#1
I know nothing about acoustics, all my guitar knowledge is electric but I'm interested in the former now.

1) What must I look for when buying a steel string plain acoustic (no pickup)?

2) Which manufacturers make good acoustics... which ones to avoid... like you'd avoid Squier's electrics if you're serious about playing because they're not a good brand. Get it?
#2
Just go to a store, try some of the acoustics and make your own conclusions.
I can't tell you what I think is good or bad, because my opinion might be totally different than yours..... Yeah..
#3
well, tanglewood are a safe bet for any beginner to acoustics, just try some out and see what you like. I always think that new strings make a big difference on acoustics.
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#4
price range? need to know this.

ideally you want solid top and body/sides.
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#5
personally its all up to you. you just need to go in and play a bunch and se which one you like best within your price range. I bought a yamaha acoustic for about 160 US dollars and really like it. action isn't the best. but i still like it. i personally love ovations, but their curved back gives them a much different sound than alot of other acoustics. so really, just find oe you like
#7
Quote by about
price range? need to know this.

ideally you want solid top and body/sides.


$200 - $300. It would be like a hobby thing rather than serious business. That's for electrics, no offense to acoustic players.
#8
I think the music produced depends on the player....

I can play on "ugly" guitars and still make them sound good...

But I suggest you start from a good quality guitar...

Lewadra and tyler are correct, you have to try to find a local music shop near you, then try out, if you want to, every single acoustic guitar in that shop, and find your sound..

The magnificence starts there...
#9
Look for Solid wood. If the description doesn't say "solid" then stay away if possible. You're going to want a solid top.

Don't buy a taylor or Martin for a beginner guitar. They make great higher end guitars, but their lower end guitars are rip offs.

What's your price range? Price range dictates what brands you should look into.

Avoid all Ibanez and low end Ovations.
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.
#10
Your info states that you are from South Africa. What's available to purchase there for acoustic guitars? If you have access to Seagull, Breedlove, Alvarez, Larivee, Yamaha, Epiphone Masterbuilts, Gibson, Martin, Taylor, then these are THE brands to try out. There are others of course, and you most certainly get what you pay for. But this list contains hundreds of models, styles, woods and so on for you to think about. Maybe do some research on the net first and get a good solid idea of what options you want the guitar to have before going out to try them.
#11
as stated before, go to the acoustic room, play around on acoustics in your price range, and make your decision based on what you like.

you'll be sure to find the one that suits your preference.
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#12
taylor baby

seagull

simon patrick...

as mentioned, solid top

and get it set up****
#13
Yamaha, Washburn, Epiphone, ......are just a few of the reasonably-priced acoustics that hold up well over the years.

Try them; keep them on the high end of your price range, and as one said earlier.....try to avoid guitars that have laminated woods. Solid wood (front, back & sides) will hold up better, give you better sound, and resist wharpage longer.

One additional thing "I" look for, is Tuners (those things that you wind the strings on to) that are encased, on the back......."open" or exposed gears can get grimy, dirty, and crappy.

Look down the strings on the guitar you are trying out, from the tuning head toward the body of the guitar, at eye level.......see if you notice any wavyness to the body or neck.....look out for anything that appears wharped.

Take a look at how high off the neck of the guitar the strings are, .....the more parallel and low the strings are to the neck, the easier it will be to play.

When you play the guitar......see if you hear any weird harmonics on the 12th fret and you hold and pluck each string.......avoid any guitar that gives you weird multi-tones on the 12th fret (unless you are skilled at guitar setup or know someone who is, who doesn't charge much).

How comfortable is the instrument to hold? If you have a small body, you may find a "concert size" a bit uncomfortable to play. The object is enjoyability, and if you are putting your right arm (assuming you are a "righty" but applies to your left arm if you are a "lefty") to sleep to play it, you may be playing an instrument that is a tad too big for you.

How fat is the neck? Too fat (like a "Classical" for example, with nylon strings) is not as easy to play as a narrower neck.

How sticky is the finish on the neck? If you can't slide up and down the neck without feeling like you are dragging, you may want to look at another model, (or you can sandpaper it down a tad if you want, later).

Once you find the guitar that you want......get a set of Elixir Nanowebs if you can find them.......they are made to keep from rusting longer, and are easier on the fingers......they hold tuning well, and can last a bit longer than your average string set (especially if you don't think you'll be changing your strings more than once every few months or so).

If you think you will be doing a lot more standing with the guitar than sitting......look to see if there is a strap nut on the neck ......straps that hook near the neck joint are more comfortable to play that straps that have to be tied to the Tuning head, near the nut.

Just some random suggestions.......
"I was so much older then; I'm younger than that now"

Epiphone EJ200
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#15
@Soupy1957

I actually find that the best tuners I've ever used were open. Closed tuners are certainly easier to maintain(well... there's nothing to really maintain), but I wouldn't close the doors to open tuners just because they can get dirty easily.
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.
#17
Nato is generally only used as a laminate. Should you avoid it? Maybe not. If you're spending under $500 or so, you won't be getting a solid side/back. Only a solid top at most, usually. There are exceptions such as Blueridge who offer all solid for about $300, but it's not often.

Also, laminate isn't ALWAYS the biggest enemy. Seagull makes a laminate side/back guitar that sounds just as good as any other completely solid guitar for the same price.
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.
#18
depends, i think nato is a misspelling of nyatoh, similar to mahoghony, if it has nato, its probably made in japan, china, korea or somwhere like that.. nothing wrong with sourcing local wood.

probably laminate, unless it state 'solid'

^ agree with seagull... my simon patrick sp6 is from the same makers of seagull, best sounding guitar in its price range
#19
I can't tell you that I DON'T own a laminate-sided guitar.....I can just tell you that I don't prefer them for the reason of durability.....they are "ok" as musical instruments but not as preferred to solid-wood instruments, if your wallet can afford solid wood.
"I was so much older then; I'm younger than that now"

Epiphone EJ200
Epiphone AJ500ME
Epiphone Hummingbird
Washburn J28SDL
Guild GAD25NAT