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Author Topic: Best guitar under 1500 $?  (Read 4721 times)

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gus30tavo

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Best guitar under 1500 $?
« on: October 12, 2005, 08:11:51 AM »
Hello. ? would like to buy a new guitar. I?m from Europe so I can?t get a good one real easy (I mean vintage,second hand..). I?m going to buy it by Ebay or something... I?m thinking on LARRIVEE or a chinesee made BLUERIDGE... I need Help...
I play a lot of blues, fingerpicking, ragtime guitar.... (Grossman Style,) so...what do you recomend to me? Which guitar I have to buy?
No more than 1500 $ (I work on a Cd?s shop so i haven?t much money)
Thanks a lot and sorry for the spelling...

Offline Rivers

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Re: Best guitar under 1500 $?
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2005, 09:56:20 AM »

Lookkapypy

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Re: Best guitar under 1500 $?
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2005, 09:57:24 AM »
I would recomend a visit or phone call to http://www.amistar.cz/ in Prague Czech Republic.

Best Regards,
Lookkapypy

Offline a2tom

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Re: Best guitar under 1500 $?
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2005, 10:51:23 AM »
Rivers beat me to it - when I wanted a "budget" guitar for playing blues/ragtime I ended up with a Martin 000-15S.  It's still my main instrument.  Not really up to performing, probably, but just great for playing at home.  In the US you can get them for around $800 to $850. 

That said, I've played many guitars under $500 that were just fine.  I also have a Big Baby Taylor that, honestly, kicks butt (except the nut is too narrow for my liking).  Only $350 I think I payed for it. 

Larrivee, Blueridge - yes, those are definitely on the less expenisve but good list too.

Most of the guitars I've mentioned are readily obtained on EBay.

But, as a friend recently said (after I bought an expensive guitar!) "it's not the guitar, it's what you do with it".

tom

Offline waxwing

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Re: Best guitar under 1500 $?
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2005, 11:26:11 AM »
I think at $1500 US, you have quite a few options. For blues and ragtime, nothing beats the ladder braced sound of an old Oscar Schmidt Stella, for my money, and they can be had for around $1200, leaving another $300 to fix whatever issues it may have. Once brought to good playing condition by a reputable luthier a vintage guitar is more stable and will develop fewer problems than a new guitar that still has some drying to do. Check out both Fraulini Guitars, where regular poster Todd Cambio often has old Stellas he has already repaired for sale, as well as his modern replicas, and occasional poster Neil Harpe's great site stellaguitars.com where Neil also has Stella's that have been brought to good condition for sale. Prices vary but you may find something that suits your budget. Both of these guys are very friendly and approachable. You can contact them and discuss what you are looking for and they will keep an eye out for you if something comes in that fits your needs and budget.

Also having that ladder braced sound are the Gibson made Kalamazoos, particularly the KG-14, and the later Gibson LG-0 and LG-1 (someone correct me if it's the LG-2). These also come up from time to time on ebay, well within your budget. The major issue you may have with these guitars is that, except for the earliest KG-14s, the nut width can be a little narrow for fingerpicking. Also, particularly the LGs can be very variable sound-wise. Stay away from any refinished guitar as it usually robs some of the tone and volume. As with the Stellas, or any vintage guitar from ebay, assume you may have to spend from $200 (refret) to $400 (neck rest) after you get the guitar, unless you have firm assurances from the seller as to the condition and are prepared to ship it back if it doesn't meet the sellers claims.

And always, always. use the paypal escrow payment method. If seller refuses, forget it.

Take your time, do lots off research, play as many guitars as you can just to learn what things sound like. The longer you hold out, the happier you will be with your decision.
 
And Welcome to Weenie Campbell. You too, Lookkapypy.

All for now.
John C.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2005, 12:41:24 PM by waxwing »
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Offline GhostRider

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Re: Best guitar under 1500 $?
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2005, 12:00:02 PM »
Gustavo:

I firmly believe that the Larrivees are the best deals in acoustic guitars today.

For overall playing, I would recommend a OM-sized guitar or equivalent.

I go along with Waxy, a nut width of 1 3/4" is min., unless you have small hands.

If you go to the Links section of the Weenie Canpbell Main Forum, there are lots of good links to guitar makers/ retailers.

Alex
« Last Edit: October 12, 2005, 12:01:27 PM by Pyrochlore »

gus30tavo

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Any Stella guitar is fine???
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2005, 06:24:57 AM »
Hi again...Thanks a lot for answer to my first post.
 I?ve been checking Ebay looking for Stella guitars and I found a couple..But, is the same one from 60?s than 40?s..?
What about these models? : F-63, H6130,1968 FS...
All models have solid wood on top?
Thanks again...

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Any Stella guitar is fine???
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2005, 06:43:28 AM »
Hi Gustavo,

No, not any Stella guitar is fine. The ones from the 60s are not what you'd be after, for the most part, and were made by Harmony. Check Neil Harpe's site at Stella Guitars www.stellaguitars.com for the real thing.

Muddyroads

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Re: Best guitar under 1500 $?
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2005, 07:40:43 AM »
Larivee's are hard to beat, and a very good one can be had for less than $1000 including hard case.   The Martins are   OK, but you get much more for your money from Larivee.  The Blue Ridge guitars look petty good and sound about 3/4 as good as what they copy, but they do have cheesey tuners on them.

A Larivee OM -3 or  OM-3R (rosewood back and sides) make a great  blues finger picking machine.

Hope this helps,

Muddy

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Best guitar under 1500 $?
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2005, 08:10:47 AM »
I'm going to agree with Alex again (against my better judgement of course).

Larrivees are great guitars, with great deals in the -03 series. I have owned several and still own a couple. I have yet to find as consistently good a guitar brand in the $800-1500 range, including Martin. The 15 and 15S series from Martin are favorites of a lot of people, although I've found them much less consistently good. Some I tried were dead, some were really nice. So it's good to be able to try them in person. The necks are too narrow on the 15 as I recall.  The all-mahogany look with slothead on the 15S is nice.

Blueridge have had some good buzz over on the Woodshed I think. The two I've tried were merely OK and if your budget is actually $1500, you can do a lot better IMO.

The problem with vintage stuff like Stellas is you need to get informed before you buy, or buy from very reputable people who deal in them like Neil Harpe or Todd Cambio. I posted the site for Stellas in the other thread. Todd's site is Fraulini Guitars and there's some old models for sale there well within your budget. http://fraulini.com/inventory.html.

There's a Kalamazoo on eBay right now.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2005, 09:36:46 AM by uncle bud »

Offline a2tom

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Re: Best guitar under 1500 $?
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2005, 09:16:24 AM »
in general I tend to agree about Martin in that price range.  Frankly, I have not generally been impressed with new Martins compared to comparably priced peers.  For me, the 000-15S really stood out among the Martin set.  I can't comment at all on consistency among them.  The 000-15S has a 1 3/4" nut, BTW.

I need to play more Larrivees - especially a 12.

tom

Offline waxwing

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Re: Any Stella guitar is fine???
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2005, 10:51:30 AM »
Gustavo, I merged these two topics so that you would have all the info in one place. Hope it's not confusing.

I'm in agreement with Uncle Bud. The guitars built by the original Oscar Schmidt company, before about 1936 are what you would be looking for. There's a reason that all those mass produced Harmony guitars from the '50s and '60s are so cheap. The original OS company was bought by Harmony around '36 and their selection of materials and building techniques were not the same, altho' they did continue to use ladder bracing. Also be aware that someone has revived the Oscar Schmidt label and is making modern guitars with that name. I know nothing about these new guitars.

As both Uncle Bud and I said above, it is very important to do your homework and learn as much as you can about these guitars. Both Neil and Todd can be very helpful in this and Neil even has a small book with the history of Stella guitars and lots of good info, that you can purchase on his site.

Also search around this site as we have had several discussions about Stella guitars which we own.

I would also investigate the Larivees and the Martin 000-15S that have been mentioned, but if you decide to go for an old OS Stella, please feel free to continue to ask for guidance.

All for now.
John C.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2005, 10:58:03 AM by waxwing »
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Offline outfidel

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Re: Best guitar under 1500 $?
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2005, 12:51:48 PM »
Hello. ? would like to buy a new guitar. I?m from Europe so I can?t get a good one real easy (I mean vintage,second hand..). I?m going to buy it by Ebay or something... I?m thinking on LARRIVEE or a chinesee made BLUERIDGE... I need Help...
I play a lot of blues, fingerpicking, ragtime guitar.... (Grossman Style,) so...what do you recomend to me? Which guitar I have to buy?
Hi Gustavo,

Blueridge makes very, very good guitars for the money. Chris Martin (CEO of Martin Guitars) as well as Stefan Grossman have both cited Blueridge, publicly, as examples of high-quality Asian-made guitars.

I've played a couple of Blueridge OMs, such as the BR-43 and BR-143. I didn't care much for their looks (headstock design & top shading), but thought they sounded & felt great to play.
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Offline Chezztone

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Re: Best guitar under 1500 $?
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2005, 01:28:08 PM »
Just buy any guitar that appeals to you and you can afford. And then you can quit thinking about what kind of guitar to buy, and start practicing. How you play matters, oh, about a zillion times more than which guitar you play. Eventually you might find a different guitar that you like more, and buy that one. Or not. You'll be playing so well by then that it won't matter. Have fun!

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