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Old September 1st, 2008, 01:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Whats the best acoustic for Country music?

Looking at upgrading my acoustic and am looking in the $1500 to $3000 range. Cole Clark, Taylor and Maton i think are three big players but has anyone got any advice for me on which one to go for??

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Old September 1st, 2008, 01:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I would begin by thinking in terms of body size (probably a dread) and wood. Rosewood sides and back vs Mahogany will make a huge difference. Possibly the best way to do this is sit with a Martin D18 (mahogany B&S) & Martin D28(east indian B&S). The mahogany will probably feel lighter and more responsive and often appeals to finger stylists mores so than the darker boomier sound the rosewood D28. I use a flatpick & my attack is aggressive, and while I LOVE my D18, my D28 is the go to box :).

Now, to your question of brands. In your price range look at Huss Dalton, Collings, Santa Cruz, & a few other boutique builders. I have played the 3 aforementioned, I own a cruz, but there's a handful of others. Funny thing is, after 2 years of being a hard core cruz deciple I'm back to the Martin. I simply CANNOT put my D28 down ($1710 to the door from Elderly.com). FWIW, 2008 is the 175th anniver for Martin, and they've got a cool logo burned into the body which is why I sprung for the D18 on a whim
($1685 in a lovely burst to my door from Elderly). The D18's a gem, and when i'm not overloading it with my agressive attack I think she's the winner. Another must look IMHO is Gibson's Hummingbird. The hummingbird has a beautiful burst and a cool pickgaurd with hummers :) & as far as appointments go is one of my favorite cowboy guitars (I've never pulled the trigger, but drool frequently :)).

Have fun, play as many as you can, and please report back with pictures! Hopefully others will chime in with other worthy contenders.

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Old September 1st, 2008, 01:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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With that cash and goal... I'd get either a D18 or a Larrivee D60

or, if you are playing from a bandstand (plugged in all the time) one of the above for at home and pick up one of the higher end Takamine's like the Santa Fe for that purpose... (someone will say ewwww, but the taks sound pretty good for the price and a zillion guys tour with them... keep your good axe for home and small group playing..)
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Old September 1st, 2008, 04:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Lots of good thoughts in what PK says. You need a Martin.

Get your budget sorted out, then play a few, and it'll pick itself.
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Old September 1st, 2008, 05:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Ummm, you need a Martin... :D

You might want to look also at a "stage" guitar, and I would advise looking at a used D-1 or D-1R (rosewood version). Lotsa punch, that Martin tone is all there, and you're not tying up a fortune in one guitar (Full disclosure: I have a Martin D-1R, and no I'm not selling it!) D-1's can usually be had somewhere around 6-700 clams, and often have a saddle pickup already installed (mine did) although the preamp is not up to today's standards. And, you won't be sweating bullets about every little minor scratch...

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Old September 1st, 2008, 05:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Old September 1st, 2008, 05:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Well, I'm new to the forum, but not new to flattops. My favorite "go to hollow box" is a Taylor 414CELTD, and it'll hang with the D28 boys on the best Doc Watson songs. It has an ovankol(sp?) back and sides, which has the crispness and snap on the bottom end that all the bluegrassers rave about from their rosewood Martins.

But, then again...play them all. Acoustics ALL sound different. I played 3 D28's, a D 40, and others back to back before I bought my Taylor...it just sounded better to me, and I'm the one who hears it the most.
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Old September 1st, 2008, 09:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for these responses, its really helping me out. Im gonna go out and try a Martin D28 as PK has convinced me that it must be pretty good.

Problem is where i live (Adelaide, Australia) there isnt many good guitar shops with a big range of guitars. You need to bascially order them in if you ever want to try it and then you have to buy the thing.

I have seen a lot of Taylors though and have played a few and they sound pretty good, but by reading through these forums im getting the impression that a Martin is the king of all acoustics? Am i right?
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Old September 1st, 2008, 10:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getbent View Post
if you are playing from a bandstand (plugged in all the time) one of the above for at home and pick up one of the higher end Takamine's like the Santa Fe for that purpose... (someone will say ewwww, but the taks sound pretty good for the price and a zillion guys tour with them...
+1 Takamines are built like tanks and are used by many touring pros for this reason. Tak has also been at the forefront of putting electronics into acoustics (which kinda makes them the Anti-Martin). Many of the high-end models have swappable electronics modules to suit your taste and budget. I'm not even sure they make a pure acoustic anymore.

If you're looking at the Martin D18 & D28 (and do look at those), check out the Takamine versions, the F340 and F360. They may not have the Martin Mystique(tm), but they're great on their own merits.

Also, Taks are made in Japan, and might be more readily available Down Under (I really don't know).

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Old September 1st, 2008, 10:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I like the Martin D18GE and the Taylor 414ea and Santa Cruz has an H model
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Old September 1st, 2008, 11:04 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Are you looking for a strummer or a guitar to flatpick leads?

If ya want a strummer, slope shouldered Gibson Jumbos are the best on the planet.

If ya want something for flatpicked leads - Martin, Taylor or any of the dreads with a boomy bass and bright high end. Even a square shouldered Gibson Hummingbird will get you there.
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 10:03 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I'd say plugged in, on a stage, Takamine is the choice for many, many artists, because of the electronics and faithful onstage sound. So, they really deserve consideration.

I'm not really found of their naked unplugged sound. 'course I've been banned from playing naked for a long time...
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 10:08 AM   #13 (permalink)
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If you order a guitar sight unseen make sure there's a return policy, and also be aware that you will likely need to lower action or a setup to suit your style. My D28 rang out like a bell out of the box, & after about 3 months of 2 - 3 hours a day she's begun t loosen up quite a bit. Always a risk on the mail order, but big name brands (Tak, Martin, Taylor, etc) with return policy from reputable dealer reduce risk to near nothing. Good luck!

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Old September 2nd, 2008, 02:03 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Bearing in mind where you are, I'd say go for Maton before Martin or Gibson. I'm a big fan of Joshs from the Waifs. You surely can't fault his sound? Pretty sure his acoustics are Matons. As for Taylors, it wasn't until the 714 that I got a sound I liked but still ended up with a Gibson WM45, really tight sound for flatpicking leads.
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 01:08 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I think 90% of the time will be strumming and picking through the chords and 10% will be flatpicking leads.

I have heard good reviews for Takamines and one of my favourite artists, Jon Bon Jovi, uses the same Tak that he has had for almost 20 years!

For the money im spending though i really wanna make sure i get something that is gonna last me for quite a few years. I really dont want to make the wrong choice!!
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 07:03 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thephenom View Post
I think 90% of the time will be strumming and picking through the chords and 10% will be flatpicking leads.

I have heard good reviews for Takamines and one of my favourite artists, Jon Bon Jovi, uses the same Tak that he has had for almost 20 years!

For the money im spending though i really wanna make sure i get something that is gonna last me for quite a few years. I really dont want to make the wrong choice!!
D18 might be your best fit..... At the risk of sounding like a spaz, as i mentioned above i can't put the D28 down, but I just spent an hour playing the D-18 and I always say "she's my dessert island guitar". Mahogany box is lighter, top feels more responsive than the 28, and leaning a tad towards mids and highs but not tinny, might do a 90% strummer best. She definitely can cut thru runs with good volume when needed! Now you know why I got both the D18 & D28... sometimes I feel like a nut, sometimes I don't.

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Old September 3rd, 2008, 07:13 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Gibson "Country Western Model"

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Old September 3rd, 2008, 10:21 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Not to throw more gas on an open flame, but my current guitar crush is the Gibson L-200 Emmylou Harris model:



It screams Country!! It's got the smaller "L" body with the styling of the J-200 Jumbo Acoustic. Beautiful!!
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Old September 8th, 2008, 01:07 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Played a few Matons the yesterday and they sound pretty sweet. Still looking for a shop round here that stocks Martins
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Old September 9th, 2008, 08:13 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Country folk are hard headed...and stuck in their ways...be it right or be it wrong. They're almost as bad as bluegrassers. Just go to a bluegrass convention and look around. 90% of the pickers play: Martin D28 with Martin SP medium's, they use the same brand and color of capo's and tuners...heck they even hold their mouths the same way when they play. Point is a $500 guitar in the hands of a $50,000 picker sounds like a million bucks...but a $50,000 guitar in the hands of a $500 picker and it sounds like he/she is playing on a Wal-mart First Act guitar.
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