Need a LOUD one...

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by Deaf Eddie, Jun 20, 2019.

  1. Deaf Eddie

    Deaf Eddie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I'm doing a neighborhood play along/sing along thing this summer, had our first meeting. My ol' flattop box (mid-eighties Alvarez 5088) was OK for strumming, but any attempts at single-note lines were swallowed up in the din of a handful of other strummers. Amps aren't allowed, so the under-saddle pickup in my Alvarez was rendered moot.

    The other "talent" at this meeting had brought along a vintage Dobro, and that thing cut through the mix like a knife through butter. But I don't want to go resonator - that's his thing (and a smart move it was).

    So... I don't care about TONE, I'm just looking for VOLUME. I don't expect to keep up with the Dobro, but I'd like to be heard above the plywood strummers when I want to show off...

    Any thoughts or suggestions?
     
  2. Stubee

    Stubee Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    *Gibson Advanced Jumbo Reissue
    *Martin D-18/D-28/HD-28
    *Other similar models (long scale dreadnaught) from makers like Blue Ridge, Recording King etc.
    *Use a heavy pick & medium strings with a guitar like these that’s set up well.

    Some short scale guitars like a J45 etc can really be loud, but that’s usually vintage ones IME. There are some pretty inexpensive guitars that are pretty loud, and also some guitars that are loud but don’t sound very good, to me.

    ‘Cutting’ through a bunch of acoustic guitars is interesting. My AJRI will do it (with light strings) but if I really want treble strings to be heard on solos I often take my ‘53 LG-2. That little thing really cuts! I’d guess a good Martin 000-18/00-18 might do the same but none of these have the bass of a dread. Again, IME.
     
  3. Dukex

    Dukex Tele-Holic

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    Things that will increase volume of your current guitar:

    Higher action
    Heavier pick
    Higher string gauge

    But if you can afford a D-18...:D
     
  4. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    I agree with @Stubee
    I have an Epiphone AJ and EJ models (Jumbo bodies). Those really stand out against other dreadnoughts in the range you are talking and playing chords in different shapes and neck positions will help as well.
     
  5. Deaf Eddie

    Deaf Eddie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    All good thoughts and advice, thanks for the suggestions. The proviso is I'd like to keep it on the cheap - I know, contradiction in terms... Let's say around $500 max.

    Recording King has so many low end models I'm not sure it would be a step up from my current beater.
    I have also seen lots of less-than-favorable reviews concerning build quality, even on their top models.

    Blueridge seems to be within the budget for what will be just a casual "non-gig."
    Remember, I'm shooting for VOLUME - not necessarily tone (although it would be a nice side effect).
    I need it to speak loudly, particularly on the treble strings, for single note passages.

    Opinions on the BR-60 Dreadnaught?
    Or would a BR-40 be close enough...?

    How about their BR-43 (OOO size)?

    Or, am I still shooting too low?

    Thanks so much for your help with this - I'm almost exclusively an electric guy, so my knowledge is near zero on this subject.
     
  6. BB

    BB Poster Extraordinaire

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    For volume sake, I would stick with a dread. While I have not tried the Blueridge models, those I know (and trust) that own them, swear by them.

    I have an Eastman OM that's killer, but the one that really sent me into orbit was an Eastman E10D. Basically a D18 copy, but I have yet to play a D18 that had more volume and tone that that Eastman. I had no money to pull the trigger and that guitar still haunts me today. you may be able to find a used one in your price range. Good luck to you!
     
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  7. Deaf Eddie

    Deaf Eddie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    OK, good stuff. BTW, I'll be buying online, so I can't demo them, myself - I'm counting on you guys for your expertise in this area. I'm confident I can handle the setup, been doing it for years (and years...)
    .
    Next question: with modern construction techniques, does solid vs. ply back and sides still make a BIG difference?

    Common wisdom has always been that solid is better - anyway, that's what I grew up with.
    It was always proposed that ply guitars - even with solid tops - sound as good as they will ever get when you get them; where the guitar with solid woods will improve with age and "exercise."

    Here's why I ask: the Blueridge guitars in my budget all seem to have ply back and sides.
    Granted, it's probably nice rosewood (BR-60) or mahogany (BR-40), but it's still sandwiches.

    I found an Alvarez (strictly a coincidence!) Masterworks MD60BG for $500, all solid woods - AA Sitka Spruce top, African Mahogany back and sides. This one has really got me going - again, because I have always been told that solid is way better than ply. Roughly the same price as the plywood Blueridge models...

    Anybody own, or at least play one?
    Am I on the right track?
     
  8. kbold

    kbold Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Another option, in this situation, is to just stick to strumming.
    Noodling sounds like a waste of time.
     
  9. Deaf Eddie

    Deaf Eddie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Too true... But sometimes these guys need a "leader" to keep the tunes together.
     
  10. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    That just screams "Ovation".
     
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  11. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    Any dreadnought with medium strings and a heavy pick can get you some volume, you might as well get something you actually want to play. I now own two Blueridges and they are just absolutely great. My Blueridge 12 string Jumbo would get the job done for you!
     
  12. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Gypsy jazz guitar?
     
  13. tubejockey

    tubejockey Tele-Meister

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    Get a Breedlove dreadnaught with a solid top and a bridge truss. They are as loud as an old Martin, maybe louder, but not expensive. I picked one up for about $300 new. The bridge truss removes the torque on the bridge and allows the braces to be cut significantly thinner.

    Another option that is a favorite of mine, Tacoma Papoose. Puts you almost in the mandolin range so it cuts well. Also inexpensive.
     
  14. Stubee

    Stubee Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Just look at specs of the guitars you mentioned and pick a longer scale, e.g 25.5” vs 24.75”. The added tension typically adds some volume, especially if you are talking brand new guitar vs brand new guitar.
     
  15. Mid Life Crisis

    Mid Life Crisis Friend of Leo's

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    If you can find one, an old Harmony Sovereign. There's a guy at my local acoustic get-together who plays one and it sounds HUGE. Good tone as well.
     
  16. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    The 5088 appears to not be a small guitar, but it does appear to be not have as much body depth as some guitars. I would get a full depth Dreadnaught or any big body guitar and use the fat strings they recommend. The big Gibson's are loud but cost some bucks for sure. J200, J45 etc... Epi probably makes some clones of those.
     
  17. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

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    Parlor guitars cut through a mix much better than people think.

    The Gretsch Jim Dandy is a reasonably priced option.
     
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  18. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    I actually played an older Alvarez and it sounded really good. However that price seems a little on the high side for a used guitar. See if you can get it for less than $500 and you got a good deal!
     
  19. Deaf Eddie

    Deaf Eddie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Yes, my Alvarez 5088 is a fullsized dread (with a great pickup)... I'm not sure whether it has a solid top or not. It's PROBABLY laminated, since it wasn't particularly high-end at the time. Tough for me to tell at the soundhole one way or the other, and there's little info available on that model. I checked back, and it's probably early '90s, rather than mid '80s.

    I owned a mid-sixties Harmony Sovereign some years ago. Sweet sounding, I did some recording with it, but it didn't seem particularly loud. Tough to find a good one nowadays, I would assume.

    Played a bazillion Ovations, didn't find them particularly loud (or attractive in any other way).

    The Alvarez MD60BG I mentioned above was new, but I have since seen a couple of reviews where the guitars arrived in bad shape, due to poor warehousing along the way. Dehydrated was the term used... It's pretty dang dry up here where we live now, so that makes me a little leery.

    SO... I MIGHT have settled on an Eastman E1D.
    An all solid wood 25.4" scale Dreadnaught, as many of you have suggested, and under $500, new. Saw a youtube demo played against a nice Seagull dread, and it was no contest.

    What say you?
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
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  20. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I say that the long scale, medium gauge strings, heavy pick, and a heavy hand down by the bridge should do the trick. Part of playing in a fully acoustic ensemble is that the strummers need to back off to help the lead player stand out. It's not just about you being louder, but about them being softer. That's part of knowing how to play correctly in a rhythm section. Eastman has a long scale and is a good price, so it should do the job.
     
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