For an inexpensive amp I would say you will just have to try a few of them in a good music store. For amps to stay away from, I would avoid the Marshalls. I had one for two years when I first tried acoustic amps but after I tried a lot of others the Marshall was flat sounding. I sold mine on Ebay. Don't get me wrong that Marshalls are not good. They make the best stack units on the market for electric but I was very disappointed in the 50 watt I had. The best I have found, probably not in your price range, is the Fishman's. They are outstanding and because of there of their research and working relationships with the biggies like Martin, they really understand acoustic amplified sound. I have a 130 watt Fishman Performer that delivers the best acoustic sound I have ever heard. tandM3 is correct that you may not need a full 30 watts and tube amps are warmer and louder. Good luck.

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(21 replies, posted in Guitars and accessories)

Make sure you look at the Washburns. The D10 series is advertised as the best selling dread shaped guitar and I can see why. I have had a D10 for 14 years and even though I have Martins and Gibsons and I love them , the Washburn is a high quality , relatively inexpensive guitar that is well worth the money. It takes about 8 years for the tone to optimize like all wood instruments but it is a great instrument for the money.  Whatever guitar you look at make sure it has a solid spruce or cedar top. No plywood or laminates. Also if you live in a very dry or very wet climate do not go for the Ovations. The synthetic bodies do not expand and contract but the wood tops do so you can get separations and warpage.

Note that Martin does not distribute seconds or blems. I went through their factory in Pennsylvania and if any problems get to the final stages they destroy the guitar. I don't know if Taylor or Gibson have the same policy. If you found a Martin with those described problems it must have been caused in the store.