TAC Family Forums

Share your wins, get unstuck, or see how others use the TAC Method to create a fulfilling guitar life!

  • Good Sounding Guitar for 300-500

    Posted by Salty on December 24, 2021 at 11:45 am

    Anybody have some advice in picking a good sounding acoustic from 300-500?

    GordonS replied 2 years, 1 month ago 20 Members · 43 Replies
  • 43 Replies
  • Akabbbb

    Member
    December 25, 2021 at 7:34 am

    Hi Salty,

    My first guitar was a Yamaha APX600, which I thought was a tremendous value at $299. One of the features other than playability that I liked was having a built in tuner. The first time I changed the strings the guitar really came to life, so I am not really sure of the quality of the strings from the factory. I have played a few different Yamahas at various music stores and find them to always play really well. Again if you have a chance try out as many as you can at local music stores.

    Cheers!

    Bill

    • Salty

      Member
      December 25, 2021 at 12:35 pm

      Thank you for your reply, I have heard good things about Yamaha.

  • albert_d

    Member
    December 25, 2021 at 9:24 am

    Tony has an Acoustic Life Video in the vault for guitars at various price points. You might give that a look see.

    • Salty

      Member
      December 25, 2021 at 12:34 pm

      Where is the vault located, lol, having a little trouble finding it.

  • albert_d

    Member
    December 25, 2021 at 9:27 am

    I checked the icon with the tv ears and searched beginner guitars and it hit on Acoustic Tuesday 135, 170, 145 and a few others.

    • Salty

      Member
      December 25, 2021 at 12:34 pm

      Thank you for your reply.

  • N-lightMike

    Member
    December 25, 2021 at 11:02 am

    I have a number of guitars in that price range @Salty . Of course, there are different styles of guitars, and you can get any type you want in that price range. Here are some amazing guitar companies who sell quality instruments at that price point.

    Epiphone; Alvarez; Ibanez; Yamaha; Washburn.

    I still own an Epiphone, an Alvarez, and an Ibanez. I had a Washburn, but it was a small scale travel guitar and though I loved it, I didn’t use it so I sold it. I have never owned a Yamaha, but they have a stellar reputation in this price range.

    Ibanez, especially, makes many different styles and copies famous models and many of those offerings are $500 or less. Alvarez and Epiphone make a few amazing guitars at this price point, but don’t have the variety Ibanez does.

    I hesitate to make suggestions beyond this because I don’t know what kind of gutiar you want. My PR-5E Epiphone is a standard 25 1/2″ scale length, and is a “Florentine” style cut-away with solid spruce top and rosewood sides and back. I love this guitar. But I also love my Alvarez AP66 parlor, all mahogany (solid top), 12 fret, open head stock, 24″ scale length. And then there is my Ibanez GA34STCE, nylon string, open head stock, solid spruce top, 25 1/2″ scale length, 1 13/16″ nut width, thin line, cut-away body. It is becoming my “go to” guitar. The Epiphone and Ibanez both have electronics with a tuner. The Alvarez has no electronics or cut-away. But it may be my most comfortable guitar. There are a lot of choices and a lot of differences.

    MG 😀

    • Salty

      Member
      December 25, 2021 at 12:34 pm

      Thank you I will definitely check those out when I head out to get the new one, as soon as my taxes come back.

  • That_Guy

    Member
    December 25, 2021 at 2:50 pm

    In that price range I would buy a Yamaha FG 830 which is probably only about half of your budget

    • N-lightMike

      Member
      December 25, 2021 at 3:15 pm

      Hey @That_Guy ,

      The Yamaha FG 830 is definitely one of those great guitars for the money. However, it won’t work for someone who doesn’t want a dreadnought. That’s why I pointed out that @Salty needs to figure out what type of guitar he wants.

      I don’t have any dreadnoughts in my guitarsenal. And that’s because the one I bought I sold shortly afterwards. They don’t work for me. At all. I will never own a Jumbo either. There are a lot of really good guitars I wouldn’t want if you gave them to me. You can get pretty much any size and type guitar you want for $500 or less. There are a ton of good guitars in that price range. First, you have to know what you want.

      There is body size and shape. There is the tone wood used. There is scale length. There is nut width. There is 12 or 14 fret, or something else. Open head stock or closed head stock. Electronics. Cut-away. And that’s just the basics.

      I’m just trying to help @Salty to get what he wants and not have to buy and sell as many as I did to find what I wanted.

      MG 😀

  • tailsawaggin

    Member
    December 26, 2021 at 3:18 pm

    My advice is to get your hands on and many different guitars as you can and see what sounds and feels good to you. Do you have a Guitar Center within reasonable driving distance? They can be a great resource for test drives.

    • Salty

      Member
      December 26, 2021 at 3:45 pm

      I actually do and it looks like I am getting a couple of raises before tax time so I am thinking a Taylor 210ce Plus, but we will see. I know it is about the sound I like and I just want a Dreadnought, with some Santa Cruz strings, I know they wont have those on there so hearing what it is actually going to sound like may be a tad bit difficult. Thank you for your advice, that was definitely something I had planned.

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by  Salty.
  • mkelley71

    Member
    December 31, 2021 at 9:56 am

    If you can up your budget slightly, I picked up an Eastman E10-OMSB that rivals any Martin 000-18 GE for 750.00. I have Martin, Gibsons, Recording Kings, which BTW the RD 327 is a great guitar, my brother bought one, my Eastman E10-OM gets more playing time. The 12 inch radius fretboard adds a little more curvature for ease of fretting, the shorter scale length is easier to play, I play this guitar for most of my Tac lessons. Eastman is not your typical factory, it is a shop of Chinese luthiers who really take pride. I am a made in the USA guy when possible, but good quality is good quality. Check out the E1OM. I am sure street price is around your budget.

    • Salty

      Member
      December 31, 2021 at 2:18 pm

      What does shorter scale mean. I am playing a dreadnaught now. Is it smaller than that?

  • mkelley71

    Member
    January 1, 2022 at 9:34 pm

    Scale length of a typical dreadnought is 25.36 or 25.5 inches in most Martin style copies. This measurement is from nut to saddle.

    Shorter scale on a typically found on a 000 is 24.9″ (not to be confused with a Martin OM which is 25.36″) or 24.75″ for a J-45.

    Shorter scale equals

    1. Less string tension to tune to pitch

    2. Less space in between frets ( I notice this on that pinky stretch)

    3. Slightly darker sound

    4. Easier bends

    But

    1. Highs may not be as “chimey”

    2. Some may not be as loud

    3. Lower scale length may seem floppy in drop D.

    Try one out at your local music shop to see if it is for you.

    Happy New Year !

  • David_Leo

    Member
    January 2, 2022 at 5:07 am

    Pick out a $1000 guitar you like, then go on Reverb and find a used one.

  • Kristin1

    Member
    January 2, 2022 at 8:51 am

    Hello @ salty,

    after years of playing my dreadnought I bought an OOL (same manufacturer, same price range), which has a smaller body and a smaller fretboard:

    – much easier to hold stable with my right arm while strumming

    – much easier fingerpicking. Indexfinger first fret and pinkie fourth fret at the same time? No problem anymore! Monday Challenges much easier.

    – faster fingerpicking

    – some barre chords I couln´t do before were possible from day one with the OOL

    – I played almost everything “better”

    You might want to check these aspects while trying out guitars.

    Happy new year!

    By the way: nevertheless the OOL wasn´t for me. Within four weeks I was back to playing 100% my Dreadnought. But doing a Daily Finger Stretch. I guess in the middle of 2022 I can play my Dreadnought as good as I played the OOL in November last year. (But I admit although I´m not playing the OOL anymore I won´t part with this smaller sized but great guitar either… )

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by  Kristin1.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by  Kristin1.
  • Michelle-PSL

    Member
    January 2, 2022 at 4:31 pm

    @Salty , there are many great suggestions above.

    I would encourage you to go somewhere and play different models in your price range. Or take someone along with you who plays and listen to the sound of the guitars. Or ask an employee to play them for you. Think about what kind of music you want to play. If you want to play bluegrass you will want a different sounding guitar than if your goal is to play melodic fingerstyle. Also, trying out different models will help you figure out the body type that feels most comfortable for you.

    That said, I was happy with the Orangewood guitars I purchased when I was starting out. The Breedlove Discovery collection is highly rated. I have heard good things about the Alvarez and Eastman guitars. If you like blues or bluegrass, Recording King might be guitars you’d like. If you’re willing to go to $550, you can purchase a Martin X series or a Taylor Academy series, both excellent starters that will stand the test of time.

    And @David_Leo gave some good advice. Used may be the way to go, and reverb.com is a reputable website.

    Good Luck and let us know what you decide to bring home. 🙂

  • Philb

    Member
    January 3, 2022 at 1:35 pm

    I was at the same place and compared (hands on) many models. The Guild D-240e is a solid spruce top, dreadnought, with electronics. The reviews I read said it was comparable to guitars up to the $700 price range. I tried many guitars up to $700, and bought the Guild new for around $400. I have not been disappointed. If you are interested in a dreadnought, try it out if you can.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by  Philb.
    • tailsawaggin

      Member
      January 3, 2022 at 2:33 pm

      @Salty I’ll second the idea trying out the Guild. I don’t have this particular one, but I have three others. I might like Guild guitars a little. 😁

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by  tailsawaggin.
  • Wolverines420

    Member
    January 6, 2022 at 9:10 am

    Salty, About 1 year ago I purchased a Martin Dreadnought Junior, mostly for bringing it in the truck and playing while traveling or just from place to place. It sounds amazing and is SO easy to play! I have owned a few different guitars throughout the past year and kept wanting to play the Dread Jr. over any of them. I’ll never get rid of it!

    • Akabbbb

      Member
      January 6, 2022 at 10:19 am

      Completely agree! I originally purchased my Jr to be my travel guitar, but I liked it so much I did not want to see it getting completely abused flying 2-4 times a week. It now has a permanent place as my couch guitar. Thankfully I was able to purchase a used Yamaha silent guitar for travel and I must admit it has worked out splendidly for playing in hotel rooms.

  • polarpeak75

    Member
    January 6, 2022 at 3:17 pm

    Tony reviews guitars from Godin in Acoustic Tuesday episode 208 Oct 12, 2021

    According to Tony: “These are the top 5 acoustic guitar made by trusted and respectable
    brands from Canada that I think are worth checking out in 2021!”

    https://tonypolecastro.com/at208/

    Best Canadian guitars under $800

    5 Best Canadian Guitars Under $800 (2021) • Acoustic Tuesday 208

  • Salty

    Member
    January 17, 2022 at 4:08 pm

    Ok It is down to one of these three. I know all of them cost more but I love playing and I wont to hold one of these.

Page 1 of 2

Log in to reply.