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Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by Torz Johnson, Dec 22, 2019.
The Martin HDs, HD 28 or HD35, will be louder and probably brighter than a new D. The bracing is slightly different. The HD 35 is probably the loudest Martin dread.
Good advice. The best way to hear a guitar is a few feet away, say, six feet or a little more. Then play it yourself.
I have a Taylor with Rosewood b/s and an Alaskan Spruce top. You say you don't like them, I say, go and play more, any brand. There's one out there for you.
I would also recommend Collings. They make wonderful guitars, and their customer service is second to none. Plus, they're all made here in Texas!
I'm a Martin lover and owner, and am around others ( bluegrass or other acoustic music jams)
But I also own a Blueridge, ( and play with other Blueridge owners) and their tone, volume, playing comfort, beauty, knock me out as very good import values.
Have played various models/price points and everyone is a great player.
I love me the Martins.
But I can recommend three much cheaper alternatives.
Got one for one of my daughters, and tried out plenty before I shipped it to her. Sounded and played great, and lovely to look at. Played their dreadnought-size one as well. Also dandy.
Yamaha FG series. Really excellent guitars for the money. Lots of choices in this line, too.
My beater, and very much the tone equal of Martins:
https://reverb.com/item/22767274-ami-sigma-dm-18-2018-natural (Not affiliated with seller.)
Fantastic guitar. Great slightly smaller copy of a Martin D-18. I've mostly had mine in open D for 20+ years, and I swear, that rich tuning has made the guitar ever more resonant. As if its fibers all become loopy friends over a time span accelerated by the always-cooperating, deeper-sounding strings. Either way, it never fails to be asked about, and its neck is perfect. Pretty sturdy, too, as it's been knocked off chairs by two sets of kids, three big dogs, don't know how many carelessly dumped loads of dryer-hot laundry, etc.
Good luck in your search!
3 good suggestions. I will wholeheartedly echo the AMI. i gave one of these a test run at a local shop a year or so back and i was very impressed with it. very good, 'cheap martin' alternative.
A few years ago, I traded a Strat, for a 1993 Japanese Professional Takamine, EN-10C, spruce top, and it is my only acoustic guitar. It has aged very well.
I choose my electrics to have the same neck profiles and the EN-10C met this criteria, for ease to change guitars when playing.
It sounds good unplugged and plugged in, with the stock equalizer and preamp. I had a tour of the local Taylor dealer's shop and a cut away guitar. At the end of the tour, I was given a $5,000.00, Taylor, to play. It was nice but the playability, of the neck was not as easy as the Takamine. The EN-10C, has an extremely, low action, and cords and single notes are comparable to an electric guitar. I can strum lightly, fingerpick and play hard, with no limitations.
If you're looking for an acoustic guitar at a reasonable price, check out some used Japanese Professional Takamines.
I bought my "lifer" Tak from a guy who was selling it to make room for a Collings he was buying, and to offset the money some. Later he told me that the Collings did sound better to him than the Takamine, but not $3,000 better. That's pretty much how I've always felt about it, all the way around.
Buying acoustics has 10X more mystery than electrics.
Therefore in person, or HD videos of tone thru large monitors, is the best way to screen from home.
If you can afford a Gibson J 45 TV I find that most of these are great all arounders.
Deep dynamic range where different string sets and song approaches can be had. A huge sweet spot.
Larrivee's are great, around 1K$ used. For under $500 you can go to GC's and find one that feels and sounds good.
It could be a Cort, Yamaha, Washburn, Alvarez etc...
if you ever get to the over $3K mark I would look at Martin CS and Goodall used guitars. They have a dense piano palette - boxes of heaven tone.
Also the Acoustic Guitar Forum can be searched for different acoustic parameters you are thinking about.
I think you have a flawed system. My wife will always tell me any new guitar isn't very special or sounds kinda weak. Just like I'm inclined to say the new dress makes her look a bit heavy.
The difference is my wife likes to play my guitars and I don't wear her dresses.
I have 2 old sigmas from the 70s that were martin copies imported by Martin. Is this the same company ?
Amen. I detest the new hyper humidity faux-bia.
Yes. Literally any flattop today can sound pretty nice in an interior, quiet room designed to flatter acoustically. So discriminating becomes difficult. Also, if you like your action setup like an electric, this too will level the volumes of guitars, and make it harder to discriminate. If you never plan to play out, or don't plan to play in a loud band environment, you may not really need the $2500 flattop. You may can be happy with an entry level Taylor - which are actually pretty loud these days. If you start going to jams, or play in a loud band, you'll eventually learn which guitars can hang, and acquire one. There are a lot of really nice good looking guitars out there, that are better suited for a studio or solo gig, so you have to be careful, and do the homework before dropping that kind of money on an instrument - or be prepared to trade a bit.
Mine is a '90s thing from Taiwan. They've got some corporate shell game with the name history:
Apparently, the new ones are good deals, like the old. But I should've steered the OP toward the older ones, as those are much-vouched-for obscure gems.
I do love Larrivees. Great sounds, nice looks, reasonable prices, USA provenence.
Its a matter of preference and patience. I regret not jumping on a rather beat HI Goodall years ago. It was so played in, notes just blossomed, so articulate and balanced. And I generally prefer used/well broken gits...current couch git is a lowly 1960 Harmony H165 that has had significant reworking. Very sweet, intimate and responsive and out plays the newer martin hogs except for volume. Plus it fits my old body much better than a full dred.
Thats the scariest part of paying for a big $ acoustic. I can't trust my own ears.
Testing has shown that when comparing most people will think the louder sounds have the better tone. its how human ears work with human brains. Its an easy metric for the brain to grab onto.
I've been researching D18s and J45s, but my budget is about $1500 or so. Hard to find either for that price, so I expanded the search to look at any brand slope-shoulder dread. Although the Martin DSS-17 is in my budget, reviews say it's more brash and honky tonk than a J45, and I'm looking for something resonant and mellow. But I do like what I'm reading about the Guild DS-240. For about $500, I've seen some favorable reviews and liked what it sounds like on the YouTube. I cant find one local to play but for the money, I'm tempted to pull the trigger sight-unseen, with someplace that offers a good return policy.
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