Best Acoustic Guitar Under $1000

We present you with GuitarSite’s expertly curated best acoustic guitar under 1000 list, featuring the top models among a wide variety of acoustic guitar shapes and types.

Best Student Acoustic Guitar
Yamaha FG830

Yamaha FG830

A student-friendly, good quality, reliable, yet cheap workhorse acoustic guitar from Yamaha.

Read Review

Best Acoustic Guitar under 1000
Seagull S6 Original

Seagull S6 Original

An affordable North American made full-size acoustic guitar with comparable quality to more expensive models.

Read Review

Premium Student Acoustic Guitar
Taylor Academy 10

Taylor Academy 10

A compact entry-level acoustic with Taylor’s brand of quality and sound. With a comfortable contoured lower bout armrest.

Read Review

Vintage Style Acoustic Guitar
Guild DS-240 Memoir

Guild DS-240 Memoir

Blends classic design with Guild’s decades of experience in producing high-quality acoustic guitars.

Read Review

Best Compact Acoustic Guitar
Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy Flat Top Parlor Guitar

Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy

An affordable parlor guitar based on old Gretsch Rex guitars. Giving you comfort, vintage style, and distinct tone.

Read Review

We’re reader-supported. When you click product links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.

There are numerous good acoustic guitars under 1,000 out there, which means you have a diverse selection of quality instruments. The challenge is in choosing from what’s available.

But don’t worry; we have utilized our vast experience to curate a list of the best acoustic guitars for under 1000. We also include essential details to help you make an informed decision.

The best acoustic under 1000 we chose are crafted with quality tonewood, and with regard to attention to detail. They can produce sounds almost in the same league as more expensive models.

Note that for this guide, we focused on acoustic guitars without electronics. So, if you want to amplify its sound, you’ll need a microphone.

Miking an acoustic guitar is still the go-to method of recording and amplification if you want authentic sound. But this can be a complex and expensive process. Another option is to install a pickup system, but that is an entirely different topic altogether.

Best Acoustic Guitar under $1000 – Your Options

Yamaha FG830

Best Student Acoustic Guitar

Yamaha FG830

Yamaha FG830 Acoustic Guitar

Guitarsite Expert Opinion

The Yamaha FG830 is an excellent guitar with a comfortable dreadnought body. It has solid construction and good sound quality. This upgrade from the popular FG700 is an excellent, reliable, and cheap option for a workhorse acoustic guitar.

out of 100

We’re reader-supported. When you click product links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.

The Yamaha FG830 is an upgrade from the popular workhorse FG700 guitar model. This affordable acoustic guitar is patterned after a tried-and-tested model and features new improvements.

They’ve kept the comfortable, dreadnought body shape and solid spruce top that people loved in the FG700. But now they’ve added scalloped bracing. This gives it a bigger low-end and better projection for live gigs and recording sessions. This dynamic tone is quite nice for a guitar in this price range.

It’s got a slim neck with rounded fret edges. This makes playing comfortable and ideal for long practice sessions or extended gigs.

The back and sides are also rosewood, giving it a nice tone and sleek appearance.

And if you’re a beginner, you can use the guitar in tandem with Yamaha’s Player Port app, which you can use on your phone or tablet. This app has tips, FAQs, and even a built-in tuner, which is helpful, especially when starting out on guitar.

Overall, the FG830 is a nice upgrade from the FG700. It has the same reliable craftsmanship and tonewood selection as the original but with some cool new features. Plus, considering its quality and performance, it’s definitely a great guitar for the price.

Pros:
  • Great value guitar
  • Exceptional playability, perfect for students
  • Rich and full tone with impressive projection.
Cons:
  • Factory setup is a bit high
  • Machine heads aren’t as stable
Specifications:
  • 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: 15.7″
  • Number of Frets: 20
  • Frets to Body: 14
  • Scale Length: 25.5″
  • Nut Width: 1.6875″

Seagull S6 Original

Best Acoustic Guitar under $1000 (Overall)

Seagull S6 Original

Seagull S6 Original Acoustic Guitar

Guitarsite Expert Opinion

The Seagull S6 Original is Seagull’s flagship model. It’s got a classic acoustic guitar appeal with a quality build and consistent performance.

out of 100

We’re reader-supported. When you click product links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.

Although not quite a household name yet, Seagull is known for producing quality acoustic guitars. The Seafull S6 Original is their flagship model, offering top notch build quality at a more accessible price point.

This acoustic guitar has a solid cedar top that’s been pressure-tested for durability and resonance. This gives it an excellent, crisp midrange and a tight bottom end, which is great, especially for playing rhythm or strumming.

The neck is made of silver leaf maple, which gives it a nice look and improves the guitar’s stability and playability. It has a custom-polished semi-gloss finish that adds a smooth feel and sleek look.

Plus, some updates to the neck, back, and sides give it a bolder overall look. However, be careful when handling this guitar, as it has a thin finish.

Despite all these upgrades, they’ve managed to maintain the classic appeal that the S6 Original is known for.

Pros:
  • Responsive tone with good projection
  • Quality neck feel and playability
  • Wider fretboard, ideal for guitar players with big fingers.
Cons:
  • Finish is prone to damage
Specifications:
  • Body Shape: Modified Dreadnought
  • Top: Solid Cedar
  • Back and Sides: Wild Cherry
  • Finish: Semi-Gloss Natural
  • Bridge: Rosewood
  • Neck: Silver Leaf Maple
  • Neck Profile: “C” Shape
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Fingerboard Radius: 16″
  • Number of Frets: 21
  • Frets to Body: 14
  • Scale Length: 25.5″
  • Nut Width: 1.8″

Taylor Academy 10

Premium Student Guitar

Seagull S6 Original

Taylor Academy 10 Acoustic Guitar

Guitarsite Expert Opinion

The Taylor Academy 10 is a dreadnought body-shaped guitar. This acoustic has an excellent sound quality and sleek look, highlighted by its contoured lower bout. This eye-catching feature serves both aesthetic and practical purposes.

out of 100

We’re reader-supported. When you click product links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.

The Taylor Academy 10 is a great option, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player. Its solid spruce top offers excellent projection and clarity, which is fantastic for practicing at home or playing for an audience.

Plus, it’s got this carved armrest for added comfort, which is a nice touch for those long playing sessions. This feature, which is more common on electric guitars, gives the Academy 10 a more comfortable feel. It also adds a distinct look to it and makes it stand out.

Its slender, short-scale neck allows you to play barre chords or fast playing with relative ease. And because it’s a Dreadnought shape, it has that big, bold acoustic sound that many players love.

To top it all off, the Taylor Academy 10 also comes with a softshell gig bag. This comes in handy when taking the guitar to lessons or gigs. Also adds more value to this already affordable acoustic guitar.

Pros:
  • Good projection and excellent clarity for its size
  • Carved armrest for enhanced comfort and aesthetic appeal
  • Slender Taylor neck, ideal for beginners
  • Comfortable feel thanks to its shorter scale
Cons:
  • Not a full-size acoustic guitar
Specifications:
  • Body Shape: Academy Mini-Dreadnought
  • Top: Solid Spruce Top
  • Back and Sides: Sapele
  • Finish: Varnish
  • Bridge: Ebony
  • Neck: Sapele
  • Neck Profile: Taylor Slim
  • Fingerboard: Ebony
  • Number of Frets: 20
  • Frets to Body: 14
  • Scale Length: 24.875″
  • Nut Width: 1.6875″

Guild DS-240 Memoir

Vintage Style Acoustic Guitar

Guild DS-240 Memoir

Guild DS-240 Memoir Acoustic Guitar

Guitarsite Expert Opinion

The Guild DS-240 Memoir is a vintage-style acoustic that combines classic design with high-quality guitar construction. Thanks to Guild’s years of experience and attention to detail, this guitar carries a lasting charm.

out of 100

We’re reader-supported. When you click product links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.

Guild’s Memoir Series took inspiration from its classic designs and combined them with newer materials. DS-240 Memoir is part of Guild’s Westerly Collection. It honors Guild’s early history of exceptional craftsmanship and quality.

This guitar has a vintage sunburst finish and a dreadnought-looking sloped shoulder, making it less chunky than a regular dreadnought. 

The DS-240 has a familiar and comforting sound. It’s built with a solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides, giving it a warm and inviting tone. One like it’s been played around a campfire for years.

For its finish, it’s got a lovely gloss finish paired with vintage-inspired mother-of-pearl rosettes. This pays tribute to the classic guitars of the 1920s.

Overall, the Guild DS-240 Memoir has the timeless charm and attention to detail that Guild is known for.

Pros:
  • Beautiful tone with clear highs, balanced mids, and impressive sustain
  • Comfortable neck profile and smooth fretwork for easy playability
  • The shorter scale length adds to its comfortable feel
  • Excellent build quality and playability, comparable to higher-end guitars
Cons:
  • Lacks low end, in comparison to guitars in the same price range
  • Action out of the box may require adjustment for optimal playability
Specifications:
  • Body Shape: Slope Shoulder Dreadnought
  • Top: Solid Sitka Spruce
  • Back and Sides: Laminated Mahogany
  • Finish: Vintage Sunburst Gloss
  • Bridge: Pau Ferro
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Neck Profile: C Shape
  • Fingerboard: Pau Ferro
  • Fingerboard Radius: 16”
  • Number of Frets: 20
  • Frets to Body: 14
  • Scale Length: 24.75”
  • Nut Width: 1.6875″

Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy

Best Compact Acoustic Guitar under 1,000

Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy Flat Top Parlor Guitar

Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy Flat Top Parlor Guitar

Guitarsite Expert Opinion

This parlor-sized acoustic guitar has a vintage look and feel similar to the old Gretsch Rex guitars. Its unique wood construction enhances its vintage tone and design, making it an ideal choice if you appreciate an instrument with a rustic appeal.

out of 100

We’re reader-supported. When you click product links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.

The Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy parlor guitars sound fantastic despite being cheap. It is the only parlor guitar in this guide, naturally making it the best parlor guitar under 1000.

With the G9500s compact size, Gretsch offers you a portable instrument with a comfortable playing experience.

It has a unique basswood construction that produces a mid-focused tone, reminiscent of the old Gretsch Rex guitars from the ’30s. It has a comfortable neck that accommodates even if you have larger hands. This also makes the G9500 the best acoustic guitar for blues.

The frontier stain finish adds a touch of rustic charm to the guitar, distinguishing it from other models in the Jim Dandy series. This attention to detail enhances the playing experience and makes the Jim Dandy a visually appealing acoustic guitar.

At its affordable price point, which is the lowest in this guide, the Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy offers incredible value for money. This makes it among the top acoustic guitar choices, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced guitar player. You can use it for campfire jamming or practicing at home.

The G9500 Jim Dandy guitar delivers a unique tone and look that captures the essence of classic music. In this expert review, it is my favorite when it comes to portability and convenience.

Note that an acoustic-electric guitar version is available, with built-in pickup and preamp system. It’s vintage Image credit goes to the same old Gretsch Rex guitars.

Pros:
  • Small parlor-size body
  • Unique basswood construction
  • Mid-focused tone
  • Comfortable neck, ideal even for those with larger hands
  • Shorter scale means lighter to the touch
Cons:
  • Lower sound output because of its smaller size
  • A limited number of frets
Specifications:
  • Body Shape: Parlor
  • Top: Basswood
  • Back and Sides: Basswood
  • Finish: Semi-Gloss (Neck)
  • Bridge: Walnut Top-Load with Compensated Saddle
  • Neck: Nato
  • Neck Profile: “C” Shape
  • Fingerboard: Walnut
  • Fingerboard Radius: 12″
  • Number of Frets: 18
  • Frets to Body: 12
  • Scale Length: 24″
  • Nut Width: 1.6875″
Things to Consider in Choosing the Best Acoustic Guitar under $1000
Woods
  • Most guitarists and guitar makers agree that the best acoustic guitars are solid wood models. Solid woods carry sound and resonate better than laminated woods or other composite materials. The main downside is that solid wood is more costly compared to laminate. This is why only a few guitars offer solid wood construction at lower prices. Thankfully, there are still some good solid-top guitars that are rated well while keeping reasonable price tags.
  • Note that some manufacturers utilize composite non-wood materials on their guitars. And do so quite successfully. But they are usually used for stage-ready acoustic-electric models or for travel guitars. Even high-end manufacturers are now using composite wood in places like the fretboard.
Here are some of the most commonly used tonewoods

Spruce

  • One of the most popular tonewoods for the top of an acoustic guitar. It 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, it has become a popular wood used to build an entire guitar in the last few years. In fact, a solid mahogany/all-mahogany guitar is now rated more highly than its traditional counterparts.

Sapele

  • Sapele is becoming a popular choice these days. It’s a bit denser than mahogany and produces a slightly brighter sound. Taylor says it adds “top-end shimmer” to the guitars they use it on.

Maple

  • This tough and dense wood is often used on the back and sides, but you will occasionally find it used as a top wood. It has excellent 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 that 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, sides, or fingerboard and is said to round out the overall tone of Spruce-topped guitars. It’s also an expensive tonewood, so you use it sparingly on less costly models.
  • Although specific woods have their own characteristics, much also depends on their use in building a guitar. If you’d like to dive deeper into this topic, then you might like to read a luthier’s opinion: Tapping Tonewoods by Dana Bourgeois.
Shape and Size
  • Generally, smaller bodies, such as concert guitars and parlor guitars, emphasize the mids and high treble frequencies and are often preferred by fingerstyle players. Jumbo-body guitars resonate with the lower bass frequencies at the other end of the spectrum. They are much better and are preferred by those who play a loud strumming style. In between, you have the Grand Auditorium. Other similar shapes also combine the tonal characteristics of small and large-bodied guitars. The most popular shape these days is the dreadnought. It is nice and loud and produces an excellent balanced tone of high and low frequencies with enough note definitions for playing melodies with a pick. Guitar sizes and shapes impact portability, playability, and tone.
Action/String Height
  • Guitars with low action allow for faster runs and use playing techniques such as tapping on the fretboard and hammering on and off. Beginners and those transitioning from electric guitars generally find a lower guitar action easier to play.  On the other hand, a higher action lends itself a bit better to loud strumming play styles 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. 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.
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 with larger fingers. If your background is mostly electric guitar, you’ll feel more comfortable playing an acoustic with a smaller nut width.
Scale Length
  • This is essentially the distance measured between the saddle and the nut. More accurately, it is described as double the distance from the nut to the 12th fret plus some “compensation” added by the saddle’s position. A longer scale length requires higher tension in the strings, resulting in a brighter tone.
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 with 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.
Finish and Aesthetics
  • We should be buying instruments primarily for their sound. But as human beings, we are often easily lured into good aesthetics. Still, this does not mean you ought to not consider the overall look of your guitar. Because getting a guitar that’s nice to look at will impact your overall enjoyment of the instrument. This results in more inspired playing and practice. Remember that to keep the finish shiny and fresh, you must properly clean your guitar regularly.
Which Acoustic Guitars Are Best for Beginners?
  • Students of the guitar have special needs. Their limited budget means that they have to carefully comb through the best deals – to find an acoustic guitar that’s easy to play, inspiring to look at, and good-sounding. It can either be a steel-string acoustic or a classical guitar. This means that starting a beginner with a square-neck resonator is not a good idea. 
  • It should also be mentioned that many of the guitars mentioned here are available with built-in black or chrome electronics. So if you want an acoustic guitar that you can conveniently play on stage, then check them out. In particular, the Taylor ES B preamp system is really good.
  • For a more in-depth look at this topic, check out our Guide to Beginner Acoustic Guitars.
Conclusion

With the best acoustic guitar under 1000, you can produce sounds close to those of more expensive models. This guide presents a wide variety of high-quality acoustic guitars.

They are crafted with attention to detail and quality materials. So you can be sure you’re getting a good deal from them.

Although they do not have electronics,  they maintain a traditional design. This allows you to experience the guitar’s natural resonance and authentic feel.

If you know of any great acoustic guitars under $1000 that are not on our list, feel free to share them in the comments section.

Additionally, if you are looking for an acoustic guitar that can be plugged directly into a speaker, check out our guide for the Best Acoustic Electric Guitar Under 1000.

Alexander Briones

Lead Author

Jerome Arcon

Contributor: Product Research and Supplemental Writing