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Your best bang for buck acoustic?

james_j

Member
Messages
4
I've got an Alvarez MD90 that I picked up used for about $300. Boy, I've had Collings, Martins, Guilds, Ovation, and probably a few I'm forgetting, but for the price, the Alvarez is just amazing.

What's your best bang for buck? (My second choice would be a Martin 000-15S, which I think was around $750 new. Bummer I had to sell it in a moment of unemployment).
 

rockabilly69

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,848
I have a Korean made Parkwood 310M acoustic that I chanced upon goofing off at GC one day. The reason I said it was made in Korea is because when they were made there they sounded great. After a labor dispute, their parent company CORT, fired all their employees, and moved production to China. The quality went way down, and there were reports of a lot of the Chinese guitars developing cracks. So if anyone is looking for a guitar like this, find a made in Korea one. I've seen many of these Korean ones go for around $300 on Reverb and Ebay so they are worth searching out.

My buddy and I did a shoot out of the best guitar under $1000, and this one easily won the contest, and coming in second was a AJ500M Epiphone Masterbuilt. And both of these guitars bested many guitars that were over $1000, and some over $2000! I had a deal with Parkwood, so I called them up and their rep told GC to sell it for me for $280. And this is for a guitar with solid woods all the way around (African mahogany back and sides, Sitka spruce top, rosewood fingerboard) I still have it, and write a lot of songs on it. I have many more expensive guitars but this cheap little Parkwood is a song writing machine.

I put a Martin pickguard that I had laying around on it, and a Baggs Anthem Pro pickup in it, just in case I want to take it to gig as a back up for my Martin HD28.

 
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WordMan

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,634
  • 1966 h1203 Harmony Sovereign Auditorium, aka “Queenie” (it’s a Little Sovereign, right? ;))
  • Old growth Honduran mahogany back and sides. Nice chunky one-piece old growth neck.
  • Old growth spruce top - a little streaky, which is why Harmony got the wood ;)
  • Hide glue, ladder braced - if you haven’t lived with a ladder-braced guitar, you’d be surprised - this is great across all styles of play
  • $300
  • Setup, reglue and screw down the pinless bridge (slightly lifting up; why mess around with a $300 guitar? Hence the pearl dots), install K&K pickup with an end pin jack = $250
So $550 for an old guitar made with great woods, all set up and ready to plug in and pass around at open mics. Yay. (Why, yes, my 85-year-old mom has an impressive Cr@p Table - why do you ask?? ;))
1601471295650.jpeg
 

zombywoof

Member
Messages
4,470
Tough Call. Like WordMan, I do love me some Harmonys owning among others an all-mahogany 1942 Harmony H165 Stella and a 1956 H40 (basically a Sovereign H1203 with a Gibson P-13 pickup mounted beneath the fingerboard extension), and three H1260 Sovereigns. But when you throw in necks resets, occasional compression fretting and such to put them in playable condition, they can get you into the $700 to $800 range.

So based on bang for the buck I will go with my 1955 Epiphone FT-79. I snagged it for $400. While it was cosmetically challenged having the binding popping off and sporting a big ugly double pickguard which somebody had screwed on it was a perfect player. I did not even like it at first. I only bought it because I figured I could put a couple of hundred bucks into it to pretty it up and then flip it for a whole lot more than I had in it. But a funny thing happened. The guitar ended up staying. I guess we just kind of grew into one another.

Before picture with homemade pickguard removed and binding glued back down.


As it looks today
 

bigmac53

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
251
I've got what I think is probably an early 90's (serial # narrows it down from 88-96) Korean made Fender DG-10 that I bought from my first guitar teacher for $100 bucks in probably 1998/1999. He was left handed so I had the guitar "flipped" with a new right handed nut and I think I had the bridge saddle flipped/swapped out as well. I still have it and play it regularly. It's a nice little guitar; mahogany back/sides/neck and laminated spruce top. It's no Martin but it gets the job done. It's by far my longest held piece of gear and I'll probably never get rid of it.
image0 (10).jpeg
 

megatrav

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,168
Yamaha without a doubt make some fine acoustics for not very much money. I also like Recording King. Acoustics are fun because you can find some weird off brand/no name acoustic and it could sound and play awesome. This has happened to me multiple times.
 

Jayyj

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,633
These were my two best buys for acoustics.

This 1926 L1 cost me £700 around 2005, and was my main recording guitar for many years. I don't know why it was so cheap - should have been a £2k guitar even then - but I certainly didn't argue with the dealer about it. It's still my favourite acoustic.



Then my 'beater' which goes on holiday with me, a 1976 Fylde Goodfellow. I love Fyldes and old ones tend up be quite affordable, and although it's a beat up old thing it sounds as good as my custom order more recent one. I traded it for a Guild Starfire which I'd bought for around £600.

 

WordMan

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,634
@Jayyj what can you tell us about the Fylde? It looks cool and small, but what is the nut width and neck carve? Can you bang on it, or it is all about balance and close-in playing?
 

redir

Member
Messages
159
When these threads come up I almost always recommend Yamaha. Been building and repairing guitars for 25 years and Yamaha is the brand that I see least in my shop for repair. THey make some really nice solid top offerings for a good price.

I've got what I think is probably an early 90's (serial # narrows it down from 88-96) Korean made Fender DG-10 that I bought from my first guitar teacher for $100 bucks in probably 1998/1999. He was left handed so I had the guitar "flipped" with a new right handed nut and I think I had the bridge saddle flipped/swapped out as well. I still have it and play it regularly. It's a nice little guitar; mahogany back/sides/neck and laminated spruce top. It's no Martin but it gets the job done. It's by far my longest held piece of gear and I'll probably never get rid of it.
View attachment 287122
I can't imagine how that guitar could be played in tune though?
 

bigmac53

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
251
When these threads come up I almost always recommend Yamaha. Been building and repairing guitars for 25 years and Yamaha is the brand that I see least in my shop for repair. THey make some really nice solid top offerings for a good price.


I can't imagine how that guitar could be played in tune though?
For what it is, it's not that bad. I haven't noticed any big warping issues or anything and with the right nut and saddle (given the intonation is not perfect) it plays pretty well. In terms of enjoyment to dollars I've definitely got my money's worth out of it for sure.

Also - I am by no means suggesting that others go out and grab a lefty on the cheap and do this; I was simply replying with my own story.
 




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