#1
Hello acoustic guitar aficionados

I have a "milestone birthday" coming up, and I may have convinced my wife that this is an ideal occasion to buy me a significantly better acoustic guitar. I currently have a no-name beater dreadnought, a Gibson Hummingbird clone, with a solid spruce top and laminated mahogany sides. It is okay, but not a well-balanced guitar in terms of tone.

I'm waffling on the question of buying one with a cut-out. My top pick right now is the Larrivee LV-03re (it is my top pick after playing pretty well every guitar in several local guitar shops). It is their "basic" high-end guitar without the bling: sitka spruce top, rosewood sides & back, ebony fretboard, maple binding, a venetian cut-out and a built-in preamp & pickup.

Anticipating some push-back from my wife from sticker shock, I'm also considering Plan B, the L-03, which is the same guitar without the cut-out and pickups.

I like the L series of guitar because I want slightly less boominess in the bass without losing too much bass (like, in my opinion, parlour guitars). I also find it much more comfortable to play than a dreadnought. It seems to be a great all-rounder.

I play mostly fingerstyle at an intermediate level: older Bruce Cockburn, Steve Hackett songs and celtic tunes. I also strum the odd rock song with a pick. I'm a hobbyist who plays for fun.

I'm looking for a guitar for less than $2k CDN, and would prefer to buy new, as I want this guitar to be "my" baby for many years.

Anyway, back to the question of cut-outs. I like the idea of a cut-out, but to be honest the music I play has not demanded it thus far. It is just that I would like to have the option as my playing and repertoire improves. Do you think a cut-out is worth the cost?

I don't need electronics. I tend to play by myself or with a small group of friends. Ideally, I would like the cut-out without the electronics, and buy the electronics if and when I need it. If I were to buy one with electronics, I do have a couple of nice tube amps and electric guitar equipment to accompany it.

Any other experienced players out there who went through this decision? What did you choose? Were you happy about your choice?

Did you buy a cut-out and not need it? Did you find the electronics useful after all? Did you not buy the cut-out and miss it afterward? Do you prefer the tone of a guitar without the cut-out (they sound about the same to my ears)?

I'd love to hear your stories, as it would help me make my Big Decision!
#2
when ihad to come across this decistion as i was buying my frist real acoustic guitar i had to choose one with a cut out and one without same deal as you cutaway had electronics

i chose the one with a cut away and it never looked back mostly cause my playing style uses alot of the higher frets and the cut away makes it really helpfull
this acoustic guitar is also the acoustic guitar i gig with cause its the most comfortable

so i say if youre used to play an electirc guitar and have access to the frets above 12-14 id say get the cutaway one i think the difference in tone isnt too bad and if you can aford it get the cut away