Which Guitar?



Since months i am thinking about buying a new guitar. For the last 15 years i played a Wahsburn Cherokee, but i think there must be more than that somewhere out there.

At my local dealer i tested some guitars an my favourites at the moment are

  • Gibson SJ 200
  • Gibson advanced Jumbo
  • Taylor 710e

I did not play a Martin (D-18GE or others) yet, and i don’t know what to choose. Dreadnaught or Jumbo.
Picking --> Dreadnaugt, am i right? The SJ 200 has no Palisander and sounds a lot softer then my other 2 favourites.

What do you think is worth a test?


You are right. For the most part, flat pickers like dreadnaughts. That’s kind of the standard. I also am fond of the sound of the 0000 (or Jumbo) bodies for flat picking. The 0000 has the volume near that of a dread, but a different balance. It’s not the “standard” bluegrass sound, but as far as I am concerned, that’s ok. If it’s the sound you want, then why not? The OM is the smallest I would consider for flatpicking. It is just a real comfortable sounding and playing guitar to me, but it doesn’t have quite as much volume as the bigger guitars. You mentioned you haven’t played some Martins that are talked about on the site. Different people have different things they like in a guitar. There isn’t one guitar that’s perfect for everyone. My suggestion is try a bunch of different guitars and bring yours with you to compare. Who knows, you might just love the guitar you have best.


Why don’t you try one of Taylor’s GS models. There are plenty of volume in those guitars. I’m very pleased with my 426ce-LTD, but maybe you should try to play on a GS7e, with red cedar top.


I hate to recommend one model over another. When I bought my first guitar, I went with the advice from someone who told me to go and play a bunch of them and I would know when the right one was in my hands because I’d totally fall in love with the sound. He was right too. And if you’re only a beginner picker like I was at the time, don’t let that bother you. All I could do was strum a few chords but that was still OK. I would just play an up-down strum and when you hear the sound that knocks your socks off, that’s the one to get! For me it was a Martin HD-28…more money than I originally wanted to spend, but the sound difference between that guitar and lesser priced Martins was dramatic, even to my untrained ear. If you’ve got a friend who can go with you, so much better. I bought mine at a local Mom & Pop music shop in town and am glad I did. They treated me very well and even discounted the guitar down to the same price I could have gotten it from a discount online retailer. Let us know what you get!!


You haven’t gotten a whole lot of specific suggestions, so here’s a few I’d suggest taking for a spin:
Martin D-18, D-18GE, D-28, HD-28, 0000 (or M) models
Eastman E10D (I haven’t played one, but it’s all solid wood, adirondack on mahogany for about $1000… it’s got the right ingredients so it’s worth a look)
Alot of people love Taylor. They do come setup better than most. A couple people on here had 110s and loved them.

In particular pay attention to the sound and neck dimensions. Different people like different necks. You can adjust to different widths and shapes, but be sure you think you’ll like it. You can adjust the action, but you can’t change the neck shape or basic sound.

I have no idea what the availability of different instruments is in Germany. If there is an instrument you see stateside you want someone to check out, post it. I hate to volunteer anyone else, but I’d be glad to help if there is something in my area.
You could test drive one of new Porsche Boxsters on the autobahn for us to return the favor :slight_smile: