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Revelation about my Epiphone AJ-18S NA


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I was in Guitar Center today with a friend who was interested in starting to play. He was looking at cheaper instruments, but I mentioned that he might be happier with something in the $300-$400 range.

 

We tried the various Yamaha f7x0s models ($200-$300) and the Seagull S6 ($399). The Seagull won hands down -- the tone was far superior to the Yamahas. This convinced my friend that he should spend a little more on his instrument.

 

Interestingly, we also tried the Epiphone PR-150 ($99 at MF) and it was a bit better than the Yamahas as well.

 

However, getting to the meat of my tail, we also picked up the Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500M ($449) and we really liked it - a bit better than the Seagull. Looking at this instrument, it matched very closely to my 7-8 year old Epiphone AJ-18S NA (made in Korea). The tone, the inlays, just about everything seemed to match almost exactly. The only difference is that the Masterbilt is all solid wood.

 

Thinking about what I paid for it (maybe $329 with case) and factoring in inflation, I guess the price would have been similar to the Masterbilt.

 

The moral of the story -- if you see a used AJ-18S available, snap it up. It will look and sound very similar to the current Masterbilt line. :thu:

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Ok, I may be a little red faced, but I think we actually played the Seagull S6 Entourage:

 

http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Seagull-?sku=512366

 

It didnt' have a pick guard. I just (ass)umed it was the S6 Original. In any event, it sounded very nice. I notice that I have really liked most cedar top guitars without pick guards that I've tried (Takamine EAN10C comes to mind).

 

Given the $100 difference between my local GC and MF, would GC be willing to match the price?

 

What have been folks experience?

 

--Kevin

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My experience is that if you're going to compare instruments it's best to make comparisons akin to cedar:cedar and spruce:spruce, but not cedar:spruce unless figuring which tonal flavour you prefer. Then there's the question of different body timbers.

 

In addition, you'll also find that the Seagull S6 Entourage is dreadnought, whereas the Yamaha FG Series are jumbo. Chalk and cheese. ;)

 

I'd dare say you prefer solid cedar topped dreadnoughts with lam cherry b&s to solid spruce topped jumbos with lam nato, rosewood and sycamore b&s. :thu:

 

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Price matching often varies, so it's best to ask at whichever store you're going to buy from.

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My experience is that if you're going to compare instruments it's best to make comparisons akin to cedar:cedar and spruce:spruce, but not cedar:spruce unless figuring which tonal flavour you prefer. Then there's the question of different body timbers.


In addition, you'll also find that the Seagull S6 Entourage is dreadnought, whereas the Yamaha FG Series are jumbo. Chalk and cheese.
;)

I'd dare say you prefer solid cedar topped dreadnoughts with lam cherry b&s to solid spruce topped jumbos with lam nato, rosewood and sycamore b&s.
:thu:

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Price matching often varies, so it's best to ask at whichever store you're going to buy from.

 

Thanks for the advice. We simply went in there and were looking at a certain price range. I applied his price range to the models that folks tend to recommend around here to boil it down to those (and we grabbed a few others as well).

 

His reaction and mine were pretty instantaneous when we played the Seagull after the Yamahas, it was like night and day (ok, chalk and cheese). Maybe he just likes cedar too. :)

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