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Acoustic Guitar generalisations.
Old 12th November 2009
  #1
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Question Acoustic Guitar generalisations.

Budget / bedroom Studio - recording mostly my own material.

I'm about to loose my Acoustic Guitar (its borrowed and the owner wants it back). but i've become quite dependent on it so I'll have to buy one. but i've no idea what to get.

ie
1. How much Β£ to spend,
2. What size / shape is good?
3. Brands that are good value for money?
4. it will only really be for Studio / recording stuff - not giging

-
The borrowed one is quite large bodied I think and is a bit too 'boomy' I'm not that into the sound of it - so I was thinking a smaller bodied one would be more managable.

Please educate me. what generalisations can be mde about Acoustic guitars?

or What do you have and what is it particularly good for? (and yes obviously a lot of it is the player - but ignore that for now and humour me if you will ...)

I honestly know nothing about them.
Old 12th November 2009
  #2
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seagull S6. i own 2 and both sound different. try before you buy!

the mid line alvarez sound and play very well.
for recording i find that dreadnaughts and jumbos record very well. concerts and auditoriums are a bit bity and typically need good rooms and mics to bring out the bottom.
Old 12th November 2009
  #3
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I would prefer a smaller-body guitar for recording (though of course it's nice to have a dreadnought around too). Especially if there is any finger-picking going on.

There is something to be said for mahogany tops on guitars for the studio. They sometimes seem to have a more even response, making them more versatile. Though if you have a specific sound you're after, that doesn't matter.
Old 12th November 2009
  #4
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I've got a Martin 0-16 N.Y. and it's a tiny body and considered a parlor guitar. I think Washburn or someone has released their version of a parlor guitar that you might check.

Other than that, go to a shop and try a bunch till you find one that your ears and hands like.
Old 12th November 2009
  #5
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Anything from Takamine (thin necks) and Yamaha is great bang for the buck. I personally love the Takamine G-Series because i can fret the 2 lower strings with the thumb and they're cheap enough to destroy on stage and just get another.
Old 12th November 2009
  #6
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Dreadnoughts / smaller bodies?

So just wondering on the the kind of sound you get recording based on Size of guitar. What sized guitars would you say these are? just soem random picks from Spotify...

1. Neil Young - Heart of Gold (right channel intro)

2. Bowie - Andy Warhol

3. Grateful Dead - Friend of the Devil (intro)
Old 12th November 2009
  #7
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I have a Martin 000C-16GTE and love it for recording. You might want to check it out. It's what they call an auditorium sized guitar. Not as large in size as a dreadnought or jumbo acoustic but still has a surprizingly "big" sound (not boomy though).


(edit) Sorry, didn't answer your questions:

1. I picked up my Martin for $1300 (Canadian - used - they are about 2k new I think). I think a good acoustic will run you at least $1500 - yes you can find good guitars for less $ sometimes but for studio use you want something reliable and from a good shop that will lend you something else if you need to send your guitar out for warranty work.
2. Any shape can be good if the guitar is well made, I find the Martin auditorium size useful in many applications.
3. Martin, Larivee, Taylor
Old 12th November 2009
  #8
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Unclenny's Avatar
I like a smaller acoustic for tracking stuff in a mix.......maybe something a bit larger for solo work.
Old 12th November 2009
  #9
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some generalisations

Dreads - bass heavy, can be boomy. most have thinner nut width
(1 11/16), and are the standard for strumming and flatpicking.

OM, Auditorium, grand Concert, etc - often the first choice of fingerpickers and fingerstylists. also strum well. generally considered to have more balance

Rosewood - deep sound with solid lows
Mahogany - nice balance and clarity
Maple - bright, cuts thru a mix well. often good for live

here in the US, inmo as far as build quality and sound quality is concerned diminishing returns start after about 2Kusd. I'd forget about names and get what sounds and feels right. Also any acoustic guitar can be well recorded, some with a little more effort than others.
Old 12th November 2009
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rty5150 View Post
the mid line alvarez sound and play very well.
+1
Old 12th November 2009
  #11
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Question Pickup / Internal Mic versus External Mic?

Someone else just recommended that I get one with a Pickup / internal mic for "recording" which seems a bit odd.

I'd assumed those were just for Amplification at gigs. Do you ever use the Pickup / Tone Controls on the Acoustic?
Old 12th November 2009
  #12
I've been on the quest for my perfect acoustic guitar for about a year now. I've been going to guitar shops and playing every guitar they have and writing down wood combinations and tones that I like.

I finally saw a pattern in the guitars that I really liked and figured out that the sound that I was looking for was a Spruce top, Ovangkol body and rosewood neck.

Then, about two weeks ago, I came across the Gibson Songwriter EC Delux Ovangkol. It blew every other guitar out of the water, and I bought it on the spot. It's one of the best acoustic guitars I've played with the exception of these: Phoenix Guitar Company LLC

So I'd say go and play as many guitars as you can, and when you find guitars that sound and play good to you, write down the Brand/model and the woods that it is made out of.
Do this as much as you can, and you should begin to see a pattern. Then, just match that to your budget and get a guitar!

And you don't necessarily have to take a long time to do it. Maybe just take a few days to hit up your local guitar shops and write down the ones you like.
Old 12th November 2009
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by echoclerk View Post
Someone else just recommended that I get one with a Pickup / internal mic for "recording" which seems a bit odd.

I'd assumed those were just for Amplification at gigs. Do you ever use the Pickup / Tone Controls on the Acoustic?
A technique that you can use to give you flexibility is to record the guitar with 1-2 mics, and then use the direct signal from the pickup as a second/third track. You can then blend these to taste to bring out the characteristics of the guitar that you need for the track.

Sometimes, the DI sound might be exactly what you need to sit in the mix correctly.
Old 12th November 2009
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draw the Moral View Post
A technique that you can use to give you flexibility is to record the guitar with 1-2 mics, and then use the direct signal from the pickup as a second/third track. You can then blend these to taste to bring out the characteristics of the guitar that you need for the track.

Sometimes, the DI sound might be exactly what you need to sit in the mix correctly.
yeah, I guess.
but I probably would never bother. I never even take a DI on Electric guitar. Comping in Cubase with Multiple channels is just too much trouble so I seldom do it.
Old 12th November 2009
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by echoclerk View Post
yeah, I guess.
but I probably would never bother. I never even take a DI on Electric guitar. Comping in Cubase with Multiple channels is just too much trouble so I seldom do it.
I haven't used Cubase in a while, but I would think the comping would be pretty intuitive these days, as that's a pretty major task that a DAW should do.
Have you looked at the Cubase forums to see if there's something you missed?

I would probably never use a DI track as the main track per se, but it's very nice to have the DI track as an option to blend in with different effects or EQ behind the mic'd track.
Old 12th November 2009
  #16
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I'm assuming this is totally for your use.....which brings the next question: How do you play for the most part? Always strum? Always fingerpick? Some of both? Empty tunes with guitar being main thing? Busy tunes with guitar strumming along? ..........Without any of this it would be just a cacaphony of spouting random subjectively nice guitars from everyone. Also, how much money CAN you spend?
Old 12th November 2009
  #17
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Actual Use.

yes its most likely to be only for my use. - occasionally others. but primary purpose is recording my songs.

Most common use in teh past has been strumming / chords in background role. occasionally poorly fingerpicked background parts in a thicker arrangement with Drums, basss, synth, Electric gutaretc.

there is some chance of occasional use in a more sparse song but less of a priority.

Budget.. hmm well probaly very low end..< US$1000.00 (edit: - well actually half that price woudl be good. - but is that unrealistic.? US$500 or less?)

Last edited by echoclerk; 12th November 2009 at 05:50 PM.. Reason: more info
Old 12th November 2009
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by echoclerk View Post
yes its most likely to be only for my use. - occasionally others. but primary purpose is recording my songs.

Most common use in teh past has been strumming / chords in background role. occasionally poorly fingerpicked background parts in a thicker arrangement with Drums, basss, synth, Electric gutaretc.

there is some chance of occasional use in a more sparse song but less of a priority.

Budget.. hmm well probaly very low end..< US$1000.00
Well, my original advice of playing everything still stands. But with that budget, you should be able to pick up a very decent Takamine that will sit very well in a mix and stand on its own as well.

Tak's are really good for recording and sitting well in a mix. Not that other brands won't, but I've owned Tak's before and they are very durable, quality guitars for a great price.

As always, get a proper setup done on any guitar you purchase and you will reap the rewards.
Old 12th November 2009
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draw the Moral View Post
Well, my original advice of playing everything still stands. But with that budget, you should be able to pick up a very decent Takamine that will sit very well in a mix and stand on its own as well.

Tak's are really good for recording and sitting well in a mix. Not that other brands won't, but I've owned Tak's before and they are very durable, quality guitars for a great price.

As always, get a proper setup done on any guitar you purchase and you will reap the rewards.
See, this is why in the end still no one can tell you what YOU'll like.....as I have never heard a newish Takamine that I liked. For that money I'd rather take a chance on ebay (which I did and got a lovely all mahogany Guild D25 from '72 for Β£400 inc taxes and postage). But generally I think you need to do the rounds in shops and try loads of not just different guitars, but kinds of guitars, to see which types seem to gel with you most. For strumming you could go from Jumbo through dreadnought to parlor......try some. As far as new cheap-ish guitars Epiphone masterbuilt would be worth a play......
Old 12th November 2009
  #20
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Geoffrey A's Avatar
 

Seagull are well worth looking at if you are looking to spend 500 US.
Old 12th November 2009
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Draw the Moral View Post
I've been on the quest for my perfect acoustic guitar for about a year now. I've been going to guitar shops and playing every guitar they have and writing down wood combinations and tones that I like.

I finally saw a pattern in the guitars that I really liked and figured out that the sound that I was looking for was a Spruce top, Ovangkol body and rosewood neck.

Then, about two weeks ago, I came across the Gibson Songwriter EC Delux Ovangkol. It blew every other guitar out of the water, and I bought it on the spot. It's one of the best acoustic guitars I've played with the exception of these: Phoenix Guitar Company LLC

So I'd say go and play as many guitars as you can, and when you find guitars that sound and play good to you, write down the Brand/model and the woods that it is made out of.
Do this as much as you can, and you should begin to see a pattern. Then, just match that to your budget and get a guitar!

And you don't necessarily have to take a long time to do it. Maybe just take a few days to hit up your local guitar shops and write down the ones you like.
This is EXACTLY what the O.P. needs to do. Get out there and play everything you can afford, and the right guitar for you will become quite apparent. Yes, it takes a bit more time than getting opinions online, BUT chances are you will be infinitely happier with your choice AND trying out guitars with the intent to buy is arguably some of the most fun you can have in a day.
Old 12th November 2009
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
See, this is why in the end still no one can tell you what YOU'll like.....as I have never heard a newish Takamine that I liked. For that money I'd rather take a chance on ebay (which I did and got a lovely all mahogany Guild D25 from '72 for Β£400 inc taxes and postage). But generally I think you need to do the rounds in shops and try loads of not just different guitars, but kinds of guitars, to see which types seem to gel with you most. For strumming you could go from Jumbo through dreadnought to parlor......try some. As far as new cheap-ish guitars Epiphone masterbuilt would be worth a play......
...And my original advice was to try several guitars in several shops if you would read my post. I was just giving an opinion on guitars that have worked for me and many others for recording.
And when I say Takamine, I'm not talking about the guitar center $300 G series. I'm talking about these:
Takamine Guitars - Takamine Pro Series Guitars, Takamine Archive/Discontinued Guitars, Takamine Accessories & More
Old 12th November 2009
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draw the Moral View Post
...And my original advice was to try several guitars in several shops if you would read my post. I was just giving an opinion on guitars that have worked for me and many others for recording.
And when I say Takamine, I'm not talking about the guitar center $300 G series. I'm talking about these:
Takamine Guitars - Takamine Pro Series Guitars, Takamine Archive/Discontinued Guitars, Takamine Accessories & More
Seems we agree then......I'm not attacking you dude......just making the point about subjectiveness......
Old 12th November 2009
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by echoclerk View Post
So just wondering on the the kind of sound you get recording based on Size of guitar. What sized guitars would you say these are? just soem random picks from Spotify...

1. Neil Young - Heart of Gold (right channel intro)

2. Bowie - Andy Warhol

3. Grateful Dead - Friend of the Devil (intro)
These are probably all Martin Dreads, recorded with LDC mics.

My preference and advice typically is to use a smaller body guitar - a 000, OM, or Grand Concert size - and a SDC mic, but there are a lot of good tools and proper paths.
Old 12th November 2009
  #25
Alv
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrCrowbar View Post
Anything from Takamine (thin necks) and Yamaha is great bang for the buck. I personally love the Takamine G-Series because i can fret the 2 lower strings with the thumb and they're cheap enough to destroy on stage and just get another.
I totally agree with the Takamine G-Series for a starter. Although I wouldn't want to destroy mine on stage heh Martin's are great but if you can't afford them the Takamines play smooth you may like them since you did not like the boomy guitar you borrowed. The electronics in them hold very up well. The one I have is a sound very close to the Alice In Chains Unplugged cd. They may have used Yamaha though, I don't know.
Old 12th November 2009
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
Seems we agree then......I'm not attacking you dude......just making the point about subjectiveness......
My apologies.
Old 13th November 2009
  #27
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Have you checked into the Guild GAD series? Made in China, but half the price, all the goodness in tone and playability with all solid tonewoods. I had a GAD30R and loved it. Now I have a Guild GAD F40P and it gets as much or more attention than my Martin OMC 160GTE. It won over my Larrivee as well (loved the Larry too). Had the Seagul s6 for a while and liked it. Not as full sounding and a bit crisp or bright for my taste. Nonetheless a great guitar though.
Old 13th November 2009
  #28
I love my Martin D-28 for all acoustic needs.
Old 13th November 2009
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hello people View Post
I love my Martin D-28 for all acoustic needs.
I think thats over my budget. pricing on internet is GBP 1,500+
Old 13th November 2009
  #30
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As been stated before, its all about what you like, and dont forget that even 2 guitars of the exact same model, and brand of guitar will sound different, since its wood and living.

I just finished my own demo, and I played thru a Taylor 414CE, now this is an expensive guitar, but less can do the trick, I would look into brands like Garrison, I own one of them the Canadian series (the model numbers start with G) these are really nice guitars and very cheap, another would be Furch.

Try and see if you can get your hands on them before you buy them.

When we did the recordings, we used 2 overheads from Audio Technica, and a Rode Mic.
and on top of this, we used the pickup in the guitar aswell, this gives you a nice set of options to mix the different signals.. and in that way optain a nice sound.

Hope you end up with something you can use !!

Cheers !!
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