Need some help finding an inexpensive, decent acoustic

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by NateD81, Mar 27, 2019.

  1. NateD81

    NateD81 TDPRI Member

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    Hello all -

    I'm trying to find a decent acoustic and am feeling overwhelmed with where to start.

    First of all - my budget is in the 600$ range-- I'm a teacher and just play at home and occasionally record, so I electronics aren't something that I particularly care about. It's fine if they're in the guitar, but I couldn't care less about those features.

    I've owned a Martin 2001 DC-16GTE that I sold along with some other gear to buy my wife an engagement ring back when I was a broke student. Now I'm a broke teacher and while I loved that guitar, it's not really in my future.

    I've played some Taylors and to be honest, I really loved the feel of the 114CE, and it sounded fine to me -- but I'm open to other guitars. I really like an easy to play guitar.

    I prefer a smaller bodied guitar, and I prefer cutaway guitars but it's not a necessity. I'm intrigued by parlor size and up, and I play almost entirely fingerstyle. I've heard a lot of good things about Recording King and Simon & Patrick guitars but there's nowhere near me where I can try one so I'd be buying blind which makes me slightly nervous.

    I'd prefer the used market via Reverb / eBay as I know I'll get more bang for the buck -- if that helps with suggestions.

    Thank you all for your help/education!
     
  2. Recce

    Recce Tele-Afflicted

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    I actually have two small bodied Martins but in the range you are looking at I would recommend an Alvarez. I always thought they played well and meet your price point.
     
  3. NateD81

    NateD81 TDPRI Member

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    Is there a particular Alvarez model you’d suggest - or just anything in the price range / size I’m looking at?
     
  4. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Buy a Martin Dr J and pocket the rest of the $$s. Best Buy in that price range and Martin quality.
     
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  5. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    You must consider both Yamaha and Seagull right now. One of the absolute bargains in the Seagull line is the Entourage which is their only short scale guitar if you like that. Otherwise, you can move up into their solid wood series or even get lucky and land one of their flagship models (Artist Series) on the used market for that budget. I bought a Seagull Artist Cameo (all flame maple) used with case for $600 and it is a fantastic instrument.

    Seriously, you can't go wrong with the Seagulls for a quality instrument without breaking the bank.
     
  6. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Tele-Afflicted

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    I picked up an Art and Lutherie legacy concert and I think it's an amazing guitar! It's also my first acoustic I've ever owned. I've played quite a few and I've never liked any well enough to say I need one. I just don't get on with them. But man this one is sweet.

    They have a parlor sized as well and I was really torn between the parlor and the concert legacy because because I've always like the idea of having a parlor, but they were the same price so I went with "more guitar for my buck" but I'd love to get their parlor in their red color. They have a cutaway option and acoustic electric. They're made by Godin and after watching a how it's made on Godin I was really impressed with how they matched up every neck with each body. Instead of just slapping them together they carefully measure and then sand the body and neck to get the angle right. I assume they do this on the Art and lutherie models too, but I can't say for sure.

    So ultimately for me it came down to a few things. One was color. I didn't want a plain sitka spruce top. So the stain is nice because it makes me think of a guitar someone would have carried from rail car to rail car during the dust bowl :lol:. Maybe that's just me, so let me have it. The other thing was the shape. I don't like the look of a dreadnought and don't have any desire to own one. So I liked the smaller curvier body. And the headstock is cool. Simple and plain. Makes me think of a Martin.

    It stays in tune really well and I've never had to do anything to it as it came ready to play. It's pretty easy and it doesn't fight me (like other acoustics in my life). I would highly recommend one and it'll fit your budget. I picked mine up brand new on reverb for 339 because a seller was having a 15% off sale on it. I think the cutaway sells for more. I always figured if I ever bought an acoustic I was going to have to drop some coin to get one that was halfway playable (sorry acoustic lovers) but for a really reasonable price tag it's one of my favorite guitars.

    Here's mine with the rest of the herd. And I'll end my sales pitch. I'm not affiliated with them in any way, just a really happy customer. ;) 20190327_210407.jpg
     
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  7. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Friend of Leo's

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    I have a Sigma dr-35 that sounds and plays nice. It's a very accurate looking d35 clone with a slimish neck. Can be found for around $500 new. Play before buying though as the quality varies between guitars.
     
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  8. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's

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    Don't overthink this, just buy a used 114CE from Guitar Center online.
     
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  9. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    I played a lot of acoustics from all price ranges and ended up with a Seagull. It felt and sounded as good as the Taylors and Martins I was playing. Love it.
     
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  10. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yamaha or Washburn.

    Are you primarily an electric guitar player looking for an acoustic to bang around on at picnics/campfires? I'd even suggest buying something under $100 and getting a $100 fret level done on it rather than buying a $200+ guitar.

    If it's your only guitar or you only really play acoustic and the electrics are just a side distraction then spend more.

    .
     
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  11. Anita Bonghit

    Anita Bonghit Tele-Meister

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    My vote goes to Ibanez, but I just saw the new Peavey parlour guitar and it is super nice too. ~ $300
     
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  12. NateD81

    NateD81 TDPRI Member

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    I play electric guitar more - and while I'm not a gigging musician, I do like to record and I like a guitar to be easy and fun to play. The Martin I had years ago was fun to pick up and sounded great. I had an Ibanez Parlor a few years back that sounded fine but was always a beast to play so I never did. Recently sold an Epiphone DR500MCE that sounded decent but also didn't seem the easiest to play.

    My main guitar is a classic series 72 Thinline tele, which I'm not expecting an acoustic to play as easy, but I don't want to feel like I need to do hand exercises to play comfortably.
     
  13. Chud

    Chud Poster Extraordinaire

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  14. Recce

    Recce Tele-Afflicted

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    I really don’t have a particular model I just know they tend to have a low action and play well.
     
  15. teleforumnoob

    teleforumnoob Friend of Leo's

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    I’ve played a nice Breedlove in that style and price range.
    Really you just gotta play a few and pick one. All the brands mentioned have potential.
     
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  16. teleforumnoob

    teleforumnoob Friend of Leo's

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  17. teleforumnoob

    teleforumnoob Friend of Leo's

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    Ease of play is all in the set up. Find a good luthier and fit him in your budget.
     
  18. DADGAD

    DADGAD Tele-Afflicted

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    Yamaha. I’ve bought two in the last year and they are stellar.
     
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  19. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    From your description and budget, I'd highly recommend trying a Big Baby Taylor. You need to get past the bolt heads in the fingerboard, but if you let your ears do the talking, ain't nothing I Know that beats it for a great dreadnought sound out of a 15/16 size acoustic under your budget. If you sing, it is even better voicing too. IMHO.

    Nope, I was looking for a blues box and ended up with a much more expensive 000, but the Big Baby is impressive.

    Good luck.
     
  20. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    Used Yamahas for 40 years.

    I’d explore all their mid price options first.

    They earned the trust in the brand and you will find plenty of cutaway versions.
     
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