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A little guitar-buying advice, please

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Gary T 09 Jul 02 - 10:29 AM
GUEST,Brian 09 Jul 02 - 11:59 AM
Wesley S 09 Jul 02 - 01:40 PM
C-flat 09 Jul 02 - 01:42 PM
Mudlark 09 Jul 02 - 01:50 PM
breezy 09 Jul 02 - 03:05 PM
GUEST,Songster Bob 09 Jul 02 - 03:39 PM
catspaw49 09 Jul 02 - 04:16 PM
GUEST,Richard Bridge with no cookie 09 Jul 02 - 04:39 PM
Allan Dennehy 09 Jul 02 - 05:08 PM
Gary T 09 Jul 02 - 06:50 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 09 Jul 02 - 07:07 PM
GUEST,Ian Darby 09 Jul 02 - 10:13 PM
Allan Dennehy 10 Jul 02 - 10:06 AM
GUEST,Brian 10 Jul 02 - 10:28 AM
Allan Dennehy 10 Jul 02 - 11:40 PM
GUEST,Stringkiller 19 Oct 02 - 09:07 PM
53 20 Oct 02 - 10:42 AM
Acme 21 Oct 02 - 10:30 AM
Amos 21 Oct 02 - 11:12 AM
Jack the Sailor 21 Oct 02 - 11:46 AM
Gary T 29 Oct 02 - 11:56 PM
GUEST,Lanfranc at the orifice 30 Oct 02 - 06:11 AM
kendall 30 Jun 06 - 07:50 AM
GUEST,Texas Guest 30 Jun 06 - 01:37 PM
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Peter T. 01 Jul 06 - 10:21 AM
*daylia* 01 Jul 06 - 10:44 AM
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Subject: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: Gary T
Date: 09 Jul 02 - 10:29 AM

I checked out a guitar a couple weeks ago, and decided not to buy it. Now I'm having second thoughts. I think some unbiased input may help settle my internal debating.

I play left-handed guitar, so my choices are limited. I currently have a Simon & Patrick cedar-top which I play regularly and like quite well. Its main drawback is it's rather thick at the large end, just a tad uncomfortable to hold. I plan to keep it as my knock-around intrument. I also have two Yamahas which are pretty good, but on the heavy side. I intend to sell/trade them.

While on a trip out of town, I played a Washburn D10SCELH. It's the most playable guitar I've ever tried. It's light, has a solid spruce top, felt good to hold, and has a built-in pickup with nice controls. In those ways, it matches my "dream" guitar.

The main drawback is I was unimpressed with the sound. The bass seemed weak, and the treble a bit tinny. I also noticed it was made in China, which worries me. It did say hand-crafted, I just associate China with substandard goods.

If the sound could be brought up to a better level, I think I'd really enjoy having this guitar. I probably know better, but I'm wondering if new strings (I favor John Pearce) and some aging could accomplish that.

This guitar is too far away for me to see it again. I'd have to have it shipped in and hope for the best, not too reassuring a strategy. The main reason I'm still thinking about it is the playability. I've had all my current guitars set up professionally, and have no reason to fault that. But on this Washburn I was able to make some of the tough chords that elude me on the others. That is something I find very appealing.

Your thoughts?


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: GUEST,Brian
Date: 09 Jul 02 - 11:59 AM

I don't claim to be an expert on instruments, but have been through the buying process quite a few times. I can't advise you as such (your money, your decision, etc), but can only say how I have felt when faced with this situation.

Personnally, I look at it as buying the whole package (comfort, feel, playability, sound, etc). If there's one area that does not impress me, I won't buy. It seems to me that the best you are hoping for from this instrument, is that new strings and age will make the sound adequate, rather than good. Is that enough? I would want to buy an instrument that sounded good from the outset. Yes, I would experiment with different strings to try to improve that sound, but I would need to be happier with the starting point than you seem to be. I don't feel that reaching the tough chords would be compensation if I didn't like the sound they made.

I understand the frustration of playing a lot of 'nearly' guitars before finding what I really wanted, but felt it was worth the wait. I will also add I didn't have the added complication of looking for a 'leftie'.

As I said at the outset, I can only give my opinion, the decision is yours.

Good luck,

Brian


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: Wesley S
Date: 09 Jul 02 - 01:40 PM

I have to agree with Brian. I doubt that you'll love the sound later if you don't like it now. It's a shame you live so far away and can't try it with new strings. Where do you live ? Are there any decent stores around ? Have you considered having someone like Elderly or Mandolin Bros ship you something on approval ? They usually give you around 48 hours to try it out before you decide to keep it or not. Keep us posted. I hope you find something you like.


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: C-flat
Date: 09 Jul 02 - 01:42 PM

Unless you intend to use your guitar through a sound system that could compensate for the lack of bass response and trim the treble end, I would advise against buying. It is possible to get everything that you want, in terms of playability, sound, etc. but usually at a price!
Personally, sound/tone would be very high on my list of essentials.


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: Mudlark
Date: 09 Jul 02 - 01:50 PM

I understand the temptation of a more easily played instrument...but at the end of the day, sound is everything. What good are all those illusive chords if they don't sound great, no matter how easy they are to play. Especially as you are looking for this to be your main guitar, not just a second stringer, I'd go with your first gut reaction. Luckily, searching for the perfect guitar can be almost as much fun as finding it. Good luck!


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: breezy
Date: 09 Jul 02 - 03:05 PM

I've heard of guitars broken in transit lately and would never let it be posted.
You must be satisfied with the sound then the play -ability.
Try out lots and lots and dont be in a hurry.
Compare Martins and taylors and the rest, all ranges, find out what artistes are playing.
Made in china doesnt ring true
If you want a custom then go to the craftsmen, try them at their workshops.
Not having any idea where you are based I cant be anymore specific. P.m me if your in S.E or S.W Eng
Happy hunting


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: GUEST,Songster Bob
Date: 09 Jul 02 - 03:39 PM

I agree with the rest of the posters in that if the sound, which is what you get a guitar for, isn't right, then you'll nag yourself and tinker and eventually sell it. If it's cheap enough, that's not all that bad a process -- you can learn about setup and tone factors and all that -- but only if it's cheap enough to sell later without worry.

Now, if you can remember what made it so playable, you can look for that aspect of construction, that feature, on other instruments. Was it the width of the neck? The thickness of same? The contour of the fingerboard (called "radius;" it's a big deal to some electric guitar players)? The action? [If it's the latter, that's a setup factor that can be adjusted on any good guitar.]

You mentioned the size of the "big end," meaning, I take it, the body. Well, smaller-bodied guitars aren't so boomy in the bass department, so that's not going to change, no matter what make you buy. If you're used to a Dreadnought's sound, a parlor guitar isn't going to sound the same. It may sound very good, and might even be more balanced (which is the hallmark of the "Grand Concert" -- Martin 000 and OM sizes), but it's not going to be quite so bass-heavy and assertive in those low notes.

If you have the opportunity -- or if you can MAKE the opportunity -- play several makes and models in different body sizes, from small parlor to jumbo to grand concert to dreadnought. Then go with what feels and sounds like the best compromise. If this one was the first smaller guitar you've tried out, try several similar models from other makers, and hope against hope that you'll stumble on a yard-sale price for That One guitar. And if you don't, you'll at least know better what it is you're looking for.

Good luck.

(Songster) Bob Clayton


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: catspaw49
Date: 09 Jul 02 - 04:16 PM

Yeah......It's always the sound.....But you know that. I'd keep looking.

What I am sure of is that you have great taste in jams and jellies........We really enjoy it....and we truly did enjoy the visit! Glad we got together!!!! You and Karen are special folks.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: GUEST,Richard Bridge with no cookie
Date: 09 Jul 02 - 04:39 PM

Had a Washburn d10 once. Don't.

Look about for a Sigma, if you want a Martin-ish sound and are on a budget.

If you're a chord player, try Epiphone.

If you want a biting clear treble (but not tizzy) and clear but light bass, try Landola.

If you want a big bass thud... harder


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: Allan Dennehy
Date: 09 Jul 02 - 05:08 PM

I have a D10 which I bought on a (drunken) whim. Its black, easy to play, looks great on the wall but the sound is crap and even the best strings wont make it sound good. My advice is: be patient, save some more money up and get the guitar of your dreams, the one you want to be buried with you! Let us know how you get on. Good luck. Allan from Copenhagen


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: Gary T
Date: 09 Jul 02 - 06:50 PM

Thank you all for the replies. You've reaffirmed what I essentially knew, but was irrationally hoping could be dodged around--it's simply got to sound right. This particular guitar, I'm afraid, wasn't "it," though it came close in several aspects.

Back to the search. Thanks all.


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 09 Jul 02 - 07:07 PM

Had a 12 string equivalent of a D-10 once. It almost made me never want to play a 12 string again. Traded it for a mic. Have a friend with a 6 string D-10 which is the worst sounding guitar I've ever heard that wasn't meant to be a toy.

If you want to stick in the Washburn price range check out Dean guitars. Their instruments sound good, play well and look great. I've bought two, a reso for me and a beautiful flamed maple thing for my daughter.

Or, if you're willing to spend a little more, check out Martin's 15 series. Of Martin's current crop of "cheaper than standard series" guitars the 15's sound best to me. I have a 00-15 and a J12-15 and love them both.

Happy Hunting

Bruce


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: GUEST,Ian Darby
Date: 09 Jul 02 - 10:13 PM

I read an interview with Mike Chapman years ago.

He said one of the things you should do when trying a new guitar is to "fret a chord and hit the strings as hard as you can."

If you can hear each string without the sound turning in to mush its probably a good 'un.

Also bear in mind that it takes a couple of years for the guitar to settle, which takes into account the moisture in the wood stabilising, and the glue drying out.

Then there's the thing about 'playing the instrument in.'

Also, I can't understand why most of the guitars on sale are fitted with diabolical strings, and need a set-up before they're fit to play in the first place...


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: Allan Dennehy
Date: 10 Jul 02 - 10:06 AM

I've always wondered if "playing the instrument in" is an old wives tale or what?


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: GUEST,Brian
Date: 10 Jul 02 - 10:28 AM

Yes Allan, it's just a tale we tell out old wives. 'Sorry dear, I can't do the garden, I must spend the next twenty years playing my nice new guitar.' :-)

Seriously. No it isn't. As I understand it, the wood drys over time, and settles into the tension that the strings place on it. Playing improves the resonance of the wood in this new state, and over time the sound quality 'blossoms'.

I'm sure one of the experts will fill in more details on the subject.

Brian


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: Allan Dennehy
Date: 10 Jul 02 - 11:40 PM

Thanks Brian. I like the bit about the garden.


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: GUEST,Stringkiller
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 09:07 PM

Gary T,
You answered your own question - everything felt right except the SOUND ;-(
So isn't that information/feeling/intution/paradigm etc.. enough to let your own powers of deduction guide you?
Isn't this what the quest for the Ultimate guitar is, the sound and your feeling that this it or it's wonderful, etc... BUT if there is something not quite right that's more than enough to move on?
Maybe try a Taylor?
Ciao
Stringkiller
Http://www.geocities.com/stringkiller
Gee ... I feel I sound just like a marriage counsellor, so what?


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: 53
Date: 20 Oct 02 - 10:42 AM

Go for the Taylor or a Takamine.


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: Acme
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 10:30 AM

I've been reading a couple of these guitar threads, and hoped Don Firth might wade in on the subject. Don, are you out there?

SRS


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: Amos
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 11:12 AM

My two bits FWIW is to go for the best Martin you can afford.

I consider them the standard up to which all other brands must strive.

(What a terrible sentence!)


A


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 11:46 AM

With all due respect to the other posters, Martin and Taylor are not the only answers. If you want heavier bass, Taylor is really not really an option.

Since your Simon and Patrick has the sound you like, maybe you should just change the way you hold it. I've seen some very small people playing dreadnaughts and jumbos comfortably, and playing them well. Sheryl Crows's Gibson J-200 looks almost as big as her.

If you need to buy another guitar, a good balance of great sound and low price is Seagull. A quite a few professional and semi-pro musicians I know play Seagull 6's.

A guitar is for making music, there is nothing more important than the sound. At your stage of playing (I take it you are not a beginner), when shopping for a guitar make sure is is well made and has a solid top rather than laminate. This will ensure that it will improve with age. Try the neck for comfort playability and intonation and above all listen! If you already have an OK guitar then your next one should sound so good to you and feel so good in your hands that you smile every time you see it and never want to put it down. I have two like that so far, a Seagull "A" and a 1964 Gibson j-45, plus 6 more guitars which I don't play anymore. I have a Sigma and and Epiphone, OK starter guitars but Taiwanese made. Well constructed, but without soul.

If you want to look at a website where this topic is covered ad infinitum and ad nausium, try www.acousticguitar.com. The website for Acousti Guitar magazine. Go to the discussion forums, "Gear" and you'll see 90,000 posts on this and related topics.

Good luck!

Rob Dale


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: Gary T
Date: 29 Oct 02 - 11:56 PM

I find myself liking the sound of my S&P more and more as time goes by. I have changed the way I hold it, now at about a 45' angle, like most classical players. As far as a "dream" guitar, I'll keep my eyes open, but I expect I'll have one custom-made by a luthier friend (after saving up for a while).

Thanks to all for your insight and ideas.


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: GUEST,Lanfranc at the orifice
Date: 30 Oct 02 - 06:11 AM

I have three Martins and four Washburns, so I feel a bit qualified to help. I also owned an S&P for a while, but disposed of it to someone who was more gentle with their guitars, as I felt that the finish was fragile in the extreme. Ditto (since they come from the same stable) Seagulls.

You don't state your budget, but I would always recommend spending as much as you can afford to buy a guitar with good playability, tone and intonation. Whilst the Washburn D10 series is just about their cheapest offering, don't be put off by the "Made in China" label, they do vary and some are surprisingly good (for the money - under GBP150). I have recently acquired a Washburn WG2S, which is made there, is beautifully finished, plays superbly and sounds as good as any new 00 size guitar I have ever played - including some very expensive Martins. If you can find one (they are a limited edition) try a WG2S, you could be pleasantly surprised. It has no electronics, however.

Once upon a time guitars from Japan were sneered at, but all too soon they proved at least as good as instruments from more traditional countries of manufacture. Production of mass-produced guitars tends to move around following the lowest labour costs, and Taiwan, Korea and now China have succeeded Japan over the years, but without necessarily acquiring the same cachet. I even have a Tanglewood solid electric that was made in Viet Nam, and it's not a bad axe at all!

I still marvel at the value for money offered by the Martin 15 and DM guitars, and, if you can afford one, I don't believe you can go wrong.

Don't rush your purchase, always play each candidate for as long as possible before you buy and try taking along your existing guitar for comparison.

Good luck

Alan


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: kendall
Date: 30 Jun 06 - 07:50 AM

My Taylor 810 is a perfect balance between high and low. I had a Gibson J-45 with so much bass it was not a good one to record with. I had a Mossman with too much high and very little bass.

Best all around, Taylor 810.


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: GUEST,Texas Guest
Date: 30 Jun 06 - 01:37 PM

I'm not an expert, but do know what I like; and, I'm sorry to say that I have never played a Washburn that was worth the purchase, regardless of the price. Take no offense please, but since you're looking at Washburn I would assume that your expenditure is limited; consider, there are just too many very, very good low level Martins, some Taylors, and now Breedlove's out there that are SO worth the money, and so much more guitar than a Washburn - you just have to get out and play them.

I know it's tougher to buy when your left-handed, but that shouldn't stop you from maximizing your purchase. I own a wonderful high-end Breedlove that I use when unplugged, but my three work horses are all
Takamine - Santa Fe, 2001 LTD and a Hirade classical. I agree with
whoever said it above - go with the best you can afford - you will not
regret it in the end; but, if I'm not buying a high-end guitar you will find me picking through the Takamine section - they spent some
forty-odd years chasing Martin, and in a strange turn, Martin has been
chasing them the past few years (ooh, that statement will raise some eyebrows). Good Luck.


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: Mooh
Date: 30 Jun 06 - 01:52 PM

My guess is that the original poster has resolved his situation since he posted four years ago. But it's just a guess.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: Big Mick
Date: 30 Jun 06 - 04:06 PM

I have never heard a better value for the dollar than the Seagull S6's. First rate instruments for the dollar.

Mick


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: GUEST,number 6
Date: 30 Jun 06 - 04:13 PM

A few good if not excellent imports have evolved since the original post ... point in being the Blueridges, Epiphone Masterbuilts, Carolinas. These are excellent guitars if your looking for a bargain priced instrument. The Taylor 810 is superb sounding axe, but it aint cheap.

sIx


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: Kaleea
Date: 30 Jun 06 - 04:29 PM

Kendall, my old J45 has a good balance-not too much bass. interesting.
I'm still looking for a guitar with a smaller neck-smaller both ways, & a smaller body too, so as to make it easier on my geezerly fingers & carpal tunnel wrists.


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: Peter T.
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 10:21 AM

I have a lovely Simon and Patrick -- they really do make nice guitars. It wouldn't of course be because they are Canadian (Happy Canada Day.....)

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: *daylia*
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 10:44 AM

You might like the Seagull Folk guitar, Kaleea. - same company as Simon & Patrick.

All Seagull guitars have a comfortable, thinner neck - just a tad wider than your standard acoustic fingerboard, for easier 'classical-style' playing. And the 'folk' model has a smaller body too. Great sound, great quality instruments for a very affordable price. They even smell good.

I love 'em!


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: Gary T
Date: 10 Jul 06 - 02:04 AM

Wow. It has been four years.

Thanks to all for your responses. I'm happy to say that I passed on that Washburn guitar. Not too long afterwards, I saw the same model guitar in a different city. It was poor - twisted neck, intonation off, even worse sound.

At Winfield that year, a fellow with a Washburn briefly joined the group I was playing with. After he left, my friends made it clear that my Yamaha sounded better than his. And my S&P sounds better yet.

A local music store closed last year, and for the first time there was an advantage to playing left-handed. In their last 10 days, 4 of the 5 remaining guitars were lefties, including a Martin DM. I got it at a significant discount. It has very good sound. Interestingly, the body size and shape are identical to that of the S&P. I am now comfortable with that.

So, patience paid off and I ended up with something far better than the Washburn. Thanks again for your opinions and insights.


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: 282RA
Date: 10 Jul 06 - 01:35 PM

I own a Washburn D10 and I love it. Pretty much has turned out to be my favorite acoustic. It doesn't have a big bass response but none of my guitars do and I frankly don't want one. That's what I own several bass guitars for.

Some of the Washburns I tried I did not like. The strings seemed muted but that might be the strings themselves but I didn't want to take a chance. The D10 has a bright, ringy tone and I like it. It is easier to hear, for example, than my Dean.

My Takamine is about the best for the evenness of the sound and every note being bright and clear and the intonation perfect. Unfortunately, it isn't really made for my long, spidery fingers.

So, the Washburns seem to me to be hit and miss--sometimes they sound great but other times not. I, however, am very happy with the D10 I bought.


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: GUEST,Eric
Date: 10 Jul 06 - 02:43 PM

I think you made a good decision - if you are not 100% happy don't get it. I went out last year and bought a beautiful handmade Northworthy parlour. When I was in the shop the quality of the thing got to me and I allowed the fact that it was not what I was after to drift out of my mind. It'll be on ebay soon - It is a great guitar but too good for me.


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: Muttley
Date: 11 Jul 06 - 07:16 PM

Couldn't see one mentioned above, but have you considered a Maton. They're hand-built (at least the ones at the upper end of the range are - these cost around the AUD $1,000 and up mark.

They also craft for specifically left-handed players - I know that sounds specious, but a guy I know who's a leftie says there's a real difference between playing a right-handed (standard) instrument set up with the strings opposed to be played left-handed and an instrument which is crafted and set up for a left-handed player from the start.

He might have been pulling my chain but I don't think I'm THAT gullible.

Finally, I've NEVER heard a bad-sounding Maton - - - - EVER!!!!!

Muttley


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 Jul 06 - 06:34 PM

Yes, I've heard a bad Maton. A local player had a dreadnought cutaway. It sounded OK with new strings on but after a few days all that was left was a dull thud. He sold it (IMHO) for far more than it was worth, to an accountant, I think, so there was some justice in that.

My Washburn D10 was I think the worst guitar I ever owned.


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: GUEST,Tedbelly
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 02:08 PM

I've come across and played a fair number of acoustic guitars and would like to make the following observations.
The condition of the strings is paramount, a fairly obvious thing to say, because, as we all know, the string provides the initial sound. Why then do we see guitars strung with ancient bits of unresponsive fuse wire? If you are thinking of paying £1000 for a guitar, when you have it short listed, put a brand new set of your favourite strings (costing less than £10) on the thing and try it again, it may save you £990.
The make of the guitar is a general guide only, you get bad ones from the best makers and decent ones from the cheaper end of the market, give the instrument a good look over before you buy/reject it.
Martin and Gibson guitars are generally overpriced crap in my opinion. Look for an old Vega for a good cheapie.


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 02:25 PM

Martins are overpriced crap?? Best 1100 dollars I have spent.

Now if I wanted to spend half of that, the best sounding guitars I have seen in the 500 dollar range are the Seagulls. Easy-playing, Canadian-crafted, and a very full tone pallet.

I have a question: Why do guitars with onboard pickups always feature a cutaway body? This is the biggest problem with the tinny sound most of those guitars have, in my opinion. You can certainly add a pickup system to a dreadnought, but the manufacturers never seem to manufacture them that way. Do they think that if you amplify the sound you'll need to automatically go up the neck like its a Stratocaster?


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: Brian May
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 02:29 PM

I'll stick with my 'generally overpriced crap' then.

Agree about strings though, they make an enormous difference.

I use overpriced crap there too - Elixir Nanowebs . . .


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 02:47 PM

Elixirs seem to have a pretty steep performance curve, Brian. They start out sounding good, get great after several retunings, then drop off to crap (what a flexible term!)quite suddenly and severely, and man I hate changing strings. I stick to D'addarios because they seem to stay brighter longer, both in tone and hue.


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: Wesley S
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 04:43 PM

Just for the record I'm another big fan of overpriced crap. I've had one of my pieces of crap for 41 years now - and I wouldn't part with it for anything.

{ A 1967 Martin D-18 }


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: Midchuck
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 04:57 PM

Some Martins - mostly the limited-edition "Signature models," with an elevated price because they have some music celebrity's name on it - ARE overpriced crap.

Many other Martins are excellent guitars. And OLD Martins are probably the best now available. There's no way to make a new guitar sound like a 50-plus year old one. Of course, they're priced accordingly.

On the other hand, ALL Collings, and all Huss and Dalton, as far as I know, are excellent guitars. (Granted, I've only played a few. But I've never heard anyone claim that he played one that was not excellent.)

Unfortunately, all of the instruments that are the best quality on a dollar for dollar basis now come from China. Like everything else.

Peter


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: Don Firth
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 06:35 PM

Tedbelly, I definitely agree about a good set of strings making a big difference in the quality of a guitar's sound—and the matter of how long the strings have been on the guitar. But ". . . put a brand new set of your favourite strings. . . ."
        
Having owned some fifteen different guitars (twelve full-size: seven classics, three flamencos, two steel-strings, plus three travel guitars, two nylon-string, one steel-string), I've changed a lot of strings over the past—ye gawds!!—58 years!

I found that "my favourite strings" didn't sound all that great on all of my guitars. So I had to keep track of which guitar sounded best with which brand and tension of strings.

What you need to do when you get a new guitar is try different strings on it and see how they sound. It might take awhile and cost a bit, but when you find the happy combination, it can make a big difference.

By the way, the strings that come on the guitar new may not be the best for it. Three of my guitars were Martins, one steel-string and two nylon-string classics, all three early 1950s vintage (definitely not crap—that came later). They sold them with Martin strings on them. They were crap! I quickly replaced them with Augustine nylons (in the 1950s) and Black Diamond silk-and-steel for the steel-string 00-18.

Sam Radding, who made my three travel guitars suggested the strings I should use on them. He'd already done the testing! Good man!

Go travel guitars, just in case you're looking for a good travel guitar. They look like the love-child of an unnatural relationship between a guitar and a canoe paddle, but they play well and sound great.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: kendall
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 07:56 PM

If I was in the market for another guitar I would have Nick Apollonio build one for me. I like Jacqui's new Apollo so much I often play it instead of my Taylor, and that's saying something!


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: Leadfingers
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 08:02 PM

Americans should bear in mind that what YOU pay for a Martin is at least HALF what we would have to pay in UK !! Bottom end Martins in UK ARE Mostly over priced , if not necessarily Crap !


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: Midchuck
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 08:06 PM

What Kendall said - as I have played the CMMD as well.

Unless I were going to use it for playing gigs and travel with it in various types of weather and various types of transportation - then carbon fiber rules!

Peter


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: GUEST,Tedbelly
Date: 17 Feb 11 - 01:20 PM

Judging from the response it would appear that Martin guitars at least have some keen supporters. I must have been unlucky in my choice of Martins because despite having played around twenty of 'em I have yet to find a good one. Similarly the Gibsons I have played have been disappointing, the one exception being an early 60s Epiphone Texan (badge engineered Gibson)which still sounds superb. I own two Taylors (a 314 and a Big Baby) and a Takamine EN20c all of which I prefer to Martin and Gibson. My ambition is to also own a Louden, another superb sounding guitar. I use Elixir strings by the way.


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 17 Feb 11 - 02:54 PM

Santa Cruz is also a top quality guitar, but the price reflects it.


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: Wesley S
Date: 17 Feb 11 - 03:09 PM

The same can be said of Collings - a favorite of mine since I own one.


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 17 Feb 11 - 03:20 PM

I just misread this thread as some guitar burying ideas. Immediately it had my attention.


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: Smokey.
Date: 17 Feb 11 - 06:26 PM

Never bury them in acidic soil; they can come up as banjo trees.


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: Lox
Date: 17 Feb 11 - 06:35 PM

Theres only one rule

buy the one that you like.

Its all about the feel.


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: Smokey.
Date: 17 Feb 11 - 07:24 PM

I'd think the sound is worth some consideration, but it's probably true that one which sounds good will make you feel good about it and as a consequence play it better.


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: Gary T
Date: 15 Jan 14 - 03:02 PM

I was looking through this thread for old time's sake, and have an update. A couple of years ago I saw a Taylor 110e in a shop and tried it. I was impressed.

I went back with my Martin and a friend, and had him listen to me playing both guitars (in the same room at the same time, for a proper comparison). While the Martin had a stronger bass, we both felt the Taylor had a better balanced tone and more presence. I bought the Taylor and sold my Martin. I am very happy with the Taylor.

I still have the Simon & Patrick, and it still sounds quite good. That was one of the best purchases I ever made.


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 15 Jan 14 - 03:38 PM

I have found sometimes that if I like a guitar when playing it in the shop, that it also helps to stand in front of it while someone else plays it. I have also found that wanting new guitars is like buying drugs, they always seem to cost more each time.


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Subject: RE: A little guitar-buying advice, please
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Jan 14 - 03:41 PM

I have played on and off for fifty years. Never have I concerned myself about whowhich company made the guitar. My last purchase was a Larrivee. I chose it because from that room of over eighty guitars it was the one that worked for me. However, if the one that worked had been a scratched Zelda Pertz mass-produced plywood construction machine, that's what I'd be playing now. Glad it worked out for you, Gary T.


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