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Which ONE is the best?

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  • Which ONE is the best?

    Hi everyone, I want to start playing a guitar or just a ukulele.
    I don't have much of a budget but of course I prefer a brand that will last longer.
    Been searching online and found several reviews like this one,

    but I still want to hear the opinion of those who really plays.
    Can anyone suggest what is good to buy?
    Last edited by Taffeety; 02-10-2018, 05:46 AM. Reason: guitar, brand of guitar, cheap guitar

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum. Please don't take what I'm going to say wrong, but I read the article and came to two conclusions

    1 - they don't say anything
    2 - everything they say is true

    Tell us a whole lot more about Taffeety - what kind of music you want to play, what you aspire to, what your real budget is, why you think you want a brand that "will last longer" (ie - is this an investment)? You'll find lots of knowledgeable folks here - we often like different things but there are some things that we agree on.


    • #3
      When I first started driving, just before the last Ice Age, my parents were going to help me get a car for college. My mother suggested a few really low end things. My father commented that "beginners need a reliable car more then experienced drivers. They have enough to worry about without wondering if the brakes are about to fail." I think that advice carries over somewhat into the guitar world.

      You don't need $300 to get a decent starter, but a $29.95 guitar isn't going to help. It will be a struggle to play because of sharp frets, bad tuners, terrible action, etc. Buy used if possible, checking out pawn shops and Craigslist for example. You will get a better guitar for your budget. When in doubt, you can look at the user reviews of guitars here on Harmony Central. I would offer that a reasonable starter could be had for $100-150 dollars.
      Last edited by Axisplayer; 02-10-2018, 04:50 PM.


      • #4
        I'll add another comment - your article reviews five fairly high end manufactures and concludes " the clear all around winner is Fender". You are posting your question on an acoustic forum, I assume you are somewhat interested in an acoustic guitar. In my humble opinion (I get to work on a lot of different guitars so I get to see what is wrong with them) - in my opinion Fender makes the worst acoustic guitars of those five companies. If you want to play loud amplified electric rock and roll, then Fender might be one of the best (I happen to like Gibson and Epiphone electrics more, and frankly, Taylors electrics are kind of cool)

        But to put it in perspective of your original post, if you "don't have much of a budget" the clear winner are the entry level Yamahas.


        • 1001gear
          1001gear commented
          Editing a comment
          This is a redirect so maybe he's just lost in the details.

        • Freeman Keller
          Freeman Keller commented
          Editing a comment
          1001, I'm not sure what that means.

      • #5
        Any decent brand will do nicely as long as it's in decent shape. Yamaha gets a lot of love but Alvarez, Epiphone, Takamine and others also make a nice low-end guitar. I happen to have an Ibanez that I like, even though they don't get much respect. The first thing to do is set a budget; if you can't find something decent for $200 you're probably in trouble, and you can often find a perfectly reasonable guitar for $150, less if it's used. If--and that's a big *If*--you know someone who knows guitars, you can take him/her along and look at used ones. If not, you're on your own and you need to proceed with caution. Here's a guide to things to look for:

        Your profile just says "Arizona." Since Arizona covers about 114,000 square miles that doesn't narrow it down much but the climate tends to be fairly dry. In general, dryness is the enemy of an acoustic guitar. Here's a guide to symptoms of a dry guitar: Excess humidity isn't good either but I doubt you'll need to worry about it.

        A guitar that you like the looks of might encourage you to play but in the end it's all about tone. Avoid a "pretty" guitar with fancy woods or a cool-looking paint job; they're often a sign some corners have been cut somewhere else, especially in a budget guitar.

        While you can go to pretty much any Guitar Center or pawn shop, some of us like to support mom and pop music stores. CraigsList is also an option but you won't get to spend as much time with the guitar before you buy.

        If you find something you like, strum it and see how it sounds. You should get clear, ringing tones; a note that sounds like "thud," with no sustain, is a sign that either the strings are in very bad shape or the guitar has problems. Fret each string up and down the neck; you shouldn't get any buzzes, although it's sometimes hard for a beginner to get a clear tone. That's when a guitar playing friend comes in handy. You can also ask a sales person to play or just strum the guitar. Most other guitarists can make my guitar sound much better than I can. If you're in doubt, move on to another guitar, if necessary another store. If you have any other questions, come on back. We're here to help.

        Once you find "the one," let us know. We like New Guitar Days. And be sure to post pictures.
        Official HCAG “Theory-Challenged Hack”
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        Person-2-Person on the Web


        • #6
          That article is terrible. Forget everything it says. Yes, Fender electric guitars CAN be great, but they can be dogs, too. And their acoustics are outstandingly unimpressive. And - Yamaha and Epiphone? They can be okay, but best buys? Good grief!

          If you're torn between uke and guitar, you probably want an acoustic instrument, right? If you're undecided, keep in mind that it's much better to start on an acoustic guitar than an electric, because if you want to switch later, it's easier to go from acoustic to electric than from electric to acoustic.

          Why? you won't need to buy or learn to work amps and pedals, and you'll develop stronger muscles than you would on an electric. (People who start on electrics have a notoriously hard time moving to acoustic.)

          If you want a cheap but well-made acoustic guitar, I'd do one of two things:

          1. Buy a used guitar. Have a friend who knows about them help you. Old US-made Guilds are a great buy, as are the newer US- and Canada-made Larrivees. Both are grossly underpriced. I have a seventies Guild D-35 and a seventies Martin D-28. They're both play and sound great, but the Guild cost a third what the Martin did.

          Check out to get an idea of what's out there. For answers to questions about Guilds, the good folks at are hugely helpful. Larrivee has a forum, too:

          2. Buy a Canadian guitar. and are both better than their Pacific rim competitors at similar prices. So you can keep your money out of the Asian sweatshops and have an good instrument at the same time. They're both keepers, even if you decide to get another pricier instrument down the line.
          Last edited by Delmont; 02-25-2018, 12:53 PM.

          ( •)—:::
          Sent on my six-string jumbo ukelele


          • DeepEnd
            DeepEnd commented
            Editing a comment
            1. Yes and no. Buying a used guitar works if you know what to look for in one. If you don't, you're better off buying new.

            2. Canadian guitars are good for the money and have the advantage of not being built in sweatshops but "better than their Pacific rim competitors at similar prices"? Not in my experience. I'm particularly not a fan of Art & Lutherie, although Seagull, Simon & Patrick, and Norman (all also Godin products) are very good.

        • #7
          DeepEnd -

          Yup, absolutely! That's why I said that for used guitars, it's good to take a friend who knows guitars.

          Yes about Norman and Simon & Patrick, too, but my impression is that they cost more than the other two. For entry level, I think you're likely to pay less for Art & Lutherie and Seagull. (And get what you pay for.) But I haven't browsed any of their prices for a while, so it could be they're affordable, too.

          Good points! Glad you chimed in.
          Last edited by Delmont; 02-25-2018, 08:11 PM.

          ( •)—:::
          Sent on my six-string jumbo ukelele


          • #8
            In my opinion when selecting a guitar, especially an acoustic, the most important thing is how the specific guitar plays and sounds. Comparing overall brands would be a generalization. There's various models within each brand, sometimes copies of the same model can vary in sound and quality. I would recommend going into a store and physically try at least 10 different guitars until you find one that clicks with you. Also, higher price doesn't necessarily mean its better. Ironically, my main acoustic guitar (Greg Bennett brand) which I bought 10 years ago for about $250 played and sounded better than all the $2000 guitars in the store.. lol.
            Moderator - The Singer's Forum
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            • DeepEnd
              DeepEnd commented
              Editing a comment
              In case you didn't know, Greg Bennett is the name Samick is currently using for their guitars. They're the largest maker of guitars in the world and they can make a good one when they want. I'm not surprised you like yours.

            • davie
              davie commented
              Editing a comment
              Yep, I know. The big "S" logo on the headstock is a dead giveaway. lol
              I've actually owned two, the one I owned before was also a Greg Bennett Samick acoustic.

          • #9
            1. Fender
            2. Gibson
            3. Epiphone
            4. Yamaha
            5. Taylor

            Those are the (ordered) 5 best guitars in the article.

            Article fails the test for expertise, IMHO.

            If it plays and sounds right, it is right. It could be any one of those 5 brands for you, or none of them, so don't go putting your research time in articles like that one to steer you. They aren't going to help you any more than coming here and asking for recommendations will. Most, if not all the people who post to this forum, learned that way. We were all playing and had bought what we liked before the internet came along as a pretense for saving people the task of doing their own ground work. Get out and play some guitars.
            - The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H.L. Mencken


            • #10
              Originally posted by Idunno View Post
              . . . Get out and play some guitars.
              No sacrifice is too great!
              ( •)—:::
              Sent on my six-string jumbo ukelele