Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Acoustics? I don't get what makes one better than the others?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Axis29, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. Gnobuddy

    Gnobuddy Friend of Leo's

    Sep 15, 2010
    British Columbia
    That just doesn't seem fair, does it? The salesperson did his or her job, and deserves to be paid for the time and work they put in. It's like saying if a plumber installs a sink, and the owner of the house later changes their mind and rips the sink out, the plumber doesn't need to be paid for his work installing it in the first place.

    It's one thing if the salesperson lied or cheated the buyer in some way and that caused the return. That would clearly be the salespersons fault. But often people return things because they changed their mind, or found a lower price elsewhere, or were offered a deal on something else they didn't want to pass up. It just doesn't seem fair to punish the salesperson for that. If doing so is a routine corporate practice, I would say it's an unethical one.

    I very rarely return purchases myself, simply because I know it costs businesses money to deal with returns. All the same, over the years I have returned a very few items that just didn't do it for me for one reason or another (like the Vox AC4TV I bought and didn't like very much). Now I'm realizing I may have taken money out of someone's pocket every time I did that.

    The frustrating thing is, when I buy stuff at some local music stores, there is often too much noise in the store for me to hear what the product sounds like, so it's difficult to make a solid decision, and tempting to take it home, try it out there, and return it if you don't like it. And when you buy online, of course you have no idea what the thing is going to sound like until you get it.

    So it's damned if you do, damned if you don't - buy it without a good listen (because of the noisy store or online purchase) and you may end up with a product you don't like. Or return it and realize you're taking money from the salespersons pockets by doing so.

    On the bright side, maybe this will permanently cure me of ever wanting to buy anything again! :rolleyes:


  2. flyingbanana

    flyingbanana Poster Extraordinaire

    I've got a Yamaha acoustic...apx 900. It's ok. I have played through a bunch of other acoustics since I've owned this one, going on around 3 years or so now. My favorite two favs were mahogany Martins. I don't remember the sizes. The first on was at a local mom and pop guitar store. That guitar was perfect. They wanted way to much for it.

    The next Martin was a pawn shop special. I think I wrote about it on here before. They finally agree to sell the thing to me, I went in and as the guy was taking it off the rack, he dropped it. What a nozzle.

    The only other one's I've thought were any good were all newer Taylors.

  3. Daddy Hojo

    Daddy Hojo Friend of Leo's

    Feb 25, 2011
    Did the drop completely ruin the Martin?!? Good acoustics are so hard to find. I know there's a world of them that are "supposed" to be good, but to find one that seems to align all the planets is a difficult task. To see it fall on the floor... well, that's something different altogether.

  4. dmarg1045

    dmarg1045 Friend of Leo's

    Oct 28, 2006
    Jammed with my pal Dave last night. He uses an older single-cutaway sunburst Guild that he bought for $950 some years ago. Great guitar--no plywood. It would probably sell for $1200 or so now.

  5. Mr. E

    Mr. E Tele-Holic

    Mar 18, 2008
    So I went to Guitar Center to try out the S6. I only found one and I asked if there were any more. They said no. The one I tried out didnt sound nice at all. My guess were that the strings and the action were a reason why it didnt sound that good. I could hear the harmonics. Can I ask to try it on with new strings? I wouldn't mind paying for them, if they let me, but I wouldn't want them to charge me the 15 bucks (more or less) for changing string on a guitar that I'm going to try out.

  6. cowboytwang

    cowboytwang Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 28, 2003
    Sonoran Desert
    I just needed to tell you that I know exactly were you are, and have stood right in the spot where you took that picture.
    Brings back memories of when I grew up out there, and spent to much time across the street at the Beachcomber Tavern.

  7. colchar

    colchar Friend of Leo's

    No idea but, if I were you, I would try to find another store that stocks them. Contact Seagull directly if you have to. When I got mine it sounded great right out of the box and I waited a week until I put my own strings on it (and only did it then because I was putting new ones on my Strat and decided to do both at the same time - the strings on the Seagull certainly didn't need to be changed).

  8. edmidlifecrisis

    edmidlifecrisis TDPRI Member

    Feb 25, 2011
    West Palm Beach, FL
    I played a Seagull Entourage the other day at GC that sounded pretty great. And very good playability, action, etc. Nice guitar for just over 3 bills. If I didn't have three acoustics I'd have bought it on the spot.

  9. Daddy Hojo

    Daddy Hojo Friend of Leo's

    Feb 25, 2011
    My acoustic is the only guitar I have that I wouldn't be crushed if it were stolen. I've gigged it more than all of my other guitars combined.

  10. oldsoultroy

    oldsoultroy Tele-Meister

    Apr 3, 2011
    Michigan USA
    From my personal opinion as a luthier, here's what makes a good acoustic instrument- reduce any of these qualitys and you have your bad acoustics.

    1) Stable tonewoods- good taptone, straight grain, assembled in a stable enviroment (moisture content consistency).
    2) Joinery- No seams, gaps, and other poor fitting joints, proper amount of adhesives and proper clamping-
    3) Fretwork- obviously you want this done properly
    4) Contact Points- Bone nut and saddle cut and fit properly, as well as stable tuners. Bridge properly located, fret slots dead on to scale.

    Now, after them fine points are made, it's really up to your ears. Some like what others don't- some will while other's won't- so what makes a good guitar? To this I say- to each his own-

  11. Gnobuddy

    Gnobuddy Friend of Leo's

    Sep 15, 2010
    British Columbia
    That's a thin-body guitar primarily designed to sound good plugged-in, isn't it? That sort of design usually compromises the pure acoustic tone. You'll usually have weaker bass (from the thinner body and therefore smaller acoustic chambers inside) and less acoustic volume (which translates to less feedback problems when plugged in). On the flip side, this sort of design can sound really good plugged in.

    I have a dirt-cheap plywood-top thin body acoustic with onboard piezo and a cutaway body that is my kick-around acoustic. It's a bit thin and boxy unplugged, and not very loud, though the tone isn't bad. Plugged into my Acoustic AG30 amp, with an inexpensive Danelectro Fish'n'Chips 7-band equalizer pedal between guitar and amp for tone adjustments, I can dial in a pretty attractive tone. Nothing that will stir the envy of any acoustic tone-snobs, but nothing that sounds like a cheap and nasty guitar, either.

    That's one of the beautiful things about plugging in, a $30 EQ pedal can give you tonal improvements that might set you back $3000 in a pure acoustic guitar, where the tone is built into the instrument!


  12. Gnobuddy

    Gnobuddy Friend of Leo's

    Sep 15, 2010
    British Columbia
    My pet hate is acoustics that sound "boxy", like a cigar-box with strings on it. I don't know how else to describe that tone - instead of a full, balanced bass and treble, you get this odd boxy tone.

    I don't know enough about guitar building to know where that particular bad tone comes from. My guess is it has to do with the wrong sort of resonant frequencies in the top, presumably from badly implemented bracing or too-thick wood in the top (which would presumably show up as bad tap tones in your list above). Can you shed any more light on this for us?


  13. DOGMA Dunn

    DOGMA Dunn Friend of Leo's

    Mar 2, 2011
    I once owned a 95 Martin 000-28 it was the best sounding guitar I ever played. It felt and played well and felt and sounded forgiving. It was hard to make a mistake or play sloppy on that guitar. But the problem was after playing that guitar for several days, I would end up playing sloppy on other guitars, and it would take me a few days to get my playing clean again.

    There is somthing special about very tight even grain rosewood and spruce and how they interact that is hard to explain.

  14. candybluecrook

    candybluecrook Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 28, 2010
    Groves TX
    I second this, and im in the market for a dreadnaught cutaway, what's your ordering policy? Could u send me a personal message with the details? Thanx

  15. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 14, 2008
    Manheim Pa.
    I have a 00028L Martin and it is just so balanced tone wise , Very sweet with Martin SP P/B strings .
    The true art of good tone in an acoustic is in the hands of the luthier . A good luthier can make marginal woods sing and a mediocre luthier will build a mediocre guitar with the best materials . Kind of like players , huh ?
    Just remember that the coveted pre war Martins were built in non climate controlled conditions/building by some of the best people in the business .
    End of rant .

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