#1
Hey guys,

I'm an electric player of about 2 years, so I finally decided to grab myself an acoustic. I've been playing my dad's Taylor 514ce and his Baby, but it's not the same when it's not yours.

Today I went into the music shop and play on some Art and Lutheries (the Cedar CW, I think that's right) and they felt pretty nice. The craftmanship seems pretty decent and overall I felt like I could walk out of the store with it and feel fine about my purchase.

Now, this store is the only one in town that carries major guitar brands, but they only had the high end Takamines (the guitar I originally came to look at). I called my favorite music dealer (out of state) who also carries Taks and they quoted me a much lower price for the G340SC than I would pay for the A & L. They also quoted me for the EGS330SC and it's about $120 less than I would pay on Musicians Friend.

I searched around the forum for a comparison of quality, craftsmanship, etc. on the A & L as opposed to the Takamines. That's what I'm asking about mainly: most bang for your buck, best quality.

So I have the G340SC for about $230 online
the A & L cedar CW for $350ish at my local shop
and the EGS330SC for $380 online

I would rather have the bottom two with the electronics and the price difference is negligible for me. Anyway, opinions?

dr;tl
Quality comparison of the Takamine EGS330SC and an Art & Lutherie Cedar CW.
#2
I have an Art & Lutherie Cedar CW with Q1 Godin electronics. My friend owns a Takamine EG340SC, so i've played it quite a few times. Even my friend admits that my A&L sounds much better than his guitar. I can vouche for the A&L's quality and excellent playability. I've owned it for a little over a year now and still pull it out from time to time. After around 9 months of owning the guitar, the sound started to really open up. It definitely sounds better than when I first bought it. Great guitar. I wouldnt have been satisfied with the EG340SC compared to my A&L. The tuners will need tweeking every day or two, and the non-glossed version(which is what i have) scratches like CRAZY(but who cares? it sounds wonderful). Those my only complaints. The guitar is well worth the money.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
#3
Oh, one other thing I forgot.

My dad was saying I need to make sure the tuners are good or I'll want to replace them pretty quickly. I'm pretty new to guitar technical stuff (I just have a Standard MIM Strat) so I don't really know how to identify high quality tuners. Are both pretty decent?
#4
I again will vouch for the Art & Lutherie, they are HARD to beat at this price range. The tuners got an upgrade about a couple of years ago and they hold up just fine (as far as my three day old Art and Lutherie Ami goes). I would have boughten the Dreadnought version but I already have a high end Guild, and a vintage Yamaha.
#5
I have an A&L acoustic. Great little instrument. Don't recall the specific model, but it's a single cutaway cedar with Godin electronics in the same price range as what you're looking at, so it's very similar if not the same model. I picked it out over a couple of similarly priced acoustics for its tone and feel.

It's got a couple of nicks on the edge of the soundhole now, I'm assuming just from being hit by a hard-strummed pick. But no scratches other than that, so I think the finish might not be the toughest out of those, but it's fairly solid. and I'm assuming you've already played it and I don't need to praise its tone.

Takamines are nice guitars as well, but the only one I've played was a $600 or $700 model that belonged to an intern in my church's youth group. I always loved his guitar's sound, but for the price range you're looking at you can't go wrong with the A&E. I wouldn't trade mine for anything else the price range.
#6
About what I said about the tuners on my A&L...

They stay in tune for only about a day or two, but when they go off, it's not a lot. My $1200 guitar only stays perfectly in tune for about 2-3 days, so it's not off by much.

At $350, I doubt you'll find a better bang for your buck. I guarantee it.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
#7
Do you mean in absolutely perfect tuning? My Guild goes weeks without me noticing a difference (I have Grovers on it), with my cheaper Yamaha it goes out in about 4-5 days.
#8
Quote by Siren Silently
Do you mean in absolutely perfect tuning? My Guild goes weeks without me noticing a difference (I have Grovers on it), with my cheaper Yamaha it goes out in about 4-5 days.


mhmm. i mean perfect tuning. what the tuner would call out of tune. It usually takes me maybe... 4-5 days to actually notice if my A&L is off and probably a week to a week and a half for my martin depending on how often i play(cuz i can play for hours). My martin goes out of tune in a week, but all the strings do so at the same rate, so the guitar is still in tune with itself. Same goes for my A&L. it goes out of tune, but while in tune with itself.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
#9
Thanks for the help guys. This Saturday my dad and I are going to the store to check out the guitars (since he's a guitarist and has been around, I trust his judgment). I'm not sure if I'm ready to pick one up just yet, but I definitely dig the A & L CW Cedar in Black, although I might see if they have that Antique Sunburst because it looks sweet.

Appreciate it.
#10
Saying how long a guitar stays in tune is absolutely pointless as a reference for someone else. It all depends on way to many things for the information to be useful: How often you play, how hard you pluck the strings, the type of strings you use, the environment you keep your guitar in, etc.

Also saying your guitar strings all go out of tune at the same rate is pointless to say unless each string has been plucked the exact same amount of times, which is nearly impossible - some strings get plucked more than others no matter who you are or how you play.

And to the guy who said his guitar stays in tune for weeks - either you have a terrible ear or you never play. Everyone I know who plays the acoustic, including the people who have been playing for 40+ years, tune every time they pickup the guitar no matter what type of guitar it is (and they are usually $2k - $3k guitars).
Last edited by tshare1 at Jun 17, 2008,
#11
^-- i was too lazy to type it all out, but yes. everything this guy said is what i was thinking.

i tune any guitar i own every time i play it and often between songs.
#12
Quote by tshare1
Saying how long a guitar stays in tune is absolutely pointless as a reference for someone else. It all depends on way to many things for the information to be useful: How often you play, how hard you pluck the strings, the type of strings you use, the environment you keep your guitar in, etc.

Also saying your guitar strings all go out of tune at the same rate is pointless to say unless each string has been plucked the exact same amount of times, which is nearly impossible - some strings get plucked more than others no matter who you are or how you play.

And to the guy who said his guitar stays in tune for weeks - either you have a terrible ear or you never play. Everyone I know who plays the acoustic, including the people who have been playing for 40+ years, tune every time they pickup the guitar no matter what type of guitar it is (and they are usually $2k - $3k guitars).


False. Although it doesn't give any specific timetable for how long the tuners will stay in tune for him, it gives you a general idea of the quality of the tuners. My ****ty brandless tuners give out much faster than my Grovers with the same relative amount of play. Basic logic will indicate that my Grovers stay in tune longer (no ****).

And yes, my Guild does stay in tune for weeks. And yes, I'd say that's because I play <30 minutes a day on it with light strumming.
#13
^-- but it's still useless information because it is relevant to so many different things... exactly like tshare1 said. saying that your art & lutherie stays in tune for days is no useful reflection of the quality of the tuners. it might stay in tune for you for days and me for minutes. and even with grover tuners, i still tune a guitar every time i pick it up, and like i said, quite often between songs. maybe i'm just anal about being in tune, but any even semi-hard strumming (not to mention bending, vibrato, etc.) will likely pull a guitar slightly out of tune after 5-10 minutes.
#14
^

True, but for me, it would be relevant information. I'm just play guitar for my own personal enjoyment and fun. I'm not going to tune my guitar every single time I play it, and I have a feeling that most people don't either. My tuner's right next to me right now and my guitar is next to me as well, but even though they're both right there. I don't bother to tune unless it's real off(and I have a good ear for pitch).

I don't bother to tune because tuning is kind of bothersome. If my guitar isn't out of tune enough for me to care, then whatever. All the more power to me. I'm usually studying here in front of my computer with my baby(I named her Kayla) right next to me. I play every now and then for about 10-15 minutes as a break. If tuning takes me 30 seconds to a minute every time I play then I'm losing some of my break to something relatively trivial.

That's my take on staying in tune. I play my guitar for recreation(and I believe most people do as well) so I really don't care if my guitar's perfectly in tune.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
#15
Quote by jimtaka
^-- but it's still useless information because it is relevant to so many different things... exactly like tshare1 said. saying that your art & lutherie stays in tune for days is no useful reflection of the quality of the tuners. it might stay in tune for you for days and me for minutes. and even with grover tuners, i still tune a guitar every time i pick it up, and like i said, quite often between songs. maybe i'm just anal about being in tune, but any even semi-hard strumming (not to mention bending, vibrato, etc.) will likely pull a guitar slightly out of tune after 5-10 minutes.


It's useless if I were trying to calculate an approximate time until the guitar detunes, because it really depends on the player like you have said. But it isn't so useless because I can say that Grovers stay in tune better than the brandless ones on my Yamaha; even though this pretty much a given. I can make these qualitative assertions on the tuners based on my experience regarding the relative functionality of them.

While I cannot say how long the tuners will keep a guitar in tune for OP, I can say that the Art & Lutherie tuners stay in tune longer than the brandless ones that came on my Yammy and that they compare favorably with the Grovers. While this may not be absolutely true in the OP's case, this is far more likely than the any of subsequent myriad of possibilities (like the brandless outperforming Grovers).
#16
Not that anyone really cares or remembered my little thread, but I went into a GC today with the intention of playing a Martin DX1, a Big Baby, and maybe some old school Epiphones.

Anyhow, the short story is I walked out with a used Taylor 110e for $450. This thing is flawless.

Long story, I was comparing the DX1 and the Big Baby, really digging the Taylor sound (thinner and more defined) but I figure I'm a little biased because my dad has Taylors laying around the house. The DX1 had a great bass sound but we're talking $500 for a guitar with no cutaway, no electronics, and not the treble I'm going for.
OK, so my dad walks outside the humid rooms for a minute and he comes back and tells me not to look at the tag, just to play this acoustic he saw right outside. It's a used 110 and I'm completely digging the price tag ($450), feel, and sound. Basically, I'm ready to walk out of the place with this guitar, it sounds amazing, the price is in my range, albeit, the top of, and no dents or scratches.
So I walk out of that particular room into the main humid room and my dad asked if they had anymore Taylors in this room. I see two on stands on the floor, and no kidding, I walk up to one and it's a used Taylor 110e for the same price as the 110 I have in my hand. I handed the 110 to my dad, picked up the 110e and was sold. No fret buzz, no nicks, dings, nothing. It doesn't have a preamp or anything, but I couldn't pass it up. I got another strap, a capo, and some strings to go along with it. Thank you Guitar Center and your used gear.


Oh, and I know you guys all recommended the A & L guitars, but when I went back to the store and tried them out in a room without a bunch of knobs playing really loud, it sounded very dead. I was a little disappointed because I had a good first impression but when I went back, not so great. Even the Taks, at least the lower ones, seemed to be lifeless. But I guess that's what I get when I play my dad's 514ce and the high end Martins in the store.

Overall, I found exactly what I wanted and I'm very pleased. Thanks for the input though, I appreciate it.