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10 Best Cheap Acoustic Guitars

December 29, 2023
best cheap acoustic guitars

Luckily, we don’t live in a time when cheap acoustic guitars meant getting a low-quality instrument that would hurt your fingers.

Nowadays, it’s possible to find a good acoustic guitar without breaking the bank.

So in today’s guide, we’ll introduce you to the best cheap acoustic guitars on the market. 

From Fender to Taylor guitars, you’ll be sure to come across some amazing budget-friendly options.

Let’s dive in! 

1. Yamaha F335 – Overall best cheap acoustic guitar 

Yamaha F335 - Best cheap acoustic guitar 

Yamaha is one of the most popular guitar brands in the world, and they’re also known for producing reasonably priced models that fit any level and budget.

The F335 is arguably one of Yamaha’s best cheap acoustics.

But it’s far from cheap in terms of poor quality – it’s well-built, durable, and good-looking.

Its dreadnought size might be a bit too big for beginners, but generally, the guitar offers excellent playability.

It also produces a beautiful, traditional tone that will satisfy even a trained ear.

In terms of build quality, it’s made of laminated spruce & Meranti, nato neck, and rosewood fingerboard. 

Laminate is not the best choice of materials, but it’s very common among cheaper acoustic guitars.

Nevertheless, the F335 is definitely worthy of consideration, especially considering the price. 

2. Epiphone Songmaker DR-100 – Best build quality

Epiphone Songmaker DR-100 - Best build quality

Epiphone DR-100 is another well-made acoustic guitar that you can get for a surprisingly low price. 

Epiphone is widely known for manufacturing top-notch acoustic and electric guitars, and their Songmaker DR-100 has long been their best-selling acoustic guitar. 

Without a doubt, the DR-100 is also one of the best entry-level acoustic guitars in the market. 

It’s capable of producing a nice, well-balanced tone, and it’s made of quality materials. 

It has a spruce top and mahogany back and sides, which is standard for good acoustic guitars, but not so common for budget acoustics. 

Either way, if you’re looking for a reliable and affordable acoustic guitar for beginners, you can’t go wrong with the DR-100.

3. Martin LX1E Little Martin – Best compact acoustic guitar 

Martin LX1E Little Martin - Best cheap compact acoustic guitar 

Martin LX1E Little Martin is hands down one of the best cheap acoustic guitars in the market.

Did you know that Ed Sheeran plays it?

Well, that doesn’t come as a surprise – Martin Guitar is an iconic brand known for making the very first steel-string acoustic guitars.

Martin guitars are still the first choice for many professional musicians, and even their cheaper models like Little Martin have plenty to offer. 

Despite its smaller size, Little Martin delivers a powerful tone and it’s ideal for playing with dynamics.

It’s well-made and durable, featuring a solid spruce top and mahogany high-pressure laminate HPL back and sides.

All in all, it’s fair to say that the LX1E is one of the best acoustic guitars suitable for all levels and budgets. 

4. Epiphone J-200 EC Studio – Best value for money

Epiphone J-200 EC Studio - Best value for money

If you’re looking for a cheap Jumbo acoustic guitar, you should check out Epiphone J-200 EC Studio.

It’s incredibly well-made, especially considering the price – it features a solid spruce top and maple back and sides.

Solid wood tops are not so common for cheap acoustics, so this is quite impressive. 

Also, there are several appearances to choose from, including Black, Natural, Vintage Sunburst, and Vintage Natural finish – and all of them look great. 

In any case, you’ll get a stylish acoustic guitar that stands out from the crowd.

The J-200 also provides a nice sound and excellent playability, and it’s suitable for all levels and styles. 

The larger size might not be for everyone, but this beauty will certainly meet your needs in terms of quality and playability.

All things considered, the Epiphone J-200 EC Studio is one of the best acoustic guitars you can buy for less than $500.

5. Taylor GS Mini – Best small acoustic guitar 

Taylor GS Mini - Best small acoustic guitar 

Taylor GS Mini is a mini grand symphony guitar that is well-made and reasonably priced. 

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

The GS Mini boasts a Sitka spruce top (and that’s great for this price range), a Sapele neck, and laminated Sapele back and sides.

It offers excellent playability and powerful sound, and it’s suitable for beginners as more experienced guitar players. 

It’s also very comfortable, and that’s another thing to factor in when choosing a budget-friendly acoustic guitar.

All things considered, when it comes to smaller-sized acoustic guitars that won’t cost you a fortune, you should put Taylor GS Mini on your shortlist.

6. D’Angelico Premier Gramercy LS – Best stylish acoustic guitar 

D'Angelico Premier Gramercy LS - Best stylish cheap acoustic guitar 

D’Angelico Premier Gramercy LS is proof that cheap guitars can indeed be beautiful and eye-catching.

Featuring a mahogany body, mahogany neck, and Torrefied Merbau fingerboard, the Premier Gramercy LS will certainly turn some heads.

It’s also equipped with some good electronics, including a D’Angelico MG-30 Onboard Preamp/Tuner.

It’s suitable for players of all levels, especially because of its slim neck.

It’s a beginner-friendly guitar for sure, it’s ideal for guitar lessons, but it’s also suitable for live performances and open mic nights.

That said, if you need a guitar that will help you work on your guitar skills and get through your first live shows, D’Angelico Premier Gramercy LS is an excellent choice.

7. PRS SE P20 Parlor – Best Parlor acoustic guitar 

PRS SE P20 Parlor - Best Parlor acoustic guitar 

If you’re searching for a cheap parlor guitar, we recommend PRS SE P20E.

Due to its smaller size, the P20E is very easy to hold and play, so it’s suitable for younger players and players with smaller hands.

It has good build quality, featuring a mahogany top, mahogany back and sides, and an ebony fingerboard.

The all-mahogany construction gives it warmth and durability, and that’s not always easy to find in a cheap acoustic guitar.

This model also has a big plus in terms of appearance – it looks very sophisticated and unique. 

The hardware is another big plus, as the guitar features PRS-designed machine heads and PRS-voiced Fishman Sonitone pickup.

All in all, if you’re looking for a budget acoustic Parlour guitar with a modern feel, you can’t go wrong with the PRS SE P20E Parlour. 

8. Fender California Newporter Player Acoustic – Best unique-looking acoustic guitar 

Fender California Newporter Player Acoustic - Best unique-looking acoustic guitar 

If you’re fond of colorful guitars, then this one’s for you.

Fender California Newporter Player Acoustic will definitely allow you to stand out from the crowd – in the best possible way. 

You can choose from a variety of cool finishes, including Candy Apple Red, Champagne, Olive Satin, and Ice Blue Satin

It’s incredibly well-built, which is to be expected from Fender – it has a solid Sitka spruce top and mahogany neck.

Solid Sitka spruce tops are known for making significantly better sound than laminated tops. 

The guitar also comes with Fishman® CD-1 Preamp, so you don’t have to worry about volume.

All things considered, Fender California Newporter Player Acoustic is one of the best cheap acoustic guitars out there, and it will certainly meet your expectations. 

9. Yamaha FG800M – Best cheap dreadnought guitar 

Yamaha FG800M - Best cheap dreadnought guitar 

Yamaha has been producing some affordable guitars over the years.

And FG800M is one of the best Yamaha acoustics you can get for a relatively small price. 

Although it’s very cheap compared to its companions, the FG800 has excellent build quality, construction, and playability.

It’s suitable for all levels and styles, and since it has a solid spruce top and nato/mahogany back and sides, it produces a beautiful tone. 

Due to its dreadnought body shape, it’s also capable of producing some powerful volume.

All things considered, it’s fair to say that the FG800 offers exceptional value for money.

On top of that, it also looks great. 

If you want to buy a durable, well-made guitar for a low price, you can’t go wrong with the Yamaha FG800.

10. Fender CD-60S – Best for beginners 

Fender CD-60S - Best for beginners 

And the same goes for Fender CD-60s – this budget acoustic guitar won’t let you down.

The CD-60 is a top choice for guitar beginners and intermediate players.

But this is also a great choice for anyone on a budget – can you believe that it costs less than $200? 

And it’s definitely worthy of consideration – due to its construction and tone, it offers great value for money.

The guitar does have a laminated mahogany back and sides, which will put off some players, but it also has a solid spruce top – and that’s certainly an advantage. 

Either way, if you’re just starting out with guitar lessons, the CD-60 offers everything you need.

It offers excellent tonal balance and an enjoyable playing experience. 

At the end of the day, Fender is a reputable brand known for making top-notch guitars, and their low-priced CD-60 is a safe choice. 

What to Look For in a Cheap Acoustic Guitar 

As you can see, there are many great budget-friendly acoustic guitars to choose from.

But how to choose the best cheap acoustic guitar for you, and what are some features to look for?

Acoustic Guitar

First of all, a brand is not the most important thing – but it will certainly help you make sure you get a reliable guitar.

For instance, brands like Fender, Epiphone, and Gretsch have been making guitars for decades now, and their guitars are popular as well as reliable.

Martin Guitar, Yamaha, and Taylor guitars are also very popular, and it’s possible to find cheap models in their guitar ranges as well.

Apart from purchasing a guitar from a reputable brand, you should make sure you get a guitar made of quality materials.

It’s not easy to find full solid wood construction in this price range, but if you find a guitar with a solid wood top (instead of laminate), that’s great. 

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

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

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

What Guitar Body Size Should I Choose?

Acoustic guitars come in different shapes and sizes, and each type has its own characteristics. 

Dreadnought and Jumbo guitars are associated with solo singer-songwriters because they deliver a deeper sound as well as increased volume and tone.

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 like the Grand Auditorium, ‘000’, and Parlor.

What About Neck Profiles?

Guitar necks come in different shapes and sizes as well. 

What type of guitar you should get depends on your personal preferences and needs.

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

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 Cheap Acoustic Guitars? 

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

So, what is the best wood for acoustic guitars, and what can you expect from a cheap acoustic guitar?

Acoustic Guitar

Ideally, your acoustic guitar should be made of solid wood materials. 

However, it’s not easy to find solid wood construction for a low price. 

In most cases, you’ll come across laminate acoustic guitars. 

Cheap laminated guitars are not so horrible, but the material may lack volume and tonal complexity, and solid tops usually sound significantly better than laminated tops.

On the other note, the type of wood is often different for the top (soundboard) of the body and the rest of the guitar. 

Therefore, it’s possible to find a cheap acoustic guitar with a solid top and laminated back and sides, as that’s certainly a better option. 

Generally, more expensive acoustic guitars also have solid mahogany back and sides, as mahogany 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

Do I Need a Guitar Pickup?

Mid-range guitars usually come with onboard pickup systems and electronics, so you don’t have to worry about lack of volume. 

However, if you already have a lower-priced acoustic guitar and you want to amplify your sound, you can always add an aftermarket pickup.

There are many different guitar pickups to choose from, including some budget-friendly pickups.

Now, more expensive pickups provide better quality sound, but you should also be able to find some lower-priced pickups that will meet your needs. 

Regarding what type of pickup you should get, piezo pickup is one of the most common guitar pickups.

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

A mic blend is also quite popular – many musicians use this trick to amplify their sound, by using a small, internal mic. 

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 though, alongside a piezo or soundhole pickup.

Magnetic soundhole pickups, on the other hand, can fit across your acoustic guitar’s soundhole to pick up the vibrations of the strings via a magnetic field. 

How to Take Care of Your Acoustic Guitar – Essential Tips

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

If you take good care of it, your guitar will pay you back and serve you well for a long, long time. 

That said, if you’re a newcomer, why not learn how to take care of acoustic guitars and make the life of your new guitar as long as it can be?

For starters, we 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)

Best Cheap Acoustic Guitars – Final Thoughts 

All of the best cheap acoustic guitars on our list show you that cheap doesn’t have to mean bad quality.

On the contrary – there are many great affordable models to choose from. 

Whether you’re looking for a classic dreadnought or a compact travel-sized guitar, it’s possible to find something good even with a limited budget.

And we hope our reviews of the top cheap acoustic guitars helped you find the best model for you! 

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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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