Art & Lutherie Godin product
I agree A&L makes good stuff for very little money. Godin has other brands too and most are pretty good too.
Last week a did a set-up on a new Recording King from Elderly here in Michigan and I was amazed at how much guitar one gets for $300..... The fit and finish were excellent, set-up, playability, and even the tone rivaled many guitars that back in the day cost over $1K. This guitar IMHO was about 85% of a D-28 and for about 10% of the price....
Good call guys, on the A&L guitars(:
Arthur, just go out and play as many guitars in your price range as you can find. The brand name is unimportant in the 'under $500" price range. Most importantly, evaluate the individual instrument. If they have 5 of the same model, play them all. The differences between them will likely be dramatic.
Once, the terms "I like the way it sounds", "I'm comfortable with the asking price", "I like the way it plays & "I like how it feels" come into play for a particular guitar, you'll be home.
I've run into many guitars in the $300 range whose sound & playability exceeds the asking price. Some have been in-store house brands or odd ball small batch "distributor branded" guitars. There ARE some exceptionally good sounding/playing instruments to be found if one invests in the search.
Sure, the guitars in that range are made with mystery glues so neck resets may be dicey in 15 years, but these guitars were not designed to become or marketed as multi-generational treasures. If properly maintained, they could last a very long time.
Again, good hunting my friend(:
All of the guitars under the Godin umbrella seem to be good value. Seagull, Simon & Patrick, Norman, and Art & Lutherie. Norman,, LaPatrie (the name of Guitar Town North America, if there ever was one! The whole town works at the 3 guitar factories there!) All of these guitars are solid 'first time player's ' guitars, and you won't go wrong with one.
Try a Carvin Cobalt guitar. For $350 you get:
-solid woods all around
-ebony bridge pins with abalone dot
-precision Grover tuners
-padded hardshell case
-SNAGG anti-theft RFID installation & registration
-D'Addario EXP coated phosphor bronze light gauge strings installed
-full setup made in their San Diego factory.
A hard-to-beat package if you ask me!
Arthur ended-up getting a Taylor 110. That info was in a separate post.
While avoiding a hijack of this thread.....
Have you had a chance to field test any of Carvin's Cobalt acoustics? I routinely recommend Carvin products as I feel they're entire product range qualifies as some of, if not the best, values on the market.
I've been shy about recommending their Cobalts only because, being firmly planted in the Midwest, I've yet to see one. I've read several good reviews of them but unless it's a review in VG or ToneQuest, I think advertisers $$$ may influence their editorial staff.
Any feedback will be appreciated.
And up Canada way, Carvins seem to be non-existant rare. I have not seen a new one in close to 15 years...