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  #1  
Old 03-06-2012, 12:01 AM
hotpocket hotpocket is offline
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Default Seagull S6 Review

Bought and played around with an S6 and I figured I'd write a short review in case someone was looking to buy one.

Retail $399, but can be had new for around $350 with a coupon or on ebay. Solid cedar top, laminate wild cherry b/s.

Sound: Can be kind of dull due to cedar characteristics. Honestly, it's kind of a unique sound, and it can sound poor when compared directly to other guitars side by side. I feel like this is out of expectation. Spruce dominates in quantity, however there is something about the S6's sound. Seems like a love or hate thing to me. The sound really grew on me and I've grown to love it. It is not a very complex sound. The bass is a little boxy, and the highs are a little bright, but **** for $399 it sounds good to me. Excels very well in fingerstyle play. Strumming is okay. Sustain is decent for this price point. She can get loud too. 7.5/10

Feel: 1.8" nut width fellas. Be aware on that. The neck is chunky, but feels really good to me. I have a little smaller than average hands if that gives you any reference. Unless you have baby hands, it shouldn't matter, and you should be able to adapt easily and quickly. The fretboard is rosewoood, and feels nice and has a very quick response. The guitar feels heavy, and it is overbuilt, but that isn't really unexpected in any sub $500 guitar. I could be wrong on this, but I believe Seagull dreadnoughts are a tad tinier than most dreadnoughts. Either way, it is fairly comfortable. No complaints. Also, this is a short scale guitar, making it extremely comfortable to play. My favorite feature on this guitar. 8.5/10

Fit/finish: Good for the price point. Inside was clean, action a little high, but easily changeable, fairly plain, yet attractive look. Built on the heavy side. 7/10

Overall, I feel like the S6 is an amazing beginner guitar, or a definite worthy additional guitar. If you're looking for a pro level guitar, look elsewhere. But for $399, I feel like it's hard to beat the S6. I'm a fan of the headstock and the finish which makes it even better for me. I've also played some Seagull Maritimes and I have to say I was unimpressed with the sound quality in accordance with the price bump. The S6 is what Seagull is known for, however, and for good reason. It is a very reasonable buy, and if you're in the market for a guitar around the $300-$400 mark you should look to Seagull.

8/10

There's the review for anyone who might care... feel free to ask questions or correct me on anything if need be.
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Old 03-06-2012, 04:33 AM
naolslager naolslager is offline
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Good review. Thanks. I concur with the lack of return on investment for the SWS series.
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:02 AM
cjd-player cjd-player is offline
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I agree with your assessment. I used to have the folk cutaway version. A very plain, simple sound - no richness or complexity. Yes, it could be loud, but not very responsive to changes in dynamics. Seemed like I had to play at or above a sort of minimum force level to make the top respond. Not bad for an inexpensive guitar. Well made but not one I wanted to spend a lot of time with. A good campfire guitar.
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:19 AM
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Thank you for the great review! A setup by a talented Luthier does wonders. A bone nut and saddle and some good strings and you have quite the beginners guitar which is easy to resell should the person not have Guitar DNA ! I think it comes with their TRIC case which is quite a cool case. At this price point you certainly get a lot of bang for your buck...
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:39 AM
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Great review ! I think it's a very balanced opinion.

In the past I read some S6 reviews that portraited it as the Holy Graal of guitars...
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:13 AM
jeffsanders jeffsanders is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjd-player View Post
I agree with your assessment. I used to have the folk cutaway version. A very plain, simple sound - no richness or complexity. Yes, it could be loud, but not very responsive to changes in dynamics. Seemed like I had to play at or above a sort of minimum force level to make the top respond. Not bad for an inexpensive guitar. Well made but not one I wanted to spend a lot of time with. A good campfire guitar.
Exactly how I feel about it. At that price point, I'd choose a Yamaha all day long. Just me though.
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:26 AM
ANeat ANeat is offline
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Having had a S6 I would agree, great guitar for the price. To me the wide neck was the deal maker, love the wider neck.

Although you can get a slim neck model if thats what you like
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:51 AM
cyclistbrian cyclistbrian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotpocket View Post
Bought and played around with an S6 and I figured I'd write a short review in case someone was looking to buy one.

Retail $399, but can be had new for around $350 with a coupon or on ebay. Solid cedar top, laminate wild cherry b/s.

Sound: Can be kind of dull due to cedar characteristics. Honestly, it's kind of a unique sound, and it can sound poor when compared directly to other guitars side by side. I feel like this is out of expectation. Spruce dominates in quantity, however there is something about the S6's sound. Seems like a love or hate thing to me. The sound really grew on me and I've grown to love it. It is not a very complex sound. The bass is a little boxy, and the highs are a little bright, but **** for $399 it sounds good to me. Excels very well in fingerstyle play. Strumming is okay. Sustain is decent for this price point. She can get loud too. 7.5/10

Feel: 1.8" nut width fellas. Be aware on that. The neck is chunky, but feels really good to me. I have a little smaller than average hands if that gives you any reference. Unless you have baby hands, it shouldn't matter, and you should be able to adapt easily and quickly. The fretboard is rosewoood, and feels nice and has a very quick response. The guitar feels heavy, and it is overbuilt, but that isn't really unexpected in any sub $500 guitar. I could be wrong on this, but I believe Seagull dreadnoughts are a tad tinier than most dreadnoughts. Either way, it is fairly comfortable. No complaints. Also, this is a short scale guitar, making it extremely comfortable to play. My favorite feature on this guitar. 8.5/10

Fit/finish: Good for the price point. Inside was clean, action a little high, but easily changeable, fairly plain, yet attractive look. Built on the heavy side. 7/10

Overall, I feel like the S6 is an amazing beginner guitar, or a definite worthy additional guitar. If you're looking for a pro level guitar, look elsewhere. But for $399, I feel like it's hard to beat the S6. I'm a fan of the headstock and the finish which makes it even better for me. I've also played some Seagull Maritimes and I have to say I was unimpressed with the sound quality in accordance with the price bump. The S6 is what Seagull is known for, however, and for good reason. It is a very reasonable buy, and if you're in the market for a guitar around the $300-$400 mark you should look to Seagull.

8/10

There's the review for anyone who might care... feel free to ask questions or correct me on anything if need be.
Good review. I've had a Seagull Entourage Mini Jumbo and an Art and Luthurie cedar topped dread over the years. I think the cedar topped models from the various Godin brands are at their best when played with finger picks. There's a built in sweetness to the guitar tone and when you combine that with the tone and added volume of metal finger picks you really have something.
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:37 PM
hotpocket hotpocket is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braxton View Post
Great review ! I think it's a very balanced opinion.

In the past I read some S6 reviews that portraited it as the Holy Graal of guitars...
Yeah, to be honest I was even a little generous with the review.

There are some crazy Seagull fans out there. Don't really get why... Good guitars, but nothing to jump up and down about.
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:39 PM
mseso mseso is offline
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I wouldn't agree S6 Original Cedar is beginner guitar. Why so many people are saying that? It is nonsense. I play for 40 years, I have some expensive guitars, but I have Seagull S6 also. If S6 is beginner guitar, than after 40 years I am also beginner and Martin D-41 and DC Aura are also beginner guitars.
Seagull S6 is special because of cedar sound and cedar fast agging. Cedar is warm. I couldn't find laminate guitar with solid spruce top which sound would remind me (well, at least a little) on Martin sound like S6. Again, it is not rosewood Martin, it does not have so strong basses, but it is warm. Some would say mutted.
Yes, I like "mutted" guitars like MArtins or Seagull. You put on bone saddle with right action and new Elixirs nano PB and you will see how it sounds.
So, people who didn't do that and didn't give S6 chance to age a little can't speak about it. They don't know the truth about it.
Cedar ages 5-10 times faster than spruce and you can feel that every day. I play it very much and almost every day and use it for practicing or for parties, singing with friends or so. Great guitar for that - warm, strong, durable, great for singing after beers. Spruce top laminated guitars couldn't make enought warm sound for me after my Martins. Well, maybe mine is special, maybe bacuse I bought it new in storen and had possibility to choose between few guitars.
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Old 03-06-2012, 02:06 PM
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There are a lot of us out here for sure!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hotpocket View Post
Yeah, to be honest I was even a little generous with the review.

There are some crazy Seagull fans out there. Don't really get why... Good guitars, but nothing to jump up and down about.
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Old 03-06-2012, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
mseso I wouldn't agree S6 Original Cedar is beginner guitar. Why so many people are saying that?
It's a class affiliation thing. Here's the deal as I see it....

In class A you have this reality:
Musical instruments are casual recreation with a tiny sliver of "the dream" of getting really good and making it big. They are like basketballs in that.
$100 is a lot of money. Several times what a basketball costs.

In that world, a $350 instrument is a vast luxury. If you look at it in terms of fractions of salary, that is half the monthly take-home pay of some workers.

That's why retail stores in the US typically have more guitars that cost under $300 than over.

In class B you have this reality:
Music is a shockingly inexpensive hobby. Compared to boating, flying, travel, photography, or just about anything else you are likely to do, music is cheap. It has no "future" but you can spend as much as you want on it and you won't come close to the per-hour cost of learning to fly or sailing even a 30' sailboat.

In that world $350 is a day or so of take home pay, if that. It's money that can be spent on a whim without any change in lifestyle or bottom line. It represents a good minimum starting point for a guitar...yeah, you can spend less, but why bother when you won't notice the difference in your finances? (Just to scale things: A Seagull guitar costs as much as a SINGLE lesson on how to fly an airplane can....)

That's why there are so many "diminishing returns" guitars... instruments that cost north of $1000 but are no better than $300 instruments.

Threading through all of that you have the pro musicians... teachers, salespeople, local gigging musicians, and so on who both benefit from (there is no way Seagull-level guitars would cost as little as they cost if Godin didn't sell tons of them) and are harmed (high end prices pushed up, a flood of junk and gimicky stuff to sort through at all levels) by the rest of the market.


So if you take an S6, for some it's a high end luxury item, for some it's a minimal starter instrument, and for some it's a professional tool. All views are correct even though they are contradictory.

Last edited by him; 03-06-2012 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 03-06-2012, 02:41 PM
catdaddy catdaddy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotpocket View Post
Sound: Can be kind of dull due to cedar characteristics... The bass is a little boxy, and the highs are a little bright...
A nice review by the OP and one that as an S6 owner I agree with for the most part.

I do question the 'dull' characterization though. I think describing the bass as 'boxy' and the highs as 'a little bright' is spot on. One of the reasons that I like the S6 so much for blues and ragtime is that it does have that bluesy boxy bass; and for a flesh only fingerpicker (like myself) the bright highs tend to be focused and project well. Those tonal characteristics may not be everyone's cup of tea but 'dull' is not the word I would use to describe it.

Having said that, I want to commend hotpocket for a very enjoyable and well thought out review!
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Old 03-06-2012, 02:41 PM
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Default Seagull S6 Review

Good review. The more of the S6 guitars I run across, the more I find they made running changes in the guitars that sometimes made real differences in them.

My current S6 Mahogany has a mahogany back and sides, cedar top (I think. Too dark for spruce, doesn't match he rest of the guitar), and the lightest color rosewood fretboard and bridge I've seen. Has an L.R. Baggs electronics pickup. This one has the seagulls on the frets, 1.8" nut, and is a short scale guitar like my 00-15M Martin.

Nice for fingerpicking, and spent a lot of its life in the church choir, as well as banging out those old Delta Blues!

Dunno if it's all solid wood or not, but I think the bass is a bit deeper than the wild cherry ones I've had in the past. Nothing scientific going on there though.
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:48 PM
Dafiryde Dafiryde is offline
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i am presentle in the process of changing my strings on my s6 and the saddle fell out of the bridge groove, it can go in both ways but not sure which way is correct
please help

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