The 7 Best Cheap Acoustic Guitars Under $200
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.
The selection I've presented below are in my firm opinion the best cheap acoustics you'll find that are worth owning.
|Natural Gloss||Natural Gloss||High Gloss||Natural Satin||Gloss||Flame Sunburst||High Gloss|
|Laminate Spruce||Laminate Spruce||Laminate Spruce||Laminate Spruce||Laminate Mahogany||Laminate Spruce||Solid Sitka
|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.||The Mahogany top and body has a nice warm tone and it comes with a gig bag.||An excellent value acoustic-electric with built-in pre-amp and tuner.||This rugged solid top will last for years and it makes a great instrument for live performance.|
|Read more||Read more||Read more||Read more||Read more||Read more||Read more|
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.
So 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.
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 around $109 you can't go far wrong buying this as a beginner guitar.
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 usually sells for less than $130 and it includes a gig back in the price - if you want to go with the biggest brand in guitars then this is definitely your best choice in this price range.
This is a great value package for beginners including a gig bag, guitar strap, set of guitar picks and electronic guitar tuner all for only about $130.
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.
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. It usually sells for around $140.
I love the way Washburn's gloss finish brings out the beautiful hues of the mahogany top and body on the WD100DL and their selection of gold colored tuners and pegs compliments the color exceptionally well - this guitar just looks great to my eye.
This has a full size dreadnought body which resonates quite well to deliver a good level of volume in addition to well rounded warm tones, so not only is it good for learning and practice, but it also stands up as a guitar to use for live performance.
Washburn acoustic guitars are played by legends such as Warren Haynes and Willie K - sure they play the high-end models rather than the entry-level WD100DL, but you'll be in good company if you decide to get this one.
The WD100DL usually sells for around $150, although I personally think they could sell it for $199, so if you're a Washburn fan then this is the one you should buy.
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 built-in guitar tuner and the cutaway design which makes it easy to reach the high frets, the OG10CE represents great value usually selling for around $180.
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.
Although the FG700S is the most expensive in this category usually selling for $199.99, it is also the very best acoustic guitar you can get for under $200 sporting features that you usually only see on much more expensive instruments.
In particular I really like the solid sitka spruce top with its non-scalloped X-bracking which helps it strongly project its full bodied tone to a full room - this is not simply a student instrument, it's well suited to live performance just like the more expensive guitars in the Yamaha FG range.
The quality doesn't end with the solid top, it also has an aesthetically pleasing rosewood fingerboard and die-cast tuners as well as an appealing tortoise pickguard.
The bottom line is that the FG700S will remain a guitar that you will want to play over the years even as your skills and tonal tastes develop well beyond the beginner level.
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 recently published on Parlor.guitars.
And if your budget can stretch a bit further up to around $400, then take a look at this Seagull S6 review - it's a bit more expensive, but it's a really nice acoustic.
If you feel there is a great low-cost acoustic that I've overlooked, please let me know by posting a comment below.
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