Which acoustic should I get?

Beakertwang

Member
Messages
2,546
I appreciate your expertise. If you don't mind may I ask what retailer you bought your Eastmans from. I checked them out and the specs and reviews are impressive but unless I buy used it doesn't look like I will be able to play one. Thx
I bought my first Eastman from Haggerty's in Rapid City, SD, although I don't think they are an Eastman dealer any longer, just based on their website. A good friend of mine from Rapid came through my town on his midwestern tour. His high-end Taylor needed repair, so he picked up his AC522CE from Haggerty's for the trip. I was astonished at the workmanship, the playability, and the sound. I was floored when he told me the price. I called Haggerty's soon after and ordered my own. Later, parents of one of my students asked for advice on what guitar to buy for her for Christmas. They ordered an AC322CE, also from Haggerty's.

Since then, I've bought several other Eastmans for myself or friends, but I found them used from Reverb or other online classified page. Not a single one has been a dud. If you're patient, you can find really good deals.

Based on your preferences, I think a Grand Auditorium or Orchestra would be up your alley. All the AC series (AC122, AC222, AC322, etc.) and the E series (E1, E6, E10, etc.) are all solid wood. The AC3xx and above have nicer finishes and better electronics. The E series don't come with electronics, but your local store could add something like a K&K Pure Mini.
 

Beakertwang

Member
Messages
2,546
Here’s a nice used AC512CE for a decent price. A little beyond your budget, but worth every penny. Maybe make an offer?

 

BenB123

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
506
I bought my first Eastman from Haggerty's in Rapid City, SD, although I don't think they are an Eastman dealer any longer, just based on their website. A good friend of mine from Rapid came through my town on his midwestern tour. His high-end Taylor needed repair, so he picked up his AC522CE from Haggerty's for the trip. I was astonished at the workmanship, the playability, and the sound. I was floored when he told me the price. I called Haggerty's soon after and ordered my own. Later, parents of one of my students asked for advice on what guitar to buy for her for Christmas. They ordered an AC322CE, also from Haggerty's.

Since then, I've bought several other Eastmans for myself or friends, but I found them used from Reverb or other online classified page. Not a single one has been a dud. If you're patient, you can find really good deals.

Based on your preferences, I think a Grand Auditorium or Orchestra would be up your alley. All the AC series (AC122, AC222, AC322, etc.) and the E series (E1, E6, E10, etc.) are all solid wood. The AC3xx and above have nicer finishes and better electronics. The E series don't come with electronics, but your local store could add something like a K&K Pure Mini.
I had time last night to look at the Eastman ac series and they are very impressive. The used prices are very reasonable as well. Can you give me your opinions on the difference between the ac models? They all seem pretty similar.
 

Beakertwang

Member
Messages
2,546
I had time last night to look at the Eastman ac series and they are very impressive. The used prices are very reasonable as well. Can you give me your opinions on the difference between the ac models? They all seem pretty similar.
Gladly. The first number (1xx, 2xx, etc) denote the line, the next two numbers denote the body shape. 12 is orchestra (discontinued, as far as I can tell) 20 is dreadnaught, 22 is grand auditorium, 30 is jumbo. There are also the more rare 08 and 10 models, which are smaller bodies, with slotted headstocks, as far as I can tell.

As the numbers increase, most of the difference is in finishes and features. I’m sure the higher models may have different construction features as well.

AC1xx is sapele (similar is look and sound to mahogany). AC2xx is Ovangkol (you might see a rosewood). These will have simpler cosmetics and less attention to the finish. The electronics are Fishman Sonitone. I have no experience with this system.

AC3xx is sapele, AC4xx is Rosewood. Nicer finishes and upgraded electronics. The older ones have the Fishman Matrix VT. They may have changed on the new models.

AC5xx is mahogany, AC6xx is maple, AC7xx is rosewood. Lovely wood binding and accents. The craftsmanship is really nice for the price point. Also Matrix VT on the older models. New ones may have LR Baggs.
 

Beakertwang

Member
Messages
2,546
This should have all the info you need.

 

BenB123

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
506
This should have all the info you need.

I appreciate your input. I think I have a pretty good handle on what acoustics I should look at. When I can I will hit Sam Ash and lay my hands on some more acoustics. The Eastman used guitars though seem to be a tremendous value. I can't find any bad reviews on the Eastman ac lineup as opposed to some bad reviews on the Taylor 214ce.

In the meantime my neighbor gave me a cheap Stagg acoustic that has been sitting in the corner for a few years so I am working some acoustic songs into the lineup. Suprisingly playing acoustic is more fun than I thought. I am finding it is easier to sing some songs with the acoustic. Also when I went back and played the tele it felt so easy to play so I think practicing with an acoustic is improving my playing.
 

CPW

Member
Messages
15
If not for your budget, I'd say a Collings OM2H would be a great choice: smaller than dread and great for hitting the strings "with vigor." I have one and it's ability to handle a hard strum was a factor for me. They are beautiful, great playing and sound terrific. You just need to up your budget by a couple of thousand. Easy, right? (sorry :oops:)
 
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12,053
I have a buddy who came to town and heard my Larrivee L-03W last night and he could not believe what he was hearing. Proprietary Larrivee build with Walnut sides and back, Sitka top. I got it from a guy on the AGF for a nice price. You can get one used, for under a thousand dollars, with a case. The sound is clear, distinct and pure. Perfect to slip a K&K pickup in.
 

BenB123

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
506
If not for your budget, I'd say a Collings OM2H would be a great choice: smaller than dread and great for hitting the strings "with vigor." I have one and it's ability to handle a hard strum was a factor for me. They are beautiful, great playing and sound terrific. You just need to up your budget by a couple of thousand. Easy, right? (sorry :oops:)
I would be paranoid my 11 year old son who loves music but is built like the incredible hulk would find some way to damage a $3000 guitar. I wouldn't like it but I can deal with a ding on a guitar that goes for grand or less.
 

BenB123

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
506
I have a buddy who came to town and heard my Larrivee L-03W last night and he could not believe what he was hearing. Proprietary Larrivee build with Walnut sides and back, Sitka top. I got it from a guy on the AGF for a nice price. You can get one used, for under a thousand dollars, with a case. The sound is clear, distinct and pure. Perfect to slip a K&K pickup in.
I will check it out. Most of my gear has been bought used so I'm down with that.
 

HerrRentz

Member
Messages
2,571
It's a little out of your price range but the Taylor T5 is a very nice acoustic electric. It's a little quiet on the acoustic side though so better to play that one plugged in.
 
Messages
10
There is a lot of good advice here, but while many of these are good options in the price range you're asking about they are a really wide range of tones and the way they will play. I've been playing for worship for over 20 years and my thoughts and what I wanted for an acoustic have changed over the years. The biggest reason for that was early on I was buying with my eyes and my budget #. What changed my mind throughout the years was going into shops and playing a bunch of stuff. I really encourage you to make some visits. After playing 20+ guitars you'll start to have a really good sense of what your ear likes and what feels right for you to play. In this time play stuff even a little above your price range. Once you really know, then you can call around and even keep your eye out for that guitar used. Used acoustics are great, lower price and will already be broken in. Be careful about walking into a store and telling them you have $800 and you're buying a guitar that day.
 

BenB123

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
506
There is a lot of good advice here, but while many of these are good options in the price range you're asking about they are a really wide range of tones and the way they will play. I've been playing for worship for over 20 years and my thoughts and what I wanted for an acoustic have changed over the years. The biggest reason for that was early on I was buying with my eyes and my budget #. What changed my mind throughout the years was going into shops and playing a bunch of stuff. I really encourage you to make some visits. After playing 20+ guitars you'll start to have a really good sense of what your ear likes and what feels right for you to play. In this time play stuff even a little above your price range. Once you really know, then you can call around and even keep your eye out for that guitar used. Used acoustics are great, lower price and will already be broken in. Be careful about walking into a store and telling them you have $800 and you're buying a guitar that day.
Great advice. I can go in a store with 10 grand and walk out with 10 grand so I am a salesman's worst nightmare. I plan to buy used after I narrow down what I want. Looking to visit Sam Ash and Maple Street Guitars and play a bunch before I buy.
 

Beakertwang

Member
Messages
2,546
I found Maple Street Guitars in Atlanta. They have both the Eastman ac series and the Taylor 200 series. They do trades also so I would be open to that as well. When I get a chance my son and I will take a trip down there.
Excellent. Let me know what you think.
 

Fishermike

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
148
Keep some money in your pocket to take whatever you buy to a luthier or tech to get a good setup. Figure $50 to $100. You mention not wanting high action - that has zero to do with brand or model, and everything to do with getting the guitar setup for the way you like to play.
 

Steadfastly

Member
Messages
2,865
I am going to make sure I play some more Yamahas next time I go. One advantage the Taylor has is they seem to hold their value for a future resale.
If you are going to buy a guitar, isn't it the one you wouldn't think of selling?
 

BenB123

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
506
If you are going to buy a guitar, isn't it the one you wouldn't think of selling?
The more I look and listen to Taylor comparison reviews with other guitars the less likely it is I'll get one. Hopefully next week I can go play some Eastmans as well as some more Taylors in person.
 




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