So I've searched thought these and a few other boards, but I still find myself in need of advice.

I'm looking for my first real guitar. In college my best good friend started to play and I decided I wanted to take it up. I didn't have a guitar to get started on, but I did have the neck of a guitar with frets. So I've been practicing on that for about 6 months and, considering what I'm playing on, I've gotten pretty good.

It leaves me with somewhat of a unique situation though. I want to buy something that's decent, but I don't know what decent sounds like (mostly tone deaf).

I'm looking for:

-Something in the $3-400 range
-Pure acoustic- From what I've read on here it's better to have a pure acoustic vs electric/acoustic for the price range.
-Dreadnought style preferred.

I know the biggest piece of advice when buying is to go try, but honestly I wouldn't know what I was listening or feeling for. Whatever I end up playing will sound 'right' to me, and everything else will sound slightly different. I do care about the sound quality though, I just don't know what that sounds like.

Thanks for any input!
Well, A good acoustic in my opinion is a Taylor. They have very good sound and playability. However, it's doubtful you'll find a good one for $300-400. I would just say go with an Ovation, or a cheap Ibanez acoustic. They sound good for the price range, and can take a tone of abuse.
the ibanez aeg (or ael) 20e is a fantastic guitar. i know you dont want an acoustic electric, but that one is frikin amazing
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When you're trying out guitars you may not know what you're listening for, but your hands will definitely know what feels best. IMO, thats even more important than sound. In that price range, you should be able to get something of good quality, so they should all sound "good" just "different".

When I play guitars in the store, I'm always self-conscious so I tend to play very quietly. Even if you're just doing some basic strumming or running through scales, its worth it to go try stuff out. Its a real pain to order something off the web, have it arrive, and not like it (or worse yet, not know that there is something that suits you better in your price range).

Good luck!
i prefer the yamaha fg730s to the tak G340SC or the art and lutherie, but that's just my own sound preferences. if you can go to $400, i most prefer the seagull original s6, although if you like thinner necks, you may like the seagull s6 slim, which is the same guitar only with the slimmer neck. beautiful sounding guitars, and i love the semi gloss finish. you might also want to check out the blueridge br-40, which has a little more bass and also very good sound.
Thanks all for the input... I'm still struggling with the decision, but I think you've talked me in to going to a store and trying a few out. I suppose I don't really know what I'm listening for, but if there is a big difference in the way they feel as some have suggested, then I guess I'll make the trek.

On a semi-related note, does anyone have any experience with this guitar?: http://www.ibanez.com/AcousticGuitars/model-AEG25ETBK

Someone had suggested the AEG20, this is the AEG25. It's right in my price range and I really like the way it looks (a cardinal sin for choosing a guitar, I know!) but I can't find a review on it anywhere.

I'm torn between that one, the Washburn D10SCE - (the safe choice it seems) and the Takamine G340SC which was also suggested and is still the best pure acoustic cutaway that I could find.

Thanks again for any and all input! It is greatly appreciated!
i've never played an ibanez i considered a high quality guitar. they put their money into looks rather than sound, and i couldn't care less about looks - i care about feel, playability and sound.
Rass, you have to be careful, you've got a decent budget but you're not looking at some important things.

There's mainly three types of guitars - laminate wood, solid wood, or a solid wood top with laminate sides and back.

Laminate wood wont age and doesn't sound as good as solid wood. The Ibanez you linked is all laminate, but your budget would support a solid top with laminate sides and back.

I've tried tons of acoustic guitars, I spend a lot of time in my local GC playing around, usually spending money I shouldn't be spending.

When it comes to Ibanez, you would want to look for a AW30, http://www.guitarcenter.com/Ibanez-AW30ECE-ARTWOOD-SERIES-Acoustic-Electric-Guitar-105613111-i1441048.gc?source=4WFRWXX&CAWELAID=439943666

That's the only Ibanez I really like that you will find in GC right now, I even bought it myself.

Some other quality guitars I own in your price range are a takamine G series new yorker, which is great but it is parlor size (smaller than dreadnaught), and seagull s6.

Either way no matter what you get, make sure it's at least solid top, your budget definitely supports it.

EDIT: About pattis remark when it comes to Ibanez and never coming across "high quality guitar", I would not consider any guitar with laminate sides or back a high quality guitar, only solid wood. His budget does not support that. In my experience when you compare a $400 takamine or any guitar brand to an Ibanez, Ibanez stands up just fine in comparison of quality. When you break into the solid wood guitars, that's when Ibanez no longer is a lead contender in quality, but his budget does not support a solid wood guitar, so it doesn't matter.
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Last edited by guitar nubsauce at Jun 8, 2010,
Quote by guitar nubsauce
I would not consider any guitar with laminate sides or back a high quality guitar, only solid wood.

At this point, the only thing he should really be concerned with is finding a guitar that suits him. If it sounds and feels right, he shouldn't care what it's made from. There are great laminate guitars, just as there are terrible solid wood guitars.
Last edited by GC Shred Off at Jun 8, 2010,
Quote by obeythepenguin
So the famous Selmer "Modele Jazz" as played by Django Reinhardt isn't a high-quality guitar? That had laminate back and sides, and you never heard him complaining about the sound.

I've said this before, and I'll say it again: there is nothing, absolutely nothing wrong with laminates per se. It's true that they have less resonance than solid wood -- that's basic physics -- and since you can get them as low as $200, I usually insist on at least a solid top. But for the back and sides, it doesn't matter as much, since those don't vibrate so much as reflect the top's sound. I have a good ear and a fair amount of experience, and I'll be damned if I can hear the difference between solid and laminate back and sides.

The materials don't matter so much as the skill of the builder. Antonio de Torres made a guitar of paper mache; Bob Taylor made one from old shipping pallets. More relevant to this discussion, Yamaha builds great-sounding, high quality guitars from laminates, and has for decades. I hear nothing but praise for their instruments (and from my limited experience with their stuff, it's well deserved).

I'd like to consider myself a snob, but frankly I can play my low-end Seagulls or my (all-laminate) acoustic bass next to high-end Martins and Taylors, and they easily hold their own. Price was never a deciding factor -- I didn't know it until I took it up to the counter -- and if I was that interested in nice wood, I'd go to the lumberyard. I bought them for the instrument, not for the materials! I don't judge instruments on what I paid, or what they're made from, or how they stack up to some arbitrary and entirely dissimilar high-end model; I judge them on their own merits. They sound and feel good to me, therefore I'd say they're just fine.

Now, as far as Ibanez, I believe the main problem is they have inconsistent quality control. I'm sure even they make some good guitars, but they have a disproportionately large number of bad ones compared to other companies. For the money, you can easily get higher -- and more consistent -- quality from a more reputable company. I've tried to be polite and objective here; this is based entirely on what I've read of other people's experiences. My own opinion of the company is probably unprintable.

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