I looked at a lot of of guitars and I guess you never do stop looking. This is absolutely the very best value that I have found. I paid $225 used with a good hardshell case, and I don't think it would be possible to get a better guitar at that price.
Where Obtained: The Guitar Shop (Houston)
They are hand made in Canada. With a solid top, bindings, solid tuners, and an ease of playability that I found only in guitars in the $600+ range. I love the sound and the visual image is simplicity itself - no ornamentation - and is quite appealing to me in the utility of the look - no frills, but everything you need in good measure.
I did not know how the review was organized when I started so I guess I jumped the gun bragging about the playability in the "features" section. Very easy to play
Not very loud and on the bright edge of mellow.
I hope that makes sense.
I bought it used and there are some pick gouges but it never goes out of tune - change strings one day - retune it the next and you really don't need to touch it again.
I'm not very ruff on it - I've never had to make any adjustments - but my sense is one of strength.
This a great guitar for any level of guitar player. It looks the way an acoustic guitar should look: ready to be played anywhere. The sound is great, but cannot be truly reproduced through an amp. It is durable enough to stand up to many years of hard use. Seagull may not be as big a name as Fender or Gibson, but I would definitely recommend this guitar to anyone.
Price: $300.00 Canadian (new)
Where Obtained: Murch Music
Similar to the description given by others, the guitar is not flashy, but the natural look is inviting. The inlays are simple, the bridge is sturdy, and I have not yet had any trouble with the tuning keys in terms of loss of tension. It does not come with any electrical hardware, which keeps the guitar nicely balanced. The bridge is a string-thru body, and the pegs are a little finicky when replacing strings, but otherwise haven't presented any problems.
The Seagull S6+Cedar has a relatively low action, so your fingers aren't raw after a 15 minute session. Although the body does not accomodate much fingerwork on frets higher than 14, this is not really the guitar to be riffing on in the first place. The low action causes a slight "growl" as the low E string buzzes on the higher frets, which some might find annoying, but for me, it lends a natural quality to the sound.
On its own, I think this guitar sounds terrific. Sound blasts out of the body with warm tones and a smooth low end. The surface of the wood is not laminated, which is good because I think that a lot of sound gets trapped by laminate. With a soundhole pickup plugged into my amp, i found that the G string overpowered the rest, and not enough low end was produced. It could be my pickup, but I tried it with another guitar (with a non natural finish, as it was) and it cleared up. I think this is a great open air guitar, not meant to be plugged in.
You can beat on this guitar and it won't give out. The frets resist wear very well, and although the body is lightweight, it is very durable. It's been dropped and banged against chairs and walls, but you'd never know it. I've left it in my trunk overnight in the winter, and it didn't lose its tune. Overall, a very durable guitar.
I can't say that I'm an expert with a lot of experience with other guitars, but I think mine's terrific. The August 2000 issue of Acoustic Guitar magazine rated the Seagull S6+ the best guitar under $500, so take their reader's word for it!
Model Year: 2000
Price: $350.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Local music store (Portland, OR)
The S6+ Cedar has cherry sides and cedar top. Seagull guitars are handmade in Canada. The top has a satin finish that looks warm and attractive.
The guitar plays well. The neck is noticably wider than many other steel string acoustics, but I think that makes it more playable - I have big hands.
The sound is very full, especially for a relatively low priced guitar. Sound is warm and full making it good for both strumming and some fingerstyle tunes.
The satin finish on the top makes it vulnerable - mine got a little scratched by a careless player with a pick.
I can't think of a better steel string acoustic guitar for the money. If you are looking for a really thin, fast, Charvel/Kramer etc. electric guitar-type neck, this may not be the guitar for you--it DOES have a pretty chunky, wide neck. Other than that, though, I have no reservation recommending the Seagull to anyone.
Where Obtained: New York
I have the Spruce top version of the S6 w/ an L.R. Baggs pickup/eq system. I paid about $200 plus a trade-in cheap 80s Jap Fender.
As mentioned in the S6+ cedar review, the fretboard and string spacing seem wide at first, but now I actually prefer it. The neck also has a very substantial, solid feel that makes the guitar great for chording and aggressive playing, but not as good for diddly diddly type lead stuff. Like a good Les Paul, this guitar requires you to really become a part of it.
Sound quality is FANTASTIC. The guitar has a satin finish which lets the wood really breathe. I have compared this guitar to others 2, 3, and 4 times the price (Guild, Martin, Gibson etc.) and the Seagull blows them away in terms of a great balance of warmth and clarity. It is certainly one of the most "human" sounding instruments I've heard. Plugged in through a Fender Twin, it sounds fantastic as well--very balanced.
The satin finish makes the guitar very prone to nicks and dings, but the sound is so much better as a result, it's worth it. Other than that, this guitar is built VERY well. It has a very solid, "real wood" feel that many other acoustics lack.
If I lost it, I'd seek out another. But, I compared it to identical Seagull S6+'s in the store at the same time, and this one was heads-&-shoulders better, so the old maxim remains true today: each guitar should be judged on merit, not by model or make.
Price: $325.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Guitars & More, Greenwood
No pick-up included, but as for the features it has: I see no flaws. Very pretty back & sides (deep maroon?), warm brown cedar top. No glitches, no nicks, nothing wrong with it. Tuning pegs work fine, as precise as I need. Stays in tune well.
At least compared to my prior guitar (Martin-Sigma), the strings are just slightly farther apart, which is interesting at first, but unnoticable later, but makes it easier for me to finger jazz chords.
I shopped alot (obsessive/compulsive, I'm sure) and found only a few guitars with the rich, warm, full tone, and they were well above $1,000. The guitar almost booms, and when played along w/ other acoustics, is noticeably more full and warm.
So far, so good. No problems in approx. 6 months, and played pretty hard.