The Best Acoustic Guitars These Days

corbo

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Subjective stuff, to be sure -- but If money were no object for me, I'd go with a Collings, specifically the CJ-45. It's Colliungs' take on the slope-shouldered Gibson J-45. I've played a J45 for years, but if I had the bread I'd buy one of these and never look back. The finish, craftsmanship, and sound are (to me) top notch.
 

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Kandinskyesque

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As is so often the case... The best is always relative. But Andreas Cuntz, Germany, builds first-class instruments. The CUNTZ GUITARS Ebony Special "The Holy Grail" is definitely one of the best acoustic guitars around. And she's a beauty too. Who can't come to see Andreas in his workshop in Germany? Thomann has listed a few of his guitars.

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You beat me to it.
Back in 2019 I had a couple of days 'looking after' one for a friend, he 'looked after' my Godin Multiac in exchange.
It was (to my ears) the best sound I've ever heard and (to my hands) the best I've ever played.
My heart wants one but my wife and my brain are saying no/not yet respectively.
 

JL_LI

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This thread is going on forever. There’s no such thing as “the best guitar”. No matter which one you think is the best, you’ll stumble across a better one one day. The best guitar is the one you bond with. Forget about brand name. You’ll know it when you play it. Don’t worry if you can’t afford it. Keep saving and keep playing. Sooner or later you’ll find one that you can love and afford. That’s the best one. For you. The best for me or anyone else is meaningless once you’ve found it.

Then start saving again. Guitars get lonely. Maybe you need a jumbo or maybe a parlor guitar for your front porch. And you find it. Now which one is the best? Now you get it. There’s no such thing as the best guitar.
 

Matt Sarad

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When I was still teaching, I could afford a new guitar with 1-2 months salary. Now that I'm retired, the used market keeps me on my toes looking for under 3k.
Slim pickings to be sure.
 

schmee

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I've played a ton of Taylors. I had one. Just cant bond. I dont know what it is. I wanted to bond. Playing them extensively at the store, I found I liked the Baby Taylor or 300 series best. Go figure.
Ditto for PRS electrics. It's weird. I should like them.
Buying an acoustic is difficult for sure. I bond best with USA Guilds or Gibsons. There are plenty of vintage ones around.
 

Kevin Wolfe

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To me Taylor’s are heavy. Heavy acoustics are “thick” which kills some resonance. Maybe that’s why Taylor guitars are so pops with recording musicians. I wouldn’t trade my Larrivee for a pickups truck load of Taylo guitars.
 

mdphillips1956

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We have a very moderate priced make in the UK called Gear4music, that cost a bit over £100 and they are cheaply made in China for their Yorkshire company, but it seems like wood is just wood and they have a good strong resonant tone.
I quite often buy their 12 string models to convert and sell as wide neck 6 stringers... (a 48mm nut).
Mark P.............
 

Dan R

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A friend of mine just bought a Larrivee orchestra model. He has a Martin HD-28, Taylor 12 string, and now Larrivee. I've not heard it or played it, but know of their good reputation. Another friend bought a Takamine in the budget price range. Me, I'm a Gibson guy for good or bad. My Hummingbird has been my baby for years now. I have just always liked the 'voice' of a Gibson.

In the mid price ranges things are a mixed bag in my opinion. It seems like it's budget guitar or high end and the mid prices are kind of iffy. It's far easier to pick an electric than an acoustic. Around a decade or so back Breedlove and Tacoma were getting lots of praise. Not sure now.

One thing I might add is some of us old guys need to realize there are other guitars besides dreadnoughts. If I get another acoustic, it will be a parlor or orchestra type. If it's not as loud that's OK with me. I played a Huss & Dalton Crossroads and B&G parlor a little while back. Both were stellar but at about $5k.
 

DrDeFab

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I'm firmly in the camp of "there is no such thing as the BEST guitar"

...bit since you brought up Huss and Dalton, my '18 H&D FS is MY best guitar, and I honestly can't imagine anything I could ever need from a finger-style acoustic that it doesn't provide. Not the showiest guitar out there, but that is my preference anyway.

For mid-price, I am a big fan of the MIJ Takamines. I have two older dreadnoughts - EF340SC and EAN15C - that I gigged with regularly for years in places I would never take the H&D, and they still sound and play better than most modern Martins to me. YMMV.

Also add me to the list of people that respect Taylors but doesn't want one.
 

telemaster03

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I have a Taylor that's my favorite fingerstyle guitar followed closely by a Martin 00-28. Different voices for different uses. I have a Martin HD-28 and Gibson Woody Guthrie Southern Jumbo that are both great for strumming. Once again, different voices used for different applications. I have a nice Cordoba Nylon String with the slimmer neck, it's also a nice voce that covers ground the others don't. Different tools for different jobs.

One day a Lowden F50-C in African Blackwood and Sinker Redwood will be mine...that's a voice I don't currently have.

Best? Dumb and unproductive argument.
 

bottlenecker

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We have a very moderate priced make in the UK called Gear4music, that cost a bit over £100 and they are cheaply made in China for their Yorkshire company, but it seems like wood is just wood and they have a good strong resonant tone.
I quite often buy their 12 string models to convert and sell as wide neck 6 stringers... (a 48mm nut).
Mark P.............

Wood is just wood. But a guitar is something a person goes to a lot of trouble to make out of wood. I don't know, string up a log, maybe you'll like it.
 

Rick Lanahan

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This is what Bob Taylor said about Bill. RIP. Bill was my friend. A real friend. We shared secrets, discoveries, observations and ideas down to the smallest details about what made things work, or how to make them. He always had the upper hand which I freely granted because he was a better guitar builder than me. He had deep seated understanding of the mechanics of stuff and how guitars could sound good and hold up well. He was hands-on, a whirlwind of important things to say and to try to keep up with. And don't waste your time trying to predict where he was going. We had fun. He was generous and had a big heart. He took care of people, which I know because I saw it. I have a Collings guitar which I love, and which I stare at, wondering how they did it. The nuances can't always be explained, but can be experienced. I experienced Bill Collings and he's part of who I am. I'll tell his story as long as I live. He was really something and I'm as glad to have known him as I am crushed that he's gone."
 

Swingcat

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I've been thinking about a new acoustic guitar lately. I don't really need one. However, it got me wondering, "Who is making the best acoustic guitars now?" What do you all think?
First, different people like different tones is acoustic as well as electric guitars. In acoustics, I prefer very articulate, brighter tones with bell-like qualities with a good amount of sustain.
For production guitars, the choice of many would be Martin, but to me, their general voicing is a bit muddy, and not much sparkle. My choice in production guitars would be most Taylors, as they have the voicing I prefer.
NOW, you said BEST, so I'm guessing money is no object. I have a handmade Yamamoto, as does my wife. They are wonderful, but around $5k for a used one, and Tony is not making them any more due in part to health issues.
If I were to buy a brand new guitar, to me, the top choice would be almost any Goodall guitar, hand mede in Fort Bragg, California by James Goodall and his extremely capable son Luke. They are the absolute pinnacle of the tones I crave. Unfortunately, they go from around $7,000 on up to the sky.
Also almost any guitar built by Bruce Sexauer, which are right up there with Goodalls (in both tone, quality, and price).
HOWEVER, that's for MY favorite tone! Yours may vary..
If you can attend a few guitar shows where luthiers show their work, that would help you. Also, go to guitar shops where high end guitars are sold, and play them.
NOW, IF you don't have a ton of dough (I don't, but we're professional and need really good instruments), going to guitar stores and playing lots of guitars in your price range is the ticket. Even if you wish to buy used, learning which brands & models give you what you wish will help even if buying on Craigslist, etc..
One more thing.. I had a Hohner with a solid spruce top, that I got for $300 out the door new, that was a really great sounding guitar. Not quite in Yamamoto/Goodall range, but amazingly good sounding.
 

teletdf

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I've had a David Webber roundbody for over 10 years now and it only gets better with age. A Vancouver, Canada luthier, I think he has ceased production but everything he's made sounds full and balanced with good projection and no harshness.

I also hear Wayne Henderson builds some pretty awesome guitars, if you are willing to wait.
 

David Barnett

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I like Martins but I've no doubt that Santa Cruz or Collings can do the same thing as well or better. And there are probably dozens or hundreds of small builders who can turn out something truly special. Most are still inspired by Gibson or Martin designs.
 

El Tele Lobo

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I have a brand new Gibson J-45 Studio Walnut and I love it. It's got a nice chewy midrange and really projects. Great for everything from finger style to strumming and flat picking.
 




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