Alright, so I've never owned an acoustic guitar before. I know most of the time people start out on one, but I didn't I play my brothers acoustic a lot, but his is not very taken care of, he never changes the strings, etc., and besides, it's his, not mine, so I'd like to get my own. But I don't really know what to get or even what to look for. I'm assuming Gibson and Fender are good, and I hear a lot about Taylor so it must have a really good reputation, but I'm not really looking to spend that much... My friend has an Alvarez, and I know they are kind of cheap, but are they good quality?
I just want something that doesn't go out of tune easily, sounds decent (not looking for the best sound ever, but I don't want something that sounds not so great, you know?), and is relatively cheap. I would like to stay under $250, but I would be willing to pay $300 if the sound and reliability is that much better than a $250 guitar. By the way the reasons I'm looking for an acoustic is because 1). I don't have one... 2). I like the sound of an acoustic guitar better than an electric guitar... and 3). Something I can take with me pretty much everywhere... Like for example, show choir camp is coming up pretty soon and I just think it would be pretty cool if I could take my guitar with me and whoever's with me and we just jam out, because occasionally it can get pretty boring, and usually we just wander around in the woods when nothing is going on anyway.

I would be playing mostly Dave Matthews and Jack Johnson-style music. Also any acoustic songs by Led Zeppelin, The White Stripes, and Guns N' Roses, to name a few more.
For a guitar in your budget, its good to look at brands like Alvarez, Yamaha, and Washburn. Those are three brands that tend to have very consistent quality, and give you great sounding/playing guitars for the money that you put in them. Each of those brands have a few different models in your price range. It also has to be said that your best bet is to go to the store and play as many of them as you possibly can, to get the best one for you.
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Quote by iband48
It also has to be said that your best bet is to go to the store and play as many of them as you possibly can, to get the best one for you.

Well yes, of course. But I would like to know what I should be looking for so I don't waste my time on brands I shouldn't be looking at.
I have this:


And believe me, I play just the music you are talking about and the sound is amazingly crisp and lively. I recommend changing the strings soon and give it some oil as soon as you get it and use these strings:

Martin Acoustic Guitar Strings 80/20 Bronze

They go amazingly well with it.

If you want a guitar you can use for live performances too I recommend the higher model with pickup:


I have had friends, pro musicians, that wanted to give me one of their older acoustic guitars in the 600E price range if I gave them mine. I have said no, because that only means it is truly good.

Yamaha is a great brand.

Seagull is also neat.

It all depends on what my local guitar store has, as they don't have a very wide selection. I'm assuming they have Yamaha, they might have Alvarez, and they probably have Epiphone. Although neither of you mentioned Epiphone so I probably won't get one of those
epiphone neither sound nor they as good build or finish quality as yamaha guitars.

all yamahas are not alike - i wouldn't go below the solid top fg700s, which should be $200, although i know when there aren't many stores some smaller stores inflate the prices. i find the yamaha fg730s sounds better, but yes, it costs more - $300.

at under $300, there's not a lot of good quality guitars around, but if you can find a solid top alvarez or walden, those are pretty good. i'd consider bringing a list of the lower cost solid top guitars in those brands just in case your local store sales person either doesn't know the lines and thinks the laminate top ones are all solid. or in case they lie, straight up. a solid top guitar is going to sound better than a laminate top guitar, so you definitely will want a solid top if you want better tone.

fender acoustics are not as good as their electrics, and i'd avoid ibanez, dean and epiphone.
Look at Blueridge, Stanford or Recording King. A lot of bang for the buck. Stay away from the cheap laminates. Fender ins't a good idea nor is ibanez or Hohner or Montana.