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Buying a guitar sight unseen out of country

GUEST,Living in Panama 13 Oct 10 - 12:03 PM
GUEST,999 13 Oct 10 - 12:44 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 13 Oct 10 - 12:52 PM
dwditty 13 Oct 10 - 01:04 PM
GUEST 13 Oct 10 - 01:13 PM
olddude 13 Oct 10 - 01:48 PM
Little Hawk 13 Oct 10 - 06:40 PM
Midchuck 13 Oct 10 - 07:10 PM
michaelr 13 Oct 10 - 07:19 PM
Little Hawk 13 Oct 10 - 07:24 PM
GUEST,Guest Betsy 13 Oct 10 - 07:32 PM
Little Hawk 13 Oct 10 - 07:58 PM
dick greenhaus 13 Oct 10 - 08:21 PM
Crowhugger 13 Oct 10 - 08:36 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 13 Oct 10 - 10:40 PM
GUEST,kendall 14 Oct 10 - 10:58 AM
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Subject: Tech: Buying a guitar sight unseen
From: GUEST,Living in Panama
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 12:03 PM

I am living in Panama and with no good music stores around to try out guitars It's hard to pick one out by just reading the forums,I currently have a Ovation Celebrity and chose it because of the weather down here being hot and humid and figured it has less wood to warp as the back and sides are plastic....Right it does but playability is not there and the action is terrible!

I have been using it for about six months and am ready to upgrade to something with better action and a wider fretboard and less pressure required to prevent buzzing, I have big hands with fat fingers, A buddies Seagull is much easier to play.

Can you help me choose a easy to play guitar (good action and wide fretboard) under $1000 that will stand up to the hot humid weather and have guaranteed good action out of the box?
Some of the models I have looked at are as follows:

Taylor 110ce or 114ce..Pricey and I think laminated?

Seagull Performer or SWS Maritime in rosewood..solid wood on the sws

Larrivee D-03 or L-03 at the top of my price range (a little too high)

Epiphone Masterbuilt DR500MCE I heard electronics weren't the best

Blueridge BR 140A all solid but heard action varies out of box.

Sorry for the long post, Most of the music I like is Rock/Folk,Right now I strum but am interested more in fingerpicking..Any help is greatly appreciated...Thanks in advance.


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Subject: RE: Buying a guitar sight unseen out of country
From: GUEST,999
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 12:44 PM

Have you considered a nylon string guitar? They are available lots, and the cash outlay isn't as heavy usually as steel string guitars.


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Subject: RE: Buying a guitar sight unseen out of country
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 12:52 PM

I'd go cautious with the £££$$$
and look for some suitable decent quality used 'bargain' off ebay...


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Subject: RE: Buying a guitar sight unseen out of country
From: dwditty
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 01:04 PM

I would have a shop properly set up the ovation first. Set up is required for all new guitars and also should be checked regularly.


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Subject: RE: Buying a guitar sight unseen out of country
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 01:13 PM

Not too sure if I would like a nylon string guitar,As I said setting a guitar up around here is pretty much non-existent,That's why I want to get something already ready to go out of the box.
I straightened my neck on my Ovation guitar with the truss rod and removed the shim under the strings and because of the way the pickup is It can't be lowered any more without eliminating it.


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Subject: RE: Buying a guitar sight unseen out of country
From: olddude
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 01:48 PM

The Ovations can sound really nice. I think I also would try a setup first. It can make a world of difference with just a little adjustment. If not, me I would then look at seagull's .. I never played a bad one. Maybe someone has, I haven't. I don't own one for I don't need another guitar but if I did, I would look at one for sure


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Subject: RE: Buying a guitar sight unseen out of country
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 06:40 PM

I should think you'd be pretty safe with a Larrivee, a Seagull, or a Taylor. Yamaha guitars also tend to be moderately priced, well made, and reliable.

If possible, find a friend down in Panama who is already well experienced in playing good acoustic guitars and who knows a little about doing setup too. There have got to be such people down there, and if you look around some, you can probably find one.

There is nothing better for a beginner than to take an experienced guitarist along when shopping for a guitar in a small country. I was in Trinidad once and I helped a local friend there pick out a nylon string guitar at the best music store we could find (which wasn't too great!). I must have tried 20 or more guitars before I found one that was reasonably good. Most of them were downright terrible. I finally did find one that was well set up, nice action, intonation okay, everything basically allright, and he bought it. We were there for about 2 hours trying one guitar after another, and I've never seen so many lousy quality instruments in my life before! ;-) The guys in the store were amazed at my thoroughness....I think they thought I was a visiting musical celebrity or something. Maybe George Harrison or Eric Clapton or someone like that. LOL! It was fun.


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Subject: RE: Buying a guitar sight unseen out of country
From: Midchuck
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 07:10 PM

It's probably outside of your budget, but in that climate you really want a used CA or Rainsong.

Peter


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Subject: RE: Buying a guitar sight unseen out of country
From: michaelr
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 07:19 PM

This is what you need in a tropical climate.


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Subject: RE: Buying a guitar sight unseen out of country
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 07:24 PM

Yes, a Rainsong carbon fibre guitar would be ideal in the tropics. Weather will not affect it.


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Subject: RE: Buying a guitar sight unseen out of country
From: GUEST,Guest Betsy
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 07:32 PM

Would you buy a pair of expensive shoes,by mail order,to wear in Panama without putting them on your feet ?.
Guitars are a VERY personal thing and what suits one doen't necessarily suit another.
Might be woth a flight to the nearest available city in the USA - to play as many many guitars as possibe (even second hand) than doing what you suggest. I write as a person from the UK.
It's a big commitment / investment and if you want to enjoy it for many years to come - you really need to get what suits YOU .


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Subject: RE: Buying a guitar sight unseen out of country
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 07:58 PM

That's true. However, it all depends on finances and other practical considerations too.


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Subject: RE: Buying a guitar sight unseen out of country
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 08:21 PM

Do you know anyone in the US whose opinion on instruments you trust? If so, let him/her pick one out for you.


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Subject: RE: Buying a guitar sight unseen out of country
From: Crowhugger
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 08:36 PM

I love my Larrivee, maybe you can find one used, nice action and great for both picking and strumming, folk & blues. Mine isn't miked so I can't comment on that. They're built in a humid climate. Mine has a fairly wide fretboard, but not as wide as classical (nylon stringed) guitars, which you may find is the best suggestion. Remember, if you don't like it, or if it's too narrow for your fingertips you can sell it and try again. As you said there's a lack of good music stores, so there should be a fairly hungry market for good guitars that simply don't suit you.

Best of luck, don't give up the hunt.


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Subject: RE: Buying a guitar sight unseen out of country
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 13 Oct 10 - 10:40 PM

its late and i'm bored waiting for indigestion mints to do their magic
before i got to bed..

so..

a forum for ex pats in Panama:


"Does anyone know of a good music store (similar to Guitar Center) in Panama City? "

http://www.panamaforum.com/living-panama/11516-music-instrument-stores.html


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Subject: RE: Buying a guitar sight unseen out of country
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 10:58 AM

Midchuck has a carbon fiber guitar. Ask him.
Other than that I would recommend a hand made Apollo guitar. I have one and I love it. Jacqui has one and she loves hers.


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