Suggestions - Cheap Boxy 1930s-style Acoustic

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by VerySlowHand, Dec 29, 2016.

  1. VerySlowHand

    VerySlowHand Tele-Holic

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    I'm looking for an inexpensive - sub $600.00 - bluesey acoustic for fingerstyle, home use only. I love those unrefined boxy Robert Johnson tones that speak of America in the 1930s. For basic looks, I prefer a guitar without neck binding, but it's not a deal breaker.

    Hard to find all of these in the flesh, but from Yoo Toob my choices would be:

    The Loar LH200, or LH250 - poor man's Gibson L-1 - love sunburst - check out this guy:

    The Loar LO-16 - poor man's Gibson L-00 (wider nut, no binding and shorter scale)

    Recording King Dirty 30s RPH-05... so cheap!

    Morgan Monroe 00 Blues 32 (love this, not available in UK, but I can import I guess):

    Can anyone suggest anything else I should listen to?
     
  2. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Afflicted

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    You wouldn't fancy a resonator? After 50 years of various guitars and never having touched one I fell for a Gretsch Alligator wooden bodied in the summer. Plenty on YouTube.
     
    brbadg and voodoostation like this.
  3. oldgofaster

    oldgofaster Tele-Meister

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    I have the Morgan Monroe Blues 32 and it is loud and great. Stainless steel frets, and beautiful. I polished the frets and lowered the bridge and nut and she is a real player. My buddy who specializes in $200 to $800 acoustics was much impressed. Has satisfied my GAS for almost a year now. Hard case, too.
     
  4. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you're set on buying a new guitar, it might help to know that Godin, the Canadian guitar company, is also the parent company of about half a dozen other Canadian brands, including Seagull and Art & Lutherie.

    You can get to them all from the Godin homepage.

    All of them are 100% made in Canada, and they're much more affordable than comparable American-made brands.

    For instance, the Art & Lutherie Roadhouse model has that retro-Delta vibe for well under $500.

    So you might like browsing the Godin subsidiaries' offerings before mailing your hard-earneds to Indonesia or worse.
     
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  5. wayloncash

    wayloncash Tele-Afflicted

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    I have been messing around with a recording king dirty 30s at local store. Really nice guitar it is unusually inexpensive for that nice of a guitar, laminate back and sides though so that's why. But for just $200 or less you really can't go wrong.
     
  6. zosofan

    zosofan Tele-Meister

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    The newer version Epiphone EL OO pro is nice, At least the ones I've tried out were pretty good at a fair price.
     
  7. VerySlowHand

    VerySlowHand Tele-Holic

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    Thanks to everyone. A few replies:

    WingedWords - I don't fancy a resonator, too much of a one-trick pony.
    Charlie - thanks, I'll check out the A&L Roadhouse.
    Zosofan - the EL-00 has too narrow a nut for my liking - bought one mail order... we parted company quickly.
     
  8. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Afflicted

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    Fair enough. It's a good trick though.

    Let us know what you end up with.
     
  9. Dingbat

    Dingbat Friend of Leo's

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    You may also want to check out the Alvarez APs.
     
  10. SwingingSetzer

    SwingingSetzer TDPRI Member

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    Epiphone Masterbilt or the Gretsch G9550/Synchromatic models.
     
  11. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Afflicted

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    Actually I don't think resonators are one-trick. Wooden bodied or metal, biscuit or spider, single cone or tricone, fingerstyle or slide. Without hijacking your thread further, here's three very different players to sample:
    Catfish Keith
    Mike Dowling
    Bob Brozman

    Enjoy your search anyway VSH. It's one of my favourite occupations, looking for new guitars!
     
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  12. VerySlowHand

    VerySlowHand Tele-Holic

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    Just checked these out - their Delta 00s look and sound nice too, but the APs have a nicer headstock (although I prefer peghead rather than slotted). Not sure that rosewood equals boxy nasal tones... more sweet and chimey than woody, perhaps?

    Those are Jazz guitars, no?
     
  13. SwingingSetzer

    SwingingSetzer TDPRI Member

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    Yes, they are meant for Jazz/Swing.
     
  14. dqami

    dqami Tele-Holic

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    Gretsch has a boxy 12 fret as well. Lots of people like them and they are cheap. Still lots of Original Stellas and Silvertones out there as well.
     
  15. jimd

    jimd Friend of Leo's

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    The Gretsch Jim Dandy is nice for the price, ~$150.
     
  16. tonyp145

    tonyp145 Tele-Meister

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    If you're willing to entertain the idea of an archtop acoustic (many players in the 30s used them for blues as well as jazz), the Godin 5th Ave is a really nice guitar for the money. I just traded for a plain acoustic one (no pickup), I used to have the P-90 version but I didn't like the sound of the pickup plus it compromised the acoustic volume. I love the acoustic version and it should be well within your price range, especially if you can find a used one.
     
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  17. syrynx

    syrynx Tele-Afflicted

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    Shortly before Christmas, I had the opportunity to try a Recording King Dirty 37. https://reverb.com/item/3393089-new-recording-king-dirty-37-single-o-rps-7-ts. (I have no affiliation with manufacturer or vendor.) That is a LOT of guitar for US$150!

    The Dirty 37 has one detail which really tickles me, though it would probably be trivial or insignificant to most players, if they even notice it: The sound hole is bound, like my Harmony H165, and like many Gibson and Kalamazoo (and Waterloo) sound holes. I'm a magnetic sound hole pickup junkie, and that binding saves a lot o' wear and tear.
     
  18. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Friend of Leo's

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    I got my 000 Dirty Thirties during holiday sale/price cut for $120 new. It's worth well more than that. Nails the boxy tone, still has note to note definition, and I wouldn't be worried about taking it camping. Stays in tune. Could be made of sawdust and plastic and I wouldn't care. It sounds right.

    Can't recommend it highly enough.
     
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  19. dqami

    dqami Tele-Holic

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    RK also has an all solid wood parlor guitar for $299 at GC. Definitely has the boxy sound. I thought it has more muffled than the Dirty 30 model, probably due to bracing and thicker wood as I've seen many of the Dirty 30s selling on Ebay with cracked tops
     
  20. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Friend of Leo's

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    Vague anecdotal information is always difficult to asses. By 'many' do you mean 50? or 25? or 10? or 3?

    Mine's a year old and fine.
     
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