Shopping for an acoustic - Martin or ?

NateD81

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For fingertstyle playing you cannot go wrong with a Waterloo WL-K.

It's one of the most dynamic and touch-sensitive/responsive guitars I've ever owned. Light as a feather and just does whatever you want it to do.

No offense to those recommending A&L, Blueridge and Breedlove, but OP has a really good budget and there are plenty of guitars within his budget that blow those brands out of the water.

Every Waterloo I've ever played or owned has been incredible.

EDIT: I thought OP had a budget of $3k-$4k, not $300-$400.

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You are correct - I should have been more clear 3k-4k is my budget. Big difference, whoops!
 

57joonya

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Since you already have that great Martin (nothing wrong with going for another one) but I would at least try some different Gibson , collings , Santa Cruz . Try to get to a shop , even if u have to make a little road trip. It’s worthwhile if your looking for a lifetime guitar in the 3-4 k range
 

drewg

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Lot's of great suggestions already.

Waterloo (Collings) and Iris are two contemporary lines I would be very interested in for finger style. I haven't played either but know they are based on those thin-topped blues boxes from the '30s, etc.

One such guitar not yet mentioned is the 1930s Kalamazoo KG-11 (budget line of Gibson, made alongside other Gibsons by same builders.) It's a legendary finger style guitar, ladder braced. I owned ≈ '34 model without a pickguard and only let it go (sold it to my luthier) because my skills aren't worthy and it needed work that I couldn't afford at the time. But it had an incomparable sound, responsive and you could feel it vibrate right through you. (Fragil, yes, but beautiful sound.) Here's a '36 with the pickguard:



Another contemporary model not mentioned that I own and love as a finger-style guitar is the Simon & Patrick Woodland Pro Folk Sunburst. (S&P = subdivision of Godin/ Seagull).



So many great guitars out there... Can't have 'em all... :cry:
 

stephent2

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Folks have been recommending Waterloos, great guitars for a vintage sound, I have a WL-12 and have owned a WL-14. You can’t find them right now and prices are crazy when you do. There’s a used Scissortail on reverb.com for $2500 plus shipping and tax that’s about the best deal out there unless you can find one locally.

Comparing my 00-28 to the WL-12,.. different ballparks. I play a lot of old Blues, fun to play on the Waterloo,.. great to play on the 00-28. It’s more versatile obviously and for the bucks a much better buy. Love ‘em both but when I take out one guitar on vacation or rehearsal or a jam (I don’t gig the 00-28) it’s the Martin 00-28.
 

joecool324

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I'm personally a fan of dreadnoughts and my Martin HD-28 is easily the most responsive guitar I own, but for your fingerstyle needs I would suggest you check out a Martin M-36. The M-36 has a spruce top with rosewood back and sides, and the width of a jumbo but is thinner in depth. It's basically a 0000 sized body. They're kind of obscure but seem like an excellent, all-around versatile option.
 

thos

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Backstory is this: I have a Martin 000-18 that is absolutely wonderful, I love it. I have a Gibson hummingbird that is also great, but I always gravitate to my Martin. I’m going through a divorce and am parting with the Hummingbird because my ex loves it and is learning to play and I’m too nice. Anyway, opportunity has arisen to buy a new guitar.

I play 99% finger style, and what I love about my Martin is that it’s so incredibly rsponsive. I love having a second acoustic so I can have one in standard tuning and another in a different type of tuning.

I’m most interested in Martins, but open to others. Neck profiles never bother me, so that’s not a consideration. I do like 1.75” nut widths, however, and I want a guitar that is going to be responsive. Don’t we all? I’d prefer to keep things in the 3-4 range, but could be flexible for something special.
Check out Bourgeious guitars. https://bourgeoisguitars.com
 

David Barnett

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You've already got a 000-18, so that's mahogany covered. For a nice contrast you'll need a rosewood guitar, or maple. So, a 28-series Martin in whatever size strikes your fancy, or a J200.
 

Gabrielle84

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Big fan of Iris. I own the CH model. Big sound for a small guitar. The videos capture the sound of Iris accurately. By way of background-I went in looking at Collings and Santa Cruz. Walked out with the Iris. (Northern Lights Music store in Littleton, NH. Great selection, also have Bougois and other great guitars).
 

NateD81

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**Update**

Bitter sweet, but the sale of my home finalized and I moved to my house, and my ex to hers. I went back and forth on a bunch of guitars, but the Martin J-40 checked so many boxes. Not only is the nut 1.75, but it's got a wide string spacing, such a pretty and comfortable fingerpicking guitar. Love it! Just the right amount of bling -- not too much. Complements my 000-18 great!
IMG_1159.jpg
 




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