#1
Hello ultimateguitar people.

I am currently facing a dillemma. I have been playing guitar for 4 years now. I have a good electric guitar, but now I think it's time for me to have a nice acoustic guitar.

I have been searching for the perfect guitar in my eyes, but it just doesn't seem to be easy to find, since I'm on a budget and I'm only willing to pay a maximum of $500.

Can you guys help me to find a guitar that I might like and within that budget line? I am very picky, and I completely do not stand Dreadnought types of guitar. I really want a jumbo Grand Auditorium shape, something like most Taylors. Recently I found out about some Yamahas that were very good, and are that shape, but for some unknown reason, they got discontinued.

Here it is http://usa.yamaha.com/products/musical-instruments/guitars-basses/el-ac-guitars/llx_ljx_lsx/?mode=series#tab=product_lineup

Does anybody have any suggestions on what guitar I should get? This yamaha would be perfect, but it's not sold anywhere anymore. Thank you everyone.
#3
Well, you could try out the Epiphone EJ-200CE: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/epiphone-ej-200ce-acoustic-electric-guitar

This particular Epi has a good reputation, and a stellar assortment of 5 star reviews. (And I'm hoping you'll forgive for the redundancy / bad pun).

In any case, Epiphone is known far a bit of inconsistency with respect to QA issues. So, try it before you buy. It's a maple body and neck, with a solid spruce top.

These allegedly project very well, and a jumbo is by many accounts easier to play than a dread, because of the thinner waist.

I'm going to be the guinea pig on one of these come Monday, as, "the guitar is in the mail", so to speak. In my case, this is the just released left handed version.

To clarify or FWIW, "jumbo", is the equivalent of Taylor's "grand symphony" size body. That doesn't happen until their 3xx series, so it's out of the question for you Their "grand auditorium" is a tad smaller. In Ibanez lines of acoustic, the AEL suffix is a jumbo equivalent. I have the lowest number in that series, the AEL10, because they used to make a lefty model of it. It is all laminate, I think a couple of the higher end models have solid tops. In any case the guitar is pleasant, if not overwhelming, but it likes 80/20 brass strings to brighten it up a bit. The electronics sound good, and take but two AA pen cells for power.

Scroll down this thread to see the , Gretsch, "Rancher", another mid line jumbo. So we're clear, I'm talking about the red one, not the white"Falcon Rancher", which is also the least expensive of their "Rancher" branded guitars. https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1650268

I have a couple of dreads, a Fender "Sonoran", which is a smallish dread, and a much larger Crafter 12 string. Granted these two instruments are a bit niche market oriented, more so than your basic Martin D-28 knock off.

Guild's "GAD" series has a jumbo also, but that too is pushing a grand, (I think).

With all that said, Seagull's "S-6 Cedar" is a dreadnought, but quite a popular item, well worthy of a listen if you can find one somewhere in your neighborhood to test
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jul 19, 2014,
#4
Hey man I can totally relate to that! I love the way jumbos sound, they have this amazing warm tone with a grand sound. Honestly the best way to go when buying instruments is to buy used gear. You can get killer deals on craigslist! and Yamaha is the way to go when you're on a budget. Yamaha acoustics kick ass! They have a very good sound for a low cost guitar. I believe for $500 you could find a used taylor as well and they sound pretty good. Just go to a few guitar stores and try out different guitars. Narrow down your choices and then start looking for those models online either on ebay or craigslist. I am sure you will find something really good for $500 that is a decent amount. Good luck and let us know how it goes
#5
Quote by Captaincranky
Well, you could try out the Epiphone EJ-200CE: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/epiphone-ej-200ce-acoustic-electric-guitar

This particular Epi has a good reputation, and a stellar assortment of 5 star reviews. (And I'm hoping you'll forgive for the redundancy / bad pun).

In any case, Epiphone is known far a bit of inconsistency with respect to QA issues. So, try it before you buy. It's a maple body and neck, with a solid spruce top.

These allegedly project very well, and a jumbo is by many accounts easier to play than a dread, because of the thinner waist.

I'm going to be the guinea pig on one of these come Monday, as, "the guitar is in the mail", so to speak. In my case, this is the just released left handed version.

To clarify or FWIW, "jumbo", is the equivalent of Taylor's "grand symphony" size body. That doesn't happen until their 3xx series, so it's out of the question for you Their "grand auditorium" is a tad smaller. In Ibanez lines of acoustic, the AEL suffix is a jumbo equivalent. I have the lowest number in that series, the AEL10, because they used to make a lefty model of it. It is all laminate, I think a couple of the higher end models have solid tops. In any case the guitar is pleasant, if not overwhelming, but it likes 80/20 brass strings to brighten it up a bit. The electronics sound good, and take but two AA pen cells for power.

Scroll down this thread to see the , Gretsch, "Rancher", another mid line jumbo. So we're clear, I'm talking about the red one, not the white"Falcon Rancher", which is also the least expensive of their "Rancher" branded guitars. https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1650268

I have a couple of dreads, a Fender "Sonoran", which is a smallish dread, and a much larger Crafter 12 string. Granted these two instruments are a bit niche market oriented, more so than your basic Martin D-28 knock off.

Guild's "GAD" series has a jumbo also, but that too is pushing a grand, (I think).

With all that said, Seagull's "S-6 Cedar" is a dreadnought, but quite a popular item, well worthy of a listen if you can find one somewhere in your neighborhood to test


That is very helpful indeed! Thank you. I had seen this Epi before, but looking at videos on it, I had an impression that it's thickness is incredibly large. I never played a guitar that fat, so I would definitely have to try it out before buying anything.

And I understand but not at the same time your statement about Jumbos and Taylor's grand auditorium. Are you saying the jumbos I'm looking for are equivalent to Taylor's grand SYMPHONY and not Auditorium? Thank you for the answer guys.

EDIT: Also what do you guys think about the Epiphone PR5-E ?
Last edited by seiyamaple at Jul 19, 2014,
#6
Quote by seiyamaple
That is very helpful indeed! Thank you. I had seen this Epi before, but looking at videos on it, I had an impression that it's thickness is incredibly large. I never played a guitar that fat, so I would definitely have to try it out before buying anything.
Gibson calls their J-200 a "super jumbo". I'm fairly sure the Epi EJ-200 is pretty close to the same size. Unfortunately, Gibson is less than forthcoming about the exact measurements of their guitars, preferring to use emotional descriptions. Between the two companies, I could only find certain specs on certain guitars, with lack of continuity between models.

Generally speaking, a "jumbo", has a BODY DEPTH of about 5.0" at the lower bout. Across the lower bout, they are more than 16.0". My AEL Ibanez fits that spec, coming in at 4 7/8".

More importantly, the major difference between "dreadnought" and "jumbo", is the jumbo usually has a narrower waist. Both of the dreadnoughts I own are 5.0" deep.

Point being, if you've played a dread, you've most likely experienced the same depth as a jumbo already.

If the slimmer waist of a jumbo, auditorium, symphony, or whatever appeals to you, go for it. But don't ignore the sound. Most players will tell you a dread can be "boomy". Jumbos have a lot of bass but it's usually a bit better controlled. Hey, lots of guys made millions with "boomy" guitars. All that's required is for the instrument to match up with your concept of what it should sound like.

Quote by seiyamaple
And I understand but not at the same time your statement about Jumbos and Taylor's grand auditorium. Are you saying the jumbos I'm looking for are equivalent to Taylor's grand SYMPHONY and not Auditorium? Thank you for the answer guys.
Before I misspeak any further, here is Taylor's size chart page. http://www.taylorguitars.com/guitars/acoustic/shapes Their, "Grand Orchestra" body is the largest, with GS and GA being similar. Just hover you mouse pointer over each body, which will give you most of the measurements for each type.

Quote by seiyamaple
EDIT: Also what do you guys think about the Epiphone PR5-E ?
Sorry to say, not a clue. However, the PR-5 is a mahogany instrument, the EJ-200 is maple. In order of brightness, and supposing they are all strung the same, it goes rosewood, mahogany, maple.

Now, (and this is very important), the PR-5 is an all laminate guitar. I'd almost be willing to bet, "sight unheard", the EJ-200 will sound much better with its solid top!

You really do have to get out and do more testing. This is something that's not an option for me. I'm lucky if a shop has one or two lefty guitars, while the whole shop is full of guitars you can sample.

Epiphone has a reputation for hit or miss quality control. Lots of people like their guitars in spite of this. But, it's better if you can try out the individual instrument you're going to buy.

I'll say again, the guitar that's most often recommended here, is the Seagull S-6 in your price range. It's a "horse of a different color", beings as it has a CEDAR TOP, and wild cherry laminate B & S, which Seagull claims sounds similar to mahogany.

Like I said, it's worth a shot, even if it doesn't have the slim waist of a true jumbo.

Anyway, here's their spec page: http://www.seagullguitars.com/specs.html Seagull publishes all the measurements that are fit to print! So you'll be able to see how variable the sizes and shapes of this and that can be....
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jul 20, 2014,
#7
Quote by Captaincranky

You really do have to get out and do more testing. This is something that's not an option for me. I'm lucky if a shop has one or two lefty guitars, while the whole shop is full of guitars you can sample.


Thank you for taking your time and writing all of that, and seems like dreadnoughts just dominate the market for my price range then. This seagull looks nice, must also sound nice. I'm not gonna be too picky and definitely try it out, but I'm kind of on the same boat as you, I go to college in the US, but live in Brazil. And in the U.S. I go to University of Charleston, which is not really a big place, and I think I will be lucky if I find more than 2 guitar stores over there.

Before you also say anything, yes I could buy a guitar here in my home country, but doing some research, I can get a lot better deals in the U.S. getting a really better guitar for the price I would get an average one here.

That doesn't mean I haven't looked at all, here in Brazil there is a big brand called "Gianini" that they have a performance series that look really good and play really good, for around what would be $384 I think.



For this guitar in particular, I have heard that it has a very bright high, and mediums, but a discrete low with it's lower strings. It says here that this guitar has a spruce top, and it's a Sapelle guitar, which I think it's similar to mahogany. What do you think of these specs?
#8
Well, Gianini's website is sort of a mess. I pull up one guitar and get the specs in Portuguese (?), and the next in English Then they're telling me it has, "16 frets of alpaca", (which up to now I thought was an animal hair product), and I count at least 20 in the picture....

Of course that speaks nothing to the quality or lack thereof in the guitars themselves, just to a disorganized IT/ advertising dept(s).

Here's their website: http://www.giannini.com.br/novo_eng/produto-lista.asp?cod_instrumento=65,24&navegacao=Acoustic%20guitars

I think the picture you posted attaches to this guitar: http://www.giannini.com.br/novo_eng/produto.asp?id=1103 Not sure though.

Anyway, "sapele", is also known, (along with a couple other species, I think), as "African mahogany". I depends on who you're talking to, as to whether it's a substitute for the genuine Honduran variety, (which is quite scarce these days), or an entity unto itself. Whichever is the case, it costs less than mahogany, and that's primarily why it's being used.

In a move which I find somewhat curious, they list the neck of that guitar as being, "cedar", which is fairly uncommon. Cedar is pretty soft to be a neck material, but I'll leave it to someone with more knowledge on that topic to, (hopefully), ring in a clear that up.

I know so very little about Gianini, I couldn't speak to anything about their instruments, whatsoever. The name,"Gianini", seems to be of Italian extraction, so I don't know how that ties in with Brazil...

I did run across this in a Left hand version:


In a store where I buy most of my guitars, as the owner places a heavy emphasis on left handed guitars and other string instruments.

Which I thought might be cool to have, but I have an issue with putting down my pick for extended periods of time. So, I opted for the EJ-200 instead.

Further along with their bizarre website, they have a maple topped version of this guitar which appears to be a steel string , listed as being nylon strung as well. It has a closed headstock, Grover tuners, and very obviously a pin bridge...I'm stumped with that. You simply don't see nylon strung guitars with closed head stocks

I should have the EJ Monday or Tuesday at the latest. I'll be able to give you some impressions of that guitar.

I was told the certain people here who don't like Epiphones in general, like that particular model.

And yes, we Americans are consumers, first and foremost, which is why you'll probably get more guitar for your money here, as the competition between sellers is fierce. But, will you get tagged with customs fees when you try and take it home?

Above all else, thank God you don't live in Australia or New Zealand, as their retail prices are high to begin with, and further compounded by exorbitant shipping fees to get stuff there.

FWIW, I like the styling of a jumbo or orchestra guitar far better than the less curvy dreadnought. The slimmer waist of a jumbo lowers it in your lap a bit, so the extra width of the lower bout is not much of an issue. Either type of guitar is a lot harder to play around than your run of the mill electric when you're standing. I believe Martin is responsible for popularizing the dreadnought during the hip era, with their D-28 in particular. Maybe a few companies got sued for copying that piece too closely.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jul 20, 2014,
#9
Quote by Captaincranky
Well, Gianini's website is sort of a mess. I pull up one guitar and get the specs in Portuguese (?), and the next in English Then they're telling me it has, "16 frets of alpaca", (which up to now I thought was an animal hair product), and I count at least 20 in the picture....

Of course that speaks nothing to the quality or lack thereof in the guitars themselves, just to a disorganized IT/ advertising dept(s).

Here's their website: http://www.giannini.com.br/novo_eng/produto-lista.asp?cod_instrumento=65,24&navegacao=Acoustic%20guitars

I think the picture you posted attaches to this guitar: http://www.giannini.com.br/novo_eng/produto.asp?id=1103 Not sure though.

Anyway, "sapele", is also known, (along with a couple other species, I think), as "African mahogany". I depends on who you're talking to, as to whether it's a substitute for the genuine Honduran variety, (which is quite scarce these days), or an entity unto itself. Whichever is the case, it costs less than mahogany, and that's primarily why it's being used.

In a move which I find somewhat curious, they list the neck of that guitar as being, "cedar", which is fairly uncommon. Cedar is pretty soft to be a neck material, but I'll leave it to someone with more knowledge on that topic to, (hopefully), ring in a clear that up.

I know so very little about Gianini, I couldn't speak to anything about their instruments, whatsoever. The name,"Gianini", seems to be of Italian extraction, so I don't know how that ties in with Brazil...

I did run across this in a Left hand version:


In a store where I buy most of my guitars, as the owner places a heavy emphasis on left handed guitars and other string instruments.

Which I thought might be cool to have, but I have an issue with putting down my pick for extended periods of time. So, I opted for the EJ-200 instead.

Further along with their bizarre website, they have a maple topped version of this guitar which appears to be a steel string , listed as being nylon strung as well. It has a closed headstock, Grover tuners, and very obviously a pin bridge...I'm stumped with that. You simply don't see nylon strung guitars with closed head stocks

I should have the EJ Monday or Tuesday at the latest. I'll be able to give you some impressions of that guitar.

I was told the certain people here who don't like Epiphones in general, like that particular model.

And yes, we Americans are consumers, first and foremost, which is why you'll probably get more guitar for your money here, as the competition between sellers is fierce. But, will you get tagged with customs fees when you try and take it home?

Above all else, thank God you don't live in Australia or New Zealand, as their retail prices are high to begin with, and further compounded by exorbitant shipping fees to get stuff there.

FWIW, I like the styling of a jumbo or orchestra guitar far better than the less curvy dreadnought. The slimmer waist of a jumbo lowers it in your lap a bit, so the extra width of the lower bout is not much of an issue. Either type of guitar is a lot harder to play around than your run of the mill electric when you're standing. I believe Martin is responsible for popularizing the dreadnought during the hip era, with their D-28 in particular. Maybe a few companies got sued for copying that piece too closely.


Okay, thank you again for your reply, and make sure to leave your feedback on the EJ epiphone when you get the chance. About the customs fee it's not a problem, I have multiple electronics bought in the U.S. along with my electric guitar and I never had any problem. As long as I don't have 2 identical items in the box (2 unopened iPhones for example), there's no problem.
#10
You are correct in that there are not a lot of smaller-body guitars out there in that price range.
The Taylor 114e (Grand Auditorium body, non cutaway, ES-T electronics) sells for $599, so you could possibly pick up a deal on one, or find one used in your price range.
My reverbnation page


2012 Taylor 310ce
2011 Fender CD140SCE
Ibanez 12 string a/e
73 Epi 6830E
72 Fender Telecaster
Epi Dot Studio
Epi LP Jr
Chinese Strat clone
Washburn Mandolin
Luna 'tatoo' a/e uke
antique banjolin
Squire J bass
#11
Quote by MikeBmusic
You are correct in that there are not a lot of smaller-body guitars out there in that price range.
The Taylor 114e (Grand Auditorium body, non cutaway, ES-T electronics) sells for $599, so you could possibly pick up a deal on one, or find one used in your price range.

That is true. The first time I came across Taylor guitars was in Boyce Avenue's covers on youtube, I saw an absolutely gorgeous guitar, and I looked for the brand and looked it up. I was in heaven surfing through their website until I found out their prices are way out of my league.

Also, what do you guys think of this Yamaha? The top is solid Spruce and the other sides and neck is Nato.

http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-CPX700II-Acoustic-Electric-Guitar-Natural/dp/B004Q1DKVA/ref=sr_1_2?srs=2530816011&ie=UTF8&qid=1405986333&sr=8-2&keywords=yamaha+cpx

It would look a lot better if it had that 'reddish' design under the headstock opening.

EDIT: Captaincranky, there is an Amazon Page on the Gianini guitar, maybe you can find better info on the specs here?

http://www.amazon.com/Giannini-Guitars-GF-4-CEQ-Acoustic-Electric/dp/B009S27K6I/ref=sr_1_6?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1405987194&sr=1-6

By reading about both, I think the kind of hardware is the same for the EJ200 and the Gianini one. There's just the fact that the EJ200 has a more fat body (which I don't know if that makes the low sound better and richer), and in my opinion, the EJ200 is also alot more gorgeous than the gianini one.
Last edited by seiyamaple at Jul 21, 2014,
#12
Ive owned my EJ200 for two years or so, I keep in in open C or open D tuning. It is stellar...I played the real j200 then the EJ200 right after eachother and for 1/10th the cost I couldn't NOT buy it.

Its not as big as you think...its very comfortable and I learned on an old Yamaha dreadnaught.

The second you strum the EJ200 you will fall in love.
#13
I recommend taking a look at Zager guitars. These instruments are classy, hand-built, easy play, fantastic looking and absolutely tremendous quality sound. The price won't break the bank either. Their customer service is outstanding. Mahogany, black, or traditional finish all with full money back warranty if not satisfied. Give a look!
#14
Quote by Southerndrawl
Ive owned my EJ200 for two years or so, I keep in in open C or open D tuning. It is stellar...I played the real j200 then the EJ200 right after eachother and for 1/10th the cost I couldn't NOT buy it.

Its not as big as you think...its very comfortable and I learned on an old Yamaha dreadnaught.

The second you strum the EJ200 you will fall in love.

Yes, I watched a youtube video with a comparison between the Gibson and the Epiphone copy model. The best audio quality I could find, and I listened through my best pair of headphones. To be honest, I CAN hear the difference, but I don't think that small difference is worth about $2,500 more.

I really wanna test it from all the positive feedback, and by your word saying it's not as big as I think. I really hope they have it in stock over at where I live so I can give it a shot before buying it, or else I will have to order online. Is it viable to order guitars online?

Quote by dr dewday
I recommend taking a look at Zager guitars. These instruments are classy, hand-built, easy play, fantastic looking and absolutely tremendous quality sound. The price won't break the bank either. Their customer service is outstanding. Mahogany, black, or traditional finish all with full money back warranty if not satisfied. Give a look!

I took a quick look and they are gorgeous, I will take some time to look deeper into their instruments.
#15
Quote by seiyamaple
....[ ]....Also, what do you guys think of this Yamaha? The top is solid Spruce and the other sides and neck is Nato.
"Nato", is another one of the woods being billed as, "African Mahogany". FWIW, usually the next higher line of most maker's guitars, are built with real mahogany. So, nato is being used to meet a price point, first. As to sound, I can't speak with any authority. Yamaha's instruments are generally of good quality and tone.

Quote by seiyamaple
EDIT: Captaincranky, there is an Amazon Page on the Gianini guitar, maybe you can find better info on the specs here?
Well, no I can't! Every time I read one of their pages, I know less about their guitars than when I started. For many years I've said, "the good translators go to the United Nations, the bad ones go everywhere else"! As is the case with Gianini. This company is a importer, first and foremost. Pretty much just something to put on their head stocks. The guitar are all Asian made by some huge OEM. The guitar you listed is, (I'm pretty sure), all laminate. You know, I can speak and read some Spanish, I can interpolate Spanish with Portuguese, but with these fools, one line is in English, the next in Portuguese, and the 3rd is in both "lenguas". O si usted prefiere, "idiomas".

Quote by dr dewday
I recommend taking a look at Zager guitars. These instruments are classy, hand-built, easy play, fantastic looking and absolutely tremendous quality sound. The price won't break the bank either. Their customer service is outstanding. Mahogany, black, or traditional finish all with full money back warranty if not satisfied. Give a look!
Quote by seiyamaple
....[ ]....I took a quick look and they are gorgeous, I will take some time to look deeper into their instruments.

OK, if you look at "Dr. Dewday's" profile, you'll see he joined this month, and has made ONE POST!!! Which was to tell you how great Zager Guitars are! In the carnival trade, that's what they call a shill! Look it up. This is standard operating procedure for Bob Zager. It normally happens when they see someone foundering, confused, and inexperienced at buying guitars. Am I positive, no, am I 70%+ sure, absolutely. I can't and won't comment on the quality of the instruments. But the sales tactics, hype, and bullshit which has surrounded their instruments for decades, is so off putting, I don't care what they're selling, I"m not buying.


Quote by seiyamaple
By reading about both, I think the kind of hardware is the same for the EJ200 and the Gianini one. There's just the fact that the EJ200 has a more fat body (which I don't know if that makes the low sound better and richer), and in my opinion, the EJ200 is also alot more gorgeous than the gianini one.


OK, I got my EJ-200 yesterday. As $400.00 guitars go, it is spectacular! I couldn't find any flaws in the finish or appointments. The sound is spectacular also. The last time I had a guitar this cavernous and resonant, it was a $1500.00 Guild 12 string, which was also a maple body, spruce top.

Now, the EJ-2000 is HUGE!! Which is not to say I noticed the size very much when I was playing it. It's when I tried to stuff it in a standard gig bag, and couldn't come anywhere near zipping it, I reached that state of enlightenment.

The guitar came well set up, perhaps needing a tiny tweak down the road a bit. With that said, there is close to 1/4" of saddle material sitting above the bridge, enough to keep the guitar in adjustment for many years to come.

Playing the guitar, I didn't really notice the size. It does force me to sit up and maintain good posture, that's about it. The length of the guitar is actually a virtue, as shorter instruments can jamb your fretting arm into your side as you move up the neck.

I'm of average height , at least for my generation, about 5' 9". The guitar is fine to play. Sound leaves a big maple guitar in a big, big hurry, and they have quite a bit of bark, and bite.

I'm going to say you should halt your search and go with the EJ-200. Since it could be said I'm just suffering from , "I just got this baby enthusiasm", I have 3 other acoustics, and it's better than all of them.

As for shopping online, there are any number of reputable online sellers who will take returns if you're not happy, or in the case of a defect.

My first choice is "Musician's Friend". They take orders by phone also, which is how I do it. A human on the other end of the phone has a soothing effect on me, much more so, than clicking on an "add to cart" button. They also still ship with UPS, which is my favorite and most punctual carrier.

If you buy by the end of today (Tues 22, July), you can get the monster hard shell case for only $75.00. Which likely could be used for a cello or upright bass as well, (I'm just kidding).

Since I'm left handed, and play that way, this is the first opportunity I've had, (and possibly the last), to purchase this guitar. I would have bought it sooner!

M'sF homepage: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/?src=3TEM9CNFM

Your case with today's price: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/epiphone-jumbo-hardshell-guitar-case-for-aj-and-ej-series-guitars#pr-header-back-to-top-link

And of course the EJ: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/epiphone-ej-200ce-acoustic-electric-guitar

The preamp and pickups in the guitar seem great, and it's in stereo. Which offers the possibility of routing to two separate amps, with perhaps different effects and EQ for each separate amp/pickup combination.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jul 22, 2014,
#16
Quote by Captaincranky
"Nato", is another one of the woods being billed as, "African Mahogany". FWIW, usually the next higher line of most maker's guitars, are built with real mahogany. So, nato is being used to meet a price point, first. As to sound, I can't speak with any authority. Yamaha's instruments are generally of good quality and tone.

Well, no I can't! Every time I read one of their pages, I know less about their guitars than when I started. For many years I've said, "the good translators go to the United Nations, the bad ones go everywhere else"! As is the case with Gianini. This company is a importer, first and foremost. Pretty much just something to put on their head stocks. The guitar are all Asian made by some huge OEM. The guitar you listed is, (I'm pretty sure), all laminate. You know, I can speak and read some Spanish, I can interpolate Spanish with Portuguese, but with these fools, one line is in English, the next in Portuguese, and the 3rd is in both "lenguas". O si usted prefiere, "idiomas".

OK, if you look at "Dr. Dewday's" profile, you'll see he joined this month, and has made ONE POST!!! Which was to tell you how great Zager Guitars are! In the carnival trade, that's what they call a shill! Look it up. This is standard operating procedure for Bob Zager. It normally happens when they see someone foundering, confused, and inexperienced at buying guitars. Am I positive, no, am I 70%+ sure, absolutely. I can't and won't comment on the quality of the instruments. But the sales tactics, hype, and bullshit which has surrounded their instruments for decades, is so off putting, I don't care what they're selling, I"m not buying.


OK, I got my EJ-200 yesterday. As $400.00 guitars go, it is spectacular! I couldn't find any flaws in the finish or appointments. The sound is spectacular also. The last time I had a guitar this cavernous and resonant, it was a $1500.00 Guild 12 string, which was also a maple body, spruce top.

Now, the EJ-2000 is HUGE!! Which is not to say I noticed the size very much when I was playing it. It's when I tried to stuff it in a standard gig bag, and couldn't come anywhere near zipping it, I reached that state of enlightenment.

The guitar came well set up, perhaps needing a tiny tweak down the road a bit. With that said, there is close to 1/4" of saddle material sitting above the bridge, enough to keep the guitar in adjustment for many years to come.

Playing the guitar, I didn't really notice the size. It does force me to sit up and maintain good posture, that's about it. The length of the guitar is actually a virtue, as shorter instruments can jamb your fretting arm into your side as you move up the neck.

I'm of average height , at least for my generation, about 5' 9". The guitar is fine to play. Sound leaves a big maple guitar in a big, big hurry, and they have quite a bit of bark, and bite.

I'm going to say you should halt your search and go with the EJ-200. Since it could be said I'm just suffering from , "I just got this baby enthusiasm", I have 3 other acoustics, and it's better than all of them.

As for shopping online, there are any number of reputable online sellers who will take returns if you're not happy, or in the case of a defect.

My first choice is "Musician's Friend". They take orders by phone also, which is how I do it. A human on the other end of the phone has a soothing effect on me, much more so, than clicking on an "add to cart" button. They also still ship with UPS, which is my favorite and most punctual carrier.

If you buy by the end of today (Tues 22, July), you can get the monster hard shell case for only $75.00. Which likely could be used for a cello or upright bass as well, (I'm just kidding).

Since I'm left handed, and play that way, this is the first opportunity I've had, (and possibly the last), to purchase this guitar. I would have bought it sooner!

M'sF homepage: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/?src=3TEM9CNFM

Your case with today's price: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/epiphone-jumbo-hardshell-guitar-case-for-aj-and-ej-series-guitars#pr-header-back-to-top-link

And of course the EJ: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/epiphone-ej-200ce-acoustic-electric-guitar

The preamp and pickups in the guitar seem great, and it's in stereo. Which offers the possibility of routing to two separate amps, with perhaps different effects and EQ for each separate amp/pickup combination.


Thank you for the post, again clarifying a lot.
Halfway through reading it I was considering the size since you said it's not noticeable while playing, but it is while trying to put it into a regular case. And I instantly thought, that will be a major problem for me, since I stated before that I live in a country and go to school in other, so I have to transport my instrument quite a while. I would love to just buy the case right now so I could get this huge discount, but it's a real shame I can't. I have all my money converted to BR$ right now, and I'm only planning to get dollars in about 2 or 3 weeks, so I can go ahead and deposit it onto my U.S. bank account.

Looks like I will just have to buy it full price, since having the guitar without a hard shell case is NOT an option.

Well thank you a lot for your replies, and I can tell as of now that my decision is 95% on the Epiphone. To change my mind only if I walk into a store and get a Gibson or Taylor for around 200 bucks, which is impossible.

Trusting you, that the size doesn't impact the playing, only the look and the "special case" required for it, I'd say it's the best acoustic guitar I could get with my specifications and price range.

Quote by Captaincranky
OK, if you look at "Dr. Dewday's" profile, you'll see he joined this month, and has made ONE POST!!! Which was to tell you how great Zager Guitars are! In the carnival trade, that's what they call a shill! Look it up. This is standard operating procedure for Bob Zager. It normally happens when they see someone foundering, confused, and inexperienced at buying guitars. Am I positive, no, am I 70%+ sure, absolutely. I can't and won't comment on the quality of the instruments. But the sales tactics, hype, and bullshit which has surrounded their instruments for decades, is so off putting, I don't care what they're selling, I"m not buying.


That is so true it's scary. Here are some quotes from people from other forums just by a google search:

I don't know if Zager's are any good, but some dude at the Harmony Central acoustic guitar forum spammed the ever livin' daylights out of them in multiple threads.

He ticked off so many people that he probably set back sales of Zager's by at least 50%!


there's ONE member here that swears by them and will go to war for them, personally I say don't believe the hype...................
Last edited by seiyamaple at Jul 22, 2014,
#17
Quote by seiyamaple
Thank you for the post, again clarifying a lot.
Halfway through reading it I was considering the size since you said it's not noticeable while playing, but it is while trying to put it into a regular case. And I instantly thought, that will be a major problem for me, since I stated before that I live in a country and go to school in other, so I have to transport my instrument quite a while. I would love to just buy the case right now so I could get this huge discount, but it's a real shame I can't. I have all my money converted to BR$ right now, and I'm only planning to get dollars in about 2 or 3 weeks, so I can go ahead and deposit it onto my U.S. bank account.

Looks like I will just have to buy it full price, since having the guitar without a hard shell case is NOT an option.

Well thank you a lot for your replies, and I can tell as of now that my decision is 95% on the Epiphone. To change my mind only if I walk into a store and get a Gibson or Taylor for around 200 bucks, which is impossible.

Trusting you, that the size doesn't impact the playing, only the look and the "special case" required for it, I'd say it's the best acoustic guitar I could get with my specifications and price range.



OK, first I've developed a policy which is, any solid wood top acoustic goes into a hard shell case. A laminated top model, is OK in a bag. I don't travel, and my guitars don't leave the house. That said, hard cases shelter guitars from changes and temperature and humidity, protecting them until a random spike in either, has passed.

If I had to travel from country to country, or hell, even state to state, I would put anything into hard case.

Now, if you can't buy the case today, it's a bit of a setback, not the end of the world. M'sF' sells the case day to day, at $89.95. Granted 15 dollars is 15 dollars, but it's not the end of the world. Besides, that's the lowest price I found for it , with another dealer asking $104.95. That seller would match price anyway, and the reverse is true with Musician's Friend, were you to find it published online elsewhere for less.

In fact, on a match price deal, M'sF gave me a bonus coupon on top of the same lower price I found elsewhere.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jul 22, 2014,
#18
Quote by Captaincranky
OK, first I've developed a policy which is, any solid wood top acoustic goes into a hard shell case. A laminated top model, is OK in a bag. I don't travel, and my guitars don't leave the house. That said, hard cases shelter guitars from changes and temperature and humidity, protecting them until a random spike in either, has passed.

If I had to travel from country to country, or hell, even state to state, I would put anything into hard case.

Now, if you can't buy the case today, it's a bit of a setback, not the end of the world. M'sF' sells the case day to day, at $89.95. Granted 15 dollars is 15 dollars, but it's not the end of the world. Besides, that's the lowest price I found for it , with another dealer asking $104.95. That seller would match price anyway, and the reverse is true with Musician's Friend, were you to find it published online elsewhere for less.

In fact, on a match price deal, M'sF gave me a bonus coupon on top of the same lower price I found elsewhere.

Okay just one last question, if I do decide to buy it online, do you think it's better to buy it on Musicians Friend or Amazon? I have a prime membership at amazon for being a college student so, what do you think?
#19
I would give Alvarez guitars a try. I have the AD60 and it sounds and plays great. IMO it's comparable to a Martin D18. Great quality along with a fantastic price at around $319. You won't regret it
#20
If I was only to have one acoustic, I'd be sure to have one with a cutout. You might not need it for a lot of songs but when you do need to reach those high frets, it sure is nice.
#21
The Seagull original is a great guitar for the money, a ton of bass, excellent playability and you can get a perfect used one for like 300.00. Yes it's a dread but go play one and make your decision off sound and playability.
#22
Quote by seiyamaple
Okay just one last question, if I do decide to buy it online, do you think it's better to buy it on Musicians Friend or Amazon? I have a prime membership at amazon for being a college student so, what do you think?
Any guitar, stomp box, case, or amp, I would buy from Musician's Friend. I consider that a, "no brainer".

Not in any way am I disparaging Amazon's ethics, reliability, or business practices. I simply prefer to speak to a human being when I'm spending a large amount of money. I buy things from them all the time.

But the reality is, with musical instruments and many other things, Amazon might be referring you to "Musician's Friend", or another dealer for, "fulfillment". Amazon might be the entity that does the fulfilling for said dealer as well.

IMHO, there's absolutely no advantage to using Amazon Prime for this purchase.

M'sF will give you free shipping, UPS ground. Which again, IMHO, is the fastest, most reliable carrier on the planet. 3 business days to anywhere in the country, not counting Saturday and Sunday

Amazon now collects sales tax on interstate purchases, regardless of whether or not they have a physical presence in the state. They're one of the few etailers who do.

Anyway, I have a variety of interests, and have found one or more retailers who specialize in those things, are closer to me, I can call on the phone, and I have dealt with some of them literally, for decades.

I ordered my case Tuesday, it shipped Tuesday Evening, and UPS is now saying I will have it Friday. That's from Kansas City, MO, to Philadelphia, PA.

I buy camera equipment from, "Adorama" in New York. I can call them up to 8:00PM, and have my item(s), in my hand, the next day before noon, with free UPS ground! Why on earth would I buy camera equipment from Amazon?

Newegg, (computer parts primarily), has a warehouse in North Jersey, the same deal applies in most cases. For their free shipping they depend on either, "Lasership", or UPS. In either case, "free shipping", is "overnight shipping" for me.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jul 23, 2014,