Requesting expert suggestions for my first guitar purchase

Hi all. I am lucky to have three guitars:

A 20 year old Alvarez PF90S N acoustic. which my mother-in-law was no longer using and gave to me when she found out I picked up guitar.

A Cort Mahogony Mini Ad 3/4 which I picked up for my kids but I use when I am sitting in my car waiting for them to do activities.

An Epiphone SG electric.

I love the others that I am playing. I am really lucky to have them. However, I have three kids who are hinting at wanting to start using these. That, and my wife saying to start looking got me wanting to choose my own guitar. I want an acoustic with a much bigger sound than what I currently have. I want to buy something which will last my life and too. My budget to around 1000 if something is really special.

I am currently eyeing two different Epiphones, the “Inspired By Gibson” version of the Hummingbird and the Masterbuilt Frontier are the two which are standing out. The Frontier appears to be better quality but I jist dont know enough to say that.

I understand that sound is individual but wanted to reach out to all you smarties about what you would do with a desire for a big Gibson sound but a smaller fistfull of dollars.


Any way you can go try these in person? Actually playing and hearing the difference (even if you’re not an expert) will probably help you decide.


1000 what, where?


I am sorry, I forget that this goes out to the whole world. I am in the US, Texas. 1000 dollars. Hopefully less but I might go a wee bit higher for something really special.

Thank you. Yes, I could find a store in the area. I am in the Dallas Fort Worth area, so there is a lot of stuff nearby. I plan on that but wanted to get an idea on what to try out. There are so many choices.

Mostly hoping to see if these two are good choices and if anyone else had input of other brands/models to try out as well or a good choice for used in that price range.

OK so something like this?


You really need to get to a store and play them. Guitars are so much about feel and sound, and vary from guitar to guitar, let alone model to model. Try as many as you can.


Yes, I looked at that one as well.

so go to a store and play some.

No one can guess the sound, style, size, feel of a guitar will be right for you


I have heard this. I will go to the store to see but wanted to have an idea of which guitars are maybe very good quality for the price.

I am putting feelers out and saw a Hummingbird Pro. I learned that the Hummingbird Pro is very different than the Inspired by Gibson, hence the doubled price. I am just a little overwhelmed, I guess.

I thought they didn’t make the epiphone hummingbird pro anymore as it is no longer on the Epiphone website. The stores that I’ve seen the pro advertised have it at least half the price of the inspired by gibson model. I’ve got a inspired by gibson hummingbird and it does sound really good but like others say try them out. My go to acoustic at the moment is my cort gold A6 which has a vintage sound to it and is more comfortable playing. It may be that I’m currently spending more time playing fingerstyle than strumming. When I was looking the inspired by gibson range the closest with the sound was the hummingbird.

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They might not make the Pro anymore, I’m not sure. I reached out on the local Facebook marketplace here and found a Hummingbird Pro that they wanted like 450 and I wondered if it was an “IBG” but it was a Pro so I passed. My thoughts were to look at the 1000 dollar range and hope for closer to 500 used but I could get away with spending 1000 so maybe a used 1500 guitar? :laughing:

Indeed. And if you like the guitar but the sound isn’t quite what you’d hoped for, don’t buy it expecting a huge improvement over time. Guitars do improve as they age, but that’s a more subtle change. A more / richer sound.

I bought a guitar in my early days and it didn’t have quite the volume I was looking for but I figured it would improve as I played it and got used to it. Sadly it didn’t change much so I ended up selling it. Because I’d bought it 2nd hand, I didn’t lose any money when I sold it.

A different topic is finding what you are looking for in the 2nd hand market. I’ve found you can save about 50% of the retail price. You either have to be confident you can spot problems or take along a more experienced friend. I’ve found some real bargains in the 2nd hand market, but would only buy 2nd hand if I was able to try it first.


i bought a used masterbilt for around $350….fantastic guitar……better than the martin i sold after buying it

You might consider a Yamaha Red Label. Those are quality instruments and you can get an FS3 or FG3 for around $800-$900. At that price point they’re a very good value compared to similarly priced guitars from some of the bigger names.

I agree with the advice to go play some guitars. I’m not familiar with shops in the DFW area (I’m in Houston), but there should be a wealth of options.

Some great deals can pop up on the used market, too, but it often helps to know what you’re looking for (and looking at), there.

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Oh yeah, those are great. I played some and was keen on them before I chose my Maton. Great guitars.

Are you wanting an acoustic or an electric in that price range?

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Definitely another vote to get yourself to a store or two to sit and play through some options. It’s the only to understand the feel and sound and you may well be surprised with what you discover. $1000 will certainly get you a lifer. I can’t offer anything beyond that, I know a few on there have Epi’s and like them but I’ve never played them. I did start out with a cheap Yamaha acoustic and it served me well, generallly very well made instruments.
Have fun choosing :slight_smile:

No matter what guitar you choose, the fact that you want a guitar for life and have $1000 means you really should be thinking about all solid wood construction as far as possible. As a minimum a solid wood top. Those two Epiphones tick that box as will others so do not limit yourself at this stage


In my experience, especially with acoustic guitars, is that what you “think” you want - based on looks, recommendations and product marketing is very rarely the same as what your ear and instinct will tell you is actually “the one” for you. When I went to buy my latest acoustic, I was convinced in advance that I wanted either a Guild or a Martin, but I ended up with a Takamine as it looked, felt and sounded (to my ear) better than all the others I tried.

There is still part of me deep down however that hankers for a Martin… but I’m not overly sure why.