While recently pouring over guitars online rather than playing my own I came across mikes dawes reviewing these new sire acoustic guitars with andertons guitar shop.
Ive been saving for some time to buy a step up from my the guitar I have now (faith naked venus). My plan was to go into a dedicated guitar shop, try all the second hand and new guitars around the <£1500 mark and buy "the one", or at least one that I feel was a significant improvement in playability and sound etc. from what I have currently. Im now not sure whether I need to as this R7 sire appears to trump this price range from what I could gather from the review.
Basically what Im asking here is whether anyone has tried these R7 sire guitars and what their own impression was of the guitar sound and playability? I cannot find any reviews of these guitars online other than the one coming directly from the seller. I live too far away from the supplier to actually go and try one unfortunatley.
Not come across those before. A quick look gave me an idea of the price range, and as such I doubt that they'd be significantly "better" in any way than your existing Faith, which is a pretty nice instrument anyway. No doubt they might sound/feel different from your Faith, but that doesn't necessarily mean an improvement. Reviews can be deceptive, and internet sound not necessarily representative.
Your other plan of trawling guitar shop(s) for soemthing around £1.5k stands a much better chance of finding significant improvement, esp if buying used.
It helps to know what you are after when spending what is after all serious money. The best way to find out is to play as many different guitars as possible and try to listen critically to the sound and response. Does it sound too bassy or tinny? Do chords sound harmonious? Does it respond equally well to hard amd light touches both fingerstyle and strummed? Playability is secondary as decent setup can make almost any guitar (other than a basket case) play easily. Most new guitar nowaday are reasonably well set up, but it isn't a given. Things can be changed to suit you and your playing style really easily. Used guitars can be a mixed bag, but also can offer better value.
Go and make yourself a nuisance in as many guitar shops as you can - and let us know how you get on - we all enjoy guitar shopping, even vicariously.
Depending on where you are, you could always see what francis currently has for sale (if anything). This is certainly in his price range and you'd be getting a luthier-built instrument that will, almost certainly, be better than something mass produced. Check out other guitars that might be for sale in the 'classified' section
I was in a similar situation to yourself a while back. Some good advice above - the best is probably to try as many as you can and don’t rush. I took a long time to realise what I was actually after / what worked best for me in terms of size, scale length, nut width, string spacing etc. It was very different to my “old faithful”. Gradually zero’d in on the brand and model I wanted and finally travelled around to try out four before choosing the one I liked best. Very glad I did. I actually bought new at that point but since then have been lucky enough to acquire some additional lovely instruments - two pre-owned from members on this forum and I’m also a proud owner of one of Francis’ lovely guitars. I think that new, there are so many options these days, often far east made, perhaps Uk assembled and setup, that we’re spoilt for choice and there’s great value to be had with a number of manufacturers moving into the space Eastman filled for a while, and Furch kind of followed - both those brands seem to have upped their pricing to match their quality now. Second hand is a great route into a higher end instrument - Especially from the trusted folk on this forum - you’ll probably get something in mint condition for probably around 50-70% of the price new.
By the way, the new guitar I bought from Anderton’s who you mention - I thought their service was great and the guy who looks after their acoustic section (Paul?) was really helpful. Their range is a tad limited though.
Not sure where you are but if you want to drop by and try a couple of my guitars, you’re very welcome. I’m near Banbury.
Good luck in your search - and do let us know where you get to.
Thanks for helpful replies. I've looked on Milsom guitars website and the guitars do indeed look great and I will certainly think about getting in touch with Francis. Funnily enough I'm from Malvern originally so only 30 miles or so from his workshop!
I live in cornwall now so my closest proper guitar shop is project music, so I plan to take a trip up there in a month or so to go either shopping or window shopping. I guess Ill see whats there and how I get on.