Hi, all, I've been enjoying reading this forum the past week or two in my guitar research. So I'm close to buying my first guitar and have it narrowed down to a Seagull Entourage S6 and an A&L Cedar Antique Burst (dread). Also looking into Takamine 300 series dreads, and a Jay Turser 500 series dread. (If anyone has any comments -- good or bad -- about any of these guitars, please feel free to share them; you will not hurt my feelings.)
So the Godin twins are basically at the same price point, around $350. I don't have an A&L dealer in my area so I played one while on vacation in Portland, OR this past week. I found it very comparable to the Entourage...but for the puffy sticker rosette.
No offense, but what's the deal with the puffy sticker? It seems like a cheap cost-cutting measure, yet the price is the same as the Entourage. It really turned me off, I have to say. I do like the finish on the A&L a little better vs. the Entourage. If anyone knows the logic behind the puffy rosette, I'm all ears. Maybe I'm just missing something. I asked the sales guy about it (it was at a local shop to Portland) and he also found it very odd.
Thanks for your comments/suggestions.
The only Art & Lutheries I have expereience with have been the little Ami's so I can't speak personally to the larger models other than to say that the majority here seem to agree with you that the A&L rosette is sort of cheesy. And of course we Gulls are going to steer you away from any Takemine and Jay Turser stuff!! '-)
play every guitar you can and be patient. when you find one you don't want to put down you'll have your answer... (of course, it'll probably cost $5000)
I'm firmly entrenched in the Seagull series.
I looked at the Art&Luthier's, Simon&Patrick's and Norman's when I was out hunting, at least to me the Gulls seemed to be the better made instrument out of all the Godin lines.
Was hard to find a store that carried more than one of the lines so a direct side by side comparison was difficult
I did not like the sound of the Takamine G series ( I looked at several in the eg3xx eg4xx and eg5xx series, 300$-550$ range) they looked excellent lots of flash but "the" sound was not there they seemed to have a generic characterless sound to them.
Yes, that is a very subjective description, not sure how to describe a guitars sound.
The Takamine EF series on the other hand was great, but the price jumps up into the Martin range.
Guitars I came very close to buying in the 300$-500$ range, were the Yamaha L-6, Yamaha FG730S or a Recording King RD-06.
All very well made and good sounding.
My final decision was heavily influenced by where the instrument was manufactured, as I always prefer to go with something locally made in North America.
As mentioned go out and try many until you find the one you really like.
@ Peter ... I agree 100% with everything in this assessment. Fortunately for me, although the shops in this area do not carry many higher-end Gulls, several do have Seagull, S&P, A&L and Norman in the same shop, so I had the chance to play all the brands, plus Takemines and Yamahas, etc. At the $300-$500 price point, there was no comaprison in my opinion. I ended up falling head over heels for the Seagull S-6 Original last May and even though I recently sold her to finance a Taylor 12 and I now cling to my Artist Mosaic as my best Gull Friend, there will always be a special place for the S-6.and Seagull in general. Gulls Rule!!
I had a Takemine in high school. the neck snapped while in the case on the car ride to church. Needless to say I have had a bitter feeling towards them. I would go with a Yamaha over a tak any day.
No idea about the A&L puffy sticker rosette not having seen an A&L anywhere. There is none to be had in my neck of the world. The Entourage is a nice well balanced guitar and sounds the same as the S6 and S6 slim (to my tin ears). Mine sounds nice but not fully broken in -- too many guitars to play and not enough time to do each guitar justice. I head one in a GC that sounded better than more expensive guitars in the shop. As I did not need another Entourage, I did not bite. I was looking at an MMV but did not bite as well.
Thanks, all. Yeah I was also looking into some S&Ps and Normans but am drawn to the Gull and find the Taks intriguing although I've only played the one and just for a few minutes. I am patiently researching and playing more, the hunt for me is almost as much fun as the end result. (Enjoy the journey and all that!) Been looking for over a month now.
I'm playing an old Yamaha student guitar right now and it's a decent guitar for being a 40-year-old laminate spruce, but it's a little on the small side. Plus I just want a guitar that's not a hand-me-down. That said, I'm not ruling out Yamahas in the 700-730 series, either; some beautiful guitars and quite intriguing to my ear. Now I'm debating whether to pony up a bit more for something like an acoustic Entourage cutaway. I also lean toward a "local" product (and I confess an affinity for all things Canadian) so that gives more weight to the Godins. Thanks again, great forum.
I am a big Seagull Fan!
Lag won the 2012 NAMM convention for best new guitar. Not bad for cheap. A really good guitar company from England is Tanglewood. They have some really nice models as well. You should play them all. Breedlove ever heard of them? I went to see a Harmonica playing wizard (Billy Stiener) on Sat. and he plays a Rosewood and Spruce Gibson. Good guitars are everywhere, excellent guitars you find by playing. "Play them all" is the best advice anyone has ever given me.