I haven't seen it yet, but there's a Seagull Artist for sale locally - been emailing back and forth with the owner, and we're both a little confused. His understanding is that it has a spruce top (confirmed today by best luthier around) and mahogany back and sides - which is, by today's Seagull specs, an oddity - the mahogany seems matched with the cedar tops throughout the Artist Mosiac line. The Cameo has the spruce top, flame maple sides and back - from the pix, it's sure not today's flame maple. So that leaves the Studio, assuming the 'mahogany' is actually rosewood... or perhaps the tonewood mix has changed since he bought it new in 2001. Looks like a cutaway dreadnaught body from the pix I've seen, gold tuners, abalone gull on headstock and lower neck, gloss finish. Be nice to pin down exactly what it is...
Also gotta decide whether I should just keep on playing my perfectly good S6, which is more guitar than I'll ever play up to, or be tempted to 'upgrade'. Don't want to bother the guy, who's been very patient with the 'enigma wrapped in a conundrum' as he calls it over exactly which model it is, unless I'm seriously in the market. How much overcapacity does one living room player really need???
I'll try to help using my old Seagull brochure (since they took the old models off the web :(
Artist Series, abalone inlay in headstock and gull in finger board?
Mahogany back and sides,?
That likely makes it a Portrait Cutaway - the only one in the series using spruce.
thus it should be the following:
solid mahogany back and sides, spruce top (solid), mahogany neck, high gloss finish, 1.8" nut, cutaway body and should have either the QII or Baggs electronics
It probably has a very different sound from your S6 Original and very much closer to my 25th Aniv model.
hope this helps some.
It's an old guitar so putting a name to it could be problematic and rather pointless. Spruce top, mahogany back and sides, dreadnaught body with cutaway would be the equivalent of an Artist Portrait CW, a model they discontinued a year or two ago. I have one and love it. That guitar will predate the Portrait but the specs will be almost identical. The actual name should be the gold lettering below the seagull on the right hand label. I can't read it in the photo. Relative to the specs you see in the current line, or the most recent Portrait CW models, that guitar will (should?) have a solid spruce top, solid mahogany back, laminate sides (solid sides came in 2004 or so). It will not have the compound curve top they crow about now. No "Artist" scroll on the headstock. All other specs should be the same. It's true, Seagull no longer has a Spruce over Mahogany model in the Artist lineup, kind of a shame as it's a classic combination and hard to beat. There is a Maritime SWS model in spruce over mahogany, but it lacks the elegant details of the Artist, in particular the lovely bird inlay at the 12th fret and the abalone inlay on the headstock.
Go ahead, you know you want to. :-)
Ahhh... A little web searching shows me there was at one time a model called the "Seagull Artist Series Mahogany Spruce" and with some imagination, that appears to be what it says on the label in your picture. So what ya got there is a Seagull Artist Series Mahogany Spruce. My guess is it predates the compound curve top and this is what differentiated what you have there with the Artist Portrait CW.
Not all Artist series guitars have the electrics, BTW. Neither my Portrait nor my Artist Mahogany Folk (same era as your guitar in question) have electrics.
Thanks again, Gulls - great flock we have here - that sheds a lot of light on the Artist. The owner is checking with Godin, and I'm having an eye out for our luthier friend to pin down the back and sides. I'll bet ya I will be tempted to at least go and play it...his ad today dropped the price to $625...
A coincidence - a friend who's just starting to play (as in "So which finger goes on the A string when you're trying to make a C chord?") called this afternoon. He'd heard and played the S6 a few days ago, and wants me to go have a little looksee at some new 'Gulls tomorrow - told him about the Artist, and while he certainly doesn't need or want that, he's got first dibs on the S6 if I should sell it...are the stars lining up????
Stay tuned (pun intended) - and thanks again.
That sounds like a lot for a guitar of that age and model, especially given the lack of the compound curve top. I would want to pay (and did, for my Artist Mahogany Folk) around 2/3 of that and about 80% of that for my Portrait CW, the model that replaced the Mahogany Spruce. I would pass it by and keep looking unless and until the price came down a bit more.
So when did Seagull first starting putting a compound curve top on their guitars? Does it make a noticeable difference in the tone? Just curious.
I did a little searching and found out the CC was first introduced in 2003. Not all 2003 models have it though, as the transition didn't start until late that year.
I also found some info on its function. Like you said, it strengthens and stiffens the area above the sound hole, under the fretboard, which I imagine really helps to minimzie any neck bow. What I read also indicated the CC allows the rest of the top to be more active through a better bracing design. It kind of implies guitars with a CC should sound better. It would be interesting to do a side-by-side with an older model to test that. Certainly a unique feature of (newer) Seagulls though..
The verdict is in - and Wayne nailed it. Here's the text of an email the owner got today from Godin's Michel Belanger, a gentleman who puts the Service back in customer service with a capital S.
"Your guitar was built in july 2000. It's an Artist Mahogany/Spruce (the Mosaic wasn't in production back in 2000). It has a solid spruce top, a solid mahogany back, laminated mahogany sides, a mahogany neck, and a rosewood fingerboard and bridge."
So now we know what it is - gonna sleep on it, and play the S6 some more before I maybe - maybe - go have a look at it. I just keep thinking the S6 is a lot better a guitar than I am a guitarist, and buying a 'better' guitar won't improve my skills an iota...and I got my municipal tax bill today...lol...