#1
Hey I have been trying to learn guitar for a little while now and finally found a good teacher. I have been using a fender fa130 that came as part of a learn to play package. I am ready to step up to a better guitar in order to help my learning. I was looking at the Epiphone hummingbird Pro and also the Alvarez ad60. I was set on the Epiphone until I spotted the Alvarez and all the good reviews it got. I am also pretty big guy and have big hands which is causing my chords problems on my Fender which has a 1.68 nut. I think the Alvarez has a 1.75 nut which would help. I know there is a $30 price difference I'm just looking for the better guitar which will help me to learn better in the future. Which would you guys recommend the epiphone or the Alvarez?
#2
if you're looking for a wider nut, the seagull original S6 is a very nice guitar that i'd buy before the two you list. the neck is chunky, the nut width is 1.8" and the thing sounds beautiful. above your budget, but guitar center and the other sites usually have a 4th of july sale if you're in the states, and seagull is one of the brands that takes part. i don't have big hands, but i love a little room on the fretboard, and when it comes to nut width i prefer 1 13/16 to 1 7/8 over 1 3/4 or smaller.

not all seagulls have the 1.8" nut, btw, but the original S6 (it's actually called 'the original S6) does. and yeah, the headstock isn't great looking, but the guitar sounds so great that i didn't care.
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
Quote by patticake
not all seagulls have the 1.8" nut, btw, but the original S6 (it's actually called 'the original S6) does. and yeah, the headstock isn't great looking, but the guitar sounds so great that i didn't care.
Hm:


I think their head stocks are an homage to our baleen friend's junk.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jun 30, 2016,
#4
sorry, don't get the reference, darn it!

and the 6 string headstocks don't look as weird as the elongated 12 string headstocks.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#7
I don't know how closely the Epi resembles the Gibson equivalent in tone, but all the Gibson square-shoulder dreads I've played have had a kind of thick chunky tone that might be good for heavy strumming, but IMO, not much else. OTOH, I'm a bit prejudiced against that Yairi-style bridge on the Alvarez. - It looks like a gimmick to me that weakens the top at a critical point. If I was only choosing between the two, it would be the Alvarez, but a try-out could swing that in favour of the Epi. - If the sound was different to my expectations.
Last edited by Tony Done at Jun 30, 2016,
#8
So how does the S6 really compare to them? I read so many different reviews I can't make up my mind. If I wanted a guitar that's easier to learn on and will last a while what would you go with?
#10
I like the headstock on Seagulls. Very basic and functional. My Seagull is a very well built instrument. The neck does feel a bit thick to me compared to the BigBaby, but not disagreeably so. All the Godin/Seagull products I've played were good quality instruments. I'd avoid the cedar top S6 though....the tone of it really gets on my nerves.
#11
I have a cedar top Seagull that I bought to replace a cedar top Takamine that had the electronics fail on me while on stage. I agree, they are good instruments, especially at the price range. But, the cedar top is a personal preference kind of thing. I don't mind it, but I would like to have other 6 strings with spruce and mahogany tops as well.

As far as the choices, I work for Gibson, so I can't comment on the Epi without appearing biased. So I will just say to play both and see which you like best. Bring a guitar playing friend, or your teacher if you're not sure about the individual guitars, since even two guitars from the same company tend to vary wildly (I played 4 Seagulls before buying the one I did, as it had the best setup out of box, and didn't have a mass of stick gunk on the neck). And, as Tony said, budget for a setup, unless you can do your own.
#12
Quote by azrael4h
...[ ]....As far as the choices, I work for Gibson, so I can't comment on the Epi without appearing biased. ..[ ]...
Fair enough, I'll take it from here.

I have 2 recent Epiphones. I bought 2 EJ-200-SCE left handed models while they were around. The fit , finish, and sound is top notch. Epiphone changed its acoustic OEM to, (AFAIK), Samick in Indonesia. Both guitars played perfectly right out of the box, and were set up perfectly. I would buy them again in a heartbeat.

The EJ-200-SCE is at a slightly higher price point than the "Hummingbird", or the "Dove". I believe this is by virtue of, the way larger body, gold hardware, and stereo electronics. By that I mean, I'm sure the basic quality and workmanship are comparable. Epiphone has been having its more expensive A/E guitars setup in the US. So, they seem to play pretty darn well, right out of the box. I haven't had to touch mine.

Dunno nuttin' 'bout no S-6. The only guitar store within reasonable driving distance, (especially when you have internet), normally has the sum total of zero, left handed guitars in stock.

I was going to buy a Seagull S-12, (which is available in LH), but opted instead for the Taylor 115e, after Sweetwater got a shipment of those in stock in LH. The Mexi-Taylor 12 is arguably a "step up", but who knows if that's actually the case.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jul 1, 2016,
#14
Quote by Tony Done
CC, i think you might be suffering bit of dyslexia re your 12-string. Isn't it a 150e?

It is a step up insofar as it has a bolt-on neck, no longer a feature of Seagulls, as I understand it.
Good catch, it is indeed a "150e". Wow, I could swear I've been calling it a "115e" for months...
#16
Tony Done Well, it sort of makes sense. After all, there isn't a number higher than 114 in their 1xx series. That's what this world needs more of, "sensible blunders". And that, boys and girls, is my "oxymoron of the day"....
#17
i'm a big gibson fan, but for me the only epis that really compare are the masterbilt series, not surprising since they're the only all solid epiphones.

FenderJimmyT, a wide nut is a must for me. for years, i kept buying guitars with slender nuts because i liked other things about them. but the narrower neck made my playing less fun, and i also played a little less accurately and lost a bit of speed playing guitars with narrow nuts. never again. 1 3/4 isn't quite as wide as i like but it's okay. a hint wider makes a difference. if you're looking for more space, don't convince yourself to get a guitar with a 1 11/16" nuts or narrower. just my opinion, for what it's worth.

the S6, btw, has nice bass, a little sparkle in the top end and overall a balanced tone. the one i used to own and the ones i played before it sounded beautiful, one of the few solid tops that can pass for all solid due to the lack of boxiness.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
Last edited by patticake at Jul 1, 2016,
#18
I'm kinda narrowing it down between the Epi and the Alvarez. No one near me has a seagull and I'm not too sure about that neck. Newbie question....do I really need a wider neck to learn or am I just fretting because I'm still learning to form chords? (Yes I saw what I did there lol) Anyways I love the look of the hummingbird but then I see all the good things about the Alvarez. I know I know that it's hard to tell without playing them but American musical has this 4 pay weekend sale going on. Is $30 extra for the Epi worth it? Help!
#19
The width of the neck really comes down to preference and the size of your hands. I don't find the narrower Seagull neck any more difficult to play than my 12 string, which by necessity is about as wide as a 1966 Plymouth Fury III. But I also started out on a rather narrow necked Harmony, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, and I've been playing various Stratocasters and Strat clones with narrow necks so long that I simply find it comfortable. It's all in what you get used to. The lead guitarist at church can't hardly play a Strat, despite having 50+ years experience as a gigging and session musician. He's simply always played his ES 335 and Les Pauls, which he bought back in the 1960's (yes, he has a Holy Grail '58 Gold Top that was bought before the LP was a popular guitar). He's just so adjusted to playing those guitars that playing his Strat or Tele takes getting used to. Even his newer Gibson LP, which he bought as a gigging guitar to replace his Gold Top, is harder for him to play vs the old one,

In guitar price terms, $30 is a tiny difference. The nut on the Alvarez is listed as 1.75" wide, the Epiphone is 1.68" wide. I don't think it's enough of a difference that you would really notice, at most it would take a few minutes of playing to adjust to the .07" difference. But if you want the wider nut, the Alvarez appears to be it. On the other hand, you like the Epiphone's looks, and if you like the tone on both, then IMO the difference in nut width won't really matter to you. You'll adjust before the first day's out, if you even need to.

Fat lot of help I am I know. :P But from my perspective, you really don't have a bad choice here if you like both guitars. So the obvious answer is to buy both, and tune one to Open G. That's what happened to my beat up old Takamine when the electronics quit and I had to quit taking it on stage. Tuned it to Open G, and kept going.
#20
Quote by FenderJimmyT
I'm kinda narrowing it down between the Epi and the Alvarez. No one near me has a seagull and I'm not too sure about that neck. Newbie question....do I really need a wider neck to learn or am I just fretting because I'm still learning to form chords? !
No, and you don't need the wider neck because Patti prefers them either. The reason 1 11/16" is one 90% of the guitars manufactured, is because it's basically the, "one size fits all of" guitar necks. And keep in they've been experimenting for the past 50 years or so. Too narrow a neck is granted, a PITA. But for me, that really doesn't come into play until you step down to 1 5/8" (or less).

As azreal4h was explaining, some strats & teles also, (IIRC), also have some bizarre sharp neck radii, (8.5 to/or 9.0, 9.5), and the contemporary standard there is 12 inches. So, jumping from Gibson to some Starts would be problematic.

I play the 12 string also, and I suppose I might like a 1 3/4" 6 string neck better, but that said, it isn't a long adjustment to get going with my sixes, all of which are 1 11/16".

The necks on classical guitars are very wide, round about 2". The strings are pretty floppy, and everything is done with the fingers, so a wider spacing is helpful there

If you're planning to take up pick style guitar, you'll be fine with the Epi's neck. Finger picking is certainly possible, and this almost assuredly won't be your last guitar.

Guitar recommendations tend to be rigidly formulaic here:

1: Yamaha 700 series ($200.00)

2: Seagull S-6 ($350.00+ )

3: Epiphone Masterbilt, (grudgingly @ about $500.00 to 600.00)

4: Taylor 1xx series preferably 114e (@ about 6 or 7ish).

5: More than that, your on your own.

Gibson does back Epiphone, and the Hummingbird is kind of blingy and fun looking. If that resonates with you, as long as you like the tone, go with it.

As long as you stay away from Ibanez and Dean's garbage, there aren't too many awfully bad deals out there these days...
#21
TobusRexMy seagull is great guitar as well. Aesthetically it looks nice but the headstock is too skinny. It would look better if it was tad bigger(wider).
#22
@ FenderJimmyT OK, I don't have a location on you, (not on your profile page). But, if you're willing, (and can) order from Musician's Friend, Epiphone has a couple of other interesting offerings, at somewhere near the price of the "Hummingbird Pro"

1: An all black HB Pro, which is actually less than the sunburst model. (Gibson recently released a "special edition" all black "Dove" (basically a maple bodied Hummingbird), and this may be an homage to that guitar: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/epiphone-hummingbird-pro-acoustic-electric-guitar

2: The "Pro 1 Ultra". These are shipped with very light strings and low actions. They're intended to be easier on the fingers of a beginner, or for an experienced player to go faster, in essence, "acoustic shredding". http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/epiphone-pro-1-ultra-acoustic-electric-guitar

3: "The Limited Edition EJ-160E". This is above your price range at $400.00 USD However, it's a "slope shoulder dreadnought", one of Gibson's most popular body styles. These have a different sound character than the "square shoulder" Hummingbird. http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/epiphone-limited-edition-ej-160e-acoustic-electric-guitar

4: The "Inspired by 1964 Texan",. (Yeah I know, clumsy name, but the original has quite a reputation): http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/epiphone-inspired-by-1964-texan-acoustic-electric-guitar

5: M'sF also has a couple of blemished Seagull S-6's: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/seagull-the-original-s6-left-handed-acoustic-guitar?condition=used#used The $334.00 and; $370.00 items are likely the only 2 worth considering.

The Epiphone "Masterbilts" are well off the table, starting @ about $650.00

As for "Alvarez", I don't speak Spanish, in the sense I don't know enough about the brand to render an opinion.

Your adopted namesake Fender, has a good sounding acoustic in the form of "The Sonoran".: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/fender-sonoran-sce-acoustic-electric-guitar/h78859000004000?pdpSearchTerm=sonoran It's MAP is $349.95, but if you were to buy it before their 4th of July sale ends, (on the 4th, of course), you should be able to get a discount, but only if you CALL, not on the web...
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jul 3, 2016,
#23
Update: After lots of asking, reviwing, etc I ended up finagling a brand new Seagull s6 from AMS for $400. Just waiting for it to get here!
#25
Quote by FenderJimmyT
Update: After lots of asking, reviwing, etc I ended up finagling a brand new Seagull s6 from AMS for $400. Just waiting for it to get here!
This does beg the question, "which" S-6", as a search at Musician's Friend turned up 16, "S-6's": http://www.musiciansfriend.com/search?typeAheadSuggestion=true&typeAheadRedirect=true&Ns=r&Ntt=seagull+s6 Although, I'm guessing you went with the "Original S-6". Did you manage to get the "Q1" electric version for the 4 bills? Oddly, M'sF has the electric and full acoustic versions listed at the same price. I suppose it's an old stock / new stock discrepancy.

I don't make this confession very often, but I actually like Seagull head stocks much better than the generic, very bland, Martin paddles. I think I just committed blasphemy.....oops

That's just disrespectful on my part. Can you imagine the countless hours of thought and agonizing decision processes which led to this?

Last edited by Captaincranky at Jul 4, 2016,
#26
Quote by Captaincranky

I don't make this confession very often, but I actually like Seagull head stocks much better than the generic, very bland, Martin paddles. I think I just committed blasphemy.....oops

That's just disrespectful on my part. Can you imagine the countless hours of thought and agonizing decision processes which led to this?



So you've finally come out. I beat you to it, I've been extolling the virtues of snakehead designs for years.
#28
Quote by FenderJimmyT
Yes it is a S6 original but not the q1. It's supposed to be here tomorrow


Well? How do you like the new guitar?