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TestudoAubreii

Purchasing my "first" new guitar. Any help is greatly appreciated!

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Posted (edited)

Hello. As you can probably tell, I am brand new here, so thank you for reading and for having a great place to come for great information and conversation.

I am buying my first "new" guitar. I have been playing on and off for a bit, but pretty much always used hand-me-downs. I haven't purchased a guitar, until now!

I would like an electric acoustic and I am looking at these two (I am a strummer, if that helps):

  • Breedlove Pursuit Concert with Red Cedar Top Acoustic-Electric Guitar High Gloss Natural
  • Seagull Entourage Autumn Burst CW QIT Acoustic-Electric Guitar Autumn Burst

Does anyone have any experience with these two guitars and would be as so kind as to lend me some advice?

Thank you in advance for your time and help!

Edited by TestudoAubreii

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How hard of a strummer are you? I would say of the two I would probably go with the Seagull because it has a spruce top. You would be able to strum the Breedlove but the cedar top would not have as much headroom if you strum hard - and the wood itself is very prone to dents and scratches. Cedar is usually sought out by fingerpickers.

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24 minutes ago, kwakatak said:

How hard of a strummer are you? I would say of the two I would probably go with the Seagull because it has a spruce top. You would be able to strum the Breedlove but the cedar top would not have as much headroom if you strum hard - and the wood itself is very prone to dents and scratches. Cedar is usually sought out by fingerpickers.

Thank you for your reply. I strum most of the time and I can get into pretty hard at times. My budget tops out around the price of that Seagull ($519).

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I"ld look around more Yamaha make some Great guitar and so do others . Buying used is your best bang for bucks.Where are you located?? Look for solid wood construction Top + Back& sides. (At least the top should be solid)

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5 hours ago, TestudoAubreii said:

Thank you for your reply. I strum most of the time and I can get into pretty hard at times. My budget tops out around the price of that Seagull ($519).

Then it seems that of the two the Seagull is the easy decision.

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Personally in that budget range I stick with something used.

Save you money and save up for something you will want to keep for a lifetime.

In today's world 500 bucks doesn't get you that much.

 

Personally I'd rather the Breedlove

However I have not played that model

 

Yamaha also makes a fine guitar.

Once you plug an acoustic guitar in, you enter a whole didn't world.

You'll  find out quickly how the pick up really sounds,. Would you be plugging it in to a PA or using an acoustic amp?

Many folks that don't want to haul out some vintage Gibson or a Martin, to do bar work Like Takamine'ss too. Great for strumming 

 

Maybe a lower end Taylor. The Expression System 2 is really good. I have one in a GS Mini

799.

 

Taylor 114e Acoustic-Electric Guitar

 

 

Found one used on Reverb.

https://reverb.com/item/18512221-taylor-114e-grand-auditorium-acoustic-electric-2007-2015-natural

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You're looking at two very different guitars. Out of curiosity, why are you looking at those two? Have you played either guitar? If so, which did you prefer? In the end, get the one you like. I'm going to disagree with Mikeo and say $500 will get you a decent, playable guitar. No, it won't get you a pro level instrument but it will get you something an amateur can play for a long time.

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im going to disagree with depends, and tag mikeo on this... the “shiny” wears off the day after you buy that brand new guitar and see the exact same model for half the price, in great shape listed in your neighborhood...   save your money and buy a quality instrument. cheap guitars stop people from becoming guitarists every day.  buy something of good quality and  if you decide youre not going to persue it, it has resale value...    hand me downs in the guitar world can be a wonderful thing... the best, actually...  if its a quality instrument...   not for nothing, but if i had 500 dollars to spend on a guitar, id definitely be looking at the used market, no question...

i know i can get a much better instrument for the money if i can exercise a little patience and take a little time to look...   

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One more thing. Eventually someone is going to come along and say "Buy used." That's only a good idea if you know what to look for or you have a knowledgeable friend you can take along. A new $500 guitar won't put you off playing. One thing that will help is if you budget for what's called a "setup," which can make a guitar easier to play, but personally I find that most new guitars these days are pretty well set up from the factory. If you do decide on a used guitar don't buy something off of CraigsList, buy from an actual store that takes returns and exchanges. An experienced, knowledgeable player would be in a position to evaluate a potential purchase but you won't be.

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2 hours ago, DeepEnd said:

One more thing. Eventually someone is going to come along and say "Buy used." That's only a good idea if you know what to look for or you have a knowledgeable friend you can take along. A new $500 guitar won't put you off playing. One thing that will help is if you budget for what's called a "setup," which can make a guitar easier to play, but personally I find that most new guitars these days are pretty well set up from the factory. If you do decide on a used guitar don't buy something off of CraigsList, buy from an actual store that takes returns and exchanges. An experienced, knowledgeable player would be in a position to evaluate a potential purchase but you won't be.

Buying used on Ebay, or Craigslist I wouldn't recommend for a beginner, unless someone more experienced went with that person.

You could be looking at a poor set up, saddle cut too low that need to be replaces, a worn nut. Something like an overly dried out instrument  with a bowed top. Possibly even a neck reset. It could be to risky for a newbie.

I have seen new stuff sitting in shops, that needs work too. The Guitar Center is notorious for hanging instruments on the wall and folks just coming in to play then and beating the heck out of stuff. They are better at humidity control these days then they have been in past decades.

I was looking at a Gibson Hummingbird a few years back at the GC. I wasn't there for that guitar, but the instrument has a cracked and lifted  bridge.

How that would ever sell, I have no idea. 

$4000 ain't exactly chump change. I actually played it and sound quite amazing. Go figure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Smh. It was a simple question: choice A or choice B. Don’t complicate things, guys. 

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id give you the same advice,,kwak...  not complicated, just common sense.

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kwak, i get ya.. dont complicate, its a simple question....  but its not always the right question to be asked especially with beginners...  addressing this early on helps much in the things to come...  a lot of first questions come from a seat of “this looks nice”, or “ just like ——— plays”...   instead of need...   need be easy to play, need to sound pleasing, nay even inspiring!    helps to be a financially stable investment...  and someone else to take the hit on depreciation of a “new” anything  with the exception of toothbrushes, underwear or anything that touches mucosa...   example, i have a breedlove ac25sr+ something or other that i havent played in 6 years...  an 8 to 9 hundred investment that i just saw on reverb for 275 and a hundred bucks shipping...  a good set up costs me about 50 dollars if i dont do it..that comes with new strings and a good overall loving from my luthier friend in tally, gary hudson...  its much closer inline with his style, its solid sides, back and top...  and miles above the seagull for fit and finish, overall workmanship...  playability?  thats a toss up depending on the set up...  physical characteristics like hand/finger length, etc...  so, with a rig like that theres still room in the budget to pick up a decent little acoustic amp...   but hey, im just trying to help...  ymmv?

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20 hours ago, kwakatak said:

Smh. It was a simple question: choice A or choice B. Don’t complicate things, guys. 

Thus, my original advice stands: Buy the one you like best. Assuming they're both new (and a beginner has no business buying used IMHO for the reasons I already outlined), either would be a quality instrument.

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On 5/16/2020 at 1:56 PM, Voltan said:

kwak, i get ya.. dont complicate, its a simple question....  but its not always the right question to be asked especially with beginners...  addressing this early on helps much in the things to come...  a lot of first questions come from a seat of “this looks nice”, or “ just like ——— plays”...   instead of need...   need be easy to play, need to sound pleasing, nay even inspiring!    helps to be a financially stable investment...  and someone else to take the hit on depreciation of a “new” anything  with the exception of toothbrushes, underwear or anything that touches mucosa...   example, i have a breedlove ac25sr+ something or other that i havent played in 6 years...  an 8 to 9 hundred investment that i just saw on reverb for 275 and a hundred bucks shipping...  a good set up costs me about 50 dollars if i dont do it..that comes with new strings and a good overall loving from my luthier friend in tally, gary hudson...  its much closer inline with his style, its solid sides, back and top...  and miles above the seagull for fit and finish, overall workmanship...  playability?  thats a toss up depending on the set up...  physical characteristics like hand/finger length, etc...  so, with a rig like that theres still room in the budget to pick up a decent little acoustic amp...   but hey, im just trying to help...  ymmv?

Oh, I understand. I learned on a $35 piece of crap. I still have it, but it’s wall art now; the neck and top are toast. If the OP has actually played these two guitars already and could go either way then given the information he’s supplied I still say get the Seagull. They are not bad guitars. I’m sure he’ll stumble across a Taylor and fall in love later on but I’m not going to tell him “shift your focus from learning to play and start shopping around.” That’s counterintuitive IMO. 

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13 hours ago, kwakatak said:

. . . I’m not going to tell him “shift your focus from learning to play and start shopping around.” That’s counterintuitive IMO. 

I couldn't agree more. Sometimes we tend to make things difficult for new players than they need to be. Part of that is our somewhat understandable focus on acquiring and maintaining guitars vs. playing them.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/18/2020 at 7:26 PM, DeepEnd said:

I couldn't agree more. Sometimes we tend to make things difficult for new players than they need to be. Part of that is our somewhat understandable focus on acquiring and maintaining guitars vs. playing them.

its all part of the fun. but learning to discern instrument quality isnt that hard, its not some mystic sense... its hands on and you get that by experience...  both you and kwak are advocating that a student should actively seek a path of avoidance to a skill that should be naturally developing...  and from the questions being formed, theyre on the right track, in my opinion....     but to each their own...   i think playing it safe is for losers...  never having won a bet i never made...  you may have different experiences.      most teachers look for and nurture “teachable moments” instead of engaging in chest beating behaviors while the potential learning situation vanishes...  im guessing neither you or kwak have been formally employed as such?   

Edited by Voltan

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On 5/29/2020 at 3:38 AM, Voltan said:

its all part of the fun. but learning to discern instrument quality isnt that hard, its not some mystic sense... its hands on and you get that by experience...  both you and kwak are advocating that a student should actively seek a path of avoidance to a skill that should be naturally developing...  and from the questions being formed, theyre on the right track, in my opinion....     but to each their own...   i think playing it safe is for losers...  never having won a bet i never made...  you may have different experiences.      most teachers look for and nurture “teachable moments” instead of engaging in chest beating behaviors while the potential learning situation vanishes...  im guessing neither you or kwak have been formally employed as such?   

I wouldn't have normally seen this post except I was lurking and not signed in so I wasn't able to ignore your posts. Yes, you learn to discern instrument quality by experience, which the OP doesn't have. That's why IMHO a used instrument is a bad idea for a first guitar. YMMV. If he/she keeps at it he/she will have the opportunity to handle/play/examine used instruments and see for him/herself. You seem to be suggesting that I encourage the OP to make a potentially expensive mistake so he/she can learn from it and that strikes me as a tad sadistic rather than being a "teachable moment." No "chest beating" involved. I could give you my experience/credentials in terms of teaching/training but I doubt you'd care.

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1 hour ago, DeepEnd said:

I wouldn't have normally seen this post except I was lurking and not signed in so I wasn't able to ignore your posts. Yes, you learn to discern instrument quality by experience, which the OP doesn't have. That's why IMHO a used instrument is a bad idea for a first guitar. YMMV. If he/she keeps at it he/she will have the opportunity to handle/play/examine used instruments and see for him/herself. You seem to be suggesting that I encourage the OP to make a potentially expensive mistake so he/she can learn from it and that strikes me as a tad sadistic rather than being a "teachable moment." No "chest beating" involved. I could give you my experience/credentials in terms of teaching/training but I doubt you'd care.

look, i can read and comprehend...  youve stated as have i...  stfu.... 

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On 5/29/2020 at 4:38 AM, Voltan said:

its all part of the fun. but learning to discern instrument quality isnt that hard, its not some mystic sense... its hands on and you get that by experience...  both you and kwak are advocating that a student should actively seek a path of avoidance to a skill that should be naturally developing...  and from the questions being formed, theyre on the right track, in my opinion....     but to each their own...   i think playing it safe is for losers...  never having won a bet i never made...  you may have different experiences.      most teachers look for and nurture “teachable moments” instead of engaging in chest beating behaviors while the potential learning situation vanishes...  im guessing neither you or kwak have been formally employed as such?   

I assume that you're unfamiliar with the KISS protocol?

When I quit taking lessons the first two times about 35-40 years ago most of my teachers dogmatically followed the Mel Bay method and had me playing Polly Wolly Doodle, Taylor guitars was an upstart and most people were raving about their Ovations and Gibsons. My final teacher was actually a certified psychologist and tossed the text books aside and didn't suggest I buy a better guitar; he actually talked to me and asked me what I wanted to play.

Personally I think that care and maintenance of an instrument - and a healthy understanding of how it actually works - are things that are lacking in the advanced beginner level of guitar lessons. It amazes me how many "experienced" players can't change strings or even pull out the bridge pins properly. I'd stress learning those, trying different picks, experimenting with strings, having the instrument set up by a professional that - maybe even showing them how to use a capo - before even breathing a word about upgrading to somebody just starting out. Even bad guitars can be made to play or sound good to the player. Lord knows I ruined many instruments and blamed them for a time for my lack of progress in my decade of guitar lessons with 3 different teachers. It turned out the biggest obstacle was between my ears, not in my hands.

 

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4 hours ago, kwakatak said:

I assume that you're unfamiliar with the KISS protocol?

When I quit taking lessons the first two times about 35-40 years ago most of my teachers dogmatically followed the Mel Bay method and had me playing Polly Wolly Doodle, Taylor guitars was an upstart and most people were raving about their Ovations and Gibsons. My final teacher was actually a certified psychologist and tossed the text books aside and didn't suggest I buy a better guitar; he actually talked to me and asked me what I wanted to play.

Personally I think that care and maintenance of an instrument - and a healthy understanding of how it actually works - are things that are lacking in the advanced beginner level of guitar lessons. It amazes me how many "experienced" players can't change strings or even pull out the bridge pins properly. I'd stress learning those, trying different picks, experimenting with strings, having the instrument set up by a professional that - maybe even showing them how to use a capo - before even breathing a word about upgrading to somebody just starting out. Even bad guitars can be made to play or sound good to the player. Lord knows I ruined many instruments and blamed them for a time for my lack of progress in my decade of guitar lessons with 3 different teachers. It turned out the biggest obstacle was between my ears, not in my hands.

 

first, please...  im begging...  dont jump to conclusions.   assumptions and all that... im furking 63 human earth years, so far and didnt make it this far by being repetitively stupid...  don’t misunderstand, plenty of stupid and definitely not a one trial learner, yet, but i do catch on after a few gibbs slaps upside the ol gourd.  my first guitar book was also mel bay... but my instructor had played professionally for many years, was multi-instrumental, a bit of a character and also my grandfather. i knew the names of the bits and stuff and had a basic understanding of the workings, of an electric and acoustic guitar and lap steel guitar before i was ever taught to tune one.  i believe it helped instill a respect for the instrument as well as the art produced...   perspective can play into this...  how one sees the learning process...   i see it as fun!   something to tickle my brain for a moment, generally,(hopefully) leading to more confusion...  and the chance to do it again!   ive never considered learning as extra anything...     while others see it as drudgery...  to be avoided whenever feasible.  and all temperament in between...     i see your point, but i think the time to learn maintenance and care is with the first instrument, its a less expensive mistake field and a better understanding and respect from the start makes for faster and more efficient learning curves entirely...  same thing with piano @ 5 yrs old... had to know the parts, had to know the mechanics, the pedals, the names of all thise sauiggly things and what all thise italian words meant... AS you were beginning... this is foundational...   you dont know how to clean the spit out of your trumpet or sax, it costs you money... from day one... even on the cheap shtuff...  foundational. 

anyone i ever helped was first expected to know the parts of and which direction was “up” when moving on the neck...string position...   it reduces confusion.  interestingly, i believe ive learned more about playing guitar from playing gongs than i have from any human teacher...

pro set ups... i use a guy in tallahassee... gary hudson, he does work for people world wide and known to be a freak on detail...  i played music with him and still do a little studio work for him now and then...   ive met some interesting collectors and played vintage champagne because he knows i love old teles and gold tops...   hey man... come over for dinner, bring a couple guitars...  any issues with any of the stable? bring em!  he wont take money unless its something major so im stupid for not driving to tally, even if’n i can do it...   dinner...  meet new folks with cool guitars...   

 kwak, man, i gotta disagree with your opinion on the basics...   this aint advanced beginner “label it” bs...   its the language of the thing, speak it or be forced to take years to learn the biggest impediment to learning lies betwixt ones own ears...  oh, wait... you already know that... realization is key. 

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10 hours ago, kwakatak said:

Personally I think that care and maintenance of an instrument - and a healthy understanding of how it actually works - are things that are lacking in the advanced beginner level of guitar lessons. It amazes me how many "experienced" players can't change strings or even pull out the bridge pins properly. I'd stress learning those, trying different picks, experimenting with strings, having the instrument set up by a professional that - maybe even showing them how to use a capo

Agreed except I'm not sure about the "advanced beginner" part. Care of the instrument is fundamental. The question here is whether the learning should take place on an instrument in good condition or one that might need to be rescued. As long as a beginner has a playable guitar that sounds halfway decent there's no need to talk "upgrade." Beyond that, I played for years before I knew the correct way to use a capo. I'd just put it midway between two frets. A guy at a music store told me to put it as close to the fret as possible and my intonation problems went away.

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20 hours ago, Voltan said:

first, please...  im begging...  dont jump to conclusions.   assumptions and all that... im furking 63 human earth years, so far and didnt make it this far by being repetitively stupid...  don’t misunderstand, plenty of stupid and definitely not a one trial learner, yet, but i do catch on after a few gibbs slaps upside the ol gourd.  my first guitar book was also mel bay... but my instructor had played professionally for many years, was multi-instrumental, a bit of a character and also my grandfather. i knew the names of the bits and stuff and had a basic understanding of the workings, of an electric and acoustic guitar and lap steel guitar before i was ever taught to tune one.  i believe it helped instill a respect for the instrument as well as the art produced...   perspective can play into this...  how one sees the learning process...   i see it as fun!   something to tickle my brain for a moment, generally,(hopefully) leading to more confusion...  and the chance to do it again!   ive never considered learning as extra anything...     while others see it as drudgery...  to be avoided whenever feasible.  and all temperament in between...     i see your point, but i think the time to learn maintenance and care is with the first instrument, its a less expensive mistake field and a better understanding and respect from the start makes for faster and more efficient learning curves entirely...  same thing with piano @ 5 yrs old... had to know the parts, had to know the mechanics, the pedals, the names of all thise sauiggly things and what all thise italian words meant... AS you were beginning... this is foundational...   you dont know how to clean the spit out of your trumpet or sax, it costs you money... from day one... even on the cheap shtuff...  foundational. 

anyone i ever helped was first expected to know the parts of and which direction was “up” when moving on the neck...string position...   it reduces confusion.  interestingly, i believe ive learned more about playing guitar from playing gongs than i have from any human teacher...

pro set ups... i use a guy in tallahassee... gary hudson, he does work for people world wide and known to be a freak on detail...  i played music with him and still do a little studio work for him now and then...   ive met some interesting collectors and played vintage champagne because he knows i love old teles and gold tops...   hey man... come over for dinner, bring a couple guitars...  any issues with any of the stable? bring em!  he wont take money unless its something major so im stupid for not driving to tally, even if’n i can do it...   dinner...  meet new folks with cool guitars...   

 kwak, man, i gotta disagree with your opinion on the basics...   this aint advanced beginner “label it” bs...   its the language of the thing, speak it or be forced to take years to learn the biggest impediment to learning lies betwixt ones own ears...  oh, wait... you already know that... realization is key. 

Ok. Yeah, I think that as soon as you get your hands to work you should learn to tweak things. Most drivers don’t know how to change the oil on their cars though. 

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Gosh, all the lengthy advice, good intentions, and ego is thick enough to cut with a spoon! 😛

OP, you ever think maybe trombone might be better?  

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