We’re going unplugged this issue and concentrating on some great acoustic guitars from Martin, Taylor, Gibson, Takamine and Ovation. It’s hard to decide what to play with first!

Taylor

Taylor

I really like Taylors. They fit my hand well, play great, and have a great sound. The mid-priced 314ce ($1699.00 – shown) is my favorite but I like the 114ce ($849) almost as well. The 314 has Taylor’s “Expression System”; a combination of a soundboard microphone and an under-the-fretboard string sensor with a specially designed pre-amp to provide the guitar’s great tone to an amplifier. I like these for the body shape and the ebony fretboard. That is my “g-spot”!

Back in the day (the ’60s for me) I owned a Gibson Hummingbird, but sold it later after it was damaged by an airline. They are a great playing guitar if you are an electric player. The neck is thin and the action is low and the feel is more electric than acoustic. This particular Hummingbird had a string-buzz problem that didn’t look like it could be adjusted out. I was disappointed with this guitar and expect better for $3000. (See what I mean about playing THE guitar you buy. Price is no guaranty of a great guitar.)

Martin guitars are the standard by which acoustic guitars are measured, in my opinion. They sound fabulous, play fabulous… what can I say. I am not fond of their neck although, if I owned one I probably would get used to it pretty quickly. I love to play them just to get some playing time and have never played a bad Martin. The reason I like Taylors so much is that they have that beautifully consistent Martin sound, but feel a little sweeter to my hands.

I had never played a Takamine (pronounced “taak-ah-MEE-nay”, from their website) before so I gave a black one a try. It had good finish and set up, sounded good and played well, but it was nothing special. I’m not sure I would buy one for myself but it was a decent guitar. I try to look for that little something that makes a guitar special (no matter the price), but this one was just a nice, competent guitar.

Takamine

Takamine

I own a 1993 Ovation Celebrity ($399) and I really like the way it puts up with my aggressive style of play, still sounds good and didn’t cost me my life savings. I played several different models at the store and my favorite thing about them is, they all feel the same. The necks and fretboard all have a familiar feel to them for me, probably because I’m used to them. The thing I like least? You have to wear a strap to keep them in position, even when sitting, because that round ABS back just won’t stay put on your lap!

Acoustic guitars are great fun to play. I think every guitar player should own and play an acoustic guitar. Speaking of that, I met a gentleman, George, who was buying his 18 year old son, Chris, a new acoustic guitar. Chris has been playing for 3 years an plays classical on a steel string acoustic. You should have heard this guy. He must have an amazing teacher because Chris can really play! Turns out, he’s also a fan and has been reading me on the site. Here’s to ya, Chris… you are going somewhere if you keep it up. Good luck and let me hear from you.

Well, that’s about it, guys. I had a great day playing guitars I don’t own. I LOVE my job!
Until next time…

Doug Knight (71 Articles)

Our “Man on the Street” reporter, with his “What’s New in Music Stores?” series, resides in Coos Bay, OR. You can find him on Friday nights at The Small Events Center at OrCoast Music in Coos Bay.