I will add my model number to this discussion tonight, but I absolutely love my Seagull I have at home. It is an all satin finish and had no electronics on it when I got it. I currently have a K&K pick up in it with no batteries or other electronics as well.
The sound is amazing. I have a really heavy strum, for lots of good and bad reasons, and the pure volume of my Seagull blows all others away. Then one day I thought, "What would I do if something happened to my Seagull?"
I went to Guitarcenter and MusicGoRound and started playing some other Seagulls. I was soooo excited!!!!! Imagine my surprise when I didn't hear that wonderful bass filled, booming sound I always hear from mine at home. I have and am still searching! No wonder people frown when I mention my Seagull.
Then they hear and play my Seagull and they are blown away!!!
I am a huge Seagull fan! You will have to pry my Seagull from cold, arthritic hands when I die! HEHE
Welcome to the Seagull Forum Michael! You're certainly among friends here! Glad to have you with us.
One thing I'd say about comparing the sound of a Seagull at a big-box guitar store compared to strumming your Darling at home is that the acoustics in a big guitar store are terrible and you are competing with the acoustic "ring" of dozens and dozens of other guitars hanging on the wall. That, plus, the chances are good that the strings on the one you are playing at the store are old and dead.
This much said, I fully agree with the feeling that there are good examples, great examples and there are certainly dud examples of pretty much any acoustic guitar from any maker. When you find one that you love, you'd hate to have to replace it with another "identical" guitar if something happened to yours.
Most of us here feel that Seagull is one of the more consistent manufacturers of acoustics, but guitar-to-guitar, there are still bound to be differences.
Thanks Jud, I'll keep those points in mind. Thanks for the welcome!
I agree with Jud. I would add this, however: Last fall I purchased a Seagull Entourage Grand Rustic QI from Guitar Center. It is a parlour (Canadian spelling!) size and therefore doesn't have the fuller sound of a dread or an S6, and I didn't expect it to. I liked it when I played it in the store, and I like it at home. The thing is, I could not find this guitar on the Seagull Website. I asked Seagull and they said it was a new model and hadn't been put on the Website yet. That was October. It's now January and it's still not there. I have suspected all along it was a model they are making only for GC and maybe some other retailers. Not that that bothers me, since I don't see any evidence that the quality has slipped (I used to have an S6 so I am able to compare), but it may have something to do with what you experienced, Michael. Or maybe not. I just thought I'd throw it in.
I did the same research and wondered if they were maybe making a cheaper model with wood that didn't ring as well. There is still no doubt that when a friend plays my Seagull they say "Holy Cow, I love this guitar", but when they try one at Guitarcenter they wonder what happened!
I guess the other obvious question is whether the model you and your friends are playing in the store is the same as the model you have at home. If not, any comparison would be difficult because different models are going to sound different no matter what.
Before getting my used S6 , I played a number of S6s at Long and Mcquade - they had three in stock. One really impressed me, but with the price nudging $500 with the case, I decided to sleep on it - and, of course, it was sold when I went back two days later to pick it up. I then played the remaining two - one was less than impressive generally, the other worse, with 1/2" high action. Asked the sales chappie if they could get them up properly Monday - "Sure, be glad to...if you buy one now. If not, we're too busy to set it up for a week or more..." Coming on Christmas, to be fair to him and L&M... "So, call me when it's done..."I'm still waiting...
But it doesn't bother me, because that Sunday morning, in spite, I popped a "Wanted: Seagull S6" ad on the local Kijiji, and lo and behold, the phone rang an hour later. Within three hours of placing the ad, I'd bought a real cannon of a S6, case included, for less than 1/2 L&M's "buy it, then try it" model. Mine is 11 years old, and if being played opens a guitar, this thing has to be wide open; someone played the tar out of this a long time ago. Friends who know and play guitars do the "What is this thing?" reaction first time they play the S6.
While there is a certain limited potential for sound in each instrument's woods and construction, I personally think that correct setup and well matched strings are needed to judge its initial sound, and being played as it ages over time brings out the full sound. That cedar top helps, as it seems to age in more rapidly than spruce.
Be an interesting experiment to take your S6 into the store, and play it side-by-side, lick-for-lick with theirs...
Welcome aboard, Michael - glad you've got a "good un"
Wonderful information! I definitely think I will take mine along next time. I have to say that mine needs a good tune up. Third and fourth frets are worn. I have been playing the heck out of it for about 8 years, and it came directly from Seagull before that. I don't break many strings, but I play the Martin Lifespans currently. They seem to last a while and have really good tone.
I have to say, it has been hard to find one exactly like mine at the stores as well. Most of them are lacquered and shiny. Does anyone know if you ca make a trip to the factory in Canada? I have a friend moving up there soon and thought that would be a fun trip.
At the risk of being heretical try a Fylde!!
@ Michael ...
Okay, we may have solved at least part of the problem. If you have a well-maintained Seagull that is several years old and you've been comparing it to brand new models, there should be a very big difference. Brand new solid top acoustic guitars need to be played for a long time before the wood "opens up" and becomes totally satisfying. A tight new guitar hanging on the wall of a big guitar shop will never be the sonic equal of an older one that has been loved, cared for, and played, played, played.
BTW ... The Seagull website says that factory tours for the public are "currently" not possible ... but current for the Seagull website means 2007, lol. Did you take a few minutes to watch the video factory tour conducted by Robert Godin that I have saved in the forum discussion area? It's the next best thing to going there yourself and a lot quicker and cheaper!
Sweet, yeah I guess mine is only going to get better and better, but it has always had a very big sound.
I will go check the video out. That sounds sweet. Maybe I will give them a call and see if they have started tours back up.
Jud, I completely agree. My seagull S6 original was purchased at GC about a year ago and the tone hasn't changed much due to wood but more due to the strings used. This will change w/ time and only improve. I've picked up many an old and nicked used guitar to be very impressed by the sheer beauty of the sound. I look forward to letting my Gull mature w/ me and my musical abilities.