Price points and expectations!

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by Telefan33, Oct 13, 2020.

  1. Telefan33

    Telefan33 Tele-Meister

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    I have been playing for twenty years. When I started you could expect to get a used USA Martin for around $500 or so. I'll admit times have changed and I'm still stuck at the under $1200 category.

    Today's guitar choices:
    - under $500
    For under $500 you start to get solid top and usually that is to be expected. I'm thinking guitars like the Seagull S6. This is actually a pretty fun guitar as I would describe the guitars under and around $500.

    - around $500
    At this point you start to get into all solid wood but not made in the USA. Im thinking Martin Dreadnought Junior. More standard expectations would be a Taylor Academy 10 solid top and laminate back and sides. This is a pretty nice guitar but I feel the Martin is best at this price point.

    - over $500 and under $1000
    If you spend a little more money but still under $1000 you start to get pretty impressive competitors for guitars that sound twice sometimes many times the price. I'm thinking guitars like Blueridge that get really close to a Traditional sound.

    - around $1200
    At this point you can expect all solid Mahogany top back and sides if you buy American. I'm thinking USA made Martin and Guilds. Another option would be the Yamaha made in Japan FG5. Solid Sitka Spruce top and solid Mahogany back and sides.

    - $100-$200
    This is more of starter or campfire range where sometimes you get a solid top but many times not. This isn't a price point I would recommend anymore however I do think the Fender CC-60S is a good guitar so there are exceptions.

    I don't own any high end stuff really so I would like someone to add to the list of expectations for guitars around $1500, 2K and beyond. I was thinking of using this as a buyer guide in my future as I'm interesting in higher end guitars.
     
  2. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

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    I'd take a serious look at the Seagull Artist line ( http://www.seagullguitars.com/en/products/guitars?series=15). FWIW, the rather unique headstock is a turn-off for some but listen/play rather than look...
    I chose my Artist Studio CW Element a few years ago over more expensive better-known name brands and no regrets.
     
  3. Telefan33

    Telefan33 Tele-Meister

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    I think that is a good choice for around $1500. The $1500 to $2000 is tough because you don't start getting into the Martin Standard series until $2500 or so.
     
  4. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    An important modifier is whether you insist on a domestic brand name and if you insist on domestic assembly. I don't want to get into any of the usual arguments about where a guitar is assembled, but if you are willing to accept PacRim guitars the options open considerably.

    The other thing to keep in consideration right now is that the price of traditional materials is going right thru the roof. I build guitars and I have been stocking up on tonewoods because I see the trend. If you are open to alternate woods, again, some very interesting options open. However, when I build an average flat top acoustic with nice woods (Sitka or Lutz, EIR or coco or nice mahogany) the materials frequently cost me 5 or 600, its pretty hard to add labor and make a profit competing with Eastman or Blueridge. I pay at least a hundred bucks for a quality fitted case for everything I build.

    Insisting on electronics and cutaways further limits options - if you need them, fine (I believe in buying the best guitar you can get without electronics and adding later).
     
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  5. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

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    I would go to a place that sells guitars.
    I would play a few that looked cool,.
    I would start with the cheapest one, and see how I liked it.
    If that didn't satisfy me, I would proceed with trying them all, in ascending price order, until I found one that suited my needs.
    I would NOT fall victim to the marketing concept that I "needed" or "deserved" an instrument that was designed to a pre-determined price-point.
    I have seen many remarkable players - famous and unknown - perform magic on guitars that many of us would dismiss as cheap and useless.
     
  6. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    I usually buy used guitars. I generally like all-solid instruments (my exception is an OMI-era Dobro), and I only like North American guitars.

    In the $500-$1k range, you can find a great, used, all-solid North American guitar if you bide your time and really hunt.

    In the $1k-$2k range, you're almost guaranteed to find a used all-solid North American guitar that plays and sounds great.

    At over $2k, you're entering the high-end range. And by the time you're at five digits, you're looking strictly at collectibles.
     
  7. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I’ve always viewed finding a nice acoustic as harder than finding a nice romance.

    Not related to romance but I’ve got a surprisingly great Chinese fiddle and mandolin. Both bought used.
    The mando is Old Hickory brand and the fiddle is from an actual Chinese violin maker who famously got in big trouble for trading in endangered species materials. Forgotten the name.

    Lotta labor in fine acoustic instruments and while low wage countries with no worker protections tend to produce low quality product, the basic humans there are capable of fine craft as well.

    For whatever reasons, I’ve not found a guitar I loved even when trying dozens of $2000+ guitars with cash in pocket.
    Like romance...
     
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  8. JL_LI

    JL_LI Poster Extraordinaire

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    A139ABCA-ACEC-41D3-BF18-383400EAD979.jpeg 5ED1FC0B-3857-48D6-982D-982F636534B1.jpeg 9DB49C80-41BC-4813-A47D-CC86055F474B.jpeg Serendipity. And patience. You’ll need both. I found a Simon and Patrick Showcase Rosewood hanging on the wall in a small shop in California. Figured Adirondack spruce over Solid Rosewood for well under $1000. I was looking and playing for nearly two years walking away from both too expensive and not good enough until I found an amazing guitar. I’m not saying buy what I bought. I’m saying that with patience and serendipity you’ll find yours.

    The bottom picture still brings tears. Sam, the Jack Russel on the left didn’t make it through December. Jacques, the papillon on the right is getting pretty frail these days.
     
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  9. bftfender

    bftfender Poster Extraordinaire

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    into 1k Mesa recto's lately....working towards a Trem-o-verb & onto the Roadster.. probably via of an early serial # dual,, they are a blast to experience the nuances..

    expectations..always met & exceeded..very inspirational
     
  10. Dreadnut

    Dreadnut Friend of Leo's

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    IMHO, Collings is building the top acoustic guitars today, but you won't get one for much under $3,500.00
     
  11. rasr1

    rasr1 Tele-Meister

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    Check out Larrivee. They have some nice guitars in this price range.
     
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