vintage acoustic guitar under 800

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by fndrfreek5o, Dec 25, 2009.

  1. fndrfreek5o

    fndrfreek5o Member

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    i am looking for an acoustic guitar for under 800 dollars. i don't need a pickup of any kind in as i won't play live with it. i am looking for something older like with a mellower tone but with good clarity for fingerpicking and strumming. any suggestions? i really want something like an old martin 00 model or a gibson j-45 in style but in the 800 price range thanks!
     
  2. coldfingaz

    coldfingaz Member

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    It's always highly advisable to get out & try a bunch to see what works best for you.

    My best suggestions:

    Martin 000-15 or 00-15 (all mahogany)
    Guild D25 (best years are from the 70's through the 90's)

    You should be able to find an older Gibson LGO in that range too, but it might be tough to find one in good/excellent shape.

    I've owned a 000-15 for almost 7 years, and it's an amazing guitar in that range. It's a nice in between size from very small body guitars & dreads too. Excellent finger picker & a nice strummer as well, but you won't get quite the same projection or volume as you would strumming a dreadnought.

    Can't beat a Guild D25 either if you want a durable & great sounding dread. Other Guilds that are similar & should also be within your budget are an 80's D15, D16 or D17 or a D35 or D40 (again, from the 70's - 90's). D40's may be pushing your price range, but in this economy I wouldn't take 'em out of consideration. Smaller bodied Guilds (50's - 90's era) like the M20, F20 & F30 are cool too.

    Good luck, and try to play as many different guitars as you can firsthand!
     
  3. jackaroo

    jackaroo Member

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    Not an LG-0...I don't think. An LG-1 yes.

    I think the little Martins can be great. Look for oof brands like a Kalamazoo or a Regal. Look for old ones with adi (red) spruce tops and X bracing (not ladder) and I bet you do alright.


    J
     
  4. drive-south

    drive-south Member

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    You can find nice guitars in that range, but they won't really be "vintage" guitars.

    You may be able to find a Gibson WM45. WM= Working Man. These are essentially a J45 with a plain satin finish and no frills.

    In this price range, I'd be looking at Guild guitars from Westerly RI. You may actually find a real "vintage" Guild in this range such as a D15, D25M, D30, F30, etc.

    Larrivee -03 series. These are more recent so they are not "vintage" but great value in this price range. They made the L03, OM03, D03, and there was also a 12-string.

    Some of the old Epis are cool, but most are imports.

    drive-south
     
  5. johneeeveee

    johneeeveee Member

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    Going to be really tough to find an old Martin 00 in your price range. Even the 00-15's from the 50's are going to usually be over $1500 unless they are in really poor shape and needing work. You might find a slightly beat 0-15 from the late 50's for under $1000.

    I agree... the late 90's 00-15's and 000-15's are fantastic guitars, for about $600 used.


    Happy hunting - jv
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2009
  6. zombywoof

    zombywoof Member

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    You might be able to hunt up something like a 1960s Harmony Sovereign. If you get one in good condition they are really sweet guitars.

    But from what you said you wanted out of a guitar I gotta agree on the Westerly-made Guild-D-25. Those made from '76 on have an arched back which really moves some air.

    The little Gibsons are great strummers and fun to fingerpick. They tend to have a prominent muted warmth to them especially in the lower mids. But they are not all that detailed sounding when played higher up the neck.
     
  7. valcotone

    valcotone Supporting Member

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    I'd second a 60's Gibson LG-1. In fact, I have one I'll be selling around that price range. Email or PM me if interested.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. zombywoof

    zombywoof Member

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    I would take my time and study up a bit. As example, a Gibson made in 1964 is going to be an entirely different beast that one built just one year later. One will be hand-built. The other will not. They will have very different neck profiles and even a different headstock pitch. Point is - just one year apart but two very different guitars.
     
  9. coldfingaz

    coldfingaz Member

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    That is gorgeous
     
  10. fndrfreek5o

    fndrfreek5o Member

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    thanks for all help everyone i really love the look of that lg-1 valcotone and i think i may look for one of those and a guild d-25 to play to see which one i like better...i have to play everything i buy and check it out in person i just wanted some suggestions to ease up my search...i will be doing some more history on these models....also i read an interview with marc ribot in fretboard journal and he had a converted gibson hg-0 or hg-1 anyone know about these i like the fact they have a wider fretboard more like a classical
     
  11. zombywoof

    zombywoof Member

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    I assume you are talking about the LG-0 and not something like an HG-20 (which were made in the late 1920s and early 1930s). Not sure what you would convert on one of these unless it was to replace the bridge. These replaced the LG-1 as Gibson's entry level guitar and are ladder braced (like the post-War LG-1) as opposed to the X braced LG-2 & 3. Nothing wrong with a ladder braced guitar as long as the braces are not overly bulky and brutish. In general though the X braced guitars will give you a more open sound, be brighter and louder. Don't have a clue was to nut width or anything though.
     
  12. fndrfreek5o

    fndrfreek5o Member

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    yeah he replace the bridge and the nut to make the action playable
     
  13. fndrfreek5o

    fndrfreek5o Member

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    and it was the gibson Hawaiian guitar from the early 20's if i wasn't at a the in-laws house i could look at the magazine and tell you the exact model
     
  14. drive-south

    drive-south Member

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    The HG's were Hawiaan guitars but had round necks not square. They had elevated bridges and nuts but can easily be converted to Spanish style by replacing the bridge and nut. Jackson Browne has played converted HG's for years.

    They are not real plentiful, and you won't find one within your' tight budget.

    It used to be you could find old parlours well within your' range, I had a Washburn from 1900 that I bought for $300 that had BRW back/sides and sustain for days. These have shot up now and are no longer bargains. What I found with old guitars is that even if they are in great shape when you buy them, they are susceptable to break from aggresive play. The ebony bridge on my Washburn cracked into several pieces one day. I had a new bridge installed but it never played as well after.
     
  15. zombywoof

    zombywoof Member

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    I would pick a similar period Oscar Schmidt round neck Hawaiian over an HG-20 in a heartbeat.
     
  16. zombywoof

    zombywoof Member

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    The real problem with the better of the el cheapo "vintage" guitars is that the blues freaks have now made them chic and caused the prices to climb steeply. An early 1930s Stella Jumbo 12 string will run ya up to $20K these days. While most do not come close to this in price, even a mid-1930s small body Kay round soundhole archtop can bring $800 to $1,000.
     
  17. VicAjax

    VicAjax Male Supermodel

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    i have a 30 year old Washburn Prairie Song D62 that, as far as i can tell, was designed to look, sound and play just like a Martin. i've had it since it was new (well, actually my dad had it for the first few years before giving it to me), and it's still my primary player. i've never played a guitar that has had a better feel or sound for me... and that includes some mighty nice real Martins.

    a couple years ago, i had it tuned up, refretted and put a nut on it made of fossilized walrus tusk, which set me back only about $200-300.

    i don't know how hard they are to find, or how much a used one would cost (i know i'm not letting go of mine anytime soon), but if you can track one down... you've got yourself a non-Martin Martin.

    this isn't mine, but it's the same model:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    happy hunting!
     
  18. AnchorHoy

    AnchorHoy Member

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    First choice: Guild from the Westerly or Hoboken factories

    Second choice: set-neck Epiphone from the Gibson Kalamazoo factory. The bolt-on neck Epis aren't worth the trouble IMHO, but the set-neck models may be

    If you can wrap your head around the idea of paying the better part of $1k for a solid top but laminated sides, keep an eye out for a good Martin Shenandoah. Just note that these tend to be highly variable - some are gems and some are absolute dogs. Best to demo the guitar in person, with fresh strings on it
     
  19. tnvol

    tnvol Supporting Member

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    Wow. That is in great shape given it's age! Nice axe!
     
  20. VicAjax

    VicAjax Male Supermodel

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    that's actually not mine... believe it or not, mine is probably in nicer condition (well, the headstock, at least). there is certainly some wear from gigging and hauling it everywhere i go, but it's in pretty great shape.

    just played a few Martins over the weekend, actually.. and i still think none of them sounded as good as my 'Burn. a little too trebly and timid.
     

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