I'm in the market for a new acoustic. Looking to spend around $1500, but could probably go to around $2000, obviously can go cheaper as well. Been mostly looking at Taylors, Martins, and Gibsons. Would like electronics built in, but showing (want a tuner). Cut-away would be nice as well. Also need it to be versatile with strumming and fingerstyle. I mostly play rock, but if I'm forking out this much cash, I want it to last through possible genre changes.
I think instead of getting built-in electronics, it might be a better investment to go for aftermarket pickups. The reason being that if you're going to fork out so much for a guitar, you're probably going to keep it for a long time. If the built-in electronics break, you're screwed in that aspect whereas aftermarket pickups can be swapped out with ease. Besides that, you can upgrade aftermarket pickups in the future as well. Acoustic guitar amplification systems are always getting better.

Having said that... you usually can't get a cutaway guitar unless you buy one with onboard electronics. Honestly though, very very few people ever go that high. Even with a cutaway, those frets aren't too much easier to access. The neck heel is in the way.

You're in a really nice price range. Take plenty of time to find the one for you. Rushing into things is the worst thing you can do. Make sure you play the guitar for a long time too. I played my Martin D-16RGT(Which is in your price range as well. Great guitar.) for about 6 hours(over two days) in the store before I bought it.

Good luck!
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Just play every single guitar in that range.
Though I'd recommend getting a Breedlove. Their high end acoustic/electric always have nice electronics (LR Baggs, very nice), and the quality is superb. Though honestly, when your spending this much money make sure you buy right. Just try every guitar you think looks good, and maybe even some that don't.
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Last edited by Baby Joel at Jan 19, 2009,
The advice you received regarding going to the guitar store and playing the heck out of potential candidates is good. You'll play some acoustics that are too muddy, some that may be too bright and the list goes on. I have a pair of Taylors and love both of them. I've got the 314CE, which is in your price range. It runs about $1650, or so. The electronics on the guitar are nice and I either play it unplugged or use a Crate acoustic amp, which also sounds quite nice. I also own a Koa T5, which is outside your price range. However, the T5 with the Spruce top is within your price range - at about $2000. The Spruce top will give the guitar a slightly brighter high end than the Koa. The nice thing about the T5, is it really bridges the gap between acoustic, acoustic/electric and electric. Out of the 7 guitars that I own, it's the one I play the most. I do everything from fingerstyle, to acoustic strumming with and without the Crate amp, to plugging it into my dozen Boss pedals and playing rock, jazz and country through my Mesa and Peavy amps. It's an extremely versatile guitar. Granted, it's not perfect, but it does an extremely good job at mixing the two worlds of acoustic and electric together. Another thing I like about the T5, is the of Elixir 11s. Doing a lot of barre chords on my 314CE tires out my hand after a couple of songs, but I can play all day on the T5 with no complaints. Neither of the Taylors have built-in tuners, but if you get yourself a good tuner, you'll have no problems. Something else to look at would be the Takamine acoustics. I don't own one, but my wife and son do. Takamine makes some nice guitars and some of them have built-in tuners. The Cool Tube stuff is supposed to be pretty decent amped, but again, I've never played one. Oh, I have no problem reaching the upper frets on either of my acoustics.
Are you going to be standing with the guitar?

Hold a Taylor, Breedlove, and Takamine, and feel the differences in weight.
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Quote by Quenton Cassidy
...but showing (want a tuner).

Any particular reason? Buy a separate tuner if you need one. It is unlikely that you'll find a guitar with a built in tuner that wont crap out after two years or so. My advice is to buy the best sounding standard acoustic you can and add the electronics later. Built in hardware is hit or miss.
Last edited by GC Shred Off at Jan 19, 2009,
Thanks for the replies, I have no experience with aftermarket electronics/pickups, so if someone can recommend some that would be great, but from my own research it seems like the high end acoustic electrics sound great plugged in.

The tuner is not necessary at all, just a plus for convenience. I have a few tuners that suffice, I would just prefer to have a tuner built in.

I don't really have any experience with higher end acoustics, I'm just starting to make my way into the realm of acoustic music. Right now I have some cheap fender that I picked up at GC for a couple hundred bucks to have at school, and an Ibanez at home that is decent. I have an SG standard so I know and love Gibson.

As for the cutaway, that is really necessary. I know it doesn't add that much to the reach, but even then I want to get as much range as I can.

If it seems like I'm putting a lot of constraints on the guitar, I guess it's because I know what I want and I'll be spending a lot of money.
Try not to go to Guitar Center as most of their guitars should be labeled as used anyways, although occasionally you can find some gems. I would look at the Larrivee 3 series and if you can find an L body Larrivee, it just may be perfect for you as it is made to be strummed and fingerpicked. Don't worry about a cutaway as most of the time they are useless unless you spend most of your time down on the highest frets. If you find a cutaway with electronics that you love the unplugged sound then of course get it and don't worry about the name of the company. Have fun with the search.
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Just be VERY sure about the cutaway. I know someone who bought his Larrivee 10 series with a cutaway. He regrets getting the cutaway now. Trust me, you really won't go up there often. Not on an acoustic.
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.