These are the three guitars that i narrowed it down to, for the under 500 dollar range. They all have solid top,sides, and backs.

I wanted a Martin, but it has hpl sides and backs, so I guess cheap martins suck.

which one should i get?
these three guitars have a same body width like the Martin dreadnoughts, right? Because I had a yamah fg700s, and it looked like a dread, but the body was bit wider, hence why i sold it.
Last edited by lpmarshall at Jul 31, 2008,
You really can't go wrong with any of those but just to put it out there I bought http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Mitchell-MD100-Dreadnought-Acoustic-Guitar?sku=518970 and it sounds and plays great. Plus, its a lot cheaper. But if you really want to lean towards those other ones I'd probably go with the Epiphone, Good luck.
Last edited by killacookie at Jul 31, 2008,
I've tried all of the above. I'd go for the Masterbilt, or possibly a Yamaha FG750 ($50 cheaper and the same standard of build IMO).

Lower end Martins are meh. Their flagship instruments are head and shoulders above the pack, but their low to middle range instruments are inferior to competitors. You pay for the name.
And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me: no, nor woman neither... nor women neither.
Masterbilt or Alvarez. I have that Epi and I love it. Great guitar, beautiful looks too
If you want all solid woods, might as well write off that Tak. You're not gonna touch a solid Rosewood back and sides guitar for a mere $500. It doesn't say it's solid wood, therefore you should be suspicius of it right off the bat. Any time a mfr. states in the description of their guitars the type of wood used, if it's solid, it will say so, if it's not, they will not.
So that narrow's it down to the Epi or the Alvy. Of the two, I myself would go for the Alvy. I own one, and they deliver a huge bang for your buck. Another to think about are the Yamaha's.
Whichever you choose, also think about swapping out the factory plastic bridge saddle with a true bone one. Even if it's Tusq, I'd still go with bone. It'll open up the tone of the guitar like you wouldn't believe.
And yes, the Professional series of Alvarez comes stock with plastic saddle and nut(sad but true). You would have to move up to the Alvarez/Yairi line to get bone as factory original.
The Takamine only has a solid top. The back and sides are laminated rosewood.

The Alvarez has a solid spruce top and a solid mahogany back. The sides are laminated mahogany.

The Epiphone has a solid spruce top and solid mahogany back and sides.

I would probably go with the Epihone Masterbilt myself. I do like all three of these models. The Takamine would be my last choice probably. It's a fine guitar, but it has rosewood and the other two options have mahogany back and sides and thus can use more solid wood because mahogany is currently cheaper than rosewood. Between the Epiphone and the Alvarez, it's a tough call. They are both great guitars and they each sound different.

You really need to play both. Alvarez guitars seem to be more consistent from guitar to guitar, though any two guitars will sound different... even if they are the same model by the same manufacturers. The Epiphone Masterbilt series seems to have some really, really sweet guitars and then some that don't sound so special. You really need to play the exact guitar you are buying before you buy.
I have the EF-500M form the masterbilt line-up. I gotta say its SWEET. And it comes stocked with bone nut and saddle. (i think) very well made guitar. go for it.