#1
Hello,

I'll not waffle, let me get straight to the point...

1. I'm looking to get a new acoustic guitar.
2. I have a absolute max budget of £850
3. The guitar has to be an electro-acoustic
4. I'm only a small chap so wouldn't be looking to get anything like a grand auditorium style guitar as the body thickness would be uncomfortable for me.
5. I'm looking for a guitar that has a thin neck and low action straight of out the box (something that you could play barre chords on without having to possess the strength of He-Man). This is a make or break point for me.

Does anyone know of any guitars that match my criteria? (I've been looking at the Fender Paramount series and they seem to fit the bill but I'm not sure about the necks or action on them, I haven't played any).

Thanks for your time.
#2
Sounds like you want an Ovation or a Taylor. Both make guitars with awesome playable necks. The list of new Taylor models under 850 (about $950) Euros isn't huge, but there are some fine offerings there. You can get a Taylor 110 E on Amazon for $599, which is an amazing deal. It's got to be the best deal in the world for a sub $600 guitar. Unless you play high up the neck alot I wouldn't opt for the cutout (adds another $200 to the price).

https://www.amazon.com/Taylor-Guitars-110e-Dreadnought-Spruce/dp/B000B6DHFI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1471197640&sr=8-1&keywords=Taylor+110+e

If you can get your hands on a Taylor, ANY Taylor, I think you'll find the neck to your liking. Lest you think I'm just a Taylor fanboy....I only own one, a BigBaby, which I like a whole lot (but which, unfortunately, can't hold a candle to my much more expensive CF model). While on the topic....the BigBaby is a 15/16 scale dreadnaught (nearly full size) and is a great instrument. You can often find them for $200-$250 on Craigslist in the USA. The Baby Taylor , it's smaller brother, is a lot of fun to play but sounds "uke-ish" to my leaden ears...and is meant more for kids and ladies (too "cute" for a manly guitar ).
Last edited by TobusRex at Aug 14, 2016,
#3
Quote by Guesty95
...[ ]...3. The guitar has to be an electro-acoustic
If your going specifically for E/A I likely would spend the extra money for a cutaway. Taylor does do electronic without the cutaway, which is a too much money for a cutaway only option. But, I"d let them rip me off for it anyway. For me, it's not a question or whether or not I need it, I just like the look of them. And granted, an acoustic purist will tell you something entirely different.

This assumes you would be buying a Taylor, as most mid priced E/A guitars come with a cutaway as part of the package.
Quote by Guesty95
4. I'm only a small chap so wouldn't be looking to get anything like a grand auditorium style guitar as the body thickness would be uncomfortable for me.
Taylor's guitars generally run about a 1/2" or 13mm thinner than industry standard for their size. Thus a GA model might not be "out of reach for you, (so to speak).
Quote by Guesty95
5. I'm looking for a guitar that has a thin neck and low action straight of out the box (something that you could play barre chords on without having to possess the strength of He-Man). This is a make or break point for me.
Well, makers ship with an average height action and "acoustic light" strings, (.012 to .053), Or in the case of the Big Baby, I believe they're an .013 medium set.

Accordingly, you should be prepared to have ANY guitar you buy, setup & strung to your liking. After that, barre chords amount to practice. You can only make the guitar so easy to play without creating other problems, (IMO, of course),

Quote by Guesty95
Does anyone know of any guitars that match my criteria? (I've been looking at the Fender Paramount series and they seem to fit the bill but I'm not sure about the necks or action on them, I haven't played any).
Fender uses a soft "C" neck profile, (at least on the "Sonoran", I own), and it's very playable. That's an Asian made import, at about $400.00 USD. It's decent, but not worth raving over. I had some problems with the sound board swelling up a bit, and so I had to set it up myself. It came nicely setup, I'm not entirely sure what caused the soundboard to puff up.

Given the thinner body, you might actually consider the (GA bodied) Taylor CE-114. Obviously, you would need to try it first. They do have smaller folk or concert sized offerings as well.

Small people are generally better off with waisted bodies like a Grand Auditorium, as opposed to a "dreadnought". The slim waist sits it slightly lower in your lap. Although, I have a Taylor 150e 12 string, (dreadnought, electronics, no cut) which is comfortable, (for me anyway), to play, ostensibly because of the thinner body.

Quote by Guesty95
Thanks for your time.
You're welcome,
Last edited by Captaincranky at Aug 14, 2016,
#4
TobusRex Captaincranky

Thank you very much for your advice. I'll definitely consider Taylor.
#5
I'm also a big fan of Taylor, and they would be the first place I would look in that price range. They first got a toehold in the acoustic market by having necks that appealed to electric guitarists, where most other makers were still using heavier style necks on their acoustics. Other makers have now gone the same way with neck design, but Taylor have won a big chunk of the mid-to-high factory guitar market. I like the way they are built, tone is about personal preference.

Do not expect to be happy with the action straight out of the box. Budget for a set up. This applies to any make at any price.
#7
Quote by Guesty95
Tony Done

Thanks for sharing that with me. I can now see why Taylor are so popular!


But they are also expensive.

For a guitar that is very similar - model to model - and every bit as good as a Taylor, you might try a Crafter. Your £850 budget will buy a much higher spec Crafter than a similarly priced Taylor.

http://www.crafterguitars.uk.com/guitars
#8
PS. The Crafter TC035 is a very fine guitar: Orchestra shape, cutaway electro-acoustic, thin fast neck - fits your requirements perfectly.

BTW - all Crafter guitars are checked out and, if necessary, are set up by the UK importer's luthiers.
#9
Also look at Takamine. I have a different problem, the tendon to my left ring finger was cut in half at age 12, a fat guitar neck makes my left hand hurt in about 10 minutes. Since I play onstage that won't work. After the Epiphone I bought in the 70's was stolen, I looked around for a year before I found a Takamine that was suitable. found a Guild too, but when I went back to check it out again it was gone. I never buy a guitar the first tie I play it, I go back and try it again, always at least 20 minutes or so.

Look around, take your time, play it before you buy it. Epiphone makes some guitars with nice necks, or did years ago, I've played quite a few Ibanez acoustics that were nice, Taylor of course, but way too expensive for me, Ovation necks are usually pretty thin but I'm not crazy about the sound, although some of the newer ones are a lot better. Other guitar player in our band has one, it sounds a lot better than the 70's and 80's Ovations I played. Check out the music stores and try everything that looks like it might fit your needs. Play it for at least 10 minutes, and keep in mind it might sound better with new strings. Sometimes the strings on music store guitars have been on there and played by everyone and his dog for 6 months...
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#10
Garthman

Thanks for the info sir! I'm very keen to try guitars before I buy but I don't think any retailers near me will stock Crafter (but your right, the TC035 does look like a very nice guitar).
#11
Paleo Pete

Thanks for the heads up on Takamine and Guild. I'm interested in trying out some Ibanez's because I know their electric guitars have some of the thinnest and most comfortable necks (even on their budget models), so hopefully that's the same for their acoustics.
#13
@Guesty95: Paleo Pete mentioned a brand I didn't mention earlier. Epiphone. I've played a couple of their inexpensive models and they had great necks. The PR-150 felt very good in my hands, and goes for about $99 on Amazon, I think. Personally...I like Epiphone quite a bit. I think they are the best bargain brand by a country mile (out of the ones I've played, anyway). Lower priced guitars can be iffy on QC, but from what I understand the Indonesian made Epiphones are generally of good quality and better than the other Asian produced Epis. Somebody correct me if that isn't the case, please. I didn't mention Epiphone earlier because of the sizable budget you mentioned. Epiphone doesn't just make cheap stuff either, they make mid and even high level gear. I played a couple of their Masterbilt models. They played and sounded nice, but were heavy as sin compared to my Taylor (all that real wood!). That being said...the electronics knobs felt loose and sloppy to me so I passed (it was a used model).

Anyway....Taylor is pretty hard to beat, neck wise. Regarding the Merida guitars...never heard of 'em. As far as I know they could be great, or terrible.
Last edited by TobusRex at Aug 17, 2016,
#14
Quote by TobusRex
Lower priced guitars can be iffy on QC, but from what I understand the Indonesian made Epiphones are generally good quality better than the other Asian produced Epis. Somebody correct me if that isn't the case, please.
That's actually been my personal experience. I had a Chinese Epi 12 string with the neck glued on at too high an and it sat in my living room mostly played for more than a decade.

The 2 EJ-200-SCE-LH models I bought came straight out of the box setup perfectly, and really haven't been touched in the two years I've had them. (And trust me, I was very apprehensive about ordering these. "Once bitten, twice shy" as they say). I couldn't be happier with these two guitars.

Epiphone does have the curious upgrade policy I always mention. Their acoustic only models, (normally tagged "Artist"), are laminated tops. That holds true for all the Gibson dread "homages", and the EJ-200 "Artist". You have to read the specs thoroughly. Epiphone's upgrade "package" is a bit eccentric. You get, Cutaway, (on most models), electronics, and the solid top is included. So 3 factors in the upscale build, instead of the normal of only one or two.


Quote by TobusRex
Anyway....Taylor is pretty hard to beat, neck wise.
A factor and sales pitch they stole from Ovation. Jus' sayin'.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Aug 17, 2016,
#15
You seem pretty happy with your Epis, Cranky. Never heard of that "upgrade policy" thing before. I think you were the one who championed the Indonesian Epis in here (which I latched onto).

I do like Epiphone a lot. I own a Les Paul Special II, reviled by some guys in here....but I love it. Feels so good in my hands....if only the tuners weren't "meh" and the strap pegs weren't always coming loose (don't wanna use airplane glue on it! I should...it's cheap as hell anyway). That's the perils of a cheapo, I guess.
Last edited by TobusRex at Aug 17, 2016,
#16
Quote by TobusRex
You seem pretty happy with your Epis, Cranky. Never heard of that "upgrade policy" thing before. I think you were the one who championed the Indonesian Epis in here (which I latched onto).
Yeah, I need to touch up that 2nd paragraph, having read it again. It doesn't quite say what I meant. (Well, as soon as I get done with this).

I honestly don't know if all the Epiphone acoustics are now coming from Indonesia, or just the more upscale models...

Quote by TobusRex
I do like Epiphone a lot. I own a Les Paul Special II, reviled by some guys in here....but I love it. Feels so good in my hands....if only the tuners weren't "meh" and the strap pegs weren't always coming loose (don't wanna use airplane glue on it! I should...it's cheap as hell anyway). That's the perils of a cheapo, I guess.
Well, you're caught between a rock and a loose screw / cheap tuner place. The Epiphone Les Paul Standard, would come with Grover tuners. I haven't priced them recently, but they have to be at least $40.00 a set.(Guess)!

In any event, you could cure the strap peg issue with a set of Shaller Strap Locks. These come with longer screws than the standard pegs. The trick there is to install the strap holders, then remove them. Since you've got "fresh meat" in the screw holes, then you drip thin CyA (Crazy Glue type), into the hole, and LET IT CURE!. Afterwards, you reinstall the strap holders. The CyA adds material to the hole, while hardening it off as well. So, now the screws are a tight fit, and the holes are damned near as hard as metal, so they're not going to wiggle around and come out. I don't think you can do as much with the old stock holes, since they're already stretched out, and the CyA won't do you as much good.

If you really like "cheap" guitars, Agile's base line Paul copies, are very well thought of, and run from about $230.00. But, no free case, and no free shipping. The Epi Les Paul standard comes in at $414.00. It's something you know who, (not your Amazon), is willing to deal on when they're having a percent off sale!.

Anyway, here's a direct link to Rondo Music's electrics. "Agile" is actually their house brand, and they import a ton of them: http://www.rondomusic.com/electricguitar.html
Last edited by Captaincranky at Aug 17, 2016,
#17
Good advice on the strap pegs. I remember doing something like that to repair the hinges that had broken loose in one of my old apartments. Sounds like it'd work pretty good on the guitar.

I've long admired the Epi Les Paul Standard. A really cool looking guitar, especially in black with a white pickguard. Looks like something a guy wearing a Tuxedo would play
#18
I'd highly recommend the Faith Hi Gloss Venus - I've had one for 5 years and never had an issue with it. Was set up really well from factory and sounds/looks great.

The venus is a small auditorium body, but still has a big sound and it has decent upper fret access for an acoustic and all round is very playable.

I got mine for £650 i believe, so should be in budget as well (think they go for 700ish now)

Really cannot say anything bad about it, Its been gigged with a lot, recorded with, played in different tunings etc
Bands:
Native State
A Titan, A Deity
Rash L.A

Gear:
PRS P245 Semi Hollow
Suhr Modern Guthrie Spec
Mayones Regius 7 Buckeye Burl
LSL CVS Studio Strat
Fender American Standard Tele
Faith Hi Gloss Venus

Mesa Lonestar Special
Bugera 333
Zilla 2x12 Fatboy
Line 6 PodHD500
#19
TobusRex - For the strap pegs, I've always had trouble with them wallowing out over time, I break off a toothpick the right length, dip it in some good wood glue and put it in, then put the screw in. Stays tight for a long time. My strat in my avatar was done about 6 or 8 years ago, still working perfect. Just now starting to loosen just a bit. I've done ever guitar I have, usually have no more trouble for at least 5 years. that goes for acoustics too, but you have to be more careful with those.

Guesty95 - Definitely check out Ibanez too, I forgot about them. I've played a bunch of their acoustics in music stores and pawn shops, hard not to like their high end models.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#20
Hi All,

Thank you for your contributions. I went a guitar shop today and ended up buying a Taylor 114ce (after trying loads of different Taylors like a 214ce and 110e, Martins, Yamahas, and Epiphones). It's very comfortable to play, what with it having a thin neck and low action, and it sounds great too whether it's plugged in and unplugged (very bright).
#21
Congrats on your selection. I knew you'd like a Taylor. If you don't mind asking, how much did it run you?
#22
TobusRex

Thanks. It cost me £560. It should have been £746 but I traded in 4 old guitars of mine and got nearly £200 for them so they took that off the price of the Taylor.
#23
Quote by Guesty95
TobusRex

Thanks. It cost me £560. It should have been £746 but I traded in 4 old guitars of mine and got nearly £200 for them so they took that off the price of the Taylor.
Well first, that VAT is treacherous, my sympathies. Musician's Friend shows the guitar @ $799.95 USD, which is virtually 1:!. I thought the pound was stronger, on the order of 1:1:5 USD .

I noticed you said the "Taylor was bright". That's Taylor's "modern sound in action". Not to mention the Elixir strings they ship with. You could tame it with D'Addario phosphor bronze, but my suggestion is to enjoy it. Dull is easy to find, punch isn't.

Third, and most importantly, "Happy New Guitar Day"!
Last edited by Captaincranky at Aug 22, 2016,