Your thoughts on quality for two guitars please!

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Deathbliss
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Your thoughts on quality for two guitars please!

Post by Deathbliss » September 1st, 2011, 2:03 am

OK I'll make this brief...

My mom boughtt me a guitar years ago with what I believe is called a "C Neck", high action, and it was 3/4 or smaller (probably smaller). I'm 6 feet or so, and not in shoes, and I have semi-sausage fingers from my dad, so you can imagine the struggle I went through. But I did learn a little on that POC. So I'm a newbie who is serious about learning how to play.

I want to buy a guitar but my budget is ridiculous so please don't laugh at me. I don't want to go any higher than $50.00, preferable $30.00 or less so I can get a tuner and strings, so that limits me to used, and I don't want a plywood top, high action, or anything under 40". I know I need something between 40-42" - a full size guitar. I have found two at an undisclosed place I'm looking at (don't need any competition here.)

The first is something called an Eleca DAG-5. This is a solid wood body guitar using some sort of Mahogony replacement called Nato.

The other I can find NO information on at all! It's an MJ GCE411OR cutaway.

Both are 6 steel string acoustics which is what I want. I need more info on the MJ and quality thoughts on both. Not how it feels or sounds or anything like that. How is the construction? How is the hardware? If you had either of these for a while, did they stay in tune? Did they stay together or fall apart? That sort of thing. I'll handle the feel and sound part if I look at them, based on your feedback of their quality.

No I can't increase my budget, and I honestly believe I should be able to get a solid wood 6 steel string acoustic guitar of decent quality used in my price range. It won't be easy, but it should be feasible. My ideal guitar is a cutaway solid wood top 6 steel string acoustic with good action and hardware, 42" in size.

One more off-topic thing I'll throw in here... Are there any quality video instruction courses that teach guitar, music theory, and singing all at once in a learn-as-you go fashion? Found almost nothing at Amazon. Looking at this guy's DVD:
http://www.guitarsignatureseries.com/

I will look at the courses this site has too. Looks like you folks have a few lessons here.

Your help is greatly appreciated!
- Deathbliss

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s1120
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Re: Your thoughts on quality for two guitars please!

Post by s1120 » September 1st, 2011, 6:00 am

Frankly I would not worry about the top being solid or ply. In a low buck new, or used guitar, with a new player playing it, you will not hear a diference. Worry more about how it feels playing it. Is the deck all twisted? Does it stay in tune?.. Thats much more important then what its made of.
Paul B

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kent_eh
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Re: Your thoughts on quality for two guitars please!

Post by kent_eh » September 1st, 2011, 6:37 am

First, I love cheap guitars.
But...
I don't think you'll find your ideal guitar for that kind of money, unless you are very lucky and patient.
At this price level, ignore the brand name, ignore the color, ignore scratches.
Get your hands on the one(s) you are looking and see if:
1) the neck is straight.
2) the wood isn't cracked (finish cracks don't matter, just the wood)
3) there aren't missing parts that would make it un-playable

Basically, is it playable.

I don't want to go any higher than $50.00
......
No I can't increase my budget, and I honestly believe I should be able to get a solid wood 6 steel string acoustic guitar of decent quality used in my price range.
In my opinion, your goal is a bit un-realistic. Unless someone gives you a gift. Or the seller has no idea what things cost.

You aren't in a position to be real picky about the type of wood, or the shape of the body (unless it just doesn't fit your hands at all, then it's not playable)
I have never seen a solid top guitar for less than $75, and that one needed a lot of repair work to make it playable. (like frets replaced, and a major chunk of wood missing from the upper bout)

I bought a very used laminate top no-name acoustic a few years ago for $15, but it needed the bridge and tuners replaced. And a crack in the neck glued.
But I bought it specifically because I wanted to practice repairing guitars.
It's quite playable now, but I put about $65 in parts and 20-25 hours work into it.
I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep

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s1120
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Re: Your thoughts on quality for two guitars please!

Post by s1120 » September 1st, 2011, 9:02 am

I got my beater accustic for free. Its a epiphone. Not bottom rung, but pretty close!!! It needed strings and a setup [what I do myself] and has a slight twist to the nexk, but plays good enough, just a touch high on the action. Looks nice, and I dont care if the kids knock it over, so it stays in the livingroom. Full ply...no solid wood on this baby, but you know.... it sounds pretty darn good! Ive been shopping for a better one, but frankly I havent found anything that sounds better enough for me to want to spend the extra cash on.... Till it brakes, or I get to be a much better player, it is my "sit and watch TV, and strumming" guitar!!! I DO hate it when the kids drop a toy in the sound hole though......
Paul B

Deathbliss
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Re: Your thoughts on quality for two guitars please!

Post by Deathbliss » September 1st, 2011, 9:42 pm

So nobody has any experience or knowledge of MJ or Eleca here? I really need to know more about these brands, in the area of the quality of their construction, materials, and so forth. If someone could find a product page for the MJ with the info I gave that would help even more, because I Googled my fingers bloody and came up with nothing. Figured you guys would know more about guitar brands here then me.

Getting the guitar I want is not only easy and feasible (with patience), but I already have several prospects in mind. Folks figure they want to learn guitar. They buy something, play a little, then throw it in the closet or attic. Later when they have to move, and a lot of folks are moving around now, they simply want to sell the thing quick. Pawnshops give you beans for just about anything, and not every town has a music store on main street. So they garage sale or eBay or whatever the guitar and get what they can out of it. These are the people I'm shopping from.

I want the solid wood top because plywood will separate and unglue as the guitar ages. I'm playing as a hobby. Not to get rich and famous. My budge should tell you how limited my funds are. Things may not get better either. Even if I found a job I could list about 100 things I should spend a couple hundred bucks on instead of a guitar. Also while I believe I'll stick with it I'm still not 100% sure. So whatever guitar I get has to last a few years and not slowly fall apart or loose sound quality. It also has to have some resale value. Plywood guitars have about as much resale value as used underwear. Simple as that.

Appreciate some info on the MJ and the Eleca. Thanks!
- Deathbliss

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kent_eh
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Re: Your thoughts on quality for two guitars please!

Post by kent_eh » September 2nd, 2011, 8:25 am

So nobody has any experience or knowledge of MJ or Eleca here? I really need to know more about these brands, in the area of the quality of their construction, materials, and so forth. If someone could find a product page for the MJ with the info I gave that would help even more, because I Googled my fingers bloody and came up with nothing. Figured you guys would know more about guitar brands here then me.
A lot of the cheapest brand names are 1 off store brands. They might have only been made for a single year, and only for 1 retailer.
That has been done for literary decades.

Some of them have collector web pages dedicated to them, but only if they were in some way interesting.
Others have faded into obscurity due to lack of interest.

For instance, my first electric guitar says "El Degas" on the headstock.
It was made in the '70s in Japan (some say by Ibanez, others disagree). They were made for a very short time, and were commissioned for a Canadian importer, who sold them for a year or 2 to a few stores, mostly in eastern Canada.

That's all the information I have been able to find out since buying it almost 30 years ago.
But that doesn't affect that it's a pretty good guitar for a pawn shop find 30 years ago.

The short answer is: you may never find out about those brands, because you might never encounter the 3 people who know anything. Or you might find the one guy who makes it his life's passion to know everything there is to know about that brand.

But the point that everyone has been trying to make:
- There is no substitute for checking out the quality of that specific one that you are interested in.
- If it's decent, who cares what the name tag says.
- Don't get hung up on the details.
- If it plays well, then the rest isn't really that important.


Also, it's only been a day since you asked. Lots of people only check in once a week. Patience.
I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep

Deathbliss
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Re: Your thoughts on quality for two guitars please!

Post by Deathbliss » September 2nd, 2011, 2:35 pm

I apologize for sounding rushed. I guess that's because I am. You see I have no car and no transportation. I go grocery shopping once a month. That will fall on either tomorrow or Tuesday, depending on what I learn from the folks whose guitars I have contacted them about. I'm going to call someone from my parent's church who is an experienced guitar enthusiast, so my dad says, and get whatever help he will give me. But I'm looking at some of my prospects in the next few days. I now have about half a dozen but of them only two people have contacted me. Guess their getting ready for their labor day weekend parties.

Got some tips on how to check the neck, how to check the frets, the nut, how to check the action, etc. etc. Also how to check where parts are glued, cracks, and so forth. And I know how to test the guitar to see if it feels right to me. I still need to know how to check if a guitar has a plywood top - could use some pointers here.

Brand names are not important to me. Sound ultimately is irrelevant. I mean if it's made well and doesn't need servicing it should sound good, right? Ultimately quality of construction and the proper size are all I'm focusing on.
- Deathbliss

Deathbliss
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Re: Your thoughts on quality for two guitars please!

Post by Deathbliss » September 2nd, 2011, 3:52 pm

Hey add those Rouge acoustics to my list from Musician's Friend. Anyone know of their construction quality?

Teeninchee
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Re: Your thoughts on quality for two guitars please!

Post by Teeninchee » September 29th, 2013, 11:45 pm

This is a few years late BUT....

Deathbliss wanted information about an Eleca guitar...and wanted whatever he chose for less than $50.

Believe it or not, last week my garage-sale-hunting-and buying-stuff-from-them neighbor had one in her car that she'd purchased
from a guy who told her not to resell it for less than $15. IT WAS PURPLE, and had only one tiny chip in the finish.
I removed it from her "FOR SALE" pile in her car, and will gladly give her $15 for it.

Why? because it seemed in good physical shape, the sound was very nice AND I have a little girl who wants to
play it. I paid $5 for a Mark II "student" guitar from a thrift store. That thing doesn't hold a tune worth
beans yet. (I'll get new strings and see if that helps AT ALL. The Eleca, however, does remain in tune. And it sounds as rich as the
one a friend of mine who is an accomplished professional guitarist, bought for my adult daughter when she graduated from college.
It also sounds as good as the one my parents bought for my older brother back in the 60s. We were by NO means wealthy! And he
learned to play beautiful classical guitar on it.

With a home filled with children with a variety of 'special' needs, I want to give them music and if they can learn to play,
I can invest in something more elaborate down the road. Even on the Mark II, The way I figure it, if she can learn the chords and basic
fingering on it to the point where she enjoys playing, the $5 and the $15 were good investments. (I can show her and play with her
on the Eleca until she learns the basics.)

I hope Deathbliss got his guitar!

fro0sh
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Re: Your thoughts on quality for two guitars please!

Post by fro0sh » April 13th, 2015, 12:34 am

Little late but figured I'd add to the discussion on Eleca guitars. About ten years ago I got one as a Christmas present as a first guitar, my girlfriend bought it new for around 50 bucks. To this day it is still my main guitar. Largely in part from a lack of funds but also because I've never gotten to the point where i've felt like it's not cutting it. I've played countless other guitars, some worth a couple thousand dollars, and yea from time to time I'll think oh man this one is nice, but I'm usually hard pressed to find one that I connect with like the eleca.

After all these years the sound is brilliant, I can run through almost an entire guitar shop and have difficulty finding one that sounds as good. I've gotten endless compliments on its sound and people are hard to believe that it's a cheap knock off. Brand new it did need some adjusting, action was high, but over the years I've fine tuned it. Its always stayed in tune and no cracks or warping. As a first guitar I absolutely recommend it, or someone looking for a solid cheap acoustic, change the strings and lower the action and it will do everything you want it to.

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