#1
hey im looking to get a new acoustic.
I really dont know what i'm lookign for here. im gonna be pretty open minded.
but a few things are

I want it to be more mellow, with like...a kinda dark sound?
i dont really know how to describe it.
A smoother tone but with a dark edge. nothing too sharp sounding.

and as for price...anywhere up to 700 or 800 american dollars.
acoustic or a/e doesnt matter.

any suggestions?
#2
Sounds like you may like a Cedar top. Check out Seagull, Epiphone masterbilt and Alvarez Professional or Masterworks series- They all come in Cedar top
#3
Cedar tops generally sound brighter than their Spruce counterparts.... don't you mean Spruce top? o_O
#4
Quote by Grey Dynasty
hey im looking to get a new acoustic.
I really dont know what i'm lookign for here. im gonna be pretty open minded.
but a few things are

I want it to be more mellow, with like...a kinda dark sound?
i dont really know how to describe it.
A smoother tone but with a dark edge. nothing too sharp sounding.

and as for price...anywhere up to 700 or 800 american dollars.
acoustic or a/e doesnt matter.

any suggestions?


Try looking for a used Martin D-15.
#5
Quote by Negative Burn
Cedar tops generally sound brighter than their Spruce counterparts.... don't you mean Spruce top? o_O


Nope. Cedar tops generally have a warmer, more mellow sound than Spruce. At least in my experience.

Check out Breedlove too. I have played some of their guitars with Cedar tops and they are fantastic sounding. I think I know the sort of sound that your after and they had it.
#6
Quote by Cheers
Try looking for a used Martin D-15.


Agreed. +1

the Martin D-15 has a nice rounded sound.
#7
Sounds like you're looking for a D-15 to me! They can be had for as little as $400 on eBay if you look hard enough.
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#9
hmm. in the past ive generally avoided cedar tops because of the problems that they can have.
is there any kind of spruce top that has the mellower, darker, tone i want?
#10
Quote by Grey Dynasty
hmm. in the past ive generally avoided cedar tops because of the problems that they can have.
is there any kind of spruce top that has the mellower, darker, tone i want?


err... what problems would cedar tops have? O__o the only problem i see is that they dent more easily than spruce. other than that... not really.

as for spruce tops with mellower and darker tone... im not sure...
#12
Quote by Grey Dynasty
well. ive heard that cedar cracks easier and that they don't age as well.


as long as you treat your guitar right, it wont crack. you shouldnt be abusing your guitar anyway, so that shouldnt matter.

as for the aging... they age faster, but not as much as spruce. BUT, cedar has its own distinct sound. dont let aging be a factor into whether or not you buy it or not. cedar can definitely sound better than spruce if used right.
#13
alright. so i should get a humidifier if i get a cedar?
and by aging you mean, they age faster, just...not as drastically?
#14
I find cedar to have a warmer sound, much more suited to finger-picking than a spruce top, however the example I played, the sound broke up when played loudly.
#15
Quote by Grey Dynasty
alright. so i should get a humidifier if i get a cedar?
and by aging you mean, they age faster, just...not as drastically?


you should have a humidifier if you get a spruce top anyway. spruce is a little more durable, but not by much.

and yea, you got it right about the aging thing.

anyway... i find cedar to be more suited to fingerpicking as well. when i strum my Art & Lutherie Cedar really hard, the sound is really distorted and unclean. spruce, however, i find to be a better wood for strumming.
#16
Cedar is softer than spruce. The amount of force required to put a dent in cedar is less than that of spruce. However, you shouldn't be knocking your guitar into walls, anyways.
Sincerely, Chad.
Quote by LP Addict
LP doesnt have to stand for les paul.. it can stand for.... lesbian porn.
#17
true enough.
but i rarely finger pick. so if i would just flat pick, would it be bad to get a cedar top?>
#18
I'm with all the people saying a Martin D-15 would be right, very nice guitar.
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#20
I find that cedar tops tend to muddy up under mid to heavy strumming - might not be all cedar topped guitars, but the ones I have played, I have noticed that difference from spruce. If you want something "darker" or more bassy - martins tend to have that kind of sound. You could also look for tonewoods like rosewood, kokobolo, etc in the side and backs, but those tend to get pricey.

Strings can make a difference too - elixir POLYWEBS come to mind as a less-bright sounding string...
#21
Quote by captivate
Agreed. +1

the Martin D-15 has a nice rounded sound.


+2
mine sounds kind of "dark"...
#22
hmmm. i dunno about the d-15
i kinda want a cutaway, and possibly an a/e

is there any of those for about 500 that are out there and worth it?
with at least a good unplugged tone?
#23
Quote by Grey Dynasty
hmmm. i dunno about the d-15
i kinda want a cutaway, and possibly an a/e

is there any of those for about 500 that are out there and worth it?
with at least a good unplugged tone?


With a nice "dark" tone? No. The Martin D-15 is the least expensive solution, which is why I suggested it in the first place...
#25
Quote by Grey Dynasty
assuming i cant get a d15 used for 500 or so.
is this a good alternative?

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Seagull-The-Original-S6-Acoustic-Guitar-104069091-i1147556.gc

I don't know about dark, but it has a very soft and mellow sound. Cedar tops will do that.
Sincerely, Chad.
Quote by LP Addict
LP doesnt have to stand for les paul.. it can stand for.... lesbian porn.
#26
Quote by Grey Dynasty
true enough.
but i rarely finger pick. so if i would just flat pick, would it be bad to get a cedar top?>


It wouldn't be 'bad'. Cedar tops are still great, although I much prefer spruce anyhow. They sound 'warm' at lower volumes, but you play them loudly with an aggressive attack they tend to sound dull and 'broken up'.

And there are different kinds of spruce too, Sitka is the standard and it's rather bright. With $900 you can probably find some Engelman Spruce or Red spruce which are known to be a bit more mellow.
#27
Quote by FlatLander
I find that cedar tops tend to muddy up under mid to heavy strumming


That's a pretty solid observation. Even as a lover of cedar tops, I would suggest sticking with Mahogany back and sides coupled with a spruce top (or Mahogany top) if you intend to really let loose on the guitar from time to time (a maple guitar might suit you well too, but I usually find them to be a bit "boomy"). Only when you get into a higher price range will you find cedar tops that stay balanced even under aggressive strumming.

It can be hard to find a guitar that really projects well while maintaining a dark sound. You'll often find that a guitar will have loud high or low tones, but lacks in the middle, where the good stuff comes from. The D-15 doesn't look like too bad a choice. If you're willing to sacrifice some volume, look at some smaller guitar bodies too.

Cutaway or not, buy the guitar that you think sounds the best. You'll be more happy with it in the long run. I would also hold off on the built in electronics. They can always be added later if you really need them.
Last edited by GC Shred Off at May 3, 2008,
#28
well, if i cant get a cedar top that wont break up the sound.
can i get at least a mellow spruce?
i know about to D15 as everyone has said it.
but are their any others?
#29
Quote by Grey Dynasty
well, if i cant get a cedar top that wont break up the sound.
can i get at least a mellow spruce?
i know about to D15 as everyone has said it.
but are their any others?

We've given you plenty of suggestions. I'd recommend that you just start playing as many guitars as you can find. I'm sure you'll find one that you like.
Sincerely, Chad.
Quote by LP Addict
LP doesnt have to stand for les paul.. it can stand for.... lesbian porn.
#30
Quote by Grey Dynasty
well, if i cant get a cedar top that wont break up the sound.
can i get at least a mellow spruce?
i know about to D15 as everyone has said it.
but are their any others?


The Guild GAD 25 came up in this thread: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=852274

Now, I've never played this guitar, nor did I even know it existed until about five minutes ago, but it certainly should be one to check out, especially if it plays like other guitars in the Guild GAD series. It's all solid mahogany, so presumably it will have a tone similar to the D-15 for about $550 new including a hardshell case.