I've been looking to sell or trade in my Taylor 214CE Grand Auditorium Cutaway (which I figure I can get around $800 for, since it's in stellar condition) for something comparable in price but much deeper, richer, and warmer in tone as I'm finding that my playing has become increasingly folksy and my Taylor's tone is too bright and thin.

I want something all solid-bodied, NOT jumbo-sized (I'm a smaller person), and cutaway-style. I know my $850 max budget is low, but I'm a college student, so my options are limited. Finding a used Martin or something would be great. I've been looking at the Washburn WCG66SCE and the Martin GPCPA5K, both $700 new. If anyone has any experience with either of those guitars I'd love to hear.

Any recommendations for a quality guitar in my price range with great projection and, overall, really quality tone--something more folksy than a Taylor, but not a step down from one? Any help would be much appreciated.
Taylor 214CE Grand Auditorium Guitar
Washburn WP11SNS Parlor Guitar
Jose Oribe 1970 El Artista Classical Guitar
Kala KA-KCGE-C Concert Ukulele
Oscar Schmidt OM-10E Mandolin
FWIW, I'm not a fan of that big open sound either, for the same reasons as you. I have a 1932 Gibson L-00 and a Maton M-300, which is all-laminate and double X braced like some 80s Gibsons. Both do the job well. Many older Matons and a lot of Gibson slope Ds, eg J-45, have the kind of sound I like.

I personally think that in terms of construction, anything is a step down from Taylor, I would be looking for something like a used Martin 000-16, 000-15 or Guild F30. Of the Asian imports, Recording King apparently have resettable necks (at a price!!) which I see as a big plus.

You could moderate the tone of the Taylor with a lute hole type baffle. I tried one on my kona, and it cut the high end. Another gadget that moderates the tone is some guitars is a flying brace, eg the JLD bridge doctor, or bridge ballast, eg brass pins. I ended up with three brass pins in the kons rather than rthe soundhole baffle, they do a reasonable job of softening the treble.
Not sure if Tanglewood is available in the states but I have a top end TW40 orchestra. Beautiful rich tones.
-fyi, $800 isn't "high end guitar buying". multiply that 5x and you have a starting point.

-your budget almost guarantees a "step down from Taylor" unless you go used.

-look for a used martin or something with rosewood back and sides. or used tacoma's DM9's are nice too. they are loud and woody. people are afraid of them because of the finish blems that put tacoma out of business. (hint) not all of them have finish blems. look for a satin model.
Last edited by ad_works at Aug 17, 2015,