Choosing an Acoustic for Live Rhythm Work?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by Tapp, Aug 9, 2006.

  1. Tapp

    Tapp Member

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    Hi all,

    I'm primarily an electric player and I'm looking for a nice acoustic to play at church (plugged in direct) for mostly rhythm strumming. I don't want the cheapest import but I don't want to spend too much since my main gig is on electric.

    I like necks that are rounder C/U shaped (No V shapes for me). I have an opportunity to purchase a Taylor 312 that plays like butter (very close to an electric) but the neck felt a little small to me and I haven't heard the guitar plugged up.

    Any suggestions?

    thanks,

    Tapp
     
  2. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

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    Hmm Taylors have a fairly big neck in my opinion.
    Well you could try what the Boss plays (and I do as well) a Takamine EF-341SC fairly good acoustic, but I really like their electronics and how that sounds through the board.
    Our church also has good success direct with Ovation (big bowl) guitars.
    Besides that if you want to go much cheaper .. Dean makes a bunch of fairly decent ones as well as Alvarez.
     
  3. Tapp

    Tapp Member

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    Thanks, I'll check that one out. What about the Larrivee's, I hear good things.

    Tapp
     
  4. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

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    Unfortunately I can't offer any input on L'Arrivee guitars never got to try one, they sure do look top notch.
     
  5. Brett Valentine

    Brett Valentine Member

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    Larrivees have a rounder, slightly more substantial neck than the Taylors. I find my Larrivee C-09 more comfortable than my Taylor 612C.

    You also might want to look into Seagull guitars. Less expensive than either the Taylors or Larrivees, and yet another variaton on sound that is not based on the Martin mold.

    Brett
     
  6. Tapp

    Tapp Member

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    Brett, could you tell me more about your Larrivee as far as tone compared to the Taylor? The one thing that I have noticed is that Taylor's seem to be pretty consistent.

    Tapp
     
  7. pickaguitar

    pickaguitar 2011 TGP Silver Medalist Silver Supporting Member

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    Used Martin D-28 or HD-28
     
  8. kensmith

    kensmith Member

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    +1 on Tak and +1 on Ovation....

    I have recently gone through same process. Here is my take on the guitars (and bonus on electronics). I have a Takamine EG360ES and just got an Ovation LX (5778LX-NEB). Primary reason to add the Ovation was my desire for a more playable neck, better electronics, and smaller body for stage work in praise band at church. The electronics in the new LX series from Ovation is awesome...a very rich and full sound. They have that one figured out. This Tak/Ovation combo gives me very good coverage for both plugged in and unplugged settings.
    On the amp side of my acoustic setup, I have a Ultrasound amp (50w version) and I use a Boss AD5 when going direct to PA. These are very versitle and can handle most situations. I like the reverb and chorus on the Boss unit, so I sometimes use that with Ultrasound as well.
    My Fender Strat and Vox can cover any wild electric needs as well.


    Best of luck to you...
    Ken
     
  9. smiert spionam

    smiert spionam Member

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    Nothing sounds better to me for rhythm acoustic than a J-45 -- very warm, full, and sits below a singer's voice very well. The standard model being sold now comes stock with a pickup, too.

    Mine is a '57, but a good new one still has tone to spare, and much more character than just about anything else in its range. I'd be reluctant to buy an acoustic primarily for its amplified tone or electric-like playability, which is what Taylors have seemed best for to me (even more so for Ovation).

    Of course, everyone's got a different magic sound in their head -- so check out a lot of guitars, and see which one makes you take it home.
     
  10. MMiller

    MMiller Member

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    If your primarily an electric player and looking for an acoustic, take a look at the Turner RS-6. Thats what I just picked up and have been using for a live acoutic in our church worship team. It sounds great plugged in plus it plays more like an electric then a Taylor T-5 I used or my Breedlove.
     
  11. rockindillo

    rockindillo Member

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    You'll go a long way to find a better-behaved "acoustic" for live use than the Line 6 Variax acoustic - no feedback, even at high volumes and it does virtual dropped and open tunings at the drop of a switch.
    No pure acoustic tone, though - and the cosmetics aren't to everyone's taste.
     
  12. Tapp

    Tapp Member

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    Thanks for the advise guys. I played several this past weekend and want to play a few more before I pull the trigger. So far Larrivee has been the best bang for the buck. I played an L-03 with mahogany back/sides. In playing others I think I prefer Rosewood back/side for the richness yet even sound.

    Tapp
     
  13. Brett Valentine

    Brett Valentine Member

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    Okay, the main difference between the 2 stems from the wood and size. The Taylor has a very bright tone that projects well. It is not very bass heavy (small body). If you tune down, the notes are present but not rich and pianolike. The tone is very straightforward and balanced and is very easy to record. Fingerstyle-wise, itis nicely responsive to a pretty light touch. No dead spots. The other thing is that the Taylor sounded great plugged in direct to the board w/o any eq (active "Taylor" Fishman Matrix). The only thing is the piezo "quack" when strummed too hard.

    The Larrivee has a clear top end and a large midrange with the bottom end balanced to the upper and midrange. Not the "big bottom/slightly pinched mids" of the standard Martin tone. As the top opened up over time, the bottom end filled out a bit more, but the mids are still pretty pronounced but in balance. It works nicely for strumming as well as fingerpicking.

    Compared with a Taylor 814c (I still really like these as well) which seems to be the closest model to the Larrivee C-09, the C-09 seems to fill out the mids a bit more with a little bit looser bass (even more after opening up). And tuning down brings out the bottom end even more. There are no dead spots on this one either, but there are some resonant frequencies that can be a little pronounced depending upon where you put a capo; not bad, but just a touch noticeable to my ears. The Taylor didn't have this. And whilt the Taylor's top is nicely responsive, The Larrivee, which started out stiffer and needing a bit more picking pressure, has gotten very responsive and dynamic (though the most responsive guitar I owned was a Martin 0001).

    The mids are more complexand have more layers to my ears. The downside is that it takes a bit more time finding the right mic placement for recording (my best results were with an "xy" pair at the 14th fret from about 10"-11" away).

    Plugged in (I'm using the Baggs Dual Source System), the Ribbon Transducer tends to focus on the mids a bit over much (especially with the gold foil side up) but that is the characteristic tone of the top. With a bit of eq (with the Baggs PADI), the sound is good. When run with the mic and Ribbon Transducer eq'ed seperately (I'm running 2 MXR M108 graphic eq's and 2 PreSonus EQ3B parametric eq's), you can get a pretty faithful representation of the guitar's tone.

    The D-09, dreadnaught shape should give you even more bottom end (though still not that "canon-like" Martin thing), but I like the balance of the L series (LV for the Venitian cutaway and C for the discontinued sharper Florentine cutaway).

    The other thing I have found is that Larrivees tend to also be very consistent (as are Taylors). A L-03R is going to sound pretty close to an L-09 (taking into account that they are different pieces of wood).

    While I still like my Taylor, the Larrivee's tone still draws my ear in after 6 years, and it has become my main guitar.

    Brett
     
  14. Tahitijack

    Tahitijack Member

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    I like my Taylors but for your needs I'd go with Ovation, old school acoustic gigging, road worthy and good tone when playing rhythm.
     
  15. Tapp

    Tapp Member

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    Have the modern Ovations changed? I've never liked the tone nor rounded back of an Ovation. They always sounded so thin to my ears with no beef whatsoever. Glen Cambell was the only player that I halfway liked playing one. Of course he could probably make any cheap guitar sound like a million bucks!

    Tapp
     
  16. kensmith

    kensmith Member

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    [FONT=Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif]Yes the Ovations have improved signficantly. You should really check out the new LX series.
    I am a dreadnought guy (heavy strummer) and was looking for a new guitar for new worship band. I ended up with 6778LX-NEB, with a phenominal deal from online store (fellow Christian worship leader) who has a mission to provide pro-level gear to Christian musicians for budget prices. If you try one out and like it, let me know and I can connect you with him. He also included extras that I need for my work at church and is a great guy.
    Ken
    [/FONT]
     
  17. waxnsteel

    waxnsteel Member

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    I'd play a variax acoustic before I'd play an ovation. That's just me. Playing rhythm stuff in a band, I actually think the Variax would do a great job, cause it sounds the part. Solo, it doesn't feel the part enough, and aesthetically, it doesn't do it for me the way a real acoustic does. I can't say that I don't think it sounds good, but it just doesn't respond the same way an acoustic does.
    When I first saw Ovations, I thought they were the coolest things ever. I played a few, and didn't like the feel of most of them. A couple were decent. I've heard other players get great sounds out of them, but never enjoyed the sounds I made with them.
     
  18. Tapp

    Tapp Member

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    I'm seriously considering the Variax. I never thought I'd like something like it but for church worship setting it sounds like it would be perfect. I like a chunkier neck too and from what I've read the neck is similar to a Les Paul. I would love to find one locally but no one has it so I may take a chance on the Musiciansfriend 30day deal.

    Tapp
     
  19. tga-3

    tga-3 Supporting Member

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    Check out Martin Guitar's M or "0000" guitars. Great for live or studio application. Very balanced and versatile guitar, killer for finger-style, flat-picking, or strumming. I settled in on a Custom Shop M-38 many years ago and never looked at another acoustic.
    FWIW,
    Rick
     

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