Retired elec player wants an acoustic

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by Bunther, May 21, 2020.

  1. Bunther

    Bunther Member

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    I’ve been an electric player for almost 50 years. I have no acoustic. I’d like to get something suitable for James Taylor and brazilian jazz styles. I started reading here and trying at local stores. Until today a Taylor 714ce has been my favorite, but too expensive. Today I played a Martin OO-28 and a D-28. No electronics, nice setups. I enjoyed playing the OO-28, but standing in front while someone else played them I heard a little something extra from the D-28. At the same store they had a $320 single cutaway Yamaha with electronics that played as well as the Martins and sounded really good. I’d like to find something for less than $1500 out the door.

    I welcome your advice.
     
  2. dazco

    dazco Member

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    Eastman. Best acoustics made as far as bang/buck. Look at thier lineup and see which models have the specs u want. Only brand new acoustics i have ever played that sound aged. Well, except some very high end boutiques like lowden, collings, etc. The handmade eastmans are right at your budget but can be found cheaper if you look or buy used.
     
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  3. Pitar

    Pitar Member

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    My go to guitar is a Yamaha classical with a cut and electronics. Do not hesitate to throw some serious looks at the brand. I also have a $$$$ Goodall RCJC that has been seconded by the Yamaha. It comes down to your own sensibilities about what you want versus what you think you need to be told. I'd go with the former and courteously thanks those who contributed to the latter.
     
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  4. Route67

    Route67 Member

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    I’m one of those who have been making recommendations but truth be told, it’s only for the purpose of discussion and of general interest. When it comes to actually making music I think Pitar offers the most practical advice - the emphasis should be on applying your own technique to whatever works for you rather than on any specific piece of gear. In any case, there is a large archive of recommendations from all the known contributors.

    With regard to especially lightly-built steel string guitars, it’s a good idea to test them by playing them all over the fretboard vigorously, looking for any tonal imbalances or wolf notes. Some guitars (especially smaller) are extremely resonant and their natural resonant frequency can augment or collide with what is plucked on the strings.

    Good luck!
     
  5. rockabilly69

    rockabilly69 Supporting Member

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  6. Tony Done

    Tony Done Member

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    If you want to play braz jazz, you might consider a "crossover" style such as the Cordoba Fusion, a nylons string with a slightly radiused board and a bit narrower neck than a typical classical or flamenco. I almost bought one a few years back.

    For construction, I like Taylors, and have fairly conistently preferred the tone of the Mexi 100 and 200 series to the more expensive Us-made series. Yamaha have a very good reputation, as do Eastman, but I still think that a nylon string would be you best bet if you want to play Latin Jazz, and it would work for James Taylor.
     
  7. Frozen Rat

    Frozen Rat Gold Supporting Member

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    Eastman OM or an Eastman E10D, or if you like rosewood an Eastman E20D. Right in your price range and very much of the Martin flavor. Not exactly, but something akin to a cousin. Eastman has found a way to position itself between the really cheap stuff and the really expensive stuff, creating equipment for people just like yourself that is of high quality and low price.
     
  8. jklotz

    jklotz Member

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    I'll also say I've had good luck with Eastmans. I have several much more expensive acoustics, and it's the only lower priced brand I've found that doesn't leave me wanting.

    You didn't give me enough information to suggest a model, but I'd recommend trying something in between the dread and 00 you mentioned. For me, the OM/000 sized body is the sweet spot.
     
  9. rwmct

    rwmct Member

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    The Guild imports are right up there with the Eastmans, IMO, though at the top of your price you might find a U.S. built model.

    I would suggest an OM but it sounds like you prefer a dread.
     
  10. rockabilly69

    rockabilly69 Supporting Member

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    $1500 ain't going to get you into a D28 or a 0028 unless you take your time and buy used. I would go troll the acoustic guitar forums to see if any body has a guitar they are selling for cheaper the your local stores.
     
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  11. Julio Iguana

    Julio Iguana Member

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    I think the Yamaha’s with the ARE tops (made to sound aged) are worth looking into. They come in different bodies shapes and are very well made and not over the top expensive. Good luck in your search.
     
  12. Bunther

    Bunther Member

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    Thanks for all your responses. I didn't think I wanted a Dread. Actually, a jumbo or one size down from a jumbo. But, I'm keeping myself neutral, and just trying to find an affordable guitar that feels good in my hands and sounds good to my ears.

    rockabilly69 - thanks for the video. That D28 sounds great.

    I would like to try Eastman guitars. So far, I have found only one, and it didn't feel good in my hands.

    Julio Iguana - I'd like to try the Yamaha AC3M and AC3R.
     
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  13. Arthur Bighand

    Arthur Bighand Member

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    Gibson J-45 Studio or a G-45. Made in the USA (unlike Eastman), all solid woods and a hard case thrown in. Sweeter than a Martin dread, with more articulation, particularly in the mids.
     
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  14. WordMan

    WordMan Silver Supporting Member

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    How do you want to play - alone in a room? Or playing in front of folks?

    To be clear: a dread moves more air. If you heard “something a bit more” from a dread, you did: they project bigger.

    A 00 is a great, arguably the perfect, couch guitar. They are in that perfect place on the spectrum - they love fingerstyle but you can strum the snot out of them and good ones don’t get boxy-sounding.

    I’d strongly recommend you consider the 00 - as you get more comfortable being an Acoustic Guy, I think you’ll find a smaller bodied guitar better suited to your needs. My $.02
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
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  15. Bunther

    Bunther Member

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    Some of you ask how I want to play. Definitely by myself outside on a nice day. Maybe small gigs as single or duo.

    Today I played 2 Yamahas at GC: AC3R & AC3M. They were hard to play and neither had a good, big sound. On the other hand the FGX800C ($319) has depth and is loud; not rich or complex though. I don’t understand why the models with real rosewood or mahogany wouldn’t have the volume of the cheapie.

    I can buy a new D28 that’s nicely setup for $2500 (no elec). I’d like to keep the price down below $1500.
     
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  16. Help!I'maRock!

    Help!I'maRock! Member

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    Sometimes it's just about that particular instrument. Has it been played. Has it been well kept, especially in a high traffic store, or a store that's just now reopened. Also, the cheap guitars likely have "real rosewood or mahogany", they're just a veneer. Laminate backed guitars can be louder, because the back and sides are stiffer, forcing more air through the soundhole. It doesn't have to trade off with complexity, but it can.

    I'm looking at a somewhat smaller budget than you are. My main contenders are the Eastman E1OM, and the E2, its cedar topped cousin. Put those up against a Yamaha FS800 and Eastman PCH-1OM, and go home with the winner.
     
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  17. itstooloudMike

    itstooloudMike Member

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    You should be able to find a nice used Taylor for $1500. I would suggest either a Grand Auditorium or a Grand Concert. Look for a 414, 514, 412, or 512. Taylor necks work well for us electric players. You can have them set up for low action, and use light strings. It will feel more “at home” for you. I’ve had my 414kce for many years, and recently added a 712ce 12-fret. They both sound great and play well.
     
  18. Steadfastly

    Steadfastly Member

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    Many have mentioned Eastman's and that is a very good recommendation. I would take a look at the Alvarez Masterworks as well. IMHO, they are as good as the Eastman's for a bit less. Also, an L or LL series Yamaha. They have great sustain but are a little higher on the treble side than Martin, Alvarez and some Eastman's. I would seriously look at used. With a little patience, you can find a mint guitar at 1/2 the price of new.
     
  19. jklotz

    jklotz Member

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    You are on the right track. We can only offer opinions, but there is no substitute for playing them yourself. We all hear things differently and play differently. Keep playing them, you'll find the one.

    BTW - GC doesn't set up their guitars. A few minutes and a truss rod tool could make almost everything they have play much better.
     
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  20. jvin248

    jvin248 Member

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    .

    Best thing you can do is find a great guitar tech who can level frets and do a full setup. Buy a used model of any of these brands and have 'your guy' go over them and do the tweaks necessary (or any higher end model you end up getting).

    Yamaha
    Washburn/Oscar Schmidt/Samick
    Fender
    Epiphone

    I saw a review of a Harley Benton acoustic "their higher end acoustic models" including an interior camera view of all the bracing and it looked as good as any of the famous brands.

    You can always spend more to get the brand tag on the headstock but you don't need to.

    If you're buying new -- encourage the builders to use local fast growing wood species not at-risk fragile rain forest lumber because that's a lot of bad baggage to inflict on the environment. Great tone comes from the craftspeople skill at the factory and the player not some 'magic wood'.

    .
     

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