Topic: GC Visit # 350: A Beautiful Sunday
The reason for my visit was general GAS and the listing of a used Martin D-15M @ $949. Played said guitar and it was delightful. The previous owner had buffed it to a semi-gloss finish with some sort of polishing compound, evident by residue at the neck joint. I am generally not fan of gloss finishes especially on mahogany-top guitars but this finish was a nice touch and it would inhibit the development of the usual stain on the top of these dark, satin guitars. As expected this specimen was resonant and lively eager to play as soft or loud as one would like. It was evident someone had sanded the saddle, and although, perfectly playable (wonderful actually) the saddle on the b and e string appeared to be low. Again it played perfectly. There were a few minor character marks on the guitar, certainly nothing to stop me from purchasing it. I prefer to buy used and am not looking for a perfect sterile specimen. I really liked this guitar and the finish looked surprisingly good.
Next up was a new Seagull S-6 just for comparison and the fact this is one of my favorite affordable guitars. I was not disappointed. At $419, this guitar rivals many more expensive models to include the D-15. With the cedar top and cherry b/s it sounded crisp but also "wetter" than the D-15. Not bad, just different. I've yet to find an S-6 I didn't like. However, there is considerable used market for these and they can be found for less than $300 used. Because of this I would not normally buy one of these new.
The Seagull Entourage Mini Jumbo is always a joy. The shapely body is both more attractive than a dreadnought and more comfortable to play while sitting, which is how I play. Unfortunately this guitar was out of tune so I moved on to its sister, the Entourage dreadnought. Also a delight to play and very similar to the S-6. For me it would be a toss up between the two. I realize the Entourage's sunburst top is probably hiding a piece of wood not suitable for the S-6's natural finish but the sound is very similar. The MJ was $379 and the Entourage dreadnought was $359. Bargains both of them and not quite as popular or easy to find on the used market. I might buy one of these new but I would probably look for a used one for economy.
Here's they are racked and stacked according to playability and sound.
Martin D-15M (always nice)
Seagull S-6 (Second place, but not by much. If the budget variable were included this guitar would eclipse the Martin.)
Seagull Entourage Dreadnought (very close to the S-6 but I already own one sunburst guitar.)
Seagull Entourage Mini Jumbo (being out of tune moved this one to the bottom.)
A note on tuning. I cannot quickly, easily, or accurately tune by ear so unless there is an electronic tuner readily available I do not persist with any guitar which is not in tune. And for a Sunday this GC was a ghost town to include the sales people so i took advantage of my solo quiet time in the acoustic room. This is a rare pleasure in the se big stores especially on a weekend.