WHNCGD, Pt. 2: "AWHNCGD" w/ Brief Review. Now, new and improved: edited to add pictures

Discussion in 'Other Guitars' started by optofonik, Apr 16, 2019.

  1. optofonik

    optofonik Squier-holic

    This is the follow up to a NGD/PSA combo post I made the other day about finding a great camping guitar. Here's is a link to that thread: PSA (& WHNCGD* Pt. 1): Fender CC-60S Concert Acoustic Guitar Pack $̶1̶9̶9̶.̶9̶9̶ 109.99


    After getting the CC-60S I decide I don't want to "just toss it in the back seat" unprotected even though it's meant to be a basher. Guitar Center's flagship on Sunset doesn't have any cheap bags so I call the Sam Ash flagship across the street and they have a bag for $25. Perfect.

    I cross the street and head directly to the SA acoustic guitar room. What can possibly go wrong in a room filled with guitars? Dude I spoke to on the phone isn't in the room so another salesperson calls for him. I wait and stroll about. What can possibly go wrong?

    A fatal move this, "strolling about".


    At the far end of the room is a beautiful natural Seagull. It's like catching a brief glimpse of a beautiful woman standing alone on the other side of the bonfire and making your way through the crowd toward her. Is she really that beautiful? Yes, of course she is, and most certainly out of your league. Nevertheless, you continue to make your way to the other side of the fire. Suddenly, she's right next to you in the firelight and you're having a wonderful conversation, each smitten with the other.

    That is my experience sitting down in the chair right next to the Seagull Excursion SG Isys+. Although I really want a Seagull as my camping guitar I know two things: I can't afford any $300+ guitar as a knock about guitar (that's about the going rate for a used Seagull) and Seagull doesn't do laminate tops. In this particular instance it is also a dread. Nevertheless, there I am strumming this beautiful guitar while continuing to wait for dude and the gig bag I came for.


    The guitar sounds awesome. Although it produces a different "tone" compared to my solid top cedar Seagull, it sounds just as good which comes as no surprise to me. The top, bottom, and side are a 3-ply laminate consisting of two cherry outer plys and a maple inner ply. It rings without being strident, the lows aren't overpowering or boomy, and when the salesperson plays it there is plenty of projection. It feels great in my hands; comfortable neck and frets. The strings are Martin lights that are effortless to fret. The nut and bridge are Tusq. The tuners are the same as on my other Seagull; nothing fancy but they do the job and they have lovely little flying Seagulls embossed on the back.

    It has a Fishman preamp with a Sonitone pickup installed. I notice, however, that the proprietary (and no longer made by Godin) combo battery compartment /output jack has been replaced by a generic battery compartment and separate strap button output jack, for which replacements are readily available. The mod was done right and, with a dummy plug to keep the input jack clean when not in use, I believe it was a smart move by the previous owner. A front strap button was installed at the bottom of the heel (not my favorite spot but using leather lace on the headstock for a strap would be fine).

    The body and headstock have signs of use, a few minor dings and scratches which I'm very okay with. Those few knocks have clearly done nothing but add some distinct character to it. That next ding or scratch by the person who goes home with this beauty will simply be contributing to it's unique history. The one PITA is the wire holder inside has come loose so that will require some fiddling with through the soundhole to make it right again.

    My family is from Quebec where this guitar was made and the rosette is a particularly appealing physical feature. A singular appointment to the cherry top's beautiful natural grain pattern, the rosette is burned into the wood and states the guitar's origin loud and proud in both English and French. The overall effect is like that of a beautiful woman who eschews makeup and also foregoes excessive jewelry for a single understated heirloom piece.


    Unfortunately it is a dread.


    I get out my phone again, do a quick bit of research, and "Pow!" Seagull apparently had a laminate top "Excursion" line but only for a couple of years; this is one of them, a 2014.

    It's used and priced slightly over what I just paid for the Fender across the street less than 30 minutes before. It has only come available that morning so there wasn't even time for them to get it listed on their website.

    Can I really afford a Seagull as a camp guitar after all?

    With it having the Fishman it can be plugged directly into the Tascam DP-008EX "Pocketstudio" that I always take with me. Although the Tascam has two built in condenser mics, recording outdoors is not their strong point.

    For just over $200, with the Fishman Sonitone ISYS+ and the free setup Sam Ash provides for used instruments I decide it's a good deal for a really viable camping guitar and head to the counter.


    To be honest, it took longer to write this post than it did to audition the Seagull, make up my mind, and place it on the sales counter of no return (well, actually, there is a 30 day return policy). This is, however, the guitar that puts me into the oft discussed situation of, "If I get this I feel obliged get rid of one of my other guitars." It might seem that the Fender would be the logical choice but I think that guitar also has a place in my travels. It's a solid top and it's smaller than the Seagull so it might be more suitable for longer road trips that involve mostly hotel stays in populated areas. Luggage space is at a premium on those types of road trips because I don't use the roof rack, just the backseat and trunk.

    Seagulls are made here in North America by Godin. Our friendly neighbors above, my former countrymen and women in Quebec, make excellent guitars as you can see for yourself, here. They are considered by many to be the best in their class, comparing very favorable to guitars that cost three and four times as much.

    Lastly, yes indeed, pictures are on forthcoming.

    BTW, the guy I initially spoke to over the phone about the gig bag never showed up, it was another cat who ended up getting the sale as a result.

    *Another Way Happy New Camping Guitar Day

    Excursion 001.jpg

    Excursion 002.jpg

    Excursion 010.jpg

    Excursion 004.jpg

    Excursion 007.jpg

    But wait!
    There's more pictures below...
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
  2. -r3-

    -r3- Squier-Nut

    Jan 28, 2016
    NC Piedmont
    You almost had me fooled about the Seagull until I saw the lack of pix!;)
  3. Kenneth Mountain

    Kenneth Mountain Squier-Axpert

    Congrats ! ! ! ! I need a cigarette !
    jjudas and optofonik like this.
  4. jjudas

    jjudas Squier-holic

    Mar 23, 2016
    Metro New Orleans
    Wow. Me too!
    optofonik and Kenneth Mountain like this.
  5. jjudas

    jjudas Squier-holic

    Mar 23, 2016
    Metro New Orleans
    Great story. Congrats!!
    optofonik and Kenneth Mountain like this.
  6. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Dr. Squier

    Jan 7, 2016
    Maryland, USA
    I just read both stories. Very well told. Congrats.
    optofonik and Kenneth Mountain like this.
  7. optofonik

    optofonik Squier-holic

    I've saved the best for last and for my 1000th post...

    Excursion 003a.jpg

    Excursion 006a.jpg

    A couple more for the road.

    The Isys+...

    Excursion 008.jpg

    Battery box & input jack mod (battery compartment cover secured w/ cloth tape in 2nd photo)...

    Excursion 009a.jpg

    Something that mystifies me a bit is the original placement of the battery compartment/output jack above the strap button. On all the pictures and videos I've seen (of which there are very few) the compartment is well below the strap button. At first I thought this might have been converted from a left hand guitar but the preamp, rosette, nut, and saddle, are oriented for a right handed guitar.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
    BlueSquirrel and Davis Sharp like this.
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