I'm new to the forums and I look forward to loads of good times here . I've been playing guitar for 1yr 9months and this will be my second acoustic guitar, the first being a Stagg SW203. I'm looking for a dreadnought acoustic-only guitar on which I could later install a pickup and as I'm also about entering university, I'm looking for something durable. I have a budget of 325euros which is about $485, below is a shortlist I came up with:

Yamaha FG720s
Yamaha FG730s
Yamaha FG750s
Epiphone Masterbilt DR500m

I haven't played any of them personally but I've read great reviews about all of them, and they all sound good on youtube. Is there much of a difference in sound between the Yamahas?. I'm considering getting the cheapest, being either the 720s or 730s and using the spare cash, to start saving up for a high-end guitar. What do you guys think?
Last edited by J.mzz at Nov 11, 2009,
i'm not familiar with the fg750, but the other two yamahas are good stuff, the 720 being smaller and more comfortable and the 730 having a tiny bit more tone, probably because it's bigger. it won't hurt you to get one of these and start saving - with the right strings, they both sound good and both have very good finish and built quality. if available where you are, i also recommend trying the seagull original and coastline series - i have one of each. very good sound and build quality, nice semi-gloss finish. i'd consider the yamaha 700 series and the seagull original and coastline guitars two of the best-quality bang for your buck guitar lines.

i haven't tried one yet myself, but i've heard only good things about recording king guitars. if you're a good shopper, you can get one of their all-solid guitars in your choice of size and mahogany or rosewood for $500 u.s. or less.

i'm not a fan of the masterbilts myself, but they're certainly not bad. many people here like them, although i find that they are not even as good sounding as some of the best laminate back and side guitars. also if you do get one, check just above and below the bridge for bulging and check the bridge for lifting. i've read about this issue and seen it myself on a couple of masturbilts.
I just purchased a Yamaha FG700S, a little less expensive than the 720, but a great guitar. The action was slightly high so I lowered it and now I will probably change the strings. I have no idea which ones to switch to, but that is going to be my question soon. Everyone that I know that plays has a different favorite, many a great deal expensive more than mine, but they all say that the Yamaha is the best acoustic for the price so you can't go wrong.
I have a Yamaha classical myself- a quality instrument in all ways. I cannot fault its acoustics and feel. The only other acoustics I've seen in that price range that I like as much or more are those by Godin's various companies (like Seagull, Norman, etc.).

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