There is a vast price range into which acoustic guitars fall. For most guitarists shopping for an instrument, these tend to fall into three main categories:
Beginner and Student Acoustic Guitar Prices
Those who are still fairly new to the guitar should expect to pay between just over $100 and $500 for their instrument, depending on the brand name, the quality of materials and workmanship, and the included accessories.
Even at the lower end of that range, guitars should include quality woods like spruce and rosewood. They should be cleanly made to be comfortable to play and have a pleasing appearance. It’s also possible to upgrade components of the guitar such as the nut, saddle, and tuning pegs.
Finer woods, more intricate decorative touches like multi-layer binding, and higher level tuning gears will start to appear in guitars priced at $300 to $500. Some guitars at this price point even include onboard electronics.
Acoustic Guitar Packages
Especially for beginners, an acoustic guitar package can be a wise investment. Packages often include picks, a case or gig bag, straps, strings, and even a tuner. Thus, the player is completely equipped to learn the guitar without having to determine what else they might need.
Mid-Level Guitar Price Range
Moving into the $500 – $1,500 range, the changes are more subtle, but are important as a player develops their technique. Careful attention is paid to wood selection and more hand work goes into the construction of the guitar.
Onboard electronics are readily available in this price range and may offer additional components as equalizers, blended pickup systems, and even built-in effects.
One feature particularly useful to guitar players as their skills increase is a cutaway body shape. This provides easier access to higher frets on the guitar. While beginners tend to concentrate their efforts closer to the headstock of the guitar, more skilled players use the entire fretboard.
Upper End Acoustic Guitars and Collectors’ Items
Above those price points, one finds artisan-made guitars where the woods are carefully selected, aged, cured, and worked by hand. The difference in the sound is subtle, but noticeable to the accomplished player. The visual accoutrements become more sophisticated, limited only by the luthier’s skill and imagination.
Here is also where the vintage guitars are found. Acoustic guitars are often considered to present an improved sound as they age, so the instruments that are finely crafted and aged are highly prized by players.
Some of the most expensive acoustic guitars are owned, played, and/or signed by known artists. These can often sell at auction for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Choosing the best acoustic guitar for any particular player is a matter of matching the appropriate price and quality to the player’s skill and drive. A reputable guitar shop should offer a variety of well-made guitars in a wide price range.
View The Best Cheap Acoustic Guitar Below
1. Yamaha FG830
Yamaha is synonymous with producing great student model guitars. The FG830 is an affordably priced, well-constructed dreadnought shaped cut-away acoustic folk guitar.
The 800 series was introduced in the 1960s and the original FG180 became an instant classic, on a whole the series is louder and stronger in mid to low ranges as Yamaha’s engineers ran analyses and simulations through their R&D division to find the best bracing design. They moved away from traditional bracing with their 800 series and instead opted for a scalloped bracing pattern which maintains top board durability and better enhances the guitars natural sound. Thanks to Yamaha’s research the FG830 has rich overtones and great sustain.
Its bound neck is nato with a rosewood fretboard, the body is rosewood as well and has a large depth to deliver improved sound. It has a solid Sitka spruce top which is a fantastic tonewood. It has an adjustable truss rod and die-cast tuners. The It is available in six color selections and The sound-hole has an abalone inlay.
+ Affordable price.
+ Comes with accessories.
+ Great tone woods.
+ Solid topped.
Why We Liked It – It is an ideal entry level model The scalloped bracing allows vibrations to resonate more freely creating optimal sustain.
2. Epiphone DR-100
The DR-100 is one of the best sounding guitars around at its price level. It is one of their entry-level products from their hugely popular series. Epiphone has worked hard to earn their own rightful place in the top of the market from their roots which started out essentially making very close bootleg versions of top brand guitars, now they respectably hold their own and are held in good regards.
It is a solid topped, dreadnought style mahogany bodied beauty. It has a select spruce soundboard, spruce has great resonance. The fingerboard and bridge are Indian rosewood.
The head-stock has a slightly increased incline, tilted at an angle of 45 degrees creating a grating pressure at the nut. It is a 22.5 scale which is a full size and a little bit of a stretch for some, so maybe not a great selection for younger learners.
It comes in 3 different finishes natural vintage and sunburst which is a head turner. It is lightweight and comes set up with a set of light steel strings. They give a fantastic bright tone and have fantastic prescience and clarity. The action is nice and low which suits a beginner and there is no noticeable fret buzz.
+ Well made.
+ 45 degree head-stock.
+ Solid topped (spruce.)
Why We Liked It – This one has an amazing tone straight out of the box it has outstanding trebles but you may want to switch them out for a more balanced sound if you don’t like your lows out-shone.
3. Fender FA-100
Next up on our list is an entry from Fender, the FA-100 is the flagship model of their affordable acoustic line. It is another dreadnought shaped model choice again featuring a laminated spruce top. Spruce is a typical wood at the lower price end, as not many tonewoods offer such a good dynamic response. It is great for a wide range of playing styles and give a bright resonance.
The top is supported by effective x bracing and body binding. It has a c-shaped neck and features the familiar fender head-stock shape and pick-guard. It has a smooth rosewood fingerboard which is 20 frets in length with pearl dots. It also has a rosewood bridge with a compensated synthetic bone saddle and chrome hardware. It is strung with a bright set of steel fender Duratone strings (0.012-.052 gauge). The nut width is 42mm and it has a dual action truss rod. The whole thing has a gloss finish.
It provides full and vibrant tones and is suitable for strumming and delicate fingerpicking styles. It retails at a low price and sells as a bundle starter kit with a bunch of handy accessories valuable for any beginner.
+ Low price.
+ Bundle of accessories.
+ 20 frets 25.3 scale length.
+ Ideal first guitar.
Why We Liked It – Fender make some great acoustics, some of their lower end models don’t keep super accurate intonation at higher frets but the FA-100 makes for an impressive budget guitar.
4. Oscar Schmidt OG1-A-U
This acoustic guitar from Oscar Schmidt is a ¾ length guitar which makes for a perfect sized started guitar or spare guitar. Smaller models are also great to take on a weekend away. The price tag is exceptionally low from a notable brand like Oscar Schmidt.
It is a well designed and well built short scale guitar. The back and sides are Catalpa and other woods are listed as a Tech wood as some of it has been engineered. It has a fixed bridge system and it has 14 frets free of the neck and 20 in total. It is available in a variety of colors and finishes.
It has an adjustable truss rod and thin neck it Is ideal for smaller hands and younger players. It comes with a set of D’Addario acoustic strings which as you know, we are big fans of. It has a great overall tone and can project fairly well considering its reduced size. It is not muddy and resonates well.
+ 3/4 size full scale.
+ Engineered woods.
+ Very low budget.
+ Great sound.
Why We Liked It – Oscar Schmidt have managed to build this one with some great features for very little outlay due to their alternative wood sourcing and engineered fret-board. It makes for one of the cheapest acoustic guitars.
5. Fender FA-115
The FA 115 is a replacement upgrade from the 100 line which is slowly disappearing as Fender move away from a laminate manufacture. It doesn’t differ very much from the 100 we previously reviewed it also sells as a bundle with everything you could possibly want as a new player but it has a solid top.
This option is a sunburst design which comes in a choice of three colors, which is very eye-catching with its darkened edges. It is spruce topped a strong and bright dynamic tonewood choice and as you have probably gathered very typical in budget guitars.
It has laminated mahogany back and sides to its body which is dreadnought shaped and gloss finished. It has a hardwood bridge and fretboard which is 20 fret length and a 43mm plastic nut. The pickguard is single ply and black to match the darkened rims of the sunburst pattern.
It is pretty well balanced as far as the sound goes and the lows are pleasantly present The frets are low and it plays effortlessly with zero “buzz”.
+ best inexpensive acoustic guitar.
+ Bundle deal.
+ Solid top.
Why We Liked It – It is a very reasonably priced guitar it features a solid top which we don’t typically see at this level and also comes with a range of accessories including a case and stand which makes it exceptional value for money