#1
Ok, currently im using an old hand-me down junk shop "sunrise" guitar. I've been using it for about 2 years and learned a lot of chord progressions and things like that but im looking to finally upgrade. Im a poor college student so I don't have a lot of money to fork over, so im looking at cragslist.

I really would like an acoustic/electric as it would make for great mobility in a on-campus setting. but the maaaaain thing i want is a guitar with low(er) action, my current guitar has SUCH high action that it's really really hard to hold down a lot of bar chords. I've had friends that have been playing guitar for years upon years play the thing, and while they were able to perform better with it than i was, still commented on how high the action was.

So I figured you guys might have more universal guitar knowledge than I would. I found a couple guitars here on craigslist which i have the links for and if you guys could tell me which one sounds/looks like the best bang for my buck then please please pleeeease let me know!

also, please try and look at this from both sides... none of these im sure are going to be your $2000 elite guitars, but just keep in mind that i don't have a lot of money to spend and if you see one that looks like a particularly pretty good deal let me know, also, if it's a cheap kmart one, let me know that as well.

ok, here you go.

1) http://detroit.craigslist.org/msg/880249278.html

2) http://detroit.craigslist.org/msg/862168747.html

3) http://detroit.craigslist.org/msg/847250124.html

thanks a million guys!
#2
Esteban guitars are not even worth your time. If you think your Sunrise is bad, I can almost guarantee you that an Esteban is worse.

Based purely on reputation, I would go for the Alvarez. They've been known for excellent quality. Alvarez's production history also leads me to believe that anything they produce will be top notch. I've yet to ever hear a complaint about an alvarez on this forum.
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#3
I agree with captivate, the Alvarez would be my choice, I wouldn't pick the first as it is rather cheap considering it comes with all these extras, this may just be personal superstition but anything I try to keep away from anything that smells like a starter pack guitar. If the description of the second is accurate then it looks a fairly good deal.
#4
I would consider two things.

First, I would try lowering the action. You can get plastic saddles for cheap-cheap at most local music stores. My local shop has a bulk bin in addition to the packaged stuff on the wall. A plastic nut or saddle, prepackaged, maybe two bucks. Last time I went to my local store for a plastic nut, cost me a whole quarter.

You can buy all the stuff you need to manage this task for under $5.00. You need a pencil, a couple pieces of sandpaper, and something ultra flat and stiff, like a piece of glass, or mirror, or polished tile. First hint if you decide to tackle this: Always know where you started from, so you can get back there. If you decide to take the saddle out, and start grinding away on it, draw an outline of it first. Worse case scenario, you can get a replacement saddle, and you have an outline of the original to recreate it. It really only takes a few minutes to grind down a plastic saddle. If you get it too low and the strings buzz, put a shim underneath it. Matchbooks make good shim material.

Second, if you want acoustic-electric, how about installing your own pickup? There are tons of them on e-bay from cheap to expensive. Buy a cheap one, and stuff it in. See how you like it.

Next hint: If you decide to do this, practice cutting your hole in cardboard until you get the size you want.

Probably have less than $50.00 in the whole project.

You'll learn a boatload about tweaking on your guitar.

Everything you need to know on how to do the above two tasks are on the internet, in explicit detail. In about an hour, you can learn several concepts relating to this: nut and saddle adjustments, break angles and why it's important to at least understand them, neck relief, intonation.

Anyway, that's what I would do.

Good luck, on whatever you decide.
#5
If you want to try setting up your guitar, see the above post. If not, look at Yamaha. The FG700S is probably the best bang for your buck at the $199 level. It's got a solid top and if you want to upgrade from a laminate, that's a must.
"There but for fortune go you or I"- Phil Ochs
#6
thanks so much for the speedy responses guys! I don't really have the time/will to learn about drilling into my guitar, plus i would fear i would mess something up then be out all that time and money.

I am currently looking further into that alvarez. I messaged the guy but he doesnt know what model it is (which could be good... maybe ill be getting a good deal on it if he doesnt know how much its worth?). But I was wondering if anyone of you guys could maybe take a stab at what model it may be and perhaps its appx. value? Thanks so much again guys!
#7
I would also look more towards the Alvarez than the other two. Estebans tend to be just horrible. As for the model, I can't tell at all, but it does look to be a considerably older model based on the preamp.

I really think you should consider adjusting the action on the guitar you already own. To be honest, you probably aren't getting that much of an upgrade if you can only afford to look in the $150 range right now. You'd be much better off saving your money and trying to add another $100 or so to the pot before you buy.

Adjusting the action on your guitar is a relatively simple procedure. There is honestly little to no risk of you messing anything up either. I really think you should consider this option. I mean heck, if you're going to buy a new guitar anyway, what's the harm in at least trying to fix yours up a little first? You don't even need to buy a new saddle or a new nut or anything. Lowering your action will cost you absolutely nothing and will take less than an hour.

If you are happy enough with the sound of your current guitar, high action shouldn't be reason to buy a new guitar. I just really hate to see people buy new guitars when they just aren't really upgrading. The Alvarez would probably be a better guitar, but it might not be very much better at all. There's even a good chance you will need to adjust the action on the Alvarez when you get it. Most brand new guitars need a set up straight from the store. Action adjustments are extremely common.

I cannot emphasize enough how strongly I recommend you lowering your action yourself first. Have a look at this tutorial here:

http://frets.com/FRETSPages/Musician/Guitar/Setup/LowerAction/loweraction01.html

It's very detailed and explains the process very well.
#8
Alvarez acoustic awesome guitars! Would start there.
ROCK'N 6 STRINGS GRINDING PICKS INTO POWDER
#9
thanks all again! I do think I will try the sanding down/fixing of my bridge... but i do still think i want a new guitar... just because like i said, mines cheap and a couple of the higher (12 and 13) frets are dead along with the guitar just sounds kind of tinny

anyhow, i have some new news on the alvarez after talking with the guy, the model number is "RD-30E" and i think i can get him to lower it to $100 for the guitar, strap, and stand. I tried to search online but couldnt really find anything as far as reviews go for that model number... does anyone think they could give me any feedback on the quality of the guitar/if its any good?
#10
I'm gonna send this thread to LeftyDave. He is a moderator on the Alvarez guitar forum. He might be able to help you out here.
#11
Estaban is crap. The Alvarez is probably your best bet. It is a good idea to look for a used one. Look for a solid wood guitar or solid top at the least.