I need a versatile acoustic for rock and single string, less for fingerpicking

David C

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My suggestion is dated and they don't get much love any longer, but the US made Ovations have great sound. These can be picked up for around a $1000. Try for the Collector's series, or the Legends. If you can find one with the kidney shaped electronics, you are in the right place. Again, stick with the US made.
 

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Burlington Dave

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What’s your budget? Buy a good used guitar and put a K&K Mini pickup in it. The most natural sounding pickup out there! Pair it with a Radial Passive DI and you’ve got the foundation pieces for pro level acoustic amplification!
 

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JL_LI

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Got to every guitar store you can and play every guitar you can. Then come back here and tell us what you found.
This is the best advice in the entire thread. How do I know? I was looking for an acoustic to leave in California for when I visit the grandkids and stumbled into a small mom and pop in Claremont and found this.
61E356C0-F803-4EC5-8CF0-CC6991AA120B.jpeg

It’s a Simon and Patrick Showcase Rosewood all solid wood guitar that was nothing short of amazing. I’d never heard of S&P. The guitar was gently used with the only evidence of previous use a few small indentations on the back of the neck from an in judiciously applied capo. I could barely feel them and I don’t notice them now. They were worth a pretty good discount though. I liked the guitar so much I brought it home with me.

There are well crafted guitars out there that sound just right at an affordable price. All you have to do is forget any preconceived notions and prejudices and find one. Looking is great fun. And Mr Keller is absolutely right about playing guitars anywhere you find them until you find the one. I wish you the serendipity I had in my search.
 

cousinpaul

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I'll second Eastman and add Sheeran by Lowden to the list posted above. You might also check out some of the mahogany top Taylors. The AD series are voiced for a more vintage sound. Above all, budget a setup that supports your technique. You're absolutely right about strummers having different needs.
 

Digital Larry

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How about a review?
While still in the store, I played the Seagull, and put it down after about two minutes.
Then I picked up the Godin and played. After about 5 minutes, I thought, OK, that's a good sign.

The neck shape and contour is maybe a little different than I'm used to, but it's not as noticeably narrow as the Taylor 114e (which advertises itself as having a narrow neck for beginners, d'oh!).

Plays well all the way up the neck, no fretting out or buzzing. Chords and single note lines ring true. If I hit it really hard, it doesn't like it, but it seems to have better tolerance for that than the Taylor. I'm not really doing Pete Townshend windmills on it mostly. I actually play Celtic and Bluegrass mostly on acoustic, but when playing rhythm I might get carried away on occasion.

Tone-wise it is warm, compared to the Seagull which I described as dry and somewhat brash (which I don't like). Some of that may come down to the age of the strings, so we'll just have to see how this does when I eventually put a new set on.

Compensated saddle appears to do its job.

Pickup, to the extent I used it, is way better than I expected, having set my expectations on the crummy piezos from 30 years ago. I recorded direct through my Zoom MS-50G into the Boss looper and it sounded OK that way. I also played it through the little setup next to me and it sounds OK, mostly adding volume and low end.

Oh - on the 1 or 2 fingerpicking tunes I do, it sounds and plays fine also. Whooppee!!!
 
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Digital Larry

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Update on my Godin which I bought a week ago. Not sure why I didn't notice this in the store, but I was starting to get some unpleasant "fret zing" on the B & E strings when I picked above a certain level of intensity. "Sure", you are saying to yourself, "every guitar is going to have a point where playing harder is going to sound bad". However, subjectively anyway, the same playing style did NOT cause problems on my Taylor until I took it up a notch.

I took it back to the shop where I bought it to explain my dilemma. They said, "the neck is fine" and the sales guy, who is also a pro guitarist, picked it up and went deedly deedly dee up the neck and it sounded clean.

I went and picked up a $1700 Guild off the rack and darned if it didn't do it as well! So... it must be ME. Maybe I just have a really heavy hand when it comes to playing acoustic. Maybe it's because of my hearing issues, that I have to play harder just to hear the guitar. I'm not entirely sure.

I asked what could be done about it and the tech said he could shim the saddle a bit. So I said, OK, try that, while I went off to do some grocery shopping. Upon my return, I tried it out and it is MUCH better. Yes, the action is noticeably higher, but for me, I think that was the correct solution.

I haven't always shopped local but glad I did this time!
 

Freeman Keller

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Larry, this time of the year many acoustic guitars are feeling the effects of low humidity (when we heat the air in our homes or guitar stores it dries it - many discussions here and elsewhere). In my opinion your store should have checked the classic symptoms of a dry guitar and talked to you about how to correct them. I will frequently shim a saddle on a dry guitar so the owner can continue to play it while we put it on a forced humidification program.

A guitar store with guitars hanging on the wall should be aware of this and should be measuring and humidifying their air also.

It could be something else but I thought I'd better mention it.

ps - had a text from the owner of this a couple of days ago - it is back to playing buzz free and we are talking about a date to do the frets

 

Digital Larry

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Larry, this time of the year many acoustic guitars are feeling the effects of low humidity (when we heat the air in our homes or guitar stores it dries it - many discussions here and elsewhere).
Thanks for the message. It's possible. I have been using a humidifier but not storing it in a case. It's also not super cold here so wintertime indoor humidity doesn't get as low as some places. Fortunately I don't think a shim is irreversible. I'll measure the fret-to-string distance and put it into an online spreadsheet so I don't lose it. Then I can graph it! No seriously, I'll enjoy it.
 




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