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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am a beginner and am about to purchase my first guitar. I have come up with a couple of choices. My criteria include; made in North America, would really like a solid wood guitar, but price is an issue (after all does a beginner really need a solid wood guitar??:confused:, also believe i would prefer a quiter, more mellow sound. Here is list i've come up within a $400 - $450 price range.
1.Seagull S6 - $470 (new)
2. Taylor 110 - $400 (used)
3. Epiphone Masterbilt DR500-R - $400 (used)
Should note that I live in the sticks with no music store available for testing. Have tried Taylor big baby and Seagull, I liked the taylor's rich sound. Othere than that I hope you can vet my choices and maybe come up with a few i haven't researched.
 

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Given the choice, I'd personally go with the Epi Masterbilt. Great guitars and great value for an all solid wood acoustic. They're everything a rosewood dread should be. The do have a vintage V neck though, so if that bother's you, the Taylor and Seagull are great for different reasons. If you want warmth and mellowness, the Cedar top on the Seagull sounds like a good fit.
 

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Anything in the Godin family is what I would recommend. I own an Art and Lutherie acoustic, and for the $$$$ it was a great buy and Canadian too!
 

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For an very first guitar... Check out Washburn D10S. Best sounding guitar for the money you'll put on. That is my opinion. Very good starter guitar. Solid top. Don't throw a lot of money on your first guitar. Some people get discouraged very quick. Buy something in the middle range and if your really like it, then offer yourself an awesome guitar.

don't forget...
PRACTICE, practice, practice, PRACTICE.....:smile:
 

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the epi is a good guitar, but not made in north america, for the record.

seagull is made by lasido, they have other brands worth checking into: simon & patrick and norman in particular.

the taylor is a good deal, but i wouldn't characterize them generally as being warm sounding, they're more sterile to my ears. nice easy neck to play though.

if you look around you might find a nice guild in that price range, they've usually got a nice mellow tone (richie havens plays em)

tacoma is the only other brand that's NA built that you're likely to find for that price (oh, sorry also garrison). based on personal experience though, i can't recommend either brand.

i wouldn't sweat solid wood. at your price range, a solid top is fine, and will improve with care and feeding. the top is responsable for a large percentage of the guitar's tone, followed by the neck before the back and sides (imho)

if you're willing to go to offshore made guitars, try alvarez (you might find a used alvarez/yairi, wonderful guitars), blueridge, cort.

also, you MAY find a beat-up entry level l'arrivee?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for replies

Am seriousley considering a Godin, have called Steve's Music on line, in particular am looking at Simon & Patrick or Norman. Is there any other online store that sells those brands. Axe Music sells Seagul and A & L, which wouldn't be bad, but am kind of stuck on the other two.
All your comments have been helpful, and I think if I had the patience I could wait and pick up a Guild, or a beat up Larrivee - don't know if i can wait.

Thanks again
 

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i worked at axe for almost 10 years. they'll do right by you. call the calgary store, ask for kenny, he's a good guy, tell him you want a good one, he'll pick you one. tell him paul sent ya.
 

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They are all very good guitars.

They are all great guitars,but to be honest with you, if you would truely like to take playing the guitar seriously, and it seems that you do, otherwise you would not be asking. It would be best to really travel somewhere to tests one of these guitars. I know from personal experience(my father has a music store that I grew up in as a child), 3 guitars, even if they are all the same and made exactly the same on an assembly line still sound different. There are just so many factors involved. It would just be a pity to even spend 4 hundred on something that is not right for you.THIS will hinder your playing more than anything. So, my advice is not to tell you which of the three you should buy. My advice is to really make the effort to try one and get the guitar of your dreams for yourself. There is something beautiful about going into a music store and buying your first guitar. You will never forget it. Don't just let it come through the mail... You will never be sure of what you are getting. Best of luck!!
 

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. There is something beautiful about going into a music store and buying your first guitar. You will never forget it. Don't just let it come through the mail... You will never be sure of what you are getting. Best of luck!!
I would totally agree with this statement. You could walk into a store with your mind made up and then when you try on some different wood, you'll fall in love and walk out with something completely unexpected. 1/2 the fun is all the test driving!
 

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Get a good one

I would have to say that the biggest mistake that people can make is to get a garbage guitar to start out with... 1st it will never sound as good as you want it to... 2nd if you have an expensive guitar it will make you feel bad if you dont play (thats what got me through those points when you think your not going anywhere)... and lastly when you finally get good you are going to want something better anyways... why not already have it?? That being said i would look into Taylors or Martins... used of course...
 

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Anything by Godin is good, regardless of price. Art&Lutherie, Normand, Seagull. Yeah, they are all great.

You need to check out different guitars. You never know. You might try a 200$ guitar like the tone and the way it feels in your hands better than some of the more expensive ones.
 

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i def agree that you want something not super-cheap, you want good bang for buck. id recommend the seagull s6, sounds better the more you play it.
 

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If you are still looking...

If you are still looking, I would consider a Simon & Patrick '6 Cedar' model. My sister just had one given to her so she asked me to get it going for her. It needed strings, a saddle and some bridge pins. I strung it with D'Addario bluegrass gauge strings (what did you expect) and tuned her up...I am pleasantly surprised by how great sounding and well playing this guitar is.

I have never played a cedar top guitar before, and because everybody says the tone is warm, I expected dark and muddy...not true at all. It is warm, but well balanced with the highs cutting through and the bass projecting well...it has great projection.

From what I have read on harmony central...these guitars were priced around $350 new, so maybe you can find a good deal on a used one. Its not the prettiest guitar I have ever seen, but she sounds beauty!
 

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Take a look at any of the Godin brands. I own a Simon and Patrick pro flame maple and couldn't be happier with it.
 

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I've been looking for an acoustic for quite awhile myself, and at the $400 price point the Seagull S6 is the hands down winner (tone, quality, feel). Yes, the sides and back are laminated but from what I have read the back and sides have a much smaller impact on the sound when compared to the top. In short, any of the "Godin" acoustics are good choices.
 

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Of the three guitars you mentioned, everything else being equal the Epiphone Masterbilt is the "big kid" guitar; you're basically choosing between the best of Gibson's low end and the cheapest of Godin's hi end and the lowest end Taylor. The Epi is more of a keeper IMO.
 
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