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Author Topic: $500 Budget...any Input?  (Read 3698 times)
SlowFingers
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« 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

 
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« Reply #1 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.
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C-10thunder
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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2005, 02:02:52 AM »

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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
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« Reply #3 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.
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« Reply #4 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)  
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SlowFingers
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« Reply #5 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.
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« Reply #6 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.  :)
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Jerry  #698

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« Reply #7 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.
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SlowFingers
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« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2005, 03:32:07 AM »

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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.
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« Reply #9 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.  ;)  
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« Reply #10 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

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
 
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SlowFingers
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« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2005, 04:17:11 AM »

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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.
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« Reply #12 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.  
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« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2005, 06:17:58 AM »

http://www.elderly.com/vintage/items/20U-9552.htm
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The artist formerly known as larriboy
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« Reply #14 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.
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« Reply #15 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!!
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Jerry  #698

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« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2005, 03:41:01 PM »

http://www.larriveeforum.com/forums/index....t=ST&f=6&t=5077

An L-01 being offered for $450
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« Reply #17 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  
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« Reply #18 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
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« Reply #19 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
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