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A skilled trade would mean more to me than a guitar. Some of these guys think they're pretty cute because they can play a guitar, but singing blues and playing a guitar is like molding in a factory except that it's less dependable - Guitar Pete Franklin, from liner notes of "The Blues of Guitar Pete Franklin" Bluesville 1068, Indianapolis 1961

Author Topic: Any Suggestions For New Mid-Price Guitar??  (Read 7090 times)

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Offline Blue in VT

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Any Suggestions For New Mid-Price Guitar??
« on: January 19, 2006, 10:24:31 AM »
Howdy all,

I am a new figerpicker...been playing for about a year now...and my first guitar, a cheap Alvarez Regent Series, is about to lose its bridge...its quickly coming unglued!  Anyway, not wanting to put a lot of money into fixing a $150 guitar I'm starting to look for a slightly better instrument and was hoping you all had some suggestions.  I would like it to be in $500 to $700 range...I'm not good enough to justify anything better...yet.  Several Friends have suggested the upper end of the Epiphone series...and I played around alittle with a Taylor 100 the other day that was really nice and surprisingly fairly affordable c.$600.

What do you all suggest?

thanks for your help

Blue in VT
Blue in VT

Offline GhostRider

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Re: Any Suggestions For New Mid-Price Guitar??
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2006, 11:03:36 AM »
Howdy:

I think for the money, you can't beat Larrivee. I see basically new (1-3 years old) Larrivee short scale parlor guitars go for $4-500 on ebay all the time. I think that these would be great for CB.

Alex

Offline Stuart

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Re: Any Suggestions For New Mid-Price Guitar??
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2006, 11:42:35 AM »
I'll second that. Although I don't own one, Larrivee builds a solid guitar for the money. The "used but virtually new" market on eBay sounds like just the ticket. You should keep your eyes open for local deals, but having lived in Burlington and Middlebury I know that--at least in the past--there wasn't a large used instrument market in Vermont. Your budget is important, but if you see something that really grabs you, jump on it. Those of us who have been around the block a few times know first hand what this form of the "Hesitation Blues" is all about. In addition, don't worry about being a new fingerpicker--we were all new fingerpickers at one point. Look ahead a few years and get something good. You don't want to end up spending the same "guitar money" twice.

Offline Blue in VT

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Re: Any Suggestions For New Mid-Price Guitar??
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2006, 10:26:07 AM »
Thanks for the advice guys...I guess the idea of slightly used hadn't really crossed my mind but it is probably a great way to get something that might be slightly out of my price range if i bought it new.  Buying from ebay scares me alittle...do you'll have any experience in doing so?

Stuart-
I am completely unaware of the used market...as it is in VT, I live in Vergennes, any suggestions of where to look?  Also while I have your ear...are you familiar with any decent fingerpicking instructors around here.

thanks again,

Blue in VT
Blue in VT

Offline markm

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Re: Any Suggestions For New Mid-Price Guitar??
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2006, 10:57:28 AM »
Larrivee is a great suggestion.  Seagull is another great guitar for the money.  Either the Grand (parlor size) or the S6 Folk are great for fingerstyle.  Solid Cedar or Spruce top and their Godin's own homegrown cherry, which they laminate for the sides and back.  Nice wide neck (except the Grand).  I just saw a cutaway yesterday with electronics for about $550.00.  I have purchased several Seagulls over the years and have always been impressed with the quality for price ratio.

Epiphone has not really impressed me. 

You can even find a used Martin for the price you are talking about but for that price range I would try it first. 

Mark McDonald

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Any Suggestions For New Mid-Price Guitar??
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2006, 11:06:54 AM »
Hi Blue,

Not sure where Vergennes is in relation to Brattleboro, VT, but have you checked Maple Leaf Music there? They sell Larrivees (as well as some high end stuff like Collings). They also sell used instruments. They currently have a new Larrivee OM-03 http://www.mapleleafmusic.com/photoshow.cfm?ins=983.

They also have an older Harmony, solid mahogany, spruce top, that you might want to ask about, for $395. I'd try to pay less than that for it, and would want to play it first, but it could be a good blues box. http://www.mapleleafmusic.com/photoshow.cfm?ins=1055

They're not sure of it's vintage and neither am I. I'm no expert but I don't think it's from the 40s though.

The neck might be an issue for you. A lot of Taylors have narrow profile modern necks, and Larrivees can be fairly narrow as well (though less so than Taylors in my experience). These are comfortable in some respects but getting used to a thicker neck like this Harmony is likely to have can be very worthwhile in the long run, especially for playing this kind of music.

Edited to add: I should mention that I have a Larrivee OM, and it is a great little box. You should feel very confident buying a Larrivee, I prefer them to Taylors, and they blow things like Epiphone out of the water.
UB
« Last Edit: January 20, 2006, 11:10:54 AM by uncle bud »

Offline GhostRider

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Re: Any Suggestions For New Mid-Price Guitar??
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2006, 11:16:28 AM »
Hi:

In dealing with guitars on ebay, you have less risk with "late models" ie. fairly new ones. I have had had no bad experiances buying  guitars under 10 years old.

Alex

Offline Blue in VT

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Re: Any Suggestions For New Mid-Price Guitar??
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2006, 11:23:34 AM »
Brattleboro is a bit of a hike but not unbearable...especially to look at some quality guitars like these...I really like the look of that larivee.  can you give me some more info on why it would be better to get used to a thicker neck style...just because more vintage guitars are likely to have that style?  

Even if I decide to go with a Larivee from the net it sure would be nice to have held...and heard...one before taking the plunge.

thanks for all the feed back...you've all given me alot to think about

I see a roadtrip in my future!

Blue in VT
Blue in VT

Offline Stuart

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Re: Any Suggestions For New Mid-Price Guitar??
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2006, 01:27:17 PM »
Hi Blue:

I haven't lived in Vermont for over 25 years, so I'm not much help re: fingerstyle teachers in the vicinity of Vergennes. From what I hear Burlington has changed so much that you actually might find someone up there if you look hard enough.

I agree with Uncle Bud about an OM being a good choice. They have a little more punch than a OOO due to their longer scale length. You should be able to find one on eBay if you are patient. I've heard of Maple Leaf Music and in addition, I have a friend who plays guitar who has a house outside of Rutland. The next time I talk to him, I'll ask him if he knows of any music shops worth recommending.

It is certainly more comfortable to buy a guitar that you have played, but as Alex mentions, the newer used models seem to be safer bets if you are going to be buying through eBay.

Another avenue might be to get a copy of Acoustic Guitar and call around to the various shops that advertise in the back pages. They might just have something used on the shelf that someone has traded in for a different model. As an aside, when I was at the Martin factory several years ago I had a chat with one of the Customer Service people. He remarked that some people "go through guitars like they do cars--or wives and husbands" (his words). The result is that there are a lot of used guitar bargains out there. An instrument that someone would be perfectly happy with for a lifetime is someone else's reject. IMHO more of a comment on human nature than on musical instruments. So look around, keep your eyes open, and above all, be patient.

Offline NotRevGDavis

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Re: Any Suggestions For New Mid-Price Guitar??
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2006, 02:43:31 PM »
Hey Blue,
As far as a nice sounding instrument I would also recommend Larrivee Guitars, the 03 models are very well built guitars for a very good price and their customer service is excellent. I visited the factory in Vancouver where the 03 series is built and was impressed with the assembly process.

At the Larrivee Forum there is a used 2002 Larrivee OM-04 for $650.
You might also want to check with Jason at Notable Guitars he is very helpful when buying and trading guitars. He has some OM03R's at a discount right now and he may have some trade ins.
Another possibility for a mid price guitar would be a Martin 000-15S another great guitar at a good price.
Good luck with your search,
Gary
Got the name, still workin' on the licks!

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Any Suggestions For New Mid-Price Guitar??
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2006, 02:05:49 AM »
Just to echo what has already been said - a couple of years ago I bought a Larriv?e Rosewood Parlor on eBay and had it shipped over to the UK.  I was attracted to it because the seller gave a comprehensive description, including mentioning a slight ding on the back of the neck that was invisible to the eye, but which you could just feel with your finger.  He also included lots of photos and you could tell from the description that he knew about guitars, and was not some fly-by-night trying it on.

It arrived in a superb TKL hard case, beautifully packaged and in perfect condition.  The total cost for guitar, shipping, insurance & tax was around 400 pounds.  The list price for a new one (if you could find one) in the UK at the time was 800 pounds with a soft case.

The guitar is excellent.  As you often read on the internet, the Larriv?e Parlor guitars are second-to-none.  The woods and workmanship are impeccable.  My only issue personally is that whilst it has a wide fretboard, the neck is a little shallow.  I have longish fingers, so prefer a bit more "meat" to get hold of.  However, I'm happy to put up with this and play the Larry alongside my other two guitars.  Also, I think it is important for a small-bodied guitar like this to have 12 frets to the body, as it means the bridge is positioned at the widest part of the top, thus making it work more.

I have to agree though, if you can try out the guitars in a store, you will find out what suits YOU and that is most important.  Listen to other people's opinions (and there are clearly some highly qualified Weenies out there), but at the end of the day you have to play the thing, so go for something you like (which includes not being swayed by a particular brand name).

Good luck and let your fellow Weenies know what you eventually buy.
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline Blue in VT

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Re: Any Suggestions For New Mid-Price Guitar??
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2006, 01:20:51 PM »
Weenie's

Allright!!!  thanks for all the wonderfull suggestions...I have some homework to do, all this new terminology is daunting. Is there a good resource to clarify all the size differences (000, 0M, etc.) that someone can suggest?

As I mentioned I have only begun my quest in the fingerpicking world...but I'm seriously hooked.  Anyway...now I have more questions than I started out with...though progress is being made.  Larrivee is sounding better and better, and ebay doesn't seem quite as scary.  I think that the Larrivee forum, mentioned by NotRevGDavis will be a wonderful resource.  The notable guitars website also has some great guitars for sale most out of my price range but fun to look at...and something may come up

I have never played a parlor guitar before...they look quite small...which seems more comfortable but I would defiantly want to try one out.  The OM-Larrivee's, seem to my untrained eye, to be more similar to the Alvarez I've been playing and may be more of an all purpose instrument?

Whats everyones feelings on 12-frets over 14.  Seems the parlors only have 12...right now I don't play any songs where I need more neck space than that but will I in the future...who knows.

Thanks again for all the feed back...All these new resources will take some time to investigate.  Patience is a virtue...I'll keep my eyes peeled and start saving my pennies.

Cheers,


Blue in VT
Blue in VT

Offline Pan

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Re: Any Suggestions For New Mid-Price Guitar??
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2006, 01:54:32 PM »
Hi Blue in VT

One place where different guitar sizes are explained is this: http://www.torvund.net/guitar/equipment/Guitars_Acoustic.asp.
I'm sure there are others, maybe better ones, but with this I came across first.

Cheers, Pan

Offline Stuart

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Re: Any Suggestions For New Mid-Price Guitar??
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2006, 02:07:53 PM »
Hi Blue:

I spoke to my friend in the Rutland area and he said that you might look at some of the music stores in New Hampshire--the ones that are right across the border. He said West Lebanon might be worth a look. He also mentioned an authorized Martin repair facility, "The Violin Shop" (802-254-5525) that just might be able to generate a few leads. Hope this helps.

Offline Blue in VT

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Re: Any Suggestions For New Mid-Price Guitar??
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2006, 05:58:43 AM »
Weenies,

Thanks Pan...that site is very helpfull...all this discussion make a lot more sense

Thanks Stuart...the violin shop will certainly beorth a call and the shops in NH would be only a slight diversion from my Brattleborro road trip.

Cheers,


Blue
Blue in VT

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