#1
Hey guys this is my first post! I am a relatively new to guitar playing but am absolutely ate up with it. I have been playing a $100 Johnson acoustic and it is time for an upgrade. I have read all the advice on "play each guitar" etc. find one that makes you happy but: When I record the guitar I am playing now it sounds completely different than what I am hearing. I guess it would be similar to your voice. With that said I have about $500 to spend and really like it to have a tone similar to the darker Ray Lamontagne songs. I have been looking at Seagulls anyone have any suggestion on a brand I may have overlooked! Needs to have electronics!
#2
Yamaha makes great lower priced guitars. Under $500 that would be my first choice for a brand. I've played many terrible Seagulls but I've never played a terrible Yamaha, though I'm sure some are out there. Whichever guitar you choose, be sure to check obsessively the guitar's:

1) capacity to stay in tune ( play it for at least 10 minutes straight - a decent acoustic guitar should not go out of tune after 10 minutes)
2) intonation ( once the guitar is tune, you can play all over the fret board and the notes are in still tune with each other )
3) action - make sure it isn't too high

A guitar that doesn't past these three tests is completely useless, no matter how loud or good it sounds or how pretty it is. Unfortunately, stores stock the shelves with loads of terrible acoustics that fail these tests miserably so you have to be vigilant - don't trust the salesperson! You may want to bring a more experienced player with you to help you choose if you don't know how to evaluate those three points.
#3
Look for Simon & Patrick Songsmith. They make very simple, cheap guitar that sound really good.
#4
Thanks for the info! "Intonation" something I had never even thought of or understood until now!
#6
Quote by reverb66
Yamaha makes great lower priced guitars. Under $500 that would be my first choice for a brand. I've played many terrible Seagulls but I've never played a terrible Yamaha, though I'm sure some are out there. Whichever guitar you choose, be sure to check obsessively the guitar's:

1) capacity to stay in tune ( play it for at least 10 minutes straight - a decent acoustic guitar should not go out of tune after 10 minutes)
2) intonation ( once the guitar is tune, you can play all over the fret board and the notes are in still tune with each other )
3) action - make sure it isn't too high

A guitar that doesn't past these three tests is completely useless, no matter how loud or good it sounds or how pretty it is. Unfortunately, stores stock the shelves with loads of terrible acoustics that fail these tests miserably so you have to be vigilant - don't trust the salesperson! You may want to bring a more experienced player with you to help you choose if you don't know how to evaluate those three points.


I'd have to second the Yamaha recommendation. I own a Yamaha A1R and a newly acquired seagull SWS mini jumbo(both $699 guitars), although I got both of mine used in the $400 range. The Yamaha wins this battle easily. If you've seen my other thread, you know I had some serious buzzing with my seagull. Well most of it was due to neck relief. I've since adjusted the truss rod and got neck relief up to the proper level(.010) and that took care of most of it, but it still buzzes noticeably under heavy strumming, while my Yamaha does not buzz at all. The Yamaha is even set up slightly lower than the seagull(much lower on the nut end). That leads me to believe 1 thing- the fretwork on the yamaha is better than that on the seagull. The seagull is a nice guitar in every other way and has a lovely(albeit bright) tone. I'm gonna keep it but, I have to remember not to strum too hard. If you're looking for a dark tone, you should definitely be looking at a guitar with rosewood back and sides. That's what I prefer as well. There are some chords and some songs where I think the seagull with it's mahaogany b/s sounds better, but overall I like the sound of the roswewood b/s Yamaha. Both guitars have a solid spruce top, although I'm not sure if it's the same species of spruce(seagull is much lighter in color).

If you have the luxury of having a large guitar store close by, try them out first. Everyone's ears and preferences are different and each guitar is different as well. Tell the salesperson what you are looking for and they might have some recommendations as well.
#7
Quote by reverb66
Yamaha makes great lower priced guitars. Under $500 that would be my first choice for a brand. I've played many terrible Seagulls but I've never played a terrible Yamaha, though I'm sure some are out there. Whichever guitar you choose, be sure to check obsessively the guitar's:

1) capacity to stay in tune ( play it for at least 10 minutes straight - a decent acoustic guitar should not go out of tune after 10 minutes)
2) intonation ( once the guitar is tune, you can play all over the fret board and the notes are in still tune with each other )
3) action - make sure it isn't too high

A guitar that doesn't past these three tests is completely useless, no matter how loud or good it sounds or how pretty it is. Unfortunately, stores stock the shelves with loads of terrible acoustics that fail these tests miserably so you have to be vigilant - don't trust the salesperson! You may want to bring a more experienced player with you to help you choose if you don't know how to evaluate those three points.
I don't know where exactly you think you're going to find an acoustic WITHOUT intonation problems. As near as I can tell, every one I've ever played would be, "useless to you", and most likely everything else on the market as well.

Try not to attach electric guitar axioms to acoustic instruments. They simply don't apply.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Nov 10, 2014,
#8
Quote by Captaincranky
I don't know where exactly you think you're going to find an acoustic WITHOUT intonation problems. As near as I can tell, every one I've ever played would be, "useless to you", and most likely everything else on the market as well.

Try not to attach electric guitar axioms to acoustic instruments. They simply don't apply.


Imperfect intonation is part of the guitar' s character - the perfection of imperfection - and should be accepted for what it is IMO. And, as you imply, the great majority of guitars are at the accepted standards of imperfection these days.
#9
Quote by rohash
...[ ]....here are some chords and some songs where I think the seagull with it's mahaogany b/s sounds better, but overall I like the sound of the roswewood b/s Yamaha. Both guitars have a solid spruce top, although I'm not sure if it's the same species of spruce(seagull is much lighter in color). ...[ ]...
FWIW, the most often recommended Seagull, "The Original S-6", as well as its 12 string counterpart, "The Coastline S-12", both have cedar tops. Cedar is actually darker and redder than most spruce species.

Sitka spruce is the most prevalent species in use for soundboards, with Engleman spruce being next, and perhaps the most desirable spruce species, Adirondack, virtually extinct.

Western Redwood is also a darker, redder top material, and is used generally in the same applications as cedar.

Top wood, even of the same species, can vary in color and quality. This is caused by environmental factors. For example the amount of rain during the growing season, can easily change the width of the growth ring, and along with it the width ratio of dark to light colored rings. Drought conditions might render an almost imperceptible summer growth wood.

However, you're correct in that Godin isn't divulging the exact species of spruce they're using for their guitar tops. Still "Sitka" is indigenous to the northwest coast of the USA and Canada. White spruce doesn't seem to grow big enough, but who knows.

This is sort of important. Gibson claims the the grain tilt in an acoustic guitar, can't exceed 15 degrees, without adversely affecting the sound. If you envision a quarter sawn log, you'll quickly realize how big in diameter a log need to be, to meet that criterion, while producing an acceptable quantity of soundboards.


For extra credit, have a look at this Wiki page about spruce species: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spruce
Last edited by Captaincranky at Nov 10, 2014,
#10
So while we know the cedar gives it a darker appearance....does it give it a darker tone! And indeed Captaincranky I did my extra credit!
#11
Quote by BillyPippin
So while we know the cedar gives it a darker appearance....does it give it a darker tone! And indeed Captaincranky I did my extra credit!
Cedar isn't quite as bright as the spruce species. So, it's fair to say it's darker in tone as well.

This is why the Seagull "Coastline S-12" is quite popular. The cedar top takes a bit of the edge the off the sometimes a bit brittle 12 string

Here's another extra credit link: sound.http://www.pantheonguitars.com/tonewoods.htm It outlines, (in general), the qualities of various tone woods.

It should be noted that dealing with acoustic guitars, body size and top bracing strategies are large contributors to the overall sound. So, it's not simply choice of wood that affects the complete outcome.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Nov 10, 2014,
#12
Thanks again! I am more obsessed with getting the "right" guitar that it is consuming!