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Hi. I'm looking to get a new guitar, preferably a mahogany or cedar top. I currently have a ZAD20 zager acoustic with spruce top. Ideally, looking for under $500 if possible, if I can find something decent. Anyone have opinions on a Fender Hellcat, Seagull Entourage Mini Jumbo, or GS Mini Mahog? Open to other suggestions as well. Can be with or without electronics.

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IMHO, you have one of the best choices in your thoughts already - the Seagull (or any Godin acoustic product).  In fact, if you want to stay "North American made", Seagull/Godin (the other acoustic brands that Godin makes are Simon & Patrick, Norman, Art & Lutherie, and the nylon-stringed LaPatrie line) is about the only choice in your price range.  www.godinguitars.com

Also, I'd say take a look at Eastman (www.eastmanguitars.com) - but they have no cedar-topped guitars.

Definitely take a look at Walden (www.waldenguitars.com) - they have many cedar-topped models.

Have fun looking!  And stop in to visit the "Seagull Spoken Here" group, and the "Walden Guitars" group - good information in both places -

http://www.acousticguitarcommunity.com/group/SeagullAficionados 

http://www.acousticguitarcommunity.com/group/walden-guitars

Enjoy! :-)

 

Thanks for the quick reply. Which Seagull models do you recommend I consider? Which model do you think is a keeper that could fit all of my needs or future needs, I'm primarily a strummer but do want it to sound good with fingerstyle. Do you think mini jumbo, dreadnought, folk or parlor, etc. might be best to consider?

First, realize that, in the Godin acoustic lineup, the Simon & Patricks, Normans, and Art & Lutheries all have a 1.72" nut. The Seagull Entourage series also has the 1.72" nut - but all higher models (unless they say "slim", or are the parlour or grand models) have a 1.8" nut. The wider nuts tend to be better for fingerstyle, or if you have larger hands...
If you want something that will fit all your future needs (a rather daunting request), I'd go with a dread or mini-jumbo, IMHO. Unless you are smaller in stature (if so, consider the folk), the folk, and definitely the parlour/grand size, will be a bit small...
Also, you need to consider whether you will want to "plug in" in the near future - use an amplifier. If so, you need electronics - which changes the cost picture considerably.
Answer these questions, and we can get a bit more specific... ;-)

Electronics would be nice as I do have a PA system to plug into. Some pricing on what I can get...your thoughts?:

 

Entourage Mini Jumbo QI - $360.00 (can get $100 off so $260)

Simon & Patrick Songsmith $329.99 (no electronics)

Seagull S6 Mahogany sides w/ Fishman pickup $269.99

Norman B20Encore w/ electronics $399

Seagull S6 Coastline QI $399

Norman B18 Encore w/ electronics $349

Seagull Entourage CW QI $399

 

Or i can get a Fender Hellcat For $199.

IMHO, stay away from the Fender - I believe everything else you've mentioned is superior...

Obviously, you're talking used, right?  Then you can go the way Tom suggests below - or:

http://www.gbase.com/gear/seagull-performer-mini-jumbo-2009

This is a 2009 (but brand-new) Seagull Performer mini-jumbo - I have the dreadnought version (bought from the store I linked to above).  $599 - Musician's Friend price is $749...  Good deal, and a beautiful guitar - but, with the spruce/maple combo, the acoustic-only sound is brighter than a spruce/mahogany or spruce/rosewood combo would be.

The advantage with new (at least with Seagull) is the lifetime warranty you get.  The advantage with used is the lower price.  IMHO, do NOT buy used unless you can play it first, or there is at least a good return policy...

Oh, and the S6's in your list will have the 1.8" nut - all others will be 1.72"...

I'd look for something along the lines of a used Seagull Maritime, either the dreadnaught or mini-jumbo.  I see them around here between $450-$550.  All solid woods and good quality construction.

Those are all good choices.  But I say play it first.  I would never by a guitar I haven't heard 1st.  I have post lengthy discussions on this issue.  Not all guitars "sing".  As I stumble around here in southern Minnesota I have found many fine instruments, but only a few great ones. I don't think that 1 S6 sound like another. or more likely, most sound the same, a few sound better.

You cannot "outgrow" a seagull entourage. Buy one & you'll see why all of us in the seagull/godin group are fanatics about seagull guitars. PLEASE do yourself a favor & stay away forom ANY acoustic thatsays "Fender"on it. Not good.

OK. If I were to buy 2 Seagulls, which would you recommend to get a mixed bag of all worlds...planning to try the Seagull entourage mini jumbo out. Also can get:

Seagull Slim s6 qi dreadnought

Seagull S6 Spruce top Mahogany sides w/ Fishman pickup

Seagull S6 Coastline QI

Seagull Entourage CW QI

or should i wait to find a folk/parlor/grand guitat? Open to suggestions. Sold a few items so have some extra cash to buy 2 guitars.

Buying both new, or both used? If you can afford it, and if they still have it, the Performer at Wolfe becomes very attractive for the price as a guitar to "plug in". The mini-jumbo shape would, IMHO, be comfortable to play standing or sitting. Then, a Coastline cedar folk, perhaps, without electronics, for a warmer unplugged sound? Just thoughts - but one with Q1 and one without would be a nice mix...
Oh, which nut width do you prefer - both of my recommendations are the 1.8" nut...

Thanks for your input. Appreciate it. I'll try to see what I can find...typically i want to find a "good" deal and a store buy me carries seagulls traded in and I frequent it to find a steal. I'll keep my eyes out for that folk. i'm 5 8 with normal sized hands, thinking the 1.7 may be better suited.

we can all be of help when it comes to brands, but types ( folk, jumbo, drednought parlor) are up to you & the sound you're after. I tend to only play drednoughts, but I only play good ones. I'm going to focus on Seagull because I own 4 of them, all dreds. Although I own a cutaway, theye are not my preference. Any acoustic guitar gets its sound from the top back & sides. All solid tone woods are the best. The top is the primary focus (spruce or cedar) the reason I dont care for cutaways is that you eliminate a substantial part of the sound chamber. I gig 4 nights a week with a seagull slim S6 QI It's beat to hell & back but it's durable & sounds great. I own a Gibson J45 rosewood back & sides & it NEVER leaves the house. Keep your money in your pocket & go for the godin electronics. Everything you need & nothing you dont. Another word about dreds. They are basically the standard when it comes to guitars. Go play as many guitars as your time & patience will permit. Find the one that Speaks to you, buy it, & love it. what you get here is opinion to point you in the right direction. Very important that whatever you buy, pay the extra bucks for a good set-up before you ever get it home. Good luck!

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