Alright, I know this is a pretty common question but I was wondering if anyone had any newer thoughts about this. I was looking around Guitar Center for acoustics and I'm on a budget (500$). I found a Martin DXJ that I like, but a lot of people here seem to not like the DX series. So, I was wondering what would be a good acoustic under 500$ preferably available at a Guitar Center.
Fender 1989 MIJ Strat (It's from the 80's, so it's gotta be legit!)
Breedlove AC25 SM
The Epiphone John Lennon.
Quote by Altered_Carbon
That's some bony hipster sex, which may be the best kind.
The martin isn't bad per se - it's just that you could do much better. For the exact same price you could get this, which is solidwood. The martin is laminate and therefore doesn't vibrate in the same manner as solidwoods do, the difference in vibrations translate to tonal characteristics specific to each guitar. The martin is unable to get 'good tone' because of materials used.
For $500 I'd be looking [very carefully] on E-bay. You can get a $1000+ guitar second-hand for $500. A bit of age is only a plus [tone wise] as long as it is in top condition.


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definitely would have to agree with guitar/bass76 I was torn between a used martin d-15 (which is the cheapest solid body acoustic martin makes) a nice solid body seagull and the epiphone masterbilt AJ500M. As you can tell from my sig you can see what I walked out the door with. overall sound, fit, and finish are amazing and were better then the martin IMO. Dont let the epiphone name stray you away definitely give them a try.
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LOL i love when people spend 500 on a martin, just because its a martin.... LOL!!!!!. dont let them fool you my friend.
yamaha is good for price, but IMO much much better than that is washburn.... you can get full body solid for about 350
OK - once and for all it is time to clear up some misconceptions about the Martin DX series as a lot of people here have no clue what they are actually talking about.

First of all, I have a DXM dreadnought that is ENTIRELY made of HPL. It is plain looking, built like a tank, but most importantly sounds better than any sub $500 guitar I have EVER owned and that includes virtually every guitar maker who produces instruments in that price range.

I have never owned an entirely solid wood guitar, but I have owned PLENTY of the solid top / laminate back and sides guitars - among them Yamaha FGs, Alvarez Artist Series, Epiphone, Taylor Big Baby, and Takamine GS.

It is not my intention to compare the Martin DX series to all solid guitars as that doesn't adequately address the desire to stay under $500. However, I have played several of the low end all solid guitars that might be available in the price range such as Epiphone Masterbilt and Parkwood, and have never been suitably impressed.

It's important to understand what HPL actually is as compared to "regular" laminates. Regular laminate is thin wood veneers glued together. The result is something that definitely looks like real wood (because it is) but lacks in sonic quality because the glue inhibits resonance.

HPL is not laminate as described above. It is actually a material very closely related to Formica, the material commonly used on kitchen countertops. It is basically a blend between wood fibers and plastic that, under high pressure, is formulated into large, thin sheets which can be shaped into guitar bodies. It has much superior resonant qualities when compared to the "traditional" laminates that use wood veneer.

In the case of the DXM I have, as is the DXJ at Guitar Center you are looking at, the guitar's top, back, and sides are all made of this material that is then photo imaged with the desired wood grain pattern.

My DXM came to me new in the box with PERFECT action, and is as loud, clear and resonant as any guitar owned by the bluegrassers I play with, most of whom show up with their higher end Martins. The durability and resistance to humidity factors are very big to me as well as this guitar does get lugged around alot. I have accidentally bashed this guitar into chairs and other things that I know would have scratched up an all wood guitar. The DXM? Not a mark...

The whole thing sounds decidedly "untraditional". But, I get tired of people not understanding the facts and using the "it's untraditional" or "laminates stink" argument. I'm sure that it's true that my DXM might not "open up" over time like solid wood might. But, I always ask the question - are you buying a guitar for what it sounds like right now, or what it MIGHT sound like 5-10 years from now? I prefer to live in the present, and the bottom line is that this guitar sounds great RIGHT NOW!

I have seen the DXJ in Guitar Center. It seems as Martin may be me making this model exclusively for them. It just has a different Javawood grain pattern on the back and sides.

If you like it, I say BUY WITH CONFIDENCE. You won't be dissatisfied!
Hi all,
Let's me suggest more interesting guitars under $500 in my list. Here is 10 of the best greatest acoustic electric guitars under $500 for everyone who are looking for a top acoustic electric guitar under $500.

Cordoba C5-CE Acoustic Electric Classical Guitar
Price: $399.99 & ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping.

Epiphone PR-4E Acoustic-Electric Guitar Player Pack
Price: $199.00 & ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping.

Fender T-BUCKET-300CE Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar
Price: $188.12 & ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping.

Takamine G Series EG340SC Dreadnought Acoustic Electric Guitar, Natural
Price: $342.02 & ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping.

Seagull Entourage Rustic CW QIT Acoustic-Electric Guitar Rustic
Price: $499.00 & ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping.

Jasmine by Takamine ES33C Acoustic Guitar Pack
Price: $188.12 & ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping.

Luna Oracle Acoustic-Electric Guitar, Crane
Price: $349.00 & ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping.

Yamaha APX500 Acoustic Electric Guitar, Oriental Blue Burst
Price: $299.99 & ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping.

Jasmine by Takamine ES31C Acoustic Electric Guitar
Price: $159.95 & ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping.

Ovation Celebrity CC28 Acoustic-electric Guitar, Black
Price: $316.17 & ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping.

You can see and listen to the guitar sound examples at http://acousticelectricguitarz.com/10-best-acoustic-electric-guitars-under-500/

That's a bunch of good options for you. Hope it helps. Good luck!
i have a slightly used First Act collectors series (sanitation engineers special). it's for sale for the low low price of 499 with free shipping.
second choice would be yammie's 700 series or seagull s6( seems to be a tie wih most UG'ers)
Segaulls!!! Seriously I love them The S6 original I think is around $420... which isnt a bad deal at all!!! It sounds like a $1000 Martin. Hope I helped!
Last edited by ChaseCarrell at Oct 9, 2012,
Tanglewood makes great guitars in that price range as does Blueridge. Seagulls are good as well as Yamaha's. Oh and don't forget Recording King.
If you wanna buy new, I would go for an Godin brand guitar.
Seagull or if you don't like the width of the fretboard a Simon& Patrick.
Quote by Jirud
Hi all,
Let's me suggest more interesting guitars under $500 in my list. Here is 10 of the best greatest acoustic electric guitars under $500 for everyone who are looking for a top acoustic electric guitar under $500.

To add to your list I just ordered a Breedlove Passport for $399 (factory restock), normally $499 brand new, MSRP $669. Very nice guitar.
Schecter C-1+ (SH-2 Neck | SH-5 Bridge)
Breedlove C250/CMe-FS
Vox VT20+
Ehmm, This thread is from 2008. I think the OP bought his guitar by now.
Schecter C-1 Custom
Ibanez Iceman ICT700
Ibanez Deluxe 59'er model
Peavey Vypyr 30
Boss SD-2 Dual Overdrive pedal
I'm reading this Oct 20 something 2012 and still find it helpful to see the favorites of U- Gers.
My question has to do with buy, potentially, one 1,200 guitar or 2-3 $400-500 ones.

New doesn't matter. I just ought an 87 year old Slingerlang May-Bell for $250. That leaves about 1,000 for the other one or two.

You all with several guitars, what would you do?

"don't mean a thing if'n you ain' t got swing"