Best Acoustic Guitar under £500….?

Best Acoustic Guitar under £500….?

Hi

I’m not sure if this discussion board is the most appropriate place for a question like this but with a fair number of guitarists out there I thought I would ask it anyway!

I’m looking to buy a new acoustic guitar and wondered if anyone can recommend a good one? I can spend up to £500 and will consider anyything really.

Thanks,

donaidh

Re: Best Acoustic Guitar under £500….?

You don’t have to spend no where near £500 to get a good guitar. I bought my daughter a new Washburn D10S for christmas . . it cost £139 inc. p&p from shopoftheworld.com. Its a beauty! Great tone and very loud. Its got a solid top and made in China . . great value for money. The action could do with lowering a little though.Its really well made as well. Seriously thinking about buying one for myself. Get one . . you won’t be dissapointed. The Washburn D10S was voted the best acuostic guitar under $500 last year.

Re: Best Acoustic Guitar under £500….?

Hmmm. I got my Seagull S6 Cedar for the equivalent of 450 pounders and must say, it was well worth the money. After 11 months we are still in love with each other, she has a great tone, deep bass, clear treble; the only thing that is a drawback - she doesn’t take the capo too well, but I suppose that’s not a problem, but an asset (after what I’ve read in here about using capo with DADGAD tuning). It is loud enough, and looks very neat. Highly reccommend. Especially if you are enchanted by J. Doyle’s playing, cuz as far as I remember his guitar is from the same stable, and you can hear it (even though it’s not the same class).

Re: Best Acoustic Guitar under £500….?

Still, I was just told by my friend that Furchs are even better. I’ve never played one, but I suppose you can trust a bodhran player.

Re: Best Acoustic Guitar under £500….?

Sometimes you can trust a bodhran player ;-)
check Furch’s website http://www.furch.cz/

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Re: Best Acoustic Guitar under £500….?

Not sure if these are available on your side of the Atlantic, but Blueridge Guitars are incredible if you play with a flatpick. The 100 and 200 series are all solid woods (Honduran Mahogony or EI Rosewood) with scalloped forward bracing in the prewar style of Martins. Infact, by sheer power, volume, and clarity these blow many significantly more expensive guitars out of the water (including many Martins). Depending on the model, they list anywhere from about $300 to $1000 U.S. However, even the cheapest one with laminated woods I played was a real powerhorse. I would suggest trying a BR-70 (laminated), BR-140(solid), or a BR-160(solid) if you are into dreadnoughts.

Re: Best Acoustic Guitar under £500….?

Seagull is the best for that kind of money.

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Re: Best Acoustic Guitar under £500….?

I think for the money and overall value, go for a takamine. These are great guitars and have a very good build in preamp pickup system and these sound great tuned in DADGAD

Re: Best Acoustic Guitar under £500….?

If you’re thinking of a used (or, excuse me, "vintage") item, the Yamahas made in the 60s and 70s are collectors’ best kept secret, according to my friendly neighbourhood luthier. (Although I guess I just blew it.) My dad had one gathering dust in the basement, all cracked and warped and miserable, but the tone was still so gorgeous I took it in to get it fixed. After that it sounded ten times better than my ridiculously expensive Martin. (Don’t I feel like an idiot!) But he won’t let me buy it from him. He keeps saying "What’s wrong with your Martin?" Well, besides the fact the finish is literally peeling off in chunks…

But I digress. The ones you want to look for in have yellow (fantastic) or red (even better) labels. Stay away from the white-label ones - they were built after Yamaha moved the factory from japan to china and they lack that sump’m sump’m. Again, according to the luthier. I’m just regurgitating information here…

Re: Best Acoustic Guitar under £500….?

I forgot to mention what makes them so cool is that they aren’t a famous vintage name, at least not before I posted this, so the price stays well within your range.

Re: Best Acoustic Guitar under £500….?

I’ll second that about the old Yamahas. If you can find an older FG-180 or FG-220 in some shop, just buy the sucker. I used to be able to pick these up for about $100 American at will, recommended them all of my students, now they’re scarce, but worth hunting for ( my own was stolen a few years ago) and still inexpensive.

Those old Yamahas blow away just about anything sold today for under a grand/ 500 pounds. My only caveat would be that you better like skinny necks, they may not be for finger stylists, but then the same is true of the Washburn D-10.

I spent about an hour at Manny’s in NYC last weekend trying to find cheap guitars I could recommend to students these days. I spent a good bit of time with the much recommended Washburn D-10 (For bias purposes I’ll point out that I love Washburns and play one exclusively these days). I can’t say I was impressed. It’s playable. It doesn’t sound like complete crap, but it’s no great piece of work or musical instrument. Good for a beginner who doesn’t want to spend money. Couldn’t recommend it for someone looking for a "keeper." All that said I’ll probably end up picking one up as an "expendable" travel/street playing axe.

If you’re not hung up on dreadnoughts you might check out the Washburn EA20 or EA45 (if you can find one) though. Very sweet acoustic/electrics, but they won’t cut through a session unless you use a small amp.

If you’re not hung up on an acoustic at all, check out a current Yamaha offering, the "silent" guitar. This is my own next purchase in guitardom. An acoustic/electric, but without the acoustic part. Top notch musical instrument, sold dirt cheap (about $550 American over the net), but you gotta add an amp into the deal.

KFG

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Re: Best Acoustic Guitar under £500….?

I bought a Furch a couple of years ago, and am very happy with it. It plays well in DADGAD and standard. The dealer here in Oslo told me that because it was made in a place with appr. the same climate as here (f.i. cold winters) it would stay in shape. So far he has been right.

Re: Best Acoustic Guitar under £500….?

Just want to second Simon and Patrick. My first steel string guitar was a S&P with a solid spruce top. It cost me £299 in 1998 and is far better than many instruments that cost a lot more. They are very well made instruments and the manufacturers could easily charge more than they do. S&P have recently released all solid guitars. I am not sure of the price of these, probably over the £500 limit, but I am sure they will be worth it.

Personally I don’t see what the fuss is with Takamine. They are popular with many pub singers due to their sturdy nature and the pickups which are highly rated. All the ones I have seen however sound appauling when played unplugged and the pickup is nothing special.

I know no one has mentioned them yet but avoid Tanglewood like the plague!!!

Re: Best Acoustic Guitar under £500….?

This is quite impossible to answer.If 1 luthier built 2 identical guitars with identical woods from the same trees etc it is entirely possible that 1 could be an outstanding guitar whilst the other was mediocre.
The only thing I could suggest is that you play every guitar that you see for under £500 and then buy the one that you like most. These days £500 gets you a lot more guitar than a few years ago.
I think that 2nd hand is the way to go.Its quite easy to check a guitar for defects/problems esp if you can get a mirror inside the box.
I would also recommend buying a guitar without a pickup(esp if you dont do electrified concerts).That way you can get the best guitar possible for your budget. Pickups are not that expensive and installation shouldnt cost too much so later on you can have 1 installed when you have more money.Plus the pick up/pre amp you get with your Takemine will be obsolete in no time
Jim

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Re: Best Acoustic Guitar under £500….?

Hi,

Thanks for all the recommendations. I’ve just taken delivery of my new acoustic - a Simon & Patrick SP6, cedar top with electrics.

First impressions are excellent - it sounds fantastic and is beautifully made, and the neck is a dream to play. It’s streets ahead of my Fender DG14 although that too was a fine guitar for the money (£150 I think).

The S&P cost me £360 (RRP is £510) - and for the money I’d be surprised if there’s a better quality guitar out there. Highly recommended!!

Donaidh

Re: Best Acoustic Guitar under £500….?

I’m looking for an acoustic around the £500 mark and am considering the Yamaha LL16 handcrafted guitar for around £400-£500.
It seems to have great reviews, can anyone confirm this as a good choice?

Ledders

Re: Best Acoustic Guitar under £500….?

I recently read great things about the Yamaha LL16, and recently tried one out in a shop for about an hour or so, and have to say that it was extremely well built, has all solid woods(not laminates), and sounded almost as good a Taylor GS which was £1899.00. The difference between the two, when played back to back , was so small, that I will be purchasing one soon. ..I have to pay off a credit card first, before spending more money!
By the way, I recently came back from the Czech republic, where I examined many top of the range guitars by Furch, in their own shop, and the quality was appalling. Out of about 15 guitars, only one of them did not have any faults, and I could sit here writing for an hour on the poor state of the rest of them, but have better things to do with my time.