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Acoustic Guitar players??

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  • Member since
    March, 2010
  • From: MN
Acoustic Guitar players??
Posted by Nathan T on Friday, June 05, 2015 7:50 PM

Looking for a nice Acoustic Guitar for beginners ..aka me. $200-400 range. Nice larger, full sounding style. Pretty much just to play at home. Anyone have any good recommendations?

 

 

  • Member since
    December, 2011
Posted by Chrisk-k on Friday, June 05, 2015 8:37 PM

My guitar/bass collection is worth $10k, so I guess I'm qualified to make a recommendation.

Get this since you don't seem to plan to play through an amp.

www.amazon.com/.../ref=sr_1_2

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  • Member since
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Posted by philo426 on Friday, June 05, 2015 9:26 PM

Breedlove Passport Dread is pretty good.  https://youtu.be/4vSC11ROeXU

  • Member since
    March, 2005
Posted by philo426 on Friday, June 05, 2015 9:29 PM

a Nice acoustic/electric is an Ibanez AEG20.  https://youtu.be/VG5yFFfvfy8

  • Member since
    July, 2014
  • From: Meridian, ID
Posted by modelcrazy on Friday, June 05, 2015 11:07 PM

Yamaha.

ON THE BENCH

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Completing a kit is like cutting the head off a Hydra. Two more replace it in the stash.

  • Member since
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  • From: Virginia
Posted by Mike F6F on Saturday, June 06, 2015 7:44 AM

Like anything else, it depends…

Brand names and types are one way to look at buying your first guitar.  Another is to pay less attention to brand and price and more to playability and comfort.

A nylon-stringed classical style guitar is easier to play and therefore easier to learn on.  The tone of the nylon strings is softer and lacks the sustain of a steel-stringed acoustic.  Steel strings are tougher on the finger tips at first, but that will become a non issue.

The most important thing is the "action."  That's the height of the strings above the finger board.  A "high" action is harder to play because the strings must be pushed harder to the finger board.  A too "low" action can cause the strings to buzz when played.

A nice larger full sounding style comes from a dreadnought guitar or a jumbo size instrument.  My only concern about a new player and a dred or jumbo is that it can be tough to sit and play a large bodied guitar.  The big bodied guitars can be played sitting, but if a new players gets uncomfortable while learning, they tend to quit.  An orchestra model guitar is a good compromise.

I wouldn't recommend buying your first instrument on line.  I've done it, but then I've been playing for almost 40 years.  I wouldn't recommend a big store like a Guitar Center either.  You can get good buying advice there, but odds are you'll get some garage band kid who could steer you wrong.

If you've got a small music instrument store in your area or one that deals with pro musicians, you'll get better advice. and possibly service.

While it can be overwhelming, guitar shopping can become a lot of fun itself.  You'll learn something and that could make your shopping all the more interesting.

Have fun and enjoy!

Oh yeah.  Your used strings will come in very handy in your model building!

Mike

 

"Grumman on a Navy Airplane is like Sterling on Silver."

  • Member since
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Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Saturday, June 06, 2015 8:56 AM

Air Guitar.. sorry, I just couldn't resist.  :))

  • Member since
    March, 2010
  • From: MN
Posted by Nathan T on Saturday, June 06, 2015 9:42 AM

Thanks for the good advice guys. I've read lots of reccs. of the Yamaha 700. I think I'd like the sound of the Dread. style but also wondered if it would feel too large and make my shoulders hurt? But I also want something I won't quickly grow out of once I get the hand of it.

And Mike: I have made up my mind to not buy online. Not for this purchase. I want to be able to hold and play the guitar first.

What style would be a good compromise between a Dread and a small shaped guitar? Something that still has some bass to it?

 

 

  • Member since
    November, 2003
  • From: Virginia
Posted by Mike F6F on Saturday, June 06, 2015 10:18 AM

Nathan,

The next size down from a dred is an orchestra model, or OM style.  It isn't quite as wide or deep as a dred which makes it easier to reach around, but it won't have quite the bass boom of the dred style.

Although a Martin is mostly out of your price range, check their web site to check the difference.  The reason Martin is suggested is that they've been making guitars since 1833 and most of today's acoustic guitars are based on the original Martin styles.  In Martin-speak, you'd be looking at OM, 0000 and 000 styles.  Different manufacturers may not use the Martin designations, but reviewers often do.

Again, a trip to a good music store where you can try a dred and OM sizes will be a good bet.  I haven't researched how many entry level guitar manufacturers offer that size, but have a look.

Mike

 

"Grumman on a Navy Airplane is like Sterling on Silver."

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Saturday, June 06, 2015 10:21 AM

I was a VERY small kid, didn't have my growth spurt til about 18-19, played a dreadnaught-style acoustic guitar the whole time. I doubt you'd have any trouble, Nathan.

Hopefully you have a Guitar Center or similar store somewhere in driving distance. I heartily agree this is something to be bought in a real store.

Have FUN!

-Greg

  • Member since
    November, 2003
  • From: Virginia
Posted by Mike F6F on Saturday, June 06, 2015 10:31 AM

Sorry if I left the impression that you couldn't or wouldn't do well with a dred.  All I play are dreadnaught styles myself.

Just wanted to offer alternatives.

Mike

 

"Grumman on a Navy Airplane is like Sterling on Silver."

  • Member since
    January, 2009
  • From: hamburg michigan
Posted by fermis on Saturday, June 06, 2015 10:37 AM

I think you'll get a different recommendation from every person you ask!

Best advice I can give...go to the shop and play on some for a while. Some can be eliminated with the strum of a single chord...others will come down to price and/or style that you like.

I picked up an Oscar Schmidt (Washburn) model OG2N...for about $180, for my daughter...when she thought she wanted to learn to play. Price was a huge factor...especially when it was for someone who may or may not stick with it. I also wanted something that I could use, if my prediction was correct (I'm never wrong!!!Stick out tongue). I don't play it a lot (much more of a "go fast" guitar player), but I do noodle around with it and am very happy with the sound, ease of play and price! It has even made it into the studio, with great results.

..and..BTW...fresh strings make a WORLD of difference!!!

  • Member since
    February, 2006
  • From: Boston
Posted by Wilbur Wright on Saturday, June 06, 2015 1:27 PM

Nathan,

A solid top will make a big difference.  I would recommend an Epiphone for good value.  If you can actually find a brick and mortar music store in 2015, there is no substitute for  going in and playing them.

Then you can go online and pay $50. less with no sales tax at a place like Sweetwater or Musicians friend.  Unless you have a relationship with the B&M and want to give them your business.

  • Member since
    December, 2013
Posted by jetmaker on Saturday, June 06, 2015 1:49 PM

You can't go wrong with Yamaha. Quality is very consistent, and good. They are priced reasonably as well

Epiphone is a good suggestion

Hohner also makes a fine quality dreadnaught well within the price range you're looking at

I play a Martin made of Koa wood - it's not a high-end model, I believe it was around $500, I had to do a bit of work on it, but after a few tweaks, it plays beautifully. It's a concert size, which is what you might be thinking of. Concerts aren't as large as a dread, and the sound is typically more "round" and not as deep. They are great for just hanging out on the porch or around a fire and singing/plucking

You're smart for not buying online. With guitars, that's really rolling the dice, even with well-known brands. Guitars are extremely personal instruments. I've played guitars from Gibson and Fender that sold for thousands that felt horrible, while some of the best naturally sounding and best playing - in my hands - guitars I've come across sold for no more than $400. Of course, a good setup makes a WORLD of difference. You're best bet is always to see how it feels in your hands

  • Member since
    March, 2010
  • From: MN
Posted by Nathan T on Saturday, June 06, 2015 2:29 PM

Thanks guys. Didn't realize there are so many experienced guitarist here. Right now I'm learning on a smaller Primo?? All laminate top. Fingers are aching bad! Sounds like a dread might be the way to go. There are a few smaller brick and mortar music stores near by. I'm looking forward to trying out some different guitars. Thanks for all the help!

 

 

  • Member since
    March, 2005
Posted by philo426 on Saturday, June 06, 2015 9:43 PM

Make sure the action and set up are good. Crucial to developing good habits.

  • Member since
    March, 2010
  • From: MN
Posted by Nathan T on Sunday, June 07, 2015 10:33 AM

philo426

Make sure the action and set up are good. Crucial to developing good habits.

I've read this is crucial. So buy guitar from music store, then take it to a professional guitar mechanic? Or do most Music stores do this in house?

 

 

  • Member since
    January, 2007
  • From: Charlotte, North Carolina
Posted by the doog on Sunday, June 07, 2015 11:16 AM

My recommendation is this to everyone asking about guitar purchases. Spend your money once. In other words, if you want "something you won't grow out of", then don' hesitate to spend a little more than $400.

Here's the truth about Acoustic guitars. The cheap-to midrange ones are made to be played from the 1st to the 7th fret, and then after that, the accuracy of the fret placement and intonation can be a total crap-shoot. When you're working with compensating bridges, it's very difficult to get a guitar to play in tune above the 9th fret. Of course, this works for the majority of the population because most guys who lay acoustic just strum chords in the first position or a few barre chords up to the 5th fret. When you pay for a more expensive guitar, you usually get better intonation and a better-crafted neck; it will be stiffer to keep its curve: quarter-sawed to resist warpage, and the bridge will be more precisely placed and secured.

I recommend asking to see a high-end model at a Guitar Center, and then working back from there. If you're looking at acoustic-electric, stay away from Taylors and any guitar that does not have a metal plate behind the input jack for the chord. Some years ago this set-up became inexplicably fashionable, but it's a terrible weak point in the wood, and I have seen the jacks literally rip out of the bodies when someone steps on the chord, which nearly everyone does at some point.

I have a beat-up $400 Yamaha that I bought in 1984 that I had gone over by a master Luthier; new frets, leveled the fretboard, did some fancy stuff to the bridge and nut. I played it through the 80s in my band back then, and it looks every bit a road warrior, with more scratches and dents than you can imagine. But it plays like an absolute dream.

*EDIT* Also, I wouldn't recommend a Dreadnought. These guitars are really specifically made for performing or recording. They're too big to be comfortable to play sitting around a campfire or on the couch. And they're a PITA to transport around.

My FOTKI model gallery with most of my best models can be found HERE

My real name is "Karl" Smile

  • Member since
    January, 2007
  • From: Charlotte, North Carolina
Posted by the doog on Sunday, June 07, 2015 11:17 AM

philo426

Make sure the action and set up are good. Crucial to developing good habits.

Also, get rid of the stock strings with the wound 3rd or "G" string. Put on a set with an unwound 3rd string, and have them compensate the neck for the reduced pull if you don't know how to set the neck. The guitar will play better and you can bend the 3rd string.

My FOTKI model gallery with most of my best models can be found HERE

My real name is "Karl" Smile

  • Member since
    March, 2005
Posted by philo426 on Sunday, June 07, 2015 11:50 AM

Hey doog,it is time to change the strings on my Epi Dot .which do you recommend?I like 10 or 11 high E to reduce breakage.

  • Member since
    January, 2007
  • From: Charlotte, North Carolina
Posted by the doog on Sunday, June 07, 2015 2:09 PM

.10s are as high as I'd go for sure. 11's are brutal on the fingers! Make sure you adjust your neck to properly compensate the relief if you go up or down in gauge.

Incidentally, I change strings only when I have to . I don't like the harsh, bright sound of new strings nor the feel. I prefer the feel of strings after they've broken in at least a week or two.

My FOTKI model gallery with most of my best models can be found HERE

My real name is "Karl" Smile

  • Member since
    March, 2009
  • From: Yorkville, IL
Posted by wolfhammer1 on Sunday, June 07, 2015 6:43 PM

Nathan, I have been playing for most of 35 years.  Always an acoustic, although I have had electric pick ups installed in most of my instruments, if they did not come with one.  I have had really good luck with Epiphones, but I echo go to the store and play the instruments.  I was in a local music store and they had a brand I had never heard of hanging on the racks.  The sales person and I were talking, and he asked if I could play one so he could get an opinion.  It was wonderful and relatively cheap.  Unfortunately, guitar building is not a production line type of thing, so even a great brand can have an instrument that isn't good, and a cheap brand can sound wonderful.  Find one that feels comfortable and sounds good to you, and experiment with the strings as well.  There are several different types for steel strings and they will have different sounds.  Find one you like, and then stick with it.  Good luck and have fun.  

John

  • Member since
    March, 2010
  • From: MN
Posted by Nathan T on Wednesday, June 17, 2015 11:12 AM

Played a Seagull Cedar top over the weekend. Just to try out. Didn't buy anything yet. I loved the Seagull. Dread style did not seem to big at all. I'm too much a novice yet to know how it would sound for heavy strumming. Anyone play Seagulls?

 

 

  • Member since
    March, 2005
Posted by philo426 on Wednesday, June 17, 2015 12:10 PM

Yes Seagulls are known to be good reasonably priced guitars.

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  • From: MN
Posted by Nathan T on Wednesday, June 17, 2015 3:36 PM

Thanks Phil. Hope to try out a Breedlove this weekend. Seems that most of their models are electric though.

 

 

  • Member since
    March, 2005
Posted by philo426 on Wednesday, June 17, 2015 8:50 PM

I dig my Breedlove Passport Dread,Loud!with a great tone and action.I can tell it was set up by someone who knew what they were doing and the intonation is quite good!

  • Member since
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  • From: Lancaster, South Carolina
Posted by Devil Dawg on Thursday, June 18, 2015 1:29 AM

Dang, Nathan, you beat me to it!! I was gonna recommend that, before you buy anything, you've GOTTA try a Seagull! I own a Seagull Coastline Cedar-top 12-string, and LOVE IT! I also just bought a Seagull Natural Elements Spruce-top 6-string the other day after playing it at my local music store (little mom-n-pop operation). My wife hates my spur-of-the-moment guitar purchases. These things are made in LaPatrie, Quebec, Canada, by Robert Godin, who also makes some very fine electric guitars as well (www.seagullguitars.com). Now, I'm a big Martin fan (yep, I own one of them, too), but in my opinion, a Seagull comes very close to matching a Martin's sound quality at a fraction of the price. A good Seagull 6-string will run you anywhere from $400 to $800, depending upon what you want and can afford. But, if you do buy a Seagull, I highly recommend that you get the TRIC case to go with it. It's about $120 extra, but well worth it.

Devil Dawg

On The Bench: Travel 1/48th Hasegawa A-7 Corsair II;  Travel 1/48th Hasegawa F/A-18F Super Hornet;  Travel 1/48th Eduard/Hasegawa Ultimate Sabre with "MiG Mad Marine" markings;

Build one at a time? Hah! That'll be the day!!

  • Member since
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  • From: MN
Posted by Nathan T on Thursday, June 18, 2015 7:16 AM

Wow, DD, a 12 string? I bet that guitar sounds phenomenal! There were a few Natural Elements series at the store I went to. Not sure what type of wood they used. Enviro friendly or reclaimed wood? Sounded pretty nice. Still not sure if I like the sound of Spruce or Cedar better?

 

 

  • Member since
    March, 2005
  • From: Lancaster, South Carolina
Posted by Devil Dawg on Thursday, June 18, 2015 12:01 PM

Just gotta go and play them to compare them. Pick what sounds best to you. When I bought the 6-string the other day, I played two of them (identical ones) before settling on the one I bought. Even though they were identical guitars, one just sounded a little bit better to me. And just because it sounded better to me doesn't mean that it is the better one - everyone has their own opinion of what sounds good.

And I do love that 12-string! Excellent sound from it. Just harder to play than a 6-string, especially the barre chords. But, when you want to play "Hotel California", you gotta have a 12-string. Or, some Super Tramp........

Devil Dawg

On The Bench: Travel 1/48th Hasegawa A-7 Corsair II;  Travel 1/48th Hasegawa F/A-18F Super Hornet;  Travel 1/48th Eduard/Hasegawa Ultimate Sabre with "MiG Mad Marine" markings;

Build one at a time? Hah! That'll be the day!!

  • Member since
    March, 2005
Posted by philo426 on Thursday, June 18, 2015 5:13 PM

An electric 12 is even better!Then you can play Turn!Turn!Turn! and Mr Tambourine Man from the Bryds!

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