Need help with choosing a bright acoustic

Hi, I'm new here. I've been playing guitar and piano on and off for over 30 years. Don't let that mis-lead you though, I'm not all that great on the guitar. But I get a lot of satisfaction from playing at home. I played in bands 20 years ago, but that seems like an eternity now.

I have a Seagull S-6 and an Alverez PF 12-string that I enjoy quite a bit, but I find that the Seagull is not as bright as I would like. The 12 string sounds very good and it's bright sounding, but I would like this same sound in a six string.

I've tried changing strings, but the Seagull just sounds rather muddy to me and always has. The highs don't ring out and sound muted and the bass is muddy.

I have a budget of around $600US for a new acoustic, but I'd really like something bright, clear, and punchy. Can a guitar for this little money be found with these attributes? I'd like a rather low action too.

I'm 60 miles from the nearest music dealer so I probably won't be visiting a store, but buying on-line so this will be a sight unseen purchase.

If anyone has any advice on a guitar that fits the bill please post.

Nice place you all have here. I like it.

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Just talking about woods rather than brands, you'll want a solid top of spruce or cedar and maybe going for maple back/sides rather than mahogany if you really do want bright. You won't want bigger than dreadnought. I don't do a lot of acoustic but, IIRC, Lee_UK thinks Crafter make good VFM acoustics and one of theirs would be comfortably in budget.

Others with more exp will chime in, I'm sure.

Thanks for your tips. The guitar is actually an S6+. It is solid cedar and mahogany. I had always read that maple was brighter so I'll look into this for the sides and back, with spruce for the top.

My Ibanez 12 string looks as though it could be maple? with a solid spruce top. I guess that's why it's brighter.

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