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  #16  
Old 09-20-2021, 06:15 AM
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UncleJesse UncleJesse is offline
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Originally Posted by euraquilo View Post
Love these stories.

My Martin Dreadnought Jr gets as much play time as my Taylor GC7. Plus I get to experiment on the DJr (internal mics, saddle changes, etc.) without feeling as though I'm running the risk of damaging a large investment. The action on my Djr is now what I measure any potential guitar against.
I also have a DJr, a 2018 model I found locally. I sanded the neck down and applied polish to give a slick feel as it had a rougher satin touch and installed a bone saddle (and pushed the undersaddle back inside the guitar). The previous owner had already had a setup done to the instrument so nut slots are spot on. It's a great little guitar and I play it all the time even though I have several expensive guitars.
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  #17  
Old 09-20-2021, 06:27 AM
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I recently helped my daughter pick out a guitar for her elementary music classes, she's been using a uke.

We settled on a Yamaha FS850 and it's really a very nice instrument for $450. I spent a couple of days with it for a restring and it's quite lovely.
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  #18  
Old 09-20-2021, 08:02 AM
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I just bought a mint condition Yamaha LS16 ARE w/OHSC for $375. It's as good as any of my high end stuff. Most people don't understand that people on the other side of the world were making stringed instruments when we were wearing animal skins and living in caves...
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  #19  
Old 09-20-2021, 08:25 AM
zombywoof zombywoof is offline
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Before there were Gibsons, Martins and Guilds in my life there was Harmony.
And 55+ years down the road I am still playing them and own a couple of H1260 Sovereigns, an H40 (a 1203 Sovereign with a Gibson P13 pickup mounted beneath the fingerboard extension) and and an all-mahogany figure 8 H165 Stella. For me playing them feels like coming home.
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  #20  
Old 09-20-2021, 10:02 AM
rstaight rstaight is offline
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I have three inexpensive guitars that I play regularly.

One is my Indiana Madison. I play it because it was a gift from my wife. Sounds boxy, I would have not bought it. But since it was a gift it gets playing time.

I inherited a Lotus. It was my father-in-laws when he decided he wanted t learn to play. I had it for about a year after he passed then it went to my brother-in-laws stepson. He had it for a number of years. He beat the day lights out of it but I now have it back. After a little TLC it is a very easy playing guitar again. Kind of a shame they are no longer made.

In 2007 I purchased an Indiana Scout. It came with a "gig" bag, more of a dust cover. I also purchased a cloth strap. All that for the grand total of $110.

Wasn't planning on buying the Scout but when I picked it up it had a nice sound. And it was already setup. Imagine, a shop taking the time to setup a $100 guitar.

I have taken the Scout to jams and been asked about my Martin. I just chuckle and say look again.

Inexpensive guitars can be fun. Maybe it's because you are willing to take more chances with them. My Scout is the one that goes on vacation.
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  #21  
Old 09-20-2021, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by mikealpine View Post
Anyone else have similar experiences?
When I first started getting back into acoustics, I got a used $450 Epiphone Masterbilt from Epi's 2003-2010 production run. I thought it was great. Only later did I realize the low E was weak and not well balanced like more expensive guitars.....
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  #22  
Old 09-20-2021, 10:20 AM
Lesbark Wagmore Lesbark Wagmore is offline
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Originally Posted by raysachs View Post

Any guitar is waaaay better than no guitar.
Waaaay, waaaaaaaay . . .
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  #23  
Old 09-20-2021, 11:24 AM
Marcury Marcury is offline
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I've got a Gretsch G9521 Style 2 Triple-0 Auditorium, I'm pretty sure they went for $349. I traded a resonator that hurt my wrists to play for it, think I got the better deal. Punches way above its weight.

Last edited by Marcury; 09-20-2021 at 06:45 PM.
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  #24  
Old 09-20-2021, 12:01 PM
blakey blakey is offline
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I've got an el cheapo 30 pounds (UK). 3/4 size classical. Its been seasoned in the attic for years.
The action was so crazy high that I swapped out the saddle for just the plastic spindle of a Johnsons cotton bud. it plays like a Gibson now and sounds amazing. It's like playing a GS mini Nylon.
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  #25  
Old 09-20-2021, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blakey View Post
I've got an el cheapo 30 pounds (UK). 3/4 size classical. Its been seasoned in the attic for years.
The action was so crazy high that I swapped out the saddle for just the plastic spindle of a Johnsons cotton bud. it plays like a Gibson now and sounds amazing. It's like playing a GS mini Nylon.
Now I bet that was a use no-one had thought of or a cotton bud!!!
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  #26  
Old 09-20-2021, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by wisedennis View Post
Played a $500 recording king ro227 , pretty good

And played Breedlove Breedlove Organic Collection Signature Concert $599

Pretty good too
Yup, there's a few good ones out there, but we were in the cheaper seats and still found gems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin, Wales View Post
What surprises me is that folks are surprised that a large number of the cheaper options are really very good instruments.

Yesteryears cheap instruments are highly prized today. Those $15 Kalamazoo guitars and the $35 Martin 17 series and the Gibson LG-2s go for silly prices today. If the AGF had been going in the 30s/40s those are the guitars we would have been turning our noses up at. The build quality wasn't great and the Kalamazoo/Gibson's did runs with maple plywood b/s (the most sought after today!). Many of today's cheaper guitars have a much higher build quality and a better, more stable geometry. And some of them will be the in demand vintage guitars of tomorrow!
Fair points!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dru Edwards View Post
Mike, great to hear that you were able to help Ray out. That first strum can be amazing. Sometimes a $200 budget is significant. Kudos to you for trying them all out.

Did you try any Yamahas in the $200 range?
Hey Dru, no, didn't see any hanging in the store we were at. Ray was so grateful, and I can't begin to tell you how good I felt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by euraquilo View Post
Love these stories.

My Martin Dreadnought Jr gets as much play time as my Taylor GC7. Plus I get to experiment on the DJr (internal mics, saddle changes, etc.) without feeling as though I'm running the risk of damaging a large investment. The action on my Djr is now what I measure any potential guitar against.
Very cool! And you're right; easier to experiment on a cheaper model.

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Originally Posted by FingahPickah View Post
Ah...."skill" ...
I know a few players who (I'd bet) could make a tennis racket sound good.

Yamaha 800 Series: I completely agree. A year or so ago I was looking for a good quality low cost guitar to have converted to a mandocello.

When I played an FS800T ($200 brand new) I knew I found the perfect candidate. I was very impressed with it's build quality, tone and overall comfort to play. My luthier friend agreed. It came out awesome.

I don't hesitate to recommend the 800 series to anyone looking for big bang for the buck.
About the "no substitute for skill", I am always reminded of this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=600ykNF3md4

Crazy!!
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  #27  
Old 09-20-2021, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by jricc View Post
Great story that made my day Mike. Thanks. Cool thing that u and daughter did.
Thank you! I am grateful to be in a position to do something like this and try not to take that for granted. was a feel-good moment for me, as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SRL View Post
I used to work downtown and there was a busker near my office who could probably at circles around 90% of the people on this forum, definitely including me. He used an old plywood department store guitar with painted on fret markers, like a Harmony Stella or something. Gear is no substitute for skill.

I think some of the best values in the $200-400 range are the Yamaha 800 series (FG800, FS800, 820, 830, 850). Solid top, nice action, good sound.
Couldn't find one to play, but will look at these if given the chance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by raysachs View Post
For the last week and change, we've been visiting our daughter out in Oregon, who we hadnít seen in almost two years. Iíd sent my cheap Alvarez parlor guitar out with her and her fiancť (now husband) so Iíd have something to play when we visited. This was in about September or October of 2019, and we assumed weíd have been here 2-3 times by now. But the pandemic hit and it took until now for us to get out here. In that time, Iíve bought both of my nice acoustics, a CEO-7 and an 000-28EC. My standards have been raised considerably since I last played this guitar.

Predictably, when we first got here and I started playing the Alvarez, being used to playing two MUCH nicer guitars every day, it sounded really bad. But after a few days of playing nothing else, it started sounding OK to me. Not GOOD - Iím very aware of its shortcomings, but good enough to really enjoy myself. Any guitar is waaaay better than no guitar. When we leave here on Friday, Iíll look forward to getting home to my good guitars, but Iíll be really grateful for the cheap Alvarez that lives at my daughterís place in Oregon. Iím sure the next time we visit, Iíll be similarly unimpressed with it but ultimately grateful for it.

-Ray
The best guitar is the one we get to play!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcmars View Post
There are some very nice affordable guitars now. I like the gretsch roots series from 2017, 3 sizes 0, 00 and 000. I have the 000 version as my travel/festival/river guitar and other musicians always comment on how nice it sounds and the great looks with the slot head, burst and nice inlay, it cost me $230 few years ago. But the factory in Indonesia burnt down so now you have to find used ones.

But I just got a Gretsch Jim Dandy and it has near perfect intonation and really nice action at both saddle and nut slots and plays and sounds really great for blues and other fingerstyle. It was an amazon warehouse deal at $120 from a dealer and showed up brand new looking in box with tags, not sure why it was marked down. It is a 24 scale guitar and 3/4 size and is great for taking anywhere and not having to worry about it. Tuners not the best is about only complaint, but worth upgrading. They have a few if anyone wants one and totally worth it, something to be said for a plywood guitar that plays and sounds good.
Very cool!
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  #28  
Old 09-20-2021, 04:11 PM
Gdjjr Gdjjr is offline
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I have one of those very GC brand guitars- 179 bucks new- I like it- not as much as my others, but still- it does the job- I had a T233E Mitchell (mahogany) I sold week before last- the buyer was very happy- Mitchell's ain't half bad-
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  #29  
Old 09-20-2021, 11:27 PM
Bushleague Bushleague is offline
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I played a number of pretty expensive guitars today, and the one that sticks in my mind the most was a particular Seagull Entorage. I swear, for $500 bucks you got a guitar that sounded at least 98% as good as many guitars costing several thousand dollars, bright and lively but with good bass and a nice full sound. I've got an Art Lutherie that sounds much like it, as well as some more expensive guitars, but I still had a hard time putting that thing back on the rack.
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  #30  
Old 09-21-2021, 07:11 AM
Gdjjr Gdjjr is offline
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This thread caused me to look at my Mitchell yesterday- and play it. I've had a head cold that moved into my chest and not felt like playing for several days so the Mitchell got chosen to be the guinea pig- I have Martin Monel 10-47 strings on it and dang if it didn't delight me how good it sounded- it doesn't have any sustain, but, that's okay by me- it lets the strings and wood get to know each other more intimately

Thanks for the thread!
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SO MANY GUITARS/SONGS, SO LITTLE TIME

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"I" will survive

K.I.S.S.

Current favorites in my guitarsenal. (subject to change )

LAG T118 ACE
LAG T70A
Martin 00017
Martin 0015M
Orangewood Ava (acoustic only with Torriefied spruce top)
Gretsch 5420 (Alpine Green)
Art and Luthrie Tennesssee Red a/e with a cutaway
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