Recommend a nice acoustic!

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by parkerbro, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. parkerbro

    parkerbro Supporting Member

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    I've been playing electric for years. I now have the bug to try a nice acoustic. I had a Taylor dreadnought that I just traded as I didn't care for the size. I'm looking to get a nice acoustic. I don't play out so it's for playing at home. From what I've read, I'm considering the following:
    Huss and Dalton
    Collings
    Goodall
    Larrivee
    Froggy Bottom - probably too expensive!

    I'd love if people would weigh in with their thoughts on any of the above or other builders. Also, if a dread feels too big and clunky, any recommendations on size? I was thinking 00 but don't know if it's too small to get a decent sound. I'm not really close enough to a decent music store to try out any nice acoustics or different sizes.

    Many thanks!
     
  2. 62Tele

    62Tele Supporting Member

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    I've owned a Collings OM2H Cutaway and these days it's a CJ. I'm actually in the opposite camp - I find dreads more comfortable. But the OM's from Collings are amazing instruments and the one I had would give a whole lot of dreads a run for their money in terms of volume and projection and the tone was stellar. The CJ's can be simply amazing, but they are full sized boxes so you may not find them as comfortable.
     
  3. SimonR

    SimonR Member

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    I own a Martin 000-28EC and I just love it to bits. I used to own a Taylor 414CE which I sold (lacked "balls" for want of a better word) and replaced with a D28.

    The 000-28 does what the D28 can't. It has more midrange. The mids are beautiful - detailed, harmonically complex, chimey...the acoustic version of an EL34 amp just tipping into overdrive! It responds really well to finger-picking - very easy to get the sound out of the guitar. But it also responds well to heavy strumming - plenty of bass when you dig in. Great volume for its size to. The EC version has a beautiful V neck that I find really comfortable, vintage-style waverley tuners, vintage tint and I understand the bracing is better than a regular 000-28. Definitely worth checking out if you want something smaller than a dread.

    Cheers,
    Simon
     
  4. Peppy

    Peppy Member

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    Santa Cruz H...smaller yet still loud and balanced. Works great for fingerpicking and strumming.
     
  5. go7

    go7 Member

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    Agree w/ SimonR. I also have a 000-28EC, best Martin I`ve ever played.Good luck
     
  6. BoutiqueMusic

    BoutiqueMusic Member

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    I use Gibsons exclusively. I have a custom made J185 12 string that I use in church every Sunday. I spent 6 months playing every guitar I could get my hands on. TO MY EARS, they sounded the best. I recommend playing every guitar you can get your hands on. Drive to some music stores far from your home and play guitars you wouldn't even consider. You never know.

    A lot of people get caught up in the nameplate. You should use you ears and your heart to decide. In the end you will be happier with your decision.
     
  7. royd

    royd Member

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    You have a list of very different guitars there...

    The Goodall and Larivee represent a different sound family than the Collings or Huss and Dalton with the Froggy being somewhere in the middle. Another difference is that Larivee is a much larger production company than the others. You're also looking at some very good guitars but they feel like apples and oranges to me.

    If you're looking for small shop guitars, add Lowden, Breedlove, and Santa Cruz and remove Larivee. If you want large production, bring Martin and Taylor and maybe Gibson and Guild into the picture. In my experience, Martins can be wonderful but they are inconsistent. Taylors are remarkably consistent but you either like them or not. Ditto with Larivees. I don't care for the Gibson sound and haven't played any of the newer guilds so I have no opinion on them. Small shop guitars are another thing altogether. Workmanship tends to be top notch and materials are often higher quality than the large production guitars.

    So play guitars from each of the companies and find one that you like. All of them will be well built guitars. All of the companies have guitars in various sizes... an OM or Grand Concert size should work fine for you and tends to b a versatile sound.
     
  8. parkerbro

    parkerbro Supporting Member

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    Thanks everyone for their responses so far. I had a Taylor and just didn't care for it. I think I'd rather buy something from a smaller company. I guess I'll have to find a place to try some!
     
  9. gregc

    gregc Member

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    My 3 picks:
    McKnight
    Omega (Kevin Gallagher)
    Fay

    (none of these are routinely 'off the shelf' btw, but some specialty shops could have one in stock)
     
  10. Jimmydeez

    Jimmydeez Supporting Member

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    With the names you listed there you could probably order a kick@$$ custom Martin. They have a custom guitar builder thing on thier site now which is cool.
     
  11. Beagle1

    Beagle1 Member

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    Huss & Dalton - Their "standard" series guitars are built with a radiused top which provides a somewhat unique tone...strong mids and a very lively acoustic tone, which is nice for bluegrass when you are trying to be heard over the banjo, fiddle, and mandolin. H&D also make a "traditional" series which has more of a vintage type tone. All their guitars are very well built and easy to play. My favorite model is their "MJ" mid-sized jumbo model, although their dreads and OM's are certainly very nice as well.

    Collings - From the Martin end of the acoustic spectrum, but with more modern construction techniques (CNC, bolt-on necks) and a Texas twang...I think they are noticeably brighter overall than most Martins. Consistently excellent build quality...I don't think they turn out any duds, although at the end of the day, I still prefer a nice Martin.

    Goodall - Rich, complex tone with lots of ring and nice lows. A lot of solo fingerstyle guys like Goodalls, especially when used with altered tunings (think Doug Smith). Like Collings and H&D, they have very high build quality although I'm not sure they're all as consistently excellent as Collings. Also, I'm not really so hot on their "traditional" series guitars.

    Larrivee - They make outstanding guitars in the $1-2.5K range, but once you get to the next step up at $3-4K, then I think the likes of Collings, H&D, Goodall, etc. offer something a bit more unique for that kind of money. Still, try them and see what you think.

    Froggy Bottom - Very unique guitars...it's been a while since I played one. I've been really impressed with the build quality, but tonally they didn't do it for me. Still, if you've got the money I would definitely recommend you try them and see what you think.

    Others to check out...Bourgeois, Santa Cruz, Schoenberg, and Merrill all make outstanding guitars in the vintage Martin tradition. And then of course, there is Martin...don't overlook them because many of their higher end models compare very favorably with any of the boutique builders these days.
     
  12. parkerbro

    parkerbro Supporting Member

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    i found a used huss and dalton 000 for a nice price at elderly but it's all mahogany including top. any thoughts?

    also, has anyone here ever played a ted thompson guitar? are they high quality?

    i really appreciate everyone's responses to this thread. :AOK
     
  13. jtodds

    jtodds Member

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    Excellent post, mirrors much of my recent exploration into higher end acoustics. Spent hours at Mandolin Brothers choosing. I could appreciate each of the examples I played by Goodall, H&D, Martin, Collings, Breedlove, Bourgeois - some really wonderful sounding instruments, but for me and what I was looking for right now I ended up with a Mcpherson 4.0 with Ebony and Redwood. A beautiful music maker.


     
  14. mmasters

    mmasters Senior Member

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    The Chinese higher end Guilds are impressive. Cost about 700-750, plays equivelent or better to about a half dozen 2-3.2K Martins I tried.
     
  15. awaywardson

    awaywardson Member

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    absolutely love my Gibson J-45
     
  16. JohnnyMac1

    JohnnyMac1 Member

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    I keep going back to goodalls.
     
  17. parkerbro

    parkerbro Supporting Member

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    I just wanted everyone to know that I spent several hours at a guitar shop about and hour and a half north of me. It was well worth the trip. I've never seen more nice acoustics in my life. The store is the Music Emporium in Lexington, MA.

    Anyway, I tried a ton of guitars and narrowed it down to two - a custom Martin OM w/ Adirondack top and rosewood sides and a Santa Cruz 000 w/German Spruce top w/rosewood back and sides. They were both amazing but I'm now at home playing the Santa Cruz!

    I am so glad that I took the advice of many forumites to play guitars before buying. I really went home with a guitar that is right for me. :banana
     

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