#1
Hey guys I plan on buying an acoustic this month and I need some help making the right decision...Ive been looking at quite a few but I just want something with a great sound. Little to no laminate cause I dont dig laminated sounds. A cutaway and really shooting for acoustic electric...If I dont open mic night or songwriters night I will want to have everyone be able to hear little notes but heres what ive been looking at...My budget is 450 and under..


http://www.lunaguitars.com/acousticproduct/orazen.php

I really like the zen cause its all wood and im really digging the art work and soundhole and its got the cutaway. But I havent heard from anyone who has a luna so any help there would be appreciated!

http://www.lunaguitars.com/acousticproduct/woodlandSM.php

Love this guitar with the spalted maple wood...But once again. Dont know much about Luna.


http://sierraguitars.net/guitars-details.cfm?SUNRISE-SAS40CE


Ive played this guitar in a shop and it sounds and looks beautiful but seirra is somewhat new but I heard they are made by the same people at takamine? I dunno if thats true but im really liking this guitar!


But those are just the ones ive noticed. If anyone has any other recommendations please throw em my way! Thanks guys!
#2
Yeah, Luna's guitar are all fun offerings. You're going to run into a problem getting reviews, because they aren't that widely used.

Jere's another stylized offering from them in your budget: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/luna-guitars-trinity-dreadnought-acoustic-electric-guitar (Solid top also).

Just a side note. Anybody's exotic wood offerings are going to be just laminate veneers.

The "Zen" is pretty cool, but I'm wondering if it's a look that might get tiring after a while. Plus, MF doesn't show it their inventory. Which is obviously not to say you couldn't find it somewhere.

Incidentally, I don't think the average line guitar is going to have the incredible "bear claw" spruce top that Luna is showing on the Oracle "Zen" in the picture.

Legend has it you should absolutely stay away from Dean.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Feb 8, 2012,
#3
these all have laminate back and sides. see where it says

Top: Solid Spruce
Back & Sides: Mahogany

almost universally if the back and sides were solid, it would use the word "solid" head of it so it would say

Back & Sides: Solid Mahogany.

i wouldn't buy a luna - they aren't the best-sounding guitars around - i've tried a number of them, and you can hear the laminate wood, although they're certainly the fanciest. as far as sierra guitars, i wouldn't consider a virtually unknown guitar company charging the same prices as a company whose guitars i've many times. as far as i can tell, sierra is only sold in places that sell brands like johnson.

you might consider getting a less fancy guitar that sound better.

i only know of 2 brands of guitars that aren't laminate in your price range.

here is a very decent all solid guitar for $350 - no laminate anywhere, the company that makes it AND this seller are very responsive.
http://elderly.com/new_instruments/names/recording-king-ro-10-%22000%22-classic-series--RO10.htm

this one i haven't tried in person, but i have read of quality control issues. still, musiciansfriend has good customer support, so it's possible.
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/silver-creek-t-160-acoustic-guitar/512727000010000

but on a sale day, a seagull s6 (which is a dread) sounds very good.

on the other hand, if you like the way the lunas look, perhaps the tone is okay for you.
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 Feb 8, 2012,
#4
Quote by patticake
.....[ ]...... as far as sierra guitars, i wouldn't consider a virtually unknown guitar company charging the same prices as a company whose guitars i've many times. as far as i can tell, sierra is only sold in places that sell brands like johnson.
I'm starting to wonder if there isn't a large, mostly unknown OEM manufacturer, responsible for a large number of smaller brands.

In the area of electronics, there is "Funai". A huge Chinese manufacturer, they're responsible for Best Buy's "Dynex", and a host of other brands, including some long deceased American brands such as, "Zenith".

You have to figure, with the start up capital required for an automated assembly plant, it'd be best to buy stuff from somebody with a factory, and have them rebrand it for you.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Feb 8, 2012,
#5
Quote by Captaincranky
I'm starting to wonder if there isn't a large, mostly unknown OEM manufacturer, responsible for a large number of smaller brands.

In the area of electronics, there is "Funai". A huge Chinese manufacturer, they're responsible for Best Buy's "Dynex", and a host of other brands, including some long deceased American brands such as, "Zenith".

You have to figure, with the start up capital required for an automated assembly plant, it'd be best to buy stuff from somebody with a factory, and have them rebrand it for you.



Cor-Tek (Cort) and Sammick. Both have multiple manufacturing facilities in China and Indonesia and are sold worldwide under a plethora of names.

If you ever run into a brand called Blackbird Pie acoustics, give it a wide berth.
I'm the only player to be sponsered by 7 guitar companies not to use their products.
#6
also the music link and saga both make many brands, although sammick, as mentioned by BlackbirdPie has made lower to mid range guitars for a startling nunber of brands.

here are saga's brands
http://www.sagamusic.com/catalog/products.aspx?CategoryID=2

and here are the music link's
http://www.themusiclink.net/products.html
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
Quote by blasian
Hey guys I plan on buying an acoustic this month and I need some help making the right decision...Ive been looking at quite a few but I just want something with a great sound. Little to no laminate cause I dont dig laminated sounds. A cutaway and really shooting for acoustic electric...If I dont open mic night or songwriters night I will want to have everyone be able to hear little notes but heres what ive been looking at...My budget is 450 and under..


http://www.lunaguitars.com/acousticproduct/orazen.php

I really like the zen cause its all wood and im really digging the art work and soundhole and its got the cutaway. But I havent heard from anyone who has a luna so any help there would be appreciated!

http://www.lunaguitars.com/acousticproduct/woodlandSM.php

Love this guitar with the spalted maple wood...But once again. Dont know much about Luna.


http://sierraguitars.net/guitars-details.cfm?SUNRISE-SAS40CE


Ive played this guitar in a shop and it sounds and looks beautiful but seirra is somewhat new but I heard they are made by the same people at takamine? I dunno if thats true but im really liking this guitar!


But those are just the ones ive noticed. If anyone has any other recommendations please throw em my way! Thanks guys!



If your biggest concern is how the guitar looks then go for the Luna. If your want something with a decent tone, then you better look at something else.

Also, beware of the Luna website demos on the two models you linked, both them are heavily processed when unplugged.
I'm the only player to be sponsered by 7 guitar companies not to use their products.
#8
Quote by patticake
also the music link and saga both make many brands, although sammick, as mentioned by BlackbirdPie has made lower to mid range guitars for a startling nunber of brands.

here are saga's brands
http://www.sagamusic.com/catalog/products.aspx?CategoryID=2

and here are the music link's
http://www.themusiclink.net/products.html



Very interesting, I knew about Saga after trying to chase down the origin of Durango, but I didn't know about Musiclink, kind of like all the brands of guitar strings that Mapespiano String Co. manufactures for.
I'm the only player to be sponsered by 7 guitar companies not to use their products.
#9
Quote by BlackbirdPie
Also, beware of the Luna website demos on the two models you linked, both them are heavily processed when unplugged.
What's really scary is C. F. Martin does exactly the same thing, with the Stones playing Martins. (I don't think they're claiming "unplugged"). But they are claiming. that's what your average Martin sounds like.
#10
Ok you guys are straying off topic a bit...But anywho. To those who posted other guitars I would really like a cutaway. And I guess im not gonna find anything that isnt laminated in some way so I guess ill let that slide...So any new options?
#11
Well, we have managed to tell you what not to buy. Perverse though it may be, at least we've made some progress.

This pushes your budget by $50.00. It has a cutaway, and decent onboard electronics

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/seagull-entourage-rustic-cw-qit-acoustic-electric-guitar/583547000096000?src=3WWRWXGB&ZYXSEM=0

That said, MF has 10 to 15% off sales regularly. You should sign up for their Email promos.

Some laminated back & side guitars are way better than others. Lookt for a solid top first, and then consider a guitars overall reputation before shooting it down
#13
that one is all laminate - at the very least, i'd suggest a solid top.

the seagull Captaincranky recommended is a much better choice. so are any of these three yamahas

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/yamaha-fgx700sc-cutaway-acoustic-electric-guitar
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#14
Quote by blasian
What about the Ibanez EW series? People who review them seem to adore them...My first acoustic was a 90 dollar no name so I mean I dont expect breedlove or taylor sound from these 200-500 dollar guitars. Just something to get me by...
I have the ash version, but in a lefty...the righty: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/ibanez-ew20ase-exotic-wood-figured-ash-cutaway-acoustic-electric-guitar/512118000010000

First, Ibanez markets guitars about looks, and plugged in performance. The EW ash is no exception, the preamp, pickup and chorus are all excellent. The guitar itself has a distinctive sound, with an interesting bit of growl in the bass. I'm pretty sure the body laminate is ash through and through. I'm basing that on the look inside which is similar to the look of the facing wood. I could be dead wrong, and since I'm not a wood buyer for Luthier's Mercantile, there's no foul even if I am.The guitar is medium bright. It has very low frets, which make it a handful, especially when it's freshly strung. Don't push down hard enough, and you get treated to quite a bit of buzz I invariably plug my AE guitars in, and even my $300.00 AEL sounds great that way. A peizo pickup will replace quite a bit of sonic detail that an all laminate body can take away.

Personally, even with the preamps set to flat, they're all too bright for my taste playing by myself, or even with a record.

Fender acoustics are extremely bright, and the Sonoran I have now sounds about right with 2 month old strings on it. Oh well, they ship with 80/20 strings just to emphasize the twang. PB strings will likely tame it quite a bit, and that's what it's getting on the first change.

I don't bother playing guitars at the music store, being a lefty, there's not much point to it. Anyway Ibanez AEG style bodies sounded thin to me. They had one of those in LH.

Reading reviews isn't always the best gauge of what's good or not, since nobody really wants to admit they've made a mistake. Yet, really bad reviews come off as obvious cranks.

So, go listen to some instruments. It's tricky business, what with different strings, in different rooms, and the prospective buyer's different moods. Hopefully though, something will jump out at you, while whispering, "buy me, I'm for you".

And you really should sign up for Emails from a couple of the big suppliers. There's a whole lot of price fixing going on, and and you need to catch a true sale for the best deal.

Actually, the manufacturer that comes off as most sincere is Seagull. At least I was impressed mightily by their website. They only offer the S-6 and a 12 string in LH, so it would be plain old frustrating and pointless for me to get attached to anything else in their line. They manage to make to make a great deal of sense about their building techniques and material choices. Of course, I suppose it could be said that bull shit is at its best as an art form, when you can't tell you're being bull shitted...
Last edited by Captaincranky at Feb 9, 2012,
#15
i've found that cordoba, seagull, saga, the music link and yamaha give me the most "human" responses to emails. yamaha has their local rep, ed, actually call me on the phone when i have questions *lol*
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#16
I wouldn't place too much credibility on customer reviews found on major online retaiilers or company websites. Companies are very aware that potential buyers read them, it's very common now for companies to use marketing agencies to write and spam customer reviews, add to fact that many of the real reviewers are first time buyers and don't have alot of experience with guitars, and then you end up with very skewed reviews.

The EW series native tone is very lacking, very little resonance and short on the low end, plugged in with some creative EQing, and they sound mediocre.

Here is a pretty realistic example of it's unplugged tone. Although it's probaly recorded on a camcorder or low quality mic, and would benefit with some newer strings, you get the general idea of it's tone.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5U41tTLyFU&feature=related
I'm the only player to be sponsered by 7 guitar companies not to use their products.
#17
Okay well ill scrap the EW then...I checked out seagull and I love their guitars...I really liked the folk performer cause its pretty much what I want but the price is outta my range. I like the s6 but it seems really similar to my last acoustic. Thats why im looking for more interesting looking guitars and maybe an interesting sound will follow? You guys have been a ton of help. Sorry for making this all so difficult I just wanna make sure I make the right choice. Any other options or ideas or brands or models you guys can think of please throw em my way!
#18
the s6 sounds amazing - it doesn't sound like the yamaha fg's at all. it's one of the very few laminate back and sides guitars where i can't tell with my eyes closed.

interesting looking guitars that sound good cost lots. less expensive interesting looking guitars usually sound pretty meh, partly because all those exotic woods you like can't be used for topwoods at all, and they're expensive as back and side woods, so all you can get is laminate with them.

maybe you could get something used in your price range or get a b stock seagull performer.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#19
The new Taylor Big Baby sounds amazing. They market it as a travel guitar but it sounds as good, if not better than some of their higher end models.
#20
i've never seen it marketed as a travel guitar, but considering how easy it is to remove the neck, that makes sense.

it's a good sounding guitar, with a hint of that taylor top end, but if the OP is searching for looks, it sure isn't the one he'd want. it's about the plainest guitar ever. definitely better quality and tone than the ones he's mentioned, though, although i didn't like the big baby for jazz for some reason.

Quote by LTGeordiLaforge
The new Taylor Big Baby sounds amazing. They market it as a travel guitar but it sounds as good, if not better than some of their higher end models.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#21
OK, lets get on with the buying. I think his money is actually starting to burn a hole in my pocket....
#22
you want cool looking and a decent sound? something that screams 'different" from what i gather from your posts? hows that for cool and still sounds good? solid spruce top,onboard preamp, built in tuner. very fast neck, and no other kid on the block is gonna have one
#24
see those fancy top woods? they can't be used as top woods in reality - none are stiff enough woods. those fancy tops are thin veneers of the wood you see over a cheaper wood. the woods mostly used for tops aren't that exciting looking - solid tops are usually sitka spruce or cedar in your price range.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#25
I know that. I know that a solid top of that stuff would be like 2000+ dollars. Im just asking for a beginner acoustic would these be decent?
#26
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/ibanez-v-series-v70ce-dreadnought-cutaway-acoustic-electric-guitar give this a shot, not very eccentric but I have one and it plays and sounds great. and if you absolutely need to be different http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/ovation-applause-series-ae148-super-shallow-cutaway-acoustic-electric-guitar try that, I havent played this one but its screams weird for 250
Last edited by Viban at Feb 12, 2012,
#27
Quote by blasian
I know that. I know that a solid top of that stuff would be like 2000+ dollars. Im just asking for a beginner acoustic would these be decent?

We've already spoken about the Ibanez and Dean exotic wood guitars. I'm taking Patticake's word for it that the Dean models are pure garbage.

In my case, I like the sound of my Ibanez ash model. I don't have buyer's remorse or anything.

IMO, the exotic woods, be they plywood or not, do give the tone of the guitar somewhat the characteristic sound of the wood involved. Although, certainly not as much as if they were solid wood versions.

That being sad, ash and maple are commonly used tone woods. Both are very bright. Ash makes up the entire classic Telecaster's body, and maple is widely used for only the back and side of high end acoustic guitars. It's quite bright, but never used for the sound boards. Other than cedar or spruce, the only other solid tone woods which are commonly used tor acoustic soundboards are mahogany and Koa. I saw a Taylor C-5 Custom Koa yesterday. WOW! All I can say is, if I had three grand, and it was left handed, I'd be off playing it, and not bothering with this forum today.... Oh who am I kidding, possibly not until next Sunday, or beyond....


Dean, Ibanez, and PRS, all all mostly known for their electrics, and the acoustic business is probably secondary. They're tapping into an acoustic market more, because a lot of artists have worked acoustics into their repertoire.

If your end game is playing amped and performing in a rock setting, exotic wood guitars have something to offer.

If your heart is set on an exotic "wood" guitar, you should go out and listen to several, along with some more conventional spruce top acoustics..

I do grant you that the look of exotic wood acoustics is very captivating. However they most likely won't sound quite as good as a conventional guitar n the same price range.

At the end of the day, you still need to go out and A/B some of these guitars. If the guitar you're looking a sounds good to you, that's really all the matters. If you're willing to compromise some sound for style, no harm, no foul there either.

I would say you should listen for fine detail in the sound as opposed to a solid spruce top, to make sure the laminate isn't sanding off to much tonal intricacy.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Feb 12, 2012,