#1
Hey UG,
So the long awaited time has come to graduate from a beginner guitar. My current model is a Fender DG-8S which I have loved and exhausted. It has gotten to the point, however, that all the new strings can't give me the sound I want. So I saved some cash and decided to get myself a new baby. My budget is around $2000. However, I have been finding that there are pretty good steel-strings for 700-1100.

So my question is really should I go for the cheaper guitars, or go through my whole budget and go for a $2000 one?

Also if anyone has recommendations for specific guitars to try out I'm all ears.
#2
you don't mention what tone, size of guitar, width of neck or anything else interests you. do you live by any guitar stores? i'd highly suggest you try all the guitars in your budget, compare the ones you like best, wait a week and try 'em again.

there are some very good steel string all solid guitars in a wide variety of prices. some of the all-solid wood standouts below a grand include the guild GAD series and recording king, blueridge and epiphone's masterbilt line, and perhaps the seagull SWS series. from $1000 to $2000, you can get a gibson J15, J30 or J45 (i really like them) or a good - although not iconic - martin (15 series, performing artist or 16 series). eastman makes some really nice guitars in that price range, and there's a tempting adi topped recording king that comes to mind. and larrivee has some guitars under $2000, also.

i'd say get the guitar you really love - which means trying before you buy. if you can't try and can only buy by specs, please let us know what specs you're looking for.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#3
The thousand dollar price point does reach into the realm of diminishing returns. If I had 2 grand in my pocket, I would likely spring for two really good guitars, in place of perhaps one great one.

At a thousand dollars, Asian built guitars certainly offer more bang for the buck, than a comparable instrument built here in the US. One exception to that, might be the Gibson J-15. Gibson is placing a lot of value into $1000.00 (or so), instruments. They've also raised the prices of their, "Standard", and "Custom" lines quite a bit. What I think is happening is this, they're offering their lower end stuff, (and some of it is really nicely appointed, auto tuners in the electrics, cryogenically hardened frets, and other goodies), at much lower profit margins than they're accustomed to getting, and expecting to maintain the same overall profitability with higher markups on the "good stuff".

In any event the "Chinese Guilds, (GAD series) are worth a look, and whatever Patti has mentioned would be appropriate.

Back on my other track, I would split my two thousand dollars between two guitars. My personal taste would lead me to grab a 6 and a 12 string with that budget, or at least two guitars that were different enough looking and sounding, to be used for different musical styles or material. A 6 and a nylon string maybe? There are quite a few good opportunities with that amount of money in play.
#4
Quote by Captaincranky
The thousand dollar price point does reach into the realm of diminishing returns. If I had 2 grand in my pocket, I would likely spring for two really good guitars, in place of perhaps one great one. . . . . .

. . . . . . . .At a thousand dollars, Asian built guitars certainly offer more bang for the buck, than a comparable instrument built here in the US.. . .

. . . . There are quite a few good opportunities with that amount of money in play.


I agree 100% with the Captain's suggestions.
#5
Quote by Captaincranky
The thousand dollar price point does reach into the realm of diminishing returns. If I had 2 grand in my pocket, I would likely spring for two really good guitars, in place of perhaps one great one.

Back on my other track, I would split my two thousand dollars between two guitars. My personal taste would lead me to grab a 6 and a 12 string with that budget, or at least two guitars that were different enough looking and sounding, to be used for different musical styles or material. A 6 and a nylon string maybe? There are quite a few good opportunities with that amount of money in play.


I think that is a subjective statement. Personally, I think $3000 is approximately the point where the return is diminished. When you begin to see the fancy inlays and prettier tone woods, that's where we're starting to pay more for aesthetics and less for sound/tone improvements.

I have a $1700 acoustic that is my daily player at home and when I play out. It is as plain Jane as they come, but I love the tone and feel of the guitar. I also have a custom shop acoustic that I paid almost $5k. Sure, they used some better tone woods on it, but I also paid a lot for the fancy inlays on the neck and the other appointments. If you care to see what $5k buys you in a custom acoustic, check it out in my gear pics. The guitar plays and sounds like a dream. I almost bought a $7500 R. Taylor acoustic a couple of years ago. I fell in love with it from the moment I played the first note - then I saw the price tag. I had the cash in my pocket, but couldn't justify dropping that much on an acoustic.

One more thing to help make my point. My wife and son also play guitar. My wife has a couple of acoustics in the $500 to $1000 price range. My son has one in the $1200 price range. Personally, I don't care for their tone and feel. While the quality is decent and playable after I did setups on them, I just don't care for their muddy and indistinct tone.

As Patti mentioned, if you have some local music stores, go out and visit them. Play everything from the dirt cheap Rogues to the higher end Taylors, Martins and others. Listen to the guitar. See how it feels in your hands. At some point, you'll pick one up and play it and it will talk to you. It will tell you that it's the one for you. You won't be able to put it down. Whether it costs $500 or $2000 won't matter much to you. It is the one you need to buy. And if you have to buy something that has a little fancy ornamentation on it to get the sound/tone you like, then so be it.

Best of luck.
Last edited by KG6_Steven at Feb 9, 2015,
#6
I would say no, don't spend that kind of $ yet. I've been down that path of thinking that more expensive is better, and made some very expensive mistakes. There is less excuse these days, with the information superhighway. As suggested, go out and try as many as you can in all price ranges, and try to form a picture of what you would prefer in relation to what you have now, and how price relates to tone - I don't think it does in factory guitars. Also I would do some research on what goes into expensive guitars that doesn't go into cheap ones - mostly mojo and cosmetics, but there are things like resettable necks and good neck angles that are a major decision factors for me.

If ya want a quick pick, have a look at the Taylor 100 and 200 series. - Good tone in their own way, well built and bolt-on necks that are very easy to reset. Of the Taylors, they are the least expensive standard models, and my favourites

Expensive does not equal better, and you have to trust your ears, experience and eyes, not the price tag.
Last edited by Tony Done at Feb 9, 2015,
#7
sometimes more expensive IS better - well, in my case it's been usually. but until you've played a lot of guitars and really listened, you probably won't be able to tell the difference. i played for decades without really paying attention and comparing various guitars, so after 41 years of playing, i finally discovered just how different various guitars sounded. before that, paying more money would have been a waste of cash.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#8
Quote by Tony Done
....[ ]....If ya want a quick pick, have a look at the Taylor 100 and 200 series. - Good tone in their own way, well built and bolt-on necks that are very easy to reset. Of the Taylors, they are the least expensive standard models, and my favourites...[ ]....
The MAP on the Taylor 2xx series is $999.00. The MAP on the new Mexi-Taylor 150e 12 string is $699.00. As near as I can tell, that leaves $300. 00 to do with, whatever you see fit.

The 150e twelve is receiving rave reviews all over the web, and the 214 is an established performer.

So, I'm a huge fan of 12 strings, and if it were my two grand burning a hole in my pocket, I would seriously consider that particular brace of Taylors.

Quote by KG6_Steven
...[ ]....One more thing to help make my point. My wife and son also play guitar. My wife has a couple of acoustics in the $500 to $1000 price range. My son has one in the $1200 price range. Personally, I don't care for their tone and feel. While the quality is decent and playable after I did setups on them, I just don't care for their muddy and indistinct tone...[ ].....
Gosh, there's intra-familial tonal snobbery going on at the KG-6 household. You're the man of the house by gosh, and I'm an old school sort of chauvinist. With that in mind, your guitars damned well better sound better than theirs! Meanwhile, I'm fervently hoping that the meaning in this post isn't too muddy and indistinct...

In case it was, when a TS says I've got 2G to spend, is it altogether necessary, or even politically correct, to lead him to your collection of very expensive guitars? And since there's no sales commission involved with whatever instrument gets sold by any of us, why not suggest a sensible course of action, that maintains the TS dignity, and stays within his budget?

As near as I can tell, 2K was the absolute maximum on the table. That limit was placed there under the presumption, it's the amount which might be necessary, to simply obtain a better sounding guitar than his beginner piece. That would be easy to do at the one grand price point, to put it bluntly.

And always remember, the easiest money in the world to spend, is that which belongs to the other guy...
Last edited by Captaincranky at Feb 9, 2015,
#9
Quote by Captaincranky
The thousand dollar price point does reach into the realm of diminishing returns. If I had 2 grand in my pocket, I would likely spring for two really good guitars, in place of perhaps one great one.

At a thousand dollars, Asian built guitars certainly offer more bang for the buck, than a comparable instrument built here in the US. One exception to that, might be the Gibson J-15. Gibson is placing a lot of value into $1000.00 (or so), instruments. They've also raised the prices of their, "Standard", and "Custom" lines quite a bit. What I think is happening is this, they're offering their lower end stuff, (and some of it is really nicely appointed, auto tuners in the electrics, cryogenically hardened frets, and other goodies), at much lower profit margins than they're accustomed to getting, and expecting to maintain the same overall profitability with higher markups on the "good stuff".

In any event the "Chinese Guilds, (GAD series) are worth a look, and whatever Patti has mentioned would be appropriate.

Back on my other track, I would split my two thousand dollars between two guitars. My personal taste would lead me to grab a 6 and a 12 string with that budget, or at least two guitars that were different enough looking and sounding, to be used for different musical styles or material. A 6 and a nylon string maybe? There are quite a few good opportunities with that amount of money in play.


Seagull offers some good bang for the buck too and made in Canada. For $2000 there's a lot of good guitars the TS can try of many differnt brands. I wouldn't know where to start. With a budget of $1000 I'd say Seagull and Yamaha.
#11
Quote by Tony Done
CC, I've played the Taylor 150, a terrific guitar at any price. Of the ones I've tried, the basic Taylor 214ce would be my favourite Taylor, but there again I'm not a 12-string person.
Granted my suggestion is heavily laden with personal preference for that sound. Sometimes I can't help myself, being a survivor of the 60's and 70's.

I think that a multiple purchase, either simultaneously or staged, is a worthwhile idea to consider. Even having a"paltry" two grand to spend. < please note the quote marks at paltry). Having more than one guitar around, (IMO)is a good motivational factor. You picked up one you're not in the mood for, the strings are shot, you want a different sound, just grab the next one.

Granted the 12 string is an acquired taste, but you do have to try one to find out. There's normally a bunch of hedging going on about buying a twelve in this forum, since most are considering it as an individual purchase. "Do I want a 12 string as my primary guitar", is a quandary which can send many a buyer back to the comfort and safety of a 6 string.

I think having matching 6 and 12 string Taylors would be a pretty cool situation to be in, don't you?
Last edited by Captaincranky at Feb 9, 2015,
#12
^^^^^ There's a good basic argument in here. Do I/you/we want one very good guitar or a couple of good ones? I'm a (musical) child of the 60s, so I've had several 12-strings, including a Gibson 12-25. I've no argument against them, but I find my tonal diversity in other directions - resos and electrics. If I had to spend $2000 on guitars, and given what I already have, today I would likely go for a steel string and a nylon string, possibly a Mexi Taylor as discussed, and a Katoh nylon string. It would likely be something different tomorrow.

Matched pairs? Nah,I'm too much anti-snob for that.
#13
Quote by Tony Done
...[ ]....Matched pairs? Nah,I'm too much anti-snob for that.
OK, I sense a semantic mood coming on. A 6 and 12 string of the same brand is hardly what one might call a "matched pair". That would be "brand preference".

Now twin 13 year old girls with identical pink Daisy Rock acoustics, that would be carrying the whole,"matched pair" concept to a whole new level, possibly other worldly realm of, "ew, yuck, where's the Pepto Bismol"? Then, realizing that Pepto is pink also, you'd likely throw up anyway.

Picture if you will, Taylor Swift serenading herself in a mirror over her latest bad breakup. These are "matched pairs", the world would absolutely be better off without...
#14
Quote by Captaincranky
Gosh, there's intra-familial tonal snobbery going on at the KG-6 household. You're the man of the house by gosh, and I'm an old school sort of chauvinist. With that in mind, your guitars damned well better sound better than theirs! Meanwhile, I'm fervently hoping that the meaning in this post isn't too muddy and indistinct...

In case it was, when a TS says I've got 2G to spend, is it altogether necessary, or even politically correct, to lead him to your collection of very expensive guitars? And since there's no sales commission involved with whatever instrument gets sold by any of us, why not suggest a sensible course of action, that maintains the TS dignity, and stays within his budget?

As near as I can tell, 2K was the absolute maximum on the table. That limit was placed there under the presumption, it's the amount which might be necessary, to simply obtain a better sounding guitar than his beginner piece. That would be easy to do at the one grand price point, to put it bluntly.

And always remember, the easiest money in the world to spend, is that which belongs to the other guy...


LOL. No snobbery in this family. I don't allow it.

Seriously, my wife has three guitars and a keyboard. She hardly ever touches the guitars. I don't really care for her Gibson LP - it's like playing a trunk. I play in a group, so I need decent gear. She can always buy better gear if she wants. Problem is, she always seems to find something else to spend her money on. As far as my son, he's in college and can buy whatever he wants. My days of buying him gear are long over.

The comments regarding the more expensive guitars weren't meant to make TS feel inadequate, or diminish his dignity. That comment was made in support of my position on someone's earlier comment on $1000 being the point of diminishing returns. Had that not been mentioned, I wouldn't even have gone there. Sorry if your dignity got a little violated there, TS.

Besides, a reasonable course of action was recommended. And I hate political correctness... especially when it comes to guitars.

You bet it's easier to spend other people's money. Heck, I spend enough of my own on gear. And I do that without anyone's help.