Author Topic: Looking for a decent cheap acoustic  (Read 3471 times)

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Offline Loco

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Looking for a decent cheap acoustic
« on: December 20, 2015, 02:24:24 pm »
Hey!

How are you? It's been a long time since my last visit here but don't worry, I didn't give up playing yet :P I was busy and had things to sort out but I think I'm ready to become an active member again :)

Anyway, I'm thinking about buying my first acoustic guitar, it's kinda funny considering that I've been playing on electric for several years by now and rarely touched acoustics :)

The thing is that recently I won a competition at my workplace and as a prize I can buy whatever I want within budget of 1 000 PLN which is about €233 (I can buy something more expensive and pay the difference with my own money). I decided that maybe it's a good excuse to buy another guitar, so here I am :D

Unfortunately I have no idea about acoustic guitars, so could you direct me a bit? Any particular questions I should answer in the beginning?
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Offline Drubbing

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Re: Looking for a decent cheap acoustic
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2015, 02:59:17 pm »
Go play a load of them in your budget. That will tell you more than anyone else can. Hard to go past Yamaha's proven models in that price range.

Offline bradt

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Re: Looking for a decent cheap acoustic
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2015, 05:23:32 pm »
I don't know how available they are in your market, but Alvarez makes some very nice guitars in that price range. I was at a music shop a while back killing time and decided to play a few in the $200-$300 range to compare to the Alvarez MD60 I have, and they sound and play impressively.

Best thing about them is that since they are not a hugely known brand, you can snatch up a second hand Masterworks series Alvarez for $300-$400 easily here in The US.

They're not really common to come across around here, so not sure if you'll even see them over there, but if you do come across one, give it a shot.

Offline close2u

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Re: Looking for a decent cheap acoustic
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2015, 05:47:18 pm »
For low budget overlook cutaway bodies and electro models.
Those features are unnecessary and take a chunk of the budget.
Yamaha is a good shout.
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Offline Scooter Trash

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Re: Looking for a decent cheap acoustic
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2015, 06:27:02 pm »
Welcome back Loco!

I was thinking Yamaha too.. I'm no expert on acoustic guitars, but I had a Yamaha F35 years ago that I thought sounded great, and every time I pick up a Yamaha acoustic guitar at the music store, it seems to be a good value compared to similar guitars. 
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Offline Rossco01

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Re: Looking for a decent cheap acoustic
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2015, 06:38:58 pm »
Have a look at Justin's suggestions. Yamahas are on his list that's how I selected mine. Would suggest having a look second hand too.
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Offline Loco

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Re: Looking for a decent cheap acoustic
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2015, 11:17:15 am »
It looks like the Yamaha is the most popular choice, I will make sure to check them out in music stores.

After quick search I found some Alvarez guitars available too - any particular models I should try?

As for electro models I'm not really interested in them but I thought that cutaway could be handy - does it really rise the price much? On the other hand I don't see many models with the cut anyway.

I would definitely go for second hand, however in this case I have to deal with official stores to get all the documents and bills right because it's a prize from my employer.
Prudence is a rich, ugly, old maid courted by incapacity.

Offline Cue Zephyr

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Re: Looking for a decent cheap acoustic
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2015, 12:10:45 pm »
Welcome back. :)

Yamaha FG7xx or FS7xx would be my suggestion. If you need to go cheaper I'd look at Recording King (I love this brand). I don't know much else. :D
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Offline bradt

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Re: Looking for a decent cheap acoustic
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2015, 04:52:21 pm »
Yamaha is a great guitar.


After quick search I found some Alvarez guitars available too - any particular models I should try?


The Regent series is their entry level guitar. I've played a couple of them, and they are ok. Definitely worth the price, but still an entry level guitar.

Artist series is the net level up, and I think quite good quality. A quick search for the AD30 (dreadnought) shows it well within your price range around here ($250 US new). Your prices may vary, but pretty much anything in the artist line would be a decent starting point. I've played a few of these, and love them. You just have to try some out to judge for yourself.

Masterworks is where you get into the higher quality guitar. I have the old MD60 with a cedar top. It is a beautiful sounding guitar. They are mostly above what you mentioned price wise, but can be found more moderately priced on the used market, and honestly I would put these up against a lot of the much more expensive guitars out there.


At the end of the day you just have to try guitars out for yourself. While they are all objectively good, any of the guitars we all have listed could be perfect for you or dead wrong for you. It's a very personal thing.

Offline shadowscott007

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Re: Looking for a decent cheap acoustic
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2015, 08:29:48 pm »
Could try a Big Baby Taylor, too.  Sounds great, easy to play and around $250.

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Offline Loco

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Re: Looking for a decent cheap acoustic
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2016, 10:47:42 pm »
Alright, so I've tested a few guitars and I have mixed feelings.

My first try was on some VGS guitar or something, I don't even remember the proper name, but anyway it was quite awful to play. Actually I anticipated that acoustic would be more difficult to play than electric and I thought I would just have to deal with it.

However, then I tested Yamaha FG700S, which was significantly better in terms of playing comfort and the action was definitely lower.

Then I tried Takamine GD30 NAT and it was even better than Yamaha. I spent the rest of my time in that store playing that guitar and enjoying it a lot.

A few days later I visited another store but I didn't even try any guitar there :( I was wandering around and sadly none of the guitars caught my attention.

So next few days passed and I went back to the first store. I tried again the Yamaha and Takamine and to my disappointment it didn't feel quite as good as the last time. Actually Yamaha was the same, but I felt like Takamine had higher action than last time. What I believe happened, is that last time after trying that bad VGS guitar with very high action I wasn't expecting something that much better, but on the other hand, after I played my electric at home and then went straight to playing Takamine during my second visit I wasn't that much excited anymore.

I also tried another Yamaha that day, I think it was FS720-something which was more expensive than the previous but in my opinion not really better, maybe just different but I don't know, it didn't click for me anyway.

So back to Takamine - despite what I wrote I really like that guitar and this is my current choice but I'm still making up my mind, because I don't want to rush. The second time I tried it, I realized that the bottom E string was much bigger than the rest and I asked the assistant if this was a mixed set or something. He replied that probably it had snapped and someone replaced it with different gauge (very unprofessional tbh). Other than that the guitar seems fine but I'm going to take it to a luthier right away, because I don't know yet how to set up an acoustic guitar and I would like to get it done properly. It was hanging in the store for a few months and the assistant said that they could give me some basic soft cover in addition and they are also willing to negotiate the price which is nice.

Here you can see how that model looks:
http://www.takamine.com/GD30-NAT

Now, I have a few questions:

1. As you can see, the bridge is splitted into two parts - 2 strings on one part and 4 on the other. What is the purpose of this? Is it good or bad?

2. Pretty much all of the acoustics I've tried or seen had wounded G string which was completely throwing me off because I'm used to playing with unwounded G string on my electric. The question is - are there available sets of acoustic strings with unwounded G string? It was quite annoying :P

3. What string gauge would you recommend for me considering that I play .10 on my electric? I would like to ask the luthier to do the set-up on the type of string I will be using later.

Sorry for a long post, I just wanted to share my thoughts after visiting the stores ;)

Prudence is a rich, ugly, old maid courted by incapacity.

Offline close2u

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Re: Looking for a decent cheap acoustic
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2016, 10:57:14 pm »
The bridge is compensated to make for proper intonation ... No adjustable saddles like on an electric.

The string is normally wound yes, you will get used to it.

Gauge 12 is normal, 11 is light, 13 is heavy.

Haggle some more if they offered those extras without being asked.


Offline Loco

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Re: Looking for a decent cheap acoustic
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2016, 11:53:32 pm »
Really there are no sets with unwounded G string? :(
Prudence is a rich, ugly, old maid courted by incapacity.

Offline shadowscott007

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Re: Looking for a decent cheap acoustic
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2016, 02:23:32 am »
Not acoustic sets.  Well, every acoustic set I am aware of has a wound G string.  Never looked for one that wasn't.

And you know that 4/2 split in the compesated saddle, it is likely that going with an unwound string (like if you used an electric set) would affect the intonation.  It isn't coincidence that saddle sompensation is split beteen wound and unwound strings.

Shadow
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