What guitar should I buy (most common question)

Discussion in 'Beginner's Q&A Forum' started by beowulf, Jul 26, 2007.

  1. beowulf

    beowulf New Member

    Sorry for repeating the most common question on the forum.

    I am an absolute beginner, no experience whatsoever...I have played some other instruments but I want to learn the guitar (first string instrument). I am in Pune/Mumbai. I did look around the forum for other comments and tel nos of places in Mumbai. I just called a few places. Heres the results :

    I guess most ppl recommend Hobner 265F. Most ppl end up buying a GiVson. Here are a couple of other brands I came across with cost :

    1. Furtados - 22013163
    Hobner 120 - 2625/-
    Hobner 125 - 2675/-
    Hobner 265 - 2975/-
    Other options:
    Granada - 2775
    all above with strings, cover etc

    2. Bhargava's - 26411842
    GiVson - 2200/-
    GBA (?) - 2750/-
    Yamaha F210 - 4850/-
    all with cover, strings etc

    3. Sardar Flute - Dadar - 24131508
    Granada - 3250/-
    Hobner 120,145 - 2850/-
    Hobner 265 - 3000/-
    the hobner has a belt along with other things
    Suzuki - dont know details

    4. Albertos - 28881523
    Jim (??) - 2500/-
    Hobner 265 - 3500/-

    5. SB Music - 67021256
    Granada - 2700/-
    Pluto - ?
    Hobner - ?
    This guy specifically recommended Granada and Pluto. He said the wood was better and Hobner was made of ply.

    6. Peter Pereira (really sorry if I spelled the last name wrong)

    7. Music Distriution Co. - 23851519/20

    Havent called the two places above, if there are any changes to the contact details or prices, please post the most updated info.

    Here are my questions :
    1. What guitar should I buy. My budget is 3k - 4k
    2. Which one is the best for a beginner. I dont want to rock, if I can learn to strum well and move smooth between chords, I will be happy.
    3. Whats good for me, a F-cut or a round-cut
    3. Which brand is good between these : Hobner, Granada, Pluto, any_other for starters
    4. What place in Mumbai is recommended?

    I have more questions but will save them for later...

    Thanks so much guys for this forum, it really helped me a lot. Waiting for replies,
  2. saurabhrocks

    saurabhrocks New Member

    Yamaha F210 - 4850/-
    Granada - 2700/-
    Pluto -
    my recommendations,
    either go for a pluto or yamaha they have solid tops and indeed give quality sound.pluto has a inbuilt tuner,

    f cut guitar is needed to go up on the higher frets, which u wont be needing for 1-2 years. an plus that reduced the top area detoriating the volume and quality of the sound.go for a round cut.

    whatever u buy, buy quality. if u have the money go for yamaha or pluto,
    gibsons and hobners are crap.
  3. beowulf

    beowulf New Member

    Hey guys (and gals who rock),
    Any other suggestions? anybody?

  4. Beerbelly666

    Beerbelly666 New Member

    i was going to ask the same question. i called furtados and they recommended hobner.
  5. srakshit

    srakshit New Member

    I've never bought a guitar without playing it. It's impossible to tell from prices how good or bad the guitar is.

    Since you're buying your first guitar, it's best to get to the shop and ask the assistant to play the guitars for you if you don't know anything at all, then judge using the sound of the guitar to help you buy. Is it tight and controlled? Resonant and rich? Damped? Bassy? Trebly? Midrange-y?

    Hold the guitar and check the frets - are they even across the fingerboard? Can you press the strings down to the fretboard without too much effort? Can you wrap your hand around the neck without effort - is the neck thin or thick? Do open strings resonate and closed strings sound overdamped (high frets can cause this)?

    Though you may not know how to play the guitar at this stage, these things will help or hinder your playing and may put you off playing forever, or inspire you to master the guitar and later buy a better instrument.

    It's not the price you pay, it's the guitar you get that's the important thing. So take some effort to get to know it.

    In general, solid tops will be slightly better-sounding, but there's no assurance that a solid top will have better sound than laminated tops. Again, if you're buying an Indian guitar you have to cherry-pick, as some of their pieces are acceptable and others are abysmal.

    At a beginner's budget, there isn't much to choose from in terms of sound, so you should be selecting on the basis of durability and playability. I think laminated instruments are not too bad for absolute greenhorns as they are sturdy, and the tops don't warp easy in spite of abuse. You lose a bit of sound, but they make up for it in terms of durability, and the bonus is that when you get a really good instrument, you can downgrade your first guitar to a beater. Good beaters last ages, and are less delicate and finicky than high-end instruments.

    Again, listen to the instruments, not to the material, brand or price. That's what your basis should be. The same discussion goes for cutaway vs. non-cutaway and body sizes. Don't blindly assume that a cutaway will have less projection - it also depends on bracing, bridge and saddle configuration, top thickness and type, and a lot of other things. Similar for Jumbo vs. dreadnought vs. folk - larger guitars *may* have a more full sound (generally budget guitars will add lots more bracing as the top gets larger, offsetting the benefits of a larger body), but smaller guitars will be easier to hold and manipulate, making learning easier.
  6. beowulf

    beowulf New Member

    Thats exactly the reason for probing around this forum.

    Srakshit, Thanks so much for the tips and suggestions. Its pretty difficult for a complete noob to distinguish between sounds. The most I can do is check the non-acoustic properties like the size and comfort (to an extent).
    Again, its pretty easy for a sales guy to sway a noob's decision if he really wants to, now a poor guy walks outta the shop thinking hes got the best. But I guess everybodys gone through this and it should bring some smiles (or not) a few years down.

    ?? But by experience is there a brand which is trusted more than others.??

    A lot of people on the forum are recommending Plutos, Furtados does not stock them. Are these good?
    Whats the feedback on GB&A?

    still open to suggestions,

    Again, thanks "srakshit" for taking the time to put down all the stuff.


    Can somebody point to sources which explain these keywords from srakshit's msg (will google them, but its nice for ppl to have everything in the same thread):
    open strings / closed strings
    solid tops / laminated tops
    cutaway / non-cutaway
    bracing, bridge and saddle configuration, top thickness and type
    Jumbo, dreadnought, folk guitars
  7. saurabhrocks

    saurabhrocks New Member

    when u play the strings without pressing any fret then they are called open strings.
    solid tops means the top portion(commonly yellow coloured)
    the top is made of wood, while laminated is inferior msde of plywood.

    cutaway guitar have a cut near the neck. to allow access to higher frets,

    sound projection is the term used for , the sound a guitar produces when played,
    bracing is the material used for binding the wood parts together, white coloured plastic strip.

    sadlle is the white thing on the bridge, its height is reffered to as configuration
    types of guitar
  8. beowulf

    beowulf New Member

    heyy...Thanks so much dude..!!
    Now, do me a favor and recommend something I wont regret. I will be going to B'bay in abt 7-10 days which is when I plan to buy one.
    I've been hearing a few names here:

    Pluto : This seems to be the Darth Vader...everybody seems to be talking about it but cant find much on the web
    Yamaha : Seems to be the best but is pricey (5k+)
    Hobner : Some love it some hate it
    GiVson : Everybody hates it
    Granada : It seems to be a chinese make...hmmm...certainly doenst inspire much confidence :)
    Gb&A : The name pops up every now and them, need some serious feedback on this one.

    Also a good music shop in B'bay to spend my hard earned money...

    O gods of IGT, plzzz help me attain nirvana (no puns)

  9. srakshit

    srakshit New Member

    Just to add to the above post:

    Laminated tops (or back, sides etc) are made of two or more layers of wood pressed together. A spruce top may be solid or laminated (spruce is a type of wood). I again stress that it is not necessary that a laminated top will sound inferior to a solid top.

    A well-made laminated top guitar will sound better than a badly made solid top. However laminates do hinder free movement of the top, which is essential to a natural acoustic sound. If you're plugged in, in is a moot point - a lot of Ovations have laminated tops, for example, as they transfer most of their energy from under the saddle and not the top.

    A solid top guitar will have the top made from one sheet of wood, which is first cut and book-matched. Solid top guitars need more bracing as the top will not be as strong as a laminated top. The bracing adds weight and increases stiffness, so it's a delicate balance. It's easy to overbrace a top and make the guitar sound dead, and is a pretty common problem with low-end solid top guitars.

    Some of the most respected old Yamahas (FG310 and 355) have laminated sitka spruce top, so it's not a bad word. They play well acoustically, and record very well too.

    Actually the saddle does two things, it transfers the energy from the vibrating string to the guitar top, and holds the strings at the precise height and distance for the guitar to intonate well and be at a playable height (also known as action) off the fretboard. It is made of plastic (common in entry-level guitars) or bone, and some high-end brands use composites like Tusq or Micarta.

    The white plastic strip around the body is Binding. Binding can be made of plastic, abalone, or in the case of very high-end guitars, out of wood. When it's made of abalone it's usually overlaid on plastic or wood as abalone doesn't have enough strength. Binding runs around the inside edge of the guitar as well, usually a hardwood like cherry. This is the curvy strip of wood that has slits cut in it, running around between the sides and the top/back.

    Bracing are the strips of wood you can feel through the soundhole, on the underside of the top and back. They add stiffness and strength without adding weight, and essentially hold the guitar in one piece. You may be able to see a few strips of wood at the back of the guitar through the soundhole, that is bracing of of the back. A guitar holds about 50 kilos (!) of tension using extra light strings, if there was no bracing a top that thin would literally explode. Too much bracing would make the top very stiff and unable to vibrate, killing the sound.
  10. beowulf

    beowulf New Member

    Hi Srakshit and Saurabh(rocks), I think you both rock...
    Thanks so much for all the info, its really helpful...to me and to others who might read this post later (which was the idea behind posting the tel nos and stuff)

    Now, if we can conclude with individual suggestions from all the senior and experienced members of IGT...that will really help us noobs

    I think I have a fair idea about what to look for in a Guitar, but will refrain from being too adventerous and pick up a brand suggested by most on the forum. So do keep those suggestions coming in...

  11. i'm_not_neo

    i'm_not_neo el valor máximo absoluto

    I would say Yamaha F210...depends on how seriously you're taking guitaring...if you aske shopkeepers to give a guitar for noobs they suggest hobmer or something coz I guess they consider you're not that interested in guitaring/don't want to take it seriously..
    I'd say if you're in to it buy a good one...it kinda also pressurizes you to keep it in good condition plus gives the satisfaction of good sound quality which you'll realize later...
    btw Hobner 265 is also good..
    Uhm..F-cuts..well if you're just into rhythm guitaring I guess Hobner will do fine..also fits your budget but do check out jumbo guitars too..
    Anyways this is IMO...check out for more advises...
  12. beowulf

    beowulf New Member

    Thanks so much for the feedback guys...I have started taking some basic lessons.
    Currently I play my tutor's guitar. The make is J&D Brothers (+some model no). There are other students who play Granada, GiVson. Right now all sound the same to me. The tutor insists that I buy a HoBner F-cut, I beg to differ based on the feedback given here. Do let me know if theres any feedback on any of these brands :
    1. Granada
    2. J&D Brothers (h**p://www.jandd-guitars.com) - Seems to be some Chinese make
    3. GB&A

    I will have take some time out and get one this weekend. If nothing I will go there and get maybe a Pluto (based on the feedback here) or if anything else sounds better than that...(the benchmark will be Yamaha210 which I cant afford)

  13. i'm_not_neo

    i'm_not_neo el valor máximo absoluto

    I checked out some guitars yesterday...If you can,then plz go for Yamaha 210!!!Sounds friggin awesome...Hobner F-cut??the one with the S-shaped resonance holes right??not that good..I guess yamaha will cost you 6k but the dealer was willing to make it 5k..
    You get a Gb&A F-cut for 5.5k and its not really worth it..I mean compared to the fact that you can get a yamaha 210 for nearly the same price...
  14. beowulf

    beowulf New Member

    From the feedback here, I would've picked up the Yamaha blindly... but my budget is max 3500/- :(
    Thanks for the feedback though..

  15. zafarkhan4u

    zafarkhan4u New Member

    Problems with Guitar ***Need Help - URGENT***


    I have a Spanish Guitar which i just bought a month ago, it was working fine... i started looking at this site, downloaded and printed few tabs for few good Hindi Tracks & started playing them, it was all working good... and i dont know what happened to it but the "G" & "e" String was not playing correctly. if i pluck the "e" string without fretting it makes a weird sound however if i frett on it then it works fine and the "G" String if i'm pressing on the 2nd or 3rd frett it also makes a weird noise, i'm the only one who plays the guitar and i dont know why its not working the way it should, i tried tuning it and i made it worse now the "G" & "e" do not produce the sound they are suppose to produce, i get sound only if i'm fretting on 5,6,7 and so on... however if i frett on 1-4 it does not make any difference, i'm scared that it will spoil the other string also, they have already started misbehaving a little.... what do i do????

    Please email your advise to zafarkhan4u@gmail.com

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Zafar Khan.
  16. sam#3

    sam#3 The Lucifer

    It must be buzz... Probably due to bends or sumthing... Just keep yr guitar lying down on floor, holes facing earth, wid strings loosened, it myt help.
  17. jam1

    jam1 New Member

    yamaha cm40.

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