Best Acoustic Between $500-$1000

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by Big Dan, Feb 11, 2006.

  1. Big Dan

    Big Dan Member

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    Well, this and the "~$500" post could make a good little pair of threads.

    Actually, I too am helping a friend look for an acoustic. He is a singer/songwriter and right now he is in a Bluegrass group, but loves to play rock/blues as well. He is currently playing a Takamine that is too quiet and a little too dull.

    So, what should we try out? Any ideas welcome.

    Thanks,
    Dan
     
  2. utterhack

    utterhack Member

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    Breedlove Atlas series? I like the AC-25 m'self, but there's a dreadnought if that's more your thing.
     
  3. edgarallanpoe

    edgarallanpoe Member

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    Huge +1. I played a bunch this weekend and they were all spectacular.
     
  4. royd

    royd Member

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    I'm sticking with the Blueridge in this price range too. they make some very nice bluegrass style gutars.
     
  5. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    Find a used Tacoma DR-38; or in that range of USA Tacoma guitars. You'll be stunned.
     
  6. omensixaxe

    omensixaxe Member

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    +2. my AC25SR never ceases to amaze on a daily basis. :) i still remain shocked at what i paid for it. (600..ish)
     
  7. chipdog

    chipdog Member

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    Agreed. They are an incredible value. Fantastic tone & playability for the money.
     
  8. Big Dan

    Big Dan Member

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    Fantastic.

    Breedlove, Blueridge, and Tacoma are on the list.

    Thanks,
    Dan
     
  9. guitarlix

    guitarlix Member

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    Epiphone Masterbuilt
     
  10. blueguitar

    blueguitar Member

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    I also like the Breedlove and Blueridge but one that has been left out here is the Larrivee D03-R. Had several in the shop and every one has kicked the competition when comparing tone, volume and playability for the dough.
     
  11. GuitarsFromMars

    GuitarsFromMars Member

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    I recently bought a 1959 Martin 0-15 for 300 dollars,had a Fishman Matrix transducer/preamp and Nickle Grover Rotomatics installed got a Martin Case and am still at the 730 dollar mark...8.5-9/10 condition.
     
  12. johan

    johan Member

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    2002 Tacoma DR-38. US made. All solid woods. Mahogany neck, spruce top and rosewood back and sides. Fishman Matrix pickup. $800 a couple of weeks ago.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. billv

    billv Member

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    Another option to look at is the Martin "15" series. The 12-fret versions (000-15S and D-15S) are wonderful guitars for the money.

    Bill V.
    http://www.billvencil.com
     
  14. utterhack

    utterhack Member

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    I'd really like to try an L-03. Haven't yet found one in the LA area, which seems unlikely...

    Taylor 200 series is pretty sweet as well.

    But I'd really prefer a jumbo. Sigh...
     
  15. Big Dan

    Big Dan Member

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    Here is an update...

    Made a trip to fairly high end acoustic store the other night. We played all kinds of acoustics in every price range. A few thoughts...

    1) Blueridge: Don't remember the model #'s we played, but I was not too impressed overall. I suppose inthe $500 range they were not bad, but in a high end acoustic shop, there were much better guitars hanging on the wall. Honestly, I like my Seagull SM-6 better.

    2) Breedlove: They didn't have any Atlas series in stock. The owner (as well as another dealer I spoke with on the phone) told me that they were having a hard time getting them. It seems that GC has picked up Breedlove and they are sending them all they can make. Plus, for the $800 range I would have liked to see solid wood, not laminates on the back/sides.

    3) Larrivee: VERY NICE! Although well out of the price range, me and my friend both fell inlove with a D-50. Almost all the Larrivee's sounded great though. I really wanted to try a D-03/D-03R, but he had just sold the one he stocked. For the $800-$900 range, I bet this guitar would be hard to beat, esp. if it sounded anything like the D-50. The "3" series guits he had were all impressive sounding for the money.

    4) Other stuff. All the usual Martin's, Taylors, etc. We also played a few big $$$ Santa Cruz, Breedloves, Guilds, and Gibsons. The big surprise was a few year old Guild Jumbo. I can't recall the model, but it was a limited edition with koa back and sides. Beautiful axe and it sounded terriffic, but it was $2400.

    I think he is leaning towards a Larivee and I agree. From what we played, they seemed to have the best sound in that range.

    Thanks for all the input
    Dan
     
  16. utterhack

    utterhack Member

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    I tried out Larrivees yesterday too! Very comfortable, smooth players, but I found the tone a little extra-zingy. After everything folks here and elsewhere have said, I was surprised to find I preferred the Taylor 200 series models. But that's purely a matter of personal taste - the 03 series are unquestionably fine instruments.

    Breedlove Atlas still very much in the running. Big sound from the dread, but still very nicely defined. Before we get any rumors started, the AC/AD 20 and 25 models do have a solid mahogany or rosewood backs, laminate sides. 200/250 models are laminate back and sides, and those fall well below the $800 mark. Sadly, the jumbo is only available as a 250...

    Speaking of Guild, the buyer at McCabe's is pretty high on Guild's new MIC GAD line. One more to check out before I make any big decisions...
     
  17. shadco

    shadco Member

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    Put a set of Phosphor Bronze string on it instead of the Elixers or Cleartones that come from the factory and you will find the tone to be much better. Taylors tend to come with elixers also
     
  18. Big Dan

    Big Dan Member

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    Ok, thanks for clearing up the Breedlove Atlas thing. I would like to try one, but there are none in my area.

    It's funny, I knew the Larrivee's and Taylors both have Elixers, but I thought the Taylors were the brighter and zingier of the two. What are you gonna do, every acoustic is different.

    Dan
     
  19. utterhack

    utterhack Member

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    I played the Taylor in a pretty big, open space. The Larrivee in a small, enclosed room. That may account for the perceived disparity in relative zing. Tried the Guilds today too - the GAD 30 was a sweet little player, but I'm looking for a jumbo or a dread. The GAD JF-30 sounded fantastic, but the action was astonishingly high. Nothing that couldn't be corrected, but it kept me from bonding with the instrument the way I would have liked to.

    The search goes on...
     
  20. yryrky

    yryrky Member

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    I picked up a Larrivee D03R two weeks ago at Buffalo Bros in San Diego. Eight Hundred Fifty bucks, and forty to my friend Paul to dress the neck and bridge (the bargain-basement Larrivees can be pretty rough in spots). I REALLY like it, although the midrange is bright and snappy as a Fox News broadcast. This particular model is all over LA at Sam Ash Stores, as opposed to the Bay Area, which seems to have the other 000-type guitars.
     

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