#1
I have my eyes set on Takamine guitars, but I have no idea which one to get.

I originally started with a $300 budget, so I had my eye on this

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Takamine-G340SC-Solid-Top-Cutaway-Acoustic-Guitar?sku=516423
(I got this from the What to get under $300 thread)

However, my budget went from $300 to $400 from unexpected b day money. Now I have a selection of purchasing an Acoustic Electric, of the same design.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Takamine-G-Series-340C-AcousticElectric-Guitar?sku=516427&src=3LTAWXX1
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Takamine-G-Series-EG340SC-Dreadnought-Cutaway-AcousticElectric-Guitar?sku=512207&src=3LTAWXX1

Now, I dunno which one to get. What is the true difference between Acoustic and Acoustic-Electric? The only amp I have currently is a crappy Fender practice amp, so I doubt I'd amp it up (I might later when I get a better amp)

From a friend, I've heard the acoustic-electric isn't as loud as a regular acoustic?

Also, if the Acoustic-Electric winds up being right for me, whats the difference between a solid spruce top and a regular spruce top?


Thanks for the help.
#2
i'd say, dont commit yourself to any brand. only commit yourself to what you feel with your hands and what you can hear with your ears(meaning, go try the guitars). seeing and hearing is believing.

if you dont use the electronics often, then just buy a pure acoustic. you can probably get more guitar for the money. you should only get electronics if you use them somewhat often, or use them sometimes but really need the quality. otherwise, if you just use it once or twice, just invest in a soundhole pickup later on.

acoustic electric guitars should be every bit just as loud as a pure acoustic guitar. the only way you will ever hear the difference is if you compare them side by side. the pure acoustic will generally sound a little better because there wont be electronics in there to hinder the air inside from vibrating. Even then, it's hard to prove that electronics have a noticeable affect on sound, loudness, projection, and tonal quality of the guitar because each and every guitar is slightly different regardless. so in conclusion... no, there isnt a prominant noticeable difference between electro-acoustic guitars and pure acoustics.

if the description of the wood says "solid" then you're in the right direction. it means that it's an actual piece of wood cut out from a tree without modification to it's structure. if it says anything other than "solid" then it's a laminate wood, which wont vibrate nearly as well, and hence, not sound as good. Laminate, however, is more sturdy and cheaper to mass produce, which is why they use cheap words like "premium grade" to make it sound appealing to people who dont know anything about guitars.

SO... go for "solid" wood. cheap guitars(under $500) wont usually come with anything more than a solid top, however, so be aware of that. once you get past a certain amount of money, you will find guitars made with all solid wood, which is sonically superior to laminate, but more susceptible to damage from humidity and temperature.