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Discussion in 'Acoustic Soundboard' started by pgjstrat, Jun 2, 2020.
You may want to look into the used market and save yourself some money for quality guitars
First have an idea what you want to sound like. A dreadnaught has a different sound than a parlor guitar or a jumbo or an archtop. If there's an artist whose acoustic sound is something you admire, that is a good place to start.
If you want to sound like Segovia or Willie Nelson you need a nylon string guitar.
Wood matters. Especially the soundboard, mahogany doesn't sound like Sitka spruce or koa or Spanish cedar.
And then try a bunch.
Note that electric guitar players often complain about high action on acoustic guitars, but the action may be deliberate. Action effects tone and volume, higher action gives the strings more leverage to move the soundboard.
Mainly I just want to sound like a guy who knows how to play the guitar.
Doing your own setup on an acoustic isn't really any harder than on an electric. Adjusting truss rod is the same. Bridge height is a different technique, but it's still pretty darn easy to sand down the bottom of the saddle once you read up or watch a tutorial or two. I always just buy an extra saddle for $10, that way you can go back to square one with the original any time you want.
The only thing that you may need a luthier for is if you have a poorly cut nut, or need a fret leveling, but you can just return/exchange a new guitar if that is the case. And those would be the same for an electric.
Many acoustics ship with high action, because it's easier to lower it than to raise it. Martins are notorious for high factory action. I think that has a lot to do with the perception that Taylors are more "playable" than Martins - they tend to ship with lower action.
One of the best possible "bang for the buck" options would be an Eastman AC122 series. They are one of the very few all-solid-wood guitars you're going to find new in your price range, and Eastman build quality is excellent. They even have ebony fingerboards, which is unheard-of at that price point, and they have cutaways, so you get the upper-fret access that you're used to with an electric. They also have built-in electronics, so you won't have to add a pickup if you want to plug in at some point. Very well-regarded manufacturer, they punch well above their weight class. Probably where I would start, knowing what I know now.
I have (and recommend) a Taylor Academy 12e. I mainly play electrics but wanted a decent..yet not too expensive acoustic to play on. The sound and easy of the set up out the box was amazing...it also comes in a lovely padded gig bag too.
My 1st acoustic was a Cort. Lovely guitar..set up well and I'd also recommend these....as too the brand Orangewood?.
I think I'm leaning towards the Guild OM-240CE. Acoustic/electric, and it has a cut out. I have a thing for cutout acoustics. Not sure I want to spend $600+ on my first acoustic. I'm not "there" yet.
You can't go wrong with a Guild. "Made to be Played" is their motto, and I've never picked one up that didn't deliver on that. Best of luck.
Those are good looking guitars to be sure.
Be aware some of Guild's Made in China guitars are back ordered, there's a slow-down somewhere in their system, probably due to the pandemic--I don't know where the bottleneck is, could be at their factory or in shipping or at customs. If you're ordering a new one that's not actually in stock, it may take several weeks.
Here’s the case for getting a quality acoustic early on, in this case the Taylor GS mini
And here’s a demo of how it sounds
Man I almost grabbed one of those last week! But opted for a Alvarez MDA66 CESHB ( Good grief they need to shorten their guitar names!)
To OP - If your price range can go to 800 — Might check this one out!
Guild is nice
Epiphone Hummingbird PRO is a very popular and good guitar for the money. Brand new is about $350
When I wanted an acoustic guitar I got an Ibanez AW something because it was on sale and had a solid wood top
I'd say just make sure it has at least a solid wood top
Another thing to keep in mind... Personally I'll always buy an acoustic with a single cut out.. I like to play on the 12th fret comfortably if I need to
As usual there are some really good ideas here from others and some omissions and some misinformation. First question should be are you looking for a strictly acoustic or one that you may want to plug in to a PA or amp of some kind. One really good point is what size are you and that helps dictate the body style. I'm 5"7" and have hands like a baby. Also I play professionally so I need and acoustic that plugs in. So I use a Yamaha APX600 it has a smaller body and good electronics when plugged in price is $299.00 brand new. If you only need a couch guitar I like a Seagull s-6 a little bigger price $469.00 brand new. One other point you can adjust the play on your acoustic you do not need a luthier. Every guitar now a days has an adjustable neck. I adjust mine all the time for play ability. There are plenty of videos out there or just visit your local music store and I'm sure they'll show you how to adjust the neck.
You might want to play a Yamaha 800 or 820. I got one used for a bill. Solid wood top but aminate B/Ss. Necks are on the thin side. Don't really have to worry about humidifying.