New Electro Acoustic £350 -£400

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eldarvanyareldarvanyar Frets: 29
edited May 1 in Acoustics
Hi,
I am looking to buy an electro acoustic for a friends daughter. She is 15 and being playing acoustic for a year. She is about 5ft tall and I don’t think she will grow much taller. 
The guitar will be used in church through the PA system. It will be plugged in via a passive di box. 

Style of music is contemporary worship such as Hillsong and Bethel Church (look up on you tube if interested). 
Hopefully she will be leading and singing in a few years time. 

Taking into account her size a dreadnought would be too big for her. 

I am wondering about a Yamaha APX 500 or the replacement APX 600 or the CPX which is slightly wider. 

Other makes we should consider and smaller quitar recommensations such such as concert size please. 

Budget would be be up to £350

Thanks 
'Less is more' or is it 'more is less?'

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Comments

  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 2564
    The Yamaha APX series is a nicely made electro-acoustic guitar. The lower priced examples sound decent through amplification but are likely to sound lacklustre played acoustically.

    Whichever make/model you are considering, check the specifications. Unless they clearly state *solid*, the woods used are laminates. This is especially critical for the soundboard (top) of the instrument.

    Since the intended recipient for the guitar is of school age, it might be possible to get a more acceptable price through a school's Assisted Instrument Purchasing Scheme. 

    https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/vat-government-and-public-bodies/vatgpb7825
    I fear the Geeks, even when they bear GIFs.
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  • bazxkrbazxkr Frets: 383

    I have APX500ii....well put together Yami but it is at the lower end of the range so you get what you pay for. But seems well built. Has the pre amp facilities/EQ etc plus a built in tuner which is handy. It is still quite a large body though so dependent on how petite or not your player is it might still be a bit cumbersome...sure there are measurements on the Yami site but I can take some dimensions if you want/need. Where in London ? If you are East you are welcome to take a look at my one in RM5 if your local shops don't have them in.

    You can get one of these and a hard case well within your budget...I think the iii model is around now. I'm not familiar with what changes have gone on with the upgrade

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  • eldarvanyareldarvanyar Frets: 29
    The Yamaha APX series is a nicely made electro-acoustic guitar. The lower priced examples sound decent through amplification but are likely to sound lacklustre played acoustically.

    Whichever make/model you are considering, check the specifications. Unless they clearly state *solid*, the woods used are laminates. This is especially critical for the soundboard (top) of the instrument.

    Since the intended recipient for the guitar is of school age, it might be possible to get a more acceptable price through a school's Assisted Instrument Purchasing Scheme. 

    https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/vat-government-and-public-bodies/vatgpb7825
    Thanks for this I have forwarded it to the parents to explore if their school academy are willing to help purchase a guitar according to the scheme and save VAT which could mean a better quality guitar for the same price. 
    'Less is more' or is it 'more is less?'

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  • eldarvanyareldarvanyar Frets: 29
    bazxkr said:

    I have APX500ii....well put together Yami but it is at the lower end of the range so you get what you pay for. But seems well built. Has the pre amp facilities/EQ etc plus a built in tuner which is handy. It is still quite a large body though so dependent on how petite or not your player is it might still be a bit cumbersome...sure there are measurements on the Yami site but I can take some dimensions if you want/need. Where in London ? If you are East you are welcome to take a look at my one in RM5 if your local shops don't have them in.

    You can get one of these and a hard case well within your budget...I think the iii model is around now. I'm not familiar with what changes have gone on with the upgrade

    Thanks for this. We are on the south coast and may be able to go to Eastbourne to check out electro acoustics. I see the APX 500 mk3 is on special price as it’s been replaced by the 600. 
    If it’s not too much of a faff to measure the body that would be really appreciated. 

    Thanks 
    'Less is more' or is it 'more is less?'

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  • WhitecatWhitecat Frets: 1476
    A secondhand Taylor GS Mini *might* be achievable... I see them on Gumtree for as low as £395. If they don't already have electronics, they can be added after-the-fact, so you'd need to check what you were getting.

    It's a small body/short scale but has a surprisingly big sound...
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  • BigLicks67BigLicks67 Frets: 416
    Something like this from Yamaha, small body with a shorter scale :  

    https://www.yamahamusiclondon.com/FSX800C-Electro-acoustic-guitar/pidGFSX800CNT

    Or maybe a second hand Martin Dreadnought junior might be achievable, failing that Sigma do quite a few small bodied guitars with pickups.

    https://www.gak.co.uk/en/sigma-00m-1sts-sb-plus-parlor-acoustic-sunburst/917304?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIobqt4-zk2gIVrLvtCh0eQAjWEAYYASABEgKvMvD_BwE

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  • bazxkrbazxkr Frets: 383
    bazxkr said:

    I have APX500ii....well put together Yami but it is at the lower end of the range so you get what you pay for. But seems well built. Has the pre amp facilities/EQ etc plus a built in tuner which is handy. It is still quite a large body though so dependent on how petite or not your player is it might still be a bit cumbersome...sure there are measurements on the Yami site but I can take some dimensions if you want/need. Where in London ? If you are East you are welcome to take a look at my one in RM5 if your local shops don't have them in.

    You can get one of these and a hard case well within your budget...I think the iii model is around now. I'm not familiar with what changes have gone on with the upgrade

    Thanks for this. We are on the south coast and may be able to go to Eastbourne to check out electro acoustics. I see the APX 500 mk3 is on special price as it’s been replaced by the 600. 
    If it’s not too much of a faff to measure the body that would be really appreciated. 

    Thanks 


    Sizes are here

    http://faq.yamaha.com/us/en/article/musical-instruments/guitars-basses/el-ac-guitars/apx/4849/9122/

    Mine is 384 mm at it's widest as per that spec and the depth of body is 90mm...don't understand why they show 80-90 as that is a big range

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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 2564
    Whitecat said:
    Taylor GS Mini ... If they don't already have electronics, they can be added after-the-fact.
    I have to dispute this. Retro-fitting internal transducer systems into *baby* acoustic guitars is a royal pain in the arm.

    I witnessed a repairer in my area declining the task of installing a K&K Pure Mini system because of the physical difficulty of getting his hand and forearm in through the sound hole and, then, having sufficient flexibility to press the three contact elements upwards beneath the bridge. The same problem could arise with an L.R. Baggs iBeam or Tru-Mic. Even an undersaddle transducer could prove tricky to thread through into the saddle slot.

    If a purely acoustic *baby* guitar were having a cut made in the side to accept a control panel, this might make the overall installation physically easier.
    I fear the Geeks, even when they bear GIFs.
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  • WhitecatWhitecat Frets: 1476
    Whitecat said:
    Taylor GS Mini ... If they don't already have electronics, they can be added after-the-fact.
    I have to dispute this. Retro-fitting internal transducer systems into *baby* acoustic guitars is a royal pain in the arm.

    I witnessed a repairer in my area declining the task of installing a K&K Pure Mini system because of the physical difficulty of getting his hand and forearm in through the sound hole and, then, having sufficient flexibility to press the three contact elements upwards beneath the bridge. The same problem could arise with an L.R. Baggs iBeam or Tru-Mic. Even an undersaddle transducer could prove tricky to thread through into the saddle slot.

    If a purely acoustic *baby* guitar were having a cut made in the side to accept a control panel, this might make the overall installation physically easier.
    https://www.taylorguitars.com/taylorware/acoustic-pickups/es-go-pickup-for-gs-mini
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 2564
    That Taylor soundhole pickup would be a doddle to install. There only remains the question of whether it sounds any good.
    I fear the Geeks, even when they bear GIFs.
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  • WhitecatWhitecat Frets: 1476
    That Taylor soundhole pickup would be a doddle to install. There only remains the question of whether it sounds any good.
    I doubt it's the world's best. But "serviceable in a church mix" is another thing...
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  • TonyRTonyR Frets: 715
    edited May 2
    I've got both a Yamaha APX500iii and a Taylor GS Mini.

    I got the APX last year and it really got me into acoustic playing after having played mostly electrics. I found it to be a lovely guitar to play, nice action and the neck is quite slim. The only thing I found was that whilst it sounded fine plugged in to an amplifier, acoustically it was a little 'thin' and not hugely loud.

    Earlier this year I bought the GS Mini - what a difference in terms of sound - it's huge from such a small body!

    Playability wise, the smaller scale makes it an easy guitar to pickup and play, but I prefer the neck on the Yamaha, which I find much more comfortable.

    I also managed to get hold of an ES-Go pickup for it for less than half the retail price. It was a doddle to fit as the GS Mini has a bracket fitted at the front of the sound hole into which the ES-Go slides. The strap button in the body is replaced by the pickup jack socket and that's it - all of about 2 minute's work.

    In terms of sound, the ES-Go isn't the best, but it is sufficient for me, it doesn't have any EQ so you'll need to adjust the EQ at the amplified end.
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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 3255

    Personally, I'd steer clear of the APX.  They sound good plugged in, but they aren't great acoustically.  I'd go for something that would be a bit more inspiring for her to play on at home.

    Sigma have a pretty good reputation.  We bought an Epiphone for our church for around £200 that is surprisingly good.  Yamaha have pretty much every style of guitar to suit every budget as well.

    If you are on the South coast, then it might be worth a visit to GAK in Brighton to try a few.  Alternatively, a trip up the M3 to Guitar Village in Farnham might be quicker depending on exactly where you are based.

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  • eldarvanyareldarvanyar Frets: 29
    crunchman said:

    Personally, I'd steer clear of the APX.  They sound good plugged in, but they aren't great acoustically.  I'd go for something that would be a bit more inspiring for her to play on at home.

    Sigma have a pretty good reputation.  We bought an Epiphone for our church for around £200 that is surprisingly good.  Yamaha have pretty much every style of guitar to suit every budget as well.

    If you are on the South coast, then it might be worth a visit to GAK in Brighton to try a few.  Alternatively, a trip up the M3 to Guitar Village in Farnham might be quicker depending on exactly where you are based.

    Thanks, we are in Hastings, I can take them to Bonners in Eastbourne which has a big selection of guitars. 
    There is a music shop in Hastings and Bexhill but they sell a lot of Cort guitars which I am not too sure about. I know the Yammies has a good reputation for students.

    I think I am veering towards recommending or at least getting her to try the Yamaha FSX800C which should be better acoustically than the APX600 and sound ok through the church pa. There are some really good deals on which leaves more funds for a suitable case and lessons. 

    If she was to go for the FSX800C any advice on the case? 

    Thanks for everyone's input, really appreciate it. 
    'Less is more' or is it 'more is less?'

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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 2564
    edited May 5
    There is a music shop in Hastings and Bexhill 
    There used to be one in Claremont, off Robertson Street. 

    https://www.bandtmusic.co.uk/guild-jumbo-junior-maple.html

    eldarvanyar said:
    they sell a lot of Cort guitars - which I am not too sure about. 
    The Cort Indonesian factory produces guitars in vast numbers under its own name and for other brands. It would be ironic if the guitars in which you are confident are being manufactured on exactly the same production line as the ones in which you are not.

    In your price range, other than the compact size, the single most significant feature is a solid wood soundboard.
    I fear the Geeks, even when they bear GIFs.
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  • SnagsSnags Frets: 74
    Does it have to be new?  Second-hand can open up a much larger world of possibilities in terms of quality/sound, assuming you have the flexibility to wait for a suitable option to turn up within range and budget.
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  • eldarvanyareldarvanyar Frets: 29
    I went into Yamaha Music in London today as I was up in London. I was very disappointed with the FSX800C the body seemed like balsa wood to me, very light and insubstantial. It was an all laminate body according to the salesman. The APX500III seemed a much better built guitar but acoustically its pretty uninmpressive. I think I am going to have to take a look at another option. I think the thing to do is to go to Bonners in Eastbourne and try out various makes. Or am I doomed because of my low budget?
    I have to bear in mind the guitar is not for me and I am used to much higher quality guitars. 
    'Less is more' or is it 'more is less?'

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  • SnagsSnags Frets: 74
    Have you considered one of the entry level Takamine? I used an EG332C for about 20 years in church without any complaints. Admittedly they're more likely to be dreads, but I've seen very small people play dreadnoughts before ...
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  • eldarvanyareldarvanyar Frets: 29
    Thanks Snags I will look into Takamine 
    'Less is more' or is it 'more is less?'

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  • JetfireJetfire Frets: 544
    I tried the Faith Naked guitars today. Really impressed as it goes. Sounded great!
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  • WolfetoneWolfetone Frets: 847
    I would go for an APX. Small body, good plugged in and can be bought for around £150.

    If she's playing in church or in a small room, I would advise a small acoustic amp like a Tanglewood T6 or one of the Roland jobbies. It's not often you play unplugged in church as the singing, even with four or five people will always drown the guitar.
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