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what guitar to buy? strumming guitar under $1K
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dancingfool1979
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#1
8th February 2011
Old 8th February 2011
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best strumming guitar for under $1K?

Hi. I currently have Washburn D10 and Breedlove AD25/SM. Washburn D10 vibrates too much when I strum and Breedlove is not loud enough and not low enough lows. Any suggestions on acoustic guitar for $500-1000 (or under $500 if you have good suggestions) that sounds best for strumming, has good balance of highs and lows, and can take the strumming to still produce a clear sound? Can be acoustic or acoustic-electric.

Suggestions: $500-1000?
Suggestions: Under $500?
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8th February 2011
Old 8th February 2011
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Eastman guitars sound really good for the money. I believe they are chinese made but the one I played I was ready to buy because it wasn't sounding far off from the Gibson songwriter sitting next to it. I would still rather have the Gibson but would drop the coin on the Eastman first. I think it was an ac612. Played and sounded fantastic.
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#3
8th February 2011
Old 8th February 2011
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I was in a store awhile back and played a Alvarez Jumbo that was around $500. I have 3 high end Taylors and a Jumbo Rainsong. The Alvarez was not as good as any of those, but for $500 it was one of the better low priced models I've played. I was pretty impressed for the price.
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#4
17th February 2011
Old 17th February 2011
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check out seagull models.
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17th February 2011
Old 17th February 2011
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+1 for Seagull. under $500, no frills solid top
#6
19th February 2011
Old 19th February 2011
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If you can get your paws on a 70's Guild with maple back and sides, you would have an awesome acoustic. The one I tried had a price tag of $900.
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22nd February 2011
Old 22nd February 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diktatoren View Post
If you can get your paws on a 70's Guild with maple back and sides, you would have an awesome acoustic. The one I tried had a price tag of $900.
+1 for a vintage Guild, maple or no.
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#8
22nd February 2011
Old 22nd February 2011
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When it comes to acoustics, you've really gotta get out there and play, play, play. Last time I picked up an acoustic, I played over 40 guitars looking for the "right" one for its purpose and my preferences.

And don't get sold too hard on the "if you want this tone, you should go with X wood, X bracing, etc" lines. It never ceases to amaze me how completely different two acoustic guitars with nearly identical specs can sound. Last time I was in the store testing them out, I picked up a Martin and a Taylor hung next to each other on the wall. Both similar price range, both dreadnought, both same back, side, and top wood, same bracing, same neck and fingerboard woods, same bridge wood. They also both had the same slippery Elixir strings on them...

They sounded so different that you'd think I was just messing with you if I posted up recordings of both of them. I even called one of the employees over to demonstrate this same thing I had said to him and he went through every spec comparing them trying to find a reason for the difference. In the end he just shrugged his shoulders and gave up. And I experience this same thing every time I go "acoustic hunting".

Get out there and play everything you can. You may go through 50 guitars but when you find the right one, you'll know it.
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#9
23rd February 2011
Old 23rd February 2011
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I got to agree with the above. When you get to the $2K+ range is where they start getting more consistant. I was looking for an acoustic for a very long time. I was looking at Taylor's, Martin's, Gibson's, Yari's...yadda yadda. It was getting frustrating....

Walked in a local guitar store on lunch one day and played a Martin DM on consigment for $350...and nearly shat how good it was. (I bought it).

I stopped looking at that point, still great 10 years later.

I was looking for intonation across the fretboard, dynamics, and playability. Seems many mid-priced guitars only do 2 out of 3 well, but as you go farther up the money scale when they do everything. However, the gems are out there...you just gotta go play everything.

I did notice that sub- $300 guitars generally do poorly overall, but I honestly skipped many after finding a lot of losers in that price range.



Acoustics also come in several flavors, so it's in your best interest to learn your likes and dislikes. For instance, some love the Taylor's sound...I personally can't stand the sound or the feel.

I have had a few acoustics over the years, and addmitedly bought most of them without much thought until I got my Martin. Guess what? I don't own any of the others anymore.



I would stay away from cut-outs, non-solid tops, and thick/shiny finishes...stock electronics are another thing to stay away from...in many cases that suff just adds to the cost, and can be/is detrimental to the guitars tone or just uneeded especially for recording. The only on board electronics I had in an acoustic was a TC electronics unit that was a factory modded Kramer Ferrington I use to own. I could play White Lion songs on that thing all day...lol. Bridge started coming up on it, and sold it to one of my old bosses years ago...good thing I didn't like the guy!
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#10
24th February 2011
Old 24th February 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diktatoren View Post
If you can get your paws on a 70's Guild with maple back and sides, you would have an awesome acoustic. The one I tried had a price tag of $900.
great advice. I just saw a great guild in NH for $800.
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26th February 2011
Old 26th February 2011
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seagulls felt nice. breedlove too. I love my yamaha cheapie!
#12
27th February 2011
Old 27th February 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diktatoren View Post
If you can get your paws on a 70's Guild with maple back and sides, you would have an awesome acoustic. The one I tried had a price tag of $900.
Yeah, Guilds are great. I don't normally have much advice on lower-price range acoustic guitars, but if you can get a 70's Guild that fits this budget and hasn't been abused, it's a no-brainer. It's not even a "good guitar for the money" kind of thing. They're just great guitars. Guilds are sort of the poster child for the big, complex sounding guitar. I kind of wish I had one at hand for something I'm working on now.
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#13
30th June 2011
Old 30th June 2011
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Well, if you want the rosewood sitka sound like every Martin you ever heard then you'll be in competition with so many buyers that you will pay more. If you are OK with an alternative vibe then Seagull is the obvious answer. Their top of the line electronics are worth it, where I wouldn't recommend anyone else's built in electronics.
#14
27th September 2011
Old 27th September 2011
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Larrivee L series sound great and play great.

As much as I like the sound to my ears of a D or Jumbo,
I'm finding my Parlor cuts through better mic'd up
without the boominess issue.

I played well over 30 different guitars keeping in mind that
the priority was how the guitar sounded mic'd up.

I also tried a rather cool Alvarez Parlor that was
quite a little sound cannon

http://www.elderly.com/new_instruments/items/RP20S.htm
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#15
28th September 2011
Old 28th September 2011
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If you listen to Tom Petty Face In The Crowd or some of the Wilbury's strumming
sounds, you'll notice what you're really hearing is mostly the washboard effect
of playing a mic'd up guitar with a soft pick.

So essentially, the guitar becomes almost more of a percussion instrument,
with other instruments filling in the lows and top end above the guitar.
#16
1st October 2011
Old 1st October 2011
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Recording King guitars. Also the Seagulls.
#17
7th December 2011
Old 7th December 2011
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taylor 214 is a pretty good strummer
#18
21st December 2011
Old 21st December 2011
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Martin

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21st December 2011
Old 21st December 2011
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#20
27th April 2012
Old 27th April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Vogel View Post
I got to agree with the above. When you get to the $2K+ range is where they start getting more consistant. I was looking for an acoustic for a very long time. I was looking at Taylor's, Martin's, Gibson's, Yari's...yadda yadda. It was getting frustrating....

Walked in a local guitar store on lunch one day and played a Martin DM on consigment for $350...and nearly shat how good it was. (I bought it).

I stopped looking at that point, still great 10 years later.

I was looking for intonation across the fretboard, dynamics, and playability. Seems many mid-priced guitars only do 2 out of 3 well, but as you go farther up the money scale when they do everything. However, the gems are out there...you just gotta go play everything.

I did notice that sub- $300 guitars generally do poorly overall, but I honestly skipped many after finding a lot of losers in that price range.



Acoustics also come in several flavors, so it's in your best interest to learn your likes and dislikes. For instance, some love the Taylor's sound...I personally can't stand the sound or the feel.

I have had a few acoustics over the years, and addmitedly bought most of them without much thought until I got my Martin. Guess what? I don't own any of the others anymore.



I would stay away from cut-outs, non-solid tops, and thick/shiny finishes...stock electronics are another thing to stay away from...in many cases that suff just adds to the cost, and can be/is detrimental to the guitars tone or just uneeded especially for recording. The only on board electronics I had in an acoustic was a TC electronics unit that was a factory modded Kramer Ferrington I use to own. I could play White Lion songs on that thing all day...lol. Bridge started coming up on it, and sold it to one of my old bosses years ago...good thing I didn't like the guy!
Yep! Each acoustic is different, and as they age, they'll age differently. My first acoustic was an Alvarez RG30. I got it as a gift and it's not easy to play. The neck wasn't installed properly. In any case, when I first got it, it was way too bright. Over the years, it's mellowed out considerably, and now I always get compliments about how great it sounds.

So my advice for buying any acoustic instrument is to buy used. As the woods continue to age, they'll continue to change. That change will slow down as they get older, and more expensive acoustic guitars will usually have their woods aged longer before making the guitar. In any case, you can get a more stable and better sounding guitar for less money, assuming it hasn't been beaten up, if you buy used.

I've heard many amazing sounding acoustics that were really cheap over the years. But it's not a brand/model issue. It seems to be up to the individual guitar. That being said, I'd look at Guild, Alvarez, Yamaha, Seagull, etc. Basically all the brands already mentioned. Or hell, play everything you can get your hands on and see what tickles your ear!
#21
28th April 2012
Old 28th April 2012
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My Eastman was frustrating the hell out of me; I picked up a cheapie Cigano Gypsy Jazz guitar and it sounded good enough that I bought it as my practice guitar. Sounds better to me than most 400 dollar guitars I've heard.

I have heard 3 old Kay plywood guitars that sounded fantastic, I swear, and they all clocked in between 375-575.
#22
30th April 2012
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Faith guitars are good- assuming they're widely available in the US (a guess from your $ price range).

I have a Neptune High Gloss model, which would probably be bit above your budget (around £700 in the UK), but there are a few in the Neptune range with different woods at different price points. The High Gloss has got great depth to it and sparkling highs (plus nice resonant mids), but it's a huge body with a big sound to match.

They're lovely to play too (nice neck profile) and beautifully put together.
#23
30th April 2012
Old 30th April 2012
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The Epiphone Masterbuilts are great sounding instruments and I think are standouts in the bang for buck category.
#24
30th April 2012
Old 30th April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dancingfool1979 View Post
Hi. I currently have Washburn D10 and Breedlove AD25/SM. Washburn D10 vibrates too much when I strum and Breedlove is not loud enough and not low enough lows. Any suggestions on acoustic guitar for $500-1000 (or under $500 if you have good suggestions) that sounds best for strumming, has good balance of highs and lows, and can take the strumming to still produce a clear sound? Can be acoustic or acoustic-electric.

Suggestions: $500-1000?
Suggestions: Under $500?
In the price range $500-550, I highly recommend the Martin DX1 (solid spruce top, composite back and sides). It has great volume and all the powerful low end you would expect from a Martin. Great intonation all the way up the neck. With the laminated neck and and composite back/sides, it is very rugged - nearly indestructible. I put Elixir nano strings on the DX1 to bring out the highs. I have found that with other strings, the high end can be a bit subdued compared to a higher end Martin.

I own several better Martins (HD28, D35) and Taylor (810) guitars, but that DX1 remains a favorite of mine. The DX1 is my travel guitar, but I record often with it. At jams, when other players pick up my DX1 and strum it, many of them remark "Oh wow" when they first experience its tone, volume, and big low end.

FWIW, here are some videos of DX1s that seem representative of the sound of my DX1:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyStOjJZeDQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzuQC...eature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h03QB_iDPqE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0jRo...eature=related
#25
14th May 2012
Old 14th May 2012
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I have an Alvarez Fusion Series, and it sounds really "sweet". Maple body and neck. Others comment often on the sound, even if my playing sucks I got a good deal on it, but I think they usually sell around $500?But the reaaally cool thing about Alvarez. Lifetime warranty. Most amazing customer service I have EVER experienced. I sent them my slightly warped guitar, they sent me a brand new one, with a letter apologizing for not being able to fix my old one. Took like a week and half. Not that that's what you're looking for exactly, but I don't know anyone who's ever had an issue with Alvarez for lower price-level guitars. You got a few other recommendations above. I'll never buy a seagull personally, but that has more to do with a specific person than the brand. They are, in fact, solid and attractive guitars.
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14th May 2012
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Fender
#27
14th May 2012
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Fender
IMHO Fender acoustics suck...maybe it's just me...
#28
14th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Vogel View Post
IMHO Fender acoustics suck...maybe it's just me...
maybe i'm sentimental. I had an uncle give me a fender acoustic as a kid and when i moved out and didnt instantly take it with me my mum gave it away my memory tells me it was the greatest sounding acoustic guitar that ever existed.. i could be misinformed, this is after all coming from someone whos acoustic collection currently consists of an old crafter and an encore!! If i could afford better/more expensive then i'd probably get a gibson but for now i'll aim for a fender, its way more realistic a dream for me than any of the top end stuff!
6 String
#29
14th May 2012
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I like Fender stuff...don't get me wrong, but I have not come across any Feder acoustics to write home about...generally I find them to be aimed at the entry-level market; nothing wrong with that at all...but the cheaper construction can come back to bite you after a few years of use. Nothing like having the whole soundboard peeled up by a bridge to steer you away from a brand! I had it happen to me on 3 different lower-cost acoustics.
#30
14th May 2012
Old 14th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Vogel View Post
the whole soundboard peeled up by a bridge .
thats nasty, you gotta stop jammin in the sauna
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