Last year I decided to buy a good acoustic guitar. My first ever guitar was a used Art & Lutherie Wild Cherry, which is a small parlour sized guitar…funny thing is both Seagull and Art & Lutherie brands are made by Godan, which is a Canadian guitar company. The A&L guitar I have is made of laminate; it doesn’t have a solid top. Its pretty beat up and I wanted something nicer. It’s my first guitar so I’ll always keep it and still play it on occasion, if I’m in the basement and just want to pick something up and bang around on it.
As per my usual I researched the hell out of this purchase. I really like my dad’s Takamine, it has a cutout and built-in electronics…but that’s too expensive. I like having the cutout and could take or leave the pickup and preamp. I never play out and wanted a nice acoustic to just pick up. Most things I want tend to be simpler…non-complicated amp and my new telecaster are good examples.
So I played some guitars and narrowed it down a bit. I wasn’t big on the Fender acoustics in the price range I was looking at, $300-$500, same with the Epiphone’s. I really wanted to try a Recording King because the reviews are good, but they are not easy to find in Canada. I narrowed it down to a Yamaha FG720 and a Seagull S6 Slim with a darkhorse being the Seagull Entourage Rustic.
When I went to finally buy a guitar I thought the Yamaha was ok. They didn’t have an Entourage Rustic or an S6Original Slim, but they did have the regular Seagull S6 Original and I loved it. They also had a Taylor, not sure the model that was about $350 more expensive and I loved that guitar. Alas I did not love it $350 more than the Seagull, so there you go.
Some explanations of the differences between the Seagull S6 Original, S6 Original Slim and the Entourage Rustic. They are all the same guitar basically. Silver leaf maple neck, wild cherry laminate back and sides and a solid cedar top. The S6 Slim has a narrower neck at the nut than the S6 Original. I don’t know what the measurements are, but the S6 Original does have a wide neck but I don’t mind it. It’s like the difference between a Fender and a Gibson I guess; it’s wider but not uncomfortable. The Entourage Rustic is the same guitar in a sunburst. Apparently when they cut down cedar some of the trees leech minerals from the ground and the wood will be stained. Instead of throwing it away Seagull throws a painted sunburst on it and sells it for $50 less than the S6. I like that they do this, and the guitar looks nice. I totally would have gone for it.
The Seagull S6 sounds great and looks like kind of a nondescript acoustic dreadnought. The headstock is pointy and dorky looking but serves a purpose. The strings go basically straight from the bridge to the tuning key. This means you have to tune the guitar about every 6 to 8 years. The tuning stability is amazing. It has good tuners on it and a graphtek nut. All of the hardware is good; it stays in tune and sounds great. Not as bright as the Taylor, a nice balanced sound. I leave this guitar upstairs and grab it 3 or 4 times a day and play it for a few minutes. It really is a great guitar.
Oh, and another nice thing that sounds dumb and has absolutely nothing to do with the guitar’s sound or playability. The top is cedar so this guitar smells great. When you pick it up you get that cedar smell, which I like…it reminds me of my grandma because she had a cedar chest when I was a kid. Anyway, just a nice guitar and a great deal at $400CDN. I believe this guitar actually costs more in the States because it’s made in Canada but it would still be worth it. Everyone needs an acoustic, and if you want something made in North America that is a good price and made from types of wood you recognize than this is it. There’s even a video on YouTube that shows how they make this guitar. This is a keeper and will be my acoustic guitar until one of us wears out.