Seagull S6 Review

This great guitar is pressure tested and has a solid cedar top with a deep, rich wild cherry sides and back. These selected materials, combined with a precise eye for detail, makes this Seagull deliver not only a classic look but a powerful sound. The high degree of playability is obvious the moment you fret a chord and beginning players will find the guitar a great way to get started. This Seagull S6 review was a joy to research 🙂

The maple neck is a 28.4″ scale and rosewood fretboard provides smooth action all the way past the 12th fret. The bridge offers great intonation and the tuners are very precise with very little slip. This again makes the Seagull S6 great for beginners and experts alike. And if awesome playability isn’t enough the guitar looks fantastic with a semi-gloss lacquer finish. You can see your reflection in this one.

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Seagull S6 Features


  • Dual-function truss rods
  • Modified dreadnought body shape. Bass control from shape makes it great for recording
  • Tapered headstock with superior tuning and less stress
  • QIT electronics
  • TUSQ nut and compensated saddle provide superior harmonics
  • Cedar top
  • Silver leaf maple integrated set neck
  • Laminate wild cherry back and sides
  • Custom-polished finish

Due to the dreadnought shape the Seagull S6 doesn’t have a cutaway and offers very thin shoulders. This coupled with the smaller headstock keeps strings tight and also help keep the guitar in tune. This is also true even in alternate tunings with higher gauge strings. The bridge Tusq is manufactured by Graph Tech and this plays a big part in how well the guitar maintains its intonation over time. The Seagull S6 also boasts saddles which are rare in an affordable instrument which is yet another reason this guitar is a great buy for players of any experience level.

The neck of this beast is thick and weighty, and while this is great for tone it is also a problem for smaller hands.

Fine Acoustics Staff

This may not be a great fit for small children or anyone who doesn’t want a really full neck. If you can get your hands around this thing you will like the feel and the sound but this will be a struggle for smaller hands and would probably not be a good buy.

The Seagull S6 is a great guitar for any price, but in this price range its a must have. If you have man hands buy this thing.

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Taylor 114ce Review

As most guitar players know Taylor is a good sign of quality, and this Taylor 114ce review is going to show that they don’t compromise on this new addition to their acoustic guitar family. So how does Taylor offer their signature quality for around $800.00 when in the past a guitar like this would cost well over $1k? Let’s take a look and find out!

The Taylor 114ce is an acoustic electric guitar with a proprietary pickup behind the saddle. The piezo-electric sensors are individually positioned and calibrated to offer a balanced organic response to the sound as it is transferred from the body to the saddle. This gives a consistent acoustic sound that maintains it’s natural quality as it utilizes the Taylor custom preamp built into the system. If this means nothing to you suffice to say that even though the guitar is using a preamp and a built in pickup it still sounds like a classic Taylor guitar though an amp or PA.

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Taylor 114ce Features


  • String Type: Steel
  • Right-handed (LH customs available via Sweetwater)
  • Shape: Grand Auditorium
  • Finish: Matte
  • Color: Natural
  • Back & Sides Wood: Layered Western Walnut
  • Top Wood: Solid Sitka Spruce
  • Binding: Black
  • Body Bracing: Forward Shifted Pattern
  • Fingerboard Material: Ebony
  • Number of Frets: 20
  • Scale Length: 25.5″
  • Bridge Material: Ebony
  • Neck Wood: Sapele
  • Tuning Machines: Chrome tuners
  • Nut Width: 1.6875″
  • Nut Material: NuBone
  • Saddle Material: Micarta
  • Electronics: ES2

The Grand Auditorium body shape packs a tonal punch and while the body is big the cutaways make it very manageable. One of our reviewers found the tighter waist of the GA body easier to manage than a full dreadnought but most would agree both styles are equally manageable. GA’s tend to use lighter strings than dreadnoughts but that is also purely a matter of taste.

The previously mentioned Grand Auditorium body has the depth of a dreadnought but employs a narrow waist that both increases the response in the high end but also give the guitar an overall sleeker appearance. The shape also sharpened note definition even before it hits the internal preamp. Some players find the shape easy to play than a traditional dreadnought, especially when sitting down.

The tortoise pickguard and solid spruce top look great and the laminated sapele back and sides offer additional protection against temperature swings and to a lesser degree moisture. Taylor is known for guitars that last a long time and this one is built to last as well.

This guitar will be at home on the stage, in the studio, or strumming at a campfire.

Fine Acoustics Staff

The ebony fingerboard sports 20 frets with 1.68” wide bone nut and pearloid dot inlays. The varnish finish gives the instrument a refined professional look and the guitar’s scale is 25.5”.

With impressive tonality and obvious stability, the Taylor 114ce uses hardware you will see in much more costly models. The aforementioned saddle pickup is the ES-T internal pickup system and the preamp has a built in EQ that allows the adjustment of Treble, Bass, and Volume from the guitar itself.

Check out this guitar in action in the video below.

With the built in electronics you soundcheck will go easier and the troublesome feedback associated with acoustic guitars with add-on pickups will be a thing of the past.

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Fender FA-100 Review

Almost every music store has a Fender acoustic in it. This is because nothing says starter guitar like Fender. While they also have high end Stratocaster electrics, and with a little doing you could get a Fender acoustic in a local store for over $1k, the lion’s share of Fender acoustics on the wall are going to be under $500.00.

In fact, here is a list of 19 Fenders for less than $400, and if you hunt around you will find around 30 more. What I’m saying is Fender knows starter guitars. This Fender FA-100 review will focus on one of the least expensive in the starter family.

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FA-100 Features


  • Top: Spruce
  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • Body Material: Laminated Wood
  • Back Material: Agathis
  • Dimensions: 7x43x17 in
  • Hand: Ambidextrous
  • Neck: Agathis
  • Strings: 6

Coming in at around $140.00 the FA-100 is a bare bones basic acoustic. This isn’t a bad thing, but it is the startiest of the starter guitars and I had to keep that in mind while reviewing it. The thing to remember is that Fender doesn’t produce junk. Even their starter instruments are worthy of playing and this is true of the FA-100 as well.

The dreadnought style body sounds good for a basic guitar and most beginners won’t notice the difference between the way they sound on the FA-100 or a much more expensive guitar because they won’t be sounding great on anything for a while. So, while it is unavoidable that some sound quality is going to be sacrificed to get a guitar down to $140.00 it is important to remember the guitar still sounds good and to shoppers looking for this level of guitar, it will sound great. Beginners should really be focusing on playability over high end sound quality because a difficult to play guitar will scare off younger beginners and shred the fingers of older students just starting out. And don’t think the FA-100 sounds bad because it doesn’t. It just won’t hold up when compared to higher end guitars that cross the $1k mark.

This is full size guitar for those worried the price was due to a 3/4ths sized mini. This is the whole enchilada and has the heft of a nice dreadnought. This may mean that if the guitar is for a very young child you may need to check out a mini. For a tween, teen or adult this should work fine.

The action out of the gate on the one we played was surprisingly good for this price point out of the box. I tried a second FA-100 at another store and it had great playability as well so this may not need a set up before you play.

Fine Acoustics Staff

Regardless you will probably need a new set of strings as the stock ones are of low quality from what we have seen. The low action may lead to some fret buzz but a quick set up at a local shop can get rid of that fast.

Check out this video and hear the Fender FA-100 in action.

This affordable guitar may be one of the best starter guitars on the market with unmatched playability at this seriously low price point. You can buy better acoustic guitars but for around $140.00 this one can’t be beat.

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Yamaha F335 Review

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F335 Features


  • Sides: Meranti
  • Back: Meranti
  • Bridge: Rosewood
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Top: Laminated spruce
  • No. of frets: 20
  • Body Style: Dreadnought acoustic
  • Pickguard: tortoiseshell
  • Tuners: Gold die-cast
  • Finish: Gloss

I visited my local Guitar Center as I wanted to see it in its natural state before the inevitable chapter 11 bankruptcy that is looming ahead and I asked for a rugged acoustic guitar that wouldn’t break the bank. After trying to sell me a beautiful Martin that was way out of my price range I saw a black beauty hanging on the wall. I pulled down a Yamaha F335 and began to strum. It was terrible. So I picked up the other Yamaha F335 and began to strum. It was great!

Acoustic guitars are not cheap and if you want a bad ass guitar you are going to pay for it. If you are willing to accespt a good sounding guitar without the frills then you can sometimes get a deal. The Yamaha F335 is that deal. Yamaha is know for making nice high end guitars and horrible low end starter guitars that convince many a person to stop playing guitar. Fortunately this is neither of those. This is the rare guitar that rides the line of pretty good without dipping into cheaply made and keeps the price low. Really low to be honest, I didn’t need this guitar and I bought it anyway after I noodled on it for an hour. It was $159 for God’s sake (prices may vary but not by much).

The guitar is cheap yes but it has a big sound and a great feeling neck. The bright spruce tone rang out all over Guitar Center confusing a young man that was playing arpeggios on a Jackson V horribly in the corner. He came over to check out the Yamaha when he was finished “shredding” and he agreed that the guitar didn’t sound sub-$500 at all.

The action was bad, but I’ll cover that more below.

If you have giant monkey hands like I do you may find that the neck is too narrow. If you have normal human hands, or if you spend a lot of time playing electric guitar, then the feel of this neck will be something you are used to. If you are beginner I would recommend trying out both this type of neck as well as a thicker one before you make a decision. Once you spend a little time on both I think it will be obvious which is a better fit.

I have huge hands but I also spend more time on electric guitars than I do acoustics so I didn’t have an issue. Mileage may vary but at this price point if you find out a couple of months down the road you don’t like it its no big loss.

I mentioned the action earlier and this guitar is going to need a little attention right out of the box. The $3,000.00 Martin plays like a dream with no set up but this little baby is going to need some. In fact with just a few tweaks this cheap guitar will play like bad ass and you will have enough left over to buy a couple more guitars. You know you want to.

After you get your new Yamaha F335 get the guitar properly setup. If you don’t know how to do this fond a pro in your area. They will do the following:

  • Get some new strings – You don’t know how long these strings have been on their and given the price point they are probably garbage. Get some new ones!
  • Lower the action – The action on this is way to high out of the box. Bring it down.
  • Tune it – Yeah tune the guitar. Come on it sounds horrible like that.

Ok, you now have a professionally set up acoustic guitar that sounds great. Head to the campfire and get to playing.

More Reviews

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Epiphone DR 100 Review

Remember when Epiphone meant you were buying a cheap Gibson? Well that was a long time ago and in this new Epiphone DR 100 review we will discuss why Epiphone has earned its own good reputation (better than Gibson as of late) and why this inexpensive beginner guitar might be right for you.

Epiphone acoustics are selling faster than their electrics over the last decade and while they may be a symptom of an overall reduction in the electric guitar market it is also because Epiphone knows how to make a good acoustic guitar. The DR 100 is one of the best guitars we have played at the crazy low price point.

Check Price on Amazon

DR-100 Features


  • Hand: Right
  • Top: Spruce
  • Neck Wood: Mahogany
  • Neck Shape: SlimTaper
  • Inlays: Pearloid Dots
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Body Shape: Dreadnought
  • Tuning Machines: Epiphone Premium Tuners
  • String Type: Steel
  • Back/Side Wood: Mahogany
  • Number of Frets: 20
  • Nut Width: 1.69″
  • Scale: 25.5″
  • Bridge: Rosewood

This dreadnought guitar is Epiphones bestselling acoustic guitar, and given the volume they are working with that says a lot. With a mahogany body and spruce top the guitar immediately looks and feels like a higher grade, more expensive guitar. The neck has the Epiphone SlimTaper profile and is made of beautiful mahogany. SlimTaper refers to the neck dimensions and allows for an easier and firmer grip. Many players associate more playing speed with SlimTaper profiles but that is somewhat subjective. Your mileage may vary.

The DR 100 hardware is pretty standard fare. With a saddle made of synthetic material as opposed to bone and die-cast tuners you get pretty much what you would expect from a guitar priced between $129 and $149 USD. Despite this these Epiphones usually show up with the action adjusted and intonation set up which is much more than we expect from a beginner priced instrument. The set up probably won’t be perfect, and we wouldn’t expect it to be, so a visit to your local shop for a full acoustic set up might be in order. Individual guitars may vary so tune it up and take a close look when your guitar arrives.

The guitar’s low-end response was slightly lacking, but the overall clarity of the DR 100 is surprisingly good especially in the high end. This means that the guitar should perform well across many styles of playing making it a great choice for beginning guitar players that may not be sure what they want to focus on. Even if you want to get a little slide guitar in you won’t be disappointed.

If Epiphone wanted to created the ultimate beginner guitar in an attempt to undercut the competition in price while also providing good playability and a wide range of tonal possibilities then the Epiphone DR 100 review must state this is a success. Epiphone stepped out the Gibson shadow long ago with their electric offerings and this acoustic instrument manages to maintain the Epiphone quality with an amazingly low price tag. If you are a beginner just get one, that’s all there is to say. If you are experienced and need a backup or a travelling guitar this one might be for you. It won’t play like a $2k Martin but it will sound good and stay in tune and that might get you through the show.

More Reviews

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First off this is a mini guitar. Although it is smaller than the “average” guitar do not confuse that with a kid’s guitar or a beginner instrument. While the LX1E could certainly fill both of these rolls, it is a quality guitar with a price tag to match. Beginner instruments usually range from $150 to $300 while this Martin will run right between $415 and $450 USD. This is a great price given the quality of the guitar, but it should be considered a step above a kid’s first guitar. The LX1E might also be referred to as parlor sized or even a traveling guitar.

Check Price on Amazon

Martin LX1E Features


  • Solid Sitka spruce top.
  • Modified 1 Style top braceing pattern.
  • Inlaid Boltaron rosette w/ red fiber
  • Mahogany pattern HPL textured finish back and sides.
  • Headplate: Mahogany Pattern HPL
  • Neck Shape: Modified Low Oval.
  • Mortise/Tenon Neck Joint.
  • Nut Material: White Corian.
  • Fingerboard: Richlite
  • 23″ scale length.
  • 20 frets total.
  • Fingerboard Width at 12th Fret: 2 1/16″
  • Finished top
  • Fingerboard Width at Nut: 1 11/16″
  • Bridge Material: Solid Morado
  • Tuning Machines: Gotoh Nickel w/ Small Knobs.
  • Saddle: Compensated White Tusq.
  • Bridge and End Pins: White w/ Black Dots.
  • Interior Label: Gold Foil Label with Serial # and Patent #
  • Electronics: Fishman Sonitone pickup

This is certainly not one of Martin’s top offerings as those are going to be priced at thousands of dollars. Here is a $40k Martin-45 Fire and Ice. If you are wondering if it plays well I would guess yes. I wouldn’t know for sure as I would never pick it up in fear of dropping it.

The LX1E has a solid spruce top with mahogany back and sides. This will help keep the price below the $500 mark but also add a more rugged quality to the guitar. As previously mentioned this good for traveling and certainly campfires.

The instrument lacks the booming lows of a Dreadnaught but the tonal clarity in the highs and mids were very good. One would expect this in a smaller guitar and Martin leaned into it and made a solid, clear tone that won’t disappoint.

Fine Acoustics Staff

The pickup is from Fishman and really has a punch. Plugged in this guitar really fills out the space tonally and was the biggest surprise during the review. We haven’t had a lot of experience with the Fishman Somitone and I’m now a big fan.

The Martin LX1E should come with a decent set up as again, this isn’t a bargain basement guitar. That said while the action is low out of the box it is likely you will need to get it adjusted and have the intonation looked at. Getting the lowest action possible is a big deal and the cost of a good set up is always worth it on a new guitar.

Overall the guitar is a great choice. If you have large hands you may have trouble fretting past to 10th fret so keep that in mind. For my tastes I prefer a full-sized instrument, but this Martin sounds great and the price is certainly right.

More Reviews

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Fender FA-100 Review

Almost every music store has a Fender acoustic in it. This is because nothing says starter guitar like Fender. While they also have high end Stratocaster electrics, and with a little doing you could get a Fender acoustic in a local store for over $1k, the lion’s share...

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Yamaha F335 Review

If you are looking for a guitar to take with you on your next road trip, or you know of a campsite that is in need of a fireside guitar player with a lot of heart and a questionable voice, then keep reading our new Yamaha F335 review because we have found the guitar...

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Epiphone DR 100 Review

Remember when Epiphone meant you were buying a cheap Gibson? Well that was a long time ago and in this new Epiphone DR 100 review we will discuss why Epiphone has earned its own good reputation (better than Gibson as of late) and why this inexpensive beginner guitar...

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Martin LX1E Review

Martins are great guitars. A bad Martin is better than many other brands top of the line instrument. Our Martin LX1E review with cover this specific guitar so you can put it into context with other brands you may be shopping for. First off this is a mini guitar....

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Yamaha FG830 Review

As an upgrade to the FG 800 the 830 includes scalloped bracing that gives the instrument a slightly more pronounced projection and clarity of tone as well as a smooth fingerboard that is easier on the hands. The spruce top adds to the broad range of the 830 and is a...

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Taylor GS Mini Review

Acoustic guitars are either light and easy to play with a thin tone or are huge beasts you have to wrestle down but sound amazing. The rare instruments, light and tonally pleasing, are few and far between. This Taylor GS Mini review covers the latter and...

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Taylor Big Baby Review

In today's Taylor Big Baby review we will cover many details of the instrument in hopes of helping you decide if this guitar is a good choice for you. The full sounding Taylor Big Baby is, as the name suggest, larger than the Baby Taylor with a fuller...

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