1 Proteus 9 months ago A person (not me) wants to buy a guitar as a gift for a spouse, who has a "Crafter" acoustic-electric which is certainly no better than it should be. It's not staying in tune, other problems, gotta go.He's a good-sized guy of intermediate strummin' & pickin' skills who plays mostly for home entertainment. (I mention that he's not diminutive in order to rule out tiny guitars.)The brief is: acoustic-electric WITH cutaway, full depth (not a thinline). Budget is realistic, 400.00 - 2k. I think the high end is unnecessary, and my sense is that 500.00 - 1k is about right.The buyer has no preference, doesn't know if the player has any. (Other than acoustic/electric/cutaway, I think not.) So I'm filtering choices through my experience, judgment, and pet peeves. That means • no cedar tops (there are surprisingly many out there) • preference for spruce tops • little love for maple as a body wood • preference for mahogany over rosewood bodies • openness to exotics as long as they aren't ugly I don't prefer dreadnaughts, but I don't hate them. I think parlor guitars are too small for this application, but concerts and mini-jumbos are fine. No jumbos.I believe any pickup/preamp system in the price range is going to be fine; there shouldn't be any tinny junk in the range, and this guy isn't doing sound-critical gigs anytime soon, if ever. Maybe he jams with friends.I've been through my list of favorite/reliable acoustic guitar makers in the range: Seagull, Guild, Martin, Alvarez/Yairi, Epiphone. Breedlove has been suggested, and I've trawled their site and like what I see, if what I see lives up to its billing.I'd love to include Gibson; there are a couple of attractive cutaway A/Es in the sub-2k range. But my experience with Gibson acoustics over the last 15 years has been that individual examples vary considerably within any model, so would have to be personally auditioned (not practical for a gift). If anyone can disabuse me of that notion and give me more confidence...well then OK.I have ruled out Blueridge and Recording King (spotty quality, poor customer service). I've prejudicially refused to look at Takamine (unpleasant experiences) and Taylor (unpleasant tone, I know they've fixed it LA LA LA). I remain agnostic about Yamaha and Ibanez, and haven't looked. And, alas, Gretsch doesn't presently have anything that really suits the brief.Unless I've overlooked something, my shortlist is down to some mid-priced Martins, two Guilds, two Breedloves, and the Epi DR500 Masterbilt (which, specnically, looks too good to be true). So, my questions.• Given the brief (A/E, cutaway, no cedar tops, no jumbos), are there specific models of other brands worth a look, or any reason I should reconsider anything I've deconsidered? I'm always willing (if not happy) to have my assumptions challenged. • What do we know about Breedloves? Tone, quality, durability, anything? I find them handsome. Any reason to stay away? • Is the Epiphone Masterbilt as wonderful as it reads? • Midrange Martins: any experience with the GPC/GPCX series?