The first guitar I bought remains my favorite. A Yamaha FG700s. The guy at my local GC recommended it (Im spoiled, have a big friendly-staffed store 4 minutes from my house).

My logic at the time was it was pretty cheap (about $250 after tax and pro-protection plan I didnt need) and it looked really good. It was the sunburst... I dont like the traditional finishes for acoustics, I feel like they all remind me of plywood.

Anyway that was about 5 years ago and after picking up a Gibson LP Studio, an American Strat, a Fender Jazz bass, and a cheap Ibanez acoustic electric ($100 beach guitar) the Yamaha is still my most played. Not sure its my favorite, but I dont always get to plug in, and I put my 18 month old son to bed every night to various Dispatch songs, so at least I get to play! Acoustic just fits with my life right now, and I can pick it up and play for 20 minutes around the house hassle free.

My big problem is when I go shopping and play stuff in the store I love it all. Sure, I like some more than others, but I tend to focus on what makes each guitar different and focus on the positives. It almost like I don’t feel comfortable buying one, they are too different… I need 3!

So here’s what I want, and Im hoping maybe some folks have had similar experiences.

To me these are traits of the Yamaha that are MUST HAVES for my next acoustic:

Durability: I bang it around quite a bit, play in the yard, drink heavily while jamming and let my toddler son bang on the body like a drum while I play. The thing is awesome and shows no wear or tear and best of all ALWAYS stays in tune. Sure it may slip sharp or flat but it stays in relative tune perfectly. I continue to be impressed with this guitar and will never ever sell it. If I no longer own it, it will be because I gave it to one of my kids or my house burned down.

Sound: Duh… it sounds pretty, has a nice ‘zing’ and projects really well

Playable: low action

Doesn’t need to be cased: I leave it out. Cased guitars don’t get played in my house so it sits on a stand. I live in NJ where there are massive temp and humidity fluctuations thoughout the year. The Yamaha has stood all of it perfectly. Probably about 3x a year I case it for a week with the wet sponge to moisten the wood but that’s all the special treatment it gets.

After that I am open!

What I don’t like and why I want an upgrade:
Buzz: the low action is great but I play a lot of barre chords and like to thump it and I get some string buzz. Im sure some of that can be cleaned up on my end, but I have played other guitars and experience this much less on other guitars.

No electronics: This isn’t huge, but its nice to have the option to plug in. Also as I do some at home looping it would be nice to lay down some acoustic tracks to jam over with the electronics.

No strap knob: Sounds silly but it annoys me to no end. There is not a knob on the neck so if I want to stand etc I have to do the shoe lace thing. Minor, I know, but Im not walking out of the store without a guitar that has TWO knobs for a strap

Mostly I just feel like I want a new sound and new toy and I have played other guitars I like a lot, just haven’t been ready to pull the trigger.

Cost: I would like to stay in the $500-$800 price range. If I found a real soulmate I would drop as much as $1200, but I hate the idea of a guitar that’s more than a $1000. I get nervous bringing it out, want to keep it perfect, etc… to me a guitar is an instrument first and foremost and I want to pick it up off the wall and bang away.

If I had a sound to emulate it would be Dispatch, but I like playing everything. Lately Ive been learning some Beatles and Allman bros as well.

Sorry if this is long winded… I appreciate any reads or feedback. Also let me say thanks for all the contributions in the before you buy sticky thread. I read all the company write-ups while eating lunch at work and it was both informative and enjoyable.
he of tranquil mind
the problem is that good quality guitars are made of thin wood. they're not going to be all that sturdy. perhaps you could grab a carbon fiber guitar - they have no body seams, so that may be helpful. if you could find a used composite acoustics cargo, that would be my first suggestion. or maybe a bigger composite acoustics. or i fell in love with the sound of the blackbird rider.

a lot of people feel that laminate guitars are sturdier, and some may be. perhaps you could try a seagull S6, as they have a very different sound than the yammie, and laminate back and sides that seem as sturdy as you're going to get. price is good, finish isn't gloss, so it won't show damage as well, top is cedar, and while some say cedar is more fragile, i carried around a cedar topped guitar as a clumsy tween and younger teen, and while some dings did happen, i didn't crack it or make holes in in.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
thanks patticake.. I will def give the Seagull a try. I had never heard of blackbird until I just looked them up.

Im a long dude... 6'3 190lbs so I do well with a dreadnaught body no problem.

Im definatly open to other materials. I wanted to like the ovations I tried but couldnt get past the slippery backs.
he of tranquil mind
if you love the FG700S, try some of yamahas upper offerings. the A series and L series guitars get fantastic reviews. i had an A series and it was great. i tried a few of the L series but i degress... i don't remember everything about them. i was impressed though.
need more gear and a lot more talent(courtesytuxs)