Best under the radar brand?

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birdobirdo Frets: 24
Is thre a sleeper acoustic brand out there. One that either doesn't get the recondition it deserves or just consistently produces quality instruments but does break into the big boys groups. For example in electric guitars I'd list yamaha .
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  • digitalscreamdigitalscream Frets: 18079
    Does Faith count?
    During the Covid19 period, we're running a "phone a friend" facility.  Just to hear a voice, keep in touch, etc. , using "JitSi".

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  • Andyjr1515Andyjr1515 Frets: 2517

    birdo said:
    Is thre a sleeper acoustic brand out there. One that either doesn't get the recondition it deserves or just consistently produces quality instruments but does break into the big boys groups. For example in electric guitars I'd list yamaha .
    Actually, I'd say Yamaha for acoustics too!  Low price, faultless quality, pretty much all of them sound good to great and are easy to play
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  • jaygtrjaygtr Frets: 218

    birdo said:
    Is thre a sleeper acoustic brand out there. One that either doesn't get the recondition it deserves or just consistently produces quality instruments but does break into the big boys groups. For example in electric guitars I'd list yamaha .
    Actually, I'd say Yamaha for acoustics too!  Low price, faultless quality, pretty much all of them sound good to great and are easy to play



    +1 to this
    ;)
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  • birdobirdo Frets: 24
    Not sure if faith count as they get nothing but praise and are fairly new in brand terms. How do high end yamahas compare ? I know their budget end stuff is great.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 49401
    Larivée.

    OK they're not "cheap", but they're as good or better than any of the really big names, and are cheaper new and *much* cheaper secondhand since they don't hold their value that well.


    I really don't get the love for Yamaha, sorry. Yes they're well-made, but I've never played one that sounded inspiring and most sound very ordinary.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 22926
    I'd go for the LAG Tramontane range .. cool guitars from about £299. Nice modern logo as well ...

    http://uk.lagguitars.com/TRAMONTANE-g510.html
    Has left the building

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  • IanSavageIanSavage Frets: 1319
    The three major Canadian brands (Simon & Patrick, Art et Lutherie and Norman, in decending order of personal preference) - all part of the Godin group, real quality at good prices (STUPIDLY low prices secondhand, quite often).
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  • blueskunkblueskunk Frets: 2546
    When i was looking for an acoustic i tried a few and for the price this was a belter, i love it.
    http://www.alvarezguitars.com/instrument/af60
    I want the parlour one next.
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  • barry2tonebarry2tone Frets: 210
    edited August 2013
    blueskunk said:
    "When i was looking for an acoustic i tried a few and for the price this was a belter, i love it.
    http://www.alvarezguitars.com/instrument/af60
    I want the parlour one next."

    From a bit of reading these sound great, something I'd like to try.

    But another manufacturers website that doesn't give scale length, nut width etc?
                                                                                                                                                ~X(
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  • VimFuegoVimFuego Frets: 8949
    I'd concur on the larry comment. Brands like Stonebridge, Lakewood seem to give the big names a run for their money as well.

    I'm not locked in here with you, you are locked in here with me.

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  • JalapenoJalapeno Frets: 4942
    The non-metal stuff from Dean is a well kept secret - acoustics, resonators ....
    Imagine something sharp and witty here ......

    Feedback
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 49401
    IanSavage said:
    The three major Canadian brands (Simon & Patrick, Art et Lutherie and Norman, in decending order of personal preference) - all part of the Godin group, real quality at good prices (STUPIDLY low prices secondhand, quite often).
    Unfortunately, although they sound great and are very good value for money when they're new, they don't last. They're not very well made and very often have structural problems, or just seem to 'wear out' and go dead-sounding rather than maturing. They also have the highest rate of broken headstocks I know of other than Gibsons. I wish it wasn't so, since when they first came out they seemed to have solved the problem of making good-sounding guitars cheaply by getting rid of all the fancy stuff you don't need.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • BSG.

    I went to the shop thinking I was picking between Martin, Taylor, and Gibson.  I came out with a BSG which was hands down better than everything else in my price range.  I then had to google what I'd bought when I got home.
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  • VimFuegoVimFuego Frets: 8949
    I see blueridge now do a high end line (this is probably old news to most, but I am hopelessly behind the times). I was highly impressed with their low end range, had a very traditional sound, so would be interesting to see what the high end ones are like.

    I'm not locked in here with you, you are locked in here with me.

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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 22926
    Has left the building

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  • MattGMattG Frets: 169
    Auden guitars make some very nice stuff
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  • Recording King too, they really surprised me when I played them. I'll be picking up one of their 000's at some point.
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  • bertiebertie Frets: 1600
    Actually, I'd say Yamaha for acoustics too!  Low price, faultless quality, pretty much all of them sound good to great and are easy to play
    not sure Id agree completely.  Used to have a Yam back in the 80s and it indeed was a great player and finished well.  HOWEVER I played a couple of their £500 ish models (a dread and a OM size) and they left me pretty cold TBH,  huge heavy neck on the OM made it very un-balanced.

    If we (as per ICBM) are going to get into Larry ££ country, there are 101 great small luthiers out their now that will easily out compete the big names with bang for buck - its just you wont have the resale value.
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  • AuldReekieAuldReekie Frets: 191
    bertie said:
    Actually, I'd say Yamaha for acoustics too!  Low price, faultless quality, pretty much all of them sound good to great and are easy to play
    not sure Id agree completely.  Used to have a Yam back in the 80s and it indeed was a great player and finished well.  HOWEVER I played a couple of their £500 ish models (a dread and a OM size) and they left me pretty cold TBH,  huge heavy neck on the OM made it very un-balanced.

    If we (as per ICBM) are going to get into Larry ££ country, there are 101 great small luthiers out their now that will easily out compete the big names with bang for buck - its just you wont have the resale value.

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  • AuldReekieAuldReekie Frets: 191
    Larrivee owner here - have three OM9, SD50 TSB and C09 and totally agree with ICBM, would choose Larrivee over Martin or Taylor anyday and this is based on having owned both of these brands in the past, In fact sold my Santa Cruz D to finance the SD50 (12 fret dreadnought). I have had a tour of their factory in Vancouver and I have never come across such a happy working environment, which no doubt reflects the pride their employees go about their work.
    Whilst still a relative bargain, Larrys are beginning to climb in price, certainly compared with around 10 years ago when you could pick up a second hand Larry for a a ridiculously cheap price. 
    Re the above comment on small builders, in my experience, Larrys are consderably cheaper than most small builders guitars.  I also have a MciLroy and a Forster and both of these were considerably dearer than my Larrys
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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 6552
    VimFuego said:
    I'd concur on the larry comment. Brands like Stonebridge, Lakewood seem to give the big names a run for their money as well.

    Definitely Stonebridge (Furch) are seriously good.  Until you get up to the Vintage Series stuff (which is much more expensive) I'd take them over a Martin.
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  • VimFuegoVimFuego Frets: 8949
    the problem with some of these smaller brands is finding someone who has a decent selection to try. Unless you're in the smoke or somewhere similar it can mean a drive or so (not that I'm feeling GASSY, oh no...).

    I'm not locked in here with you, you are locked in here with me.

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  • birdobirdo Frets: 24
    Didn't stonebridge/ furch also go under the Stanford name? Great guitars as are the larry .I ve not tried the sigma or recording king but they look good.
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  • bertiebertie Frets: 1600
    edited August 2013
    oh,  good call on the Stonebridge -


    OK - Ive held back so far...(mostly cos I assumed we were wanting to keep this at 'lower end budget'.)  but if you're going to hit the Larry and alike marks (£2k ish)  then I have to mention Brook.  Yeah Im biased of course......but they are phenomenal, in sound, playability and value
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  • DeadmanDeadman Frets: 2894
    Freshman. My FA400 was awesome,it sounds cliche but it really did sound like something worth 3 times the price. I picked it up from gash converters for £200 and regrettably sold it on for £400. They retail for something like £700 now. Their base models are well worth a look.
    My trading feedback is here 
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  • thermionicthermionic Frets: 6234
    I have to give a mention here to The Loar. Part of the Recording King empire but focussing on mandolins and archtops (as the name suggests). Not very available in the UK but a big hit in the USA: Acoustic Guitar of the Year 2010. Justin Townes Earle plays one of their LO-16s.

    I was thinking of an Epiphone EL-00 but it seems that upgrading the nut and saddle to bone is almost mandatory to get that guitar up to scratch, the Loar LH-200 has a bone nut and saddle (perfectly crafted I might add) as standard and it sustains like a bastard. Recording Kings seem to be reasonably available here but not The Loar, so I bought one from Thomann for £200 as a "leave it around the living room guitar" and I haven't touched my Taylor in 6 months.
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  • SkippedSkipped Frets: 2238
    IanSavage said:
    The three major Canadian brands (Simon & Patrick, Art et Lutherie and Norman, in decending order of personal preference) - all part of the Godin group, real quality at good prices (STUPIDLY low prices secondhand, quite often).
    I also have a soft spot for the Canadian brands, especially the Spruce topped Normans. I have this one:
    http://www.musiciansbuy.com/Norman-B20-Spruce-High-Gloss-Natural-01019.html

    I want to emphasise that this is from the point of view of an electric player looking a for a loud strummer with a great neck (after an expert fret dress). I was a bit alarmed to learn that ICBM has seen so many with broken headstocks but as a lifelong Gibson player I guess I factor in that risk without even realising it.


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  • daveyhdaveyh Frets: 508
    I'll vote for Crafter. I have a GA-7 and it's f***ing glorious.
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  • equalsqlequalsql Frets: 4220
    edited September 2013

    Walden is definitely a brand worth looking at. I've had one of their supranatural G2070s  for a number of years and have never failed to be impressed by it.

    http://www.waldenguitars.com/G2070.html


    (pronounced: equal-sequel)   "I suffered for my art.. now it's your turn"
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  • As I commented in a previous thread, try the Farida range at Dawsons. I tried their £699 top of the heap jobbie and it fairly sung and was very easy to bond with.
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