#1
I love these forums, specifically for the fact that I can always get advice from real players. My city is a dead spot for people who actually understand my situation. They are either too far along for my experience, or too early into their guitarist lives for my experience. I apologize in advance for my long-windedness. My OP's are usually very detailed so I don't have to waste anybody's time explaining little things that I left out later. But anyways, I won't bore you with my life story. The usual criteria: I have no useful guitars that hove caught my eye yet... $150-$200 limit (and that's pushing it). Must be acoustic-electric, and cut in (preferably). I've only played dreadnaught guitars, and as a lead guitarist, I can't stand not having that access to perfectly good frets. No preference for types of pickups. Um, probably a thinner neck with lower action would be ideal, but I can manage anything. I can't be too specific given my price range I guess. If I left anything out, feel free to ask me...

-Dsi.
#2
Quote by Dsioret
I have no useful guitars that hove caught my eye yet... $150-$200 limit (and that's pushing it). Must be acoustic-electric, and cut in (preferably). I've only played dreadnaught guitars, and as a lead guitarist, I can't stand not having that access to perfectly good frets. No preference for types of pickups. Um, probably a thinner neck with lower action would be ideal, but I can manage anything. I can't be too specific given my price range I guess. If I left anything out, feel free to ask me...

-Dsi.


an acoustic electric in that price range will be a bit tricky. the best thing i can think of is look for a used ephiphone, but seeing as you are in a 'musician deadzone' this will be quite tricky.

i think you'll even have trouble finding a cheap Chinese knockoff (like Agile) in that price range.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
#3
Yeah, that's my primary dilemma. I can't seem to even find a half-decent used acoustic for under $199. If I scrap the price range, what do you think would be a good step up for, let's say, up to $400. That's waaaay out of my league, but I just need something to build off of. I do very good research on my own.
#4
I gave up on the cutaways on acoustic-electrics until I got to the expensive guitars. I have a non-electric Yamaha cheapo ($150 on markdown) and an 814ce Taylor (complete opposite end of the spectrum, but it DOES have a cutaway).

Here's something that's completely off your radar... I also have (and use more than anything truly acoustic) a Variax 700 Acoustic.



This yahoo uses them (with paint jobs):

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And this is the business end:


These may look like a thin-body acoustic guitar, but under that spruce top, they're a mahogany solid body guitar. The knob controls the various models and then there are three sliders that control "mike placement", volume, and alternate tunings (yes!). You can sit around and noodle with one and there's just enough volume to piss of your wife if you're sitting right next to her, but not enough to play with anyone who has a real acoustic. The guitar models are designed to sound like various real guitars, but as they sound miked (or through their onboard electronics).

Here are the specs (and I run mine with fairly low action and either 11 or 12's bronzewounds):

Simple and intuitive Volume and Mic Position/Tone Shaping controls
Instant access to preset and custom altered tunings
Thin and comfortable mahogany body with spruce top
Mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard and pearl snowflake position markers
24 medium profile frets
25 1/2" scale length
17" fingerboard radius
Standard 1/4" guitar output jack
Digital I/O jack for Vetta™ II (or Pod HD/X3/XT) connectivity
Included direct box provides power plus 1/4" standard guitar and XLR balanced outputs
Can also be powered by on-board batteries or Line 6's Vetta II amplifier
Includes custom 1/4" TRS cable
Custom-fitted heavy duty gig bag
Available in Natural, Black and Sunburst finish
Variax Acoustic 700 Models based on*:
1941 Martin® 5-17
1946 Martin® 000-28
1960 Martin® D-21
1954 Gibson® J45®
1951 Gibson® SJ®-200
1933 Selmer® Maccaferri
1951 D'Angelico New Yorker
1958 Manuel Velazquez
1973 Guild® F412
1935 Stella® Auditorium
1939 National Reso-Phonic Style "O"
1937 Dobro® Model 27
Gibson® Mastertone
Mandola
Japanese Shamisen
Indian Sitar

About the alternate tunings: there are some GREAT preset slide guitar tunings, etc., but since you can tune these things (without ever touching string tension) an octave up or down, each string, I've actually tuned the bottom two strings an octave down and played bass while the top four strings are tuned normally (finger picking). I'll stand in among several other acoustic players and have people in the audience peering around looking for the bass player.
Last edited by dspellman at Feb 16, 2014,
#5
Very detailed, thank you. I've been doing some downtime research myself, and I found that some thinner bodied acoustics would be better for my playing style, easier to handle for studio/stage work and all. I have two friends, (Ironically both of them are named Austin) who have Ibanez AEGsomething's, and I checked those out. The thin body design with the rounded tail end seem to be pretty popular, especially ones with solid-body insides.

Knowledge-wise, I'm inept at acoustic guitars in general. I only play them because I technically have to, and because my modo-strat is still in pieces after I took it apart to reconstruct some bad wiring. I would love to have a thinner body, but not a mini. I've played them and they seem awfully intonated. Full scale (nothing below 25 inch) would be nice too. That Variax is sexy, I have to admit, but I'd kill myself trying to work up the money to buy one. The brands that I'm hearing about the most are Epiphone, Yamaha (which I'd like to avoid) and Ibanez. You may be right about giving up on the cutaway acoustics for that price range, maybe find a deal somewhere?

Anyway, thanks for the suggestions. The only reason I need a new acoustic, is because my Gibson Maestro (don't worry, it's only $70) decided that one of it's tuning machines should strip a gear and fall apart, on the high E of all things. I would just buy a full pack of new tuning machines if a good set didn't cost as much as the guitar did in the first place. I was originally planning to do some part swaps (all metal gear, no body-chopping) and produce a new leader as my main acoustic. So right now I'm just hoping for something manageable and versitile. Go I love that Variax though. Looked at a couple of reviews and saw some demo's and... just wow.
#6
You can get lucky on occasion. I grabbed a Takamine EG544SC-4C A/E this week for $200, though it's been put through the ringer. A similar guitar was at the local GC, less beat up, but not as good a player, for $450. Online I see them from $320 to $450 at a glance, though again, probably less battered.

Glancing through Guitar Center's website, I see a few A/Es at $200 or so. Some even new. I see an Epiphone AJ-100CE for $150, a Washburn EA12 for $200, a used Takamine for $200, and some others. Now whether or not these guitars are worth $200 is another thing entirely. I've heard some decent things about Yamaha's APX series, and there was a used one on there for $200. There's a Fender CD140SCE (I believe the CD140's come with solid tops, Spruce or Mahogany) on there as well, for a bit under. New there's about 13 guitars there, Yamahas and Ibanezes for the most part.

As always, buyer beware, especially when buying used and even more especially when buying from GC. I've picked up many mid to lower range guitars there new that were buzzy things, with dead frets all over.
#7
dspellman, i really like variax guitars, but they're way above $200 even used.

Dsioret, the cheapest yamaha APX doesn't sound too good unplugged, but it does meet most of your needs and does sound better plugged in
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Yamaha-APXT2-3-4-Thinline-Acoustic-Electric-Cutaway-Guitar-108928946-i2999343.gc

most people like this one
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/mitchell-md100ce-dreadnought-cutaway-acoustic-electric-guitar

i have not tried this one in person
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/yamaha-f-series-concert-cutaway-acoustic-electric-guitar/j02308
but all the full depth body yamahas i've tried at $300 and under have knocked it out of the park compared to the competition.

if it weren't for your need of a cutaway, i'd have recommended the yamaha FX325. i did blind tests by playing this and a few other all lam guitars to my husband and a buddy who works at guitar center. neither looked while i played the guitars, and the guys chose the FX325 as the best sounding without hesitation.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#8
Actually patticake, that might be what i'm looking for. I buy cheap guitars, but i mod the hell out of all of them. I usually sand off that god-awful plastic resin finish that they come with from the factory. I'll usually change out the bridgepiece and re-notch the nut. After lowering the action a bit to my liking, I can do anything with it. It's not a matter of "what you see is what you get" to me. I see potential. Thanks for the suggestion!

Actually, I'm looking at the full size version of that Yahama, the APX500, and granted i'm lucky enough, i might add that one to my short list
Last edited by Dsioret at Feb 18, 2014,