#1
Here are all of the acoustic guitars I'm looking at right now:


Yamaha FG730S ($300)
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Yamaha-FG730S-Solid-Top-Acoustic-Guitar?sku=519049

Seagull S6 - The Original ($400)
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Seagull-The-Original-S6-Acoustic-Guitar?sku=512120

Alvarez RD20S ($230)
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Alvarez-RD20S-Regent-Series-Dreadnought-Acoustic-Guitar?sku=518725

Washburn D10s ($300)
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Washburn-D10S-Acoustic-Guitar-?sku=515152

Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500M Dreadnought ($450)
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Epiphone-Masterbilt-DR500M-Dreadnaught-Acoustic-Guitar?sku=519055

It is a rather wide range of prices, and $450 is the absolute maximum I will spend. All of the guitars have either 4.5 or 5 star reviews on multiple sites, so I really don't think I could go wrong with any of them. My friend has a FG730S which I have played a bunch, it is pretty nice. Right now I'm actually leaning towards the Masterbilt, even though it is the most expensive, but many reviews have said it is the best sounding guitar for under $900.

Anyway, just want to hear some input. Thanks.
#2
Thw Yamaha Is The Very Best for the money and it's a quality guitar. my second choice is the Alverez. don't buy a seagull
#3
i own a masterbilt (the AJ-500 RE). i love it. the whole series is great. buy the masterbilt. you won't regret it. that's a quality guitar which you'll keep for a long time.
"I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it."
#4
probly the seagull, but do not get the washburn.
My Gear:
Jay Turser Warlock
Baraccuda Strat
Takamine EG523SC
Samick Acoustic
Vox AD50VT
Boss DS-1
Boss CS-3
Dunlop Crybaby Wah
#5
I don't know much about acoustic guitars of these brands but the alvarez is the most attractive one in my opinion.
#7
id definately have to say its between the epiphone and seagull, both are made of solid woods, affordable, and they sound really, really, nice for the money, you get alot for a cheap price, i dont know why does guitars are 2 bills more than what there worth.
The Alvarez might just look bettor in my opinion but i suspect it wouldnt compare to the seagull or epiphone.
After playing with both extensively id prefer the EPI DR-500M nothing wrong with the seagull i just liked the EPI's sound bettor
Also take a look at Epiphones fingerstyle masterbilt bodies, there frieken grate the best out of the entire line beats out any inport above its price like the ATLAS for breedlove or anything bellow it.
Last edited by the-kidR44 at May 11, 2008,
#9
^for the price, but for an extra 150 you can get a way bettor acoustic, not ripping on the yamaha, im just saying
#10
Quote by Fandangoya
All of the guitars have either 4.5 or 5 star reviews on multiple sites, so I really don't think I could go wrong with any of them...


Yes you can. Be very careful with those online reviews, better yet don't trust those numbers at all. Usually, those reviews fall under the following categories:

#1. Love the guitar for whatever reason (top scores)

#2. Want to justify the purchase (1 or 2 grades higher than the "deserving" score)

#3. Absolutely hate the guitar (bottom scores)

For the cumulative scores, #1 and #2 will overwhelm #3, and those with mixed/indifferent views on a particular model are highly unlikely to bother with making the effort to write reviews.

I've made the mistake of purchasing guitars online based on those reviews in the past. And what usually happened is that, while those guitars weren't that horrible or unplayable (and in fact some of them were pretty darn good guitars), I felt that "something" was missing and not quite there and ended up being not wholly satisfied. I will not allow that to happen to me again; I will make the effort to go to the shops and try them out, because preferences are very subjective and sometimes intangible.
#11
Quote by TokyoNeko
Yes you can. Be very careful with those online reviews, better yet don't trust those numbers at all...

^^Really excellent advice.

I'd also like to add that especially for entry-level guitars, the majority of those reviews are written by newbies who don't have enough experience to know a good guitar from a bad one. Many of the purchasers are so excited that they hop online as soon as they get the guitar home and write a rave review before they've even had a chance to really get to know their instrument.

If you want to gain anything from reading reviews, here's what to do:

1) Look for reviews written by experienced guitarists. Ignore any that say, "This is my first guitar" or "I just started playing."

2) If someone gushes on and on about how great a guitar is, make sure the claim is supported by detailed observations - exactly what makes this guitar so great?

3) Make sure the reviewer has owned the guitar for some length of time (at least a few months) because not all problems are immediately apparent - especially those having to do with build quality.

4) Pay greater attention to the negative reviews. If many negative reviews cite the same problem(s) over and over again, that's a big red flag indicating quality control issues.
Last edited by sunshowers at May 12, 2008,
#12
I have actually owned at one point all of those guitars except the Seagull (Im still yet to see one here in Australia). The Epiphone is by far the best of the ones im experienced with. Cant comment on the Seagull obviously but the Epiphone is the only guitar with solid back and sides. It is the best on paper and would be the guitar I would choose out of the ones that you listed.
#13
Out of that list I would drop the Alvarez. They are nice guitars but I think that the rest are better options with the exception of the Washburn. I have never played a Washburn so can't comment on what it's like.

The Yamaha, Epiphone and Seagull are all great guitars (despite what the first poster said about not buying the Seagull...). The Seagull is going to be better suited to finger picking and softer playing than hard strumming with its cedar top. I personally love cedar tops but they definitely are not suited too all playing. Also, the Seagull has a wider than usual neck. I think it's a great guitar but its one you really should play before you make a decision on it. In saying that you should play any guitar before you make a decision on it, so make sure you go play as many of these as you can.
The Yamaha is a great guitar, but in this case I don't think its really up with the Epiphone or the Seagull. I think I would buy the Seagull if it was me buying, but the Epiphone iis a good choice too. You should try compare them side by side and see which you like better.

Quote by tom183
I have actually owned at one point all of those guitars except the Seagull (Im still yet to see one here in Australia). The Epiphone is by far the best of the ones im experienced with. Cant comment on the Seagull obviously but the Epiphone is the only guitar with solid back and sides. It is the best on paper and would be the guitar I would choose out of the ones that you listed.


Whereabouts in Aus are you Tom? The Acoustic Centre in South Melbourne has them:
http://www.acousticcentre.com.au/Text/1139381182250-6935/pC/1137027355046-8810
#14
The masterbilt may just be the last guitar you buy -- they're nice, but I'm an alvarez fan too.

A bit off topic -- if you're thinking about buying through MF or another online source, before you do, head over to a local shop and play them if you can. Give them a chance to make you a deal too, a lot of small music stores are getting killed by these online stores and they deserve a shot at your business. Weigh the price against the advantages of buying locally -- for example, they will probably set it up for free and maybe throw in a few lessons. There's nothing wrong with buying online, you get some great deals, but check out your local shop before you do. Just a suggestion.
#16
i own a fg730s and after i was worried i made the wrong decsion so i went bak to exchange it for the masterbuilt and i played it but in the end i still felt the yamaha was better for the money .. but the masterbilt was nice but i still think the fg730 is more worth it
#17
I would try a Seagull before you buy it, lots of people give it great reviews so I tried and while I liked the tone, I really didn't like the feel.

I completely agree with the Masterbilt or Yamaha recommendation. I was in a similar situation as you not too long ago and I bought the Yamaha and I love it. I also loved the Masterbilt and I will concede it is a better guitar. Both guitars are great values, for $300 you cant do better than the Yamaha, and for $450 you cant do better than the Masterbilt.

So the question is, how much can you spend? I know you said $450, which was about my budget, but I went with the Yamaha, new hardshell case, few sets of strings, etc. rather than just the guitar.

I would steer your towards the Yamaha or the Masterbilt, although I didn't like the Seagull, many do, so give that a look as well.
#18
my brother has a seagull. wonderful guitar. there's no question about that, but it's not the guitar for me. make sure you try the guitars out.
#19
Whereabouts in Aus are you Tom?


Grafton. Northern NSW. Admittedly its a fairly small town with only one music shop but I get to Brisbane and Sydney at least a few times a year and havent seen them there either. Must be looking in the wrong places...lol.
#20
Ibanez SGT120NT SAGE SERIES Acoustic Guitar thinking of this one myself, any thoughts?
#21
You should consider saving up a little more and go for one of those listed at the top of the topic... if you can afford to do so.
#22
Wow... lot's of really good opinions in this thread!

Fand... First, I have played every guitar on your list. The only guitar from your list I really don't care for is the Washburn. Althought it seems that many people are, I just haven't ever been impressed with the D10S... at all. The Alvarez is probably my least favorite from the rest, but it is also considerably cheaper than the rest and is definitely a great guitar for the money. If you are wanting to stay under your maximum of $450, I would recommend the Yamaha. If you are wanting to spend as little as possible, the Alvarez is a great choice and you should also consider the Yamaha FG700S ($200).

The Seagull is a great guitar and definitely a good option. You do need to play one before you decide on the Seagull though as it is a much different guitar from all of the other choices. The Seagull feels and sounds quite a bit different than the other guitars on your list. Also, someone above said that the Seagull is made out of solid woods. Well this isn't entirely true. The Seagull has a solid top, but all of the guitars on your list have a solid top. The only guitar made from all solid woods is the Epiphone.

If you can spend the $450, I would recommend the Epiphone. In my opinion it is the best guitar out of the bunch and is an extremely good value. The other guitars on your list fall more into the "beginner guitars" category. They are all good guitars, but I imagine you wanting to upgrade to a better guitar after some time. The Epiphone Masterbilt is a guitar that you can keep and play and will likely be satisfied with for a long time.

Of course, everything I have said, and everything that everyone else has said, is completely contingent on your own opinion. Take the advice that TokyoNeko gave you in his/her first post above. That is excellent advice.
#24
Quote by jimtaka
Take the advice that TokyoNeko gave you in his/her first post above. That is excellent advice.


Note to self: Specify gender on profile.