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10 Best Acoustic Guitars Under $1000/£100

December 29, 2023
best acoustic guitars under $1000/£1000

Searching for the best acoustic guitars under $1,000?

You’re in the right place.

My guide offers a curated selection of top-quality guitars that won’t break the bank, ensuring you get superb sound and value.

Dive in to find the perfect solution for your musical needs.

Quick answer: what are the best acoustic guitars under $1,000? In my experience, the best acoustic guitars under $1,000 include the Taylor Academy Series 10E, Epiphone Hummingbird, and the Fender Paramount PM-1. Each of these models offers outstanding quality and sound. You won't go wrong with any of these choices.

Top Acoustic Guitars Under $1,000 Ranked

Here is a quick list of the best acoustic guitars based on my hands-on analysis:

  1. Taylor Academy Series 10E – Best acoustic guitar under $1,000
  2. Epiphone Hummingbird – Acoustic guitar with a great reputation
  3. Fender Paramount PM-1 – Best all-mahogany dreadnought
  4. Yamaha FS-TA TransAcoustic – No need for an amp
  5. Taylor GS Mini – Best for traveling
  6. Martin Road Series D-10E – Best for gigging
  7. Seagull S6 – Best for beginners
  8. D’Angelico Excel Bowery – Unique acoustic guitar
  9. Gretsch G5024E Rancher – Best for versatility
  10. Yamaha CSF3M – Best small-bodied acoustic guitar

I’ve also made a video on the top acoustic guitars under $1,000 for those who prefer watching a video:

10 Best Acoustic Guitars Under $1,000 Reviews

When I test acoustic guitars, I focus on these key areas:

  1. Build Quality: I examine the guitar’s structure, checking the body, neck, machine heads, and bridge for sturdiness, ensuring it’s well-made, even for budget models.
  2. Fretwork: I inspect the frets, looking for uniformity to avoid any playability issues like buzzing or accidental cuts.
  3. Playability: Comfort is crucial, so I assess how the guitar feels when held, focusing on the neck shape and body design.
  4. Sound: I play using different techniques to test the guitar’s tone range, listening for good balance and projection in various styles.

1. Taylor Academy Series 10E – Best acoustic guitar under $1000

Taylor Academy Series 10E - Best acoustic guitar under $1000

Every guitar player who has ever owned a Taylor guitar knows its iconic sound and feel.

So if you want to buy a reputable acoustic guitar for less than $1000, the Taylor 10E is an excellent choice.

It’s a dreadnought guitar with a Sitka spruce top, laminated sapele back and sides, and hard rock maple neck.

These materials are really good for an acoustic guitar in this price range, especially the Sitka spruce top.

The guitar is well-balanced, comfortable, and easy to play.

Thanks to low action across the ebony fingerboard and an excellent response of the guitar, every player can have an enjoyable playing experience. 

It produces a beautiful tone, offering lower mid presence and deeper bass response in comparison to the smaller-bodied E12. 

Plus, it comes with Taylor ES-B electronics, so it sounds amazing plugged in as well.  

All in all, whether you’re a guitar beginner or a more experienced player, this beautiful and affordable Taylor guitar will meet your needs.

2. Epiphone Hummingbird – Acoustic guitar with a great reputation 

Epiphone Hummingbird - Acoustic guitar with great reputation

Epiphone Hummingbird is one of the most popular acoustic guitars out there.

It was used by the Rolling Stones, after all.

And you’ll be surprised to hear that you can get this dreadnought beauty for less than $1000!

Despite the cheaper price, the Hummingbird has excellent build quality, featuring a solid Sitka spruce top and mahogany back and sides.

It has soft nylon strings and a comfortable neck, which makes it a popular choice for beginners. 

Thanks to its quality materials and construction, the Hummingbird produces a beautiful, clear sound. 

On top of that, it looks amazing – that brown floral design is a really nice touch.

All things considered, if you’re searching for a widely-used acoustic guitar that won’t break the bank, you should consider buying Epiphone Hummingbird.

3. Fender Paramount PM-1 – Best all-mahogany dreadnought 

Fender Paramount PM-1 - Best all-mahogany dreadnought

If you prefer a vintage look, I have a perfect solution for you. 

Fender launched the Paramount series in 2016, and they’ve been one of the most sought-after acoustics ever since.

This beautiful vintage dreadnought guitar has an open-pore mahogany top, solid mahogany back and sides, and an ovangkol fingerboard.

All-mahogany dreadnoughts tend to be reliable instruments that will last you for many years to come. 

And the PM-1 sounds just as beautiful as it looks.

It’s also relatively lightweight, so you can easily carry it to your guitar lessons or your travels.

All in all, Fender is known for making quality guitars, and although its reputation was built on electric guitars, it has plenty to offer in terms of acoustic as well.

4. Yamaha FS-TA TransAcoustic – No need for an amp

Yamaha FS-TA TransAcoustic - No need for an amp

If you’re looking for a concert guitar that will last you for a long time, you should check out Yamaha FS-TA TransAcoustic.

With a built-in reverse and chorus, there’s no need for an amp.

Plus, it’s made of quality materials – a solid Sitka spruce top, mahogany back and sides, and mahogany neck.

It’s easy and fun to play, so it’s suitable for players of all levels.

It’s quite surprising that this kind of guitar has such a low price – this is an amazing opportunity for sure.

After all, Yamaha is a reputable brand known for manufacturing quality instruments; and the FS-TA TransAcoustic is no different. 

5. Taylor GS Mini – Best for traveling 

Taylor GS Mini - Best for traveling 

Taylor GS Mini is a mini grand symphony guitar that you can get for less than $800.

Since it’s smaller, you can easily carry it wherever you go – it’s ideal for traveling or going to guitar lessons. 

It also has good build quality, boasting a Sitka spruce top, Sapele neck, and laminated Sapele back and sides.

The guitar offers excellent playability and powerful sound, even though it’s travel-sized. 

That said, it’s suitable for beginners as well as more experienced guitar players.

It’s also very comfortable, and that’s another thing to factor in when choosing an acoustic guitar.

All things considered, when it comes to smaller-sized acoustic guitars under $1000, you can go wrong with the Taylor GS Mini. 

6. Martin Road Series D-10E – Best for gigging 

Martin Road Series D-10E - Best for gigging 

Martin Guitar is an iconic brand known for making the very first steel-string acoustic guitar.

Martin guitars are still the first choice for many musicians and students around the world. 

Now, there are several low-priced Martin guitars to choose from, and the D-10 E is arguably one of the best ones.

The whole Road Series is ideal for traveling – the D-10E is compact and durable, and it produces a powerful sound, especially if you strum it a bit harder.

It provides a nice balance of tone, and the electronics are quite impressive as well.

So if you want to get a durable workhorse guitar with that recognizable Martin tone, look no further than the D-10E.

7. Seagull S6 – Best for beginners 

Seagull S6 - best beginner acoustic guitars under 1000.

Seagull S6 is one of the best beginner acoustic guitars under $1000. 

It’s a beautiful all-round guitar that will last you for many years to come. 

With a solid cedar top, wild cherry back and sides, and silver leaf maple neck, it’s well-built and durable. 

And it gives a nice, rich sound that will satisfy even a more trained ear.

The only drawback is that it doesn’t produce the best bass sounds.

But at such an affordable price, the guitar is worthy of consideration, and it offers superb value for money. 

8. D’Angelico Excel Bowery – Unique acoustic guitar 

D'Angelico Excel Bowery - Unique acoustic guitar 

If you want to play a guitar with a unique shape and appearance, you should check out D’Angelico Excel Bowery.

It has a slim C-neck profile and large cut-away, which makes it rather easy to play.

It’s also great for strumming since it features all-solid construction.

Just like many quality acoustics on this list, it has a solid Sitka spruce top and mahogany neck, but a solid mahogany back and sides are not so easy to find in cheap acoustic guitars.

That being said, D’Angelico Excel Bowery offers great value for money.

It’s a top choice in terms of electronics as well – it boasts a Fishman Sonitone preamp.

9. Gretsch G5024E Rancher – Best for versatility 

Gretsch G5024E Rancher - Best for versatility 

Speaking of unique looks, the Gretsch G5024E Rancher also stands out from the crowd.

This unique-looking guitar has a vintage feel, boasting an electric guitar sunburst finish.

It produces a beautiful, balanced tone, and it’s versatile enough to fit any style. 

Although you can get it for a very low price (less than $500), the Gretsch G5024E Rancher is made of quality materials.

It features a solid spruce top, a mahogany neck, and an onboard tuner.

When it comes to budget-friendly acoustic guitars, Gretsch’s Rancher is truly one of a kind.   

10. Yamaha CSF3M – Best small-bodied acoustic guitar 

Yamaha CSF3M - Best small-bodied acoustic guitar under 1,000.

Small-bodied acoustic guitars are ideal for traveling, but they’re also perfect for younger students.

It produces a nice, rich acoustic sound, and it’s especially good for finger-style bass notes.

Although it can handle any style and genre, it’s popular among folk musicians.

It provides excellent build quality (and a surprising one for this price range) – solid mahogany top and solid mahogany back and sides.

On top of that, Yamaha Passive SRT Piezo can easily amplify your sound. 

Without a doubt, the CSF3M is one of the best acoustic guitars that Yamaha offers for a lower price. 

What to Look For in an Acoustic Guitar Under $1000/£1000? 

One thing is for sure: expensive acoustic guitars provide excellent build quality, top-notch materials, beautiful sound, and durability.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t find a good acoustic guitar that is reasonably priced.

On the contrary – if you don’t want to spend more than $1000, you have plenty of options at your disposal.

But how to choose an acoustic guitar, and what are some features to look for in this price range?

Acoustic Guitar with Amplifier

First of all, when shopping for the best acoustic guitars, look for quality materials – premium tonewoods, to be more precise.

Full solid wood construction might be challenging to find in this price range, but it’s something to keep in mind. 

Furthermore, if you’re a beginner, make sure your guitar is easy to set up.

Also, look for high-grade tuning keys, tuners, and electronics, as this affects overall tone and playability.

And make sure you choose a guitar with a body shape and neck size that suits you best.

All in all, you need to find a guitar that fits your preferences, style, and goals.

Some of the things you can ask yourself before searching for an acoustic guitar to buy is this:

  • Do I want a loud or lighter-sounding guitar? 
  • Do I have big hands or small hands for playing guitar? 
  • What acoustic guitar body type do I want? 
  • Do I prefer to play fingerstyle or with a pick?
  • Do I plan on plugging the guitar into an acoustic guitar amplifier or not?
  • What do I need the guitar for?

If you know exactly what you’re looking for, it will be easier for you to begin your search. 

It’s not easy to find a brilliantly constructed guitar that meets your needs under $1000, but it’s not impossible, especially if you’re looking for an entry-level acoustic guitar.

What Guitar Body Size Should I Choose?

A form of acoustic guitar has been around for centuries, but the credit to the steel-string acoustic guitar as we know it today is given to Christian Frederick Martin of Martin Guitars. 

The company was established in 1833, and it’s still one of the most respected guitar manufacturers in the world.

This is also where the first dreadnought guitar comes from, and dreadnought remains one of the most popular guitar body shapes in the market. 

But apart from the dreadnought guitar, there are plenty of guitar sizes to choose from, and each type has its characteristics. 

Acoustic Guitar Sizes chart.

Dreadnought and Jumbo guitars1 are known for delivering a deeper sound as well as increased volume and tone – that’s why they’re associated with solo singers-songwriters such as Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, and Sheryl Crow.

Generally, the bigger the guitar, the bigger the sound.

So if you prefer a tighter, more precise sound, you should opt for a smaller-bodied acoustic guitar – the Grand Auditorium, ‘000’, and Parlor are popular choices among musicians who prefer smaller guitars. 

The size of the guitar also affects how comfortable the instrument is, and that’s why you should choose the shape that suits you best.

What About Neck Profiles?

Just like guitar bodies, guitar necks also come in different shapes and sizes.

This is a personal choice, but you should think carefully about what neck profile suits you best.

Symmetrical necks are more common for standard acoustic guitars, and they are often referred to by the shape of the letter that represents them.

For instance, you can opt for a classic C shape – this common shape is comfortable and versatile enough to fit any style.

D-shaped necks tend to be thinner, and they’re ideal for guitar players who prefer to play fast.

The U shape is thick and chunky, and there’s a lot of wood to grasp, which makes it ideal for maintaining rhythm. 

Finally, V-shaped necks can be found on many vintage guitars; they come in a hard or soft V, depending on the amount of curvature at the center of the neck.

What Is the Best Wood for Acoustic Guitars? 

Another thing that will affect your decision is wood. 

Before looking for the best acoustic guitars under $1000, you should learn what type of wood is best for acoustic guitars. 

The type of wood the guitar is made of affects the tone as well as the appearance of the guitar. 

Wooden Acoustic Guitar

The type of wood is often different for the top (soundboard) of the body, the back and sides of the body, the neck, the fretboard, and the rest of the guitar.

Since they’re highly resonant, spruce and cedar are the most frequently used woods for the soundboard of an acoustic guitar.

Spruce is a strong and sturdy wood that helps produce a clear, bright tone, and Sitka spruce has a wide tonal range that fits any style. 

When it comes to the sides and the back of the guitar, you’ll probably come across mahogany, which gives an earthy, mid-range sound.

Other popular woods for guitars include:

  • Engelmann spruce – it has a mature tone and it’s brighter in color than Sitka
  • Adirondack spruce or eastern red spruce – it has a broader dynamic range than either Sitka or Engelmann, but it’s expensive and hard to find 
  • Rosewood –  popular for backs, sides, and fingerboard
  • Walnut quality wood used for the back and sides 
  • Maple – produces a bright tone 
  • Ebony – an exceptionally hard wood with a bright tone
  • Laminate – used for lower-priced guitars, it may lack volume and tonal complexity 

When it comes to budget-friendly acoustic guitars, you’ll probably come across many laminate guitars.

Solid tops usually sound significantly better than laminated tops, and this type of material doesn’t resonate so freely. 

Laminate is not necessarily bad though, and if you find the guitar with a solid top (which is possible for over $500), you’ll get a good-sounding guitar. 

Do I Need Electronics? 

Unless you put a mic in front of them, traditional acoustic guitars can be too quiet if you want to use them on stage.

Many musicians prefer an acoustic-electric guitar because it allows them to produce an acoustic sound at a greater volume.

But you can also add necessary electronics to your guitar and amplify your sound. 

Generally, mid-range guitars come with onboard pickup systems. 

Using a built-in pickup is arguably the easiest way to enhance your sound, but if you already have an acoustic guitar and you need more volume, you can easily buy one. 

Piezo pickup is one of the most common electro-acoustic guitar pickups.

It’s located underneath the acoustic guitar’s bridge saddle, detecting the string vibrations and transferring them through the saddle into electric current. 

Due to their active circuitry, piezo pickups tend to possess a more compressed audio quality, so there’s no hum involved. 

And in most cases, pickup arrangements are active, which means they need onboard battery power. 

Acoustic Guitar with other musical instruments

If you want to avoid the brightness that occurs with piezo pickups, you can try a mic blend.

Many musicians use this trick to amplify their sound – they use a small, internal mic to capture the sound and blend it with the sound of their guitar.

However, a mic blend is not always reliable, so I don’t recommend it to beginners. 

Some musicians use a transducer, a sensor that’s placed inside the guitar to pick up body vibrations.

Transducer pickups often work well as a secondary pickup, alongside a piezo or soundhole pickup.

Finally, you can fit this pickup across your acoustic guitar’s soundhole to pick up the vibrations of the strings via a magnetic field. 

Magnetic soundhole pickups can be active or passive, or humbucker or single-coil; they have a rather metallic quality of sound.

What Is Easier to Play – Acoustic Guitar or Electric Guitar? 

Acoustic and electric guitars feel completely different when you play them.

Since electric guitars don’t rely on natural acoustics to create the sound, they tend to have thinner necks, which makes them easier to learn.

Acoustic guitars also have thicker strings so you’ll need more strength to play them.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – learning how to play acoustic guitar will help you build up hand strength.

But it all comes down to your preferred genres and what kind of sound you want to produce. 

In any case, gaining guitar skills takes time and practice.

It’s an incredibly rewarding process though.

How to Take Care of Your Acoustic Guitar – Best Tips

Whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly acoustic guitar for beginners or a more expensive pro guitar, you’ll need to take proper care of your instrument. 

Taking care of your acoustic guitar is crucial if you want to live a long, happy life. 

Therefore, I suggest remembering the following tips:

  • Clean your hands before playing
  • Wipe the strings down after practice
  • Change the strings regularly
  • Store your guitar in the right way
  • Keep it properly humidified 
  • Avoid scratches (keep it in a case when traveling)

Final Thoughts 

Finding a good acoustic guitar is the most important step in every guitar-learning journey.

Therefore, you should think carefully about what kind of guitar you need. 

But as you can see, you don’t have to spend a ton of money on a new acoustic guitar, regardless of your level and goals – there are plenty of amazing acoustics under $1000 in the market right now. 

All of the guitars I reviewed today are well-made, popular, and reliable, and they will provide you with an enjoyable playing experience.

You may also like:

Sources:

  1. https://newt.phys.unsw.edu.au/music/guitaracoustics/anatomy.html ↩︎

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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