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View Full Version : Best guitar under $2,000?


joshan
07-07-2010, 12:38 AM
Hi there. I'm looking to upgrade from my Ibanez acoustic electric guitar. I currently play for my youth church praise band at the moment and hope to move onto larger musical goals.
I plug into the PA system.

I am looking at two guitars at the moment.

1. Martin 000c-16rgte Aura

2. Larrivee LV-03RE

I mainly strum and finger pick once in a while.

Which would be my best bet?

Thanks in advance!

Chicago Sandy
07-07-2010, 02:00 AM
I'd go with the Martin. Forum member UncleDizzy61 has one--and he now alternates it in his shows with his vintage D-41. I was very impressed by the tone, playability and built-in tuner (as well as the Aura system's sound profiles). My singing partner has a Larrivee L-03 (the sapele/Sitka version) which he now uses for fingerpicking (he bought a Taylor 310ce for strumming). It's nice, but the Martin is much more versatile (and prettier).

Bltprf502
07-07-2010, 04:01 AM
Hmmm... Thats a tough one. The Larrivee if you can find one used (you should be able to) is a great guitar. Even if you get one without electronics you can out in what you want. I like the Martin 16 series too... I actually have a D-16GT and a C-03R (which is an L body) Both great guitars. If you can play before you buy.

Michael T
07-07-2010, 04:24 AM
You should be under budget with either a LV-09 (rosewood) or LV-05 (mahogany), check with Jim Holler (phone or e-mail, but give him a little time to respond, he is a builder as well as having a brick & mortar). http://www.trinityguitars.com/steelstr/frame.htm

He carries both Martin and Larrivee as well as a couple others too and is as honest as the day is long. Although there have been a ton of the 03 series satin finish models sold out there the 09 & 05 "L's" are Jean's flagships and of course get the bit of bling with the gloss and better tuners etc, but being his trademark design you can be assured the woods and attention to detail is a bit closer scrutinized as well. The "LV" denotes the cutaway and I would highly suggest you buy without electronics or have Jim install the system of your choice, things in today's world change quickly, especially in electronics, and you'll likely get a better system having it hand installed and tweaked by someone who knows what they are doing without chunking out the side of the guitar too.

When comparing the models be sure and have them put the same medium gauge strings on both and keep in mind the action can be adjusted to your specs, don't be shy, it's a lot of money and you should take your time and compare as closely as possible, most stores won't hesitate to change them out for you but even if you need to throw a 20 dollar bill on the table do it.

I am a Larrivee fan so I lean that direction, my one son is a Martin boy and goes that way, & the other is a Gibson player so family get together's are interesting. I will say both want to play dad's Larrivee when they come over though. :D

Cue Zephyr
07-07-2010, 05:20 AM
I'd go with the Larrivee. Although I am not sure whether I'd like the electronics.

SuperB23
07-07-2010, 06:57 AM
Occationally you can find a used Santa Cruz in that price range some may have pickups and some don't but one could be easily added. I used a SC D/PW as my main guitar for worship for years. They sound great!!!

Alex W
07-07-2010, 09:37 AM
How much bang for the buck you get depends on how patient you are. This applies to finding a good used guitar, or new guitars on sale or clearance.

For 2K you should be able to buy a new Martin D-18. That is a guitar to keep for a lifetime IMO.

If I were shopping for an -03 series Larrivee I would expect to come in a good bit under $2,000, especially if looking at used guitars. I would expect to come in under $1500 in fact. For ~2K I would look for nice used examples of Larrivee 05 or 09 series, or their traditional designs in the -50 (http://elderly.com/vintage/names/larrivee-000-50-%28recent%29--20U-12929.htm) and -60 (http://elderly.com/vintage/names/larrivee-000-60-%28recent%29--20U-12305.htm) series.

joshan
07-07-2010, 09:56 AM
hmmm. I haven't really played the LV-03RE though. Cause at Sam Ash the strings were broken on the guitar :lol:

However, I did email the man Jim Holler and I'm awaiting for his reply.

I have never played the 09 or 05 series, though I've heard very high respects toward them.

I also hear that -03 series are mainly for fingerpicking? not sure :confused:

cke
07-07-2010, 11:02 AM
The Larrivee's are all constructed the same way, differing in appointments and wood grade. The -03's play and sound the same as the -05's. -09's. -10's etc. They strum and finger-pick beautifully. No worry there. I prefer the glossy models overall, but that is an aesthetic choice.

I love Martin's -18's up and more especially the Vintage and Golden Era types. I was going to buy a Martin or Santa Cruz when I found my first Larrivee and fell in love with their sound.

I too would go with "No Cut" electronics.

2K should allow you good choices. Best is always to audition many.
Good luck

Edit: The L body Larrivee sounds like a big OM, and will have much more bass authority. Very versatile covering both the OM and D roles ;)

Alex W
07-07-2010, 11:10 AM
The 03 series in general represent guitars that for the most part have mahogany backs & sides, minimal bling, and satin finishes. The -03 designation doesn't really imply anything about the style of play. They also make rosewood-bodied 03 guitars that have a desgnation -03R.

05 series Larrivees have mahogany back & sides with gloss finish and generally fancier appointments. There will be fancier inlay work for example.

09 series Larrivees have rosewood back & sides and are fancier just like the 05 series.

10 series have even more bling factor than the 05 and 09 guitars.

Larrivee also has another line of guitars that are, in a nutshell, more traditional designs reminiscent of older Martin designs. Ths applies to their body shapes and also the aesthetic approach, with details like herringbone trim. The "traditional" series is divided in -50 and -60 variations, representing mahogany and rosewood bodies, respectively.

http://www.larrivee.com/instruments/acoustics/index.php

Your budget is certainly sufficient to get fine guitar worthy of long-term ownership. You may want to augment it with additional guitars over time, as *ahem* some of us do from time to time, but for 2 grand you should be able to find a keeper, not to mention something that will blow your Ibanez out of the water.

The additional angle of electronics will add some more cost, or else reduce the quality of guitar that you can get for the same money. Personally, I would rather get the best guitar I could without electronics and then if I wanted to, add some sort of pickup later. Your church may be able to provide you with a mic so that you can amplify a guitar that has no pickup.

Fatstrat
07-07-2010, 01:20 PM
Whatever you decide to buy, MAKE SURE you go to a store that has MORE THAN ONE to sample. I went to GC yesterday and played 3 different Martin D-16's. All three sounded different. And only one sounded good to me.

joshan
07-07-2010, 01:51 PM
Thanks a lot everyone for your helpful tips. Especially FatStrat. I never knew the same models can sound so differently T_T

This forum actually helped me out A LOT! Thanks a BUNCH.

Although the Martin is beautiful aesthetically and musically, I would most likely go with Alex W's statement of getting an acoustic and adding pickups. I'm still not sure. Hopefully SamAsh has the 000c-16rgte at their store and they changed their strings on the LV-03RE :roll:

I will surely add pictures whenever I get the chance to do so.

Happy playing!

talonted
07-07-2010, 03:51 PM
have you checked out the new Breedlove American Series guitars? I'd for sure give one a look in that price range.

rzbkfan
07-07-2010, 09:17 PM
I would go with the Larrivee....but that is just me. I have a very hard time with a guitar that has a micarta fretboard (Martin) in this price range, but I am also a Larrivee owner.

Best of luck........let your ears decide.:D

Alex W
07-07-2010, 09:29 PM
I would go with the Larrivee....but that is just me. I have a very hard time with a guitar that has a micarta fretboard (Martin) in this price range, but I am also a Larrivee owner.

Best of luck........let your ears decide.:D

It bears repeating that the minimum advertised price of a Martin D-18 is within the OP's stated budget. I don't understand why everyone is talking about guitars with micarta fingerboards and whatnot.

cadam5150
07-08-2010, 02:41 AM
Have you tried Martin D-16RGT yet? I think many people would agree that Martin gets better exponentially with age. After a few years of playing, the D-16RGT will open up and sings like a bird. I have one that behaved just like that.;)

akustic
07-08-2010, 03:37 AM
Furch.......;)

revive
07-08-2010, 08:42 AM
I would go for a used Santa Cruz or Collings or Martin GE / Vintage.

ovangkol bill
07-08-2010, 11:58 AM
Martin's OM-21 should also fit your budget. They are wonderful instruments.

DLeeWebb
07-08-2010, 01:49 PM
Check out the Taylor 414ce 2009 Fall Limiteds...Guitar Rodeo

joshan
07-08-2010, 05:26 PM
I am officially going with the Martin. D-18's are wonderful guitars ! But, I don't think the dreadnought body is nice to my feeling. my opinion. but they do play nice :D

Michael T
07-09-2010, 01:51 AM
"LV09" Larrivee:

http://www.larrivee.com/instruments/acoustics/09/LV09.php

Dovetail mahogany neck, eboney fretboard and Jean Larrivee's impecable rep for picking woods and will still be street priced within budget. I don't know if S.A. or big box stores will be but call Jim Holler or e-mail him. Great prices and if you take the time to visit with him about your styyle and wants I can assure you I've had near if not perfect set ups from him (he builds classicals as well).

http://www.trinityguitars.com/steelstr/frame.htm

$ongWriter
07-09-2010, 08:31 AM
Hi there. I'm looking to upgrade from my Ibanez acoustic electric guitar. I currently play for my youth church praise band at the moment and hope to move onto larger musical goals.
I plug into the PA system.

I am looking at two guitars at the moment.

1. Martin 000c-16rgte Aura

2. Larrivee LV-03RE

I mainly strum and finger pick once in a while.

Which would be my best bet?

Thanks in advance!
I'd open my list...right now there are some deals out there. There is a killer Webber mini jumbo that is well under your $2000 here on the forum. If you've never played a Webber it will blow away either of those guitars...not even close!....Plus, there are alot of used Taylors forsale. Guess what I'm saying is it's a great time to buy. I'd go used and get much much more guitar for the money!!...might even have a couple hundred bucks left over!

crispy
07-09-2010, 08:42 AM
I have the Martin 000-16RGTE Aura. It's a great guitar and sounds even better plugged in.

Nothing wrong with Micarta. It's just not wood and some people can't deal with that.

But try both out, I can guarantee you will know which one you prefer, and after all that is the only thing that matters.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdrKMr9SHo0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-5vdRzDEco

billm67
07-09-2010, 10:56 AM
I had an OM-03r that I played in church quite a bit. I put an undersaddle BBand pickup in it and it was a great sounding guitar. I got many compliments on the tone of the guitar(including from the owner of the acoustic design company that designed the 4000 seat sancturary...he said he had to come down and see what the guitar was). I also had an SPD-16RGT with a fishman active pickup put in it. If you are playing live through a PA...the OM-03 is an easier to control guitar. The OM body doesn't tend to feedback as quickly (just my opinion...YMMV). To make a long story short....if I had the opportunity to buy either guitar back....I would buy the Larrivee back....but I wouldn't trade it for my Taylor 214.

cpabolting
07-09-2010, 11:03 AM
Nothing wrong with Micarta. It's just not wood and some people can't deal with that.



Not sure there is much right with Micarta. I would include that with HPL in the big category of formica for guitars.