Worthy acoustic/electric offerings < $1500??

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by FenderGuy53, Oct 13, 2020.

  1. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have owned my current Martin Road Series DCRSGT acoustic/electric guitar for about 2 years.

    Now that I'm an "acoustic only" player, I'd like to sell/trade my Martin and upgrade to another A/E dreadnaught cutaway which will: 1) cost under $1500", and 2) keep me inspired to play.

    I've read/heard good things about the Yamaha A5R and Takamine P2DC, which both retail for $1399 (thanks, Jakedog ;)). Has anyone else owned/played one of these? Are there other worthy candidates in the $1500 price range?

    Please share your thoughts.

    Thanks, guys! ;)
     
  2. bullfrogblues

    bullfrogblues Friend of Leo's

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    I have a Blueridge BR-160CE that I like quite a bit.
     
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  3. DDickens

    DDickens Tele-Meister

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    Larrivee. They’re super super super guitars and priced really well (for the time being). If you’re okay with used, you can grab a great deal. I’ve been impressed with every Larrivee I’ve picked up. I bought a used Om O3R for less than you’re considering. It’s an excellent guitar.
     
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  4. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    I know you want electronics, but do you really need a cutaway? Very few players need it and frankly, very few acoustics work all that well above the 12th fret. Cuts appeal to electric players and most guitars with cuts will come with built in electronics, usually whatever the manufacturer decided to use.

    My feeling is a little different. First, I have no use for a cutaway so that opens a whole new range of guitars. Second, I would buy the best sounding acoustic guitar that I could find and then add the best electronics for the style of plugged in playing I was going to do. I don't particularly care for UST piezo pickups and feel that there are better choices for more realistic sound.

    Next thing is that I would never buy a guitar based on recommendations on an internet forum (including my own suggestions here). If I was going to spend 1500 bucks on a guitar today I would go out and play everything I could get my hands on. I would take my present guitar with me and compare everything to it - am I really making an improvement.

    Your present guitar seems to sell new for about a grand, you will probably be able to sell it for 5-600. Make sure what you are buying is really an upgrade and meets all your needs.

    Edit to add - how decided are you on a dreadnaught? Frankly the offerings for that size with a cut and electronics is pretty slim - you've mentioned the Taks and Yamies and Martin road series - I know Taylor has a couple, as does Blueridge. There might be a couple of Guilds, Gibson and Epi have the Doves and Hummingbirds, Eastman doesn't have anything. Open your selection set to include OM's and Jumbos and maybe some smaller bodies and you'll have many more options.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2020
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  5. Dreadnut

    Dreadnut Friend of Leo's

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    Get a vintage Guild DCE5; excellent higher-end Guild that kinda flies under the radar, would be in your price range.
     
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  6. John E

    John E Friend of Leo's

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    Freeman Keller I 100% need a cutaway. I'm not much of a dreadnought guy but for $1,500 you should be able to get a good one from any of the usual suspects in that range. I honestly would see if you can get into a GC and any local place that let's you in with a mask to try a few. The Takamine seems decent as does the Yamaha, also checkout Alvarez I played a walnut Dreadnought at Ossining music that was right around a grand and it was pretty nice. For me it's about playability first. Some of the guitars in that price range have 1-11/16 nut width which I just can't get on with, and the one you have is likely 1-3/4. . If I remember correctly that Martin you have is right in that range of 1000 bucks, and they are pretty good value... so not sure how much of an upgrade the ones you listed would be... I guess a better question is what do you not like about that Martin?
     
  7. Dreadnut

    Dreadnut Friend of Leo's

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    Here's really nice clean one - no affiliation, just found it online.

    Two of my friends have these, they are great guitars. Rosewood arched back, solid AA spruce top, cream colored body binding, ebony bridge, ebony fingerboard, MOP dot fret markers, ebony overlay headstock with Guild Chesterfield inlay, scalloped top bracing, Gold plated hardware, Fishman onboard electronics; I'm just sayin'. This guitar is essentially only one step down from Guild's flagship dreadnaught, the D55. At that time, this model had better appointments than the D50.

    https://www.google.com/aclk?sa=L&ai...hUKEwiXvMWzrrLsAhXNGM0KHZLpDg4Q1CkIxgM&adurl=
     
  8. JamesAM

    JamesAM Tele-Meister

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    Martin 15 series with a K&k mini or a used Gibson J-15.
     
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  9. zombywoof

    zombywoof Friend of Leo's

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    I own two 12 fretters and one 13 fretter. For me it has less to do with access to higher frets but the placement of the bridge. Think of the difference between a 12 and 14 fretter as being that of hitting a snare in the center as opposed to off to the side nearer the rim. But like everything else it is all a trade off depending on what you need from a guitar.

    I have owned two cutaways in my life - a Gibson CF-100 and a Kay K24. I did not need to play that high up the board but I liked the way they sounded, looked and felt. If there are better reasons for choosing a guitar I do not know what they are.

    As to electronics I also do not care for UST systems. Only guitar I own with factory installed electronics is a 1956 Harmony H40 with a Gibson P-13 pickup mounted underneath the fingerboard extension. But if I was going to spend only $1500 on a guitar, I would put every dime of it into the lumber and deal with the electronics down the road.
     
  10. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks for sharing, zombywoof. ;)
     
  11. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    That may or may not be totally true, depending on the guitar. Frequently 12 fretters are shorter scales which pulls the bridge back a bit, and of course there are different size 12 fret guitars. The difference between a 12 fret triple ought and a 14 fretter is also that the shoulders of the upper bout are squared off on the 14. Also, as you know, a good builder will open or close or shift the braces forward or backward to optimize the location. Also remember that unlike a drum head, you are not hitting the top but rather torqueing it - it doesn't just move up and down but rocks back and forth.

    Here are three 12 fretters in different sizes

    IMG_5638.JPG
     
  12. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    What I have found it that people who like Martins stick with them, so I would assume that you probably should start looking there, unless you are looking for a different voicing.
     
  13. John E

    John E Friend of Leo's

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    Nice guits Freeman. I love a good parlour guitar. Ha, on top of the cutaway... I also prefer 14 frets to the neck. I love... LOVE my Rainsong 12 fret but I always miss being able to get further up the neck. And I had to rearrange a couple of our songs because of it. If you don't use the upper frets 12 frets are pretty cool. I generally do find them easier to play on frets 1-5 especially if shorter scale (which it seems most generally are). And it definitely seems to add some depth and volume to the guitar moving the bridge down.

    But to the OP these are all things to consider and why I like playing them first before buying... lol. One thing I'll say about Martin, I just played one of the new Martin GPC-X2E guitars. $699 list. HPL rosewood back and sides and a spruce top. That thing sounded and played pretty amazingly... and I'm all about bang fer buck. Plus it has a multi-piece laminate neck which I like for stability (I'm hard on my acoustics... lol). I'm pretty sure I'll be adding this guitar to may arsenal.

    On electronics, I'm all about the K&K if you are doing solo work, that is an AMAZING pickup. In a band setting (especially with my dad's Guild UST stomping all over me) I find a UST with my Raven Labs preamp to work better. Trial and error though.
     
  14. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

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    +1, buy the best acoustic you want/need.
    Then add your own pickup to the guitar with a strap-pin jack out.
    Put a pre-amp in a pedal.

    .
     
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  15. Guitardvark

    Guitardvark Tele-Afflicted Platinum Supporter

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    Martin SC 13 E is very interesting new martin priced 1499.00.

    SPECIFICATIONS
    Body
    • Body type: S-13
    • Cutaway: Yes
    • Top wood: Sitka spruce
    • Back & sides: Koa
    • Body finish: Gloss
    • Orientation: Right handed
    Neck
    • Neck shape: Low profile velocity
    • Nut width: 1.75 in. (44.45 mm)
    • Neck wood: Select hardwood
    • Fingerboard: Ebony
    • Number of frets: 19
    • Neck finish: Satin
    Electronics
    • Pickup/preamp: Yes
    • Brand: Fishman MX-T
    • Configuration: Undersaddle piezo
    nice woods nice ebony fingerboard fishman electrics
    for the price its made in mexico
     
  16. Varmonter

    Varmonter TDPRI Member

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    Like most have said buy the one that sounds good. I too am a fan of 12 fret
    Guitars. Taylor makes a few. My favorite
    Is the 712ce 12 fret. I've seen them used
    For 1800.00 . The cutaway is nice with
    The 12 fret..just gives a little more access down there.
     
  17. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    It depends a lot on what kind of neck and fretboard you like. Martin's are too flat a board for me. I like things in the 12-14" radius range:
    Vintage Guilds made in Westerly Rhode Island are great , many models to choose from. Plenty at $1500 or less I think. The necks are like playing an electric.
    Also on my list would be a nice Gibson Songwriter. Not sure, but I think you may get one for your budget.

    Takemine are popular on stage I see. I bought one several years ago, but sold it. Frets were too low for me, maybe it had been leveled. But in my search at the time, it was apparent that quite a few had cracks in the top. I'm not sure why that was, maybe a wood drying defect from a certain time period in their history? Just saying, be careful.
     
  18. 63 vibroverb

    63 vibroverb Tele-Afflicted

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    Besides Martin, I would consider Larrivee and Takamine. The Japan-made ones are really nice and really surprised me. I’m kinda debating between a Martin and Larrivee for my own acoustic.

    I would seriously consider this Takamine for myself if it didn’t have electronics: https://www.guitarcenter.com/Takamine/CP7MO-Thermal-Top-Acoustic-Guitar.gc

    You can find them used for around what you wanna spend, sometimes less.
     
  19. nickmsmith

    nickmsmith Tele-Holic

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    Yamaha A Series are very nice guitars. I've only got the A1M.. and I'm really happy with it.
     
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