Best Acoustic Guitar : Your Simple Guide To Finding The Best Acoustic Guitar
Best acoustic guitar? The truth is no matter what the quality, the price, the sound, there is no such thing as "best" as every person's requirements are so different and what is good for one person will not necessarily be good for another - but what I can do right now is tell you what I believe are the key factors in finding the best acoustic guitar FOR YOU.
The Best Acoustic Guitar
This has got to be the #1 criteria when buying any acoustic guitar - or electric guitar for that matter. If you dont know what a setup involves, find out! We can talk you through this if you call us on 01789 263333. Every guitar sold at Richards Guitars is setup in our workshop - to your personal playing requirements and if you do not know what your requirements are - we will know how to set it up for you - so dont worry about it
* Within your budget & a price you can justify
Have a think about what budget you personally feel comfortable with. Regardless of what you can "afford", you may not need to spend this much or you may not feel justified in spending too much. You will enjoy the guitar all the more if you spend within your budget and feel justified in the cost. It is important to enjoy your new guitar - not feel guilty because you over spent. The more you know about WHY your guitar costs what it does you may find it easier to justify the money spent - or maybe not? For example, do you want to spend more because it sounds better? OR because it has fancy inlays? Maybe you would spend more knowing it will hold its value long term? Different people have different needs and requirements.
Due to our unique approach and 27 years of researching this very topic - you will be amazed at what level of quality you CAN buy within your budget - so you really can buy the best acoustic guitar "for you".
As a guide....
£200-£300 will afford you a quality acoustic guitar with a solid top (Cort & LAG are both benchmark recommendations)
£300-£800 will open up a range of options including ALL SOLID wood construction & options for electronics for plugging in (Eastman acoustic guitars can be added to your list in this price point)
£800-£5000 Hand made guitars from Europes top acoustic guitar builders (Dowina, Furch, Auden)
It may be hard to believe but you can have a hand made acoustic guitar built for you - select the woods used personally by receiving photos of the options from the workshop - have any personalizations made - from as little at £1300!!! By working with World Class hand builders who DO NOT advertise widely you can buy the best acoustic guitar at a fraction of the price of mainstream high profile brands.
20 years ago I introduced the UK to Furch guitars - at that time a totally unknown maker who was putting mainstream brands to shame at a fraction of the price. To this day I continue to recommend them although they are much more widely accepted at the benchmark brand to beat these days than when I first recommended them - and its true they do cost more too :) IF you want to invest in the latest small builder of the moment it would be Dowina guitars. It is literally beyond belief what you can buy from them. The quality - the care - the imagination and artistry that goes into every acoustic guitar for a tiny fraction of what you would pay for a mass produced brand that is considered the best acoustic guitar brand by the "mainstream".
* The right size and shape
The size and shape of an acoustic guitar is an important factor, but lets keep it simple for now? Here is the simple rule of thumb.
Small body = less overall volume. Less bass heavy. Smaller generally = more compact for travel and more comfortable to hold (not always but as a rule). If you are looking at plugging your guitar in to an amp for performance AKA electro acoustic guitar then you may want to consider a smaller body guitar generally generates less feedback that can hamper "plugged in" guitar performances - especially when played at volume.
Larger body = More volume. More scope for bass. A larger body can fill the room with tone much easier than the smaller body guitar which may sound more "punchy". A larger body acoustic will have more natural "resonance" which will give it a natural reverb. Larger body acoustic guitars can be more instantly rewarding when you play chords because you get that lovely big, expansive open sound. Physically, however, some people will not enjoy the bulk of a larger body. acoustic guitar so whilst its lovely to have a guitar that projects (for some), the last thing you want is to feel uncomfortable when playing. Some people have shoulder problems, so again - its good to chat to us for advice because we can guide you through some amazing options. It is possible to buy mid-size acoustic guitars that are SO well made that they still have wonderful projection and volume yet do not have the physical volume of a "jumbo" (the largest body style).
The elephant in the room. Why? Its MOST peoples #1 priority and there is no shame in admitting it! Of course, I find it frustrating at times when people buy just with their eyes but I am no different - of course I want a guitar to look wonderful too! At Richards Guitars I am mindful of guitarist's aesthetic preferences and over 27 years have got a pretty good eye for what may or may not be popular on this front. However - I simply WONT sell a guitar just because it looks amazing. An interesting point to note is that when you HEAR an amazing tone - and when you FEEL a beautifully setup instrument that you feel connected to which fits your body like a glove.... you tend to see it in a new way and its beauty becomes more evident.
Hopefully this simple overview demonstrates that the concept of the best acoustic guitar is a little bit of a red herring! We all like to open a guitar magazine and have a read about the best acoustic guitars but frankly these overviews are rarely any more than advertorials and the roundups you find on most guitar shop websites are a collection of guitars they know are popular and will be easy to sell. Open up 10 different websites and the common theme will be guitars that are "available" and "in demand" with little to no actual research or evidence to back up the recommendations beyond them selling a lot of them.
At Richards Guitars, every guitar brand sold is personally recommended based on 27 years of research with each guitar brand selected as a benchmark within specific price points and body styles. I believe we have the best acoustic guitars in the UK and we look forward to helping you with finding your best acoustic guitar :)