Worried about my new Seagull
I bought a new Seagull acoustic a few weeks ago. My first really expensive guitar as I've only been playing a little over a year.
It has a cedar top and the area around the hole by the pick guard is already starting to show some wear. My teacher has the same guitar and the same area on his guitar looks like Willie Nelson has been handling it. :shock: He says eventually it will have to have a patch job. This seems crazy to me. While I have been playing it non stop (hey it's my new baby) I can't believe how much wear I've already had.
Any thoughts from you seasoned members? Thanks in advance!
My Seagull has a cedar top, too. It's about a year old, and it's starting show a few nicks around the pick guard. It's not too bad, though. I've seen some older Seagulls that held up pretty well, although I can't comment on how much they were played. (I usually play mine everyday, if only for a bit, usually an hour or so.)
Cedar is a pretty soft wood, so it stands to reason it's going to wear a bit more than, say, spruce or whatever. However, the good news is that because it's softer, cedar tops age quicker than spruce and many of the other common guitar woods, so a cedar top will get that "vintage acoustic" sooner than other guitars may. By aging, I mean the guitar's wood kind of settles into itself, and the top can more easily vibrate, thus producing a better tone.
Of course, in order to age the guitar, it has to be played, so you're back to the nicks and wear.
It's kind of a toss up -- yes, the wood is softer so it is more susceptible to wear, but it can also age quicker. Personally, I like my Seagull (I think it's an Artist Mosaic or something). Godin makes guitars of excellent for the price. I also have a 12-string Seagull that I picked up recently, also cedar. While there are a few nicks around the sound hole, I'm not particularly worried at the moment. If those nicks become holes, then I'll get worried.
It depends on you playing style, if you play with a pic and tend to hit the top a lot when you strum, then you will start to wear down the top. personally I think a bit of wear adds character. Check out the photos on this site.
The guy is called Eric Roche one of his guitars, a Lowden O10 with a cedar top, is so worn but it looks fantastic. I dont think you will ever get you guitar this beaten up, unless you drive over it in a truck.