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blindboygrunt

beater guitars

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another part of the shopping trip was the usual drool fest in the guitar section .

strummed a hummingbird and actually made me sad because i wanted it much . sounded lovely . put it back quickly though before the thoughts of just dashing for the door with it became too much :-)

j200 i didnt touch , a dove which dont do much for me . a gorgeous looking hd28v , the colour of the top when it was amongst all the new blonde guitars is really awesome . sounded just like you would want it to .

moved away from the heavenly end of the display and was messing with a couple of epiphones .

it was glorious weather here recently and i wanted the guitar in the garden but the J45 just sucks in heat so badly. i darent bring it outdoors , plus its a little special to be handing it around for a song or three..was thinking at the time 'must get myself a bit of a beater' . have thought about this too for certain gigs that are very relaxed and folk want to have a turn while i have a break .

maybe 'beater' is a bit of a wrong word at £350 , but i kinda liked these two guitars

one was a aj500 and the other i cant remember the name but was same only square shouldered . both with pickups

in there too .

really pretty coloured tops and sturdy lookin things

shop was usual saturday afternoon with teenagers wrecking evrything so i didnt get long enough (my GF 's eyes were telling me it was way past lunchtime too ) with these things . but i think i might go back , i played the round shouldered aj and not the square one . want to go back when theres no one there and ask to plug them in etc.

anybody any experience with these babies?

cheers folks

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I played a couple of those and thought they were pretty good, but nothing great.

 

I think a beater is a must have in any stable, for a number of reasons.

 

For me the Cort 100 has played that role for many years and its a great D-18 wanna be.

 

However the brand that really impressed me recently was Seagull. Played a few of those recently and was really taken by the woody,dry warm tone of a number of models.

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yeah i've heard u rave about the cort before , and a friend of mine got one of those earth series ones and speaks highly of it . havent played it . i guess i was put off by playing a few a couple years ago , theyre popular here in ireland and theres nearly always one at a pub session , so i kinda hear trad music in my head when i see one , but i need to play a few more of their range i guess .

seagulls are great guitars , will mess around a lot before i buy something .

i went straight for the epiphones cos i'm shallow and i liked their looks :-)

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I'm really happy with my Art & Lutherie wild cherry model as a beater guitar. It sounds great, has decent playability, and is made in Canada from 100% Canadian woods. IMO it is a perfect campfire guitar, and is a great guitar for the price. It has natural finish which is totally unaffected by bug spray and liquor spills. I can't count the number of times I have had mishaps and the finish still looks beautiful. A&L actually use some really nice choices of wood considering it is a $300 guitar. Here's a pic of my A&L wild cherry, which I have owned for over 15 years and still plays and sounds great.

 

al.jpg

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A lot depends on just how much you want to "beat" it. Any solid wood guitar is going to suffer similarly from abuse. If you really want something that can take abuse, you might look at one of the composite guitars from Rainsong or Composite Acoustics.

 

If you travel a lot, the Composite Acoustics Cargo looks like a great guitar. Our own JT (Mr. Banner Gibson)has one just for this purpose. These are not cheap, but they are rugged, and are totally unaffected by changes in temperature and humidity. They are well above your listed budget, but if one of those outlasts two cheap wood guitars, it might be an option.

 

If "beater" for you means a guitar for performing in places where you don't want to take one of your "good" guitars--say a bar with a reputation for rowdy crowds--a full-size inexpensive guitar such as the Cort mentioned by EA is probably be a better choice.

 

A lot depends on just how much you want to spend. If you set a $500 max budget, you are looking at one of the Asian mass-produced guitars, some of which, as people here have pointed out, are surprisingly good. You won't get a lot of agreement on which is best, however. Like good guitars, you probably have to take these on a case-by-case basis. This might also be a good opportunity to buy second-hand, as cheaper guitars depreciate just like expensive ones do.

 

For me, because I spend a lot of time traveling now, and (I hope)will go back to spending a lot of time on the water on a boat in retirement (hah!), the carbon fiber Cargo looks like a great choice.

 

Believe it or not--in retrospect I am appalled--I used to keep my old J-45 on a boat I lived aboard back in the 70's, through summer and winter, in a climate that varied from warm and humid in the summer to hot/cold and dry/humid (thanks to our erratic woodstove and kerosene heating) in the winter. Somehow, it survived with no particular ill effects, but I wouldn't do it now. It's hard to think of a late-40's J-45 as a "beater" today!

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that art and lutherie is a nice lookin thing . i'll keep my eyes open for one of those .

i'm not gonna abuse it nick , but jut like you say a rowdy bar , or a garden party , BBQ type scenario . half of my friends could borrow my j45 for a gig and the other half i have panic attacks when they go near it :-D

i just could not believe the j45 when sunlight hit it , might as well put in beside a fire , just a heat absorber

i used to play a takamine , plugged in it was perfectly good. but acoustically a bit dead . served me well though and after 15 or so years i gave it away to a friend still a perfectly good guitar . but they wouldnt inspire me much .

i guess thats why i drifted over to the epiphones . its like having a gibson , but not .if that makes sense

thanks for the input guys

 

it may be a bit of gas also :-)

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These mid priced Epiphones are nice guitars, especially the masterbuilts.

 

As we speak I am sitting at the beach with my current beater: a martin backpacker I recently purchased. Real nice solid wood instrument considering the price.

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On the Epis you have to judge them on their own merits not how they compare to their higher price Gibson kin. Folks I know who own them really like 'em. But when they start in with the it sounds as good as a J-200 or something I am guessing they have not been closer to a J-200 than the pages of a Sweetwater catalog. Masterbilts are really nice guitars but in that price range you also have a lot of choices - Recording Kings and such.

 

I have two "beaters" that I love. Not new guitars scored at a bargain but old ones that have been around the block more than a few times. I have a 1960 Harmony Sovereign and that 1956 Epiphone. The Epi was not what I would consider cheap - I paid $400 for it. But considering what one in good original condition would have set me back no it was one of the deals I could not refuse. If you can turn a blind eye to the cosmetically challenged instrument you can land yourself a nice sounding and playing guitar at a fire sale price. If nothing else, that first nick you put in it won't mean a thing.

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Can't go wrong with a masterbilt AJ-500M, I love mine and I'm telling you it sounds 90% as good as my friends J-45 at just 25% of the price. When we play open mic nights or acoustic shows together he's always worried about his guitar getting bumped, stepped on etc, no worries with the Epi.

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A few people I know have recommended Recording King guitars

 

Not tried my self, but might be worth a look, pretty sure they will have stuff inside your budget

 

Thomann carry theml

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I have an Eastman AC-512S and a Recording King RP-1.

While neither of them quite qualify as "beaters", both companies seem to build some really good guitars!

My beater is an Epiphone EL-00--the laminate back & sides seem pretty stable with weather extremes and such.

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nobody beats blueridge for a beater guitar. even the laminated ones for under 400 sound great. i have a 143 that is solid that was under 500 that sounds and plays almost as good as 00018 i have played. not quite in the ballpark but at 25% of the cost cant be beat.

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I've got a CA Legacy -- a bit pricey I guess, but hey it sounds pretty good and you can store it in salt water. You can hand it to anyone and not really worry -- including a gorilla.

 

Let's pick,

 

-Tom

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Went and bought myself a beater yesterday. The LAG T66DCE, nice little git with what I think is a great sound for a laminate guitar. at $299.00

Something I can use outside, on the creek, wherever. Saw it twice before deciding to give it a home. Will do a review once I pick it up. (waiting for a setup)

Even though it's already a part of my stable, if anyone has had experience with this brand your input will be appreciated.

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I'm not sure I could imagine any Gibson as a 'beater' .... in other words sharing it around the campfire, with sausage grease fingers and been treated like a bit of a rag doll. Id be keeping an eye on it like it was be kid ...ouch.

 

Can't beat a working man 45 I love mine to pieces

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My beater is a LoPrinzi, don't remember the model number, but it was their version of the D-35. The headstock broke off and it was repaired structurally sound but cosmetically poor. Was under $200 with HSC and shipping. Plays and sounds very nicely and I don't really care if it gets beat a bit.

Brad

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I'm not sure I could imagine any Gibson as a 'beater' .... in other words sharing it around the campfire, with sausage grease fingers and been treated like a bit of a rag doll. Id be keeping an eye on it like it was be kid ...ouch.

 

 

 

 

Actually my Norlin era J45 Deluxe is my beater (especially after my wife dropped a bookend on it's side).

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For what it's worth, I think each guitar has to be taken on its merits...

 

I have 3 Epi AEs that were purchased specifically for "beaterville" pickin'.

 

The Masterbilt AJ500e sounds nice. No Gibson, but no problem in the back of the Jeep for heading to a rodeo or whatever for either flat or basic fingerpickin'. The AJ220sce is for occasional flatpicking at greasy get-togethers at a local rib joint.

 

The PR5e? It's originally 'cuz it's almost identical in size and in ways "feel" to a 175. A friend had a CF-100e from the early 1950s that got me thinking about a flattop 175. <grin> Gibson dropped the CF-100 for a number of apparent reasons in '59. My rancher friend wouldn't sell his literally for a pound of gold, so... the Epi was the closest option. It's great fun if adjusted well for parlor pickin' or for more complex fingerpickin played AE.

 

As an AE, some Brit folks who produce/shoot music videos heard it at a cowboy music gathering where I ran it through the board said it sounded fine to them... My friend with the CF-100e plays a totally different style, he flatpicks and I do relatively delicate fingerpicking... and contrary to those who hate a p90 on a flattop, I think it sounds super.

 

Beater? Yeah... I don't have to take my "good" guitars out of the house unless there's something special. But I don't feel handicapped with those Epis, depending on where and what.

 

m

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Yes! I have been buying 50's and 60's Harmony archtops since 1990. They have a great thick neck, excellent mojo and are essentially indestructible. I mean, they go camping without a case. One of them went down the Salt River in a dry bag. Ok, it broke, but just the top around the lower bout. I threw the piece inside and it still sounded, well, pretty damn good looking at the river over the campfire.

 

They used to be $75. Now they are up to $125. And they are American made.

 

Gilgamesh

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