Well, having played a vintage high-end Guild (that's seen better days), a new Seagull dread (Performer, I think), a used A&L parlor guitar (almost like a toy, but cool in it's own way) yesterday, I'm deciding that generalizations about sound, wood type, brand, etc....mean next to nothing. The best acoustic I've played next to the SWS mini jumbo I own was a kinda beat-up S6 in a used shop for under $200. Makes no sense, but there ya go.
Oh, I realize the devil is in the details....set up, humidity, dead vs. new strings, etc.....and of course, a player's preferences.......but it seems that until one gets into the high end (2.5K on up), that the quality of the tone can't be predicted at all. What do you think? Maybe it's time to take up the uke.
I was thinking more along the lines of Oud or maybe Didgeridoo.
Ain't nothing at all wrong with a kinda beat-up S6, Joe - mine looks like beavers teethed on the top but it sounds just fine, and draws surprised looks from friends who know and play guitars the first time they hear it.
I play purely for personal satisfaction, and it's an excellent instrument for that purpose. If my livelihood depended on it, I might - or might not - want an expensive uber-axe, but for me right now that'd be like having a Feraari for picking up the groceries - it'd certainly do the job, but it'd be a pity to waste a such a fine machine on mundane chores...the S6 is the Subaru Forester of guitars... :->))
Blackback ... I'm with you! My Mosaic has a vintage "40's" look that it has acquired in only eight short years! I bought it on Craigslist for .25-cents on the dollar and I actually love the way it looks & sounds and the fact that I can take it out to play bars and coffee shops and not worry too very much about it getting scratched or dinged.
What's that Texas saying? I think it's "All hat and no cattle." That's how I feel about people with pricey guitars who can only play a handful of chords. A lot of great music has been played on some pretty ordinary equipment.
Now don't get me wrong, I covet those pricey guitars as much as anyone, but I'm not convinced they would make me any better of a player.
Ray ... exactly. I strive to acquire the level of instrument that's at (or just above) the level of my talent and ability. I know for a fact that I would not be any better player with a Martin D-45 for instance, because I play that level of guitar all the time just for fun at GC, etc. and while I thoroughly enjoy the experience, I would personally feel foolish forking over the amount of money it would take to own one. There's a person who frequents the same open mics that I go to who has a Martin HD-28 ... and while this person has fun and is a very "game" performer ... well, let's just say that the same level of performance could very easily be achieved with a Seagull S-6.
Re: the HD-28 player, I think I know to whom you're referring. ;-)
I do make my living (humble as it may be...) with my guitars. I've owned many. Currently, a Taylor, Martin, Crafter, and an A&L Folk, and Dread. I routinely shuffle between each, and though I'm glad I got the Taylor, and Martin, I'm also glad to have the A&L's. None of these are 2.5k and up, but not pocket change either. Each purchase was made after playing some of those 2.5k and up guitars side by side. Someday I may have the opportunity to get me one of them (been saying that for over 20 years!) but right now, it would only make me poorer, not richer :)!
Michael ... I'm a firm believer that once you get above the"junk" level of beginner instrument, the guitarist makes the guitar and not the other way around. Last night I enjoyed watching a whole string of youtube videos of Ryan Adams making some of the best music out there today using his "vintage" Harmony guitars that probably cost about $50-$75 each when brand new.
Rising above the junk level of equipment is absolutely necessary. I have seen too many people think a piece of junk is all they need to get started playing an instrument - any instrument. Playing guitar is never any harder than it is when you are just starting to play.
Robert Godin has done some good things for the guitar world. In my opinion his greatest contribution is that he put his focus on the player, not the guitar. All of his products are designed for the serious player and that includes beginners.
Of all the talk about the basic Seagull S6, I have never heard anyone say that they had "outgrown it," or that it was "holding them back."
I don't think Godin is the only company using this logic, but I think Godin is the company that first recognized entry level guitars as serious instruments and not a "gateway drug" to higher priced models,
Robert' is quoted as saying when he began his business ...
"Making a great $2,000 guitar is easy. Making a great $200 guitar is HARD!"
I'm sure that would be up-dated to $5,000/$500 today, but the validity of his point remains the same.
G-Love also plays what appears to be an old Gretsch Rancher flattop, which isn't super cheap, but it ain't no Martin or Taylor either. I think it even has lam back and sides...blasphemy! I couldn't agree more that the guitarist's ability is much more important than the guitar!