Mudcat Café Message Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Merritt Electric/acoustic cutaway (10) RE: Electric/acoustic cutaway 12 Jun 03

Oke, gotcha regarding playing styles. And you're apparently oke spending $500. Obviously, a lot of this highly subjective and you just need to play as many guitars as you can, but here's my 3 cents.

I've gone through buying an acoustic-electric guitar twice in the last 4 years each time playing dozens of guitars in the process. The first time my criteria were:

~ solid-top
~ very playable neck/fretboard with (or capable of) low action
~ decent sound un-plugged
~ decent sound plugged-in a great guitar with lousy EQ doesn't make the cut
~ made in a shop with union labor
~ made in a shop with conscious program to conserve rare tonewoods and otherwise address environmental concerns
~ can purchase through local dealer - within a 50-mile radius of my house in the boonies
~ I like the dealer (or at least their guitar tech) and can get support/advocacy w/ maker if problems
~ no more than $600 actual price paid; less is better

The first time around, here's how the guitars you've mentioned matched up >for me<:

~ in terms of playability and sound (plugged or unplugged) I only liked the Takamines that were out of my price range
~ Seagulls/Simon & Patrick best sound of all played >unplugged<; decent playability; poorly designed/lousy sounding EQ however knocked them off my list; towards higher end of price range too
~ Alvarez in this price range (again IMO) offers a playable middle of the low-end acoustic/electric market product with acceptable electronics available at a local dealer; no attention however that I could find (in 2000) to workers or Mother Nature. (Please note that when you get into this market, it's my experience that there is huge variation from one instrument to the next. This suggests the being sure that you play anything you might want to buy, and perhaps the limits of advice from someone like me who never played the specific guitars you're looking at.)

The other qualifier I'll throw in is that I bought an Alvarez-equivalent, i.e., met all technical and playing criteria, made at a union shop in S. Korea. Within a year of steady playing everyday tho' I found that this decent sounding, low end instrument wasn't sturdy and stable enough to handle all the attention the attention I was giving it. I now rely on a Martin solid mahogany 000-sized guitar for 80% of my playing and have so far found the stability and sturdiness I seek; the price range for a new Martin like this goes from the low-$600s to above $1000.

One other thought. I used to borrow a mid-1980s Alvarez acoustic-electric everytime my Alvarez-equivalent was in the shop!! - that was all laminate and it was a great playable guitar that I tried to buy from the owner.

- Merritt

Post to this Thread -

Back to the Main Forum Page

By clicking on the User Name, you will requery the forum for that user. You will see everything that he or she has posted with that Mudcat name.

By clicking on the Thread Name, you will be sent to the Forum on that thread as if you selected it from the main Mudcat Forum page.

By clicking on the Subject, you will also go to the thread as if you selected it from the original Forum page, but also go directly to that particular message.

By clicking on the Date (Posted), you will dig out every message posted that day.

Try it all, you will see.