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FDP Forum / The Lefty Forum / Will $100 get you a (lefty) guitar worth playing these days?

reverend mikey
Contributing Member
*********

west Omaha, east NE

Life gets in the way of my G.A.S.
Dec 13th, 2015 07:44 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I certainly didn't need another guitar... but there I was a couple weeks ago, minding my own business in a Music Go Round shop after meeting a colleague for coffee, and I was looking through all the used guitars hanging on the wall with little expectation of finding anything left-handed that would interest me.

And there it was... nothing special for sure, and I almost didn't play it - but they had a lefty Fender dreadnaught acoustic with a cutaway, and it looked like it wasn't all beat up (like a lot of their stuff - pure junk and old crap).

So I pulled it off the wall, tuned it up a bit and started playing. Hmmm... sounds pretty good for an all laminate guitar. Action was reasonable, too (although I could tell it had never been set up properly - strings were too high at the nut - a pet peeve of mine).

I have no idea how old this one is, but it's in great shape except that the nut was broken next to the low E string (but the string still stayed in its slot, and didn't buzz or rattle).

They had it priced at $139. Since it played pretty well and sounded pretty decent, I plugged it in and the pickup worked (tuner did not, even after a battery change), but it didn't sound too good (but I learned later that was the cheap amp I was plugged into - I won't say what brand, since it was used as well).

After very brief wheeling and dealing (pointing out that the nut needed to be replaced) I walked out with it for $100! When I got it home I replaced the nut with one I had in my stash - after some brief set up and new strings, it looked and played great!

Plugged it into my older (non-DSP) Fender Acoustasonic Jr. amp, and was very surprised - sounded very good to excellent with a little knob tweaking on both the guitar and amp! (The pickup on this is low end - volume knob and B/M/T sliders, plus the tuner that didn't work.)

This guitar is actually very giggable - it has great action, and the notes sound balanced all the way up into the cutaway - and I wouldn't worry about taking this $100 guitar to some fairly rowdy places, or out into the heat or cold. I had thought about mounting an LR Baggs sound hole magnetic pickup in this thing (I have one sitting around), but the internal pickup sounds good enough - why bother?

I've noticed that Fender has built a few laminated top models that sound quite good - I was with my band's bass player at a local shop a couple months ago, and picked up a random low-end Fender acoustic off the wall, and was very surprised at how balanced, rich and 'woody' it sounded - not typical at all of all-laminate guitars. It sounded better than a couple of Taylors and Gibsons hanging on the wall...we were both shocked!

Someone said that Fender recently hired a luthier / designer (don't remember who they used to be with - Guild? Tacoma?) who has helped them revamp their acoustic line and raise the bar - if these two guitars I've played recently are any indication, they're doing things right.

I sure didn't need another guitar, but am pretty happy with this one...

Here's the newest version of this Fender CD100 CE left-handed at Musician's Friend. The only real difference between mine and the one in the pic: mine has a standard, Martin-style bridge on it, not curvy like this one, and on mine, the battery is in the preamp module housing (so only one hold in the side of the guitar!).

Musician's Friend linky

LeftRightOut
Contributing Member
*****

Australia

too many guitars and not enough hands
Dec 14th, 2015 01:56 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I was going to post who's getting a guitar for Christmas.

you beat me to it Mikey cant go wrong $100, and if you wanted to flip you'd get most of it back.



reverend mikey
Contributing Member
*********

west Omaha, east NE

Life gets in the way of my G.A.S.
Dec 14th, 2015 06:56 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"you beat me to it Mikey cant go wrong $100, and if you wanted to flip you'd get most of it back."

Yes, and maybe even more with the new nut and a much better set up.

reverend mikey
Contributing Member
*********

west Omaha, east NE

Life gets in the way of my G.A.S.
Dec 14th, 2015 06:56 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Oops ... double post (again!)

(This message was last edited by reverend mikey at 08:57 AM, Dec 14th, 2015)

Tony Salieri

Houston, Texas

I'm a tone deaf hack.
Dec 14th, 2015 07:08 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I had a cheap lefty Jay Turser JT50, which is (was?) the cheapest tele-copy model they offered.

The good:

1. Amazingly the tone pot actually worked, full sweep!

2. If the body--Alder I think, definitely not basswood--had been cut & glued I couldn't find any seam(s).

3. The neck PUP sounded great. From chunky rhythm to jazzy leads.

4. The POTs were stamped Alpha.

5. The overall fit finish was decent.

The bad:

1. The bridge PUP sounded harsh (the full sweep tone pot helped tame it somewhat).

2. The hardware was your typical import quality. Cheap, certainly not great, but not horrible.

3. The guitar would've benefited from a complete set-up including fret work. All I did to it was get the intonation and action as good as I could with no fret buzz.



LHW

Southwest Florida

Alone in my principles
Feb 4th, 2016 07:31 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

""minding my own business in a Music Go Round shop after meeting a colleague for coffee""

I think I have found the problem!

reverend mikey
Contributing Member
**********

west Omaha, east NE

Life gets in the way of my G.A.S.
Feb 4th, 2016 10:04 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Since you drug this thread (and the whole Lefty Forum) back up from the abyss, I'll add that I'm still playing and enjoying this $100 "rescue guitar."

It gets regular play along with about 4-5 other acoustics, and yesterday I took this one to a retirement center to use to lead worship there - just threw it in the Martin case (!) and wasn't worried about anything happening to it (would have used the soft gig bag, but it doesn't have decent pockets for strap, picks, capo and tuner.

It doesn't have the complexity or punch and volume of a good Martin dread (I'm comparing it to my D-35), but it's still amazingly good for an all laminate instrument, and plugged in it is quite usable.



Peegoo
Contributing Member
**********
**********
******

Eat. Sleep. Guitar.

Repeat
Feb 4th, 2016 10:27 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Sometimes you find an acorn among the gravel :o)

Finding a cheepie used guitar and recognizing the potential as a great player is one of the real pleasures in life. I do this occasionally: get it into racing trim, enjoy it for a few weeks, and then give it to someone that would like a decent guitar but cannot afford one.

Will Ray used to write a column in GP mag where he'd report on his dumpster saves. Some were from CL, some flea market, some flea bay. That column was one of the few things left that was any good in that rag.

LHW

Southwest Florida

Alone in my principles
Feb 4th, 2016 11:25 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

""Will Ray used to write a column in GP mag where he'd report on his dumpster saves. Some were from CL, some flea market, some flea bay. That column was one of the few things left that was any good in that rag.""

+1. I loved reading Will's column!

reverend mikey
Contributing Member
**********

west Omaha, east NE

Life gets in the way of my G.A.S.
Feb 4th, 2016 02:13 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I remember that column as well - yes, it was full of gems.

FDP Forum / The Lefty Forum / Will $100 get you a (lefty) guitar worth playing these days?




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