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I lust for a hd28 but my accountant and financial advisor (wife) says it cant happen for a long time. Anything close under a grand? I want a nice spruce top and rosewood back and sides and would love a ebony fretboard with nice large frets. The closest thing I have found is the Taylor 210 it is a bit brighter than a d28. It's the closest one so far.
Thanks from the new guy!

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Paul,

Here are some of the choices you have for under 1k.

Aria Dreadnaught Nice solid top guitar/laminated sides...nice sound ($400-600)
Blueridge guitars the BR-140 will handle any standard D-18. @495.00
Epiphone Masterbuilt...Some of the best bang for the buck anywhere. ($500-800)
Simon and Patrick..Canada import...fine instruments. ($350.00-up)

It really is just a quest to fine and good sounding and good handling guitar. It is a real crapshoot for a decent package. Brand name guarantees nothing. Some brands, like Blueridge, are pretty consistent though. Caveat Emptour. Happy hunting.

Steve
Check out the Silver Creek guitars sold by Musicians Friend. High end sound at a low end price.
Seriously consider the Martin 16 series. They are really fine guitars and you will love them. I had a D16GT for a couple years and it was really nice. With a good set up they can sound pretty good and play pretty good. I spent $800 on mine. If the 1 11/16" nut width is OK then that's a good start. The D16RGT or the D16R have great rosewood sound and are a bit more but still quite reasonable.
As for PacRim guitars, Recording Kings are nice. I have a RD 227 that is a nice rosewood dred with bling bling and for $600. Sounds good with a mod v neck that I like. They have other dreds that are cheaper and sound pretty good and look pretty good.
Seeing that your looking at Taylors, the Martin D 16 R or the D 16RGT make a lot of sense.
First off, your financial advisor is misguided as to the stress relief and pleasure a good guitar can bring.:-) I'd stick with the Martin over the Taylor, especially if you are in flatpick world. Remember this - what you put into the guitar now ($) will only increase later. I own some vintage guitars, the latest being a 1943 Martin D-18. Set me back about $9k, but it is going up in value. Obviously newer guitars don't gain value like the old ones, but invest in a good one, the one you want, because that sets the mark for you for a few years to come.
Murky waters here...I wasted a lot of time trying to figure this one out some years ago...I would say you need to play a ton of guitars in that price point because the quality from guitar to guitar - even with the same maker,and same model, is going to vary significantly. so, if you find one that says "dude, I'M the ONE!" buy it!

or, you could save up a little more and buy whay you REALLY want. the quality of workmanship for guitars in the $3,500 -5,500 is really where it's at these days. Almost every great luthier has amazing quality at these price points. You'll also be buying something that will GROW in value over time as opposed to selling it for a loss in a couple of years if you start trading up - that's what I did and it was sobering when i added up how much I lost from ebay, packaging, postage, and TIME!!

Bryan

http://www.bryanclarkmusic.com
This is all good advice and it is appreciated. You can not get this type of input in very many places. But the truth of the matter is my cash outlay is limited. I know one day it will come so I have to do the best with what I can at this point. And it isn't like I start touring tomorrow or anything. I play at the local jams and do some home recording when I can. And thanks to everyone that replied!
I had the same accountant. I purchased an Alvarez MD95 for under $1000. It has a spruce top and rosewood back and sides. It sounds great and is one of the most playable guitars I've played. I have played it against a lot of guitars priced at $2,500 or more and believe it holds it own with them. Just a thought.
try a blueridge. specs out very similar to martin. i have the 163 an om size solid spruce and solid rosewood. love it. or maybe an alvarez md90 or md95 also solid rosewoods with an englemann top . neither have ebony boards but are under the K. be aware that the epi's have been cracking this winter all over the country.
Don't forget the Martin DR,,,,(rosewood lam) look for them used although most people keep them cause you don't see many for sale, and if you really really read all the post,, they all say the same thing, sort of, every thing wants to be a Martin...everything is compared to a ....yes Martin, it is the bench mark...and is a custom D-28 all that cheaper than a HD? I haven't priced any lately.
enjoy and have fun.
Email my buddy Jon Garon at Jon@myfavoriteguitars.com. He's the man who can give you a hook-up if anyone can.

Later.
Dido to what Bunky said Jon is the man.
Blueridge BR-160 or BR-160A is a great choice. Find a dealer and play a few. I own the BR-160A with the Adirondack spruce top. This thing kicks butt and I use it instead of my Collings D-1A for camping and other rough and tumble jam situations. The Blueridges are well built and the best value right now in a dread for a flat picking enthusiast on a budget

Sammy From Chicago

PS: I have a two year old BR-2060 Lonsesome Pine Fiddler's limited edition model on sale for $850.00 including a deluxe arch top hard shell case. Google this model and check out the specs. This one was hand picked from a line up of three and it has amazing tone! Contact me at 630-518-5375 for more information if serious about purchasing this guitar. I can also email MP3 samples of flat picking and chording this guitar for evaluation.

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