#1
Hi all

I'm a metal guitarist at heart, so I know little about acoustics. I learnt guitar, and played my first metal, on a 70's EKO Rio Grande. It's cheapest of the cheap, with a plastic neck and headstock!

I try to play acoustic stuff now and then and it's quite embarrassing because I'm comfortable playing lead guitar in rock/metal, but when I try to play a softer song with chords I feel like a newbie again. I like acoustic songs too though, so I'd like a decent acoustic. I want to be able to play songs like these:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRc9rNDZOCE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggWaGUNSwgQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSWE3a1-jCY

I bought an Epiphone DR-212 out of curiosity about twelve strings about a year ago, and I've probably spent only about two hours playing it. It's quite big, difficult to play, and I don't know any twelve string songs.

I might sell that, but I'm hesitant because I haven't sold a guitar before, and I don't want to regret it later when I'd like to use a twelve string. On the other hand, I could sell it and buy a six string which I know I would play.

I was considering something by this company
http://uk.lagguitars.com/
because Gus G uses them, and I'm a self admitted Gus G ***** who buys anything Gus does. Opinions?

Anyway, I am happy to spend up to £250. I don't know much about acoustics so I'm relying on you a bit. I have a few requirements:

- I'd like a stain, not paint.
- Gotta have a cutaway, and definitely not a jumbo. Too big.
- I've already got two Epiphones and I don't like Fenders, so I'd like something different from those makes.
- Not an ovation, I need to be able to sit with it comfortably.
- Not too large a body
- I don't know how acoustic sounds vary, but I'd like something with a bit of a sparkle, if that makes sense. Rather than a dead, bassy sound. I know general quality depends on budget, but I think acoustic sounds vary, right?
- I'd like pearloid inlays. More pearloid the better actually. Not necessary, but I'm fussy about looks. This includes a nice big rosette. Yes, I like pretty guitars.
- I'm not fussed whether it's acoustic or electro acoustic. They can both be played acoustically, and as I understand I can mic an acoustic acoustic to record it.
- I don't really know whether I want a nylon string or steel string. I've played both, and I don't know which one I need for my taste in music.

I know this is vague, but I don't know much about acoustic. Actually, I find it weird how expensive acoustics are when there is so little of them. There's no electronics, barely any wood, why is it so expensive? xD I'm sure there's a good reason.

Thanks
Last edited by dragonzrmetal at Sep 12, 2014,
#2
For that style you probably want steel rather than nylon, and I would make the effort to get used to acoustic-weight strings - 12 or 13s. FWIW, I use 10-46 on electric and 13-56 on acoustic.

LAG has a decent reputation and they have a unique look. In the UK I would also be looking at Tanglewood, Recording King and the golden oldie, Yamaha. All have their strong points. Many Tanglewoods sound very good, the RKs have a resettable neck and Yamaha have a long-lived reputation.

If you want to spend bigger $, it would be the Taylor 100 and 200 series for me, no contest.

Acoustic guitars are expensive because they have to be carefully built to sound good and still withstand high string tensions over a long period. By contrast the electronic components of an electric are as cheap as chips, and the guitar itself is just a fancy lump of wood. Once you get into acoustic boutique makes you are paying a lot for small differences (improvements?) in sound, but these days, i can't see any useful correlation between price and tone over a wide price range in factory guitars. Cheap or expensive, they can all sound good or bad to my ear.
#3
The only way to find a guitar that you like and feels comfortable is to play different makes/models.
#4
I like the Taylor 100 series. I'm very likely going to try and find one second hand I can try and buy because it looks like it will be within my price range. The 114 CE particularly.

It has a "layered sapele" back and side, and a "Sitka Spruce" top. I think that means the back and sides are laminate, whereas the top is solid, right? Does such a guitar need humidifying, or does it need to be all solid for that? I'm really clueless about acoustics, sorry.

Thanks for the explanation, it makes sense apart from the cheap as chips electronics bit. That's not quite right. :P I've had to buy them!
#5
Quote by dragonzrmetal
I like the Taylor 100 series. I'm very likely going to try and find one second hand I can try and buy because it looks like it will be within my price range. The 114 CE particularly.

It has a "layered sapele" back and side, and a "Sitka Spruce" top. I think that means the back and sides are laminate, whereas the top is solid, right? Does such a guitar need humidifying, or does it need to be all solid for that? I'm really clueless about acoustics, sorry.

Thanks for the explanation, it makes sense apart from the cheap as chips electronics bit. That's not quite right. :P I've had to buy them!


Laminate b&s and solid top is fine, in fact my favourite guitar for fingerpicking, and old Maton M300, is all-laminate. I don't get too hung up on materials. Sapele is very similar to mahogany, and there is no reason to think that one is better than the other acoustically.Once you get past the clunkers, all the choices come down to personal preference. Laminate b&s will be less sensitive to humidity and other environmental abuse than all-solid, but some care should be taken, depending on where you live. In the UK, for example, I wouldn't have thought that humidity changes would be much of a problem. Here in Oz it can be, but my basement music room doesn't get very dry so, I'm OK. The best thing if you are worried is to keep the guitar in its case, which acts as a buffer against humidity change, and buy a cheap hygrometer to keep track of changes. It won't be very accurate, but it will give you some idea of what is going on. I wouldn't get paranoid about humidity until you get into more expensive guitars.

I was overstating my case a bit on hardware, but I've always thought of pickups and the like as just bits of gadgetry that you can mix and match until you get it right. I've done a lot of that too.
#6
Quote by dragonzrmetal


I know this is vague, but I don't know much about acoustic. Actually, I find it weird how expensive acoustics are when there is so little of them. There's no electronics, barely any wood, why is it so expensive? xD I'm sure there's a good reason.

Thanks
I think if you tried to build an acoustic, you'd find it's a whole lot more difficult to heat bend and form the body, set rosettes in 3/32" top material, and shave the soundboard braces for proper tonality, than it is to take a plank of wood, fire up a belt sander, then grind away everything the doesn't look like a Les Paul.

Hope this helps.
#7
Go around to some music stores and play a few, buy what sounds and feels good to you. Avoid laminated tops, don't sound great and usually the cheapest models. I like cedar top, I got my Takamine because it sounded great then found out later it has a cedar top. I've played a dozen others in music stores, cedar tops always sound very good. I Like it better than spruce, which has been the standard for over 50 years.

Be picky. A lot of companies make good guitars, but they also all make some dogs. Takamine, Fender, Alvarez, Guild, Yamaha, Washburn, Epiphone and several others all make some very good guitars, play a few, make sure to pay attention to whether they have solid or laminated tops, and get what sounds and plays good to you. I wouldn't shy away from used guitars in pawn shops either, I bought my Takamine in a pawn shop, as well as a couple of my electrics. Again, be picky, look them over close for damage, play and listen. IF you have cash in your hand a lot of pawn shops will take less than the sticker price, within reason.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...