Decent new acoustic in $300-$500 range?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by eflamberson, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. spayne99

    spayne99 Tele-Holic

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    Don't disregard Yamaha FG700s or FG730s. Great sounding solid spruce top guitars for half your budget. Spend the savings on a case or a strap or whatever.
     
  2. DOGMA Dunn

    DOGMA Dunn Friend of Leo's

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    If you can try them out at your local store, that would help narrow down your search. With acoustics I would go with how they sound first, than how they feel and how well they are constructed second. Many great brands amd models to choose from.
     
  3. cwcowell

    cwcowell Tele-Meister

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    Think Yamaha, or Guild GAD series for a little more dough.
     
  4. ruger9

    ruger9 Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's generally agreed upon that a solid top sounds better than a laminated top, but i just bought a Revival RG-12, laminate top, that holds it's own against many, more expensive, all-solid wood guitars... and beats quite a few of them. I don't know what Revival is doing, but they seem to have dialed in the all-laminate guitar incredibly well.
     
  5. tooncaster

    tooncaster Tele-Afflicted

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    Recording King, Blue Ridge, Epiphone, Godin, Breedlove, Guild -- all make great guitars in that price range.
     
  6. Mr. E

    Mr. E Tele-Holic

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    Where though? I see you are in Canada. Do you mean somewhere in the U.S.?
     
  7. Post Toastie

    Post Toastie Poster Extraordinaire

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    Alvarez is worth a look.
     
  8. strat56

    strat56 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Carvin sells some very nice acoustics in that price range. I have a C750T that plays very well and sounds decent.
     
  9. JohnnyRebKy

    JohnnyRebKy Tele-Meister

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    Picked up a epiphone hummingbird for my nephew this weekend. Sweet guitar for 250 bucks!
     
  10. Stuco

    Stuco Poster Extraordinaire

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    dude, buy used

    You can get twice the guitar for your money. Get something that is ALL solid wood if you can. I'd be looking for a used larrivee 01, 02 or 03 series if I had $500 to spend. Larrivee doesnt skimp on the important stuff even on their "low end" guitars and this makes them an excellent value. Epiphone masterbilt is another option if you don't care if it's made in the far east. They are great guitars for $300ish used. If you're lucky you may find and old guild d25 or d35 (or similar trim level guild) for that $, also great guitars.
     
  11. grapenehi

    grapenehi TDPRI Member

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    i love my simon & patrick, and you can find used ones at a pretty good price, just because they aren't as well known...
     
  12. outlawyer

    outlawyer Tele-Holic

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    The Yamaha 700 seems universally admired, and Yamaha makes great guitars (and pianoes and motorcycles), and I had one for 18 yrs or so myself, but if you don't try a DR-500-RNS Epi Masterbilt, you are doing yourself a disservice. If someone offered me
    $2K for it I might think about it. The only other guitar (a Taylor) that was even close cost almost that much, and while a great guitar, it sounds muffled compared to the resonately deafening Epi.
     

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  13. Warm Gums

    Warm Gums Friend of Leo's

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    +1 This in some ways is akin to the "you don't EVER want a solid state amp 'advise' " that get tossed around on the amp forums. Laminates have come a long way, the old tops were often little better than cigar box plywood, and while that can be a intersting sound in it's own right it is not what most folks are looking for. Current laminates (aka "select tops" lol) can actully sound quite good, for example the guitar in the current Yamaha "Gigmaker' pack is a excellent playing box with a nice sound, while it won't 'improve' with age you know exactly what sound you are getting, and it is less needy in the area of humidification etc. Laminates make great knock around/ second guitars for beach/camping, porch playing, dorm rooms, writing (With kids & a dog about I have no interest in leaving out a $300 plus guitar; fear of leaving out a $99 laminate on a stand to grab for a few min. is minimal) etc. It all depends on what you want.
    A few folks have recommended used..while it is true that you can get MUCH more guitar used, buying a second hand acoustic is much different than buying say a used Strat. in
    adition to the ususal neck issues, the insides of a acoustic can hold a whole host of hidden problems; loose and or cracked braces, worn bridge plates, sloppy glue work, loose joints etc., this is all much more expensive to fix than a worn pot, or loose wire. The older a guitar is the more likely atleat one of these issues will come into play. If you are new to this some sort of return option from a dealer is a must & budget for a check out! If you are doing CL take some one who knows their stuff to the meet.
    Annnd...Acoustic guitars are very string sensitive, old/worn strings will make the best guitar sound like crud, if you are really intersted in something a legit shop should be willing to restring it for the cost of the strings if not for free. You can also use this to your advantage as many folks off load "crappy" guitars for cheep when they simply are not using the strings or string formula that bring out the best in the guitar. Going with something a little brighter can open up a "dead" sounding instrument, while something darker can add depth and complexity to a overly bright guitar.
     
  14. colchar

    colchar Friend of Leo's

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    I was forgetting that they are cheaper up here in Canada (I got my S6 Slim for $299+tax) than they are in the US but even Musician's Friend sells them for about $60 less than the place you linked.
     
  15. GraspnAtStrings

    GraspnAtStrings Tele-Meister

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    I'll add to the chorus of Seagull recommendations. I just got an S6 original. I compared it to pricier guitars and it easily held it's own in tone and playability. Play a few though. I tried three S6s and the one I took home had better action and clearer tone than the other two- but they were all nice.
     
  16. Stuco

    Stuco Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just a thought on laminate vs solid acoustics. A laminate will never sound as good a solid wood guitar, just the way it is. Even if you take a silver creek dreadnaught and the top of the line alvarez-yairi laminate back/side dread, the silver creek will sound better (all other things being equal). The yairi may be a LOT higher quality and play and feel better but the silver creek's solid wood will allow it to resonate in a way the yairi cannot.

    Unless we are talking about carbon fiber guitars, you will want at least a solid top and preferably all solid wood. Get a laminate beater too that you can throw around but any serious guitarist should have a good solid guitar.

    IMO, YMMV
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2011
  17. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

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    85% of the tone comes from the top. The solid top is much more important than the solid back & sides.

    $199 - Yamaha FG700S - amazing $199 guitar - Yamaha FG700S link

    $399 - Seagull S6 - has a wide 1-3/4" nut therefore it's great for fingerstaye and strumming - teachers love this guitar - made in Canada - Seagull S6 - Link

    $329 - Seagul S6 Entourage - (same as above) - Seagul Entourage - Link

    $449 - Big Baby Taylor - solid top - 14/15th scale dread with nice case - I have one of these for camping and travel. Nice guitar. Big Baby Link
     
  18. Mr. E

    Mr. E Tele-Holic

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    You're right that MF sells them around $60 cheaper but they don't include a case. Guitars Plus USA does and it's the hardcase, not the Seagull gigbag.

    http://guitarsplususa.com/images/seagull/s6original021007/s6original021007-1.jpg
     
  19. Warm Gums

    Warm Gums Friend of Leo's

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    I humbly disagree, as always I have difficulty with absolutes. I will agree that the SC will resonate & sound different than the Yari in the above scenario, but "better" is always subjective. I also disagree with the implication that you are not a serious guitarist if you don't have a sold guitar ..again opinion. I had a inexpensive 'green label' Yamaha for years, totaly laminate, it was a great live guitar, throw a 57 on it, and it sat beautifully in any live mix. sold it for silly money to a guy who makes most of his living with it..he can afford whatever he want's but this is what works for him.
    The op is looking for "something to strum chords on" "that sounds decent" and "will stand up to season changes." and has a limited budget.. for him to totally eliminate the bulk of the guitars in his price range (many from respected makers) because of materials, would be folly. Like the "only tubes sound good..." stance this smacks of snobbery and elitism.
     
  20. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

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    There is nothing subjective about a solid wood top vs. a plywood top. The laws of physics apply to all of us all the time.

    Vibration begets better vibration. A wooden violin or cello or acoustic guitar that has been played for 10 years will vibrate and resonate easier than a brand new violin or cello or acoustic guitar. Old instruments are desirable not only because they may be collectible but because old acoustic instruments sound better.

    The physics of vibration being created by a solid spruce or cedar top with spruce braces vs. layers of veneer and layers of wood glue and epoxy (plywood) are not the same. Layers of epoxy and polymer don't vibrate or improve like solid wood.

    If you had a laminated guitar that you loved then good for you. I have owned laminated guitars that I loved too. Plywood cannot bloom and open improve like solid wood. There's no snobbery in saying that solid alpine spruce and plywood are different substrates.

    I only gig acoustic. I love to play electric guitar but I gig acoustic (mainly fingerstyle) only. Buying as much solid wood as is possible with your budget will be one piece of advice that any teacher or luthier will give you. The Yamaha FG700S is an awesome solid top dread and it costs $199. I dragged a 700S on more camping and cub scout outings than I can tell you about. Students of mine have bought them and they have kept them as campfire & travel guitars as they bought their next guitar. You don't have to spend a fortune but please look for a guitar with a wooden top.

    Acoustic Guitar Magazine is a fantastic publication. Please read this AG guide to the 14 Best Acoustic Guitars Priced Under $500.

    AG Best Bets Under $500 - Link

    The third paragraph focuses on wood vs plywood. The third sentence in each review mentions the solid wood tops.

    It's physics. It's not an opinion. One of Chris Martin IV's common comments in interviews goes something like this "Building a good acoustic guitar is very complex......if we build it too heavy it sounds dead....we have to build these guitars so lightly that they almost pull themselves apart but they never do fly apart....the science and is very complex" He gets so excited.

    Wood is good.

    Regards,

    John
     
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