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  • Looking for a good guitar, I need an education

    Hey Fellas,
    I have been predominantly an electric player ever since I started playing over ten years ago, but lately my music tastes have been changing and have also been asked to play acoustic in a couple bands so this has led me on the search for a good acoustic guitar, however I know next to nothing about the finer details of acoustic guitars. I normally tell people just to go play a whole bunch at a store and pick the one that sounds best to you. However I was in my only local shop a few days ago and noticed for the first time that there acoustic selection is not very good at all. So what I'll probably do, is do a bunch of research and then buy off of MF and set it up myself.

    My main questions are, what wood combinations are good and what are some generalizations on how they sound, and which body style would I like best (dread vs jumbo etc.)? I've been mostly a lead player, and I'll probably continue to play mainly lead with an acoustic and do a bit of singing as well, so I'll want a guitar that'll make leads pop out. In the style of mainly country and blue grass. I also need it to be acoustic/electric preferably with an upper fret cutout and I'm trying to keep it within $500-750. New or used it doesn't matter. Just hoping to get a bit of guidance. Thanks guys.
    <div class="signaturecontainer">Live to play LIVE <img src="http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/Totally_jammin_out.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Jammin'" class="inlineimg" /> <br />
    <br />
    Proud member of the <font size="2"><font color="Navy">Jet Setters (Jet City Lounge)</font></font><br />
    <br />
    <font size="1">My Rig:<br />
    Jet City JCA2112RC<br />
    <br />
    TU-2 &gt; V-847 &gt; ST2 &gt; Route 808 &gt; DD-3<br />
    <br />
    Epi Les Paul Std+ (BG dark set)<br />
    Epi '56 Les Paul Goldtop<br />
    Warmoth Musiclander (Invader/'59)</font><br />
    </div>

  • #2
    In that price range I dont think you can beat Crafter. You can undoubtedly score an all solid crafter for the money you're looking to spend. When I got mine, the upper end of my budget was a bit higher and even though I played guitars which cost up to 4 times what my crafter cost, it was the best sounding and most playable guitar I came across. Everyone I've ever spoken to or encountered online who owns/has played one says exactly the same. You cannot go wrong with them. Other decent guitars in your range are recording king and Yamaha. Also, from what I saw, some of the more well known brands only came into their own at higher price points and in the sub 1000 region, often fell well short. Just my opinion, that of course. Main thing I'd say would be if at all possible try before you buy. Good luck and make sure to let us know what you decided on. With pics of course.
    <div class="signaturecontainer">&quot;If you walk through the streets of life looking behind you, you're gonna bump into ****************&quot;</div>

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    • #3
      Alright. First...

      1. Neck width at the nut. What are you accustomed to on an electric? Try to stay with that, at least initially, and then refine your tastes from there. A 1-11/16" nut width is a guess but probably your usual faire. That's the usual plectrum-using spacing. If you're a fingerpicker or hybrid, try out 1-3/4" spacing. Yes, the difference can be huge.

      2. Sound. What are you hearing in your head and what do you think/know you'll be using an acoustic for? Are you going into a small duo/trio setting or remaining with the band for acoustic gigs? Usually a band is semi-acoustic as everyone is plugged in. If so, you'll need onboards or at least a mag pup. I suggest the soundhole mag because it is pretty much feedback-proof and with a decent amp/signal chain you can keep to a fairly faithful acoustic sound. If you are semi-acoustic any style of guitar will do just fine if EQ is in the chain. If you are staying unplugged you'll need to mike the guitar. Get the mag pup anyway (it's removable) in case the venue isn't equipped with a good guitar mike. Or, buy one.

      3. Cost. This is a gigging box so keep it low. I'd suggest any of the Yamaha low-to-mid offerings. If you morph into acoustic like so many of us are/do you'll have fun for the rest of your born days searching out what really puts you ear in orbit. Staying at $500.00 and below for now seems the prudent move until your tastes change. If they don't, you're a cheap date and lucky person.

      Yamaha makes a style guitar for everyone and no one has ever pitched a bitch about them on any board I've ever read. Safe bet.
      <div class="signaturecontainer">Be back when I get back. TTFN.</div>

      Comment


      • #4
        Alright. First...

        1. Neck width at the nut. What are you accustomed to on an electric? Try to stay with that, at least initially, and then refine your tastes from there. A 1-11/16" nut width is a guess but probably your usual faire. That's the usual plectrum-using spacing. If you're a fingerpicker or hybrid, try out 1-3/4" spacing. Yes, the difference can be huge. Remember to check the fretboard radius (some are compound) and neck shape against your preference. Comfort is king with hand-tiring acoustic guitar.

        2. Sound. What are you hearing in your head and what do you think/know you'll be using an acoustic for? Are you going into a small duo/trio setting or remaining with the band for acoustic gigs? Usually a band is semi-acoustic as everyone is plugged in. If so, you'll need onboards or at least a mag pup. I suggest the soundhole mag because it is pretty much feedback-proof and with a decent amp/signal chain you can keep to a fairly faithful acoustic sound. If you are semi-acoustic any style of guitar will do just fine if EQ is in the chain. If you are staying unplugged you'll need to mike the guitar. Get the mag pup anyway (it's removable) in case the venue isn't equipped with a good guitar mike. Or, buy one.

        3. Cost. This is a gigging box so keep it low. I'd suggest any of the Yamaha low-to-mid offerings. If you morph into acoustic like so many of us are/do you'll have fun for the rest of your born days searching out what really puts you ear in orbit. Staying at $500.00 and below for now seems the prudent move until your tastes change. If they don't, you're a cheap date and lucky person.

        Yamaha makes a style guitar for everyone and no one has ever pitched a bitch about them on any board I've ever read. Safe bet.
        <div class="signaturecontainer">Be back when I get back. TTFN.</div>

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm used to a Les Paul neck so I like having a good chunk of wood in my hands, and I'm pretty sure the nut width on them is 1 11/16. Any comments on body style? Are there any generalizations on whether a particular body style accentuates lead playing more, or does it really not make a difference.
          <div class="signaturecontainer">Live to play LIVE <img src="http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/Totally_jammin_out.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Jammin'" class="inlineimg" /> <br />
          <br />
          Proud member of the <font size="2"><font color="Navy">Jet Setters (Jet City Lounge)</font></font><br />
          <br />
          <font size="1">My Rig:<br />
          Jet City JCA2112RC<br />
          <br />
          TU-2 &gt; V-847 &gt; ST2 &gt; Route 808 &gt; DD-3<br />
          <br />
          Epi Les Paul Std+ (BG dark set)<br />
          Epi '56 Les Paul Goldtop<br />
          Warmoth Musiclander (Invader/'59)</font><br />
          </div>

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm used to a Les Paul neck so I like having a good chunk of wood in my hands, and I'm pretty sure the nut width on them is 1 11/16. Any comments on body style? Are there any generalizations on whether a particular body style accentuates lead playing more, or does it really not make a difference.



            Down from the largest size - Jumbo, dreadnaught, mini jumbo, orchestra model (OM), 000, jumbo concert, grand concert, concert, 00 and parlor. Might have flip-flopped one or two there but there's so many these days I lose track. There's one-offs in between them all if you look around. I started with dreads, went to jumbo and then came down to one jumbo concert and one concert. If you're a fairly large person - frame, not girth - any size guitar should be fine for lead work. Remember you have to wrap an arm around the box and that changes the geometry of your picking. I'm gonna say the best size is the one you report back here with. Otherwise, I've seen petite little ladies tearing up guitars they can damned near crawl into.
            <div class="signaturecontainer">Be back when I get back. TTFN.</div>

            Comment


            • #7
              If you're going to be playing country/bluegrass, you'll need a dreadnaught or jumbo to cut through the mix. Also, it's a matter of tradition. Of course, if you're going to be amplified it doesn't matter as much. As for specifics, since you're in Canada, maybe a Simon & Patrick or Norman. A used Larriv
              Official HCAG “Theory-Challenged Hack”
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              • #8
                If you're going electro-acoustic, then I don't think the body size is really an issue.....it's more about nut width and action (= playability), after....well...sound is hard to agree on.....can't go wring with a spruce to and rosewood sides....(although I really like mahogany front/back/sides))...hmmm....welcome to the acoustic nightmare...lol!
                <div class="signaturecontainer"><b>&quot;You shouldn't make me sound like I'm knocking you....for someone who doesn't know how to play guitar, you play really well...&quot;</b><br />
                <i>(Yeah my GF again...)</i> <img src="http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/facepalm.gif" border="0" alt="" title="facepalm" class="inlineimg" /></div>

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                • #9
                  In that price range I dont think you can beat Crafter. . . . :


                  I don't think so either.
                  Howard

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Take a look at my Guild D25 for sale....its listed on our site in FS/FT.

                    It's an '82 solid wood Dred, spruce top and mahogany back and sides....carved back for extra Umphh.

                    This guitar is loud, real loud. can cut through almost any other guitars out there...This one is special as well...I've owned quite a few of this model and this Westerly built US model is one of the special ones...enough said.

                    There are a few on E-bay as well right now...but I doubt they have as few hours on them as mine, nor set up by a luthier.

                    Outside of used Guilds, there are used Larrivee dreds too...I love mine...usually a little more money though.

                    Masterbuilt AJ500M's are nice...lightly built, may not hold up over a lot of use, but very nice sounding guitars.

                    I love my all solid wood Recording King ...a lot. They are also in the $500 range.

                    Don't know if you can find an Eastman used or not, but I am very high on their sound and quality. $600 can buy you an entry level dred...a nice guitar.

                    Good luck.
                    Steve Goodman Fan/Eddie Wright Fan/Damon Fowler Fan<br><br>2012 Gibson J45 Standard Spruce/mahogany<br><br>1969 Framus 12 String Spruce/Mahogany<br>1990's Larrivee D2 (Spruce/Mahogany)<br>2007-8 Guild C0-2C (Spruce/Mahogany)<br>2009 Recording King RO-26 (Spruce/Mahogany)<br>1962-3 Gibson LG2 (Spruce/Mahogany)<br><br><br>

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                    • #11
                      I tend to recommend Normans as well built with decent woods. Style is hard; In some respects it helps to have a different feel between acoustic and electric - I move between mandolin, bass, acoustic guitar, mandola and electric guitar so the different feel of each helps.

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                      • #12
                        If you want an acoustic electric with a cutout go for a used pro level Tak. You can get them in the price range you quoted.
                        If you find your self alone riding in green fields with the sun in your face... do not be troubled, for you are in Elysium. And you are already dead! Brothers... what we do in life... echoes in eternity! (Gladiator)

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                        • #13
                          They make a contour bowl Ovation. (It's not round any more). If you're used to playing electric, go find a Balladeer with a deep contour bowl. They have great necks and superior electronics. OP-PRO is the preamp in most Balladeers and those things rock. I know I'm going to take some flak for telling you about Ovation. I have a 33 year old Martin D-35, a 20 year old Takamine, a Gretsch, a Yamaha, an Ovation Adamas, a Custom Legend 2079AX CCB, and 2 more Celebrity Ovations. You can take the shims out of the neck on these guitars and they'll play like a solid-body electric and still have that great acoustic sound. Remember "Crazy On You" by Heart was done on an Ovation and so were Cat Stevens and Glen Campbells stuff. Taylor's way out of your price range. If you want to spend the money then the Martin P series is a great guitar for electric guitarists.
                          <div class="signaturecontainer">&quot;If you played music. You had a great day.&quot;, Thanks, Mike <img src="http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/cool.gif" title="Cool" alt="" border="0"><br><br><br>Martin D-35<br>Ovation Adamas W597<br>Ovation Custom Legend 2079AX-CCB<br>Ovation 1773-AX Pro Series Classical<br>Takamine G406S &quot;New Yorker&quot; parlor<br>Takamine EG334C<br>Yamaha G230 Classical<br>Gretsch Americana Series &quot;Showdown&quot;</div>

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                          • #14
                            . . . I love my all solid wood Recording King ...a lot. They are also in the $500 range. . . . .


                            This is good advice too - excellent guitars
                            Howard

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                            • #15
                              +1 for the Ovation and the Contour Bowl.
                              .

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