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Old 10-30-2013, 09:00 PM   #1
jomsjoms
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Seagull Guitars - need help in choosing

Hi. To begin with, I understand that I should TRY them all and see what guitar speaks to me but the problem is, I am not from the USA and the items listed below are FAR away from me so I don't intend to go to each of them. I only intend to go to the one I will buy.

Anyway, I'm an old guy (40yrs old) trying to learn how to play a guitar. I have big fat fingers thus my choice of Seagulls.(having a nut size of 1.8). Below are the listed seagull guitars available to me. Which one would you choose and why?

A) Seagull Cedar Coastline Folk (not sure if with pickup) ($360) - used for 1 year

B) 25th anniversary flame maple with pickup ($500) - used for 2 months

C) Seagull S6 CW Folk with pickup ($500) - used for 5 years

I'm leaning towards either A) Cedar coastline Folk or C) Seagull S6 CW Folk since I've read that Cedar Seagull guitars sound much better than Spruce Seagulls. Is there any truth to this? Would you go for the Cedar Folk or the 25th Anniv Flame Maple? (I also read that of the 25th anniversary model, the Mahogany is so much better than the Flame maple)


For reference:

A) seagull cedar coastline folk ($360) - used for 1 year






B) 25th anniversary flame maple ($500) - used for 2 months








C) Seagull S6 Cedar CW Folk with pickup ($500) - used for 5 years






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Old 10-30-2013, 10:22 PM   #2
Angus_Junior35
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I can't give you an answer man, but you can't go wrong with Seagulls! I bought an Entourage new in January and it's the best acoustic I've touched. I haven't been able to play any other Seagulls, but I haven't heard anything bad about them from anybody. Great sound with and without an amp. Since you're looking at 3 Seagulls, I'm assuming you know the electronics are made by Godin?
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Old 10-30-2013, 10:29 PM   #3
jomsjoms
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Yeah, the electronics are from Godin.

Nice guitar you have there (Entourage), however I don't plan to include them on my choices since I believe the Entourage line only has a 1.72 nut size.
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Old 10-30-2013, 10:49 PM   #4
Captaincranky
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I like both guitars with the cutaway.

The maple may be "different" but I'm not so sure I'd commit to using the term "worse".

The S-6 is going to be the most mellow, (cedar top), and the maple will be the brightest.

I prefer to buy any acoustic with installed electronics, and the cutaway is paired with that option quite often.

The S-6 is an exception to that. I think the electronics come without a cutaway.


here's Seagull spec page: http://www.seagullguitars.com/specs.html It should help you not have to guess about the outfitting.

As far as "used one year" or "used 5 years" goes, there are too many other variables involved to base your decision on that alone.

Last edited by Captaincranky : 10-30-2013 at 10:57 PM.
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:11 AM   #5
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if it's going to be your first acoustic, as long as they are all within your budget and in good shape, it doesn't really matter that much which one you choose. after you get some fingertime in, you'll better be able to differentiate between tones in guitars. at that point, the guitars tone and comfortabilty will sometimes "speak to you".
you can't really go wrong with any of those. i myself, do like the sound of maple.
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Old 10-31-2013, 04:05 PM   #6
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The first one appears to have no pickup. If you plan to play amplified, then you will need to get a soundhole pickup or else have one installed (I do not recommend the latter).

The one with the flame maple sides (and back, I assume) is going to sound brighter. Maple is heavier, denser and reflects sound more crisply than does mahogany, rosewood or cedar. If you like to do a lot of fast or intricate "chicken-pickin' clean" runs (as the country players like to call them), then this will be the best choice of the bunch. It is a fine guitar all around, but its real strength is as a picking guitar, as opposed to a strumming guitar.

Cedar was picked up by a few custom makers back in the mid-to-late 70s as a top for acoustic guitars because top-quality spruce was getting hard to find. There was a serious decline in the lumberjack business back then, but not anymore. Cedar tops are said to sound more mellow than spruce tops, but this has a lot to do with how the tops are cut and braced. You could make a cedar-topped guitar ring out like a spruce and maple J200 if you build it to sound like that. I suspect (but I am not certain) that Seagull did not use a different bracing with their cedar tops, so it might sound a bit more mellow, but not much. Seagull cannot afford to switch production techniques from one model to the next. Doing so is expensive, and jacks up the price of the instrument that is made differently. Martin's D-28 and HD-28 are a perfect example of this.

Personally, I like the flamed maple one. I like the sound of acoustic guitars with maple backs and sides (I have been lusting after a high-end Guild 12-string with maple for a long time). I like the way the notes ring out. The mahogany back-and-sides version of this guitar would probably have less note definition and a bit more bass response, but again; that depends as much on how the top is cut and braced as it does on the back-and-side construction. I prefer the maple version. But if you are more of the Peter, Paul and Mary type, then the maple version might not be your thing.

Don't worry about fat fingers or nut dimensions. They don't change much on any guitar unless you go to a custom maker and have one built to your specs. You will do just fine with any of these. Seagull has been around for a very long time, and they've built up a very good reputation. I don't think you will go wrong with any of them.

Good luck, and whatever you get, enjoy it!
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Old 10-31-2013, 11:41 PM   #7
jomsjoms
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Thanks for the replies! Any one else want t o share their thoughts?
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Old 11-01-2013, 02:14 PM   #8
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Well, I own a Seagull S6 with the Q1 electronics built in from the factory. I LOVE this guitar. The craftmanship is great and it sounds better than a lot of friends guitars in the same price range that I've played with. I may just be partial to Seagull, but I like what they're all about. I'm sure part of this has to do with my ear not being fine tuned enough, but I don't think you need to be AS concerned about the wood. I think the strings you choose and how frequently you change them will have just as much affect on the sound. Either way you'll be getting a solid top guitar. (on that note, does the 25th anniversary have solid back and sides?)

I have to disagree with FatalGear a little. I'm a big guy and have very large hands. As a result, my hand is more comfortable with the wider neck of my S6. Obviously by now I'm used to it, but when I play someone elses guitar it takes a bit of adjusting for a few minutes to get my fingers to the right strings.

Also, I had an opportunity to play the 25th anniversary guitar once. I remember really wanting to walk out the door with it but I was just doing window shopping and not looking for a purchase. It sounded great, I'm not sure what wood was used though since it sounds like they made it with different woods.

Either way as just about everyone has said, you'll be getting a nice guitar. So long as there's nothing wrong with any of them they'll all sound and play well. Since you won't have the option to see them before purchasing, I guess in this scenario choose the one that is the most aesthetically pleasing to you. Personally, I think I would go with the 25th anniversary model.
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Old 11-01-2013, 04:17 PM   #9
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general consensus is the flamed maple 25th edition. ya might as well get it or we'll all come over to your house and beat up your pekinese !
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:03 PM   #10
jomsjoms
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Hehe, please don't beat me up. lol

Actually, at first I wanted to get the 25th anniversary but I've googled it and a lot of post said that the MAHOGANY 25th anniv edition is the one that sounds great. The Flame Maple doesn't do justice to Seagull. Can someone who has played both the Mahogany and the Flame Maple tell me if this is true or not? Thanks.
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:30 PM   #11
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That flamed maple is one seriously good looking axe. But I haven't played any of them.

As for being old at 40....Oh no that would make Cranky and myself fossils. Cheers
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Old 11-01-2013, 07:27 PM   #12
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i have 'hogs and maples. not in a seagull mind you but i have them. i love that maple crispness in a big guitar like that 25th dread. i have a smaller maple that's just too bright for a lot of things. i use it when i'm playing with 3 or 4 other acoustic players...that's where maple really stands out. i have a larger maple that does well on it's own. the larger body tones down the crisp. the 2 'hogs seem to play better when i'm playing alone( yes, i play with myself all the time...let's just get that out there and out of the way !) as the deep bassiness tends to get lost when accomanying other guitars. we won't even delve into your question about a 25th 'hog seagull as it wasn't one of the three choices you put before us...

As for being old at 40....Oh no that would make Cranky and myself fossils. Cheers... good thing you have that Ring to keep you young Tuxs... and remember, stay away from Mordor !
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:01 PM   #13
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I actually find big dreads a tad boomy when you strum the crap out of them. Maple would put a better edge on individual notes. The truth of the matter is, I don't completely like any of my guitars when they're not plugged in.

When it comes right down to it, you're always only a stomp box or rack EQ away, from exactly the sound you want. Which is fair, since most of us don't have a designated conservatory room to play in, which has been treated to a sound engineering job.

As Stepchild points out, the sound of any guitar is all relative to the context it's being played in. He also suggests, (albeit not overtly), that one single guitar is not going to be all things to all people, or even an individual.

The maple Seagull is a bold fashion statement, and I'm sure you could tune it to your ear, be it with strings, or amp and effects.

Then there's this; a lot of bad reviews, especially when linked to a normally good product, are made by jackasses, who like to return things and bad mouth them afterward, just to make themselves feel important.

For instance, "the maple Seagull sucked, it was too bright". Meh, who knows, maybe the fool had an all laminate jumbo before which was dead mellow. Here you know what to expect. I don't know if the option is open to you, but if it is, I'd hustle down to the local music store and see if they have a maple dreadnought anything, just to sample the character of the wood.

Last edited by Captaincranky : 11-01-2013 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 11-02-2013, 10:55 AM   #14
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I own a Seagull S6. I find it a very easy unit to play, comfortable, wide nut and a lovely sound. Provided your choice of guitar is in good condition, I consider you could select any and enjoy.
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Old 11-03-2013, 05:03 PM   #15
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I'm also an S6 owner--cedar top, wide nut width. I really love this guitar, but I will say that it seems to be a little better suited for fingerpicking. I'm a pretty hard strummer, and I find that the cedar top doesn't really compress well--strumming hard produces some distortion in the sound. Spruce and maple generally seem to hold up to hard strumming a little better.

Again, if you're just beginning, you may not really notice this at all, but there's my two cents.

Seagulls are a great secret--fantastic value, and great instruments. Be aware too that they're guitars that sound better as they age, so don't sell it right away!
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:42 AM   #16
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Anyone else?
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