#1
Hey, I need some advice on which guitar to buy. I've been trying to narrow it down, and these guitars seem to be good options. I'm an intermediate player looking for an upgrade. So, anyway, these are the ones that I am interested in. Any advice would be appreciated.

Guild D-140ce

Breedlove stage dreadnought ce

Blueridge BR-70CE

Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE

Some of these are more expensive, but I have been able to find deals on them. All are dreadnoughts with cutaways. Guitars I own currently are a Breedlove pursuit concert w. cutaway and an old art and lutherie cherry wood dreadnought.
#2
OK, here's my strictly personal view:

The Epi is the clear winner on aesthetics and paper specs - it has a hide glue (resettable) neck joint in the specs, the others don't  have it spec'd so I would be doing some research on that if I was interested.

I don't know enough about the Breedlove flying brace (Bridge Doctor) system to choose that one without trying a few.

The Guild looks OK

The Blueridge is too blingy, though they have a good reputation.

Tone would be a complete lottery if buying without trying, especially as they all have similar timber and size specs, and a fair part of that is related to personal preference.
#3
Tony Done
Thanks so much for the input! I kinda agree with you about the blueridge, it is a bit flashy, but it was the one I was leaning towards the most simply because I have played similar blueridge guitars, and really liked them. Also, something I've noticed with Breedlove guitars is a lot of clarity in the individual string tone (which I like, maybe because of the bracing?) but I'm not sure how well that's gonna translate to this guitar.
And you are totally right, having not played any of these myself, I'm kinda in the dark. The sad thing is, the nearest guitar store to me is only a small guitar center, and they don't have a great variety of Acoustics.
#4
I live in regional Oz, and have the same problems as you. I have bought specialised guitars by mail order, but those on your list would be a chancy business. I like a bright tight sound, similar to what you describe, and I simply waited until the right one turned up in the local store. In terms of construction and reasonable consistency I'm a fan of the Mexi (100 and 200 series) Taylors, but you might not like their big open sound.
#7
Quote by joe.eubank
Hey, I need some advice on which guitar to buy. I've been trying to narrow it down, and these guitars seem to be good options. I'm an intermediate player looking for an upgrade. So, anyway, these are the ones that I am interested in. Any advice would be appreciated.

Guild D-140ce

Breedlove stage dreadnought ce

Blueridge BR-70CE

Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE

Some of these are more expensive, but I have been able to find deals on them. All are dreadnoughts with cutaways. Guitars I own currently are a Breedlove pursuit concert w. cutaway and an old art and lutherie  cherry wood dreadnought.

They are all excellent guitars. I haven't played all of them, but I have heard all of them played by good guitarists. If you care about the sound of a guitar, hearing someone else play it can be a better test than playing it yourself, especially if they're in a performance venue and not a guitar store. Acoustic/electrics have the same relationship with amps as electric guitars, though perhaps to a slightly lesser degree. What any acoustic/electric sounds like through a Fishman Loudbox won't be the same as the same guitar through a house PA system. On top of that, throw in different EQ settings on the guitar's preamp and you have even more confusion. 

And, there are two more factors. No guitar will sound the same when played by two different guitarists. Touch, technique, type of pick, all those things make a difference. On top of that, since guitars are made mostly of wood, and wood grows on trees, if you have five different examples of the exact same make and model, and test all five, they will be similar but not identical. 

The feel of the neck in your hands is an important factor. The trouble is, the neck you're most familiar with probably feels best, but any good neck will feel great after you've played it a while and got used to it. 

If I were facing the decision you're asking about, I'd look at the reputation of the pickup system and preamp as my deciding factor. I'd go for the one with the least "quacky" sounding pickup. Personally, the pickup/preamp system of the Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE strikes me as the one factor that gives the Epiphone the edge. 

So, test drive 'em all if you can. Check out demo videos on YouTube, though those are less than perfect for comparisons since you can't be sure how much of the sound is affected by recording techniques. And accept the fact that whichever one you pick will grow on you over time as you get used to it. 
#10
I had a masterbilt (not electric) - seriously one of my best and favorite guitars I ever had until it was stolen. I opted for it over my Martin and Blueridge often.
"I definitely don’t write all my music in a blackout, like I used to, although I did come up with some good stuff in a blackout."
-Matt Fucking Pike
#11
Badluckpalms
That's great, I was looking for input from someone who has actually owned one. What model did you have? I'm now leaning towards the aj-500 dread, simply because of the solid rosewood back and sides over the mahogany of the DR. Is there a better model you would recommend?
Last edited by joe.eubank at Jun 7, 2017,
#12
Quote by joe.eubank
Badluckpalms...[ ]... I'm now leaning towards the aj-500 dread, simply because of the solid rosewood back and sides over the mahogany of the DR. Is there a better model you would recommend?
I scoured the Masterbilt line,(as much as I could from Musician's Friend), and only 2 guitar met your criteria, the DR-500 & AJ-500. (By "criteria", I'm assuming you want the cutaway and electronics).

Musician's Friend should be a decent resource, since both Epiphone and Gibson, sometimes leave "no longer available" instruments on their sites.

In other news, if you want a rosewood guitar, you'd better get moving ASAP. A new addition to the "CITES" treaty, has rendered it illegal to import or export all types of rosewood, including Indian rosewood.

Read more here: https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/cites-2017-all-rosewood-and-guitar-shopping-in-the-us.1792504/
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jun 7, 2017,
#14
I HAD a DR-500M.  I think I bought it for around 550 at a guitar center circa 2006.  At the time I was playing a Norman Cedar folk acoustic, Martin 12 string, and a blueridge Jumbo.  The thing played well and I was looking for another  6-string guitar.  I ended up selling my Norman shortly after because I liked the epi more.  Unfortunately it was stolen out of my truck - stopped at a grocery store for a six pack before some Hank senior jams with my buddy and when I came out my acoustic was gone.  

I don't keep up too much with acoustic so I can't really make a good rec, but I know I loved that guitar and it sounded and played three times the price.
"I definitely don’t write all my music in a blackout, like I used to, although I did come up with some good stuff in a blackout."
-Matt Fucking Pike
#15
Badluckpalms
Oh man that's a damn shame. For everything it's got going for it, it seems like an incredibly well priced guitar, with a lot of high end specs. And I imagine the aj-500 will be just as good.
#16
joe.eubank If not better
"I definitely don’t write all my music in a blackout, like I used to, although I did come up with some good stuff in a blackout."
-Matt Fucking Pike
#19
A little confused, the breedlove pursuit you have is an acoustic-electric with cutout. It's a decent guitar - I have the cedar topped model. The models you listed are a little better perhaps but I don't think there will a huge wow factor. Don't get me wrong, variety is the spice of life. I actually like my Yamaha A1R much better than my breedlove pursuit although the quality is pretty equal. The Yammie just has that mojo for me, just feels right to my hands and sounds good too. Some of it has to do with the fact that it came set up perfectly while I still a haven't got around to sanding the saddle to lower the action on the breedlove. Haven't ever played the models you're looking at but that would be a good idea to go try them out if that';s possible for you. I've been intrigued with Blue Ridge. They seem to get very favorable reviews.
#21
Quote by hotrodney71
A little confused, the breedlove pursuit you have is an acoustic-electric with cutout. It's a decent guitar - I have the cedar topped model. The models you listed are a little better perhaps but I don't think there will a huge wow factor. D
Well Rodney, I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but nowadays there isn't much of a "wow factor", after you get over about 500 bucks. You can convince yourself that the 80,000.00 you just spent on a pre-WW2 Martin dread is the ticket to tonal nirvana, but it just ain't so.

One thing you can be certain of, is that an all rosewood slope shoulder dreadnought with a sitka spruce top is going to have an almost totally different tonal profile, than a cedar topped anything.

Quote by hotrodney71
Haven't ever played the models you're looking at but that would be a good idea to go try them out if that';s possible for you. I've been intrigued with Blue Ridge. They seem to get very favorable reviews.
The TS' situational inability to listen to the guitars in question was discussed earlier in the thread.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jun 7, 2017,
#22
Quote by joe.eubank
... [ ]...Oh dang, I was NOT aware of the rosewood situation.
It really shouldn't affect you, unless you are going to travel the world with it. The link I supplied goes into a bit of depth, (and some speculation), about the ramifications of of the new regulations.

Still, my advice is, that if rosewood sounds good to you, you should jump on a guitar made of it quickly. There may be difficulty in the near future buying one, and no doubt the cost will skyrocket.
#23
Quote by Captaincranky

One thing you can be certain of, is that an all rosewood slope shoulder dreadnought with a sitka spruce top is going to have an almost totally different tonal profile, than a cedar topped anything.

Yes, and it is horses for courses. I use a cedar-topped dread for slide, but wouldn't want it for fingerpicking.
#24
hotrodney71
Yeah, don't get me wrong, I really like my Breedlove, but I've been wanting something new, something different. And im missing a really solid dreadnought that is both playable and I can easily plug in and amplify. Plus, i want something that'll be rich and loud even unplugged, which my Breedlove is not.