#1
This has been discussed before, but rather than revive an old thread, I will start a new one.

I still haven't decided on what to get, and am not in a hurry.

Yesterday I stopped by the Guitar Center at Pico and Westwood, and tried a few small guitars.

For one thing, it was the second time I saw the Laguna LD-1, recommended here by Patticake. (Although it is a GC model, not many stores seem to have it in stock.) As the first time, I didn't like the sound at all. It might be that it had terrible strings on it. Patticake, did yours sound good when you tried one in a store, or only when you took it home and re-strung it? (That said, it doesn't make sense for guitar-makers to put bad strings on a guitar, that will sound bad when someone tries it in a store, when for only a few bucks they can put on a decent set of strings.)

I still like Little Martin much more than Baby Taylor. And unlike another time when I tried both, when I liked the sound of the LXM more than LX1, this time I liked LX1 better. (By the way, GC now has LXM for $269, whereas most places have it for $279.) (LX1 for $299, like everywhere.)

Also, I was surprised by a guitar I had never seen or tried before-The Squier (now owned by Fender) SP1. Sells at GC for only $99. It really played and sounded pretty decent, IMO. Much better than the Yamaha JR1, which sells for $30 more. Also IMO, much better than the Laguna LD-1. Not as good as the Little Martins, but for only 1/3 the price. At that price could be good as a "beater"guitar to take to the beach, camping, etc. Has anyone else here tried the Squier SP1? If so, what do you think of it.

I looked up the Squier SP1 online, and apparently only GC carries it now. Google had listings for Musicians Friend, and Music123, but when one clicks the links, there are pages for that instrument, but it says ünavailable". I think it said discontinued in one. So, is that an older model that is now discontinued, but GC got the remaining stock, closing them out?

Anyhow--curious to hear others opinions of the Squier SP1 (if anyone reading has tried one), as well as any other comments about small sized steel string guitars like these.

PS Do any of the small-sized (under $300) guitars have a radiused fingerboard, or are they all flat?
Last edited by maikii at Aug 4, 2011,
#2
no, our laguna ld1 didn't sound all that good with the strings it came with - although to my ear, it sounded better than the squier or the baby taylor. to me, the little martin sounds better than those. i recently played a crappy sounding fender 3/4 dread that they might be replacing the squier with - if so, that's a shame. have you seen the squier MA-1? more small parlor sized, it doesn't sound great, but might sound much better with different strings. they usually have them in guitar centers - i noticed one at hollywood gc a couple weeks ago.

have you gone to mccabe's on pico in santa monica? they have some other options including the wechter mahogany travel elite and the art & lutherie ami (a parlor, not a 3/4 dread). or although not as small, maybe an epiphone el-00. there's one at truetone in santa monica (710 santa monica blvd, as i recall), and it was more fat parlor size but sounded very good. there was also a small cort at mccabe's that i didn't try, but could be an option, and a cort dread that was smaller than a big baby taylor but larger than a baby, and it sounded pretty good. also at mccabe's if you have more money is the new blueridge baby - there were a couple there a few days ago, sounded good.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
Last edited by patticake at Aug 4, 2011,
#3
Yeah, the Squier SP-1 has been discontinued. I bought one a few months ago and I really love it. It's a really surprising guitar; I'm not a big fan of the way Fender acoustics sound (a touch dead to my ears). The SP-1 is really bright and has a nice old school sound that lends itself to blues, folk and country. It tries hard to please. I'm not sure how it stacks up against the taylor or the martin etc, but for $100 bucks it's great.
#4
Try the Fender Hellcat, the floor model I tried at GC was pretty average but the brand new out of the box one from in the back sounded wonderful and so much better with new strings . It has a very equal sound, not the boominess of dreadnoughts but it isn't the loudest unplugged acoustic. But for me, it's good. Also sounds pretty good plugged in too

It has a concert body and solid mahogany top.
#5
Hi Patti,

Yes, i have been to Mccabe's many times, and have purchased a couple ukuleles there.

I once saw the Wechter mahogany travel guitar there, compared it with the Martin LXk2, and was unclear about it. I would like to try that again, but I have not seen the Wechter there any more. (Interesting how one's perceptions of instruments can vary on different days, different trials.)

I did try the Ami at McCabe's, didn't like it so much, and heavy. I didn't try the Blueridge. I saw the Cort the other day, but didn't try it. I think it seemed expensive for a Cort, which I believe is a low end Chinese brand.

What do you think oif McCabe's price listings on instrument? They list something as being on a great sale--"60% off", but have a price on it for way more than that instrument sells for elsewhere. One can tell them the price elsewhere, and negotiate their price down. However, it seems to me that they are trying to trick folks who don't know better into paying prices much higher than the instrument sells for anywhere else.

No, I have not seen the Squier MA. Are you saying that it is smaller than the Squier SP I saw. What price? I liked the Squier SP, for the low price it costs.


Quote by patticake
no, our laguna ld1 didn't sound all that good with the strings it came with - although to my ear, it sounded better than the squier or the baby taylor. to me, the little martin sounds better than those. i recently played a crappy sounding fender 3/4 dread that they might be replacing the squier with - if so, that's a shame. have you seen the squier MA-1? more small parlor sized, it doesn't sound great, but might sound much better with different strings. they usually have them in guitar centers - i noticed one at hollywood gc a couple weeks ago.

have you gone to mccabe's on pico in santa monica? they have some other options including the wechter mahogany travel elite and the art & lutherie ami (a parlor, not a 3/4 dread). or although not as small, maybe an epiphone el-00. there's one at truetone in santa monica (710 santa monica blvd, as i recall), and it was more fat parlor size but sounded very good. there was also a small cort at mccabe's that i didn't try, but could be an option, and a cort dread that was smaller than a big baby taylor but larger than a baby, and it sounded pretty good. also at mccabe's if you have more money is the new blueridge baby - there were a couple there a few days ago, sounded good.
#6
you can negotiate a price with mccabe's. i got a harp there by telling them honestly what the price was at amazon, and they came down quite a bit. some sales people there aren't as friendly about this as others, but it's always worth a try. one of the guys there recently took an additional $120 off a blueridge i was playing when i told him that maury's sells it for $150 less.

if you check the word on agf, you'll find that corts are well thought of in their price range. besides, i always try every guitar - it only takes a couple minutes, and you never know when you'll discover something good.

no, the squier i mentioned is bigger than the one you saw, but smaller and lighter than the ami.

i haven't found the ami guitars to be particularly heavy, although i will admit that i don't love their sound.

sounds to me like the little martin is a good fit for you, but i'd suggest you check out the blueridge baby - there were three last week. they were in the right corner when you're facing the back wall. and not that it's what you're looking for, but have you tried the collings baby they have in the front room with the other more expensive guitars? nice!
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#7
I know one can negotiate wtih McCabe's. I have done it. I mentioned that. If they did not, I doubt they would sell much. I asked--do you think they are trying to trick people who don't know better, into paying prices way too high. Their prices listed on the instruments, even if it says "slashed 60% or something like that, are not only much higher than everyone else sells the instruments for, but often even higher than the MSRP (which are fake higher prices to begin with).

I saw Collings and Blueridge, but didn't try. I might some day.

How recently did you see the Wechter Travel Guitar there?


Quote by patticake
you can negotiate a price with mccabe's. i got a harp there by telling them honestly what the price was at amazon, and they came down quite a bit. some sales people there aren't as friendly about this as others, but it's always worth a try. one of the guys there recently took an additional $120 off a blueridge i was playing when i told him that maury's sells it for $150 less.

if you check the word on agf, you'll find that corts are well thought of in their price range. besides, i always try every guitar - it only takes a couple minutes, and you never know when you'll discover something good.

no, the squier i mentioned is bigger than the one you saw, but smaller and lighter than the ami.

i haven't found the ami guitars to be particularly heavy, although i will admit that i don't love their sound.

sounds to me like the little martin is a good fit for you, but i'd suggest you check out the blueridge baby - there were three last week. they were in the right corner when you're facing the back wall. and not that it's what you're looking for, but have you tried the collings baby they have in the front room with the other more expensive guitars? nice!
#8
no, i don't think they're trying to trick people. they are working from the list prices, not MAP. a lot of smaller stores do, and it makes sense since often they pay more for the guitars because they don't buy in bulk. also if you've talked to the folks who work there, you'll find they're not in the loop when it comes to what other stores charge and do. at least 2 of the employees took lessons at mccabe's when they were kids, have always bought their instruments there, and one chick who works there told me she's never even bought strings anywhere but at mccabe's.

i noticed one of the wechters maybe 2 or 3 weeks ago. didn't notice it last visit, so could have been sold or maybe i just missed it.

btw, have you seen the takamine mini anywhere yet?
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#9
I think the prices listed on the instruments at McCabe's are often higher than the list prices. (I think MSRP is the same as list price.) But no one sellls at list prices.)


Quote by patticake
no, i don't think they're trying to trick people. they are working from the list prices, not MAP. a lot of smaller stores do, and it makes sense since often they pay more for the guitars because they don't buy in bulk. also if you've talked to the folks who work there, you'll find they're not in the loop when it comes to what other stores charge and do. at least 2 of the employees took lessons at mccabe's when they were kids, have always bought their instruments there, and one chick who works there told me she's never even bought strings anywhere but at mccabe's.

i noticed one of the wechters maybe 2 or 3 weeks ago. didn't notice it last visit, so could have been sold or maybe i just missed it.

btw, have you seen the takamine mini anywhere yet?


I never heard of the Takamine mini. Is that something new? Is it real small, like the other guitars we have been discussing? Do you have a link to it online? (They make good guitars, so that would definitely be something to check out, in looking at small gutiars.)

-Edit--

Well, I googled it. Is this that Takamine: http://www.takamine.com/guitars/g_series_mini/gmini_ns Strange though, the only thing said about its size, including under specifications is "mini size", and "Travel guitar". But no measurements, no scale, not specific dimensions. Strange. Have you read somewhere about the actual size? The lowest price I saw was from a dealer selling on Amazon: $309 http://www.amazon.com/Takamini-GMINI-Acoustic-Guitar-Gig/dp/B004RQ4DSS/ $10 more than the Martin LX1.
Last edited by maikii at Aug 5, 2011,
#10
it is new - i believe it was launched at namm. there are 2 - an acoustic called the g mini and an acoustic electric version, the eg mini. i've never seen one in person, and soft of figure they're a response to the taylor gs mini. you can hear a recording of the electric version here, but ignore the electric clips (every review i've read says the electronics sound tinny, and so they seem to) and listed to the unplugged clips http://www.thomann.de/gb/takamine_eg_mini_ns.htm

it's the only small guitar i've seen with a cedar top, which is interesting to me. if it had a wider nut, i'd have ordered one, sight unseen.

btw, according to mf, it has a 12.99” lower bout.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
Last edited by patticake at Aug 6, 2011,