Help With Acoustic Recommendations?

colchar

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Since I play my Strat acoustically so often (I tend to practice a lot while sitting on the couch in front of the TV) I am thinking that it is high time I grabbed an acoustic but, because I haven’t played one since I was a child and have only been playing guitar again for about eighteen months, I find them rather difficult to play. I would eventually get used to the size of the body but, for whatever reason, their necks just don’t seem to agree with me. I suppose I would eventually get used to the necks as well though. Then again, I’ve read that they are harder to play so I might be wrong about that.

Because of all that, I was wondering if people here would mind recommending acoustics in the $250-$350 range? Prices in Canada are usually about $50 more expensive than in the US (although the dollar is at par, the prices haven’t come down here yet) but, despite the difference in prices, that price range should be a good one to work with. I would be willing to go as high as $450 but every dollar I save on the acoustic can go towards the Tele that I am GASing for and that I plan to buy early in the New Year so cheaper might be better when it comes to this acoustic.

I’ve looked at a few acoustics lately and here are my impressions of them:

Yamaha – the FG700, to me, isn't very comfortable to play. The FG720 is far easier to play than the FG700 so I think it would be a better option were I to go for a Yamaha. That being said, even the FG720 isn't all that comfortable.

Taylor Big Baby – I found this one to be very very comfortable. It costs slightly more ($440) but, as I said, I would be willing to go that high if I had to. Although it is confortable to play (neck) the Big Baby is very light and feels a bit cheap – the two screws through the fretboard certainly don't help with that impression. I am not sure I could justify paying $440 for something that felt that cheap.

I also tried a smaller sized Taylor today – the sales guy I normally deal with was showing it to me because he couldn't believe how big it sounded for a smaller guitar and it certainly did sound impressive but I would far prefer to get a full sized acoustic rather than a scaled down one.

Martin – I checked out one of the cheaper Martins but didn't like it much. The rest of the line is out of my price range.

Simon & Patrick Songsmiths – although the body was comfortable, the necks definitely weren't.

Seagull – I had been avoiding these because I really don't like the look of their headstock but was really really surprised by how much I liked it. It sounded really good and was one of the more comfortable acoustics I played today. I can't remember the model off hand but can easily figure that out when I am back in the store.


So, those are my impressions thus far and I would appreciate any other recommendations people can make (even if that includes sticking it out until I get used to a model with a neck that, on the first couple of tries, seems uncomfortable). I would also be interested in thinner acoustics – I would be happy with a dreadnought if the neck felt right but am happy to check out ones with slightly thinner bodies (not sure of the actual name for those) so long as they are not scaled down (ie. 3/4 sized or whatever). I am not interested in any acoustic/electrics though.

Or maybe I should forget about the acoustic, just put the money towards my Tele, and be happy playing either it or my Strat acoustically.
 

R8R6Ben

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seagulls are great man...I had one as a beater forever. Yamaha can be good but they can also be shit so try before you buy. If you can find a Blueridge they can be great too.
 

DrewG

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I've been looking for a while recently too. Last weekend I came down on a Fender T Bucket 300CE - a mass produced job, made in China, but sufficient for my needs. I too had looked at a couple of Seagulls, and liked one of them, but I felt it was just too expensive for my first acoustic (around £400). I had fallen for a nice Adirondack Blueridge, but the Fender sounded about as good, and was nearly £150 cheaper. You seem to like the seagull, if it talks to you and is in your price range, I'd say go for it.

The buying experience that worked for me was try, try and try again, eventually I guess I went for one that sounded good to me, well within my budget, and that I won't worry about knocking the crap out of ;)

Oh, and my LP hasn't been out of its case all week :) That'll change later today though.

Best of luck !
 

cynic79

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Seagull makes some excellent guitars at great prices, and you'd be supporting a home grown company.

I have not gotten a chance to play a lot of the Simon & Patrick acoustics, but I played a maple topped one years ago that sounded absolutely heavenly. FWIW, the same company that owns Seagull owns Simon & Patrick (and Godin, and Art & Lutherie, and Richmond, and Norman...).
 

colchar

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I've been looking for a while recently too. Last weekend I came down on a Fender T Bucket 300CE - a mass produced job, made in China, but sufficient for my needs. I too had looked at a couple of Seagulls, and liked one of them, but I felt it was just too expensive for my first acoustic (around £400). I had fallen for a nice Adirondack Blueridge, but the Fender sounded about as good, and was nearly £150 cheaper. You seem to like the seagull, if it talks to you and is in your price range, I'd say go for it.

I've never seen a Adirondack but will keep my eyes open. The Seagull was nice and is cheaper here as the model I was looking at was only $350CDN. I have only seen the lower end Fenders but, from what I have read, Fender acoustics are best avoided. That might only apply to the low end models though.

The buying experience that worked for me was try, try and try again, eventually I guess I went for one that sounded good to me, well within my budget, and that I won't worry about knocking the crap out of ;)

My buying experience is the same - try, try, and try some more. The biggest problem is limited selection at the moment as most of the stores I go into are only just now stocking up for Christmas. Hopefully they will have more available soon.
 

colchar

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Seagull makes some excellent guitars at great prices, and you'd be supporting a home grown company.

I do like the fact that they are Canadian, it is a major point in their favour.

I have not gotten a chance to play a lot of the Simon & Patrick acoustics, but I played a maple topped one years ago that sounded absolutely heavenly. FWIW, the same company that owns Seagull owns Simon & Patrick (and Godin, and Art & Lutherie, and Richmond, and Norman...).

Many of the Simon & Patricks sound really good, I just couldn't get comfortable with their necks.

I would also like to check out some Art & Lutherie and Normans. I hadn't heard of the Richmonds but would check them out too. I was aware that they were all associated with the same company and that company being Canadian is, as I mentioned above, a major point in their favour. Hopefully the stores around here will get their stock levels up soon so that I can try out brands like A&L, Norman, etc.
 

colchar

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I went with an Epiphone Masterbilt, the AJ500M. They should be fairly common for you to try out. There's usually one at a GC in the states.
Epiphone AJ-500M | Sweetwater.com

There were several of them in the store yesterday (as well as many other Epi models) but i didn't try them out. The quality of my Epi G-400 left a lot to be desired so I am more than a little gun shy when it comes to Epis these days.
 

captainbraindamage

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The Masterbilts are a step above the regular Epi acoustic. Comparable to how the Elitist line was better than the regular Epi LP.
On mine I put bone bridge pins in, the stock ones are plastic. The nut is bone but I cut the slots deeper and sanded the excess off the top, to lower the action. The bridge was the right height from the factory. Tweaked the truss rod. Had one fret that was a little high, not enough to buzz but wasn't perfect. All the frets were seated solid, no problem there. No sharp fret edges like on the LPs. That's it, Schaller strap locks. Had it 2 years now, no problems.
But I can understand where your coming from. I've bought 2 Epi LP Customs. Don't think I'll be buying any more, but it did give me practice gutting them and working on them. LOL
There were several of them in the store yesterday (as well as many other Epi models) but i didn't try them out. The quality of my Epi G-400 left a lot to be desired so I am more than a little gun shy when it comes to Epis these days.
 

Dr.Distortion

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If you can find one try an old "Nippon Gakki" Yamaha... I've got an FG160 that sounds great... I think I paied $250 for it.
If you look into these' make sure that it dosn't need a neck reset. I've read that they epoxied the neck joint and resetting the neck is very hard to do.
 

cynic79

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The Masterbilt Epis are very nice. You won't go wrong there.

I've played a few 70's Yamaha acoustics that were very cool.
 

colchar

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After trying out an awful lot of acoustics (thanks for all the great suggestions!), I am 95% certain that I am going to go with a Seagull S6 Slim as I find the neck on it far easier to play than any of the others I tried out.

I also liked the Taylor Big Baby but not as much as the Seagull and, also, the Taylor felt somehow cheaper or less substantial (for lack of better terms) than the Seagull. Although I originally didn't like the headstock on the Seagull I am sure I'll get used to it and besides, you only really see the top edge of it when you're playing so who cares what it looks like?

Since I can never come up with anything when family asks what I want for Christmas I think that, this year, I'll just tell them to give me money and I'll buy the guitar with that. The only problem is that doing so means waiting a month before I buy it and I'm pretty sure the GAS is gonna kill me before then.
 

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