#1
I was forced to sell some vacation to the company this month and am carrying a fat wallet with $2,000 I wasn't expecting to have in it. I'm also hot to trot for a new instrument. I've improved enough (maybe to a 3 on a 1-10 scale) that I feel I've earned a reward. Plus...screw it, you only live once right?

I've been playing nothing but my carbon fiber guitar for months now. I love it, but it is a shortscale model and I want a full size high quality dreadnaught. I'm willing to spring even more out of my pocket (considering a Rainsong Black Ice), but $2500 is my hard limit. I'm considering other models from Composite Acoustics such as the GX Narrow Neck. A partial list of brands I'm considering are below.

Playstyle: I'm a (bad) fingerstyle guy (but I want to learn proper flatpicking). I play mostly folk music and country blues. I'm not a shredder and have no desire to be one. I'm strictly limited to cowboy style as I don't yet have the control to incorporate barres into my play properly (takes too long to switch to and from barres while I'm playing), but I can slide barres up and down the neck as long as I don't have to switch between them and opens. I strongly dislike thick and wide necks. I'm not interested in nylon stringed instruments (already have one that is decent).

Models under consideration: I think Taylor is the best all around brand so any dreadnaught by them under $2500 is under consideration. I'm sick of people backing out on selling me their 110s, so I'm thinking of springing for a new 110 or 114 (maybe higher up the line even). I'm not as familiar with Martin, but my instructor has a D-28 which feels and sounds fantastic. I see those run for anywhere from $1600 up. I already mentioned the carbon fiber models previously. I'm open to smaller, less well known luthiers, as long as their instruments kick ass and are $2500 or less, so feel free to recommend those as well. I'm interested in PRS acoustics also but don't know much about them.

I don't need an instrument with a pickup, but if a killer model has pickups feel free to recommend. I don't need a cutaway model, but I don't dislike them either. Someday I WILL be able to play high up the neck and a cutaway will be handy then. I'd like to have a beautiful guitar also, but that isn't my primary consideration.

Thanks in advance!
Last edited by TobusRex at Mar 18, 2016,
#2
<sigh> The money is clearly burning a hole in your pocket, so:

In "ordinary" flattops I would be looking at any and all of the dreads by:

Martin
Gibson
Larrivee
Taylor

In the first three makes, under no circumstances would I buy without trying, and I would be checking neck angles even before I played them. Taylor I would risk by mail order if I knew what I wanted, but I wonder if many of them are too open-sounding for flatpicking. - But I like "tight"sounding guitars. Here in Oz an older Maton (the new ones are "Taylorised") would be top of my list, along with Taylor, if I could find Taylor I liked for flatpicking.
#3
What's your opinion of the PRS acoustics, Tony? I'm surprised they are relatively cheap.

Also...if I don't spend the $2k on a guitar I'll likely end up on a Vegas blowout!
Last edited by TobusRex at Mar 18, 2016,
#4
I haven't had any experience with them, so I can't answer that. At your price point I would be looking at non-Asian* with a known-resettable neck joint. There are some PRS acoustics with those specs, but they are very expensive.

In an Asian guitar at your price, you would be buying a lot of bling, which I personally don't go for.

EDIT Here's a nice boutique guitar that just comes in your pirce range:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2008-Huss-and-Dalton-TD-M-Acoustic-Guitar-/262307105924

Apparently a bolt-on neck.
Last edited by Tony Done at Mar 18, 2016,
#5
Buy somewhere between 3 to 5 mid line acoustic electric guitars. That way you won;t get bored playing just the one.

And yes, you could get 3 to 5 guitars you'd be quite happy with for 2,000.00 dollars
#7
http://www.babiczguitars.com/spider-acoustic.htm - looks like a good quality acoustic guitar with patented neck/action adjustment technology with turn of hex tool. I don't have their acoustic but I have their bass Full Contact Hardware and it is very easy to use.
I have Washburn guitars 'Maverick Series' and bass 'Bantam Series' and a few pedals and amps, but man I wish to have more patience and drive practicing my playing, if it's equal to the modding itch, then I'm golden.
Last edited by psp742 at Mar 18, 2016,
#8
Quote by TobusRex
....[ ]....I've been playing nothing but my carbon fiber guitar for months now. I love it, but it is a shortscale model and I want a full size high quality dreadnaught. I'm willing to spring even more out of my pocket (considering a Rainsong Black Ice), but $2500 is my hard limit. I'm considering other models from Composite Acoustics such as the GX Narrow Neck. A partial list of brands I'm considering are below.
Thanks in advance!
Why not check out "Emerald's" offering. They're well though of, and they even have a double neck CF, which many people seem to believe might be strong enough to survive longer than five years.

Moving along, you have to go up to the 3xx series "Ameri-Taylors", to get their "GS" (Taylo-umbo), which you might like.

I've disliked Martins since the first time I picked one up, but I was into Les Paul type electrics then. So that's a big, "FWIW".

Actually, most hard core acoustic types don't care for PRS acoustics. Sort of a parallel to, "if you're going to buy a Dean, make sure it's an electric. Although, someone was here once inquiring about the PRS, "Angelus",

Here's the hype on that: http://www.prsguitars.com/angelus/

Here's Emerald's home page if you don't already have it: http://www.emeraldguitars.com/
#9
It occurs to me that the H&D reference may have left you a bit confused. Huss and Dalton is one of the "big name" boutique makers along with the likes of Collings, Bourgeois and Santa Cruz (aka SCGC). Boutique maker prices generally start around $3000, so $2000 looked like a very good price - assuming there is nothing wrong with it. I don't think you would lose much on resale, again assuming it has no tonal or structural issues.
#11
Quote by Captaincranky
Why not check out "Emerald's" offering. They're well though of, and they even have a double neck CF, which many people seem to believe might be strong enough to survive longer than five years.

Moving along, you have to go up to the 3xx series "Ameri-Taylors", to get their "GS" (Taylo-umbo), which you might like.

I've disliked Martins since the first time I picked one up, but I was into Les Paul type electrics then. So that's a big, "FWIW".

Actually, most hard core acoustic types don't care for PRS acoustics. Sort of a parallel to, "if you're going to buy a Dean, make sure it's an electric. Although, someone was here once inquiring about the PRS, "Angelus",

Here's the hype on that: http://www.prsguitars.com/angelus/

Here's Emerald's home page if you don't already have it: http://www.emeraldguitars.com/



Hold on a sec....what's with the "neck surviving longer than 5 years". You've heard of CF guitars that had that problem? Which ones? I'd hate to buy one and have it die on me in a few years. Heard that about the Rainsong brand? Or Composite Acoustics? If I have to send my Cargo back to CA for repairs I'll be torqued.

Those Emerald CF models are very interesting. I'd never heard of them before, thanks for the recommendation.
Last edited by TobusRex at Mar 19, 2016,
#12
Quote by Tony Done
It occurs to me that the H&D reference may have left you a bit confused. Huss and Dalton is one of the "big name" boutique makers along with the likes of Collings, Bourgeois and Santa Cruz (aka SCGC). Boutique maker prices generally start around $3000, so $2000 looked like a very good price - assuming there is nothing wrong with it. I don't think you would lose much on resale, again assuming it has no tonal or structural issues.


Thanks for the clarification Tony. I had never heard of them before, as you surmised. I assumed that it is a quality outfit because I trust your judgement on guitars. It's cool seeing some of the companies you guys recommend that I've never heard of.
#13
I personally would get a Godin multiac or a mid-range Eastman for that money.

For what you're interested in, I'm a huge fan of the Taylor 400 series and that is probably what I would spend with that money if I had your interests.

Halcyon are also great for the money. http://www.halcyonguitars.com/

I'm wondering if a dreadnought-style body is really what's best for you?
My God, it's full of stars!
#14
Quote by Dreadnought


I'm wondering if a dreadnought-style body is really what's best for you?


Why do you say that? What would be your suggestion?
#15
Quote by TobusRex
Hold on a sec....what's with the "neck surviving longer than 5 years". You've heard of CF guitars that had that problem? Which ones? I'd hate to buy one and have it die on me in a few years. Heard that about the Rainsong brand? Or Composite Acoustics? If I have to send my Cargo back to CA for repairs I'll be torqued.

Those Emerald CF models are very interesting. I'd never heard of them before, thanks for the recommendation.
No. Through the years many makers have attempted double neck acoustics, Ovation being one of them. Because of the extreme tension of the strings, I believe body collapse was an issue.

I actually saw an Ovation custom double neck acoustic as it was delivered to a local music shop. IIRC, it was more than $4000.00, in excess of 35 years ago.

I meant the carbon fiber was a real breakthrough in this type of an instrument, perhaps even allowing it to survive long enough to be considered an "heirloom".

In any case, that double neck is a somewhat eccentric choice / suggestion. I offered it up as an indicator of the range of Emerald's current product line. I've heard many good things about their guitars in general, although as they don't currently have a left hand mold, I can't speak from experience.

As you've said you enjoy the "hi-fi sound" of your current CF, I thought Emerald would be worth a look and listen, as opposed to an infinite hairsplitting between the almost infinite choices in brand, wood, and sound philosophy in traditional wood acoustics today. Most of which evaporates after a string change anyway. (IMHO, obviously)
Last edited by Captaincranky at Mar 19, 2016,
#16
Quote by TobusRex
Why do you say that? What would be your suggestion?


Not an absolute by any sense of the word, but larger body style acoustics generally have more robust necks as well.

I have no reason to doubt that a dreadnought is "best" for you, I was just voicing an idea. Have you played around with other body types, like an OO, OM, folk, etc?

Based on your playing styles and preferences, smaller bodied guitars might be more approachable for your general abilities and level of technique. Again, just thinking out loud here.
My God, it's full of stars!
#17
@Cranky: thanks much, that takes a load off. Was wondering if there was a giant flaw in CF that I was unaware of.

@Dread: I was wondering how you deduced that. You are actually 100% right, I feel far more comfortable with smaller instruments. One of the reasons I love the cargo so much is it's like a thin body dreadnaught and smooth as a baby's bottom It is a shortscale model though, and as I venture up the neck I find it a bit tight, which is why I'm thinking dreadnaught. Also I have found that I'm very finicky about necks on guitars, and it's 100% because of my skill level. I like guitars with very slick, playable necks. I understand that skilled players sometimes like wide necks because it gives them more room to work, but I need all the help I can get making it across that neck. At least for now Hence CF guitars are marvelous for me, Taylor is great for me, and I've seen other great necks.

CF is really the trifecta for me. I think they sound better than nearly anything else. They require no care at all. But they are pricey. I never got the expected buyer's remorse from my first expensive guitar, quite the opposite. I played the crap out of it so much my skill improved.
#18
Taylor or Martin. Me personally, I recommend a Taylor GS-Mini and you will have plenty left-over for something else.
***************Sig***************
Taylor 314 & GS Mini & Martin LX1
#19
Quote by fingerguy
Taylor or Martin. Me personally, I recommend a Taylor GS-Mini and you will have plenty left-over for something else.


My BigBaby sounds almost identical (and handles the same) as the Mini.
#20
Would you stop shitting up these forums with your buyers-confirmation shitposts about mini guitars, fingerguy?
#21
Quote by Captaincranky
Buy somewhere between 3 to 5 mid line acoustic electric guitars. That way you won;t get bored playing just the one.

And yes, you could get 3 to 5 guitars you'd be quite happy with for 2,000.00 dollars


And that ^^^^^^ is precisely the route I took

But if you want to spend a lot (relatively speaking) on just one guitar there are a lot of excellent guitars out there.

If I was taking that option I'd get a Crafter GLXE-3000 (and spend the change from $2000 on a good acoustic amplifier).

http://www.crafterguitars.uk.com/glxe-series/
#22
Fishman Loud box mini is compact and pacts 60watts of power. If you want a comfortable acoustic guitar with belly cut, buy Washburn Comfort Series WCG25ce or WCG55ce. http://www.washburn.com/products/acoustics/series/Comfort Series.html
I have Washburn guitars 'Maverick Series' and bass 'Bantam Series' and a few pedals and amps, but man I wish to have more patience and drive practicing my playing, if it's equal to the modding itch, then I'm golden.
#23
Used D-28, or a Seagull S6+ and a solid used car. Seagull is the working mans Martin from Canada.

I have gigged with the S6+ for 15 years and have not tired of her yet. Folks still remark how good she sounds.
"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
#24
I loved my CF guitars. my all time favorite was my Ovation/Adamas 2080sr. damn near bulletproof. excellent neck... electric guitar-like. great sound. comfortable to sit or stand and play. plus it was a very sexy beast to look at. the electronics were fantastic. just my 2 cents.
need more gear and a lot more talent(courtesytuxs)
#25
Is custom-built an option? I had an OM acoustic built for me and even with it's growing pains, it's my favorite thing in the world (other than my wife and child, of course). You can get a lot done for 2K - at least around here. That budget got me a 5 piece neck, custom rosette, inlay work, bearclaw spruce etc.

Off-the-rack guitars will be around forever, but now that you've got cash in hand, you might as well make one that's your very own. Just a thought!!
#26
Quote by TobusRex
My BigBaby sounds almost identical (and handles the same) as the Mini.


Never played the BigBaby but did play the small version and thought it was too bright. My GSMini is a perfect for me for it's not too bright and small enough to take anywhere. If this was my ONLY guitar I would be 100% content!
***************Sig***************
Taylor 314 & GS Mini & Martin LX1
#27
Quote by fingerguy
Never played the BigBaby but did play the small version and thought it was too bright. My GSMini is a perfect for me for it's not too bright and small enough to take anywhere. If this was my ONLY guitar I would be 100% content!


I like the Mini a lot. On the other hand I've liked every Taylor I've played.