Well, with graduation rolling around, I have found myself with money! Woohoo!
Anyway, I'm in need of a new acoustic guitar, and I come to you to make sure i'm not just making a stupid decision

I am planning on spending roughly $500 on a new guitar (I have everything else needed). I would prefer that it be an acoustic/electric, as I much prefer that over a soundhole pickup. Plus, I love the inboard tuner on most systems nowadays...

I have 2 that I am looking at now which are:

Seagull Entourage Rustic CW QIT


Breedlove Passport C250/CM

A cutout would be preferred and I LOVE the look of the natural wood, so thats a plus (which is why im leaning away from the Rustic Seagull...), but not required. I could go higher than 500 if its a REALLY great guitar...

Btw, i've been reading about getting a normal acoustic and then installing a pickup. Thoughts?

one more to consider, and one i often recommend - the yamaha fgx730sc

here's the thing - if you could live without a cutaway, you could get an all solid guitar for a little more. either a blueridge br-140 http://www.maurysmusic.com/inc/sdetail/35952 or an epiphone masterbilt. these are higher quality than the laminate back and sides guitars you're looking at. then you could add a pickup after you have some more cash. but if you can't go $50 or so over $500, or can't live without a cutaway, you might as well get the guitar with electronics or save for a little longer.

btw, have you played the two guitars you're considering? they don't sound much like each other, nor does the yamaha sound like either of them.
Yep, I have looked at the Yamaha. I kinda have this thing against yamahas, as i have played a few and never liked the feel of them. I could possibly go as far as $650, but I would like to stay in the $500 range, if possible.

Having a pickup is really a nessecity for me, as i'm going to be playing alot with a band, and i'll need it to be amplified. The cutaway is not really needed, just preferred....
have you played the seagull and the breedlove? if so, and you can't decide, why not go back a couple more times?
Yes, I have played both, and I think I prefer the breedlove. Really, I wanna make sure there aren't any great guitars in my range that i'm completely missing.

oberythepenguin - thanks, and those photos are great. Much better than the online ones. Do you know how the headstock fits on a normal wall hangar?
Not sure how they hang them at your GC, but for mine, they have a pice of leather that is attached to the top two tuners and is hung by that on a hook....
Ok, cool. Thanks penguin...

So I found out about $200 extra dollars that I didn't know I had, so lets say my budget is 700 - 800 dollars. Any recommendations?
here are the all-solid wood seagull guitars with electronics
- and guess what... they're all good quality with nice finish, hardware and good sound. they all seem to have the wider 1.8" nut, which is nice if you don't want to feel cramped on the fingerboard. and there are several styles, each with a different voice, but you can't really go wrong here.

all the breedloves at musiciansfriend are on sale right now, so if you don't mind a tighter 1 11/16" nut, there are some nicer ones than the one you linked to for around $699 to $799. you might find an all solid or solid top and back in there, which would be a score.

if you don't mind a 1 11/16 nut on a smaller guitar, here's an all solid mahogany guild that's pretty sweet http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Guild-GADM20E-AcousticElectric-Guitar?sku=620829

and i know all the regulars here have been waiting for me to say this - if 1 11/16 is okay with you, you could get a blueridge br-140 from maury's, add a k&k pure western and have maury put it in for you, and you'd still come in under budget at $714. the br-140 is all solid, great sounding guitar with balanced tone and plenty of bass response, and a nice gloss finish.

now here's what what i would do with that budget and assuming a dread is what is wanted. i'd go a few more bucks, and get a blueridge br-140A with the k&k, which installed comes to $811 for everything. this guitar has the wider nut, an adirondack top, sounds wonderful, great finish and the k&k pickup sounds good. you wouldn't have a built in tuner, but you'd have a great sounding all solid wood guitar with good electronics. but that's what i would do - if i didn't go for a seagull or go used.

the really cool thing is that none of these are compromise guitars - there's no downside to any of them, so they're guitars you could feel great about playing and owning.
I wen't to my local GC today and tried out as many guitars as I could. I'm starting to lean away from the Seagull's, as I am not crazy about the sound I get out of any of them.

I did find a breedlove that I liked. (this one) Anything that i'm missing that should push me away?

The description says it has a "Mahogany Laminate Back and Sides" does that mean this would not be considered an all solid wood guitar? Sorry, pretty new to the acoustic guitar side...

I will look into that blueridge and see if a store around me has them so I can try it out.

Thanks for all the helpful replies!
a laminate back isn't all solid - it's sheets of wood glued together. because that dampens vibration, it's not the best for tone, but if you like how the guitar sounds, that's important. all solid guitars tend to have more overtones and nuance for the same reason - there's no glue between the layers of laminate to restrain the vibrations.
That's too bad you don't like Yamahas- I can understand though. We all have our preferences. I've had a good experience with both of mine in the last 6 years I've owned them. Takamine is great too. They're along the same lines and still cheap. I find even the cheaper ones can provide a great sound, quality and durability. I wouldn't go for a fender or epiphone acoustic. I have not owned a breedlove but everyone I have known that owns one loves it and they do have great sounds. Ultimately it's up to which one feels best to you. Good luck on your final purchase!