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View Full Version : Narrowing down the guitar hunt....which would you pick?



LindsayOfSaturn
07-22-2009, 12:55 PM
Okay, I have about 370US to spend on a new guitar...possibly a little more, but I cant hit 400, and I need a case, plus the guitar will probably be shipped to me.

I'm looking at these two.(but buying elsewhere)

http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Dean-Exotica-Andes-AcousticElectric-Guitar?sku=519891

http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Ibanez-Mini-EW-Body-AcousticElectric-Guitar?sku=514862

This will be my first expensive guitar. It is replacing my first guitar which I bought for 60 dollars. It's a nice off-brand guitar but the action is REALLY high.

Here's how I see it so far: The Ibanez is a more recognized guitar and has a better reputation, and costs more. But people say that the tone can be a little off on this guitar. Also I'd need to find a case. And the dean I am worried is of less quality but I have read reviews and everyone thinks its a great guitar, no negative comments on it.

So for my new guitar here are things I'd like to have, if you'd like to reccomend something new:

1. acoustic electric (so I can record/perform later)
2. Must be under 400 dollars with gig bag/shipping included
3. I really prefer dark woods like mahogany, or andes, or rosewood but it isn't required. I also would really prefer a cutaway.
4. Obviously sounds good
5. easy playing action

So recommend which of those two guitars I should pick, or let me know of something else

Pippin
07-22-2009, 01:18 PM
I'd take Ibanez over Dean any day.

mrplatypus70
07-22-2009, 01:43 PM
I agree the Ibenez would be better than Dean. For something different I would suggest a Taylor Big Baby. They are a little smaller then a dreadnaught (15/16th scale). Real plain to look at and have no heal at the base of the neck (the neck is screwed on from the top). However the sound on these is unbelievable!! The solid spruce top is lightly braced and the whole guitar resonates like crazy when you strum a chord. I have had mine for about 6 years and it sounds better than ever and even though it appears to have very light construction I have had no issues, and I play the thing a lot; it is not hanging on the wall. Check out Musicians friend and harmony central for tons of great reviews on this guitar. The Ibenez is a good guitar and they look cool but if you want great sound the Taylor blows away anything in this price range.
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Taylor-Big-Baby-Dreadnought-Acoustic-Guitar?sku=514968

RevWill
07-22-2009, 01:47 PM
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Ibanez-AW30ECE-ARTWOOD-SERIES-AcousticElectric-Guitar-?sku=512311

This one looks nice. Has a solid top.

mrplatypus70
07-22-2009, 02:07 PM
I did not notice you wanted an acoustic-electric. I would still go with the Taylor with a pick up added in the sound hole. I am telling you you just would not believe how good these sound. Also the neck is small and easy to play and the slightly smaller body size is super comfortable. I played mainly electric guitar until I bought one and my Les Paul spent a long time in the case once I had the Taylor, I just could not put it down.

LindsayOfSaturn
07-22-2009, 04:06 PM
http://cgi.ebay.com/Alvarez-AD60CK-Acoustic-Electric-Guitar-FREE-SHIPPING_W0QQitemZ180387099773QQcmdZViewItemQQptZG uitar?hash=item29ffe8b47d&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=65%3A3%7C66%3A2%7C39%3A1%7C293%3A8%7C294 %3A50

This is the third guitar I am considering....read good things about these.

Thanks for the comments people.

I dont think buying the taylor and then having the pickup installed would be convenient. Plus I have heard that some people have really disliked the taylor big baby. And it is already way outside of my price range without a case and shipping and a pickup.

DaveVisi
07-22-2009, 04:11 PM
I've always had a soft spot for Alvarez guitars. It was my first "real" guitar back in the 70's.

All three are in the general price/quality range. If you can trust their explanation for this being a "second" then you could possibly get more guitar for your money by going with the Alvarez.

Captain_Lovehandles
07-22-2009, 04:37 PM
I would prefer the Ibanez over the Dean as well, but I'd probably favor a nice Alvarez, Yamaha, Epiphone or Seagull over either.

Bratset
07-22-2009, 08:58 PM
I'd take Ibanez over Dean any day.

Never played a Dean, but I realy like playing Ibanez. Have tried a few at a local music store :)

experimentjon
07-22-2009, 10:57 PM
I own one like this, except mine is an older model. I bought it because I thought it looked really cool. Mine is in purple.

http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Ibanez-AEL20E-AcousticElectric-Guitar-with-Onboard-Tuner?sku=519998

But if you can get more solid woods, it'd probably sound better than the one I have. But I did think it sounded really good until I put it next to my Taylor...that was not a fair fight at all. My Ibanez sounded sort of thin and metally next to the Taylor. But on its own it feels okay. And the pickup is pretty good.

And I like Ibanez stuff, but am also not a big fan of Dean. In your price range, there are several Electric Acoustic guitars to choose from, and Ibanez will give you a lot of bang for your buck. So since you can't hear them in person, I guess choose one that appeals to you visually, and sounds good from whatever you read on Harmony Central.

SinisterDom
07-22-2009, 11:51 PM
My friend has a Dean exotica....the action is terribly high, and it doesn't sound good at all, imo. I'd go Ibanez.

BUGOY
07-23-2009, 06:11 AM
Out of the two guitars you posted, I would choose the Ibanez mainly because I have owned 3 Ibanez guitars so far and i liked them alot. But i noticed the price of the Ibanez you posted is way above your limit, so I'm assuming that youre getting a good deal somewhere else? thats a good reason to get it also! haha!

In your price range i wouldn't worry so much about the action because it can always be adjusted by the truss rod. I would be more concerned about the overall comfort of the guitar: body size, body thickness, width of the neck.. stuff like that. its always best to get your hands on it before buying it.

I different suggestion would be this guitar:
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Yamaha-APX500-Thinline-Acoustic-Electric-Cutaway-Guitar-with-Piezo?sku=512948
$70 less than your budget and you can always use the rest of the money to get a nice case! check out the reviews too! :shaka:

DaveVisi
07-23-2009, 07:14 AM
Truss rod isn't used to adjust action. It does have an effect, but that's not why it's there. It's there to reinforce and adjust for a bowed neck. Once that's set, then you work on the action using the nut and saddle.

I do agree that "hands on" is best, if at all possible.

GrumpyCoyote
07-23-2009, 09:06 AM
I've played Ibanez acoustics for over 20 years. While they clearly have their flaws (most notably in the tone department) - in general they are fine instruments.

As other have said - plenty of bang for the buck with the Ibanez.

Pippin
07-23-2009, 11:59 AM
I would prefer the Ibanez over the Dean as well, but I'd probably favor a nice Alvarez, Yamaha, Epiphone or Seagull over either.

If that Epi is a "Masterbilt", I'd agree with that, but the recent standard Epiphones are not like they were in the 1960s and 70s. There are some real quality problems. Seagull gits sound good, but, I never could get beyond that headstock. Yamaha.... now THAT is a big winner. The FG series are great values. Alvarez... Musician's Friend just ran a close-out on them. I don't care much for the RD8, but a Yairi is a work of art.

Pippin
07-23-2009, 12:02 PM
I different suggestion would be this guitar:
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Yamaha-APX500-Thinline-Acoustic-Electric-Cutaway-Guitar-with-Piezo?sku=512948
$70 less than your budget and you can always use the rest of the money to get a nice case! check out the reviews too! :shaka:

The Thinline is a nice playing guitar... laminated. It does not sound that hot unplugged, but through an amp, it sounds great. The same can be said about the Ibanez line of acoustics, though.

baumer
07-23-2009, 12:50 PM
I would prefer the Ibanez over the Dean as well, but I'd probably favor a nice Alvarez, Yamaha, Epiphone or Seagull over either.

Out of those two, I would also choose the Ibanez.

But I would second the good Captain's endorsement of the Seagull! I have an S6, and it's a beauty. And it's right in your price range. Plays wonderfully and sounds even better. The solid cedar top gives it such a great tone! And it just sounds better the more you play it. I am friends with much better guitar players than myself, and they have all commented on the sound when they've picked it up. I also like that it's Canadian made by a small company in Quebec. Yes, the headstock is funny looking at first, but it grows on you, and it helps the guitar stay in tune very well.

Sorry for the long post, but I just get excited when other people talk about Seagulls since so many people have never even heard of them. God forbid if anything ever happened to mine, I'd replace it in a heartbeat. Good luck on your search!

(Here's a picture of me strumming for my baby girl! She loves the uke too!)

DaveVisi
07-23-2009, 01:02 PM
I agree. I have a Seagull Folk model, and for as plain looking as it is, it has a beautiful sound, the action is good, and the workmanship is flawless. I don't know if it's in his price range though. I think I paid $400 plus shipping (plus another $40 or so in UPS "Broker" fees to get it across the border)

RonS
08-04-2009, 07:58 AM
I know I'm coming a bit late on this topic.

A friend of mine asked me which guitar he should buy for his teenaged daughter.

I suggested this Yamaha (http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Yamaha-FX370C-F-SERIES-Cutaway-AcousticElectric?sku=513386) and she was not disappointed.

Solid Top and laminate sides
Plays well and sound nice too.

NukeDOC
08-04-2009, 09:09 AM
i have to second my brother's suggestion and say that the APX line of acoustic electric guitars is an EXCELLENT value.

when i was shopping for a TAYLOR, i was looking at the lower model 114-314ce series. ranging up to about $2500. i took a step out of the "high end" room at GC and went out to the main acoustic room just to browse around while i really thought about my purchase.

honestly, i dont like yamaha ANYTHING. dont like their motorcycles, not fond of their outboard boat motors, i do own a yamaha PA but thats because it was good quality for pretty cheap. but when i picked up an APX900, i was BLOWN AWAY. the fit, finish, and sound IMHO EXCEEDED that of the taylors i was considering at 4x the price! needless to say, i didnt get a taylor that day. i went home with a yamaha APX900.

my friend, who is also a gigging musician, tried out my yamaha and was so impressed that he went and bought the APX500 that bugoy posted up.

at that price, with free shipping, you are well within your budget. even with a decent quality gig bag.

marvtobi
08-04-2009, 12:23 PM
A third vote for yamaha guitars here, i have a e-guitar from them and love the sound, finish, playability. They make very well crafted instruments for very decent prices.

NukeDOC
08-04-2009, 12:35 PM
The Thinline is a nice playing guitar... laminated. It does not sound that hot unplugged, but through an amp, it sounds great. The same can be said about the Ibanez line of acoustics, though.

you'd be surprised. just like any instrument, they all have their personalities, and may find some lemons. but from the ones i have played... considering their pricetag and playability... even if it doesnt sound as good as an $800 martin, its still $500 less than an $800 martin. and you are totally right about the electronics on these. plugged in they sound great. just dont trust the onboard tuner.

now, if you could only take the fishman electronics from the AEG series ibanez guitars with the optional balanced XLR output, and put it on the yamaha APX series guitars... that would equal one formidable piece IMO (for the money).

LindsayOfSaturn
08-04-2009, 10:31 PM
For all who are interested, I ended up picking up this hohner grand auditorium Ebony EBAE Acoustic/Electric for 305 US including shipping and a case. Can't beat that! Heard nothing but good things about this guitar. It's on its way here right now, I'll let you guys know how I feel once I get it!

http://i299.photobucket.com/albums/mm305/GoalieGirl34/fkjgfhk.jpg

dominicfoundthemooon
08-04-2009, 10:52 PM
For all who are interested, I ended up picking up this hohner grand auditorium Ebony EBAE Acoustic/Electric for 305 US including shipping and a case. Can't beat that! Heard nothing but good things about this guitar. It's on its way here right now, I'll let you guys know how I feel once I get it!

http://i299.photobucket.com/albums/mm305/GoalieGirl34/fkjgfhk.jpg

ha! you went for SEX APPEAL! i soooo did that with a STEVE VAI Custom Acoustic.. look it up... and while i went with that over the martin.. i will have to say it was AMAZING! let us all know how she sounds!! congrats!

but i have to say.. i love my MARTIN!

d

LindsayOfSaturn
08-05-2009, 10:22 AM
Uh, sex appeal? :p I've read the reviews on this guitar and it is just supposed to be an amazing instrument. Also, it has a venetian cutaway(taylor style) which I have always liked. It's got a nice set of controls, looks great and the price was right! The price and the reviews are what really sold me!

Here's some quotes from reviews at Harmony Central.

"One of the best sounding guitars I have ever played... Ranks with the top martins, and sounds better to me than most taylors. Great tone sounds sooo good. I can't say enough about this model. If you pick one up, go to guitar center and compare it with guitars costing thousands more, this one will still out preform most of them..."

"The sound is what sold me.I put it up next to a Taylor of equal size with the same strings and the Hohner out did the Taylor hands down.Even the guy who owned the Taylor agreed."

"Definately a 10 here. The sustain & resonance are unbelievable. I had a Takamine EG523SC which is a jumbo. It couldn't even come close to matching this Hohner in sound. IMO it blew away the Seagul Artist series I used to own as well. I played a friends high end Martin & we both agreed that the Hohner gave it a run for it's money. My preference was the Hohner. He preferred the Martin, but he paid a few thousand more than I did."

Waiting is the hard part!!!!!

Oh and intersting fact....Lanikai Ukes are a part of Hohner.

Pippin
08-05-2009, 09:50 PM
For all who are interested, I ended up picking up this hohner grand auditorium Ebony EBAE Acoustic/Electric for 305 US including shipping and a case. Can't beat that! Heard nothing but good things about this guitar. It's on its way here right now, I'll let you guys know how I feel once I get it!

I thought that looked like an Hohner. At one time, we used to see more of them in the USA, but not as much these days. They are still big in Germany and the UK, for obvious reasons.

NukeDOC
08-06-2009, 06:28 AM
she's a beauty! when she gets in, make sure you take several pics in several angles and post em up on the guitar porn thread!

ed531
08-07-2009, 03:48 AM
For all who are interested, I ended up picking up this hohner grand auditorium Ebony EBAE Acoustic/Electric for 305 US including shipping and a case. Can't beat that! Heard nothing but good things about this guitar. It's on its way here right now, I'll let you guys know how I feel once I get it!

http://i299.photobucket.com/albums/mm305/GoalieGirl34/fkjgfhk.jpg

What's that yellow design on the headstock ?

LindsayOfSaturn
08-20-2009, 10:11 PM
Its not a design, its a reflection actually, but there is a gold kind of swooshy h for the honer logo on there.