The Best Acoustic Guitars These Days

jageya

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i WENT to gc a while ago and played everything on the wall and in the expensive room and prefered an alverez in tone....i also like snappy cript bell like tones with a solid bottom and good mid...many are either mid heavy or tinney..its a hard choice..
 

oregomike

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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?
There’ll be lots of opinions, but mine is the correct one. ; ) Santa Cruz and Collings.

That's all I got. Maybe someone can chime in with their faves.
 

mandofrog

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Get yourself to a good acoustic instrument store in whatever big city you're near, and talk to them and play some different instruments for an hour or three. If you don't live near a metro area with a good acoustic store, then add a couple hundred $$ to your budget for a hotel and cab fare and make an overnight trip. Somebody mentioned Gryphon if you're near SF bay area. In southern Cali try McCabes. Many big metro areas will have a good store that specializes in acoustic instruments. The sales people there will normally be able to help you choose much better than in an electric guitar store. Walk in the store in the afternoon, play several instruments for a couple hours, talk with the sales person, and make mental notes on a few that struck a chord with you. Walk out and come back the next morning. Play a couple of the same ones you played yesterday and maybe one you didn't try. Maybe that afternoon you'll bring home an axe that's better than anybody on the internet could possibly recommend, because no one on the internet has YOUR fingers and YOUR ears. Acoustic instruments have more variability than electrics, even between the same brand & model. Some instruments will bring music out of your fingers that you didn't know you had. THAT's the instrument to take home, and the internet's recommendations are irrelevant.
 

kuch

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Thanks, I have been thinking J-45 vs. D-18 lately. I have rosewood covered with my Larrive

Hey CK,

Don't forget to try a 000-18 or 00-18

I have 3 Martins; a D-28, 000-28EC, and a 000-18. Loved the D-28 for years but developed some shoulder problems and had to "downsize" to the 000-28. I've A/B'd them many times and IMO, if you were blindfolded, I don't think you would be able to tell which was which. I guess I got lucky and got a great sounding one. My point would be if you're going to go out and try guitars, be open and try as many as you can. You mentioned a D-18 so while you're at it maybe you should also consider a 000-18 or smaller.
 

39martind18

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I once had the opportunity to play a 1935 Martin D-18. Nice V neck and a really incredible sound. I'm not sure I would be satisfied with anything that didn't sound as good. I really want a J-45 but I never played one that I thought sounded that great and the necks have all been too thin. I know there's something out there for me and someday I'll find it.
Yep, there's something about those Pre-war D18s. I Found mine nearly 50 years ago, love both the V neck and the tonality.
 

bobio

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The one you have is the best one :cool:

Just an entry level Fender CD 280s. Replaced the the plastic crappy nut, saddle and pins with bone from Bob Colosi. I have had it since 2009, feels and sounds great 👍


20211124_233957018_iOS.jpg
 

burntfrijoles

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"Who is making the best acoustic guitars now?"
Impossible to answer.
There is no "best" among the major acoustic brands. It's only preference for feel, tone that is unique to each owner.
I am sure some of the high end, boutique builders make impeccably crafted guitars but for who?

I've owned Martins (still have a 000-18), Guilds, Taylors, and Gibsons (my Southern Jumbo is my #1 acoustic). The SJ and 000-18 are my only acoustics now. I also owned a "lawsuit" Takamine that looked exactly like a Martin D35.

Ideally, I think the guitar should acquire you rather than the opposite. You play (audition) as many as you can until you find the "one". It won't matter whether it says Gibson, Martin, Taylor, Collings, etc on the headstock. It's going to be yours so don't get sucked into "the best".
 

squirt

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I guess "what's the best" is the right question to ask if that's the information you intend to use to guide your purchase. All of which is fine.

It takes a while to learn how to make a successful guitar purchase. Figure on buying (and likely selling most of) 20-30 guitars over the decades before you know your own needs as a player.

Or ask some experienced life-long players about their guitar saga including both success (keepers) and failures, bad deals, poor choices, expensive mistakes they regret. You might come away with another perspective or two to add to your own.

What do you want this new guitar to do for you? How should it differ from what you already have? Should it relieve some discomfort or difficulty you have with your present guitar? Do you want it to inspire a new growth spurt? Will it be for performance? for beach and camp-fire? Maybe just to own and learn about something new like what having an arch-top or a dobro around.

Check out Rhett Shull discussing his next guitar purchase with Ben Calhoun from Righteous Guitars and see how a highly attentive and qualified sales associate or proprietor can help you identify your priorities and guide you to a selection of guitars to play, consider and compare, to help you choose a guitar that is a goof match for what you want and need, and will be a long-term success for you.

Rhett is a working musician. Guitars are the tools of his trade. His content is practical and pro-level. Search Youtube for 'Finding The PERFECT Acoustic Guitar | This One Blew Me Away' by Rhett Shull. He's visiting Ben Calhoun of Righteous Guitars
 
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jageya

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WENT TO LOCAL GC yesterday for a few hours with a friend and played 90% on the wall from 150.00 to 5k.....best sounding were 2 mitchells...lol...
 

Controller

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WENT TO LOCAL GC yesterday for a few hours with a friend and played 90% on the wall from 150.00 to 5k.....best sounding were 2 mitchells...lol...
Haha, love it. My keeper, after several months of low-key looking and playing is a Fender acoustic, $300. Not saying it's even remotely close to all of the ones mentioned in this thread, but it sure works fine for me. I guess I just have an ear for cheap guitars! :lol:
 

rockinstephen

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A very subjected topic, but as far as commercial products go, I think Taylor has passed Martin and is the standard. I always preferred the low end on the Martins, but Taylor has shifted their bracing to increase the low end blurring the lines between the 2 rivals. When played side by side, I thought the Taylor came out on top each time.

As for best...look to "Pre-War Guitars". Right now, I am really wanting to pull the trigger on their d18 variant, but my wallet still holds me back. From what my ears tell me, those are the best out there....but you pay for that level as well.

I do like the looks of the J45 and really liked the old Hummingbirds, but I have yet to pick one up that blew me away and they seem very inconsistent compared to Martin or Taylor. I suppose if you find a great example of the Gibson, then grab it, but I have not found it yet.
I really haven't played enough of either to know, but in terms of popularity, Taylor seems to have passed Martin. It seems that Takamine was the rage in the 90's...
 

rockinstephen

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Several years ago (2016 maybe?) a friend and I had the pleasure and experience of touring the Bourgeois shop in Lewiston, Maine. We actually got to meet and talk with Dana Bourgeois, the founder and owner. We were very impressed! The guitars are not inexpensive, but the quality is second to none! A Bourgeois is certainly worthy of consideration if you're looking for a higher end instrument...
 

RCinMempho

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My luthier says Martin is putting out some of the best guitars they have ever built.

My D28 needs a neck reset. He told me to sell it and get a new Martin because it would never be as good as what is out there now.

I was speechless.
 

brookdalebill

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The PRS acoustics are really nice, and priced accordingly.
I like em’.
They are very balanced, warm, articulate and clear sounding.
They also intonate beautifully.
I love my James Goodall RCJC, and I’ll remain “true”, BUT if the Hamburglar breaks in and steals it, I’d shop for a jumbo cutaway PRS.
I don’t even know their nomenclature.
I’m not even sure they still make em’.
Luckily, my Goodall ticks every box for me.
The PRS are a little over-adorned for my tastes.
A weak criticism, “Sorry, too pretty and nice.”
Not many people say that.
 




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