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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all. I’m in the market for an inexpensive acoustic to learn on. I have no plans to become a professional just hack and bash around a campfire occasionally and possibly in the future “plug in” with my kids. A young guitarist and drummer.

I have read here and other places the real value in the Canadian “godin” family of acoustics. One of these with a pickup would be my choice but I have recently annihilated the family budget on new drums and cymbals for my oldest.

Considering this and the fact that I would like to begin learning sooner than later I need a really really cheap guitar.
I have noticed inexpensive Yamahas in the music store at about 150 or a little more.

What is the real downside to one at this price point?
Lack of sound?
Lack of Features?
Poor construction?
Poor Materials?

I guess I’d go into this knowing if I do get into it I’d have to “upgrade” in the future but would a guitar of level hold me back in some way?

Thanks for any help
 

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Those are not bad at all for "beginner" guitars. Try the Ottawa Folklore Centre. They should be able to help you with choosing what's best for you.

BTW Just noticed your from Ottawa too. :) Welcome!
 

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...the art & lutherie acoustics, priced at around $239, are incredible value, with no compromise on sound, playability or build quality.

-dh
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the welcome guys.
I’ll try the Ottawa Folklore Center as well thanks.

I have read great things about the A&L line but this would push out a purchase as I would have to skim small amounts out of the budget.


Where can I read about setups as Jeff mentioned?
What is there to set up? Gezzz I have much to learn! Can you tell I know nothing at this point! :)

Any recommendations on books to pick up or online sights that could help get me learning some chords and very very basic songs?

I’m not minimizing traditional lessons but looking really to try this on my own for now.

Thanks for your help so far!
 

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david henman said:
...the art & lutherie acoustics, priced at around $239, are incredible value, with no compromise on sound, playability or build quality.

-dh
I gotta go with David on this. I have a A&L and I still can't belive how little it costs. I would try to hold off till you got a bit more coin and get one.
 

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david henman said:
...the art & lutherie acoustics, priced at around $239, are incredible value, with no compromise on sound, playability or build quality.

-dh

Yep I agree with Dave on these ones, I have played several of them in shops and they all play and feel good. Excellent value for the price.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I’m beginning to see a common thread here…. :)
All right, All right I give!
I had better have a real good look at these.

Any comments on these questions?

Where can I read about setups as Jeff mentioned?
What is there to set up? Gezzz I have much to learn! Can you tell I know nothing at this point! :)

Any recommendations on books to pick up or online sights that could help get me learning some chords and very very basic songs?
 

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Playability can make all the difference, especially at the beggining stage. The dealer should be able to help you get a setup that makes the guitar feel good for you.

If you want to learn more about anything related to acoustic guitar setup and repair, this is the place to go: www.frets.com

Good luck on your quest.
 

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Certainly check out the OFC but I would also recommend going to see Dan at Metro Music on Bank street. She sells nothing but the full like of Seagull and Art & Lutherie guitars, tons of models to choose from. Great selection, great prices and she is great to deal with and backs her instruments 100% and will make sure the guitar is properly set up before it leaves the store. Mention that Stewart sent you. A smaller shop with great service!!
 

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The smaller shops tend to give better service and stand behind there products. It's there way of competing with the big boys.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Got a quick question. Is the string spacing the same on all guitars?
I played a friends cheaper Yamaha tonight and there are a few chords that my fat fingers span or touch the next string.

Can I get one with lagers spacing?
 

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MXDAD, you have to consider that if you go for a wider neck that it'll require a little extra stretching to reach the lower strings (the bigger strings). You need to get yourself a decent guitar that you're going to like in the first place (you like the feel, the look and most importantly, the sound). For a little more than what you want to spend, the Art & Lutherie models mentionned in previous posts are certainly something to look into.

As you learn chords, finger exercises etc and as you get to practice on a more regular basis, the *fat fingers* won't be an issue anymore.

Martin
 

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MXDAD said:
I have noticed inexpensive Yamahas in the music store at about 150 or a little more.

What is the real downside to one at this price point?
Lack of sound?
Lack of Features?
Poor construction?
Poor Materials?
If one of these Yamahas feels and sounds good to you and that they obviously got your attention, then that'd be a good way to get started.

Affordale guitars are often made up of laminated wood which *can* affect sound projection and things like that but where you'll really hear a difference is in the sustain. And there are some guitars in the 300 or 400 price range for instance that are made up of laminated wood and sound really nice. As in pretty much everything else, you get what you pay for.

Edit: there are laminated sides with solid tops and there are laminated tops as well. Here an example of a laminated top:

http://www.normanguitars.com/modelb15.htm

Some reviews of that particular model:

http://reviews.harmony-central.com/reviews/Guitar/product/Norman/B15/10/1

You might be able to pick up one of these used in your price range.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well I went today and picked up an Art & Lutherie. It is laminated but no press board... :)

It sounds so much nicer then my buddies Yamaha. I think it was an F-325 and only about 60 bucks more.

I was able to play the note I could not on my buddies as well. I put a caliper on his and this one. The A&L is just over .100” wider in the neck but the first and last string are closer to the edges and assuming they are all spaced the same it would be better spaced (for me) than the Yamaha.

Now if I can just lean to play it!

Thanks for everyone’s tips and guidance.

Martin I have been searching all the used stores and online spots locally for a few weeks. There has been little in my price range. Just the 50 dollar or 500+ units.
 

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Jeff Flowerday said:
As the long as the guitar can be setup decently it should be fine. Learning on a crappy setup only makes learning that much harder.

.02
Great point...I started on a Yamaki acoustic with the world's worst set-up and it did hold me back as I couldn't make a barre chord ring out clearly to save my life. Things got a lot easier when I "upgraded" to a Ventura Bruno that had a decent set-up.
 

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MXDAD said:
Now if I can just lean to play it!

...grab a songbook by your favourite artist. instructional dvds are great, too.

the bottom line: it matters little "what" you practice, as long as you devote time each day to playing.

-dh
 

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david henman said:
...grab a songbook by your favourite artist. instructional dvds are great, too.

the bottom line: it matters little "what" you practice, as long as you devote time each day to playing.

-dh
That is so true. It's what I tell my kid. Playing anything is better than not playing.
 
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