When Did Buying An Acoustic Become So Confusing???

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by colchar, May 18, 2019.

  1. colchar

    colchar Friend of Leo's

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    Yup, and I wish to hell I had learned on an acoustic. Then again, I am changing some things about how I play so in some ways I am starting over, which is part of the motivation for getting a lifetime acoustic now.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
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  2. verb boten

    verb boten Tele-Holic

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    I can only speak of what i have, maybe helpful, maybe not.
    I bought a new Martin mainly because of brand name, and at the time a good price for an all wood Martin guitar, a DR (rosewood). The more i played it, the less i liked it. Couldn't exactly put my finger on it but the fretboard was difficult. The sound of a rosewood body was fabulous, really booming but it was just tough to play.
    I found a Gibson J100 jumbo in a used shop and it is now my #1 and i pray nothing happens to it, it would be very expensive to replace, much more than the $1050 i paid. Mahogany body and spruce top, it is not the boomer the Martin is but it's very well balanced and VERY easy to play. Not fancy, a plain tobacco burst with dot inlays and plain pickguard but i'll say it's the best acoustic i ever played and never shopped for another.
    One downside to a dreadnaught, even the small Martin; my body is feeling its age and putting my picking arm over a dreadnaught involves some pain...the only guitar shopping i might do now is a search for an OM or similar small body.
    I doubt this all helps but i hope so.
     
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  3. loco gringo

    loco gringo Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    Those J100's are great guitars. I bought a used one with bubinga back and sides back in 2010. Love it. OK, so now, with a Dread, a J45, and a Gibson super jumbo, you can cover a lot of ground. See where this is going?
     
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  4. verb boten

    verb boten Tele-Holic

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    Yes, he needs one of each. :D
     
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  5. colchar

    colchar Friend of Leo's

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    You will both be hearing from my bank manager shortly.
     
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  6. Jimclarke100

    Jimclarke100 Tele-Afflicted

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    After playing a friends D28 a year ago, I got the wants for a high end guitar... It’s taken me about a year to get to buying - multiple trips to multiple guitar shops trying as many guitars as I could. Try to ignore that badge on the headstock and just concentrate on what feels good and speaks to you. Try as. I have as you can and take your time....

    I found I kept coming back to the same model time after time - for me a Martin 000-18. I was desperately trying to find something cheaper that spoke in the same way but there was just something that to me stood out.
     
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  7. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Holic

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    I have a Martin d28 and Gibson j15. The Gibson is much cheaper, and I highly recommend checking it out.

    One thing to consider.. If you don't need electronics right away, you are definitely better off without them. Under saddle pickups interfere with the acoustic sound unplugged.

    I had the ust removed and installed a kk mini instead. Unplugged, it sounds better now.
     
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  8. colchar

    colchar Friend of Leo's

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    Just an update............

    I recently came across a listing for an NOS custom Gibson Songwriter model. Only 65 were made for Canada's largest guitar store chain, and one was still floating around but the price had been significantly reduced. The originating store refused to transfer it to my local store, so I contacted the company president who got the guitar into my local store in less than 72 hours.

    I played it earlier today for a brief time (was in a hurry to get home from work but made a detour to pop into the store). From what I could tell today, it is a beautiful guitar. It has a red spruce top, and the back and sides are a lighter wood than I had expected. I am not sure which wood they are, but it is a nice look. The information at the link provided below says that the back and sides are mahogany, but I don't know that I have ever seen mahogany of that particular colour before. I am not saying it doesn't exist in that colour, just that I've never seen it. There isn't as much grain showing on the back as I normally like, but I'm not about to let that dissuade me.

    The fretboard badly needs some lemon oil, but that is easy to deal with. It also needs new strings, which is also an easy fix. The guitar tech at that store is a good friend of mine so I will call him over the weekend to let him know it is there and he can take care of those things for me when he returns Tuesday.

    The neck felt very comfortable, and the sound was very well balanced. It never became bassy or boomy, which can be a problem with some acoustics (at least for me as I try to transition to picking with thumb and first finger and as that technique continues to develop). When playing with fingers I find that some acoustics can sound a bit muffled, but this one didn't. It was also loud as hell when played with a pick.

    Overall I was impressed, and it is a great deal (new, but for about $1800 less than normal after taxes). I just have to decide whether I am ready to drop $2500 (after taxes) on it. Right now, I am fairly certain that I am, but I want to play it a bit more before taking the final plunge. I will also put my Yamaha LL6 and its deluxe case up for sale to see if that will move because I do not need two acoustics.

    I managed to find a listing for one of this model on reverb.com, and have included the link below so that people can see the exact model that I am talking about. The one pictured here shows more grain on the back than mine does, but is otherwise identical (except that this one is used). Here is the link:


    https://reverb.com/item/18267490-gibson-songwriter-l-m-custom-shop-2015-adirondack-spruce
     
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  9. GGardner

    GGardner Tele-Afflicted

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    We're still talking about guitars, right?
     
  10. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    Martin has finally given the 00028 scalloped braces, which finally makes it equivalent in sound quality to the OM28, the only difference being scale length. To me, there's no other choice but Martin. Nothing else I've ever heard can compare to a great Martin, not even a Collings. Even their X series with composite back and sides sound like Martins, and are the best sounding $500 guitar I've ever played. And I worked for many years at a store that had Martin ,Taylor, Gibson, Seagull, Eastman, and others, and there were some good ones, but the Martins always were the best in any price range IMO.
     
  11. rad1

    rad1 Tele-Afflicted

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    A few years back I went acoustic guitar shopping. I really wanted to like the Taylors but they were all so bright sounding. I wanted warm. I also did not want a big neck and flat radius like most acoustics had. I found the Takamine Pro Line, hand made in Japan and one with a Cedar top, not spruce. Stunning guitar with absolutely amazing electronics. Plus a somewhat slim neck and 12” radius fingerboard.

    Mine

    E54231B9-8789-4254-9BC8-0604F73D2A38.jpeg
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    C65EB919-5FC9-4946-93C0-812A0A95095B.jpeg
    E75D5185-0260-4F36-B159-4E85CB3EDEA2.jpeg
     
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  12. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Friend of Leo's

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    Er..... Sure. i guess it could also work with guitar shopping, but perhaps don't cover the leather chaps in baby oil and wear handcuffs if you are going to try a guitar

    What a novel idea
     
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  13. Guitardvark

    Guitardvark Tele-Holic

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    acoustics started getting confusing when they started using sustainable woods and laminates. it was just nature grown wood. now its plastic melamine and richlite. bamboo guitars are the future


    martin.jpg

    got wood? get ya some before its all gone!!!
     
  14. drmmrr55

    drmmrr55 Tele-Holic

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    Whichever guitar I choose I plan for it to be a lifer so I need to get this decision right, but man this is so confusing!!!!


    Try as many as possible, and (if it was me), I wouldn't automatically exclude layered bodies. I would however suggest it have a solid Sitka Spruce top. I shopped for months, and looked at solid rosewood/mahogany bodied guitars, and I ended with a MIM Taylor 210e DLX sunburst.

    The DLX model is all gloss, (except for the back of the neck and headstock veneer), but the back, and sides are both layered rosewood, the layering is rosewood/poplar/rosewood. So the inside is rosewood as well, and it looks gorgeous! The top is solid Sitka Spruce. It is pretty reasonably priced, (for a Taylor), and the fingerboard, and bridge are both ebony.

    It plays incredibly easy, for my small fat fingers, projects really well, and is a Dreadnaught, so it's pretty big!. It also came in a real nice hard case! I ended up trading a black Gibson Midtown Standard straight across for it, and am very happy with that trade. It has 1 ding on the top near the pre-amp controls, but I got it for playing, so the ding doesn't bother me at all. Now like you, I have to work on my acoustic playing skills...LOL!
    210e.jpg DSCN0086 (3).JPG
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
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  15. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    I don’t think it’s “confusing” at all. There are just tons of options but they fit different styles.
    I now have 3 acoustics: Gibson Southern Jumbo (for rhythm, strumming); a Martin 000-18 for fingerstyle; and, a Taylor NS24 nylon string (MIM).
    If I had to choose I’d probably keep the Gibson. However if I was starting over I’d probably pick a 000-28 or an OM model.
    It’s just a choice. There is no “better”, there’s just what you like and prefer. Play a bunch and buy the one that youre in love with.
     
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  16. colchar

    colchar Friend of Leo's

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    I like Martins too, but many of their guitars in my price range have Richlite boards and I would prefer real wood when paying $1500+ for a guitar.
     
  17. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Takamine's Pro Series 7 guitars would qualify. I have two all-solid Taks, love them both.



    :oops: oops, I just noticed this thread started in May. You probably bought something by now.
     
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  18. elihu

    elihu Poster Extraordinaire

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    I just about came home with a Songwriter. I thought it was a great guitar and I feel I could have been just as happy with it as with the one I did bring home (Martin CEO-5).

    Don't buy with your eyes. If you like the neck you're 51% there.
     
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  19. oldgofaster

    oldgofaster Tele-Meister

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    Sorry to revive this 'ol horse, but I just went through the ordeal of a new acoustic purchase with a budget of up to 2k....

    ***As I read through this thread I noticed 2 other TDPRIers found very similar guitars as I did!! Taylor 200 series.

    I played everything in the store and ended up with a Taylor 214ce, MIM. It has a loud warm bass tone...walking an open E F# G run to the G chord is addictive. I tried it on Martins, Gibsons and high end Taylors and I kept coming back to the 214....light weight, balanced and very hard to put down. I kept thinking, I can't get a guitar with a scarfed neck, but I did and I love it every time I pick it up.

    I plugged it into my PR and it sends a tingly feeling running up my leg.

    YMMV
     
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  20. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    I think the problem with acoustics is you can't just order one .
    You have to play it. Some folks fault Gibson for their
    variances in guitars (ie J45s). But, I believe most acoustics you have to try.

    Electrics you are (generally) safe ordering. imho
     
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