An acoustic guitar will find its place in any circumstances – in the house, at the beach, by a bom fire or at a school talent show. It will be a great companion during any social event, party or just a relaxed time in the park – even the most basic chord progression will put a smile on your and your listeners faces… after some practice of course.
If you are searching for your first, or even second, guitar and feel you are at the beginning of the road, and don’t know where to start – I’ve done some research to make your life easier!
Sit back, relax and go through the 10 best acoustic guitars I believe might be a good pick, depending on what you’re looking for.
Top 10 Best Acoustic Guitars Reviews 2020
1. The Steady Dreadnought – Fender FA-100
If you’re just a beginner and want to start with a cheap yet decent instrument, you should take into consideration buying a dreadnought body style guitar. They are one of the biggest guitars, with more space between the string and frets – making it easier to handle the chords. Fender FA-100 has what it takes to make you enjoy practicing and motivate, even if you are just trying your first strums.
The soundboard is made of spruce, the back and sides of mahogany – all the walls of the box are, of course, appropriately laminated for this price range – plywood, which guarantees the solidity of the construction.
With the FA-100 you’ll have a strong, clean sound after proper tuning. The timber is quite soft while finger picking, and properly balanced while hitting the strings with a pick.
A great thing about this guitar is all the extras you get with it! A case, straps, picks and a tuner are all included. Keep in mind that tuning will be the beginning of your every practise and it’s important to learn how to do it properly.
2. The Budget Saviour – Jasmine S-34C
Are you looking for something with a low price, and are focusing of finding a quitar just to start? That’s totally fine, you should still try and experience new hobbies, and it is completely understandable if you don’t want to spend a fortune on an instrument you’ve never had in your hands before.
Jasmine S-34C comes to the rescue of those seeking a basic guitar that will still last them some time. You’ll find this particular model under the “Grand Orchestra” ones – rounder and a bit smaller than a classic dreadnought. A good choice for children and adults with smaller hands.
The top is made from Laminated Spruce, alongside with Sapele on the back and sides on the body. Even though the model is quite basic, you’ll already find a cutaway – making it easier to play on the upper frets. Something you might appreciate after some practice.
As you can assume, the sound will not be very rich and colorful, but it will definitely allow you to discover the guitar world properly. This model is fairly good with tuning, but it might take more time to get it steady and clear.
3. Ibanez AW54
If you feel you’d like to go one step ahead of the Jasmine model, Ibanez AW54 would be a great acoustic guitar to check out. A classic dreadnought, with good playability and improved timber is something you’ll be happy to begin your guitar lessons with.
Crafted from okoume wood, lets you enjoy an already proper looking quitar for a lower price. The general opinions are quite good, in terms of beginners guitars and you will find a pleasant warm sound, even though not to strong, will give you good playability and a wide tone.
Overall the guitar is quite durable, even though Ibanez produced this model with fairly light okoume wood instead of mahogany – but thanks to this, the price is lower and the body will still be sturdy if you take proper care of it.
4. The Elegant – Yamaha FG850 Acoustic Guitar
There is nothing bad in paying as much attention to your guitar’s looks as to its sound. With the Yamaha FG850 it is possible to have an instrument with style, good timber and still stick to the budget.
The FG850 top plate is made of solid mahogany, while the back and sides are made of mahogany plywood. The soundboard is a typical dreadnought (50.5 cm length, 41.2 cm width),making it a great beginners guitar.
If you enjoy visual sensations as music you’ll really appreciate the design of this guitar. The rosette in the middle, a small floral motif around the Yamaha logo, the mother-of-pearl pickguard on the body are all beautiful elements that add elegance and style to this model.
Usually when it comes to mahogany guitars, you’ll find that the sound is round and warm – making it a perfect pick for chord players. The balance between the strings is adequate – all feel natural and even, both while playing chords and solo passages.
Recently we have also reviewed best phaser pedals.
5. The Vintage Classic – Epiphone EJ-200 Coupe
If you are a fan of a classical vintage look and tunes I would recommend checking out the Epiphone EJ-200 Coupe – a smaller version of the famous EJ-200 Jumbo guitar. A solid spruce top with an ovangkol body, hard maple neck and walnut center make this instrument a true beauty.
If you’re looking for something you can tune on the spot or amplify your playing, you’ll be happy to know that this model has an onboard electrical system – Shadow Performer Tuner HD preamp supplemented with the Shadow NanoFlex HD converter! Tuning will never be easier and sound amplification will take your musical experience to the next level. The preamplifier has a simple design which you’ll get familiar with in no time.
Being EJ-200 Jumbos smaller sister, this guitar will fit extremely well in your hands and is easy to carry around or travel. EJ-200 Coupe easily tunes in positions and you won’t complain about intonation even in the higher ones. For such a small size, the guitar is quite loud, followed by the possibility to plug it in and extend its range.
6. The Dark Classic – Alvarez AGW77CEAR
Do the names Johnny Cash, Carlos Santana,Paul McCartney or Bono ring a bell ? You’ll be happy to know that all of these amazing artists are strongly connected to Alvarez guitars.
This particular model has a full Grand Auditorium body with a cutaway, solid walnut top plate, and dark walnut sides and back. The box has a dark brown high-gloss Shadowburst finish, using the thinnest possible varnish layer to minimize vibration and resonance of the instrument.
On the upper edge, you’ll find an armrest – i.e. undercut providing comfort for your forearm. Moreover, Alvarez gives you a stunning visual finish – the cut is 14 mm at its widest point and shows the patterned texture of the maple wood.
You will really enjoy this guitars sound. The chord play feels loud and even, with a full deep bottom, slightly hidden middle and a relatively soft treble, which comes alive after a stronger hit. You can also hear a good transfer and differentiation of nuances, especially after changing from pick to fingers.
Additionally, this guitar is equipped with a good quality LR Baggs StagePro EQ preamp, the Element pickup with an onboard tuner, a phase switch and adjustable Notch anti-slip filter. All of these features make it a great guitar “learn and perform”.
7. The Natural – IBANEZ PN14-WK
Another best acoustic guitar, I would recommend would be a Parlor guitar – a mahogany Ibanez PN14-WK. At the beginning of the 20th century, they were popular due to the lower price, and mobility – being slightly lighter, and at the same time, significantly smaller.
The parlor has a scale of 628 mm, and the whole instrument is much shorter. Lower string tension and decreased size make it easier to play with smaller hands. All of this completed with a subtle and soft sound. Despite the slightly weakened bass compared to larger models, it will present itself quite well in smaller rooms.
The Ibanez PN14-WK guitar will provide you with a semi-organic feeling – mainly due to the matte finish and visible wood pores. The lack of a thick layer of varnish results in a more natural and delicate sound. You’ll have the impression of playing on old and experienced instrument.
8. The Classic Pro – Epiphone PRO-1 Ultra NT
The PRO-1 series is mainly intended for beginners, with slightly higher requirements as to the quality of the instrument.
Epiphone PRO-1 Ultra has a dreadnought body,where the sides and back are made of selected mahogany and the top is solid spruce, reinforced with Custom PRO-Prietary ribs. A great, strong construction that will last and serve you well! You’ll also find a non-scratching black pickguard with the brand’s logo, and a sound hole surrounded by a black and white rosette.
It is equipped with the Shadow Performer class preamp and NanoFlex piezo pickup on board – giving you the possibility to tune and plug in you guitar. To control the sound, you can use the Volume knobs and Bass and Treble correction, supported by the dynamics changing timbre. So as you can see there are quite a few electronic additives which will surely enhance your play and practice.
The sounds are pleasantly balanced and deep. The midrange does not stand out, the bass nicely complements the treble, and the arpeggios played with the fingers have a quite clear presence.
9. The Classic Simplicity – Yamaha FG820
This fairly new model has caught attention of many new musicians wandering in the acoustic guitar world. Its’ affordable price together with accurate quality is why I think it truly is worth checking out.
A classic dreadnought body, with black mahogany sides and back are just what a basic guitar is. A fresh, glossy touch adds to the traditional and clean layout of this Yamaha. And that is exactly what Yamaha provides us this time – simple yet classy, with decent sound quality, should be just enough for a beginning guitarist.
You will find this model one of the most durable and sturdy in this price range! A great choice for younger players who might not take proper care of their first instrument and need it to be quite resistant.
10. The Energetic – Fender California Newporter Classic
If you are in need for some California dreaming and want to buy an acoustic guitar with a unique sense of style, you should take a look at Fender’s California Newporter Classic. The California acoustics were created to honor the culture and lifestyle associated with southern California, where the brand’s roots come from.
This series of instruments defies the conventions associated with acoustic guitars by their design and comfort – more connected to electric models with their vivid colours and energetic shape. A great choice for a beginner with a distinctive sense of style and need of a high quality acoustic.
Having a mid-size body – similar to An Auditorium acoustic – it will be a comfortable fit for players of all hand size – from children to adults. You’ll find a strong sitka spruce top, with mahogany on the side and back. Definitely a proper guitar that will last you a lifetime.
In terms of sound you won’t need much more as a beginner. Unplugged, you will be able to produce a balanced and beautiful timber, great for chord playing and accompanying. You will also be able to discover some treats of the electric sound by plugging in and enjoying some energetic strumming.
Best Acoustic Guitar – Buying Guide
There is one instrument that you can probably find in every musician’s house: the acoustic guitar has been popular for many years now, and it is often a very appealing instrument to beginners. However, a guitarist can progress greatly on such an instrument, which makes its purchase quite important as an investment for the future. There is a huge variety of acoustic guitars on the market, making the choice of the proper one a hard task, even for advanced players. Below, you can find a guide that will explain thoroughly everything you need to know about acoustic guitars before you buy one.
Sound performance should be the factor that weighs the most in choosing a musical instrument. While sonic differences between very cheap and very pricey guitars might be obvious, a guitar’s sound is always a matter of taste, and you might find that you enjoy the sound performance of a guitar that is relatively inexpensive. In addition to that, the strings play quite an important role in your sound, so it is better to replace directly the strings that come with your guitar and always keep this in mind when you try a guitar in a shop.
An acoustic instrument is largely defined by the material that has been used to manufacture it, and in the case of acoustic guitars, wood plays the most important role. The selection of wood determines both the tonal quality of the instrument and its build quality. There are many kinds of wood that are used widely in acoustic guitars and can differ between different parts of the guitar (the top and back of the body, fretboard, neck and bridge among others). The most common types of wood are maple, rosewood, spruce, cedar, mahogany and koa.
Build quality is what usually distinguishes a cheap guitar from an expensive one. This doesn’t mean that a pricey guitar won’t necessarily break if you drop it, but it will certainly not wear down as fast. If you want to buy your first guitar and you are not yet sure whether you will continue playing, you might not be very interested in getting an expensive guitar for robust build quality. On the other hand, if you are an advanced player you should absolutely get one with at least decent build quality.
Not every acoustic guitar on the market can be played with ease. This is especially true for several inexpensive models that tend to discourage beginners by being quite hard to play. Playability can be a subjective matter, but it also consists of some objective factors, including how far the strings are from the fretboard and how smooth is the fretboard. Trying the guitar that you want to buy is a great thing that you can do in order to determine whether it is playable for you.
As you probably know, there are two kinds of acoustic guitars: those that feature electronic components (called electro acoustic guitars) and those that do not. The first ones usually come with a built-in microphone that allows you to plug your guitar in an amp and amplify your sound greatly. This is especially useful if you want to play live concerts, as you can connect your guitar easily to the sound system. Note that electro acoustic guitars might be more expensive, so if you don’t plan to use this feature, it would be better to invest your money on a better acoustic guitar.
If you take a glance at the guitars’ prices at any shop, you will notice a huge variety of price tags. It is true that guitars can be extremely cheap and extremely expensive. So, how can you choose which one is for you? It is good to keep in mind that a good guitar, meaning a guitar that has an appealing sound performance for you, might not be very expensive. The mass production of guitars nowadays, allows for lower prices and better materials. I advise you to determine how much you are willing to spend and then try out a variety of guitars in this price range.
For some players, the design of the guitar is not a crucial factor for its purchase, while others prefer buying a good-looking guitar. This is a matter of taste, as some players prefer guitars in different and not-that-common colours, such as black and blue. Besides colours, the body shape of the guitar is also important, and not only in terms of appearance: guitars that come with a cutaway design allow you to play easier in the upper register. On the other hand, if you don’t plan on using the last frets, it is probably better to get a non cutaway guitar.
There is a number of other features that you need to check out before you choose a guitar. First of all, if you are left-handed, you should know that unfortunately not all models are suitable for you, as some come only for right-handed players. Another thing that might be important to you is the brand: there are many well-known brands that have been making acoustic guitars for years now and their products are supposed to be especially well-made. However, you should be aware that a guitar which has been manufactured by a less-known brand might come in a significantly lower price.
Once you have all of these parameters covered and you know how much they affect a guitar’s purchase, it is time to choose the guitar for you. The first move is to determine what is important for you: do you care about the look of your guitar, or would you rather invest in electronics? Finally, don’t forget that you will probably need some extra accessories, such as a guitar case, a tuner and probably a guitar capo, so you should add them to your overall budget. I hope that this guide has helped you choose your new guitar and that you have a lot of fun playing it!
Hopefully you feel a bit more familiar with what the acoustic guitar industry has to offer. Try to find an instrument which resembles your character and suit your needs. Finding the perfect match can be a tricky task, but remember – don’t stress over it too much and just enjoy exploring new instruments and sounds !