Best Acoustic for $500
I may be in the market sometime soon.
For the past 5-6 years, I have been playing a Fender CDE60 - an acoustic/electric with a cutaway. I believe the body is Spruce with a laminate top. When I bought it, it was $300, and included a nice hardshell case. All that really means is that it's probably more like a $200 guitar.
Anyhow, I am starting to notice the shortcomings of this guitar - it sounds acceptable unplugged in my living room, but whether unplugged or plugged into a PA (my normal set-up), it just seems dull and lifeless. No amount of pre-amp battery changes, EQ, or good amplification will fix it. I know the old mantra, that the instrument is the first and most important part of getting a good sound.
However, at the same time, I have a lot of hobbies, and can't pour tons of money into something new. Would buying a guitar in the $500 price range represent any sort of improvement in materials and workmanship? If so, what are your suggestions? I play primarily in church worship, ranging from heavy strumming to softer arpeggiations.
I don't need a cutaway, but an acoustic/electric is a must.
Thanks for the help.
I am where my mind put me.