The Best Acoustic Guitars
26 Great Acoustic Guitars Grouped for Price Ranges
Perhaps you are a first-time player, or you have a couple of years under your belt, but you have decided it is time to buy a new acoustic guitar . It’s not an easy decision to make as the market is flooded with a variety of brands, some well-known while other makers are newcomers to the game. Often it can be a little harder when buying an acoustic guitar as opposed to an electric.
With acoustics we have a lot more to worry about with varieties of wood , action , and quality of the build. If you notice, people who build homemade guitars often use cigar boxes, license plates, washboards, all varieties of household objects.
Because they are all electrified you can use about any item with some pickups and electronics added to it. However, building a genuine acoustic guitar takes some luthier knowledge and experience!
Here below you find a list of great acoustic guitars, grouped for price ranges.
The Best Acoustic Guitars in the $1000 Price Range
With a solid Sitka spruce top, this acoustic/electric guitar has 20 frets with a Tusq nut and micarta saddle. In the old days, saddles and nuts were made from ivory and bone. When elephants and other animals became endangered species luthiers began looking for a material that sounded as great without the environmental impact.
Tusq is a synthetic material that not only emulates bone, it in fact is far more resonant. Micarta is a synthetic carbon fiber composite and is used in places of very high pressure, in this case, to hold the tension of guitar strings.
The acoustic Taylor guitar sounds phenomenal and the 114ce is one of the best guitars out there. Notable players include Taylor Swift, Jason Mraz, Dave Matthews, Leo Kottke, and Prince. Personally, I find the best acoustic guitars to be the Taylors and the Martins.
Seagull Artist Mosaic
The Seagull Artist Mosaic will make most any best acoustic guitar list, it is a very popular guitar. The top is solid cedar and the back is solid mahogany, with a scale of 25.5 inches and it also has a Tusq nut. Because of the s olid cedar , the guitar is known to have a very warm sound . Seagull guitars were started in 1982 by Robert Godin in Quebec, Canada with the goal of creating the best-handcrafted guitars.
Notable players of the Seagull brand are Peppino D’Agostino, James Blunt, Emm Gryner, Michelle Lambert, and Kim Deal. Simply reading the reviews online shows many happy customers of the Artist Mosaic!
Martin DRS2 Dreadnought
The Martin DRS2 is also an acoustic/electric hybrid, most pricier acoustics these days always have pickups in them for plugging in. The Martin or formally the C.F. Martin & Company was started in 1833 and has always been known for making highly regarded steel string acoustic guitars. The Martin company invented the X-bracing which is still used in most steel string acoustics.
This particular model, DRS2, has a solid Sitka spruce top and solid Sapele back and sides. It has a 25.4 inch scale length and the popular Fishman Sonitone pickup.
As far as notable players, Robbie Robertson is an important one. The very famous song “The Weight” by The Band has the initial lyrics “I pulled into Nazareth…,” Nazareth referring to the town in Pennsylvania where Martin guitars are built.
He wrote that famous song on a 1951 Martin guitar! Other famous players of Martin guitars are Ed Sheerhan, George Jones, Paul McCartney (which he wrote Blackbird on), Johnny Cash, and plenty of other famous guitarists!
This Guild is a 12 string acoustic guitar, 12 strings are known for having a richer and ringing tone providing a “chorus” effect. The lower four strings are tuned in octaves and the top two strings in unison. When buying a 12 string you have to keep in mind that the build requires better bracing and reinforcement because of all the extra string tension.
Normally players start on a 6 string and then move to a 12, as fretting requires greater force and can be very painful on the hand because the neck is bigger. It takes some time to get used to the 12 string!
The F-1512E has a solid Sitka spruce top with solid Indian rosewood back and sides. The scale length is 25.5 inches and it is known as a "jumbo" body shape. The Guild Guitar Company was started in 1952 and is known for its 12 string and jumbo guitars. Notable players are Bryan Adams, Susanna Hoffs, Paul Simon, Robert Smith, and Tom Petty
Ovation Standard Elite 2778
The Ovation Guitar Company was founded in 1965 and is known for having carbon fiber backs, a very unique looking guitar. These carbon fiber backs make the guitar lighter and give it a unique sound. Ovation guitars will sometimes have special sound-holes that yield greater volume and reduce feedback.
This 2778 Elite model has a solid spruce top, a 25.25 inch scale, and is an electric/acoustic hybrid. Notable players include Glen Campbell, Bob Weir, Alex Lifeson, Roger Waters, and Kenny Loggins.
This guitar is a prewar inspired herringbone dreadnought, dreadnoughts being a style of large size guitar originally built by Martin guitars. For those looking for a very nice and vintage style guitar, the Blueridge is perfect. The BR-160 looks like what an old-time country or bluegrass star would have played years ago!
It has a solid Sitka spruce top and Indian rosewood back and sides. It has a 25.6 inch scale and the nut and saddle are made from actual bone. Notable players are Jimmy Capps, Junior Blankenship, George Hamilton IV, and James King.
The Best Acoustic Guitars in the $700 Price Range
A budget of $700 is still going to buy you a great acoustic guitar. Of course, the brands mentioned above are still found in this $700 price range. Instead of repeating ourselves though, we are going to touch on some other brands that have great reviews and high ratings.
Takamine Co. was founded in Japan in 1962 and is known for its steel string acoustic guitars. The GN93CE is an acoustic/electric and has a solid spruce top with black walnut and maple sides. The body style is a single cutaway with a scale length of 25.4 inches.
The pickup is the TK-40D preamp system. Notable players of the Takamine brand are Toby Keith, Glenn Frey, Jon Bon Jovi, Garth Brooks, and Bruce Springsteen.
The D12X1AE is a dreadnought 12 string acoustic/electric with a solid Sitka spruce top and mahogany grained laminate sides. The scale length is 25.4 inches and it has the popular Fishman Sonitone pickup. It’s never wise to be too cheap buying a 12 string, but with this Martin you really get a phenomenal guitar for the price.
I personally own this guitar and can attest to it being a great guitar with a rich and full sound!
Another 12 string acoustic/electric guitar this Gretsch Falcon Jumbo single cutaway has a solid spruce top and laminated maple sides. The Gretsch music company was founded in 1883. They are mostly known for their style of electric guitars used in rockabilly, however, they make fine instruments all around.
Even their acoustic guitars still emanate a very old school rocking style. Chet Atkins and George Harrison are two players who were synonymous with Gretsch in their early days.
This Godin is an archtop acoustic/electric guitar. Godin guitars are of course built by the same makers as the Seagull. This model has a top, back, and sides made of Canadian wild cherry. The scale length is 24.84 inches and has a P90 single coil pickup (like the ones used on some Gibson electric guitars).
Notable Godin players are Roger Waters, Eric McFadden, Steve Stevens, and Lionel Loueke.
Yamaha L Series LS16
The Yamaha Corporation is known for making a variety of instruments. Some are on the lower end of price and quality; however, they also make decent mid-range student acoustic guitars. The LS16 has a solid Engelmann spruce top with solid rosewood back and sides. The scale length is 25.6 inches and the body type is small.
This is great for players who can’t handle a large dreadnought or jumbo size guitar. As far as notable players, Yamaha guitars are known for being the “first guitar of many famous musicians” like Paul Simon and Jimmy Page. For the price, a Yamaha L series is perfect for a beginning student.
The Best Acoustic Guitars in the $600 Price Range
Voyage Air Transit Series
This guitar is included simply because of its very unique build. Like many other guitars it is a dreadnought style with a solid spruce top, and mahogany back and sides. The scale length is 24.75 inches and it uniquely has a patented folding neck-hinge.
It was originally featured on the show Shark Tank and was funded based on the fact that the neck hinge allows the guitar to be folded in half! For songwriters and guitarists who travel or camp a lot, this guitar is a dream come true. It does not sacrifice tone or playability by easily folding into a backpack. It’s not a guitar for everybody, but if you like the ease of travel with the Voyage Air, I highly recommend looking into it!
So far on these acoustic guitar lists we have been focusing on steel string guitars, and some of you may prefer to play nylon strings! If you are into classical or flamenco style music, this Cordoba F7 is a great guitar. Even if you are not into those styles of music, some players simply prefer nylon strings as they are easier on their fingers.
The top of the Cordoba F7 has solid western cedar and the sides and back are made of rosewood. It has a 25.5 scale length and the nut is made of real bone. If you wish to learn beautiful sounding flamenco guitar picking, this guitar is perfect for you. Notable Cordoba acoustic guitar players are Vahagni, Emma Ruth Rundle, Ben Butler, The Gipsy Kings, and Ben Woods.
This Yamaha is a parlor style guitar, this size is slightly smaller than a concert and was popular in the late 19th century. Parlor style guitars were also popular in the Sears guitars (Silvertones) of the 1950’s.
If you are a fan of tenor guitars or baritone ukuleles than you will like the parlor size. The Yamaha CSF3M has a solid Sitka spruce top and solid mahogany back and sides. The scale length is 23.5 inches and it even has a little piezo pickup, so the guitar is an acoustic/electric.
The D-140 also has a solid spruce top and solid mahogany back and sides. It is a dreadnought size with a 25.5 inch scale length. The nut and saddle are made of Nu-Bone, which is a plastic that is very similar to Tusq made by GraphTech guitar labs.
Martin D Junior
This Martin is 15/16 size of a normal full dreadnought. It has a solid spruce top with back and sides of Sapele and Richlite. The scale length is 24 inches and it has a Fishman Sonitone pickup. As the name suggests it is just a smaller version of the popular Martin guitar. For those looking for a Martin at a lower price, or for younger students the Martin D Junior is a great place to start.
The Best Acoustic Guitars in the $500 Price Range
Taylor GS Mini
Taylor Guitars was founded in California in 1974 and ever since they have been making fine guitars. The Taylor GS Mini is one way to still afford one of these amazing instruments. The top of the GS Mini is solid Sitka spruce and the sides are layered Sapele.
The scale length is, of course, shorter than most guitars at 23.5 inches. Nu-Bone is used for the nut and micarta for the saddle. This is the perfect guitar for someone who still wants to own a Taylor but can not afford a full size.
Epiphone Dove Pro
Originally Epiphone was a rival company to Gibson until 1957, now they are separately manufactured but still owned by Gibson. The Dove Pro is an acoustic/electric guitar with a solid spruce top and maple back and sides. It has a scale length of 25.5 inches and uses a Fishman Sonitone pickup. This guitar has a very vintage look for those players who are looking for a blast from the past.
Notable players of Epiphone guitars are most members of The Beatles, Billie Joe Armstrong, Dave Davies, Bob Dylan, and Noel Gallagher.
We have had a number of Guild guitars on this list as they are quite popular acoustic guitars! This 240e is a concert size guitar so it is a little more suited for players not looking for a massive guitar. The top is solid spruce and the back and sides are made of mahogany.
Since it is concert size the scale length is only 24.75 inches. If you want something affordable, reliable, and without many frills, this is a great beginning student guitar.
Like Takamine, Ibanez is a Japanese guitar brand. Their electric guitars are often used in the metal genre, but their entry level acoustic guitars are fine for new students. This particular acoustic/electric guitar is very compact and has a solid mahogany top, back, and sides.
The scale length is only 23.9 inches with a single cutaway for easier access to the top frets.
Washburn Guitar company was originally founded in 1883 and has gone through a few owners. These days they make entry and mid-range guitars, mandolins, ukuleles, and banjos. The WD25s is a dreadnought with a solid Alaskan Sitka spruce top and rosewood back and sides.
It has a scale length of 25.5 inches and uses bone for the nut and saddle. If you are looking for a basic looking dreadnought with no frills this Washburn is very affordable.
The Best Acoustic Guitars in the $300 Price Range
As we have mentioned before the Yamaha brand is very commonly used by beginning students. This FG830 is a traditional western dreadnought with a 25.6 inch scale. The top is solid spruce and the back and sides are rosewood.
The nut and saddle are made with Urea, which here is not the usual definition, but instead a synthetic polymer. This low priced guitar has plenty of five-star reviews!
If you have a low budget but absolutely want a Martin, this Backpacker is for you. Of course, this guitar is not suitable for new students as it won’t prepare them for playing a normal size instrument.
However, if you camp and travel a lot this is one way to get access to the incredible Martin sound. What little bit of top there is, it is made of Sitka spruce. Despite its unusual appearance and small size many players give it high reviews and claim it has a great sound to it!
This Takamine has a traditional dreadnought style with a 25.3 inch scale length. The top is made of solid cedar and the back and sides of mahogany. It also has a split saddle and pinless bridge.
On certain guitar builds it is claimed that a split saddle provides better intonation than a single saddle. For the price of this guitar it is likely not providing much difference, but the GD20-NS still receives positive reviews for its warm sound.
Fender was started in 1946 in California and is of course mostly known for their famous Stratocaster and Telecaster. They also make acoustic entry level instruments and this CD-60 is very affordable. This Fender is a single cutaway dreadnought style.
It has a 25.3 inch scale length, a solid spruce top, and mahogany back and sides. It is also an acoustic/electric guitar with a Fishman pickup. The saddle and nut are made of plastic. This is a very basic looking guitar that is great for beginning students.
The Bristol is made by the Blueridge Guitar company in Bristol, Tennessee. The Blueridge named guitars are known for professional level guitars, while the Bristol’s are for entry-level players. The Blueridge company is a fan of making very vintage looking country western guitars. The BD-116 is a dreadnought style acoustic with a spruce top and mahogany sides.
This is likely the lowest priced guitar on our lists. In fact, most sellers also sell this model of guitar with a hard case, which is rare because usually the case is sold separately.
This is about the cheapest you can go and still have a playable guitar. If you know a student who is into country western music and you want to see how they take to playing an instrument this Bristol BD-116 isn’t such a bad deal.
Good luck and take your time shopping, your new acoustic guitar will patiently wait for you to find it!
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