Budget vs. High-End is more important with acoustics than electrics.

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by 3-Chord-Genius, Mar 30, 2020.

  1. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    Modern guitars made overseas are coming off the assembly lines pretty much perfect, for incredibly affordable prices. Many of these guitars can compete tone-wise and in terms of playability with guitars costing many times more. I believed that the playing field between American hand-made and import mass-produced guitars had been leveled. EXCEPT....

    ... acoustic guitars. I was doing contract work in a nursing home last week (wearing the surgical mask, of course) and there was a staff member playing music and singing for the residents. She had a beautiful black Epiphone, one of the most gorgeous guitars I'd ever seen. It sounded like crap! I could barely hear it; for such a large guitar it had very little low-end. Mostly upper-mids and highs. And she was beating on it! It should have been much louder and fuller than it was. And I was less than 10 feet from her.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2020
  2. elihu

    elihu Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yep
     
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  3. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Friend of Leo's

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    I'm inclined to agree with this.
     
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  4. notmyusualuserid

    notmyusualuserid Friend of Leo's

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    Well yeah.
    Acoustics don't have to be Made in America to be better though. That's a touch parochial.

    Maton, Godin, L'arrivee, Takamine...
     
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  5. teleforumnoob

    teleforumnoob Friend of Leo's

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    Agree generally.
    But I've played a couple of Eastman cannons.
     
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  6. ppg677

    ppg677 Tele-Meister

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    Also true for accordions :)
     
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  7. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    Bear in mind that I'm talking more about cost than origin of manufacture. I probably shouldn't have included that in my paragraph.
     
  8. kbold

    kbold Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    ... and that's not touching on nylon string guitars, which brings in the Spanish and Japanese makers.
     
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  9. notmyusualuserid

    notmyusualuserid Friend of Leo's

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    Takamine are Japanese ;)
     
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  10. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    Please see my comment above about nation of origin.
     
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  11. stormsedge

    stormsedge Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I've found with acoustics that it is better to play it before passing judgement...doesn't matter the name on the headstock. Opinions vary.
     
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  12. Bergy

    Bergy Tele-Holic

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    My reflexive thought is yea, better to spend the extra on an acoustic than an electric. You can’t modify an acoustic like you can an electric, and ya don’t have as much control over tone sculpting on an acoustic even with an on-board EQ.
     
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  13. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yeah, mostly...a few exceptions, depending on how much dinero must change hands.

    ...and I didn’t immediately think USA; Lowden; Atkins; Yamaha; There’s a lot out there, you gotta take some time though.

    You can spend some tiny-nation GDP in an acoustic- but that little mofo flattop better sing like an angel, I tell you what!
     
  14. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Here's how this goes. I say, I don't like any other acoustic guitar for me other that a Martin Dred. Then some guys will say yeah, but I had a Kay that sounded TEN times better than any Martin ever made. I'm thinking not 9 times, or eleven times but exactly ten times better; How exactly did you measure that? I honestly don't care what anyone else likes, or has to say about Martin guitars, I've been playing them for about fifty five years, and I reckon I ain't gonna change now.
     
  15. davidge1

    davidge1 Friend of Leo's

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    I've never played an electric guitar that I can't get a good sound out of through a good amp. The amp is more important. There are some cheap electric guitars that don't play very well, but if you can manage to play them, you can make them sound good.

    Cheap acoustic guitars just sound bad, mostly.
     
  16. imwjl

    imwjl Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes, I could not improve my so so acoustic like I could with modifications to my first electric - a Squier. When I was a regular in a bluegrass jam hearing and playing other guitars I realized some acoustics had not just better tone but super responsive.

    Still, I think there are a lot of good instruments at all prices now compared to when I got of high school in the '70s and got my first acoustic.

    Maybe something else about acoustics. My GAS killer acoustic is 11 years old now. I just don't get a hankering to want another the way an electric can do that.
     
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  17. elpico

    elpico Tele-Holic

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    Larrivee guitars are made in America (Oxnard CA). I know they were made in Canada once, but that hasn't been the case for a long time.
     
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  18. rand z

    rand z Friend of Leo's

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    As with all guitar's...

    your ears (and hand's) are the judge.

    IMO.
     
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  19. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

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    I am an American made Fender snob and have been for my whole playing career.
    Just laying some ground work here. Keep reading.

    I have owned several MIJ Fenders and been largely unimpressed.
    I’ve owned over dozen American Standard Strats and Teles over the years and never one MIM.

    My youngest son is 13 and has been playing for a couple years. Last summer he worked with me and saved up for an electric. He wanted a Strat and he and I went on a mission to find one that would fit the bill of quality and price.
    We wound up buying him a MIM HSS Strat. I will say that the pickups sound like rookie to me, but the fit, finish and overall feel of that MIM guitar exceeds most of the ‘80’s and ‘90’s American Standards I owned.
    I promise, I was floored by this.
    I have a loaded strat pick guard with Van Zandt pickups and a Fralin blender pot that I’ll install for him one day.

    So yeah, I agree that current manufacture electrics are awesome.

    I’m less of a snob about acoustics, but of all the ones Ive owned over the years, the only ones I’ve kept are two Gibson’s and a MIJ Takamine. So yeah. I agree there too.
     
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  20. dented

    dented Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    Hrmpf. You have to play them. I have some unique acoustics that sound very nice. One from the 40s and one from the 50s. My player/practice guitar is a 2002 Ibanez dreadnought cheapo. But I will say one thing in my OWN experience. I can make a cheap electric guitar sound good and get by on many songs and styles. Not so much on an acoustic. I believe the higher dollar acoustics are made that way for a reason. Better playability and sound. JMHO
     
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