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Looking for an Acoustic Electric recommendation

Greetings!

I have a bunch of nice acoustic electrics I play regularly and do love my Takamine EF 341 and 381 (my go to acoustics) but I am looking to pick up yet another guitar and welcome some suggestions to what you thnk I might look at/into:

 

I play out acoustically and have recently begun playing a few (5-7) tunes that are best dropped down a half step so as not to kill my vocals for the night. I am looking for a guitar that has nice tonal balance, a nice neck and sounds warm yet lively plugged in.

 

I have no issue buying used as I know what to look for in a well kept guitar and my spend is no more than $500.

 

As mentioned above I do love Takamine's quite a bit as their warm full bodied tones do it for me but have me underwhelmed by some of their lower end stuff. I have a few Ovations but they are not what I am looking to use playing out.

 

What do you recommend and why?

 

Thanks in advance

 

JG3

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I personally love Jumbo's and have many of them from different companies.  I still have to plug the Epiphone EJ-200 for all round balanced mellow sound.  I did put my own pickup in two of mine.  I have the regular EJ-200 for around $400, and the Artist model for around $200.  Both play and sound like a dream to me.  Once you get them setup and put a pickup in them they are great.  I also run them into a Behringer ADI21 DIBox to either FOH or an electric stack that I have.  Both sound great.  I haven't played the cutaway one that already has a pickup in it, but I have heard a few and they sound great also to me.  I just for some reason don't fancy cutaways. It's just a personal thing to me on the cutaways.  I own a Tak 523sc Jumbo that sound outstanding plugged in, but tingy unplugged and for some reason I just don't really enjoy playing it.  Its a beautiful guitar but the Epi's just have me playing more of them.

IMHO, if you want to go used, see if you can find a used Seagull Artist Mosaic. All-solid construction - cedar topped, mahogany back and sides - cedar will provide the warmth you are looking for. Also, check this out - http://www.acousticguitarcommunity.com/group/SeagullAficionados/for... - one of our members is selling a beautiful all-solid Seagull Maritime SWS - spruce/mahogany. Both of these will have the Seagull 1.8" nut.
If you want to go new, I'd suggest checking out a Seagull S6 w/electronics - solid cedar top, laminate wild cherry back and sides - or, if you'd be happier with a closer to traditional 1.72" nut, try a Seagull Entourage w/electronics. Also, check out Walden guitars - well-constructed, quality instruments that are a great value. Check out the G730CE - a just-discontinued Grand Auditorium model that can be had right now for $519.95 - http://holeinthewood.com/discontinued-guitars/walden-guitars-g730ce... - solid cedar topped, solid rosewood back, laminated rosewood sides, 1 11/16" nut.
Those are my current suggestions, given your initial parameters. What wood choices or nut widths do you prefer? Dread or Grand Auditorium? You might be able to find a Giannini Craviola (the oddly-shaped critter on my profile pic) used with electronics for your budget... :-)

I'm in agreement with FloridaGull, Seagull makes a phenomenal mid priced guitar. I have been beating on a Performer series mini jumbo for almost three years now, and it's a work horse. 

I will say that I personally never fell in love with the Maritime series, the link above is an awesome price with the case.

Last I checked, you could pick up an S6 Original ac/el for around 500 brand new, though the Maritime being the superior instrument.  My only concern would the lack of gloss. If you're gigging and happen to be an aggressive strummer, as I am, a lot of semi gloss (which means no gloss) Seagulls wear pretty quickly. 

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