Best inexpensive acoustic guitar

Best Inexpensive Acoustic Guitar

It would be easy to assume that a “cheap” instrument wouldn’t be as good as a quality instrument. Unfortunately, the connotations of this word lead many players to envision an unplayable guitar whose tone is more like a moist cardboard box than a strong, powerful dreadnought. In spite of the fact that there are many sub-par guitars on the market, you can find a quality instrument for a very reasonable price – as this guide to the best inexpensive acoustic guitar proves.

Therefore, before we can come up with a list of affordable guitars, we need to define what “cheap” means. Our definition of this category is any guitar that sits between $400 and $2000, and of course, it needs to be a joy to play, look impressive, and sound great. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the best cheap acoustic guitars from some of the biggest names in the music industry.

However, read through our extensively prepared buyer’s guide to understand what makes an acoustic guitar the best before you jump and buy one.

Criteria For Buying Acoustic Guitar/ Buyer’s Guide:

Body Shape And Size:

It is possible to find acoustic guitars of various sizes and shapes. Choosing the wrong size or shape is the last thing you want to do. It’s no easy feat to learn to play the guitar, and you don’t want to get frustrated while you are learning. When you play the guitar, the instrument should feel as comfortable as possible.

Guitars come in a variety of sizes and shapes: the parlor is the smallest, followed by the concert, dreadnought, and jumbo. These are some of the more common types, though there are others. The dreadnought is the most common body shape.

Steel Or Nylon Strings?

Although many online guides suggest that beginners go with nylon strings on their first acoustic guitar, there is no hard rule to follow. These two options are different primarily in terms of sound and feel. You won’t wear out your fingers as fast with nylon strings, as they feel softer. They also sound warmer and are less bright. In contrast, steel strings are more painful to practice, but they produce higher volume levels and crisper tones. You should listen to both options on the Internet and choose the one you find more appealing.

Remember that steel strings cannot be put on an acoustic guitar with nylon strings, and vice versa!

Neck:

The neck of an acoustic guitar should be considered based on comfort and playability. Testing as many guitars as possible is the key to finding the neck profile that suits you. In terms of playing style, necks with a broader profile tend to be more suitable for fingerstyle playing. For chords and strumming, thinner nut necks are more comfortable. Consider something in the middle that can be suited for both if you don’t have a clue what style you prefer.

Tonewoods:

Acoustic guitars’ sound is primarily determined by the tonewoods they are made from. Different tonewoods produce different sounds. It can be challenging to describe the differences between tonewoods, especially for beginners.

Brand And Seller:

It is best to buy a guitar from a well-known and trusted brand. The model is as important as the brand. If you are considering a model, ensure that it has positive customer reviews online. Avoid buying an unknown Chinese guitar that starts breaking down after a week of play. It’s not like there are Chinese manufacturers who make superb guitars. However, if you are unfamiliar with the brand or it is hard to find online, you are taking a risk with the instrument you are purchasing.

The second thing you should take into account is making sure you buy from a reliable dealer. In case there is a problem with the guitar, you want someone with good customer service and a music instrument shop with a lot of experience.

Budget:

Going cheap doesn’t mean you have to buy the cheapest possible acoustic guitar. Set a boundary for yourself, and search for the guitars in that set range. You will no doubt be able to find the perfect one in no time.

Now that you know what to look for let’s move on to the best inexpensive acoustic guitar list.

Top Picks:

Martin Guitar DSS-17 Acoustic Guitar:

Best in all aspects in the given price range.

Fender Newporter Classic Acoustic Guitar:

A midrange guitar for beginners and professionals.

Seagull 046386 S6 Original New 2018 Model Acoustic Guitar:

Who said cheap is poor? Because this guitar is the proof of the opposite.

Best Inexpensive Acoustic Guitar:

1. Martin Guitar DSS-17 Acoustic Guitar:

Martin Guitar DSS-17 Acoustic Guitar

The first entry on the best inexpensive acoustic guitar list is the famous Martin DSS-17. It has a low oval neck and performance artist taper for fast and effortless playing and is a beautifully crafted mahogany and spruce Dreadnought with scalloped braces and a small 30’s style bridge.

DSS-17 offers a fantastic sound, combining the classic Dreadnought tone of the early 1940s with a modern D-18. The sound is powerful, dark, and incredibly well-balanced with bold trebles, a full midrange, and an articulated bass. This guitar excels at Flatpicking, strumming, fingerstyle, and everything.

Specs:

  • Brand: Martin
  • Weight: 13 pounds
  • Dimensions: 47 x 20 x 9 inches
  • Body Material: Mahogany, Spruce, Sitka Spruce
  • Color: Whiskey Sunset Burst
  • Top Material Type: Spruce
  • Back Material Type: Mahogany Wood
  • Neck Material Type: Mahogany
  • Fretboard Material Type: Rosewood
  • String Material Type: Nickel
  • Number of Strings: 6
Comes With:
  • Softshell case

Key Features:

  • Dreadnought body style
  • Golden Age relic nickel tuners
  • High-performance tapered neck (modified for enhancing performance and comfort)

Pros:

  • Enhanced playability
  • Responsive
  • Beautiful
  • loud

Cons:

  • none so far

2. Fender Newporter Classic Acoustic Guitar:

Fender Newporter Classic Acoustic Guitar

Fender’s California Series, inspired by iconic Californian beaches, is one of the unique acoustic guitar collections available today. Newport Beach is obviously the inspiration for today’s model, the Newporter Classic. When it comes to the Newporter models, the Newporter Classic is the top of the line (the Player and Special versions retail at a lower price), yet it still comes in at a reasonable price tag.

Those seeking a more traditional acoustic will not be attracted to the Newporter Classic, and finger stylists would do better to look elsewhere. Still, the Newporter Classic is a superb addition to any shortlist for those who prefer acoustics. Although it isn’t a cheap guitar, it delivers a lot of value in terms of style, playability, and quality for a mid-range price point. In short, even with such a price tag, it can still be the best inexpensive acoustic guitar.

Specs:

  • Brand: Fender
  • Color: Aged Cognac Burst
  • Top Material Type: Spruce
  • Body Material: Mahogany
  • Back Material Type: Mahogany Wood
  • Neck Material Type: Mahogany
  • Fretboard Material Type: Morado
  • Guitar Pickup Configuration: Piezo
  • String Material Type: Phosphor Bronze
  • Hand Orientation: Right
Comes With:
  • deluxe gig bag

Key Features:

  • Tilt-back 6-in-line headstock
  • Fishman-designed preamp system
  • slim-taper “C”-shaped comfortable profile of the neck

Pros:

  • Easy playability
  • Suitable for beginners and professionals
  • Unique aesthetics

Cons:

  • The Amp jack is not placed in the appropriate place.

3. Seagull 046386 S6 Original New 2018 Model Acoustic Guitar:

Seagull 046386 S6 Original New 2018 Model Acoustic Guitar

Now, on this list of best inexpensive acoustic guitar, we have the Seagull 046386. The centerpiece of the S6 Original’s dreadnought shape is a solid cedar top, and a wild cherry laminated back and sides complete the picture. Indeed, this Canadian timber has been a spec list staple for Seagull and Godin’s other brands for a long time.

Designed with solid cedar tops, the S6 Original version delivers a great sound right out of the box. This model also offers wider string spacing and a 45mm nut width. Some players, particularly electric cats, may prefer a thinner 43mm nut, and you can get just that with the S6 Cedar Original Slim or the Godin EPM Quantum preamp-equipped S6 Cedar Original Slim QIT (£539).

In contrast to its predecessor, the S6 Original is now competing for your attention in a very crowded marketplace. It is interesting to note that the basic idea behind Seagull guitars has not changed over the years. Even though you are getting superb tonewoods and a build quality that knocks much of the competition off their pedestal, you are still getting a very competitive price. Because of this, these guitars remain at the peak of the midrange pecking order even today.

Specs:

  • Brand: Seagull
  • Weight: 4.33 pounds
  • Dimensions: 49 x 22 x 8 inches
  • Body Material: Wood
  • Color: Natural
  • Top Material Type: Cedar
  • Back Material Type: Wild cherry
  • Neck Material Type: Wild cherry
  • Fretboard Material Type: Rosewood
  • Guitar Pickup Configuration: H
  • Hand Orientation: Right
  • Guitar Bridge System: Double
  • Number of Strings: 6
Comes With:
  • Hard case

Key Features:

  • Scale Length: 25.5in
  • Wild cherry back and sides
  • Silver leaf maple neck

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Beautiful design
  • Perfect for beginners

Cons:

  • It is big.

4. Blueridge Guitars 6 String Acoustic Guitar (BR-263A):

Blueridge Guitars 6 String Acoustic Guitar

This should have been at the top of this list of the best inexpensive acoustic guitar if not for the fact that it cost a little bit more. But honestly, even though it may not be under $2k, it is not that high, to begin with. And that price tag is still worth it.

As an authentic replica of fine American guitars built before WWII, the BR-263A 000 style guitar offers authentic style. Every guitar in the collection is built using the same techniques as its antique counterparts, but these guitars have been improved subtly to keep them up-to-date. Featuring traditional Herringbone trim, hand-carved parabolic X bracing, a forward position, and a solid spruce top that rings true, quality craftsmanship is evident in this guitar. A true modern collectible, the Blueridge guitar has a traditional dovetail neck joint, slim mahogany neck, adjustable truss rod, and a slim mahogany body.

Specs:

  • Brand: Blueridge Guitars
  • Weight: 6.6 pounds
  • Dimensions: 40 x 15.38 x 4.5 inches
  • Body Material: Wood
  • Color: Natural
  • Top Material Type: Mahogany
  • Back Material Type: Rosewood
  • Neck Material Type: Mahogany
  • Fretboard Material Type: Ebony
  • Hand Orientation: Right
  • Number of Strings: 6
Comes With:
  • Sturdy, padded Blueridge logo bag

Key Features:

  • Nut Width: 1 3/4″
  • Slim mahogany neck for fast action
  • superior note clarity with scalloped braces

Pros:

  • fast and easy action
  • loud volume
  • strong bass
  • long-lasting stability in playing

Cons:

  • a couple of tuners might be a bit tighter on some models

5. Martin Guitar 000-15SM:

Martin Guitar 000-15SM with Gig Bag

There is a long history behind the Mahogany 000-15 and its more diminutive Spartan cousin, the 000-17, which have been part of the Martin lineup since the Great Depression. A typical example of Minimalism was conceived during their birth in response to the realities of an austere age and tried to address those realities. However, the fact remains that they sounded fantastic and often astonishing. Since then, Martin’s M-series 000s and 00s have become some of the hottest flattops loved by folkies, fingerstyle players, country blues guitarists, and studio pros who enjoy the warm sonic and balance of this particular model.

The 000-15SM might not be the most forward-looking version of Martin’s mid-sized, all-mahogany marvel, but it’s still a good instrument. A significant difference between this instrument and the standard 000-15 can be found in how it looks backward to the past, incorporating a 12-fret, slotted headstock, which is not only a hallmark from early twentieth century Martin design but also transforms the voice like no other.

Specs:

  • Brand: Martin
  • Size: Left
  • Color: Dark Mahogany
  • Top Material Type: Mahogany
  • Body Material: Mahogany
  • Back Material Type: Mahogany Wood
  • Neck Material Type: Mahogany
  • Fretboard Material Type: Mahogany
  • String Material Type: Nickel
  • Number of Strings: 6
Comes With:
  • Gigbag

Key Features:

  • solid-wood acoustic guitar
  • classic design with modern features
  • auditorium body style

Pros:

  • Professional appearance and sound
  • Made for gigs
  • Enhanced playability

Cons:

  • Not capable of taking heavy hits or wear and tear. Needs careful handling.

6. Takamine TC132SC Classical Nylon String Acoustic Guitar:

Takamine TC132SC Classical Nylon String Acoustic Guitar

The Takamine TC132SC classical guitar might just be the one for you if you have been thinking about upgrading your classical guitar. If you are looking for an acoustic-electric guitar, or maybe you believe that the TC132SC will be an excellent choice for your first classical guitar, then this could be the instrument for you.

Whatever the case may be, this may be the match of a lifetime!

Despite its relatively low price tag, the Takamine TC132SC is excellent for electric-acoustic classical guitarists. After a few weeks of playing, it will sound absolutely beautiful after the tone warms up (around the same time that the strings will settle in), but it takes some time for the tone to warm up.

This is the definition of the best inexpensive acoustic guitar.

Specs:

  • Brand: Takamine
  • Weight: 18 pounds
  • Dimensions: 45 x 19 x 8 inches
  • Body Material: Rosewood
  • Top Material Type: Rose Wood
  • Back Material Type: Rosewood
  • Neck Material Type: Mahogany
  • Fretboard Material Type: Rosewood
  • Guitar Pickup Configuration: Piezoelectric
  • String Material Type: Nylon
  • Hand Orientation: Right
  • Guitar Bridge System: Fixed
  • Number of Strings: 6
Comes With:
  • Hard Case

Key Features:

  • CTP-3 Cool Tube preamp system
  • dual-channel CTP-3 for low-voltage tube tone
  • pure nylon string

Pros:

  • beautiful
  • pure nylon string tones
  • warm sounds with dynamic range

Cons:

  • The preamp comes configured for steel strings

7. Blueridge Guitars 6 String Acoustic Guitar:

Blueridge Guitars 6 String Acoustic Guitar, (BR-160)

With Blueridge, anyone can own a quality guitar and get a Martin sound without paying Martin prices. With the Blueridge BR-160, you get the same tonewoods and craftsmanship as a Martin for less than half the price.

Even though this BR-160 Dreadnought is a bit more historically stylish due to the ornate Abalone inlays and other historical features, the ABR-160’s sound is too good to pass up with its forward, bracing pattern, Dreadnought body size, and Solid Indian Rosewood sides and back that it has been referred to as the “Poor Man’s Martin” on, well, guitar forums all over the world. While many people swear by the standards of Martin Guitars, the Blueridge BR-160 is a quality instrument that is comparable to a Martin dreadnought at a fraction of the price. With a consistent five-star rating at Amazon.com and other online guitar shops, it is easy to see why it has been so well received.

This is the true best inexpensive acoustic guitar.

 

Specs:

  • Brand: Blueridge Guitars
  • Weight: 4 pounds
  • Dimensions: 40 x 16 x 5 inches
  • Top Material Type: Spruce
  • Body Material: Spruce; East India Rosewood
  • Back Material Type: Rosewood
  • Neck Material Type: Mahogany
  • Fretboard Material Type: Rosewood
  • String Material Type: Phosphor Bronze
  • Hand Orientation: Right
  • Guitar Bridge System: Fixed
  • Scale Length: 25 5/8″
  • Number of Strings: 6
Comes With:
  • Exclusive sturdy, padded Blueridge logo bag

Key Features:

  • Gotoh vintage style open back butterbean buttons always keep the player in tune
  • deep bass
  • strong cutting power

Pros:

  • Fast and effortless action with a slim neck
  • Inherently long-lasting stability
  • Crisp tones
  • Clear articulation

Cons:

  • Strings may need to be replaced

8. Fender Malibu Player Acoustic Guitar:

Fender Malibu Player Acoustic Guitar

This is a model you may have skipped over in the past due to the low price tag and associated fears. But even then, there is still one thing that will no doubt attract you: it has too many color options to choose from! In fact, there are those colors that you won’t normally find on guitars, allowing you a lot of freedom to express your individuality.
However, for all its fun bits and parts and the intentions of the company to gear towards camping, this is a guitar for beginners. This is reflected by its features, not its description, which is essential to remember here.

 

Specs:

  • Brand: Fender
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Dimensions: 42.9 x 16.1 x 5.3 inches
  • Body Material: Mahogany
  • Color: Midnight Stain, Aqua Splash, Burgundy Stain, Arctic Gold, Candy Apple Red, Jetty Black, Ice Blue Stain, Champagne, Bronze Stain, Slate Stain, Belmont blue, Bronze Satin, Olive Satin,
  • Top Material Type: Spruce
  • Back Material Type: Mahogany Wood
  • Neck Material Type: Mahogany
  • Fretboard Material Type: Walnut
  • Guitar Pickup Configuration: Piezo
  • String Material Type: Bronze
  • Hand Orientation: Right
  • Number of Strings: 6

Key Features:

  • Walnut Fingerboard
  • Fender-exclusive Malibu body shape
  • Fishman pickup/preamp system

Pros:

  • Gorgeous
  • So many colors to choose from that you won’t usually find in guitars
  • Incredible sounds
  • Smooth neck

Cons:

  • Strings might need to be changed to your preference.

9. Seagull S6 Original Acoustic Guitar (Natural and Limited Edition Tennessee Red):

Seagull S6 original Acoustic Guitar

This time, the addition to the list of the best inexpensive acoustic guitar is from the brand Seagull.

Since Seagull was founded, it has provided instrument makers with instruments that were more affordable, more durable, and better sounding than their competitors. As such, beneath the mild-mannered aesthetic, the traditional guitar architecture conceals some impressive engineering feats. For instance, the unique headstock shape has tuning machines lined up along the nut to improve tuning stability. They also adopted thin, lightly braced tops with a ‘compound curve’ to make them more stable without diverging from the typical dreadnought tone.

Seagull brought the S6 Original to the table despite a highly crowded market at a price that disemboweled the competition. The S6 Original promises reliable construction, superb tonewoods, and outstanding value. As part of the award-winning S6 Series lineup, this model joins the S6 Classic Black A/E (Spruce top with QIT electronics) and S12 Concert Hall CW.

Specs:

  • Brand: Seagull
  • Body Material: Rosewood, Mahogany
  • Weight: 13.42 pounds
  • Dimensions: 46 x 18.5 x 7.5 inches
  • Color: Tennessee Red, Natural
  • Top Material Type: Cedar
  • Back Material Type: Cherry Wood
  • Neck Material Type: Maple
  • Fretboard Material Type: Rosewood
  • Scale Length: 25.5 Inches
  • Number of Strings: 6

Key Features:

  • Double Action Truss Rod
  • Select Pressure Tested Top
  • Tapered headstock for precise and stable tuning

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Limited edition Tennessee red is a beautiful color

Cons:

  • No glossy finish

10. Guild M-20 Concert Acoustic Guitar:

Guild M-20 Concert Acoustic Guitar Vintage Sunburst

Finally, we are ending the list of the best inexpensive acoustic guitar with the famous Guild M-20 Concert. A guitar’s first impression matters a lot, and at first glance, the M-20 is a very nice small-body concert guitar with plenty of vintage styles, thanks in part to its chocolate brown paint finish and plain old-style design.

This guitar is made of solid mahogany; in fact, we usually give you a full breakdown of the woods used in its construction, but it’s easier to figure out which parts don’t come from mahogany. The rosewood fingerboard and bridge would be that. Besides scalloped X bracing and bone saddles, ivory-colored bridge pins, a 305mm (12-inch) fingerboard radius, ‘C’ profile necks, Pearloid dot inlays, Guild C1 guitars also possess vintage-style open-gear tuners.

Specs:

  • Brand: Guild
  • Weight: 3.3 pounds
  • Dimensions: 4.13 x 13.78 x 38.78 inches
  • Body Material: Wood
  • Color: Vintage Sunburst
  • Top Material Type: Mahogany
  • Back Material Type: Mahogany
  • Neck Material Type: Mahogany
  • Fretboard Material Type: Indian Rosewood
  • Guitar Pickup Configuration: Piezoelectric
  • Hand Orientation: Right
  • Guitar Bridge System: Acoustic
  • Number of Strings: 6
Comes With:
  • Hand-signed numbered certificate of authenticity
  • Hardshell case

Key Features:

  • Informally nicknamed “the Nick Drake guitar” for being included on album art for Drake’s album, Bryter Layter.
  • Concert size acoustic guitar
  • Extremely light satin finish

Pros:

  • Beautiful design
  • Vintage style
  • Beautiful design
  • Unhindered, loud volume

Cons:

  • No preamp or pickup

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What is a fair price for an acoustic guitar?

Ans: Generally, guitarists spend between $500 and $1,500 on their instruments. Newbies tend to spend between $100 and $500 on their instruments. The more severe guitarists with a large budget can spend up to $10,000.

Q: How much should you spend on your first acoustic guitar?

Ans: You can expect to pay anywhere between $200 and $800 for a decent beginner guitar. It varies for each individual depending on their means, previous experience, and commitment to learning.

Q: What is the difference between Concert and Dreadnought guitar?

Ans: There are some noticeable differences between the concert and the dreadnought, including differences in playability and tone. Concert guitars are also more rounded than dreadnought guitars and have a slim body. Their bodies also taper deeper at the waist.

Q: How much is a guitar setup?

Ans: In general, a professional setup costs around $50, but it could be as high as $100 if much work needs to be done. New strings are often installed as part of the setup process since string gauge affects intonation.

Q: Do new acoustic guitars need a setup?

Ans: Theoretically, all acoustic guitars should be ready for play when they leave the factory; in practice, however, very few of the guitars we receive in this state.

Conclusion:

And there you have it, our list of the best inexpensive acoustic guitar. Buying a guitar can be a significant purchase depending upon your skillset. Thus, you need to do the proper research before you make your final decision.

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