In my experience working in guitar stores, something very interesting happens with Seagull guitars: folks would walk into the store fully planning to buy something from another acoustic guitar brand with a more recognisable name, but after trying a bunch of guitars and not quite finding what they were after, the salesman would suggest a Seagull. Before long the happy customer would be walking out with a new Seagull guitar that had blown their mind. Unlike the seagulls at the beach, which bug you for a chip until you finally give in, the Seagull at the music store will win you over with subtle charm.
GIVE US A CHIP
The S6 Cedar Concert Hall is, of course, part of Seagull’s award winning S6 range. A line, which the company says best, represents the Seagull philosophy. It’s an entry-level guitar in terms of price, but the feel, fit, finish and sonics are designed to give players a much nicer guitar than they would usually expect at this end of the market. The top is made of select pressure-tested solid cedar, with Canadian wild cherry back and sides. The contrast between the two colours is quite bold: the cedar has an almost orange-brown hue while the wild cherry is almost an ashy brown with more unpredictable grain. Cosmetically this is a guitar that communicates class and functionality. The nut and saddle are Tusq synthetic ivory by Graphtech. The body is finished in semi-gloss, and the body and neck are bound in black, contrasting with the cream binding of the headstock. I’ve always liked Seagull’s headstock: it’s small and tapered and something about it just seems very sturdy. It’s hard to define but it feels like you can put a lot of trust in it. The neck is hand-finished and it feels very comfortable no matter where you play on the fretboard.
C’MON, GIVE US A CHIP
This is a very clear-sounding guitar with great separation between the individual notes of a chord, which makes it ideal for fingerpickers or those who like to arpeggiate chords with a pick. Think of the Jimmy Page acoustic style - that kind of playing works really well with this guitar. The tone has nice projection in the midrange, crisp treble and maybe a little more bass than you might expect. The neck is just wide enough to allow you to throw in some fretting-hand tricks in amongst your tinkly chord melodies too, and although the upper fret access is obviously not as good as if the guitar had a cutaway, you can still get quite comfortably up to the 15th without breaking your rhythm.
GIVE US A CHIP, GIVE US A CHIP, GIVE US A CHIP
Like pretty much every Seagull I’ve played, this is an exceptionally built guitar with great sonics and classy looks. If you’re looking for an affordable acoustic guitar that doesn’t force you to compromise, give it a serious test-drive and it’ll likely win you over in the same way I’ve seen happen so many times in store.
Hits and Misses
None! Oh maybe a cutaway would be nice
• Top: Cedar
• Back & Sides: Wild Cherry
• Neck: Maple
• Fretboard: Rosewood
• Scale Length: 25.5”
• Nut Width: 1.8”