What started as a Top 10 article, has spun slightly out of control coming to a rest at the 16 Best Acoustic Guitars For Every Budget.
I’ve made sure to cover all my favorite guitars over a large range of price starting from the obscene under $5000 dollars right the way down to the budget friendly at under $200.
For those of you who don’t know much about guitars have a look at the small guide I’ve put together below. It shows you the main points you’re going to look for when buying an acoustic guitar.
If you have a certain guitar price range in mind, click on one of the links below to get taken to that section.
Best Acoustic Guitar Under $5000
Best Acoustic Guitar Under $3000
Best Acoustic Guitar Under $2000
Best Acoustic Guitar Under $1000
Best Acoustic Guitar Under $500
Best Acoustic Guitar Under $200
Best Acoustic Guitar Starter Pack
For each of the guitars I’ve given you some of the details you need to know about each of the guitars. For those of you with experience this will unlikely be new information so feel free to skip it and go straight to the guitars!
The most important things to know are what shape the guitar is, what type of acoustic it is and what tone it has. So for each guitar I’ve included this information in a list underneath the picture.
Acoustic guitars are generally categorized by their body type where the most common types are Dreadnought, Jumbo, Concert, Classical and Parlor. Austin Bazaar created a great picture showing you the visual differences between these types of guitar. Check it out below!
Dreadnought guitars have been a staple style of acoustic guitar all through the 20th and 21st centuries with Martin first developing their dreadnought guitar in 1916.
They are the most versatile guitars, having been played by artists of every genre from folk to metal, they have great balance between volume and ease of play.
Now if you hear about a jumbo guitar you might think of a big loud acoustic full of bass and character.
And you would be completely right!
Jumbo guitars are perfect for rhythm guitar complimenting lead players and other instruments. The loud volume produced by having a bigger body provides you with fantastic sounding rhythm guitar, perfect for folk players or those wanting to take it solo and play and sing their song.
Parlor guitars are on the opposite end, with their smaller bodies they produce great midrange tones but have less volume than the jumbos.
Very comfortable guitars to hold, the parlor guitars are often the preference of blues and folk players because of their lower price tag.
Grand Auditorium guitars are smaller than Dreadnoughts and ideally suited for the versatile player who enjoys both plectrum work and fingerstyle picking.
Grand auditoriums have full tone in the lower range, with balanced mids and sparkling trebles.
As the name suggest mini guitars are smaller versions of regular sized guitars. Smaller than the parlor guitars, mini guitars size starts at ¾ and goes up from there to about 7/8th.
Perfect as travel guitars and those with smaller hands!
Classical guitars are a nylon stringed species of their own used for very specific music, so I’ve decided not to talk about them in this article.
Now the tone of any guitar, acoustic or not, is affected by many things. The bodywood arguably has the biggest affect on tone but the strings can also carry a lot of weight. So if you think your tone is too bright you can change the strings to something warmer.
Instead of talking about the individual wood each guitar is made of I decided I would highlight an overview of the tone to make things more accessible. If you want to know the type of wood you can click through to the guitar center where it will tell you.
So what’s the difference?
Everyone has their own definition of what warm and bright tones are, but to me, a warm tone has much more bass and is very mellow. Too much warmth and you get very murky saturated sound. Bright tones however, have much more treble and can sound harsh if overdone.
Think of the difference between playing a guitar near the bridge (bright) and playing it near the fretboard (warm).
Nylon string guitars are traditionally used for classical music or flamenco but they do occasionally get used by rock artists and other genres. Because of their specific uses I’ve decided to keep this article focused on steel string guitars.
Well the most obvious difference is that you can plug an electro-acoustic directly into an amp, whereas you will need a mic to amplify a pure acoustic. So if you plan on gigging a lot, then an electric acoustic guitar is the way to go as it gives you way more freedom to move around on stage and put on a good show. But this is again genre specific, if you play a lot of folk or country then sitting on stage with your two microphones is perfectly acceptable.
However, there are a lot of purists who believe acoustic guitars sound best when played through a mic. I believe electric acoustic guitars play just as well as pure acoustics but if you get yourself a pure acoustic you can always get a pickup installed later to get it jacked into an amp.
And that concludes all the key points you need to know about buying acoustic guitars so now we can move on, to find out which ones are best for you! I’ve included a whole range of guitars in different price ranges from the dream guitars around $5000 dollars to the budget-friendly guitars less than $200
If you need to know any more please let me know in the comments below and I’ll be happy to answer question.
Now on to the list! Or see my recommendation of the absolute best acoustic guitar available today!
The D-41 is basically a pimped out version of the Martin D-28, it has more mother of pearl, abalone and gold trim making it an absolutely beautiful guitar. For those looking to impress on stage this is a stunning guitar.
Obviously it is not cheap, and you can still get a great guitar for a lot less, but this beautiful piece of craftsmanship is so worth it for those who can afford it.
There is more to it than just bling to justify the price tag, and most of the large price tag comes from the superior wood grades used, as well as the extra attention to detail from the guitar manufacturers. Brazilian Rosewood is not cheap and is reserved only for the best, giving the purest tones and clearest sounds for any style of playing.
Not only are you getting an incredible guitar you are also buying an heirloom that will last a lifetime. This guitar does of course come with a hardcase.
This acoustic guitar is nothing short of legendary, originally being released in 1960 this guitar has been through very famous hands such as Keith Richards.
The fretboard edge has been contoured allowing for a more comfortable fit in the hand. Combine this with the extra fine sandpaper finish and you have a fretboard that you can run around all night long on.
The tuners are state of the art Nickel Grover Rotomatics, engineered to give maximum tuning stability. All internal cogs are cut exactly to prevent any slipping and covered in special lubricant to allow a smooth, precise tuning experience.
This guitar is one of the longest running Gibson lines and for good reason. The CTC electronics in this guitar are some of the best you get giving you unchanged sound from guitar to the amp. Easily the best guitar you could get to perform with no matter the size of the venue.
For those looking for the highest end of acoustic guitars this is definitely where your money should go. The Martin D-41 is a beautiful and practical guitar, but the Hummingbird is entirely a practical musicians guitar. Great sound, great build and great to play.
This guitar does of course come with a hardcase.
For those looking for a top end Martin guitar without the frills then the DSR is the one for you. With great playability and tone clarity, you are getting an incredible piece of kit to perform with.
It’s satin finish and thin body wood gives it incredible sustain and clarity. It sounds like a guitar well above $2000 dollars! You will not be disappointed with the crisp sound quality you get from a top end Martin guitar.
This guitar has a really well-balanced range of tones giving it great versatility in every genre. An unbeatable price tag on a fantastic guitar.
As an added bonus it ships with a hardshell Martin Case!
I love the finish on this guitar, The red sunburst is exquisite. Combine this with the excellent build quality Taylor produces in their guitars and you’ve got yourself a winner.
Taylor use layered Rosewood to craft this guitar giving it supreme protection against the elements by making it less susceptible to humidity and temperature changes. Perfect for the professional musician who doesn’t want to compromise quality when they travel with their guitar.
The Expression System 2 Combined with Taylor’s professional quality preamp make this one of the best electric acoustic guitars you can buy. Taylor’s patented behind the saddle pickup capture a more dynamic range of sound than ever before.
Great Tonal balance plus the grand auditorium body make this guitar extremely versatile. Suitable for all playing types and all genres this is a fantastic piece of kit! This guitar also ships with a hardcase for added protection during shipment.
Without a doubt the best acoustic guitar in its price range.
This acoustic gives all of the high-quality martin tone in a great value package. Made completely from solid wood this martin offers great value for easy playing and great tone.
The modified low oval neck profile and hand oiled finish make the neck extremely comfortable to maneuver for easy playing and effortless style.
The dark wood style also makes it stand out from the crowd. This guitar also comes with a hardcase.
What I like most about all Martin guitars is that they let their century-long track record speak for itself. There is no hype and unnecessary marketing just great sounding well-built guitars.
The DRS1 can easily stand alongside more expensive models. This guitar is great for gigging and recording for those who are still on a budget.
A definite winner and the best acoustic guitar on the list!
For all it’s great features this is the best acoustic guitar you can get in my opinion. It hold its own against the more expensive counterparts while not breaking the bank balance. In a world where we all had lots of money I would have chose a more expensive model, but we all have to face reality and this is a kick-ass guitar!
This is one of the most affordable of Martin’s Performing artists guitar range. As the name suggests, this guitar is perfect for anyone who is looking to perform but doesn’t want to blow the budget.
This guitar is great value, offering a rich warm sound and comfortable playing. A lot of guitars need a little extra setting up after you buy them, adjusting the action and such like, but the DCPA 5 gives you a ready to play guitar straight out the box.
A great midway guitar for those who are moving up and taking things more seriously. Martin does it again with an affordable, practical guitar.
This Epiphone features an all solid wood build giving you great volume and a huge depth of tone. At this price it is highly unusual to get an all solid wood guitar!
I can accept that we would all love to have thousands to spend on our guitars, but in reality most of us don’t, so we have to settle for the lower end guitars. Well this guitar is definitely not settling giving you top end sound and leaving you with plenty of money in your pocket!
This guitar is perfect for any player looking for that vintage acoustic sound, combined with the eSonic 2 Preamp, and Nanoflex and Nanomag pickups, this guitar is great sounding in or out of the amp. The pickups are low impedance not Piezo giving a fantastic transfer of vibrations for the strings and the wood making for a great sounding acoustic guitar.
Great price, solid wood construction, top end electronics and smooth to play. Plus, it won’t leave the bank balance in the red. An incredible instrument, you will not go wrong with this guitar.
You might be surprised to see a mini acoustic guitar feature on this list but ever since Ed Sheeran came on stage with his people have been loving them, and I am no different. Mini guitars are super comfortable to play while still having great sound.
They are obviously a little quieter than their full size siblings but this guitar can still pack a punch of sound. The Taylor mini fits perfectly into many scenarios in life, it is perfect for those with smaller hands and is a great travel guitar. Meanwhile you can still play even big venues with a microphone because there is no compromise in tone with this guitar.
Barre chords should not be a chore and for those with small hands they will find this guitar much more comfortable to play that a full size one thanks to the shorter scale length. LIke the previous Taylor guitar we featured this one is made with layered tonewoods making it less susceptible to humidity and temperature changes making it perfect for those who are traveling.
How mini is mini? The total length of this guitar is 36-5/8″. This guitar also comes with a hardcase.
The S6 has been around a long time and it was a close second for the best acoustic guitar in this list. This guitar features great action for comfortable playing as well as a really bright tone. The perfect practise and session guitar.
Godin always make great guitars and the Seagull S6 is no exception. A beautifully crafted guitar making premium sound all the more affordable.
This guitar is also great to sing along with, the balanced midrange tones from the Cedar top make a great accompaniment for vocals. I was talking to someone on twitter who had their Seagull S6 stolen out of their car and my heart bleeds for them having lost such an incredible instrument.
Straight from one Seagull guitar to another, this guitar features a slim neck and cutaway body making for easy, comfortable playing.
As for sound this guitar can absolutely sing. Beautifully sweet mid-range tones, this electro-acoustic guitar sounds great straight out the box. The Godin electronics in this guitar are simple in design and effective in output.
Specially contoured, the pickups are designed to effectively recreate the sound of the acoustic through the amp without any loss of the great warm tones the Seagull Entourage produces.
You can’t go wrong with this guitar fantastic sound feel and price and perfect for anyone playing small venues.
Fender have taken one of their best selling guitars and upgraded it with the CD60E. Updated electronics make this guitar a great starter for anyone in the market for a low end electric acoustic guitar.
The reasonable sound quality of this guitar alongside the low price make it a great guitar for anyone looking to try out some busking or have some small time gigs coming up!
Plugged in, this Fender acoustic makes use of the Fishman Isys pickup system giving you great control over your EQ at the output.
Now this guitar is the first acoustic I got to call my own. By which I mean it was my girlfriends and I more or less stole it…
But I can say it will always have a soft spot in my heart. A wonderful first guitar the FG730S is comfortable to play and perfect for any youngster starting out in a band while at school. The Spruce top gives this guitar great sound amplification and a real depth of sound.
Warm tones and rich sounds make this guitar a joy to the ear and having been playing mine for around 7 years I can tell you it lasts very well.
A great entry level guitar this washburn gives you a comfortable guitar to play while still having some nice volume. A nice guitar to take away camping or if you’re trying to find your feet on the guitar after a long time away.
The piezo pickup gives you great response as well allowing you to comfortably plug in and play.
Nice sounding guitar plugged in or unplugged tends to stay in tune well and comes in a very slick all black color. The rosette around the center of the body is also made of abalone which is a really nice touch against the black.
This Yamaha is the younger sibling to the FG730s in the under $500 dollars category and the reason is that cost has been cut on the body wood.
Now most of an acoustic guitar’s tone comes from it’s top board so this doesn’t affect the sound very much. It does make a difference, but without 10 years of experience under your belt you won’t be able to tell.
With great sound and comfortable playing and a really mellow tone this guitar is perfect for anyone who needs a guitar that can take a bit more of a beating. Perfect for playing around young kids and taking on the road.
This guitar is the ultimate in cheap guitars. We have crossed over to under $100 and I would definitely recommend spending a little more, but sometimes needs must and you have other things to buy, like food and rent, and you need something cheap.
This is the perfect throw around guitar. It provides a reasonable sound, stays in tune well and if you drop it it shouldn’t break. Great for campfires and for jamming at home if you’re just starting out. If you are a complete beginner I’d recommend the acoustic starter pack below.
If you are a complete beginner or you have a child looking to start playing the guitar then you should consider getting them a starter kit. The Alfred Teach Yourself Guitar Kit has everything you need to start playing the guitar.
It comes with a steel string acoustic, a soft shell bag, a strap, a stand, a portable tuner with batteries and an instructional book and DVD.
Now the guitar you get is a long way away from anything you would play professionally with but it is ideal for a beginner.
If you already receive guitar lessons then I would head back up the list to try find an individual guitar. As you progress you will absolutely need to upgrade from the guitar in this kit.
A great starting point if you are starting from Zero.
That concludes all 16 of the best acoustic guitars. If you didn’t already be sure to check out the best acoustic guitar of them all here!
Here are 5 of the best 7-string guitars you can get your hands on for less than $500. This is for beginners interested in 7-string guitars as well as the enthusiasts who are strapped for cash. Check them out! You won’t be disappointed.
Can’t be bothered reading the whole list?
Well, for those on a super tight budget you can’t go wrong with the Jackson JS22-7 Dinky. It is a phenomenal price for a 7 string and you can sell it on for damn near as much as you bought it for.
Update 07/06/2016 I realized a few of the guitars I highlighted are no longer available, so now you can find the new up to date list so you can explore the world of 8 string guitars today!
If you are looking for a cheap 8-string guitar look no further! Here is a rundown of the best 8-string guitars you can get on a budget, each with a short review. 8-strings still aren’t as cheap as their 7-string counterparts but you can still get yourself a good one for a great price.
Early summary for those who can’t wait. My personal favorite is the Ibanez RG8004. It is perfect just to play around with if you’re getting used to the 8-string. Then, if you decide to get more serious you could easily swap out the stock pickups for something more serious! Check it out at Guitar Center!
Or for those looking for something a little next level but are still on a budget then the Javier Reyes ESP is a phenomenal guitar for the price. Find it at Guitar Center!
Elixir strings are some of the cheapest premium guitar strings you can get and they come in two very unique flavors: Elixir Nanoweb Guitar strings and Elixir Polyweb Guitar strings. Both of these types of guitar strings offer fantastic life thanks to their high standard of manufacture.
The main difference between the strings is that the Polyweb coating is much thicker than the Nanoweb coating which leads to a totally different sound and feel of the strings. The Polyweb strings give a warmer sound while the Nanoweb strings give a brighter sound.
Before we move on to the nitty gritty you should know the main problem with these strings. If you keep them on your guitar for a very long time (I’m talking up to a year or more of at least semi-regular playing) then they can start to shed their coating leaving you with guitar strings that look and feel like old rope.
But no guitar strings will last you that long and if it gets to that point you are way beyond needing to change your strings!
Curt Mangan’s strings were suggested to me by someone on our Twitter and I am so glad they were! I was so impressed by the high quality of these strings I decided to put together this ultimate guide to make sure everyone tries out these superb guitar strings. Read on to read reviews of the Curt Mangan Bass Guitar Strings, Acoustic Guitar Strings, and Electric Guitar Strings!
Curt Mangan founded his string making company in 2004 after stepping down as director of sales for Ernie ball after 17 years. Curt Mangan brings 50 years of experience and passion to his company to make strings using only the very best materials. There are no flashy sales techniques, they let their phenomenal product speak for itself.Read more: Ultimate Guide To Curt Mangan Guitar Strings
As sturdy as a prison and twice as useful, the Snark SN 10s Pedal tuner is one of the best value pedal tuners you can get. The Snark SN pedal tuner provides fantastic tuning accuracy, a large bright screen display, and lightning fast response. All you could possibly want for a chromatic stompbox tuner with the added bonus of the incredible price! Find it here on Amazon!
The Snark SN 10s Pedal tuner is a really accurate pedal tuner. With an incredibly solid case holding this tuner together alongside the big bright display it is a great addition to your guitar pedal line up. Because of the direct input, the Snark Pedal Tuner is more accurate than the Snark Sn series of clip-on tuners. If you are in the market for a clip on tuner read our review of the Snark Sn Clip on tuners.
Anyone who is looking to buy an easy to use tuner with fast response and incredible accuracy need look no further than the Snark SN series of tuners. I will be focusing on the SN 1 tuner suited for guitar and bass, for those looking for other instruments read one!
The SN 1 tuner does not have a microphone and works using the vibrations of the strings so you can tune your guitar anywhere, however noisy it is. Even live on stage, the Snark Sn 1 tuner gives you accurate tuning and fast response so you can tune your guitar while your fans thunder applause at you and keep on playing hardly interrupted. No need to mess around swapping cables to plug in your tuner or add an extra pedal into your guitar line. No hassle, just a simple to use tuner. Find it here on Amazon!
The D’Addario NYXL Strings are another to fall under the category of premium guitar strings. Similar to the Ernie Ball Cobalt strings that were previously reviewed, however, the NYXL’s have gone above and beyond the Ernie balls and provided a premium value product!
There was a huge marketing campaign that came alongside these strings, advertising greater tuning stability, the ability to strum harder and bend further without the string breaking and greater magnetic properties which result in higher output and midrange for more presence and crunch in the sound.Read more: D’Addario NYXL Strings Review
The Ernie Ball Cobalt Strings were created with a lot of hype around them. You can see it on their page on Amazon, graphs comparing the output and frequency response of cobalt over nickel or stainless steel. They talk about how they own the patent to the first and only Cobalt string. They also talk about the various artists who use them where they misspelled Jeff Loomis’s name wrong. Honestly! Check it out here!
Coming in at 2.5mm the Dragon’s heart Pick is A LOT thicker than most conventional picks but it’s specially designed beveled edge makes it play like a thinner pick with the control of a thicker pick. I didn’t think a pick could influence your playing so much but I was wrong, the Dragon’s Heart Pick allows you effortless speed and precision in your playing.
The Dragon’s Heart Pick started with humble beginnings. Founder Corey Bell is a long time player of guitar and after finishing his military career he began tinkering with producing his own guitars and accessories. Whilst doing so he realized he had an affinity for doing so and managed to produce the stunning piece of equipment that is the Dragon’s Heart Pick.