月曜日, 1月 03, 2005

Jeng jeng jeng

did something that i've not done for a long time today. guitar shopping.

before you start pouncing, RR and the neon, it was for a mate. yup, an excuse to do a lil' trip up city road and paternoster row. i won't go for an eBay purchase if i was a first time buyer (eBay is great for second hand guitars, a reason why you don't get to see much choice in the music shop when it comes to second hand stuff). in my opinion, you need to have a feel for the guitar. the playability and the sound are the most important prerequisites. looks and brand come second (yeah, jeer all you want). this is true especially if one is a beginner. if the guitar feels easy to play and it sounds great, even the most benak of students may still have a glimmer of hope yet when it comes to improving one's playing. the snag is, such guitars come in the dearer price bracket.

the guitar in question today was an acoustic. we finally narrowed the choice down to a takamine G series and a fender, both of which were dreadnought electro-acoustics. one a little over the budget and one was way cheap. the thing was they looked, and more importantly, sounded pretty much alike. the easiest route would be to take the cheaper one. well, it wasn't that simple.

The cheaper one.The pricier one.

  • the takamine G series is korean, whilst the fender was made in china. in my books, the quality based on the factory site is pretty much this: india/indonesia/china (nope), north america (yup). korea, japan and mexico (in ascending order) are somewhere in between. don't make a face. just see the price tags, man!
  • the takamine had a solid top, although we weren't told of which wood. for the same price there was this handmade (canadian) satin cedar-topped simon & patrick, but we both agreed it sounded a little light (it did sound fuller if it was played with a stronger attack on the strings). the chinese fender was most likely to have a laminated top (read: plywood).
  • aesthetically, the takamine was way nicer. a ring of abalone around the soundhole, mother of pearl dot inlays etc. however, both takamine and fender had this annoyingly yellowish sheen due to the lacquer. satin surfaces are much better (baby taylor and simon & patrick to name two).
  • the takamine's preamp unit had a built-in tuner (oooOOOooo), whilst the fender had the most rudimentary fishman preamp. also, the input jack was in the preamp. like, what??!!!.


despite the negative remarks i made about the fender, both guitars sounded pretty much alike. merely re-emphasising here.

which one would you go for?

i know which one i'd bring back, and besides, the deed is done and there is one happy owner of a guitar strumming away in his room tonight.