Ah, the acoustic guitar – there’s no better sound than the pure resonance that is projected from a finely crafted, high-quality acoustic.
I’ve been playing the guitar for the best part of my 28 years on this planet, and therefore I have played and owned all sorts of instruments from electric guitars and bass guitars to 12-string acoustics and even banjos!
However, there’s something wonderfully comforting and pure about playing on a standard yet high-quality acoustic guitar.
There are many excellent acoustic guitar brands out there, but one of my personal favorites would have to be Seagull. Seagull is a Canadian brand of acoustic guitar that never fails to meet the expectations that I have of an acoustic guitar, yet I hardly know anyone who has heard of them.
I think that is an outrage, and have decided to take up the duty of spreading the word about this fantastic producer of guitars.
Whether you’ve never heard of Seagull guitars or you are aware of the brand yet don’t know which guitar to buy, this is the perfect guide for you. Read on to find out what I think you should look out for when shopping for Seagull guitars, along with some of my personal recommendations!
Bottom Line Up Front: Seagull produces a wide range of exceptional guitars, with its product catalog being focussed heavily on providing affordability, comfort, and excellent tone to any type of guitarist.
Whilst solid tonewood options such as the Maritime SWS CW GT Presys II truly excel in acoustic guitar craftsmanship, the company offers plenty of cheaper options for guitarists on a budget, as well as specialized instruments such as mandolins, left-handed acoustics, and 12-string electroacoustics.
What are Seagull Guitars?
Seagull is an acoustic guitar brand that was first founded back in 1982 by a man called Robert Godin. The company was set up in the Canadian city of Quebec, and it had the primary goal of manufacturing acoustic guitars that featured everything that a guitarist needed to excel.
Such features came in a variety of forms, from designs made specifically to be comfortable for beginners, high-performing tonewoods, and masterful luthiers.
However, Godin recognized that whilst there were many acoustic guitar brands out there producing guitars with such qualities, most of these were unaffordable to the average guitarist.
Many brands were producing cheap acoustic guitars at under $500, but if they wanted to upgrade to something that truly felt and sounded incredible to play, they’d have to quadruple their budget.
Whilst Seagull was never started with the intention of being a budget guitar brand, they have always ensured that they provide budget options, and I think that is super important.
However, the brand has grown a lot since these early days, and now operates stores both online and offline, offering a truly enormous range of instruments.
I’m not just talking about different varieties of acoustic guitars – they also specialize in producing mandolins, ukeleles, accessories, and even its own 4-string diatonic acoustic instrument invention called the M4!
There truly aren’t many acoustic guitar brands out there like Seagull these days. They simply go above and beyond to ensure that every guitarist’s preferences are met, and I love that. One size fits all attitudes to not work when it comes to producing guitars, and Seagull are acutely aware of that.
Things to Consider When Shopping for Seagull Guitars
The range of acoustic guitars that Seagull produces is truly next level – their immense portfolio of instruments ensures that there is an acoustic guitar for everyone, and while this is a very positive thing, it can also be overwhelming.
How are you supposed to know which of the hundreds of guitars on offer will fit your needs the best? That’s an excellent question, and something I am going to be breaking down into several sections. Read on to find out my thoughts!
Type of Acoustic Guitar
The first thing that you should always consider when shopping for a new acoustic guitar is the type of instrument that you are looking for.
Now, you might be thinking “I want an acoustic guitar… do I need to be more specific?” Well, yes – you do, especially when it comes to dealing with versatile brands such as Seagull.
Take a quick look at their website and you are immediately going to face information overload, so it’s important to know what you are looking for before you begin browsing.
Thankfully, Seagull’s website is an absolute delight, featuring various tabs to help its customers narrow down what they are looking for. Firstly, they have a section for standard acoustic guitars, as well as their signature mandolins, ukuleles, and M4 instruments.
There’s a high chance that you’ll be heading straight to that first option, but who knows – perhaps an alternative acoustic guitar instrument will tickle your fancy!
Assuming you’ve decided that you definitely want a standard Seagull acoustic guitar, you are going to need to think about whether you need any specific features.
Perhaps the most obvious example here is left-handed acoustic guitars – there are tons of lefty guitarists out there and I hate it when brands leave them out, but thankfully Seagull has got you covered.
The company also produces acoustic guitars with 12 strings, smaller alternatives for children… there really is something for everyone.
Take a moment to consider exactly what you need in a guitar, head to that search bar in the top-right corner of Seagull’s website, and type in your preferences.
The website smartly provides you with some recommendations based on what you enter, making it super easy to find left-handed guitars, 12-strings, or just about anything else you could need. Trust me – use this feature and it’s going to greatly reduce the amount of time you have to spend browsing the web.
Shape and Size
The next (and arguably the most difficult) thing you should consider when shopping for Seagull acoustic guitars is the shape and size of the instrument that you are looking for. Let’s start with size since it’s a little easier. Now, there’s no denying that Seagull is primarily a brand of acoustic guitars for adults.
Unlike other companies, it does not design guitars specifically for children, and this can potentially be a problem. The company does sell mini jumbos and concert guitars that are designed for smaller people, but we’re talking 7/8 or 3/4 sizes as opposed to 1/2 or 1/4.
However, as somebody who learned on a jumbo acoustic guitar from the age of eight, I believe that any size can work for any person – it just takes some getting used to.
Once you have figured out what size of acoustic guitar you are looking for, this will give you a better idea as to which shape will fit you best. Head to the “Shop By” section of the Seagull website and choose “Shapes” – you can now filter through Seagull’s vast portfolio to find exactly what you need.
The company specializes in classic dreadnought acoustics, but it also provides cutaway versions in addition to mini jumbo cutaways, concert halls, and concert hall cutaways.
In my opinion, dreadnought acoustic guitars are the most quintessential out there and ensure maximum amplification, tone, and comfort for most adults. However, mini jumbos or concert guitars might be more appropriate depending on your size or preferences.
There is ultimately no such thing as a right or wrong answer here – it all depends on what you feel most comfortable playing. So, don’t just aimlessly pick a Seagull acoustic guitar that looks cool, but instead, spend some time working out exactly which shape and size you are looking for. Simple!
Tonewoods and Budget
I mentioned earlier that Seagull produces acoustic guitars for just about anyone, and this flexibility largely comes down to the variety of tonewood options that the brand offers. You might not be aware of this, but the quality and cost of an acoustic guitar generally come down to the wood that it is made of.
Some guitars are made from ‘noble’ woods that work fantastically at forming intricate resonance pathways, ultimately resulting in tones that stand out as rich, bright, and complex.
On the other hand, some guitars are designed with cheaper woods or even synthetic materials, and whilst these guitars play just fine, they are much cheaper to purchase and have a far less impressive tone.
Whilst there is no denying that an acoustic guitar with noble tonewoods is always going to sound better, it really frustrates me when brands only provide this option.
Guitars with solid spruce, mahogany, or other prime tonewoods can fetch prices far above $2,000, and that is simply not a realistic budget for the average guitarist.
Seagull has found a perfect middle ground by offering some acoustic guitars that are made from solid and high-quality tonewoods, while also providing cheaper acoustic options without using synthetics or reducing build quality.
If I were you, I would take a moment before exploring Seagull’s online store to think long and hard about what your budget is going to be. Perhaps you’ve never owned an acoustic guitar before, and you’re looking to transition from using an electric one to favoring an acoustic.
That’s great, but who knows – you might not like using acoustic guitars, so it would be best not to splash too much cash in case you don’t like it.
However, perhaps you’ve been playing acoustic guitars for years and have finally saved up enough cash for that much-anticipated upgrade – in that case, why not treat yourself to a guitar with tonewoods that you can truly appreciate?
When In Doubt, Test it Out
Online shopping has made it far too easy for us to simply add an item to our basket, automatically pay, and have the item show up on our doorstep a couple of days later.
Stop right there – whilst this is mighty convenient for everyday purchases, you should take much more time and care when considering which Seagull acoustic guitar to purchase.
Whilst I have nothing against buying guitars online (in fact it’s incredibly convenient), it does tend to deter people from testing their guitars before they buy them, and this can result in purchases that they are not happy with.
Obviously, you cannot “test” a Seagull acoustic guitar online any further than watching some videos that demonstrate a model being used.
However, what you can do is find somewhere such as Guitar Center that stocks Seagull guitars, heading over there to get your hands on the instrument before you hit that “Add to Basket” button.
This gives you an opportunity to try different shapes and sizes, feel how the guitars sit on your lap and most importantly hear how they sound. Who knows, you might not like them (but I think it’s much more likely that you’ll fall in love instantly).
Whilst Seagull has an excellent reputation, it’s fairly rare to find one of its guitars in a store such as Guitar Center. However, its website has a handy “Where to Buy” feature, allowing you to locate your nearest official retailer to organize a quick visit.
If there’s one nearby, you would be crazy not to make use of this opportunity! Give them a ring in advance, tell them the models you’d like to test, and I think you’d be amazed at how hospitable they will be.
Trust me, this might make the purchasing process a little longer, but you’ll be going into it knowing exactly what you’re buying, what it feels like to use, and most importantly what it sounds like. Bingo.
My Top Seagull Acoustic Guitar Recommendations
Alright – we’ve covered a ton of information throughout this guide already, from Seagull’s history as a brand to the different types of guitars they produce. Whilst my aggregated research hopefully has already pointed you in the right direction, it’s understandable if you’re still feeling a little overwhelmed.
After all, there are just so many darn guitar varieties on Seagull’s portfolio. I’ve narrowed down a few of my favourites, so I hope that they provide you with the inspiration that you need!
The first acoustic guitar on my list of Seagull recommendations simply has to be the S12 CH CW Spruce Sunburst GT Presys II. Now, I decided to choose this guitar to start things off as it is one of the cheaper offerings of Seagull, and this is primarily due to it not being made from solid wood.
However, this wonderful concert hall cutaway electroacoustic is still crafted from spruce by Seagull’s master luthiers, giving it a tone and feel that is far higher quality than what you would get from other brands at the same price.
However, this guitar has a stand-out feature – it has twelve strings! Considering the price of this guitar and its high-quality craftsmanship, it’s an absolute bargain. It is also electroacoustic meaning you can amplify the guitar via a guitar cable, whilst maintaining that sweet acoustic resonance. It’s an ideal instrument for anyone who is craving the richness of a 12-string but wants to ensure they are avoiding gimmicky knock-off brands.
- Seriously good value for money considering its build quality and that it has 12 strings
- Made from spruce
- Having 12 strings on a guitar brings immense richness unavailable on 6-string instruments
- While the guitar is made from spruce, it is not a solid wood variety which somewhat diminishes the benefits of the tonewood
- It’s got 12-strings, and that is not everybody’s cup of tea!
I tried so hard to keep things simple and only include standard acoustic guitars in this guide, but I simply could not resist including the S8 Mandolin Sunburst EQ.
Man, this instrument truly is something special – much like any mandolin it features four pairs of dual strings, but unlike many novelty mandolin manufacturers, Seagull has gone above and beyond to optimize the quality of this instrument.
It features a solid Sitka spruce top, a hand-finished neck, and most impressively a pickup system for amplification complete with tonal controls!
I’ve come across many brands selling mandolins throughout my time as a guitarist and they almost always seem to be cheap and tacky, produced for novelty.
You would normally have to locate a mandolin specialist to get something high-quality, but Seagull has got you covered here, and not only does the S8 sound great, but that sunburst finish looks gorgeous too. It’s a real winner.
- A truly unique and masterfully crafted mandolin
- A very reasonable price for such a unique instrument
- Features an electric pickup and amplification system, which is very rare in mandolins
- Solid Sitka spruce top
- Most people have no need or desire to learn the mandolin
- Whilst the top is solid Sitka spruce, the rest of the instrument is not made from solid wood
I hate to see left-handed people get left out – you guys are just as awesome guitarists as us right-handed folk, so why do so many websites seem to leave you out of the fun?
I’ve got you covered with this Seagull S6 Original Left Presys II – it’s an absolute beast of a Dreadnought acoustic guitar, and whilst it doesn’t feature solid wood, I’m sure you’ll be very happy with the quality of this guitar.
It features the unique Seagull signature headstock, a pressure-tested cedar top, a silver leaf maple neck (left-handed of course), and a custom polished semi-gloss finish.
I think this is a perfect example of a guitar that combines stunning tonewoods without going overboard with the price – sure, it’s not solid wood, but the tonal combinations from the cedar and maple result in a crisp tone excellent for midrange performance and lower tones.
This makes it ideal for rhythm guitarists, and at the price point, this is one of the hottest bargains I’ve seen over at Seagull guitars!
- A fantastic left-handed option from Seagull
- Combines a cedar top with a silver leaf maple neck for a gorgeously crisp tone
- Beautiful custom polished semi-gloss finish
- It’s left-handed, so we right-handed folk don’t get to experience this one
- Despite the wonderful tonewood combination, the woods used are not solid
It’s time to finish things off with a bang, concluding this guide to the best Seagull acoustic guitars with my personal favorite, the Maritime SWS CW GT Presys II.
So, what makes this acoustic stand out so much? Well, for starters it features a grand selection of solid tonewoods, including a solid spruce top, solid mahogany back, and a standard mahogany neck.
Along with an ebony bridge and a gloss top finish, this is not only one of the most profound-looking acoustics in Seagull’s catalog, but also the guitar with the best tonal profile.
The projection from this beast is unreal due to the solid woods used, and its finely balanced frequency range is sure to give even the most experienced guitarists a treat for the ears.
However, the kind people at Seagull have still installed this guitar with pickups and a spectral EQ which I think is fantastic, as many acoustic brands leave solid wood acoustics without electric capabilities which I always think is sad.
Last but not least, this guitar features a cutaway that makes those hard-to-reach frets even more accessible, and trust me – that is going to make all the difference when it comes to those tricky solo sections. A truly stand-out guitar, even for Seagull.
- A stunning combination of solid mahogany back and solid spruce top
- Includes electronic functionality despite its focus on acoustic tonewoods
- Dreadnought style with cutaway, bringing the benefits of dreadnought resonance whilst ensuring all frets are easy to access
- It’s a truly stunning guitar, but this comes at a very high price that will be unaffordable to many
- Some acoustic guitar connoisseurs do not like their acoustics to be ‘tainted’ by electronic pickups
Well, that just about brings us to the end of this guide to the best Seagull acoustic guitars on the market. We’ve covered a ton of information from Seagull’s history all the way to my top recommendations, and therefore I understand that this might have been a bit overwhelming.
Let’s smooth things out with a quick FAQ section – who knows, I might answer a burning question of yours!
Question: What are Seagull Guitars?
Answer: Seagull is a brand of acoustic guitars started in Quebec in 1982 by Robert Godin, offering a range of acoustic guitars, mandolins, and other acoustic stringed instruments with quality, comfort, and affordability in mind.
Question: What Is the Best Seagull Guitar?
Answer: “The best” Seagull guitar is subjective to preference, but it’s safe to say that one of the brand’s solid tonewood options such as the Maritime SWS CW GT Presys II truly excels in terms of tone and design.
Question: Does Seagull Only Produce Standard Acoustic Guitars?
Answer: Nope! Even outside of its quirky range of mandolins, ukuleles, and ‘M4’ instruments, Seagull provides its standard acoustic guitars in left-handed, 12-string, and electroacoustic formats.
Whether you had never heard of Seagull when you began reading this guide, or they have been on your radar for a decade, I truly hope that my research has helped you make the right purchasing decision for Seagull guitars.
This brand truly excels with its comfort-focused designs, versatile product catalog, and exceptional tonewood choices, particularly when it comes to beasts such as the Maritime SWS CW GT Presys II.
My final piece of advice to anyone reading is a simple reiteration of something I mentioned earlier – always test out a Seagull guitar before you buy, because it might just help you seal the deal.
If you’re unable to access a retailer, do yourself a favor and at least check out videos online. Trust me, it’ll make all the difference. I wish you the best of luck on your new acoustic guitar journey!