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What is the most highly over-rated and under-rated acoustic guitar brand?????


onewilyfool
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Over-rated, under-rated, according to Who? IMHO, it's more about personal

preference, for whatever reason(s). It's the reason I always play any model

guitar (brand, model, electric, acoustic (especially acoustic), etc.) as much

as possible, before making any final purchase decisions. I think, too often,

people tend to get on Marketing's bandwagons. And/or are overly influenced

by what their favorite "stars" are playing, etc. That goes, for any brand, really.

 

As to my personal (acoustic) favorites. Martin, Guild (12-strings, especially),

Gibson, in no particular order. But, I've played some fantastic Epiphones, and

Seagulls, as well as Yamaha's that were very much to my liking.

 

Taylor's, not so much...and, in all honesty, I'm not at all sure, "Why?" They're

a bit like PRS electrics, to me. By all accounts, and with their fit and finish,

and beauty, I "should" love 'em, but I don't seem to, at least, not so far.

 

So...??? [tongue][unsure]

 

 

 

Oh Charlie i LOVE 12 string Guilds!! The D-212 might be the best Guild i ever tried, Tom Petty raved about his. My camp counselor had one when i was 13 he let me play it and it was magic. Everytime i seen one on Craigslist the seller didnt want to trade for what i had or what i had was more expensive. Being from Rhode island i get a lil nostalgic for Westerly made Guilds, maybe a lil too rosecoloured but had some pride knowing my own state made them.

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I've had many, many guitars pass through my hands in the last 50+ years. I've boiled my herd down to 4 keeper acoustics and two keeper electrics. I'm currently gas free.

 

2013 Gibson Hummingbird MC - It is hard to say any such iconic guitar is under rated. Based on its iconic status and reputation, I expected it to be sublime. I've wanted one of these my whole life and landed this beauty a couple of years ago. It has delivered everything I had hoped for and more. A wonderful instrument. Certainly not over rated IMO.

 

2001 Taylor 410 - my first really good guitar bought new at Harry's Guitar shop in Raleigh. There doesn't seem to be much Taylor love here but this guitar rocks. A very versatile workhorse that has gotten better with age. I wouldn't say under rated because the Taylor "brand" ( they certainly work the marketing hard enough ! )screams quality, tone and playability.

 

2006 Guild F47M - This guitar blows me away every time I pick it up. It is warm, meaty, clear, subtle, etc., etc. I know Guild has a very fanatical cult like following, although certainly not the broad adoration enjoyed by Martin, Gibson and Taylor. I would say Guild guitars are a little under rated although they get lots of love on most forums.

 

1997 Alvarez-Yairi DY62C - I've got to believe guitars hand made by K. Yairi are, IMO, the most under rated guitars on the planet. I walked away with this beauty for $700. I would put it up against any Gibby, Taylor or Martin I've ever played. A very impressive instrument. Did I say I picked it up for $700 !! If any of you ever have a chance to pick up and play a Yairi guitar, you will most certainly be impressed

 

As far as over rated, I will echo what a few previous posters have said. Boutique guitars just don't deliver for me, especially measuring bang for the buck. Maybe my ear is just not sophisticated enough to appreciate such fine instruments. Here in Durham, SoundPure Guitars has two walls full of Collings, McPherson, Santa Cruz, Goodall, etc guitars. I've got to tell you, I get nervous as hell when I pick up one of these up. They do sound great, but no better than anything I own. Again, maybe I'm "blessed" with an unsophisticated ear. That said, SoundPure is a great shop to visit with very knowledgeable people to chat with. Anyway, IMO, any guitar with a price tag north of $3 K is over rated

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It did happen. Smith in his comprehensive Leo biography, Bacon in one of his Fender books mentions the actual matter.

 

Leo didn't want to, Gibson was doing it. Forrest convinced Leo to put his name to it too.

 

The three or four named companies were served. Some guitars arrived after that in San Francisco and some of each type Fender and Gibson were confiscated and had the headstocks sawn off of them in order to demonstrate penalty.

 

That was it.

 

The rest of us were, for the most part, blissfully unaware because nobody was fawning over Love Rocks and Ibanezii.

 

My wife of 35 years does not play the guitar, but when she sees the later 80s or 90s Bugs Bunny on tevee she still calls him the Ibanez Bugs Bunny. THAT is how strong the "I" word is to Deptford kids that grew up guitar!

 

rct

From what I remember I read, the "lawsuit" was a letter, but no one got sued, so to speak.

 

So many stories. So much rumor. I don't know what to believe, but rather, I don't really think it was any big deal. Regardless of what the real facts are. Personally, I think the story gets embellished a lot of the times because it just ain't an interesting story to begin with.

 

Just rather to say, at some point, Gibson and Fender weren't going to let total "copies" be made and sold here. But just as importantly, Ibanez and the like weren't going to get all that far making copies anyway, but rather did better making their own designs and getting a rep that way.

 

I think the MAIN thing here, is COPIES in the 70's and 80's weren't looked at favorably, both because of the stigma of having a copy and not the real deal, and, they weren't "good"...yet.

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I've had many, many guitars pass through my hands in the last 50+ years. I've boiled my herd down to 4 keeper acoustics and two keeper electrics. I'm currently gas free.

 

2013 Gibson Hummingbird MC - It is hard to say any such iconic guitar is under rated. Based on its iconic status and reputation, I expected it to be sublime. I've wanted one of these my whole life and landed this beauty a couple of years ago. It has delivered everything I had hoped for and more. A wonderful instrument. Certainly not over rated IMO.

 

2001 Taylor 410 - my first really good guitar bought new at Harry's Guitar shop in Raleigh. There doesn't seem to be much Taylor love here but this guitar rocks. A very versatile workhorse that has gotten better with age. I wouldn't say under rated because the Taylor "brand" ( they certainly work the marketing hard enough ! )screams quality, tone and playability.

 

2006 Guild F47M - This guitar blows me away every time I pick it up. It is warm, meaty, clear, subtle, etc., etc. I know Guild has a very fanatical cult like following, although certainly not the broad adoration enjoyed by Martin, Gibson and Taylor. I would say Guild guitars are a little under rated although they get lots of love on most forums.

 

1997 Alvarez-Yairi DY62C - I've got to believe guitars hand made by K. Yairi are, IMO, the most under rated guitars on the planet. I walked away with this beauty for $700. I would put it up against any Gibby, Taylor or Martin I've ever played. A very impressive instrument. Did I say I picked it up for $700 !! If any of you ever have a chance to pick up and play a Yairi guitar, you will most certainly be impressed

 

As far as over rated, I will echo what a few previous posters have said. Boutique guitars just don't deliver for me, especially measuring bang for the buck. Maybe my ear is just not sophisticated enough to appreciate such fine instruments. Here in Durham, SoundPure Guitars has two walls full of Collings, McPherson, Santa Cruz, Goodall, etc guitars. I've got to tell you, I get nervous as hell when I pick up one of these up. They do sound great, but no better than anything I own. Again, maybe I'm "blessed" with an unsophisticated ear. That said, SoundPure is a great shop to visit with very knowledgeable people to chat with. Anyway, IMO, any guitar with a price tag north of $3 K is over rated

Rob Chapman said Duesenberg and PRS are so technically overengined they seemed almost lifeless in his hands. They were so precise there was no give/take and bend or variation, he actually didnt like it. I wouldnt know, ive never tried either brand. But i would like to try a prs sometime.

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Rob Chapman said Duesenberg and PRS are so technically overengined they seemed almost lifeless in his hands. They were so precise there was no give/take and bend or variation, he actually didnt like it. I wouldnt know, ive never tried either brand. But i would like to try a prs sometime.

PMS? Horrible affliction, so I have heard. PRS, they say is better, but not much.

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"I'd suggest that Guild also had some instruments in the '70s that were of equal or better quality than similar Gibson models. I'd not trade my old 1970s S100c "SG" type for a current similar Gibson, either, and at that point of time, the S100c was IMHO preferable to Gibson SG models. Some 40 years later she still plays as if moving to make our music as a duet rather than she as only an instrument."

 

 

 

As a kid one of the local music shops had a black Guild S100 in stock, and I lusted after it, I used to go there every Saturday and play it. No one seemed to want it and the price just kept dropping and dropping but as a school kid with no money it was still out of reach. Obviously one Saturday I arrived and it was gone. I was heartbroken!

I read in Ian Hunters book "Diary of a Rock'n'Roll Star" that he always thought the Guild was a better guitar than the Gibson SG.

 

Ian

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Larrivee. Very under rated.

 

 

Those are Canadian right? Ive seen a few on Craigslist, never actually played one but i tried a Cedar Seagull and it was actually pretty nice.

I have to agree. Top notch stuff, at least what I know.

 

I have one, bought it while shopping for a Martin.

 

Last I knew, Mr. Larrivee retired, or partially, or whatever, and moved to California and opened a factory/shop there. The family still made and kept the Canadian place. So there were Larrivee guitars coming from 2 places, both from the same people/family. California guitars only being the very high end stuff.

 

I haven't played many of the ones coming from California, and a couple I didn't like the sound of much, but the construction, at least on the surface, was like that of Santa Cruz or Collings quality. VERY nice.

 

The regular, or older stuff, are nicely built, and impressive in sound quality, at least to my ears. I'd rate them along with standard production Gibson and Martin, easy.

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My own opinion;

Most overrated, recent Martins from 1985 to present.

Most underrated, Gibsons from 1963 to 1985, Martins from 1970 to 1985.

These are the only guitar brands or makes I've played and enjoyed over 6 decades. No doubt there have been many other decent ones. These are my favorites. In no way am I comparing these choices to the vintage Gibsons and Martins that have been built since the 1930's until the mid to late 1960's. To me, I enjoy playing my birth year "1942 Gibson Southerner Jumbo" and my 1940 Martin D 28 as well as many others built thereafter. Only my desire!

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  • 4 years later...

I don't know if they're under-rated or just overlooked by many people, but Eastman makes excellent guitars, and they are vastly less expensive than the same Martin and Gibson models.

I've played them and heard them played by vastly better musicians than me at the Twelfth Fret, and except that I got a head-stock repaired j45 for $1,200.00 Canadian, would have purchased the Eastman Spruce-Mahogany sloped shoulder dreadnought over it.

RBSinTo

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I've owned a couple of Recording Kings (RP06 and RNJ-25, a Martin 0-18 copy and a Nick Lucas copy respectively) which were both uniformly excellent. I miss them both, superb guitars. I put a Rare Earth in the RP06 and a Matrix Infinity in the RNJ and they were a pair of terrific gigging instruments for under £500 for the pair. 

Underrated I would probably say Harley Benton, the Thomann house brand. I own a little tenor guitar by them that has the best fit and finish of any guitar I've ever owned...I've been over every inch of it and it's almost unnervingly perfect. Sounds great too, and was under £130 delivered.

Overrated...for me, personally? Collings. I feel guilty for saying it, but every single one I've played has left me stone cold. I should add that I don't count the Waterloo (Collings sub-brand) guitars amongst this...they're great guitars. The Collings branded instruments just don't do it for me, though. They are beautifully built, play well, look gorgeous but don't suit my ear or playing style whatsoever. 

A couple of years ago I was very excited to try out one of their Adi/Rosewood parlours that a dealer friend had in stock, but I was utterly bored by it within five mins of noodling about. Picked up the Dove that he sagely knew I would end up buying, and I was instantly home. It was as if the music I had to wrestle from the Collings just fell from the Dove in a cascade with minimal effort on my part. No contest for me. 

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For underrated I would mention both Larrivee and Guild. It’s easy to find examples of both brands that are as good or better than than  more highly rated and much more expensive brands. Used examples just don’t hold their value, but those are some fabulous guitars.  

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For me personally it’s Taylor guitars. I’ve owned five and still have one. They are nice guitars but nothing special. My biggest knock is they change too often which devalues the older models and I feel they’re overpriced.   I recently read that the company converted to an ESOP.  

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36 minutes ago, Dave F said:

For me personally it’s Taylor guitars. I’ve owned five and still have one. They are nice guitars but nothing special. My biggest knock is they change too often which devalues the older models and I feel they’re overpriced.   I recently read that the company converted to an ESOP.  

I blame that entirely on Andy Powers and his brother.

LU8LAuBm.jpgnf3IBZim.jpg

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The most underrated and not even mentioned in this Zombie thread from Wily in 2013 is the most road ready fingerpicker warrior on the planet - the Maton EBG808 with the sensational Maton AP5-Pro pickup system, an 00 sized beast similar to a LG but ready to plug in anywhere and sound incredible! I have 3 of the 808 models - a budget SRS808 I bought first, a mid range custom black finish EBG808 (like TE's models only black and no kangaroo or signature inlays) and the top of the line Maton Messiah 808 - AAA rosewood and sitka with wood binding and the best of the factory line.

Artisan Guitars in Nashville sell a bucketload of them these days and make some great videos... first is one with  the TE Maton models - non cutaway, then a cutaway and then the full Custom Shop 'Personal' model:

 

 

And 2 incredible (full gloss) Messiah 808s and a Messiah Jumbo!:

 

 

Next, the budget model SRS808 like my first Maton and some creeping up the range - give me the Artist please!:

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

Edited by BluesKing777
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Don’t know if they’re underrated, but for their usual low-mid range price, lots of Yamahas are pretty decent.  Underrated or overrated, like much of our guitar discussions, is very subjective and dependent on individual opinions.  I don’t personally care for Taylor’s, but I believe they are high quality guitars as far as quality control and workmanship go.  However, I don’t care to own one, because they don’t speak to me and I’d likely never play it.   Other people feel the same about Gibson and Martin.

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2 hours ago, BluesKing777 said:

 

Here is Tommy E playing his Maton Custom Shop 808 - amazing playing on an amazing little guitar and proof of everything I have ever said about Maton 808 size guitars!

 

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

 

I got tix to see him in June I think. It has been postponed twice already. He is so damn good.

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