Your recommendations please...

A discussion of techniques, and equipment for guitar. Fretted, bottleneck or slide, acoustic or electric, this is the place.

Your recommendations please...

Postby rookie » Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:39 pm

Supposing I had £200 or $400 to blow on a guitar (I will be in Canada in a couple of weeks and they reckon everything's cheap out there) what would you recommend I go for?

I'm still very much a beginner labouring away on a cheapo nylon string/plywood acoustic but know now that I won't be giving up. I like acoustic playing, but could be persuaded to go electroacoustic if it's all it's cracked up to be.

As for my musical tastes and therefore aspirations, Lightnin' Hopkins, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters... general, and genuine, country and Chicago blues basically. One of these days, I might even fancy moving onto slide.

Not really knowing what to look for, I'd probably feel safer buying new rather than secondhand. But just out of interest, what sort of price would a decent National/Dobro go for these days?
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RE: Your recommendations please...

Postby bighollowtwang » Wed Mar 22, 2006 10:09 pm

>(I will be
>in Canada in a couple of weeks and they reckon everything's
>cheap out there)

No, everything is cheaper in the States (not to mention there's a much better selection). It has been a very long time since I've bought a guitar locally.

Read my post on this page:
http://www.bigroadblues.com/dcforum/DCF ... 517_8.html
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RE: Your recommendations please...

Postby thebluescaster » Thu Mar 23, 2006 2:02 am

An actual Dobro? About $2,000 new, or you can get a decent Goldtone Beard reso for about $600, or a Rogue knock-off for about $200...drop those prices for used.

I would expect you might be able to get a Seagull acoustic in Canada for about what you say you want to spend, but I wouldn't hold my breath for other brands to be cheaper.
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RE: Your recommendations please...

Postby rookie » Thu Mar 23, 2006 2:38 pm

Ah, thanks for the heads up - I'll be in the Vegas area in September, so might wait till then. (I'm still sure Canada is cheaper than the UK though...)
Zak, I fully agree with what you say about picking up old guitars rather than cheap beginner ones. So much history... But the fact is, if you buy new, you can be more or less sure that there's nothing wrong with them, speaking as someone who doesn't know a thing about guitars.
Anyway, I saw the small-bodied post but assumed it was referring to some special customised type of thing, way above something used by us beginners. Ah, the ignorance of, er, approaching middle-age... Will check it out fully tomorrow - must get it back to work now
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RE: Your recommendations please...

Postby bighollowtwang » Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:51 pm

>But the fact is, if you buy new, you can be more or less
>sure that there's nothing wrong with them,

In a perfect world, that would be true...unfortuanately if you're talking about inexpensive instruments, particularly recently-made Asian guitars...the quality control is the weakest link in the chain.
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RE: Your recommendations please...

Postby rustyslide » Thu Mar 23, 2006 10:37 pm

And what about inexpensive Canadian-made guitars? Québec made, specifically. The LaSiDo (Seagull, Art & Lutherie, Simon & Patrick, Norman) instruments I've played have been very consistent. Most of them aren't for me (based on my taste as opposed to quality), but they're consistently so.
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RE: Your recommendations please...

Postby crowduck » Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:19 pm

I'd recommend the Art & Lutherie AMI. That's less than $200 brand new with a nice heavily padded bag. With a budget of $400, you could upgrade to a HSC, bone nut & saddle, newtone custom light strings, deluxe pro setup, and still have some change left over......and a really nice playing little guitar.

Something I'm beginning to appreciate lately is the value of a good pro setup. I've got alot of guitars, but only one has had a pro setup, and that's the only one I really 'enjoy playing', no matter how good the others may 'sound'. Recently I've been playing more, and the difference that setup makes is really 'sinking in', the others are a PIA to play, but the setup one is 'like butter'. So, no matter what you wind up buying, get it setup properly, so you don't have to struggle with it.
That's my $.02.

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RE: Your recommendations please...

Postby bighollowtwang » Fri Mar 24, 2006 1:28 am

>And what about inexpensive Canadian-made guitars? Québec
>made, specifically. The LaSiDo (Seagull, Art & Lutherie,
>Simon & Patrick, Norman) instruments I've played have been
>very consistent. Most of them aren't for me (based on my
>taste as opposed to quality), but they're consistently so.

I used to work for 'em. I should probably just keep my mouth shut about 'em...
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RE: Your recommendations please...

Postby wwpete52 » Fri Mar 24, 2006 1:59 am

I think that you kind find some really sweet deals in Vegas. I would wait until you get there. I would assume that the pawn shops would be loaded with good stuff!
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RE: Your recommendations please...

Postby crowduck » Fri Mar 24, 2006 4:01 am

>>And what about inexpensive Canadian-made guitars? Québec
>>made, specifically. The LaSiDo (Seagull, Art & Lutherie,
>>Simon & Patrick, Norman) instruments I've played have been
>>very consistent. Most of them aren't for me (based on my
>>taste as opposed to quality), but they're consistently so.
>
>I used to work for 'em. I should probably just keep my mouth
>shut about 'em...

Aw, come on Zak!! Don't leave us 'wondering' like that. I once worked at the Dobro factory, and I don't have much good to say about that place either. Might just as well have been making kitchen cabinets as guitars. Plant manager told me he didn't know anything about guitars, and didn't care, just another product.

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RE: Your recommendations please...

Postby jellyroll baker » Fri Mar 24, 2006 1:59 pm

I don't know what the prices are like in Canada but the A&L line have a small bodied guitar, the Ami, that has a tone which just screams delta blues.
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RE: Your recommendations please...

Postby rookie » Fri Mar 24, 2006 2:18 pm

" I would assume that the pawn shops would be loaded with good stuff!"

Hey I never thought of that! Could be on to a good thing, then! Lots of bands with good gear playing their first LV gig, and flushed with success decide to hit the craps tables...
Anyway, I'm probably not gonna be near a computer again for the next two weeks, but feel free to keep coming up with tips guys - I won't be ignoring you...
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RE: Your recommendations please...

Postby ofcluke534 » Mon Mar 27, 2006 9:49 pm

I'de say it kind of depends on what you really want. If you are going for nylon strings, buy something used. If you are going steel stringed, I'de recommend never buying used because of neck bend. I bought a yamaha steel string and it was excellent for about 5-6 years, and within the price range. I replaced it with a blueridge and have no problems with it, the action is easy on the fingers, and the sound was just as good as guitars hundreds of dollars more. I never liked the action on fender acoustics, but the price is within range.
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RE: Your recommendations please...

Postby bighollowtwang » Tue Mar 28, 2006 5:08 am

>If you are
>going steel stringed, I'de recommend never buying used
>because of neck bend.

No offense, but that is some really lousy advice.
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RE: Your recommendations please...

Postby lightninboy » Tue Mar 28, 2006 11:33 am

If you
>are going for nylon strings, buy something used. If you are
>going steel stringed, I'de recommend never buying used
>because of neck bend.

What the?
If your not sure of what your talking about, you shouldn't really be giving out advice.

My tip is, check out some pawn shops, and offer less than half of the asking price.
Along with checking out the guitar for obvious defects, ie, "Straight Neck" lol, make sure you give the body a tap with your hand and listen for any rattles.
Its quite commen for struts to come unglued, and while this isn't a big job to fix, it can be a pain without the right tools.

I recently purchased a Washburn D10 deluxe solid spruce top with grover tuners in spanking new condition. It hadn't been played at all judging by the frets and the scratch-plate.
The frets needed a touch up with steel wool, and I made a bone saddle for it.
It sounds pretty good for $150 AUD.
The pawn shop wanted $300, but I haggled! Half price.
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