Acoustic Noob Asks, 'Do I Need A Better [i.e. More Expensive] Acoustic Guitar?'

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by ColorBlindJames, Nov 1, 2019.

  1. davess23

    davess23 Member

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    All you "need" is a cotton robe, sandals, and a bowl of brown rice.

    But then again, high-end acoustic guitars have been known to make some people blissfully happy. Sounds like you should invest in a trip to a real, old-fashioned guitar shop that has lots of inventory from the better-known makers (yes, there are a few such places remaining despite the corporatization of nearly everything), and spend some time playing a bunch of their guitars. No substitute for hands-on experience if you want to find out if you're among the afflicted whose lives just aren't right without one or more of the damn things.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019
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  2. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

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    Yes. My Eastman AR805CE ($1,200 used) Is so good it has cured me of jonesing for a $3-5k archtop. :cool:
     
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  3. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    I ordered one in blue. For some reason, I thought it would be cool to be known as the blue guitar guy.

    Loved it but the neck was too small for me. Eventually moved it.
     
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  4. redir

    redir Member

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    The Collings I-35 LC is an electric guitar so it's like comparing apples to sausages. I don't really understand what you are saying? Are you saying that the I-35 is a responsive acoustic guitar or are you plugging that thing into an amp? It's a beautiful guitar for sure but it's laminate construction like the Es-335 and meant to be played electric.
     
  5. clarkram

    clarkram Member

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    I’m not sure who you are replying to, but I said, or meant to impart, that a good acoustic can inspire your playing the way his I35 does on electric. The OP likes the I 35 LC, I do too, what did I miss?
     
  6. themannamedbones

    themannamedbones Member

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    I’m not gonna give advice on which guitar or brand, but I will say that higher quality instruments will drive you to better playing IF YOU ACTUALLY WILL PLAY THE INSTRUMENT. Sorry not yelling just I see a lot of my amazing guitar playing buddies buy a high dollar guitar and never play it. Case queens. These are made to be played. Do it!!
     
  7. Joeblues27

    Joeblues27 Member

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    The thickness of your pick when playing acoustc is a big factor. A thin pick gets you less responsivness on an acoustic,a thicker pick can help. Your overall pick attack is different playing electric than acoustic. Can you find a acoustic that is more responsive than the Taylor,probably can. Doe's. it equal a higher end acoustic no. I would mess around with different picks and vary your pick attack to see if the Taylor comes alive,also try different strings,which changes the responsivness of the guitar more so on an acoustic than electric guitars. Thats my 10 cents worth of advice! Good luck!
     
  8. redir

    redir Member

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    I was replying to the OP. This quote is confusing to me, "And I am also wondering if a Collings or similarly high-end acoustic guitar will give me the same sort of responsiveness that I am getting from the I-35?" IMHO you will never have an ES335 type guitar be as responsive even compared to a cheap acoustic guitar. Perhaps I missed his intention and logic. If he is saying the LC is responsive in the electric guitar world as the X-Brand high end acoustic is to the acoustic world then ok, makes sense. Though that opens up a lot of discussion too. Because solid body electric guitars with a nice set of pickups tend to be more 'responsive' and that's why semi hollow bodies are so great because they sort of fatten up the sound and have less attack... But anyway that's the point I was trying to make and knowing me it's very quite possible I misunderstand.

    I totally agree.. Having a nice acoustic guitar can absolutely inspire you to be more creative and that would equally apply to any instrument.
     
  9. Swami Asango

    Swami Asango Member

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    to my childish 51 year old mind, a good musical instrument is like a key to Alices' wonderland.

    well worth the admission fee.


    pretty key from Kevin Kopp:






    nice playing from Otis on his signature key:


     
  10. andrekp

    andrekp Member

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    “Need”. Like THAT has anything to do with anything around here...
     
  11. Crowder

    Crowder Dang Twangler Silver Supporting Member

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    Ideally, an acoustic instrument should be inspiring to play. It should sound musical to you in the way that suits you. This will be different from player to player, which is why there are so many different types.

    The next best thing is an acoustic instrument that is not annoying/distracting to play. If the action is terrible or the instrument won't stay in tune you'll never make much music on it. You should be able to sit and play for a while without constantly running up against the limitations of the instrument.

    The Taylor guitars I've owned have mostly been "not annoying/distracting" but also not inspiring, to me at least. I have played some owned by others that I enjoyed more, so I don't dismiss them out of hand.

    I've also owned multiple guitars from Collings, Santa Cruz, Martin, Lowden and other nice makes. Some I loved, most I enjoyed, but eventually most of them moved along to another owner.

    Eventually I realized that the key feature for me was a short scale length. I played a Martin 00-18V for several years, then replaced it with a Collings OM1-ESS (Englemann short scale). Both were much more useful to me than all the prior guitars I've owned. The short scale lets me go between flatpicking and fingerpicking on the same instrument with relatively similar output. That's what I'd been searching for my whole life.

    Long story short, I recommend experimenting with different makes, models, woods, features, nut widths and scale lengths until you find an acoustic that suits you perfectly. Then invest in one and enjoy it for the rest of your life.
     

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