Seagull S6 Original Acoustic Guitar Review – What You Need to Know

seagull s6 review

Seagull S6 Original Acoustic Guitar Review – What You Need to Know

Seagull S6 Review

seagull s6 reviewWe all know that the most important feature of a guitar is how it sounds. And that’s precisely where the Seagull s6 soars above the competition.

In this Seagull S6 review, you’ll learn about its sound, tone and build quality, the pros and cons, and whether this is the right acoustic guitar for you.

Because if you’re thinking about getting a new acoustic, the Seagull s6 should definitely be on your radar.

You’ll discover that due to its great sound, high-quality craftsmanship, and excellent overall value, it makes a fine choice for both entry-level and intermediate guitarists, and is one of the best acoustic guitars currently available in this price range.

I’ll also take a look at several variations of the S6, including slim and acoustic-electric versions, along with the Coastline S6 and Seagull Entourage Rustic.

In a rush? Click here for a great deal on the Seagull S6 at Amazon right now.

You can click a topic in the box below to skip to a specific section, or simply continue on reading the Seagull S6 review.

If you’re looking for an acoustic guitar with great value, check out my article on the Best Acoustic Guitar Under $500.

And if you’re just starting out, take a look at my Best Beginner Guitar Guide for more info.

Where is the Seagull S6 Made?

Handcrafted in Canada, eh?

The Seagull Guitar brand was established in 1982 as a subsidiary of Godin Guitars, and their guitars are manufactured in the small town of La Patrie, Quebec, Canada.

The S6 is part of Seagull’s Original Series, which the company created in order to build new guitars based on original Seagull designs. These blueprints have been revised to meet modern standards of sound and build quality. Godin and Seagull guitars are well-known throughout the industry for their excellent build quality and fantastic sound.

Sound and Tone

I’ll take a look at a variety of features and options in this review, but we all know the most important question, so let’s get right to it. How does it sound?!

Here’s the deal:

By virtually all accounts, the Seagull S6 acoustic guitar provides great sound, with a warm, resonant tone, and impressive volume.

seagull s6 original acoustic guitar review

Seagull Coastline s6 (spruce) – Photo by ocean yamaha under CC BY 2.0

The harmonics are clear, and the guitar projects really well.

The s6 settles in a little on the bright side, with a pleasant overall sound. This slight lean towards the bright end of the spectrum does mean that the lower end takes a modest hit, providing a slightly less bluesy sound.

However, the S6 guitar still provides a high-quality low-end and is certainly comparable to if not better than most models in this price range.

Many acoustic guitars use spruce tops, but the use of solid cedar wood here results in a unique, sweet tone with a lot of warmth.

The sound is not at all tinny, and doesn’t sound flat like many cheap acoustics do. It sounds great when fingerpicking, providing a full, mellow sound. Cedar tops really shine when used for finger style playing.

It’s also great for strumming, especially with a pick, with good sustain and a nice subtle twang.

Many guitarists feel that the Seagull S6 is better constructed and provides superior sound quality to the entry-level offerings from Gibson, Fender, and Yamaha.

You can get a sense of the S6’s excellent sound quality in this video:

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Design and Build

The Seagull S6 is crafted using an award-winning design, with a natural look that isn’t particularly fancy, but provides the appearance of quality and comfort. It uses wild cherry wood for the back and sides, with a silver-leaf maple neck, and rosewood fingerboard and bridge.

On to the top:

An acoustic guitar without a solid wood top is a deal-breaker for many guitarists, and this is a key element of this guitar’s construction.

Seagull s6 – Click Pic to Check Price on Amazon

The Seagull S6 includes a pressure-tested, select solid wood cedar top, rather than the typical laminate spruce tops found on many beginner acoustic guitar models. That type of cheap, layered-spruce laminate system includes inferior wood as part of the construction, costing the player in tone and resonance.

With the S6 you get high-quality solid cedar with a pretty semi-gloss lacquer finish. The use of lacquer will help the guitar breathe and age just a little better, and lets the natural beauty of the wood shine through.

The vibration of the strings produces sound in a guitar, but the guitar top plays an important (and underrated) role in amplifying the vibrations. Solid tops simply provide richer sound in a wider range than laminates.

In addition to the benefits to tone and projection, a solid top can also help increase the guitar’s lifespan and long-term value.

The top should be strong enough to withstand the pulling of the strings, but remain flexible enough to vibrate freely.

Now, let’s get technical for a second:

The S6 uses a double-action truss rod that bends and tightens both ways, allowing adjustments to be made to the neck in both directions. It also includes a compensated Tusq nut & saddle made by GraphTech, for improved playability and tone. These features also provide improved tuning all the way up the neck.

In addition, the saddle grooves in different directions for different strings, which is a feature found mostly on higher-end guitars.

The S6 does have a fairly thick neck.

It’s comfortable but still slightly thicker than many steel-string acoustics. This could be a concern if you have smaller hands, although many guitarists don’t consider this to be a major issue. You will get used to it once you have the proper muscle memory in place. It just takes practice.

Some fingerpickers prefer the wider neck, but if you like playing with a thinner neck, you could consider choosing the S6 Slim model instead.

seagull s6 original acoustic guitar

Photo by Jason OX4 under CC BY 2.0

The S6 has a smaller than normal headstock, helping to keep the strings straighter. It also enables them to stay in tune more consistently and for longer periods of time. This tapered headstock is also great for open tunings. Some people love Seagull’s unique headstock shape, while others think it looks a little weird.

Keep in mind that cedar is a somewhat softer tonewood that can scratch or dent a little easier than other types of wood. It is also more easily affected by excessive humidity.

Cedar tops tend to produce a warmer sound than spruce, and are a little darker visually. They can also be a little more forgiving for mistakes, which will help you sound better, especially early on while you learn the ins and outs of your guitar.

Features and Models

Seagull S6 Original

The Seagull s6 Original acoustic guitar is a dreadnought that weighs 7.2 pounds, and is fairly bare-bones in terms of bonus features. However, the price, craftsmanship and tone exceed expectations. It’s a guitar that feels natural in your hands, and it looks great too.

It has a typical scale length of 25.5”, and a nut width of 1.8”.

The action is set around the medium level, and can be used right out of the box. You can have it lowered a bit if you’re having trouble with the chords.

The Seagull S6 acoustic can be used to play any style of music, including blues, folk, country, bluegrass, and rock.

It generally sounds best with light-gauge strings, though of course this ultimately depends on your personal preference.

The overall shape of Seagull’s dreadnought guitars was designed to be slightly smaller than a typical dreadnought. The result is a small reduction to the “boomy” element of acoustic sound that also helps make them an excellent choice for recording.

The standard model does not include a cutaway or any electronics, although these are both available on different variations of the S6.

Seagull S6 Slim

The Seagull s6 Original Slim version is basically the same guitar, except that it’s got a thinner neck, with a nut width of 1.72” (same as the Seagull Grand parlor). It’s an option to consider for people with smaller hands.

Another subtle difference of the Seagull S6 Slim version is the use of cream binding.

If you plan to do a lot of fingerpicking, you may ultimately prefer that little bit of extra space on the fingerboard provided by the S6 Original. But if you definitely like a smaller neck, or have small hands and plan to play a lot of chords, the Original Slim is a good alternative.

seagull s6 original q1 acoustic-electric guitar

Photo by Larry Jacobsen under CC BY 2.0

Seagull S6 Original Q1

The Seagull s6 Original Q1 is the acoustic-electric version of the S6 Original. It uses a Godin Quantum single source pickup system, with responsive saddle transducer and side-mounted electronics providing volume, bass, and treble controls. The EQ control range and frequency were designed to provide a rich, full sound. The Q1 also includes a digital chromatic tuner with LED display.

If you’re in the market for an acoustic-electric, you can also check out our Taylor 110e review for another great option.

Seagull Coastline S6

An additional variation is the Seagull Coastline S6 acoustic guitar.

The main difference here is that instead of a solid cedar top, the Seagull Coastline S6 uses a select solid spruce wood top instead. Spruce tends to sound brighter than cedar, so if you’re looking for a brighter sound, especially in the high end, this model may fit your needs. Note that spruce tops are a little stiffer than cedar and may not have as much resonance at first, although they do loosen up over time.

The size and specifications of the regular Coastline S6 are the same as the S6 Original, though Seagull offers a Slim model, a 12-string option, and a Q1 acoustic-electric version of this guitar as well.

Seagull Entourage Rustic

Seagull Entourage Rustic – Click Pic to Check Price on Amazon

The Seagull Entourage Rustic is a very cool looking guitar.

The design was based on the Seagull s6 Original Slim. So it’s got the same slimmer neck profile with a 1.72” nut width, and has a similar body style, solid cedar top, wild cherry back and sides, maple neck, and rosewood bridge and fingerboard.

The main selling points here are the beautiful Rustic Burst custom polish finish and cream double binding. However, there are also slight variations in the design, and some people feel that it’s got a brighter overall sound than the S6 Original.

It certainly has a distinctive warm and subtle tone all its own.

There are several different versions of the Seagull Entourage Rustic available if you’re looking for an acoustic-electric, a cutaway, or a grand orchestra body style instead.

Seagull S6 vs Yamaha FG700s (and FG800)

If you’re looking for an entry-level acoustic guitar, you may also be considering the Yamaha FG700s. As we have discussed, the S6 is universally regarded as a great guitar, and will provide you with slightly louder, fuller sound and better tone than the Yamaha FG700s. Being hand-crafted in Canada, they also have a clear advantage in build quality over the Yamahas, which are factory-produced in China.

Take note that the FG700s has now been discontinued, since Yamaha’s 800 Series was unveiled in early 2016. Check out our Yamaha FG800 Review for more info.

The S6 definitely sounds better than the Yamaha when it comes to fingerpicking, whereas it’s a bit of a closer competition when it comes to strumming chords. (To our ears, the Seagull wins here as well).

If you’re on a tight budget, however, the Yamaha is certainly worth taking a look at. It’s a solid beginner acoustic, and a little cheaper than the S6. It’s made with a solid Sitka spruce top (rather than cedar) that may not be quite as easy to damage, and also has a smaller nut width of 1.68”.

Either one would make a fine beginner guitar.

But without taking cost into consideration, the Seagull S6 is the clear winner.

In fact, we feel that it’s worth paying a little extra now for the superior guitar, a decision that you will most likely appreciate down the road.

Pros

  • rich sound
  • great tone and volume
  • good feel
  • fun to play
  • stays in tune consistently
  • excellent build quality
  • pressure-tested, solid cedar top
  • can be used for any style of music

Cons

  • The cedar top can be scratched or damaged a little more easily than other types of wood
  • slightly wider, thicker neck may be harder to play for some people
  • having only one strap button on the back can be a little awkward for live performances

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How Much Does the Seagull S6 Cost?

Now this is impressive:

The S6 Original model is usually priced under $450. You can sometimes find a promotional offer that includes the guitar along with a gig bag or hardshell case and guitar stand for around the same price.

As mentioned, if you prefer to go with a slightly smaller neck, you can purchase the Seagull S6 Original Slim version instead.

Seagull s6 Original Bundle – Click Pic to Check Price

Or if you prefer an acoustic that you can amplify when needed, you can also choose the Seagull S6 QI.

Should You Get a Seagull S6?

If you’re looking for a good beginner guitar, there are cheaper options out there.

But as with many things we buy, over time you’ll begin to notice the imperfections, and may find yourself wishing you’d chosen one with a solid top, a more complex tone, or a better build quality instead.

You don’t need to buy a high-end guitar right off the bat, but the cost of the S6 is reasonable enough that it’s pretty easy to justify spending a little bit extra now. As you advance your guitar skills, you can continue to use the S6 as you become more seasoned.

The Seagull S6 is an excellent choice if you’re just starting out.

Once you see significant improvement as a guitarist, while you may find yourself pining for a higher-end model, you will most likely still consider the S6 to be a quality instrument worth owning.

The Seagull S6 is also a great choice for more experienced players. The high-quality sound and build will make you sound even better. Of course, you may already be thinking of replacing a cheap laminate model with a Seagull S6 for the reasons we have discussed already. In this scenario, it’s a no-brainer.

Verdict

Great value.

The Seagull S6 is missing some features and qualities that you’d expect from a guitar that costs over $1000. However, it would be unfair to expect any guitar in this price range to compete with that.

But the S6 holds its own quite well against many more-expensive acoustics on the market.

s6 original guitar

For a reasonable price, you get an acoustic guitar with great playability, ear-popping sound and tone, and excellent build quality.

You can choose the Original model, the Slim version if you want a slightly smaller neck, or the Q1 version if you require the added electronics.

If you prefer the sound of a solid spruce top over cedar, you can choose the Seagull Coastline S6. And if you want a unique look, sound and feel, consider the Seagull Entourage Rustic instead.

In the end, the verdict is simple:

The S6 is a great choice for a starter guitar, or for intermediate players looking for an acoustic that they will be proud to own for many years to come. The sound will continue to improve as the wood in the solid cedar top ages, helping retain its value as well.

And most importantly … it just sounds awesome!

Final Word: The Seagull S6 is the perfect combination of quality and value.

There is currently an offer available that includes the S6 Original guitar along with a hardshell case, guitar stand and accessories for around the same price as the guitar costs on its own.

Click the button below to Check Price @ Amazon.

seagull s6 review

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