Thoughts about GOOD acoustics..HELP!! - Jemsite
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-17-2003, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thoughts about GOOD acoustics..HELP!!

I work at a local music store and have been asked about some product lines to carry and would like some serious info on good models. I know Taylor is the best selling guitars - but very pricey. We have to get at least 10pcs to stay a Taylor dealer. We haven't carried any new Taylors since I've been at the store, so I don't know what models would be great sellers that won't hang in the store for a year or so. I figure if we go with a couple Babies, couple Big Babies, NS42ce, 110, 214, 410ce, 414ce and a 510ce that we would have an affordable variety to offer the customers. We could always order higher end models if need be. We had one 810 on the shelf when I started over a year ago that had sat on the shelf for so long that they sacrificed it for cost. I have been given the responsibility of picking some new models- HELP!!! I think these might be good ones, but would really like some opinions from others- especialy anyone who sells acoustics or has market info.
We are currently a Martin dealer as well and do fairly well with that line. Some of the models move far better than others - so we special order the stuff we don't want to stock. Very nice guitars.
The other brand is Tacoma. I need to pick 4 models to keep on the shelves. I currently own a DM16CE2 and like it BETTER than the Martin D-18 that I have at the store. Any ideas on models and possibly thoughts on what the acoustic market is wanting would be a great help.
The owner wants to become one of the largest acoustic guitar stores in north central FL with these lines of guitars and keep our electrics down to under 25% of our guitar stock. Thanks for any info or help as I'm a little nervous "spending" over $15k of his money not knowing the best models to get.
Todd
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-17-2003, 01:52 PM
 
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Any thoughts on Lakewood? Incredible German-made guitars of extremely high quality, but not horribly expensive.

www.lakewoodguitars.com
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-17-2003, 02:34 PM
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While I don't own a Seagull, I've heard they are the best inexpensive acoustics you can buy. If you go to google.com you can sort through Usenet group posts in alt.guitar for acoustic and reviews and various brand names, that should get you some wide ranging info.
Personally, I like Guilds a lot and Ovations are fairly easy to fly on, too.

jim
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-17-2003, 02:49 PM
 
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As far as the BIG names...

Taylor > Larivee > Guild > Martin > Seagull

The store I worked at carried mainly Seagull and Guild. I thought pretty highly of both for the price range. Larivee is always nice, but for the money/quality I would take a Taylor any day. I am not a fan of Martin and think they have some QC issues. The stores I've known that carried Tacoma seem to have them sitting for a long time.

If you want good sellers, Seagull and even Washburn are pretty easy to sell on people who want a good acoustic at a lower price. The Seagulls have a lot of different things to offer and don't get the credit they deserve.
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-17-2003, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
 
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I am not familiar with Lakewoods and would be weary of something w/out a little name recognition. As for the Seagulls, I would love to stock them but can't due to another local store has the liscense locked up tight. I had heard -correct me if I'm wrong- that the luthiers from Guild left the company when Fender bought them out and went to Tacoma. I have really fallen for their guitars personally. I paid less than half the price of a Martin D18 for a equall if not superior guitar. i love it! I know that passion avout product is a plus for sales as I have found out with other products I love to stand behind. We are going for Washburn as one of our main names in lower end acoustics (I hope to aquire a N6 in the process!! ) and we carry an unknown brand called Stagg for these lower decent quality guitars.
I am nervous about the Taylors for the price, but have read almost everywhere that they are the best selling quality(?) acoustics. There are lots of die-hard Martin fans and a rather large bluegrass community here in Gainesville, FL. I do fairly well with the Martins and yes, I have seen a few QC problems that they fixed promptly. I had a Taylor that hed a few problems as well and Taylor went as far as giving the customer a high end loaner until the problems were fixed AND took the liberty of adding over $1500 in abolone and pearl inalys, bindings and finishing touches! I was extremely blown away by that!!
Thanks for the help and please keep your info coming as I am really not wanting to let my acoustic community or my boss down.
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-17-2003, 03:35 PM
 
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Oooh, yeah... L'arrivee guitars are so sweet.

If you're looking to complement your electric and acoustic lines, look at the Godin line of hybrids as well. They're VERY popular, especially their solid-body acoustics for stage work.

http://www.lasido.com
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-17-2003, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
 
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I've considered Godin and even Brian Moore for hybrid guitars. I don't think I can touch Godin as they are the same company as Seagulls I believe.
I wish I could carry some hybrids but w/out a Roland liscense, I can't really show the true power of those kinds of guitars. I personally am interested in getting a hybrid elect/acou/synth and getting a Roland GR-33. I have a nice Trace Elliot TA50r for the acoustic sounds and a Trace Elliot Speed Twin C100 for the electric sounds to use it with. GAS!!!
Thanks guys/gals and keep the suggestions and info flowing!
Todd
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-17-2003, 03:44 PM
 
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Lakewood has quite a bit of name recognition worldwide, but they're not terribly common in the US yet. Dave Matthews was one of the biggest endorsers when he first toured with Tim Reynolds. Glen Phillips from Toad the Wet Sprocket has used them for the past 12 years or so as well. One of the few major international manufacturers that I've dealt with where the president/owner of the company personally replies to every e-mail within 24 hours. I love the 2 that I've got though...ditched the Martins and Lowdens for em.

Lowden would be another terrific line of high-end acoustics. They're VERY well-known in the folk community. The company just recently changed hands again, and the addition of the mid-level Avalon series has greatly increased their offerings.

www.lowdenguitars.com

Huss & Dalton is another line that is really doing well these days. They're made in Virginia, and are truly incredible instruments.

http://www.hussanddalton.com/
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-17-2003, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
 
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I'll definitely check into them, thanks!
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-18-2003, 07:18 AM
 
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I love Seagulls, especially the cedar top models. I have a Simon & Patrick, which is built in the same La Si Do factory as the Seagulls, and I love it.

I plan on getting an S6 cutaway w/ piezo someday.

They're such great playing, affordable guitars.
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-18-2003, 11:18 AM
 
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Todd- Considering your market, your varied selection of Taylors sounds good. You might consider throwing in a 3 series jumbo...nice big tone. I think you need to proceed with confidence...Taylor is a great brand to have in your line up, and the ordering process is going to be a learning process. I'd let the owner know what you're ordering and why, and see if he has any suggestions. As far as other brands, Seagull is great for high quality affordable guitars, but Tocama sort of covers that area. Takamine is another popular brand that offers some pretty good low-mid models. Doesn't sounds like the real high end stuff is flying out the door, so more pricey brands might not be wise. All the best!
Greg
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-18-2003, 01:26 PM
 
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I agree with Greg, the selection of taylors you have chosen seems pretty balanced, if not a bit heavy on the drednought shape...but considering your "martin" clientel, that's probably a wise tactic. I love Taylors and really appreciate the innovation they have brought to the market in terms of neck design, playability and ease of maintanance. Personally, I own a 714CE and it is just glorious.

I would definitely start inquiring with Taylor about getting on the clinic circuit with their endorsees, do that with all of your brands if you can. The key is getting people in the door to observe someone just spanking the bejesus out of that brand of guitar. It moves people in that direction when they are considering purchasing a guitar, and it creates loyalty to the brand and to your store. Hold workshops on recording acoustic guitars properly, or doing standard maintanance on them. Send out invitations for these events and make them personal.

I just got an invitation to an event from Taylor about a clinic/workshop being held just up the road from me. That type of customer care and attention is effective. For people buying high end guitars, I would venture to guess that the lowest price isn't always the best deal to be had. If someone relates to a store or brand in an emotional way, it will draw them in despite a slight pricing difference. Just food for thought.
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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-18-2003, 03:46 PM
 
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Speaking of Taylor clinics, I saw Doyle Dykes at one a couple years ago, had never heard of him...it was phenomenal!...also done in conjunction with Rivera (his sig. ac/elec amp). Mike Keneally also did a Taylor clinic here...those could be great draws if you could make it happen.
Greg
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-18-2003, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
 
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Superb advice!! Just the kind of stuff I trust the Jemsiters to offer up !! thanks Guys!
I really like the idea of personalizing the sales as I'm a very personal kind of guy myself. I try to build relationships with my customers as we are all part of the local music scene and community on a whole. I really enjoy my job and take it very seriously probably because I'm such a passionate player and person about music. This stuff transcends to the customers and they "feel" that when they come into the store.
I will definitely consider the idea of a 315CE in the Taylor lineup in place of the 410CE. We used to carry Takamine before I came on board and only had a couple pcs left that were showing some wear from being in the store for too long. They ended up leaving the store below cost. I would like to go with Tacoma and believe we have 4 units on the way. They seem like a really nice company to deal with and not snobs like a few of the other companies.
My owner has limited knowledge of guitars and is depending on me for advice in this matter. He is very business savy just not guitar wise. Please keep the ideas coming and I'll be glad to let you guys/girls know how the progress is going. Thanks!
respectfully,
Todd
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-19-2003, 12:20 PM
 
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One brand that hasn't come up....and probably because it is so high end it's ridiculous...is Breedlove. If you could get just one in the door to have for people to sample (under observation preferrably) it might serve as the yardstick or the "see what you are missing" measurement. They are crazy expensive, not like Ryans or anything, but they get up there.

I played a $5500 Breedlove 12 string last night that my keyboard player just got (he's loaded) and I nearly wet my pants it sounded and played like a dream. They make some lower end ones for around $2800 that are great guitars, just more understated.
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acoustic guitar , boss pedal , boss pedals , brian moore , custom shop , electric guitar , flamed maple , local music store , maple binding , mike keneally , music store , tone zone

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