#1
So I have decided that it is time to begin the search for a guitar to use for shows. I will give some brief background info first. I have been playing for about 10 years now, for the last few years I have been focusing on fingerstyle and other solo acoustic guitar stuff. I have been using a Breedlove AD25 which I really like. Unfortunately, the last few winters and summers have taken their toll on it since the heating and air conditioning in my current apartment in Boston is terrible, but luckily I am moving in a month to a much more temperature controlled place. I am also close to having about 25 solo guitar songs under my belt and would like to begin performing soon. It seems about the right time to lay out some cash for a quality show guitar. Here is what I am looking for.

- I really prefer a cutaway
- I need it to have electronics
- I have small hands so a big thick neck is kinda out of the question
- I like low action
- I play mostly fingerstyle stuff so the sound should be pretty balanced

My budget is around 2-4k, of course I would consider options above and below that, but I would not like to spend more than I need to. I am really not too concerned about how decorative or fancy it looks, I am really looking for great playability and sound. I look forward to your suggestions and GREATLY appreciate your help!
#2
look into smaller scale ovations.
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#3
At that sort of budget you have to look at the Fylde Magician
http://www.fyldeguitars.com/index.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roz7011TZAs

(edited to correct link)
I pick up my guitar and play
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Last edited by Lurcher at Aug 3, 2009,
#4
Well, if you play a lot of fingerstyle you might consider a seagull with the wider fretboard. I have small hands and I have no problem playing it. It's actually quite comfortable. It's just kinda hard to do suspended chords with your thumb over the top past the 5th fret. But I like bar chords better anyway. If you can get your hands on one try it out and see if you like it. They're really top notch guitars, with great electronics.
#5
wow I wish I had your budget. Im gonna suggest either a Taylor 414ce or 814ce. both great guitars. The 414ce is about $2000 while the 814ce is about $3000. The ovangkol on the 414ce sounds great, although it varies from one guitar to the next since not all trees are equal. Which brings me to this point...try, try, try very many different guitars in store before you buy one for that kind of money. You're making a lifetime investment even if you wanna trade it or sell it later. Its most important that you end up buying the one you absolutely love and for your budget there's no reason to spare any expense or detail. Hell you should be looking at the Taylor Built-To-Order guitars.

Also, the 814ce is Taylor's flagship model and is the 2nd greastest sounding guitar I've ever played. You might want to chime in at the Acoustic Guitar Forum (not this one, its a different site) for more info since these guys are buying/selling/trading high end acoustics all the time. The Guitar Rodeo is a great place to buy from since if you get sick of your current Taylor he will buy it back at sale price and sell you another Taylor. Also sells Taylor cream of the crop guitars, R. Taylors.

haha sorry about the wall of text its just that you should realize with a $4000 max budget you just walked into a whole different universe of choices
-----------------------------------------------------------

Dr. Z Stangray
G&L ASAT Classic (Ron Kirn Custom T-Style coming soon! ronkirn.com)
Keeley 4 Knob Compressor
Taylor 314ce
#6
Well, if your budget is really that high then you should really go into every single music store within 50 miles and play every acoustic that catches your eye. You've been playing for 10 years so you should be able to feel the right guitar as soon as you pick it up. If you love the way one of the guitars feel and play but don't like how bright the strings are, you can ask they guy to change to the strings that you normally play. When I bought my Taylor I asked the guy to take off the stock elixir strings and throw on what i normally use just so I can tell. If your throwing 2000 bucks around they'll do it for you.

When you find the guitar you want I'd play it for a good couple of hours and then come back later and play it again before buying it, lol. Maybe your made of money and 2000 ain't a huge deal to spend (I doubt it) but you should definitely try anything and everything and be sure of your choice.


Well, after all that, I'd have to recommend a nice Taylor. the 814CE is a beautiful guitar and plays just like it looks. The neck is a fairly normal width and all. Plus, the expression electronics that come with it are top quality and will really allow the guitar to shine when plugged in. If you try out a Taylor, be sure to test it out plugged in afterwards, because it sounds great.

Be sure to post pictures here when you buy it!

EDIT: BTW, could you share a list of your covers on here? Could help some people help you out with your choices. Plus I'm looking for some good acoustic solo songs to learn
Last edited by RoughDraft274 at Aug 3, 2009,
#7
Thanks for the advice guys! There is a really great acoustic guitar shop that is not too far from me. It is called the Music Emporium www.themusicemporium.com

It is kind of a pain to get there since I do not have a car, but they have a ton of high end stuff and are really cool about letting customers play the guitars. I plan on going some time this week and will report on how it goes.

Here is my youtube page http://www.youtube.com/user/PRS1986

I play a lot of Tommy Emmanuel stuff along with some other random classical, fingerstyle arrangements.
#8
If you like your Breedlove so much, why not look into their top-of-the-line stuff? They make absolutely FATASTIC guitars for fingerstyle, and they have top notch electronics in them. Not only that, but they look fatastic. For instance, the 35th Anniversary Limited Edition. Cedar top, Koa back/sides (solid of course. I would expect no less for this price)

Beyond Breedlove, I'd also check out Alvarez Masterworks and Yairi series guitars.

As said above, I'd definately check out Taylors, as well as Martins.

At this price range, the possibilities are almost endless, and there are, for all intensive purposes, no possible reasons that you could go home unhappy for any reason. I'd like to point out that it would be a bit dumb to rule out any pure acoustics, because there are some fantastic guitars at this price that are pure acoustic and could just have aftermarket electronics installed.

EDIT: Dang, that looks like an awesome shop. Seems like they would definately know what they're talking about, so I'd for sure ask them what they think would be a good choice.
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plexi


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Last edited by Natrone at Aug 3, 2009,
#10
wait wait wait....you're spending 2-4 G's on a guitar, but have no car? now thats love for your instrument
-----------------------------------------------------------

Dr. Z Stangray
G&L ASAT Classic (Ron Kirn Custom T-Style coming soon! ronkirn.com)
Keeley 4 Knob Compressor
Taylor 314ce
#11
I know dude, I was thinking the same thing!

I'd at least get a moped or something, and then hook it up with a trailer for gear hauling like the guy in one of the stories here on UG does
Quote by necrosis1193
As usual Natrone's mouth spouts general win.

Quote by Silverstein14
man, Natrone you're some kind of ninja I swear


Quote by gregs1020
plexi


i realize the longshot that is. little giant to humongous one.


Rest In Peace Stevie Ray
#12
I have a car at home in NJ. I am finishing up school here in Boston and did not bring it since it's really more of a hassle than its worth in the city. Plus public transportation is pretty decent, it is just a pain to get to Lexington, MA without a car.
#13
^ haha its cool we're just bustin on ya. I wish I could sell my car. '02 Focus. I'd love to sell it and go hunting for a Taylor 614ce with a honeybrown finish that same day. Probably get a nice Taylor 12 string and a K4 EQ along with it......omg slipping into a GAS coma now...zzzzzz
-----------------------------------------------------------

Dr. Z Stangray
G&L ASAT Classic (Ron Kirn Custom T-Style coming soon! ronkirn.com)
Keeley 4 Knob Compressor
Taylor 314ce
#14
If you don't mind me asking....what school is it you go to (I'm assuming it's college)? But anyways, if you're looking at up to $4000, have you thought of maybe getting something custom built for you? I'm not too sure how much that is though, but I assume that $4000 could get you something really nice though custom built.

Also, like Natrone said, you should check out of some of breedlove's higher end stuff, also check out some Taylor's too. Actually, go to every store you can to go to, and try every guitar in each store, then pick the one which just sticks out to you the most; the one that you absolutely fall in love with. And always remember, you can get electronics installed into an acoustic guitar if it doesn't already have them in it too.

And make sure that once you get your guitar you come back to this forum and brag about it to us with lots of pics.
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#15
Taylor x12.. they're shorter scale (24 7/8"), and a bit wider 1 3/4" nut.
I got small hands too and i just got a Taylor 312CE which I love. I just let go a Martin OM16CE to get it and that guitar was very good too. I actually preferred the neck on the Martin to my new Taylor. A bit thinner and flatter on the back.

Your "budget" is awesome so you pretty much will find many choices that would fit your criteria.
#16
No one here likes the 714ce? I love the way it plays and sounds. The looks aren't as decorated as the 814 but I love how it sounds plugged in. I also love playing tommy emmanuel and my 714 is wonderful!
#17
Clay, I go to Northeastern University. I have been trying to locate some Larrivee dealers around here but I am not having much luck finding any with more than one or two guitars in stock. I think it is probably worth waiting another month til I move back to NJ since there are a lot of dealers in the NY/NJ area with a ton of choices.
#18
Yeah, if you're dropping that much money into a guitar, it's worth waiting so you can get what you want...after all, that's the point of dropping that much money into a guitar.
Quote by obeythepenguin
You win this thread. Pipe organs FTW.


Quote by ShadesOfGray
Let's take it one step further and add a slogan:

Big Bach is listening you!
#19
Hey guys, so I know its been a while but I have just gotten settled moving home to NJ and I have started to seriously search for my show guitar. I just went up to Mandoling Bros in Staten Island, and at the last minute decided to head into Manhattan to check out Sam Ash, Rudy's and the rest. I got there too late to get into Rudy's but I plan on trying to go back to NYC soon to take a look, plus I heard they have AER amps there and would love to hear em. So here is a rundown of what I liked at each store I went to:

Mando Bros: They had an Avalon Legacy 325CFS that I really liked. I had never played an Avalon before but the first time I heard it in the shop, I was very impressed by how loud it was. The thing has a pretty big body so I guess that explains it. Even though it had a thicker neck then I like, it played very well, I guess a good setup has more to do with it than does the size of the neck. Anyway they have 2 of the same exact model and both are part of the "new old stock" since I believe they were made in '04 and have been in the store a while. I don't think Avalon even makes this model anymore. Here is a link to the one in the store. http://mandoweb.com/Item.aspx?ItemID=131


Here's the thing though. I was playing some TE stuff I knew and all was good, then I started playing some Jazz/Blues/Rock licks. Kinda fast with bends and stuff but nothing too crazy. As I was doing this the sales guy that was helping me tells me that this guitar isn't designed for that sort of stuff. He said it's really meant just for fignerstyle, not flatpick soloing like I was doing. So that seemed kinda off to me. I definitely want something durable that can handle some bending and heavy picking, so I don't quite know what to make of this. This guitar also does not have electronics so that is something I would have to have installed at additional cost of course.

I played a few Martins and Taylors which all sounded and played great of course, no speicifc model jumped out at me as the gotta have it choice though. Still, I don't doubt that I would be happy with any of em.


So after a few hours of playing in Mando and talkin with the guys there, I made a last minute decision to head into Manhattan even though I really had no idea how to get there and had not been to the city in probably a good 10 years. Luckily my GPS system got me to Hoboken where I took the ferry into the city. It was pretty fun. Anyway I get to 48th street at like 6:30 and realize I do not have time to take a good look in more than one store so I chose Sam Ash since I knew they had some Larrivees that I really wanted to see, especially since Mando doesn't carry them and most of the Sam Ash stores in NJ have gotten rid of their stock.

I finally make my way up to the high end acoustic room in Sam Ash and come to a WALL of Larrivees. It was pretty awesome. I talked to the sales guy and tried a bunch out til they closed. To sum up, I really liked how they all sounded and played. I played the LV05E. LV09E and the LV10E. They ranged from about 2.2k to 3.3k. One of the big improvememts the LV10E has is an L.R. Baggs electronic system which the sales guy said that the stock Larrivee electronics can't hold a candle too. I tried them all through a Roland amp but I was having trouble with some of the settings and didn't get a great idea about which I liked more. I have more details about this but I feel like I have droned on enough.

I still feel like I have to check out Rudy's before making any final decisions, if I even make a decision at all. I may end up deciding it's not worth it and just stick with my Breedlove for now.

Thanks to anyone who takes the time to read this, and I very much look forward to your respsonses.
#20
Sounds like a great day! On the subject of "its not made for that" though, perhaps what they meant is that the bracing patterns and such are designed to optimize the sound of fingerpicking.
Quote by necrosis1193
As usual Natrone's mouth spouts general win.

Quote by Silverstein14
man, Natrone you're some kind of ninja I swear


Quote by gregs1020
plexi


i realize the longshot that is. little giant to humongous one.


Rest In Peace Stevie Ray
#22
I am going to have to second breedloves. My dream acoustic would have to be breedlove koa wood guitar.