#1
I just went through the process of buying a new acoustic. I have been playing on and off (far more off than on though) for almost 20 years, but don’t actually know that much about guitars and have never gone though this process before. I just wanted something that sounded good – looks, features and reputation were not factors. I started off looking for a used guitar on ebay but after a fairly exhaustive process during which I played a lot of guitars I ended up buying a new Maton M225. This is what I learned in the process, for anyone that is interested (forgive me if some of this is stating the obvious)

1. Just because it is second hand does not mean a bargain, esp in a small market like Australia. I have seen lots if guitars selling on ebay for the same cost as buying them new. I paid $670 for my new M225. A couple of weeks ago I saw a used one go on ebay for $660.
2. All guitars are not created equal. I played lots of supposedly identical guitars in shops that sounded quite different. The 225 I ended up buying sounded different (and much better) to the other 225s in the shop.. The difference seems to be more pronounced the cheaper you go. This really put me off buying online – it is worth paying a little bit extra for something you can try out and compare alongside to others
3. Features and reputation mean nothing, sound is everything. The 225 has laminate back/sides - according to what I have read on these forums, that makes it crap in its price range. I preferred it to anything else in its price range and more (including the all solid Cole Clarks that I tried). It doesn’t matter what it is made of, what fancy features it has or what other people say – what matters is how it feels and sounds to you.
4. As above, price is not everything (but is quite a lot) I played lots of guitars costing more than the 225 that were not nearly as nice. I played some $1500 guitars that were not that good at all. I think I bought the best sounding guitar (to me) I could find under $1,000, and I only paid $670 for it
#2
excellent post, and congrats on finding your guitar

re point 1, there are lots of used guitars for new prices here in los angeles, too.

i very much agree that sound is a lot, but it seems to me that a lot of players listen with what they know about a guitar - the brand, reputation, materials, price - rather than how it sounds. a lot of people tell me certain guitars don't sound good, and when i ask about it, some haven't even tried them - or tried them only after making up their minds firmly in advance that those guitars would sound bad.

still, sound isn't everything, because there's also comfort and playability. if a guitar is uncomfortable, that's a problem. not everyone fits every guitar - things like body style and nut width are important.

btw, got a pic of your new guitar?

Quote by shelf
I just went through the process of buying a new acoustic. I have been playing on and off (far more off than on though) for almost 20 years, but don’t actually know that much about guitars and have never gone though this process before. I just wanted something that sounded good – looks, features and reputation were not factors. I started off looking for a used guitar on ebay but after a fairly exhaustive process during which I played a lot of guitars I ended up buying a new Maton M225. This is what I learned in the process, for anyone that is interested (forgive me if some of this is stating the obvious)

1. Just because it is second hand does not mean a bargain, esp in a small market like Australia. I have seen lots if guitars selling on ebay for the same cost as buying them new. I paid $670 for my new M225. A couple of weeks ago I saw a used one go on ebay for $660.
2. All guitars are not created equal. I played lots of supposedly identical guitars in shops that sounded quite different. The 225 I ended up buying sounded different (and much better) to the other 225s in the shop.. The difference seems to be more pronounced the cheaper you go. This really put me off buying online – it is worth paying a little bit extra for something you can try out and compare alongside to others
3. Features and reputation mean nothing, sound is everything. The 225 has laminate back/sides - according to what I have read on these forums, that makes it crap in its price range. I preferred it to anything else in its price range and more (including the all solid Cole Clarks that I tried). It doesn’t matter what it is made of, what fancy features it has or what other people say – what matters is how it feels and sounds to you.
4. As above, price is not everything (but is quite a lot) I played lots of guitars costing more than the 225 that were not nearly as nice. I played some $1500 guitars that were not that good at all. I think I bought the best sounding guitar (to me) I could find under $1,000, and I only paid $670 for it
#4
Quote by shelf

3. Features and reputation mean nothing, sound is everything.


I don't totally agree with this statement. While sound is quite important, looks also play a major role in the guitars appeal to the owner.

You will be more apt to want to pick up and play a guitar that is visually appealing to you over one that is so-so, or plain. So to me, looks go hand in hand with sound. Try to get both if possible.
#6
Quote by Ic3
Great post

I bought my first acoustic guitar to and learned to always listen to the store guy.


DONT allways listen to the store guy... Do your own research, try to know more then the sales guy. I had a sales guy recommend me a solid top yamaha over an all solid wood 3000 dollar Taylor because he though being able to take some humidity was better then tone.
Where the hell did slide guitar go!?!
#8
i very rarely listen to the store guy. not only have i heard many salesmen in guitar stores out-and-out lie to make a sale, but often they are simply mistaken.

Quote by Ic3
Great post

I bought my first acoustic guitar to and learned to always listen to the store guy.
#9
Quote by LeftyDave
I don't totally agree with this statement. While sound is quite important, looks also play a major role in the guitars appeal to the owner.

You will be more apt to want to pick up and play a guitar that is visually appealing to you over one that is so-so, or plain. So to me, looks go hand in hand with sound. Try to get both if possible.


I kinda agree but to a point. None of the guitars I looked at were offensive looking. I mean i wouldn't buy a pink one even if it was the best sounding guitar around, but i would choose one that sounds better over one that looks better, within reason.

As an example, I am not a big fan of the sunburst look, but my strat is a sunburst as at the time I bought it used it was the right guitar at a great price and i am happy with it even though if I had had the choice I would have got a different color
#10
i completely disagree. i often play with my eyes closed, and if someone didn't mind getting the type of guitars i was looking for off the walls/stands and handing them to me to try, i would buy the one that sounded and felt the best literally sight unseen.

the guitars i find least visually appealing are gibson jumbos, but some of them sound in-f*cking-credible. i had an opportunity to buy one new for $1300 and blew it, but i actually did run back to buy it even though i could barely afford it and didn't like the looks at all. it played like buttah and sounded like god's guitar - and i really regret not laying it away when i first saw it.

i would never even consider buying for looks because sound is all-important after feel, and i don't buy for my image. i choose a guitar to play the best-sounding music i can.

the above is true as long as the guitar was in good condition, btw.

Quote by LeftyDave
I don't totally agree with this statement. While sound is quite important, looks also play a major role in the guitars appeal to the owner.

You will be more apt to want to pick up and play a guitar that is visually appealing to you over one that is so-so, or plain. So to me, looks go hand in hand with sound. Try to get both if possible.
Last edited by patticake at Aug 6, 2009,
#11
Looks apply to someone just starting out more-so than a person with experience. A first timer will be more apt to keep reaching for and playing that pretty AND sweet sounding guitar before going for the less appealing one, especially if he/she is trying to impress or play for friends. Then later on when they've gained some experience they'll realize that looks isn't everything, but by then the hook will be set.
#12
^ Definitely agree as this was my situation as a new player. My first guitar was Sunrise Sunburst with a cutaway. Now I highly prefer the natural look without a cutaway that my Dreadnought Martin has. I used to look for something that sounded good and looked nice. Now I don't care so much how it looks as opposed to how well it sounds and how well it plays. If the sound and comfort criteria aren't met then I move on.

I'm actually quite glad I went for looks/sound in the first place. It really did keep my reaching for the guitar at first. Since I've matured, now my Martin matches me quite well.
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

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