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johnbarnesiii

Warmest Acoustic Guitar $500 or Less (Used)?

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Hi guys,

What are your opinions on the warmest, darkest, mellowest sounding acoustic guitar one could get for around $500 or less used?

I’ve been hearing about the Yamaha FG180 red label as an option that is known for its warmth and projection.

What are some other similar acoustics that would fare well here?

For example, do any of the lower end Martins like the X series (X Series Special X-000CE HPL) or the D-X1E (can be had new for around $500) fit the bill? I’m not sure how warm those would sound but perhaps other Martins can be had in that range in the used market?

Thanks in advance for any inspiration insights and models for me to consider!
 

 

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At this time, the FG-180s go for big bucks and you have to be very careful as you will be buying a guitar that is over 40 years old and could have a variety of issues.  Go to some guitar stores and try out the ones with Mahogany or Cedar tops if you are looking for warmth.  If you like one, buy it.  Art & Lutherie and Ibanez make some that are inexpensive.  On the other hand, if you want the real deal and are willing to pay a few bucks, try the Martin 000-15M - but be careful since once you try that one you won't settle for the cheaper options.

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I agree that a cedar or mahogany topped instrument will usually tend to sound warmer than one with a spruce top, so if that's the sound you're looking for, you should start by trying out a few of those if you can and see what you think. 

At this point I'd be skeptical about buying a used FG180... they're just too old and too many of them are tired, need neck resets, etc.Besides, I wouldn't really consider them to be among the "warmest" guitars either. The new "Red Label" Yamahas are very nice guitars, but about double your price range. 

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As Nabisco said, maybe something with a mahogany top. If you look you can find a used 15 series Martin for around $600. Same thing for a used Guild 120 series. Breedlove makes some all mahogany models. The Discovery series comes in at around $400 new with built in electronics. Play a bunch of guitars and see what tickles your ears.

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I seriously doubt you'll be able to find one at your price point, but I always liked the old Guild D25M's - they have mahogany tops on them. 

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I’ve never been one to agree, in this internet age, that you should always play before you pay, but if you have such a fine and specific need for a certain tone, this is what you must do.

Weird though, most people desiring such specifics usually understand money and it’s purchasing power better.

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One of the characteristics of the cedar and mahogany soundboards are their susceptibility to even the slightest increases in relative humidity. If you can manage 45% they sound very nice (build-dependent) but when they start to see a rise towards 50% they begin to dampen the sound significantly. It's the primary reason I divested myself of the cedar topped Breedlove concert I had. It was fussy, I'm fussier and I didn't need the competition.

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On 3/10/2020 at 10:09 PM, johnbarnesiii said:
Hi guys,

What are your opinions on the warmest, darkest, mellowest sounding acoustic guitar one could get for around $500 or less used?
[...]
Thanks in advance for any inspiration insights and models for me to consider!
 

 

Warm, dark, mellow...  Have you considered a nylon string?  That's what I usually pick up when I want that kind of tone.

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I always love a challenge.

I'm usually about 10-20% over budget.

I would bet there's no hard shell case with it. A nice TKL hard shell case would do this right.

Any mom and pop shop could set you up. Sweetwater. Musicians Friend/ Guitars Center too

Call up a Guild Dealer after this covid 19 thing dies down and peeps will be itching to move gear.

Kinda like a J45, style guitar.

 

 

 

 

 

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Here's a used on in my neck of the woods. I have shopped at Downtown sound before.

Joe Blumenthal owned the shop for 43 years. He retired in 2019, and the employees bought the store. I have purchased a Fender Twin many decades ago, and abut 15 years ago a Martin 00016GRT. 

 

I once asked employee Jim, how did Joe get his money to start a nice the store. Jim told me Joe was the heir to the Goober and Raisinette candy company. Joe was a bit quiet and to me a little weird. Very likable though. Employee Jim was my go too man.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blumenthal_Brothers_Chocolate_Company

https://reverb.com/item/32994803-guild-ds-240-vintage-sunburst-w-bag

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On 4/13/2020 at 1:45 PM, Mikeo said:

Here's a used on in my neck of the woods. I have shopped at Downtown sound before.

Joe Blumenthal owned the shop for 43 years. He retired in 2019, and the employees bought the store. I have purchased a Fender Twin many decades ago, and abut 15 years ago a Martin 00016GRT. 

 

I once asked employee Jim, how did Joe get his money to start a nice the store. Jim told me Joe was the heir to the Goober and Raisinette candy company. Joe was a bit quiet and to me a little weird. Very likable though. Employee Jim was my go too man.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blumenthal_Brothers_Chocolate_Company

https://reverb.com/item/32994803-guild-ds-240-vintage-sunburst-w-bag

 

The heir?  Whoa! I'm surprised he only had one shop.

Never crazy about Goobers myself, but I've never known anyone who didn't love Raisinets.

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You might be able to pickup a Yamaha AM3M or A3M used for around $500 Great guitars wonderful electronics.

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