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Low End as the new High End - the Second Golden Era

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Well, it is quite refreshing to read this topic ! I used to own two low quality guitars in my living room for many years. A folk (Yamaha) and my good old classical (Fender). I offered myself a Taylor 510 for my 50th anniversary ! In fact, while opening the music store door, I was thinking money would not be an object. You understand I soon faced a big wall ! CDN $ was well under US$ at the moment. In the following years, I fetched some reknowned guitars, including a Martin D-35 which gives me more satisfaction than my Taylor for two-third of the price! I do not consider buying new guitars anymore. I found an Aria AC-80 and a Ramirez R-4 for less than half the price ! I have round a great local luthier to care for my babies... 100$ to tune a treasure is nothing. People should know that. Well, my point is I did give my very low end oldies to my son and my brother. When I visit my son, I always put my hands on the old Fender and almost regret leaving It ! I am now looking for an all-mahogany and am quite confused considering all those on the market, from Martin 000-18 to Guild M-120 to Tanglewood TW-130 the prices going from some 1400 to 400 $ ! A question still remains : Are brand names proportional to craft quality/longevity? And will the market value survive over the years ? My playing pleasure largely prevails over money thoughts... until a sound ceiling... (grin)
Regards, Marc

Reply posted 2 years ago by Marc Mony


I agree. I have found all the acoustic guitars from Godin (Seagull, Simon & Patrick, Norman, Art & Lutherie, LaPatrie, and even the Godin Kingpin hollowbody archtop) to offer superb value for the money, excellent construction quality, and high-quality materials. Also, they are North American made!
IMHO, Walden, Eastman, Crafter, and Wechter also offer excellent value for the money - and Wechter even runs their instruments through a PLEK machine before they go out!
My Walden G1070 has a solid cedar top, solid mahogany back, laminated mahogany sides, a bone nut and saddle, carbon-fiber reinforcements in the bolt-on neck, a wood rosette, and wood binding, bridgepins, and endpin - all for well under $1000 ($740 street). To get all that in a Taylor, you are well over $2000...

Reply posted 2 years ago by FloridaGull

Patrick Dodd

This is a cool thread to go down. I tell young cats that come up to me asking about my ride (which is one of those snob pieces you speak of - a Breed OM-M Revival) that yeah at my end the money is indeed worth it for that complexity that Big Al spoke of, however, now that I have my concert recording axe my future goodies will investigate what I call the 2nd Golden Age which we will someday call the mid price explosion. You can find out just how far you want to go down the rabbit hole for much less now than you could when I started in the early 60's. I loved the article in last month that broke down OM style in the 500 to 800 range I have already passed it on to more than one picker. I think having pro's and addicts discuss the best beasts for the mid price ticket is very helpful. I have found some great guitars on the used market that started out as deals and ended up as steals. One of my favorite is the Guild all Ma. OM very serviceable axe that should hold up well for a roudy young player.

Reply posted 2 years ago by Patrick Dodd

Big Al

Well, 'Ive owned a couple of Larrivees, a Taylor, and a Yairi. They were all very nice guitars, albeit not the models up in the acoustic stratosphere . . . but they are all with new owners. Right now, I've settled on a couple of Alvarez Artist Series Jumbos . . . with solid spruce tops and laminated maple backs. Why? They have very good tone, perhaps not as nuanced as some more expensive instuments, but very good. They are attractively done, with tasteful inlay and a mirror finish. One of them is made of a avery attractive spalted tiger maple. They are loud and have lots of headroom. I don't have to beat them to be heard and when I do dig in, they speak loudly without getting muddy or breaking up. They play evenly all over the neck and have no dead spots or odd sounding notes. The neck profile is very comfortable and the fretwork is well done. I have them set up with buttery-low action and they still can be played hard. With the addition of the optional internal condenser mic blended with the stock UST, they give me the best plugged-in sound I have ever experienced . . . and I have tried a lot of pickups in my 35 years of playing. The best part? I picked them up (used) with nice cases for less than $300 each. I can take them anywhere without stress. What's not to like?

Reply posted 2 years ago by Big Al

Very true. A good example is my early 90's Seagull. I paid $250 used for it about 12 years ago, and I have turned down offers of $1000 more than once. The guitar just sounds & plays so well that I would rather have it than any other I have played. I'm sure that an old D-28 or a nice Taylor would be a better axe, but at a cost of thousands. I have a lot of other similar stories with the electrics in my inventory. You mention Godin as an example of companies who have made the most of this trend. I have 3 of their guitars, including the Seagull. All are top-notch. I am glad that companies from North America are still able to offer quality products at prices that many folks can afford.

Reply posted 2 years ago by Roger Hill

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