Used acoustic for 16 y/o 200-300 dollars recommendations?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by tommyd, Jun 16, 2019.

  1. tommyd

    tommyd Supporting Member

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    My daughter’s piano teacher is asking me for recommendations for his 16-year-old son’s birthday, he is looking for a used acoustic between two and 300. I have all electrics but know you guys will have great ideas. What’s the best bang for the buck in this price range? Thank you
     
  2. jerrycampbell

    jerrycampbell Member

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    My friend's old Yamaha is beat but sounds great, plays beautifully.
    IME, Yamaha acoustics are excellent quality in a range of prices.
    Yamaha has been making instruments since 1887.
     
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  3. jvin248

    jvin248 Member

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    .

    Did the kid ask for "a guitar!" or specifically for an acoustic? I often find that parents are the choosers of acoustics because they think they are cheaper to buy and quieter. When electrics can be less expensive for a given quality playability level and electric can be played unplugged or with headphones while an acoustic is always loud.

    I bet the kid asked for an electric guitar and will be sorely disappointed when the parent presents an acoustic. Boys will gravitate toward electric, girls often but not always seek an acoustic, but make sure of what the kid wants.

    Electric is easier to learn on because of much lower string tension -- very important for kids starting out and that can mean the difference between learning to play or going back to video games. As for easy to play...

    Budget in a full fret level and setup for no matter what guitar they buy. I'd rather start with a $50 beater guitar and a $100 fret level than a $500 new guitar with factory hammered-in frets any day. A full fret level and setup will make any guitar play like the ones retailing for $1000+. And it only costs $100 range most places. At least get a $50 setup (and that's why I advocate the extra $50 for the level is so worth it).

    Epiphone Special II is probably the best value out there for the usual brands, new or used, second is the Squier Mustang HH, or the Squier Bullet Telecaster. Thomann US has some impressive guitars and that would be a great option too.

    If set on getting an acoustic ... Yamaha or Washburn are the two I'd say to focus on. Buy used and get a fret level job.

    .
     
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  4. runningman

    runningman Member

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    this.

    I just bought a Yamaha acoustic/electric off Craigslist for $200, and it's astonishing how good it is. Plays perfectly in tune, sounds great, easy to play, etc. They definitely know what they are doing.

    get one with a solid top if possible.
     
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  5. runningman

    runningman Member

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    might as well budget in an extra $500,000 for a recording studio, because that $50 beater recorded in a half-million dollar recording studio will sound better than a $500 guitar recorded on your laptop....

    serious, bro, what the eff are you talking about? no one is going to spend half the value of a beginner guitar on a fret level and setup, let alone twice the value.

    :facepalm
     
  6. twinrider1

    twinrider1 Member

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    Yep, Yamaha. Can't go wrong with a used FG700S ($125-$150 with a gig bag) or a new FG800 ($200 no gig bag). Solid top, sturdy build. If you were in Columbus I'd sell you mine but I'd be shocked if there weren't half a dozen of them on your local Craigslist.
     
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  7. JrBondy

    JrBondy Member

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    Well I to know that sounds crazy but it is often what many less expensive guitars & many guitars need, unless you find one that don’t. If you want a guitar that’s fun to play rather than a chore...
    My first one was a Stella with strings a 1/2” off the fretboard my parents thought was great. A new Ibanez AC 240 goes for $300. & there really nicely set-up.
     
  8. FenderBigot

    FenderBigot Supporting Member

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    My ex-wife bought me an inexpensive Yamaha before we got divorced... I gave it to my son, but it was a surprisingly good sounding guitar for $300 brand new. :aok
     
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  9. jerrycampbell

    jerrycampbell Member

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    Agreed, solid top for sure.
     
  10. Pedro58

    Pedro58 Member

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    Used Taylor Big Baby.
     
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  11. tommyd

    tommyd Supporting Member

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    Great suggestions just like I expected, you guys are awesome thank you
     
  12. Tony Done

    Tony Done Member

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    First off, and IMO more important than the guitar, budget for a setup. There are a lot of good cheap acoustics out there these days, eg Yamaha, Tanglewood, Epiphone, but choose one with a decent neck angle.. That is, will there there still be a reasonable amount (say 2.5mm) of saddle showing when the action has been set to his liking, say, 1.6mm treble side, 2.5mm bass side, at the body fret.
     
  13. No_Stairway

    No_Stairway Member

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    Seagull Entourage or S6, I would go S6 for me but you can find a thin bodied entourage for $250 that may be a better fit
     
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  14. RicOkc

    RicOkc Member

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    Takamine
     
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  15. William Beaver

    William Beaver Member

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  16. TwoHandsTenThumbs

    TwoHandsTenThumbs Silver Supporting Member

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    Art & Lutherie. Basically a no-frills Seagull. North American made, and quite nice for the money. You can get a used one well inside that budget...new models start at $399.
     
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  17. davess23

    davess23 Member

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    If you can get hold of a used low-end Blue Ridge, which should be doable at or around the high end of your price range, the kid will have an instrument that they can start with and keep for years. You ought to be able to find a used BR-43 or similar for that money. If the owner has taken decent care of it it a major fret leveling or set up probably won't be necessary.

    Eastman and Recording King are two other lower-cost brands that are often surprisingly well-made, easy playing, and good sounding. In fact, some of their stuff is just plain good, regardless of price.
     
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  18. mrpinter

    mrpinter Supporting Member

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    I think in that price range the correct answer is Yamaha. And while it may cost more than he is are budgeting, sometimes a setup can make all the difference between a guitar that's hard to play, or easy to play. And at 16 y.o. his son might just choose an electric if given a choice. They are generally easier to learn on than an acoustic because decent ones are a lot easier to play. And I bet that 16 year old doesn't listen to much acoustic music. Just saying.
     
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  19. Bluedano1

    Bluedano1 Member

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    I'm a Blueridge owner and fan, and though I don't own the model, the BR-43 ( 000-18 style with solid top/lam body) is fantastic sounding ( lightweight and lively) player.
     
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  20. Fret-O'File

    Fret-O'File Supporting Member

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    I would take a look at Eastman PCH-1.
    They are in your price range, have a solid top and I've owned many Eastman acoustics over the years and they have all been great guitars.
    Of course, this is the entry-level model so you will get what you pay for but Eastman makes good stuff.
     
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