Okay... Johnny Cash, the "play anywhere" ability, increased practice time, as well as simplicity and comfort, have seduced me into resolving to purchasing an acoustic electric on "Black Friday".
A cutaway is a must. Would prefer a guitar that doesn't look quite so, "country-western", and with real wood. May possibly fit in better on a rock stage. A darker wood, possibly. Alvarez, Yamaha, perhaps? I have an Ovation Applause. It's light, the rounded, composite back is okay to cuddle with on the couch, but dang, the sound is really sucky. Suggestions, ye guitar gods?
Acoustic/electric 6-string
steel strings
Budget: 200-400ish
Availability of a hard-shell case would be nice.
Quality electronics
Not too big...comfortable to practice chords, scales and such when sprawled on the couch watching the toob (seems to work for me).
Easy and comfortable to play.
Natural finish...I favor sunburst, and maybe a natural mahogany finish (though not fond of fingerprints).
Last edited by pointnplink at Nov 7, 2014,
A little past your price range but the Yamaha A1R is the bomb. I found a used 1 in great shape for $425 and it comes from factory with a hard-shell case.
It has rosewood(laminated) back and sides which is dark in color and sound, solid spruce top.
This came up in another thread. Epiphone is (has?) released a guitar designed to fit your exact request. The "Pro 1 Ultra, ships with ultra light strings, has low action and a thin neck. As another plus, it has a 24.75 scale which requires less string tension to bring up to pitch than the more common 25.50 in scale on similar, big body guitars. (In the case of this Epi, a dreadnought).

It isn't totally god news. Guitar Player Magazine give the guitar an, "Editors Pick" rating. However, they categorized the sound as a bit "twangy" and thin. This isn't a fault with this particular instrument, it's something to be expected when extremely light strings are used on an acoustic guitar of this size. Most likely. any other comparable instrument would suffer the same sonic fate.

The "Shadow" electronics, "Nano-Flex" under saddle pickup sound great, as I have a copy of it in my Epi EJ-200.

I expect that some of the bass loss could be retrieved with boost at the amp/ or PA. But there is a limit you can recover without winding up with a muddy bottom end.

This is my SOP when playing solo, cut most of the treble and give the bass a healthy boost. In the context of a band however, someone else's setting may vary, which respect to placing the instrument in the overall mix.

Here's the link: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/epiphone-pro-1-ultra-acoustic-electric-guitar These apparently are expected for Black Friday or thereabouts. Most of us agreed the "Trans Blue" issue is the coolest. Your taste and opinion, may of course vary...
Last edited by Captaincranky at Nov 7, 2014,
Wound up with a Fender CD 60 "AM" acoustic/elec. Beautiful sound, full, warm, round bass. Cannot bend strings, however. But good picker, strummer. Thanks for all your replies.
Quote by pointnplink
Wound up with a Fender CD 60 "AM" acoustic/elec. Beautiful sound, full, warm, round bass. Cannot bend strings, however. But good picker, strummer. Thanks for all your replies.
If you really feel the need to bend strings, you can buy string sets tailored toward that end. Investigate "light top, heavy bottom", or other such descriptors.

Fender ships with acoustic light, (80/20 brass), is my guess. (That's what were on my "Sonoran" when I got it). Those are .012 to .053 (IIRC). The next size lower high E, .011, which is the top of what are called, "Custom Light", (.011 to .052 Generally), might do it for you.

Keep in mind you really have to be a brute to bend on an acoustic as you would on an electric.

Both electric lights, and electric regulars, have at most, 110 pounds of tension. The set on your Fender now are about 165 Lbs.

But, keep in mind, there is a compromise to be made in overall "punch", especially in the bass, when you string lighter than stock.

Many of our members do string lighter that stock and greatly enjoy the sound and playing experience they have in doing so. Others go even heavier than stock, opting for "medium acoustic" sets. These are .013 to .056., and they swear by them.

In the end, your ears, your playing style, and your tactile sensibilities, will determine what strings are right for you. Be prepared to do a fair amount of experimenting as you go forward.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Dec 6, 2014,