Next level acoustic guitar?

Years back, I was convinced that I wanted/needed a Taylor… was at a local shop playing a $1250 instrument that was really nice, felt good, looked good, even smelled great! But the sound was just a bit disappointing… I sat there trying to convince myself that I really liked this guitar when some guy comes into the acoustic room and picks up this guitar. He tunes it (by ear) and starts playing scales… a few chords… finally Stairway to Heaven. Meanwhile, I’m trying the other Taylor guitars, even the ones that were way too expensive fir my budget - but they’re not “speaking to me”. So the guy puts the guitar down and leaves… I go look at it… it’s a handmade in Quebec Seagull Artist model with solid cedar top & mahogany sides… lovely tone, beautifully made & did I mention that the smell of cedar is my favorite wood scent. At this point, I’m thinking maybe this is “the one”, but no price tag on that baby. Dreading the answer, I ask the shop owner the price… he tells me & my jaw drops! It’s LESS than 1/2 the price of the Taylor I was considering! So I go home, tell my beautiful wife what happened & the next day a big box greets me at the door!!!
Point is, Go! Look! Play! Listen! Then go for it if you fall in love with it!!!

Good luck!!!



Sweet. Happy NGD Tod :sunglasses:

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Awesome guitar! Enjoy :+1:

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Congrats that looks a beauty!

Its all about the feel and the sound , not the label


Oh Tod you are so right and that Quebec Seagull looks an absolute beauty. Love the inlay :slight_smile:

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Seagull guitars are a very much underrated brand, they’re very well made, sound nice and don’t cost too much. The Artist models are outstanding value and there’s nothing much around to compare them to at the price point! I have another similar brand, Freshman, I have an Apollo 40C which is all solid woods, mahogany and Sitka spruce all high grade woods; it sounds amazing and cost less than half of the cost of a similar Taylor or Martin.
You can get a very high standard guitar for way less than £1.000 - $1,275 us $1950 au €1,160.
Brands to look for: Seagull, Alvarez, Larrivée, Art & Lutherie and Orangewood.


I love your story, Tod :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:. Happy (belated) NGD :partying_face::bouquet::champagne:!!

Uhm. Found some of my older comments here :laughing:
Froggy Bottom is the way to go :dab:

Hello…I can relate. I even own a Seagull that I bought while traveling in Michigan about 7 years ago. They do play nice and can be set up to have a better fret action if desired. It is a well-made product. And you really do need to be attached to your instrument. I also long ago purchased a '68 Hummingbird, which I recently spent a few dollars to Plek and then adjust the neck action. I had literally stopped playing long ago and took it up again when I saw Justin’s teaching style. So I am a recovering guitarist and loving it. For me the Gibson has now become my go to for playing. It has a particular sound that I am attached to now. It is a journey!

@PaulBMiller @CATMAN62

How was the action on your Seagull guitar when you bought it ?

I went to a luthier last week for a setup and he told me that the action at the 12th fret (5/32") was almost 2 times higher than normal.

The usual way of adjusting the truss rod and sanding down the saddle would not be enough to get an acceptable action. He will have to sand down the bridge too. He said that the guitar had a build error. The bridge was way too high compared to the rest of the guitar.

It was not the first time that he saw that problem. However, I’m surprised that the quality control at the factory did not catch that since Seagull is a reputable brand.

Very interesting. So I pulled out my Seagull, which is a model S6 + Cedar

I immediately noted the scale length is 25.5”

My Hummingbird is the shorter version ( I think approx. 24.5, but I would have to double check the exact dimension)

I also think the nut width is slightly more than the hummingbird.

It really does make a big difference: both the Cedar instead of Spruce top and the scale length.

It has a more stiff sound to it. The scale means that for light gauge 12/53 D’Addario, the strings must be tighter to generate the same note.

And when combined with the cedar top and cherry body, it creates a stiffer sound, and perhaps a bit more volume, though I did not note that.

I tried a measurement of the fret to string at the 12th fret and came up with slightly more than 2/32”, or 1/16th

But it was a bit more than 2/32 but not 3/32

Also interesting is the truss rod adjustment inside the sound hole. Not sure if that affects anything?? But anyway.

When I had this set up I remember that the bridge and intonation was ok, but the Nut had to shaved down a bit. That was my biggest gripe that the open chords, especially a simple F was like cutting into my fingers (and I had some callouses)

It now plays well since the luthier worked on it. It was never on a Plek, as it is not worth spending the $500 to do that work.

So, my opinion is that when you get a guitar in the 5-700 dollar range, it should not have a neck warp, and may require some nut work but it should be close to what you want for string action. The 5/32 dimension is absurd. You may even have to put in high profile frets too. Just not worth it.

I would ask the factory to consider trading it out. If he were to sand down the bridge, you would lose some sound as the correction to the string angle would hurt the tone and also require changes to the intonation cuts in the bridge. That may be difficult.

These are my thoughts, but I am not a luthier, and they would know better how to save the day.

My only other suggestion in this price range is something I discovered the other day at guitar center. They had a Epiphone Studio Hummingbird there for around $375 without case. Now there are many differences between my Gibson and the Epiphone, BUT I have to admit, the action and the sound was VERY good. It is not made in China, but in Indonesia I believe, and they seem very good about how they built it.

So that’s enough rambling, but I truly wish you luck in this journey and treat your Luthier good!

Paul Miller

Seagull’s are great guitars, depending on which one. I have a Maritime… it was my first guitar. I also have a taylor custom 414ce and a GS-Mini Mahogany that I installed a Fishman Powertap Earth on (wayyy better than the ES2 IMO - I can plug right into the amp and it sounds amazing, with the Taylor 414ce, I run it through a Voiceprint DI). Taylor’s are incredible for fingerpicking, they def have a unique “Taylor Sound” though. The mahogany gs-mini has a wonderful warm tone unplugged and is just really fun for me to play. I got to bed with it, lol, literally - it’s so portable and convenient, if I’m watching tv I’ll play it absent-mindedly. I use the seagull for songs that call for more of a low end response. I just brought it to get setup a month ago. The poor thing had traveled from one storage area to another for 7 years before I finally picked it up and started learning a month and a half or so ago. Surprisingly, they said the action and setup was absolutely perfect. I thought for sure it would have gotten damaged. The seagull has aged nicely and sounds wonderfully warm! (and they’re anywhere from half to one quarter or less that some Taylors)