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$1,000-$1,500 Acoustic Guitar Recommendation: Returned It :-o

enigma

Member
Messages
3,429
I've not played nor owned an acoustic guitar for over a decade. I think it really helps in songwriting, especially. So, I'm in the market for an acoustic (electric) guitar and have my eyes set on the following brands: Taylor, Laravee, Gibson and Martin. My budget is b/w $1,000 and $1,500.

I usually buy used electric guitars, but am a bit weary buying used acoustic guitars b/c they are more delicate and susceptible to humidity.

(I played a Taylor 310 CE Grand Auditorium with a special price of $1,350 at GC - is this a good price by the way?).

I think I really liked the way 310CE sounded; very complex highs with enough warmth and depth. I also do like the warmth of Martins, especially the Roy Rogers model, but so expensive. Those 2 guitars are my benchmarks as to what I like. So, what are your recommendations and why?

HERE IT IS AFTER A 6 MONTH SEARCH:

A 1992 Guild D-30. I paid $762 w/ tax at GC! It's true when ppl say buy the guitar that "speaks to you!" While waiting for the GC guy to find the case i figured out the beginning of a Fleetwood Mac song - that just did it for me.

Sitka Spruce top with Flamed Maple Arched Back & Sides, Mahogany Neck w/ Rosewood board and Grover tuners. Real low action with a beautiful tone. I've never been so happy with a purchase, especially its price was well under my budget! It has some dings, scratches, checking and whatnot - adds personality. Practically no fretwear.

The past owner put a Fishman pickup which I was told is a nice one.










Thanks for all of your advice and opinions!
 
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6ringing

Silver Supporting Member
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513
A used Martin d-18v can be a GREAT bargain in your price range. Seriously good guitars.
 

small axe

Member
Messages
2,914
i like taylors and martins...1350 for a 310ce is high....i played 1350 for a 310ce but it had koa back and sides so it was worth it...you can get a used one on ebay for cheaper if you choose that route....good luck
 

enigma

Member
Messages
3,429
Which brand has better pick up system?

I'll check out d-18v, but what's the acoustic/electric version of it?

This particular 310CE might've had a Koa back. I'll have to check again.
 

6ringing

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
513
I haven't tried the d-18ve (pickup version). But the 18v is unreal, sounds very much like a prewar Martin. Especially with some up grades like bone nut and saddle and replacing the plastic pins with ebony.

A huge bargain those.
 

RockinB23

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
923
Here is a list of guitars/brands I would consider in that price range. In no particular order. If you can go a few hundred more a Used Santa Cruz or Bourgeois would be a big step up from this tone wise.

Martin D-18, D-35 Used
Gibson J-45, J-50, J-100 Used
Taylor GA or GS models like GS6 or GS8 Used
Rainsong Guitars Used
Composite Acoustic Guitars Used
Guild D-55 Used
Breedlove Pro Series Used
Larrivee 09's or 05's used
 

enigma

Member
Messages
3,429
I see that Santa Cruz is really a big step up! That's a good list to explore. I never really liked Larrivees. It's amazing how hard it is to find and buy an acoustic! Electrics are so much easier.
 

forresal

Member
Messages
29
Breedlove.

They have a great feel, nice natural acoustic tone with pretty sweet pickups for amplified settings.
I play an older Atlas 25 SC/CR Plus. They just updated this model (forgot the model # tho') which run about $1K.
 

johnny1111

Member
Messages
6
The list posted by RockinB23 is good, but the list assumes that you find a discounted used model in correct playing condition (properly set up with no "issues"). If you are more comfortable with purchasing a new guitar there are models made by most of the same companies listed that are also excellent. If you take 25-30% off the advertised (MAP) price your $1000-1500 should get you into a Martin 16 or OM series, Guild C series, Taylor 5xx series, etc. The Santa Cruz is a fantastic guitar, but they run approx 3 grand, and used ones are not discounted much due to quality and supply. When comparing overall tone, action, resonance, construction, and "feel" I prefer Taylors in the under-$1500 category. However, I like Martin in the $1500 and over category. I have played a few Taylor 310s and I was very impressed. Of course, the resonance, bass quality, etc. is compromised in compared to a top line acoustic (such as the mentioned Santa Cruz). However, the playability was excellent. All acoustics are a bit different, even separately built units of the same model production run. That is why I prefer to actually play any guitar I might purchase. But that's just me. The acoustic guitars I currently own and play include a Martin OMJM, Collings OM-2H, Guild FC-65CE (so cool, my main guitar), and a cheap Breedlove 12 string (ugh). The best deal on a new guitar I have seen lately is the discontinuing/close out of the 6 string Guild Contemporary Series 1. It retailed for around $2400 and are closing out at $600-900, depending on the source. (I should note that my Guild is a 1996 Westerly built F-65 that I picked up at Willies used for $1495, and retailed for around $2600, so I admit you DO get more for your money if you if you find a GOOD used guitar.) Anyway, good luck on the hunt!
 

Irreverent

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,901
Worried about humidity (or lack thereof)?

Get a used Composite Acoustics Legacy. Magnificent guitars that can be found in your price range.

Peace.
 

tonesurfer

Senior Member
Messages
1,193
Guild GAD-50s are a great value. 750 new, 400 or so used. Hard to find a 1,500 dollar guitar that does any better. I've found real nice high end guitars (3K-4K instruments) can be found from time to time in the lower 2K range. Never buy without playing!
 

enigma

Member
Messages
3,429
Thanks for the good opinions and advices. I think the key to buying acoustics (as opposed to electrics) is actually playing one. This does prevent me from buying one used on-line, i.e., Ebay or here.

I'll have to check into the Guild closeouts or other crazy sales too.

ON a side note. What do you guys think about Rain Song graphite guitars?
 

enigma

Member
Messages
3,429
I tried the D-16GT and it is very nice, but I'm looking for complex high tones that I get from Taylor 614CE which obviously is more money.
 

djbrough

Member
Messages
431
Also take a look at Eastman's high end. They're not a very popular name, but the guitars are solid wood and beautifully outfitted. They'll sonically compete with the other brands mentioned.
 

jkg

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,333
The newish Taylor GA and D series (D-2, D-3, D-4 etc) has some gloss top models that come in in your price range and they are pretty nice. There are some places that sell Martin guitars for well below what you see at guitar center and I think a D-28 might be almost in your reach, which is a beautiful guitar. i was tinkering around with a used 314ce that was well within your range and that is a nice guitar. i think you have some good options.
 




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