Most iconic brands and models of six string, flat top acoustic guitars

chezdeluxe

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How would a Gibson L5 and Martin D45 fit the list?

I think I’d leave the D35 off the list as it initially was a response to not being able to obtain enough BRW of widths needed for backs. Still fine guitars though.
Well a Gibson L5 is not a flat top is it?
 

Dukex

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I agree with your list and disagree with those who don't think Taylor should be on the list.

I also agree with Mr. Keller's Post #5 that there are other/less known to many, guitars that are also iconic/important.
 

Si G X

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I would put Hofner in there, not American but they have a long history and I would consider them iconic.... here anyway.
 

IMMusicRulz

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I would say that the Martin D28 is a pretty good flat top guitar. After all, Noel Gallagher played one, so you know it has to be good.
 

DekeDog

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Picked this Epiphone Masterbilt Frontier recently from Sweetwater. Wasn't too impressed right out of the box, but after doing a major setup and plugging it in, I am very pleased. I have no idea how this guitar sounds next to a Gibson Hummingbird or Frontier. I suspect not too much different, esp. plugged in.

Rs9hUnXl.jpg
 
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oatsoda

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Wasn't too impressed right out of the box, but after doing a major setup and plugging it in, I am very pleased.
Absolutely. Every guitar, regardless of cost, brand, or quality of materials and build, can be vastly improved by setting it up for your style of play. That Epi looks purty.
 

Jeri

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Gibson , Martin and Guild are the 3 lust after acoustic brands for me
Had two Gibsons j30 and Blueridge , one Martin 000-15m and now have a Guild M-120
Feel very lucky to have spent time with them all.
 

somebodyelseuk

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In the 80s, everyone was using Ovations, 90s it was Takamines, now it's Taylors.
All three have their place, but none are iconic.

I wouldn't include Guild, either. If anything, Maton acoustics are more iconic than Guilds.
 
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burntfrijoles

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Martin and Gibson stand alone for iconic 6 string guitars. It’s splitting hairs to define which models for either company should be included.
To me, Guild is the most iconic 12 string acoustic. (But Guild 6 strings were popular in the 60s with artists like Paul Simon)
I agree with many about Taylor. Like Takamine and Ovation it became the “gigging“ choice for many folks in specific time periods.
 

Charlie Bernstein

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The meaning of iconic has sort of become muddled lately, at least for me. Most popular? Most coveted? Most common? Best? Just speaking of Guilds:

The Guild D-55 you mention is most comparable to a Martin D-45: They're great but pricey, and most Guild fans don't have 'em, just like most Martin fans don't have D-45s.

The arch-backed Guild D-25 is the one more Guild players have had at one time or another, and it's the one they get most teary over when they reminisce, so I think it wins the popularity contest. The more expensive D-35 and D-40 are also real big sellers — and for my money and ears, better-sounding instruments.

Someone above also mentioned M-20s. There are plenty of those around, too.

There's also the key issue of provenence. Most Guild fans highly admire Westerly, Rhode Island-era axes, made there for about 35 years, starting in '66.

I think they've started making them there again, but it's that golden age that's coveted — even more than the earlier and rarer Hoboken guitars, which have a drier, less lush sound than the bloomier Westerlys.
 
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Tricone

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You would have to include a Stella flat top since that is the brand most acoustic delta blues guitarists played. Don't forget the Selmer Macafferi gypsy jazz guitars like Django Reinhardt popularized also.
 

Charlie Bernstein

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I'd leave both Taylor and Guild out. . . . Guild made most of it's reputation based on their electrics . . . .

I don't believe Guild has ever built an acoustic guitar that would come close to any of those I listed. . . .
Ow.

I have trouble with the word iconic because the meaning has become so watered-down lately. An Oreo cookie is a lot of things, but it's not an icon.

If iconic means popular, then at least Gibson, Martin, Taylor, Yamaha, Epiphone, and Takamine fit.

If quality, historic significance, and time-testedness matter, I'd say Gibson, Martin, and Guild. When I started playing, they were the big three.

Do icons stand out in some way? For stand-outedness, I wouldn't start with Guild's electrics. I'd start with its twelve-strings. They really hold a niche of their own.

As for historic significance, if you can go along with the widely-held view that Guild didn't have the seventies' quality slump that plagued Martin, Gibson, and Fender, I think you can at least agree that for leadership when the industry was losing its way, Guild deserves some appreciation. There are no decades to avoid if you're shopping for a used Guild.

And if quality matters to the iconographers among us, I can attest that I've owned a Martin D-28 and a D-35 and several Gibsons, and I've played many more. None has sounded as good as my Westerly-era D-35s.

So - Maybe iconic is in the ear of the beholder!
 
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Charlie Bernstein

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I love Guilds but the D-55 is hardly iconic -- it was never, ever widely popular. Even though Taylpor sells a lot I don't think any Taylor is even close to iconic. Popular, sure, and owners like them, but great? I would take every other guitar on your list before even thinkng of grabbing the Taylor.
Yup! Another Guild slut here. See post 34 for my humble.
 

Buzzgrowl

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In the 70s and 80s, the Guild 12 string was "the one".

Iconic can only mean played by famous and succesful "iconic" players. Many of which are singer-songwriters and pop/rock/country legends.

So, who was mostly seen with an acoustic since 1950? What acoustic did they play?

Every Brothers? Dylan? Young? Lennon? Simon? Nelson? Cash? Harris?

Close your eyes and imagine these and others of similar caliber - what guitar are they holding?
 




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