Should I buy this guitar?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by benlee, May 14, 2008.

  1. benlee macrumors 65816

    benlee

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    Mar 4, 2007
    #1
  2. jb60606 macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 27, 2008
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    Chicago
    #2
    almost any working and tunable guitar will work fine for a beginner. My first guitar was an unlabeled classical acoustic throw-in from a Toyota dealership when I was 5. However, if you know you're going to stick with it, can you afford to throw in another $150?

    Taylor Big Baby:

    [​IMG]

    I've no experience with Ibanez, but you can't really go wrong with a Martin or Taylor acoustic.

    If not, just make sure whatever guitar you choose has positive reviews. Then, run down to guitar center to give it a few strums of some open chords. Make sure the neck is straight, the action isn't too high and fits comfortably in your hand.
     
  3. chrismac00 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    #3
    If it's going to be your first guitar, get an Acoustic-Electric. I really regret not getting an Acoustic-Electric.

    I got an Acoustic for my first guitar. It's good, don't get me wrong but my friend bought this really cool Acoustic-Electric. The sound is amazing. And it's both an Acoustic and Electric guitar.

    http://http://www.guitarcenter.com/Ibanez-V-Series-V70CE-Dreadnought-Cutaway-Acoustic-Electric-Guitar-102567492-i1150613.gc

    That is the one she bought and it cost her $200. If you're planning on spending $300, might as well get an amp too.

    I would mostly advise though that you go check them out at Guitar Center or any store that sells Guitars. Doing so will help you choose.
     
  4. jb60606 macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Unless I misunderstood you, I don't think that's an acoustic/electric hybrid (or semi-electric guitar - electric guitar with sound-chambers/hollow body). It's an acoustic guitar with electronics (pickups) to amplify the acoustic tone, otherwise known as an electric/acoustic (and vice versa).
     
  5. benlee thread starter macrumors 65816

    benlee

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    #5
    I would love to get a Taylor. I was drawn to them when I went to the guitar shop. My friend used to sell Taylor guitars and I love the look, feel, and sound of them. I just don't know if I can justify buying one for my first guitar. But then again it would last me longer.




     
  6. Melrose macrumors 604

    Melrose

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    #6
    I 've played Ibanez guitars and don't really care for them sound-wise (although I know guys who just love them... to each his own) - I would recommend an Alvarez to start, you'll get a nice, crisp-yet-mellow sound. It would keep you going as well - not a cheapy you'd get tried of once you move up to a nicer one. It is a bit more than you want to pay though... For a nice guitar that you'll want to keep, you'll spend $350-550 (in general... always play a guitar before you buy).
    [​IMG]
    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/prod...eadnought-AcousticElectric-Cutaway?sku=518795

    Martins are by far the best ones money can buy (at $2,000-$3,000) for a good one. I played a Clapton Signature last year - it was almost impossible to get a sour note out of that beauty! Pity they don't make those anymore...
     
  7. macwall macrumors 6502

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    Nov 5, 2007
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    Cupertino, CA
    #7
    Yes, you definitely have to play a guitar before you buy it. Try to find a reputable shop that'll make sure your guitar is properly set up before it goes out the door too. Most guitars (especially cheap ones) come from the factory with really high action because it's easier to lower it than raise it. This ends up being really hard on your fingers and can become discouraging for a beginner. Also, high action hides uneven frets, so make sure to check from fret buzz on every fret and string.
     
  8. thechidz macrumors 68000

    thechidz

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    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    New York City
    #8
    I HIGHLY recommend getting a used guitar from someone you trust. Guitars hold their value, in fact, they are one of the better investments one can make, so dont worry about spending a little money. Ibanez do make decent beginner guitars, I would also recommend the Taylor or Martin as others have pointed out. Otherwise, Takamine, Ovation, Seagull, make good cheap guitars....
     
  9. digitalnicotine macrumors 65816

    digitalnicotine

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    USA
    #9

    I completely agree with this, and will add that the brand is not nearly as important, as the best brands can arrive damaged or defective. Check it out in person, and get it set up by a pro. If you end up spending a bit more than you expected for your "first guitar", don't worry too much about that. If you get a decent first guitar, the likelihood that you'll stick with it is much greater, and if you find the more expensive guitar is "not for you", you'll have better luck getting a decent return on your investment when selling it. $500 for your first guitar is not unreasonable, imo.

    As far as acoustic vs. acoustic/electric, I'll throw in my 2 cents. I've never met a serious guitar player who had only one guitar. Never. I myself have 5, and use them all often. When you're first learning, it's good to have a decent acoustic to learn technique and how to tailor your sound.

    Playing on a decent acoustic will build up your hand strength and skills, and then when you move on to an electric guitar (should you choose), you'll find the transition is easier than the reverse. At least it was for me! :)

    I have 2 acoustics (one is the Baby Taylor) for playing anywhere, an acoustic/electric for studio work, 2 electrics for jam sessions and performing with others (strat and telecaster), and a classical (nylon strings) for chilling out and continuing to build up my skills. I learned on a cheap acoustic that I had set up in a local shop, (prior to that I almost quit because it hurt so much to play I couldn't stand it for more than 30 minutes!).

    I wish you the best, and hope you enjoy the guitar as much as I do. :)
     
  10. CharmCty macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    #10
    2 tips

    I agree that if you drop around $500 you'll see a better return either way - you'll be able to sell the guitar easier if it doesn't work out, and the sound that $ can get you should keep you wanting to play it.

    two important points for you to think about:

    1) NEVER buy an instrument you have not played. If you have not played that specific instrument, you do not know how it sounds and are entering into an uncertain situation. Granted, you may wind up loving the sound, but you could wind up hating the sound or feel of the instrument and not want to play it - waste of money.

    2) Well made guitars age like good wine - the sound gets better with time. This is only true if the guitar is made of solid wood - not composite. Make sure that whichever guitar you buy (I would recommend strictly acoustic for your first) has a solid top at the very least. I have had a seagull S6 solid cedar top for about 15 years, played heavily, and it sounds better than the day I bought it.
     
  11. WOZhipper macrumors newbie

    WOZhipper

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    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Mexico
    #11
    Play a guitar before you buy...look for low action and a confortable neck..

    I love Ibanez ...it shows

    [​IMG]
     
  12. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

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    Jun 12, 2006
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    norcal
    #12
    i am a huge fan of anything ibanez does and think that in 75% percent of their products, their price is fair against the competition, as in this case would be epiphone, yamaha, daisy, and taylor (from what i last saw in that range at guitar center)

    i don't know if martin has a guitar in that range but for $320 without case, i saw a composite back and sides 00 sized cutaway martin at guitar center...of course a 00 size is considerably smaller than the ibanez you are considering but i had a martin 00-17 with mahogany top, from 1947, and the thing kept up nicely against many full body sized modern steel string guitars
     
  13. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

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    norcal
    #13
    omg

    that's a great collection

    i know you have GAS

    GAS = gear acquisition syndrome
     
  14. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #14
    every one of the 60 guitars i have owned as a collector first, then later a player (outside of the house, finally) were ones i played first...i never bough a guitar sight unseen...and i only retain 2 guitars today

    as for your second point, correct me if i am wrong, but a laminated top acoustic also gets better with age, but not nearly as well as a solid top acoustic, of course

    there are some really great old takamine and harmony acoustic out there that are pure magic and all those i have seen have laminated tops...maybe there was a solid spruce top from one of those makers in the 60s or 70s, but not many i have seen

    if i had a choice though between a poorly fretted acoustic with bad tuners with a solid top vs. a laminated top acoustic with great frets and super nice tuners, i would still take the solid top one

    i had, as mentioned and old martin and much of it, including frets, had damage, but that thing sang...and while the top was solid, it was only mahogany and not the much more desired spruce

    i did see a spruce version of my old martin, almost the same year, and it went for three times as much...and spruce, on anything i have seen, has much more volume than mahogany, maple, or koa (a hawaiian mahogany)

    also, i came across a couple of old gibsons with open back, crappy, tuners with plastic tuning pegs, but those guitars were very nice with those aged solid tops
     
  15. benlee thread starter macrumors 65816

    benlee

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    #15
    So I have decided to spend a little more money than originally anticipated on my first guitar for a variety of reasons.

    Ones I have been looking at are:

    Martin DX1
    http://www.guitarcenter.com/Martin-DX1-Dreadnought-Acoustic-Guitar-100895119-i1148383.gc

    The original Ibanez AC30NT

    Ibanez AC3ECENT
    http://www.guitarcenter.com/Ibanez-...S-Acoustic-Electric-Guitar-512303-i1173598.gc

    Of course I will make my decision after playing them. However, any more specific advise would be greatly appreciated.

    I'm mainly looking at Martin or Ibanez because I have heard great things about both and I really love the sound of both of them on guitars that I have played.

    I never thought choosing my first guitar would be such a difficult decision.
     
  16. floyde macrumors 6502a

    floyde

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    Apr 7, 2005
    Location:
    Monterrey, México
    #16
    Make sure you try an ovation before you leave the shop. They're my favorite for Acoustic-Electrics.
     
  17. glocke12 macrumors 6502a

    glocke12

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    #17
    At that price range I would take a look at a takamine dreadnought. I bought one for a nephew of mine, and it sounds pretty decent. As far as the acoustic/electric part, you can always have a pickup installed.

    You may want to check out carvins line of acoustics also, I think they are in your price range.


    Also, at Guitar Center, dont EVER pay the full price for something. ive bought several items from there, and am usually able to get about 10-15% of the price knocked off.

    You may also want to look at used acoustics (but with someone who knows what they are looking at, like a teacher maybe), often times you can get a better model used for a much lower price.

    Most important of all, since your a beginner, make sure that you are comfortable playing, and like the sound of whatever you buy. There is no bigger turn off to learning than using a crappy guitar to learn on.
     
  18. Melrose macrumors 604

    Melrose

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    Elsewhere
    #18
    I have a friend who swears by Ovations - I've played several and they do sound really nice, I agree. I just can't over the fact that they're composite!

    @Benlee:
    Buying a guitar isn't really a tough decision, just a bit time-consuming. Once you've got an idea of what you're looking for, check around. Never 'settle' for a guitar that you don't connect with. I know that sounds weird, but with acoustics you get a certain feeling when you play them; Make sure you like the guitar: It's sound, how it feels, how you feel playing it.

    ...and especially don't be ever be put off by age. A lot of beginners don't realize that if a guitar has been well-played it can sounds far and away superior. Like has already been said, *check out the used ones*!
     
  19. digitalnicotine macrumors 65816

    digitalnicotine

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    Jan 11, 2008
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    USA
    #19
    They both look like contenders, but you'll know after sitting down with them and playing a bit. It only seems like a difficult decision now, because you're not in a guitar shop strumming and falling in love with one (or more). :)

    If you have an experienced guitar player that you can take with you to your local shop, and check out some new and used models, all the better. The temptation to purchase a new model vs. old is common, but actually playing/feeling/smelling/hearing them will help you overcome that temptation quickly. ;)

    We've given you a lot of specific information, and plenty for you to make this decision, so don't worry. You're prepared now if you heed our words. Walk right past the sales associate, and explore. Give yourself a good block of time to pick up every acoustic they have, and spend a bit of time with each. I guarantee you, that within an hour, you'll have a few you're considering, as well as a few you wouldn't take home for free.

    The used models will likely already be set up, and will feel better when playing. The good used models will have a nice tone that resonates, and you'll be able to tell the difference easily. A lot of the new models will have new strings, and sound very bright, but a bit off in tone because they haven't been played much, if at all. When you hear a fret buzz, you'll know what we're talking about. It's unpleasant, and ruins the tone.

    If you're not that experienced yet, have one of the sales associates strum for you, and listen to the tone, and note how they appear while playing it, as well as how they treat the instrument. I know this sounds crazy, but I'm totally serious here.

    There is almost guaranteed to be a guitar player in every guitar shop, but if you have an experienced friend to bring along, have them play various guitars to help you decide.

    A solid spruce top acoustic with good tone is a good investment, regardless of the brand, or if it's new or used. Ask about whether or not the guitar you're considering has been set up, and if not, how to go about having it done. Don't be shy to ask any questions you may have while in the store. You're ready to do this, and I'm confident you'll make a good choice. Good luck to you. :)
     
  20. jb60606 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    #20
    digitalnicotine brings up a good point: If you're going to a Guitar Center, they usually have a decent selection of used/consignment guitars to choose from. With a used guitar, you know exactly what you're getting -- there's rarely a 'break-in' period.

    Though, I have to say, I'm not a fan of these huge instrument megastores. In my experience they're typically understaffed, not extremely knowledgeable and some of their guitars are not cared for very well even after being played by up to hundreds of customers. If you live in a large city, try and check with some smaller mom & pops first.

    and this is moot, but I'm going to say it anyway as I have been collecting guitars for over 16yrs: Not that you'll ever want to sell it, but Martins have excellent resell value. I'm sure some Ibanez guitars may too... I just haven't had much experience with them.

    just my $.02
     
  21. 4JNA macrumors 68000

    4JNA

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    #21
    count me in as third on this one. destroyed several decent all wood guitars due to travel/gigs and moving in general. ended up with an ovation in a once in a lifetime deal, and have never looked back. it sounds great, it plays great, it travels great. i just love the thing and the way it feels. i will say that some of the high end woods sound better in my opinion, but i wouldn't trade for anything. if i was rich i would keep the ovation, and purchase a new Goodall in some custom finish. amazing stuff...

    to echo some of the posts above; get a good one. poor sound/quality/action make for a miserable experience, and it will only get worse, not better!
     
  22. thechidz macrumors 68000

    thechidz

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    Location:
    New York City
    #22
    looks like the consensus here is to spend money for something you know you will enjoy. And since you are a member of macrumors I would assume you know the value of quality over cost when it comes to computers;)
     
  23. h0e0h macrumors 6502a

    h0e0h

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    Aug 30, 2004
    Location:
    West Monroe, Louisiana
    #23
    I second the vote for the Alvarez AD60CK. I have one of these and I absolutely love it. The built-in tuner (BTW Excellent feature) is amazing. Also the Alvarez case made for this guitar fits it perfectly. You will not be disappointed with this model. You can probably, though, find it cheaper as I only paid $349 for mine.
     
  24. thechidz macrumors 68000

    thechidz

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    #24
    Alvarez does make a very good guitar for the price and this one looks pretty sweet...
     
  25. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

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    norcal
    #25
    though i have not traveled a lot, gigging in a rock situation with an all wood acoustic has always been sketchy for me, especially in places that served alcohol

    i never brought my vintage martin to a rock gig
     

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