zzounds.com/item--FEN951613

    - My brother is playing a Taylor

    Both sound pretty good considering their price.

    (Deleted becuase of Mikes post below)

    Also you can check out Harmoney Central. They have reviews for everything there. But remember its onyl someone elses opinion.http://www.harmony-central.com/User_Reviews/

    the best way is to go to as many stores as you can, hold it,play it and see which feels best to you.

    Good Luck!
     
  5. Mike_Ped

    Mike_Ped Second Unit

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    Thanks for all the comments!

    Thus far, the only experience I have with different guitars is the Fender acoustic/electric guitar a friend of mine has (well, besides the other cheapy I'm borrowing). I thought it sounded pretty good and was thinking about going with an acoustic/electric myself. Any suggestions? Good idea, bad idea? I'd play more acoustic than anything, but having the option to plug that puppy in sounds good [​IMG]

    Oh, and to answer a question someone asked; I'm looking to spend no more than $500. Hopefully closer to $300-400...

    Mike.
     
  6. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Screenwriter

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    Acoustic/Electric is a good choice for a beginner. I have been playing for about 27 years and started out on a classical guitar which I don't recommend because of the nylon strings which are hard to keep tuned. I just recently sold a Fender acoustic/electric guitar because I found the action to be too high for me. Acoustically, I play a Takamine guitar. I like some of the Takamine models because they have a flat fret board and to me are easier to play; I find barre chords are just so much easier to play on a flat fret board. One thing I have found in my years of playing is that an acoustic/electric guitar is NO substitute for a pure eletric guitar if you plan on playing any type of hard rock, heavy metal. You just can't get the crunch you need for those types of music. For electric stuff I use a custom made Carvin guitar. BTW- check out the Alvarez acoustic/electric models. I used to play one on stage a few years back until it got stolen. It had a thin electric guitar style cutaway body and was great for those "Eagles" type tunes where a cleaner/sweeter sound was desired and I did't want to amp my Takamine with a mic.[​IMG]
     
  7. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    I don't know if the one I played was below $500, but I do believe Ovation has offerings of electric/acoustics. I do remember playing an Ovation model a few years back and thinking "not bad for the cash..."
     
  8. Mark Romero

    Mark Romero Second Unit

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    I, too, have a custom Carvin. Great guitar for the money and you get it exactly the way you want it. I also have an Ovation acoustic/electric but have never plugged it in. I can't play worth a shit but like to mess around on them every now and then.
     
  9. Mike_Ped

    Mike_Ped Second Unit

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    Well, I've done some serious looking on the internet now with all your suggestions.

    I think I will be going with an acoustic guitar and not an acoustic/electric only because I could really never see myself using the electric...

    I've researched a lot of different models and I seem to like what I'm reading about the

    Tacoma DM9
    http://www.zzounds.com/item--TACDM9

    and

    Takamine AN-10
    http://www.zzounds.com/item--TAKAN10

    Any comments about these two?
    Would this be too much for a beginner?

    It exceeds my orginal price point but then again, I do have a tendancy to do that [​IMG]
     
  10. Dave_Brown

    Dave_Brown Supporting Actor

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    First guitar I started learning on was a Fender Catalina acoustic 6 string. It turned my fingers into hamburger but I was told once I was able to play that, I could pick up anything.
    I still have it but now I switch back and forth between my Yamaha acoustic/electric six string which sounds pretty good and the Seagull acoustic 12 string I picked up a few months ago. I think the Yamaha was around $500 and I got the Seagull for just over $300.
    I went to a big music store near Lansing and spent probably 2-3 hours just trying everything they had until I picked out the one that to me sounded the way I wanted a 12 string to play and thankfully it wasn't one of the $2,000 + models!
     
  11. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    They're way overkill for a beginner. I love Tacomas, I own a Thunderchief bass that was well over $1K, they make fantastic instruments.

    What happens if you buy the guitar and find that you don't like playing or you don't have the time to practice or that you don't want to play? Generally used prices are 1/2 the original selling price (not MSRP).

    If you can afford it, great, but I would recommend a more modest guitar.

    Buy used. Look for Seagulls.
     
  12. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Philip, it's kind of a double edged sword, too. My first guitar was bought in 1994, a cheapo Epiphone knockoff of a Les Paul (not even their good knockoff, the bottom-of-the-barrel model) which I got from Guitar Center for 1/2 off.

    That guitar was so poorly set up (though I didn't know about "setup" back then) and was so hard to play that I only infrequently played it. Action was way too high, intonation was off, etc.

    Then when I bought my Lakewood M32 acoustic (see the other "I Finally Bought My Dream Guitar" thread) the action and playability were so good and smooth, that in the first six months of owning it I played it more than I played my Epiphone in 9 years. I now play it on an every other day basis and have actually gotten (gasp!) decent at the instrument.

    So while I agree that he shouldn't break the bank on a guitar if he's just starting out, he should at least get a decent instrument (or get it set up via a luthier) so that the darned thing isn't so hard to play that it dissuades him from practicing.
     
  13. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Screenwriter

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    I would definately agree with Carlos in that you shouldn't get a real expensive guitar at first, but at the same time, avoid the 50-100 buck cheapies mainly because of playability issues like action height, things breaking, string buzz, etc. I would say stay around the 4-500 buck mark. You can always sell a quality instrument back to the store or someone else and get back pretty close what you paid for it. I can't begin to tell you the number of people I have seen over the years who had aspirations of playing the guitar, or any instrument for that matter, but ended up with a stringless paperweight sitting in a corner of their room or closet gathering dust. One must keep in mind that learing to play the guitar, especially by ear (which most of us do), is far more difficult than playing the piano. I say this because of the way the chords must be made and the strings played, not because of any theoretical difference in the music. A complicated jazz chord is far easier to make and play cleanly on a keyboard than on a fretboard.....trust me on this.
     
  14. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    We are living in the "golden age" of the guitar. A $100 guitar today is not the same animal as a $100 guitar ten years ago, even five years ago. Some inexpensive guitars are quite playable and very usable. High on that list would be the Rondo Music "SX", "Brice", and "Agile" imports that I specified in my post above. I played the SX30 that features a solid top for $140 when I was there a couple weeks ago and I found it to be quite usable.

    [​IMG]

    Equivalent to my Seagull? No, but orders of magnitude better than the barely playable "Jasmine" that was my first acoustic guitar 10 years ago. I liked the Rondo import so much that I bought one, a 6 string fretless Brice for under $200. Is it as nice as my Fender USA? No, heck it's not even close to my 5 string fretless Dean, but it's quite usable and giggable and where else am I going to find a 6 string fretless bass for under $200.
     
  15. Mike_Ped

    Mike_Ped Second Unit

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    Well, in an effort to stay in the $400 range which I orginally committed to, I started searching for used guitars. I found a Tacoma DM9 for $400 bucks shipping w/ the hard case. The guitar seems to be in near perfect condition and is only 9 months old...I think imma go that route. Used!

    Thanks again everyone!
    Mike
     
  16. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Tacoma stuff is top shelf. You will love it. My Tacoma Thunderchief bass amazes me every time I play it.
     
  17. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Philip, how is the neck on your Brice, especially from a profile perspective (thin, thick, batty...)? I'm also interested in the quality of the hardware and electronics, and whether the body is one piece under the top cap, and if you've found any dead spots on the neck.
     
  18. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    The neck on the Brice (it's a "V2" model) is a dream, it's the best part of the instrument. It had lots of releif when I bought it, but a 1/2 turn on both truss rods has it playing and feeling really nice. It -feels- fantastic. The hardware is adequate. The bridge is a total POS, but the tuners are fine. The pickups are active and loud as hell, but they sound nice. The body is OK, it's two pieces of Agathis under the thinnest laminate of maple that I ever thought possible. The quilt top is so thin that you can see the grain of the Agathis right through it. It's almost like a photo - but it's obviously real as there is the tiniest bit of figured Maple "shimmer" to it (though that's very slight as the thinness of the laminate suggests.

    The neck is shimmed for some reason, so it looks like it has a rising tongue. Some day I'll remove the neck to see what's going on in that neck pocket. The strings were unusable, I've kept the "C" and replaced the other 5 with a set of Fender Super Bass strings that I used to have on my other fretless (Dean Edge 5) before switching to flats there.

    The electronics compartment is well shielded, there is a battery holder built-in. Well worth the > $200 I spent. I pretty much ignore dead spots so I don't know if/where they are. It's really pretty, everyone who has seen it has asked me if it's custom, and seem impressed. I'm almost embarrased to say I spent $170 on it. [​IMG] Yes, I own multiple basses that retail for well over $1K, and I'm playing a $170 Korean import.
     
  19. Mike_Ped

    Mike_Ped Second Unit

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    When buying stuff from a person through a classified ad, what's the best way to ensure you don't get ripped off?

    He lives in Tuscon, Az (no too far from me) so I guess I could threaten him (hehe), but is there a way to "track" a money order much like a personal check? I asked him if he wanted a personal check and he requested a money order, so it makes me squirm...

    Mike
     
  20. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Hmm, tough call mike. I can understand him wanting a MO simply because he doesn't know you and might be worried about a personal check bouncing (just as you are justifiably worried about him not shipping).

    I don't know of any way you can get an assurance in this situation. Maybe ask your bank if there's a way to insist upon identification when he cashes the MO, and then if the guitar is a no-show then they can at least pursue him?

    I think it would be more than worth it to drive and meet him at a neutral site and exchange cash (MO) for item.

    [​IMG]
     

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