The 5 Best Cheap Acoustic Guitars Under $200 - 2019

Whether you're looking for a student guitar, or simply a low-cost alternative to your main instrument, you'll find exactly what you need here in the $100 to $200 price range from the most dependable acoustic guitar companies.

I have reviewed this guide for 2019, and although I did remove 2 guitars we were previously recommending, most of the advice has held up rather well since we did the last major review a couple of years ago.

Epiphone
DR-100

Fender
FA-100

Ibanez
IJVC50

Jasmine
S35

O. Schmidt
OG10CE

Finish Finish Finish Finish Finish
Natural Gloss Natural Gloss High Gloss Natural Satin Flame Sunburst
 
Top Top Top Top Top
Laminate Spruce  Laminate Spruce  Laminate Spruce  Laminate Spruce  Laminate Spruce 
 
Body Body Body Body Body
Mahogany Agathis Agathis Nato Catalpa
 
Overview Overview Overview Overview Overview
The DR-100 is the top selling guitar in this class. The FA-100 is Fender's leading student acoustic. A great value package which includes a gig bag, tuner, and guitar strap. Made by big brand Takamine - it comes with a guitar turner. An excellent value acoustic-electric with built-in pre-amp and tuner.
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Although it's possible to find a new full-size acoustic for under $100, I haven't seen any I can recommend and I've seen quite a few that should be avoided because you'll just end up having to buy something like these a few months later anyway. The only exception would be if you found one of these guitars on sale - but these guitars seldom sell for much less than you see them here.

Please take my advice and stay away from the no-name brand guitars that sell for less than $100 because in my experience the construction on the super-cheap guitars (usually made in China) are sub-standard often resulting in warped necks, bridges that lift, and I've even seen finishes that wear off in the first few weeks of playing them.

Another option for finding a cheap guitar is to look at the slightly smaller Parlor Guitars.

If you're interested in the Gearank report on this topic see The Best Acoustic Guitars Under $200.

Otherwise read on for detailed descriptions, play the videos to get a good idea of how each guitar sounds, and please feel free to ask questions in the comments at the bottom of the page and I'll be only too happy to answer them for you.

Epiphone DR-100

Epiphone DR-100

The DR-100 is not only Epiphone's best selling acoustic, it's also the top selling acoustic guitar in this price range at many of the major online stores such as zZounds, Sweetwater, and Amazon.

It has a traditional dreadnought body and design put together with reliable construction resulting in a guitar that many beginners have cut their teeth on and still have sitting around even after they've progressed to more advanced models years later.

Although you can't expect advanced features at this price point it does have the familiar combination of spruce top, mahogany body and neck, and rosewood fretboard. It is however a surprisingly versatile guitar and is well suited to a range of musical styles from rock to folk and pretty much everything else in between.

Usually selling for well under $200, you can't go far wrong buying this as a beginner guitar.

Fender FA-100

Fender FA-100

Fender are the world's biggest guitar manufacturer and although this is their entry level acoustic guitar designed primarily for students, it still well and truly deserves the Fender logo it carries.

This guitar has been extremely well received over the years by both students and guitar teachers alike. As expected, the Fender FA-100 does not feature exotic woods, but it makes up for this with its modern x-bracing and top-notch construction resulting in a remarkably good looking and sounding instrument.

It sports a nice looking rosewood fingerboard and bridge as well as two strap buttons so you can use any standard guitar strap with it.

The FA-100 includes a gig back in the sub $200 price - if you want to go with the biggest brand in guitars then this is definitely your best choice in this price range.

Ibanez IJVC50

Ibanez IJVC50

This is a great value package for beginners including a gig bag, guitar strap, set of guitar picks and electronic guitar tuner.

Although Ibanez are famous for their electric guitars, particularly their Steve Vai signature series, they actually began manufacturing acoustic guitars in Japan in the 1930s and today they enjoy a reputation for high quality design and construction.

The IJVC50's grand concert sized body, chrome tuners, rosewood fingerboard and Ivorex II nut and saddle all come together to make this a very playable guitar.

If you're looking for a cheap package which contains everything you need to get started as a guitarist then this is the best option for you.

Jasmine S35

Jasmine S35

If you're not familiar with the name Jasmine then don't worry - it's made by the highly regarded acoustic guitar manufacturer Takamine, and they even throw in a guitar tuner for a little extra value.

As mentioned in the video below, it has a thin profile neck and fretboard which makes it much easier for beginners to reach all the fingering positions as they're learning to form chords - it also makes the transition from electric to acoustic guitar much easier.

One of the things that I really like about Takamine is their ability to give their entry level guitars much of the visual appeal of their more expensive models with a satin finish, chrome plated tuners and rosewood fretboard. It may not employ high-end tonewoods or a solid top, but it does have a solid sound which is helped along by its full-body binding.

So if you have small fingers, or you just want a guitar which is easier to play than the others in this list with their full sized neck profiles, then this is the one to go for.

Oscar Schmidt OG10CE

Oscar Schmidt OG10CE

Oscar Schmidt is a sub brand of Washburn and the OG10CE is a rare example of a decent quality acoustic-electric guitar in the sub $200 price range. It's designed for live performance and has a bulit-in preamp so you can plug it directly into a PA system or acoustic guitar amp - of course you can use it as a regular acoustic guitar as well.

With additional features such as the WT92 preamp system and the cutaway design which makes it easy to reach the high frets, the OG10CE represents great value.

It has a low action which means that the strings are a little closer to the fretboard than on most acoustics - this makes it a bit easier to press the strings down which can be beneficial to beginners.

One potentially negative aspect of the OG10CE is that its thin body leads to it emphasizing the treble a bit more than standard sized acoustics, so if you want a warmer sounding instrument then get one of the others on this list, otherwise if you're looking for an acoustic which you can also plug into an amp then this will be the best value option for you.

BTW if you're looking to buy a guitar for a child who's 12yo or younger, then take a look at my article on advice for buying acoustic guitars for kids which was published a few years ago on Parlor.guitars, but the information is still relevant.

And if your budget can stretch a bit further up to around $400 to $500, then take a look at this Seagull S6 review (but you'll probably only be able to find one second-hand these days) by Guitar Chalk, or the Gearank guide to Acoustic Guitars for Beginners.

If you feel there is a great low-cost acoustic that I've overlooked, please let me know by posting a comment below.

Related Items:
Choosing The Best Acoustic Guitar Case
The Cheap Guitar Amps Which Get Our Approval

Top 7 Best Acoustic Guitars for Under $300 Here is what we rate as the best acoustic guitars available for under $300!
 

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FA-100 All Day

I like a lot of the acoustic guitars you have listed, but I have to say that my favorite of them is the Fender FA-100. I've played a few of the ones you've had listed and it stays in tune so much longer. The FA-100 sounds loud compared to some of the cheaper laminate acoustics.

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