Sorry for the long thread, here's the gist of it: What are good guitars for a fingerpicker with some sort of pickup in the 500-800$ pricerange? How are the Ibanez EW35ABE NT and the EW50SME NT models, sound-wise? How do "Olive Ash Burl" and "Spalted Maple" sound? Cutaway or not?

First of all, thanks for checking out this thread, and second of all, sorry if I'm rehashing questions already answered elsewhere on this board in threads I've missed. I'm new here, you see! =P I've looked for answers in the "Acoustic Guitar FAQ" and associated links, and have indeed found alot of answers, but not quite all of them...

The premise: I'm a young fingerpicker from Sweden, trying to expand his would-be-hobby into something more. The occasional gig, performances, etc, instead of just sitting at home and playing by myself. I'd like to think I'm somewhat good, but one can always improve! Anyhow, I'm going to buy a new guitar. I'm currently stuck with an old Yamaha CG 150S classical guitar and a Poison SX steel-strung acoustic. The scorpion was alot cooler when I bought it all those years ago...

So, it's a new steel-strung acoustic I'm after. One that I can plug in and amplify, and well as play normally. I read the aforementioned thread and learned about guitar shapes, woods, and all those nice things. Quite alot to read. With the newfound information in hand, I went to my local music store, a very small establishment, and tested their guitars. Trying to hear the difference between guitars, woods and shapes is really hard when you've never done it before!

The store in question only sells guitars from Ibanez at the moment, so that was what I tried. The AW30ECE NT, AW40ECE NT and some more, but those two were the ones I liked the most. I took a brochure (Ibanez) and looked around. I really like the look of the EW35ABE NT and the EW50SME NT, which have more exotic woods in them. They didn't have them in the store, sadly, and neither in the bigger store in town I'm intending to visit soon. They've got tops (which I'm to understand is the biggest influence when it comes to the sound?) made from Olive Ash Burl and Spalted Maple, respectively. I couldn't find either on any list of tonewoods I've seen. Has anybody got an experience with either guitar they'd like to share?

I've tried to find some info as to how much a cutaway reduces the sound and it's quality, but there doesn't seem to be a definitive answer. I bet there is a thread somewhere here discussing it in length, but I can't find any.

As I've only looked at Ibanez so far, are there any other good guitars out there that I should have a look at? As I said, will mostly be used for fingerpicking, preferably "pluggable", and in the 500-800$ pricerange.


Thanks in advance!
try the ael series they are really good for the price and the electronics are really good
avoid the Ibanez exotic woods if you can. There just a laminate guitar, and hugely overpriced.
Where the hell did slide guitar go!?!
Epiphone Masterbilt EF-500RE. You can get "USED" ones on Ebay for great prices if you wait long enough. I got a DR-500M for $200.00 American and it sounds FANTASTIC. I ended up buying a second for $300 with the electronics. The EF's are a little more expensive but you can probably get one with electronics for around $450-$500 plus shipping if you're willing to shop around for a little while.
i wouldn't get an ibanez - quality isn't as good as some others, and the exotic woods guitars aren't solid. can you get yamahas, seagulls or blueridge guitars where you're at? if so, check out the seagull Maritime SWS series and the yamaha L series. the blueridge br-140A or br-160A might work if you're willing to add a pickup yourself later - the rest of the blueridge guitars have a 1 11/16 nut, which isn't great for most fingerpickers. also if you can't find those brands, look for an epiphone masterbilt. i don't like them as well, but they sure sound better than laminate ibanezes.

no, a cutaway doesn't change the sound.
Thanks for the replies!

Ok, I'll stay away from the exotics then. Too bad, they do look good! And if a cutaway doesn't change the sound I'm getting one - none of my current guitars has it. Are those models you mentioned available in cutaway as well? I checked on the respective websites, but it didn't seem like it.

As for what guitars and brands I can get, it's more a matter of which ones are available locally to be tested. The local store will order pretty much any guitar I want them to, but I won't be able to test them before actually buying them. Which isn't ideal.

What about the Ibanez AW30ECE NT and AW40ECE NT? They're solid tops. Are they still "bad" because they're Ibanez?
ibanez focuses on looks rather than sound. as a result, they tend not to sound as good although they look flashy. their build quality and hardware in my experience are also not quite as good. if you have to stick with an ibanez, why not just pick the one you like best?