PDA

View Full Version : Guitar Help.......



TeeEye7
11-01-2008, 10:41 PM
OK, kiddies.....after a couple of decades of not playing (mainly because I gave them away) I'm contemplating getting another guitar. Good therapy as you know.

I need your help on what's good and what to avoid these days. Here are the parameters: I'm an acoustic fan, so electrics are out (electric/acoustic may be OK, but I'll have to give that some thought). Six string (although I miss my 12 string), dreadnought (cutaways may be OK), and no more that $750. Used is fine and probably preferable because of price.

A buddy at work brought in his Taylor 310 CE (electric/acoustic) and really liked it. I've found some straight acoustic Taylors on line for the price I'm willing to spend. However, I still need to bum around the music stores and check things out. I'd like to hear from you as to what you play and why you like it

Thanks in advance for your time and consideration! :thumbsup:

No Esteban references, please!

mabudonicus
11-04-2008, 05:58 PM
Hmmm...

Yamaha has made some awesome guitars... it's a weird question simply due to the fact that most "serious" guitar players swear by one type or another. I personally play a 12-string "SeaGull" which was made in Quebec, it is a SWEET sounding guitar, and was not too expensive (tho I bought it over 10 years ago)

I would say tho that if you're paying north of 350-400$ for an acoustic guitar from an actual guitar-type shop, it's probably a fine instrument no matter who made it, it just depends on exactly what's right for you.

I know when I got mine, I just checked out a ton of guitars but this particular one jumped out, 12 string with ridiculous low action, gorgeous tone AND a neck that's thinner than many 6-strings, plus really nice machine heads

Can't wait til you pick oine up, we'll have to jam when we inevitably meet up

:beard: Iso&Baws

Oyes, guitars

TeeEye7
11-04-2008, 08:09 PM
I gave my Takamine F-400 12-string along with a $19.95 Kawai classical (which I began on) to a nephew when he was learning to play years ago (he now teaches music) as an incentive since I hardly touched my guitars then.

I'll have to check out Yamaha again, and that's something I've planned to do. Back in the college days, Yamaha and Ovation had a pretty big following.

I guess what I'm looking to have answered more than anything else is that a lot of manufacturers have gone overseas from their traditional locations. Some quality has suffered and some has surprisingly improved. I'm wondering what, in our legions of guitar players here, is a good product these days and what to avoid. I plan to haunt the music stores and find out first hand what I like; but I'd like to have some product guidance so that I don't waste my time. Mabs is right, my choice I think will ultimately pick me.

Thanks for the input, mabs! :D

Engineernerd
11-04-2008, 08:22 PM
Anywhere close to Indiana?

I pass this place coming and going to work every day.

http://www.sweetwater.com/

From what I've heard they have a pretty incredible try out area.

Blue2th
11-04-2008, 09:04 PM
Taylor is the top of the line, and very nice, but expensive. Made in USA. Lots of artists use those when they aren't using Gibson's and Martin's.

I have a Guild which is owned by Fender, but they wouldn't cover the split top it had which started in the music store when I bought it, but went out of business. So any time I can badmouth Guild, I'm going to. :twisted:
If I ever make it big or get my 15 minutes of fame on stage I'm going to play it with big letters written on it saying "Guild Sucks!" then smash it like Pete would.

I've been looking for a nylon string cut-away, but don't know what to buy either.
Harmony Central.com has reviews from the musicians who actually play the equipment, and I have used them to determine the quality.
Musicians Friend.com has some good deals and also reviews of equipment, though I can't really tell if they are biased.

It's best though to walk in and try one to see how it plays and sounds though.
You can also sometimes get the retailers to match online prices.

TeeEye7
11-05-2008, 11:58 AM
Anywhere close to Indiana?

No, I'm a left coaster. Great site, though, thanks! When/if I make a decision, no reason I couldn't place an order. I appreciate the help! :thumbsup:



It's best though to walk in and try one to see how it plays and sounds though.
You can also sometimes get the retailers to match online prices.

Thanks for your input, Blue2th. This is the type of info I was hoping for. Interesting about Guild. I've not heard of problems from them before. A friend of mine had problems with Washburn (he never specified, just advised to stay away). You're right about haunting the music stores, and I plan to do that. I won't buy without actually hearing or trying the instrument. (What is it about guitar necks, anyway? Why does it seem some are better than others?).

Blue2th
11-05-2008, 01:06 PM
(What is it about guitar necks, anyway? Why does it seem some are better than others?).

I learned one thing, is that a 3-piece neck is stronger than a one piece. The laminations of the wood help make it stronger, which is especially important if there is a lot of tension on the neck, like a 12 string.
Most guitars these days have truss rods to straighten it, but the pull of different tensions from open E to open E strings and in between can warp a weak piece of wood.

The most important thing in any guitar besides sound is whether the neck is straight from fret to fret.

mabudonicus
11-05-2008, 04:19 PM
The only times I remember playing Washburns I remember HATING the action on them and it didn't seem there was any fix avaible, just a personal prejudice against them things that I had totally blanked on.

About necks- who knows really, tho what blu2th said is right, 3 piece kick butt over single piece. Preferences seem SO varied on overall neck dimensions tho- one of the greatest guitarists I have ever seen (R.I.P. Mark) had custom necks made (he also wound his own damn strings, he was pretty hands-on) that were literally like either baseball bats with a flat side or 2 x 4s depending on the type. I couldn't play a damn thng on that stuff, but he could make them do crazy things, never made sense to me
:beard: Iso&Baws

Some fine advice above, and that Guild story was funny, I hope that happens :D

JediTricks
11-05-2008, 05:21 PM
My mom's into Carvin, they're local to SoCal yet do international direct sales. They stand by their products, and I believe they make them in San Diego: http://www.carvinguitars.com/

TeeEye7
11-05-2008, 09:42 PM
Thanks for the Carvin link, JT. I've seen just a few them before, but never picked one up. More to look into!

Another topic: fret boards. Some swear ebony is far superior to rosewood. Opinions? Any difference in actions? I would imagine ebony is much more durable, given its hardness.

To my knowledge, I've always played git-tars with rosewood fret boards. My friend's Taylor had an ebony fret board. I didn't have the instrument long enough to see any appreciable difference. I'm aware of the price difference, though!

Blue2th
11-05-2008, 11:00 PM
Carvin is good stuff. Don't know about their acoustic guitars or if they even make them, but the electrics rock.
I used to work right down the street from their factory in Escondido in San Diego county.
I think even Taylors are made somewhere around San Diego, because I went into their little Taylor shop there back in the eighties.

They say ebony is a brighter sound kind of like maple. It is also more brittle for those of us in drier climates, it will split easier than rosewood. Though if you keep it oiled there should be no problem.
I prefer the rosewood myself. Low maintenance, no finish over the wood like maple. I have never seen any problems with it whereas I have seen an ebony fretboard split from end to end on a Martin guitar. You have to remember though I live in a super-dry climate.

Action too has a lot to do with the straightness of the neck, and how high the saddle is where the strings go into the body, hence how high the strings are off the neck, so you have to press harder.
Smaller frets are harder to play against because you have to press harder.
I prefer medium jumbo frets.

JediTricks
11-05-2008, 11:23 PM
Thanks for the Carvin link, JT. I've seen just a few them before, but never picked one up. More to look into!Sure thing. I called my mom to verify and she felt at the pricepoint I mentioned, $300 to $700, you couldn't do much better than Carvin (she and my step-dad have been playing for decades and they each own several Carvins among their other guitars). I've bought her a bunch of stuff there, their Hollywood store is down the block from my mailbox place, it's the guitar district.



Carvin is good stuff. Don't know about their acoustic guitars or if they even make them, but the electrics rock.
I used to work right down the street from their factory in Escondido in San Diego county.Right on! They do make acoustics, I think either my mom or step-dad has one, their store and website have a bunch. And they also do custom-built acoustic and electrics.

JediTricks
11-05-2008, 11:58 PM
Just got an email from my mother on the fretboard discussion...

My stepdad (who made his own guitar in high school wood shop) says that ebony does last longer - and he has guitars with both that he's played a lot. but is brighter in sound. He points out that his les paul has an ebony fretboard and is 37 years old. he says all the les paul customs have an ebony fretboard. on the other hand, his 7 string and his 66 accoustic have rosewood and they show a little gouging - not enough to be felt at all, but it's there. but they sound great.

My mom says she's always preferred the sound of a rosewood fretboard a lot, and also the feel. it is the richer tone that makes it so popular. And provides this link: http://www.jemsite.com/jem/wood.htm

Engineernerd
11-06-2008, 05:41 AM
You guys are going to make me dust off and restring my 20yr old Alvarez...

TeeEye7
11-06-2008, 09:04 PM
Right on! They do make acoustics, I think either my mom or step-dad has one, their store and website have a bunch. And they also do custom-built acoustic and electrics.

Update for JT: I ran the name "Carvin" by my guitar buddy at work last night and he basically did a "I-could-have-had-a-V8" slap on the forehead thing for not thinking of them, too. His comment was along the lines of "a lot of bang for the buck" as far as sound, quality, and price. He was talking about the electrics (he's got quite a guitar collection: through the years he's brought to work two of his Les Pauls, Fender Stratocaster, and the Explorer he resurrected himself from a beat-up mess to like-new status. He has others, but I can't remember what at this time). He didn't see any reason why Carvin acoustices wouldn't be as good.

Again, thanks for pointing me in that direction, JT.

figrin bran
11-06-2008, 11:05 PM
JT, where is your mom/step dad's shop?

TeeEye, I play a Strat myself so I don't have a whole lot of input for you. Rosewood does indeed gouge, though, as I can attest. And that's with electric strings which are inherently softer than acoustics so after a few years, some wear and tear will start to show on acoustics with rosewood fretboards.

Blue2th
11-07-2008, 09:42 AM
You guys are going to make me dust off and restring my 20yr old Alvarez...

YES! At least learn "Duel of the Fates" or the opening notes to Star Trek TOS (they can be done mostly on harmonics at the 12th fret)

JT your step dad's 37 year old LP Custom is worth some $$ now. I would love to have an SG Custom, they're a little lighter on the old shoulder.

Figrin, I'm a Strat man myself. So many different tones you can get. The rosewood does gouge because it's softer. I try to keep my right hand fingernails trimmed which helps from digging in there while chording etc.
I wouldn't mind having an ebony fretboard Strat, but they only came out on certain special editions, which are booku $$.

TeeEye7
11-08-2008, 11:33 AM
I've made a decision.

And that is I've decided that I can't afford this:
http://www.pantheonguitars.com/guitars/guitars_bourgeois.htm
:speech:

JediTricks
11-08-2008, 06:09 PM
Update for JT: I ran the name "Carvin" by my guitar buddy at work last night and he basically did a "I-could-have-had-a-V8" slap on the forehead thing for not thinking of them, too. His comment was along the lines of "a lot of bang for the buck" as far as sound, quality, and price. He was talking about the electrics (he's got quite a guitar collection: through the years he's brought to work two of his Les Pauls, Fender Stratocaster, and the Explorer he resurrected himself from a beat-up mess to like-new status. He has others, but I can't remember what at this time). He didn't see any reason why Carvin acoustices wouldn't be as good.

Again, thanks for pointing me in that direction, JT.Sure thing. It's funny, it was actually the "local" part of your comments that got me thinking about them in the context of this thread, they're local and they're very good for the budget you're talking about.

I'm not surprised your work buddy reacted that way, I notice a lot of musicians hold them in high regard but the company doesn't have all that much visibility to its name so it's not on the tip of their tongues.



JT, where is your mom/step dad's shop? I think you misunderstood, he made a guitar in high school, wood-shop class. He's a moldmaker by trade actually, he's worked on military, aerospace, medical, and now he's working at a place that makes particle accelerators. He's just started taking up as a hobby making harps. :p



YES! At least learn "Duel of the Fates" or the opening notes to Star Trek TOS (they can be done mostly on harmonics at the 12th fret)I can't play a single instrument, but I did figure out the opening notes to the Trek theme on the piano. :p


JT your step dad's 37 year old LP Custom is worth some $$ now. I would love to have an SG Custom, they're a little lighter on the old shoulder.Yeah, he's actually got a decent little collection, some of which he picked up pretty cheap at pawn shops and such. It's weird because to him they're instruments, not investments.



I've made a decision.

And that is I've decided that I can't afford this:
http://www.pantheonguitars.com/guitars/guitars_bourgeois.htm
:speech:You made the right decision. :p

TeeEye7
11-08-2008, 06:24 PM
TeeEye, I play a Strat myself so I don't have a whole lot of input for you. Rosewood does indeed gouge, though, as I can attest. And that's with electric strings which are inherently softer than acoustics so after a few years, some wear and tear will start to show on acoustics with rosewood fretboards.

figrin: any and all opinions help me out. I appreciate you taking the time to post! :thumbsup:



I think you misunderstood, he made a guitar in high school, wood-shop class. He's a moldmaker by trade actually, he's worked on military, aerospace, medical, and now he's working at a place that makes particle accelerators. He's just started taking up as a hobby making harps. :p

Harps? Here' a little harp music to set the mood! :yes: This is from the Transatlantic Sessions series (wonderful stuff....I want to pick up the DVDs of all three series one day).

www.youtube.com/watch?v=3e6GleQ9sl0

JediTricks
11-08-2008, 06:44 PM
Yeah, my mom decided to pick up the harp a few months ago, she found some harp lessons online and discovered the instrument doesn't have to be gigantic, so after a ton of research she bought a 22" harp pretty cheap from a music store in Santa Monica. He thought it was interesting, and in my mom's research she found that there are several books with patterns to make your own harp. Since he had built his own electric guitar before, he thought it'd be interesting to do this.

Blue2th
11-08-2008, 07:48 PM
Antonio Roiseco playing Yoda's Theme on classical guitar.
I never realized how beautiful this song was till I heard it on guitar. I got chills.
Not the greatest sound quality but: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zULnrP5d40c

TeeEye7
11-15-2008, 11:00 AM
I miss classical guitar. I need to break out the albums again.

I really got hooked when I was a student in Spain. A large section of kids in my dorm had Flamenco "jam sessions" (there must really be such a thing, cuz that's what they were doing) teaching each other techniques and songs. Kids would also hang out at the Plaza Mayor (Main Square) and play. Flamenco is usually accompanied by unique hand clapping and there was usually an entourage of folks supplying the percussion. No dancers in the dorm or street. You went to the clubs for that. I've seen some downright awesome performances.

Blue2th
11-15-2008, 04:38 PM
Finally saw a nylon string that I am going to buy. It's an Ibanez. Had a solid spruce top, and modern features that I want like electronics, cut-away body, tapered neck, truss rod adjustable neck. Played easier than the already easy to play nylon string guitars. I didn't have time to get the model number, but checked it out briefly.
Had a discount price of $300 new which is not too bad for all those features. It's the one. :thumbsup:

TeeEye7
11-17-2008, 12:31 AM
Had a discount price of $300 new which is not too bad for all those features. It's the one. :thumbsup:

Nice find!

TeeEye7
07-07-2009, 03:49 AM
*BUMP!*

Hey, Tycho! Looky here! Here's some really good help from your fellow SSGers.