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  • What's your favorite acoustic guitar brand?

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    I alway's tought that I was a big Martin Fan but recently I played a Taylor 314 in my local shop and that played so smooth... 

    I only played it without a pick but everything just felt right...

    I was able to compare it to a Martin 000 15 because they had both.

    Maybe I liked the sound of the Martin a little bit more but I was surprised that I liked playing on the Taylor more.

    So the Taylor came out as the winner for fingerpicking.

    Another brand that I really like and that is not that expensive is the seagull...

    What's your favorite Brand and why?

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    @Limatje, thanks for starting this thread.  I'm looking forward to the responses.  I have considered myself a Martin fan.  But my reason for this is, I regret to say, more out of laziness than actual logic or tone or other preferences.

    I've taken some lessons from a guy that is a Martin Artist and he has made some recommendations.  And he came to Omaha with MArtin's Road show and I got to speak with him about Martin.  Plus I've been a long time Clapton fan and largely decided my next guitar is going to be a Martin 000-ec Clapton signature.  So it isn't so much preferences for the Martin as much as ignorance about the competition.

    So I am very open to hear what some others have to say about Taylor and Gibson and other brands.  I'm looking forward to an education.

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    Although I am early in the learning process, I love my Larrivee DV-05. It is a dreadnought body size with a cutout for playing high on the neck. The top is spruce, the sides and back are solid mahogany. I was planning on getting a Seagull but happened upon a Larrivee review on Guitar Spa, a guy in Singapore who had reviewed a Seagull. The difference in sound and versatility was obvious, even on youtube. I was looking for a matt finish model, which have the sound qualities of more expensive Larrivees in a plainer package. One day a like-new 05 model showed on Reverb for the price of the used 03's. My feeling--my first and last check for a musical instrument--was that this would be perfect for me, and it is. I think about it and just want to play!

    Larrivees don't hold value like a Martin or Taylor, but I'm not a collector. The lower used value makes it possible to play very nice guitars for a price I can handle. Larrivees consistently win guitar sound comparisons in the 2000 dollars and under category, due to the plain models.

    I recently bought a Larrivee C-15 twelve string on Reverb. These have spruce tops, rosewood sides, six or twelve strings and Florentine cutaway in a smaller body than a dreadnought, but not small. C-15's have been way over my price range until this example was posted. It was brought back to perfect playing condition by a top luthier who does non-warranty repair for Larrivee. The guitar plays like a dream and the balanced sound makes me smile and want to play more. It's a beauty as well. Just in case, the seller included the luthier's card.

    I have seen posts of people who have not had such positive experiences with Larrivees as well. 



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    I'm a bit like @matonanjin - looking forward to the discussion that this thread generates.       Like a lot of folks, I was familiar primarily with the Martin, Gibson or Taylor names, mainly because I had friends that owned one of those brands or they happened to be the most available in the local music stores.    As far as "favorite" brand,  I guess it depends on what type of guitar I am looking for.    When I upgraded from my beginner instrument, I found a pre-loved Bourgeois dreadnaught and after a proper setup from Greg Voros, it's probably not going anywhere.     Fantastic sound and a great all-around guitar.   I was not familiar with Bourgeois, so that was my first lesson in "don't pay attention to the name on the headstock".      If I were buying a smaller body guitar, I'd have to consider a Martin Sinker Mahogany.   I was able to play one at Gruhn's and for a brand new guitar has an amazing sound.    For a 12 string - I'm still undecided, but would have to consider a Takamine, or perhaps a Seagull.   They both have similar shaped headstocks with less crowding of the strings than on a Taylor or Martin.   My next purchase will likely be a mid-priced nylon string - considering either a Yamaha (have to consider that one since that is what Steve has) or a Cordoba.   Cordoba's have good reviews generally and also include a truss rod - perhaps not needed on a nylon guitar, but a nice feature.     But as I said - looking forward to other responses that could certainly change my mind.

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    I am a big Taylor fan. I would like to have a Martin also. Gibson makes some really good acoustics also. 

    There are a few small makers that have great quality at a cost.

    I have been busy playing my new Taylor Grand Pacific 317e which is easily my best guitar.

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    For acoustics, I like the Seagull brand. My six string is a Natural Elements model and a Concert Hall 12 String. Both have a booming sound with Martin Lifespan strings, which will last about a year. I am constantly amazed by how well both stay in tune. I tend to play electric more often but when the NE comes out of it’s case after two months it is still very close to being in tune. Not the most expensive guitars on the market but they make me a happy camper.


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    • 3 weeks later...

    I'm a Martin dread guy.  Thats an easy one for me. It's about the tone and once you get that tone in your head you cant get it out. Each time I go to buy a Taylor, i think i could put this money in a Martin. A good friend got a Taylor 814ce and its very nice but for that price i could got a very nice martin. He has a d35 an likes both.

    My Martins are set up to play very well and in my opinion just as good as any Taylor. Martin s today are making great guitars. 

    @matonanjin the clapton is the one i always wanted and came close several times but ended up with a om28 and an 000-18. I luv the neck on the clapton and the short scale. Ive played several great ones. My 000-18 fills my need for a short scale and the om28 vts custom shop is a much fuller sound than the clapton and i got a great deal on it. and the deal sold it...



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    Hmmm...this approaches the Ford, Chevy, and Dodge trucks argument in rural coffee shops.  I have owned multiple Taylor models (814ce, 412ce, 512ce) and enjoyed each; my trial for shape and different tone woods with a single brand.  I have retained the 412ce Fall Ltd as my get out of the house guitar.  I should emphasize that all of my experience is "pre V-shape" bracing and one shop said they are different, but advised against selling my current Taylor to get one.

    I agree with the Bourgeois comments made above.  My high end guitar is a LE Soloist OM that is a marvel to play and hold.  The construction is superb.  I also splurged on a 12 fret OO recently because a cutaway can be added..and it is wonderful.

    Huss and Dalton build great guitars as well and tend to run under the price of many boutique guitars.  I love the the T-0014 I own.  I am migrating to 00 sizes, owing to rotator cuff surgery a few years back, because larger shapes are uncomfortable to play for times over an hour.

    Santa Cruz is a fantastic luthier as well.  I tried an H13, essentially a deeper bodied 00, and loved its volume and tone; but the deeper body proved uncomfortable for my shoulder.  I drool over the Skye 00 model, but its price tag always brings me back to earth.

    All this being said, a recent Acoustic Magazine article discussed five (5) entry level guitars that raise the bar and offer opportunities to keep a few dollars in your wallet.   

    Best of luck in your guitar search,



    Edited by Plantsman13
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    2 hours ago, Plantsman13 said:

    Hmmm...this approaches the Ford, Chevy, and Dodge trucks argument in rural coffee shops. 


    I agree with the Bourgeois comments made above. 



    Bryan, what a great analogy to the Ford/Chevy/Dodge loyalty these guitar conversation show.     You and I, and probably only a minority of other rural members on here, can appreciate the passion some of these arguments in those coffee shops can manifest.  (btw, I'm in the Ram camp lol)

    And Bryan and @William Nelson I had never heard of Bourgeois before.  Thank you. 

    And @Tom M I am still really drooling over the Martin EC.  I also came really close on one, a used one, at a local store here.  Used but mint.  I just delayed too long and missed it.

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    I had a lesson this weekend in how preconceived notions of "favorite" brand can easily change.   I mentioned above that I was considering a Cordoba nylon string based on the online reviews I had seen.   Well, I was able to play a couple of examples at a Guitar Center over the weekend - and the feeling just wasn't there!   I can't tell you why - but the feel, the sound just wasn't what I was hoping for.    So, feeling a bit disappointed, I came back to a local music store in my hometown and tried an Alvarez of all things.   This is a brand that was more popular back in the 70's and I hadn't even considered one - until I picked up one and played it!   This particular guitar had the feel and sound I was hoping for.   So I won't say that Alvarez is my new favorite - but this one will waiting for me under the Christmas tree this year.

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