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Hmmm I think that we should put a sticky on this page saying "If you want a good but cheap acoustic look at the Godin family".

But really, look at those. I have a art&lutherie cutaway with built in pickup and it's sweet. I don't know exactly what it cost(x-mas present) but I think they go for for about $300-400. Maybe less.
 

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My cort electro-acoustic was $400 I think, used.
 

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Bayou Acoustic Electric

Hi Just wanted to tell you about a new guitar line I found in Vancouver Canada. These guitars are called Bayou Guitars...I bought an acoustic electric BA20SCE the thing is amazing> It is top grade Sitka spruce top solid. Tight straight grain.The neck is like an old Gibson from the 60s.
The pickup system in it is the best in the world as far as I am concerned ..The B-Band A3.2 system with the onboard EQ. The guitar is very natural sounding and is well under the 700 price point..I paid 599 Canadian dollars just over 500US dollars.
The store that sells them exclusively here in Vancouver is Westcoast Music . They even threw in a free real Canadian made arch top wood case. The guitar is killer value incredible feel and awesome natural sound plugged in with the B-Band System. It has nice inlay in headstock and a cool picture of an alligator playing a guitar in the soundhole ..Apparently these instruments are made of top grade woods selected in Canada aged for 2 years and the body and neck cut and fit offshore.
Then they are finished.. frets ,tuners , and B-Band pickups installed rite in Vancouver. All I know is I looked at everything..and alot of guitars in this price range or even higher were using cheaper grade spruce tops and the pickups were obviously inferior..I comapred to Takamines ..Seagulls. cheap Martins ..Larrivees..Taylors..anyway thats my 2 cents worth. http://www.bayouguitars.com is the site. They have awesome classical and flamenco guitars for under 300.00 Canadian too.
They also have solid top grade Sitka spruce acoustics 299.00
 

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I picked up an brand new Ovation Celebrity deluxe, a really nice plug in acoustic, off of ebay for $450.00 cdn (taxes,shipping and duties inc.)with hardshell case. If you look you might find a similar deal. Anyway they are great for what you described.
 
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