Need a acoustic..the players are?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by MemphisBlues, Jan 3, 2008.


  1. MemphisBlues

    MemphisBlues Member

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    My guitar instructor wants me to get a good acoustic. He said he would pickup a Martin HD-28. If you could help me narrow done the field since there are so many options! What would you recommend in that price range for me to play. Do I need a acoustic-electric? I won't be playing out anytime in the future. Blue grass...no. Pretty much pop, rock, country rock and blues.
    Thanks for helping jump start my search!
     
  2. dangerine49

    dangerine49 Member

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    What's your budget?
     
  3. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

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    Yah +1 what is the budget. Martin HD-28 is a great guitar but it cost mucho dinero
     
  4. MemphisBlues

    MemphisBlues Member

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    I could do up to 2500 but it would hurt for a short while. I appreciate your help! It seems like a vast sea of guitars compared to my strat and Ibanez AS80. I just don't have days to play every guitar so narrowing it down to a few models/brands would be a great help.
     
  5. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

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    Many ways to go with $2500!
    any preference on used vs. new, store bought, ebay, online stores, builder direct?
     
  6. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    If you're looking to amplify this for gigging, I would look at an OM- or 00-sized guitar, which can be a little easier to amplify and tend to be less "woofy" than the big box Dread-sized guitars...

    AND, I'd definitely look at used instruments... Why pay a premium for new, if you don't have to? There are PLENTY of great-sounding slightly used instruments floating around out there, at any given point in time.

    But that's just me.

    Also, check out the forum at www.13thfret.com. It's like the Gear Page, but for acoustics. Lots of great info to be found there!
     
  7. frankencat

    frankencat Gold Supporting Member

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    If I had $2500 to spend on an Acoustic I would look at Martin, Larivee and Gibson. Make sure you play a couple of Larivee's, you will be glad you did. :)
     
  8. gh1

    gh1 Member

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    In addition to frankencat's suggestions i'd add (in the used market); Collings, Santa Cruz, and Huss and Dalton. There are plenty of choices beyond these even.

    And i'm with Dave O -- definitely look in the used market.

    One thing you are going to have to do on your own is determine what sound you're after. Concert, small body, and dreds all have a different sound.

    _____
    gh1
     
  9. dankayaker

    dankayaker Supporting Member

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    I just picked up a used (barely) Larrivee L-03R for about $700. That's a rosewood/spruce solid wood guitar that plays wonderfully and sounds great also.

    I've owned many higher dollar acoustics also . . .SanTa Cruz, C-Fox, Taylor, Bourgeous (SP?) . . all great guitars. My personal fav was the Slope D Bourgeous.
     
  10. jbgordon

    jbgordon Member

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    I would suggest a Taylor 414. They are very well voiced for the type of music you would be playing. They're very well balanced tonally and you can get into a good used one for around $1200-$1500.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  11. esiegel

    esiegel Member

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    +1 for looking used. BUT...do not buy any guitar of this quality without spending a fair amount of time with it. I would try to buy from someplace where you can sit and play the guitar in a quiet room before you buy. Then it should have a return policy in case you don't like it after some time. Maybe you could bring your instructor for advice if you don't have the confidence that you can choose a good 'un yourself.

    If I had one thing to say, it would be...try before you buy. Guitars in this price range vary widely in sound and feel.

    Enjoy it and let us know what you end up by doing. BTW, I have an HD28 which is an absolute CANNON. The best guitar for that sound I have ever heard. But it was kind of designed for bluegrass, and that is the one style you say you are not playing (I don't really play that either...)

    Eric
     
  12. Ogre

    Ogre Member

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    Lots of good ideas here. Consider Santa Cruz. Their inspiration is pre WW2 Martins. You can find them used in your price range.
     
  13. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

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    I think it is hard to go wrong with a PW series Santa Cruz. Either a dreadnought or an OM, depending on which you find more comfortable and which sound you like better. Either model is available with rosewood or mahogany back/sides. I doubt you could get a new one in your price range (I think they are around $3K now), but they used to sell new in the $2250 to $2500 range. That'll put a used one under $2K, I'd imagine. A lifetime guitar, for sure.

    Bryan
     
  14. Beagle1

    Beagle1 Member

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    My advice...find the nearest store that specializes in acoustic guitars (NOT Guitar Center or Sam Ash) and go spend several hours trying all the instruments in your price range. There are so many different models and options out there...body type (dread, OM, OOO, Jumbo), top and body woods, neck shapes and nut width size, scale length, bracing system, electronics, etc. You really need to make sure you are getting something that works for you before you plunk down your hard earned cash.

    That said, I would start by trying out a Taylor 514ce and a Martin OMC-28E, both of which should have a street price of around $2500. The Taylor is a grand auditorium body size and the Martin is an OM...either would work great for pretty much any playing style or situation. The Taylor has their "ES" electronics and the Martin has the new Fishman Ellipse Aura system built-in. Check out Larrivee too, as they are great value for money.
     
  15. MemphisBlues

    MemphisBlues Member

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    Thanks everyone.....this gives me some idea where to start.
     
  16. tbp0701

    tbp0701 Member

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    For playing pop, rock country and blues, I'd also consider the smaller body sizes, unless you really like that "boom-chuck" dread sound. The smaller bodies, like the 000s and OMs tend to be more balanced tonally (dreads typically have a lot of lows and highs) and can be more comfortable sith the slightly smaller bodies.

    Either way, I can tell you what guitars stood out to me during my own search, which may help. I tried to keep it under $1,000 or so, but you can look at higher up models, as well.

    -- Martin 15 series. These are all mahogany or sapele, including the top, and have a dark, smooth but somewhat grovelly tone. It's one of those guitars you either love for what it is, or you don't. If you're looking for a traditional-sounding steel string, there are better options, as the 15 has a different sound. (My search concluded by buying a 000-15; I love its voice).

    -- Martin 16 Series. These have spruce tops, so they sound more like, well, most other steel-string acoustics. They use a man-made material for the fretboard, however.

    -- Martin SWOMGT. I'm not sure if they still make it with this designation, but it was Martin's sustainable wood model.

    -- Larrivee 03. An 03 was the guitar I almost bought. It was nearly a toss up. Anyway, these are a little harder to find than those of the better known brands, but they are awfully impressive guitars, particularly given the price.

    -- Taylor 2xx (the "xx" is for the designation. 210 for a Dread, 214 for a Grand Concert). I'm not sure what Taylor's doing with these lately, but when I was shopping a year ago, these were Taylor's lowest-cost all-solid wood models. I don't think they're all solid any longer, but they're probably worth a try (and searching the used market). You can go up in Taylor's model line and try the 3xx and 4xx models, etc. Taylors tend to play beautifully and have a chraracteristic bright, punchy voice. You have to try some and see if you like it.

    -- Gibson J-45. It's more expensive than the others listed, but it's a legend on its own and has its own voice. I think it's definitely worth spending some time with when shopping to get your own impressions.

    -- Tacoma DM-9. OK, this is the used market sleeper deal. Before Fender bought Tacoma (and started making Guilds there, which may be worth trying out as well), the later-year DM-9s were well-made, all solid wood dreads. I saw a few of these go on eBay for a few hundred dollars. Not all of the sellers were wiling to part with them at those prices, but if you come across one, see how it plays.

    -- Seagull/Simon & Patrick -- These are quite a bit less expensive and use laminated woods, but they are well made, great playing and sounding guitars. I tried a few of these over some months in different shops. One was outstanding, two were very good, one was ok, and one was very disappointing. There were a lot of variables between shops and the storage conditions, however. At one point, I had almost convinced myself that I didn't need to buy a more expensive acoustic. But that's when I pulled down a Larrivee, which kind of reset my thinking.

    Well, that's what stood out in my trials. If I'd start again, I'd also check out the new Guilds. And if my budget reached into Martin 28-series range and above, I'd also try out Santa Cruz, Collings, Huss & Dalton and some others. Once you get into that price range, there are a lot of fantastic choices.
     
  17. einstein

    einstein Member

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    Dont spend that much, you can get very nice guitars for 5 or 6 hundred. That martin is the standered by which all others are judged. Esteban clearly states he likes the rosette on his guitar better than the one on the martin so take that into consideration. Plus you can get estebans with sparkles and chevy logos now, somthing that was unavailable just a few short years ago.:rolleyes:
     
  18. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

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    My thoughts.
    If you want to go on the lower end of the budget to the higher side.
    a nice Seagull, Tacoma or MIJ Takamine
    a Taylor, Martin, Larrivee
    Breedlove, Lowden
    Goodall or my favorite if you want to spent all $2500 a Fylde (Orsino, Fallstaff, Oberon) but the exchange rate is against you here.


    For any of these guitars I recommend you have a good setup done after you get it (also make sure you have it done for the string gauge you want to use). and if you have the opportunity to play before you buy, that is always better.
     
  19. alanbass1

    alanbass1 Member

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    I would advise looking for something in the OM/000 size as opposed to a Dreadnaught. I really like Martin's and you could get a used OM28V for between $1500 and $2000 and this is an outstanding instrument if you get a good one. Buying a quality second hand acoustic is the best advice, if you can find one, as you should not lose money if you look after it and decide to sell later down the road. But you really need to find a good shop and try a number out for yourself. Avoid mail order as acoustics of the same make and model vary considerably.
     
  20. greeny

    greeny Member

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    This is the advice you should follow IMO. The two models above are fair starting points that most half decent stores will carry and will allow you to guage the rest of their stock against.

    I went on a Similar quest last year. and tried hundreds of Guitars in dozens of stores over 6-9 months. Most Martins and Taylors left me cold, The manuafactures that did impress me, that I eventually choose from were: Patrick Eggle, McIlroy and BSG. Not sure how widley available any of these are in the USA. Anyway the point is, find what works for you using the abouve models as a starting point.
     

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