Upgrading first guitar

What's Hot
A pal of mine is a newish player and has decided to upgrade his guitar, currently he has a standard first guitar with awful action and chunky neck, his b-day is approaching and his wife is asking the usual questions (shes buying the guitar) that non guitar people ask and Im trying to give some advice, his budget is £250 and he is looking for a slimmer neck, so far I have said he should try / look at, play etc

Sigma
Yamaha
Faith?

I have also advised that he gets second hand as to get more for his money, but am unsure how he feels about this.

Any other recommendations? Advice?

Cheers all
0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Comments

  • ESBlondeESBlonde Frets: 2711
    edited September 2014
    He should play a few. Take him shopping with his wife (apparently the love it). You can point out some obvious flaws and advantages of each example.

    That way he gets something he bonds with and you don't get the blame. All your suggestions are reasonable in that price range and used would of course improve the basic instrument for the same budget.

    Edit.
    Also look at the Vintage brand in that price range, The V1400 was getting rave reviews for a solid timber guitar. The V1100 is in the price range. The Current crop of Sigma guitars are getting good press now they are being handled by the German importer.

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • I've played a couple of Sigmas - they were really impressive for the money.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Tone71Tone71 Frets: 318
    Just had a chat with him and asked if there were any in particular he was thinking off...the reply was "a black one" ...........This could be painful.

    I had a Sigma 000m-15 which was excellent value for money, also had a Vintage v300 which again was excellent for the money, still sold both!

    I'm thinking of steering him towards a Yamaha APX500, they do a black cutaway for a little over 250, I had an APX4a for years and played it daily, always thought it was good, small, easy to play and only sold it because the finish went cloudy, neck was nice too.

    But regardless he needs to get out and sit with one/some, it`s clear that how "we" think about guitars is a considerable amount deeper than new or non players and I think it is a learning curve that takes ages to work through but people need to do it themselves, especially with acoustics.




    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • I really like the Sigma range. I think not only are they very well built and have an easy to play neck profile they really do have more than a passing nod to a Martin style of tone. The OM and the 000 version are particularly good in my opinion.

    I just purchased this Sigma 00015M and if you might like the look for all mahogany you will be really impressed with the way this guitar sounds and feels. I actually compared it in the shop to a Martin version of the exact same design and it was scarily similar but of course not the same.

    http://www.projectmusic.net/sigma-000m-15-11743-p.asp


    I also tried a fair few spruce top versions including a OMR OM rosewood back and sides guitar. It was really lovely too but just a little outside my price range. I don't think you would be disappointed in a Sigma ta ll. they are great and a less generic and more musicall than the likes of the Yamahas.

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • IanpdqIanpdq Frets: 129
    Tanglewood  are good

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Tone71 said:
    Just had a chat with him and asked if there were any in particular he was thinking off...the reply was "a black one" ...........This could be painful.

    I had a Sigma 000m-15 which was excellent value for money, also had a Vintage v300 which again was excellent for the money, still sold both!

    I'm thinking of steering him towards a Yamaha APX500, they do a black cutaway for a little over 250, I had an APX4a for years and played it daily, always thought it was good, small, easy to play and only sold it because the finish went cloudy, neck was nice too.

    But regardless he needs to get out and sit with one/some, it`s clear that how "we" think about guitars is a considerable amount deeper than new or non players and I think it is a learning curve that takes ages to work through but people need to do it themselves, especially with acoustics.




    As a big yamaha fan I can happily say the APX500 / APX5a are awful. 
    You are much better off looking at Tanglewood/faith/Seagull/Lag and other recommended above
    The Bigsby was the first successful design of what is now called a whammy bar or tremolo arm, although vibrato is the technically correct term for the musical effect it produces. In standard usage, tremolo is a rapid fluctuation of the volume of a note, while vibrato is a fluctuation in pitch. The origin of this nonstandard usage of the term by electric guitarists is attributed to Leo Fender, who also used the term “vibrato” to refer to what is really a tremolo effect.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • BranshenBranshen Frets: 996
    Not a fan of the APX bodyshape either. Makes it sound quite tinny with little body. It's great for stage use, amplified, but not acoustically. The FG or FS are much nicer in my opinion. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Another Yamaha APX/CPX doubter here...  I agree that they're good plugged in, but otherwise leave something to be desired. I think it's the thick (bombproof) lacquer on the body- I like my acoustics to feel like they're made of wood. That said, a friend of mine has a CPX500II and LOVES it, but he plays gigs all the time & like the fact that its tough & sounds good amped.

    I'd vote for any of the Vintage acoustics (I have a Vintage Brett 12 which is my favourite guitar), I also agree with the Sigma recommendations, they look, play and sound the business- which you'd expect as they're pretty much Martin clones. 
    The Godin family (Simon & Patrick, Seagull and Art Lutherie) are worth looking out for, the Seagull S6 is an AMAZING dread. Some folk don't seem to like them though for some reason.

    Couldn't go wrong with at Taylor GS Mini if the budget has stretch in it. They're probably the nicest mid-priced acoustic I've ever played.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • usedtobeusedtobe Frets: 2649
    +1 for Tanglewood and Seagull.

     so if you fancy a reissue of a guitar they never made in a colour they never used then it probably isn't too overpriced.

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Tone71Tone71 Frets: 318
    edited October 2014
    I sold a GS mini last year to fund some motorbike clothing, wish I`d kept it as it was an excellent sofa guitar, plus only got £250, it`s the old sell low buy high syndrome!!

    Haven't heard any more on this, maybe he`s got one I did get a tweet pic and he was holding a Tanglewood, looked ok but my taste isn't anothers so ultimately it is up to him.

    My last comment to him was "get a Taylor" but that is my default setting, was thinking 114/GS Mini I personally like the 114`s and the super skinny comfy neck, above his budget though.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • ICBMICBM Frets: 36877
    Black is cool. There are plenty of decent black acoustic guitars - it's just an acoustic-snob thing to deride them, it's just a colour and doesn't affect the sound - including some Yamahas in that price range, although personally I can't stand APXs.

    There are Takamines in that sort of price range too, they're good rather than great but that may just be me being a quality snob ;)Tanglewoods are also good.

    There's an open mic I sometimes play at where the house guitars are a Tanglewood or a cheap Takamine. The Tanglewood possibly sounds marginally better but I always use the Takamine…. because it's black :).

    Don't rule out Fender either - they now make an extremely wide range of acoustics, and many of them are really nice once you get above the real entry-level stuff.

    I'm not a fan of Seagulls/Simon & Patrick, they sound good when they're new but are (in my opinion) quite poorly made and don't last - the finishes are too soft, they get tatty very quickly, the tops are prone to splits, and I've seen more with broken headstocks than any other brand except Gibson.
    "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
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • BidleyBidley Frets: 2186
    Another vote for Lag here, their Tramontane range is quite nice, definitely worth a look.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • He could probably just afford a second hand Yamaha L series for that money. I've got the LL6 and it is an excellent guitar, plus they were good enough for Bert Jansch to go on tour with.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Tone71Tone71 Frets: 318
    He went for a Tanglewood in the end, I haven't seen it in the flesh but he seems happy.

    Cheers all for the input, much appreciated.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
Sign In or Register to comment.