#1
I have about a 15+ year old entry level Washburn and am just thinking about upgrading. I am certainly not the bets guitar player but when I was at the music store today for my lessons I played a few acoustics and really liked the feel and sound of a few of them. I'm use to the names I see the while attending concerts, etc which is Taylor and Martin. Not really concerned with being able to amp the guitar as I just play solo in my living room. The Taylor was a 700 series, I believe the 711 and 714 were acoustic/electric and (714 felt slightly smaller) were in the $700 range and I even played a few $3000 ones as well and thank god I did not notice that big of a difference.

So, anything in particular I should be looking for? I'm tempted to take a trip to the Martin factory (do they sell guitars there??) and learn about the build process.

Thanks in advance.

--JK
#2
well more expensive acoustics will have a much warmer tone to them. I really like the tone of taylors but it really depends on the tone you want
#4
^ I second the Larrivee suggestion. I love mine.

But for that much money you should really go play everything and find what you personally like.
It's Only Rock and Roll, But I like It
#5
Alvarez-Yairi, one of these in the $1200 range compares to other makers $2000+ instruments. The history of the luthier K. Yairi is fascinating, and all the guitars are 100% hand made from wood that is naturally aged over 30 years (not kiln dried).

if that doesn't float your boat... then the Larravee would have to be the next thing in that price range... although the upper end of that price range.

Taylor and Martin also make guitars in that price range too. I just think you get more out of a Yairi, or even a Larravee ...more sound for the buck..... also, Yairi and Larrivee are a more balanced sound at that price range.... THAT OF COURSE IS PERSONAL opinion and you'll really need to get the sales guy to play each of them for you while you stand back and listen and make your own judgement.

Consider scanning kijiji for a few weeks as well. You might get a 2000 - 3000 guitar for $1500 if you keep on top of it.
2001 Gibson USA Les Paul Studio Black/Gold
2008 Alvarez-Yairi DY40C
2004 Taylor 310
Marshall AVT275

Ex guits 2002 Ovation Elite, 1995 Seagull 12 BC Rich Gunslinger Snakeskin Various Yamaha Various Sammick Epiphone Les Paul, Epiphone ES
#6
Try some Breedlove brand. They truly feel amazing. Of course the sound and looks are there too. Total package guitars.
I'm not a fan of facts. You see, the facts can change, but my opinion will never change, no matter what the facts are. - Stephen Colbert

#7
OH... just one more comment. A $3000 guitar in the music store will sound better than a $800 guitar, however, after the instrument "opens up" which can take a couple years of playing on it, the sound will just continue to improve. There's lots of theories on this phenomena, but the most accepted is that the vibrations open the pours of the wood over time and you get warmer sound with more volume. $800 guitars often have laminate tops which either don't open up over time or only open up slightly. Of course, they use better woods and bonding agents that the sub $400 category, so you can get some pretty decent sound in this class. In the $1200 to $1500 you get some kind of hybrid. The top will generally be solid (spruce in most cases), but the body will contain laminates. This a great trade because most of the sound is created by the top plate. The aging process of the wood will also play into the resonance and the guitars ability to open up. Most mass production facilities now kiln dry thier wood. It becomes a subjective argument as to whether kiln dried wood sounds better than naturally dried wood. Personally I prefer the naturally dried process. Also, some hand made guitars still use bone nuts which are supposed to resonate more than plastic. Yairi's have bone nuts, but I'm not sure what Larravee or the others use.

This that add to the cost but don't really affect sound will be the particular inlays and dressings of guitars. Larrivees and Yairi's tend to use better base materials, but keep down the flash so you get a guitar that sounds more expensive than it's look. Gold dipped machine heads don't do anything to improve sound, but do make a guitar more expensive. This is why you may find little sound difference between a $2000 Martin or Taylor and a $4000 Martin or Taylor.......

There's lots o stuff to consider, but in the end you have to trust your own ear and get what you like. I will say... a cheap guitar from any manufacture accentuates your mistakes. A quality guitar will help cover them up to some degree as long as you keep your time.
2001 Gibson USA Les Paul Studio Black/Gold
2008 Alvarez-Yairi DY40C
2004 Taylor 310
Marshall AVT275

Ex guits 2002 Ovation Elite, 1995 Seagull 12 BC Rich Gunslinger Snakeskin Various Yamaha Various Sammick Epiphone Les Paul, Epiphone ES
#8
$800 guitars often have laminate tops
Where the hell are you shopping? Ha ha. Solid tops start at $300 or less. Good post though, very informative.
I'm not a fan of facts. You see, the facts can change, but my opinion will never change, no matter what the facts are. - Stephen Colbert

#9
Quote by Link.JohnIrving
Where the hell are you shopping? Ha ha. Solid tops start at $300 or less. Good post though, very informative.


Maybe that's overstated, but it's something to watch for more in that price range than when you get over $1000.
2001 Gibson USA Les Paul Studio Black/Gold
2008 Alvarez-Yairi DY40C
2004 Taylor 310
Marshall AVT275

Ex guits 2002 Ovation Elite, 1995 Seagull 12 BC Rich Gunslinger Snakeskin Various Yamaha Various Sammick Epiphone Les Paul, Epiphone ES
#10
Quote by Milez5858
Maybe that's overstated, but it's something to watch for more in that price range than when you get over $1000.


o canada, why didn't you mention seagull?!

i just bought my 5th. their necks are perfect, and their $1000 guitars make me wonder how anyone could possibly think of spending any more than that on a guitar. they're perfect to me.
within you lay everything
every key
every secret

untouched and in plain sight
#11
@Milez5858 - A lot of your info is true. Just wanted to point out that you can get solid tops at about $250. Once you hit about the $800+ region, it's almost all solid wood guitars. At $1000, it's pretty much all solid for sure.

@TS - For this price range, just play guitars to your heart's content. My Martin D-16RGT was basically the perfect guitar for me(it's also in your price range. $1200), but I still played it in the store for about 6 hours before I bought it. You're paying a lot of money, so make absolutely sure that you're getting THE guitar for you.

Some great choices(some of which have already been mentioned)...
- Larrivee 03 series
- Yairi/Alvarez
- Martin 15/16 series
- Taylor 300 series(if you can find it for your price range)
- Guild GAD series
- Epiphone Masterbilt series
- Seagull Maritime, Performer, and Artist series
- Breedlove Atlas series
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
#12
Quote by captivate
@Milez5858 - A lot of your info is true. Just wanted to point out that you can get solid tops at about $250. Once you hit about the $800+ region, it's almost all solid wood guitars. At $1000, it's pretty much all solid for sure.

@TS - For this price range, just play guitars to your heart's content. My Martin D-16RGT was basically the perfect guitar for me(it's also in your price range. $1200), but I still played it in the store for about 6 hours before I bought it. You're paying a lot of money, so make absolutely sure that you're getting THE guitar for you.

Some great choices(some of which have already been mentioned)...
- Larrivee 03 series
- Yairi/Alvarez
- Martin 15/16 series
- Taylor 300 series(if you can find it for your price range)
- Guild GAD series
- Epiphone Masterbilt series
- Seagull Maritime, Performer, and Artist series
- Breedlove Atlas series

Listen to this man. Specially the Breedlove part.
superman is killing himself tonight
#13
*Warning*

Once you have tried a Larrivee, there is no going back. it's a dangerous. please be aware
#14
Quote by Symtex
*Warning*

Once you have tried a Breedlove, there is no going back. It's dangerous. Please be aware.

Fix'd
superman is killing himself tonight
#15
Quote by Link.JohnIrving
Try some Breedlove brand. They truly feel amazing. Of course the sound and looks are there too. Total package guitars.

I agree with this and all the other pro-breedlove posts. I qould always go into the guitar center and play Martins, Ovations, and Taylors; each of which have their up sides. I never really played Breedlove because I didn't recognize the brand. A few months ago I played one just to try something new and let me tell you, it sounded and felt way better than any Taylor or Martin that I have ever laid hands on.
#17
Guess the challenging thing is to be able to find some of these mentioned guitars in local stores.

--JK
#18
Ill also recommend Breedlove...made by the old head luthier of Taylor(kim breedlove i think)...basically for less money you get an awesome instrument for less than a Taylor but with improvements, such as the patented bridge support....and If you play one...man...they are soooooo sweeet....like butter

edit: not all are cheaper than breedlove, they do have custom ones that can go up to 80k us dollars...but u can get a comparitive one for less money than a Taylor without losing any quality whatso ever
Last edited by kamikazekidd at Feb 4, 2009,
#19
For Breedloves, I find that they only REALLY shine when fingerpicked. When strummed, they're nothing special. If you fingerpick, there is almost no competition. Fingerpicked Breedlove = WIN.

As for the bridge support, it's actually just a modified bridge doctor. Bridge doctors were originally created to stop the tops from bubbling on older vintage guitars. Breedlove uses this technology to decrease the amount of bracing needed on the top, which in theory means that you get a lot more resonance from the top.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
#20
Oh captivate i can assure you that my Jumbo excels at both! that thing is an absolute cannon! But yeah I also went ton the hunt for a Martin or a Taylor and bought not one but two Breedlove's. It's all personal preference though, let YOUR ears be the judge! Enjoy the hunt.
Breedlove Atlas AC25/SR Plus
Breedlove Atlas Stage J350/EF
Yamaha F335
Alvarez Md 60
Gibson les paul
Fender twin reverb
Genz Benz 150LT.
Egnater Rebel 30 1 x 12
#21
Two?

The Breedlove I tried was a Roots series. Sounded really bland strummed. Sounded like a god picked.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
#22
All lovely guitars. Not in the same league as Fylde, but not in that price range either. Dare you spoil your eyes?
I pick up my guitar and play
Just like Yesterday

T C Ellis Series 2 LP w/Skatterbrane Quiescence pups
Cort EVL-K6
Yamaha RGX211 modded
H&S Electric 12-string
Shaftsbury Ricki 4001
'84 Fender Yale
Roland Cube 15x

#23
Larravee, Alvarez-Yairi
2001 Gibson USA Les Paul Studio Black/Gold
2008 Alvarez-Yairi DY40C
2004 Taylor 310
Marshall AVT275

Ex guits 2002 Ovation Elite, 1995 Seagull 12 BC Rich Gunslinger Snakeskin Various Yamaha Various Sammick Epiphone Les Paul, Epiphone ES
#24
Looks like there is a Larravee dealer about 30 min from the house which is Sam Ash. I'm sure they have a decent inventory and maybe they will have the Gilmour Strat in as well!

--JK
#25
In that price range I would say you could not beat a Blueridge BR-180A or a Blueridge BR-160A. The A designates Adirondack Spruce top. Outstanding guitars and can be compared with the comparable Martin at maurysmusic.com.
#26
Quote by captivate
Two?

The Breedlove I tried was a Roots series. Sounded really bland strummed. Sounded like a god picked.

Problem. Roots series are really only good fingerpicked. Try an Atlas, Pro, or better yet, Master series.
superman is killing himself tonight
#27
Larrivee D03-R. You owe it to the Lord of The Dance to try it out.

Yes, I did just bring the Riverdance into this.
#28
Quote by Guitar Hack
In that price range I would say you could not beat a Blueridge BR-180A or a Blueridge BR-160A. The A designates Adirondack Spruce top. Outstanding guitars and can be compared with the comparable Martin at maurysmusic.com.

seconded

I have a 40A. It's great. It shows you how little the back and sides really matter.
Last edited by Tommy Walker at Feb 5, 2009,
#31
The Simon & Patrick showcase series guitars are some very sweet sounding machines to be had in this price range.
#32
the taylor 700 series absolutely is not around 700 dollars my friend... but for the higher end of your pricerange you can get a 314 ce.... i have one and looooooove it... i too went into the music shop to try every taylor they had and decided the 314 was right for me... i will eventually get a higher end one but theyre just fancier... and use different woods so they have a slightly different sound .. but the 314 is very well balanced.... also look at the new gs models... havent played one but hear good things... i think the model numbers are *16 but get a taylor you wont regret it.
#33
Well, my guitar playing took a bit of a break but I am about to start up again and will be scheduling lessons soon. I'm also about to restart my acoustic guitar shopping and hopefully can be around the $1000 area. There are two small guitar shops around and a new Guitar Center and a Sam Ash as well.

The one local shop is having a Taylor rep in the store on Wednesday for demos and sizing. I really haven't considered a Taylor but for no real reason. I feel as if I should take advantage of the Taylor rep being in the store and stop by...

Can't seem to find a place that carries the Larrivee line of guitars.