best acoustic for ~$500?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by 56_Special, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. 56_Special

    56_Special Member

    Messages:
    1,995
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Location:
    East Village
    A friend of mine wants to buy an acoustic guitar for around $500. He's a pretty good musician, but more of a singer than a guitar player. He currently plays an old beater. I told him I'd help him shop for a new one, but I'm primarily an electric player. Any suggestions?

    Best,

    Martin
     
  2. onemind

    onemind Member

    Messages:
    3,588
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2004
    Location:
    Oceanside, NY
    I think the Seagulls are a good value.
     
  3. dbx

    dbx Member

    Messages:
    2,715
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Location:
    En casa, EL A
  4. enr1co

    enr1co Member

    Messages:
    185
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Northern CA
    Ive played and heard a few Epiphone Masterbilts OMs and Im now in
    the hunt for one- spruce top , mahogany back/sides. All solidwoods
    for ~$500.

    e
     
  5. royd

    royd Member

    Messages:
    2,000
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2004
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Blueridge... I'm not sure which models but go for one that is all solid wood. They are made in China at one of the better shops and are amazing guitars for the money. I've played a few and was blown away by the price/bang ratio. You see a lot of bluegrass players with pre-war Martins playing these when they're at festivals or traveling.
     
  6. THROBAK

    THROBAK Vendor

    Messages:
    394
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
  7. guitarlovero5

    guitarlovero5 Member

    Messages:
    43
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    anything by Godin, they make art & Lutherie, seagull and simon and patrick in that price range made in Canada!
     
  8. smiert spionam

    smiert spionam Member

    Messages:
    8,646
    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2004
    Location:
    North Zeamaysistan
    Good options here, but I'd seriously consider a used Martin 15 series. Solid woods, much more guitar than a Seagull (great guitasr for the price, themselves). I think all-mahogany guitars are especially good singer-songwriter boxes -- they sit well below a voice. The 000-15 and D-15 are both great.
     
  9. 56_Special

    56_Special Member

    Messages:
    1,995
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Location:
    East Village
    Thanks for the suggestions!

    M
     
  10. bushmill

    bushmill Member

    Messages:
    314
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2004
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    I'd go with an Epiphone Masterbuilt....I owned a Martin D-15 and a Blueridge. Personally the Epi is just a much better guitar...Rosewood back and sides, Spruce top (all wood solid), nice bound neck/fretboard. I know, I know, Epiphone...but I would give one a shot...I primarily use mine for writing and the ocassional mellow late nights....
     
  11. bleumax

    bleumax Member

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2006
    you might also consider the guild gad-30 or 30r. i have both the epiphone masterbilt ef-500rce and guild gad-30r. both are very nice for the price.
     
  12. Jet Rink

    Jet Rink Member

    Messages:
    280
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    I second this. I've turned on two friends/family to the Epis - and (flame on!) if you go to the Musician's Friend clearance page you can really make hay on price - and not just Epis.

    Good luck.

    Jet
     
  13. urlkonig

    urlkonig Supporting Member

    Messages:
    398
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2004
    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia
    Ditto on the Epi Masterbuilts, and a big rec for the Chinese Guild GAD series... I don't think anything else comes close to these for the money.
     
  14. aquadog

    aquadog Member

    Messages:
    1,281
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I'll also have to suggest seagull. Great guitars for the money, but try them out first if you can to see if you like the necks
     
  15. Jason_86_951

    Jason_86_951 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,034
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Location:
    Selah, WA
    I tried out about 60 different aucostics when I bought my last one. I play stuff in the style of Don Ross, hard strummed, beaten, finger picked, pretty violent stuff.

    I had a budget of $1800 and tried Martins, Godin, Taylor, Takamine, Ovation, Seagull and a bunch of other odd named brands.

    Out of 4 different stores I walked away with a $400 used Seagull. It was hands down the best one for my style, ears, hands and eyes. Still loving it!
     
  16. gnappi

    gnappi Member

    Messages:
    193
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2006
    Location:
    South Florida
    I don't think that ANY recommendation holds much water. I've played dull thud sounding Martins, and bright loud Fenders. I worked for over a year at a Martin dealers warehouse that stocked some 17 stores, and I got to play every Martin that came in and selected one that was so far and away better sounding than any other Martin I ever played, which was quite a considerable number. I say this to illustrate what unique personalaties acoustics have.

    What I suggest is that you and your friend spend some time shopping and walk past the offerings and hit an open "A" and play the ones that sound good. If one with old ratty strings sounds good, ask the deasler if they would consider replacing them to see what it really sounds like.

    If they won't, ask if you can buy a set and install them yourself, and deduct the price of the strings if you buy it. Believe me $8.00 or so
    in strings is a real good investment, and very easy to walk away from if it doesn't please you.


    Regards,

    Gary
     
  17. Brion

    Brion Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,457
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Location:
    Kentucky
    While I agree that playing budget guitars in person will yeild the best results, I have a Blueridge BR-140 that's really nice.
     
  18. dmagalhaes

    dmagalhaes Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,854
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Try to find a Pre- Lawsuit Japanese made Takamine from the late 70's. These were perfect copies of a Martin D-18. I have yet to play ANY acoustic guitar including many actual D-18's and everything else, that plays or sounds like this Takamine. It is a Model F340. They can be found on eBay for 500 or less and are the ultimate sleeper. The one I have was bought new by a relative and was acquired by me about 15 years ago. I wouldn't trade it for any other acoustic.
     
  19. 56_Special

    56_Special Member

    Messages:
    1,995
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Location:
    East Village
    That's obviously very good advice, and I have every intention of following it. But I thought it would also be useful to get some sense of what budget guitars others had good experiences with, so I could keep my eyes peeled for likely candidates. But, as you say, there's no substitute for playing individual guitars. The suggestion about the strings is a really good one as well. I'm always shocked about the grungy strings I find on guitars in guitar shops (even good ones like the 12th fret in Toronto). How do they expect to sell any guitars when the strings on there make every guitar sound and play like sh!t?

    Martin
     
  20. clothwiring

    clothwiring Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,734
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Location:
    Central NY
    I have an older (1994) Alvarez-Yairi DY-53 which I paid $600 (new) for and it is a beautiful instrument. Consider picking one up on Ebay? You could probably get it a bit cheaper.

    A friend of mine who owned a store said that "for the money you can't beat some of the cheap Hofners". And honestly...for what they were, they sounded great..and they were like $250 to boot.
     

Share This Page