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Old 09-09-2013, 07:14 AM   #1
BjarnedeGraaf
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Semi-acoustic help

Sup guys, I think I posted this in the right section cause you can plug one of these in xD

my question:

I'm looking for a semi-acoustic guitar between 200-400 euros (yes euros, but i think they just change the currency symbol so i guess dollars work too)
I do like fingerstyle, but I strum more, as I'm still in a learning process. I'd like one where you can make both sound good.

I also have a question regarding the pick-up. Because a friend of mine told me that most semi's have an active 1 (with batteries?)
I would like one which has a passive pick-up if those exist?

I'd use it for the singer/songwriter style of music. I've got my electric for the rock/punk I like to play, but my voice doesn't suit rock music as it doesn't have much power like dave grohl for example, so i'd like to do some John Mayer kind of stuff (once i master his level)
I would love your advice on this, thanks in advance.
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:27 AM   #2
Bikewer
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Well, 400 Euros is about 500 USD.... That puts you in the "better than entry-level" category.

By "semi-acoustic" I take it you're talking about what we'd call an "acoustic-electric" here, essentially an acoustic guitar with a built in pickup, some tone controls, and the like.
There's an awful lot of models. Most recommend getting one that has a good acoustic sound, as the electronics in this price range are pretty similar.
Thing to look for would include easy battery change.. I had one that required you to stick your hand in the soundhole and fish around for the battery.

Yamaha has a number of models in this price range... and they have a good reputation for electronics.
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:02 PM   #3
Auriemma
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Semi acoustic... do you mean and acoustic electric or a semi hollow electric like an Epi Sheraton?
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BjarnedeGraaf
....[ ]....I also have a question regarding the pick-up. Because a friend of mine told me that most semi's have an active 1 (with batteries?)
I would like one which has a passive pick-up if those exist?....[ ].....
No, you don't want a passive pickup in an acoustic electric guitar. Not no way, not no how.

The active pickups have 3 band EQ. So, you would just punch up the treble slider, to put back the "sting" when going from pick to fingers.

The preamp in the guitar, also raises the signal above the noise floor of the effects chain, and the amp itself.

This is a "semi-acoustic": Note the dot has electric style passive pickups

This is an "Acoustic Electric": Note the preamp control panel on the upper bout (This has a piezo pickup under the saddle).
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Old 09-09-2013, 02:19 PM   #5
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I think what I mean would be an Acoustic Electric. I want people to hear me when I'm not using an amp as well
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Old 09-09-2013, 03:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BjarnedeGraaf
I think what I mean would be an Acoustic Electric. ...[ ]......
Yeah, there's a bit of difference in terminology between the US and Europe. which doesn't help either. In Europe most times, the order is reversed and our "acoustic electric", becomes "electric acoustic".

In any case, you should start looking into these lines: Yamaha, Seagull, and Takamine.

All are excellent.

Yamahas are especially good in the entry level range. In your case I would check out the FGX-700 (solid top, cutaway, good electronics). The Seagulls may or may not be available in your location. And finally Takamine, which is notorious for producing great stage guitars, with great electronics. Garth Brooks, (among others), campaigns with a Tak.

Taylors are very popular today as well, but their entry level is above your price point.

You should check the currency exchange rate. I think the Euro is worth more than a US dollar. BTW, the Yamaha I posted goes for about $300.00 @ retail, without a sale going on.

Last edited by Captaincranky : 09-09-2013 at 03:41 PM.
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Old 09-09-2013, 04:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captaincranky
Yeah, there's a bit of difference in terminology between the US and Europe. which doesn't help either. In Europe most times, the order is reversed and our "acoustic electric", becomes "electric acoustic".

In any case, you should start looking into these lines: Yamaha, Seagull, and Takamine.

All are excellent.

Yamahas are especially good in the entry level range. In your case I would check out the FGX-700 (solid top, cutaway, good electronics). The Seagulls may or may not be available in your location. And finally Takamine, which is notorious for producing great stage guitars, with great electronics. Garth Brooks, (among others), campaigns with a Tak.

Taylors are very popular today as well, but their entry level is above your price point.

You should check the currency exchange rate. I think the Euro is worth more than a US dollar. BTW, the Yamaha I posted goes for about $300.00 @ retail, without a sale going on.


Yeah euros are worth more than dollars right now, but the thing is mostly when I see a $500 guitar, they'll be 500 here too, sort of speak, maybe a couple of bucks off, but thats about it.
Thanks for the advice, looking around on youtube for some of those you suggested

so basicly every electric acoustic has batteries? good to know thanks!
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Old 09-09-2013, 04:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BjarnedeGraaf
Yeah euros are worth more than dollars right now, but the thing is mostly when I see a $500 guitar, they'll be 500 here too, sort of speak, maybe a couple of bucks off, but thats about it.
Yeah, there doesn't seem to be as much price pressure in the European market as here in the states. Dunno how much shipping costs cause that. Just thank God you're not an Anzac. The prices are atrocious down under.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BjarnedeGraaf
so basicly every electric acoustic has batteries? good to know thanks!
Yeah, they all have batteries.. Some of Ibanez' AE models have a 3 volt preamp, which is really cool, since you only need two AA pencells to power them. Almost all the rest, (AFAIK, even many Ibanez), take the 9 volt, harder to find jobbies.

Piezo output alone is low, and the onboard preamp gives you a ton of flexibility in shaping your sound, there's no reason to consider a guitar without one, especially in your price range.

We get lots of requests for advice on aftermarket pickups, as sometimes people buy acoustic only, and get tired of them after a while. Best to go all in at the start with the electronics. Nobody does as nice a job as the factory with the install.
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Old 09-09-2013, 06:31 PM   #9
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http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guit...electric-guitar

You might be interested in hollow body electrics, they utilize the same electronics as an electric, but have the body of a jazz box guitar. They're a bit prone to feedback, but they're pretty legit, and that Ibanez is damn sexy, even sounds good unplugged, at least the one I heard.
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Old 09-10-2013, 06:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velcro Man
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guit...electric-guitar

You might be interested in hollow body electrics, they utilize the same electronics as an electric, but have the body of a jazz box guitar. They're a bit prone to feedback, but they're pretty legit, and that Ibanez is damn sexy, even sounds good unplugged, at least the one I heard.


your link goes to a deleted product, so dont know which one you mean, but do you mean when you unplug it, the sound goes as loud as a normal acoustic would
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:15 PM   #11
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nope Gratt. the ones he's referencing don't play so well unplugged. not sure he quite cought what you are looking for in a guitar.
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:21 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by stepchildusmc
nope Gratt. the ones he's referencing don't play so well unplugged. not sure he quite cought what you are looking for in a guitar.


Maybe to you, the one I heard sounded better than any pure acoustic near the price, though I love arch-tops.

www.musiciansfriend.com / guitars / ibanez-artcore-af75-hollowbody-electric-guitar was the link, btw.

It's got a thinner body, but the arch-top makes up for it. I'm sure there are some that sound great and some that don't, but it's definitely worth a look.





slightly different model, but more or less the same thing.

To me, the unplugged sound absolutely blows any acoustic/electric out of the water in the same price range. Maybe an ovation plugged in, even the lower end ovations sound GREAT through an amp. As far as that goes, if you want to play plugged in and unplugged and are interested in ovations, look at the deep bowls, anything else sounds HORRIBLE acoustically, but the deep bowls sound great. They have a very unique sound, some people love them, some people hate them, though most haters only hate them because they're purists and rage anytime a guitar is made out of something other than wood.
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Old 09-11-2013, 05:49 AM   #13
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guess Ill go to Rock palace and try my hand at various kinds, see what feels right, thanks for the advice guys!
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:51 AM   #14
Captaincranky
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Originally Posted by Velcro Man
Maybe to you, the one I heard sounded better than any pure acoustic near the price, though I love arch-tops. ...[ ]....
To be fair, arch tops are an acquired taste. I know jazz guys like them because they're smooth, but they don't really have the punch or sting that a good ole flat top has.
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Old 09-12-2013, 01:51 AM   #15
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Weird, I always found them far more punchy and choppy. It's the same with mandolins, compare the flat-tops with the arch-top (which everyone in bluegrass uses). To me, unless it's a VERY bright, twangy acoustic, it just sounds too bland to me. It's all in the design, they were invented to be louder and cut through the other instruments since guitars were overpowered in big bands.

Last edited by Velcro Man : 09-12-2013 at 01:53 AM.
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Old 09-12-2013, 03:45 AM   #16
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Well, the mando cuts by the nature of the octave it's in. It's probably centered around 500 to 1000Hz, exactly where our ears are most sensitive. Then dogs bark at the upper harmonics. I do know jazz guys like those deep body archtops, even put flat wound strings on them to make them smoother still. Everybody brings up how a mandolin cuts through. If you compare one with a "tweeter" as opposed to a dreadnought which is a "woofer", you'll quickly realize it doesn't need to be big to make a hell of a lot of noise. In fact, if it were, that would work against it.

Guitars are funny anyway, a dread will trample the 2nd octave of the bass a bit, if the sound guy doesn't place it in the mix properly.

It would be a great test of the, "invented to cut through the orchestra" principle, to see what would happen with one of these new fangled brassy ass Taylors....

Anyway, talk about "cuts through", if you get a chance listen to the old Linda Ronstadt tune, "Silver Threads and Golden Needles ". The guy playing the steel guitar is about in the 3rd+ octave. Great stuff. I expect it would wake every dog in a three block radius. It's all in the frequency distribution.

(Besides, if the flat tops you've run across, are anything like the ones we get questions on, the strings are likely about six months old, and dead as a door nail).

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Old 09-12-2013, 04:39 AM   #17
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I'm not referring to the range of the mandolin, if you've ever listened to an italian or irish mando and compare it to an arch-top, the flat-tops are much more mellow and soft.

As for guitar, it depends, most jazz players do love that mellow tone, except gypsy jazz. I mean, a lot of guys play those flat-tops with the weeeeird looking soundholes, but then others player with arch-tops, and they chop so goooood.

Although mandolins have a high range, they're still a small instrument with quite note decay, so they can be drowned out in a big band (in an acoustic setting, proper PA set-ups negate the issue)

Also, I've owned my fair share of flat-tops and I like to change strings often >_> I'd say the best sounds I got were from a Taylor 110 and a Dixon Hummingbird, but even the Taylor was missing something, imo. Just still sounded too soft. I mean, a lot of it IS in the fingers to get good twangy sounds, but that bit that's for me.

Some of those insanely expensive Martins do wonders for me...but I'd have to buy a car for that price

While on the subject of arch-tops, I have to recommend The Loar to anyone wanting to check out inexpensive, high quality instruments. I had the LM-400 mandolin and it just sounded astonishingly good...but I'm really derailing this thread >_>
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