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Acoustic guitars

Discussion in 'off topic' started by Tony L, Aug 26, 2018.

  1. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I’m toying with the idea of buying a nicer acoustic guitar, though have no idea what at this stage. I’m a pretty terrible guitarist by any measure (entirely self taught, all the bad habits etc, I could teach bad habits), but I love just quietly noodling around and tend to play my electric for half an hour to an hour most days. I never get much better but it is an enjoyable part of the day!

    I do have an acoustic, a cheap Epiphone AJ10 that is actually surprisingly good considering it only cost about £100 twenty or so years ago. My main issue is it is a jumbo, and that’s rather bigger than is comfortable to sit with and certainly far louder than I need (it is far louder than I play my electric). I have a feeling what I want is a ‘parlour’ guitar, or maybe even a nylon strung classical. Just something really nice to play, but fairly small in body size and quiet for home noodling about (never gigging). Definitely don’t want anything with any electrics etc. Just a really nice simple little acoustic.

    No real budget as such, though if fairly expensive I’d want it to hold its value well, i.e. happy to consider the lower-end of US-made Taylors, Martins etc. I guess the real question is ‘parlour’ vs. classical vs. something else?
  2. Whaleblue

    Whaleblue Southbound

    Classical guitars have a much wider fretboard, so I’d avoid that if not specifically looking to play classical.

    I have a 1-series Taylor, and it’s a really nice guitar, well made (in their well run Mexico factory). It’s solid top, but the back and sides are “layered”. Not a problem unless your funny about “not all solid wood”!
  3. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

  4. windhoek

    windhoek The Phoolosopher

    My mate's 16-year old daughter just bought a Taylor Academy 10 after spending a couple of hours looking at a range of slightly smaller guitars from a guitar shop here in Glasgow and apparently, she knew within 60 seconds of playing it that that was the one she - her dad - would be buying. I use a Taylor Big Baby myself and the playability is off the charts :)
  5. richgilb

    richgilb Admonishtrator

    Nylon string all the way! I have two cheap learner Yamaha ones, a full size and three quarter size. I much prefer the slightly muted / warm strum sound and wider fret for my sausage fingers. Really light too.

    I reckon all tindersticks acoustic strum tracks are done with nylon string guitars
  6. robert_cyrus

    robert_cyrus ID should now be "robert_naim"

  7. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Am I right in thinking ‘parlour’ is a standard scale length/neck width with a smaller body and a ‘travel guitar’ is often a shorter scale/narrower width?

    The wider neck of a classical isn’t necessarily an issue - I’d likely spend most of my noodling time trying to find interesting open jazz chords up the neck etc rather than rock barre chords etc. I’m also a bass player so the wider string spacing may even be a bonus in some respects. I’m assuming there is a point in the range that Yanaha classical guitars are still made in Japan rather than outsourced, and those would be a genuinely good guitar. Other than Yamaha I’d not know where to start with classical guitars!

    I’ve not played a classical guitar since a friend had one back at school so I’ve really no idea here, but I rather like the idea of a proper one and spending the rest of my life gradually growing into it. Something very honest and unpretentious about it as an instrument, and volume-wise far more what I’m after.
  8. eternumviti

    eternumviti pfm Member

    Very slick the way there is now an ad for Taylor guitars along the bottom of the page.

    I'm a dreadful player, but I love guitars. Taylors are quite punchy as I remember, not always quiet, they play beautifully

    I've got a beautiful guitar handmade by Alister Atkin in Canterbury. It is completely wasted on me, but I love it.

  9. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    You need to go to a shop a try some - but you know that anyway ;)
  10. richgilb

    richgilb Admonishtrator

    Friends for life too. My full size is totally battered
  11. HairyHaggis

    HairyHaggis <((((º>`•.¸¸.•´¯`•.¸.•´¯`•...¸><((((º>¸.

    i went in to a shop 20 years ago for a martin and came out with a taylor 810 ltd ed. also have a baby taylor. they really are good guitars. maybe have a look at the ga ones
  12. Cheese

    Cheese Bitter lover

    Yamaha C40 might be the best selling acoustic guitar for beginners. Ultra cheap but solid build quality, a Ramirez sounds better of course but it’s still excellent value. Surprisingly Yamaha’s tend to require large hands, but I suppose this isn’t a problem for the bass player you are. My favourite brand is Hanika and I am on the verge of ordering one for my old days.

    When I begun playing guitar I intended to play folk and blues stuff, but recently I switched back to classical and it looks like it’s going to remain that way. Playing a classical guitar feels like butter, for me the greatest thing is to produce a beautiful sound, and I still believe that fingers can paint a lot more colors than a pick.

    As a steel strung I bought a Sigma Chinese copy of a Martin 00 in full mahogany, a lovely thing if you can live with a copy. Great playability but the Taylor Baby might top it.

    I nearly bought a Seagull parlor guitar for its lovely sound, but the third time I tried it (and with the money ready in my wallet) I finally found out that I might tire of it due to its limited range of sound colors. Size isn’t there for nothing.
    kevinrt likes this.
  13. stephen bennett

    stephen bennett Mr Enigma

    Taylor’s are great. Like you Tony, guitar isn’t my first instrument (though I have about 10!) I have a 6 and 12 string-I also went in with the idea of a Martin. Eminently playable and record really well too.

  14. david ellwood

    david ellwood Kirabosi Kognoscente

    Try playing a seagull s6.
  15. matthewr

    matthewr spɹɐʍʞɔɐq spɹoɔǝɹ ɹnoʎ sʎɐld

  16. RickyC6

    RickyC6 Infuriate the frog-men

    This. I’ve had one for 15 years. A lovely thing and should meet your size requirements. Some friends of mine who are very good players prefer them to Martins.
  17. david ellwood

    david ellwood Kirabosi Kognoscente

    I didn’t realise they had a reputation until I tried looking around for something better, and couldn’t find anything!
  18. JTC

    JTC PFM Villager...

    I’m rather partial to a Gibson J45: easy to find used, holds its value and has a very playable nature. For fear of igniting a flame-war, let’s call it the Naim of acoustic guitars...
  19. monkfish

    monkfish pfm Member

  20. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Thanks for the responses so far, some interesting stuff to digest. I did a little research on Hanika and if I decide to go for a nylon classical guitar their lower ranges (up to say £1.2k, maybe a bit more) would be a contender. As stated earlier I don’t object to paying reasonably decent money for something I hope to own for the rest of my life. I watched a few YouTube videos yesterday evening and they look and sound stunning, though with the huge caveat of being played by extraordinarily talented classical guitarists who have right hand picking techniques so beyond my powers of comprehension I don’t even understand the question. I need to find a video of one being played by someone who has no classical sensibilities whatsoever, i.e. do they sound nice with a more folk/pop/jazz technique or are you just wasting a beautiful instrument?

    I have some biases when it comes to guitars (and hi-fi) in that I really don’t like the idea of owning stuff made with cheap labour in less prosperous areas of the world. I’m forced to do this with computers etc as there are no alternatives, I don’t have sufficient interest in clothing not to, but with guitars and hi-fi I want to be buying stuff made by properly paid craftsmen. My existing Epiphone AJ10 acoustic is a prime example, it really is a surprisingly good guitar, great action (I’m good at setting guitars up which helps), nice finish and it only cost £100 new about twenty years ago. You can not make a nice guitar for £100 - just the nice closed back machine heads should cost £40-50 or so, and then there’s a fiver for the strings plus the profit for the shop! It is just not possible to make a guitar like that without seriously exploiting people and I’m conscious of that whenever I pick it up. As such if I buy a new acoustic I want a proper US Martin or Taylor, Japanese Yamaha, German Hanika, something like that. If Seagull are still made in Canada they are a contender too.

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