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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. 

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Replies to This Discussion

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!!  '-)

The Seagull you are looking at (and the Art & Lutherie) both have the 1.72" nut. Have you seen any Simon & Patrick or Norman dreads? Also made by Godin, they will have the same dimensions and playability as those you have tried - but neither have the odd Rosette... ;-)
If you're going to look at overseas made, IMHO stay away from Jay Turser - you can do much better. Try Eastman or Walden guitars - check out their websites - I think you'll be impressed. But if you're interested in a cedar-topped guitar, Eastman has none - but Walden does.
Enjoy the hunt!

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.

If you enjoy the research, check out www.wolfeguitars.com, and view their inventory - one can get lost for awhile there... ;-)
Also, check out www.waldenguitars.com and www.eastmanguitars.com - again, lots of good viewing...
Finally, check out the Giannini Craviola, and play one if you can find one. They are cool (IMHO), and very comfortable to play.

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. 

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