In these times of rapidly increasing guitar prices a feel I want to get an accoustic before everything is out of my price range. I've narrowed it down to either a Yamaha APX 700 or a Martin DX1. I havent played either of these guitars, as my local shop doesnt stock them. I'm looking for good playability and so would value the cutaway on the Yamaha, although I'm not bothered about it being an electro accoustic. Do cutaway accoustics with electric pickups compramise unamplified tone? Im not just looking for a guitar to bash out chords on but one that would complient me progressing into accoustic blues and maybe some slide.

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated in helping me make up my mind before I see these guitars jump up by £100.

I'd go with the Martin. Their laminates catch a lot of hate that is unjustified. The more guitars I play, the more impressed I am with their brand. To me, just about all other low end guitars sound overly twangy, with very little bass. The worst being a Baby Taylor; played one the other day that I wouldn't give $40 for, sounded like a kid put rubber bands on a cigar box. Hmmm....actually I would probably give the kid more money to be a nice guy

The Martin tone would fit your acoustic blues and slide playing well, as Clapton (blues) and Alman (slide) both played Martins frequently, but not exclusively.

Pickups shouldn't affect tone; my favorite guitar at the moment is a cheap Fender laminate somebody stuck a pickup in. Got it for $80 in a pawn shop, its probably one of the best buys I've ever made, as far as tone goes. Its theoretically a crap model from a crap brand, but they must have cranked out one good one on a great day and I got lucky and found it. It's almost to par with my D-28 Great volume, great response from bass, balanced tone.

I had a cheap Takamine Jasmine once, the controls on the side didn't seem to change the pickup at all. I don't know if the pickup affected the tone unplugged, but when plugged in tone control did nothing and the volume control did little.

A higher action will help that slide playing if you are new to it.

Post pics when you buy!
Bluegrass Rocks


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I bought a Takamine G Series Takamini (baby or mini cutaway), a few years ago at a closeout sale.

It has a pickup under the bridge nut, and the tone seems fine and un-affected whether plugged in or not.

It was a toss up between a Fender stratocoustic and this, and the sound of the Takamini was much better unplugged, which is how it normally gets played.

The only problem was the 'action', (which was better on the Fender), however . .

This turned out to be the way Takamine ship their instruments - (lots of extra shims under the bridge!).

Remove some of this packing, make slight (1/8) turn on the truss rod and it plays fine and sounds pretty good, and stays in tune, even after heavy chord strumming and with cheapish strings.

Might be worth looking around for one to try.

Small and easy to transport without compromising sound or playability.

Takamini CEB (discontinued)

Dave the Rave - "You can't sack me! - I'm Sack-less!"

Yamaha FGX412
Takamine CEB
Roland Cube
Korg Tuner CA-30
Couple of 1960's Echo Super Vampers mouth harps.
(. . . plus a cheap Rogue black Dread'nt 6 String and a black Mandolin in USA)
Last edited by RVSINUK at Feb 28, 2009,
For the money, the Martin is really not worth $500. I'm not very familiar with the yamaha you speak of. My suggestion would be check out the Epiphone Masterbilt series. All solid wood guitars and great playability