Acoustic Guitar Purchasing for Noobs

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Acoustic Guitar Purchasing for Noobs

Postby Plink Floyd » Mon Nov 21, 2016 2:24 pm

I am teh noob, and I want one. A good one. I once had a pretty nice one, but it fell into the hands of a certain Guitar Boy and I'll speak of it no further.

I've had a handful of beaters and junkers, and while they can sometimes sound ok, they always had some problem like bad intonation or drifting out of tune.

I'd like to bypass the beginner models. I don't want to upgrade later in the unlikely event that I should acquire an intermediate level of skills. Is such an item available in the $200 range?
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Re: Acoustic Guitar Purchasing for Noobs

Postby ElectricPuppy » Mon Nov 21, 2016 5:17 pm

I'd like to hear suggestions, too. Kinda thinking of picking up geetar noob skillz.
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Re: Acoustic Guitar Purchasing for Noobs

Postby christianrock » Mon Nov 21, 2016 10:36 pm

First, I'd stay away from the "usual suspects" in the lower than 200 dollar range, like Fender or Yamaha or Ibanez. They use laminates or even worse, particle base boards, on these lower end models.

For 200 dollars, you can get a nice Samick Greg Bennett guitar that will have a solid top (I think any with nicer finishing details is solid). I think you'd be happy with it and not need to upgrade unless you get super serious.

If you can up the budget just a little bit, Breedlove's asian-made guitars are really good and can be found used in the 250-350 dollar range. I got one as a "beater guitar" so I wouldn't have to take my nice Larrivée everywhere, and I just end up playing the Breedlove all the time, even at home when I could be picking up the Larrivée. It's got a really nice and balanced sound. The one I have is similar to this: http://www.proaudiostar.com/breedlove-p ... ncert.html . This particular one seems to be at a very good price for what it is, for being an open box.

These Breedloves (at least the ones I've seen, and mine) have solid tops and backs (very important) and play very nice. I've played guitars in the 2-3K dollars range and to be honest, at that price range you're just paying for a name and for finishing details. I've never picked up a multi-thousand dollar guitar and said "wow, now I really sound better". Never.
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Re: Acoustic Guitar Purchasing for Noobs

Postby ElectricPuppy » Tue Nov 22, 2016 4:22 am

Excellent tips, thanks Mister Guitar!
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Re: Acoustic Guitar Purchasing for Noobs

Postby ClavAnother » Tue Nov 22, 2016 5:56 am

Buy used. Better quality than new for the same money. A new $200 is nowhere near the quality of a depreciated one.

Wait...shit. I just remembered that I bought a new guitar for $250 and it's totally kickass. Mind you, I have several guitars that are worth several thousand smackers, so I can certainly speak to the advantage of having a precision instrument, but this one guitar is really nice. It's a g&l tribute Asat or something. The black ones started being discounted at Mf, the other colors were like 500 bux, but this one dropped to 299 for a while. I happened to grab in on impulse because I wanted to compare it to a fender that was almost identical to it and it turns out I bought it during the Labor Day sale and called back and mentioned everything was supposed to be 15% off. So I got it for around 255.

Turns out it's awwesome. It's this thing:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/ ... t&index=22

Oh look on sale.



Have we got a video??

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Re: Acoustic Guitar Purchasing for Noobs

Postby ClavAnother » Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:01 am

christianrock wrote:I've played guitars in the 2-3K dollars range and to be honest, at that price range you're just paying for a name and for finishing details. I've never picked up a multi-thousand dollar guitar and said "wow, now I really sound better". Never.




Yeah no


There's much more to it than that.



I play them daily.
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Re: Acoustic Guitar Purchasing for Noobs

Postby ClavAnother » Tue Nov 22, 2016 7:36 am

Lol wut, acoustic? Whoops. Yeah. Go to guitar center and buy a fender for 99-150.

You'll be fine mate
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Re: Acoustic Guitar Purchasing for Noobs

Postby soundwave106 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 1:02 pm

ClavAnother wrote:Yeah no
There's much more to it than that.


I imagine, like many things in life, there's a time and place where the cost matters, and a time and place where it doesn't.

My guitar skills are such where a $200 Yamaha Pacifica is perfectly okay for my needs. :lol:
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Re: Acoustic Guitar Purchasing for Noobs

Postby ClavAnother » Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:16 pm

In my view, I think that whether or not it's perceptible, the difference exists. I attest to it. Maybe it's relevant that I've been playing for thirty years. I don't know.
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Re: Acoustic Guitar Purchasing for Noobs

Postby Plink Floyd » Tue Nov 22, 2016 7:42 pm

I'm fairly certain it's easier to make a cheap solid body electric sound good than to do the same with a cheap acoustic. I mean, you can adjust the intonation on the cheapest of electrics, but with an acoustic it has to be built correctly from the beginning or it's never right.

F'rinstance, I've tinkered with the setup & tronics of a couple Squire Strats, & in my opinion they play quite nicely. But they still won't stand in tune for hours like a better guitar.

Clav, I liekd your vid. I wish you lived closer, we could probably crap up some good tunes betwixt us.
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Re: Acoustic Guitar Purchasing for Noobs

Postby christianrock » Tue Nov 22, 2016 7:54 pm

ClavAnother wrote:Lol wut, acoustic? Whoops. Yeah. Go to guitar center and buy a fender for 99-150.

You'll be fine mate


I very much disagree with that suggestion... obviously it's coming from someone who cares much more about his electrics than his acoustics - and that is fine, you like what you like, but I wanted to note that.

Plink Floyd wrote:I'm fairly certain it's easier to make a cheap solid body electric sound good than to do the same with a cheap acoustic.


This

ClavAnother wrote:Have we got a video??



Is that one of those Yamaha digital amps? They sound good, I've been wanting one for a while.
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Re: Acoustic Guitar Purchasing for Noobs

Postby ClavAnother » Wed Nov 23, 2016 6:11 am

christianrock wrote:
ClavAnother wrote:Lol wut, acoustic? Whoops. Yeah. Go to guitar center and buy a fender for 99-150.

You'll be fine mate


I very much disagree with that suggestion... obviously it's coming from someone who cares much more about his electrics than his acoustics - and that is fine, you like what you like, but I wanted to note that.

Plink Floyd wrote:I'm fairly certain it's easier to make a cheap solid body electric sound good than to do the same with a cheap acoustic.


This

ClavAnother wrote:Have we got a video??



Is that one of those Yamaha digital amps? They sound good, I've been wanting one for a while.




Ok, so yes the yamaha amp. Its great. My friend had one, and kept telling me I should get one. I'm really glad that I finally did, its remarkable.

So regarding the acoustic thing, please dont misunderstand... I have have several acoustics over the years, and played many more, but I only just this last summer got a high end precision acoustic for the first time - I'm pleased to be playing a Gibson J45 Custom that runs about 3k ( I got it for less, but that's a different story). I have been writing some very intricate acoustic music these past several years, but have never owned a guitar that could really bring out the complex harmonics that this music demands. I am very happy to have something to express myself with now.

That said, I have friends that have bought cheeep fender acoustics that project well, stay in tune, and play well. One guy bought his on sale at GC for $99 and it is better than my shitty acoustic ($500 yamaha). That is why I would say go cheeeeeep.

Regarding electrics, I have already mentioned my low cost G&L, but I also have a couple PRS's and Gibsons that range into ridiculous price points, but I can say that I have very closely analyzed the full spectrum of guitars and for me it is very clear what can be gained from playing a precision instrument. Of course you can get a great guitar for not much money, but there is a reason why a 5K guitar is 5K. Granted there are guitars that fetch 20K and more (which I have spent much time with) that are never going to be worth anything like that (for me), but I am talking about hand made instruments too, and its not just hyped inflated pricing. Its got to do with ease and nuance.
Last edited by ClavAnother on Wed Nov 23, 2016 6:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Acoustic Guitar Purchasing for Noobs

Postby ClavAnother » Wed Nov 23, 2016 6:19 am

Also, I got the Yamaha amp on ebay for $200. I expected it to be used for that price (which I thought was a steal), but It came factory sealed. It's an awesome amp.
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Re: Acoustic Guitar Purchasing for Noobs

Postby soundwave106 » Wed Nov 23, 2016 5:55 pm

ClavAnother wrote:Of course you can get a great guitar for not much money, but there is a reason why a 5K guitar is 5K. Granted there are guitars that fetch 20K and more (which I have spent much time with) that are never going to be worth anything like that (for me), but I am talking about hand made instruments too, and its not just hyped inflated pricing. Its got to do with ease and nuance.


I do believe this is true. For acoustic pianos, there's *definitely* a difference between a $100K concert grand piano and the run of the mill upright. Even at my relatively modest level (I can play a Bach Minuet in G but definitely not a Rachmaninov piano concerto :lol:) I can tell the difference. Concert grands allow for more nuance and feel.

A $100K concert grand unfortunately is not in my budget, nor do I have room for it. :lol:

It would be nice if synthesizer manufacturers also started focusing some on more playability (to be fair, a few boutiques have to some degree, but it's still kind of a rare bird). I understand of course that the market is not focused there; the dance / electronic loop type market provide instant gratification for less time investment; it takes a fair amount of work to get up to the point of even playing to the Bach's Minuet in G level.
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Re: Acoustic Guitar Purchasing for Noobs

Postby christianrock » Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:12 pm

soundwave106 wrote:I do believe this is true. For acoustic pianos, there's *definitely* a difference between a $100K concert grand piano and the run of the mill upright.


But now you're talking about different instruments... an upright isn't even close to a grand in terms of its acoustics. Almost like comparing this

Image

with this

Image

What I'm saying is, it's the materials used (woods, finishing lacquer - or lack thereof) and the technology behind the instrument (pickups and electronics on electrics, the thicknesses and bracing style on the top especially, the neck joint) is the same on a 500 dollar and a 3000 dollar guitar, the difference is in how much of it was hand made and what the finishing touches are. In fact if they overdo the finish on the 3000 dollar guitar with too much lacquer for looks, and fill it up with abalone everywhere - it might actually sound worse.

The reason why Clav's G&L guitar sounds so good is because G&L is the only manufacturer that I know of, that builds their asian-made guitar with the exact same components as their american-made counterparts - and that includes their American-made pickups.

Not to get off-topic, by the way, but there's a reason why people buy Japanese Fenders and put American pickups in them. They end up sounding like American Fenders, but play like an Ibanez :)
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Re: Acoustic Guitar Purchasing for Noobs

Postby soundwave106 » Thu Nov 24, 2016 4:18 pm

christianrock wrote:But now you're talking about different instruments... an upright isn't even close to a grand in terms of its acoustics


I suppose the better comparison would be a modest budget concert grand with the top of the line ones.

Thing is, it is true that cost doesn't matter. Yamaha makes some pricey concert grands, and honestly in my limited experience I've never completely gelled with any of them.

I had a G&L electric once. G&L is a good brand IMHO.
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Re: Acoustic Guitar Purchasing for Noobs

Postby midinut » Fri Nov 25, 2016 12:08 am

Here's my two cents ...

Acoustics
I picked up one of the new Martin X-braced models on sale at GC for like $399 IIRC about a year ago (wife told me to buy myself something pretty).
No, it's not a D28, but you know what? When I plug it in and play it (it's also acoustic/electric), it sounds like a Martin to my ears. I also don't hesitate taking it out of the house. I could replace it if I had to. Kinda like why my Kronos sits at home. I've been playing a cheap $200 Epiphone for many years (I kept it) that when set up correctly was a great sounding and recording guitar. Tracked many a song with that old guitar. Something about acoustics too is the wood ages gracefully (so long as you keep the temp and humidity constant) and the older they get the better they sound as a rule.

Electrics
I worked in music retail way back before the GC's and Mars and the lot. I had guitar techs at the store that would set up whatever I wanted. I took a new Peavey Predator, added EMG pickups, different tuners on it and that was one of the best electrics I ever played or owned. Like the above post, a guitar player got his hands on it and ... I had good luck with Mexican Strats. The Yamaha Pacifica is not a bad guitar for the bucks. Currently, I own a Line 6 Variax and run it into a Line 6 POD X3 Live for all my amps and effects models. I also have a Squier Strat and a Squier 5-String Jazz Bass that I will also run through the POD.

BTW, I've also heard great things about that little Yamaha amp as well.

Me thinks the point I am trying to make is this: Find a guy/gal you trust or that comes highly recommended by your guitar playing friends and take whatever you get to them and let them set it up for you. It's well worth the dollars. If you don't like them, try another. Hope that helps a little anyway!
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Re: Acoustic Guitar Purchasing for Noobs

Postby Plink Floyd » Wed Dec 07, 2016 2:49 pm

Much thanks for the learned comments, all!

I suspect I'm getting this from Santa. An expensive one, because the family CFO has cautioned me against unnecessary expenditures. Oh, the suspense.

It's either that or a garage door opener.
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Re: Acoustic Guitar Purchasing for Noobs

Postby selfinflikted » Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:35 pm

I am a HUEG fan of Martin acoustic guitars. They sound the best to me. Get a nice Dreadnaught. They are dandy.

Clavicle will certainly agree.

CERTAINLY.
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Re: Acoustic Guitar Purchasing for Noobs

Postby Plink Floyd » Fri Dec 09, 2016 2:00 pm

MIEK!

:wave:
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