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8/16/2010

Best acoustic guitar?

Serenades. Tears in Heaven. Country & Bluegrass. Let's admit it: acoustic guitars are unreplaceable on certain aspects. They still have their advantages, despite the advent of electricity on the 6 string instrument. They are portable and need nothing else to be playable and heard. They are versatile. They may have its unique sweet, romantic, spanish, countryish, or other tone.
Of course there are good acoustic guitars and bad acoustic guitars. And, quite frankly, there are almost as many brands as there are players. So, which guitars on the shop are worth your 30-seconds "test-play"? Maybe my metanalysis will help you out...

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(For an explanation of what this is all about, see This site explained.)

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Original Post Date: July 2006
Original Poster Question: Best acoustic guitar for 1000-1500$

- Martin: 4
- Ovation: 3
- Taylor Grand Auditorium: 2
- Alvarez: 1
- Atlas Series AD25: 1
- Blueridge BR160: 1
- Breedlove: 1
- Carvin C: 1
- Elderly: 1
- Gibson: 1
- Harley Davidson: 1
- Ibanez AEF: 1
- Tacoma: 1
- Takamine: EAN10CE: 1
- Washburn: 1
- Yamaha FG: 1


Original Post Date: November 2006
Original Poster Question: Best acoustic guitar for 450 with good looks, easy action and smaller scale
- Yamaha: 7
- Washburn: 5
- Cort: 4
- Maton: 3
- Greg Bennett: 1
- Ibanez: 1



Original Post Date: May 2008
Original Poster Question: Best acoustic guitar for under 1000$
- Seagull S6: 6
- Blueridge: 4
- Godin Norman: 4
- Martin (most mentioned: S): 4
- Taylor: 4
- Faith: 3
- Breedlove: 2
- Lakewood: 2
- Yairi: 2
- Alvarez: 1
- Avalon: 1
- Elderly: 1
- Epiphone Masterbuilt: 1
- Harmony Sovereign: 1



Original Post Date: October 2008
Original Poster Question: Best acoustic guitar for under 500$
- Seagull: 3
- Silver Creek: 2
- Taylor 110: 2
- Yamaha: 2
- Alvarez: 1
- Breedlove: 1
- Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-500M: 1
- Takamine EG440SC: 1
- Woodsong K-100: 1


Mentions Seagull S6, Washburn D10S, Epiphone Hummingbird, Fender DG100, two Takamines, Yamaha FG7305, Alvarez RG8 and Ibanez AEL20E.

Mentions Seagull S6, Yamaha FG700S, Takamine G-340, two Fenders, Epiphone DR-100, Ibanez AC30NT, Taylor Baby Taylor and Martin LX1.

Mentions Epiphone, Gibson, Fender, Ibanez, Taylor, Takamine and Seagull.





Here's the podium:





1 - Seagull S6: 12
Seagull Coastline S6 Folk Cedar Guitar


2 - Yamaha: 12
Yamaha FG700S Acoustic Guitar

3 - Martin: 9

LX Elvis Presley Acoustic Guitar


Even though I already underlined this on the "This site explained" page, I'll say it again: this podium is NOT meant to be an absolute dogmatic score of the different brands. Instead, it is meant to be a good way to provide you the names of the most debated/acclaimed brands on the "guitar community". Use this list as a rough rule of thumb - by this I mean: hit the shop and, when you see one of these brands on a shelf, think "Here is one of the brands mentioned by the Guitar Oracle... Let's check out what this is all about" instead of "That is the one I'll be taking home, sir. How much is it?". You have been warned, I have been "disclaimed". Twice ;).

Seagull S6 impressed me a bit, since it was mentioned on various forums and sites, whether beginner guitars or professional guitars were being debated. I would pay more attention to the Seagull S6 than to a Yamaha in case I hit the shop also because it was almost always the S6 model that was mentioned. Yamahas were, on the other hand, mentioned almost always as a general brand.
8/15/2010

The Ultimate Guitar Amp Shootout (100-250 euros)

I decided to investigate a little about amps. But instead of my traditional approach - forum reading - I took another look on the subject. I hit the online market itself.
Taking a look at the options between 100 and 250 euros on european shops, I leaned over the most common names out there and decided to give you a list with the most useful information about each model I found, in an organized and compact fashion. I also included the direct link to the official site of the model and a link to a quality video demo on youtube so you can check out the sound by yourselves, without getting annoyed by lousy amateur-recorded youtube videos. I hope it's useful ;).


Orange Crush PIX 35 LDX
Solid State
Watts: 35
Cabinet: 1x12''
FX: 16 Digital Effects
Other: Built in tuner



Laney LX35R
Laney LX35 30-Watt Guitar Amplifier, Black
Solid State
Watts: 30
Cabinet: 1x10''
Other: No effects



Laney Cub 8 Tube
Laney Vintage Style Class A 5 Watt Tube Combo - Cub8
Valve/Tube
Watts: 5
Cabinet: 1x8''
Other: Class A single ended
           No effects
           No footswitch
           No FX loop
           Two knobs: Tone and Volume



Laney Linebacker LR35
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Solid State
Watts: 35
Cabinet: 1x10''
Other: 4 modulation effects + delay/reverb; 22 amp models
          2 channels
          Master Presence knob; EQ recalled with each amp model
          Headphone socket, Record Out, 1 Jackup input + 1 AUX input
          Built in tuner



Laney Prism P35
Solid State
Watts: 30
Cabinet: 1x10''
Other: Multi FX (?)
          4 user channels
          EQ; Adjustable boost switch
          2 footswitches, Headphone socket and CD input
          Built in tuner


Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey Vypyr 30 30-watt 1x12 Modeling Guitar Combo Amp
Solid State
Watts: 30
Cabinet: 1x10''
Other: Up to 5 effects simultaneously; 11 editable rack effects; 11 editable stompbox effects; 12 amp presets
           EQ, master volume + pre / post gain controls; Tap Tempo button
           Sanpera footswitch adds up to 400 presets
           MIDI In/Out; headphone output; FX looper
           Built in tuner
           Comes with demo of REAPER and Revalver HP



Peavey Transtube Rage 258
Peavey Rage 258 25-watt 8 inch Amplifier
Solid State
Watts: 25
Cabinet: 1x8''
Other: 3 position voicing switch
           2 channels; EQ
           Tape/CD input; headphone jack



Peavey Valveking Royal 8
Official Site
Valve/Tube
Watts: 5
Cabinet: 1x8''
Other: Class A single ended
           Gain, Tone and Level controls
           High and Low Gain inputs



Peavey Transtube Envoy 110
Solid State
Watts: 40
Cabinet: 1x10''
Other: 3-position voicing switches for each of the 2 channels; Boost; Speaker Simulated Direct Output
           EQ on each channel
           High and Low Gain inputs; Heaphone output



Marshall MG30FX
Marshall MG30FX Guitar Combo Amplifier - 10 Inch, 30 Watts
Solid State
Watts: 30
Cabinet: 1x10''



Fender G-DEC 3 FIFTEEN
Fender G-DEC 3 Fifteen 15W 1x8 Guitar Combo Amp, Black
Solid State
Watts: 15
Cabinet: 1x8''
Other: 100 factory + user presets; Digital amp modeling + DSP effects
          Guitar Tone, Band Level and Volume knobs; screen + buttons for digital settings
          Heaphone output; USB connection
          Built in tuner; onboard phrase sampler



Fender Champion 600
Fender Champion 600 5 Watt 1x6 Combo Amp
Valve/Tube
Watts: 5
Cabinet: 1x6''
Other: No effects
           Volume control
           High and Low Gain inputs (Instrument and Microphone); External Speaker output



Fender Super Champ XD
Fender Super-Champ XD 120V Guitar Combo
Valve/Tube
Watts: 15
Cabinet: 1x10''
Other: Class AB
           16 Voicings + 16 DSP effects
           2 Channels (Normal; Amp Voice); EQ, channel Volume, Gain and FX level knobs; Footswitch
           External Speaker Output



Fender Vibro Champ XD
Fender Vibro-Champ XD 120V Guitar Combo
Valve/Tube
Watts: 5
Cabinet: 1x10''
Other: Class A
          16 Voicings + 16 DSP effects
          One Channel; EQ, Volume, Gain and FX level knobs; No footswitch
          External Speaker Output


Fender Mustang I
Fender Mustang I Electric Guitar Amplifier
Official Site
Demo
Solid State
Watts: 20
Cabinet; 1x8''
Other: 24 editable presets + 24 DSP effects;
          One Channel; EQ, Gain, Volume, Master + buttons for digital settings;
          Headphone output/Line out; USB connection; footswitch to switch between two presets;
          Built in tuner



Fender Mustang II
Fender Mustang II Electric Guitar Amplifier

Official Site
Demo
Solid State
Watts: 40
Cabinet: 1x12''
Other: 24 editable presets + 24 DSP effects;
          One Channel; EQ, Gain, Volume, Master + buttons for digital settings;
          Headphone output/Line out; USB connection; footswitch to switch between two presets;
          Built in tuner


VOX Pathfinder 15R
VOX Pathfinder 15R Guitar Combo Amplifier - 1x8 Inch, 15 Watts
Solid State
Watts: 15
Cabinet: 1x8''
Other: Tremolo and Reverb effects
          Gain, Volume, Tremolo Speed / Depth and Reverb knobs; Boost switch
          Line output; External Speaker output; Headphone output; Footswitch



VOX Valvetronix VT15
VT15 Valvetronix 15W 1x8 Guitar Combo Amp
Valve/Tube
Watts: 15
Cabinet: 1x8''
Other: 12 effects; 22 amp models with 3 preset slots each; 8 additional user preset slots
           Power Level control (control wattage without affecting tone); Master volume control
           Headphone output; Phone jack



Randall KH15
Randall KH15 Kirk Hammett 15-Watt Combo Guitar Amp
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Solid State
Watts: 15
Cabinet: 1x6.5''
Other: No effects
           2 Channels; volume knob for each channel; Drive knob for overdrive channel; EQ; Master volume
           Headphones output; AUX In


Crate V5
Crate V5 All Tube Guitar Amp Combo, 5W EL84 single-ended Class A
Valve/Tube
Watts: 5
Cabinet: 1x10''
Other: Class A
          No effects
          Volume and Tone knobs


Crate FW65
Crate FlexWave FW65 Guitar Amp Combo with DSP, 65W Single 12 Speaker
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Solid State
Watts: 65
Cabinet: 1x12''
Other: DSP Effects
          3 Channels
           EQ for each channel;
          CD output; Effects loop; External speaker output; footswitch included!
          Built in tuner


Hughes £ Kettner Edition Blue 15-R
Solid State
Watts: 15
Cabinet: 1x8''
Other:  Reverb
            EQ
           CD input; Heaphone output; Line Out


Roland Cube 30
Roland Cube Guitar Amplifier 30X
Solid State
Watts: 30
Cabinet:
Other: 8 amp models; DSP effects
          2 Channels
          CD input; Recording/Headphone output


Epiphone Valve Junior
Epiphone Valve Junior Combo Amp (Standard)
Valve/Tube
Watts: 5
Cabinet: 1x8''
Other: Class A single ended
           No effects, footswitch, headphones output...
           Only volume knob, guitar input and power switch


Line 6 Spider IV 30
Line 6 Spider IV 30 30-watt 1x12 Modeling Guitar Amplifier
Solid State
Watts: 30
Cabinet: 1x10''
Other: 12 amp models; 7 DSP effects (up to 3 at once) + noise gate
           4 user-programmable channels
           CD input; Headphone/Direct out
           Built in tuner



Bugera V22
Bugera V22 22-Watt Vintage 2-Channel Valve Combo with Reverb
Official Site
Demo
Valve/Tube
Watts: 22
Cabinet: 1x12''
Other: Reverb
          2 Channels; EQ + Presence knobs; Footswitch; triode/pentode switch; Impedance switch (4/8/16 ohms)
          2 Inputs (Normal and Bright)       



PS: I didn't include an image on the amps that didn't show up on amazon.
      I also didn't give the link to the official site/demo when it was not found.

Happy string pulling!