ive been playing around 2 years and had been looking for an upgrade to my Fender DG20Sce for a while looking for a better amplified sound now that i am getting into the band scene and home recording scene as well(fenders unplugged sound is prob best ive tried in that price range tbh).
My budget was around £350-500 pounds and i had done a lot of research and knew the best guitars available from most manufacturers in those ranges and had tested quite a few in the shops. I Also kept a watchful eye on ads and ebay in the hope of a second hand bargain like my mate who got a immaculate taylor 314ce for £700 on ebay. Eventually i spotted what looked like a good deal on ebay-- A yamaha apx9c with 2 hours left to go and currently sitting at £300, noone watching and it was 11pm at night so i quickly read up a few reviews and liked the stealthy black finish with greenish inlays and agreed that this guitar would fulfill my needs.
Luckily i ended up getting it for a bargain of £340 and it is as new (remember its £710) new. Anyway i get it home unwrap it, tune and strum and ahhhhh one of worst sounds id heard for a while. Anyway changed to some medium martin sp strings and after 1 week of hard playing in here are the conclusions i have came too
1) this is one of the most beautiful and well made guitars i have seen in this price range
2) the neck is easy to play and the action perfect
3) The plugged in sound is fantastic and with both a Condenser mic under below strings and a piezo pickup you can move the slider between the two or have the mic off and in phase meaning enless possibilities in tone. The three sliders for the 3 ranges are good too usefull for those fingerpicking moments when a bit of ooomph in the bass notes helps. Ive had it set up twice with full pa in our local hall and me and some other musicians were really happy with the sounds. It way outclasses the fender plugged in.
4) the downside -- I wasnt prepared for the trade off which in part due to the shallow body means the guitar wasnt quite what i was hoping for unplugged. The volume is no match for my old fender and on strumming songs at least there is still a slight tinny or echoey sound( i should have know this since i read up on it however.) MAybe a few more weeks/months will make the tone a bit warmer yet well see.

Anyway the dilemma i am faced with now is i love this guitar but am i ready to keep it when i cant reaslistically play it to my satisfaction at parties/ in the pub sessions etc? I always practised plugged into my roland cube practise amp anyway practise hasnt been affected and it is more useful live/gigs and in recording. Here are the following options i am thinking of please if you have experienced any similar please feel free to give advice.
1) Keep guitar for now until i have around £600 saved then sell yamaha and get taylor 314ce ( am getting a taylor in long run anyway)
2) sell guitar and replace it for a better unplugged sounding guitar and upgrade new guitar electronics when i can afford it -- i have really enjoyed the fender dg22ce when i tried it in the shops
3) Sell yamaha and get a second hand Line 6 variax acoustic700 series since if i dont have a great unplugged sound just now i may as well get the best sounding accoustics plugged in for my money
4) Buy a small battery amp like the zinky smoker packet amp for when im in the pub or session and happily live with yamaha for all other uses ( this will be needed as my 3 best guitar playing mates i have who session in the pub have two taylor 314'sce and a taylor914 so dont want to be a laughing stock :/ )

Anyway the moral of this story is The yamaha apx9c is great just make sure you know which uses you need it for. All views thoughts appreciated. Phew essay material
Last edited by [Rinoa] at Sep 28, 2006,
oh and must say... been using ultimate guitar for tabs for over a year just never thought to check the forums for some reason!!! great source of information and lots of nice people here too.