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Affordable full size acoustic for recording

fenderjapan

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I don’t use acoustic a lot except for gigging, for which I use a Taylor GS Mini-E. Sounds good plugged in.
But since I have been recording a song per day I need something I can mic up. The Mini sounds thin mic’d up compared to friends full scale guitars.
If it has the ability for electronics that would be a plus.
I would prefer Full scale, no cutaway, smallish body (doesn’t have to be parlor small although I like those).

The more affordable Martins are tempting. I would love to be able to afford an American made guitar but I should probably try to keep it under a grand. Primary use recording.

Don’t want bargain basement.

The main thing I want to do is get the best unplugged sound for recording and playing that I possibly can. If it has onboard electronics that's a plus. But if it doesn't sound better unplugged than my GS Mini it is sort of pointless.

How would the Martin Road Series (000-10E, for example) compare to something like the Taylor GS Mini unplugged?

Ideas?
 
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OM Flyer

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5,652
No matter the guitar, recording acoustics is all about mic placement and EQ; I've recorded tracks with my GS Mini that sounded great. But if you want to buy a guitar, I'd probably shop for a used Martin 00015M. Fabulous recording guitar.
 

jklotz

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3,756
I've found smaller body acoustics, OO's, 000's, OM's, etc tend to record better than dreads/jumbo's etc. You can get a little closer to the soundhole for clarity without the boominess. Considering you'll already be dealing with proximity effect from the mics, it helps. Trust me on this one.

As OM said, Martins do, IMHO, tend to record and sit in a mix well. But that would mean used considering your budget. You may also want to consider an Eastman e8om. They are the king of "bang for your buck" guitars.
 

mulekicker

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519
I just picked up a Martin D-15m with a K&K Pure Mini installed for $850 on Reverb and it's great so far. I like all mahogany though so you may feel different.
 

Route67

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734
In the Martin road series MIM, there is the 000-10E and 000-13E. The 13 is close in price to the MIA 000-15m all mahogany which is very well balanced tonally throughout the midrange without the added overtone brightness a spruce top coupled with hardwood back provides (as in the 000-13, which has hardwood siris back, which I’ve seen and played a good example of). The 000-10E is an all sapele (mahogany type) matte finish guitar slightly hefty in weight, well suited to vigorous strumming. The only caveat to the MIMs is no hard shell case included which these instruments deserve.

I’ve only come across a couple of Eastman guitars (not well distributed in my area) which are lightly braced, lightly finished but require hands on audition due to handmade variance in performance.
 

fenderjapan

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No matter the guitar, recording acoustics is all about mic placement and EQ; I've recorded tracks with my GS Mini that sounded great. But if you want to buy a guitar, I'd probably shop for a used Martin 00015M. Fabulous recording guitar.
I have too... its just been a little... off compared to my friends' guitars and my old acoustic.

Do people in general feel the MIM Martins are a good buy?
 

lamenlovinit

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3,822
You can get more for the same money by not going with one of the big three. A non-dread with mahogany back and sides is generally recording friendly. Very cool pushing yourself with a daily target. Very "tin pan alley" philosophy. Do it long enough and you get really good at it.

Here's one that's a decent candidate. Alvarez GA with hog back and sides for under $300 with free shipping

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Alvarez-AG...151717?hash=item2f429e93e5:g:Z6QAAOSwAVherf1m
 

Route67

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734
I have too... its just been a little... off compared to my friends' guitars and my old acoustic.

Do people in general feel the MIM Martins are a good buy?
I think they* are but online I haven’t read much about them due to the overwhelming boomer attention to the American Standards - frankly, the MIMs are sandbagged with a really uncouth (ugly) soundhole paper label and no proper case protection but they are voiced like a MIA (in the Martin camp tonally as distinct from Taylor, Yamaha and other factory made competitors). Due to finish and slightly heavier build, the MIMs have a less “airy” tone and pack more “punch”. As an example, I spent considerably more money to acquire a new MIA 000-18, only to discover how “soft” and overtone rich it was, but really not suited to genres like rock and blues which require a more prominent fundamental punch.

* all solid-wood Road Series (I’m not familiar with the X series)
 
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OM Flyer

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5,652
Do people in general feel the MIM Martins are a good buy?
I'm personally not a big fan. When shopping for my son, my impression was that they seemed cheaply made. On every one of the X-series that I picked up, both dread and 000, there was a visible gap in the corner where the heel and the body and the fretboard meet. I could actually see light through it. We ended up getting him an Eastman, and I'm utterly floored by the quality and value of what that company builds.
 
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11,987
For recording, I would look into a used Larrivee. Solid wood, Depending on the age, built in the US/Canada. Nice stuff. A vintage all mahogany Martin is totally worthy, but pricy.
 

navigate40

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134
I have recorded 4 different acoustics. The one that is consistently the best is a Martin DRS2, one of the first MIM ones. Love it, very good quality, no disappointments. Used ones are very inexpensive. I think it has been replaced by the D-10E, which is under $1000.

Have played a Martin OM, but never recorded one. They have that 'Martin' sound...it would be interesting to compare and see if the OM recorded better than the dread. The least expensive Martin 000 (OM) looks to be the all Sapele 000-10E...some like all 'hog acoustics for recording. Under $800?

The other one I like recording is the Gibson J45 Studio. A similar model, the G-45, is $999. [obviously Gibson shorter scale, but OM body depth]

The Martin and Gibson are articulate and melodic. Clean and clear, in recordings.

Blueridge and Eastman acoustics are also very good....but their better models are not inexpensive.

Obviously, try before you buy.
 
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fenderjapan

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I added something to the original post...
The main thing I want to do is get the best unplugged sound for recording and playing that I possibly can. If it has onboard electronics that's a plus. But if it doesn't sound better unplugged than my GS Mini it is sort of pointless, because I have that guitar for live use and it works just fine.

How would the Martin Road Series (000-10E, for example) compare to something like the Taylor GS Mini unplugged?
 

Route67

Member
Messages
734
I added something to the original post...
The main thing I want to do is get the best unplugged sound for recording and playing that I possibly can. If it has onboard electronics that's a plus. But if it doesn't sound better unplugged than my GS Mini it is sort of pointless, because I have that guitar for live use and it works just fine.

How would the Martin Road Series (000-10E, for example) compare to something like the Taylor GS Mini unplugged?
The 000 Martin Road Series will have 24.9” scale, and a classic triple 0 body size = full acoustic tone without the dreadnought ‘wash and hide’ reverb, so it will and should excel at note definition and clarity with percussive ‘punch’ when required.

My experience with the GSMini spruce top koa veneer was akin to a toy guitar - I’ve since played better examples, mine was a unusual dud.
 

lp_bruce

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@fenderjapan - I think there are plenty of really good, affordable, solid-top acoustics out their for recording. Before I wrecked it, I used a Yamaha folk series for all my acoustic recording and it sounded great. I have two cedar-topped guitars (A&L Cedar and Breedlove Pursuit) that really have a nice, mellow sound and I've used each in the studio.

My experience with the GSMini spruce top koa veneer was akin to a toy guitar - I’ve since played better examples, mine was a unusual dud.
Too bad--and a little surprising--that you got a dud. If Taylor is anything, they are consistent. I've got a GS-Mini rosewood and I've done some recording with it. It's the only travel guitar I've played that actually sounds like a full-size guitar (to me).
 

slap_back05

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2,971
Larrivee has some nice OM/000 style that are very affordable and sound good.

My personal opinion is you always go Martin.
 

mrpinter

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7,404
Yamaha makes the best guitars in their price ranges, IMO. I got my granddaughter an FS830 (if I remember correctly) for her 12th birthday. It is very easy to play, and I was surprised at the volume and pretty tone. It is a concert size (smaller than dreadnaught and the body is a little thinner. I imagine their made in Japan top of the line models are on a par with much more expensive guitars.
 

Jack Dotson

Silver Supporting Member
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1,133
I recently bought a PRS SE Tonare T60E. Great guitar. Sound, plays and looks great. And is very reasonably priced. Can spend allot more and get allot less guitar.
 




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