Looking for acoustic guitars under $500? The Seagull S6 Original Acoustic Guitar may be the bright sound you’re searching for.
Some guitar snobs tend to scoff at anything that costs less than $1,000. So by that logic, acoustic guitars under $500 aren’t worth anything. But that’s not really true, as this acoustic guitar from Seagull proves. It stands right between the cheap guitar toys and the high-end premium guitars, and it offers excellent value for money.
What you have to understand first of all is that this is a Seagull. It means this guitar was handcrafted in Canada where quality control standards are high. It’s not like those mass-produced “affordable” guitars made in countries that focus more on volume production rather than quality.
Among the many types of guitars that Seagull offers, the S6 is by far its most popular. The original version exemplifies its many virtues, with its reasonable cost and excellent build eliciting rave reviews from guitar players from all over the globe. If you’re torn between cheap yet flimsy instruments and exorbitantly-priced classic guitars, this is the guitar you want to pick. It offers the right price and the right quality.
Build and Aesthetics
The Original S6 is a full-sized acoustic guitar, and it comes with a dreadnought design for the body. The top is made from pressure-tested solid cedar, with lots of gloss over it. The gloss does hide any minor grain issues (if there are any), so the aesthetics are simple and basic.
The back and sides are made from wild cherry, with a semi-gloss custom polished finish. The feel is very nice and it doesn’t seem layered, so you get a natural feel overall.
For the saddle, the S6 uses a rather unique design called Compensated Tusq. This design accentuates the sound of some of the strings, so that the overall playability is a lot more fun.
Other details you may notice include the use of saddles or the wood pieces that hole the strings below the sound hole of the guitar. Usually, only the more expensive guitars have this feature so again you get great value for your money.
You may also notice the nuts, which are the wood pieces you can find on the fretboard. These guide the guitar strings from different heights so when you’re playing you don’t need to worry about the action and the thickness of the strings.
How Does It Feel?
If you’re a newbie, you may realize that not every guitar “feels” the same when you play it. Some feel nice and it may seem like it was crafted just for your hands and fingers. Others can feel strange and alien, and can make for an uncomfortable time.
The feel of the Original S6 is quite outstanding, and a lot of guitar players have commented on this. You immediately recognize the quality of the guitar, as it feels very comfortable on your lap and in your hands.
You may also notice that the head is somewhat smaller than what you find in other acoustic guitars for newbies. You also may not be able to wrap your hand around the neck that easily.
This design is specifically done to align the tuners with the nut. This leads to excellent tuning stability. In other words, you keep its high quality sound and tuning for a longer period of time. You won’t have to tune it too frequently.
Seagull is famed for its bright guitar sounds. Strum and pick the strings and the notes will chime like a bell. The music is very vibrant and it lingers for a longer time. You can hear the individual strings very clearly.
The tone contains a very subtle twang, even through the resonant, full-bodied sound and terrific sustain. You should have no trouble with finger-picking playing patterns and arpeggios.
The downside to this brightness is that you lose out on the deeper and richer tones. The notes can sound too much like chimes, and some may feel that its brightness is excessive. But for newbies, the brightness is certainly a good feature to have.
Obviously, we need to talk about its fantastic price. Though of course, this is hardly a cheap guitar, its quality is outstanding given its comparatively low price. It’s very easy to compare its quality with guitars that cost twice as much.
The construction is solid, and there’s nothing flimsy and cheap about the feel. It’s very comfortable to play, and that’s something that beginners need in a new guitar. You have to admit, even advanced guitar players like a comfy guitar too.
For its price, the sound is also exceptional. Your audience won’t have to strain themselves to hear you play, as the notes ring out vibrantly and clearly. As a bonus, you don’t have to keep tuning the guitar to make sure you’re always in tune.
While this may go well with fun songs, bluesy ditties may not sound as good. The tones won’t be as deep and as somber as you’d want them to be.
The gloss coating may be a bit distracting for some guitar players. It can get a bit sweaty, and at times it can even get tacky. So it may not be the best guitar for very warm places unless you get some air conditioning.
Finally, the elegant and simple look may not be as flashy as some people may want it to be. It’s an acoustic guitar with a simple look, and for a few people, it may seem a bit too simple.
The simple look does offer a fantastically cheerful sound with a very comfy playing feel. This is an acoustic guitar that can last for a very long time. It’s so good that it basically has set a standard for entry-level acoustic guitars, and many consider its quality good enough for the intermediate level.
With the excellent sound and smooth action, you can’t ask for anything more especially with this price tag. You get a lot of value for your money, and it’s very safe to say that even if you end up collecting more guitars in the future the Seagull S6 Original will remain one of your favorite instruments. It’s just fun to play, and the music is fun too.