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Looking for an acoustic with dry tone

mrbill

Member
Messages
908
I don't know much about acoustics, so would like some advice from you guys. Here's, generally, what I think I want:

* dry tone ( like the intro to Over the Hills and Far Away )
* not a thick neck ( like a smallish '59 LP would be good )
* used, preferable, but I would also consider new
* $1000 max, with case ( or gig bag )

What type of guitar ( the little experience I've had with acoustics was with a dreadnought )? What brand/model?

Thanks
 

evening_crow

Member
Messages
348
Dry tone immediately makes me think of an all mahogany guitar. A used Martin 000-15M or D-15M depending on whether you prefer finger picking or strumming. Either come with a gig bag if I'm not mistaken. Personally, those 15M, particularly the 000, have a very special magic to them (I have a custom OM one that I love). There's also the RS series if you go new and possibly GPC series used.

Another mahogany one that really got my interest was the Breedlove Stage Series Concert E Mahogany. This one pops up on the Deal of the Day on MF pretty often. I actually almost got one before finding my custom OM-15.
 
M

Member 37136

Sapele shares many characteristics of mahogany, including its inherent dryness. The Martin 00010E Road Series is an all-solid sapele guitar that retails for $750. Worth a look, IMO.
 

mrbill

Member
Messages
908
Thanks for the input, exactly what I needed. Since I rarely play an acoustic and know little about their characteristics, I wouldn't have associated mahogany ( edit: or sapele ) and dry tone. Except for the Breedlove, I listened to Youtube demos of the guitars mentioned, and checked prices on Reverb. For the most part, used or new, they seem to be running a bit more than the $1000 I was aiming for, but not too bad. I particularly liked the Martin 15's, but now have to look into the differences between the 000-15M and D-15M.

With the Martin demos, it seems mahogany is more subtle and quiet than the sitka/rosewood dreadnoughts I've played or heard. Between the two of them, the D-15M seemed to be fuller and project more than the 000-15M, though it could have just been the way it was recorded.
 
M

Member 37136

Between the two of them, the D-15M seemed to be fuller and project more than the 000-15M, though it could have just been the way it was recorded.
There’s no denying that a dread will sound bigger than a 000, all other things being equal. But if you want a smaller body with a richer bass response, look for a used 00015SM (12 frets clear of the body with a slotted headstock). To my ears, they’re the best sounding of Martin’s 15-series guitars.
 

Frozen Rat

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,342
I'll toss in a suggestion for an Eastman E10 00. Or an Eastman E10 OM. Both of these are fantastic and used are an especially good bargain.
 

evening_crow

Member
Messages
348

wrathfuldeity

Member
Messages
1,884
Another option and less expensive...but may not meet your neck specs. Is an early 60's Harmony H165...the poor man's Martian. I found one that had a bunch of work done (reset, over-sized tress rod, refret, tuners) and then also took it to my luthier for an improved saddle placement...plays and sounds like a dream...she is a sweetie...very intimate and responsive. Imo, she is the near ultimate couch git. Its not quite as loud as a Martin 15M...however have not played nor found a 15M or even a Waterloo hog that is as intimate and responsive as her at any price...perhaps its the real hog, ladder bracing and being almost 60 yrs old ;).
 
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lamenlovinit

Member
Messages
3,843
For the most part, used or new, they seem to be running a bit more than the $1000 I was aiming for, but not too bad.
The first 4 words are critical. It takes a little patience, but you can find what you want for your price.

There's a cutaway Larrivee dread with electronics right now for a $999 Buy it now price. I realize that's right at a grand, but it's also a cutaway with electronics! And made of real mahogany, not mahogany substitute.

Check for a couple of weeks and you will definitely find the body shape you want for under a grand.

Here's the guitar in question. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Larrivee-D...6dd0:g:xQsAAOSwKy9c8T3x&LH_ItemCondition=3000
 

BEACHBUM

Member
Messages
3,292
Guild Westerly D140ce. Solid mahogany back and sides - Solid sitka spruce top - Mahogany neck - Rosewood bridge and fret board - Mother of pearl inlays - Fishman electronics - Polyfoam case - $930 - Standard version (no cutaway or electronics) $800.

 
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SciFlyer

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,976
If you are looking for a mahogany acoustic, check out Guild D25s from the ‘70s and ‘80s. They are usually great guitars, really common and you can still get them for decent prices.
 

mrbill

Member
Messages
908
Thanks for the thread. I wasn't aware what 'dry tone was which led me to do some searches..
Despite playing for some time, I only first heard the phrase about three years ago when I got interested in Gypsy Jazz, and heard that used to describe the traditional tone of that style. But then I've pretty much stuck to electric, only rarely spending time playing acoustic. I'm not even completely sure that the example I gave when I started the thread - Zep's "Over the Hills and Far Away" - is an example of dry tone, but I think it is. When I listen to the opening of that song, I just hear the fundamental note(s) and not other complex, shifting timbres that go along with each note/strum. Also, is maybe some level of studio compression contributing to that? I don't know; that's just the impression I get.
 

mrbill

Member
Messages
908
Great suggestions, all! I didn't check all of them on Youtube and search Reverb, but so far I'm most liking what I see and hear with the Martins, then the Gibson American Eagle, then the Guilds.
 

quilsaw

Member
Messages
1,129
Mahogany or mahogany like. A Larrivee 03 series would be easy to find in your range, and the necks are a modern, not huge size. If you can handle a slightly big body, but not a jumbo, the L series is a great choice.
Really good suggestion :aok

FWIW, "dry tone" (to me) means more pronounced fundamental and reduced harmonic (or overtone) frequencies. There's some speculation as to the reason behind this phenomenon, but one that has been espoused by several knowledgeable builders relates to the speed of reflections being generated by the back & side tone woods....a faster response time will tend to generate more clarity (or a more coherent signal) whereby the harmonic partials reinforce (or are aligned with) the fundamental.
 
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mysterious1s

Member
Messages
1,693
But if you want a smaller body with a richer bass response, look for a used 00015SM (12 frets clear of the body with a slotted headstock). To my ears, they’re the best sounding of Martin’s 15-series guitars.
Agreed. They sound and play great!
 




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