#1
I think I narrowed down my guitar search to a Martin X series 000X1AE or an Epiphone EJ-160E John Lennon / or Masterbilt 500.

I don't have access to a decent guitar shop anywhere close as I'm in a fairly small town and our guitar shop is made up of a bunch of 200$ guitars. So I'm pretty heavily relying on what I read and what you guys tell me. My last guitar was an Alvarez RD8 and has high action which I hate and the strings seem closer together than most of my friends guitars. I feel like it has really bad playability compared to pretty much anything I have tried before. I liked how some 100$ guitars played compared to that thing. What's your guys thought on these two guitars and bigger hands/fingures?

Also I had a weird question about the Martin X as I have never seen one in person and the pictures are to hard to tell. Is the back of the neck not exactly the same tone as the body? From the pictures I've been looking at it seems as if that wood they use for those necks doesn't hold the same quality color as the body and seems like it might be lighter or something.

Thanks guys, really appreciate your help. Any information you can give me is very helpful as I'm shopping blind. It would be a 4-5 hour trip to get to a decent guitar shop!

Again my main concern is playability, low action with solid space between the strings for bigger fingures.
#2
hard for us to recommend one big guy. most of us here will just tell you to get what we like. with your previously mentioned lack of finger dexterity, i'd pick a guitar that has a wider nut width.
i'd wait and take the trip to a guitar shop, buying online guitars can be very tricky. quality and consistency issues are an inherent problem with many makers.
send me all your money and i'll pick out a good one for you at the local shop!!! JK , i have the same problem as you, i gotta take the long trip to a good shop too, but its worth it.
#3
the epiphone masterbilt model is all solid wood - the other two have laminate backs and sides. it's going to have more resonance. it would probably be the one of the three that i'd buy. but that being said, all three guitars have thin nuts, and i don't care for thin necked guitars. the martin neck isn't exactly a normal neck - it's a stratabond neck. you can see a closeup of the back of the neck here
http://www.elderly.com/new_instruments/items/DX1R.htm
click to enlarge the pic. i would buy the martin ahead of the epi.

i'd recommend the seagull original s6. good quality guitar, nice tone, wider neck. i have smaller hands but prefer a neck that's wide, but NOT as wide as a classical. i find this one to be very comfortable, with enough space between the strings to really enjoy it, although if you've been playing a thin neck guitar, it may take a little adjustment period.

the action of any guitar can and probably should be adjusted. don't keep from buying a guitar based on the action, which will change how you feel about the playability. i have the action adjusted on most of the guitars i buy.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#4
The Masterbilt is easily the best guitar on paper out of those three.
#5
Well I don't think I want a solid wood guitar. I want something I don't have to worry about so much. I mean I want to use my guitar, I want to bring it camping and stuff. Obviously it's going to be in a case whenever danger is near and not sitting outside long. But from what I read with all this humidifier crap and keeping it in certain temperatures.. I live in upper Michigan.. Winter's can get into negatives, I live pretty much on an island surrounded by the Great Lakes so humidity fluctuates drastically. I mean I can spend a couple hundred more than 500$ if I wanted. But if I go anymore over 500$ is seems like all the guitars are full wood. I want a good sounding guitar for sure, but I'm never going to be in a band or recording professional stuff. If things change and I got that good, then I would buy a guitar for that then ya know.

I just want a guitar that sounds pretty solid compared to all these 240-350$ guitars myself and my friends have. Something nice enough to take care of well, but not have to worry about my guitar warping if I left it in its case in the car camping.

Also the seagulls I just can't get over the head. If it wasn't for that I think I would surely buy one from the sounds of things. But that top just makes me want to puke. Look's aren't my main concern by far, but I do want something I can find appreciation looking at ya know.

Any other opinions?
#6
i don't know why so many people feel that they don't have to worry about laminate guitars. they're less sensitive to environmental changes, but they're still wood that will swell or shrink, both of which can lead to problems. i have friends whose all laminate guitars cracked when it got dry here, and i'm pretty sure it gets a lot dryer where you are than here in l.a. to get the full advantage of laminate, get a guitar that also has a laminate top.

but if you want a guitar that can easily withstand cold and dry conditions, get a carbon fiber guitar. and even they can have problems if left in a hot car, as glue will soften regardless of what your guitar is made of.

if you go all laminate, i suggest you go with a yamaha. they're very good tonally for an all lam guitar, and are also a friendly price. and available in 3 finish options - black, natural and burst. http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/yamaha-f335-acoustic-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!
#7
Well my Alvarez RD8 still sounds like it did when it was new. I brought it camping, left it outside all night without a case, left it in cars, transported it without a case in a bed of a pick up many times.. Had it for 3 years and haven't noticed anything go wrong with it. I got some friends who are pretty damn good and they play on it when i have it around and never pointed out anything being wrong with it. So either how well your suppose to take care of guitars is highly overrated for your average guy who isn't a professional guitarist who notices missing tones no average guy like myself will notice, or laminate guitars are indestructible. I mean with that said I know some pretty good guys, a couple of them have cheap 180$ guitars and can put my friends to shame who have 1000$ guitars. His laminate Washburn is like 10 years old and taking good care of it was never anywhere towards the top of his priorities. That thing has spent many nights out camping laying on the ground all night long. He still makes that guitar sound great to this day. I mean I'm sure some guys around here are on a whole different level, but my friends are pretty damn good and as good as I ever care to be. I have alot of other hobbies that I take much more serious. Guitar is my relaxing hobby and I play casually and only ever want to be a solid campfire player having fun with my friends.

Just because I'm not a professional doesn't mean I should just settle for another 200$ guitar. I deserve to buy a decent sounding guitar too. I'm just getting frustrated because the guys on the internet make guitar care sound so demanding and makes me scared shitless to buy a wood guitar. I'm just starting to get the feeling that your guitar will be fine as long as you don't completely abuse it. I mean really, if I buy a wood guitar and don't humidify it or dehumidify it and store it in perfect temperatures its going to fall apart on me and not be play able? Is this really the way it is? Or is this type of care just needed if you want to keep the absolute greatest sound possible for like recording purposes?

Thanks guys bare with me.. I'm just getting a little frustrated. Almost wish I never went to the internet and had to read all this and just bought a guitar and never worried a thing and just enjoyed it. I just want a decent sounding guitar I can enjoy and have fun with. That's all
#8
This guitar doesn't need to last 30 years.. I mean I'm spending 500-600 bucks, if I get 4-5 years out of it I'm happy and then I'll guy buy myself a new 500$ guitar.. If I was dropping 2k-3k+ I could see the concern.
#9
Don't get me wrong. I will be taking better care of this guitar. It will be in its case when not used. But I do not want to get into all this humidification crap and not being able to leave it in it's case in the camper or something.
#10
i'm not talking about longevity. some people get lucky - they live in dry places, never humidify their guitars and nothing ever happens. or they keep their guitars in campers and cars and have no problems. but what you pay - $100 or $1000 - won't affect this. it's the luck of the draw.

lots of people DO have problems when they do those things. it doesn't happen in 30 years. if you keep your guitar in a hot camper, which can and likely will reach the temperature at which glue softens, your guitar could last longer than your lifetime, but the glue could let go enough to destroy it days after you buy it. my friend rob had an all laminate classical that cracked pretty badly less than 3 months after he bought it.

your best bet might be to buy from guitar center and get their pro coverage. i'd double check, but they say their plan covers "Failures due to heat, dust, and internal humidity", and a guy on agf ran over his guitar and they replaced it for him under the policy. another guy - i think on this board - dropped his guitar and it broke, and they replaced it.

btw, even cheap all laminate guitars are likely with reasonable care to last well over 30 years.
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 Mar 13, 2012,
#11
some of us here are anal about the care our guitars deserve. my Taylor almost never gets left out of its case,has its own humidity controlled closet. as far as guitars go, i treat it like a pansy. its expensive enough for me to worry about playing it sometimes. my Ovations however are almost impervious to the elements. great sound with military grade toughness. i have no worries about leaving them around uncased( somewhat ). i still clean and wax them religiously but i dont worry about them as much, i know they're susceptible to the elements here in northern NY. they don't have the same tone as my Taylor but they still sound great.
Last edited by stepchildusmc at Mar 13, 2012,
#12
Those responses sound a little more reasonable and understanding than the images I formed from reading over the Internet. So I mean you guys are kinda saying I would likely get the same outcome of a 200$ guitar as a 600$ full wood guitar? It's pretty much just a roll of the dice opposed to the material being wood or laminate? I could have a full wood and it could last me 30 years treating it like I mentioned and I could buy a laminate and it break in two weeks.. Or would it still maybe be smarter to just go wood top for my situation.. I really have my heart set on buying a solid 500-600 guitar.. There's just no way it couldn't sound better than my 200$ RD8.. But I mean what do I know I'm newer to this. Just trying to pick your minds a bit.

I really do appreciate the help guys, I mean it.
#13
ehh... the world is full of comprimises. the better solid woods inherently carry a larger risk of value loss if damaged. if the lams get damaged it isnt all that important as their value is much less. i wouldn't take a ferrari trail riding, it wasnt designed for that( well if it were someone else's ferarri.....hmm..) i have some cheaper guitars that i place very little value in. they're still fun play but i wouldn't cry if someone scratched my samick( and im a pretty sensitive guy).
#14
I here ya. I guess humidifying isn't all too bad.. I think what i'm going to try to do is just get a wood top guitar, and i'll humidify it whenever possible. If I'm going camping i'll make sure it's well humidified before I go and from there just try to keep it in as reasonable settings as possible until I get home and I'll re-humidify it.. If I can't keep a wood top guitar alive doing this then I guess I am out a bunch of money and will have to reevaluate my situation lol. Sound like a respectable plan? One last thing, what's your guys thoughts on this Taylor Guitar..

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Taylor-2012-110e-Sapele-Spruce-Dreadnought-Acoustic-Electric-Guitar-H79560-i2287038.gc

Good playability? Good sound? They advertise it as "extra resilience in the face of fluctuating humidity conditions."
#15
i like the sound of the taylor 100 series, actually more than the 300 series. that being said, i like a little more bass and a little less bright, so i'd possibly go for the masterbilt over the taylor, but if you like bright with a hint of top end sparkle, it could be a good choice. and taylors tend to be consistent and well built.
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 would have to agree with patti. i love taylors but for the money ehh... i do like playing the bassier music... A7X, shinedown, greenday 5FDP and such. but" bat country" on my Taylor is awesome !!!! mostly i use my Ovations for the stuff i play.
#17
are you playing medium bowl ovations?

Quote by stepchildusmc
i would have to agree with patti. i love taylors but for the money ehh... i do like playing the bassier music... A7X, shinedown, greenday 5FDP and such. but" bat country" on my Taylor is awesome !!!! mostly i use my Ovations for the stuff i play.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#18
yeah, mostly mid-depth elites. usually one of my trusty 1778TX( USA or korean with EXP16's). i have a coupla contour bodied deep bowls too( c2078ax-rtd with EXP17's). those seem to work better fingerstyle unless plugged in. i have 2 shallows but they stink unless plugged in. wish i liked more "brighter" songs so i could appreciate the taylor more but so be it. besides, the normal "box" guitars dig into my chest, i have to position it under my pec and it gets irritating after a short time. being female, im sure you kinda understand, dont have that issue with the ovations, nice curved back!
im sure haulinbass would like the masterbilt over the taylor. bein' a juicehead like me, he probably listens to the same motivational music i do. even something like a Tak Eg450dlx would be another possibility. those can be had for around 450 or so.
Last edited by stepchildusmc at Mar 14, 2012,
#19
Quote by haulinbass
Just because I'm not a professional doesn't mean I should just settle for another 200$ guitar. I deserve to buy a decent sounding guitar too. I'm just getting frustrated because the guys on the internet make guitar care sound so demanding and makes me scared shitless to buy a wood guitar. I'm just starting to get the feeling that your guitar will be fine as long as you don't completely abuse it. I mean really, if I buy a wood guitar and don't humidify it or dehumidify it and store it in perfect temperatures its going to fall apart on me and not be play able? Is this really the way it is? Or is this type of care just needed if you want to keep the absolute greatest sound possible for like recording purposes?
The fiberglass / molded /styrofoam interior travel cases are intended to mitigate sudden changes in environment. So, your best primary course of action is to get an upper echelon case, no matter which guitar you buy. Like this: http://www.zzounds.com/item--DAVSKB18

Quote by haulinbass
Thanks guys bare with me..
OK, "bare-ing with you, can only come to no good, and result in a warning and possible banishment for all concerned. I, (and I assume the others), will gladly "bear" with you.

bare - definition of bare by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus ...

Lacking the usual or appropriate covering or clothing; naked: a bare arm. 2. Exposed to view; undisguised: bare fangs. 3. Lacking the usual furnishings, ...
Last edited by Captaincranky at Mar 15, 2012,
#20
Cranky, you missed your true calling. good thing you caught that and posted when you did, i already had my socks and garter off ! whew that was close
#21
My suggestion: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1522920
Takes a beating and keeps on ticking. or... whatever the saying is.

Taking care of a nice acoustic guitar isn't hard, just get a humidifier for the case and put it away in the winter. During the summer, it doesn't really matter, here in the midwest.
Fact: Bears eat beats. Bears beats Battlestar Galactica.
#22
Quote by Thomme

Takes a beating and keeps on ticking. or... whatever the saying is.

"It take's a licking, and keeps on ticking", is from an ancient Timex watch ad campaign, decades ago. They were pretty intense, strapping Timex watches to outboard boat motor propellers, (among other stress tests), to prove the durability of the watches.

Here's the primary Google search page for this catch phrase: https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&channel=s&hl=en&source=hp&biw=&bih=&q=+%22It+take%27s+a+licking%2C+and+keeps+on+ticking%22%2C&oq=+%22It+take%27s+a+licking%2C+and+keeps+on+ticking%22%2C&aq=f&aqi=g-l1&aql=&gs_sm=13&gs_upl=49201l49201l0l52308l1l1l0l0l0l0l98l98l1l1l0
Quote by Thomme
Taking care of a nice acoustic guitar isn't hard, just get a humidifier for the case and put it away in the winter. During the summer, it doesn't really matter, here in the midwest.
Yeah, but you still need to buy a good hard shell case first.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Mar 16, 2012,
#23
Quote by Captaincranky
"It take's a licking, and keeps on ticking", is from an ancient Timex watch ad campaign, decades ago. They were pretty intense, strapping Timex watches to outboard boat motor propellers, (among other stress tests), to prove the durability of the watches.

Here's the primary Google search page for this catch phrase: https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&channel=s&hl=en&source=hp&biw=&bih=&q=+%22It+take%27s+a+licking%2C+and+keeps+on+ticking%22%2C&oq=+%22It+take%27s+a+licking%2C+and+keeps+on+ticking%22%2C&aq=f&aqi=g-l1&aql=&gs_sm=13&gs_upl=49201l49201l0l52308l1l1l0l0l0l0l98l98l1l1l0
Yeah, but you still need to buy a good hard shell case first.

That is true. A hardshell case for an acoustic is a given. I feel like acoustic gig-bags are a crime. I've always sprung for the case for my acoustics when I bought them. Blueridges actually come with nice cases. It's a must with ANY acoustic you spend more than a few hundred on.
Fact: Bears eat beats. Bears beats Battlestar Galactica.