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Who's making the best acoustic guitars these days?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by Cali Dude, Mar 24, 2021.

  1. ale.istotle

    ale.istotle Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Yes.
    upload_2021-3-24_16-45-31.png
     
  2. Dukex

    Dukex Tele-Afflicted

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    No such thing. Any established luthier or boutique guitar shop will make superb guitars. Martin, Gibson, and Taylor all make outstanding guitars.

    In the "what most people can afford" and "you get a lot for your money" ranges: Larrivee, Guild, Eastman, Godin are four that continue to get high praise. Especially Larrivee (they're just crazy good for the price). YMMV.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2021
  3. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

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    Collings.
     
  4. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    My POV is that the big three (Martin, Gibson and Taylor) have set the standard for all others to compare by. My take is the Martin gives the best country vibe, Gibson for best well rounded guitar sound and Taylor as the best with singers. Pick you best interest and go from there. Any other guitar builders are pretty much measured by these three. There are exceptions though.
     
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  5. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I love my James Goodall RCJC.
    I never played a Goodall I didn't like.
     
  6. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    If you price it per string, it's a bargain.

    Her baritones are inspiring.



     
  7. GuitarsBuicks

    GuitarsBuicks Tele-Afflicted

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    I would point to this post from another thread that I made about a month ago.

    "Personally, I believe every player should have a true acoustic of decent quality. It is important for a number of reasons. Starting with it changes how you play because there are no possible effects other than what you can generate with your own two hands. Each one is different, they act different and sound different. It also helps to build strength and dexterity in a different way. As someone who started on acoustic I can tell you that it helped immensely with getting the strength for bends, and true string vibrato. These are immensely important skills to develop without the aid of a Stratocaster's wiggle stick. It also opens up a whole new range of sounds and creativity.

    If you were looking for a really nice guitar that can be passed down to your great grand kids any Seagull, Martin, Art & Lutherie, Landola, Takamine, Taylor, Gibson, Maton, Yamaha, Ibanez or professional series Hohner would be a good choice.

    Those notes aside you can get a half way decent acoustic for $100. Think a brand like Johnson or Austin guitars. If you want something nicer you could go for a Seagull, Art & Lutherie, Yamaha, Hohner, Parkland, Jasmine, Epiphone, or Ibanez Artwood. Those brands all use real woods or real wood in 3 ply laminates. Really nice guitars that provide an heirloom quality instrument that no one should be afraid to actually take out and play. Those brands have a wide range of guitars at a wide range of prices...anywhere from $200-well over $1000. As far as the two Godin (Seagull and Art & Lutherie) owned brands of guitar are concerned any thing you get from them will last generations, even the cheapest ones are great quality, made by people from Canadian woods and they are all real wood. The Yamaha acoustic line is pretty good but you have to get one of them in the $500+ range for anything of really good quality. I have never been a fan of Ibanez acoustics in general, but if I was going to buy an Ibanez it would be the Artwood series. They are somewhat reasonable in price, however as I noted, I am not a fan of their acoustics. Another brand to check out would be the Alvarez lines of guitars. Their Masterwork line is in the $500 range. I have enjoyed every Alvarez acoustic I have encountered, however I have never owned one because I have been at my capacity of acoustics for years. Otherwise I would probably have had at least two of the Alvarez guitars I have encountered. I liked them that much...although the guitar budget of a high school student is quite limited. Jasmine is the Epiphone of the Takamine line of guitars. They are a decent product, but I would prefer a Takamine over Jasmine. Epiphone makes some really nice guitars in the current era. I wouldn't pit them against a Seagull, but they are definitely a quality instrument. I actually have one of their lower level guitars. They sound good and play really well. My one complaint is that I cannot keep the fingerboard moist enough. every time I get it out it's dry, I like my fingerboards to feel silky, as opposed to like dry wood. Another suggestion, although made in China or Indochina (I dont remember which) is Parkwood acoustics. They have a good sound and a good build quality, but I would not consider them the equal of a Seagull or Art & Lutherie, but atleast they are made out of real wood. On the other hand if you can get your hands on one of the Hohner professional series you could easily have a Martin or Takamine quality instrument for a fraction of the price.

    If you wanted to go for something even higher I would recommend Martin, Maton, Gibson, Takamine, and Taylor. I'm sure you have heard of most of these, they are all the best of the best in their respective designs. Any one of them would be great if you get above the introductory lines. You have to be careful with Martins because the lower level ones are not made out of real wood or plywood. When buying an acoustic, at least make sure it is made out of a plywood or laminate for the best sound, consistency, and durability. Taylor claims that they only use real woods and their price reflects that. Gibson makes some really nice middle and high end instruments, although I tend to prefer Martin and Taylor over them based on their necks. That is really a personal preference though seeing as you stated that you like Strats I think you will probably lean Martin and Taylor over Gibson. Takamine is a great high end guitar company, easily the quality equal of Martin, if not better. Takamine makes use of a pointed headstock similar to that of Seagull. Martin, Taylor, and Gibson all use a wider headstock based on a rectangle. The Shape of the headstock makes a difference when considering the action of an acoustic guitar. The pointed headstocks tend to allow for lower action as the strings tend to go straight down the neck as opposed to the rectangular based ones tend to have minutely higher action as the strings are pulled off to the side in order to reach the machine heads, honestly it is hardly noticeable. Maton is the Australian equivalent of Martin, and I have sadly never had the pleasure of encountering one. You hear about them every now and again on this site from our friends down under, and from the famous people from the land of the Wallaby, Keith Urban and Tommy Emmanuelle come to mind. While I'm thinking about high end brands of guitars Landola of Finland is one of the best there is on any continent, I have had the pleasure of encountering several and do own one of them. They are easily the equal of Martin. All of these brands have a variety of lines and pricing.

    There are other options as well. Pick your poison."
     
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  8. GuitarRandy

    GuitarRandy TDPRI Member

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    I'm very partial to Taylors as well (I have 3). In my humble experience, they are the most consistent manufacturer out there these days. Low end to high end, they all seem to come out of the box with good intonation and setup.
     
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  9. ale.istotle

    ale.istotle Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Have you ever seen one in person or played one? If a guy like Metheny call it the best he's ever played it must be an experience.
     
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  10. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I'm not worthy! The original post also didn't give a price upper bound.
     
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  11. ping-ping-clicka

    ping-ping-clicka Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Best, Schmest? Best for who or whom and for what?
    There a Fella out there that when he makes a guitar, he listens to you play, how you play what you play and builds a guitar that enhances your playing experience.
    FROGGY BOTTOM: I have heard two of his personalized guitars close up live and in person , no mics no processing, just sitting a room with the artists and was every impressed.
    Karen and I were neighbors in the late 70's and I had occasion to hear her singing and playing a couple of three times her singing and playing is most memorable, If I recall correctly that's when Karen brought Sippy Wallace to my attention.
    If I was to take up acoustic guitar, I'd look up Froggy Bottom and pay um a visit.

    https://froggybottomguitars.com/about/
     
  12. Buzzgrowl

    Buzzgrowl Tele-Meister

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    For the money? It's Tanglewood, Eastman and Furch.
     
  13. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

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  14. McGlamRock

    McGlamRock Poster Extraordinaire

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    With your budget, the sky's the limit! I would go to a few shops that have a lot of high quality acoustic guitars and just try them all out.
    If you are in or near the SF Bay Area, I would go to Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto and just pick the acoustic I like best.
     
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  15. 39martind18

    39martind18 Friend of Leo's

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    As the owner of a fairly high end Taylor (816ce) and my old beat up Martin D18, I can truthfully say I prefer the neck and sound of the old Martin, but then again, I've had it for almost 48 years, and the Taylor for about 1/10 of that time. Each has its charms and cool factors, but the Martin rules. That said, the Taylor ain't going anywhere any time soon- love em both!:) _585.JPG 20181213_183224.jpg
     
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  16. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

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    Or why not go the highest you can go with Greenfield.

    https://www.greenfieldguitars.com/

    Take a look at inside his acoustics. Their cheapest budget version is in 5 digit dollars.
    Model GF priced from $14,500 Other models priced from $17,000 Because if you go boutique even they have private reserve guitars....


    Even brought up in ...arhemm...Music Radar review. I think it's just 2-3 of them out there who can do the "best guitar money can buy" test. The thing is I've tried both Klein and a Greenfield. And it didn't make me a better musician, nor did I bond with them, at all. Sounded great, but even if I had the money I would waste it on other things.

    https://www.musicradar.com/news/guitars/greenfield-guitars-602268

    You said the best, regardless of price. Nothing about "worth the money" or "best bang for the buck" and so on.
     
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  17. smuc

    smuc Tele-Meister

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    I‘ve read a post somewhere that I found funny (but perhaps there‘s some truth to it):
    Martin for the good old boys,
    Taylor for the choir boys,
    And Gibson for the bad boys.
     
  18. cnlbb

    cnlbb Tele-Afflicted

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    You ain't gonna get an answer that works. There are 5k guitars out there that sound perfect, and that same model at the same price can be a bit of a dog.
     
  19. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Wow. Perfect. I wish I had thought of that.
     
  20. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Holic

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    I have both Martin and Taylor guitars. I love the natural EQ on both of them and they are quite different sounding. I’ve never been able to bond with a single Gibson acoustic. I find the necks are baseball bats and the sound is too mid focused for my liking. They are pretty though.
     
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