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FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / Recommendations for new acoustic-electric guitar $300-$500.

Contributing Member

Bogue Falaya River

is STILL dark and cold.
Nov 2nd, 2019 05:37 PM   Edit   Profile  

I'm looking at acoustic-electric guitars in the above-described price range. Any recommendations? I prefer a dreadnought guitar.

FDP Sponsor Sweetwater sampling

Contributing Member

USA/Taos, NM

Nov 2nd, 2019 05:51 PM   Edit   Profile  

Personally I don't know anything about any of the guitars shown in the sample. And my logic may be flawed, but...

When it comes to delivering quality goods at a super affordable price, Yamaha delivers on so many fronts. Their products along a broad range of price points never fails to impress.

That said, I'd also look carefully at the Guilds. But that is because of a personal prejudice--not experience.

Contributing Member

St. Louis

"Thumbpicks don't slide into soundholes"
Nov 2nd, 2019 06:38 PM   Edit   Profile  

Id head for the yamaha section pretty quickly. They have the experience in acoustics from way back.
All the guitars made overseas have a pretty tight quality control anymore so it's probably down to looks and tone you like more than anything. Lots of competition in this price range and the specs and quality control is probably pretty tight.


michigan usa

Nov 3rd, 2019 05:52 AM   Edit   Profile  

I've played a couple of cheap Martins (not sure which models) that I was quite amazed by.

Contributing Member

North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Nov 3rd, 2019 07:36 AM   Edit   Profile  

At that price point and the subjectiveness of preferences, playing them would be recommended, but we don’t all have access to those kind of guitar stores, even differences in the same manufactures models can have differences as great as between manufacturers.

I prefer smaller bodied acoustics. My most recent acoustic purchase is the Yamaha CSF1M. It has a really sweet tone. I’ve rarely purchased an acoustic Guitar that I didn’t play first, it doesn’t seem so critical with electrics. I’ve never had a Yamaha that I didn’t like. I did have a Martin that I didn’t love but is was one of the synthetic HPL instruments, it was OK but I replaced it with one made of Carbon Fiber.

Yamaha CSF1M

Contributing Member

I tried to think

but nothing happened!
Nov 3rd, 2019 12:05 PM   Edit   Profile  

Of that group, I'd go with the FGX830C.

I just bought a FGX5 and it is flawless and sounds great!

Contributing Member

East Tennessee

Nov 3rd, 2019 01:22 PM   Edit   Profile  

Out of the sweetwater linked guitars I’d get the Yamaha A1M.

I have an AC3R which is a similar model about twice the price but since it’s a yamaha I’m sure the A1M plays every bit as well, just “relatively” inconsequential manufacturing differences to make the price point.

For an A/E I’d consider a concert shape vs dread though for the comfort factor. If it’s acoustic electric you’re going to be beating on it right, so might as well be comfy.. My yamaha lives outside its case and spends a lot of time outdoors, around the fire etc and never skips a beat. It’s at the same level of playability as my Martin (at 1/3rd the price) although the Martin has more volume and projection, as well as a “better” tone to my ears which is totally subjective. Sounds great plugged in as well.

Contributing Member


a tractor
Nov 3rd, 2019 01:27 PM   Edit   Profile  

+3 on Yamaha.

Even their inexpensive 'starter" models are really good. Well made, and they sound great. I've been doing tech work for 30+ years and have never had a Yamaha acoustic come in with a loose brace or one that required a neck reset.

Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

Buy your virtue signal here
Nov 3rd, 2019 07:00 PM   Edit   Profile  

Another vote to check Yamaha first. They really seem to know how to make great sounding and playing guitars for not too much money (although they make spendy stuff too).

reverend mikey
Contributing Member

N of I-90, E of I-29

You're old. Then vintage. Then good!
Nov 4th, 2019 08:49 AM   Edit   Profile  

Okay, I'll be the outlier in this group.

I agree Yamaha makes great stuff - I have an old '82 Yammy 335 copy that is incredible; I'll never sell it.

BUT - Yamaha doesn't make a "true to spec" dreadnought... they're sorta close, but not exact. So it depends on how true to tradition you want to be...

In that listing of guitars, I'd also strongly consider the two Guilds...

Contributing Member

Bogue Falaya River

is STILL dark and cold.
Nov 4th, 2019 11:44 AM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks for the info and advice, folks. I have a Yamaha dreadnought acoustic I recently bought a real hard case for (from FDP sponsor Sweetwater). My wife is getting me a new acoustic for Christmas, one with a pickup.

My present acoustic is a Yamaha FG-160 I got second- or third- (or perhaps later) hand for $50 from a guy going through a messy divorce and needed the money.

Contributing Member

Who's we sucka?

Smith, Wesson and me.
Nov 4th, 2019 05:07 PM   Edit   Profile  

Of those shown I would go with the solid top Seagull.



Say what one more time!
Nov 5th, 2019 11:25 AM   Edit   Profile  

I'll play the other side.

I love the looks of some of those Ibanez Artwood guitars and they sound good amplified. But they don't sound as full and natural when not amplified, to me anyway. I've always thought the less expensive Yamaha guitars sound a little muffled but the construction is usually flawless. I have been very surprised by the sound of the Epiphone guitars un-amplified but for some reason they don't sound as good amplified.

I bought a Xaviere last year and it sounds very good when not amplified but the electronics in that one probably needs to be replaced.

I have always been a fan of Takamine but these mid-level priced ones also sound a little generic. A friend of mine bough his son one of the laminated Martins. I have been very impressed with how good that guitar sounds.



Nov 8th, 2019 04:51 PM   Edit   Profile  

For your price range , definitely Yamaha FGX830

(This message was last edited by Bubbalou at 06:53 PM, Nov 8th, 2019)

Contributing Member

Bogue Falaya River

is STILL dark and cold.
Nov 9th, 2019 07:39 AM   Edit   Profile  

For $30 more, the Yamaha A1M has a strap button right where I want one. The FGX830 does not have a strap button on the player's fretting side. See my other thread, on straps for acoustic guitars.

Contributing Member

Northwest Missouri

Butterscotch Blues
Nov 9th, 2019 04:43 PM   Edit   Profile  

Yahmaha and Guild

FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / Recommendations for new acoustic-electric guitar $300-$500.

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