Hi, I know this sort of thing gets asked every once in a while, but I really would like to hear your opinions.
So bear with me...
It seems like I'm finally going to being able to upgrade from my Gitane DG-250...
Budget's around US$2300 tops.
This new guitar will mean I'll have to sell several other loved instruments, so I really want it to be worthwhile.
Eventually I'll go up the ladder all the way to a Favino or Dupont VR...
but in the meantime I'm looking for a good professional guitar to use for 5-10 years that could later be kept and used as a combat guitar.
My priorities are sound and volume, even if it means going over my budget, playability (fat neck, good setup) it's also important.
So far I looked at these options:
Approx. $1700 Gitane DG-300 with upgrades (tuners, tailpiece, case, setup)
A "deluxe" Gitane, and way under my budget but doubtful of it being a real upgrade, Could it be as good as the other options(?).
Approx. $2000 Manouche
Has all the upgrades out of the box, but it's still asian made and not sure the sound is all that better than a "deluxe" Gitane or as good as the luthier options.
Approx $2300 Dupont MD100
On the high side of the budget, great brand name, handmade in France, but sides and back made of mahogany instead of rosewood and no walnut for the neck, I've never heard one but could sound a lot like the real thing, this is the one I'm leaning towards the most, but mostly by reputation.
Approx $ 2700Dell arte Hommage
Way over budget (but the list price is close to $4000), still cheaper than MD 50 and AJL's, etc.
Favino style, Handmade in the US but not sure if the sound justifies the extra bucks (would take a lot of effort to raise the difference), if it did I would gladly make the required sacrifices.
It seems sometimes more money doesn't necessarily mean better sound...but sometimes it does... so I'd really appreciate advice and opinions from more experienced players as my reference point is very limited and I'm not able to just go to a store and try them all out, in fact I'll probably have to buy online or only be able to try one option...not ideal but...
Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this and help.