1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Who's making the best acoustic guitars these days?

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

  1. RowdyHoo

    RowdyHoo Tele-Meister

    Age:
    55
    Posts:
    127
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2020
    Location:
    Fishersville Virginia
    I bought a D-18 about three years ago. I already head a J-200, Eastman EA-40 and a Taylor. The clarity, balance and definition of the D-18's mahogany sides and back is beautiful. I play the D-18 ten times more than my other acoustics combined.
     
    Lockback and Cali Dude like this.
  2. Rick Schmidlin

    Rick Schmidlin TDPRI Member

    Age:
    66
    Posts:
    10
    Joined:
    May 31, 2019
    Location:
    Bryan, Texas
    Collings, Cruz, Bourgeois, Walker, Ryan, Kopp, Franklin, Wingate,there are a lot out there.
     
    RowdyHoo and Cali Dude like this.
  3. Cali Dude

    Cali Dude Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    58
    Posts:
    1,331
    Joined:
    May 20, 2020
    Location:
    California
    Cool, thanks for the feedback. A D-18 is a fine guitar.
     
    RowdyHoo likes this.
  4. slickoneuk

    slickoneuk Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    106
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2007
    Location:
    Yeovil
    Best is very subjective because it means something different to everybody. Example, 2001ish, I was in the market for a new acoustic. Had about 1000 to spend. I wandered into a music store in Belfast and started chatting with the owner. He asked about what I wanted, musical tastes, playing style etc etc. He pointed me towards the wall and said, play everything and then I will show you the guitar you will buy. I thought this very presumptuous but I started playing many different Yamahas, fenders, etc etc. Some were great but they just didn't have IT. He wandered across with a very plain looking acoustic and said "OK, now try this one ". Very skeptically I took it and started to play. Daaaamn! He laughed and said "I KNOW!" It was a Seagull. It sounded right and played right. I bought it and left with money in my pocket. I still have it. Since then I have moved to Quebec where the Seagulls are made. I now have many guitars in my collection but I still play that Seagull the most. For me it was the best. Best sounding. Best playing. My advise is play everything and you will find your best.
     
  5. rocnrik

    rocnrik TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    18
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    Location:
    madison hghts,va
    I’ve owned a lot of guitars ... I also do guitar repair , I’m not very impressed with the low end Taylor, Martin guitars ..However I do like there flagship models .. if you have a budget then look At Yamaha, tangle wood, Epiphone, seagull, Eastman etc.. once you get near the 2 grand price point it’s a matter of personal choice ( they all are very nice) .. I own a Yamaha because it sounds great plugged in .. I like the neck profile .. it is solid built .. very affordable!
     
  6. gigmaster

    gigmaster TDPRI Member

    Age:
    62
    Posts:
    3
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2016
    Location:
    Dallas, Tx
    Yamaha APX series. Great electronic, great acoustic sound, outstanding playability, bombproof, and reasonably-priced.
     
    Lockback and Cali Dude like this.
  7. biblebound

    biblebound TDPRI Member

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    39
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2017
    Location:
    Woodville, Mississippi
    Martin...
     
    Cali Dude likes this.
  8. rjmachin

    rjmachin TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    6
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2015
    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    I really like Gibsons and Martins, but last year took the plunge and dropped some fairly serious dough on an Atkin J43. Looks, sounds and plays very much like a '50s J45. Have barely picked up any other guitars since. https://atkinguitars.com/guitar/the-forty-three/
     
    Cali Dude likes this.
  9. psykobilly

    psykobilly Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    398
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Location:
    Paragould AR
    Love martins. I just can’t get over Taylor’s 3 piece neck at ultra premium prices. For the kind of money they fetch, they should have a 1 piece neck. Imho
     
    Jakedog and Cali Dude like this.
  10. Manothemtns

    Manothemtns Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    132
    Joined:
    May 7, 2014
    Location:
    Texas
    There's a lot of Taylor fans on this forum but don't let them lead you astray. Furch is hands down the best guitar builder and best value on the market today. Bet you've never heard of the company. Just go to their website to see for yourself. Now, you may have some difficulty finding a bunch to play. They're made in the belly of the stringed instrument capital of the world in Czechoslovakia, just a stone's throw from where Martin was born in Germany, 150 years ago. They have a luthiery of highly skilled but less expensive labor at their disposal so you definitely get a better guitar for the money than US builders can produce. There are a maybe a half-dozen US dealers but if you're not afraid to buy online, you'll find what you're looking for. You'd have to look at high-end Martin's Collings, and Bourgeois (all $6K plus) to find many comparables. I don't consider Taylor to be in the same lofty company. Someone mentioned "Pre-war" guitars and they're OK if you're looking for relic-ing which I think is silly, but whatever floats your boat.
     
    younkint and Cali Dude like this.
  11. dbrnhm

    dbrnhm TDPRI Member

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    18
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Location:
    woodbury ct
    I have a Martin 00028. Gibson J45 Breedlove cedar top Taylor 414se. I enjoy my martin the most but keep the Breedlove next to my bed
    BUT you need to just play a LOT of guitars and take your time and you will find it. And big box stores aren’t always the best place to find them. Small boutique shops are definitely worth visiting. Congratulations in advance.
     
    Cali Dude likes this.
  12. Riff Robin

    Riff Robin TDPRI Member

    Age:
    64
    Posts:
    68
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2020
    Location:
    Philly
    I am also hunting for a non rosewood acoustic...but just looking for the most playable. Taylors are known for playabilty but i played an Ibanez acoustic and it was better than many of my electrics! Ibanez higher end models are not distributed in US for some reason however. But they do make an EXTREMELY playable high performance neck if you can find one. As for sound...if i cant play it, i cant hear it..lol.
     
    Cali Dude likes this.
  13. Nishplayer

    Nishplayer TDPRI Member

    Age:
    66
    Posts:
    74
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2018
    Location:
    Toronto, ON.
    I love my Larrivee L04
     
    Cali Dude likes this.
  14. castermike

    castermike TDPRI Member

    Age:
    73
    Posts:
    13
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2020
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    I've had a number of Epiphones over the years including a 1970s FT150 made in Japan. I currently have an Epi Hummingbird Pro which I love. In answer to the question posed, I really don't know as I'm constrained by budget but if money no object then maybe Guild.
     
  15. MarkSieber

    MarkSieber TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    39
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2014
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    A couple of years ago I was looking for a “budget” acoustic, and played quite a few. I didn’t need electronics, wanted something to grab to play with band mates for fun or working out songs.

    I ended up getting a Taylor Academy 10 'student' guitar. It is a 5/6 Dreadnought body with balanced tone, not as bright as their fingerpicking guitars, not bassy either, a good balance for me since I play fills and a little lead while the other guitarist plays rhythm.

    Compared with other brands it has more presence. Again, this is an inexpensive ($550 is still not cheap for something that isn’t part of my gigging gear) bit I like it.

    I have a Yamaha fg140 I got in 1971, and pummeled though the next couple of decades. When I began playing again a few years ago I found the neck was so flat compared to electrics that it was uncomfortable to play. Now that I have regained strength in my left hand I can play it, and it has that bassier dreadought voice, though the Academy is faster and more balanced when working on material I will transfer to my Tele or PRS Mira s2.
     
  16. squelcherood

    squelcherood NEW MEMBER!

    Age:
    58
    Posts:
    1
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2021
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    Not sure why Taylor would be better than Martin since Martin and Gibson folks play what they play beacuse of the tone. Taylor is very modern sounding, as is Breedlove. ..Gibson thumpy and woody, Martin more piano like sustain and traditional. Depends on what you like. I have all three. If you just want an awesome guitar regardless of resale value or status symbol, try Eastman. The higher end D-18 or J-45 like versions are almost better than the originals at about a third of the cost. Think about smaller body 000, 00, 0M, LG, Concertina, etc. guitars if you have a dread already. My Gibson L-00 and LG-2 are now my go to's. Had a Breedlove USA Oregon Concert that sounded amazing...but very glassy and modern. Listed to youtube demos and have fun
     
    younkint likes this.
  17. nashvillebill

    nashvillebill TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    26
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Location:
    Nashville TN
    I agree with everything you said here. I have two Martins I love- an OM-28v and a D18, so I don't need another acoustic, but every time I go to Gruhn's and pick up a Collings it blows me away. With two great guitars I don't need one, but I sure would like to have one.
     
    younkint, El Tele Lobo and matrix like this.
  18. gibsonjunkie

    gibsonjunkie Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    67
    Posts:
    1,048
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Location:
    Bloomfield, Connecticut
    I have tried a bunch of Martins over 40+ years, because I've loved the sound they make when others play them, but never found one that called out to me. I've tried a bunch but have ended up owning mostly Gibson and Guild Guitars. BTW - check out the Guilds. They are making some really good guitars.
     
    younkint and hnryclay like this.
  19. nashvillebill

    nashvillebill TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    26
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Location:
    Nashville TN
    Awesome guitars- but pricey... I saw two new ones at Gruhn's last week- $10k and $14k. I bought a used one for my son back around 2001 or 2002 for $1200 and it's still one of the best sounding guitars I've ever heard.
     
    Norris Vulcan and Jakedog like this.
  20. nobikiniatoll

    nobikiniatoll NEW MEMBER!

    Posts:
    2
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2010
    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.