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Postby cnev » October 9th, 2012, 5:48 am

I'm sure there are a bunch of posts about this but I haven't searched just wondering what everyone would suggest as a decent acoustic/electric.

I've never owned an acoustic and thought a combo would be a good start.

Probably looking in the $300 - $500 range proabably on the lower end as I doubt it will be my go to guitar.

Any suggestions or models to stay away from would be appreciated.

Really buying this so I can try and learn a little fingerpicking to be able to play the new Black Keys song. I can practice the fingerpicking on my electric but I want to use an acoustic to play it.
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Postby TRGuitar » October 9th, 2012, 6:04 am

I have one of these http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/epiphone-pr5-e-acoustic-electric-guitar#

$299 and I like it. Don't know if you would Chris? Built in tuner, pre amp with EQ and a phase switch. Action is a little high, typical of an acoustic. I could lower it a little but the intonation is perfect where it is so I'm not touching it. I suppose I'm just spoiled because my other acoustic electric has a very electric feeling neck. For what it's worth I like the Epiphone better.
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Postby cnev » October 9th, 2012, 6:37 am

Txs TR I probably would prefer an electric feeling neck myself and a thin body the only times I've messed with acoustics all the necks felt fat to me and the guitar seemed unwieldy.
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Postby TRGuitar » October 9th, 2012, 10:18 am

Well, the body is thinner. Thats one of the big reasons I like it so well. They make them in Indonesia now, but they used to make them in Korea. The price came down about $100 but I'm not sure if the quality changed any, but ............ here is a sample of one in action. Ace Frehley used one for the KISS Unplugged session.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaI97Q5K30c
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Postby Nuno » October 11th, 2012, 12:46 pm

Seagull are really nice guitars and they are in that price range. Yamaha has also nice entry level instruments.

And consider just an acoustic, you will get a best guitar for the same money and you can add the pickups later.
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Postby Nuno » October 11th, 2012, 12:51 pm

cnev wrote:Txs TR I probably would prefer an electric feeling neck myself and a thin body the only times I've messed with acoustics all the necks felt fat to me and the guitar seemed unwieldy.

Sorry, Chris, I didn't read it. The Seagulls' necks (or some of them) are slightly wider than the normal guitars, sometimes it's easier for fingerpicking but if you are looking for an electric neck... Anyway, if you have the chance, check them out.
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Postby s1120 » October 12th, 2012, 2:02 am

Ive been shopping acoustics for a bit now, and working in the same pricerange as you are. One thing I learned is you need to play them. When your in this range of lower end models, there is a pretty big diference between one guitar to the next. Also you will find that the electronics are not the best in this price level. That being said, have looked around, and for my ears anyways I REALY like the low end Breedloves. They are right on the 500 bucks line, but I realy enjoy the feel/sound. The neck is smaller... closer to a electric in cross section, but with a bit wider fretboard.. what I personaly like. A slighty wider fretboard gives you a bit more room for fingerpicking.

http://www.zzounds.com/item--BREPASSC250CM
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Postby jason brann » October 12th, 2012, 5:00 am

Nuno wrote:And consider just an acoustic, you will get a best guitar for the same money and you can add the pickups later.


seconded. you can add a pickup for as little as 20 bucks if you feel the need to amplify later. if you buy one preinstalled, you're usually going to pay about 100 more or get that much less guitar, and there really aren't a lot of situations where you'll ever use it anyway. even open mics, you can mic your guitar. if you start gigging someday, then you can look at guitars for that, but by then you'll probably have a better handle on the situation.

larrivee makes some excellent guitars. if you can find a used martin or taylor and there's nothing wrong with it, snatch that up. like nuno said, seagull makes some nice ones, if you don't mind the funny little headstocks. epiphone and gibson make good acoustics. i've had good and bad luck with alvarez and yamaha.
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Postby Crow » October 12th, 2012, 6:09 am

I have never heard a prefab "acoustic/electric" that sounded good. The best results I've had personally involved an inexpensive lavalier mic clipped to a brace inside my little plywood Yamaha acoustic. It ran into a cheap preamp attached to the guitar strap. Sounded good through speakers -- like an acoustic guitar, which is what most acoustic/electrics can't do. Someday I might try to duplicate that setup with better components, but it seems so much simpler, cheaper & better sounding just to throw a microphone in front of the guitar -- or to play an actual electric guitar, on the neck pickup with a nice clean amp setting....

The absolute best amplified acoustic guitar sound I ever heard in person involved under-saddle piezos, a soundhole pickup AND at least one microphone. This was the setup of a fine guitarist in the Pacific Northwest named John Twist. Complicated rig on a very nice acoustic guitar, but boy did it sound sweet.
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Postby cnev » October 12th, 2012, 6:26 am

Ok so you guys have me leaning towards a straight acoustic, are there such a thing as slim acoustics?
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Postby notes_norton » October 12th, 2012, 6:34 am

Second thought - there are many pedals with acceptable acoustic emulations. My Digitech RP355 does a decent job. Not a 100% emulation but good enough for practice and actually good enough for on-stage work.
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Postby dhodge » October 12th, 2012, 6:54 am

Chris -

I'm assuming when you say "slim" you mean that the body is not deep so that you don't have to reach around the body that far to strum it. If you're primarily used to electric guitars, simply holding an acoustic can seem more than a bit strange.

Triouble is that the slimmer an acoustic body is, the less projection is tends to have. This is why a lot of "acoustic electrics" with slim bodies have built-in electronics - they are pretty much meant to be played primarily while plugged in. Put them (unplugged) in a room with a few regular depth acoustics and they easily get drowned out. Plus the thin body tends to make them sound a little tinnier (again, when unplugged) than the typical acoustic guitar.

If you're looking for a guitar like that, Ovation is a good way to go, as are many of the other suggestions made here.

But I'd like to recommend that you simply try out a regular-sized acoustic for a while. Borrow one from a friend if you have to. Initially it is going to be a strange fit and will feel a little (or even more than a little) weird, but I think that you'll see with even a bit of experience on your part the feel of an acoustiic will be something you can adjust to and even appreciate. Then you can concentrate on getting the best acoustic for your money and then having the electronics added, as Javi ("Nuno"), Jason and Crow have suggested.

Don't forget that acoustics come in many shapes. You may find dreadnaught styles uncomfortable but have better luck with a folk-style or even a mini-jumbo. Here's an article to help you with determining the different body shapes: http://www.guitarnoise.com/lesson/the-shape-of-your-acoustic-guitar/

More to the point, if you find that you truly don't like the feel of a standard acoustic, then you can concentrate on getting a thin-body A/E. But you owe it to yourself to give a regular acoustic a serious try out before you buy.

Hope this helps and good luck!

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Postby cnev » October 12th, 2012, 11:01 am

Thanks Dave and Crow and jason, I think I will give a regular one a try again. Actually I've been trying to get my daughter to let me use one of hers so maybe I'll go that route.

As for feeling comfortable, Dave you are probably right since I mostly play my Strat playing the Epi LP at first felt a little strange or at least different. I've been trying to use it more to get comfortable with it and it's definitely feeling better all the time.

Looks like an exploratory trip to GC is in order.
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Postby TRGuitar » October 12th, 2012, 7:38 pm

+1 on what David said about the thin bodied acoustics being designed to be played plugged in. My Epiphone on it's own is not the most amazing acoustic sound you have ever heard for sure. I bought a small inexpensive acoustic amp to use with it. An acoustic electric plugged in does not sound like a good acoustic mic'd up. It has a different sound all it's own. I think acoustic electrics are good for live performance but are a compromise. I was thinking you wanted something to use with your band Chris. Not that as mentioned by everyone above a good acoustic can't be fitted with a pickup for use in live performance. There is a gentleman that plays in many venues in St. Augustine Florida that has a Gibson Hummingbird that he plugs in and it sounds fabulous. http://www.jmwinters.com/images/dsc01069.jpg At least I believe this is a Gibson Hummingbird. I'm far from an expert on this topic as I'm an electric guy. Thats why I got the thin bodied acoustic electric. It's not something I use alot.
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Postby s1120 » October 13th, 2012, 4:02 am

One quick thing... and im sure you know, but Ill toss it out anyways.... You say your working on trying fingerstyle. Well I have played a few that sound great played with a pick, strumming... but sounded dead and lifeless fingerstyle... also some that sounded awesome played with fingers.... and was way too harsh with a pick. So figured I would toss that out there for you when you go to try them out.
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