Hi-end acoustic buying decision recommendations

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by authen, Jan 23, 2008.


  1. authen

    authen Member

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    I'm trying to find out how you make the decision on what high-end, small company acoustic guitar to buy. What do you recommend - do you go to the shop? Word of mouth? Especially if they are not available retail...can someone give me an idea?

    Thanks, John
     
  2. JMG

    JMG Member

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    There is an Acoustic guitar section of the Gear Page and I think you'll get more responses and ideas there.
     
  3. photoguy

    photoguy Member

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    Everybody's gotta be somewhere.
    Some stores have a good return policy...

    http://www.dreamguitars.com/index.htm

    for instance has a 72 hour approval period. For a guitar that you don't have the option of playing first, this might make it a little easier.
     
  4. Brian Scherzer

    Brian Scherzer Staff Member

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    Moved thread to proper area.
     
  5. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Member

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    Play them, you have to, when xxxxxxxxx you will know you found a keeper.

    I am fortunate enough to live near Mandolin Brothers. When I shopped for a nice acoustic I played everything, and would up coming home with one I never thought I would buy, a Martin D-41. It remains a consistently awesome guitar 10 years later.
     
  6. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    If you are looking for something a little more "traditional" I can recommend Collings. I have two, and both of these definitely made my turtle come out of it's shell.
     
  7. royd

    royd Member

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    Go to the shops and play them if you can. If you're spending that kind of bucks, it is worth spending some money n travel to get up close with as many as possible. Still, playing some of them is not possible... so if you can't, listen to players you respect and see what sounds they're getting.
     
  8. Jazztone

    Jazztone Member

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    Too much information here... eek!

    +1 on the Collings though
     
  9. Beagle1

    Beagle1 Member

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    Without a doubt, if you're not really sure what to get then go spend a day at a shop like Mandolin Bros, Elderly, The Podium, Gryphon, etc and play every high-end guitar in the store. There are so many options and each brand has a sort of signature sound.

    That said, make sure you check out Collings, Goodall, Huss & Dalton, Bourgeois, Froggy Bottom, Santa Cruz, Breedlove, Lowden...as well as the higher end offerings of Martin, Taylor, and Larrivee. If you are contemplating a hand-built instrument, then it will be well worth your time to attend the Newport Guitar Festival in April:

    http://www.newportguitarfestivalmiamibeach.com/homepage.html
     
  10. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

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    If you're looking for a luthier built instrument it would be worth a trip to one of the big acoustic guitar shows, such as the Healdsburg festival. Alternatively, a visit to a shop that carries several small builders' instruments would be invaluable.

    Bryan
     
  11. Stephen Davis

    Stephen Davis Supporting Member

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    Call Gruhns and check out a Martin Quad. I doubt if I will ever part with mine. More people freak out over that guitar then anything I have ever seen.
     
  12. opdev

    opdev Member

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    You have to play them.

    I work a block from www.themusicemporium.com

    I have a beautiful Collings and a great Martin HD-28V. What I am starting to learn is that it's hard to beat a really great Martin (for my style).

    I am curently lusting after an OM28 Marquis to replace me Collings.
     
  13. JSeth

    JSeth Member

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    John - I play Mark Angus acoustic guitars - a 6 string and a 12 string; both are exquisite instruments - not fancy, just really good wood and great tone. Maple sides and back on the 6 string, a guild F-40 shape; the 12 string is rosewood, same shape. Nearly 30 yrs old, I can attest to how well they will hold up!
    Mark works out of the Guitar Shop in Laguna Beach, CA; tel: 949-497-2110. He can do pretty much any shape you'd like, I believe; I saw some old slope shouldered gibson shapes as well as a 000 type when I was there at Christmas time. Give him a call!
     
  14. rosscoep

    rosscoep Member

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    I love the Larrivee's. I don't know if they are a larger builder than you want but very nice.
     
  15. davess23

    davess23 Member

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    If the guitar maker that interests you only sells direct, you're screwed...your options are pretty much to find one you like used, or ask owners a lot of questions and see if they'll let you try their guitars, or just cross your fingers, place your order and hope for the best.

    Unless you've got a lot of experience with high-end guitars and are totally confident that you can spec exactly what you're looking for, I'd advise doing exactly what others responding to your post urged you to do: go to a well-stocked guitar shop run by knowledgable people and play as many as you can. Someplace like the Music Emporium will have guitars from large and small makers, and expertise on staff to help you find the instrument that will work for you. Take a couple of days if necessary. And then buy the one you like from the shop that helped you with your decision.
     
  16. matte

    matte Senior Member

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    my body.
    i wanted a 7 string scalloped board cutaway steel string. i did my research and went with scharpach.
     
  17. Joe Tone

    Joe Tone Silver Supporting Member

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    Where are you located?
     
  18. GuitarsFromMars

    GuitarsFromMars Member

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    Scharpach makes amazing acoustics,but I was at Gruhn's(right behind the famous Ryman Auditorium),and played a 1941 Martin 000-45 refin,and for 55,000$ it was beyond amazing.I know it's in the store in Nashville,looking for a new owner...as we speak of this...I wish I played well enough,to be deserving of a guitar,in the pre-WWII realm.
     
  19. nik

    nik Member

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    Matte -
    Is that a flattop? I am familiar with his archtops...
    Nick
     
  20. matte

    matte Senior Member

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    my body.
    here are pics. will be in house next week.



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