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carol m

Which One to Choose?

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I think I'm about to buy a decent guitar! I have been offered a choice of the following second hand lefty's from a private collecter.

Martin 000-15 for $1200

And the following acoustic/electric cutaways (my preferred option)

Martin DCX-1E for $1150

Maton 808 for $1050

Tanglewood Cedar top for $750

Seagull S -6 for $650

Crafter GAE-15 for $500

The sound, tone, and playability are more important than the price (within reason) as this would be to replace my right hand Takamine EG15SC cedar top which I was very happy with and cost about $1400 new. I want this to be my main and only acoustic guitar, so a few extra dollars is also an option if that is what I need to do to get a good sound.

I haven't seen or played any of them yet but I'll do that before buying one. Also I will get a new one from a store if that is the best way to get a really nice one.

Does anyone have views, or experience of any of these?

I'm going to do some research about which deal is the best compared with the store prices, but would appreciate any first hand experience of any of these if possible.

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While my experience is quite limited, I did play a Tanglewood when I was in Germany this past summer. Do yourself a favor and at least play the Tanglewood before you buy anything. I was so impressed with it I was trying to figure out a way to safely and cost-effectively get it back to the states. I haven't seen many around where I am unfortunately.

Seagulls are nice as well. I've heard some of the models actually use a 12 string mold for the neck(which would appeal to some and not others).

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Thanks for the idea Spraytech - that list is what this collector has available for sale second hand. If none of his are suitable I'll probably start looking at a new one from a store, then I would choose from whatever they had depending on how they sound and play. I'm hoping for a bit of inside info on these models before I go and see what they are like to play.

The trouble with lefty guitars is that even the biggest local store here only has 2 for sale out of about 100 right handed acoustics.

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Hi Carol,

I think the proof will be in the playing. Although for an Ozzie, I'd think the Maton would have preferential placement on the list. Just like for a Canuck a Larrivee would be on the list.

What are the guitars that Kirk reps? They may have a good lefty.

-Doug

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I can't help much either. I've played alot of acoustics, but only the martin in your choices. One thing I will say though is a Cedar top is in my future. Something about the tone of a good cedar top I really like.

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Yes Doug, I won't buy one unless I can play it first. It's possible I could test a model as a right hander and get the left version ordered. Don't know if guitars are all the same if they are the same model but a different intstrument.

I agree Scotty, my only good guitar is a Takamine EG15SC right hander which has a cedar top. I picked it out of about 100 guitars I tried. I hadn't played it for about 3 years, and it was when I had a quick strum on it last week, I was so dismayed by the sound compared with the $80 right hander I converted myself, I knew then I had to have a decent guitar to play!

If I go to see the guy with 20 leftys that I can try out and bargain over, I'll take my Takamine with me to have a direct comparison of sound and feel.

Thanks for all your support and tips everyone. It's appreciated. :winkthumb:

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Carol, with the ones you listed, there ia a wide difference in top materials. The Martin 15 is probably mahogany unless it'e the special edition whuch they put out in spruce. The Seagull will be cedar and cherry for the back, The DCX is a high pressure laminate. The Crafter is probably spruce also. They will sound completely different. All nice choices, though, but I think you need to spend some time comparing. Good luck

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Thanks for the info gdb. You are right, I want to get one I will keep and not get tired of and want to replace. That will take some careful searching.

Some of those I listed have demos on Youtube, but then there is the recording itself which may not give the accurate sound. Youtube's a good place to start though to get an idea of the different types.

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If I go to see the guy with 20 leftys that I can try out and bargain over, I'll take my Takamine with me to have a direct comparison of sound and feel.

Thanks for all your support and tips everyone. It's appreciated. :winkthumb:

I can see your problem with making a decision Carol they're all good makes so it really is down to the playing I think your idea of going to see the guy and trying them all out could be the best way forward, it's possible you might not like any of them but one of those could be perfect for you but you're not committed to buy and be a nice day out playing those guitars, it is a bit difficult gauging the playability from recordings and even from reviews, often seen it on the forum one member would swear by a guitar and another would say I didn't get on with that one at all, guitars really do seem to be a personal thing, good luck with your quest, guess you won't need the right handed Takamine any more there's a poor guitarist in the UK needs one I think you should give it to him:whistling :rolleyes:

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Hello Carol...

I have no idea about the guitars that you are looking to buy although judging by the price they all must be excellent.Since it is not your first day that you played the guitar,you know that you have a taste for your sound.Everyone of us is looking for a specific sound that we like on our instruments.So the best advice that I could give you is to trust yourself and only yourself.If you can,just go and try out these guitars and see what sounds best for you.Youtube is indeed a great place but then it is something else when you are the one playing the guitar and you are listening to the tone yourself holding it in your arms...

As for getting tired of the guitar and wanting to replace it,I would first take into consideration GAS and then that factor :) ...

Anyway,I wish you the best of luck finding the guitar that is just right for you.Of course after you make up your mind we expect some pictures of it and a clip :yes: !!...Be always well...

All the best,

Theo

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Nice try Chris! However......I have tuned it D A D F# A D and am trying to learn to play it lap-steel style - the Kelly Joe Phelps version of Goodnight Irene (with a slide) - that way I'm not fretting with my left hand at all, and it doesn't even matter that the nails are long on that hand because I'm using slide, not my fingers.

Ok it sounds woeful - the result, not the guitar, but it was hearing how a good guitar sounded again that made me realise i just had to get a decent left hander.

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Carol,

I wish I had that choice to make, all of those are great guitars and I would be proud to own any of them. Best of luck with the choice and be sure to let us hear some clips when the decision is made.

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Carol have alook at Cole Clark "fat lady 2". Great pickups, Australian tone woods (mine is bunya top, qld mapl neck and acacia sides) all hand made in Melbourne. A worthy option to Maton

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Thanks for the tip Bugly, the guy with the 20 lefty guitars has one of those, not for sale, but I get the impression many are for sale if the price is right. I'll check it out.

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Nice try Chris! However......I have tuned it D A D F# A D and am trying to learn to play it lap-steel style - the Kelly Joe Phelps version of Goodnight Irene (with a slide) - that way I'm not fretting with my left hand at all, and it doesn't even matter that the nails are long on that hand because I'm using slide, not my fingers.

Ok it sounds woeful - the result, not the guitar, but it was hearing how a good guitar sounded again that made me realise i just had to get a decent left hander.

I didn't account for your innovative streak, just thought though, couldn't I do that with my Lefty, you're a genius, should work, this is where you reply and offer me reassurance, good luck with your search Carol:winkthumb:

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you're a genius:

I like your style Chris!

OK - grab your lefty right now! Find something you want to play - there's a Youtube cover of the Kelly Joe Phelps arrangement of Goodenight Irene, and you can find the tabs on the net - tune your guitar to open D (as above) and start lapsteeling right away! Don't worry about what notes you are playing for now, just follow the numbers. No excuses, just do it!

How did I go? :)

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I like your style Chris!

OK - grab your lefty right now! Find something you want to play - there's a Youtube cover of the Kelly Joe Phelps arrangement of Goodenight Irene, and you can find the tabs on the net - tune your guitar to open D (as above) and start lapsteeling right away! Don't worry about what notes you are playing for now, just follow the numbers. No excuses, just do it!

How did I go? :)

Yeah that worked, much better option than having it stuck in the corner, the person I lent it to didn't apply themselves to the task, I was going to string it right handed but this is a better option that I hadn't thought of so thanks for the heads up Carol:winkthumb:

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You still have options. You could restring it as a righty and switch the bridge around and if possible the nut. I did that with the cheap right a/e I got on ebay and it works well enough for messing about on.

If you are going to use alternate tunings, you can play it as a righty without reversing the strings, just adapt the tab for the different string order (the bass strings nearest to the floor instead the high e nearest the floor).

Theoretically this works for ordinary playing on standard tuning but that would take longer to work out which notes are where.

Like this guy does it except he is a lefty playing a standard right handed guiar.

YouTube - Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu - "Gurrumul History (I Was Born Blind)

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You still have options. You could restring it as a righty and switch the bridge around and if possible the nut. I did that with the cheap right a/e I got on ebay and it works well enough for messing about on.

If you are going to use alternate tunings, you can play it as a righty without reversing the strings, just adapt the tab for the different string order (the bass strings nearest to the floor instead the high e nearest the floor).

Theoretically this works for ordinary playing on standard tuning but that would take longer to work out which notes are where.

Like this guy does it except he is a lefty playing a standard right handed guiar.

YouTube - Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu - "Gurrumul History (I Was Born Blind)

It's a pretty cheap guitar but is new cost $60 inc. post on ebay, sounds ok bit lighter than the yamaha but it's ok, given me plenty of options there, be interesting trying it with the strings on the bottom haven't done that so it's woth doing, if I leave it with that set up I can still mess around with the slide too and alternate tunings so plenty of room to manouvre there, brilliant link Carol hadn't heard of Geoffrey before, great Musician and Beautiful voice, always feel humble when I see guys who've had setbacks like Geoffrey who just get up and get on with it, think we all moan about not being able to do things he makes you realise all we really have to do is get up and have a go and give it our best shot, he's multitalented too, great man, found his Biography so thought I'd post it thanks for the link Carol:winkthumb:

Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cheers

Chris

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Yes he blows a mean didgeridoo as well. My theory is (I don't know if this is true) is that when was a kid, he picked up a right handed guiar that was probably a shared resource, and started to work out how to play music and didn't know he was playing it 'upside down' because he is a natural left hander and he hadn't ever seen how others played it.

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Yes he blows a mean didgeridoo as well. My theory is (I don't know if this is true) is that when was a kid, he picked up a right handed guiar that was probably a shared resource, and started to work out how to play music and didn't know he was playing it 'upside down' because he is a natural left hander and he hadn't ever seen how others played it.

Good theory makes sense, so if you follow on from that theory the moral is as long as you're in tune you're only doing it the wrong way if someone else says you are when in truth again as long as you're in tune There is no wrong way just the best way for you think that makes a good proverb:yes:

I've drifted off the central theme of your thread Carol are you any further along in you search?

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Having just been in the market, I'll pass on what I found.

The Maton BG808 (both types), looked beautiful. Loved the unusual timbers (ie not mahogany, maple, etc), they felt solid and well-made. Australian made, which is a plus. The only thing was, too quiet. Far too quiet. Had to really belt it to hear it. designed for plugging into an amp I think. So passed on those.

Tanglewood, I tried 3 of these at different prices, all with electrics and cutaways. The cedar-top one was my favourite. It had a solid back as well. I think the tuners were actual Grovers too. :winkthumb: Played very well, sounded better than the Maton. A very likeable guitar. The only thing that stopped me buying it was the sticker inside the guitar that said, "Made in China." To me, I just associate that with cheap toys/ imitations, and I did not want to be constantly reminded I'd spent $1200 on a Chinese guitar. If I could have removed the sticker or sanded it off...

I bought a Crafter. It was not a brand I was looking at, but was recommended by someone I trust. It has a Mahogany back and sides. It was about A$700 second-hand, but as new. Don't know the model, and I don't want to know anything else about it.

If you can afford and like a Martin small-bodied, I'd go that way. You'll enjoy it after the price is forgotten. Keep us posted.

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