Acoustic Guitars

When it doesn't fit anywhere else

Acoustic Guitars

Postby seamones » Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:34 am

Howdy,

I have begun considering an upgarde in the acoustic department and would greatly appreciate peoples thoughts, likes, dislikes, etc on different brands, models, materials, etc.

I've 'been' with an early 70's Guild D25 for as long as I can remember, its a great guitar, but its a bit tough to play. I am looking for something that plays real smooth, relatively low action and probably a cutaway. And is under $2k. I saw a nice looking Tak on CL, but its a Guitar Center model, which is a little weird, but I don't know.

I look forward to hearing y'alls random thoughts on acoustics!
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Re: Acoustic Guitars

Postby ebick » Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:40 am

I have become a huge Taylor Fan.....I have an 814ce and I love it. I also have a GS Mini for travel.
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Re: Acoustic Guitars

Postby paulinnc » Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:42 am

Alvarez makes some nice guitars. They make several in different price ranges but no matter the price they are all a great deal for the money.
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Re: Acoustic Guitars

Postby NWPines » Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:20 am

I'm in a similar position, looking to upgrade my acoustic, so I've been playing quite a few lately. I'm definitely a bang for the buck kind of guy, and have been incredibly impressed with Larrivee, especially in the under 2K neighborhood.
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Re: Acoustic Guitars

Postby Jimaroe » Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:30 am

I have a Martin D16. It's pretty loud for their kinda entry level guys. You can pick up a used D28 or 35 for around 2k or less pretty easily. As for a cut away, Taylor, Martin, Alvarez they all make them.
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Re: Acoustic Guitars

Postby old man down » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:16 pm

My guitar collecting days are pretty much over.

Knowing what I know now, if I were out buying a "new" acoustic guitar and was pretty decent at playing, I would buy a Martin 00-18V. I'd probably call Maury's Music in PA and tell him that I want a just out of the box, spanking new guitar, and want 40% off list. He'd do it.

This guitar is a sweet model.

It's small, a 00, but they are lightly built and open up just fine, with a lot of tone and surprising volume. It's an 18 model, so that means mahogany back/sides with a sitka spruce top. It won't sound like a grand piano, but it will sound sort of old timey. (think Appalachia 1940's sort of sound) Grateful Dead songs played on these sort of guitars take on a new meaning. They accent beautifully the rustic imagery of songs about "going home," "northbound trains," "cold rain," or "can't win for losing"and lend a humbleness to them that you cannot get in the same way from a rosewood guitar. And the short scale makes working up the neck oh so enjoyable for taking a brief lead between stanzas.

So, what is there to like? You get a very comfortable to hold (small body), very comfortable to play (24.9-inch scale, 1 3/4" nut) model, it's a Martin (that's always nice), and it will have the mahogany sound. Then there are the other things like the vintage Martin decal, 14 frets to the body (with 14 frets, you really don't need a cutaway; you can get around it by being clever with your technique), nice fingerboard inlay of smallish abalone dots of decreasing size, butterbean openback tuners (my favs), the simple 18 style rosette, bone saddle and nut, a nice case with a burgandy interior, and it will all cost you around $2100.00.

If you ever want to part with it, you won't have any problem selling it because there aren't many second hand ones for sale. The owners hate to part with them.
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Re: Acoustic Guitars

Postby dleonard » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:19 pm

Not very easy to find a dealer of them, but I have a Seagull that cost around $300 and I love it. Their prices go up from there and they have some very high end stuff. I've found mine very durable and quality-made.
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Re: Acoustic Guitars

Postby jackr » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:22 pm

I am a dealer in acoustic guitars. Considering becoming a taylor dealer when i go to Summer Namm in 2 weeks. They have been after me for 3 years but I have been afraid to make the stocking commitments.

If you guys are considering guitars in the 2K range your choices can be overwhelming there are so many great guitars in the $1500 to $2K range. There is no doubt you'll get something really sweet. There are a lot of body styles, concert, jumbo, dreadnought, orchestra, cutaway etc. It is a much tougher decision spending that kind of money because at that level you have so many more high quality choices.

Everyone here will have love for a particular guitar, especially ones they own. One of the problems is that it is tough to "bond" with a guitar after a few minutes of playing it. You will know that you like it and it plays and sounds great but bonding with it is a different story. The good thing about buying a big name guitar - Taylor, Martin, Ovation etc is that if you wind up 6 months later realizing that you didnt really bond with it, you wont lose too much money and you'll be able to resell it.

If you want something new, I would suggest you go to Guitar Center and noodle around for a while and figure out exactly what type of acoustic you want. Then really shop because there is no doubt you can get a better deal.

If anyone wants a great deal on a Taylor and gets to me before July 11, that may push me over the top and become a dealer. Of course I would sell it at a very small profit for some one on this forum as I have done with many others here.

Anyway, good luck with your dilemma. I hope you have these kinds of problems more often.
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Re: Acoustic Guitars

Postby mgbills » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:29 pm

My vote is for Taylor. Before I picked up the electric about 2 years ago, I scoured the universe for a Dreadnaught of quality. I played a ton of Martins, Santa Cruz, etc. I ended up owning several, and have sold most. I've had 4 Taylors, and loved them all. I ultimately sold the 516, because the cedar top was too warm. The 314CE was really nice, but I needed more bottom end. I wanted an 814ce, but never found one at the right price. But the 810...that is the perfect professional dreadnaught. Martin's ...and I really wanted to like them...were all over the board for tone. Crazy differences between models. I played a Madagascar Rosewood model I liked at one of the "Martin Guys come to your local music store" shindigs. Awesome. Loud. Balanced. $10K. For 1/2 that money I'd buy an R. Taylor and knock it out of the park.

I gave my son a '72 D-18 when he graduated. That's a sweet Martin. 2 out of 50 played. Not good odds.

Taylors are very consistent, have great support, and the necks can be reset in 45 minutes.

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Re: Acoustic Guitars

Postby mgbills » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:35 pm

Oh wait! I played a pre-war at a great shop in Ashland, OR. That was pretty awesome. $30K or something like that.

That would've been a keeper.
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Re: Acoustic Guitars

Postby playingdead » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:31 pm

Try to find a Huss and Dalton Road Edition OM or dreadnought ... they are under $2k new and one of the best handmade guitars out there for the money. They are made by the same folks turning out the $4000 dreads and OMs but more simply appointed. All the tone and craftsmanship is in there, though. I just toured their shop in Virginia. They turn out just a few guitars a week, compared to the large productions of Martin, Taylor, Alvarez, etc. Each guitar is made with care and according to what the wood is asking for, braces shaped by hand, tops sanded according to stiffness, no CNC parts. You can play 10 identical Gibsons and find two or three good ones, but Mark Dalton sets up and plays every H&D that they make, and if it's a dud, it doesn't go out. But they are never duds. If you want a true boutique acoustic, that's your best option pricewise, I think.

I'm a H&D dealer, but I only have lefties.
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Re: Acoustic Guitars

Postby caspersvapors » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:59 pm

jackr wrote:I am a dealer in acoustic guitars. Considering becoming a taylor dealer when i go to Summer Namm in 2 weeks. They have been after me for 3 years but I have been afraid to make the stocking commitments.

If you guys are considering guitars in the 2K range your choices can be overwhelming there are so many great guitars in the $1500 to $2K range. There is no doubt you'll get something really sweet. There are a lot of body styles, concert, jumbo, dreadnought, orchestra, cutaway etc. It is a much tougher decision spending that kind of money because at that level you have so many more high quality choices.

Everyone here will have love for a particular guitar, especially ones they own. One of the problems is that it is tough to "bond" with a guitar after a few minutes of playing it. You will know that you like it and it plays and sounds great but bonding with it is a different story. The good thing about buying a big name guitar - Taylor, Martin, Ovation etc is that if you wind up 6 months later realizing that you didnt really bond with it, you wont lose too much money and you'll be able to resell it.

If you want something new, I would suggest you go to Guitar Center and noodle around for a while and figure out exactly what type of acoustic you want. Then really shop because there is no doubt you can get a better deal.

If anyone wants a great deal on a Taylor and gets to me before July 11, that may push me over the top and become a dealer. Of course I would sell it at a very small profit for some one on this forum as I have done with many others here.

Anyway, good luck with your dilemma. I hope you have these kinds of problems more often.


^^ this guy gave me a great deal on a custom Breedlove a couple years ago and I havent looked back. I hadnt even played the guitar before I ordered it and I had to wait a couple months for it to be built but it was (and still is) amazing from the first time I played it

Big fan of Breedlove over here, played one of these in the store yesterday and was loving it:

http://www.samash.com/p/Breedlove_Casca ... QAodBT4wCw



edit: btw, Breedlove has a ton of models with cutaways and for 2 grand, you could get an absolutely awesome one.
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Re: Acoustic Guitars

Postby seamones » Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:27 pm

playingdead wrote:Try to find a Huss and Dalton Road Edition OM or dreadnought ... they are under $2k new and one of the best handmade guitars out there for the money. They are made by the same folks turning out the $4000 dreads and OMs but more simply appointed. All the tone and craftsmanship is in there, though. I just toured their shop in Virginia. They turn out just a few guitars a week, compared to the large productions of Martin, Taylor, Alvarez, etc. Each guitar is made with care and according to what the wood is asking for, braces shaped by hand, tops sanded according to stiffness, no CNC parts. You can play 10 identical Gibsons and find two or three good ones, but Mark Dalton sets up and plays every H&D that they make, and if it's a dud, it doesn't go out. But they are never duds. If you want a true boutique acoustic, that's your best option pricewise, I think.

I'm a H&D dealer, but I only have lefties.


That sounds fantastic, looking in to it, thanks.
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Re: Acoustic Guitars

Postby tcsned » Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:43 pm

Vic - you were in Staunton (the pronounced "Stanton" for those not from 'round here)? I think that's where the H & D shop is. You were about an hour and a half from my neck of the woods. Beautiful country!

+1 on the Huss and Dalton. Those guys make some sweet guitars. I've only played a couple smooth, great tone, well put together. They have a good reputation with the bluegrass guys around here.

There's a buhzillion great guitars being built out there. I sold Taylor's, Martins, Alvarez, Gibson, and a bunch of others when I was running the music store and of those Taylor was by far the most consistent product of any of them. Part of that is their manufacturing process I suppose. I have an 810 Englemann spruce/Indian rosewood guitar for 17 years and it's still gig worthy and sounds better every year. I wasn't super impressed with the Martins below the D-18 level, though I'm sure there are less pricey Martins that kill. If you can swing one of the nicer ones then they can still be right up there with the best out there.

The ex-guitar salesman in me goes into that mode and the first rule of selling and start by asking questions, get the customer talking :-)

What kind of guitar are you imagining? A Dreadnaught (full size), something smaller and sleaker, or a jumbo?

What kind of playing do you do? Genre? (Dead stuff, folk, bluegrass, rock, jazz, etc.)
Style? (lead, rhythm, both?) - do you flatpick, finger pick? Are you an aggressive player? Or do you play somewhat lightly?

There's lots of guitars that will fit any combination well and some that will be great for some but not great choices for others.

My best advice is, be patient, play a lot of guitars, be open minded, and find one you find yourself unable to put down. Happy hunting!
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Re: Acoustic Guitars

Postby Jimaroe » Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:34 pm

"I'm a H&D dealer, but I only have lefties." I'm dying to pick up that Cocobolo lefty H&D you've got in your shop. It's beautiful.
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