When Did Buying An Acoustic Become So Confusing???

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by colchar, May 18, 2019.

  1. colchar

    colchar Friend of Leo's

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    I'm in the Great White North (ie. Canada). I'd visit that shop in Glesga, but that would add a hell of a lot of cost to the purchase!!!
     
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  2. colchar

    colchar Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks, it is nothing too serious - just a torn labrum in my hip. But the recovery will take a bit, especially if they do open surgery, so that will affect my ability to work.
     
  3. Route67

    Route67 Tele-Meister

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    The Martin OM-28 is one of the original acoustic guitar designs of the 1930s that was swept out of production after a short period of time in favour of the dreadnought (D-18, D-28 etc).

    Why it fell out of production was only due to players wanting more volume, but the OM provides ‘punch’ which dreadnoughts lack due to their oversized sound box (too much of an open sea of reverberation).

    I recently found my life-time guitar in the Martin OM-21, same dimensions as above but less bling. If I knew what I know now, I could have saved a lot of money.
     
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  4. colchar

    colchar Friend of Leo's

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    To some extent yes, but I am not against getting a good guitar made outside of North America.
     
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  5. telepraise

    telepraise Tele-Meister

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    OP, you didn't mention what kind of acoustic music you're interested in playing. If bluegrass where it's at for you then a dred is likely the best way to go. If you're going to be fingerpicking, then a smaller body is better suited as it pushes the the notes out front better. The grand auditorium (x14 in the Taylor line) is a nice compromise . They still have the width and depth of a dred so there's a solid bass in them, just less boomy. BTW, over on the Acoustic Guitar Forum, I have seen a lot of nice dreds for sale because the owner was developing shoulder issues in their older years and needed a smaller instrument. I have both a dred and a grand auditorium and the GA is definitely more comfortable to play and easier to amplify as you don't have to dial out the boomy bass. Good luck, the seduction of spruce, rosewood, and ebony is strong!
     
  6. Texicaster

    Texicaster Tele-Meister

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    MY advice?

    Buy the best and cry once!

    Acoustics vary WAY more than electrics and the tones can be much more seductive once you hone in on what you like!

    Yer gonna have to set a budget. Lifetime solid wood guitar new or used from high end maker. At least $2000-$5000++ used or new.

    My biased, yet experienced ( I've owned ~20 high end acoustics, Collings, Martin, Santa Cruz, Huss and Dalton, Bourgeois etc) and played MANY more.

    Most consistent great tone and quality bar none is Collings. You'll have to budget $3000 used to $5000+ new but they hold their value very well

    Collings most rugged (I had a D2H get nailed with a P-Bass tuning key on side bout; small dent to finish that buffed out!) and stable I keep my D1A in a gig bag and go from desert <15% RH 100° to mountains where today it's snowing! Not to mention world class tone! Finest woods etc...

    Also get a dreadnaught... no question! Sure PROS use others but with amplification or in studios. If you want to jam live especially bluegrass only a dread will even make a squeak next to a mandolin or worse yet banjo!

    My current for past few years is a D1A with Western Shade top. Wasn't crazy about the Western Shade but now LOVE it! I got it for tone... c2.jpg c1.jpg Collings again does THE best shades! That's "bear claw" on the top which is rumored to to be an indicator of better tone...it's not a defect at any rate!
     
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  7. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    You MUST play a bunch. They feel and sound very different. Find the one that fits you.
    -Martins have flat fretboards, some like, some don't.
    -Taylors have 1.75 nut width, some like, some don't.
    -Gibsons have a comfortable 12" fretboard radius...
    -Some acoustics are dull sounding, some are crisp..

    The confusion goes away fast when you play them.
    I think older Guilds made in Westerly RI are great, play easy and a bargain. (late 60's through late 90's)
     
  8. Twang Deluxe

    Twang Deluxe Tele-Meister

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    I would go for a Martin DRS2
     
  9. Dukex

    Dukex Tele-Holic

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    Don't shy away from satin finished guitars. They are some of the best values.

    Martin 15 series.
    Taylor 300 series.
    Larrivee 03, 40 series.
     
  10. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

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    Since you are in the 'Great White North' you really should try a Seagull... Yes, the headstock is rather 'unique' (and a turnoff to some) but purposefully made that way for better string pull.

    Look at the SWS or Artist series, and I expect you'll be pleasantly surprised when you a/b them to Taylor and a few other name brands costing substantially more.

    My Artist Studio CW Element plays circles around other cutaway dreadnaughts priced 3- and 4-digits more (and I tried a bunch). If you can find them, the ones with an "SF" are cosmetic 'factory seconds' often deeply discounted, and in my experience the cosmetic blems are impossible to find.
     
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  11. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    I read through the thread, more to see the similarities and differences in experiences to what I went through when I was shopping for an acoustic. My thought is that shopping for a "lifetime" acoustic is not so much confusing as it is conflicting. There is a huge conflict between what we believe to be true and what we find to be true when we shop with our hands, ears, and an open mind. In my search, I never ran across a Gibson to love. What I found new seemed to need time to open up, and because Gibson doesn't sell as many as others near me, there was a limited selection used. The one I liked the sound of would have required too much work to make it playable for even the limited lifetime I have left. There were conflicts in my mind between how Martins and Taylors I liked were priced and what I thought a guitar should cost. Oddly enough, I found a Taylor 420 I really liked the sound of but it needed too much work to make it worth the asking price, even with a curly maple body that was a joy to behold. I was liking a short scale Martin with a slotted head stock that disappeared before I could convince myself to buy it. One advantage I have is that I travel a lot. I have grandkids in So Cal. I found a very unexpected guitar in a very unexpected place, the Folk Center, in Claremont, CA. I picked a guitar off the wall. No picks allowed in that store so I played finger style and it didn't sound muffled. It had a brightness, richness, and attack I'd only heard before in guitars in the "you can't be serious" price range. I'd never heard of the brand but the guitar was just amazing to me. I couldn't believe the price, and my wife who is a master negotiator got it down to a point where it was impossible to leave without it. In fact she bought it for me. The guitar is truly a lifetime guitar for me, a Simon and Patrick Showcase Rosewood drednaught. Adirondack spruce over solid Rosewood. I love it more every time I take it out. Like I said, there is a huge conflict between what we believe to be true and what we find to be true when we shop with our hands, ears, and an open mind. Like any guitar, I had to set this one up to my personal preferences. Strings, relief, saddle and nut all matter. I know where production economies were taken compared with what I'd expect in a guitar costing north of $3000, but none of them affect tone or playability. I can't imagine I'd find an acoustic I'd enjoy more. I'll say it again, there's a huge conflict between what we believe to be true and what we find to be true when we shop with our hands, ears, and an open mind.
     
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  12. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Take your current guitar and find a really good guitar tech or luthier and pay them to level frets (or replace with stainless steel) and do a complete setup.
    That is worth more to playability than many 'spensive guits.

    As you go up in price the builders cannot help themselves in substituting fancy woods to support the price, like solid wood rain forest lumber backs and sides where a player's belly and arms deaden that whole area out. Tone beer belly is an important item.

    Then spend time playing.

    .
     
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  13. Larmo63

    Larmo63 Tele-Afflicted

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    I always heard Martins were the best growing up. I had a seventies Gibson that I learned on and a Guild Jumbo, but I always hankered for a Martin. I was down in Monroe, Louisiana at my late brother-in-laws house bored to tears and he had a Martin case sitting there in his parlor. I asked if I could look at it (he was a very wealthy and strange drunk) and he said sure. I opened it up and it was a D 12-28 twelve string Anniversary something model. I set about tuning it up (he told me Bob Dylan had played it at his house, I doubt it) and started playing some Garth Brooks songs.

    He made me play for him and my sister-in-law all night as they devoured Vodka and smoked weed. It was probably why they thought I sounded so good.

    A few days later after some really wild drunken times (I drank very little) they drove me to the airport and pulled the guitar case out of the trunk of the car and gave it to me. I tried, not very hard, to resist. I brought it home and traded it for a brand new D-28 that I still have.

    I only play my 00-18V now, as that size fits my playing better. The smaller body size would be my recommendation as a dreadnaught is rather large.

    My $.02.
     
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  14. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I’d say it got confusing when a) buying online became the norm, and b) choosing by specs and discussion became the norm.

    Gotta play lots and lots of them including as many samples as possible of whatever model seems to be what you want.




    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  15. colchar

    colchar Friend of Leo's

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    I've had satin finished ones and currently have an all gloss (Yamaha LL6). It turns out that I prefer all gloss. Not sure why though.
     
  16. colchar

    colchar Friend of Leo's

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    I've owned a couple of entry level Seagulls. I was restricting myself to Gibson, Martin, and Taylor but am now thinking that might be the wrong approach so Seagull, Simon & Patrick, etc, are now on the table.
     
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  17. colchar

    colchar Friend of Leo's

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    I'm Canadian, so those are available everywhere here. As I said above, Seagull, S&P, etc. are now on the table.
     
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  18. colchar

    colchar Friend of Leo's

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    A good friend is the guitar tech at my local store. He has already gone over my guitar. There is nothing wrong with it, I have just decided that I want to buy a lifetime acoustic while I still have the disposable cash to do so.
     
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  19. rjtwangs

    rjtwangs Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I don't know where in Canada you are, but I found my 1931 0028 at the Twelfth Fret in Toronto.

    https://www.12fret.com

    Also just outside of Toronto in Waterloo Ontario, is the wonderful Folkway Music, the owner, Mark Stutman, is also a world class luthier and repair expert. He is one of the very best. He also knows old Gibson acoustics better than anyone I know...

    https://www.folkwaymusic.com

    You really should call and talk to these folks. They will answer any and all of your questions and you'd be able to try out some amazing acoustic guitars....and between you and me, thinking Martin and Gibson has you on the right track.


    RJ
     
  20. colchar

    colchar Friend of Leo's

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    I am just outside Toronto so 12th Fret is local to me (kind of).

    Waterloo is an hour (or slightly more) west of Toronto. I lived there for ten years (I didn't play guitar then so have never been in that store) so could make a day of it by going to the store and visiting with some friends.
     
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