Need some help finding an inexpensive, decent acoustic

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

  1. 6stringcowboy

    6stringcowboy Tele-Afflicted

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    Seagull
     
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  2. heltershelton

    heltershelton Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Jazmine acoustics, made by takamine.
    I played a few and thought they were good guitars.
     
  3. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

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    +1 for the GS Mini. It would be a great choice within your budget. I also played a Fender PM-2 mahogany parlor guitar recently that I was very impressed with. It's a little more expensive than the Mini but comes with a hard case.

    Once you do decide on a particular model, try to play as many as possible. There will probably be one that stands out. When I bought my GS, I bounced between three stores and tried 6 or 7 before pulling the trigger on the one I liked best. Some were definitely better than others and one stood out.
     
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  4. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    You can probably get a real USA Westerley built Guild at $600 or a bit more. (~1970-1990's) If you look around long enough. It will only appreciate. They are starting to make some model Guilds back in the USA now too..... or they have the "New Westerly" line that are built in China and have a pretty good rep. Not a big Taylor fan but I do like their lower end models better actually! Go figure. I bought a used "400" something like new all mahogany a few years back off CL for $500 with case. It was basically a new guitar. But I sold it for a profit.
    One critical thing to ask your self, what fretboard radius do you like? and what about nut width? Do you want an acoustic that feels like your electric? If so, get the same radius and nut width!
    Taylors are 1.75 wide nut which I dislike.
    Martins are a really flat radius which I dislike.
    My Guilds play like electric guitars.
    Most Gibson are a 12" radius I think...? I like them too.
    In Vintage Guilds some are 25.5 scale and some are 24.75 scale. I like the 25.5
    In Vintage Guilds there is a time period where some had a narrow nut, like 1-5/8, some like many dont.
     
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  5. etype

    etype Tele-Afflicted

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    I read about 2/3 of the posts here so might have missed something.

    What does easy to play mean? If you also play an electric, I am guessing it means less tension on the strings, narrower neck, and smaller size. The only electric that I have found that is < $600, <1.7" nut width, and 24.75" scale (lowering the string tension) is the Guild M-240E. Putting a set of 12s on a guitar with a shorter scale will make it feel more like an electric with a longer scale and lighter gauge strings.The only thing it doesn't have is a low radius fretbord (its 16" like most Martins).

    But I have also done tons of research, decided what I want and then gone to a store to play the one that checks all the boxes to end up disappointed. No substitute for spending several hours over several weeks trying guitars out.

    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/GM240E--guild-m-240e-natural
    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/GM240EVS--guild-m-240e-troubadour-vintage-sunburst
     
  6. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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  7. Gabrielle84

    Gabrielle84 Tele-Meister

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    I'm inclined to think that the 1987 Alvarez 5222 (Regent) is overpriced.
    the 1976 Epi may be made in Japan. Does the seller say? the quoted price seems to be in line with what I found on the used market.

    I suggest you play a variety of acoustics before you buy. Yamaha makes an excellent "bang for the buck" guitar, Seagull and Art & Luthier are reputable as well.

    I am biased re: the Taylor GS Mini, i own the mahogany version and love this thing.

    I am primarily an acoustic guitar player and own an Oxnard M20 Guild. Guild's new MIC are nice to play. The m240 e has a smaller body and cool little soundhole pickup.

    Regardless, just play and buy the one that speaks to you.
     
  8. NateD81

    NateD81 TDPRI Member

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    There’s also a 1976 Epiphone Norlin for about 275 near
    The Epi does say it’s made in Japan. I’ve never had a guitar that old, anything I should be aware of or stay away from?
     
  9. etype

    etype Tele-Afflicted

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    The action. as acoustic guitars age, the top can bow, causing the bridge to rise and the action to rise with it. You would think 4/32" at the 12th fret wouldn't seem TOO high, but most electrics are set at about 5/64"-3/32". And some older acoustics have action at the 12th fret that is higher than that (5/32" or higher). When that happens a $300-$400 neck reset is sometimes the only option.

    EDIT: Ah, just saw the Epi you are probably looking at. With a bolt on neck, you can generally adjust it to fix the action.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2019
  10. xgritzx

    xgritzx Tele-Meister

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    Taylor 110 (I own and am always impressed) or there about, or even a base series blueridge. I think you can get some pretty nice seagulls in that range but I dont have any personal experience with those. people seem to like em.
     
  11. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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  12. Kerberos

    Kerberos Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    There are so many great acoustics out at really terrific prices it's hard to choose. Quality has outpaced price. Like you, I'm looking as well for a small bodied acoustic, something comfortable to sit and strum, write songs, etc. I have a Taylor and a Yamaha, but both are Dreadnoughts. A parlor guitar is a bit too small. The problem is finding guitars to try out. Since I'm going to have to order a guitar, I'm starting at the top. The Martin D Jr-10e. I going for the Sunburst, they are running $699. Thing is, it's a scaled down Dreadnought, and a all solid guitar. If you don't want electronics, you can knock off $100, and if you don't want Sunburst, knock off another $100. My next choice is a Fender Paramount PM-TE Travel guitar. All solid, comes with a hard case, and runs $349! Another nice small bodied acoustic is the Guild M-240e. In any case, everyone has offered excellent choices. Good luck!
     
  13. NateD81

    NateD81 TDPRI Member

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  14. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    I have never tried the Coastline series, but Seagulls are pretty interchangeable in specs and bout sizes. I would expect the Coastline to be very similar to the Entourage line in details. I own an Entourage cutaway, a Maritime series, and the Artist Cameo with the Entourage actually being the one that gets used the most, likely due to the shorter scale making it easy to play. I have also found that the early S6 originals are very great sounding instruments...they seem to age well.

    The only complain that I have ever heard against the Seagulls are claims that the cedar tops go dead from hard strumming. I say that I have read that on internet forums for years, but I have not found any of it to be true and I strum like a gorilla. You will no doubt read those things, but I personally think it is just typical BS that gets thrown around. My Seagulls are approaching 10 years old now, get played for at least an hour every single day, and have not lost anything sound-wise.

    One more thing, the goofy headstocks. They look strange, but they were designed for tuning stability by keeping the strings in a more straight line to prevent binding at the nut. It really works too, Seagulls stay in tune better than my Sigma and Blue Ridge.

    https://www.bing.com/videos/search?...8665DAF1967E502424998665DAF1967E&&FORM=VRDGAR
     
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  15. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    Other people have already praised my favorite brand - Alvarez for a budget guitar. I just strongly believe that you should go to music stores and play everything in your price range, and don't rush or worry about the name on the headstock. We all have different preferences, and that's fine. I almost bought (and should have) a bright red, really ugly Blueridge (Chinese Martin copy) for $800. That one particular guitar had such a perfect dread sound, I would have been happy with that tone at twice the price or more.
    For me (not for you):
    Yamahas are well built and sound great, but the nut is far too narrow for me to play fingerstyle on, for instance. Epiphones look nice but to my ears they are built too heavily and never really have that dry woody tone - at least none of the ones I have played. Seagulls are obviously a great value but some of them seem to have a classical-width nut (1 7/8?), and the cedar tops have a very different kind of tonality that you might like or not. Taylors - some people love them, some people hate them. Their QC is top of the class. I can't stand the nasally, treble-boosted sound when I play them, though loads of amazing recordings have been made with them.


    You are far more likely to get a good instrument by playing a bunch than to listen to a bunch of internet advice and order an acoustic sight unseen. Same goes for electrics but much, much less so in my opinion.
     
  16. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yamaha. The end.
     
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  17. Jim622

    Jim622 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    [QUOTE You are far more likely to get a good instrument by playing a bunch than to listen to a bunch of internet advice and order an acoustic sight unseen. Same goes for electrics but much, much less so in my opinion.[/QUOTE]


    That's what I did. I went in the Sam Ash acoustics room and played at least 10 guitars. If nothing speaks to you, like my Takamine did me, you'll at least come out with a much better idea of what you are looking for.
     
  18. Jim622

    Jim622 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    That's what I did. I went in the Sam Ash acoustics room and played at least 10 guitars. If nothing speaks to you, like my Takamine did me, you'll at least come out with a much better idea of what you are looking for.
     
  19. fstempleton

    fstempleton Tele-Meister

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    I'd look for a new-ish Yamaha LL or LS model, if you can't find a great deal on a used Martin, Taylor, Larrivee etc. I got my daughter an LS6M from Sweetwater a couple of years ago, and it's a great OM-style guitar right in your price range. You might also find something useful here:
    http://acousticguitar.com/11-affordable-small-body-flattops/

    [Oops, didn't see the earlier post reviewing the LS6 - I agree with him!]
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2019
  20. Jim622

    Jim622 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Not a bad suggestion either Yamaha makes some very good acoustics, I've had a very good 6 string I sold years ago, for a little more than I paid for it new, and I have a 12 string that I've had (holy crap!) 43 years. I should be so much better than I am. Damn.
     
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