Fender, Yamaha, and Seagull: comparing the three acoustic guitar brands

Buying an acoustic guitar that best suits you is not that easy whether you’re a beginner or an experienced guitarist. There are plenty of guitar brands right now in the market, all claiming to have the best sound and quality. Some of these brands that are well known for their acoustic guitars are: Fender, Yamaha, and Seagull.

Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, and even has unique attributes. Made and manufactured by different company owners in different countries, each has attributes that reflect its manufacturer’s vision and goals. Some put more attention to quality, research, and design, while others put more attention to price. Let’s get a closer look at these three brands.

FENDER

Fender is one of the most popular brands in the world of guitars but most especially in terms of its electric guitars showcasing the highly acclaimed Fender Stratocaster, Telecaster, Jaguar, Mustang, and many more. On the other hand, they do not pay much attention on the quality and sound when it comes to acoustic guitars unlike with their popular electric guitars.

fender-1

Fender Stratocaster Acoustic Guitar

When it comes to quality, sometimes the owners of Fender acoustic guitars spend more money fixing issues on the guitar than the guitar itself. One of the reasons why a lot complain about the quality of the guitars is that the guitars are factory made. They make the guitars on a different country and then they ship it to the US, which may help Fender save more money in producing the guitars but at the same time it is one of the reasons why the quality not as high as the others.

One of the advantages of Fender acoustic guitars is that it is reasonably priced, although it will not do well if you compare it with other guitars on the market at the same price range. For example, Fender’s CD280S Dreadnought has a solid spruce top but the quality of the spruce wood is mediocre if you compare it with other spruce top acoustic guitars. The fine details on the construction are not that detailed like the edging for example. There are guitars on the same price range that will have richer sound and better playability.

YAMAHA

Yamaha is a company that has a wide range of musical instruments that their music division produces, and acoustic guitars is just one of the many. Aside from being the largest manufacturer of musical instruments in Japan, they are also a frontrunner in home appliances, furniture, motorcycles and many more.

yamaha-acoustic-guitar

Yamaha pays great attention to an acoustic guitar’s playability. The body’s shape and dimensions are well calculated, wood is carefully picked, and varied bracing patterns are used for each guitar series. Yamaha is very transparent on their efforts to really make use of the best wood, materials, shape, and structure, for their guitars. They invest in research and material optimization to deliver their users’ needs.

Due to careful research, different Yamaha models may specifically cater to a very specific crowd or variety; which may sometimes be a strength or a limitation. It is important for one to carefully examine a Yamaha acoustic guitar before purchasing. At times, it could even be best to try out other Yamaha models if one doesn’t suit your taste.

SEAGULL

Seagull is manufactured under Godin, from Canada. It is easy to recognize with a headstock that places tuners in line with the nut to deliver better stability. Seagull guitars pay a lot of attention to creating guitars that are versatile and comfortable to suit various kinds of styles and users. Recently, they manufactured guitar designs that has a thinner and lightly braced body, as compared to typical flat top guitars that usually encounter problems with sinking sound holes. It is said that they have worked on this new shape for decades. However, like before, the company still keeps its distinctive cherry color, a solid top, and the unique headstock.

Seagull-acoustic-guitar

Seagull proudly puts emphasis on stepping the game up in guitar manufacturing as it strives to provide higher quality guitars without the burden of a high price. Most seagull owners are very pleased by how these guitars sound, but a few comments from here and there point out that the guitar’s surface gets easily scratched. To most, however, this is not a drawback.

Best Review of Seagull S6 Original Acoustic Guitar

Introduction to the Seagull S6 acoustic guitar

High-quality Martin’s and Taylor’s out there cost an arm and a leg – a high-quality Seagull doesn’t. Meet the Seagull S6, where price and professionalism come close. It’s made of premium woods, straight out of Canada, eco-friendly and for less than half a thousand dollars. To me, that’s about as much a steal as a heist on the Louvre.

Seagull-S6-Original-Acoustic-Guitar

Seagull S6 Original Acoustic Guitar

A primary reason is, quite literally, resources and production. The Seagull S6 is a solid guitar, and by that I mean that it’s well-built, long-lasting, and made of beautiful tone woods. It’s aesthetically pleasing and produces a great sound, far more than its money worth.

Yep! This Seagull S6 really produces great sound!

Is it a Martin guitar? Does it par up to a Taylor? Is it the acoustic equivalent of a Gibson Les Paul? No, no, and no. But, it comes very close to any one of these, and at a fraction – a literal fraction – of their usual prices.

The show doesn’t end there –like mentioned, Seagull guitars are eco-friendly. This might not be important to you, but it is to me. Irresponsible deforestation and the cutting down of exotic woods is a great issue worldwide, and demand for rare tonewoods is leading to the extinction of very precious species, while general demand for cheap wood is leading to the disappearance of forests all over the world, causing landslides, changes in weather and climate, loss of life for millions of animals and many other tragedies.

Most guitar makers say they’re making an effort towards ending these practices, but only few certify themselves as eco-friendly and get their wood from local, alternative and ample sources.

Features:

The Seagull S6 commands a beautiful tone, matching the fact that it is, very simple, beautiful. It’s not specially-designed, it doesn’t sport an amazing color palette, and it doesn’t look like it’ll knock you off its feet – it’s got that warm cherry wood and cedar look to it, and that’s about it, but that’s all it needs. Just that simplicity alone helps convey its purity – its quality.

The cedar top is pressure-tested, which is almost as rare in a guitar at this price-point as the cherry wood is. The fretboard is a standard rosewood, but the nut and headstock make the board special in its own right, too.

Benefits:

Attention to detail is a factor that makes the Seagull S6 stand out, but not in a way that most people would recognize, or consider – and that is the quality of the nut and saddle. The nut is the elevated piece of wood on the upper end of the fretboard, where the headstock begins, while the saddle is the piece of wood below the sound hole that actually holds the strings.

The significance of these two parts over other guitars is that there are differences in height and string grooves along the saddle and nut, to compensate for things such as string thickness and action and make the guitar easier to play – you’ll see this all the time with high-end acoustic guitars, but not with something under a thousand bucks, a beginner guitar especially.

Pros:

  • The price is amazing for the guitar’s quality.
  • A pressure-tested cedar top and domestic cherry wood sides, grown and built in Canada, make this guitar sound amazing.
  • A custom, specialized nut and saddle, qualities usually only seen in far more expensive guitars.
  • A tapered headstock, which is supposed to make tuning easier and more stable, an amazing pair of pros for beginners.

Cons:

  • Though a question of taste, the guitar is very plain.
  • The neck is wide, making it somewhat difficult to grip for most players who’ve had experience with thinner fretboards. To a beginner, however, both would be equally difficult to get used to.
  • There are cheaper beginner guitars, with far less quality but also far less required financial commitment. The question to this con is: will you be a committed guitarist, or are you just trying it out?

Conclusion:

Although I hate to admit it, the guitar’s biggest benefit is price. It’s incredibly rare to find a North American-made, locally-sourced pressure-tested guitar for just about $500. Seagull decided to build an entry-level guitar in terms of budget, but ended up making a guitar that a lot of hardcore hobbyists and professional guitarists would probably classify as ‘much more than just a beginner’s guitar’.

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