#2
the best guitars are usually all solid guitars. in my opinion, blueridge makes the best all solid martin clones by far in your price range. they sound great, and none of the ones i've seen - and i've seen a lot - have had any issues. if you're in the u.s. and want to buy a blueridge, you can't beat maury's, not only cause he's a good guy but also because he has the guitar on sale this month.
http://www.maurysmusic.com/inc/sdetail/blueridge_br_143/35949

if you want to go cheap, i'd suggest a silver creek. lots of guys i know like these for beater or second guitars. they're all solid, and while i have heard of these guitars having some build issues, musicians friend always takes good care of their customers who have issues, paying for the return and sending out a replacement. i'm not sure if they're this good for non-u.s. customers, but you could always ask. here's the guitar like the one you showed us.
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Silver-Creek-T160-Acoustic-Guitar?sku=512727
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#3
Both of the 000-sized guitars mentioned by patticake - a Blueridge BR-143 and a Silver Creek T-160 - feature solid spruce tops and solid mahogany backs and sides.

The guitar indicated by kosarsosar is a Martin 000-42. This is a 000-size guitar, with *I think* solid spruce top and solid rosewood back and sides.

So at least in terms of similarity of materials, I would suggest the Silver Creek T-170 would be a closer match than the T-160. (I'm not sufficiently familiar with the Blueridge line of guitars to know which model is just like the BR-143, but with rosewood instead of mahogany.)

Of course, there's a lot more to a guitar than its size and the type of wood used.

FWIW, I like Silver Creek guitars. I think they're good guitars, and great for their price (which is often discounted due to a sale). Yes, they may benefit from a proper set-up upon arrival, but the same could be said for many makes and models of guitars.

My Silver Creek T-170, however, is not a "Martin clone." It's the same size as a 000 Martin, and uses the same types of wood as some Martins, but much as I like it, it's not "identical to a Martin 000-28EC, for 1/15 the price!" I mention this, as some people - perhaps out of an excess of enthusiasm - seem to describe it that way.

This having been said, I don't think MF has had the Silver Creeks on sale for a couple of months now. I suspect a new sale is just about due.
--
Michael
#4
the rosewood blueridge would be the br-163.

i have never laid hands on a silver creek, but i've read a lot of reviews on agf, heard a lot of recordings and seen a lot of silver creek ngd threads. judging by this and by the many blueridges i've seen, blueridge guitars probably have a better finish and tend to have a lot less minor issues and inconsistencies, and may have a slightly deeper voice. still, it's hard to beat a silver creek when it comes to value.
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#5
thanks guys! i was also looking at the breedlove passport om. any opinions on those?
#6
definitely doesn't sound as good as the blueridges, partly because it's got laminate back and sides. probably doesn't sound as good as the silver creeks, either. in most cases, all solid trumps laminate back and sides when it comes to sound quality and resonance.
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#7
I agree that as a general thing, all solid wood sounds better than solid + laminate. Maybe not every time, in every case, but overall that's the way to bet. And over the last few years, some all solid wood guitars have hit the market at prices lower than those previously available.

But a guitar with laminate back and sides can still sound good. And might be somewhat less sensitive (NOT insensitive) to changes in temperature and humidity. Although honestly, if you know that your guitar is going to be subject to sudden swings in temperature, low humidity in winter, etc., you may as well get just an all laminate beater guitar and accept that you're going to have to sacrifice some sound quality in the name of practicality. (Or pay serious money for some composite wonder guitar.)

So kosarsosar, what exactly is it about the Breedlove Passport OM that you particularly like? Other than the OM size, I mean.
--
Michael
#8
A guitar with laminate back and sides can sound good. Take Seagull, for instance (yes, I'm a Godin/Seagull *****, let's get over it). Seagull's S6 Original with laminate back and sides sounds absolutely great due mostly to the superior bracing and cedar top.

I used to believe that laminate top guitars could never sound good, and then I heard the laminate-topped Godin 5th Avenue archtop. Holy crap does that guitar have clarity.

Now, I'm not saying you should run out and buy the Breedlove Passport because, frankly, I think they're terrible guitars. Just don't discount laminates and always know HOW the laminate is made. Some are just wood pulp mixed with epoxy that comes out baked in sheets. Some are actually relatively thick layers of wood in 2 or 3-ply that are actual tonewood.

Personally, I would look towards the Silver Creek or Blueridge models. You'll probably find what you're looking for.
Sincerely, Chad.
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#9
no argument that the seagull s6 is a great sounding guitar - one of the best solid tops ever. if i could still play a dread, i'd still have mine.
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#10
Well, the Epiphone Masterbilt line of all solid wood guitars is a fav of mine. I have two and my brother has one as well. Before you buy I'd say just to check out the EF-500M

http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Epiphone-Masterbilt-EF500M-Fingerstyle-Acoustic-Guitar?sku=519060
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#11
Quote by 1500 meanstreak
Well, the Epiphone Masterbilt line of all solid wood guitars is a fav of mine. I have two and my brother has one as well. Before you buy I'd say just to check out the EF-500M

http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Epiphone-Masterbilt-EF500M-Fingerstyle-Acoustic-Guitar?sku=519060


Masterbilts are pretty awesome, at least for rhythm and fingerstyle playing. They aren't great lead guitars in my experience, but I don't expect a $500 guitar to cover everything perfectly.
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#12
i wouldn't get a passport over a blueridge or a recording king. i don't love masterbilts by comparison, as qc isn't consistent and tone is good but not great, but the op might like 'em - they sound better than a passport, also.

Quote by sonic_777111
Masterbilts are pretty awesome, at least for rhythm and fingerstyle playing. They aren't great lead guitars in my experience, but I don't expect a $500 guitar to cover everything perfectly.
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Last edited by patticake at Mar 21, 2011,
#13
I absolutely loved the Masterbilt line. I highly, highly recommend you try.
Sincerely, Chad.
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#14
Quote by patticake
i wouldn't get a passport over a blueridge or a recording king. i don't love masterbilts by comparison, as qc isn't consistent and tone is good but not great, but the op might like 'em - they sound better than a passport, also.


ya I've heard that from people about the QC, but I guess I must be either lucky or not very picky because mine are pretty much perfect! I bought a Vintage Sunburst AJ-500M which is the round should dread like a J-45. I actually bought it as a second/refurb that was sold that way because the scale is about 1/8 of an inch too short. It plays and sounds like a dream though! I put a L.R. Baggs Element in it and I love it.

The other one I have is a natural DR-500M, just basic square shoulder dread that I got used off eBay for next to nothing compared to the regular price. It had a couple nicks in it and the seller said he had never gotten it setup or anything so i expected to have to work on it. Turns out it plays and sounds better than any other guitar I have! It's my go-to choice anytime.

My brother bought a DR-500MCE with the cutaway and electrics built-in and same story, he loves it and plays solo's like nobody's business!
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#15
im definitely digging the blueridge, but i think my hands may be too big for the neck.
#16
the A series blueridges have a 1 3/4" nut, if that helps.

Quote by kosarsosar
im definitely digging the blueridge, but i think my hands may be too big for the neck.
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#18
Quote by kosarsosar

Damn fine guitar. I'm sure you'll be happy with it.

Just so you know, a lot of companies like Blueridge who install bone nuts and saddles on their guitars use sub-par bone for cost reasons. Bone is a fickle thing and "dead spots" in nuts and saddles is common in cheaper bone stock. If you get your guitar and you have a dead string, it's culprit could very well be a dead spot in the nut or saddle. This is something easily spotted and easily remedied. I'm sure you could return it, but if you're extremely happy with everything else, it's something to consider as an option.

Blueridge has pretty decent quality control, though. It's highly unlikely you'll encounter this problem. I'm just mentioning it now in case you do.
Sincerely, Chad.
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#19
good point about the saddle and nut.
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