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In this video, we're going to compare a $275 Orangewood Echo Acoustic Guitar with a $5000 Collings D-1 Acoustic Guitar. We'll be unpacking the similarities and differences between these two guitars, and talk about what makes these guitars vary so vastly in price. By the end of this video, we hope to give you the info you need to make your own decision as to how much money you should spend on an acoustic guitar.
The first major difference you'll notice is in the way the guitar is constructed. Laminate or plywood guitars are much cheaper to manufacture and are typically found in cheaper guitars.
Solid wood is much more expensive and is typically found in guitars in higher price ranges. The main benefit of a completely solid wood guitar is tone. Completely solid wood guitars tend to be louder and sounds much richer.
With the guitars we're looking at, the Orangewood has a solid top and laminated back and sides. The solid top puts this acoustic guitar a cut above most guitars in this price range. The Collings is completely solid wood (spruce top, mahogany back and sides), and the price obviously reflects that.
The Collings guitar is completely made in the USA, while the Orangewood guitar is made in Indonesia. This means there is a significant difference in the cost of labor. Also, the folks at Collings have been making guitars for decades and do everything by hand. The Orangewood guitars are built in a factory using mostly machines, but they're professionally set up in the USA.
Another difference between these two guitars is the grade of the wood used. An expensive guitar like a Collings is likely to use the highest grade wood available for each part of the guitar. To the contrary, More affordable acoustic guitars are going to use lower grade material. This shouldn't affect the instrument in a massive way, but aesthetically and tonally there will be some noticeable difference.
So, what do you think when listening to these two guitars side by side? When it comes down to it, it's really up to you and what you value in a guitar. Guitar quality tends to reach a state of diminishing returns at around the $2000 mark. So every time you spend a little more below that, you'll see a jump in quality. After that, it really comes down to your own preferences.