I've got 500 dollars to spend on a steel-string acoustic guitar. I play fingerstyle, so I want definition in playing but I don't want a lack of bass/punch in the low end. I want the same shape guitar as Andy McKee's guitar (concert? I'm not sure, just not dreadnought).

I know you will say try all the guitars in the guitar store, but it's kind of hard seeing as my local guitar stores keep grimy, chalky strings on guitars in this price range, making it hard to tell the true tone/playability. Thanks for the help.
Well I recently bought a Yamaha F370S Solid Top, and let me tell you that for the price is one of the best guitars I've ever owned. I mean it is only 300$!.

The bass and mid-range tones are amazingly mellow, and the high notes are clear as well. One thing I hate about some cheap acoustic guitars is that they sound good when you finger-pick 'em, then you try to play some chords, and the high notes get lost. Well not in this one.


I mean I was looking for a 600$ guitar, and I found this. Just change the strings and that's it.
Hope I was helpful.
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i don't like martins...i think whatever you would spend on a martin you could get a better guitar for the same price...but that's just me i guess. but in my experience they're overpriced.
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Check out Parkwood at Guitar Center or Musicians Friend. Also check out Zager at their web site. Those are the two I recommend in that price range.
See if you can find one used... They often go for around $500 (all solid woods)
Please for the love of God try a Seagull. They have the most beautiful sound I have ever heard. I feel like a jerk because I'm always recommending it but I went on a hell of a hunt for my last guitar and I've never felt so delighted as when I finally picked up a Seagull. They have the most beautiful sound and all their lines are solid tops, some cedar and some spruce. I believe they're about $400 depending on the model, add $150-$200 if you want electronics (you didn't specify in your original post).

Listen to me, boy! Atleast try one .
Now that hes mentioned it, yes, a seagull might be good for you, cedar top as well...

And dont buy a Martin unless you have about a grand to spend. a 500 dollar Martin is more like a 100dollar POS with a 400dollar Martin logo on the headstock
Parkwood and Zager. Parkwood at GC and Musicians Friend and Zager at zagerguitars.com. Can't go wrong with either one for that price. Zager may knock a few bucks off a blem as well.
I definately gotta disagree with johnos... I got my Martin about 6 months ago, and its true that most of the cheap martins did sound pretty crappy, but i found one that just looked beautiful,and sounds amazing. Ive got a Martin 000-X1, which has a solid spruce top, which has no finish on it, so it really lets the tone shine through. The neck feels really good on it too.
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well for one, it does have a finish on it (I have never seen one without, but it protects the guitar in a lot of ways and without a finish the neck would quite possibly end up warping, and the soundboard would have lots of problems with moisture and things like that) so i owuld doubt that it doesnt actually have a finish of some kind, but it may just be a matte finish.

And I never said they were particularly bad, just for the same price there is sooo much better. The guitars in themselves are fine, just in terms of value for money, well, theyre not good value unless they only cost 2-300 hundred. they have HPL back and sides which is worse than your average laminate. for a similar price you can get an Alvarez which would probably have a solid back and top, and lmainate sides, instead of HPL back and sides and solid top. personally I would take an alvarez or quite a few other guitars over any low end Martin.

of course im sure there are lotsa of happy owners or Martin X series, but theyre are just better thigns out there, if thats what you want tho....
Last edited by johnos at Oct 3, 2007,