My new guitar is a Seagull Coastline S6 Slim CW Spruce QI from my local guitar shop the New Jersey Guitar and Bass Center and besides having ridiculously long names both the shop and the guitar itself are ridiculously awesome.
This guitar follows the utilitarian philosophy— its beauty comes through in its materials, its simplicity and its sound. The solid spruce top and wild cherry sides/back are topped with a satin matte lacquer that allows the sound vibrations to ring freely and the natural beauty of the wood to show. The rosette and inlays are simple and complementary to the look of the guitar. The neck is made from silver leaf maple and is very fast and smooth. When you’re buying a guitar especially at this price range pay careful attention to the materials and where the guitar is made. If you see “made in china” or a laminated top please just put the guitar down and walk away. Seagull guitars are made in North America with solid wood tops. I had a lot of trouble finding guitars that fit that criteria in my price range. I got the “slim” neck but just to clarify “slim” in the seagull vernacular means “not wide” or in other words the neck is closer in width to other acoustics on the market. I have relatively small hands and had no trouble playing either size neck— its more a matter of preference rather than the size of your hands. In my opinion the “slim” seagull necks give a great balance of both worlds: wide enough for finger style and arpeggio but not to wide for easy chord formation and soloing. Again, play both sizes and see what fits your personal style/ preference better.
Of course the main reason for buying a guitar is the sound and feel. I played no less than 30 guitars ranging from $1000 martins down to $200 no-namers and this guitar had the best sound and feel out of any of them. I’m able to slide up and down the neck easier than ever before— its super fast and smooth. The action is perfect; i played a bunch of cutaways where the action was so high below the 12th fret that it was almost impossible to even play down there. Alot of time the action depends on the setup of the guitar though— if you fall in love with one but the action is too high there are easy ways to ameliorate that. The spruce vs cedar top debate has been going on for ages. Every guitar player has their personal favorite. In my opinion cedar guitars always sound better in the stores but there are disadvantages to it over the long run. I’ve played 10 year old cedar guitars that just start to sound flat and dull after aging. Also, cedar is a much softer wood so it’ll dent and get marked up a lot easier over time. Spruce, on the other hand, may sound too bright at first in the showroom but will mellow out and sound better and better every year you play it.
Conclusion / Final Words
I really couldn’t be happier with this guitar. I overheard some wise advice recently.. he said “buy your second guitar first.” If you’re a beginner and just starting out at guitar the wisest thing you can do is invest in a nice instrument. Nothing is more difficult and frustrating than to learn on a crappy guitar. I promise if you invest in your first guitar it will make the process infinitely easier and more enjoyable and you won’t waste money when you want to buy your second guitar. With that said there are no guitars on the market that are a better value than seagulls (or others under the Godin brand) for beginners and experienced players alike.