Well, I've been lurking on this forum for a while now...it's great! Have looked through many, many advice threads on which acoustic to buy, but still haven't seen anything that suggests whether they match a few of the specifics I have...

I've been playing for about a year and have found my preference for guitar in singsong, more strum-based songs. I do play a few finger-picking songs, but a guitar that can sound great on a strum is much more important. Also, I currently have a satin-finished guitar and think it gets damaged too easily, so a good glossy is important. In addition, I'm too new to know if this matters on the basis of guitar make (assumably it matters more upon proper setup) but I find bar chords to be very difficult...maybe a neck that's not too wide would fit this.

Price range maxes out around £150-200 ($300-$450). But anything that's great for those specs and less is awesome as well!

Thanks for any potential help!!
Based on the songs you want to play i would suggest a dreadnought, theyre the most versatile. Im sure youll have no trouble finding one with a gloss finish. In your price range id probably be looking at an alvarez or a takamine but go to some stores and try out as many as you can and decide which one you like best.
Aside from cases of guitars with extremely high actions, learning barre chords is more so a case of practice and technique rather than the guitar.

Edit: Just in case you dont know, the term dreadnought refers to the shape of the guitar. Heres an example:

guitars under 300$

try out the guitars in that thread. They fall a bit under your budget but, if you find any you like it's win win. Under your budget and a decent guitar you enjoy. IF you don't, always ask in a store for guitars of slightly better quality,
Make sure to check out your local steal-n-sell...I mean pawnshop. I've found some really awesome guitars that way. The acoustic I'm playing now is a Squier but hey, it was 80 bucks, with a case.
Glad you like the forum!
Like tom has already mentioned, i'd recommend a dreadnought, and yeah, go to some stores and play on the guitars and get a feel for all of them and see which one you like the best. You might not even end up getting a dread, but i think if you look in that direction you should come out with something that will suit you.
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I think that Ibanez has some good Acoustics, especially there Quilt Ash ones. Those sound rly good and should suit your needs. Or maybe an Epiphone Dove would be good. Its full Maple and should sound really bright.
Well, none of my suggestions have a glossy finish, but you should play them and see for yourself. I'd reccomend you try the Seagull Original S6, just to see if you like the sound and feel. If you have big hands, like me, then the wide fretboard is a blessing.
Sincerely, Chad.
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I don't know much about acoustic brands and whatnot, but I just wanted to point out that your difficulty with barre chords may be because the action is too high (that is, there is too much space between the fretboard and the strings, making it difficult for your index finger to hold all the strings down at once), not the size of the neck. Although it could be either. Plus barre chords do take awhile to get down, it may not be the guitar neck but rather the technique that needs some tweaking...work at it and see if it gets any easier. Practice barring on the guitars you try out too.
You guys are great, thanks so much for the thoughts on this!

Pawn shop is such a good idea as well. Never would've thought of heading there and there's so many where I live (London, lol).

I've basically asked the question because I'm having problems trying to find any correlation to the ones I look at online and the ones the shops around here have. So this helps quite a bit as to what to focus on.

Of the $300 thread, I really liked the Takamine g330s and the Hummingbird. However, no one around here stocks either. I've also narrowed down to blueridge bg-40 and seagull s-m6, but I can't find any information on the seagull about what kind of finish it comes with. It's apparently glossy, but many of the photos I've seen make it seem like glossy back and sides and satin finished top. (Does anyone happen to know what the difference between s-m6 and m6 might be?)

Oh...and I really like the Dove...but then get into the whole Dove vs Hummingbird sound difference issue...lol. And, it seems back in the day there was a beautiful sunburst version which isn't the case anymore...sad.

And yeah, I have a feeling the problem on my current guitar w/barre chords might be action...on a friend of mine's guitar, I can play barre chords w/no problems at all. (Which I would fix, but I don't like this current guitar, so when I get a new one I'll make sure the setup is checked out by a shop)
Last edited by lojo at Sep 5, 2007,
Thanks again for the advice! I wound up going w/a secondhand fg-423s! It's awesome...brilliant tone, easy to play...can't put it down!! I was a bit wary in terms of it being a Yamaha because no one I know owns one, but it seems like it's a good choice. Had all the specs, great colour, only downside is that there's no fret inlay dot on the third fret nor is there a marker on the side of the neck--but that's not too much of a bother since I know where the third fret is by now...lol.

You probably made a good decision, Yamaha makes really nice guitars. I just got my FG730 yesterday and it's a great guitar.
I've had a Yamaha FS-311 (they don't make them anymore) for seven years and it hasn't failed me, so don't be wary! It still has lovely tone and no neck warpage, no serious damage and it's been through some rough times. Congratulations on the new (secondhand) guitar!