Hi, I am currently searching for a new acoustic/electric cutaway guitar with steel strings. I only had a cheap nylon strings guitar but wanted to get a much better instrument.

A relative of mine goes to the US several times a year. I wanted to tell him to get me a guitar since good guitars are really expensive here. My budget is between 300 and 550 USD without taking into account rebates or coupons.

I have been playing the guitar for 6 months and my favourite styles are jazz , prog rock , bossa nova , and blues. This is a pretty tough decision for me since I won’t be able to try the instrument before buying and the person who will be buying it is not a connosieur. So I am making my decision out of reviews, internet data and you tube clips.

I am looking for a regular size guitar with a normal/big neck. I am Argentinean and we mostly play nylon strings guitars with a rather big neck (2 inches aprox) so I do not know if I would get used to a less than, I also have a strat so 1.7 neck size should be fine.

What factors do I favour when making a choice (in order)?

• Sound
• Playablility
• Quality (Well made)
• Design
• Looks

So far I think the following models stand out (not in order)

Alvarez AF710CE

Fender DG200SCE

Ibanez has too many models at an affordable price, just cant decide. I can’t stand their flashy colours , but if anyone knows a good and affordable guitar from the brand , just let me know.



(I liked this one a lot, besides hearing really good things from the brand , and I like it’s rather raw look)


(Again lots of choices from this brand, but I liked this one because it’s a valid option if I decide to go on the cheap) If you know any other cool Yamaha guitar , just let me know.

Any suggestion or comment is appreciated , feel free to recommend brands or models outside the ones I listed. Thanks!!!

I know there is a similar thread around so feel free to move my thread wherever it may go.
Yamaha and Seagull get really good reviews around here in that price range, afaik seagull will be one of the only good brands that will get you an all solid guitar at this price, Also, do you NEED an acoustic electric right now? It is usually better to buy an all solid standard acoustic and then buy an aftermarket pickup later to put in. Way better quality that way
"Music is the only thing that makes sense anymore man, play it loud enough it keeps the demons at bay." - Jojo from ATU
Currently Own:
Ibanez GAX70
Peavey VYPYR 15.
Mitchell Acoustic M0100
Johnson Acoustic JG 100
i personally think that the guitar with built in electronics will work better. i wouldn't ever buy a guitar without built in electronics. the manufacturers build them to work with each other. unless your very experienced at choosing/installing them, its a big hit or miss as to which pickup will work better with which guitar.
of the ones you have listed, i would probably go with the seagull first or the Tak. i don't know very many people that are actually impressed with yammies APX series guitars or the Alvarez'.
going into music shops i haven't actually sat down with an APX. i run a nail across the strings when its hanging there and can usually figure out if i want to take it off the wall and explore it more. never took an APX off the wall.
buying without trying is a tough one. i've purchased a few online with very few problems. it would be better if your relative knew someone here in the states that knows guitars to help him choose for you... whatever you get, you get. it ain't like your gonna be able to return it. hell... most of us here would need less of an excuse than that to be able to spend some more time in a music shop.
Yeah , that was a good point. But there are not many cutaway guitars without a pickup. Actually my guitar instructor told me that I should go for a cutaway guitar with nylon strings , but the other day I was in a music store and I was blown away by the sound of a steel strings guitar.