Product Type: Seagull guitars and bass guitars
Newest Review: ... produce a sweet tone from a duff instrument. Given the correct strings and technique the Seagull will reward your investment. I have ... more
The Shape of Things to Come
Seagull S 6 + Cedar GT Lefthand
Member Name: robinbarfield
Seagull S 6 + Cedar GT Lefthand
Advantages: Versatile sound and beautiful look
'And you fly all around 'till somebody shoots you down' - BACKGROUND
I lost my first guitar to a flying carpet, or rather a falling carpet. There is no hidden meaning in that statement. I'd rested my original and cheap South Korean copy against the upstairs banisters of the house I was sharing with some friends, while another of us went into the loft to retrieve an old rug. Unfortunately the rug slipped out of his hands and gravity did its work on my old faithful and the whole instrument snapped in two in the centre like a successful karate chop.
Having taken it down to my local independent music shop, an anonymous affair on a South London backstreet, it became pretty clear that it was unrepairable and a new guitar was needed. The shop assistant was so helpful that I gave him my business. Being left handed meant that I was very limited and had narrowed it down to the few brands who bother to make models for the sinister amongst us, when the Seagull really took my fancy.
'Fly to your tomorrow, leave me to my sorrow, fly.' - THE COMPANY
Seagull began in 1982 and intend to make solid top guitars at affordable prices. A solid top guitar is one where the flat top (the side with the strings and sound hole) is made of solid wood. This is unlike my South Korean copy which was laminated, seriously affecting the quality of the sound.
They originate in Canada and the S6 is from their Original series.
'Here is a man asking the question / Is this really the end of the world?' - THE INSTRUMENT
The Cedar S6 is so called as it has a cedar solid top. They also make them with spruce but comment that they are both much the same. The sides are cherry wood. All this adds up to give it a richly resonant tone which immediately struck me after the cheaper model that I had been playing on.
It also means it looks good. It has a deep, reddy brown colour which immediately sets it apart from other models which look cheap (even if they aren't) with their very obviously laminated tops. It is a thing of real beauty.
I initially chose this model as it has a slightly wider neck than some making it ideal for finger picking. I have changed my style of playing since then and mostly use it for leading songs up front. This requires it to produce enough sound to lead hearty singing from more than 200 children. And it does, in fact it often drowns them out and I have to reduce my strum strength mid-song. However as hinted at before, it also has the versatility to produce a sweet and subtle lead.
There are all sorts of details on their website explaining how they can do this ('maple dowels running into the neck') but I cannot tell you whether this causes it to sound so good. What I can tell you is that it does sound good and it is versatile in its uses.
Obviously the tone varies given the strings you use and your technique but you cannot produce a sweet tone from a duff instrument. Given the correct strings and technique the Seagull will reward your investment.
I have had this model now for over a decade and it is significant that they are still producing them. Mine has been very well used and, although it has bumps and scrapes and bashes from use, I have no desire to trade it in for another model. I enjoy it too much for that.
'Now you fly, through the sky, never asking why' - COSTS AND OTHER ISSUES
Some considerations: It comes with the strap button already fixed to the outer edge but not behind the neck. It also has no pick up attached, and if you strum vigorously, like me, you will find some damage below the pickguard. It also has dot inlays and a tapered headstock (the top bit where you tune) to make tuning easier.
I picked mine up for about £450 and it seems to be available for about the same price today. This is good value for the quality of guitar on offer, my opinion is that you could spend a lot more and not get as good a guitar as this. Particularly if you are a lefty, its worth looking into Seagull's range.
Apologies for technical guitar terms used here. I have tried to qualify and explain where possible.
Headings are taken from the song 'Seagull' by Bad Company. If anyone knows what this song is about, please let me know (and please don't tell me it's about a seagull)!
Summary: A delight of an instrument