#1
Hi, I'm about to start learning guitar, and right now I have access to these two different models, Stagg C542 and Stagg sw203sb. Price for any of them is about the same. The Stagg C542 I'm being offered is new, not used. The Stagg sw203sb is gently used, it has a couple months use. They both cost about $80.
Which one do you recommend? I greatly appreciate your help, since I really don't know which one to choose. Thanks!!!!!!!!!
#2
belmar313 You do realize one of these guitars is NYLON string, (Stagg C542) https://www.amazon.com/Stagg-C542-4-Size-String-Classical/dp/B004EVO822

And the other is a STEEL string, (Stagg sw203sb), https://www.amazon.com/Stagg-Acoustic-Dreadnought-Guitar-Sunburst/dp/B004AO04PS

Based on that fact, I can't possibly give you a reasonable answer. They're entirely different instruments. Perhaps even what you might almost consider different disciplines.

I will say that the C542, has what I'd almost consider a bizarre choice of materials overall. The selection is obviously made with price point in mint, and not tonality, The "basswood top", is the most disturbing of all.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Sep 24, 2016,
#3
I'll warn you about low priced guitars: they usually aren't very good. That being said they are way better than cheap guitars used to be. I've played low end stuff by Epiphone that was great (the PR-150 was excellent). I've heard scattered good stories about other cheap brands, including Stagg. You can get a surprisingly good guitar at the low end, but quality control can be very spotty. Cheap guitars, even good ones, generally tend to have mediocre (or poor) tuning pegs, plus strap pegs come loose often. They can have jagged fret ends as well. Be careful....check everything carefully. Make sure it has good action from the get-go....who wants to spend $50 on a setup for an $80 guitar?

I'd probably recommend the steel string model. I strongly dislike the wide fretboard of nylon guitars, although they are easier on your fretting hand for learning. Still, have to develop callouses sometime if you want to learn steel string acoustic.

I'd feel better about your chances of getting a decent starter guitar if you went Epiphone rather than Stagg. Those Indonesian made Epis are pretty solid.
Last edited by TobusRex at Sep 24, 2016,
#4
It's adorable how the word 'solid' has become so revered in marketing that the nylon one is advertised as having a 'solid maple fretboard and neck'. Personally, I am a nylon player, but for that price... get a second hand. If thorough inspection doesn't reveal any large physical flaws such as cracks and bent wood and the like, it'll most probably be a better instrument and a longer lasting one, given that it's been given a test-run already. Go online and find an normal person, not a pawnshop (since in my country these have banded together an know universally screw people over by selling 2nd hand products for 'as-new' prices), and not a larger trader.

My experience with Stagg as a brand has not been very good though, I'll warn you. They've always found something important to screw up. The pickups on an electric, or just anything with a screw on it, the locks on their cases (no use to them, but you have to either use it or tear it off, and when you use it it'll break or lock permanently), so I'm wouldn't be surprised if the wood on these things is glued badly and will just start bending apart over time.

There are some established brands that do well, Stagg is not one. Yamaha has always been excellent for starters, and I've yet to hear a bad word about Epiphone's. Just rummage through a store's website if you must, and find a brand that makes both several high end (being a few thousand dollars) and low end models, as it'll give you an insight in what they can and are willing to produce. Cheap products are easy to make, have easier to attain materials and thus don't require much effort, but will have a high chance of turning up profit simply because buyers won't risk as much. If you don't know a company, but it can afford to produce products that actually need to be good to turn out a profit (like a few thousand dollar instrument), they're more likely to know what they're doing, have a better quality control, etc.

Good luck
Wise Man Says: The guitar is obviously female, she's got hips, breasts... and a hole.
UG's Flamenco Club
Last edited by FretboardToAsh at Sep 24, 2016,
#5
TobusRex I'm just taken aback with the basswood top and the maple neck on that "classical" model...

Quote by TobusRex
... [ ]...I'd probably recommend the steel string model. I strongly dislike the wide fretboard of nylon guitars, although they are easier on your fretting hand for learning. Still, have to develop callouses sometime if you want to learn steel string acoustic.
Well, we do have to understand the TS end game plan, before we can make too specific of a recommendation.

Although, I'll grant you the Epi is probably a lot better than either of those. The PR-150 is on sale at M'sF for $129.95: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/epiphone-pr-150-acoustic-guitar

Along with a DR-100 for $118.00 with an "open box" available for about $75.00. Should be free shipping and no tax: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/epiphone-dr-100-acoustic-guitar

CAUTION though, the open box model is a "level 3" which is pretty darn rough.
#6
Quote by Captaincranky
TobusRex I'm just taken aback with the basswood top and the maple neck on that "classical" model...
.


I did find that pretty funny
#8
Quote by belmar313
I live in Uruguay, where market is not so ''liquid'' hehe, so it's a great amount of research I need to do...however, I managed to find an Epiphone PR - 100 for $140, with next to no use, almost new. What do you think? Might be a good deal?
http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.uy/MLU-438386841-guitarra-acustica-epiphone-cuerdas-de-acero-_JM
Thanks.-
Ya, usted no hace repuesta a mi pregunta. ?Qiere usted cuerdas de acero, o, nylon? (And yes, your English is much better than my Spanish). Lo dare' que aqui en el Estados Unidos, nosotros tenemos lo mejor condiciones de la marketa en todo del mundo. Nos calles son hecho de oro, y todo que' hacemos, es gastar del dinero....

Back to topic, it would be my hope that you would be able to try anything you find, before you buy it. That's another benefit of viviendo in the US. We have as much as 45 days to return stuff.

So, the Epiphone is pretty much sin duda a better product. However this assumes, that particular Epi is a good example of its type, and you're ready for the, "no pain, no gain regimen", of beginning to play the steel flat top.

Different student's fingers "toughen up", at different rates. So be prepared to have the guitar setup properly, along with the option of lighter gauge string sets available, should you require them.

Any guitar you buy, particularly a used one should be thoroughly checked for warps, cracks, splits, and of paramount importance, is that the neck is on at the correct angle, leaving room to shave the saddle, (la pequena cosa blanca en the bridge that the strings go into), should it be necessary.

Nothing can discourage you as quickly as una guitarra which cannot have the string height set correctly for any particular player.

(I hope you'll forgive my feeble attempts at "Spanglish". They're intended to be nada mas gue divertido).. )
Last edited by Captaincranky at Sep 24, 2016,
#9
Quote by Captaincranky
Ya, usted no hace repuesta a mi pregunta. ?Qiere usted cuerdas de acero, o, nylon? (And yes, your English is much better than my Spanish). Lo dare' que aqui en el Estados Unidos, nosotros tenemos lo mejor condiciones de la marketa en todo del mundo. Nos calles son hecho de oro, y todo que' hacemos, es gastar del dinero....

Back to topic, it would be my hope that you would be able to try anything you find, before you buy it. That's another benefit of viviendo in the US. We have as much as 45 days to return stuff.

So, the Epiphone is pretty much sin duda a better product. However this assumes, that particular Epi is a good example of its type, and you're ready for the, "no pain, no gain regimen", of beginning to play the steel flat top.

Different student's fingers "toughen up", at different rates. So be prepared to have the guitar setup properly, along with the option of lighter gauge string sets available, should you require them.

Any guitar you buy, particularly a used one should be thoroughly checked for warps, cracks, splits, and of paramount importance, is that the neck is on at the correct angle, leaving room to shave the saddle, (la pequena cosa blanca en the bridge that the strings go into), should it be necessary.

Nothing can discourage you as quickly as una guitarra which cannot have the string height set correctly for any particular player.

(I hope you'll forgive my feeble attempts at "Spanglish". They're intended to be nada mas gue divertido).. )


Thanks! I heard many times that nylon strings are MUCH lenient to start playing and getting used to, but I'm interested in steel strings guitar. Not sure how my fingers will take it initially, but eventually they will get used to it for sure.......

So yes, basically I'm looking for a steel string guitar...
#10
Quote by belmar313
I live in Uruguay, where market is not so ''liquid'' hehe, so it's a great amount of research I need to do...however, I managed to find an Epiphone PR - 100 for $140, with next to no use, almost new. What do you think? Might be a good deal?
http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.uy/MLU-438386841-guitarra-acustica-epiphone-cuerdas-de-acero-_JM
Thanks.-


The price looks a little high to me, but I don't know how the guitar market is in Uruguay. New, that guitar goes for about $100 in the USA.
#11
Non expensive options I'm looking at right now are:

http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.uy/MLU-437397558-guitarra-acustica-folk-stagg-_JM which is the Stagg sw203sb, steel string, gently used...of course still need to make sure it has no major visible flaws.

http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.uy/MLU-438386841-guitarra-acustica-epiphone-cuerdas-de-acero-_JM The Epiphone PR 100, also steel string

http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.uy/MLU-438646666-guitarra-clasica-stagg-c542-_JM The Stagg c542, nylon string, too wide on the neck (don't really like it)

http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.uy/MLU-438585270-guitarra-stagg-_JM Another Stagg but yet have not been told the model, looks like steel strings

http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.uy/MLU-439132692-guitarra-clasica-yamaha-c-40-_JM A Yamaha C 40, but it has some use and in the close up images does look as if it has some minor details....

http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.uy/MLU-439113948-guitarra-espanola-electroacustica-aranjuez-una-joyita-_JM Electroacoustic guitar, brand Aranjuez, but not sure about its condition yet

http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.uy/MLU-439126591-guitarra-electroacustica-ranger-eq3993-_JM Ranger electroacoustic, steel string, new

Those are the options right now.....but everyday there's a new published guitar and I might wait a little bit....I just want something that is not too ''difficult'' for starters but also not too easy...I want a guitar (either acustic or electroacustic) that is easy on beginners but that can continue to be a good instrument even as I progress.

Thanks!
#12
Quote by TobusRex
The price looks a little high to me, but I don't know how the guitar market is in Uruguay. New, that guitar goes for about $100 in the USA.


Yep, that's a sad reality Uruguay is EXPENSIVE...very.....everything costs double than what it would cost there in USA, and a used guitar might cost the same as the new version in USA.
#13
Welcome to the forum.

Out of that lot I would likely go for the Epi or the Yamaha, depending on whether I wanted steel or nylon strings. The Stagg brand isn't well regarded here, and the descriptions leave a lot to be desired.

Aren't there any locally-made ones at reasonable prices? I lived in Colombia for a while, and got to know a bit about their guitars. The standard of luthery was mostly abysmal, but they weren't expensive, and at least I got to try them before buying one.