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View Full Version : What's the best mass built acoustic guitar for under £2000? ($3000) (in your opinion)


jackcooper
04-20-2010, 06:01 PM
I've decided to buy another acoustic guitar this summer(hard decision;)), and I reckon about £2000 (about $3000) is my limit.

I don't have any decent guitar stores locally (no local stores are stocking the upper range models due to the global slump) so am planning a trip down south to spend the day moving between guitar shops trying guitars until the sun goes down.

I already have my heart set on either a nice Martin or Gibson but I'd appreciate any advice or opinions on which particular guitar you guys and girls would look out for (or go for) in this price range.

I would define my playing style as
40% flatpicker----40% strummer----20% fingerpicker.;)

Cheers.

Jack.:)

TaylorKoaFan
04-20-2010, 06:11 PM
If you want a Martin, get a Martin. But for that kind of money, you are well into the used market for a small shop guitar. That is the route I'd go if I were in your position.

jackcooper
04-20-2010, 06:14 PM
If you want a Martin, get a Martin. But for that kind of money, you are well into the used market for a small shop guitar. That is the route I'd go if I were in your position.

Sorry for my noobyness, but what do you mean by a small shop guitar?

PastorSteve
04-20-2010, 06:27 PM
Hand's down - Martin.

TaylorKoaFan
04-20-2010, 06:31 PM
Sorry for my noobyness, but what do you mean by a small shop guitar?

I see the title of your thread is the "best mass produced guitar"... a small shop guitar is built by a luthier (or small team of luthiers) that generally produce around 500 guitars annually rather than 50,000+. This provides for greater consistency and attention to detail in each individual guitar. Typically, they would also thickness the top to the individual piece of wood rather than simply a "standard" thickness for all tops of that species.

Doesn't guarantee a better guitar, but that's where I'd put my money if I were betting. Names that come to mind are Collings, Bourgeois, Santa Cruz, Froggy Bottom... all excellent builders with different tonal qualities.

Were you specifically looking for a mass produced guitar?

ljguitar
04-20-2010, 06:36 PM
...Names that come to mind are Collings, Bourgeois, Santa Cruz, Froggy Bottom... all excellent builders with different tonal qualities.
Hi TKF…
Huss & Dalton, Morris, Goodall, Avalon, Eastman...

NewMartinFan
04-20-2010, 06:38 PM
In that price range, I think a Martin OM-28V is pretty tough to beat.

jackcooper
04-20-2010, 06:39 PM
I see the title of your thread is the "best mass produced guitar"... a small shop guitar is built by a luthier (or small team of luthiers) that generally produce around 500 guitars annually rather than 50,000+. This provides for greater consistency and attention to detail in each individual guitar. Typically, they would also thickness the top to the individual piece of wood rather than simply a "standard" thickness for all tops of that species.

Doesn't guarantee a better guitar, but that's where I'd put my money if I were betting. Names that come to mind are Collings, Bourgeois, Santa Cruz, Froggy Bottom... all excellent builders with different tonal qualities.

Were you specifically looking for a mass produced guitar?

Not necessarily, just meant that I would rather buy from a shop than get one custom built, although I will look out for those names you mentioned in the used section:)

ljguitar
04-20-2010, 06:48 PM
Not necessarily, just meant that I would rather buy from a shop than get one custom built, although I will look out for those names you mentioned in the used section:)
Hi jack…
Have you looked through the classifieds here?

I bet your pound will go further...

Pitar
04-20-2010, 06:50 PM
Once I've owned the best example of each available guitar and played it to the experienced level I'll post my very best and unbiased opinion here.

mmasters
04-20-2010, 06:51 PM
For 3K you could get a used guitar in the for sale section (that would cost 5-7K new) and it will hold its value better.

jackcooper
04-20-2010, 06:53 PM
Hi jack…
Have you looked through the classifieds here?

I bet your pound will go further...



For some reason (pretty dumb I know), I always assume that guitars in the classified section are being sold because they're not up to scratch.

I really shouldn't be so narrow minded, but I would only sell something on if it wasn't good, so I always assume it's like that for everyone.

Thanks for your advice though, I will have a look.

mmasters
04-20-2010, 07:09 PM
For some reason (pretty dumb I know), I always assume that guitars in the classified section are being sold because they're not up to scratch.

I really shouldn't be so narrow minded, but I would only sell something on if it wasn't good, so I always assume it's like that for everyone.

Thanks for your advice though, I will have a look.
There's always that but in an economy like this prize pieces come out too.

Bingoccc
04-20-2010, 07:59 PM
H D 2 8 or H D 3 5................

Misifus
04-20-2010, 08:09 PM
If your trip down South includes Nashville, there are several music stores there (Gruhn, Cotton, Guitar Gal & others) which would let you try any number of wonderful guitars in that price range. Pick the one that floats your boat.

-Raf

cke
04-20-2010, 10:20 PM
The Larrivee's -05, and -09 series

sfden1
04-20-2010, 10:53 PM
For some reason (pretty dumb I know), I always assume that guitars in the classified section are being sold because they're not up to scratch.

I really shouldn't be so narrow minded, but I would only sell something on if it wasn't good, so I always assume it's like that for everyone.

Thanks for your advice though, I will have a look.

Jack, in the last few months I sold 5 guitars. All were terrific, and not being "up to scratch" had nothing to do with my selling them. Part was a need to raise some cash, part was the desire to cut back to bare (and reasonable ) needs. Fact is, I had too many, and too much cash tied up in guitars.

So when you peruse those ads in the classifieds, keep in mind that there are a lot of reasons for people to sell some very good guitars, especially in this economy, and it can mean a very good deal for you.

Of the two makers you mention, the HD28 is the quintessential Martin, the J-45 the quintessential Gibson. That doesn't necessarily mean that those models are the best for those particular manufacturer's, but they are iconic, and both can be had for below your maximum amount.

That said, if I were in your shoes, and I were looking for a dread style guitar, I would look for a used J-45 TV. Sloped shouldered jumbo guitar goodness, and very suitable for what you describe. I'm not familiar with the prices of used Martin dreads, but I liked the Martin D-18A I got to check out recently. Very nice guitar, though a bit bass heavy for my taste, but that's just personal, and it may not have been typical of the model.

On the somewhat smaller body front, I just bought a used Santa Cruz OM/PW (rosewood b/s OM body with forward shifted pre-war Martin style bracing). It's an incredibly versatile guitar, and I highly recommend it. Good enough in fact that I rarely pick up the dread anymore. Used ones can be had for roughly 2/3 of your max. budget.

wcap
04-20-2010, 11:01 PM
The used small shop guitar suggestion is good. Personally, I have a Goodall that I love (lots more than your price range new, but maybe in your price range used?). Another name to possibly add to your list (for used instruments) is Lowden (nice nice guitars).

But my first thought was a Martin. You can get a darn nice Martin new in that price range (some of the ones I've played in this price range have been better than most small shop guitars I have played, in my personal opinion), and used you could get into some even higher end Martins. These better quality Martins are simply stunningly nice instruments in some cases.

patticake
04-20-2010, 11:08 PM
there is no best - just best for each player's preferences and needs.

if it were me with no restriction i'd go with a j-45 for a dread, an eastman AC822 for an om. used, a goodall gc if i could find one in that price range. acoustic electric? maybe an ovation al dimeola. small? i'd go with a blackbird rider or a blueridge br-341, which are both well below your price range but i really like how both guitars sound.

best overall for me would probably be the eastman if i couldn't find the goodall.

bkharmony
04-20-2010, 11:13 PM
Hard to know what KIND of guitar you're looking for, but if I had $3000 toi spend, and I knew what I know now, I'd look at the following:

1. Gibson J-200
2. Gibson J-45 Custom Shop (don't bother with the standard)
3. Taylor GS (depends on your wood preference, but the GS8 is quite popular)
4. Used Goodall

I'm unabashedly under the Goodall spell right now, so I'd go with number 4, but it all depends on what you want. Although I think Goodall makes the most amazing guitars ever, they are only one style in the acoustic tone matrix.

Fliss
04-20-2010, 11:57 PM
Since the price quoted was in £ sterling first, would I be right in guessing you're in the UK? If so, by down south, perhaps you mean London and the South East region?

If that's the case, I recommend checking out Ivor Mairants in London as well as the shops in Denmark Street. Further afield, there's AGF sponsor The Acoustic Music Company (Tamco) in Brighton which is excellent and well worth a visit. They don't generally stock the mass-produced makes but focus on hand-made acoustics. Also in the same part of the world is Guitar Junction in Worthing.

I can also suggest some good shops to try "oop north" if that's more local for you!

Fliss

ljguitar
04-21-2010, 01:39 PM
Since the price quoted was in £ sterling first, would I be right in guessing you're in the UK? If so, by down south, perhaps you mean London and the South East region?
Hi Fliss…
I was hoping someone from across the pond would chime in...

brianmay
04-21-2010, 02:35 PM
DING DONG !

There are some GREAT guitar shops oop north (there speaks a danged southerner who's made the North his home).

That budget's perfect. My Martin 000-28 and my D-28 were both less than your budget. For me, it had to be new (just a personal thing).

arie
04-21-2010, 03:09 PM
3k can get you 1 great guitar, 2 good guitars or 3 to 4 cheapo's. Let your ears and fingers decide.