#1
I've been playing for a little over a year now and want to buy an acoustic electric guitar but i'm not sure what would be a good deal or not. I'm not too picky, I just want something good and under $500. Any suggestions?
#2
Well you definitely want to try before you buy. Go to any and every local shop you can get to. Try every guitar you can. Try guitars in your price range and guitars well out of your price range. See what the guitars you can't afford offer that the ones you can afford don't. This can help you recognize value.

You want to pay attention to tone first, and comfort second. Tone is the most important thing. You want a guitar with a solid top. After you find some guitars with solid tops that you think sound good, see which ones are the most comfortable for you to play. You can base comfort on things like the shape and finish of the neck and the shape and size of the body. Comfort is one of those things that you'll just know when you feel it. Try not to pay too much attention to action. Most guitars need a setup when you buy them brand new anyway. Action can always be adjusted. Things like neck shape and body size can't be adjusted... at least not easily.

After you narrow it done to some guitars that you think sound good and are comfortable, then you can pay attention to things like how cool the guitar looks. How cool the guitar looks should be one of the least important factors in your decision though. Sound is number 1.

All that being said... some good brands to look at are Takamine, Alvarez, and Seagull. Here are a few specific models that I like:

http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Takamine-EG530SSC-Acoustic-Electric-Cutaway-Guitar?sku=516442
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Takamine-G-Series-EG340SC-Dreadnought-Cutaway-AcousticElectric-Guitar?sku=512207
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Takamine-EGS330SC-AcousticElectric-Cutaway?sku=516301
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Alvarez-Artist-Series-AD60SC-Dreadnought-AcousticElectric-Cutaway?sku=518739
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Alvarez-Artist-Series-AD70SC-Dreadnought-AcousticElectric-Cutaway?sku=518798
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Alvarez-Regent-Series-RF20SC-Folk-AcousticElectric-Cutaway?sku=518728
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Seagull-Entourage-Series-Dreadnought-QI-AcousticElectric-Guitar?sku=516906
#3
Alvarez, Takamine and Yamaha all make Excellent and often cheap acoustic guitars. i cant really add anything after Jimtaka's post. so yeah, listen to him
Music is an art form that celebrates potential. So long as you're looking for it, you'll always find it.
#4
Quote by jimtaka
Well you definitely want to try before you buy. Go to any and every local shop you can get to. Try every guitar you can. Try guitars in your price range and guitars well out of your price range. See what the guitars you can't afford offer that the ones you can afford don't. This can help you recognize value.

You want to pay attention to tone first, and comfort second. Tone is the most important thing. You want a guitar with a solid top. After you find some guitars with solid tops that you think sound good, see which ones are the most comfortable for you to play. You can base comfort on things like the shape and finish of the neck and the shape and size of the body. Comfort is one of those things that you'll just know when you feel it. Try not to pay too much attention to action. Most guitars need a setup when you buy them brand new anyway. Action can always be adjusted. Things like neck shape and body size can't be adjusted... at least not easily.

After you narrow it done to some guitars that you think sound good and are comfortable, then you can pay attention to things like how cool the guitar looks. How cool the guitar looks should be one of the least important factors in your decision though. Sound is number 1.

All that being said... some good brands to look at are Takamine, Alvarez, and Seagull. Here are a few specific models that I like:

http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Takamine-EG530SSC-Acoustic-Electric-Cutaway-Guitar?sku=516442
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Takamine-G-Series-EG340SC-Dreadnought-Cutaway-AcousticElectric-Guitar?sku=512207
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Takamine-EGS330SC-AcousticElectric-Cutaway?sku=516301
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Alvarez-Artist-Series-AD60SC-Dreadnought-AcousticElectric-Cutaway?sku=518739
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Alvarez-Artist-Series-AD70SC-Dreadnought-AcousticElectric-Cutaway?sku=518798
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Alvarez-Regent-Series-RF20SC-Folk-AcousticElectric-Cutaway?sku=518728
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Seagull-Entourage-Series-Dreadnought-QI-AcousticElectric-Guitar?sku=516906


Someone's working mighty hard

In the $500 range... Takamine is a brand you MUST check out. Great guitars.

My absolute favourite for $500 is the Seagull Maritime Spruce Mini Jumbo. It's one of my top 5 picks for guitars under $1000. It sounds full and rich. Projects pretty well too.

Another good option is the Epiphone Masterbilt series guitars. They're mighty fine as well.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

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