Please place these 10 various acoustic guitar qualities in descending priority order of importance to you:
-Materials (tone woods, etc.)
-Overall value for the money
Adding "comfort" as an individual criteria would certainly make sense, aside from "playability" which I was thinking would have more to do with the overall set-up, the neck shape, the nut width, the string spacing, etc.
Sound, Playability, Materials, Looks, Overall Value, Initial Cost, Durability, Brand Name, Resale Value...
Other - conditions under which the instruments are made...
By conditions, do you mean, "high-volume assembly line" versus "low-volume individually hand-made"? For instance, Martin, Gibson, Taylor (or Seagull) vs something like Huss & Dalton, Bourgois, Santa Cruz ??
No - unfortunately, by "conditions" I meant not made in "Asia" by sweatshop labor or children or other abused "workers"...
Ahhhh ... I see.
It's not surprising to see a Seagull owner putting brand name near the bottom of this list. I think Seagull is a very underrated brand. I base that on both the price and my perception of prestige of the Seagull name vs. Gibson, Martin and Taylor. Being a little underrated is great for us owners since we get to buy an amazing guitar for a great price.
Here is my ranking - pretty similar to the others. I added construction methods along with materials. Even if it had no effect on sound, I would have been willing to pay a little more for a dovetail joint based neck instead of a bolted neck on my Maritime mini-jumbo.
-materials (and construction methods)
-overall value for the money
- resale value
Good point about construction methods ... it's an important consideration. A lot of people DO place a great deal of value in the type of neck joint used to make their guitar. Martin aficionados insist that for a great guitar, dovetail is the only way to go, while those who worship Taylor are perfectly with a bolt-on neck and are satisfied that the dovetail is passe' technology. Of course, we Seagull lovers must be content with something completely different ... a set neck that is permanently epoxied in place at the factory (Seagulls once had bolt-on necks, but no more) under manufacturing conditions so precise that theoretically, traditional neck re-sets will never be needed.
Jud - is it your understanding that they are epoxied in place and bolted? My 2009 Performer has 2 bolts...
All Seagulls still have the two bolts, but in listening to Robert Godin during the factory tour video, it seems to me he is saying that the bolts are only there to help fasten the neck in place while epoxy is curing, then they become superfluous ...
This picture shows how a classic guitar neck-body joint is achieved.
This second photo shows it in detail,
As you may see, the neck block has two slots. The sides are held in place by two wooden splints. No glue needed (you may put a drop at each side, just in case, but you really don't need that if the whole thing is well done). When you glue the back to the neck block and sides, everything will stay in place for decades.
BUT, if the instrument needs repair, or adjustment - and they all need it sooner or later, because they are made of wood, not stone - you simply unglue the back with a hot spatula, do the repair and close it again for some decades. That's called lutherie.
I have absolutely no prejudice against factory-made guitars, I own one and play it regularly for 32 years, but the simple idea of gluing a neck joint with epoxy is "too much sand to my lorry". What will owners do when (sooner or later) the instrument needs repair or adjustment? Throw it away and buy another? Is it fair to spend rare woods that risk extinction in instruments made that way? And why aren't the bolts removed after the glue dries, if they are superfluous? To spare five minutes of man work?
I am amazed at this Brave New World! How will we explain certain things to our grandchildren?
When I went shopping for my first new guitar I didn't search the internet in advance but was aware of the major brands. Being a Canadian it was winter and just after the Olympics. I saw the Godin Maple Leaf tag and shopped no further brands. I am pretty sure I would not have bought anything other a North American manufacturer regardless. So...
1. Brand 2. Cost 3. Sound/Playability 4. Looks/Materials 5. Durability 6. Overall value
Now after experiencing GAS and being a little smarter, I would say 1. Brand (still) 2. Materials/Sound 3. Playability 4. Looks/Durability 5. Cost 6. resale
Sound 1st and foremost
Playability 1st and foremost
yeah... 2 first and foremosts yeah.... Pick one and if it good I will bet the other follows. Good sounding guitars will be easy to play, easy to play than I would bet it sounds pretty good.
Materials/Construction/Durability - any of these cheap - everything above this will show it
looks - most guitars look like... ummmmm a guitar.
These last three only matter if your poor. Bill Gates wouldn't care nor would Leo Kottke.
Total Valus/Resale value
Brand - If I had put brand above any of these I would have never bought my Seagull and my Seagull sounds and plays as well as any guitar twice its value.