Hey guys,

As you have seen in my other post that I have just started making guitars.

Obviously I want to make amazing guitars not just o.k. ones, so I pose this question to you; "What do you look for in a guitar?"

If you had $4000 to spend on a guitar what would you buy. Not talking model or maker. But what would you been trying to find in that guitar?

Thanks for the input guys I would love to hear what you want so I can make the best guitars out there.

What I look for is first is it Comfortable. Because if its not I dont want to play it for hours on end. 2nd is the sound. And 3rd is the neck. I like a strat style neck.
comfortable is first (including a wide enough neck and comfortable body), sound quality is second - these two are absolute essentials. build quality is third, finish is fourth, looks come dead last.

and that applies to a guitar for me whether it's $400 or $4000.
Awesome feedback guys!

Dude not picky at all. Imagine you were to get a guitar perfectly made for exactly your style. You have the right to be picky.

You have an interesting perspective on the whole thing which is awesome. The more different perspectives the better!

Lets here some more ideas!
i really love the 000 style body, and i think it's pretty under appreciated by most companies. seems like everybody makes a dreadnought, and a jumbo or mini jumbo, and thats it.

i prefer thinner necks with wide fretboards (like seagull, but doesn't have to be AS wide). i also love cutaways, i don't think they take away from the sound, and the upper fret access is great to have!

as for sound, i prefer a very balanced tone. more towards the bass side, but not too bassy. if a guitar is too bassy it starts to sound muddy to me. i usually stay away from rosewood back and sides for that reason.

i like cool inlays at the 12th fret, and either just dots on the rest or no other inlays at all. thats how my last 2 acoustics have been, and i really like the clean and simple look! black body binding would be cool, i'm not a fan of abalone. seems like every acoustic made has abalone on it somewhere!

hope some of that helps. i'd love to see a few of these guitars sometime!
Warmoth Telecaster Deluxe. Warmoth Strat. Seagull Artist Portrait Acoustic.

"Well good God damn and other such phrases, I haven't heard a beat like this in ages!"
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Quote by obeythepenguin

All right, maybe I am just a little picky.

No, you don't even know the definition of picky compared to me. LOL.

For me, priority goes sound, comfort, and then looks.

Sound - I like big, smooth, articulate sounds. Jumbos/Super Jumbos are probably my favourite body shape. I can't stand really bright guitars like how a lot of Taylors are. The sound has to be really smooth and mellow, which is exactly what my Martin sounds like right now.

The sound needs to be a bit more bass oriented than balanced, with LOTS of rich harmonic overtones - I can't stand the sound of maple because of its hard hitting and clear fundamental sound. Sustain and volume should be long and loud.

My preference would be a Western Red Cedar/Engelmann Spruce top with Walnut or Australian/Tasmanian Blackwood side/back wood. The guitar needs to be able to handle moderate strumming and fingerpicking, which is why I picked these woods. They should be able to offer me the tonal richness and articulation I'm looking for while offering me enough tone without breaking up and sounding muddy.

Comfort - Yes, comfort has to be there and is essential, but it's not my biggest concern. If the guitar doesn't sound right to me, I won't enjoy playing it. If the guitar's not the most comfortable thing in the world, I can get over it/get used to it.

I prefer 1.72 or 1.75 nut width as well as a more rounded oval neck shape(Larrivee's are great) as opposed to a V. Gloss necks are a deal breaker for me though. I cannot stand gloss necks unless they've become naturally worn from matte into gloss from lots of playing, like my own guitar.

I find that even the thicker glosses on the body are uncomfortable. If I'm wearing something short sleeve, I find that when I sweat(which WILL happen if you play a gig), my arm starts to stick to the gloss a bit, and that's not comfy. An arm bevel might help to alleviate that. Especially on a larger body guitar, where the thickness of the guitar gets in the way and more of my arm ends up touching the guitar's top wood.

Looks -
It needs to be a clean look. If you've ever seen a Lowden or Avalon with the nice multi-wood pin striped kind of binding, you'll know what I'm talking about. Here's a good example, although with the wood choice I listed above.

I prefer no inlay on the fretboard at all. Only fret markers for my own personal reference on the side of the neck. One thick abalone strip around the soundhole is acceptable, but a figured wood rosette wins big points. Basically, my dream guitar must highlight its natural beauty.

I know exactly what I want from a guitar.
- 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.
Another thing for me is the single cutway bodystyle. I just like the single cutway, if its an electric or acoustic. Its a sweet spot for me
Sweet guys,

Yea my first guitar as you might have noticed if you checked out the blog is a cutaway. Made from East Indian Rosewood for the back and sides, Sitka Spruce top. The fretboard will be ebony and the neck is also going to be rosewood. This guitar is a dreadnought.

I will have an update soon on my second guitar I did some work on it in the shop this week. Its made with padouk and a sitka bearclaw top. This guitar is going to be an OM with simple detailing but killer sound.

I think my third guitar will be a zircote '00'

What do you guys think?

What would you like to see next?

I have zircote, maples, more padouk, pear, and sapele left to start on.

I have more sitka and bearcalw tops.
What does Pear sound like?

I would actually love to see some bearclaw and walnut.
- 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.
I kinda hold these three around equal importance: Comfort, sound, quality.
Comfort: If its not comfortable, you won't be able to play for a long time, you wont want to play it, and you can't play to your potential. I want something that allows me fingers to fly across. I typically like a slightly wider nut so it makes fingerpicking a little more free.
Sound: Captivate and I apparently have a pretty close idea of what tone we like. Smooth and mallow, not bight. I like to have it not necessarily "Bass heavy" but "deep". Its like, instead of just having a guitar that brings out the bass, its something that doesn't just increase the bass but brings out the deepness of the sound. Like, not louder, but deeper. Its a little hard to explain I guess. For me, its the mid and low range that you really feel when playing the guitar. Its because of that I dislike the metallic and twangy sound from some musicians who play an electric acoustic. It feels like you are listening to their pick scratch across strings and you get the sound of these metal strings being scratched, not as much as a guitar's resonating wood and life. But this is just me, and the tone I prefer.
Quality: If I am paying for an instrument, I would like it to last. I'm not asking for a guitar built like a bomb shelter that will withstand anything. I want one that under normal wear and tear from PLAYING the instrument, won't break or fall apart on me. That means that I don't things falling off because they weren't glued completely perfectly, or tuners to grind, or anything like that. I think that a musical instrument should be able to last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance. Now if you are throwing it in the back of a van every day and keeping it in bad humidifies and banging it on amps or tables then I don't expect it to necessarily be able to get out alive. So what I'm saying though, is I don't need something that will fall apart after my first time playing it. I want something that will last with proper care.

Now the less important things to me would be the looks. I like pretty inlays on guitars... It would also be good if the whole guitar looked like a tie dye shirt. I'm kidding at the last one... I do enjoy certain woods on guitars. The grain and the depth of it all is mesmerizing. I could sorta care less about what it looked like though. I'd rather it not look like it was fed through a woodchipper at some point . I actually don't like a lot of guitar rosettes. My acoustic has a simple white lines around it. Its also black but I guess a rosette would look weird on it in the first place also.
Ultimate Guitar Set Up Q&A Thread─┤
Quote by obeythepenguin
I absolutely agree with you on that one. Usually when I hear an electro-acoustic I want to break it over the idiot's head. That's why I like straight acoustics with dead strings (and I'd play it with no strings at all if it would make a sound); I want to hear wood, not metal or electronics, dammit!

Well, maybe one exception: I do like that electro-acoustic snap on my bass. It adds texture to the sound, kind of like the Hammond organ click. But that bass tends to be the exception to all my normal rules.

Ahh. Yeah, I am typically ok with acoustic guitars that are in front of a microphone though, and some acoustic electrics. I prefer being able to hear an acoustic being recorded and played back like I'm listening to the actual guitar. More natural.
Ultimate Guitar Set Up Q&A Thread─┤
i prefer englemann, adirondack and red cedar tops, madagascar rosewood backs and sides, and i'm liking ziricote and wenge a lot.

i prefer 00s and 0Ms built with a wedge along the lines of the manzer wedge - very comfy.

something i really like is sound ports! you can hear your guitar as well as the people you're playing to.

my husband and i are working toward making our first guitar. he's a cnc programmer and engineer, but this is the first time he's worked with wood. just finished our own bending mold in a slightly odd size. are you buying or making your wooden jigs, fixtures, etc?
Awesome feedback again.

So what I am seeing is that the top quality in a guitar is comfort. This is a must! I will make sure that every guitar I make is as comfortable as possible. On that note then how do you guys feel about arm reliefs and rib reliefs? Do they add comfort for you do you like the look of them? Let me know.

Sound is of obvious importance. I am trying to use top quality tone woods and manipulating them so they sound fantastic.

@captivate - I wouldn't know what the pear wood sounds like as I haven't finished one yet and I have never seen one in person before. But it was a cost effective set and has a neat look to it so I figured I'd grab it. Bearclaw and walnut would be really cool. I might do that up next actually.

@Patticake - We are making everything from scratch as we can. Because this is my first set of guitars I am learning with a dude in his garage and using all of his for now but I have already started making stuff to become self sufficient and its all from scratch.
Quote by patticake
by arm reliefs and rib reliefs do you mean bevels?

and maybe the manzer wedge?

both add comfort, and when done right don't affect the tone, or at least not so the human ear can detect.

The bevels are what I am talking about. Originally done by Mr Laskin. I haven't seen the manzer wedge before but its an interesting concept. I am not sure if I like the look of it but I will give it thought. Thanks for showing me that.
The Manzer wedge is actually a concept that a lot of custom luthiers have started to use. Apparently, it's VERY comfortable. I think John Kingslight uses it on his too.
- 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.
well, generally, I weight comfort and balance together; there are very few guitars that I won't find in some way comfortable to play; some necks will tire me out more than others, but generally, I can play any body shape form a Jumbo to a Dreadnought to a Concert sized guitar. Just as long as it's set up nicely.

Sound? Well, I like a well rounded sound; if I'm playing arpeggios and such, I like to hear each note perfectly balanced. I like the low end to be nice and bassy and the high end to be trebely but not ear bleeding twangy though. If I'm strumming, I do like it to be bright, but like on my alvarez, I like to be able to get that sound I get when i strum really aggressively over the soundhole...i dunno how to describe it. It's niiiiiiiice.

And as for looks, really, they're not as important as sound/comfort, but for my they count a bit; the only roughed up/scratched up/whatever guitar I want is one i did the roughing up myself. But for the fretboard, I like to have Either Minimal inlays (side dots are a must though), like the Inlays on my Alvarez and I like Abalone. A lot. But I also like Tree/vine of Life inlays (made of abalone). And for bindings...abalone....lots of abalone...that's one of the few things I dislike about my Alvarez....not enough abalone
Quote by obeythepenguin
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Yeah, I love abalone inlays. I find them to just be fantastic decorations in the end. I saw an instructable with someone doing custom inlays on guitars and it was rather interesting. I thought they were so beautiful on the guitar too.
I've actually never seen that bevel thing on a guitar before either. It looks like it would be amazingly comfortable though. Now I really want to try a guitar that has that on it...
Ultimate Guitar Set Up Q&A Thread─┤
If it's comfortable, it sounds good, and the neck's not too big, no matter how it looks I'll love it.
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