Hi fellow guitar lovers!! It is with so much delight that we have decided to share the highly beneficial information contained in this article with you, especially if you are a budding or prospective guitar player. Then this article is just perfect for you (and everyone else alike!). If you are into music, you would have most likely picked up a guitar to play as an accompaniment, right? By experience, you would also agree that all guitars do not sound exactly alike. This is why a lot of professionals (including we ourselves) are always searching for the best acoustic guitars. We desire something that is astounding in outlook, and matches our voice and playing style.
So far, you may also agree that this has not been an easy task at all. As a result of the numerous choices out there, it seems just impossible to find “the best” among all the amazing acoustics from globally respected brands. Before you can ascertain the guitar that’s “the one” for you, you have to consider several factors like pricing and features. But where do you start from?
You start from here! Luckily for you, this article has been created to address just the issues regarding the best acoustic guitar. We have taken the pleasure to review 5 of the best acoustic guitars under 4 different pricing range: $2,000, $1,500, $1,000 and $500. Today’s your lucky day! Buckle up and get ready to explore the best guitars on the market today. Remember, the pricing range does not exactly determine the overall quality of the guitars. Read on and evaluate all the highlighted features, description, pros, and definitely the cons of all 20 different acoustic guitars. We hope by the end of this article, you would have found the right guitar for you: a new companion onstage and offstage! Shall we?
Top 20 Best acoustic guitars under all price range
Here, we have reviewed all the characteristics of 20 best acoustic guitars and classified them into 4 different classes of pricing. Do you have a budget already? Good! That will help you cut down on the plenty options.
- Takamine EF360S-TT
- Breedlove Oregon Concert CE
- Taylor 314ce V-Class
- RainSong Hybrid Series H-WS1000N2
- Martin D-16RGT
- Martin 15 Series D-15M
- Ovation Melissa Etheridge Signature
- Taylor 214ce DLX
- The Loar LH-700 Archtop
- Martin 16 Series D-16GT
- Fender California Newporter Classic guitar
- Martin DX1AE
- Fender Paramount PM-3
- Ovation Standard Elite 2778 AX
- Seagull Artist Mosaic
- Epiphone Ej-200SCE Coupe
- Yamaha L Series LS6
- Breedlove Discovery Concerto
- The Loar LH-204 Brownstone
- Blueridge BR-43 Contemporary 000 Guitar
The 20 Best Acoustic guitars Reviewed And Analyzed
Acoustic guitars under $2000 Reviewed
1. Takamine EF360S-TT
- Classic vintage outlook
- Ivoroid binding
- Faux tortoiseshell Pickguard
- Fast-playing mahogany neck
- Ebony fretboard
- 20 frets in total
Are you a lover of old soul music? If yes, then this vintage guitar may be just what you need to match your performance. Designed for contemporary performers, the Takamine EF360S-TT is a dreadnought guitar with a classic outlook. It is one of the other guitar models in the TT – ‘Thermal Top’ – Series.
Particularly, this guitar is best suited for playing soulful and country music. When played acoustically, the result is a pure, high quality tune, with warm tone. You can expect this guitar to bring quite the chills to you and your audience when you are simply jamming in the studio. A remarkable feature of this guitar is the Takamine’s Palathetic Pickup System that is activated when you plug it in. This system has been incorporated to pick up even the gentlest sound from the guitar. The quality of the sound does not change. This means that it will definitely produce a natural sound that will definitely sweep the audience off their feet.
Before we delve into the description of this guitar’s wood, let us begin with an admiration of the overall body and neck style. Really, this guitar has indeed been designed in a very traditional style. It is designed with a standard non-cutaway dreadnought body shape and it is not heavy with decorations. As stated as part of its highlighted features, it comprises a classic vintage outlook, thanks to the ivoroid binding, and a faux tortoiseshell pick guard, which makes it appealing overall.
Now to the woods, the sides and back have been crafted from solid Indian rosewood. As for the top, it is a ‘solid Thermal Top’. It is spruce that has been baked in a regulated low-oxygen and high-heat environment, for a certain duration. Not only does this process give the guitar’s wood a more classic, darker outlook that seems almost cedar at first glance, it also gives it a richer and fuller tone.
Furthermore, the guitar features a set of open-geared tuners. These tuners comprise tuning keys that are beneficial in holding the tuning stability properly. The EF360S-TT also features a standard-quality hardshell case. This helps to aid protection and transportation of this wonderful guitar.
In all, all we have to say is thumbs up to the Japanese again. They have successfully incorporated playability, style, and quality sound all in this impressive high-end guitar. Currently, the Takamine EF360S TT Thermal Top Acoustic-Electric Guitar with Hard Case sells on Amazon.
- The sides and back are crafted from Solid Indian Rosewood
- A Solid Spruce Top
- Built-in tuner
- TLD-2 line driver preamp
- 20 frets
- Controls are side-mounted
- Absence of feedback filter
2. Breedlove Oregon Concert CE
- Colour: Gloss natural
- Full-size 25.5 inches scale length
- Slim profile
- Element Active System VTC under-saddle transducer pickup
- Deluxe Breedlove hardshell case
- Set of D’Addario 16 strings
- Nickel tuners
- Tusq nut and saddle
We understand how tough it can for guitarists with smaller hands to continuously maneuver through the fret board. This is why we are delighted to review the Breed love Oregon Concert CE guitar! With its slim profile, you don’t have to adjust anymore on your guitar’s neck.
For guitarists that are into finger style, you would observe that the Oregon Concert CE features a focused and vivid bright voice which is just perfect for you. Whenever you are playing and strumming the rhythm, you can always count on this guitar to deliver.
This guitar produces a very powerful and loud sound as a result of the combination of Myrtlewood and Sitka Spruce in its build. Let’s not forget the LR Bags EAS VTC pickup that maintains its natural tone. You’re sure to leave your audience mind-blown when you serenade them with this guitar.
For the body and neck, the Oregon Concert CE has been hand-crafted with quite a wonderful body-wood combination, in Bend, Oregon. The top is made of popular solid spruce. The sides and back comprise a not so common solid Myrtle wood, a fascinating west coast light wood with a captivating wavy grain. The overall build is complemented with a fantastic semi-gloss finishing with alluring herringbone purling and black binding. Of course, we can not forget to mention the unique and impressive asymmetrical Breed love head stock of this sexy guitar. In addition, this guitar is full of electronics (what did you think the ‘E’ in Oregon Concert CE stands for?).
In all, we consider the Breed-love Oregon Concert CE guitar as a premium guitar that distinguishes itself in terms of play-ability, sound, materials, and of course, the style.
- Sitka Spruce Top
- 20 frets
- LR Baggs EAS VTC pickup
- African Ebony Fretboard
- Sides and back area crafted from Myrtlewood
- Powerful resonance
- Restricted onboard controls; general tone dials and mini volume only.
3. Taylor 314ce V-Class
- Sleek Venetian cutaway
- 20 frets
- Dot inlays
- African ebony fret-board
- Neck: 1.75 inches
Are you a budding musician who is looking for a high-end entry best acoustic guitar to step up your game? Then, the Taylor 314ce V-class may be your plug. The guitar responds appropriately to a wonderful dynamic range. It features a bold tone with a sustaining effect from each sound of the string.
In addition, this guitar proudly exhibits the v-class line unique bracing; which allows it to enhance volume and sustain notes. This guitar also has a solid, crisp, and pure sound as a result of the combination of a Sitka Spruce Top and high-density Sapele sides and back. Importantly, the pre-amp has been positioned in a strategic location so as to aid a total pickup of every single note; down to the faintest sound!
The electronics of this guitar features Taylor’s Expression System 2. It functions in the amplification of the guitar’s natural sound. It also has quite the standard controls (volume, treble and bass). However, the simplified control panel means that there is an absence of onboard tuner.
In all, we can say that the 314ce is a wonderful all-rounder. It is good for both fingerstylists, as well as heavy strummers. It gives a responsive and bright sound, that would be as good performing live – whether in an auditorium, church, or a coffee house – as it would be if you were making a studio recording.
- Expression System 2 Electronics – Natural
- 20 frets
- No issue of sounding off-tune
- Sides and back are crafted from Sapele
- Ebony fretboard
- Sitka Spruce Top
- The string buzzes if played hard
- No onboard tuner
4. RainSong Hybrid Series H-WS1000N2
- 21 frets
- Composite material fretboard
- Fishman Prefix + T preamp
- 25.4 inches scale length
What if you could get a guitar that’s designed to stand out but produces the same standard of quality as others? Good news, this RainSong Hybrid model is the going to be one of the best acoustic guitars for you. It’s a guitar that spares you the stress of warping or bowing. We love the body of this N2’s model. It comprises glass fiber, carbon fiber, and composite material for the fretboard. This simply means that the durability of your guitar is guaranteed regardless of wherever you take it. Thus, you can travel more often for gig’s without bothering about any inevitable changes in the body of your guitar as a result of variations in temperature and humidity.
In addition, this N2 has a tuning stability. This simply means you won’t have to constantly check the tuning of your guitar. In terms of its sound, it is actually beautiful. The sound is well-defined and bright. The glass fibers also help to mellow down the sound. For guitarists that are into bass, the N2 also has a quality response to that. You are given full control to the overall sound, by the preamp system.
Let’s take a look at the composition of the body and neck. As earlier mentioned, the N2 is entirely made of glass fibers and carbon fibers, as well as zero bracing. It has been crafted differently from the traditional woods design and pattern of creating high-end guitars. Furthermore, it features a narrow waist and large chamber, in addition to one generous cutaway that provides easy access to the neck.
Talking about the neck, it is also entirely made of graphite, and it has an adjustable truss rod. The dartboard is composed of composite material and it features simple white dot inlays and 21 frets. Overall, it is very light and comfortable, yet it feels durable and strong. Even a traditionalist will not hesitate to applaud the innovation and overall design of this RainSong Hybrid guitar.
There’s even more to review about this guitar. Being an electro-acoustic guitar, it offers a bunch of electronics features. Some of these electronics features include an onboard chromatic tuner, a phase switch, and a brilliance regulator, as well as semi-parametric contour controls, and a standard range of controls such as treble, bass, and volume. The headstock, also made of carbon fiber, is characterized by chrome-plated tuners, and a good 1:18 gear ratio. There is also a Tusq nut, as well as bridge pins and a corresponding Tusq saddle. A composite material makes up the bridge.
Although the carbon fiber characteristics may lack the subtle features of mahogany, rosewood, sapele or spruce, the N2 still has a very good tone. The N2 comes in customized hardshell casing.
In all, the N2 keeps travel and performance at core. A die-hard traditionalist or a casual bedroom player may not really buy into the N2. But every other player can try this guitar out; especially if you are looking for a solution that provides durability, lightweight nature, and tuning stability whenever you embark on any of your several travels.
- Built-in tuner
- Composed of glass fiber and carbon fiber
- Allows good access to the neck
- 21 frets
- Impressive good bass response
- Extensive controls
- The build is non-wooden
5. Martin D-16RGT
- Solid Sitar spruce top
- Solid East Indian rosewood back and sides
- Glossy finish
- Faux tortoiseshell pick guard
- Herringbone sound hole rosette
Finally on our top 5 best acoustic guitars under $2,000, we present to you the Martin D-16RGT – a contemporary made in America vintage! Indeed, this is a delightful guitar from Martin’s. It is a member of the renowned brand’s 16 series. These models incorporate designs from their elegant Standard Series and makes them more accessible and affordable. It’s awesome that you can finally get a Standard Series-themed acoustic guitar for below $2,000! Let’s have a proper look at its features.
Based on the Martin standard, this guitar is actually pretty mid-range. However, it is a premium guitar when reviewed against other acoustics. This is really good because you don’t actually need a high-end guitar. It is elegant in its design and overall construction, and at the same time endowed with a good touch of impeccability.
The dreadnought body has been crafted with only soft wood, and the top with solid Sitka spruce. The sides and back are made of solid East Indian rosewood. The body has a subtle decoration, but it is rich in style, with a white binding, glossy finishing, a nice herringbone soundhole rosette, and a faux tortoiseshell pickguard. Differing from the body, the neck – which is joined at the fourteenth fret – has a satin finishing. It also has a black Richlite fretboard that is eco-friendly, and consists of a total of 20 frets. Although wood enthusiasts may not subscribe to the use of Richlite, it however plays like warm butter and makes it look good.
The Martin D-16RGT does not have any electronics. Yet, the price you pay is just appropriate for both the hardware and its style. The guitar features a set of Martin-developed sealed chrome tuners. Considering the higher-end price, they are quite a delight to use.
Furthermore, the D-16RGT is strung with Martin SP strings, and it has a White Corian nut, Richlite bridge and complimentary white Tusq saddle. The hardware is completed with the accompanying hardshell case.
When we consider the guitar in terms of sound, it is simply massive! As a result of the solid construction, the scalloped X bracing, and the dreadnought body, this guitar delivers an intense, deep projection that is impacted in an incredibly rich, sweet tone that is properly balanced. The tone is also sustained at length, and has great dynamics. Thanks to the solid wood construction, you can expect the tone to open up in volume and warmth over the years. For whatever style of music you play with the GT-16RGT, it is sure to sound fantastic. Fingerstyle guitarists will find it very delightful but enthusiastic strummers are sure to love it the most.
In all, this Martin guitar – if properly maintained – is going to last a lifetime and increase in sound quality as each year passes. For casual players and even the professional guitarists, it is a good value acoustic that sounds, plays and looks very good.
- Rich-lite bridge
- White Tu-sq saddle
- Incredible tone
- Premium Standard Series design
- No electronics
Acoustic guitars under $1500 Reviewed
1. Martin 15 Series D-15M
- No-cutaway flattop dreadnought
- All-mahogany construction
- Solid East Indian rosewood fret board
- 20 frets and simple dot inlays
- 6 open-geared nickel tuners
- Butter bean tuning keys
- Delmar faux tortoiseshell pick guard
- Color: Natural
The Martin’s 15 Series is a collection of standard mid-ranging guitars. Their muse is from the Style 15 instruments of the 1940s. Each one having its own unique body shape and design.
The D-15M is thus the subtle and soft dreadnought version of the 15 Series. It is highly rated by professionals and casual guitarists alike. In fact, this guitar has been used by a host of popular talents such as English singer and songwriter Benjamin Francis Leftwich, reggae singer Aaron Nigel Smith, and Coldplay’s Chris Martin. Since the D-15M seems to have been well endorsed, let’s have a look at what it offers!
The body and neck of the D-15M features a no-cutaway flattop dreadnought. It also has a finger-friendly scale length of 25.4 inches. Being an all-mahogany guitar, the sides, back, and top are made from solid mahogany, with a gentle satin finishing. This design therefore gives it a very relaxed and natural look. What’s more? It has bookmatched top and flawless wood. It also delivers added strength, thanks to the A-frame X bracing.
It’s really not surprising that the neck of this guitar is also crafted from mahogany. It is joined to the guitar at the fourteenth fret with an amazingly strong tenon and mortise neck joint. The fretboard at the neck is composed of a solid East Indian rosewood fretboard. It features simple dot inlays and 20 frets. Indeed, the D-15M features amazing craftsmanship typical of a Martin in this mid-range cost. You are sure to love the comfort and extreme slickness when playing.
It is worth mentioning that this guitar is 100% acoustic. This means you would have to consider the slightly costly Martin D-15ME if you prefer to plug in. Asides from that, every other component of the hardware is of great quality. The hardware comprises 6 open-geared nickel tuners alongside butterbean tuning keys. It also features a Delmar faux tortoiseshell pickguard, saddle and a quality bone nut. All these help to enhance the tuning stability and projection. The bridge is equally crafted from solid East Indian rosewood. To top it all, the guitar is packed in a nice a Martin 345 hardshell casing.
If there’s anything we have to comment about the sound, it’s simply – warm! Thanks to the all-mahogany build, the guitar produces a super warm, mellow, and rich tone. Being a dreadnought, it also corroborates with great projection. It does not hold back in offering a degree of soft brightness in the treble, and it maintains a good balance. Indeed, warmth is the most prominent feature of this guitar. Guitarists of all skills – strummers, flat-pickers, or fingerstylists – have a lot to benefit from this wonderful guitar. It is simply perfect for players of blues.
We can feel the warmth of this guitar already. In all, Martin’s D-15M is a ‘warm’ guitar in style, and of course in tone. It is a delight to play. We recommend it for skilled professionals and amateurs who are in need of something mellow and rich, yet displaying good projection. Not to mention that it is also quite affordable!
- Finger-friendly scale length (25.4 inches)
- A-frame X bracing
- Standard bone nut and saddle
- Faux tortoiseshell pick-guard
- Not so much brightness and punch
- No preamp
- No cutaway
- No Scalloped bracing
2. Ovation Melissa Etheridge Signature
- OP-Pro preamp
- OCP-1K pickup
- A Set of light Adamas 1818E strings
- Color: Pearlescent White
Do we really need to introduce Melissa Etheridge? This guitar is the American vocalist and guitarist’s signature acoustic. It was crafted by the resourceful American brand – Ovation. Just like its namesake, the Melissa Etheridge is an hardworking performer. It delivers large playability, wonderful sound, and bold style. These are the reasons why this guitar is featuring on our list of best guitars under $1,500. Let’s have a better look at its specifications.
Melissa, the rock legend, herself collaborated in the design of this bold looking guitar. No wonder the guitar is characterized with a plethora of signature touches from the singer, such as the captivating white pearloid soundhole epaulets and the crisp white top. The guitar’s top comprises AA solid spruce. It sports quartersawn Scalloped X bracing that is positioned on a shallow Lyrachord composite bowl. This is typical for every Ovation guitars.
The body of the guitar is well contoured and lightweight. It naturally sits right beside your own body so that you have a very comfortable playing experience. Considering its relatively high-end cost, the craftsmanship is simply superb. It sports a gleaming white color scheme as well as the composition of plastic in the body.
Furthermore, the body has a slight cutaway. This provides the guitarists with smooth access to all the 22 frets on the treble side (on the bass side, these frets stop at 17). What about the neck? It sports a fast-playing and very sturdy design. It is crafted with a 5-piece maple/mahogany laminate and finished with a dark rosewood fretboard. Conclusively, it also sports Melissa’s customized inlay at the 12th fret; so you can always remember who inspired this wonderful instrument.
In terms of hardware, Ovation instruments are popular for their amazing electronics. This Melissa Etheridge Signature sports Ovation’s OP-PRO preamp incorporated with an OCP-1K pickup. The guitar’s preamp comprises 3-band EQ sliders and a volume control. It also has an additional enhanced ‘Expressor’ slider for drive control and compression. In addition, the guitar’s system displays a good level of versatility, and flexibly in output. This can be seen in the presence of ¼” and XLR connections for plugging into both PA or amp systems.
The electronics are remarkable indeed. And this can be seen in the remaining of the hardware; with natural white tuning keys and quality die-cast sealed tuners. The hardware further comprises a set of light Adamas 1818E strings, a rosewood bridge, and saddle and an ABS nut. Just like every other guitar with a pricing at under $1,500, the Melissa Etheridge Signature guitar is shipped in a very strong protective hard-shell case.
Alright, playing this guitar will obviously not turn you into Melissa Etheridge, but it will definitely give you the opportunity to sound as amazing as her (or even better! Who knows?). This guitar is very tight, bright, and vibrant. Thanks to the bracing and bowl, it delivers a big projection. When you plug in the guitar, you are going to be impressed with the dynamic and rich projection that is enabled through an amp. The versatility of the preamp is going to make stage performances less stressful.
In all, you don’t have to be a loyal fan of Melissa before you witness the wonders of this awesome guitar. It is a worthy competitor against other instruments in the high-end pricing. We recommend this guitar as a reasonable option for several performing guitarists seeking excellent playability, tone and comfort, as well as pro-grade electronics.
- Volume control and 3-band EQ sliders
- Flexible output
- XLR and ¼ inches connections
- Quality die-cast sealed tuners
- Saddle and ABS nut
- Rosewood bridge
- Good quality, protective hardshell case
- 22 frets
- Ovation OP Pro Studio preamp
- Built-in tuner
- Lyrachord composite body
- Ovation OCP-1K pickup
- Strictly white color scheme
- Use of plastic in the body
- Turtleback design
3. Taylor 214ce DLX
- Narrow-waisted Grand Auditorium body size
- Venetian cutaway
- Solid Sitka spruce
- Laminated rosewood
- Expression System 2 electronics
- Micarta saddle
- Deluxe hard-shell case
The Taylor 214ce DLX is a major version in the Taylor 200 Deluxe Series. It amps the models in the 200 Series up a notch. In regards to the under $1,500 acoustic guitars pricing, this model definitely features the standard quality you would expect from the brand’s popular Tecate factory. Let’s review this feature-packed guitar!
For starters, the first impressions in the body and neck are nice. However, you may not immediately observe that all the improvements of the 214ce DLX is to a large extent similar to the original 214ce. The 214ce DLX sports the same well-known narrow-waisted Grand Auditorium body size that the brand is popular for. It also features a Venetian cutaway.
The top of the guitar is crafted with solid Sitka spruce, just like the standard 214ce. However, the sides and the back sport laminated rosewood. This is quite a significant difference from the laminated koa. Moving to the neck, there is no change from the original model. It features the classic easy-to-play Taylor structure. It is crafted with sapele and satin finish; and features 20 frets and an ebony fretboard.
Asides from the tonewoods, it is actually the minor details that really upgrade the qualify of the DLX. Additional features include an astounding glossy finishing (an upgrade compared to the original 200 Series’ satin), little diamond inlays on the fretboard (an upgrade from the traditional basic dots), and a plain but eye-catching single-ring rosette.
Also, it is noteworthy to mention that the Taylor 214ce DLX is available in either a vintage-tinted sunburst or a natural finish. The former comes at a higher price. Except you are a huge fan of sunburst, we won’t advise spending the extra cash. Generally, this deluxe model is impressive with its ergonomics, aesthetics, and construction.
Now let’s discuss the hardware! The Taylor’s Expression System 2 electronics is a feature of this 214ce DLX. It also features a few selection of controls on the top bout, and an enhanced behind-the-saddle pickup. We know it does not incorporate so much versatility on its system because it only provides treble, bass, and volume rotary controls; all of which lack an indication as to what they actually do. Nonetheless, wait till you get very familiar with it, and you will find that it is a solid system for players intending to plug in.
Other features of this guitar include a Micarta saddle, an ebony bridge, NuBone nut, and of course, Taylor’s signature sealed nickel tuners. All of which are relevant improvements that increase the performance of this guitar. Lastly on the hardware, it comes in a brown Taylor Deluxe hard-shell case, unlike the original 200 Series’ softer case.
How about the sound of the 214ce DLX? In one expression: it’s superb! The sound it delivers is warm, rich, and yet well balanced. Although the rosewood is laminated, it gives the element of darkness that this tonewood typically conveys. While the spruce offers excellent articulation.
The feature of Grand Auditorium makes the 214ce DLX a solid choice for an all-perfomimg guitar. You can count on it to cope well with anything – from strumming to fingerstyle, rock to blues and many more. The already generous projection is boosted by the forward-shifted bracing. However, the volume ceiling is still somewhat mid-range. This means that aggressive pickers and heavy strummers may have to consider a dreadnought instead.
In all, the 214ce DLX is an easy-playing and good-looking Taylor with excellent electronics and a wonderful sound.
- 20 frets
- Ebony fret board
- Satin finish
- Diamond inlays
- Available in vintage-tinted sunburst and natural finish
- Forward-shifted bracing
- More concentration on aesthetic improvements
- No indication as to what the simple controls are
4. The Loar LH-700 Archtop
- Scale length of 24.75 inches
- Hand-carved solid top
- 6 gold Grover Sta-Tite open-geared tuners
- Butterbean style tuning keys
Crafted by Chinese manufacturers, The Loar is an impressive guitar under the $1,500 price range. The makers place emphasis on reviving and paying homage to the instruments from the period of Golden Age of guitar (that is the 1920s and 1930s). This is why The Loar describes the period as a period of innovative design and unmatched craftsmanship. Truth be told, we couldn’t agree more either.
The amazing LH-700 Archtop coming in at just below $1,500 is something to marvel about. Indeed, it is not your regular kind of guitar, and neither is it cheap. It’s about time we delved into the intricacies of The Loar LH-700 to find out if it’s really worth being on this classification of top 5 best acoustic guitars ranking.
We begin with the body and neck: which features a scale length of 24.75 inches. It sports a solid top that is hand-graduated and hand-carved from AAA-grade spruce. There is an absence of a round sound hole in this top. Rather, there are 2 hand-carved F holes on both sides of the bridge. This guitar maintains the standard quality wood theme; the sides and back of the guitar are crafted from solid AAA-grade maple that has been flamed. Furthermore, the whole body has been finished in a hand-buffed nitrocellulose lacquer and a dark tobacco staining. These definitely help to give it that vintage outlook and sound, which is the objective of The Loar.
The neck sports an extremely glossed single-piece figured maple, as well as a vintage V profile. It also incorporates a mother-of-pearl dot inlays, 19 frets, and a bound ebony fretboard. Overall, the craftsmanship is pretty much nice. Although it can not be compared to the quality of a Takamine, Martin, or a Taylor guitar within this pricing. There may be a few shortcomings in this guitar when compared to other top competitors. Regardless, it is a well-made guitar. Let’s move to the hardware features.
Basically, The Loar LH-700 Archtop is a purely acoustic guitar. This means that there are no electronics to review. On the other hand, the hardware remains both appropriate and quality enough for the design. The headstock has been elaborately decorated to sport a butterbean style tuning keys, a good 18:1 gear ratio, and 6 gold Grover Sta-Tite open-geared tuners. What’s more? There’s also a quality bone nut, trapeze-design tailpiece, and a complimentary ebony bridge that can be adjusted, alongside a floating. To top it all on the hardware details, The Loar LH-700 Archtop is packaged in a strong hard-shell archtop case that details a plush interior.
What about the sound? This guitar can make itself heard so much, that it may be even too loud. It is made of high-quality solid woods that resonate very well. This enables the guitar to cut through any mix with a radiant voice. Really, it is best suited for playing with vocalists and groups. In addition, the spruce enhances a balanced and mellow sound. It gives access to a lot of brightness if necessary. The tone is also clearly projected, thanks to the sides and back that are made of maple. Let’s just call the LH-700 Archtop a melodious sounding guitar that brings delight.
In all, The Loar LH-700 will definitely not be every guitarist’s choice. Particularly, The Loar have significant improvements to make in regards to quality control. Nonetheless, we love the huge vintage sound and the timeless appearance of this fantastic guitar. Are you a jazz player with a particular liking for 30s jazz? Then this could be the guitar you’ve always wanted. Despite the costly price, we still feel that the overall specifications of the LH-700 makes it worthy of this list.
- Adjustable ebony bridge
- Trapeze-style tailpiece
- Standard bone nut
- Rugged hard-shell arch top casing
- Vintage sound
- High-quality solid woods
- No electronics
- Quite down on quality control
5. Martin 16 Series D-16GT
- Solid mahogany
- Solid Sitar spruce
- Polish gloss finish
- Stripped herringbone rosette
- Black Bolton binding
Finally on this list, we will be reviewing the Martin D-16GT. If you are a guitarist who is looking for a new 6-string companion in the below $1,500 market, then this is the guitar for you. The D-16GT model is an American-made dreadnought that is one of the renowned brand’s 16 Series. If you remember from the Martin G-16RGT, these series are remarkable for taking versions from the grand Standard Series and making them a bit more affordable. Let’s go straight go the features!
The body and neck of the D-16GT is characterised by a classic dreadnought structure and an aura of understated magnificence. You wouldn’t have to look twice to ascertain that indeed it is a Martin guitar. Reviewing deeper into this beautiful guitar, we notice that the body is specially made from solid Sitka spruce on the top. The sides and back are however crafted with solid mahogany.
The D-16GT differs from other higher-end Martins in terms of its simple detailing which includes black Boltaron binding arounds the body, the stripped herringbone rosette, and the polished gloss finishing on the top.
When it comes to the neck of this guitar, it’s pretty much interesting. The neck sports a ‘select hardwood’ structure. Some say it’s Spanish cedar, and some others say it is mahogany. In any ways, the guitar boasts a beautiful feel in the hands, with a satin finish and a low oval profile. The main exciting part is the fretboard. It is made of Richlite. Richlite is an FSC-Certified compound that is derived from compressed paper.
We love Martin because it is one of the key contributors to environmental sustainability. Their guitars comprise ecofriendly materials, and this is not excused even for their higher-end models. This is why Richlite is starting to become a standard for the Martin’s brand. Without doubt, we recommend the D-16GT as an excellent option because of its durability, slickness, incredible hardness, and dark as ebony outlook of the fretboard. The fretboard consists of 20 frets in total (14 in the obvious), with simple dot inlays.
There’s nothing so spectacular about the hardware of the D-16GT. Nonetheless, it is absolutely okay for the pricing. It should be noted that there are no electronics to discuss here. Thus, we can only provide information regarding the tuners, bridge, and the likes. The tuners of the tuners are Martin-customized and they are made of chrome. They are closed-gear with a neat, accurate operation. The bridge is also composed of Richlite and it sports a compensated White Tusq saddle. Keep in mind that the nut is White Corian. Finally on the hardware of the D-16GT is that it comes in a very decent Martin 345 hard-shell case. This helps to provide maximum protection whether you are moving from location to location or you just want to store the guitar.
On to the sound of the D-16GT, and it’s amazingly impressive. To begin with, you will definitely observe the booming low-end it gives when you’re strumming it. In spite of this emphasized bass, the sound maintains warmth and articulation all through. In fact, it does not overpower the trebles or mids. What’s more is that the typical mix of mahogany and spruce gives it a well-balanced tone. We can’t expect less from a Martin dreadnought; no wonder it maintains a bold projection of loudness even when it’s unplugged.
In general, we classify the Martin D-16GT as a versatile acoustic. Whether you’re playing aggressive acoustic rock strumming or a simple blues fingerstyle, you are sure to be comfortable with this guitar. Ultimately, we appraise this guitar for its playability, structure, style, and tone. Spending within the range of $1,500 on this Martin guitar is surely going to give you the best utility for your money!
- Great design
- Excellent play ability
- Beautiful sound
- Well-balanced tone
- Martin 345 hard-shell case for great protection
- No electronics
Acoustic guitars under $1000 Reviewed
1. Fender California Newporter Classic guitar
- Colors: Hot Rod Red or Cosmic Turquoise
- Solid Sitka spruce top
- Solid unpainted mahogany
- Strat-style headstock
- Sealed nickel tuning machines
It’s going to be pretty rare to find a plethora of acoustic guitars that are going to be as distinctive as the Fender’s California Series. The source of their muse is derived from the beautiful Californian beaches. This particular model we will be reviewing gets its name from the wonderful Newport Beach. Without doubts, this Newporter classic is the best version among the Newporter models. Despite its top status, it sells at a sensible under $1,000 price range. Let’s see if this guitar is going to be worth the money.
We start with the body and neck: they feature individual characteristics that portray the Newporter classic as a very special model. Indeed, the first thing you will behold is going to be the finely colored finish that has been painted onto both the headstock and the top of the body.
The guitar comes in two color variants: bright Hot Rod Red or Cosmic Turquoise. Both variants sport the impressive Strat-style headstock. Let’s not also forget the six-in-line design that is usually captivating to the eyes whenever on an acoustic guitar. Furthermore, the body is bound with a beautiful koa. This consequently makes up the sound hole rosette.
Indeed, the Newporter classic is a great guitar with more than just a beautiful outlook. It sports a mid-sized body, the same as an Auditorium acoustic. This makes it comfortable for all types of guitarists. Also, we can not but commend the overall build. It features a solid unpainted mahogany on the sides and back, complimented with a solid Sitka spruce top. And the neck? Simply lovely! Thanks to the Fender’s slim-taper C-shaped profile, the neck sports a standard satin-finished mahogany build, that makes it endlessly playable. The guitar also features the pau ferro fingerboard along with 20 frets. They are easily accessible, thanks to the cutaway.
Moving on to the hardware, it gets better! Fender has incorporated some top-notch gear in this Newporter classic. Let’s begin with the most notable: the Fishman custom-made voiced electronics. They sport a couple of soft controls on the top bout. These include a built-in tuner, treble and middle control, as well as a bass. Although the preamp does not have the best versatility among other competitors, it is however still workable.
The headstock features sealed nickel tuning machines. They perform a stellar function in the holding of the timings’ stability. In addition, the fretboard is matched by a pau ferro ‘Viking’ bridge, along with an original saddle and bone nut. The Newporter Classic is shipped by Fender in a deluxe Fender guitar bag that is padded. This helps to enhance the general sense of value, which is already very high.
Moving to the sound output, the Newporter Classic will not disappoint. When it is unplugged, it remains a wonderful sounding guitar. The combination of mahogany and solid Spruce provide a delightful balance to the tone. The guitar can be useful to players who use fingerstyle. However, we will recommend much advanced acoustics within this price tag because gentler playing on this version seems quite muted. Indubitably, the Newporter Classic delivers at its peak when it is played as if it’s an electric. You will experience the highest playability when you’re playing with intense-energy strumming. The tone definitely works well through the fishman system. For a piezo system, the sound is relatively natural.
In all, acoustic guitarists who want a more traditional instrument may not appreciate this spectacular acoustic. Also, fingerstyle players may want to consider other choices. Other than that, the Newporter Classic is good to go! It is not a cheap instrument, and it delivers optimally on quality, playability, and style, especially for an acoustic guitar in this mid-range price.
- 20 frets
- Painted Solid Sitka Spruce Top
- Pau Ferro Fretboard
- Fender and Fishman-customized preamp system
- Beautiful sounding output
- Not suitable for fingerstyle guitarists
- Soft play may seem muted
- Preamp is not the most versatile
2. Martin DX1AE
- Martin’s HPL
- Minimum decoration
- White Corian nut
- Tusq saddle
Have you been searching for a very good, yet affordable Martin? Good news: this is the acoustic for you! Without doubts, no guitarist would normally refuse an original Martin acoustic. The only factor that drives prospective owners away is the price of a Martin. However, it is gladdening that the DX1RAE completely undermines this. It gives a genuine Martin style, tone, and feel. All at a price range well below the $1,000 tag. Let’s see if it’s really going to be worth buying?
There are a lot of details to discuss when it comes to the structure and design of the DX1RAE. One of the prominent features is the composition of the sides and back of the guitar’s body. They are crafted from Martin’s HPL. It is an eco-friendly laminate that sports high-pressure. It is gotten from wood elements pressed together under a high heat, with resin. It is thereafter covered with what is actually an image of a rosewood grain. This is done in order to portray the illusion of real wood. Looking at it on first glance, it is almost impossible to detect. However, it becomes quite easy to notice that it’s a photo when you go closer to it.
It’s very likely that the presence of HPL will turn off many people. However it is pertinent to note that the use of HPL will not affect the sound. That aside, the top features solid Sitka spruce, which helps to enhance the tone very well. Martin tries to keep the cost down by using new materials, and by also maintaining a low decoration. In addition, the sound hole features only a simple rosette, and the fretboard or body has no binding.
Reviewing the neck, we notice that Martin incorporates a captivating birch laminate which is also referred to as Stratabond. It consists of about 26 individual layers. The neck is not actually the smoothest to play, largely as a result of the presence of ridges. This may not be so much of a deal since it still sports a slim oval structure that is not only comfortable, but also swift to move upwards and downwards. On another hand, the fretboard is derived from Richlite and it contains 20 frets. Remember, Richlite appears to be an eco-chic friendly material that is gotten from compressed paper.
Now let’s analyze the amazing hardware of the DX1RAE. You would most definitely find it surprising that this guitar is in fact an electro-acoustic. You may not realize this at first glance because the preamp is burned away in the sound hole. In addition it features a Fishman Sonitone System with tone controls and discreet volume that allow for a bit of onboard sound manipulation. The remaining hardware is nothing short of what you get from a higher-end Martin. The headstock features a couple of chrome sealed tuners that will hold your tuning as firm as possible. On the Richlite bridge, you will also find a TUSQ saddle, as well as a White Corian nut.
When it comes to the sound of the DX1RAE, it delivers a performance that matches a plethora of other competitors in the under $1,000 price tag, given its considerable absence of real wood and modern structure. It gives a compressed and warm tone that is equally appropriately balanced. It delivers just as well as with flatpicking and fingerstyling as it would for more intense strumming.
We know the DX1RAE is not the loudest dreadnought on the market within this price tag. Regardless, you can be sure to know that you won’t have any problem with the volume at all, especially when it is plugged in. Thanks to the Fishman system, you can easily amplify your sound on the go. However, you are a bit restricted on your tonal adjustment choices because of the absence of a control panel. Overall, it gives the beautiful Martin tone fans are excited about.
In all, solid-wood enthusiasts may find it hard to accept the DX1RAE. If only you spend 10 minutes with this dreadnought, then you will find the Martin DX1RAE very appealing, considering the price. It is indeed the surest way to possess a good-sized, good-sounding Martin without having to spend all of your savings.
- 20 frets
- Mahogany grained
- Solid spruce top
- Fishman Sonitone System
- Richlite bridge
- Can’t access battery without removing the strings
- Lack of real wood
- Absence of control panel
3. Fender Paramount PM-3
- PM preamp
- Vintage style radio control knobs
- 2-band EQ
- Built-in tuner
- Phase controls
Truly, the Paramount Series is a collection of higher-end acoustic guitars that demonstrate the relevance of Fender in the guitar market. Passionate musicians appear to be the major targets of this brand as it promises playability, comfort, style, as well as excellent sound that matches. The PM-3 Standard is thus a major part of this awesome series. Let’s go ahead in reviewing all there is to consider with this premium Fender.
First of all, the PM-3 is a small bodied ‘Triple 0’ size guitar that has a scale length of 25.3 inches. The guitar appears very appealing to the beholder at first glance.
The real body of the PM-3 is crafted completely from solid wood. On the top, there’s the solid Sitka spruce, and on the sides and back there’s the solid mahogany. In addition, the quality woods are further incorporated with a couple of captivating details such as the high gloss finish, as well as the 1960s art deco checkerboard sound hole binding and rosette which makes the guitar very sleek.
The neck also features this glossy finish. The neck is attached at the fourteenth fret and it features a convenient C shape. The PM-3 has a unique small cutaway in the body, which allows guitarists to get to the highest of the 20 frets. In essence, we can call the PM-3 a playable and fast guitar with an incredible feel.
Regarding the hardware of this well-made acoustic, it features electronics that perfectly fits it, as it has been designed by Fishman and Fender. The electronics of this instrument sports a PM preamp that makes use of vintage-designed radio control knobs for additional enhancement. In addition to providing a level of versatility, the preamp helps to capture the natural tone of the guitar. It sports master volume and 2-band EQ, in addition to beneficial phase controls and a built-in tuner.
The remaining aspects of the hardware is equally solid and appropriate. It comprises of a couple of Fender’s Dura-Tone coated strings, sturdy nickel tuners, a compensated bone nut and bone saddle, and of course a rosewood bridge. Lastly on the hardware is the very high-quality hard-shell case that will always protect your newly found companion.
In terms of the sound output, the PM-3 delivers a well-balanced tone, with a mellow warmth that will bring joy to your heart. Acoustically, the reduction in its size means that it is a little bit quieter that the normal dreadnought. This therefore makes it an excellent choice for players who also sing. However, the counter effect is that it gives extra volume than the parlor acoustic. From the natural tone replication, the PM-3 is undoubtedly impressive, and it is easy to tell that the preamp is no stock preamp.
In all, the PM-3 had proven to be quite impressive. We applaud the quality of the hardware, the lovely tone, and the beautiful style. Frankly, it comes at a price range that is very reasonable when you put into consideration the quality of the components. We recommend that you can give the Fender Paramount PM-3 Standard a try, especially if you’re a singer and/or songwriter who constantly plugs in.
- Built-in tuner
- Fender-fishman preamp
- 20 frets
- Solid Sitka spruce top
- Ebony fretboard
- East Indian rosewood
- A little quieter in comparison to other dreadnought competitors
4. Ovation Standard Elite 2778 AX
- Treble and middle sliders
- Master volume dial
- Preset tone enhancement circuit
- Onboard chromatic tuner
- Satin finishing
- 5-piece mahogany neck
- AA Solid Spruce
Ovation is a brand worthy of a standing ovation! They are popularly known for their distinctive acoustic guitars which features innovative electronics, sound holes, and structures in the crafting of a model that delivers excellence. The Standard 2778 AX is one of the American brand’s Elite series. The guitar features all of Ovation’s signature appointments, which makes it quite a very nice instrument. Let’s see if this guitar gives desirable value for cash when reviewed against other brands in the sub-$1000 acoustic market.
Undoubtedly, the design of the Standard Elite 2778 AX is completely Ovation in style. It sports a 25.25 inches scale length, as well as a deep contoured body shape. It also features the popular multi sound hole that has been joyfully inlaid with elegant hardwoods. The top is crafted from AA Solid Spruce, along with quarter sawn edged X bracing. It is then finished in an exotic black gloss. You can however also find both sunburst and white models in some marketplaces. About the sides and the back, the Elite Standard incorporates the brand’s ergonomic Lyrachord mid-depth bowl. The body sports a generous cutaway in order to enable proper access to all 22 frets that are comprised on the rosewood fretboard, which runs from the seventeenth fret on the bass side. The 5-piece mahogany neck consequently binds all of these together. The neck sports satin finishing that offers a lovely feel in the hands of the beholder.
The Ovation Standard Elite is an electro-acoustics. This is why it is an instrument that is loaded with an impressive system. The hardware of the Standard Elite features an OCP-1K pickup and an OP-Pro preamp. In fact, the hardware components comprises several controls such as an onboard chromatic tuner, a preset tone-enhancing circuit, treble and middle sliders, individual bass, as well as a master volume dial. Furthermore, the elaborately carved Ovation headstock features an ABS nut as well as a rosewood bridge, both of which help to aid the set of chrome die-cast tuners that maintain the effective stability of timings. The only shortcoming of a this guitar in its price range is that it comes without a case. Other than that, the Ovation Standard Elite is remarkable.
The Standard Elite boasts of delivering a smooth, clear, and deep tone that resonates very naturally and projects excellently as a result of the multi sound hole and composite bowl. In fact, you do not have to plug out in to experience the beauty of its tone. when plugged in, the Ovation Standard Elite is overly impressive. It becomes very suitable for stage performances. This is further enhanced as a result of the versatile and strong pickup system which gives you to option of dialing in whichever tone you want, and at the same keeping feedback to a minimum as a result of the bowl.
In all, the Ovation Standard Elite is not your traditional acoustic. You may have to look elsewhere if you’re looking for a traditional acoustic. The Ovation Standard Elite 2778 AX is an excellent home performer with impressive sound amplification and feedback control. Indeed, you will most likely fall in love with it’s ease of play and captivating design. For around $800, it is definitely good value for the cash spent.
- 22 frets
- Deep and smooth tone
- OP-Pro preamp
- OCP-1K pickup
- A plethora of controls
- Lyrachord mid-depth bowl
- Rosewood fretboard
- No case
5. Seagull Artist Mosaic
- 25.5 inches scale length
- Solid mahogany
- Seagull-custom tuners
- Rosewood bridge
- GraphTech Tusq nut
Seagull is a subsidiary of Godin. It manufactures a wonderful selection of fine mid-range models that have a feel of uniqueness. These models are crafted in Canada and are made with quality solid woods that do not cost the earth. The brand’s well-known Artist Mosaic is an imperative acoustic that comes in at the sub-$1,000 price range with promising features. Let’s see what these amazing features are!
Beginning when the body and neck, the Seagull Artist Mosaic features a design that is inherently simple, yet displaying glimmers of elegance. The body is dreadnought-styled and it sports a 25.5 inches scale length. It is crafted from finely-grained solid woods. On the sides and the back, you will find solid mahogany that is topped with a pressure-tested cedar. It is thereafter completed in a polished semi-gloss that has been elegantly customized. The body is designed with exquisite detailing that shows off the herringbone binding.
The neck is another major highlight. A mahogany construction matches the neck to the body. It is attached at the fourteenth fret. It sports a rosewood fretboard that spans 1.8 inches in nut width, a dual-action truss rod, and an offset dot inlays with a unique flying seagull inlay at the twelfth fret.
Just like every other Seagulls, this model distinctively features the tapered headstock which enhances the tuning stability and benefits the look. Really, for an acoustic under the $1,000 price range, the Artist Mosaic has an excellent craftsmanship as expected, as well as a solid setup.
When it comes to the hardware, there are even more to be impressed about. However, it is pertinent to mention that this standard model does not have any electronics. What it however features is an impressive set of Seagull-customized tuners with beautiful cream buttons. It further sports a compensated saddle and GraphTech Tusq nut, resting on the rosewood bridge.
The hardware would of course be incomplete without the luxurious TRIC hard-shell case. It aids in smooth transportation of the acoustic, as well as for easy storage. Having been tested under harsh temperatures and conditions, it is definitely very resistant to impact. Your heart no longer needs to skip a beat whenever you accidentally drop your guitar case.
Going on to the sound, this is another feature that would raise the standards of the Artist Mosaic. This model naturally delivers a very warm and sweet tone, all thanks to the mix of mahogany and solid cedar. In addition, it really performs in terms of resonance and volume. The best part is that the all-solid-wood body will further open as the years go by. This will give you a guitar that grows in volume, as well as in warmth. Isn’t this just wonderful?
In all, the Seagull Artist Mosaic is an acoustic worthy of your consideration. We love the elegant design, quality of the build, and of course, the fantastic tone it delivers, all at an affordable pricing.
- Pressure-tested cedar
- Exotic personalized polished semi-gloss
- Herringbone binding
- Dual-action truss rod
- Rosewood fretboard
- Offset dot inlays
- Excellent craftsmanship
- Deluxe TRIC hard-shell case
- No electronics
Acoustic guitars under $500 Reviewed
1. Epiphone Ej-200SCE Coupe
- Gold Grover Rotomatic machine
- Synthetic bone saddle
- Captivating mustache brushes
- Generous cutaway
This acoustic is popularly described my many as a tribute to the Gibson J200. The Gibson J-200 was first released in the 1930s, and has ever since been endorsed by several artists. Indeed, it is still considered as an absolute legend. The Epiphone EJ-200SCE is thus an amazing electro-acoustic that has been designed as a tribute to the classical J-200. The Epiphone EJ-200SCE comes at a far more affordable price than the iconic J-200. We will be reviewing its features below.
Just like the original J-200, this acoustic is also jumbo in shape. Although the scale length is still close to other models at 25.50 inches, it still appears to have a huge body that projects like some kind of beast.
The size is but a minor feature of the body. Let’s talk about the more interesting design. The EJ-200SCE has been meticulously designed to replicate the distinctive and iconic styling of the original version. Epiphone have incorporated a few additional tweaks such as the captivating mustache bridge, the sloping dove wing headstock, the inlays on the pearloid crown fretboard, and the elegant J-200 pickguard.
It also sports impressive tonewoods, considering the affordable mid-range pricing. The top is crafted from solid spruce, while the remaining parts of the body are made from laminated maple. It comes finished in one of 3 variants of retro color. Furthermore, the Epiphone EJ-200SCE sports a generous cutaway that allows for smooth accessibility to all the 20 frets of the pau ferro freboard. This fretboard can be found on the SlimTaper D-shaped neck which is composed of greatly playable hard maple.
Let’s see what the hardware of this iconic replica sports. First and foremost, it boasts an extremely loaded preamp system and a pickup. In fact, we are delighted to expound that the Epiphone EJ-200SCE incorporates the brand’s impressive Shadow eSonic-II HD stereo pickup system. The characteristics of this system includes both a NanoMag fretboard pickup, as well as a NanoFlex under-saddle piezo pickup, with modern controls that enable you to switch between the two options. This is on top of a handy onboard tuner and quality EQ controls.
In every other area, the EJ-200SCE is well loaded. For instance, let’s consider the headstock which is stocked with a couple of old Grover Rotomatic machine heads that feature an 18:1 tuning ratio for accuracy adjustments. In addition, the captivating mustache bridge is crafted from solid pau ferro, alongside a synthetic bone saddle that comfortably sits on the top.
To be quite honest, the design of the EJ-200SCE is already worth all the money. To top it all, it delivers a decent and fantastic sound! This is quite a big bonus and added value for your cash. It delivers a very rich tone thanks to the mix of maple with solid spruce. It also has sufficient warmth to prevent it from sounding too impetuous. Thus, it is very suitable for country music as well as rock playing.
Also, you do not need to worry about the volume. It projects excellently and definitely fills the room with melodious sound just as any jumbo guitar would, unlike smaller guitars. However, it should be noted that it surprisingly misses out on a little effect compared to other jumbos; it feels quieter than initially anticipated.
In all, the upgraded electronics, as well as the natural imitation of the unplugged tone, makes the EJ-200SCE a worthy companion for the stage. Consider this Epiphone EJ-200SCE guitar if you are looking for a well-constructed, loud, and powerful jumbo.
- 20 frets
- Crafted from Select Ovangkol
- Imitation Tortoise Pickguard
- Pau ferro fretboard
- Solid Spruce top
- Shadow ESONIC-II HD stereo Preamp and pickup system
- Standard EQ controls
- A little quieter than anticipated
2. Yamaha L Series LS6
- Abalone sound hole rosette
- Gold hardware
- Solid Engelman spruce
- Rosewood laminate
- Ebony fretboard
In 2014, the Yamaha’s popular L Series underwent some form of modification. Consequently, there emerged new models with innovative features that improve the overall feel and tone of the instrument.
The smaller-sized model of the series is the LS6. The acoustic features a blend of laminate and solid woods so as to maintain affordability. Considering the brand’s respected reputation, we have decided to include this guitar on our list of the best acoustic guitars under the $500 price range. Let’s have a closer look at what this acoustic beauty has to offer.
In terms of outlook, this is really a beautiful acoustic guitar. It features a traditional design that is revitalized with some pretty deluxe characteristics such as abalone sound hole rosette and gold hardware. The acoustic itself is 25.56 inches in scale length. The body is small and concert-sized. On the top, it has been crafted with solid Engelmann spruce, and rosewood laminate on the sides and back. It also has a laminate mahogany version. At the top, you will find Yamaha’s A.R.E – ‘Acoustic Resonance Enhancement’ treatment. Its sole purpose is basically to imitate the aging manner of solid wood. It further features advanced bracing.
In terms of playability, this guitar is simply spectacular for this price range. This acoustic sports a 5-ply mahogany or rosewood neck that is thin, stable, sleek, and crafted for an amazing feel on the hand. The neck is attached at the fourteenth fret and it features 20 frets in total on an ebony fretboard.
Since there is an absence of a preamp, it seems surprising at first that the LS6 has electronics. Nonetheless, this guitar actually sports Yamaha’s SRT Zero Impact pickup. Although it remains hidden, it enables you to plug into an amp if you choose to. Keep in mind though that there is no onboard controls.
Every other component of the LS6 is loaded with value. More features include a couple of durable gold die-cast tuners, and an ebony bridge. The acoustic is strung with Elixir’s coated strings. This means that you won’t have to change your strings for some time. Also, you can expect the LS6 to be delivered in its own durable hard-shell case.
Furthermore, it is always delightful that acoustics crafted with solid wood usually open up excellently after some years. In fact, it is possible for them to sound like entirely different instruments after about a decade passes by. They begin to sound much richer, louder and yes, warmer. Luckily, Yamaha’s Acoustic Resonance Enhancement treatment on this model technically causes the guitar to pre-age. This means you can get tone worth decades immediately out of the box. With a powerful projection, the spruce and rosewood combination gives it an astoundingly sweet and full sound. The tone has a natural feel, thanks to the pickup too. This helps to cancel out the absence of onboard controls.
In all, you should be convinced by now that the LS6 is without doubts a modern classic. It offers a lot from; a comfortable and swift feel, fine looks, durable hardware, sufficient bling, and indeed one of the most sounds within this price range. We have no hesitations recommending this acoustic for beginners, casual performers, and even experienced players.
- 20 frets
- Electronics present
- Ebony bridge
- Gold die-cast tuners
- Quality hard-shell casing
- Rosewood and spruce combo
- Increased playability
- Yamaha’s A.R.E treatment
- No preamp
- Absence of onboard controls
3. Breedlove Discovery Concerto
- Captivating rosette
- Black binding
- Graphite nut
- Matching graphite saddle
One thing the Breedlove brand is known for is uniqueness. Unlike other makers featuring jumbos, concerts, and dreadnoughts, this Oregon-based manufacturer has its own person range of body sizes and shapes. The Discovery Concerto (also know as the DSCO01SSMA) is no exception to this. It sports an all-new body shape that is aimed at providing a comfortable playing experience, as well as a big sound.
This model sports a larger body that ranges somewhere in between a jumbo and a dreadnought. Yet, it manages to keep that spectacular look specific to a concert. The Concerto is a successful attempt by Breedlove to develop an acoustic that delivers the large projection and tone of a dreadnought, and at the same time providing a playing experience that is comfortable.
The body features a lower bout of 16 inches, allowing the Discovery Concerto to show off some massive dimensions. Regardless, it does not feel heavy to carry. Furthermore, the top sports a solid Sitka spruce, with the sides and back made from okoume, and finishing the whole package with an elaborate glossing. The neck is C-shaped, and it is equally provides comfort, with a solid nato build and a slim outlook. It features an ovangol fretboard that consists of 20 frets.
Generally, the whole style can be referred to as minimalist. It even sports a captivating rosette and black binding which increases the feel of sophistication that is portrays. Indeed, the craftsmanship is highly impressive, considering that it is positioned somewhat low in the Sub-$500 acoustic market. Although it is made in China, you can be sure that it’s gong to play perfectly on delivery because it goes through quality check and stateside setup at the Bend workshop in Oregon.
The hardware features the unique Breedlove narrowing headstock that comprises a set of sealed diecast gold chrome tuners. They are accurate and have the capacity to hold your tuning very firmly. As you work your way down the guitar, you will notice the ovangkol bridge featuring a matching graphite nut and saddle. The bridge is pinless, and this means that changing the strings is relatively easier, except for some supposed little tonal improvements. The value in the hardware increases with the presence of a standard Breedlove guitar bag.
In spite of bit fitting into the size of a classic guitar, the Discovery Concerto delivers a robust voice with great projection. The tone is simply bassy, deep, and crisp, and amazingly complex despite its affordability. It copes remarkably with aggressive, or big strumming; hardly breaking up. Even if you are a flatpick player, or a fingerstyle player, you will definitely still get the most from this acoustic. It maintains responsiveness and articulation when playing softly.
In all, the Breedlove Discovery Concerto is a wonderful all-rounder. You will enjoy it the most if you are particularly after massive unplugged amplification. The Discovery Series remain a sure way to get the feel of a Breedlove guitar at an affordable price of $435.61.
- 20 frets
- Ovangkol fretboard
- High-end craftsmanship
- Sealed die-cast golden chrome tuners
- Enhanced comfort
- Responsive and articulate
- Pinless bridge
4. The Loar LH-204 Brownstone
- C-shaped neck
- Padauk fretboard
- 19 medium frets
- Ivory satin binding
Again we have another interesting acoustic from the Chinese manufacturer with a concentration on higher-end market and a perk for modelling their instruments according to the design from the 1920s and 1930s (the period was regarded as the Golden Age of Guitar). The LH-204 Brownstone is part of their mid-range acoustics. Ideally, the guitar is best for blues guitarists. Let’s find out if really it has what it takes…
Technically, nothing appears to be spectacular about the LH-204 Brownstone at first glance. It features extremely minimalistic details in its styling. There are no glamorous designs. In fact, the gold headstock decal and the bound sound hole are pretty much limited. This will appear as a downside for players seeking a touch of elegance for their money. Nonetheless, the acoustic’s brand has incorporated necessary features to make this acoustic and overall remarkable instrument that is worth your $500.
The body is designed in a small pre-war style and it sports a 25.4 scale length. It also appears to be entirely made from mahogany, except for the top which is crafted from solid Sitka spruce and given a touch of stained brown to present the effect of woody, rustic feel. Every other part, the neck, sides and back are mahogany. On another hand, the acoustic sports a touch of deluxe as a result of the silky satin finish and the ivory body binding. The neck is C-shaped and it offers comfort when held. It also comprises 19 medium frets on a paudauk fretboard. You can also experience good playability when it is out of the box.
About the hardware, you really won’t be getting so much hardware for your $500 price range. The LH-204 Brownstone features no electronics. It however has an excellent quality that enhances the rustic bluesy feel the brand is aiming for. It is important to mention that it also sports a useful collection of vintage-themed TonePros TPKR3-N nickel tuning machines, alongside plastic buttons, and an accurate ratio of 15:1. Let’s not forget the solid bone nut and padauk bridge too. A downside here is just that this price does not feature a gig bag. Except for that, it’s a pretty nice package all the same.
When it comes to the sound, the LH-204 Brownstone performs beyond its price. The sound it delivers is filled when warmth and mellowness. Additionally, the solid spruce top helps to maintain proper balance and tightness in the tone. Overall, the sound is excellent for the price and the small-bodied feature.
In all, we recognize the Brownstone as a no-nonsense, great-sounding, stylish guitar that is just proper for almost every genre, but most especially for blues. Conclusively, both professional and novice players can benefit plentifully from this acoustic beauty, unless you are enthusiastic about electronics and glamorous looks.
- Vintage-themed TonePros TPKR3-N nickel tuning machines
- Strong Padauk bridge
- Bone nut
- Warm and melodious sound
- Durable spruce top
- Silky satin finish
- Understated gold head stock
- No glamour
- Zero electronics
- Our Top pick for those 4 Price ranges
- No gig bag
5. Blueridge BR-43 Contemporary 000 Guitar
- Aesthetic shine
- X-bracing pattern
- Rosewood fingerboard
- 1.68″ wide bone nut
- 25.6″ total scale
- Rosewood bridge system
- Bone saddle
This masterpiece created by Blueridge is an example of a fantastic instrument made available at a very affordable price range. Under a different circumstance, it is possible for this excellent instrument to sell for twice its cost. The quality of this instrument is affirmed by its tonal capabilities and intricate design.
The body of this instrument is 000-sized. It is completely made of high-quality woods that that create a brightly resonating sound effect that will surely leave you in awe. The top is crafted with strong Sitka spruce, which happens to be one of the highly durable materials you can find on the market today.
The sides and back of the guitar acoustic is crafted from mahogany. It sports a natural shade that has been finished with high gloss. This therefore gives the guitar its aesthetic shine. A forward-X pattern that has been carved by hand holds the body of the acoustic together.
The back is made of mahogany and it sports a thin profile. It is attached to the body in a dovetail. It also houses the rosewood fingerboard which has been equipped with 20 frets, an excellent bone nut that is 1.68″ wide, pearl dot inlays, and a truss rod that can be adjusted. In total, the acoustic features a scale of 25.6″.
In terms of the hardware, this fine acoustic comprises 6 open-back nickel-plated tuning machines. On the headstock lies a set of butterbean-style buttons, and on the bone saddle is the rosewood bridge system. With this hardware, you are able to deliver your melody with amazing string stability and superb clear tones, just the way you want it.
This excellent acoustic is loaded with a quality range of awesome features all in a playable, comfortable, and compact gitbox. It provides a nullifying effect against buzz interference of the feet, and offering premium access all along the fingerboard. Although the sound quality can not compete with some other models, it is however still of great quality when the pricing is considered.
If your are looking for something that won’t take up so much space in your room or when you’re playing, then the small body of the BR-43 Contemporary 000 is going to be a perfect match for you. We love the satisfying, resonant tones as well as the lush design.
In all, if you are working with a limited budget, then the Blueridge’s Contemporary series should be on your consideration list; for beginners and experienced players alike.
- Amazing resonant sound output
- Solid Sitka spruce
- Pearl dot inlays
- Adjustable truss rod
- 20 frets
- Playable gitbox
- Small body
Our Top pick for those 4 Price ranges
Top one for under $2000
Takamine EF360S-TT: indeed, this is our number one choice for the under $2,000 price range of the best acoustic guitars. This Takamine boasts a 5/5 full star ratings on Amazon. It also features completely positive feedback and reviews from users on Amazon.
Top one for under $1,500
Martin 15 Series D-15M: this is our number one acoustic guitar in this price range because of its amazing 4.6/5 stars rating on Amazon. Also, evaluating the customer reviews revealed the more that this Martin dreadnought is indeed one of a kind.
Top one for under $1,000
Ovation Standard Elite 2778 AX: Ovation takes our number one spot here with the Standard Elite model, with a perfect 5 stars rating on Amazon! The customer review was quite convincing that this acoustic is pretty much worth the cash.
Top one for under $500
Yamaha L Series LS6: Yamaha takes the top spot for this price range with this amazing acoustic guitar. It has an overwhelming 4.7 stars rating on Amazon. For its price, the customer reviews are actually amazing!
How to buy the best acoustic guitar for you (Acoustic Guitars Buying Guide)
It’s only normal to be curious about the necessary factors that should be considered before buying an acoustic guitar as a first timer. We know you would want to evaluate all your choices to pick the very best of them all. You don’t have to stress yourself too much, we’re here to guide you all through the way.
Free tip: we recommend that you buy the best acoustic guitars at a brick and mortar store. This will help you to get a proper feel of the instrument. After all, you would be investing in your budding music career, right? So why not avoid making the mistake of purchasing a costly guitar with the thoughts that it would sound heavenly because of the high cost.
Follow below our carefully drafted guide to put you through the process of getting the best acoustic guitars for you:
1. Why do you want to get a guitar?
Before heading out to shop around for an acoustic, you have to first consider the primary question: what is your purpose for wanting an acoustic guitar (or just a guitar) in the very first place? Trust us, when you are able to find a sincere answer to this question, it would significantly cut your choices a great deal. In fact, you should determine the kind of genre that interests you as this will narrow down your options even more.
2. Consider the design and overall build
When you want to buy an acoustic guitar, you should not assume that the bigger the guitar, the better it would be. You should understand that the construction, design and even the materials that compose the overall build, will have significant contributions to the quality of tone and sound output. You have to learn the varieties of build combinations that can be used in the different parts of the guitar. When you are in the physical store, it’s better you give them a pluck and a proper strum to have an insight of how the guitars will sound. For instance, are you aware that a wood build becomes even better over the years? This is one of the factors you should put into consideration.
3. The Sound!
What is the use of a guitar that lacks a good and standard quality sound? Do not let the price of any guitar determine how the guitar would sound. Keep in my that a quality sounding guitar will largely depend on your personal preference. More importantly, you have to look out for the sound quality.
Guitars of high-quality keep an impressive sound quality all throughout. Try giving the guitar a strum; and listen to determine if it projects the notes clearly. Repeat the process by playing it gentle or with fingerstyling; it should still demonstrate the capacity to project strongly as it did when you strummed loudly.
4. Don’t ignore the accessories
The right accessories are necessary in order to get the best out of your guitar in terms of playability and even features. This does not however mean you have to spend so much money on your guitar accessories. The right accessories may not extend beyond a tuner, capo, and a leather strap.
How to Mic an Acoustic Guitar
If you want to perform with your acoustic guitar, it would do well to have a microphone at hand. However, you have to understand that as opposed to an acoustic electric, the mic only picks up sound in the area of where you’re pointing it at. This is why it is recommended that you always perform sound check before you go on stage.
Typically, you would most likely see acoustic guitar players position the mic right in front of the sound hole. Although this is not a bad thing to do, there are however better strategic positions where you can place your mic at.
Position 1: you can put the mic directly close to the sound hole. This position will achieve a louder sound in general. However the downside is that the high frequencies can quickly get overpowered. The effect therefore is a non-balanced tone. Thus, this mic position is actually not the best.
Position 2: you can place the mic around the twelfth fret of the acoustic’s neck. This will help to enhance the increase in the frequency that your guitar produces.
Position 3: on another hand, you can simply point the mic to the bridge. By doing this, the strings of the bass will be loudly projected, thereby resulting in a tone that sounds deeply.
In essence, the truth is that there is no one single ‘best’ place to position a mic on an acoustic. It all depends on the kind of sound you want to project, as well as your personal preference. We recommend that you just play around the different positioning. You are free to choose multiple positions. In fact, you can use more than one microphone. All you have to do is point the first mic towards the bottom end, and the second mic towards the neck. This will help you to achieve a better balanced sound.
Free tip: it’s important to keep in mind that the mic positioning is not everything. You also need to consider the quality of the kind of mic you’re using. In this case, you may make use of a small diaphragm condenser microphone.
Who Invented Acoustic Guitar
Having studied the historical evolution of guitars, we have come to know that there are many inventors. You’re probably wondering; “how come?” Well, this is because different people invented various versions of the guitar.
Regardless, history has it that the very first acoustic guitar was developed by Antonio de Torres. He contributed greatly to the development of the guitar that we still use some of his innovations such as the durable soundboards as a result of the kind of bracing. Contemporary guitars have evolved greatly from this.
Acoustic or Electro-Acoustic – Which is Better?
Which Brand of Acoustic Guitar is Number One ?
Should I Use Steel or Nylon?
In conclusion, if you’re a budding or aspiring player, you need to understand that the guitar learning process takes a lot of dedication, patience, and discipline. There are so many things to learn, especially from online videos, which is one of the commonest sources of teaching today. Getting a guitar teacher is also recommended, if necessary. It helps to give you the physical motivation required. Having a face to face guitar lesson may actually help you to assimilate the appropriate techniques in no time.
In all, remember that there is no universal ‘best acoustic’ when scouting for a guitar. All that matters is your genre of playing, your style of playing, and the materials that compose the guitar’s construction and design. Always start with something simple if you’re a beginner. Don’t aim for those very expensive guitars yet. Practice your basics such as chords, chord changing, and strumming. When you find yourself improving desirably, then it may be time to upgrade to a better sounding guitar. Cheers, as you head out to buy your new best friend!!!