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Author Topic: Hog-top alternatives? (Inexpensive that is)  (Read 1451 times)
pennerblue
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« on: August 25, 2008, 04:58:42 AM »

Hi-

Thanks to those that responded to my posting last week about hog-tops (the used D03 that I saw in a shop).  I've decided that I don't want another dread, and that I'd like a smaller bodied hog-top.  I'd love that L05MT currently for sale, but can't swing that in the budget.  Started getting interested in Martin OM-15s, and missed a $600 one on ebay (with dog chew marks on it, literally!)

A few days ago, I tried an Alvarez RF20SM.  Nice little guitar.  I know it's no Martin, or Larriee, but a brand new solid top for $240?
Sounded pretty good to me.

Anybody want to chime in on this guitar?  Any experience with it?  Am I a fool to not save my money and get the Martin or Larriee?

Here's an Elderly link to the model.
http://www.elderly.com/new_instruments/items/RF20SM.htm

Thanks.
 

I know that you "enablers" out there will say "Hey if you like it, get it"...and you're right.  But it's fun to see what others have to say, especially those with hog top experience (of which I have little).
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jeremy3220
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« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2008, 11:56:12 AM »

I've never played one but just in case you didn't know that guitar in the link is either sapele or khaya.
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jwb
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« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2008, 12:28:56 PM »

I played the same guitar or one very similar to it recently at my local shop...the one I played said "solid mahogany".  It was OK...muddy compared to the Larrivee hog top, but it did have a bluesy sound.  Honestly, it didn't even compare to a Larrivee OM-03MT but it was 200 bucks (not a fair comparison) and it was a great guitar for the money.  I would hold out for a used Martin or Larrivee and you will always be happy with your choice. 

Justin
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ozrufus
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« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2008, 06:18:28 PM »

I had an RF20MS for a while.  It's pretty nice for a $200 guitar, but it in no way compares to an all-hog Larrivee or Martin.

pennerblue, check your PMs!

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pennerblue
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« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2008, 07:02:36 PM »

I've never played one but just in case you didn't know that guitar in the link is either sapele or khaya.

Good call Jeremy.  Doubtful that a $200 mahogany guitar exists.  From what I can gather, sapelle and mahogany sound quite similar, at least to the novice ear like mine.
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Three Larries and a Guild and an A&L...and electrics...and a mando

“Your lack of technique can be part of your style. The thing about style is that it’s more entertaining, more important and hopefully more intellectual than technique.”
Kim Thayil (Soundgarden)

pennerblue
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« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2008, 07:13:41 PM »

Nice input, thanks. 
I'll keep an eye open (and really should wait until my guitar account rises out of the negative).  If you stumble across any used ones and think of it, please let me know.  I'll keep an eye on the forum.

I might have missed the perfect guitar with that slightly beat up Martin OM-15 for $600.  Maybe another one will surface someday.

It's funny, I used to tease my buddy that was always buying/selling and searching for guitars.  That was when I only had a Jumbo Taylor that I didn't play much.  Now, I'm so hooked after getting Larries!  I love how great and different guitars really sound.  I'm driven to improve my playing to the point where I can truly utilize these different sounds (and man oh man, do I have a long way to go. 

Maybe I buy the Alvarez and resell it later, taking a hit on a $200 guitar can't be too much of a bite...but then again, maybe I wait for the right one.

My fear is that I've never bought a guitar over the internet.  With a new one, from one of the highly touted dealers mentioned on this forum, I think I'd feel comfortable (if I'd have played enough similar guitars to know how it would sound).  But used, I'm afraid I'd get taken to the cleaners.  Maybe this is just a learning curve that we all must go through...not sure.

Thanks again.
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Three Larries and a Guild and an A&L...and electrics...and a mando

“Your lack of technique can be part of your style. The thing about style is that it’s more entertaining, more important and hopefully more intellectual than technique.”
Kim Thayil (Soundgarden)

peter hiltner
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« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2008, 08:14:55 PM »

hi folks,

i'm new on here.  i joined because of the mahogany top discussions.  i too am looking for one.  i have a beautiful custom claro walnut L model which i will never give up.  i was able to pick all parts for it and have larrivee use my long seasoned claro.

luckily, it was a good sounding one in the end.  bit of luck and voodoo is what is always needed.

my working guitar was stolen recently so i am on a mission to find one i love, not like.  strong, understated and cuddly.

i am searching as per the discussions here for a 000 - OM size guitar.  right now, i am hot to find a martin 000 15-S.  sorry to have missed that one on here.  sight unseen, i would have bought it with hopes for a good sound.

i am interested in the 12 fret larrivees too if there is a small (OM) size body around.  i want to keep this used and under $1000.

i'd love to hear opinions on these mahogany tops, especially the martins, but am open to larrivees or others of good quality.  i've heard a couple.  very rich, earthy.  i don't want to give up brightness in treble..  but life is a compromise.  as long as it is balanced.  love the slightly dirty older sound of these sorts.

thanks, peter


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kdonovan
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« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2008, 09:28:26 PM »

Here is a nice looking hog top. No affiliation
http://69.41.173.82/forums/showthread.php?t=133658

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kdonovan

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« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2008, 12:42:41 AM »

You might try a Martin 00 or 000-15 with 25.4 inch scales on both. A new one is not too far off the used one that the dog chewed on and comes with a warranty. I played both and they list for $1249 (Slot head 00015 is a little higher list) and these have a great sound. I like the maple trim on Larrivee's better but I would have given a slight edge to the Martin's on tone and playability on the 6 strings to my ear anyway.

I do have an LV-03MT 12 string that blew everything else I played away. I couldn't warm up to the Martin 12 strings and the only Taylor I wanted was the Leo Kottke Signature Model. Lawn Jockey and I both love the hog top 12s.

My advice is to keep looking and pass on the $200 guitar.
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« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2008, 12:06:15 PM »

Sorry, its a dread, but I didn't know that Guild (China) was making hog-tops (sapele actually).  I  saw this one on eBay, for $360.00 BIN.  The spruce toppers I've played have been pretty nice, quite a value.   Anyone played these Guild China hog tops? See Auction Here

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« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2008, 01:20:22 PM »

I would not go for that $250 guitar... You will be happy with it for a short while and sell it an maybe get half your money back.  I had a D-03MT and it sold for $800.  I, like you did not want another dread or a 1 11/16 neck.  I think the L is ideal.  I would hold out...
 
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Blue in VT
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« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2008, 01:28:47 PM »

I too owned a RF20MS for awhile...I got it for my travel guitar but the small nut width gave me troubles and I moved it along...other than that I was very happy with it...it had great tone and played very well...that pickguard had to go but for the money I don't think you can do better...I actually got a snds one off of ebay for less than 200.  A middle ground would be to wait for the new Series of guitars from Recording King to come out.  I've heard good reviews of their spruce top guitars and hogs should be along soon...probably run you 4-500 street price.

either way...HOGS RULE!

Cheers,

Blue
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jwsamuel
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« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2008, 05:00:18 PM »

Am I a fool to not save my money and get the Martin or Larriee?

Unless I had a specific need for a mahogany top right now, I would wait until I either found a Larrivee or Martin at a price I could afford or saved the money to get one of those two.

Jim
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oldrockfan
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« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2008, 06:34:09 PM »

larrivee or martin is what I would recommend. 3 series larry or 15 series martin on the used markets are pretty reasonable and still all solid woods. All solid woods makes a big difference long term in the tone.
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knowspicker
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« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2008, 12:10:22 AM »

Maybe I'm a sap  ... but I find my All Sapele Om-03 to be a great alternative to an All Hog model [I guess Martin considers sap a good alt. too ]. I was really torn between the Martin 15s and Larrivee 03s but when I was able to get the Larrivee all Sapele it seemed like the right thing to do and so far I think it was. It doesn't sound like a Martin but if you like the Larrivee sound you might find an All Sap Larrivee right up your alley.

I like the 1 3/4 neck and playability. I'm a fingerpicker but I think the guitar sounds GREAT with a pick. If you can find one in your area I would definitely recommend giving it a try... though for me it was not inexpensive.

A little cheaper alternative that I honestly might have bought if I had shopped longer if the Guild GAD M20.
http://elderly.com/fmic/items/GADM20.htm
It's pretty drool worthy even though it has a narrower neck. It's a short scale which I kind of like.
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pennerblue
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« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2008, 04:25:55 AM »

Thanks much for the thoughts everyone.  I'm definitely going to wait.  If I saw a used hog Alvarez for $100, I'd jump on it.  But I will keep my eyes open and hopefully play a few at random shops here and there.

I must say I'm drifting toward the Martins, solely to expand my horizons.  But of course, if I do as I should (and wait until I play both) and I really like the Larriee better than the Martin, then I would get the Larrie.  There's nothing wrong with having three Larriees...is there?!

BTW, I do have a Washburn and a Art&Lutherie and once owned a Taylor.  So I'm not a Larrivee-only kinda guy, but they sure are a phenomenal guitar for the dollar!  And dollars are limited...mine are anyway.

Cheers
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Three Larries and a Guild and an A&L...and electrics...and a mando

“Your lack of technique can be part of your style. The thing about style is that it’s more entertaining, more important and hopefully more intellectual than technique.”
Kim Thayil (Soundgarden)

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