Larrivee Guitar Forum

Main Forums => Other Guitar Makers => Topic started by: SlowFingers on February 26, 2005, 01:07:16 AM



Title: $500 Budget...any Input?
Post by: SlowFingers on February 26, 2005, 01:07:16 AM
Well, I just started this guitar hobby, can barely play anything, and I already have GAS (or I am becoming a guitar Ho....as we would call it on the golf boards). I bought an extremely cheap guitar and I am very unhappy with it right now, especially after having tested a few other models on the next level up.

So, tomorrow, I am going to buy something a bit better. I have a budget of $500 on this purchase, but I will also need to get a case (and would not mind if I could score a tuner and humidifier while I am at it, but that would just be gravy).

I definitely want a solid top guitar. My favorite that I have tested so far is the Seagull S6+, because the large neck seems to fit my bigger hands and there seems to be a little more room between strings. Here are some guitars I am considering:

Seagull S6+ (obviously...maybe even an S6 or M6)
Simon & Patrick S6 (basically the same guitar as above)
Breedlove Atlas AD200SM
BlueRidge BR140 or 143

Those are the top contenders in my price range right now, leaving myself a bit of wiggle room for extras. There are a few others I might be able to squeeze in if I haggle a good deal. I also have an interest in some guitars by Garrison, Cort, and Tanglewood, but am uncertain about availability.

So, tomorrow I will test everything at any shop I can get to and make a decision. Do any of you have any suggestions of other guitars to consider, or any thoughts on those I already have in mind?

Also note that I am aware there are some fine guitars made by Washburn, Fender, Alvarez, Ibanez, and Tak (and a few others), but the number of models they sell is just tremendous. Reading reviews on all of these shows that opinions vary greatly from model to model, and it is difficult to remember which ones got good reviews and which were bad, which had solid tops versus laminated, etc. So, if you have a specific model in one of those worth looking at, give me a model number and I will see what the reviews look like and possibly give them a test run.

I was considering looking into a Sigma DM1ST, because they are Martin guitars, but I have heard mixed reviews on those as well. I am wondering whether a low-end Martin is really better than the Canadian-made Godin models.

As you have probably figured out, the Seagulls are an early favorite just due to comfort level and solid reviews I have seen on everything they make. But I am not ruling anything out at this point.

I would appreciate any input or advice you guys might have

 


Title: $500 Budget...any Input?
Post by: orsino on February 26, 2005, 01:12:38 AM
For a couple of hundred more you can have an 03 series. You won't be sorry.


Title: $500 Budget...any Input?
Post by: C-10thunder on February 26, 2005, 02:02:52 AM
Quote
For a couple of hundred more you can have an 03 series. You won't be sorry.
I'll second that.The 03 series can be had for just a little bit more and you'll have a guitar you can enjoy learning on and would be proud to hang on to.No sense buying cheap when you can get the Larrivee value we all know so well.
At worst I would consider a used lower end Larrivee over most of the makers you mentioned.
Just my opinion though,
Ron


Title: $500 Budget...any Input?
Post by: Barefoot Rob on February 26, 2005, 02:10:29 AM
I've got to agree with Tom and Ron,add a couple of hundred and an 03 is yours.Check the buu sell section for used.


Title: $500 Budget...any Input?
Post by: Artisan on February 26, 2005, 02:50:21 AM
I can only comment on the Breedlove Atlas series you mentioned, for that kind of money... And if you have not played one, I suggest you play two or even three, and note there will be no difference in the quality, sound, setup-action or the intonation.  It's hard to believe they can make this quality for the price.  I am totally impressed.  You could get the guitar, the gig-bag, and some goodies for under $ 500, with shipping.

Sorry, I love Larrivees too, but the Atlas series is a real bargain.  B)  


Title: $500 Budget...any Input?
Post by: SlowFingers on February 26, 2005, 02:59:56 AM
I appreciate the replies, guys. I understand I could get a Larrivee for a bit more. However, I am stretching the budget right now to get to the $500 figure. Another couple hundred is not in the cards. Even if it were, I am not convinced I would go with the Larry (though it is possible). Some of the other Breedlove's would enter the equation, as would some Taylors and Martins.


Title: $500 Budget...any Input?
Post by: jmhyer on February 26, 2005, 03:24:24 AM
My vote is for the Seagull.  A pretty good deal for an S6 or M6 (new) would be $300-350 without case.  Throw in a gigbag for $20-35 or decent generic hard-shell case for $70-90.  That should leave a little for an inexpensive electronic tuner and some new strings.  Grand total should easily be <$500 and you would have a great guitar that you could play for a very, very long time.

Suggestion - Pick up the guitar only at your local store and take it home.  That way you know if it feels and sounds good.  Order the case/gig-bag, strings, and tuner from some place like Musician's Friend for a better deal.

Happy shopping.  :)


Title: $500 Budget...any Input?
Post by: bing4sons on February 26, 2005, 03:30:40 AM
If you're patient, you can probably get an -03 off of eBay for that.  I got my son's OM-03 for $400.  I had to buy a case, but still under $500 total.


Title: $500 Budget...any Input?
Post by: SlowFingers on February 26, 2005, 03:32:07 AM
Quote
Suggestion - Pick up the guitar only at your local store and take it home.  That way you know if it feels and sounds good.  Order the case/gig-bag, strings, and tuner from some place like Musician's Friend for a better deal.

 
Good idea. I like it. I was actually think about bargaining a bit to get some of those thrown in (or discounted) if possible, but that is a good plan as a fall back. Thanks.


Title: $500 Budget...any Input?
Post by: Randy_R on February 26, 2005, 03:54:32 AM
you can certainly get an -01 or -02 for that price. And maybe an -03.

Have a little patience and it will happen.  ;)  


Title: $500 Budget...any Input?
Post by: jwieties on February 26, 2005, 04:16:55 AM
A lot of great guitars in that price range.  In addition to the ones mentioned I would try to check out Tacoma and their Olympia imports.  The seagull is a sure thing.  They are really nice guitars.

Here is a L-01 that was listed in your price range.
http://www.larriveeforum.com/forums/index....t=ST&f=6&t=5077 (http://www.larriveeforum.com/forums/index.php?act=ST&f=6&t=5077)

You may also consider calling a couple of the dealers on the board and asking them what is the best guitar they can get your for $500.  I am sure they would be able to find you something reasonable for that price.
-josh
 


Title: $500 Budget...any Input?
Post by: SlowFingers on February 26, 2005, 04:17:11 AM
Quote
you can certainly get an -01 or -02 for that price. And maybe an -03.

Have a little patience and it will happen.  ;)
Thanks. I will look into those as well. Hard to have patience when you are on one as bad as mine, and really, really wanting to make a change.


Title: $500 Budget...any Input?
Post by: brimc76 on February 26, 2005, 05:26:31 AM
I looked at both the Seagull artist and the Simon and Patrick Pro models when I started looking. There is a big difference in the neck widths of these two so you should try them both out to see which feels better to you. Both are good brand names for the price range you are looking at and if you buy one without the electronics installed you should get a good deal.
I had a bit more in my budget and ended up with a D05 which I love. Don't buy too quickly without trying out a few first, and don't overlook a good quality used instrument.  


Title: $500 Budget...any Input?
Post by: Adam on February 26, 2005, 06:17:58 AM
http://www.elderly.com/vintage/items/20U-9552.htm (http://www.elderly.com/vintage/items/20U-9552.htm)


Title: $500 Budget...any Input?
Post by: el guitana on February 26, 2005, 12:09:51 PM
There's what you want in the post above!

Other than that, you are here because you really want a Larrivée.

But, if you must budget, I think the current best way to go would be a solid top/back Takamine. You might get lucky on a Washburn, but Taks seem to be proven.


Title: $500 Budget...any Input?
Post by: jmhyer on February 26, 2005, 01:07:36 PM
SlowFingers,

Given that you already said you preferred the wider neck, I still think the Seagull would be the way to go -- especially if you don't want to wait and can be playing a great guitar this afternoon.

Like everyone else here, I love Larrivée, too.  If you decided to wait, you could probably find a used OM-03 that would have a wider neck and could be obtained for close to your price limit.

EDIT -
Just realized -- It may be a little out of your range, but the custom Larrivee D-03 with 1 3/4 nut that fingerstylebanjo has in the buy/sell/trade section looks like your perfect guitar.  If you needed to (and could) muster a little more $$, it would be worthwhile.  That could be a lifetime guitar!!


Title: $500 Budget...any Input?
Post by: el guitana on February 26, 2005, 03:41:01 PM
http://www.larriveeforum.com/forums/index....t=ST&f=6&t=5077 (http://www.larriveeforum.com/forums/index.php?act=ST&f=6&t=5077)

An L-01 being offered for $450


Title: $500 Budget...any Input?
Post by: tikabear on February 26, 2005, 04:27:20 PM
The D-02 at Elderly would be great but I also 2nd the Ebay suggestion.  I got my first Larry, a D03 with case, for $500 shipped off Ebay.  It was a great guitar but had the 1 11/16 nut.  I went to my local shop and played one before I bought it and it had the tone I didn't find in all the other guitars I had auditioned.  Of course it just gave me GAS and now look where I am. :D  


Title: $500 Budget...any Input?
Post by: orsino on February 26, 2005, 04:53:25 PM
You might want to check the prices on the 01s here too...........

http://www.sprucetreemusic.com/newstock.html (http://www.sprucetreemusic.com/newstock.html)


Title: $500 Budget...any Input?
Post by: Pjmsj21 on February 26, 2005, 04:59:16 PM
Let me ad just one or two other thoughts here to the many good comments that you have recieved.

When I was looking for my first guitar just about six months back,I also looked at the Seagull, the Breedloves, and finally at the Larrivees.  While I was very anxious to buy something just to get started, I did spend (at my wife's urging) some time looking and to the extent that I could playing various guitars.  I opted to go with a Larrivee L03R of which I could not be happier with. It is a lifetime guitar and can handle just about any musical styles.

The Seagull is also an excellent guitar and you could also be very happy with it for a long time.  As to the Breedlove's I also liked them with the one caveat that their neck width is smaller than either the Seagull or the Larrivees (most D models excluded).  So as a beginner you should take a look at this and try and play a few simple chords on all models that you are looking at.  Ease of play should be your biggest concern.

Have fun!

Pat Mc


Title: $500 Budget...any Input?
Post by: Adam on February 26, 2005, 06:32:07 PM
I was in the same boat as you too until I found my budget expanded. I found the Seagull M6 for $390, on sale sometimes for $300. You can find them really cheap. I love the sound... one thing made me dislike them--the wide nut. It was too wide for me. But looks like you would love it. My fingers are small and skinny so I dont' mind skinny nuts at all. I thought the Seagullls really balanced in tone, though the S series really had no appeal and the M series did, maybe it was just the mahogany I prefered.

I tried Breedlove too. The first time I tried them, I absolutely loved them. The second time, I didn't like them so much. I'm not sure what happened--quite possibly the first time I tried the rosewood models, which I loved the sound, and the other models were the cheaper models. I did notice that the action was quite high on all the ones that I tried. Sure that's changeable, but with my little experience I couldn't tell if I liked the guitar or not because of it. I threw out Breedlove, especially because that's when I realized for $200 more I could find out what the fuss was about Larrivée. And of course, after trying one, I realized I had to have one.. oh and I settled on the D-03R I believe. I have yet to buy one though! Still want to make sure, waiting for some other things.

However, if my budget was still limited like yours and I didn't want to buy used, I'd buy a Seagull. If you didn't mind buying used, I'd buy a Larrivée. If ebay makes you nervous, quickly snatch up that one at Elderly's music! that's a well-known place. If ebay doesn't make you nervous, check out the others' suggestions and you can get an even nicer guitar... appointment-wise... for under $500.

I tried Garrisons. I did not like them at all. Unimpressive. Some people love them. I also tried Waldens, found them decent, but also not so impressive. Couldn't find a local blueridge dealer, and the tacomas... i'm sorry to say almost, but I find not quite styled to my taste to buy them.

Good luck.


Title: $500 Budget...any Input?
Post by: SlowFingers on February 27, 2005, 12:22:10 AM
Ya know, I gave serious consideration to the Larrivee on Elderly, but really, I have never even seen a Larrivee in person, much less had a chance to play one. I have not found any dealers around here at all. The feedback I have heard on them is incredibly positive, but I would still have liked to buy a brand I have at least seen and heard (even if not the exact same guitar). So, maybe next time for the Larrivee.

Well, for anyone interested, I had a heck of a day today. I drove 90+ miles to Texarkana to check out an S6+ Spruce that the shop there told me they had. When I got there, not only did they not have it, but it is not even a model they carry. I tried out an M6 Gloss, and liked it, but they were too high on their price, in my eyes. Well, $450 with no case is not terrible, but I was already a little PO'd at these guys for making me drive so far when they did not have what I asked for. Anyway, the guitar was nice, but in my head there was no way I was buying from these guys.

So, I get home and start calling around. Seagulls are in short supply, apparently, and the guys who have them have jacked up their prices lately. Lynch Music had what I wanted on clearance for $287 or so, but were out when I got home and called them. Finally, I talked to a guy who had the M6 gloss at a good price. At first, I was going to do as someone else suggested and just buy a lower priced case elsewhere to save a bit of money. The guy was insistent that I would want a case for this guitar (he thinks highly of the M6), so he matched the lowest price I said I had seen on any case.

So, all told, I am getting a Seagull M6 with an SKB hardshell case for $425 shipped price. Not a bad deal. I might could have found a better deal overall somewhere had I kept looking, but this guy was super nice to deal with and helpful. I will give his name, business, and glowing feedback once I have the guitar in my hands and can check it out.

(http://seagullguitars.com/gtrm6gloss.jpg)


Title: $500 Budget...any Input?
Post by: el guitana on February 27, 2005, 12:50:14 AM
Nice choice - congrats!


Title: $500 Budget...any Input?
Post by: Adam on February 27, 2005, 01:08:55 AM
I agree, that is an excellent choice and a great sounding guitar, if I had no Larrivée dealer closeby that is what I would've gone for too! Congrats!


Title: $500 Budget...any Input?
Post by: dbirchett on February 27, 2005, 02:37:24 AM
A friend was faced with the same choice a few years ago. I looked around and the best I found for the money was a D-01 which, coincidentally, was my introduction to Larrivee. It took me a few years to come around myself. We got it for $400 with a hardshell case.


Title: $500 Budget...any Input?
Post by: Fredmando on February 27, 2005, 02:44:18 AM
I would look for a Norman, but otherwise the Seagull is a killer guitar in that price range. I also am growing fond of the Waltons. Also, I am sure Unclrob can find you a used Martin for around that price. The road series (DM, DCM, 000M) Martins are sure a nice guitar.
--Fred


Title: $500 Budget...any Input?
Post by: jmhyer on February 27, 2005, 03:45:02 AM
Excellent choice.  I think you will be very pleased.  (See my signature, below.  ;) )  Also, a good price for a new M6 with hard shell case.  You still have plenty of money for an electronic tuner and several sets of strings to try.

Congratulations!  Please do post pictures and reviews of guitar and dealer.  :)


Title: $500 Budget...any Input?
Post by: brimc76 on February 27, 2005, 07:32:51 PM
Good choice, I'm sure you will be happy with your new Seagull. I met Robert Godin last year at a music store where they were showcasing the Seagull guitar line and he is very passionate about the quality and the workmanship that goes into his guitars. He said he spent years making guitars for some of the bigger names in the U.S. before bringing out his own lines. Give us a review when you get a chance.


Title: $500 Budget...any Input?
Post by: orsino on February 28, 2005, 12:19:44 AM
Arguably the most recognized fingerstylist playing Seagulls is Pepino D'Agostino. His playing is phenomenal and his artist's series Seagulls sure sound good on his recordings.
Enjoy your new instrument!


Title: $500 Budget...any Input?
Post by: SlowFingers on February 28, 2005, 03:35:11 AM
Quote
Arguably the most recognized fingerstylist playing Seagulls is Pepino D'Agostino. His playing is phenomenal and his artist's series Seagulls sure sound good on his recordings.
Enjoy your new instrument!
Orsino, I enjoyed your playing on your site. Good stuff. Thanks for sharing it.

SF


Title: $500 Budget...any Input?
Post by: orsino on February 28, 2005, 02:09:52 PM
Thanks for the kind words SF. Good luck with the Seagull. A new guitar is an exciting thing!


Title: $500 Budget...any Input?
Post by: Caleb on March 01, 2005, 02:45:09 PM
seagull is a good choice for a quality instrument. gotta be careful on some models, as their cedar tends to be a bit soft, but you chose spruce. my friend has a cedar top that he's all but destroyed from his stumming. i think it looks cool tho.

i helped out another friend not long ago get a first good guitar. he was sold on seagull....but then he found a Martin and it was over....


Title: $500 Budget...any Input?
Post by: Fergy07 on March 01, 2005, 05:13:38 PM
My only suggestion would be to get as much real, solid wood you can for the price. Beware of laminated tops, and to a lesser extent, laminated backs. I'm not so certain if the sides actually impart anything to the guitar sound.

Also, quality always has a better resale value, so you may want to take that into consideration.

If your just learning guitar, you should really try what you want before you buy. You'll want to make certain that the action on the guitar is adjusted to a comfortable level (the height of the strings off of the fret board). A lot of the lower end guitars have actions which are way too high to fret easily. You'll end up getting frustrated very quickly if it hurts like the dickens everytime you try to play.

Saying that, the Breedlove's would likely fit your bill, and ebay is a very cost effective option.

Andy


Title: $500 Budget...any Input?
Post by: jwieties on March 01, 2005, 05:19:06 PM
Congrats on the M6.  Sounds like you got a pretty good deal and you certainly got a guitar that you will really enjoy playing.  That makes all the difference in the world when you are starting out.  Look forward to hearing a review.
-josh


Title: $500 Budget...any Input?
Post by: saintandsinnerguy on March 02, 2005, 04:01:24 PM
slow......go with the Seagull.....but go for the Folk model.  They have a wider neck, play very well, sound good with the cedar top, and look cool too.  You can get one for under $500 and you will like it for a long time.  I love Larrivee too, but as a new player, you will feel just as good learning on a guitar like Seagull, and you won't wince everytime you bump or bang it.  Get a hard shell case for it though......that is a must for any guitar you plan to keep.  Have fun.  Enjoy.