When Did Buying An Acoustic Become So Confusing???

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

  1. oldgofaster

    oldgofaster Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    451
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2010
    Location:
    Ohio
    uriah1, totally agree.

    I went into GC Ft. Wayne, IN to see a used Takamine cut with the tube processer-thingy and they also had 2 used Martin cuts in the $1200 range. Then they unlocked the $2-2300 pieces, and there was no doubt, to me, which one was the winner. I actually liked the $800 Taylors that have the arm cut pretty well, too.
    Maybe I'm a Taylor guy and never knew it....I played 2 - 214ces and both had nice low action and perfect fret finish.

    Side note, for a GC, service was excellent and of the 20 or so that I played, 90% were in tune enough to strum and not have to re-tune.
     
    Gabrielle84 and colchar like this.
  2. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,313
    Joined:
    May 15, 2016
    Location:
    Nevada
    I looked at the 214ce, and liked it a lot. What’s the equivalent Taylor model without the cutaway?
     
  3. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    66
    Posts:
    11,128
    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    Location:
    Corpus Christi, Texas
    So, @colchar have you pulled the trigger yet? Did you get the Songwriter?

    If not (or, if so, perhaps for others who will be reading this thread), I'll put in another word for Breedlove. @RLee77 has already mentioned them, but they deserve more than a single mention.

    I own two, but I've played countless more. Every time I go into the acoustic room at the local GC, I look for a Breedlove to play. Usually, they have the more entry level guitars hanging up, which in current production would be guitars either from the Discovery or Pursuit lines. And even though we're talking about Chinese-made instruments with laminate back & sides, the quality of them has been consistently good, even in this $300-$500 range.

    Mine are older models from now discontinued lines (Atlas and Passport), but they're good guitars. My Atlas dreadnought (AD25/SM) is solid woods, except for the sides. It was discontinued in 2008, so I bought it for $550 new (the MSR was $1,069 before they were discontinued/the price drop). My other is the Passport Plus (C250/SBe) is a Concert size with solid top, laminate Bubinga B&S.
    My Breedloves - 1.jpg

    The Concert is a very comfortable size for long periods of playing. Several years ago, I gigged at a small higher end restaurant with my Breedlove dreadnought. But playing only that guitar pretty much all night for 3 1/2 hours or even more, my shoulder would ache. So I bought my Concert and that became my go-to gigging acoustic/electric for that gig.

    The dimensions of Breedlove's Concert size/shape are comparable to Martin's OM and 000-14 fret models.

    Breedlove Concert - body length, 20"; upper bout width, 11 1/4"; waist, 9"; lower bout width, 15"; lower bout depth, 4 1/2".
    Martin 000-14 fret/OM - body length, 19 3/8"; upper bout width, 11 1/4"; waist, ?; lower bout width, 15"; lower bout depth, 4 1/8".

    But, wait, it just occurred to me that the Gibson Songwriter you were considering is a dreadnought. So are you back to considering that body size/shape? If so, then heads up, Breedlove's idea of a dreadnought is more like the love child of a dread and a jumbo. The width across the lower bout is 16.18". Here is a pic showing two of my dreads side by side, the Breedlove on the right. As you can see, the Breedlove dread body is all around wider, particularly the waist and lower bout.
    08-20-2019 - Breedlove vs. Hohner dreads.jpg

    But the size difference may be a moot point, since it appears from the 2019 catalog that Breedlove isn't offering the dreadnought size in any model of any line (but a dreadnought is still available as a custom shop option). Breedlove recently replaced it with their relatively new Concerto body shape/size. I have had a chance to try out a Breedlove Concerto yet.

    Breedlove Concerto - body length, 20.695"; upper bout width, 11.745"; waist, 9.37"; lower bout width, 16"; lower bout depth, 5" (4" deep at the neck block).

    As for the tones, every Breedlove I've played has clear bell-like tones, and great string-to-string balance. I don't know if it's because of their JLD truss system, the carve of the tops, the bracing, or all of the above, but you get good, even tone projection from string to string. Abd the necks are comfortable to play. And you can get into an all solid wood, USA-made Breedlove for as little as $1,700 (their USA line, all mahogany body guitars).

    Breedloves are definitely worth a look in my opinion.
     
  4. teleforumnoob

    teleforumnoob Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    62
    Posts:
    2,219
    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Location:
    North Alabama
    Safe bet is to go to a good Martin shop with a few D18s, D28s and HD28s, and maybe a D35 or two.
    Take a player with you to play em also so you can hear them from out front as well.
    Pick the one that sounds best to You.
    Then take it to a good luthier to tweak the setup to your personal preference.
     
  5. colchar

    colchar Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,644
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    Location:
    The Great White North
  6. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    66
    Posts:
    11,128
    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    Location:
    Corpus Christi, Texas
    Okay, then...congrats.
     
    colchar likes this.
  7. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,378
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2003
    Location:
    Augusta, Maine
    They are great. And people say the same thing about Gibson J-45s.

    But picking the right guitar is too personal to generalize. When I was deciding whether to sell my D-28 or my Guild D-35, the Martin went and the Guild stayed. The Guild simply sounds, feels, and looks more like my guitar than anything else I've ever played.

    In short, the Guild beat the Martin dread.

    I went to one of Bennett Hammond's guitar workshops, and he was surprisingly emphatic on the subject. Play a bunch of guitars, forget about the brand, and just get one you really dig. That's the one you'll really play.

    There are a lot of people here at TDPRI who live and die by Yamahas and scoff at American-made guitars. And I have friends who'd stake their lives on their Takamines. And don't get me started on Taylors. I don't get it, but a lot of folks do.

    So, yeah, a smart shopper who has the scratch to spring for one should definitely find a D-28 and take it for a spin. But don't be bound by mystique. Dave Rawlings plays and Epiphone! Let the sound in your head be your guide.
     
  8. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    58
    Posts:
    3,435
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2017
    Location:
    GCDB
    Buying anything can now be complicated if you let it.

    When I was young and starting to play, there were three music stores within 50 miles, one was a Martin dealer,one was Gibson/Fender, and the other sold Guild. Most of the time there were 2-3 "good" acoustics in stock at each, only one or two might be new. Until the G/F dealer added Epiphone (and later Yamaha) and Martin and Guild offered Sigma and Maderia respectively you ordered a budget guitar from Sears etc.

    Most people picked their guitars from the handful in stock at their local shop.. yes you could order something bit it might take 6+ months, to get it. Only hard core players "made the rounds" to all three shops.In retrospect some of these guitars were dogs, we played them anyway. When I bought my current acoustic (Guild F-30) it was listed used at one of those shops, it's expanded four fold ,and has probably three dozen acoustics in stock, including 8-10 Taylor's, I played the Guild a bit and proclaimed it fine; the current owner
    (friend of mine from BITD ) said "don't you want to compare it to some of the Taylor's? or maybe the J-45 we have?" I just laughed, "what would we have done in '78?".. he nodded "beat feet down here first thing Saturday AM, looked at it and figured out away to buy it on time."

    Playing "as many is possible" is good advice but I'm sure most people can find something in any modern shop.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.