#1
I'm trying to decide between these two guitars to use in my recordings. A few of my songs features acoustic guitar prominently, while in other songs it's layered in with other instruments/sounds. Sometimes I'm using a pick, and other times I'm fingerpicking.

The S6 seems to have a great reputation for a guitar with unusually high quality in its price range. So I've been looking at these two models online, reading reviews and forum discussions, and listening to them being played on Youtube. For like a week...

It was only when I went to play them in person yesterday that I was struck by just how different the sound was between the two (at least the ones I played). I started with the Entourage Rustic, and it did sound good. Then I played the S6 Original (unfortunately they did not have the Slim version, but I assume it sounds identical) and it definitely sounded different from the Entourage - cleaner, more mellow. In that moment, I thought the S6 might be the better sounding instrument.

I continued going back and forth between the two, and finally performed sort of a medium-intensity single-strum test on both models using a G chord, trying carefully to analyze the difference (I have played guitar for a long time, but always on a cheap Hohner, and I do not yet have an "ear" for these comparisons.) First I did this test a couple times on the Entourage, and then I switched to the S6 Original. I was immediately struck by how dull and lifeless the S6 Original sounded (to me) in comparison to the Entourage, which really rang out. I went back to the Entourage and again it was beautiful.

From my experience playing both models, the S6 Original sounds cleaner and more mellow, while the Entourage has a brighter, more metallic (though I don't feel like that's the right word) kind of sound. I guess the sound of the Entourage is closer to what I think of when it comes to an acoustic guitar with character and tone... it has that rumble and that little bit of buzz or grit (the good kind) as you play it.

But again, I'm no expert. And the thought has occurred to me that since guitars probably sound different when recorded and played back, maybe all of this would change after going through a mic. Also, maybe the strings on the S6 Original were older, or newer, or maybe the variance between those two guitars was the same kind of variance you would find between two S6 Originals or two Entourages and there is really no difference between these models.

Sheesh...

What I want is to get the sound of a "fine instrument" since these recordings are permanent. Otherwise I would just grab a starter guitar for $99 or whatever. And sure, both instruments are fine instruments, but the question is which one will bring more of that to the table in my recordings? I know personal taste is important, but I'm just starting to develop that now.

I'm leaning toward the Entourage at the moment but would appreciate any input you guys have. Thanks.
#2
to me, the S6 sounds like a quality guitar - it's not more mellow so much as warmer, less strident. the entourage's more metallic sound is a little harsher, which i don't care for. still, it's your recording - if you like it, that should be what counts. and yes, string age can change how a guitar sounds to a fair degree.

btw, i wouldn't consider either a fine instrument, but that's then a fine instrument costs a lot more.
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
There is a recording around somewhere comparing a Seagull S6 and a Martin D28 (fine instrument by most accounts). They really do sound very similar in terms of tone and balance but a keen player can always pick out the Martin from the cedar top Seagull. Not bad though considering one was $3k and the other was around $400. I think player skill, mic choice, and mic placement have far more impact on a recording than the subtle differences in two quality guitars.

Trust your ears.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#4
I wouldn't expect the slim version to sound the same as the full size one, in most makes they don't. The air resonance is higher, so the tone will tend more towards the mids, with less tonal complexity, and maybe boxy-sounding.

Cajun, I once got to try the S6 in spruce and cedar versions side-by-side, both straight out of the box. I thought the cedar was better for fingerpicking, very responsive and bouncy, typical of cedar. But maybe not so good with a pick due to lack of headroom and poorer note definition. Unfortunately that particular cedar one had a pronounced wolf tone on the low G, so I passed on it.
#5
Quote by Cajundaddy
There is a recording around somewhere comparing a Seagull S6 and a Martin D28 (fine instrument by most accounts). They really do sound very similar in terms of tone and balance but a keen player can always pick out the Martin from the cedar top Seagull. Not bad though considering one was $3k and the other was around $400. I think player skill, mic choice, and mic placement have far more impact on a recording than the subtle differences in two quality guitars.

Trust your ears.
It's most likely the Martin's nasty peak in the bass that's a dead giveaway.
#6
Quote by Tony Done
I wouldn't expect the slim version to sound the same as the full size one, in most makes they don't. The air resonance is higher, so the tone will tend more towards the mids, with less tonal complexity, and maybe boxy-sounding.

Cajun, I once got to try the S6 in spruce and cedar versions side-by-side, both straight out of the box. I thought the cedar was better for fingerpicking, very responsive and bouncy, typical of cedar. But maybe not so good with a pick due to lack of headroom and poorer note definition. Unfortunately that particular cedar one had a pronounced wolf tone on the low G, so I passed on it.


Hehe, mine is cedar and I play with a pick exclusively. It sounds great to my ears and I beat the snot out of it. After 15 years of gigs it is starting to look like Willie Nelsons guitar. My daughter plays a spruce top Seagull and plays exclusively fingerstyle. Sounds great also but much more delicate than ol daddy.

I am a big believer in trusting your hands and ears and while internet forum suggestions can be a useful guide, never get yourself locked into a pigeonhole playing only the way others think you should play on instruments they think you should use. If we all did that the world would have never heard of Jimi, EVH, Jeff Beck, Jon Gomm, Django, Tommy Emmanuel and many others. These players all broke the mold and let freedom ring.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#7
Very simply TS, if you're contemplating recording, you should be able to tell if a set of strings are dead.

If you've spent too much time around l00 watt stacks, your high frequency hearing, at the very least, may be temporarily impaired.

Anyway, perhaps you should play the guitar TO a fresh set of ears.

Or, if none of the foregoing is applicable, or practical, consider using 80/20 strings on the S-6, as those would brighten up the top end considerably.
#8
Quote by Cajundaddy


I am a big believer in trusting your hands and ears and while internet forum suggestions can be a useful guide, never get yourself locked into a pigeonhole playing only the way others think you should play on instruments they think you should use. If we all did that the world would have never heard of Jimi, EVH, Jeff Beck, Jon Gomm, Django, Tommy Emmanuel and many others. These players all broke the mold and let freedom ring.


Absolutely, you have to trust your hands and ears, and the world would be a sorry place if we all liked the same thing. The generalisations do provide a useful guide though. I'm exclusively a fingerpicker, and I've tried a fair number of inexpensive cedar-topped guitars that I thought would do the job well, compared with their spruce-topped equivalents. Regardless of this, my personal favourite for fingerpicking is an old all-laminate Maton.
#9
the S6 slim has the same body as the original S6 - it's just the nut width that's slimmer.

Quote by Tony Done
I wouldn't expect the slim version to sound the same as the full size one, in most makes they don't. The air resonance is higher, so the tone will tend more towards the mids, with less tonal complexity, and maybe boxy-sounding.

Cajun, I once got to try the S6 in spruce and cedar versions side-by-side, both straight out of the box. I thought the cedar was better for fingerpicking, very responsive and bouncy, typical of cedar. But maybe not so good with a pick due to lack of headroom and poorer note definition. Unfortunately that particular cedar one had a pronounced wolf tone on the low G, so I passed on it.


i didn't love the spruce S6 compared to the cedar top version, which i really like. haven't run into wolf notes so far, luckily...
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!