Guitar Gopher is a guitarist and bassist with over 30 years of experience as a musician. The Yamaha FGX730SC is one of the best acoustic-electric guitars under $500. Top Acoustic-Electric Guitars. If you're trying to land a great acoustic-electric guitar without spending too much, $500 is a pretty good budget. You'll have some outstanding options, from brands like Seagull, Yamaha, Ovation, Ibanez and Fender The FGX730SC is an acoustic-electric model in the FG bloodline that comes in at a very affordable price, and it's an outstanding choice for intermediate guitar players. It features a solid Sitka Spruce top, Rosewood back and sides, Nato neck and a rosewood fingerboard and bridge. You can get it in several finishes, including Natural, Brown Sunburst and Black.
I consider “vintage” Yamaha FG series acoustic guitars to be models made between the years 1966 and 1981. These are the years where the truss rod adjustment is in the headstock. All models introduced in 1981 and later have the truss rod adjustment accessible through the sound hole.
I’ll concentrate on models imported into the US, there were many other models not imported but have made their way over here, initially brought back by US military stationed in Japan, and more currently eBay. Beware of inflated prices and misstated descriptions on eBay. Most people interested in vintage acoustic guitars will recognize the “signature” red label as the start of the historic Yamaha FG line. But the first models, FG-150 & FG-180, where actually available in October 1966, but only in Japan.
These models have light green labels, very similar to the familiar red labels. There are other differences on the headstock; the Yamaha logo is smaller, the headstock shape has a slightly flared shape (wider at the top), and the truss rod cover is bell shaped and says “REINFORCED NECK”. They changed to the Red label at the start of 1967. In 1967 the FG-110 (folk size) was introduced, with the familiar red label. It is a “budget” version of the FG-150. In 1968 the Yamaha FG line came to America, consisting of the FG-75, FG-110, FG-140, FG-150, FG-180, FG-300 and the 12 string FG-230.
They have the familiar red Nippon Gakki label, the larger Yamaha headstock logo, and the Yamaha truss rod cover with the 3 tuning fork symbol. Although they used the bell shaped “REINFORCED NECK” truss rod cover until mid-1968, a way to visually date the earliest FG’s. The FG-140, FG-150 & FG-180 continued with the wider flared headstock shape.
The FG-75, FG-110 & FG-230 have the familiar tapered headstock shape. The FG-140 is a “budget” version of the FG-180. The FG-75 has a classical guitar size body, with rounded shoulders. It has “ladder” braced (bracing perpendicular to the strings) instead of the normal “X” bracing all modern steel string guitars have.
Probably a copy of classical guitar bracing but it is much heavier to withstand the additional string tension. The FG-110 and FG-150 are Folk size guitars, similar to Martin’s 000 size. The FG-140, FG-180, FG-230 & FG-300 are dreadnaught size (which they call “Jumbo”) guitars with a slightly different shape that is unique to Yamaha.
The FG-300 was the top of the line non-hand built guitar of that era. It has a spruce plywood top, rosewood plywood back and sides, split fretboard inlays, a fancy engraved pick guard, and a saddle with individually adjustable saddles (for intonation) and the whole assembly is adjustable for height (action). The bridge pin holes are arranged in an arc, instead of the usual straight line, although the early 70’s models made in Japan (not for export, Tan rectangular label) have the pins in a straight line.
The FG-300 is well known for its sweet tone and deep bass, making many question if it isn’t actually all solid wood. It’s widely known that Yamaha made great laminated guitars on the 60’s & 70’s. Although that is actually not true. The top, back and sides are 3 ply plywood. But many people still question that they aren’t actually solid wood, because they don’t sound like plywood guitars, especially the earliest models.
Plywood is a wooden board consisting of 2 or more layers glued and pressed together with the direction of the grain alternating, typically 90 degrees. Laminate is a wooden board (in the case of guitars) consisting of 2 or more layers glued and pressed together with the direction of the grain in the same direction. The plywood of vintage Yamaha guitars were made differently than today’s plywood. All the layers of the top are tone wood, not a cheap wood filler. The top has 3 layers, thin top and bottom plies and a thick mid ply (oriented perpendicular to the top and bottom plies), making it hard to tell that it isn’t solid wood.
If you take a close look the sound hole with a jeweler’s loupe or magnifying glass you will see it. The back and sides are also 3 plies, with the inner ply being a different wood (filler). But the outer plies are both tone wood. You can tell the sides and back aren’t solid by looking at a grain pattern or a defect on the outside and looking for the same on the inside. The inside will be different, even though it looks like solid wood.
It really is, but they were made with saw cut plies, and not today’s rotary peeled log plies. The grain of cut vs. peeled wood looks very different. Almost all commercially produced vintage Yamaha FG’s for export are plywood. This is because of the uncontrolled climate (temperature and humidity) on the ships carrying them to America. Many earlier solid wood Yamaha guitars cracked in shipping. Plywood pretty much guarantee that won’t happen. Also, the 100 series guitars were very lightly braced.
The combination of all tone wood plies and very light bracing gives them the sonic appearance of a solid wood guitar.
Hand crafted models FG-500 and FG-550 (12 string) were added in 1969. Followed by models Fg-580, FG-630 (12 string), FG-1500, FG-2000 and FG-2500 (12 string slot head) in 1971. All being Jumbo size. FG-500, FG-550, FG-580 have solid spruce tops, FG-630 is spruce plywood. All 4 of the models used Jacaranda plywood for the back and sides, which is similar to Brazilian rosewood, but actually Jacaranda is not in the rosewood family.
FG-1500, FG-2000 & FG-2500 have solid Ezo spruce tops and solid Jacaranda sides and backs. These are all very beautiful guitars! All of these models are highly respected and sought after. FG-1500, FG-2000 & FG-2500 are very rare and can sell for many thousands of dollars! The . It has been assumed the first digit is the year, but the remaining 5 digits do not fit any other dating systems. Actually, they pick up where the previous “Dynamic” series left off.
Consecutive numbers with the first Green label starting with 52XXXX, then they incremented to 600000 at the start of 1967. It is assumed all guitars (not just the FG’s) being built shared these numbers. The 6 digit serial numbers grew to 7 digits in 1969. In mid-1971 they changed the serial numbers to 8 digits, the first being the year, the next 2 the month, the next 2 the day, and the last 3 the unit number.
YMMDDUUU. The best way to date the early FG’s is to look inside. On one of the sides you should find an ink stamped , such as 45.12.28, which has the format YEAR.MONTH.DAY. The 45 refers to the 45 th year of the SHOWA emperor era (1926 – 1989), which is 1970. This is probably when the sides were made, not the date the guitar was built.
But it’s the only way to figure out when they were made, since the serial number is a sequential with no relation to date. In late 1971 most of the FG production moved from Japan to Taiwan. You will notice 2 serial numbers inside most of the Taiwan models (8 digit number on the brace under the end of the fretboard, and a 7 digit number starting with a “T” on the neck block), except for the first few months of the Taiwan Red label guitars, they only have the 7 digit number beginning with “T”.
It had been thought the dual serial numbers were because some of the parts were made in Japan but they were assembled in Taiwan. I don’t think so because the first few months they didn’t have the 8 digit number on the brace. The 8 digit number is a serial number and date when the guitar was made, YMMDDUUU. The 7 digit numbers are sequential, used by all guitars, no relation to the date. In mid-1973 they stopped using the “T”. In mid-1979 they stopped using the 7 digit number.
There were a few different Taiwan labels during the 70’s. The first is the familiar red label with the Nippon Gakki removed.
Starting in September 1972, there were 4 slightly different Tan labels, over a period of 3 years. Then a Black label, used from mid-1975 to early 1977. Then a White oval label that was used for the next couple of decades. In 1972 new models were added. FG-45 (¾ scale guitar), FG-160 (Jumbo), FG-165S (Jumbo, Sunburst), FG-170 (Folk), FG-200 (Jumbo), FG-210 (12 string slot head Jumbo), FG-280 (Jumbo), and FG-295S (Jumbo, red sunburst).
They also introduced 2 models with pickups, FG-110E (Folk) and FG-160E (Jumbo). The FG-45 is unique that is has a 21.62” scale, actually 7/8th’s of the normal 24.88” scale. It also has a 12 fret neck with no truss rod (this is the least expensive FG Yamaha made), and a classical style bridge with a thru saddle slot.
It is also X braced, although the braces are laid flat. To add to the confusion, starting in 1972 guitars made in Japan, not for export, also have a Tan label, which says Nippon Gakki. To further add to the confusion, starting in mid-1973 these non-export models have 8 or 5 digit serial numbers. The 5 digit numbers are the same as the 8 digit numbers but don’t have the 3 unit numbers on the end.
See another guide for more info. In 1975 most of the existing models numbers had -1 added to them, on a black rectangular label. The -1 is in a small font and some people don’t see it as part of the model number.
FG-45-1, FG-75-1, FG-110-1, FG-110E-1, FG-160-1, FG-160E-1, FG-165S-1, FG-170-1, FG-180-1 (3 piece back), FG-210-1, FG-280-1, and FG-295S-1. There was also another 12 string model added, FG-260 (slot head, made in Japan). They also added FG-700S (Jumbo, sunburst, made in Taiwan), a model number they reused between 2004 and 2016.
The FG-75-1 was upgraded from the FG-75’s ladder bracing to X bracing, greatly improving its tone. I’ve found a couple of rare models not listed in Yamaha’s Guitar Archive (no longer available). The FG-160-1 BK (Jumbo), I had one of only 4 references I can find. It’s an all black guitar with a white pick guard. There looks to be another label under the label.
I’m wondering if these may have been factory seconds, maybe ugly grained wood, and they just sprayed them black to be able to sell them. Another, possibly rarer model, is the FG-110-1 SBK (Folk). It is all black except for a sunburst top, with a white pick guard.
I’ve only found 3 references to this model. Another rare one is the FG-75-1 BK (I’ve only found one example), with the same black body and while pick guard like the others. In 1975 the high end FG model (FG-1000 and up) became the L series. In 1977 a new line of FG-3XX guitars was introduced. Three models with mahogany plywood back & sides (all Jumbo); FG-335, FG-335L (the first left hand model), FG-340, and FG-336SB.
And 5 models with rosewood plywood back & sides (all Jumbo); FG-345, FG-350W, FG-365S, FG-375S, and FG-351SB. The FG-350W became the new flagship model, replacing the FG-300, featuring an adjustable 1 piece saddle. The first solid top FG models were introduced carrying an “S” suffix, which previously indicated Sunburst finish (now noted as SB). Three 12-String models were also introduced (all Jumbo), the FG-312, FG-412SB (cherry sunburst), and the FG-512 (rosewood plywood back & sides).
Other models included the Classical Folk body FG-325 (obsolete in 1978) and the Folk size FG-330 and FG-331. All these guitars featured white oval labels. In 1978 a mid-range series (both Jumbo) was introduced featuring the FG-750S (solid spruce top, mahogany plywood back and sides) and the FG-770S, the first all solid wood non-hand crafted model, with a solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides.
best dating yamaha acoustic guitar models - History of the Yamaha FG
Acoustic Guitar Guides • • • • • • • • • For this 2018 updated version of this guide we short-listed 69 guitars available from major online American retailers and examined more than 9,200 rating and review sources in order to find the highest rated ones to recommend below. Note that these are acoustic guitars without electronics, if you want a guitar that's ready to plug in please see our separate guide to . Contents • • • • • • • • • • The Best Acoustic Guitars - From $100 to $2000 Epiphone says that the DR-100 has long been their top selling acoustic guitar and based on what we gleaned from our research this could well be the highest selling acoustic in its class.
For many years the DR-100 has been the choice of many as a student guitar and a low cost 'campfire' option - that's a term used to describe guitars you can take on camping trips without having to worry too much about getting it damaged as you would with an expensive guitar. Specifications • Body Shape: Dreadnought • Top: Select Spruce (laminated) • Body: Mahogany • Finish: Gloss - Natural, also comes in Ebony and Vintage Sunburst • Bridge: Rosewood • Neck: Mahogany • Neck Profile: SlimTaper • Fingerboard: Rosewood • Fingerboard Radius: Not specified • Number of Frets: 20 • Scale Length: 25.5” • Nut Width: 1.69” Customer reviews were consistent in saying that the build quality, sound quality and playability of the DR-100 are on par with guitars in the next couple of price brackets above.
Positive reviews came from students, guitar teachers, and experienced guitarists who used it for practice. There were a number of reports from people who live in dry climates that the neck dried out and warped in under a year. There were also some owners who complained about their DR-100 developing fret buzz over time.
In November 2016 we determined that this was the highest rated Dreadnought selling for under $150 and we continue to recommend it as an excellent Something a lot of musicians don’t know about Yamaha is that the company has produced musical instruments ever since its inception, and originally produced organs.
A lot of guitarists overlook Yamaha instruments because the brand has an association with its other products, but the brand has actually been producing instruments for more than 130 years. Features: • Body Shape: Dreadnought • Top: Solid Spruce • Back and Sides: Nato/Okume • Finish: Natural • Bridge: Rosewood • Neck: Nato • Neck Profile: Slim Tapered • Fingerboard: Rosewood • Fingerboard Radius: 400mm • Number of Frets: 20 • Frets to Body: 14 • Scale Length: 25 9/16” • Nut Width: 43mm For example.
The FG800 has a solid spruce top. Solid wood gives an instrument a significantly better tone than laminate. You get more volume, a better frequency representation, and the tone of your instrument will actually get better the more you play. Though Ibanez is known more for their electric guitars, the brand actually produces a lot of high quality and inventive acoustic instruments.
The perfect example of this is Ibanez’s AW54, a member of their Artwood series. The Ibanez AW54 is an all-mahogany instrument with a solid mahogany top. Mahogany is a “warm” sounding tonewood, which means that it has a stronger representation of low-end and low-mid frequencies. It’s great if you’re looking to play folk, blues, and country music. It’s also great for finger-style songs.
Features: • Body Shape: Dreadnought • Top: Solid Mahogany • Back and Sides: Laminate Mahogany • Finish: Natural • Bridge: Rosewood • Neck: Mahogany • Neck Profile: Slim (21mm at 1st Fret) • Fingerboard: Rosewood • Fingerboard Radius: 400mm • Number of Frets: 20 • Frets to Body: 14 • Scale Length: 25.629" • Nut Width: 43mm An interesting feature of this instrument is that Ibanez sells it with “Ibanez Advantage” bridge pins.
These pins are designed to make string changes easier. The “bulb” of the pin is wider, making it easier to grab. The end is also tapered, which helps hold the strings in the correct position.
The Ibanez AC240 OPN is a grand concert sized all-mahogany guitar. The grand concert size is the next size down from the dreadnought. The body style has a more pronounced mid-range and is more responsive, making it a great choice for musicians who want to focus on finger-style arrangements and lead flatpicking.
Like the Ibanez above, the AC240 OPN also has a solid mahogany top. This helps to give it warmer tone, which does an excellent job of balancing the brighter tone of a Grand Concert style body. Features: • Body Shape: Grand Concert • Top: Solid Mahogany • Back and Sides: Laminated Mahogany • Finish: Natural • Bridge: Rosewood • Neck: Mahogany • Neck Profile: Slim (21mm at 1F) • Fingerboard: Rosewood • Fingerboard Radius: 400mm • Number of Frets: 20 • Frets to Body: 14 • Scale Length: 24.96" • Nut Width: 45mm An interesting feature of this guitar is that it has an open finish, meaning that the pores of the wood are exposed to the air.
In practice, it’s not objective what impact (if any) this has on the tone. However, it definitely doesn’t hurt the guitar in any way. The Yamaha FG830 is a very similar instrument to the FG800, with the most important difference being that the FG830 comes with rosewood back and sides. Rosewood is more “focused” than mahogany, so the guitar has a stronger mid-range and high-end punch. This lets you be heard better over other instruments. However, musicians who prefer Americana music (not including bluegrass) or solo arrangements may prefer a mahogany guitar because of their warmer voicing.
Features: • Body Shape: Dreadnought • Top: Solid Spruce • Back and Sides: Laminated Rosewood • Finish: Natural, Tobacco Sunburst, Autumn Burst • Bridge: Rosewood • Neck: Nato • Neck Profile: Slim Tapered • Fingerboard: Rosewood • Fingerboard Radius: 400mm • Number of Frets: 20 • Frets to Body: 14 • Scale Length: 25” • Nut Width: 43mm Beyond that, there isn’t a lot that separates these two instruments.
The FG830 is more expensive than the FG800, but if you’re looking to play in a band the extra expense may be worth it. However, the difference isn’t big enough to justify the extra cost unless you’re either planning on playing with others or looking for a rosewood voiced instrument. Takamine’s GD20 is the first cedar topped guitar to grace this list.
Cedar, commonly used in classical guitars, is a very warm sounding tonewood. Most Takamine guitars have a brighter voice than comparatively priced guitars, so the combination of the cedar top and Takamine’s general voicing leads to a really well balanced and versatile instrument.
Features: • Body Shape: Dreadnought • Top: Solid Cedar • Back and Sides: Laminated Mahogany • Finish: Natural • Bridge: Rosewood • Neck: Mahogany • Neck Profile: Slim • Fingerboard: Ovangkol • Fingerboard Radius: 12” • Number of Frets: 20 • Frets to Body: 14 • Scale Length: 25.3” • Nut Width: 42.8mm And interesting feature of this guitar is the saddle, which comes in two pieces.
Because of this, the positions of the strings can be more finely tune. This likely helps with the instrument’s intonation, which is definitely going to come in handy if you’re looking to play more intricate passages on the upper frets of the guitar. The Seagull S6 Original Sim is a (relatively) thin bodied dreadnought with a solid cedar top.
The body is thinner than your standard dreadnought, but not to the point where there’s a dramatic drop-off in volume or bass frequencies. The thinner body can make the guitar more comfortable for players of smaller stature, children especially.
Features: • Body Shape: Dreadnought • Top: Solid Cedar • Back and Sides: Laminated Wild Cherry • Finish: Natural • Bridge: Rosewood • Neck: Silver Leaf Maple • Neck Profile: Standard Seagull • Fingerboard: Rosewood • Fingerboard Radius: 16" • Number of Frets: 21 • Frets to Body: 14 • Scale Length: 25.5 • Nut Width: 43.69 Something to know about Seagull guitars is that they have a pretty wide nut width as a standard rule, with their “thin” necks being more inline with most acoustic guitars players will be familiar with.
This makes the guitar great for fingerstyle arrangements, jazz and early folk especially. The Loar LH-200 is a small bodied guitar. The best thing about small bodied guitars is how responsive they are to fingerpicking, making them a great choice for any fingerstyle arrangement (with the exception of classical music). However, the responsiveness of small bodied guitars does come with a tradeoff.
Small bodied guitars generally don’t sound as good when flatpicked because they lack the tonal depth of a dreadnought guitar or larger instrument. If you’re looking for a guitar to handle both flatpicking and fingerpicking equally well (though not as well as a guitar specifically geared towards a style of playing) check out an OM body style. Features: • Body Shape: 00/000 • Top: Solid Spruce • Back and Sides: Laminated Mahogany • Finish: Vintage Sunburst/Natural • Bridge: Paduak • Neck: Mahogany • Neck Profile: Not Stated • Fingerboard: Padauk • Fingerboard Radius: Not Stated • Number of Frets:19 • Frets to Body: 14 • Scale Length: 25.5” • Nut Width: 43mm Another cool feature of the Loar LH-200 is how well it captures that early pre-war blues tone.
Most modern guitars are voiced a bit too brightly to really capture that tone, but the LH-200 is the exception to this trend. The Taylor Big Baby line is a series of guitars aimed at musicians on the go. Because of this, all of the guitars in this line are smaller than your standard dreadnought.
The Big Baby BBT is a 15/16 size dreadnought, which means it’s slightly smaller than a standard sized guitar. It’s a bit more portable, but it’s not going to be a world of difference. Features: • Body Shape: Dreadnought (15/16 size) • Top: Solid Sitka Spruce • Back and Sides: Laminated Sapele • Finish: Natural • Bridge: African Ebony • Neck: Sapele • Neck Profile: Taylor Big Baby Profile • Fingerboard: Ebony • Fingerboard Radius: Not Stated • Number of Frets: 20 • Frets to Body: 14 • Scale Length: 25 ½” • Nut Width: 42.8mm Another cool feature of this guitar is that it actually uses Sapele instead of mahogany.
Sapele has a lot of the same characteristics of mahogany, including the overall warm voicing as well as the strong mid-range presence. The main difference is that Sapele has a stronger high-end response than mahogany and slightly more complex overtones. However, the difference between these two tonewoods is subtle. Note: Sapele is sometimes referred to as mahogany…because it is mahogany. However, it’s a separate species of the wood from the more widely used Honduran mahogany.
That’s why in the video the guitar is referred to as having mahogany back and sides. Blueridge’s BR-140 is a Martin-styled dreadnought. The BR-140 is arguably the closest you’re going to get to that pre-War Martin tone while still keeping your budget under $1000.
Because of this, it’s a great deal if you’re looking for a Bluegrass guitar especially. However, the BR-140 is also at home with singer-songwriter work and vintage finger-style arrangements as well.
Features: • Body Shape: Dreadnought • Top: Solid Sitka Spruce • Back and Sides: Solid Honduras Mahogany • Finish: Natural • Bridge: Rosewood • Neck: Mahogany • Neck Profile: Slim • Fingerboard: Rosewood • Fingerboard Radius: Not Stated • Number of Frets: 20 • Frets to Body: 14 • Scale Length: 25.6” • Nut Width: 43mm The best thing about this guitar is that it’s actually made from all-solid woods.
The tone you get from this instrument is going to be significantly better than the tone you’ll get from a laminated instrument, making the extra investment worth it if you’re serious about getting a great tone. Also, the tone of the instrument will actually get better the more you play it. Seagull’s Maritime SWS SG is an all-solid dreadnought, made with a solid Sitka spruce top and mahogany back and sides.
Like the other Seagull guitars on this list, the Maritime features all of the innovative features expected from the brand. However, the most important thing to know about this guitar is that it combines Seagull’s build quality with traditional materials. Because the guitar is a pairing of spruce and mahogany you’re going to get a more traditional dreadnought tone with the tuning stability and projection that results from the Seagull line’s features.
Features: • Body Shape: Dreadnought • Top: Solid Sitka Spruce • Back and Sides: Solid Mahogany • Finish: Natural • Bridge: Rosewood • Neck: Mahogany • Neck Profile: Soft C • Fingerboard: Rosewood • Fingerboard Radius: Not Stated • Number of Frets: 21 • Frets to Body: 14 • Scale Length: 25.5” • Nut Width: 45.72mm Lastly, keep in mind that like other Seagull guitars the Maritime SWS SG also has a slightly wider nut width than what you may be accustomed to. It’s not a huge difference, but it’s big enough that there may be an adjustment period.
Martin is a household name when it comes to acoustic guitars, and for good reason. The brand has is one of the most revered and long lived producers of musical instruments, and their instruments have been the weapon of choice for guitarists across a ton of different genres and decades. Features: • Body Shape: 000 • Top: Solid Mahogany • Back and Sides: Solid Mahogany • Finish: Natural • Bridge: Rosewood • Neck: Mahogany • Neck Profile: Modified Low Oval / Standard Taper • Fingerboard: Rosewood • Saddle Radius: 16" • Number of Frets: 20 • Frets to Body: 14 • Scale Length: 25.4” • Nut Width: 43mm The 000-15 is an all-mahogany 000 body.
The 000 body gives the guitar a balance voice, equally at home with fast lead lines as it is with mellow and refined fingerstyle work. Because of the mahogany construction, the guitar has a very warm voicing with a strong mid-range presence. This gives the guitar a woody tone, reminiscent of early Americana music. Martin’s D-15M is a solid all-mahogany dreadnought. This guitar has a very strong rhythmic presence, thanks to the warmth and bold mid-range that you get with mahogany.
Because of the dreadnought sized body, the guitar also has volume to spare. Features: • Body Shape: Dreadnought • Top: Solid Mahogany • Back and Sides: Solid Mahogany • Finish: Natural • Bridge: Rosewood • Neck: Mahogany • Neck Profile: Modified Low Oval, Standard Taper • Fingerboard: Rosewood • Saddle Radius: 16" • Number of Frets: 20 • Frets to Body: 14 • Scale Length: 25.4” • Nut Width: 43mm An interesting feature of this guitar is that combines the standard Martin voicing (think Bluegrass) with the warmth of mahogany.
This gives the guitar a surprisingly balanced voice, and a perfect Americana tone. It’s a fantastic rhythm instrument, but it’s also great as for fingerstyle work.
Though, because this is a dreadnought it will be a bit harder to get a lot of volume out of the guitar without using finger picks and a thumb pick.
The Grand Auditorium is Taylor’s signature body style, and was actually introduced by Bob Taylor (this happened in 1994). The body style is incredibly versatile, featuring a strong low-end response, punchy mids, and a sparkling high-end. This body style is great if you’re looking for a quality guitar that can cover a ton of different styles of music. The guitar is responsive enough for light and intricate fingerstyle work, yet loud enough to work well as a primary rhythm instrument in an ensemble or band.
Features: • Body Shape: Grand Auditorium • Top: Solid Spruce • Back and Sides: Solid Sapele • Finish: Natural • Bridge: Ebony • Neck: Mahogany • Neck Profile: Not Stated • Fingerboard: Ebony • Fingerboard Radius: Not Stated • Number of Frets: 20 • Frets to Body: 14 • Scale Length: 25.5” • Nut Width: 1.75" Like the other Taylor guitar featured on this list, the 314 also comes with Sapele back and sides.
In this case, the Sapele gives the 314 an almost piano like voicing. The guitar is full of complex and rich overtones, and retains them regardless of the genre/style played. Tips for Acoustic Guitar Buyers • Woods Most guitarists and guitar makers have traditionally been of the opinion that all-solid wood guitars offer the best performance because solid woods carry sound and resonate better than laminated woods or other composite materials.
On the other hand, brands such as Ovation, and to a lesser extent Rainsong, have had a great deal of commercial success with acoustic guitars that use non-wood composite materials in a large part of their construction. Due to environmental considerations, many high-end manufacturers are now including composite woods in places like the fretboard or even sometimes on the top of the guitar where they would have previously used a solid wood. Based on many expert reviews and comparisons it would appear that the high end brands are now doing this quite successfully in terms of the quality and effectiveness of the finished product.
The most important place to have solid wood is on the top of the guitar as this typically has the most influence on projection and sustain, but this tends to cost more than having a laminate top.
Here are some of the most commonly used tonewoods: • Spruce One of the most popular tonewoods for the top of an acoustic guitar and is generally considered to have an 'all round' tone without being overly bright, warm or bassy. Spruce tends to go well with most other types of wood that may be used on the rest of the guitar. • Cedar This is a less dense wood than Spruce so it tends to have less sustain and projection while sounding warmer. It's often found on guitars that are designed for fingerstyle players.
• Mahogany Mahogany is a dense wood that lends itself to a warm tone that projects very well. It was traditionally used mainly on the back and sides of a guitar, however in the last few years it has become a very popular wood used to build an entire guitar - in fact many all-mahogany guitars are now rated more highly than their traditional counterparts as you'll see in the list of guitars below. • Sapele Sapele is becoming a popular choice these days.
It's a bit denser than Mahogany and produces a slightly brighter sound. Taylor say it adds "top end shimmer" to the guitars they use it on. • Maple This is a very hard and dense wood and is most often used on the back and sides but you will occasionally find it used as a top wood.
It has great projection but tends to emphasize the mid frequencies too much for many people's taste as a top wood. • Koa Also known as Hawaiian Koa because it's a native Hawaiian species. It's a dense hardwood which emphasizes the mid to high overtones and as it ages it tends to 'open up' adding warmth to the mid range.
It's mainly found on high-end guitars due to its high cost. • Rosewood Rosewood offers a lot of warmth and complex overtones It's usually found on the back and sides or fingerboard and is said to 'round out' the overall tone of Spruce topped guitars. It's also an expensive tonewood so you tend to find it used sparingly on less expensive models. Although specific woods have their characteristics much also depends on how they're used in building a guitar - if you'd like to dive deeper into this topic then you might like to read a luthier's opinion: .
• Shape and Size Generally smaller bodies such as Concert guitars will emphasize the higher treble frequencies and are often preferred by fingerstyle players. At the other end of the spectrum Jumbo body guitars resonate the lower bass frequencies much better and are preferred by those who play a loud strumming style.
In between you have the Grand Auditorium which combines the tonal characteristics of small and large bodied guitars. The most popular shape these days is the Dreadnought which is nice and loud and produces a good balance of high and low frequencies with enough note definition for playing melodies with a pick. Many acoustic-electrics feature a cutaway to provide easy access to the high frets which have sufficient volume when amplified.
• Action / String Height Guitars with a low action allow for faster runs and the use of playing techniques such as tapping on the fretboard and hammering on/off.
Beginners and those transitioning from electric guitars generally find a lower action easier to play. A higher action on the other hand lends itself a bit better to loud strumming styles of play where fret buzz would be a concern if the action was too low.
Unfortunately guitar manufacturers typically don't provide string height as one of their specifications and the actual height tends to vary between individual guitars and batches so if you don't like the setup your guitar has when it arrives you either have to get a guitar technician to adjust it for you, or do it yourself.
For advice on setting up your guitar see . • Nut Width The nut width essentially describes how far apart the strings are spaced. A larger nut width will suit players who are used to it, for example anyone transitioning from classical style guitars, or those who have larger fingers.
If your background is mostly with electric guitar then you'll feel more conformable playing an acoustic with a smaller nut width. • Scale Length This is essentially the distance measured between the saddle and the nut, or more accurately described as double the distance from the nut to the 12th fret plus some "compensation" added by the position of the saddle.
A longer scale length requires higher tension in the strings and results in a brighter tone. A more detailed explanation with examples is presented quite well by and a good description of the implications of different scale lengths can be found at • Strap Buttons It's important to note that some manufacturers don't provide strap buttons, or they don't provide one on the neck side of the guitar.
If you want to play using a guitar strap then take a good look at the pictures to see if you need to buy strap buttons along with your guitar. They're easy to install and fairly inexpensive. Best Acoustic Guitar Selection Methodology We performed a new extensive survey of the acoustic guitar landscape completed in January 2018 resulting in 69 acoustic guitars being placed on our short list. We gathered information from over 9,200 review and rating sources which we also processed with the Gearank Algorithm to produce the scores out of 100 you see above and selected the highest rated options within each price bracket to recommend.
We only included 6-string, steel string acoustic guitars that are generally full-sized instruments for their type and only ones that are widely available from online music equipment retailers in the USA. The types of acoustic guitars not included here are: , , and . For more information about our methods see . As a result of the January 2018 update of this guide the following guitars were removed from our recommended list above, either because there were more highly rated options to recommend in the case of acoustic guitars which hadn't been discontinued, or because they were acoustic-electric guitars which we are no longer featuring in this guide: • • • • • • • • • • •
This page is sponsored by so you can click through to get the full specifications, the latest price, and purchase any of the Acoustic Guitars stocked by Sweetwater that we have recommended. The brands and individual guitars that we have selected are based on a combination of our joint 80+ years of experience and the ratings and feedback from people who have bought them.
The leading brands are dominated by Martin and Gibson/Epiphone as you might expect, and there's not a lot of change this year in terms of brands expect that Seagull has earned their way back into this list at the expense of Fender - we had to make the cut somewhere.
Although the list of brands we recommend hasn't changed much this year, we have selected different models so even if you're familiar with this guide, have another read through. There are a number of boutique brands that you could make a strong argument for, however in order to make our recommendations as useful as possible we have decided only to include those brands that are widely available at major music stores - both online and brick and mortar shops.
What to consider when buying an Acoustic Guitar • Woods The more solid wood there is, the better the overall resonance, sustain and tone of the acoustic guitar. Solid wood, specially those used on the tops of acoustics, also resonate better as it ages.
The downside to solid wood is mainly its more premium cost, and not to mention it uses more wood resources than laminate wood. Solid wood is also more prone to damage, so they require extra care especially from changing weather and humidity. Laminate woods are more affordable, and they are also more sturdy and resistant to damage.
On the flip side, they will lack the resonance and sustain of solid wood, but this can be a good thing if you're looking for vintage mid-range focused tone. In addition to choosing between laminate and solid wood, you also have to consider the type of the tonewood. Of particular importance is the choice of top wood, because it greatly affects the resulting sound. Spruce is popularly used for the tops of acoustics because of its punchy and bright tone. Mahogany tops on the other hand is preferred for its warm tone, with more emphasis on the lower mid frequencies.
There are other types of wood that fall between the two, each one bringing a subtly different flavor to the resulting sound. • Neck / Nut Width Playing feel is an important consideration that many seem to neglect. You have to pay close attention to the scale length and nut width and neck profile, to make sure that the neck feels comfortable. Scale length describes the length that string has to be stretched on, from the nut to the bridge. Generally speaking, shorter scale length means softer string tension, making the instrument easier to play.
Longer scale length allows for more fret space and more string tension which translates to more sustain. Shorter scale length is advisable for beginners, while experienced players ought to look for guitars with similar scale lengths so the playing feel stays the same even when switching between instruments.
Nut width measures how wide the nut is, smaller means easier to play for players with smaller fingers, while wider nut widths allow for more space between each string.
Finally, neck profile is the shape or curvature of the back of the neck, and the type of profile you want will depend on your preference, be it vintage style U profile with its fatter neck, or the more modern slim profiles. • Brands The top brands like the ones listed here typically have more reliable build quality than lesser brands.
While there are boutique built acoustic guitars that deserve a spot on this list in terms of quality, we chose to focus on more accessible instruments that anybody can buy and play in the soonest possible time. • Price We've broken this list into 3 price brackets: • • • The Best Acoustic Guitars Under $500 Firstly we'll look at a few of the best entry level guitars for beginners.
These are affordable instruments that offer great value for your money in terms of specs, reliability and sound - thanks to stiff market competition.
You will find that there are many nice acoustics in this segment, some even sporting solid tops and built-in electronics. Epiphone DR-100 This is Epiphone's best selling affordable acoustic guitar and many a young musician has had this as their first ever instrument.
Yamaha JR1 The Yamaha JR1 is a student-friendly 3/4 size acoustic guitar that's been getting good recommendations and high review ratings. Washburn WD7S The Washburn WD7S comes with solid spruce top and traditional looks that seem far more expensive than its actual price!. Ibanez AW54 OPN An affordable acoustic guitar with solid mahogany top, and the ease of playability expected from Ibanez.
Seagull Guitars S6 This Canada made solid cedar top acoustic guitar combines exceptional build quality, playability and aesthetics at a very reasonable price point.
LX1E Little Martin A small travel size solid top acoustic guitar from big name acoustic guitar manufacturer Martin Guitars, put to big stage use by singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran. Epiphone Hummingbird Pro A true standout and instantly recognizable acoustic guitar with impressive cosmetic appointments, satisfactory specs and built-in electronics. The Best Acoustic Guitars Under $1000 This is where you will find the best bang per buck acoustic guitars listed, workhorse instruments that are highly rated and proven road-worthy by many guitar players.
Whether you are an experienced weekend open-mic warrior or you are just starting get your music out there, this section is for you. Guild Westerly Collection D-120 A reasonably priced and elegant looking dreadnought that churns out warm acoustic tones courtesy of its all-solid African mahogany body. Taylor 110ce The 110ce is a true full-sized Taylor guitar that you can get at a more accessible price point, while having the same open and versatile tone.
Martin DRS2 The DRS2 with its solid spruce top and solid sapele back and sides, lets you have an all-solid wood body Martin acoustic guitar in the sub $1000 price range. Cordoba GK Studio In a list of full of steel-string guitars, the nylon-string Flamenco-style acoustic-electric Cordoba GK Studio provides a refreshing alternative.
Yamaha LL16 ARE The all-solid wood Yamaha LL16 guitar gives you high-end all-solid wood specifications and old school aesthetics at a more accessible price point. Premium Acoustic Guitars While you certainly can make do with more affordable alternatives, there really is no replacing the pride and joy that you can get from experiencing and owning premium acoustic guitars.
This section features the best acoustic guitars in the high-end market, drool worthy instruments that can be yours with (a whole lot of) hard work. Takamine P3NY "New Yorker" The all solid wood Takamine P3NY "New Yorker" parlor style guitar shows big name brands how premium guitars can be built without jacking up the price. Martin OM-28 E Retro The Martin OM-28 is the definitive orchestra shape acoustic guitar, featuring true to form all-solid wood specs and aesthetics.
Gibson Acoustic J-15 The Gibson Acoustic J-15 is a true workhorse acoustic that features old school looks, handcrafted build quality and premium sound. Gibson L-00 Standard Own a piece of history with this modern reproduction of the '30s era parlor guitar, the Gibson L-00 Standard Martin D-28 A true American dreadnought that descended from vintage D-28 guitars, which are considered by many to be among Martin's best production line instruments. Martin 00-42SC John Mayer If Bill Gates offered to buy you the best acoustic guitar for your birthday...
check this one out! Detailed Reviews: Epiphone DR-100 Manufacturer: | Because of stiff competition in today's low-end market, guitar companies are constantly trying to outclass each other by improving the quality and value for money of their instruments.
One brand that consistently tops in terms of sales and feedback is Epiphone, a sub-brand of Gibson that specializes in quality mass produced guitars.
The DR-100 is a great example of their impressive ability to balance quality and affordability, garnering nearly perfect positive feedback for its build quality and sound.
This cheap acoustic guitar is highly recommended for beginners on a budget. It continues to stand among the best selling acoustics, and many a young musician has had this as their first ever guitar. It features a familiar combination of spruce top, mahogany body and neck, and rosewood fretboard. The guitar's classic configuration and traditional dreadnought shape works well with almost any type of music, from folk to rock and everything else in between.
Unfortunately this guitar does not come with a solid top, but for its price you really can't expect much. Still, it is much better than what guitarists of old had to start out with! If you are looking for a beginner's guitar to test the water or if budget is limited, then you should check out the Epiphone DR-100.
It currently comes in 3 colors - Ebony, Natural, and Vintage Sunburst (my personal favorite among the three). The MSRP is 182.00 but most online guitar shops sell it for $109. Yamaha JR1 Manufacturer: | Yamaha continues to rank highly in the entry to mid-tier guitar market, thanks to their student friendly instruments. I for one took classical guitar lessons with a Yamaha classical that still plays and sound great up to this day.
As expected, they have an entry in this affordable price range category, in the form of the 3/4 size JR1, which is essentially a smaller version of Yamaha's popular FG acoustic guitar. This guitar is truly a practice friendly instrument, with its smaller body and shorter scale length of 21.25", this acoustic is definitely easy on the hands.
The neck profile is specially beginner friendly, great for first timers who are looking to learn the instrument. The parlor style body makes it easy to handle and carry around, ideal for young players and students of the instrument who travel. The downside to having this smaller body design is the lack of low-end, but it does make up with articulation and comfort.
This guitar continues to rake in good reviews and recommendations, even from experienced players who are looking for a compact couch guitar. This says much about its build-quality, tone and production consistency. If you are just starting out and you are not sure what to get, or you're simply looking for an affordable grab-and-go guitar, then checkout the Yamaha JR1. Washburn WD7S Manufacturer: | Washburn is known for producing great value guitars, and they take their reputation seriously.
While other guitar builders tend to compromise cosmetics, this company does not hold back on visual details even in the entry-level market. The WD7S shows the company's design philosophy in action, featuring elegant body binding and custom wood inlaid rosette that makes the guitar look far more expensive than its actual price. And its not just about the looks, because this affordable guitar comes with a solid spruce top with mahogany back and sides.
This means that you are getting a mid-tier instrument for the price of an entry level guitar, a beginner guitar that will grow with you as your ears become sharper and you learn to play better. Because of its conventional build, this acoustic has a warm and balanced tone that can sound bland to some, but it should make for a great starting point for those who are still discovering their own musical voice. The playability and feel of this acoustic does not stray from classic dreadnoughts, having a scale length of 25.5" and nut width of 1.69".
The WD7S is great bang per buck guitar, and it is my personal favorite in this price point. They really do mean it when they say that "Budget doesn't have to mean boring". Ibanez AW54 Manufacturer: | The Ibanez Artwood AW54 is easily the best bang-per-buck all-mahogany-body dreadnought in the market, for the price you are getting an acoustic with solid mahogany top, back and sides. I am definitely envious of students who have this as their first guitar, with its impressive specs and genuine vintage appeal.
And it's not just for newbies, because experienced players appreciate the articulation and warm tones of this all-solid mahogany body guitar. The AW54 showcases Ibanez' ability to mass produce quality acoustics for cheap, it's impressive how they are able to use premium specs like solid tonewoods and at the same time maintain the quality of each instrument they produce in this price range.
This guitar has a mahogany neck topped by a 20-fret rosewood fingerboard. It has a scale length of 25.62", while the nut width is 1.69". Since the AW54 is from Ibanez, you can expect the neck profile, string action and overall playability to be comfortable and beginner friendly. Wrapping up this affordable guitar's premium-like specs is its Open Pore Natural finish, which gives the instrument an earthy appeal that's easy on the eyes.
Seagull S6 Original Manufacturer: | Retail Price:$399 Seagull Guitars is a sub-brand of Godin that utilizes their modern design and production capabilities in building classic looking instruments. The S6 Original exemplifies what the company can do, combining Godin's build quality and attention to details with old school aesthetics and playability, and it does all of this while retaining a very reasonable price tag.
Everything about the shape and feel of the S6 Original is meant to be as close to familiar acoustic guitars as possible, including its playability, which is brought about by its 25.5" scale length, 1.8" nut width and 16" fingerboard radius. Tone wise, you're getting a crisp yet warm tone thanks to its pressure-tested solid cedar top, which also adds to the overall earthy appeal of the instrument.
My main complaint for ths guitar is that you'll have to pay a bit more to get its stage-friendly acoustic-electric version, with built-in electronics. Other than that, this is an incredible acoustic guitar to have, be it for intimate performances or for fun jams with friends.
LX1E Little Martin Manufacturer: | Small guitars were often looked at as mere travel or couch alternatives, but times have changed and they are making a comeback on big stages. The LX1E Little Martin is at the forefront of this rekindled interest, with artists like Ed Sheeran impressing big crowds with just his humble and small LX1E.
Thankfully, its price has remained stable despite the its current worldwide recognition. Coming from Martin's Travel Series, the LX1E Little Martin has smaller proportions, with a total length of 34", body width of 12", shorter scale length of 23" and 1 11/16" nut width.
While it can be a bit too small for some, it is easy to appreciate its impressive workmanship, bearing the same build quality and materials as found on their more expensive models. With the LX1E, you can own an affordable Martin guitar that has been proven to be a true workhorse instrument. The guitar features hand-rubbed solid Sitka Spruce top supported by Martin's incredibly reliable mahogany HPL (high pressure laminate) back and sides, essentially similar to the configuration found on many of Martin's mid-priced acoustics.
If you're looking for an affordable starting instrument that has big-brand backing, or you are looking to get into the trend, check out the LX1E Little Martin. Martin also make a as well, but it's a lot more expensive selling for over $3,000. Epiphone Hummingbird Pro Manufacturer: | The Epiphone brand scores another spot in this list with the Hummingbird Pro, a stylized take on the popular dreadnought shape.
This guitar is the affordable version of the original Gibson Hummingbird, as seen in the hands of big name artists like Keith Richards, Noel Gallagher, Sheryl Crow and many more.
It is a modern and more cost effective take on the guitar that Keith used on many of The Rolling Stones' popular tracks, including "Play with Fire" and "Satisfaction".
The Hummingbird Pro's unique look breaks the typical monotonous appearance of conventional acoustics, and it does so without straying too far from the familiar. It is easily identifiable by its uniquely shaped ornate pickguard, which matches the guitar's faded cherry sunburst finish.
Whether you are on stage or just jamming with friends, you can be sure that this acoustic will stand out. And its not just all about the looks, because this guitar comes with impressive specs for its price point. It has a solid spruce top, mahogany back & sides, rosewood fretboard and built-in electronics, all of which meet Epiphone's quality standards.
It would have been nicer if an all-solid body version was available, but I guess it would be a problem for the premium Gibson version. Playability is also one of this acoustics strong points, following traditional specs that include 25.5" scale length and 1.68" nut width. If you're looking for an affordable workhorse guitar that will give you "satisfaction", then check out the Hummingbird Pro.
Guild Westerly Collection D-120 Manufacturer: | First established in 1952, Guild has a long history of building guitars, and they draw from this experience with every guitar they produce. The company was previously acquired by Fender, and was sold to Cordoba back in 2014 - and they have since been making a steady comeback in the market. The Westerly Collection D-120 is a great example of what keeps the Guild brand alive - having impressive specs at accessible price points with Guild's characteristic old school appeal.
The D-120's all-mahogany body strays from conventional spruce top design, which results in a warmer and more articulate tone.
This particular tone is ideal for guitarists who sing, and for those who accompany vocals, it also blends well with conventional spruce top acoustic guitars, easily cutting through the mix with its lower-mids emphasized voicing.
And since the body is crafted from solid mahogany, you can be sure that the instrument grows with you, sounding better with age. The neck is also crafted from mahogany, topped by a 20-fret rosewood fingerboard with a standard scale length of 25.5" and a nut width of 1.75".
In contrast to its vintage looks, the neck follows a slim "C" profile that is as easy on the hands as it is on the ears. Finally, this guitar is wrapped in a nice gloss cherry red finish that stands out easily on any stage. Check this one out if you're looking for a quality mahogany body acoustic guitar with an old school vibe. Taylor 110ce Manufacturer: | Taylor's rise to fame has been relatively quick, thanks to their combination of impressive build quality and tone.
Their diverse list of celebrity endorsers also helped, which include artists from different musical styles like Tony Iommi, Jason Mraz and Taylor Swift. Founded in 1974, the company has grown to be a major competitor in the acoustic guitar market, challenging older and well established brands in many price points. The Taylor 110ce is one of their more popular models, a mid-priced acoustic with solid spruce top that makes for a great entry point for intermediate players who want a "branded" workhorse acoustic.
Since this guitar is from Taylor it benefits from the company's quality consistency, which applies to all their instruments regardless of price points. While aesthetics and materials are more affordable, it gets the same level of attention to detail and quality as the more premium models.
This gives budget limited players the chance to have a true Taylor acoustic that plays like a "dream", and not a watered down version that plays and feels different. The 110ce features a dreadnought body with modern cutaway that produces Taylor's signature open midrange and clear treble tone, it works really well with various styles of music. And since it comes with their ES2 under-saddle transducer system, this guitar is ready for the stage or for recording. While it may not be as affordable as we want it to be, the Taylor 110ce more than makes up with its quality and reliability.
Mark your entry into the real world with this highly recommended acoustic-electric. Martin DRS2 Manufacturer: | There's just no getting around the Martin brand when there's talk about good acoustics. And since we're talking about the best of them, it's not surprising to find their name filling up multiple slots in this list.
The Martin DRS2 acoustic guitar is special because it gives us a true all-solid wood body Martin acoustic guitar - at a very reasonable price point, in the dreadnought shape that the company themselves developed.
As mentioned above, the Martin DSR2 comes with an all-solid wood body, with traditional solid spruce as its top. In conjunction with the solid sapele back and sides, this configuration produces premium level Martin dreadnought tones, albeit with stripped down aesthetics. The neck is as familiar as it gets, with its 1.75" nut width and 25.4" scale length. The Martin DSR2 also comes equipped with built-in Fishman Sonitone electronics, which features discrete soundhole mounted controls, allowing for stage-ready performance without having to drill excessive holes on the side of the body.
With its continuesly high rating and incredible value for money, the Martin DSR2 should be at the top of your list when you're looking for an acoustic-electric guitar in this price range. Cordoba GK Studio Manufacturer: | Cordoba is a fast growing guitar builder that specializes in nylon string acoustic instruments, played by artists like the Gypsy Kings and Bon Iver just to name a few.
And with their ever increasing reputation, we find it only fitting to give them a spot on this list, specifically for the impressive quality and tone of the GK Studio. This nylong string guitar incidentally provides a refreshing break from the many steel-string acoustics that are featured here.
The GK Studio mixes traditional flamenco construction techniques, a comfortable body shape and modern Fishman electronics, resulting in an easy to play nylon-string guitar that can be plugged in for stage use. My main concern about this guitar is its slightly thinner body depth, neck and nutwidth(1.96"), but these are calculated tweaks that should make this classical guitar play and feel more akin to conventional steel-string acoustics.
Tone wise, flamenco players appreciate the snappy and bright tone that this guitar reproduces, while acoustic guitarists find the playability and feel to be easy to transition to. Whether you want to focus on classical flamenco style, or you are merely looking to the sound of nylon string guitars into your collection, the GK Studio will not disappoint.
The combination of its solid European spruce top and Cypress back and sides is a treat to look at and great to listen to. You can visit for the complete specifications. You can also see two more Cordobas in our . Yamaha LL16 Manufacturer: | There was a time when Yamaha were thought of as just a guitar maker for students and beginners - but those days are long gone and Yamaha now produce quality acoustics that compete favorably with the best in this category.
The LL16 is a great example, with it's all-solid wood body and built in pickups with preamp, this is a true workhorse instrument. Having premium level specs at mid-tier pricing is like a dream come true, the main reason why we consider the LL16 as the best value for money acoustic in this section.
The Yamaha LL16 gives you high-end features for a lot less money, starting off with its solid Engelmann spruce top and solid rosewood back and sides. This all solid body results in richer and more detailed acoustic tone, something that you will have to pay top dollars for from other acoustic brands. It also sports a slightly smaller body that gives it an elegant appeal, adding to its already favorable affordable price and top-tier specs.
Being a true pro-level instrument, the Yamaha LL16 comes with a jumbo body shape and built-in S.R.T Zero impact electronics. Playability remains beginner friendly, with a low action setup that new players will easily master. And since it comes with an all-solid wood body, this guitar will only sound better and better as it ages.
If you are looking for a more long term instrument at the sub $1000 level, check out the Yamaha LS16. Takamine P3NY "New Yorker" Manufacturer: | The Takamine brand helps prevent big brand manufacturers from setting their prices too high - by showing them that great guitars can be produced at reasonable prices.
On top of their bang per buck reputation, Takamine is considered as the pioneer of installing built-in pickups into acoustics, something that is now a common configuration offered by majority of guitar builders.
The Takamine P3NY showcases how impressive tonewoods and electronics can be implemented without ridiculously jacking up the price. This acoustic-electric parlor style guitar features a solid cedar top and solid sapele back and sides, premium appointments that other builders will require you to pay top dollars for. And it features old school parlor style body shape, which gives the instrument a vintage appeal, and blues box style tone with emphasis on the middle frequencies.
This makes it ideal for blues, folk and old school comping, a good contrast to regular sized acoustics in a mix. Another strong point of this guitar is its African mahogany neck that has a close to standard scale length of 25.3", making this instrument very easy to transition to when coming from regular sized guitars.
Also noteworthy is its innovative split bone saddle, which allows for better intonation. Finally, the CT4B preamp gives you 3-band EQ, a volume control and a nifty built-in tuner Artists that play Takamine guitars include John Scofield, Bruce Springsteen and Bruno Mars!
This is a great buy if you are looking for a premium couch & travel friendly acoustic guitar that does not cost an arm and a leg. Martin OM-28 E Retro Manufacturer: | The Orchestra Model (OM) shape, with its sleek look and versatile acoustic voice, is one of C.F. Martin & Co's most popular guitar shapes. A number of iconic guitarists prefer this particular line, including legends like Eric Clapton and his protégé, John Mayer.
I for one own an all-solid wood Martin OMCPA4, and it continues to exceed my expectations. While I have no regrets over my guitar, I have to admit that if I had the funds, I would have gone for the definitive Orchestra Model, the OM-28 E Retro. The OM-28 E Retro is one of the more recent guitars to come from Martin's OM line, and it is the consummate '30s era style acoustic guitar. The company took their time to carefully replicate vintage OM-28 guitars, from the aged solid sitka spruce top and solid East Indian Rosewood back & sides, down to the smallest appointments - resulting in a guitar that not only sounds amazing, but looks museum-level amazing as well.
This guitar follows traditional Martin specs with a 25.4" scale length and a 1.75" nut width, and they also gave the neck and ebony fretboard a worn-in feel that makes the guitar play extremely well right out of the case that it comes with.
On top of its true to form vintage sound, playability and looks, the OM-28 E Retro is equipped with the extremely versatile Fishman F1 Aura Plus, which offers three acoustic voicings modeled from actual Martin Museum guitars. If you play various musical styles and you're looking for a be-all and end-all acoustic guitar, you will be blown away by the OM-28 E Retro. Gibson Acoustic J-15 Manufacturer: | Gibson is easily one of the most identifiable guitar brands in the world today, and even with the premium price tags of their instruments, many continue to look up to them as their dream instruments.
Thankfully, the company has toned down the price a bit on some of their guitars, one of which is the J-15, which enters this list with its good balance of workhorse ready features, premium prestige and reasonable price tag. This guitar was first introduced in 2014, and has since been one of their more popular acoustics - thanks to its USA hand-crafted quality which you can own for a relatively accessible cost.
The guitar is built using North American tonewoods that include solid walnut back and sides, along with a solid Sitka spruce for the top. This configuration, along with Gibson's premium build quality results in a balanced and full sounding acoustic voice, that elegantly matches the vibe of the instrument. Interestingly, the neck is crafted from maple, topped by a 20-fret walnut fingerboard which complements the back and sides nicely. Following the specs of older Gibson guitars, the scale length is shorter at 24.75", while the nut width is 1.725", which gives the instrument a comfortable playing feel.
Adding to the already good vale of this guitar is the built-in LR Baggs Element electronics for stage performance, with discrete soundhole mounted volume control. If you are looking for a handcrafted workhorse acoustic guitar that will not break the bank, then check this out. Gibson L-00 Standard Manufacturer: | What we consider as standard size today were not so standard back in the '30s. Back then the "parlor guitar" or "blues box" was commonly used, with its compact body and mid-emphasized tone.
Many artists used this instrument to shape many of the musical styles that we have today. The L-00 Standard from Gibson captures the iconic "blues box" faithfully for today's players, adding in their premium touch and modern tech that results in a true timeless museum quality instrument. The L-00 carries over the airy nasal tone and midrange emphasis of the original, making it great for tasty slide and classic rock riffs.
Your favorite blues licks will also have more oomph when played through this blues box. For something so small, this parlor guitar can compete with standard size acoustics in terms of volume. Its solid sitka spruce top and solid mahogany back and sides work together well to give this seemingly diminutive instrument great clarity and good low end.
Gibson gave this guitar a comfortable V neck profile, which together with shorter 24.75" scale length and 1.725" nut width make this guitar one of the easiest instruments to play in this list. My only complaint with this guitar is its bank breaking price, but this steep price point and exclusivity play an important role in making this iconic instrument more appealing. Start saving now if you want to be one of the privileged few who can play this guitar.
Martin D-28 Manufacturer: | Developed by Martin in 1916, the dreadnought shape changed the landscape of acoustic guitars. Thanks to its punchy sound, loud volume and improved bottom end, dreadnoughts quickly rose to popularity and has since been copied by virtually every acoustic guitar manufacturer. Today, if you're thinking acoustic guitar, the most probable image in your mind would be of a Martin Dreadnought or one of its many clones. The Martin D-28 is a modern recreation of the dreadnoughts that came from Martin's "golden era", which falls between 1930 to 1940.
Since vintage D-28 specimens that were built in the '30s were being sold for more than 30 grand, the company decided to give today's guitarists a chance to own one at a more reasonable price point. Carrying with it the same premium all-solid build that include a solid Sitka spruce top, solid east Indian rosewood back and sides, solid mahogany neck and solid ebony fretboard - you can expect this acoustic guitar to sound as Martin-y as possible.
Being the go-to instrument of popular guitarists like Hank Williams Sr. Neil Young and Jimmy Page (just to name a few), the current production model D-28 continues the Martin Legacy in terms of build and sound quality. Finally, all these features are provided without the inherent maintenance issues and crazy price tags of actual vintage models.
If you're looking for a true traditional acoustic then your best bet is to go for the Martin D-28. The MSRP is $3299 but you can get it online for around $2,699. If Bill Gates offered to buy you the best acoustic guitar for your birthday... Martin & Co is without a doubt one of the most reputable acoustic guitar makers in the world, so if you or someone you know is planning to spend a lot of dough on an acoustic guitar - it best be a Martin.
One of the more recent releases from Martin that deserve special mention here is the 00-42SC John Mayer, a signature guitar inspired by the classic Stage Coach(SC) design, which were prevalent in an era where small bodied parlor guitars were highly favored. The guitar is hand-made by Martin's top luthiers, using exotic cocobolo wood for the back and sides, mixed with a more conventional solid sitka spruce top. As expected from a high-end instrument, this guitar features impressive visual appointments, most notable of which is its ivoroid binding, beautiful rosette and fretboard inlays.
While its price tag and looks may push you to just hide this guitar in the closet, know that this instrument is built to make music in the road or in the studio.
Martin employed modern bracing and construction techniques to ensure the guitar stays reliable, beautiful and great sounding for a long time. Those that are lucky enough to own this guitar have themselves a treasure that they can pass down to the next generation of players. The MSRP is $10,299 but the street price is $8,359. Go to the page now. Thank you to for their sponsorship and providing the full specifications for the guitars above where possible.
You can see more acoustic guitars at You can tell the world which guitars you feel should be on this list by writing on the comments section below. One last tip: If you're going to be doing some recording with an acoustic, you should check out this gear guide: and while you're at Gearank.com you can check out how the Gearank Algorithm ranked .
Related Items: And here are further roundups of some important acoustic guitar accessories & addons: - - - - I produce dreadnought and dreadnought cutaways with sitka spruce tops and a choice of mahogany or East Indian Rosewood back and sides. The mahogany produces a loud but mellow sound.
The rosewood being a harder denser wood produces a sharper sound... it is not as mellow as the mahogany but still able to project the sound very loudly. Anther thing that greatly effect the sound quality and allow for the projection of sound is the bracing. I always use the scalloped bracing.
Removing a little wood from the bracing in the scalloped design allows the sound board to vibrate more producing a larger volume of sound. www.rmolsonguitars.com Guitars and guitar kits including a replica of the Languedoc style Guitar You make a good point - but this page was only intended to be about steel string guitars. There are guitars on this page from outside America, so I guess you're referring to nylon stringed guitars. I'll put a special page for nylon string guitars (which I play myself) on the list of things to do - but it will take a while because there's a lot of research that goes into producing a special page like this.
That Gibson SJ-250 Monarch... nice looking box - But will it sound better than my fifty year old, beaten up old Yamaha FG140? Frankly I'm really not impressed by anything made by Gibson, and their prices are ridiculous. As for Taylors. Nice looking boxes, but overpriced, pretentious crap. Not even very well made, I played one recently with some of the roughest fret edges I'd ever seen. Man , I never heard a guy badmouth Gibson and Taylor in the same sitting.
I ve owned a Taylor 314 and 814. Both are beautifully made and easier to play than Gibson or Martin. No fret drag at all.
If you can only own one guitar, get one thats versatile like a Taylor 314. It strums and fingerpicks brightly. Not thumpy like some others. After reading all these reviews there is one important thing missing. Guilds are not on the list. I own a guild d55 and a GAD 50E and a couple gibsons and my guilds beat em hands down for sound, feel, price and quality. PRS make some smokin acoustics to, but you would need to sell your organs to pay for one.
Cheers An acoustic guitar for under $100 is like buying a car for $300. Is there an engine in it? Probably not. The lowest I'd tell you to go is $200. Seek out the WD10S from Washburn. It ranks in the top 5 for guitars in that price range on any list you'll find. It has a solid spruce top and is actually a good little guitar. You may be able to find a used one in about the $100 - $150 price range.
Good luck! TM The best new acoustic guitar in that price range is the Epiphone DR-100 at the top of the list above. TM has a good point - you could get a better one second hand - but there are many pitfalls when you don't know what to look out for in a second hand guitar. The truth is that right now you have no way of knowing what you'll want in the long run, and any guitar you buy now with your budget is going to be one you outgrow in a year or so. My opinion is that you should go with a brand new Epiphone DR-100 for now, and then once you understand the instrument better you'll be in a much better position to decide what you really want in the long term, and in a much better position to understand what you're getting when you buy second hand.
Dont buy too cheap. The cheaper the guitar, the harder to play and the less quality the sound. You want a rewarding feel and sound or you will get discouraged. Buy a better guitar used than a new one cheap. Are you going to learn chords or fingerpicking ? Some guitars are better sounding for one than the other. Some like Taylors are versatile and provide good sound for both. Be smart. Good luck. If you haven't tried a higher end Yairi then you have missed it.
These are great hand crafted guitars with a very good neck and great sound. They are branded Alverez in the US but be sure it is one of the Yairi made. There are not lots of them made due the the complete hand crafted design. You don't find them in the music stores much but they should be there.
I have owned one for many years and have yet to pick up any other guitar that can match it in my opinion I would call it waistful or just plain ignorant to buy a $3000 guitar if your learning. Unless your actually a musician, buy yourself a decent$200 fender or whatever it may be and learn on that. Theres not that much diferrence if any at all, at least to someoe who doesnt know how to play yet. If youve got it like that do yourself a favor, buy a $3000 dollar guitarand whn you give up on it like most do in two or three months, find someone who actually plays and can appreciate a guitar of that quality and make his day and give it to someone deserving.
forget about the american guitars if you want a guitar that want break the bank but wouldnt be out of place in any company you cant go past australia guitars maton or if you really a blessed a cole clark fat lady or angel. Im not australian by the way, cant stand the auckers but they sure no how to make guitars ask jack johnson I have for sale a 1995(only production year) rare and vintage D-42-SW Harvest Washburn Guitar for $650.00 with hard case.
If you are interested in purchasing this rare beauty, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. This guitar is in excellent condition and rarely played. Chuck Middleton Lafayette, LA 337-315-2350(m) for call or text we were given an Ibanez acoustic guitar and was wondering if anyone knew the history of this guitar.
Ibanez Artwood Series AW-60 It is hard to read but either 81120173D or B1120173D It is signed, not a printed signature but an actual hand cursive signature of M Honda It is made in Japan It has original Ibanez smooth tuner II machine heads Inside on the neck block is printed 130165 with an "X" stamped below the number. Is there any where here I can post pictures of it and the label? I bought a Yamaha EC-10 classical at a garage sale for $5.00.
It was still in the cardboard box and never played according to the seller. The guitar is full size and looks cool and has real good volume and good bass, but I'd still like to get more bass out of it. I'm thinking of making some modifications to my guitar so that I can fit it with actual bass guitar strings, nylon ones. A friend of mine said I'd wreck up my guitar if I did this.
Would I wreck the guitar putting bass strings on it or could I make a bass out of it? That would be a bad idea - even if you could fit the bass strings on (which I doubt) the tension would be too high and would warp the neck, or down an octave they'd be too loose and you'd have heaps of fret buzzing. If you want more bass on the bottom strings, try different brands of strings and find ones which are less 'bright' on your guitar. Dreams of Forests Handcraft Guitar manufacture is one of top-level professional solid classic guitar builder in China, established 1993.
Our resonators are handmade by skilled workers with 10 years experiences;For more information, please view our web site www.handcraftedguitar.cn. Thanks for your attention. If you've never heard of the above you are in for a treat.They are the best guitars in the world for the price and you will be knocked out by their sound and qulality.Anything as good or better is double the price.My Yamaha FG170 cannot be beaten for price do checkout secondhand vintage Yammies which destroy Lowdens,plastic Taylors etc I have inherited a heater "H300N" acoustic guitar but I can't find any info on it.
The most I could find is that it was from the L. D. Heater Music Company that was based out of Beaverton, Oregon. They were best known for being a distributer of Lyle Guitars. Can anyone else offer additional information or where to find it? It's a bueatiful guitar and I want to know more info before I give it to my nephew or sell it. Thanks.
Yamaha Acoustic Guitars Overview