Considering a new Acoustic

I played a Taylor 414CE last week and fell in love. I have always played dreadnaughts (currently I own a Gibson J-30 that I bought new in 1984). What do people think of Grand Auditorium style guitars as opposed to dreads and are there other models and brands I should be considering? Price is a factor. I would be sacrificing a lot (trading in the Gibson and probably some other stuff too) to get the guitar; but I want a guitar I can enjoy for the rest of my life, one that is good for flat picking leads, fingerpicked and strummed rhythm. It needs to play easily with perfect intonation all the way up the neck. Opinions, recommendations?

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If price is an issue and you already have a Gibson, then I would suggest a serious look at Martin. They have some amazing models and the prices are pretty good if you shop around.

How about Larrivee?
they do some fantastic sweet sounding guitars for under $1,000.
Used Gibson/Taylor/Martin are the ones to for if resale is an issue.

I owned a Martin D-18 for several years. It was a nice instrument but not bright sounding enough. I will check out some of their Grand Auditorium instruments, although I think they are among Martin's pricier offerings.

Thanks for the Larivee suggestion, Lee. I have never known anybody who played one and I have never seen one on sale around here. I'll have to look for a dealer. Resale is not really a concern -- in fact, I'd rather not be tempted to sell it. However I really do want something I can hang on to, that is versatile and that will amplify well, should I need to play out or record with it.

If you are considering purchasing a new acoustic guitar and want the best value for your money, take a look at Larrivee and Seagull guitars. I own a Seagull S6+ Spruce with a LR Baggs MicroEQ pickup system which I like and also love the Larrivee OM-03 Orchestra model. In fact I loved the neck (C-shaped) and sound and quality of the Larrivee so much, that I also purchased the P-03 Parlor guitar. Unfortunately, the P-03 has been replaced with the P-05. The Seagull has a flatter and wider neck which I like for alternate tuninings, but all these guitars accomodate flatpicking and fingerpicking. I have been playing for over 40 years and refuse to pay exorbitant prices for lesser quality guitars.

Seems to be Canadian guitars all the way Rayc, but make sure you check out the Larrivee first, i think you will be pleasantly suprised.

When I bought my 2000 Taylor 812C (added my own Highlander...no holes for electronics), I was choosing between Martin's 000-28ec, a Gibson Nick Lucas reissue and the Taylor. Taylor won hands down in every category. If you've been playing a J30, you will think you've died and gone to heaven. Your hands will heal immediately. I also suggest Thomastik-Infeld strings. They feel like silk and last forever. Try their Jazz Swing series. I use both JS110 and JS111. Best of luck!

Wow. Thanks all. Unfortunately for me, the bargain dealers around here (Guitar Center and Daddy's) don't seem to deal in Larivees or Seagulls. In fact, I can't find a place in Boston or Cambridge that carries either line. That means I'll have to travel to the Suburbs (and not the really close ones either) to check them out. I'll try to do that within the next couple weeks or so.

BTW, I have been playing for about 35 years myself. In all that time I have owned 5 steel string accoustics (never 2 at once). In chronological order:
Fender (I forget) -- 1970-72 Beginner Instrument
Gibson J45 -- 1972 - 75
Guild D25 -- 1975 - 77
Martin D18 -- 1977 - 1984
Gibson J30 -- 1984 - present

All but the Fender were (are?) very nice guitars but they lacked the sweet tone that I am looking for. The Guild was bright sounding but with no subtlety. The Martin was mellow but dark sounding. The Gibsons boomed the way Gibsons do.

you know the one out of your list i'd go back into a burning house for?

The J45, its a nice year too, its a pity about the Larrivee though, i think that would have been the guitar you were looking for.

The J-45 was used. I think it was probably a 60s model. It needed a lot of work when I traded it in because the previous owner had been a very heavy strummer and the bridge was coming up.

I will check out a Larrivee. I might be able to bargain at the suburban stores. And the comparable model to the Taylor lists for considerably lower than the Taylor.

Rayc, what did you buy?? did you try all those suggested?

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