#1
I'm an electric player. Always have been, and the only acoustic I openly use is a lawsuit Takamine 12 string. I purchased it because it was a steal and I cannot turn down a good opportunity.

But alas, I've come to this point in guitar playing... I want to do more solo-type acoustic work.

I know a bagillion things about electrics and amps, but I have very limited knowledge of acoustics.

The question I'm asking is; what would be a great six string acoustic or acoustic/electric guitar for singing and songwriting? I don't want to spend over $2000. I'm open to any ideas. I play mostly rock and indie with more of a bluesy feel. I do like the way Taylors sound, I dislike the boom of most of the Martins I have tried, the Gibson Hummingbird just didn't feel or sound right for me. I have tried some intermediate level Alvarez's and been impressed.

But since I've played electric for so long, I am obsessed with tone. This acoustic needs to not be just a vessel for music, it needs to sing with me.

Please teach me all of your vast knowledge fellow ultimate guitar users!
-alwaysdancing.
#2
If you're an electric cat going into acoustic, get an Ovation. They are acoustics designed for electric players. low action, great tone. Choice acoustic of Jimmy Page, Richie Sambora and Yngwie Malmsteen. But also check out several Alverez, awesome axes. Or Breedlove, totally sweet but may need truss adjustments. Seagulls are great too but the action is a bit higher.
Out here you've gotta know where your towel is!
#3
I mean don't get me wrong, I've been playing electric guitar for more then seven years. I play a 1978 vintage twelve string, I'm more than capable of playing an acoustic guitar without getting tired or cramped or anything.

I want something that feels acoustic... ovations feel too processed.

The tone out of most of them is exceptionally good for a plastic back, but I don't need a guitar suited for electric players. I want something I can play sitting down or standing up, and I want something a bit more...

I don't know how to word it... classically styled?

Ovation is just too much of a modern thing for me.

Seagulls do have an impressive sound and design, and I will definitely look more into them.

I haven't found a Breedlove that's enchanted me yet, but I always hear great things about them.

Thanks a bunch for the input!
Last edited by alwaysdancing at Sep 25, 2009,
#4
^Ovations sound really bad to my ears. Never found one that blew me away or even impressed me tonewise.

Anyways, personally, I love Seagulls. They're quality guitars at a fantastic price.

And now, on to my big point. Looking for your perfect acoustic mate means taking into account what your guitar is made of. Spruce, cedar, maple for the top? What about the back and sides? Rosewood, mahogany, cherry, maple? Or maybe an all-koa guitar? When looking to do singer-songwriter stuff, you need to find the guitar and the wood combination that compliments your voice best. How do you do this? Why, by going to a store with great selection and playing until your fingers bleed silly! The acoustic world is a gigantic guessing game when it comes to finding the guitar that is perfect for you. It takes time, patience, and most importantly, committment to finding what you want and going through the necessary steps to find said perfect guitar, though I'm sure you know what going to a shop and taking the guitars on a test drive entails.

It can be intimidating to go into a big acoustic room full of guitars that essentially look the same and be like "Ok, so I'm gonna try THAT one, and THAT one, and THAT one....". To make it easier on yourself, do some research on basic acoustic construction and knowledge. There's an FAQ in the annoucements for A&C that has a plethora of information. Gaining knowledge will make your search much, much easier.

Welcome to the acoustic world dude. And sorry for the wall o' text
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
Last edited by Natrone at Sep 25, 2009,
#5
Quote by Natrone
^Ovations sound really bad to my ears. Never found one that blew me away or even impressed me tonewise.

Anyways, personally, I love Seagulls. They're quality guitars at a fantastic price.

And now, on to my big point. Looking for your perfect acoustic mate means taking into account what your guitar is made of. Spruce, cedar, maple for the top? What about the back and sides? Rosewood, mahogany, cherry, maple? Or maybe an all-koa guitar? When looking to do singer-songwriter stuff, you need to find the guitar and the wood combination that compliments your voice best. How do you do this? Why, by going to a store with great selection and playing until your fingers bleed silly! The acoustic world is a gigantic guessing game when it comes to finding the guitar that is perfect for you. It takes time, patience, and most importantly, committment to finding what you want and going through the necessary steps to find said perfect guitar, though I'm sure you know what going to a shop and taking the guitars on a test drive entails.

It can be intimidating to go into a big acoustic room full of guitars that essentially look the same and be like "Ok, so I'm gonna try THAT one, and THAT one, and THAT one....". To make it easier on yourself, do some research on basic acoustic construction and knowledge. There's an FAQ in the annoucements for A&C that has a plethora of information. Gaining knowledge will make your search much, much easier.

Welcome to the acoustic world dude. And sorry for the wall o' text


I agree with your thinking, I just didn't realize TS had the strength for a big daddy acoustic. No offense TS, I thought you wanted a quick transition.


EDIT: Ibanez makes some fine acoustics in your price range, but Natrone is completely right. Taste the rainbow, try as many as you can, just like you would with an electric. Find what works thru trial and error.
Out here you've gotta know where your towel is!
Last edited by ValoRhoads at Sep 25, 2009,
#6
If you like the Taylor sound then your best bets with staying under 2 grand are the 300 and 400 series. Seems to me like you'll want something wth a cutway and a versatile body shape as well. A great sounding all around guitar...

There are several different body shapes for acoustics and they serve different purposes. The typical dreadnought is a strumming guitar, while a grand concert type body is more a finger picker's deal. There is a great happy medium, basically a swiss army knife of body shapes, called Grand Auditorium. This is my personal favorite. In Taylor's numbering system any guitar ending the the last 2 digits of 14 is a Grand Auditorium

Grand Auditoriums do very well in flat picking, finger picking, and strumming IMO so that will probably be the body shape you'll be most happy with and I find it to also be the most comfortable to hold.

That brings us to yout best 2 choices in the Taylor price range. the 314ce and the 414ce.

314ce has sapele sides and back. Great tone wood, very musical. not to complex so that it will get lost in a full band mix, not too simple so that it has no overtones. Simply put, its elegantly understated. the 314 is also a popular choice wtih a lot of performers because of its understated versatility and tonal properties. Taylor's action is always very good as well. I've played electrics that were much harder to play than a Taylor acoustic.

the 414ce's ovangkol back and sides are a popular wood choice for fingerpickers. Its a light wood in color, tone, and weight. Its an odd coincidence, but I find that a tone wood's natural color says a lot about how dark or bright its going to sound. Darker wood, darker tone and vice versa. just something to keep in mind when eyeballing some guitars at the store. anyway the 414ce is a great guitar whether you're strumming or fingerpicking. I think it sounds nice either way, but it sort of just came to be known as a fingerpicker's tone wood over time.

Also once you get up to the 300 series and higher you get Taylor's full blown expression system for electronics in the guitar. I think it sounds great and I havent played anything that sounds as good. Some things to note that a lot of people simply dont know or forget about is that this not a piezo based system and its also not a UST(under the saddle). Its a combination of a magnetic neck pickup and 2 body sensors under the soundboard (top) of the guitar. The 100 and 200 series dont have this exact setup, they actually do use a UST. This turns a lot of people away from the ES because they think thats as good as it gets when its really not much more than the UST's people have heard for years.

Now the magnetic/2 transducer setup that makes up the full blown ES system in the 300+ models is prone to a bit of an electric sound if you listen closerly. Its all in the neck pickup, which is magnetic and not much different from an electric guitar pickup. There is a fix for this type of quack that is so ridiculously simple that people overlook it time and time again and therefore curse the ES without knowing how it works. Its as simple as EQing some of the mids out of the amplified sound. You can do this at either the mixer or if you have an external pre-amp you can fix it with that since the ES is made up of only a treble, bass, and volume knob, which is enough IMO to still get a great sound. Its mostly the HIGH mids that need to go with the low mids just rounded out a bit better. Done and done.

Just a wild guess here, but im going to push you in the 414ce direction. I think the ovangkol is much more likely to "sing" to you.

and more importantly than anything I just said in this whole thread...go and play all sorts of stuff besdies Taylors or Martins or Gibsons. They all make good guitars, but so do a lot of other companies. I wouldnt make my mind up about this big of a purchase until you've found a guitar at a store that you find yourself going back to every time you visit that store. Thats usually how you know that she's the one.

seems like a long and wordy lecture now that I read things over, but I can never say enough for some reason lol


EDIT: you really didnt like the Hummingbird? Thats the only Gibson that I do like and its the only one that competes with a Taylor 614ce to my ears. I know the Taylor is maple and the Gibson is Mahogany, but as different as they are I love them both. Now if we could make one wood out of the 2...something like Mahogaple that would be amazing lol
-----------------------------------------------------------

Dr. Z Stangray
G&L ASAT Classic (Ron Kirn Custom T-Style coming soon! ronkirn.com)
Keeley 4 Knob Compressor
Taylor 314ce
Last edited by Bright Light at Sep 25, 2009,
#7
FWIW, Al Di Meola and Kaki King are also Ovation users...as am I.

However, I understand they're an acquired taste.

Since you're primarily an electric player, you're probably going to want to play some kind of slimline or medium-depth guitar, just for comfort's sake (despite your protestations) unless you're really after that full-body sound.

Seagull- and just about anything in Godin's line of products- will be good guitars with a nice sound.

Larivees are nice as well.

However, I must confess that I have 2 other acoustic guitars besides my Ovation- a Yamaha classical and a Jon Kammerer 8-INS.

Everyone knows Yamahas. I've really enjoyed it, but the only reason I have it is because the Seagull I wanted was deeply back-ordered- Godin was having supplier issues.

Jon is a luthier (whose site happens to be inoperative at the moment), the acoustic I bought from him is fairly slim, but due to its parabolic shape, projects a lot more sound than you'd expect from looking at it. (He also uses a similar body shape for one line of his hollowbody electrics.)

For a look-see:
Gearwire: http://www.gearwire.com/jkg-guitars-model21-guitarshow.html

Glitter Rose (she, like me, has multiple JKs): http://glitterrose.com/fr_photos.cfm

I'm not saying buy a JK guitar in particular although I'm sure you'd be happy with it in all probability. Rather, if you can afford it, I'm suggesting that you check out a luthier. You'd probably pay no more for it than a premium acoustic guitar from a nationally known maker- $1-3K is typical- and you'd get something that you won't want to put down. It may even be unique...especially if the luthier in question is in your greater metropolitan area.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Sep 25, 2009,
#8
Ovations are great guitars, but they do take getting used too. I have 3 and love them all, though my Elite-T is my favorite. As for the "processed" sound, thats why thay have different preamps. I went from an OP-Pro to an OP-Pro Studio... what a huge difference. I can only imagine the OP-Prp VIP is even more so with its built-in modelling capabilities.

That said: I'll tell you the same thing I tell everyone who is looking for a new guitar (any guitar)...

Go to as many stores as you can and play everything in and around your price range (including the less expensive models). Keep you mind and ears open and don't blow off a brand because of someone's opinion. The guitar you are looking for will talk to you like no other. And take a good friend with you. Get their opinion of how it sounds while you play it, then switch and you listen. Guitars (like Ovations) can sound very different when changing from the player to audience perspectives. Ex. What may sound thin to the player, may sound full to the audience.

Happy Hunting
--- Joe ---
77 Bradley LPC || 07 PRS CE22 || 11 PRS MC58 Artist || 95/02 Fender Strat || 99 Gibson LP DC Std Lite
06 Ovation Elite-T || 12 Martin GPCPA4
Boss GT100 || Peavey Stereo Chorus 400 || Peavey Bandit 75 || Roland JC77
#9
Quote by Auriemma
Ovations are great guitars, but they do take getting used too. I have 3 and love them all, though my Elite-T is my favorite. As for the "processed" sound, thats why thay have different preamps. I went from an OP-Pro to an OP-Pro Studio... what a huge difference. I can only imagine the OP-Prp VIP is even more so with its built-in modelling capabilities.

That said: I'll tell you the same thing I tell everyone who is looking for a new guitar (any guitar)...

Go to as many stores as you can and play everything in and around your price range (including the less expensive models). Keep you mind and ears open and don't blow off a brand because of someone's opinion. The guitar you are looking for will talk to you like no other. And take a good friend with you. Get their opinion of how it sounds while you play it, then switch and you listen. Guitars (like Ovations) can sound very different when changing from the player to audience perspectives. Ex. What may sound thin to the player, may sound full to the audience.Happy Hunting



that last bit in bold is sooo true. Sometimes when im playing a gig, depending the venue's layout and setup, my T5 can sound a bit thin to me while im playing it on stage as an acoustic. But when you listen to it from the audience it sounds very nice, clear, and cuts through the full band very well. The problem is that when you're playing a full bodied acoustic on stage versus a thinline guitar like the T5 you dont feel or hear a lot of body resonance like you would with a full bodied guitar. All the while, it sounds fine from the FOH speakers, though.
-----------------------------------------------------------

Dr. Z Stangray
G&L ASAT Classic (Ron Kirn Custom T-Style coming soon! ronkirn.com)
Keeley 4 Knob Compressor
Taylor 314ce
#10
I'm also a fan of Tacoma Guitars. A shop near where I live used to carry them, and I thought they had a tremendous sound. They're still around, but not near me.

http://www.tacomaguitars.com/home.php

And, FWIW, apparently, Jon K has been re-doing his website. Here's a link to his new, updated site. When he says that you work with him, he means it- its pretty much a 1-man operation. He's a nice guy, too.

http://jonkammererguitars.com/index.htm
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!