View Full Version : Guitar Purchase help

12-12-2009, 04:49 PM
Alright I want to buy my Dad a new or used acoustic guitar. He has some nice electrics (couple teles and a GHL(I think that is what it is it is Leo Fender's new company)) anyways he owns two Takamine acoustics. One is an A/E that is very nice and the other is a lawsuit takamine he bought back in late 70s. I know that he has always wanted a Martin or Taylor and i am wanting to get him a nice acoustic (used). I do have a budget and I want the guitar to be better than his current two takamines. Is 500 enough of a budget? Any suggestions?

12-12-2009, 08:47 PM
$500? You'd better rule out the Taylors. Takamines are pretty nice for the money. It'll be hard to beat them at that price. Keep an eye out on Craig's List or eBay. With the current economy you just might get lucky.

12-12-2009, 09:11 PM
I have a Takamine too! :D Great guitar's for the price.

500 dollars would be too little for a Taylor, the usually run above the 1000 mark, also Martin's. You can check Guitar Center or Sam Ash, but just like what DaveVisi said, you should check Craigslist and Ebay.

12-12-2009, 11:19 PM
with that money, look at Simon & Patrick, or possibly Seagull.

Very nice canadian made guitars. I have the S&P Cedar6, friend who plays a nice Martin says he cant discern sound diff between mine and his and is amazed at the price.

12-13-2009, 12:08 AM
I agree with what's been said, I'm afraid. The chances of getting a decent Martin or Taylor with that budget are slim, even used, because they tend to hold their value quite well. I guess you might just get lucky and find a used Martin 000-15 at around that price -- here in the UK a new 000-15 is about £800, and we pay more because of import taxes etc.

What you get also partly depends on what kind of music he likes to play. The 000-15, for example, is all mahogany, which is favoured by blues players but probably wouldn't be the guitar of choice for, say, bluegrass or for someone who primarily likes to strum (rather than fingerpick).

Hope that helps at least a bit. Good luck! It'll be a great gift if you can find the right one. :)

12-13-2009, 12:56 AM
Masterbilt guitars are in that price range and are really awesome for the money.

Seriously, though, if you want a used Martin, you can find some older D1 and DM models occasionally in that price range. The problem with lower-priced Martins in the used market is that they are typically heavily used and may have problems. It is the $1000 to $1500 range that get you into better quality and conditioned Martins, possibly played a lot by musicians that want to upgrade to a D28 and want to defray the cost.

In the $500 range, consider GAD Guild series guitars (used), Blueridge (new and used). Seagull guitars are nice, but I don't like the headstock shape. Crafter guitars are hard to find, but they are excellent instruments (made in Ireland).

12-13-2009, 05:46 AM
Thanks for info guys. I might be able to go to 1000 and if I do it'll be either a martin or a taylor. My dad plays southern rock style music but he also plays his own stuff. Think ill just save up a little more.

12-13-2009, 06:34 AM
with that money, look at Simon & Patrick, or possibly Seagull.

Very nice canadian made guitars. I have the S&P Cedar6, friend who plays a nice Martin says he cant discern sound diff between mine and his and is amazed at the price.

I agree. I have a Seagull F6 Folk guitar that although it's not as "pretty" as some of the others, it only cost $400 new and sounds like ones twice that price. It's all solid Cherry with a Cedar top. It's flat sawn instead of quarter sawn so you don't have the nice grain pattern of the pricier brands, but it still sounds as good.

If I recall Godin, A&L, S&P, Seagull, La Patrie, and Norman are all made by Godin, each with it's own individual features and price range.

12-13-2009, 06:45 AM
I really dig those Seagull guitars.

12-13-2009, 07:11 AM
One day (if I ever learn to play more than a couple chords)...this is the one I'm after:


12-13-2009, 09:13 AM
Can I also just say that I sincerely hope that when my (currently 13 year old) son gets older, I very much hope he considers buying me a Martin or a Taylor!

You are a cool son!

12-13-2009, 12:50 PM
Can I also just say that I sincerely hope that when my (currently 13 year old) son gets older, I very much hope he considers buying me a Martin or a Taylor!

You are a cool son!

THere are reasons why. My dad hasn't had the most success financially in his life. He has always purchased very good guitars but never a taylor or Martin. I have seen him give away at least 7 strats and teles as well as a few teleacustics. In my life I have only known him owning an old yamaha, the takamine a/e and then the lawsuit takamine that he bought the year I was born. He then traded that takamine to a cousin of his and recently got it back and it was in bad shape. His acoustic interest is pretty much Taylor and Martin. he does not like seagulls and I'm not sure of too many other acoustics out there. I can bump my budget up but that will take a little longer for me. I figure that I get one more financial aid and instead of buying me a Pineapple Sunday or KoAloha tenor I'll spend the money on a Taylor or Martin for him.

His lawsuit takamine is phenomanal and I am wanting to get him something better than what he already has. What level Taylor should i look at getting? I had a roommate that had a 714 A/E and I know that is out of my price range. I have played a 110 and I felt that his takamines were better than this taylor. Taylor is going to be my first choice, then a Martin but I'm not impressed with the newer martins.

01-10-2010, 08:06 AM
The lower end Martins/Taylors are not quite wonderful - ask me if you find a specific model number.

Bottom line: Taylor 300 series and above begin their "standards". Martin 18 series and above likewise.

Many musicians prefer picking their own instruments...

01-10-2010, 10:24 AM
Martins can be good. I personally think Taylors are waaaay overrated (yes, I've played them... a 914ce... "co-own" an 814-LTD). Take a look at Larrivee guitars. I prefer my partner's Larrivee over the Taylor 814.

01-11-2010, 06:50 AM
i dont think you are gonna get a martin or taylor, at least one that is any good for less than 800, and really you need more than a G

01-11-2010, 07:12 AM
I'm going to disagree with Paraclete. My son and I were messing around with some git-fiddles at a guitar shop recently, playing lots of Martins and Taylors. Taylors do have a sound that is different from Martins, and some players will prefer one over the other. The Martins had a much stronger response in the bass register, while the Taylors had a tighter, more focused tone. The ones that made my son and I drool were the Taylors. While the tone was certainly less bassy and more focused than the Martins, there was also a ringing quality to the sound that the Martins just didn't have.

I will agree with Paraclete, however, that Larivee makes some wonderful acoustics that are certainly on par with Martin and Taylor.

01-11-2010, 11:34 AM
But unless you are playing guitars that have been "broken in" , the sound can be difficult to determine. You can generally tell that some guitars will sound better than others. But the 914 I played was very definitely harsh and "echoey" (is that a word?). Whereas the 814 is definitely a player's guitar, warm and mellowed. Don't get me wrong... I really like the 814. There are a lot of good guitars, however, that can be had for less money, though.

I digress... you prolly won't get a good Taylor or Martin for under a grand, unless you meet someone who just really wants to give you a guitar. But try the Acoustic guitar forum if you want some good advice.

01-11-2010, 03:49 PM
+1 for Larrivée - the 03 series (satin finish) are an excellent buy, and used prices are within your budget. One thing I like about Lari is that all guitars in their line-up are built the same, just that the higher series use more attractive wood and finish.

03-17-2010, 11:14 PM
I'm a little late to the discussion, but I have two cents to offer:

I like some of the suggestions so far. I am quite partial to a well seasoned Seagull. No, not for dinner.

Forgive me for speculating, but I am guessing that you want a top tier guitar that will provide him with years of pleasure. Something that will be a part of so many fond memories that it eventually becomes a family heirloom, right? Seriously, a vintage Guild fits the bill. Get him a Guild dreadnought. An old D25 is arguably the best six string guitar you will find for under a grand. It is a buyers market right now and they often pop up in your price range.

For instance, here's a nice D17 with a pickup for $450

The GAD series was mentioned already, but I think you should hold out for a nice used Guild D series made by craftsmen in the good ol' USA. These instruments were designed and built for players. They are very comfortable, well built and sound fantastic. As an added bonus, your Dad will probably get a kick out of joining the folks over at Let's Talk Guild (http://letstalkguild.com). It is a very -- and I mean this with great affection -- "Geezer Friendly" community full of wizened music veterans and retirees enjoying their fine guitars.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I owned a bunch of different guitars for the better part of two decades before I found my Guilds. My left hand often cursed my name. Now, I think back and wonder what took me so doggone long.)