Best Acoustic Guitar Brands

Here is a collection of some of the best Acoustic Guitars.

I have nearly 30 years experience as a guitarist, and I've researched these instruments not only from feedback here at GuitarSite.com, but also by communicating with retailers and scouring the feedback and comments on a whole host of websites.

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In my humble opinion the top 5 brands are: Taylor, Martin, Gibson, Takamine, and Yamaha.

There were many more brands and specific models which I would liked to have included below, but in the interests of keeping this list to a reasonable length I had to make the cut somewhere. I first published this article 1½ years before Sweetwater sponsored it, and as you can see not all of the models below are available from them, but they do provide further information (and some great prices) where possible.

I've chosen some from different price ranges so no matter whether you're a beginner looking for something good but cheap, or you're an experienced guitarist looking for something more, hopefully this list will be of help to you. I have provided the MSRP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price) for each guitar, but you will generally be able to pick them up for quite a bit less if you shop around (Hint - hardly anyone ever pays the full list price online).

Beginner Guitars

Firstly we'll look at a few of the best entry level guitars for beginners.

Epiphone DR-100 Acoustic Guitar

Epiphone
DR-100

This is Epiphone's best selling acoustic and many a young musician has had this as their first ever guitar. It comes in 3 colors - Ebony, Natural, and Vintage Sunburst (same color as my first electric). This is definitely a great cheap acoustic guitar and one I fully recommend for beginners on a budget.

MSRP is 182.00 but most online guitar shops sell it for $99

Click here for more information.

Ibanez AW50NT Acoustic Guitar

Ibanez AW50NT

Inspired by the Ibanez acoustic guitars of old, the AW50NT is a great first guitar. Ibanez says it sets a new benchmark in entry-level guitars, and they're not exaggerating much particularly considering it has a solid Sitka spruce top. Solid tops with their better response to attack and cleaner tones are usually found on more expensive models.

MSRP is $299.99 but you can get it online for as little as $199.99.

Click here for more information.

Fender CD-60 Dreadnaught Acoustic Guitar

Fender
CD-60
Dreadnaught

This is a great acoustic for the price and comes in 5 other models - All-Mahogany (as pictured), Black, Cherry Sunburst, Natural, and Sunburst. It has a relatively low action which is a bonus for beginners because it makes it easier to press the strings down onto the frets.

MSRP is $299.99, but you can get it for less than $230 online.

Click here for more information.

LX1 Little Martin Acoustic Guitar

LX1 Little Martin Acoustic Guitar

You wouldn't usually expect to see a cheap Martin, however they do make guitars for beginners, and this is certainly a great guitar to start with. It follows the Martin tradition of quality, has a solid Sitka spruce top, is very well balanced, and also nice and light. This model comes from Martin's Travel Series and at a total length of 34" and body width of 12" it's slightly smaller than most acoustics, but it does suit budding guitarists with smaller fingers, as well as experienced players looking for slightly more compact travel guitar.

MSRP is $429 - however I've seen it selling for $299 online.

Click here for more information.

Intermediate Guitars

Epiphone AJ-220SCE

Epiphone AJ-220SCE

The AJ-220SCE is one of Epiphone's top selling guitar thanks to its mid-level specs and entry level price. Your hands and ears will feel right at home because it comes with an advanced jumbo single cutaway body, featuring a solid spruce top with mahogany back and sides. The guitar's modern playability adds even more value to this great bang per buck instrument.

With a street price just under $300 (MSRP is $499), it's the easiest pick for budget conscious musicians.

Click here for more information.

Taylor 110ce Acoustic Guitar

Taylor 110ce

I have read comments from a number of guitarists who have owned one of these for years and say it still plays as well as it did when they first bought it, but then you wouldn't expect much less from Taylor. It has a full-sized Dreadnought body, and although it often sells with a gig-bag I recommend getting a hard case if you're going to be doing much traveling.

MSRP is $1058.00 but it's selling online for less than $799.

Click here for more information.

Ovation Celebrity Standard Plus CS24P

Ovation Celebrity Standard Plus CS24P

Ovation has made a name for itself in the Acoustic-Electric arena, and thus deserve a spot on this list. This guitar features an innovative Lyrachord body, a reliable and durable alternative to wood. It comes with a mid-depth bowl body that makes it very easy to carry and play, without sacrificing tone and projection.

If you want upgraded electronics with USB recording , then you can buy the Ovation iDea OPi-1 Preamp.

Click here for more information.

Yamaha A1R Acoustic Guitar

Yamaha A1R

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, and the A1R with it's Dreadnought body, and built in pickups and preamp, is becoming a favorite of many.

MSRP is $1050.00 but you can get it online for less than $700.

Click here for more information.

Cordoba GK Studio Negra

Cordoba GK Studio Negra

In a list of full of steel-string guitars, the nylon-string Cordoba GK Studio Negra is a refreshing break. It mixes traditional flamenco construction techniques and modern Fishman electronics, resulting in a fast playing instrument that can be plugged in for stage use. The combination of its solid European spruce top and Indian rosewood back and sides is a treat to look at and great to listen to.

You can visit Cordoba Guitars for the complete specifications.

Click here for more information.

Top Acoustic Guitars

Takamine P4DC

Takamine
P4DC

The Takamine brand helps stop big brand manufacturers from setting their prices too high - by showing them that great guitars can be produced at reasonable prices. The Takamine P4DC is a great example, featuring impressive tonewoods (solid spruce top and solid sapele back, rosewood fingerboard and African mahogany neck) and appointments that you usually have to pay top dollar for. This is a great buy.

The MSRP is $1859.99 but the street price is $1,349.99.
Go to the Takamine P4DC page for more.

Breedlove Masterclass Concert

Breedlove Masterclass Concert

One look at the Breedlove Masterclass Concert and you'll understand how their popularity is steadily climbing. This guitar features a distinct premium look with beautiful finish and an elegant tone to match. This high-end guitar features solid figured myrtlewood matched with a solid Englemann spruce top, and of course they're lovingly made in Bend, Oregon, USA. The unique cutaway, headstock shape and bridge makes this guitar easily stand out from among the crowd.

MSRP is $3,999.00.
Click here for more information.

Taylor 514ce

Taylor 514ce

You didn't think we were finished with Taylor in this list did you? The truth is that there isn't enough room to fit in all the deserving Taylor acoustic guitars, and we couldn't leave this one out. The Taylor 514ce is a cedar top acoustic with elegant wood grains that we've come to expect from Taylor, and it sounds as great as it looks. It also usually comes with a hard case included - I would never use a soft bag to carry this around in.

The Taylor 514ce is selling online for around $2,449.
Click here for more information.

Gibson Songwriter Deluxe Studio Cutaway

Gibson Songwriter Deluxe Studio Cutaway

Gibson are one of the most famous guitar brands, and could easily be included in this list more times than I was able to fit them in, but the Songwriter Deluxe Studio had to be here because of its premium looks, sound and features. This acoustic gives you all the bling you want and matches the looks with amazing sound be it plugged or unplugged.

The Songwriter Deluxe Studio EC is currently retailing for less than $2,600.
Click here for more information.

Martin D-28 Marquis

Martin D-28 Marquis

This is one beautiful American made dreadnought, a direct descendant of vintage D-28 guitars, which are considered by many to be among Martin's best production line instruments. With its solid Adirondack spruce top, solid East Indian rosewood back and sides, solid mahogany neck and solid ebony fretboard - you can expect a premium looking and sounding instrument that will surely make other guitar players green with envy.

MSRP is $5499 but you can get it online for around $4,299.
Click here for more information.

If Bill Gates offered to buy you the best acoustic guitar for your birthday...

Martin 00-42SC John Mayer

Martin 00-42SC John Mayer
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. The 00-42SC John Mayer is a special signature guitar, inspired by the classic Stage Coach(SC) design, which were prevalent in an era where small bodied guitars were favored because they are easier to carry around. 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. Don't be fooled by the guitar's amazing museum-level looks, 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 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.

MSRP is $9,999 but the street price is $7,999.

Go to the Martin 00-42SC John Mayer page now.

Sweetwater Thank you to Sweetwater for their sponsorship and providing the full specifications for the guitars above where possible. You can see more acoustic guitars at www.sweetwater.com/shop/guitars/acoustic/

Related Items:

acoustic guitar If you're looking for acoustics in the sub $1000 price range, then take a look at our further recommendations here.
 

acoustic-electric The 5 Best Acoustic-Electric Guitars Under $500.
 

Top 7 Best Acoustic Guitars for Under $300 Here is what we rate as the best acoustics available for under $300.
 

electric guitars Check out this collection of electric brands which our team here are GuitarSite.com have rated as the best.
 

acoustic guitar case And here are further roundups of some important acoustic guitar accessories & addons: Cases - Guitar Straps - Tuners - Acoustic Pickups - Specialized Amplifiers

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Haha, I was like, wait why

Haha, I was like, wait why is there only one Taylor so far when I read the intermediate section. You're right, there are just too many Taylors...haha...

wow

great collection! :)

Where is Takamine?

Takamine 2010 Limited Edition Dreadnought should have been in the list

So what kind of wood is suitable for production of the guitar it

So what kind of wood is suitable for production of the guitar it? And what kind of wood in turn impact on the sound. For readers, how to select a sound of guitar or bass for their own is also an important issue. We now choose to discuss some common materials.

Wood types and sound

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

Washburn D46S

Washburns D46S should have made the cut. I've never had a better guitar ever! The ash back and sides compliments the rich tone produced by the spruce top and the action is beautiful. It cost me $329 when I bought it. Mine is left handed and very few stores will sell the leftys.

best american guitar?

Maybe it should be renamed best american acoustic guitar? I don't see 1 spanish guitar there. or perhaps ramirez or rodriquez guitars don't compare?

Maybe we should do a page on Nylon Stringed / Spanish Guitars

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.

Gibson SJ-250 Monarch

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.

Taylors

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.

Forgot one key brand

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

Yes, Guilds are good!

You make a good point about Guilds - they are deserving, and when we update this list they will stand a strong chance of being included.

However, I wouldn't sell a Hammond to buy a PRS - maybe an old Casio though :)

Guilds

Guilds is in fact one of the good acoustic guitar amongst the many branded brand.

where is Lakewood??

no lakewoods here?? really??? are they that crappy about guitars??? i thought they were one of the best. . .

CD-60 Dreadnaught

For the money, it is just hard to beat the CD-60 Dreadnaught. It is easier to learn on and for people like me, with small hands, it is just easier to play. Doesn't have the sound quality of some high enders, but, for the money, good guitar.

beginner guitar

Thank you for listing of Guitar..I am very interested like this musical instruments..
Wow,,Its amazing.!!It helps to the buyers who are really interested in bands and musics.

i want to start my guitar

i want to start my guitar lessons from next month onwards so i want to buy new acoustic guitar so whts the best beginner guitar below $100

An acoustic guitar for under

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 acoustic under $100

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.

Cheap guitar

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.

Epiphone DR-100

I think gibson guitar brand is the best, his voice clear as Epiphone DR-100, but now I still do not have money to buy it.

If you haven't tried a

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

yari alvarez guitar

I agree I have a yari signature series and before I bought it I tried 4 or 5 Martins and still prefered the Yari

Beginners lefthand guitars

Hi

I am very much interested in learning guitar and basically left handed. Can u plz suggest left handed models for beginners.

m abt 2 strt learnin ma

m abt 2 strt learnin ma guitar. I am 17. N need a guitar upto 3000- 4000. Cn u plz recommnd me sum.

I would call it waistful or

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.

guitar pricing needed

I got a pre 1970 Suzuki guitar with a no.12 printer inside on the man. logo i am trying to find out how much it is worth

Bill Gates

I'm now trying to send bill gates a email asking "Would you like to buy a guitar for me"

Acoustic Guitars Best

$500 Range Epiphone Masterbilt or Alvarez Masterworks (all solid woods)Used they go for $300 on Ebay. $100-$300 Hmm good luck. Try the Washburns, or anything you can get with a solid top.

how much is my Bravo Model No.BC-20N?

How much is it?

help

pls hw can i get this guitar model;AFS75T. FINISH;TOBACCO FLAT...i would be grate ful if u can help me with it

Great compiled list!!

This post was written in 2010. Any differences for this year?
Gibson SJ-250 Monarch for 25,ooo? Will Bill Gates ever want to buy this high end guitar?
Really nice list btw.. :)

We are working on an update

We are working on an update for 2012 - I can't yet tell you when it will be available, but stay tuned...

Seagull S6 is good. And

Seagull S6 is good. And inexpensive. A lot says its sound is comparable to Martins at a fraction of the price. Several websites list it as the best beginner guitar.

forget about the american

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

2011 R M Olson Herringbone Dreadnought Cutaway

Your missing the solid wood guitars that look and sound like Martins but are in the $450.00 price range.

http://rmolsonguitars.com

Please put the Chords or

Please put the Chords or tablature out for Ry Cooder's "SOUTHERN COMFORT"

Rare and Vintage Washburn D-42-SW Acoustic Guitar with Hard Case

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 chaliemiddleton@gmail.com. This guitar is in excellent condition and rarely played.

Chuck Middleton
Lafayette, LA
337-315-2350(m) for call or text

about lovely collection of Guitar

Nice post and i really like the way you write this. As I also love to play Guitar specially Acoustic. I really like the Yamaha LL6 brand.

Ibanez Artwood Series

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?

The best guitar bar none is

The best guitar bar none is the Garrison g50

I bought a Yamaha EC-10

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 -

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.

What about Collings guitars

What about Collings guitars are they no good

My thoughts exactly -

My thoughts exactly - peerless guitars!

Classcial Guitar Builder for 6 8 10 string solid 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.

Stonebridge (formerly known as Furch)

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

looking for info

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.

Don't underrate Ibanez

Ibanez makes some absolutely killer acoustic guitars at the budget level. I've played on one for years, and all my friends comment on how nice it sounds. As it has aged it has gotten sweeter sounding and warmer as well. IIRC I paid 300 bucks for it back in the early aughts.

i have a takamine

I have a takamine electro acoustic guitar and love it. Very smooth fretboard and excellent sound when playing plugging in to an amplifier. I'd love to try a taylor guitar someday.

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