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I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?

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M.Ted 01 Oct 05 - 08:38 PM
Ebbie 01 Oct 05 - 08:48 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 01 Oct 05 - 08:59 PM
JohnInKansas 01 Oct 05 - 09:09 PM
JudyB 01 Oct 05 - 09:09 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 01 Oct 05 - 09:10 PM
Clinton Hammond 01 Oct 05 - 09:11 PM
Ebbie 01 Oct 05 - 09:11 PM
GUEST 01 Oct 05 - 09:20 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 01 Oct 05 - 09:34 PM
Bobert 01 Oct 05 - 09:39 PM
DonMeixner 01 Oct 05 - 11:20 PM
Sorcha 01 Oct 05 - 11:27 PM
bet 01 Oct 05 - 11:50 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 01 Oct 05 - 11:54 PM
number 6 02 Oct 05 - 12:01 AM
Leadfingers 02 Oct 05 - 06:24 AM
GUEST 02 Oct 05 - 06:41 AM
kendall 02 Oct 05 - 07:52 AM
Mooh 02 Oct 05 - 09:29 AM
GUEST,Tweed 02 Oct 05 - 09:40 AM
John MacKenzie 02 Oct 05 - 11:08 AM
M.Ted 02 Oct 05 - 11:17 AM
Sandy Mc Lean 02 Oct 05 - 11:26 AM
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*daylia* 02 Oct 05 - 11:56 AM
Clinton Hammond 02 Oct 05 - 11:56 AM
Bee-dubya-ell 02 Oct 05 - 12:11 PM
John MacKenzie 02 Oct 05 - 12:37 PM
M.Ted 02 Oct 05 - 12:38 PM
Mooh 02 Oct 05 - 12:39 PM
Don Firth 02 Oct 05 - 12:52 PM
M.Ted 02 Oct 05 - 01:38 PM
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gnu 02 Oct 05 - 05:15 PM
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Subject: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: M.Ted
Date: 01 Oct 05 - 08:38 PM

As you might guess, I do have a fancy named "luthier" guitar, and a couple cool, collectible guitars, all carefully stashed away. however, I need of something that I can play, and keep handy, without fear of children, pets, or clumsy dinner guests--

I had a perfectly fine Dreadnaught that I bought at a yard sale for $25, and which survived ten years of airline and auto travel, only to turn up one morning last month with a shotgun style hole in the side--a 12 string that I have kept in a corner of the room for years has been decapitated, and the Classical Guitar that my wife found at Goodwill for $15 is developing a split in the back--

It's not that I don't want to fix them, it is simply that it costs more than they are worth--new tuning pegs for the twelve, for instance, cost more than it would be worth, with the pegs. The dreadnaught would require more custom than was used to make it--and that with the caveat that it will never be what it was(which was a Korean copy of a Japanese knockoff of a cheap guitar that had been roughly modeled on a Martin D-18)

I have noticed that there are a number of new guitar brands, Samick Guitars, designed by Greg Bennett, and Sanitoga Guitars, for instance--that can cost less than $200 new, and yet are discussed as if they were the kind of instrument that a professional musician might use(one who pawned his instrument to buy liquor, perhaps)--

Can this be true? Are there really cheap new instruments that are playable and sound, well, at least OK?

Or maybe there are other instruments older, and used, that can be had for a low price, owing to the fact that they never got the reputation that they deserved?

Please share your ideas--I need something that I can really play, all the way up the neck, finger and flat picking, that won't break my heart if it takes a hit--


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: Ebbie
Date: 01 Oct 05 - 08:48 PM

After a number of years of visiting Oregon and trying to play various guitars that my (non-playing but well-meaning) brother picked up at various places I finally visited a pawn shop there and bought a Washburn for $100 including its cardboard case. It sounds OK- a far cry above some of those my brother came up with- and more to the point I don't really care what happens to it in between my visits there. In fact, I don't even know just where it is being kept- and that's OK too. They'll come up with it when I need it.


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 01 Oct 05 - 08:59 PM

its getting increasingly difficult to buy a bad guitar these days..

traditional far eastern woodworking craftmanship
allied with western corporate factory controlled production technology..


= cheap labour + materials

= music shops full of reasonably well made nicely playable guitars..


we've never been so spoiled for choice..

and really dont matter what badge is on the headstock..


pluck up courage to ignore the scorn of the high end big price
guitar intelligensia..

and walk away from a guitar shop well pleased that you got an ok strum box
for much less than $200

.. well i'm an old punkrocker.. of course i'd say this..


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 01 Oct 05 - 09:09 PM

I was about to suggest that "you can even get one at Walmart now;" but I thought I'd check their price first. This guy (Paul Adams) appears to offer quite a bit of advice specifically on "buying a cheap guitar" - including not-so-good comments about the Wallyworld ones.

John


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: JudyB
Date: 01 Oct 05 - 09:09 PM

I probably shouldn't admit this in a music forum, but the synthetic Martins sound pretty good, look pretty real unless you really stare, and are a lot less likely to suffer if left in a car in the summer. They are more than $25 - but are way cheaper than the wood ones.

JudyB


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 01 Oct 05 - 09:10 PM

sod that oversensitive 'Enter'key..



my personal cheap acoustic strummers are;

a chinese fender stratacoustic

a canadian Art of Lutherie


and a korean danelectro convertable..!!??


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 01 Oct 05 - 09:11 PM

Check http://www.lasido.com/

Especially the A&L or S&P lines


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: Ebbie
Date: 01 Oct 05 - 09:11 PM

I once saw one for sale at Costco. I don't remember for how much but it was under $200. Don't know how it sounded though.


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Oct 05 - 09:20 PM

http://www.artandlutherieguitars.com/intro.htm


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 01 Oct 05 - 09:34 PM

oh.. and one of these..

chinese made repro..

cost me total including shipping from US about £30


http://www.colinlinden.com/photos_and_multimedia/picture_gallery/pic14.shtml

frets are reaaly quite nasty [ crying out to be a slide guitar]

but has such a big bright 'living' tone..   

i planned on screwing in a neck mounted jazz style humbucker..

but am starting to think this could be a future valuable collectors classic if i keep it bubblewrapped in mint condition..



so maybe i should wrap it in


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: Bobert
Date: 01 Oct 05 - 09:39 PM

M-Ted,

Now listen to me here... Ignore all these well meanin' people... Thay know not of what they speak...

Get in yer car and drive up 270 to Fredrick, Md... Go into "Bo's Strings" on the main drag (markey St.?) that is one way... It's only a block away from the creek/water feature... Ask... Everyone that knows where it is knows where it is... Guarenteed...

Now, walk up the steps with about $250 and give it to Bo and tell him you want one of his Hohner HW-640's... He'll even throw in a gig bag!!!!

Fine guitar... I have a wonderful '66 Martin D-18 that I don't like to take out too much so I have performed with the Hohner and it is one fine guitar...

Lotta school systems 'round the country use 'em...

You can thank me the next time we run into each other....

That's 270 North, fir ya, pal...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 01 Oct 05 - 11:20 PM

I have lately become a fan of the blueridge guitars I see about. They have some nice inexpensive guitars in D and OOO sizes.

Don


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: Sorcha
Date: 01 Oct 05 - 11:27 PM

Ya, well, try to find a 'cheap' but playable fiddle with any sound at all...ha. ha. ha.


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: bet
Date: 01 Oct 05 - 11:50 PM

I bought a Dean guitar a couple of years ago because it's neck was narrower than most. I love the sound and spent about $200.00 on it.
Of course I've never played a really good guitar but I do like my Dean. bet


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 01 Oct 05 - 11:54 PM

thats encouraging..

i been looking at those cheap dean kiddie 3/4 scale acoustics on ebay..
been wondering if they were worth taking a chance on
when some spare cash turns up from somewhere..

tried some dean heavy metal electrics but could'nt get on with the wide neck profile..


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: number 6
Date: 02 Oct 05 - 12:01 AM

I say go for the Blueridge BR60 ... it's a rosewood lam with solid sitka spruce top ... I was a skeptic on these guitars when I started to hear all the hype on them, how could a laminate guitar be of any value, and a Chinese guitar to boot ... but then I tried one out, blew me away and I bought one.

sIx


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 02 Oct 05 - 06:24 AM

A mate of mine who 'does' guitar classes was saying the other day that a few years ago he would find as many as half the guitars brought to class were virtually unplayable . Now , he reckons , if some one brings i an iffy box its a VERY rare occasion .


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Oct 05 - 06:41 AM

My experiences:
Samick Greg Bennetts - awful awful
Crafters - look fab, play well, sound synthetic & thin
Corts - can look good, some sound good, some even sound individual
Arias - not found a good one
Fender - the one I had suffered from an elastic neck
Giannini - Brazilian, '80s,hard to find, junkstore might have one, I got one in solid brazilian rosewood for $40, nice
Lamaq - on ebay, uber-cheap & nice for the money

Axe of choice - a Tanglewood Ovangkol DLX TW15, cost about $650, couldn't find anything to equal it for 3x that amount. Guitar snobs show no interest in the headstock but come running when they hear it.
Why listen to me? Serial guitar buyer, worked in a guitar shop for 5 yrs, could have anything but stick with that last one ( till I commission a handmade personalised luxury etc!)


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: kendall
Date: 02 Oct 05 - 07:52 AM

What kind of living conditions do you live with?

Look for a used Larrivee, maybe in a hock shop or one of those Wise Guide, Uncle Henry's magazines. Someone is always selling something along those lines.


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: Mooh
Date: 02 Oct 05 - 09:29 AM

Buy used.

The whole LaPatrie/LaSiDo/Godin/Seagull/S&P/Norman/A&L family can be great bang for the buck (I've had a few). Few come from the factory or previous owner with a great set-up however. I generally set the truss, nut and saddle before using them, sometimes even replacing the nut and saddle (though it won't be necessary), but have never had any trouble with them playing well. Got a folk sized one (solid cedar top) now as a student loaner and it's starting to get its voice.

There are inexpensive Taylors and Martins which might suit. Solid top is a must obviously, but some with laminate back and sides can be decent sounding. I don't care for the Tanglewoods as a couple of my students have had issues with them, and neither have "opened up" like they should. Same goes for recent Yamahas, but some older ones are okay. My Harmony Sovereign was once the guitar you are looking for, but now needs work, others might suit you.

My experience with cheaper instruments is largely from sitting in the same room for several hours a day listening to students play, and once in while repairing those instruments. Haven't heard a decent recent Takamine or other major import for a while, but those Godins continue to impress me.

Good luck.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: GUEST,Tweed
Date: 02 Oct 05 - 09:40 AM

Cort Earth Model 72

I got one of these a few weeks ago and could not be happier if it was a Martin, especially since with the gig bag it came in under $200.
Solid spruce top, Mahogany everything else. Great sound and playability. It's made in China apparently, but it's very well put together. Maybe I got lucky.
You can hear it here: (insert badly recorded Baby Please Don't Go..)

Tweed

"All my guitars,
Are fairly cheap.
I'd play 'em if I could,
While I'm asleep."


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 02 Oct 05 - 11:08 AM

Seagulls are quite nice especially the 12 string, which I may buy for myself when I'm in the US.
Giok


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: M.Ted
Date: 02 Oct 05 - 11:17 AM

Keep those cards and letters coming, folks---Some good tips, already(and some persuasive picking from Tweed!)--My inclination in past has been towards the Seagull/Lasido/etc--my strategy is to compile a list and keep my eye out--

I kind of gravitate to the cheap guitar philosophy, which, in part, is that a good player knows how to get a good sound out of whatever instrument they happen to have, and that many of the greatest players had not so good instruments--though I do appreciate a really fine guitar--


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 02 Oct 05 - 11:26 AM

My daughter has a Godin A&L which she bought new as a factory second.
It had a small almost unnoticable blemish on the solid cedar top. She payed less than $300 including case and tax. It has a great warm sound
and she loves it. In fact I kinda like it myself. The Art & Luthrie line is the lowest priced Godin but it is a quality insturment.
                           Sandy


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: GUEST,Sandy (lost cookie)
Date: 02 Oct 05 - 11:32 AM

I guess I won't pass any spelling test with the message above. :-}


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: *daylia*
Date: 02 Oct 05 - 11:56 AM

Seagulls are not that cheap though. I doubt you could find a new one for $200 US -- the price tag on a new bottom-end Seagull is $362 Cdn here in Barrie Ontario. Seagulls are good quality, fine-sounding, good-looking instruments though, and worth every penny imo! ANd they have a wide neck, good for people who learned on a classical (like me) or have larger sized hands (like you, Ted!)

Just DON'T get a Johnson! They may look ok, and they are very cheap (like $60 Cdn), but they're built of veneer, plywood and plastic. ANd that's exactly what they sound like, too!


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 02 Oct 05 - 11:56 AM

If yer getting a "LaSiDo", make sure you get a Fort EPP Case to go with it!

Money very well spent!


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 02 Oct 05 - 12:11 PM

A friend with an impressive collection of Martins and other hand-made guitars picked up a Johnson with a factory-installed pickup just to have something acoustic to plug in at gigs. Acoustic sound was not a major consideration as he would only be playing it plugged in... he thought. The more he played it the more he liked the guitar's acoustic sound. Now he rarely brings any of his better guitars out to parties or festivals, just the Johnson.


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 02 Oct 05 - 12:37 PM

Seagull
Elderly has several interesting second hand guitars starting at $50 for a Harmony, and there are 2 cheap Ovations with cases that I wouldn't turn my nose up at.
Giok


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: M.Ted
Date: 02 Oct 05 - 12:38 PM

So he likes to pull his Johnson out at parties and festivals, eh? We have a name for people like that.


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: Mooh
Date: 02 Oct 05 - 12:39 PM

Some Godin prices...

My current solid top A&L Folk Cedar was about $240 sans case, not a great deal for this model, but it's a decent axe. Last year's Norman dread was $100 second hand, no case. Have also had a LaPatrie classical, factory second, which came with a nice Gator case for less than $250; and an S&P dread, factory second, price long forgotten but it was very reasonable, and I made money on both guitars when I sold them.

I know of one Seagull I would put up against any guitar worth double. Very, very nice sound. Shop around, there's gotta be some around second hand.

Peace, Mooh,


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: Don Firth
Date: 02 Oct 05 - 12:52 PM

Since I play classics, I have no specific advice to give on steel string guitars. But if brand name counts for anything, I got an Alvarez (AC60S classic) for a student of mine for about $270.00 from Music 123, and I was really surprised at how good it was. So you might check out the Alvarez steel-string line (also, Music 123 seems to be pretty good, and they sell things for way under list price).

I've found this web site to be a great help:   Harmony Central user reviews. A few years ago I was looking for a good small travel guitar, I had passed up the Go-guitar web site because the guitar didn't really look like much (very plain, looks like a canoe-paddle). But when I read the user reviews on Harmony Central, I decided to get one. Great little guitar, with extraordinary tone quality and volume for so small a box! I use it all the time. When my student wanted to replace her apple-crate guitar but couldn't afford more than about $300.00, before ordering the Alvarez classic for her, I checked the reviews in Harmony Central. That's two for two.

Check it out. I hope this helps.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: M.Ted
Date: 02 Oct 05 - 01:38 PM

Good suggestions, Don--as I mentioned, I have been playing a really cheap classical lately--since I am not performing any more, I jump from one guitar to another--


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: Grab
Date: 02 Oct 05 - 05:01 PM

I've got a Crafter myself (my first cheapo steel-string, bought 10 years back, and I still like it). There are nice instruments at that price, but the trouble is the variability - some are great, most are OK and some are downright dogs. Also many will need a good setup, bcos they don't often seem to come set up well (I don't know why - surely if it's a production line then getting the action right is easy?). The best plan though is to steer clear of anything with a sunburst, cos chances are that it's all veneer covering up a poor-quality box. And whatever you do, do *not* buy a Daisy guitar for your daughter, just bcos it happens to be pink!

I think strings play a much more significant factor in cheap guitars though - a good guitar will sound good regardless, whereas cheap plywood guitars tend to only sound good with specific strings, and most commonly treble-heavy strings to get the plywood moving. My Crafter is certainly that way, and others like Ovations also seem to be the same. Solid-wood tops don't seem as bad for this, but plywood tops certainly are.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: gnu
Date: 02 Oct 05 - 05:15 PM

I haven't read this thread so I apologize if I am repeating.... Seagull from La Belle Province... Quebec, Canada. I don't know much about guitars, but I know a few who do (they own $2000 to $4000 strings and play professionally), and they have tried my el cheapo ($500 suggested retail) Seagull and say it is the best "starter buy" they have ever seen. And, no, they weren't just being polite.


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Oct 05 - 07:44 PM

last year I decided if I ever was to conquer my inability at slide playing, I'd get a cheapo and keep it in G tuning.

I got an new Earthfire off e-bay. you got a free set of strings, free plectrums, free electrnoic tuner (battery included), Ritter gig bag, string winder - £80.

everybody said it sounded better than my Yamaha cpx acoustically


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Oct 05 - 12:21 PM

Second hand Sigma off ebay, monsieur Ted. I bought one (a DM2) and sold it again (after setting it up) and made no loss. It was TOO bright and the neck was TOO narrow for me. But it would have done the job.

I also got and still have as my punt paddle an old Morris. It cost 77GBP. Plenty of presence, perfectly playable after a bit of work. Ebay again.

If you know your guitars (as I think you do), ebay is probably a more reliable source if you need one NOW than hanging out at boot sales.


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: Mark Clark
Date: 03 Oct 05 - 12:43 PM

A year or so ago a friend asked me to help choose an inexpensive guitar for her daughter. They live in a small town with no music stores so I went around to the stores here just to update myself on what was available. Most are as you would expect but one brand caught my ear and was so nice to play that I sat there in the store's demo room playing it for about forty minutes. If I were going to buy an innexpensive guitar for myself, it would be one of those.

Check out Garrison Guitars. The model my friend bought for her daughter was just under $200. If I'd known about the composite frame I probably wouldn't have picked it up but I didn't know and was delighted with the models I played. These are often discounted so don't pay too much attention to the suggested retail prices.

The Garrison Guitar Company is on to something in my opinion.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: Barbara
Date: 03 Oct 05 - 12:52 PM

I have owned cheap Seagulls and Taylors, both quite nice, but my current fave is the new "formica" Martin for about $250. A small guitar with a nice voice, not up a fifth like the baby Taylors and such, made from laminate in Mexico, sturdy enough to take to the beach and small enough to put in the overhead compartment on an airplane, comes with a padded carry bag.
Someone knocked it off the bench this weekend at Sunnycamp and it sounded just like a guitar hitting the concrete floor, but when I picked it up, it had no dings and hadn't even changed pitch (didn't need to be retuned).
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Oct 05 - 02:44 PM

The only Garrison I ever saw outside a shop had a dirty great crack along one side - because when the wood dried, it shrank, but the fibreglass frame it was stuck to didn't. Unimpressed. And I think Tanglewoods sound better for the money (until the tops go wibbly).


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: M.Ted
Date: 03 Oct 05 - 03:05 PM

And the Winner is--!!!!!Hohner HW640!!!!!!!--I found one for $90 on eBay--

However, I am keeping my eyes out for some of these others, since I will need another 12 string to replace the decapitated one, and a classical that I could actually play in front of people.


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Oct 05 - 03:37 PM

". . . and a classical that I could actually play in front of people."

That Alvarez AC60S that I got for my student would definitely fill the bill, I would think. I've had (and have) some pretty pricey classic guitars over the years, but if circumstances were such that all I could have would be that one, I could get along with it quite nicely.

No, I'm not working for the company. I was just very pleasantly surprised at how good it was for the price.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: Fortunato
Date: 03 Oct 05 - 03:42 PM

blueridge.


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 03 Oct 05 - 04:15 PM

MTed,

Congratulations. If you are still looking, here's my thoughts. Yes, you can find a decent guitar for under $200. I think your best bet is to just go to stores and play what's available. You should be able to judge for yourself what is a decent guitar. Don't forget "used" as an option. Once you buy one you like, I suggest you take it to a shop for a "set up" unless the place from whence it came says they already did that. For about $40 - $50 you can greatly improve the playability and tone of the guitar. The cheap guitar factories don't expend much time on the "set up".

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Oct 05 - 05:33 PM

Some people seem to have a rather different notion of "cheap" from me. $200...$300...$500.

Best guitar I've ever had - and it's a good one too - cost me £10 in a charity shop. (I had to haggle the price up from the £5 pounds the lady suggested when I asked her how much.)


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 03 Oct 05 - 05:39 PM

I don't understand why people choose crap to play instead of that decent guitar that they are so afraid to take out of the case.

I'll take a D18 or a J45 anywhere. They will always sound better than a cheap guitar.


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: GUEST,Sherlock Holmes (friend of Doc Watson)
Date: 03 Oct 05 - 05:57 PM

Because, Martin Gibson, you wouldn't know a good guitar if it bit you on the ass. You have to rely on brand names that you know. If you were to walk into a music store and find a guitar made by a luthier whose name you didn't recognize, but that played and sounded twice as good as your Martin or your Gibson, you'd never know it. No ear. Just prejudice.

But stick with what you know. That's a whole lot safer than taking a chance on something that might by a lot better than what you have.


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: M.Ted
Date: 03 Oct 05 - 06:57 PM

No need to give Martin a bad time, Sherlock--he has an excellent point. A fine instrument is it's own reward. But I'm not in a situation where I can look after my instruments the way that they need and still keep them handy for playing--

Beyond that, I have had some bad things happen to fine instruments--I had a very nice Gibson archtop which was destroyed when someone "borrowed" it without my knowledge at a music camp--but don't get me started--

I certainly don't have a problem with Martin and his D-18 --and may be I am wrong to save the good stuff in the closet, but that's just the way I am--


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Oct 05 - 08:24 PM

My first really good guitar was a Martin 00-28-G classic. After damn near getting it destroyed by airport baggage handlers (despite a hardshell case built like a bank vault), nearly having it fallen on at a party, and narrowly avoiding having some lush spill his beer through the sound hole, I got myself an inexpensive guitar to use at parties and such, or when I was traveling (unless I was going to do a concert, and then I insisted on taking it on board with me—most of the time they let me, if I was adamant enough). I practiced on the Martin classic at home and used it when performing. Other than that, I used the one that would be fairly easy and inexpensive to replace. It sounded good enough for most parties and songfests, and I didn't have to worry about it.

I've since been using pretty up-scale Spanish-made classics. But I keep a pretty good "student model" classic for knocking around with. It looks like my concert guitar, and it sounds good enough so that most people can't tell the difference.

Insurance.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: GUEST,Chongo Chimp
Date: 03 Oct 05 - 08:57 PM

So ya need a cheap guitar, huh? Ya got an expensive one now? I figger ya do. Okay, you take that expensive git-box and you knock it around some, get a few dings and scratches into it. Step 2...you take it to a club, and the first gorilla that tries to get heavy with you, you bust it over the creep's head. You get in a firefight in the back alley with his buddies, and you use the guitar for cover while blastin' 'em into hamburger with your tommy gun. By now that expensive guitar will have at least a couple of bullet holes through the front and back, along with plenty of other obvious damage. It won't be worth much anymore.

Presto! You now have a cheap guitar, without having had to spend a friggin' dime. That would be my solution.

- Chongo


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: M.Ted
Date: 03 Oct 05 - 11:17 PM

Damn--I wish I'd thought of that!!


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: Stewart
Date: 04 Oct 05 - 12:03 AM

I got a brand new Martin D18 for $99! Of course that was in 1956, but I still have it and play it all the time.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Oct 05 - 08:10 AM

Alright, I'll share a closely guarded secret I got from Jeffp. Go to Shopgoodwill.com and bid on one. There are dozens of gems!


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 04 Oct 05 - 08:13 AM

Well, Stewart, you never know what you might find. I bought an unblemished D-28 (mfgd in 1957) in 1965 for $185 in a pawn shop. So, maybe MTed just needs to time travel.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 05 Oct 05 - 03:24 AM

If you go to ebay and search for "B-Band" you will find both US and European sources for guitars already fitted with the B-Band A 3.2 preamp and UST so cheap it almost makes sense to buy them to take the B-Band system out for use in other guitars. There's a concert cutaway for 109 Euros, and a dradnought cutaway for 179 Euros. I suspect that when they get to the USA they are branded Johnson for there are some very similar Johnsons also with B-Band stuff in, also at well under $200 - sort of the $150 to $170 mark


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: leftydee
Date: 05 Oct 05 - 03:09 PM

You can buy a really good Art & Lutherie Guitar on Ebay for $150 or so. Please note, I did say REALLY GOOD. These are made by Seagull and they are wonderful guitars. I've been a Martin snob for years ( I still own several)but played a Seagull and loved it and bought it. Then found the cheaper version, Art & Lutherie. I gig them now. There's nothing lost in tone or playability and I don't spend hours worrying about the safety of the guitar. You can't go wrong! Lefty


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: Mooh
Date: 05 Oct 05 - 06:18 PM

Well, there's a lot to be said for gigging with cheaper axes, especially if you're plugged in. Many pickups loose enough of the original tone and timbre that a mic would hear, so basically what is heard is as much pickup as guitar. When that's the case and there's a risk to a better guitar, the cheaper one might be the ticket. Mind you, I don't ever leave home without my better guitar(s) because I'm prepared to take the risk, but I don't play the dives like I used to. There have been bass gigs lately where I even fear for the solidbodies, and that's scary.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: Merritt
Date: 06 Oct 05 - 04:05 PM

Have to echo the accolades for Seagull, S & P, A & L. For the money. they're making good feeling & playing guitars. I bought a used 1999 Simon & Patrick 12-string in June 05 for US$300 in a cardboard case. It'd hardly been played. Very low action w/ no buzzing, intonation fair-good, solid spruce top with laminated cherry sides and back, tuners stay put, on-board B-Band EQ. I've been playing it pretty regular at home and out. A very solid instrument.

It helped that I was in no hurry to buy. Had a rough profile of the sort of 12-string I was looking for and after a couple of months this guitar just drifted across the radar screen.

I've had problems with other low-cost guitars, e.g., $350 Cort, that just didn't seem to be all that solid and were constantly in the shop getting repaired or adjusted.

If you go to the $600-800 range, a whole range of neat options open up. I also have a no-frills 2002 Martin 000-15C with solid mahogany top, sides & back made in a union shop that has seen a lot of play. I've had the neck adjusted once and it's due for a fret redressing, but this is likewise a sturdy instrument and not so pricey that I'm afraid to take it out.

Just my 2 cents.

- Merritt


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: M.Ted
Date: 07 Oct 05 - 12:20 PM

The traditional price ranges for guitar a young person are "my food for the week","My rent for the month", and "my tuition"--For an older person, they are "my credit card limit", "my Tax refund", and "my uncle died"--

You can use this, but tell em where you heard it:-)


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: Irish sergeant
Date: 07 Oct 05 - 03:30 PM

Even if you want a guitar you don't have to worry about the kids, pets your drunk friends etc. screwing up, It still pays to get a good one. I bought a used Yamaha classical in 1990. It's been to war with me and ina house with a minimum of two cats since. it goes with me to every reenacment I go to so it sees some hard use. Quality telss even if you don't want to worry about the guitar. Kindest regards, Neil


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: GUEST,Sherlock Holmes (Friend of Doc Watson)
Date: 07 Oct 05 - 05:06 PM

The Martin D-18 is a very fine guitar. At least, most of them are.

That being said, if one is endowed with a brain, one does not buy a guitar without examining it first, or at least having some knowledge of the reputation of the luthier. I have seen lousy Martins. If you buy a guitar on the basis of brand name alone, then you are as stupid as you are trying, in your typically suave and sophisiticated way, to accuse me of being.

Go sit on your own guitar, you mindless twit!

That's alimentary, my dear Martin!


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 07 Oct 05 - 10:02 PM

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/g=guitar/s=acoustic/search/detail/base_pid/518640/

This is a lead to Musicians Friend . THere is a great little package .Its a Epiphone sort of like a Gibson LOO blues king but with a cutaway and also electic pick ups . If I needed another guitar that covered a lot of baces inexpensivly I might try this one . Try cuting and pasting above and have a look. All the best , Guy


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Oct 05 - 12:11 AM

I found a raven 1000q,made in korea for 154.00,The guy that was coming up with these commited suicide,but his company was bought out by ravenwest guitars,this guitar is a real beauty and sounds great through my cheap vox 15advt-check them out.


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: GUEST,Zena
Date: 19 Oct 05 - 08:03 PM

Go to a car boot sale


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Oct 05 - 11:26 PM

Try Sam Ash. I was there a while ago and they had a plain brown guitar that looked very like a rip off of that mahogany Martin that people make so much fuss about.

I tried both of them side by side and Damned if that $100 Sam Ash copy didn't sound better. They had a few other cheapies that sounded pretty good as well.

Ya just gotta try them. Oh, and if you're buying a cheapie, make sure that you take the actual demo model that you tried. They'll often say, Oh I'll ge and get you a new one still in it's box.

It's my opinion that people who buy well known names like Martin, do so using 'Peter's Placebo" which states 'that an ounce of image is worth a pound of performance'.

Bert (on Rachael's computer}


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: GUEST,Greycap
Date: 20 Oct 05 - 09:59 AM

Martin Gibson is right - you don't need a cheap guitar. Get a good one and be happy.


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 20 Oct 05 - 10:08 AM

Here's an edifying story re "the Classical Guitar that my wife found at Goodwill for $15 is developing a split in the back--"

When my beloved guitar suffered an accident which caused a split in the top, I raced to the phone and called my brother, the expert. He said, "This is the important part. Does the crack cross a glued joint?" The answer was no.

Acting upon his advice, my husband and I put the smallest bit we could use in the drill and drilled round holes at the ends of the splits. (He operated the drill, I held the guitar steady.) The holes needed to be just slightly bigger than the width of the splits. Since my splits were narrow, our "bit" was a sewing-machine needle.

Why? A round hole at the end of a split stops it from propagating.

Then I went to the hardware store and bought some wood putty to match the guitar. I filled up the round holes and pushed it into the splits as best I could. (The putty wasn't necessary to the sound of the guitar, I just thought it looked better.) The guitar has played as well as ever since then.

Perhaps you can apply this cure to the classical guitar.


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: GUEST,wld
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 08:42 AM

nice to hear from Martin anyway. Don't be nasty to him.

Where are you? is the point. I know where to get guitars in England, but if you're someplaace else - my advice is pointless.


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: Davetnova
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 09:57 AM

i bought a Faith jumbo last year. Less than 300 GBP. A beautiful fulltoned guitar, Ihad to lower the bridge saddle a bit. I've just been asked to repair a Lowden, I was almost in tears someone stood on it, and the the neck profile/width is identical. I can't compare the tones yet because the back of the Lowden is totalled but the the feel of the neck is identical.


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: GUEST,fire hose
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 11:12 PM

nuthin funner than cheap guitars and stinky breath


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Oct 05 - 03:12 PM

well i got a cheap guitar and its acutally not bad. its was only like 120 bucks. its an epiphone gibson sg special. and its not a bad little guitar, well worth the money. i enjoy it. its cheap and it wails so if u need a cheap guitar i would say go with one of those.


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: GUEST,Sieffe
Date: 26 Oct 05 - 03:23 PM

get thee to a secondhand shop and hunt down a used Ibanez Vintage series . . . or a very old Yamaha . . .these were made good for two separate reasons . . . the Ibanez was first grade wood with visual flaws so they stained them dark brown to disguise them, and the Yamahas were made so well when they started because they were copying Martins, Gibsons, etc . . . and wanted to compete for sound . . . by now they should be still good albeit scratched to hell . . . all the better for someone not to steal them!


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 26 Oct 05 - 04:38 PM

Cheap guitars these days are way better than the cheap alternatives of the past, thanks to computerized reverse engineering coupled with cheap Asian labor. As long as a company does a decent job selecting ther woods from which they fabricate their instruments, their products can be really pretty decent.

Washburns, for example, are a great deal for the money; the company is a longtime well-established American firm currently doing all their manufacturing in China. I'm sure there are several other brand names doing the same thing, and I'm also sure that all their products are similarly OK.


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: GUEST,Bubblyrat
Date: 12 Jan 07 - 07:02 PM

I absolutely endorse what Sieffe said about Yamahas. I was playing "folk" with some other people out in Singapore in the 60s, & the guitar we ALL wanted was a Yamaha dreadnought. I know a guy in Poole,England,who regularly plays a Yamaha made in,I think,around 1969-70. It sounds superb !! The ones to look for have smallish,orange labels inside, and should be pretty cheap, IF the seller doesn"t realise what he"s got !!! Failing that,get an oldish,well -used Washburn, have it re-fretted if it needs it, and off you go !!!


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 12 Jan 07 - 07:28 PM

my faves at the moment are Cort and Faith guitars. I 'd say spend a hundred and get someone to set it up for you - about £50 - possibly more if you neeed the nut and bridge replacing. You have to do this setting up business - even if you buy a Martin nowadays.

You need someone who makes nice guitars, and understands guitar construction thoroughly.

best of luck!


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 Jan 07 - 07:33 PM

Yeah, right, red label Nippon Gakkis, cheap. Hmm. We advise fraud do we?

Ayers sound good and are fairly reasonable. Indie (from Indonesia, geddit?)sometimes sound good and are reasonable.

A setup ought not to be £50 More like £20 or £30 unless a new nut and saddle are needed, which they ought not to be at this level. Usually they can be filed down OK.


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 12 Jan 07 - 07:53 PM

My 'orders' with a set-up are always the same. I want it as playable as possible,and sounding as good as possible, given the guitars limitations.

with cheap guitars - the truss rod needs adjusting, the frets are nearly always uneven, and snag somewhere or other. The nut and saddle are plastic, a decent luthier will sort you out a bone one at the exact width you want for your choice of strings and the optimum 'action' height. The pegs can usually be improved. the holes for the pegs have been cut by a machine and the pegs have been inserted by a machine. they need to be at the right size.

they say the late Lenny Bruce used to buy the cheapest denims from the supermarket and get them them tailored exquisitely. Personnlly its the approach, I favour. I know a lot of people disagree. They say buy something decent.

However I like this way. I can't afford the best, but I can get something that suits me.


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: M.Ted
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 12:44 AM

Good advice, WLD--you never fail to amaze me--


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 08:13 AM

The thing about the Cort and faith guitars they are solid wood - not just the top but the sides neck and back, aussi.

I picked up a Faith Saturn (thats a solid wood dreadnought) on e-bay for a hundred and fifty. I've ordered a K& K transducer (recommended by Jack Hudson from America - bout forty quid)> i got a gig bag with the Faith, which traded in for a Peavey Hard case (actually I traded in 3 gig bags they keep giving me the bloody useless things!- but the Peavey is a bargain at £50 from Music Inn Nottingham, even if you've got nothing to trade in).

I'm hoping to get Alan Marshall of Northwood guitars to fit the transducer and get it playable - it absolutely sings as it is - beautiful tone.

I'm hoping to do the whole thing for maybe £320.

Just before Christmas I got a new Cort PCW 360 from an Italian site for £360. Really did need a set up, and a stagg case fitted it for £60. the Fishaman prefix system that youb get with the Cort, costs round about £170 if you look for it on e-bay.

I'm trying to get three solid wood guitars together for not much more than the £1250 I traded three yamaahas in for. I need them to be electro acoustic as I like FX.


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: number 6
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 09:36 AM

There are a lot of 'cheap' good, if not exceptional guitars coming from the Orient these days ..... good solid tone woods, good quality, and most of good sound.

examples being ... Blueridge, Johnson Carolinas, Guilds GAD series (very impressive), Epiphone Masterbilts.

Gone are the days when a Chinese guitar was untouchable junk.

biLL


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: Scrump
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 01:41 PM

The people who say "don't play a cheap guitar, get a good one" are missing the point. Of course a good guitar is better than a cheap one, but there are occasions when you don't want to use your best guitar - a gig in a rough pub, for example. I now have a bunch of guitars which I bought for different purposes.

My advice is to buy on ebay - there are some great bargains to be had, but the risk is that you might get ripped off. To avoid that, do your homework first, check the buyer's feedback, etc., and you should be OK, as with buying anything else on ebay. (I got a good guitar in immaculate, as new condition, with all the trimmings, for around half the shop price).


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: GUEST,Mike
Date: 17 Mar 10 - 03:43 PM

Shop Goodwill online and you'll find a cheep guitar!


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Mar 10 - 10:38 AM

My baby is my 3561 Tama circa 1974, however I cringe at even removeing her from her blanket wrap (I dont use a case). I was in desprite need of something I could slam ,drop, or leave by the campfire.Ebay is a great place to shop for a beater, I found a 3/4 size Fender that suits my needs nicely.People tend to ask to much from a $200 guitar and its just not going to happen.There are way to many of us that have a "BABY" and are to afraid to use them.I spend 90% of my time on my other guitars and hardly ever touch the Tama.ITS SAD FOLKS !! My advise spend the money , but play her.In fact gonna bring her out of hibernation right now.       Phlyonthewall


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: Gurney
Date: 19 Mar 10 - 11:03 PM

Try a Jack and Danny Brothers guitar. I bought one online for NZ$81 and I love it.
Very well made in Taiwan. Perfectly set up, and unmarked. $81! If I'd paid $500 I'd be happy!


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Subject: RE: I need a cheap guitar!! Your thoughts?
From: GUEST,Bardan
Date: 20 Mar 10 - 10:44 AM

I don't actually know all that much about guitars, but the best advice in buying any instrument is to go somewhere with a lot of choice and play lots of them and take the one you like the sound/playability of.

Beware of buying a cheapie you can bash around without worrying about it. If you're sentimental enough you'll end up falling in love with it however flawed it is. My emergency stopgap busking violin has been with me for four or five years now and its been all over the place with me. I might buy a nicer one once I've got the money, but the cheapie has far too much sentimental value now for me to be blase about it getting knocked around.


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Mudcat time: 16 July 12:01 AM EDT

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