Seagull S6 Review: Why It's The Best Acoustic Guitar Under $500
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The stunning Seagull S6 is an acoustic guitar that any musician would be proud to own. It redefined the category of budget acoustic guitars and for good reason. Handmade in Canada from high-quality wood, it feels, plays, and sounds like a guitar twice the price. For under $500, we feel it's the best bang-for-the-buck guitar we've ever reviewed. Keep reading to see a detailed breakdown of the Seagull S6 and why it's one of our favorite guitars on the market today.
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All things considered, the Seagull S6 is a pretty plain looking guitar. If you had to draw an acoustic guitar from memory, it would look a lot like the S6. In fact, the tortoise shell patterned pickguard is probably the most exotic looking thing on the guitar - and that says a lot. There aren't any fancy inlay patterns or cutaways, so if you're looking for something flashy and over the top, you might want to look for another guitar. The semi-gloss finish is quite nice to the touch, allowing the natural wood grain peek through. The headstock of the Seagull S6 is smaller than the average headstock, which makes the overall guitar look a bit strange from far away. The reason for this, per Seagull themselves, is less string pull between the nut and headstock, which improves overall tuning stability!
The Seagull S6 will instantly feel familiar to experienced guitar players thanks to its standard 25.5" scale length (distance from bridge to nut).
The width of the S6's neck is a bit larger than average in both thickness and width. The width at the high-quality Tusq nut measures around 1.805", a bit bigger than the 1 11/16" standard for dreadnought style guitars. This means your hand won't wrap around the neck as easily as guitars with thinner necks, but unless you have very small hands, it won't be an extreme difference. It will just take some getting used to. The Seagull S6's neck is made of silver leaf maple, which has a rich tone similar to mahogany.
The best aspects of cedar and wild cherry come together to create the Seagull S6's semi-gloss body. The cedar wood used for the top is pressure tested and selected for maximum vibration and fantastic tone. The sides and back are made with wild cherry, which gives the guitar a great midrange and strong voice.
Seagull isn't known for skimping out on hardware. The S6 features a bridge saddle made by Graphtech - one of the most well known makers of high-quality guitar parts. The saddle is compensated, which means the string lengths vary slightly. You won't notice this while playing, but helps in making the intonation of the S6 is more accurate. More accurate intonation allows for better tuning stability and more accurate playing.
The tuners on the Seagull S6 are quite good. As we mentioned before, even though the tapered headstock looks a little funky, it helps a lot with tuning stability so you don't have to constantly keep tuning the guitar. The S6 is one of the most stable acoustic guitars on the market and you won't need to tune it nearly as often as guitar without the compensated saddle and tapered headstock.
The S6 comes installed with a high-quality set of D'addario Phosphor Bronze Light Gauge strings straight from the factory.
While the Seagull S6 doesn't come with a case, some sellers on Amazon offer a case free with your purchase. If you don't see it here, then check here and see if any Amazon Prime sellers are offering a free case!
Simply put, the Seagull S6 sounds wonderful. It has a very present midrange and a gorgeous voice thanks to the great choice of tonewood. Take a listen to this high-quality recording below and experience the S6 for yourself:
The Seagull S6 is one of the most highly reviewed acoustic guitars under $500. It has made the top 5 list of tons of different review websites, including this one! A handmade guitar with great tonewood and high-quality hardware under $500? That's quite a steal! Over at Amazon, the S6 has over 60 reviews with an average of rating of 4.9 out of 5!
On Reddit, users have tons of praise to heap upon the S6. The wide neck, great tone, and comfortable action are all talking points. Some users mention that there are occasional problems with the tuners sticking as they age, but these reports seem few and far between. It's quite simple to open up a tuner and clean it, so we don't think this is a huge criticism against the guitar. There also seems to be some complaints about the action being set too high.
If you're not convinced that the Seagull S6 is one of the best acoustic guitars on the market today, then check out our list of Top 5 Acoustic Guitars Under $500. Guess which guitar is #1? You guessed it! The S6 is a great value for a North American made guitar with great quality parts and construction.