#1
Hi

I'm in the UK and currently play just electric guitars but am now looking for an electro acoustic. I've got about £850.00 max, burning a whole in my pocket and want to purchase a new electric acoustic.

So far I've tried Guild and Taylor in the £500-£600 and wasn't hugely impresed by the tone. Some ofthem sounded like there was a blanket over the guitar. I then played a Taylor 314ce which I thought was awesome but out of my price range at £1300.00.

I'm going to try and have a look at the above 2 guitars or something else in my price range. Does anyone have any experience of either? Or if any one has any suggestions for similar priced/styled guitars I'd like to hear about it.

I'd like a good all rounder guitar for all styles thats not too big, for strumming and finger style guitaring. My finger picking at the moment needs a lot of work so I thought the purchase of an electro/acoustic would help me to improve.

Thanks
#2
That particular Taylor you mentioned(the 214ce) is my absolute favorite acoustic hands down(i compared it with several martins i didn't learn the names of and several taylors including a 314ce i believe). It sounds and feels absolutely stunning. I strongly recommend the Taylor.
#3
I can also vouch for the Taylor 214ce. It is my go-to guitar for anything and everything acoustic. What a specimen it is...
#4
I would actually not suggest either of those guitars. They're well built, yes(well... the Taylor more so). But they're quite expensive for what they are. All the X series martins and 100/200 series Taylors I've ever played have sounded flat and unappealing.

Have you tried looking at a Martin 1 series? They have all solid body construction for about the same price as a 200 series here in Canada. Not sure how much it'll be over there though.
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

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
#5
Be aware the "X" series Martins are all, (I believe), HPL, (high pressure laminate), in both the side and back of the bodies. You can check that out here: http://www.martinguitar.com/guitars/choosing/price.php?c=9 at the Martin website. I think that line is the "Chinese Martin". As opposed to buying the Martin name, I'd even check out the higher priced Ibanez acoustic electrics, some of which even have chorus in the preamp.

One supposes you wouldn't be impressed with the sound of most acoustic instruments, if you're used to a lot of signal processing with your electrics. However, if you're going to play plugged in, the onboard electronics may be as important as the base sound of the guitar!

Have you checked out this thread: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1233360 It might yield some insight in helping you decide.
#6
Quote by Captaincranky
Be aware the "X" series Martins are all, (I believe), HPL, (high pressure laminate), in both the side and back of the bodies. You can check that out here: http://www.martinguitar.com/guitars/choosing/price.php?c=9 at the Martin website. I think that line is the "Chinese Martin". As opposed to buying the Martin name, I'd even check out the higher priced Ibanez acoustic electrics, some of which even have chorus in the preamp.

One supposes you wouldn't be impressed with the sound of most acoustic instruments, if you're used to a lot of signal processing with your electrics. However, if you're going to play plugged in, the onboard electronics may be as important as the base sound of the guitar!

Have you checked out this thread: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1233360 It might yield some insight in helping you decide.


I don't think Martins are made in China, even the X series. They should be mexico if i'm not mistaken. Not completely sure though.

I would also advise against Ibanez. Especially at this price point. They generally have a lot of quality control problems for their acoustic guitars.
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

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
#7
Quote by captivate
I don't think Martins are made in China, even the X series. They should be mexico if i'm not mistaken. Not completely sure though.
That's pretty much a toss up then as to overall quality. I would be hard "pressed" to recommend Mexican press board over Chinese press board. I'm actually thinking the Chinese are winning the QC wars, at least as of late.

Even the step up 16 series Martins don't have wood fret boards! It's some s*** they call, "Black Richlite".

Quote by captivate
I would also advise against Ibanez. Especially at this price point. They generally have a lot of quality control problems for their acoustic guitars.
The two I have seem fine and I'm happy with them. I'll qualify that statement by saying; "I haven't had them that long", and, "I was almost forced to buy these particular guitars, due to my chronic left handedness". These are the only 2 Ibanez' acoustics I've had direct experience with.

Do they market the "Seagull" line in the UK?
Last edited by Captaincranky at Sep 22, 2011,
#8
Seagulls are a good line of guitars, some of which are all solid wood. You'll have some good choices in your price range if the brand is marketed properly in the UK.

Taylors in the 100 & 200 series have laminate sides and backs. I agree with the poster above who wrote that they are expensive for what you get.

Larrivees are fine Canadian guitars, too. The -03 series has high quality woods without the bling or the cost of having the name "Taylor" or "Martin" on the head stock. The L shape is a great all-rounder. The LV is similar in shape to the x14 series that Taylor makes -- grand auditorium-ish with a cutaway. I found the Taylor to be much more trebly, and the Larrivee to have a more even volume across the spectrum. Larrivees might be at the high end of your price range, though -- you may be better off going used if you can find one. The stock electronics on the LVs sound pretty good, too.
#9
Quote by Captaincranky
That's pretty much a toss up then as to overall quality. I would be hard "pressed" to recommend Mexican press board over Chinese press board. I'm actually thinking the Chinese are winning the QC wars, at least as of late.

Even the step up 16 series Martins don't have wood fret boards! It's some s*** they call, "Black Richlite".


For the 16 series martins they use something called Micarta. It's basically an epoxy with resin if i'm not mistaken. Frankly, it's not a bad idea. I have a 16 series and never have to worry about oiling it. It plays just as good as any other guitar and it's not as if the fretboard really contributes and real, significant tone difference.

Mexican stuff is generally built a bit better. It's not that the HPL is any better.
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

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
#10
Quote by captivate
For the 16 series martins they use something called Micarta. It's basically an epoxy with resin if i'm not mistaken. Frankly, it's not a bad idea. I have a 16 series and never have to worry about oiling it. It plays just as good as any other guitar and it's not as if the fretboard really contributes and real, significant tone difference.

Mexican stuff is generally built a bit better. It's not that the HPL is any better.
Here's "Micarta" : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micarta It's an old "traditional" synthetic. Was that an oxymoron?

A quick look through Martin's "16" series yields different fingerboard materials at different price points. The D-16 "Adirondack" features "striped ebony"; http://www.martinguitar.com/guitars/choosing/guitars.php?p=m&m=D-16%20Adirondack

But yeah, I suppose the difference between materials in the fret board would be sonically quite a bit more subtle than the difference between soundboard materials.

One also supposes that "Micarta" or "Richlite" might withstand fingernails better than rosewood.

Still in all, at the $1500.00 price point, give me a wood fret board, and in lieu of the possible danger of gouges, I'll keep my nails trimmed. After all, what is a good acoustic guitar, if not first and foremost, fine furniture?

Once upon a time, I think Ovation allegedly had cast metal fret boards with the frets molded in, with their very early "Matrix" cheapies. I had a Matrix 12 String, the board was Rosewood. Not having seen one of these myself, I'm not entirely sure the metal fret boards weren't just an ugly urban legend.....
#11
Thanks all for the help so far.

I think Taylor are still winning the war for me but I'm going to try as many as possible before making a purchase.

Unfortunately I definitely won't be going anywhere near Ibanez after having major fretboard issues with a Prestige electric bought previously. It makes me wonder about their QC but I could have just been unlucky.
#12
Quote by Goochster
Unfortunately I definitely won't be going anywhere near Ibanez after having major fretboard issues with a Prestige electric bought previously. It makes me wonder about their QC but I could have just been unlucky.
This post isn't intended to be an endorsement for Ibanez, or an indictment of another brand. But rather am anecdotal account of my personal experiences.

First, I have 3 Ibanez guitars, fairly recently purchased, none of which have any substantial QC issues, at least none that wouldn't be expected of any mid priced, mass produced instrument.

The only Martin with which I was personally involved, (70's D-28(?)), had all the bracing fall off the soundboard, and I had to glue the turd back together. (A friend's axe).

My own Epiphone (a discontinued LH 12 String) has action so miserable that the bridge saddle is at the same level as the bridge, and I had to notch out the bridge under the E-6th string pair, to stop it from buzzing badly.

Being Left handed, I get corralled into buying what manufacturers offer, as opposed to a right hander, where anything made, is made just for you, so to speak.

It seems you have picked a bit of an awkward price point for an instrument, where the "best" Ibanez intersects with the "worst" Taylors and Martins.

I'd probably hold off until I at least had a chance to try one of the Seagulls.

I realize that shopping is a bit more difficult in the UK than here in the colonies, where it's our national pastime. Obama even runs the money presses fairly often, so we can continue with our avocation, "consumerism", as it were....

Although, here in the US, we believe that one of the "inalienable rights bestowed by our creator", is the absolute right to buy as much s*** as we want, as frequently as we want to buy it!
Last edited by Captaincranky at Sep 23, 2011,
#13
Thanks Captain Cranky. I'm also going to take a look at Seagull if I can find one. I haven't seen one anywhere yet though.

Does anyone know much about the Taylor DDX and does it justify the extra £100.00 when from what I can see it is based on the Taylor 200 series? That's not a "dig" at the DDX, I'm just very interested to know.

Another guitar I'm interested to try is the Takamine EF341SC which is all wood. So it's one up on the Taylors in that price range. But I'm assuming Taylor may beat in in other areas though?

Thoughts anyone?
#14
Quote by Goochster


I'd like a good all rounder guitar for all styles thats not too big, for strumming and finger style guitaring. My finger picking at the moment needs a lot of work so I thought the purchase of an electro/acoustic would help me to improve.

Thanks

Faith make some very nice looking guitars. :-)

(Their model names are little confusing, they use planets rather than better know body descriptions. Mercury = parlour, Saturn = Dred)

They seem to be a UK company, (guitars made in the far east) so you should have a distributor near you.

http://www.faithguitars.com/

Tanglewood. Their TW45HE scrapes into your price range (with haggling), their Sundance range would be an easier buy. Again a UK company, so you should find a distributor near you.
Last edited by another_dave at Sep 26, 2011,
#15
Thanks another_dave. Yes the faith guitars look a possibility. I'll check them out.