Acoustic guitar: What do I need for live playing?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by dave s, Oct 9, 2006.

  1. dave s

    dave s Member

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    Think it's finally time to pull the trigger on an acoustic/electric so I can stop covering acoustic parts on a strat or tele.

    I've been looking around a bit and playing some at my local GC. Most acoustics guitars seem overly bright to me. My band covers hippie 60s stuff and most of the tones I'm hearing are pretty dull in the recordings.

    Also don't want to spend a boat-load of cash on a guitar that will only be used on-stage and schlepped to and from gigs.

    One idea I've had is a lower-end Seagull acoustic/electric. I also want something that practically plays itself. Kinda spoiled with electrics that play this way.

    What else is out there, what should I be looking for and where do I buy?

    Thanks for the help.

    dave
     
  2. Bluzsteel

    Bluzsteel Member

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    get you a blueridge guitar put a lr baggs pick up in it and buy a California Blonde amp
     
  3. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

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    If you are playing plugged in, I love my Takamine EF-341SC ('the BOSS' plays it ...) also Big Bowl Ovations aren't too shabby.
     
  4. royd

    royd Member

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    There are lots of lower priced acoustic electrics that would meet your needs. Each of the choices mentioned are good ones. Also the lowest priced Taylors might meet your needs and tend to play very easily for acoustics.

    For playing with a band, a "great" acoustic sound isn't needed. Feedback rejection will be more important. Also, if a guitar seems just a little bright while playability etc. work for you, different strings may make all of the difference.
     
  5. dave s

    dave s Member

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    Thanks. Definitely looking for a 'plug-n-play' model so buying a standard acoustic and putting in the electronics is probably not an option.

    Is there something out there that might represent a better bang for the buck than something like this?:

    http://www.musiciansbuy.com/Seagull-Performer-CW-GT-QII-Cutaway-Cedar-Gloss-Top-29488.html

    Let me know. I'm clueless when it comes to acoustic guitars.

    Thanks

    dave
     
  6. dave s

    dave s Member

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    The Takamine looks really nice. Like that gloss black finish. Question: Do most acoustic guitars have 16" (or so) fretboard radii? Is this standard on most acoustics? Curious on this issue.

    dave
     
  7. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

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    I think most acoustics will have a radius around there, they are very flat, and Classicals are completely flat I believe.

    I like Seagull guitars but never got to try one with electronics, I do feel that they tend to sound a tat too bright to my ears (and I like bright guitars!) and believe it or not, if there is one thing Takamine did right, it was their Electronics great sound!
    On Ebay btw you can find the EF-341SC at pretty good prices usually I actually bought mine for around $600-700 almost 10 years ago!
     
  8. dave s

    dave s Member

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    Glad you mentioned the 'brightness' of the Seagull. I'm looking for a little more of full, dull tone than really bright and snappy!

    I'll look on the 'bay and the buy sell boards for a Takamine. I've always known they are pretty good instruments.

    dave
     
  9. sinner

    sinner Member

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    Try and play a new Gibson J45 with built-in pickup. The J45s have a darker sound than many other brands and they record very well.
     
  10. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    :confused: :confused:

    "Only used on stage??" In other words, "only played on stage." We're talking about music. With you playing it, right? So it's "only" going to be for you to play music on stage in front of an audience.

    What would be a better use for it, a flowerpot? ;)

    Kidding aside, I don't understand why people say that. Though I've actually only seen it on the internet.

    Dig it, I don't mean to put you down, quite the opposite. Being a musician means performing, being heard. Instruments are meant to be played, i.e. heard, either on stage or (the last hundred or so years) in a studio.

    If you DON'T feel that you are worthless as a musician (and I hope not), why not go for the best instrument that you can afford? If you're worried that something bad will happen to it, take extra care to protect it - get the best case you can, keep it close at hand, don't leave it out on the curb, etc.

    Now, if you have to keep the price down because you can't afford much, that's where most musicians are. That's a different story. But when you say it's because you're "only" going to be playing it on stage, you give people (including yourself) a very different message. You're saying, "My playing isn't worth anything, so my guitar can be a throw-away." That lack of caring will come across on stage, too. It's a much bigger picture than just the horn.
     
  11. DualRectifier

    DualRectifier Silver Supporting Member

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    Actually I think an Ovation would be best for you. Ovations are great for guys who mostly play electric. They have thin bodies, electric-style narrow necks, low action, decent electronics, and good feedback rejection. If you're not used to playing something as big as a dreadnaught standing up, you're not going to like it, and the transition will be too abrupt.

    Give Ovations a look. Plus, you say you play 60s Hippie rock...Many folk type singer songwriters play Ovation, such as America, Melissa Etheridge, Indigo Girls, etc.

    I restringed my friend's Ovation last week, and was very impressed with its sound and playability with a fresh set of John Pearse Lights. I even think it was louder than my Taylor 514CE. And much easier to play. They come in a very wide price range, too.

    I also love having a piezo bridge in my electrics...I've had three, and was very pleased with the sound of two of them (the LR Baggs X Bridge in my Warrior, and the Fishman Powerbridge in my Axis Super Sport-- the Brian Moore guitar sucked ASS). You can drop one right into a Strat or Tele.
     
  12. go7

    go7 Member

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    My experience is that feedback is the biggest problem.To avoid this simply install a fishman piezo pickup under saddle and line it staight out to back strap post .No electrics in the guitar,let your acoustic amp do this for you. With no electrics ie preamp in your guitar there is no chance of feedback.This setup is used by many pros. Sound adjustments EQ can be made with your amp.This is the only feedback free system I have ever had that acually totaly eliminates feedback at any volume.It was done for me by a Luthier who does many major country acts.It Works,No pre amp, No feedback simple .Good luck!!
     
  13. royd

    royd Member

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    Dave,

    you say that you don't want to look at an instrument without electronics already in it... and there certainly is something to be said for that but some electronics systems are very simple installs... use a good magnetic soundhole pickup (Sunrise is the best and most expensive) and feedback rejection is great. Plus if you sell the guitar, you can keep the pickup for your next guitar.
    The taks do have good sounding electronics although I always felt they were expensive for the guitar that you get. The Ovations are pretty good electronics too. And the O's tend to sound dull to my ears.
    I would have to respectfully disagree with go7. I've never seen an acoustic with no feedback at any volume. Some systems are better than others but they all feedback at some point because the guitar top gets moving... so something that doesn't sense the top as much is least likely to feedback - ie a good magnetic.
     
  14. thesedaze

    thesedaze Member

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    Not into the bright stuff? stay far away from 'acoustic/electrics'...they typically use under the saddle transducers and are basically picking up what's coming from the bridge...brightness.

    Like the 60s stuff? You can thank tube preamps and condensor mics for that.

    I'd recommend picking up a used Alvarez Masterworks (MF90 for Folk style, MD90 for dread) model for $500 or so,and mounting a magnetic pickup like a Sunrise in there...if you get the sunrise, get the preamp w/ it. You can split the signal to your amp and the board.
     
  15. erksin

    erksin Member

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    If you want a rounder less bright tone, look into an all Mahogany guitar and use a magnetic pickup.
     
  16. brent

    brent Member

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    Dave-

    Before you jump check out the Variax, go to a GC and ask them to let you run it direct in the live sound room, if possible put it in the monitors.
    I have a J200 that is a great guitar but the Variax is a better live guitar for ease of use, lack of feedback and versatility. They can also be found pretty reasonably used as it really is most practical as a live guitar. The ability to pre-program the sounds and tunings is very cool.

    Not at all a sitting around the house acoustic - but a great working players tool.
     
  17. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    A friend of mine uses one on tour. I was surprised to hear how good it sounds. I expected much less and was impressed.
     
  18. Ed Packer

    Ed Packer Silver Supporting Member

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    I use a Gibson J-185 EC. Comfortable to play, easy to use, very versatile, and not bad to look at either. It's the one guitar I find myself going to constantly for gigs. Has that great big Gibson sound, IMHO.
     
  19. Alainlafrance

    Alainlafrance Member

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    Out of the routine, but Tom Anderson 's Crowdster IS the solution to live playing without feedback; fitted with an LR BAGGS transducer you get an incredible acoustic sound at any level with the ease of playing of an electric guitar !
    I play mine on a Fender Acoustasonic Pro and the result is stunning.
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

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    If you want that full 60's sound you need to go the 60's route. Good acoustic guitar with a good mic in front of it. All the acoustic performers we host for shows in our theater mic their guitars. That should tell you something right there. ;)
     

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