What to check in a budget acoustic?

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by blacai, Sep 20, 2018.

  1. blacai

    blacai SS.org Regular

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    So my custom kiiras will not be ready until end of october-november and I don't want to buy an electric in the meantime.
    Not few times I have thought it would be nice to have an acoustic to play different stuff and "expand" my creativeness.

    Let's say I have no idea about acoustic guitars. I have played lot of models cheap and expensive in the Musikmesse every year but I just can say "it sounds loud or crispy", "this is smoother" .

    Budget would be around 500€ for example. What should I check? And of course, if you can recommend a specific model even better.

    Only I know is I would like it with cutaway. Fishman or similar system would be nice to have or maybe I am wrong and you can throw some lines about for what is good or not.

    In case it matters, I will not play country stuff, just some acoustic folk, "classic rock" and "doomy".
     
  2. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    just go to a store and play them, see which one feel right to you and which would sound better.
     
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  3. dr_game0ver

    dr_game0ver SS.org Regular

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    Yamaha or used Furch.
     
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  4. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    The cheap Yamaha without the electronics is a great guitar. I payed 200USD for mine new. I had to sand down the back of the bridge a little to drop the action but other than that it is a joy to play.
     
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  5. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    500 Euros is a pretty high budget. You'll get something very nice for that price. As to what to look for, I think you'll benefit from Hollowways One Step Plan to Acoustic Guitar Buying:
    1) Play it and see if you like it.


    But seriously go with your ears on this. And fingers, of course. Don't think that a guitar you don't like the sound of is better, just because it's more expensive. Yeeeeears ago I bought a $300 A&L that just sounded way better than guitars four times its price when I played them all in the music store. Acoustics are meant to be heard, er, acoustically, so just play it and see how it feels and sounds. You won't have to worry about major issues cropping up on a 500 Euro guitar. If you can, though, shoot for a non-laminated cedar or spruce top. They hold value better, and are generally regarded as aging better, and sounding better.
     
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  6. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    I agree 100% with the guys saying to go to a store and find something you enjoy playing and sounds good.

    But, when it comes to cheaper, especially sub-$1k acoustics, there is one import thing to check: the bracing of the top.

    You'll find that some cheaper acoustics will sound great. They sound great because the manufacturer reduced the amount of bracing on the top. This lets the top/soundboard vibrate more freely which in turn gives you a more lively response, better volume and projection and a sweeter tone. The downside of minimal bracing on cheap acoustics is its prone to deform. There's just not enough holding the top steady. So if you find a cheaper acoustic that you love the sound of, check visually to make sure that the top, notably around the bridge, is nice and flat. If there's any convex bending of the top around the bridge, move on to a different guitar.
     
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  7. Edika

    Edika SS.org Regular

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    If you go only spec wise, as I'm in a similar boat, I've found that the Fender PM series has all solid woods on the top back and sides and the standard line is around €500. If you go used you might get the deluxe version.
    The Faith Venus model is on a similar boat with a bigger body and the non gloss model is about €500 new and has all solid woods. Maybe you can find the high gloss ones at that price used.
     
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  8. blacai

    blacai SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the answers. You all are right, better play them before buying.
    Last week I tried the yamaha fx370c and a couple of LAGs. The yamaha felt really nice and sounded "full" while the LAGs where too shinny and weak.
    I will check if I find a second hand furch but It looks like the yamaha was the best so far
     

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