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(acoustic) Dreadnought Vs Cutaway's

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Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5038

Ken, Nick ...Tyler (the guy who started this!)

My point is simply to play and to listen to make the selection, because there's too much going on in guitar design and implementation to assume the woods will dominate ... especially in that $500 to $1500 range. Going up from there, the woods better be good. :wink:

FWIW: The only Martin I can get into is the HD-28 and maybe the HD-28V. Yes, Sitka spruce and quality rosewood, but there is also something about the dimensions, scalloped bracing and ??? that contribute. Bob Taylor had his team build a guitar from woods recovered from a shipping pallet to prove a decent sounding guitar can be made with low end materials. Guess that proves construction is critical and can make up for material shortcomings-- but we knew that. Fender, Seagull, Breedlove and many others have been putting out budget acoustics that sound surprisingly good for $250 to $700. But I doubt anyone here has heard that pallet-puppy to corroborate its wonderful piney timbre. And then I consider: I'm not that crazy about the characteristic aggresso-zingy timbre found on many of the Taylors, so am not sure I'd warm to that one anyway. I've really gotten too picky about acoutics when I consiously listen for timbre. Better to relax that portion of the mind and enjoy the playing... (see David's point about that.)

-=tension & release=-

Illustrious Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 5381

that was my point too.

Here's what contributes to a guitar's perceived desirability

Body type
Your ear
Your eye
Your available funds

Mix up all of the above, have a play, give it a listen, take a gander and buy the one that causes a stirring in your loins.

It could be any guitar, you never know.

Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1247

"We use Cedar specifically for our fingerstyle instruments as it responds quickly and with good volume to a light attack. It is also very well suited to open or lowered tension tunings as they require the same qualities for good separation and definition. Cedar does lose tonal integrity when over driven, making it a poor choice for versatility but an excellent top wood for showcasing finger styles. "

I found that today.
It was taken from a luthier's site.

It pretty much is how I percieve cedar tops through my experience.

Seeing as how Tyler mentioned being a finger player (as am I), and I have a cedar top guitar....
I thought that I would make that option aware.... As 99% of the acoustics in a store are generally spruce tops.

Most people don't know that they exist, or that they are generally used for fingerstyle playing.

Cedar top acoustics are not without their limitations though - as I have said, they DO NOT take to picks well at all.

So I thought that I would throw the one spruce top guitar I like out as well, as it would be much more versatile.

I also decided to express my feelings as a finger player toward mahogany bodies.... (I do find it interesting that Greg, Nick, and I all dislike mahogany bodies to a degree)

Though I did say that I have a VERY light touch, so that is mainly the reason for my decisions on acoustic woods.
As far as the rest goes - I wasn't trying to cram any guitar down anyones throat :wink:


"The man who has begun to live more seriously within
begins to live more simply without"
-Ernest Hemingway

"A genuine individual is an outright nuisance in a factory"
-Orson Welles

Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5038

Uh... that's no mahogany Martins that I happen to like. I do own a Tacoma with solid mahogany rims and back (Sitka top, ebony 'board) that I think sounds very good for the price ($800 street). I bought it as a no-worries working guitar for fingerstyle and strummin'. It ain't quite so purdy as rosewood. But I didn't worry about anything except the solid top when I went to try out it and many others: Sound and playability (with a little budget control) were king. Went to the store twice after getting serious, and went through a lot of guitars before settling on an HD-28, some XYZ Taylor and the Tacoma. At that point, price chose.

And despite my words about Taylor, I have a T5 -- but we really can't compare a maple archtop thinline to these others, can we? ... even if the back/sides is one-piece sapele (a.k.a. another "mahogany" :roll: )

-=tension & release=-

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