Good Evening,

First of all, I would like to apologize, as I do not know how to play guitar, therefore, I have skipped the thread regarding recommendations, and any ignorance that may come about here from me.

Alright, so my sister's birthday is coming up, an avid guitarist, and a phenomenal musician (at least from my view). Now she's only owned about 3 guitars in her life, 2 hand me downs and a cheap one purchased at the this music store. She's been playing for about 5 years, and I feel as though she needs more "professional" equipment, and since I have a stable income, I will provide that for her. She currently plays at small cafe's and such.

The price range I am currently looking at is $1500, and I could deviate if it was good enough. I would like the guitar to be acoustic electric and cut away, and loud if not plugged in... She doesn't have any musical preference, and plays acoustified versions of any song. I do hope that's enough info, and if you would need more, just ask.

She has a youtube channel, named ch3353xc4k3 if you would like to take a look.

TLDR: Sister needs guitar, Electric acoustic, $1500 price limit.
takamine there like half your asking price, they have a nice loud sound, and most come acoustic electric.
a few worth considering:

the martin OMCPA4. it's all solid (unlike a takamine at half the price or so), has the cutaway, a 1 3/4" nut, which is a good compromise if your sister isn't sure of her favorite width. it's got 14 frets and a longer scale, which means more volume, but is a more manageable shape than a dread, plus is more easily recordable than a dread. i'd avoid the martin x series guitars, which aren't all solid, unless your sister gets to try some in advance and likes 'em.

the blueridge br-143ce. a 1 11/16" nut, which i find a little tight but it's the most popular size. all solid, full scale, traditional sort of martiny tone.

not all solid, but the taylor 114ce is worth a look if your sister prefers a brighter guitar. it's my favorite of the lower end taylors, and i would have bought one except i didn't care for the 1 11/16" nuts.

a guitar that delivers much more than you'd expect is the composite acoustics cargo. it's carbon fiber, sounds big and resonant and yet is small and very comfortable, has a cutaway, a 1 3/4" nut, and there's an acoustic electric version. i played a number of shows with mine before i sold it, and you could hear the guitar unplugged 2 rooms away with no problem.

it would be worth finding out if your sister has a nut width preference. some players don't, but for some of us, it can make a big difference.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
Last edited by patticake at Feb 13, 2013,
I'll repeat some advice I got while helping someone in a similar situation: since guitar type can be a deeply personal thing some some players, see if you can take her to a good store and let her pick one. You don't even have to tell her you're buying, just let her try out some guitars and see which one she digs the most.

Or, in the alternative, give her a gift certificate for use at her favorite local music store.
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Strap on, tune up, rock out!
dannyalcatraz has a point. i know a lot of guitar players whose family members bought them guitars, and they were just not right for them. a lot of them never wanted to tell their family members, so they end up with a guitar they just don't like to play...
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
That kind of money is enough for a really good guitar and a small amplifier. That could be even more useful than just a guitar, given that she does these cafeteria gigs. I don't have one myself, but I know that the Fishman Loudbox Mini comes highly recommended at around $300.

As for the guitar, I would suggest that you write her a personal gift certificate where you commit yourself to buy her the guitar she wants for $1500 max. That way she can buy second hand if she wants to. Or go to any music store. Or buy online. I realize that it is tempting to buy her a guitar yourself but as others have pointed out, guitars are very personal.

Whichever way you go I am sure she will be thrilled with your gift!
i agree with Patti and Danny. tell her you need her to help you pick out a guitar for a co-workers child or something. she can explain to you what the better attributes are and ....WWWHHHAAAMOOO!!!!!!!!!!.
guitar choice is a very fickle thing. i applaud you and your efforts. the fact that you took the time to look us up was impressive.
Hello Everyone!

Apologies for the late reply, work has been tough on me. Anyway, I appreciate everyone's help, but sadly, I am overseas, and thus can not take her to the store or anything like that. So all my shopping has to be online.

patticake, Your choices are actually hat I am looking for, and I've decided to pull the trigger for the Martin PA4 series guitar! A question though, would there be any huge differences from the Orchestra Model and the Grand Performance Model? I'm actually taking a look at the GPCPA4 because it looks to me that the OMCPA4 is a bit small.
bigger isn't always better. smaller guitars - and OMs are not small guitars, just smaller than dreads - are easier to mic and record. also the smaller upper bout makes the guitar easier to handle. the lower bout of the OM is 15" where the lower bout of the dread is about 15 5/8", so they're not that much different in size


personally i find an OM a much more versatile guitar.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!