Page 1 of 2
#1
I am an electric guitar player but about a year ago I decided to buy an acoustic guitar. I bought a Tanglewood TW28-CSN. It is a cedar top guitar. I bought it as it has a full bottom end. Now I noticed that it is quite dark sounding and I am struggling to cut through. I also noticed that if I strum hard it starts to sound like an electric guitar overdriving the amp.

I would like something versatile that I can use it for various styles and applications. I would use it for acoustic gigs and home recording. A pickup is not a must. Also I prefer if it does NOT have a cutaway. I am not even sure what is the best body style or wood for my needs. I have a 400 euro budget, 500 max. Please recommend me a couple of guitars.
#2
Cedar can be good for fingerpickers, but if you want acoustic cutting power, a traditional spruce-topped dreadnought style is a good bet. Try a few different makes, including Tanglewood, in that style of instrument. Some other names are Seagull, Recording King and Yamaha in the mid price ranges
#3
Try a planet wave O-port.. sound hole enhancer.. affordable upgrade
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.
#5
In truth it sort of balances out the tone.. but can't comparatively prove this since I also have Bigrock innovation power pins bridge pins (sustain has improved a great deal).. so far I like it.. it is hard to review since I don't own software or device that detects the sound spectrum or change in sound.. guitar world made a review and it seems a cheap upgrade.. less than $20.. worth a try.
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.
#6
Quote by Gab_Azz
I am an electric guitar player but about a year ago I decided to buy an acoustic guitar. I bought a Tanglewood TW28-CSN. It is a cedar top guitar. I bought it as it has a full bottom end. Now I noticed that it is quite dark sounding and I am struggling to cut through. I also noticed that if I strum hard it starts to sound like an electric guitar overdriving the amp....[ ]....
You haven't said what you're using for strings, so this might be meaningless. But, for a darker sounding guitar, standard "bronze", sometimes called "brass, and always marked "*80/20", referring to the alloy mix, is a lot brighter than the probably more common, "phosphor bronze" in use today.

Cedar tops do compress more easily than spruce. It is said they have a "higher velocity of sound". That's what makes them popular with finger pickers.

In any event, a lighter gauge string set will help alleviate the issue.

If it were mine, I'd put 80/20 strings on it, in what's normally called, "custom light gauge", 0r .011 to .052. Strings heavier than that contribute to the issues with over driving the top.

If you haven't tried something like that, please do. Even if it doesn't eliminate the problem altogether, it might give you some more time and a bit of breathing room while you shop.

If you re using a guitar with piezo pickup and preamp, keep in mind that setup does have enough power to clip the amp if turned all the way up. Keep the amp's pre-gain down as well, and use the master volume to set your levels.

OK also make sure your onboard battery is hot, and remember, you won't get the kind of volume without feedback as you would with an electric.

Acoustic amps, and PA systems generally have a much better high end response than electric guitar amps. Oh, and a good jolt of reverb will also brighten up the sound a bit.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jan 14, 2017,
#7
I'd try Cranky's idea first. Strings are a lot cheaper than a new guitar

I also own a cedar top guitar that I lost appreciation for in short order. I'll stick with other topwoods in the future.
#8
Quote by Tony Done
Cedar can be good for fingerpickers, but if you want acoustic cutting power, a traditional spruce-topped dreadnought style is a good bet. Try a few different makes, including Tanglewood, in that style of instrument. Some other names are Seagull, Recording King and Yamaha in the mid price ranges


Yeah it sounds great when I play fingetpicking alone. Even though it is a 150 euro guitar I liked it way more than anything else below 500. Recently I went in the local store and tried a few Yamaha models. I liked the fg830. But I do not want to make the same mistake twice and buying a guitar that sounds great at the store but does not fit in a mix when recording.
#9
Quote by Captaincranky
You haven't said what you're using for strings, so this might be meaningless. But, for a darker sounding guitar, standard "bronze", sometimes called "brass, and always marked "*80/20", referring to the alloy mix, is a lot brighter than the probably more common, "phosphor bronze" in use today.

Cedar tops do compress more easily than spruce. It is said they have a "higher velocity of sound". That's what makes them popular with finger pickers.

In any event, a lighter gauge string set will help alleviate the issue.

If it were mine, I'd put 80/20 strings on it, in what's normally called, "custom light gauge", 0r .011 to .052. Strings heavier than that contribute to the issues with over driving the top.

If you haven't tried something like that, please do. Even if it doesn't eliminate the problem altogether, it might give you some more time and a bit of breathing room while you shop.

If you re using a guitar with piezo pickup and preamp, keep in mind that setup does have enough power to clip the amp if turned all the way up. Keep the amp's pre-gain down as well, and use the master volume to set your levels.

OK also make sure your onboard battery is hot, and remember, you won't get the kind of volume without feedback as you would with an electric.

Acoustic amps, and PA systems generally have a much better high end response than electric guitar amps. Oh, and a good jolt of reverb will also brighten up the sound a bit.


I am quite sure I have phosphor bronze strings but I am not sure if I have gauge 11 or 13. The guitar does not have a pickup or anything. I am about to change strings so I will try the 80/20 ones. I really like the string thickness I have but I have to look through the receipts to identify the gauge.
#11
Quote by Tony Done
It's easy to confuse "different" or "more" with "better", been there, done that.


My guitar sounds 'warm' full of bass and gentle highs. When I play it I always get compliments on the tone. But, it does not fit on top of drums and bass to support the vocal line. Gets lost and with no high frequency detail it just makes the song muddy. On my last project I had to replace it with Strat into a cleanish Marshall.
#12
Quote by TobusRex
I'd try Cranky's idea first. Strings are a lot cheaper than a new guitar

I also own a cedar top guitar that I lost appreciation for in short order. I'll stick with other topwoods in the future.

I love my seagull it has ceder top no cutaway plays and sounds great
Gear
Jackson DK2
Ibanez RGR320EX
Guild X82 Nova
Godin Seagull S6

Vox V847
Vox VT40+ / VFS5 VT


Quote by FatalGear41

Right now, there are six and a half billion people on earth who don't care what kind of tubes you have in your amplifier
#14
TobusRex

IMO cedar is different from spruce, but it isn't a case of better or worse, it is more a question of which you prefer or is better suited to your style. I have one cedar-topped guitar. a Maton dread. I like it for slide because it is strong in the high registers and loud, but it is too open-sounding for my style of fingerpicking. As Takamine found out long ago, cedar is a good way of livening up an otherwise potentially dull guitar and/or hiding really bad grain runout.
#15
demo of o-port on youtube -


better explanation than i could ever do justice.
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 Jan 14, 2017,
#16
Gab_Azz

I know this is a bit late of a response but, it seems to me you already have the means to "avoid making another mistake buying an acoustic".

Why not simply drag your Washburn around to the music store with you? Just play whatever catches your eye, then play the Washburn against it. What could be simpler?
#17
Quote by Captaincranky
Gab_Azz

I know this is a bit late of a response but, it seems to me you already have the means to "avoid making another mistake buying an acoustic".

Why not simply drag your Washburn around to the music store with you? Just play whatever catches your eye, then play the Washburn against it. What could be simpler?


Yeah but I am not really experienced acoustic player. A general wood/body style suggestion would be great. Also, a couple of recommendations would be perfect!
#18
Gab_Azz

Can't go wrong with this. Reasonably cheap, better than anything at it's price or less, imo. Mine cost me $450 complete with gig bag, and that was a good deal. This one is only $399. You can find these on Craigslist for $225 or so used.

https://www.amazon.com/Taylor-Guitars-Baby-BBT-Natural/dp/B001132AR6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1484657322&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=taylor+big+baby&psc=1
#19
Quote by TobusRex
Gab_Azz

Can't go wrong with this. Reasonably cheap, better than anything at it's price or less, imo. Mine cost me $450 complete with gig bag, and that was a good deal. This one is only $399. You can find these on Craigslist for $225 or so used.

https://www.amazon.com/Taylor-Guitars-Baby-BBT-Natural/dp/B001132AR6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1484657322&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=taylor+big+baby&psc=1


Would this be better than a 110 or a 114?
#20
Quote by Gab_Azz
Would this be better than a 110 or a 114?


Those are better, if you can get one. Last I looked the 114 could be had for $549 on Amazon (or was it $599?). You don't see many for sale used...I think their owners love them.
#21
Quote by TobusRex
Those are better, if you can get one. Last I looked the 114 could be had for $549 on Amazon (or was it $599?). You don't see many for sale used...I think their owners love them.


I tired a couple of yamaha in the fg series. Would you recommend mahamgony or rosewood back and sides (fg820 or fg 830)? And how does the yamaha compare to a Taylor 110?
#22
Quote by Gab_Azz
I tired a couple of yamaha in the fg series. Would you recommend mahamgony or rosewood back and sides (fg820 or fg 830)? And how does the yamaha compare to a Taylor 110?


I like Taylor a lot more than Yamaha. Probably best to ask somebody else Nothing Yamaha makes under $1,000 sounds or plays as well as the Taylor 110/114 imo. No offense, Yamaha fans.
#23
Bigrock innovation PowerPins bridge pin system looks promising as it helps prevent the bridge and top wood from deteriorating.. ez string change is a nice plus too.
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.
#24
psp742

Dunno, they look like another answer looking for a question to me. They add a lot of mass, which usually isn't a good thing, and if you want to protect the bridge plate, 3/16 brass washers work well, or you can get a Stewmac Plate Mate. The Plate Mate looks a bit heavy I made a lighter version out of brass shim stock.
#25
Quote by Gab_Azz
I tired a couple of yamaha in the fg series. Would you recommend mahamgony or rosewood back and sides (fg820 or fg 830)? And how does the yamaha compare to a Taylor 110?

That's a laminate back/sides, so I'd recommend whichever you think is prettier.
And yeah, I'd probably recommend the 110 over either if it's an option for you.
#28
Quote by Gab_Azz
I'll try to see if I can find a Taylor around.
Taylors are kind of designed to "cut through the mix". On average, they're a bit brighter than your typical Martin. I wouldn't give the laminate B & S a second thought.

Taylor's , (I believe, but only judging from my 150e 12 string), 100 series, have thinned down bodies and molded backs which seems to cut way down on the boominess & boxiness sometimes associated with laminate guitars along with helping to project music out of the sound hole.

People, that's not fact checked, as I can't run around trying out right handed 100 series Taylors all day. If ir needs any correction, feel free to do so.

I know my 150e is only 4 5/8" deep, compared to about 4 7/8" for the typical dreadnought.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jan 22, 2017,
#30
Quote by Captaincranky
Taylors are kind of designed to "cut through the mix". On average, they're a bit brighter than your typical Martin. I wouldn't give the laminate B & S a second thought.

Taylor's , (I believe, but only judging from my 150e 12 string), 100 series, have thinned down bodies and molded backs which seems to cut way down on the boominess & boxiness sometimes associated with laminate guitars along with helping to project music out of the sound hole.

People, that's not fact checked, as I can't run around trying out right handed 100 series Taylors all day. If ir needs any correction, feel free to do so.

I know my 150e is only 4 5/8" deep, compared to about 4 7/8" for the typical dreadnought.


I am relatively new to acoustic guitars, so thank you for the information!
#31
From the replies here seems that the 110 Taylor would suit my needs better than a Yamaha FG820 or FG830.
#33
Quote by Gab_Azz
From the replies here seems that the 110 Taylor would suit my needs better than a Yamaha FG820 or FG830.
Well a 100 series Taylor would be a better choice than either of those Yamahas.

However, Mr. Done is a big dreadnought fan, and I'm a "GA" (grand auditorium), or especially a "GS" (What Taylor calls a "grand symphony" is actually a "jumbo") fan. A GS isn't available in the 100 series.

My advice to you would be to A/B the 110 dread against the 114 grand auditorium, and pick what works best for you, and sounds best to you.
#34
Captaincranky

Good idea, try 'em and see. I almost put 114 instead of 110 in post #32, but then I checked the OP, and saw that he was looking for something the cut through the mix. - That is what swung me to the dread. I generally do prefer dreads, as you say, though having played both these Taylors, I did prefer the 114 in this case.
#35
Quote by Captaincranky
Well a 100 series Taylor would be a better choice than either of those Yamahas.

However, Mr. Done is a big dreadnought fan, and I'm a "GA" (grand auditorium), or especially a "GS" (What Taylor calls a "grand symphony" is actually a "jumbo") fan. A GS isn't available in the 100 series.

My advice to you would be to A/B the 110 dread against the 114 grand auditorium, and pick what works best for you, and sounds best to you.


I do not think I would be able to compare them with the limited resources locally. I have played the Yamaha and the Taylor but with several months between them so I cannot make a proper judgement. I do not think that Taylor are stocked locally any longer.
#36
Quote by Captaincranky
. . . I know my 150e is only 4 5/8" deep, compared to about 4 7/8" for the typical dreadnought . . . .


And that 1/4 inch makes all the difference,eh? (as the actress said to the bishop)
#37
Quote by Garthman
And that 1/4 inch makes all the difference,eh? (as the actress said to the bishop)
Despite the ironic humor in your post, if you paused to do the actual math, you'd realize the surface area of the guitar, multiplied by .25 cubic inches, results in a lot of internal volume being removed
#38
Quote by Gab_Azz
I do not think I would be able to compare them with the limited resources locally. I have played the Yamaha and the Taylor but with several months between them so I cannot make a proper judgement. I do not think that Taylor are stocked locally any longer.
Well, the simple fact of the matter is, you may have to order one of the Taylors online, "sight unheard". Taylor's QC is pretty consistent, I wouldn't really worry about getting a bad one.

As for "cutting through the mix", I'm kind of thinking the you and Tony have different usages, or if you prefer, different definitions of the term. Tony's is based in pure volume, as in trying to "out loud" banjos and mandolins. While yours appears to be based on frequency spectrum, as in trying to find a bandwidth for the guitar to settle into and be heard.

In any event, I recommend the 114 "grand auditorium', as does Tony, well sort of.

Musician's Friend can be a good place to start shopping, as they frequently have "coupon sales", which you have to call them for their best price. Taylor is a brand they will deal on.

Valentine's day is coming up, which I'm sure is enough of an excuse for them to have a sale.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jan 24, 2017,
#39
I am from Europe. I tried the yamaha fs820 which I think is an auditorium shape (but I'm not sure) after I tried the fg820 which is a dreadnought and preferred the fg. Yes I am looking for the right frequencies as my cedar top guitar has a very dark tone. I may be able to find used Taylor locally. I prefer buying new but I even like it better if I play the guitar before buying. So it is about what I can find around. At the moment the conversion rate is not ideal so Taylor are quite expensive at the moment.
#40
Quote by Captaincranky
Despite the ironic humor in your post, if you paused to do the actual math, you'd realize the surface area of the guitar, multiplied by .25 cubic inches, results in a lot of internal volume being removed


Phew!
Page 1 of 2