Buying advice - classic square or round-shouldered electro-acoustic

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Hi all,

I'm sure this has been asked before (apologies), but I'm waving my Noob-get-out-of-jail-free card: I'm looking for an electro-acoustic which will give me that nice "chunk" sound and has a great bass response with which I could perform and which wouldn't get lost behind the vocals (whether or not it's me who is singing). I've looked at Martin, Taylor and Gibson guitars, with their price-tags, and can't go there at the moment; I've also looked at Faith and some other UK builders. It's not pressing - I'm not in a hurry - and I don't have much more than about £1250 to spend, new or second hand. My preference is dark wood (I have a mahogany GS-mini and a Sigma modern series gk2ce-4+ koa, which is lovely, but I'm looking for a non-cutaway body). I don't care too much what it says on the headstock - in fact, I'd prefer something unusual, if I can stretch to it. The guitar doesn't need to have any fancy appointments on it, either. Ideally it comes with a hard case though, or I can get one, as it's probably going to get gigged...eventually

Any thoughts/advice gratefully received.

Cheers,

Deej
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  • Andy79Andy79 Frets: 478
    edited January 9
    If I were in your shoes right now I would be takin a close look at the Gibson J35 at Glenn’s guitars. Very nice and maybe right up your street  
    Also a new G45 , slimmer body but the studio has walnut body which is nice 

    You I’m sure would be surprised how good a ‘70s Yamaha FG300 sounds, especially given your requirements and you could buy 3 with your budget 

    You are pretty close to a used D18. Very close 

    none of these are electro, just retrofit all that as required 


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  • TheBigDipperTheBigDipper Frets: 2270
    L'Arrivee has a range with it's own body shape (The "L" series) which has a nice balanced strumming tone. It's not as big as a dreadnaught or a jumbo. As you're looking to amplify, the acoustic volume is probably not an issue, but it can be strummed hard without going flubby. I've got an L-01 (the least fancy one, which they only ever made as a special run for Japanese dealers a few years ago and I bought second hand in Denmark Street) and it's lovely. Even after I abused it and ended up with a bellied top. But you don't have to do that bit... 

    The L-03 has the same woods but also slightly more bling. My L-01 was made in Canada, but I think they have moved production to California. 
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  • deejay.deejay. Frets: 3
    Thanks very much for your suggestions. I like Yamaha guitars very much, and had wondered whether there would be one which might fit the bill; if not electro-acoustic, I can always put a mike in front of it - getting the chunk sound and the bass response is important. I'm not familiar with L'Arrivee so will check them out, and also the J35. A D18 would be great if I can find one. Thanks again!
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  • TheMadMickTheMadMick Frets: 12
    deejay. said:
    Thanks very much for your suggestions. I like Yamaha guitars very much, and had wondered whether there would be one which might fit the bill; if not electro-acoustic, I can always put a mike in front of it - getting the chunk sound and the bass response is important. I'm not familiar with L'Arrivee so will check them out, and also the J35. A D18 would be great if I can find one. Thanks again!

    If you want a big sounding Yamaha you could do worse than the A1. It should come in new for your budget. Otherwise, the A3 is the Chinese equivalent although it has a tighter bass (which I prefer) and that should come in under £1k.
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  • TimmyOTimmyO Frets: 4411
    I'm not sure exactly what you mean by the "chunk" sound but tbh I'd have thought that if you're thinking mainly about the amplified response then any amplification scenario is likely to have enough EQ control to give you whatever emphasis you're after. ie you may not necessarily need an inherently low-end rich guitar to get a low-end rich amplified sound. Might be easier to get the guitar you like, then sort the amplification ? 
    "Congratulations on being officially the most right anyone has ever been about anything, ever." -- Noisepolluter knows the score
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  • TeyeplayerTeyeplayer Frets: 1569
    edited January 9
    L’arrivee L shapes are wonderful, in fact the only acoustic guitar I regret not just buying on the spot was an LO-2. Great guitar.

    Eastman are also worth a look, they do a slope shoulder dred that is just lovely. To be fair their 000 are pretty big sounding too so if you are open to a smaller body size, don’t be put off.

    My final tip is Maton, I’ve an S60 that just saw everything else off. It’s fantastic, unique and has its own thing going on. 
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  • deejay.deejay. Frets: 3
    TimmyO said:
    I'm not sure exactly what you mean by the "chunk" sound but tbh I'd have thought that if you're thinking mainly about the amplified response then any amplification scenario is likely to have enough EQ control to give you whatever emphasis you're after. ie you may not necessarily need an inherently low-end rich guitar to get a low-end rich amplified sound. Might be easier to get the guitar you like, then sort the amplification ? 
    I think you have landed on my lack of experience, which is probably what is behind my question - still learning! W.r.t. the sound, I grew up listening to the Beatles, Beach Boys, Stones, Bowie, Everly Brothers, Queen, Country and Western, Mamas and the Papas and so on - lots of 50's and 60's stuff, and also a good bit of 70's (I'm 50 next month) so when I'm playing for myself, I like to play what I listened to growing up, hence the big sound I'm looking for; when performing (a little way off, if I'm honest) I'm looking for flexibility - I'm already getting grief over the size of the guitar collection, so trying to find something which will tick lots of boxes...
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  • Andy79Andy79 Frets: 478
    In regard to that comment it has to be a dreadnaught then. That will give you the size and richness of tone your after unplugged and you can EQ out the excess bass when plugged in. 
    A guitar not much spoken of since it’s release is the Martin DSS-17. A bloody fabulous guitar. A bit left fiel for Martin, doesn’t really fit their tone profile. Think a very unruly J45 but LOUD and pretty honky-Tonk. Not everyone’s cup of tea but a belter of a guitar. You possibly could find a used on in or just above your budget
     Put it on the list
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  • deejay.deejay. Frets: 3
    Andy79 said:
    In regard to that comment it has to be a dreadnaught then. That will give you the size and richness of tone your after unplugged and you can EQ out the excess bass when plugged in. 
    A guitar not much spoken of since it’s release is the Martin DSS-17. A bloody fabulous guitar. A bit left fiel for Martin, doesn’t really fit their tone profile. Think a very unruly J45 but LOUD and pretty honky-Tonk. Not everyone’s cup of tea but a belter of a guitar. You possibly could find a used on in or just above your budget
     Put it on the list
    Oh that looks very nice, and sounds like it could fit the bill...quick scan of a review this morning was very positive. 

    I really appreciate the input - the Maton also looks (and sounds) lovely. Unfortunately the list is just growing and growing..!
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  • deejay.deejay. Frets: 3
    L’arrivee L shapes are wonderful, in fact the only acoustic guitar I regret not just buying on the spot was an LO-2. Great guitar.

    Eastman are also worth a look, they do a slope shoulder dred that is just lovely. To be fair their 000 are pretty big sounding too so if you are open to a smaller body size, don’t be put off.

    My final tip is Maton, I’ve an S60 that just saw everything else off. It’s fantastic, unique and has its own thing going on. 
    The Maton looks lovely. And Glenn's Guitars has an L-03 AND a 510 at the moment, both in my price range..
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  • Andy79Andy79 Frets: 478
    He’s a decent bloke. Always gives a small discount too
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  • TeyeplayerTeyeplayer Frets: 1569
    deejay. said:
    L’arrivee L shapes are wonderful, in fact the only acoustic guitar I regret not just buying on the spot was an LO-2. Great guitar.

    Eastman are also worth a look, they do a slope shoulder dred that is just lovely. To be fair their 000 are pretty big sounding too so if you are open to a smaller body size, don’t be put off.

    My final tip is Maton, I’ve an S60 that just saw everything else off. It’s fantastic, unique and has its own thing going on. 
    The Maton looks lovely. And Glenn's Guitars has an L-03 AND a 510 at the moment, both in my price range..
    The L-02 (or was it 3?) I tried all those years ago almost had a natural chorus to the sound, it was quite amazing, something to do with the bell shape of the body I believe. Unfortunately, at the time I’d decided I wanted a Martin and wasn’t buying with my ears. 
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  • deejay.deejay. Frets: 3

    deejay. said:
    Thanks very much for your suggestions. I like Yamaha guitars very much, and had wondered whether there would be one which might fit the bill; if not electro-acoustic, I can always put a mike in front of it - getting the chunk sound and the bass response is important. I'm not familiar with L'Arrivee so will check them out, and also the J35. A D18 would be great if I can find one. Thanks again!

    If you want a big sounding Yamaha you could do worse than the A1. It should come in new for your budget. Otherwise, the A3 is the Chinese equivalent although it has a tighter bass (which I prefer) and that should come in under £1k.
    Thanks, I'll take a look!
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  • deejay.deejay. Frets: 3
    Andy79 said:
    He’s a decent bloke. Always gives a small discount too
    Actually I made a typo there - it's a D-03, which seems to compare favourably (depending on where you look) to the HD-28, though the Martin when I heard it played seemed to have a stronger bass response when strumming, which is mostly what I do. It's a really tough call... :#
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  • TimmyOTimmyO Frets: 4411
    If you had to choose (just go with it...) between the acoustic sound and the amplified sound being as you’re imagining/hoping which would you choose? 
    "Congratulations on being officially the most right anyone has ever been about anything, ever." -- Noisepolluter knows the score
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  • deejay.deejay. Frets: 3
    TimmyO said:
    If you had to choose (just go with it...) between the acoustic sound and the amplified sound being as you’re imagining/hoping which would you choose? 
    That's a tough one...probably the acoustic sound, if I'm really honest, as just wandering upstairs, picking up and playing  whatever it is, it's going to be unplugged most of the time. That's a great question - thank you - as you've really got to the nub of my dilemma...the truth of it all is the acoustic sound.
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  • BingManBingMan Frets: 11
    Given your budget i'd be looking at eastman or Recording King.
    Eastman make slope shoulder gibson style dreds as well martin square shoulder. Lot of bang for your buck with these.
    I've also heard good things about the new(ish) line of all solid wood recording kings

    not sure if they have pickups factory installed but you could buy one and have a tech install it well within your budget I would have thought.
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  • deejay.deejay. Frets: 3
    BingMan said:
    Given your budget i'd be looking at eastman or Recording King.
    Eastman make slope shoulder gibson style dreds as well martin square shoulder. Lot of bang for your buck with these.
    I've also heard good things about the new(ish) line of all solid wood recording kings

    not sure if they have pickups factory installed but you could buy one and have a tech install it well within your budget I would have thought.
    The Eastman guitars look very nice indeed - haven’t heard one yet though. Ditto the Recording Kings. I’ve decided I’m not going to rush into this...I think I’ll wait a while (maybe quite a while) and see if I can go spend a morning at Guitar Village in Farnham, play a load of instruments, and see where I end up..!
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  • TimmyOTimmyO Frets: 4411
    Cool - yeah get the acoustic you want and add a pickup if necessary then - and it does sound like a Dreadnaught might be “the sound in your head” 
    "Congratulations on being officially the most right anyone has ever been about anything, ever." -- Noisepolluter knows the score
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  • deejay.deejay. Frets: 3
    TimmyO said:
    Cool - yeah get the acoustic you want and add a pickup if necessary then - and it does sound like a Dreadnaught might be “the sound in your head” 
    Yeah, I think you nailed that...it's so hard not to rush into buying something online though..! Thanks again!
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