Information for beginners, on Buying, Selling, Building and Playing the Guitar

Discussion in 'Musicians' started by Shags, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. Shags

    Shags Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Messages:
    1,690
    Location:
    Melbourne
    ChrisH Edit:
    This thread is going to be used as the place for all beginners questions. I had some trouble moving the threads around, so after all that, here it what I have come up with...editting this post. I am sorry about that, I usually don't touch anyones posts.

    Anyway the point of this thread is for those with seemingly obvious questions to be asked in here. Hel I know I ask a lot of no-brainers, and there is no real thread for them, so consider this it.

    Posts that fit in here:
    What guitar/amp should I buy?
    How much should I spend?
    What makes a good guitar?
    What scales should I practice?
    What songs should I learn?
    *post clips of your playing to be constructively critisized*

    etc.

    So please, feel free to use this thread! And if threads randomly go missing form the forum, it is probably because I merged them in here.

    Any problems? PM me, or any of the other guys around ehre, and I am sure they will help you out.

    Some handy resources:
    Nickeax has a website: www.guitaraustralia.com He's also a handy dude to ask questions to, and knows his gear pretty well.

    DJ Fuson is pretty much a guru of production. Ask him about Ableton and other home recording stuff.

    Shredder likes his japanese guitars, anything you want to know about ibanez and the likes, hit him up.

    Willybomb is pretty knowledgable in most areas of musial theory and is also a guitar teacher, so questions relating to theory will most likely end up in his lap.

    Comma knows electronic production back to front. Synth's and Midi's to computer based sound processing, he has it under control.

    I don't mean to sign these guys up, but to be honest they know their stuff, so post in here and I am sure someone will help you out!
    Cheers,
    Chris


    Hey Guys,

    I got a guitar a few months back, Guitar accoustic with pickup/onboard tuner, Ashton, was $489.
    http://www.ashtonmusic.com.au/productView.asp?productID=87

    Thats the one.

    Now, The bridge has got a big crack in it, i took it back, they offered to replace it, i then saw this beauty.
    http://www.ibanez.co.jp/products/ag...124&color=CL01&year=2008&cat_id=3&series_id=7

    Gotta be the best looking acoustic i've ever seen!

    The shop will let me have the $489 in credit, but i can't decide if i want to put another $400 on top for the Ibanez (It's $899 at the store). Or just get the same Ashton again.

    Can anyone help me choose?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2009
  2. wellonchompy

    wellonchompy Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Messages:
    747
    Location:
    Sydney
    Ashton is like the Kia of musical instruments. They make one of everything, and it's usually the cheapest option. They are worth as much as their warranty length, but are a reasonable choice for a beginner.

    Anything you put your money to will likely be better! Ibanez isn't exactly renowned for their acoustics, but they make some damn fine electrics, so their acoustics can't be too bad.
     
  3. SteakTheMooCow

    SteakTheMooCow (Taking a Break)

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    Messages:
    3,069
    I've got an AW10ECE and it sounds great. When using it plugged I get astonished responses when I tell them how little it cost.

    Seriously though, the Ibanez acoustics from AW/AWE all sound great, but I have sadly not heard an EW; from what I have heard from AW/AWE I would recommend it, particularly over an Ashton (yes, even if it cost more).
     
  4. spent

    spent Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2004
    Messages:
    181
    Location:
    NSW
    The Ibanez

    It'll last you alot longer as your playing progresses
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2008
  5. Silent8ob

    Silent8ob Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Messages:
    909
    Location:
    Perth
    When friend's have been buying beginner acoustic steel strings, and I haven't been able to go with them, I've usually said, "Just buy whatever Yamaha is in your price range that you like the look of".

    You'd find it seriously hard to go wrong buying a Yamaha, and resale down the track is easy.

    If that Ibanez plays as good as it sounds though, it is a beautiful guitar.
     
  6. shredder

    shredder Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2001
    Messages:
    10,385
    Location:
    Dec 27, 1991
    I'd take the opportunity to trade up. Not necessarily to that particular Ibanez - though by all means get that one if you really love it - but certainly to something a little more reputable than Ashton.

    Think about whether you need a plugin-able acoustic too. If you don't have a dedicated acoustic guitar amplifier (and don't plan to get one) then basically you can do without the plugin-ability. Cheaper electro-acoustics often produce a plugged-in sound inferior to that you'd get by mic'ing up anyway - so it's kinda pointless, unless you really value being able to plug in, for whatever reason.

    You're usually better off getting $500 worth of real guitar quality than $350 worth of real guitar quality + a cheap $100 pickup and electronics shoehorned in (+ $50 extra 'feature profit' for the manufacturer) for the same price, to give a rough illustrative example that almost always holds true below $500, and often below $1000 too.
     
  7. ChrisH

    ChrisH Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    Messages:
    3,151
    Hey mate,
    I dont know how many people hear have actually played a Cocobalo body before, but let me educate you. Guitars are made from usually 3 types of wood.

    One wood is usually designated for the brdige and fret board. common examples are Rosewood, or Ebony.

    the second type of wood used is called the hardwood. These give structural support, and offer excellent resonance, due to the rigidity, but dont vibrate much themselves. examples of these are Mahogany, Cocobalo, Maple, Blackwood, Rosewood, etc etc. These woods are often found on the back/sides/neck.

    the final types of wood is called a tone wood. Tone woods are SPECIFICALLY choosen for their ability to carry sound through them. They are often soft woods, light in weight, and often light in colour. A few good examples of tone woods are, Spruce, Cedar, Bunya and Occasionally maple. These woods are ideal for the top of a guitar because they resonate, but also express notes.


    The Ibanez you suggested uses Cocobalo for its top. This is probably a HUGE mistake. I would strongly recommend buying yourself a guitar made of mahogany/maple, with a spruce top. Let me point you in a cheaper, and far better option ---> Maton M225 - EM225C

    The M225 is the best sounding guitar for the money, and to be honest I dont think anyone here could disagree. The EM225C is also great although it is a cutaway (suit yourself). You can also get a EM225, no cutaway. Thats where the money is. These cost more than the ibanez, but the M225 is $750 pretty much everywhere.

    If you are keen on an ibanez, get yourself the AW10EC as suggested earlier. If you want something of the same calibre as your current ashton, buy the Washburn D10-SCE. If you want to upgrade you should be debating between these:


    Seagull S6 Original (with out without the electric (its called QI)

    and the MAton M225 (with or without electric)

    Feel free to ask any questions!

    cheers,
    Chris
     
  8. SteakTheMooCow

    SteakTheMooCow (Taking a Break)

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    Messages:
    3,069
    Agreed with the woods. It wasn't so much a suggestion, it's what I actually have sitting in its case in my room (I'll get it out when my wrist gets out of the bandage).

    It's a great guitar, very bright. There's also the AW15CE which is more aligned for finger picking (if memory suits).

    Mahogany with Spruce is a fantastic combination.

    I didn't even notice the wood, so sorry about that, have to agree, it's not the best wood for it, even if it looks awesome. As you get better playing guitar, you might upgrade or go full electric, in which case you've got the budget to get sound with the looks, but personally I love the look of a good acoustic.

    Maton guitars will probably beat anything in the sub $1250 price bracket for acoustics; the acoustic electrics similarly so. The problem is whether or not the specific sound (it's like a human voice; there are traits both good and bad about the sound) suits you.

    I actually auditioned a Maton and decided against it because I wanted a very bright tone. Drop in, give them a play.

    As an owner of the AW10CE I can say it's a fantastic guitar for its price and it has a great sound, but seriously, give them a play. If you do not feel comfortable, most places have people who can play a bit (even if not much). The store I went to get mine had a classical guitarist there who made the guitar sound a million times the price, which brings us to the next bit.

    An awesome guitarist can make almost anything sound great. They can take a fairly standard guitar and make it sound fantastic. As -weet*di- said there are different characteristics in different woods and again, as I said, each different guitar will sound different. Each different woodwind player, singer, etc., has a similar difference. Even two "identical" guitars can have a change in sound (slightly). The skill of the guitarist is taking a decent guitar and making it an instrument. Decide on the sound for you.

    If you happen to like the sound of spruce, as I do, get a spruce top. If you like the mahogany body, get one. However, if after it has been played, you like the sound of the cocobalo body more, then it's up to you. Just remember if you ask the guy at the store to play, he might be anything from poor too good and no matter how bad you think you may be, even just playing some basic chord progressions will give you an idea of how it will sound.

    Yes, and as you get better you can do what they should do.

    Obviously change the gender of the post if the guy's a girl...
     
  9. ChrisH

    ChrisH Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    Messages:
    3,151
    Couldnt agree more. I found that the variation on Maton's to be enormous. You must try them all out first. I tried 3 M225's and bought the oldest of the bunch. Most of them sounded dampened, or mellow, and the one I got is bright and screams beauty.

    Trust me on this one though, cocobalo is NOT a good wood for a top of a guitar. Don't be fooled by the price, sure its expensive, because cocobalo is expensive, not because its amazingly good. Its in the same feild as walnut. Looks great with its rich large pattern, but man it sounds something aweful. Again, all personal preference.

    I would suggest finding an artist you like the most and buying a guitar that is made of similar woods and sounds good:

    ie Tommy Emmanual - Maton Guitars -> Maples back neck sides, Spruce top

    or Chet Atkins --> Martin --> Mahogony back neck sides, Spruce top

    or Peppino D’Agostino --> Seagull --> rosewood, back/sides Spruce top, mahog neck.


    Or something a bit different

    Roger McGuinn --> Spruce and Rosewood



    etc etc
     
  10. PrawnBoy

    PrawnBoy Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,837
    Location:
    Eltham, yo
    ashton make a good quadbox. That is all.
     
  11. SteakTheMooCow

    SteakTheMooCow (Taking a Break)

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    Messages:
    3,069
    Ashton is not synonymous with "good" in my books. They make good entry-level/student stuff.

    I think I have heard ONE guitar with cocobalo sound good and from memory it was only the inlay which used it.

    When I say "looks and sound" I do not necessarily mean acoustics ;) There are some, but it takes an insane amount of skill to make a beautiful looking acoustic guitar sound beautiful, at least if it contains certain materials. You can make beautiful looking instruments easily (luthite casting anyone?), but the sound tends to hurt the ears.

    Unique sound signatures are fantastic. Found in headphones, guitars, basses, woodwinds, voices... it's the combination which makes the band and which makes me love sound so very, very much.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Shags

    Shags Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Messages:
    1,690
    Location:
    Melbourne
  13. shredder

    shredder Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2001
    Messages:
    10,385
    Location:
    Dec 27, 1991
    The cocobolo hatred seems a little extreme. Sure it's unconventional as a top - and I'm not endorsing it at all; that Ibanez may well completely suck - but as a back-and-sides tonewood it seems fairly reputable, highly-regarded in fact in many circles. And in the end if a player picks up a guitar and loves it to death, what other people say about it based on theory doesn't mean a thing.
    "They make entry-level/student stuff", you mean.
     
  14. SteakTheMooCow

    SteakTheMooCow (Taking a Break)

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    Messages:
    3,069
    My practical experience gave me reason enough :)
    No, they make good entry-level gear. I have seen worse than Ashton :)

    I saw the AW15CE in the Catalogue for $549.


    More expensive are:
    Ibanez AW800-NT: http://www.pacificmusic.com.au/ProductDetails.asp?ProdID=6
    Ibanez AW30ECE NT: http://www.pacificmusic.com.au/ProductDetails.asp?ProdID=384
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2008
  15. shredder

    shredder Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2001
    Messages:
    10,385
    Location:
    Dec 27, 1991
    Fair enough. I just wanted to point out that a lot of opinions (some of them quite professional-sounding) out there seem to differ from your experience, and based on that I'd personally be making up my own mind on the issue, if I were considering such a purchase. Which I never would, but that's beside the point! :)
    True, there's a lot better and a lot worse. I was just noting that you said the word 'good' shouldn't be associated with Ashton, then you went on to use the word in your very next sentence. :p I know what you meant though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2008
  16. SteakTheMooCow

    SteakTheMooCow (Taking a Break)

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    Messages:
    3,069
    Yeah, "good entry-level" doesn't mean good, it's just a polite way of saying "cheap crap" ;)

    Only way to know if you like the sound for yourself is to play it. I cannot recommend the AW10CE/AW15CE highly enough. It's a minor step up in price but a wonderful guitar; again, you have to play it to know :)
     
  17. ChrisH

    ChrisH Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    Messages:
    3,151
    Shags, That store also stocks Tanglewood and Takamine. Takamine can be pretty nice sometimes, I guess the ones to look at are:

    Takamine TEG530SSC. They quoted $899 which is RRP. You can go down from there about 10-30% as no one ever buys a guitar for retail price.

    The Tanglewood TW115 ASCE for $699 shouldnt be too bad either, but that guitar is plagued by the case of having to play 100's of the exact same guitar to get the right sound.

    Also, as the others said, the Ibanez's that are listed are probably good as well.


    It is a music store though, so you should really check if they can order in a Maton M225 (should be easy), a Seagull S6 Original (should be nearly impossible), and perhaps a Washburn D10-SCE.

    Cheers,
    Chris

    Edit: also, where do you live exactly?
     
  18. ChrisH

    ChrisH Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    Messages:
    3,151
    I just went and had a look around the location of the other music store, and I turned up this one:

    I can't actually browse their site because it is retarded, but they claim to be MASSIVE.

    Google maps this:

    Buzz Music Destination Store 92 Mulgrave Rd, Parramatta Park, QLD 4870 1800 648 440, or obviously call them on that phone number.


    Edit: found another store that may potentially be better!
    It looks like this is the store to check out though:
    http://www.musiccitycairns.com/
    They boast the largest Maton stock range in Cairns. Google Maps: 55 Sheridan st cairns
     
  19. OP
    OP
    Shags

    Shags Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Messages:
    1,690
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Damn, I'm in Cairns yeah but i can't goto another store, got store credit with this one they didn't refund me :( and they won't either
     
  20. ChrisH

    ChrisH Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    Messages:
    3,151
    Oh gay. Well at least you know maton sends gutiars up to Cairns. This store will order in 3 guitars for you.

    Surely they would refund you the money though. That's part of the deal, you didnt get what you paid for, so now you want your money back. I don't see how they can argue with you?
     

Share This Page