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Back to guitars(28 posts)

Back to guitarsjtkirk15
Sep 10, 2002 5:33 AM
Hey guys, I'm back for more information. I went to Guitar Center and spoke with the department manager for guitars. He highly recommended the Ibanez AW100 at a cost of $310. THis is more than I wanted to spend but he made a good case for it. We looked at other acoustics for under $200 and he said that there was really no difference in those. He said that a sub $200 guitar would last about 2 years if taken care of. He played one that cost $140, the Ibanez AW100 and then a $650 guitar. I could hear a difference with each step up with the $650 guitar sounding best (obviously). So basically I am looking for more advice. What are the hidden costs in purchasing a guitar. Do I bite the bullet and get the $300 one. Thanks for your advice.
What does he do, beat his dogs over the head withscottfree
Sep 10, 2002 6:08 AM
his guitars? There's no reason for a guitar to only last 2 years if taken care of! That's the nuttiest thing I've ever heard.
re: Back to guitarsBecky
Sep 10, 2002 6:19 AM
I would check out It's a website with reviews of guitars, much like the RBR reviews. I'm no guitar expert (just starting out myself), but these reviews seemed really helpful.
A $200 guitar doesn't last more than a couple of years?? That surprises $200 Yamaha is at least 4 or 5 years old and is still kicking. Sure, it needs some minor repairs as any instrument will if you play it, but it's not falling apart. I know plenty of musicians who still have their original and it's still playable.
Yeah, you're going to spend money on stuff besides the guitar- just like buying a bike, there will be doodads that you need/want. Maybe a new set of strings that are better-suited to your style, picks, a tuner, a capo, maybe a book of chords....the list goes on. Something to consider as you look at those price tags: If you buy a $200 guitar and love it, it's always possible to upgrade to a better guitar. If you buy a more-expensive guitar and hate it, you're out a bunch of money even if you resell it. Playing by yourself as you learn, you will almost never notice the difference in tone quality between a $200 Yamaha and a $300 Ibanez. Wait until you're jamming with a group of friends to notice that difference.

Just my 2 cents.

Happy hunting and playing!
disposable guitarsmr_spin
Sep 10, 2002 6:32 AM
The guy is trying to pull a fast one on you. If you were Pete Townshend, your guitar might not last the night, but you're not Pete Townshend.

If you are serious about this, maybe you should buy the $300 guitar. If you are unsure, buy the cheaper one. There will always be more guitars to buy. A friend of mine who decided to play guitar one day went out and bought an expensive one. As far as I know, it's three years later and he's never played it.
disposable guitarsjtkirk15
Sep 10, 2002 6:50 AM
Thanks for the replies so far. Does anyone know anything about the Ibanez AW100? He was very excited about it.

Also, how much should I expect to spend on NECESSARY accessories? Thanks!
disposable guitarsmr_spin
Sep 10, 2002 7:09 AM
I don't know anything about that particular guitar, but Ibanez is a respectable company. They've been around for a while.

This is an acoustic guitar, so you won't need many accessories. Strings are the biggest thing, and strings are cheap. Picks are really cheap. You might want a capo, a small clamp type thing which is nice to have. All these things are very cheap. Then you probably want a case, but a good hard-shell case can cost you up to $100, although $50 is probably more like it.

If you are buying this from Guitar Center and you are a good negotiator, you shouldn't have to pay much for accessories! Tell they guy you'll buy the Ibanez if he sweetens the deal, and trust me, he will. He should give you a good deal on a case, and throw in some free stuff like a set or two of strings and some picks. Don't bother with their "gig bag." I don't know what the profit margin is on those, but they always try to push them on you. Just say no.
from what I can tell, the guitar looks OK for the price.scottfree
Sep 10, 2002 7:16 AM
But check this. It's interesting.
And this ...scottfree
Sep 10, 2002 7:20 AM
And this ...jtkirk15
Sep 10, 2002 7:44 AM
Well, so far everything sounds good about the guitar. Apparently it's not easy to get a solid top for $300. In your opinions, should I say what the hell and get the Ibanez, or should I save some coin and shoot for around $150? Are all sub $200 guitars really the same? Do any stick out as better? Thanks!
What about this?Becky
Sep 10, 2002 7:50 AM
I believe that the Yamaha FG-403 is a solid top for ~$200. If it sounds anything like my FG-401 (laminated top with a nice sound), it's money well spent!
The same salesman who said a sub-$200 guitar wouldscottfree
Sep 10, 2002 8:07 AM
only last two years also tells you all sub-$200 guitars are the same. As grzy might say: Negative.

You CAN find $200 guitars that sound better than others, and sound pretty good. You can find garbage, too. Becky's on track with the Yamaha recommendation.

The Ibanez sounds like a pretty good deal, but I can't advise you further since I haven't played one. Put it this way, if I were looking for an entry level guitar I'd make it a point to do so, given some of those reviews.

I might buy it from someone other than that sharpie salesman, though.
The same salesman who said a sub-$200 guitar wouldjtkirk15
Sep 10, 2002 8:10 AM
What are some cheaper guitars that you have played and like? This store has a huge selection of acoustics so I may just use them to figure out what I like and maybe go buy it elsewhere. I appreciate the help.
Costco has a low end YamahaColnagoFE
Sep 10, 2002 9:13 AM
for something like $150. Looked OK to me, but then again I don't play so it might be crap too. Worth checking if you're a member.
speaking of guitars -- good guitar music?DougSloan
Sep 10, 2002 7:55 AM
Share with me some of the artists for the better guitar music, especially acoustic, like Acoustic Alchemy... I really enjoy listening to it. Thanks.

my current favoritemr_spin
Sep 10, 2002 8:26 AM
My tastes are all over the map, but lately it's been The Dixie Chicks. I just bought their new album, Home. It's almost totally acoustic, and fine stuff. These chicks can play. I actually dragged out my acoustic guitar and played along. And don't call it country, because this is bluegrass!
Strunz & FarahBipedZed
Sep 10, 2002 10:36 AM
Technical AND artistic virtuosity. Mostly flamenco style nylon acoustic. Amazing stuff and great listening anytime.

I highly recommend Primal Magic and Americas. Check them out at Amazon.
Question for the other end of the scale?Skip
Sep 10, 2002 7:32 PM
How is the quality control on Martin D18's? Are they all comparable, or will there be variation from one quitar to the next?
Wasn't the D-18 line discontinued a few years back?scottfree
Sep 11, 2002 11:22 AM
Buying used?

Martins have wonderful quality control. They'll be comparable, but since they're made of a natural substance (wood) there will be variations, especially as the instuments age. But they'll just be variations on great.
Wasn't the D-18 line discontinued a few years back?Skip
Sep 11, 2002 5:34 PM
Thanks. They may have been discontinued, as you mention, but Martin did issue a limited (61) edition signiture model Gordon Lightfoot D-18GL in July of 2000.

BTW, Any special instructions, upkeep, storage, maintenance, etc. for high humidity conditions (read mold's home domain)? Thanks.
It's an issue all right.scottfree
Sep 12, 2002 9:36 AM
Here's some good info:
It's an issue all right.Skip
Sep 12, 2002 4:10 PM
Thank you so much, that's great information.

BTW, do you know what the differences are between the Martin D-18, D-28, D-35, D-45, D-50? Is it size, tonal quality, projection, style, etc. Martin also has several lines (X, 1, 15, 16, standard, road, custom, etc.). Their site doesn't address this, guess they just assume. Thanks.
Wow. Huge question.scottfree
Sep 13, 2002 5:34 AM
The differences are all the things you mentioned. What you choose will depend totally on the look and subtle nuances of sound you prefer. Guitars are like bikes, and Martins are like Colnagos or whatever pricy bike you prefer: No matter what model you choose, you'll get something fabulous. I have a D-28 from 1965 that I wouldn't take two million dollars for. Well, maybe I might.

A little info:
Wow. Huge question.Skip
Sep 13, 2002 10:24 AM
A little info? OMG, that's wonderful, thank you so much. I will read and scrutinize that for hours. Looks like I'm beginning a sojourn. I've always wanted a Martin, almost bought one back in the 60's to learn to play, and as an investment (guess I should have, from what little I've read of your link so far); I had no idea how the company and it's guitars have changed over the years. There's more to learn about Martins, than about bikes - Ha! BTW, how would you like a new C-40 with your choice of components for your 1965 D-28? Oh well, had to ask. Sure makes me wish I had bought one back then. Thanks for all your insight!
Guitars & bikes are similarly stressful on marriages!scottfree
Sep 13, 2002 11:03 AM
But you'll never regret buying a Martin. Glad I could help. Good luck.
Guitars & bikes are similarly stressful on marriages!Skip
Sep 14, 2002 2:26 PM
What are the pros and cons of the D-28 ( solid bracing) vs the HD-28 (newer version of the D-28 with scalloped bracing, zig-zag back inlay strip, and tortoise pickguard)? Thanks.
Never played an HD-28, but I likescottfree
Sep 16, 2002 5:57 AM
the look -- that herringbone body binding.

Just as a guess though, solid bracing is preferred by many pickers because it tends to give a bright, punchy sound. Scalloped bracing tends to be more bassy (but often less sparkly). Just a matter of preference. One isn't better than the other.

But as I say I've never played or heard (in person) an HD-28.
Never played an HD-28, but I likeSkip
Sep 16, 2002 3:38 PM
Thanks for all your help! I went with the D-28 (just ordered). I wish that I could have held, and played both (actually, 100 of each), to make a more informed, personal selection, but living on an island, we rarely have that oportunity. Barring (pun intended) any unforseen problems, or receiving that rare lemon, I'm sure that I'll enjoy my selection. I would have liked to have had the herringbone purfling, but I really don't want a "boom box" lower end, bass response, or, an attenuated, un-crisp, dull, higher end. Just hope that the D-28 still has that open, rich, and full, Martin sound. Not a bad choice I hope for my first Martin. Thanks again.
Aw man, that's great! You'll never regret it! Congratulations!nmscottfree
Sep 17, 2002 5:03 AM