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so i've been playing some on my brother's CHEAP acoustic guitar and learned a few real songs, can play Hey There Delilah well, as long as The Ballad by Millencolin and workin on learning a couple more. Anyways, I don't want to drop a ton of money on a new hobby, but was looking for something that well...sounded good when I played it well. will be looking at standard acoustic guitars, for now something that just sounds really good when played solo, I'm not in a band or nothing. might be lookin to spend like $300, will kind of depend more on whats available and what I find though.<br><br>
anyone got any wisdom about purchasing a guitar? not sure if i'll buy a new or used one yet, i'm partial to either. If it's used i'll obviously check out the condition of the wood, frets, neck, pickup etc. Otherwise for a new guitar, just really checking for personal feel and sound? i'm going to start at a local guitar shop where the employees should be more helpful too.<br><br>
so yeah any other advice or lessons learned the hard way are welcome. kinda nervous about picking the right one.
 

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Not really advice but I'm partial to Alvarez acoustic guitars. I'd check out Craig's list and pawn shops if I was looking for a used instrument.
 

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Definitely go used. Musician's Friend as always been my go-to for music stuff <a href="http://www.musiciansfriend.com/browse/used/products.jsp?fT=2002%3Asite1AB" target="_blank">http://www.musiciansfriend.com/brows...2002%3Asite1AB</a>
 

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For a cheap acoustic, I would give a lot of attention to used Yamaha's. For an electric, a used MIM (Made in Mexico) Fender strat, but watch out for the one's *without* the dark wood inlay strip down the back of the neck, 'cause a lot of those have truss rod problems.<br>
Make sure the neck can be adjusted dead straight. fret any string at both ends of the neck at the same time and check the space between the bottom of the string and top of the 7th fret. Properly set up, that space is between absolute zero and 12 thousandths of an inch. I shoot for .002" to .004"<br>
Fret-wire quality on new Asian import guitars can be pretty bad. Mostly I mean it's too soft. If you're a string bender, you'll quicky see the problem.<br>
New or used, you'll rarely find a guitar where the string nut (thing between 1st fret and tuning gears where strings bear against, with a notch cut for each string) is set up properly. Factories usually leave them high. But higher than needed, and the guitar can be very hard to play. It's very tedious work setting the string notch heights just right there. A a couple thousandths of an inch too low and the strings buzz. But set just right, they make playing the neck quite effortless.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>yumy</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3071142"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
so i've been playing some on my brother's CHEAP acoustic guitar and learned a few real songs, can play Hey There Delilah well, as long as The Ballad by Millencolin and workin on learning a couple more. Anyways, I don't want to drop a ton of money on a new hobby, but was looking for something that well...sounded good when I played it well. will be looking at standard acoustic guitars, for now something that just sounds really good when played solo, I'm not in a band or nothing. might be lookin to spend like $300, will kind of depend more on whats available and what I find though.<br><br>
anyone got any wisdom about purchasing a guitar? not sure if i'll buy a new or used one yet, i'm partial to either. If it's used i'll obviously check out the condition of the wood, frets, neck, pickup etc. Otherwise for a new guitar, just really checking for personal feel and sound? i'm going to start at a local guitar shop where the employees should be more helpful too.<br><br>
so yeah any other advice or lessons learned the hard way are welcome. kinda nervous about picking the right one.</div>
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For the money you are going to spend, and in your particular playing situation, you should be able to find a really good, brand-new guitar. There are quite a few brands of acoustics that have guitars in that price range, perhaps just a bit more. You're on the right track - just walk into the guitar shop and sit down with some of them and play. Take your time and if you feel rushed or the place is busy, come back when you can have some time to yourself with the instrument. How it feels in your hands and on your fingers is key - and of course the sound. Is it comfortable? Are your fingers nailing the chords or slipping off? Is the space between the strings to your liking?<br><br>
I wouldn't fuss about all the technical specifics at this early stage. If I got all wrapped up in that when I was a relative beginner, I'd probably have quit playing. You could drive yourself crazy worrying over the setup. When in doubt, pay someone else to do it. Focus on what sounds good to you and your ears. Some of the cheapest, low quality guitars have great sound none the less. (See Jack White/The White Stripes). I have a $200 Yamaha that I bought back in the freaking 80's - it STILL kicks ass. Ibanez makes really great, affordable guitars. I would stay away from used unless you're in love with them. You don't want to inherit someone else's damaged goods - and you likely won't know they're damaged goods until you've already put your money down for them.
 

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All the advice here is great so far. For what you are willing to pay you should be able to find a nice acoustic. I bought a 3/4 size Yamaha for about $200 years ago and it's a nice guitar. Last year I bought a Washburn Oscar Schmidt acoust-electric that I use mostly as an acoustic for again around $200. Really nice guitar, I get a lot of comments about it.<br><br>
For me the size is really important, especially the neck size, but also the body because full-size dreadnaughts hurt my back to play. Make sure the neck feels comfortable in your hands, you can reach all the strings, try some difficult chords at various places on the fretboard, etc...<br><br>
Bottom line is, I chose the last two guitars I bought because while trying them out there was a point at which I realized I had been playing for about 10 minutes and become totally oblivious to my surroundings, completely forgetting I was in a guitar shop. When I become totally absorbed in playing an instrument that way, I know it's the right one for me.<br><br>
If you're nervous about making the commitment, ask the store about their return/exchange policy.
 

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You can find brand new second hand fom people who bought a guitar and never really used it for whatever reason, time, motivation... so don't be afraid of second hand.<br><br>
But rather than going after a specific brand or whatever just go to some shops and try the guitar and find the one with the sound you want. Every guitar has a different sound.<br><br>
It matters even more if you plan to make your own songs.<br><br>
Personaly i must admit that i prefer nylon strings to metal ones, the sound is just amazing.
 

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Also, there's laminated vs. solid tops on acoustics. You can often hear the inferior sound quality on a cheap laminated top, but Yamaha laminated tops have often sounded surprisingly good to me (I'm afraid to know why. Could be Animal glue). A solid top requires you to be more on top of taking care of the guitar. Never storing it in an environment where you would be uncomfortable being in. Really low humidity can really cause trouble on a solid top. More than one way to take care of that, but you have to be willing to put in the effort. It's not always easy spotting a laminated top. Thick finish around that end grain has nearly fooled me a few times. If the end grain is painted to look like binding, figure it's laminated.<br>
Laminated top can take more abuse all the way around.<br>
Also on an acoustic, you want to watch out for the neck angle. A luthier once wrote an article in Acoustic Guitar magazine, where he said he went into a guitar shop and only 1 in 30 acoustic guitars had a proper neck angle. If I remember correctly, you want to see a bridge about 1/4" thick, with about 1/8" of saddle exposed above the bridge between the G and D strings. at the same time you want a reasonable string height above the fret board, such as 3/32" (low E) above the 12th fret.<br>
Not only can a bad neck angle cause inferior tone, but could cause a broken bridge down the road from the increased leverage of a too tall saddle.<br>
One of the easier DIY neck angle adjustable acoustics are the Tacoma's with electric guitar heel style bolt-on neck held with 2 1/4"-20 bolts. Not sure if they still make 'em.<br>
And don't ever leave an acoustic in the trunk of a car for a long time. The friend of a friend once casually mentioned " Yeah, I got my old man's acoustic in my trunk of my car and it's been in there for nearly a year, 'cause I lost the key". I said, " the guitar is trashed". Sure enough, when he got into the trunk the guitar was in pieces.<br>
Also, I had the opposite experience of Dedalus, where an improper set-up nearly made me give up the guitar, then after I took care of that, I was leaving my guitar playing friends in the dust
 
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