Advice for 2nd acoustic guitar, please


my name is Mike and I would like to buy a new acoustic guitar. Maybe I am looking for electro acoustic if you think its good deal… 6 years ago I bought my first guitar for 70 dollars. OM160-VS Mini Jumbo… I did not play it and after 6 years I put it out. Found out the “horse” is damaged and I had to fix it myself. I did so and started playing… learned here my first 3 chords and DDUUDU. I really like playing and wanted to make myself happy so I bought Takamine GE10CE for 350 dollars. After 10 days of tryharding… the guitar did not feel good in my hand like its some stranger. A little big bigger… harder to catch strings… I just did not feel good with her so I refunded it to the shop and now I am playing on my oldie goldie OM160, I feel really good with her… like a one. But I got voucher for 350 dollars on one year so I would like to buy new acoustic guitar. I can even add more money, but I would love to see some advice what to buy and what not to buy…

Hi, Mike! I always like to talk about guitars!

I suppose a lot depends on where in the world you are and what your access is to new and used guitars.

Ideally, you should go to some large and small retailers of guitars and try a bunch, see what types and features you like.

If you can do that, then go with community recommended options that tend to be reliable and consistent.

For $350 plus or minus a bit, I would strongly consider the used market if you are comfortable with that. Local markets (like Craigslist or Next Door in the US) are good because you can try the guitar before you buy it and not pay fees and shipping.

So, about actual guitars, my first guitar was a used Art and Lutherie Legacy edition for roughly that price. Very nice guitar, on the bright side. I sold it to a friend who loves it and uses it in the classroom.

Also, a good (maybe better) bet would be a Yamaha, maybe FG800 or 830 I think? I have not played one, but they have a great reputation as fantastic instruments for the price range.

I am sure there are many others, but if I were buying in your range and couldn’t see or play the guitar first, I think I would go with a used Yamaha.

Since you clearly are ok fixing a guitar, you may be able to find a slightly beat up bargain and rehab it. I have a 1981 A.Yiari CY-140 classical that I bought with some cracks for about $200. Easily fixed and now a marred but excellent playing guitar. Had it been pristine it would have commanded $1200-$1800 even at that age, so quite a deal. No resale value, though.


Hi Mike, there is no substitute to going to a well stocked shop. It seems playability is a big requirement for you. Try guitars that are recognized brands, focus on OM type models and be prepared to try models from your nominal price point and double that amount. Check the action on the models, because that can be adjusted. See if you get the tone differences between laminate and solid wood. Try different tone woods (spruce vs mahogany). Playability does depend on the strings a guitar comes with, check what you have on yours and the guitar you try out. Check if you need one with onboard electronics and a pickup.

These Canadian Acoustics are fine, (Seagull, Ars and Lutherie) as are Martin (Sigma) copies, around a 600 USD price point. Once you have found a model you like, you could investigate 2nd hand options. You know how it should sound, and how it should play. Always insist on playing before buying. You might even try some Martin or Taylor entry models.

And enjoy your search, and take your time, unless you fall in love with a particular guitar - than you just need to buy!

Hope this helps,


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I am what tyoe of music do you play or at least want to olay? It is so difficult because what one person loves, another won’t. You really need to try a few and see what you like. I was told by a friend that the Epiphone Hummingbird Pro was great. He has one and loves it. I went and tried one and instanly put back down. I think it really is personal.

Obvious things to look for are build quality, if solid woods are used, any damage found (look at the guitar store as well because I found a totally cracked brand new guitar at mine here) For me, finish is secondary to the above things but I do think it should be considered as you may lerform for someone some day.

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my favorite is the epiphone masterbilt DR500MCE, had the martin clapton model prior to this and immediately got rid of it after picking up the epi. so much louder, brighter, just all around awesome sound compared to the dead (totally disappointing) martin.

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Hello, for me Taylor and Martin is high end guitar. Never had it in my hands, but I would like to try it… you got point that my primary requirement is playability and how does it feel in hand. Its like I have too feel its that right instrument or I would feel really uncomfortable. Thanks for your tips, I will check some videos about OM type models and I will see. I think that biggest problem is I tried to buy some good guitar in start of my journey when I am not able to play anything and try that guitar properly. I have to work so I can decide in 12 months for my new guitar, but I guess I will be really “hungry” and I am gonna find some maximum in 3 months. :smiley:
Also… do you think that copies of known brands are good in guitar world? Dont have any experience and havent read anything yet.

Thats really hard to say, because I am on start… but I like some folky guitar, just chillin with good vibe… maybe some fingerstyle… but I have not touched fingerstyle yet so I dont know if its for me. I went for this Takamine cause it seemed like best compromise to me.
How many guitars do you own? :slight_smile:

Thanks for recommendation, I am gonna check it on YouTube. :slight_smile:

Hi Michal,

As you are at the beginning of your journey, and focussing mostly on strumming, with a pick, most likely having a tough time of it doing some of the chords (just to mention barre chords) and chord changes, the immediate playability concerns obviously are going to be different from someone who does a lot of barre chords, soloes or does fingerstyle. But you’ll get there! So always find a guitar that allows for growth.

Playability now means whether you can do chords and chord changes easily and clearly, using the right technique, without much effort, and without fret buzz. Later it means whether you can easily pick individual strings and get a clear sound.

Yes it is important to know which music attracts you, and what you would eventually like to achieve.

It will be bound to change over years, but you would need to take that in the equation. For instance you mentioned you like folk / folk style music. Its important to know whether you would like to do singer songwriter / troubadour type music (Ralph Mc Tell, early Dylan, Gordon Lightfoot etc) or do rhythm strumming when there are other instruments, like in a folk band. (flute, violin, mandoline etc) playing melody, and you really focussing on the rhythm stuff, like ( jigs and reels and whatnot). There are different requirements, a solo singer and guitar would not need a super boomy guitar body like a Jumbo. The dreadnought model is somewhat smaller in body than a Jumbo and the Orchestra Model (OM) would be smaller, more easily to hold sitting and standing than the dreadnought or Jumbo.

A parlour model would be even smaller than an OM. Most players would prefer the neck to meet the body at the 14th fret, and most would like a cutaway, to be able to reach some of the higher frets.

If chords are hard to play, the key thing to check are how the neck feels to yu, and the distance (=Action) of the strings to the 12th Fret (Definately not more than 3mm) .

Another thing is to slide with your fingers up and down the neck and check whether the frets are not protruding from the fretboard. Finally posture, you’ll be playing and sitting a lot, so the guitar should sit comfortably on your lap, when you have the right posture.

I am being over detailed, and there is a lot of YT stuff out there, but I would hate it if you’d fail in your search for waht is the right guitar for you


Thanks for your PRO tips. I am gonna read it more times, because there are many informations for me.
Right now… I feel like a kid that does not know what he wants, because I really like " John Butler - Just Call (Live on eTown)" (check on YouTube). If I could ever play this I would have tears in my eyes… like now when I type it and thinking about it I am on the edge. :smiley:
For me is just really confusing how many guitars are available over here and I think its gonna be pretty similar with cars so. Every can do its job and every single perform better in different way.
I got credit in Muziker (czech music shop) and they dont have Taylor or Martin, so I have to look more between Takamine, Cort, Fender, Gibson, LAG, Yamana, Epiphon and so on…

Taylor and Martin are solid factory brands. Great guitars, but don’t let the name recognition blind you too much. At their lower end guitars in your price range, they don’t shine as well, from my understanding.

If they don’t carry them we’re you are, go to that store you have credit and play a bunch of them. Do think about size. I like OM and 00 sizes (00 is a little bigger than a parlor).

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I learned that asking which guitar you should buy is like asking which type of dog you should get. The answers vary widely, even for the same person in different times of their life. Also, one Labrador can be different from another in the same breed (even siblings). You really need to try a guitar to see if it is for you and since you are in the more early stages it is more difficult. Not impossible. Some folks KNOW what they want to do. Like some people are gonna do hard rock, some are gonna do folk. No doubts. I am not that way. I like it all. I have stuck with an electric SG, and an acoustic Alvarez and have a little mahogony Cort AF Mini 3/4 size to travel with. I also have a Fender mandolin. It is a good team but I want something with a deep voice and punch like that Gibson sound. So I have been going to the store every now and again to practice with the new guitars. I take my music and capo and pick and spend an hour or two. Nothing yet but I do know what I DON’T want now.

Don’t stress the cash too much. A year is a long time to learn and figure out your path. Keep with it and be careful not to hurt yourself. That is the most important part.

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Agreed, and like a dog, you may not know the personality until you have had it a while.