#1
Hello everyone !
I am looking forward to buy a guitar but i am confussed ! My favorite guitar is Gibson but i can not afford it so during a small research i find Epiphone Dove-Hummingbird and EJ-200 . After more research with "top guitars under 500 dollars" as a key word, i find Fender tim Armstrong helcat - Seagull s6 - Yamaha LL6m . On youtube videos all guitars sound good (depends on video) with epi guitars getting closer to Gibson sound . I love epiphone guitar because they are looking way too good and the sound is similar to Gibson but i saw some bad reviews and now i am confussed ! I went to 3 shops in my city but they only had yamaha - fender (no tim armstrong) - Ibanez - epiphone EJ-200 but i couldn't find the others to play them and it is not posssible to hear them live because i need to travel to other city and find other shops . So i will buy it online .
I play mostly stamping/picking , fingerstyle sometimes (songs like More than words by extreme) and some solo ! I like mellow and clear sound with a bit of bass . I play guns n roses , nirvana , pearl jam , RHCP etc .

Any suggestions ???
Last edited by gougou841984 at Mar 10, 2017,
#2
I really like the Epiphone EJ-200s. So much in fact, I have 2 of the limited edition EJ-200-SCE lefty models.

They're probably not the ideal guitar for finger picking. The tops are pretty stiff, and they really enjoy being beat on with a pick. The volume difference is considerable. But then, many pure finger style guitarists prefer guitars in the orchestra or concert sizes, as they tend to have more energy in the midrange, with less bass to mask it.

As long as you're comfortable with the massive size of the EJ-200, I don't think you can go too far off course buying one. With my examples, the workmanship is flawless, plus the stereo electronics can be a lot of fun. They were delivered perfectly set up, I  haven't had to change a thing.

I think it's fair to say the EJ-200s are mellow, clear toned, (because of the maple bodies),, with a good, low, tight, (but not overbearing like some dreadnoughts), bottom end.

I have a Fender "Sonoran" as well, and it pretty much stays in the case. I also have two all laminate Ibanez acoustics which are pretty as hell, but now spend their time in the back (storage) bedroom, tuned down.

I wouldn't pay too much mind to bad reviews of the EJ-200. In some cases it's the older laminate top EJ-200 being talked down. In other instances, it's a Gibson J-200 wannbe owner, badmouthing the guitar because it's not the Gibson he can't afford anyway.

I will have to say the Seagull, "Original S-6" has a sparkling reputation. It does come stock with a cedar top, which might be a bit too mellow in the long run. However, we have guys here who regularly gig with, have done so for years, and swear by their S-6's.

The current model Yamaha FG-800 is always a first tier suggestion as well. Yamaha doesn't cater to lefties one bit. I often recommend them anyway, simply because we've never had anyone who bought one, have a bad word to say about it. (That is mostly the earlier FG-700 though, as the 800 model is fairly recent). Yamaha, (IIRC), is claiming sapele for the back & sides in the 800 though. Sapele sounds very similar to the mahogany the 700's were constructed with, maybe just a touch brighter.

I have a Taylor 150e 12 string which is sapele and sounds awesome. I full well realize this is an apples and oranges comparison, but I'm simply trying to get across the wood's potential.

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Last edited by Captaincranky at Mar 12, 2017,
#5
I can verify what Cranky said about the S-6 cedar top (Seagull)...it gets old pretty damned fast. Do yourself a favor and get another topwood. Other than the cedar tone, my Seagull is a very well crafted, good playing instrument. 
#7
When it comes to how a guitar feels in your hands, there aren't as many differences as you might imagine. Yes, they all feel different. But whatever new guitar you get, it's going to feel a little strange until you get used to it. The shape of most acoustic guitar bodies is determined by the laws of physics and acoustics, so they aren't going to be all that much different from each other. As for the sound of any guitar, especially an acoustic, the number one most important factor is your playing skill and technique. 

When you're talking about an under $500 guitar, almost all of the ones between $400 and $500 are going to be pretty close in quality. They'll all be a little bit different, but issues of "better" are purely a matter of subjective personal taste. The biggest difference in sound will be determined by what kind of pickups are used. Piezos have a distinctive "quacky" sound that other kinds of transducers don't.

So, basically, if you like "mellow and clear sound with a bit of bass", get any dreadnought or jumbo you can find that has something other than a piezo. It doesn't matter what you get, it'll be new and you'll have to get used to it. Whatever it feels like at first, after you get used to it, it will feel good. And, if after you've played it a while, you realize you don't like it, sell it and get another. As long as you get a decent brand name and you take care of the instrument, such a trade won't cost you much. Consider the small difference what you bought the guitar for and what you can sell it for to get money towards a new guitar as an education fee. 
#8
TobusRex 

As a fingerpicker, my impression is that cedar is better suited to fingerpicking than heavy-handed flatpicking and strumming, as it lacks the headroom and dynamic range of spruce. I have a cedar-topped Maton that I use for slide, and it also works well for that insofar as a relatively light touch is generally used.
#9
I disagree with you Gerdner, on guitars between $400-$500 being pretty close in quality. In my opinion the "low end" Taylors are better than anything else in that price range, and by a significant margin. The Baby Taylor is a cute shortscale guitar that sounds like a (nice) shortscale guitar. But upgrade to the near dreadnaught sized BigBaby (15/16 scale) and you got a whole new ballgame. I think the Taylor BigBaby is the best guitar under $500 in the world (as if my opinion matters, lol).  Probably a good deal of that is due to the fact that I love the "bright" Taylor sound. But that doesn't disregard the fact that the action is perfect, the neck is perfect, intonation is balls on, and it's got great tuners. Plain vanilla, except for sound/build quality.  Plus, you can get them for $250 or less if you look around for a used one. 
#10
Quote by gerdner
When it comes to how a guitar feels in your hands, there aren't as many differences as you might imagine. Yes, they all feel different. But whatever new guitar you get, it's going to feel a little strange until you get used to it. The shape of most acoustic guitar bodies is determined by the laws of physics and acoustics, so they aren't going to be all that much different from each other. As for the sound of any guitar, especially an acoustic, the number one most important factor is your playing skill and technique. 

When you're talking about an under $500 guitar, almost all of the ones between $400 and $500 are going to be pretty close in quality. They'll all be a little bit different, but issues of "better" are purely a matter of subjective personal taste. The biggest difference in sound will be determined by what kind of pickups are used. Piezos have a distinctive "quacky" sound that other kinds of transducers don't.

So, basically, if you like "mellow and clear sound with a bit of bass", get any dreadnought or jumbo you can find that has something other than a piezo. It doesn't matter what you get, it'll be new and you'll have to get used to it. Whatever it feels like at first, after you get used to it, it will feel good. And, if after you've played it a while, you realize you don't like it, sell it and get another. As long as you get a decent brand name and you take care of the instrument, such a trade won't cost you much. Consider the small difference what you bought the guitar for and what you can sell it for to get money towards a new guitar as an education fee. 

Hallelujah! 
#11
gerdner 

I agree that they all feel pretty good that these days, at least after a setup, but there are IMO differences in sound* that you cannot put down to technique.-  And I don't believe many of us share your preoccupation with amplified sound.

* A trap for the unwary when trying new guitars is string age, and it is alos good to recognise that guitar tone can change substantially with age. - Which is why I now prefer to buy old well-used acoustics.