The future of music

10 Best High-End Acoustic Guitars

December 29, 2023
best high-end acoustic guitars

In this day and age, high-end acoustic guitars aren’t necessarily crazy expensive.

Many brands such as Fender, Martin Guitar, and Gibson produce incredibly well-made acoustic guitars that are reasonably priced.  

On the other hand, if you’re willing to invest more money into your next guitar, you’ll be sure to get an exceptional instrument that will last you for many years to come.

To help you find a model that meets your needs, we made a list of the best high-end acoustic guitars you can buy right now. 

From vintage classics to modern acoustics, there’s something for everyone. 

1. Gibson Montana Hummingbird – Overall best high-end acoustic guitar 

Gibson Montana Hummingbird - Best high-end acoustic guitar 

Gibson is widely known for making high-quality acoustic guitars.

The company is responsible for designing some of the best high-end acoustics in the market, and Gibson Montana Hummingbird is one of them.

This beauty is a perfect blend of vintage appointments and a modern feel.

It’s available in Antique Natural or Heritage Cherry Sunburst.

It offers premium build quality, featuring a Sitka spruce top, mahogany back and sides, mahogany neck, and rosewood fingerboard.

It also comes with an LR Baggs Element VTC under-saddle pickup and Gotoh Keystone tuners.

Consequently, it produces a powerful but warm tone.

All in all, if you’re looking for a high-end dreadnought guitar, you can’t go wrong with Gibson and their incredible Montana Hummingbird.

2. Martin Reimagined Series D-28 – Guitar with a long-lasting reputation

Martin Reimagined Series D-28 - Guitar with a long-lasting reputation

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 professional musicians around the world, and their Reimagined Series is definitely one of the best.

In fact, the D-28 is regarded as one of the best acoustic guitars of all time

After all, it’s been used by music legends like Hank Williams, The Beatles, Johnny Cash, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, and others.

It’s incredibly well-made, featuring East Indian rosewood, which is very resonant and offers deep bass and rich overtones.

It also has Sitka spruce on top, which is often the case with top-quality acoustic guitars.

All in all, this classic Martin guitar will certainly meet your needs, regardless of your level of expertise.

It’s durable and comfortable, and it produces a beautiful, well-balanced tone.

It’s everything you need to bring your performance to the next level. 

3. Taylor 814ce – Best Grand Auditorium guitar 

Taylor 814ce - Best Grand Auditorium guitar 

If you’re interested in buying a Taylor guitar, we recommend the 814ce. 

The 814ce has long been considered Taylor’s flagship acoustic-electric guitar.

It’s a beautiful Grand Auditorium guitar with a Sitka spruce top, Indian rosewood back and sides, and an ebony fingerboard.

It also comes with Taylor tuners and Expression System 2 USP, a revolutionary pickup design that will provide you with powerful, clear volume.

That said, the 814ce can handle even wrong flatpicking and strumming.

It fits any style and genre, and it will certainly serve you well on all occasions, even on a larger stage.

Plus, it’s extremely comfortable, so you can easily practice for hours.

4. Lowden 32SE Stage Edition – Best for stage 

Lowden 32SE Stage Edition - Best high-end acoustic guitar for stage.

Lowden 32SE Stage Edition is a cutaway electro-acoustic designed to be played on stage.

Therefore, if you’re looking for a high-end acoustic guitar for performing, look no further.

Its size makes it a great all-rounder, and it can fit any style.

It’s ideal for picking and strumming, and its neck profile is amazing. 

It’s made of top-quality woods such as Sitka spruce, solid Indian rosewood, mahogany, and ebony.

And that explains the price – it’s not a guitar for every budget, but if you’re willing to invest in your music, this special guitar is definitely worth it. 

It’s equipped with an LR Baggs Anthem pickup and preamp, so it offers great value in terms of electronics as well. 

5. Guild F-55E – Best Jumbo guitar 

Guild F-55E - Best Jumbo guitar 

Without a doubt, Guild F-55E is one of the best high-end jumbo-sized guitars you can find.

It’s capable of producing powerful volume and warmth, and it looks just as beautiful as it sounds.

Its cosmetic appointments include the classic Guild “V-block” inlays, gold Gotoh hardware, and an elegant Nitrocellulose lacquer finish.

It’s available in Natural or Sunburst finish, as well as with LR Baggs Electronics.

Regarding the sound, the F-55E is recognizable for its focused bass response, sweet, singing mids, and crisp highs.

And all of that wouldn’t be possible without top materials like Sitka spruce, maple, mahogany, and ebony.

It’s one of the best high-end Jumbo acoustics you can buy. 

6. Martin SC-13E – Best acoustic-electric guitar 

Martin SC-13E - Best acoustic-electric guitar 

If you’re searching for a high-end acoustic-electric guitar, look no further than Martin SC-13E.

The SC-13E is designed to be plugged in, and its asymmetrical body shape provides balanced output.

Plus, due to its low-profile velocity neck barrel, you can easily move up the neck, with the comfort and playability of an electric.

But the SC-13 E also sounds amazing unplugged – so it all depends on your mood.

Although it’s pricey, it’s not one of the most expensive guitars on this list.

That being said, the SC-13E offers great value for money, and it certainly won’t let you down, even if you have years of experience. 

7. Yamaha A5R ARE – Easy to play 

Yamaha A5R ARE - Easy to play 

Needless to say, Yamaha is one of the most popular and successful companies in the world.

But their guitars are popular for a good reason, and the A5R ARE is proof.

This is a traditional Western body cutaway guitar that provides a warm, rich sound and recognizable jumbo tone. 

Due to the SRT2 preamp, you can count on the A5R’s resonance and bright balance.

It sounds as good plugged in as it does unplugged.

Moreover, the A5R ARE has excellent build quality – a solid Sitka Spruce top with A.R.E. treatment, solid rosewood back and sides, and African Mahogany neck.

It’s a real beauty for sure, and you won’t be disappointed with its sound either. 

8. Larrivée C-03R-TE Tommy Emmanuel Signature – Best for recording 

Larrivée C-03R-TE Tommy Emmanuel Signature - Best for recording 

Larrivée C-03R-TE Tommy Emmanuel Signature is another stunning acoustic guitar to consider. 

It’s a custom C-10 12-fret cutaway that Jean Larrivée built for Tommy Emmanuel 20 years ago.

It provides excellent playability and beautiful tone, and it works well for all styles.

It’s also an ideal guitar for studio recording, although the fact that it doesn’t have any onboard electronics might be a disadvantage for some people.

Nevertheless, this Larrivée deserves a spot among the best pro-quality guitars. 

If it was good enough for Tommy Emmanuel… 

9. Epiphone USA Collection Frontier – Best look

Epiphone USA Collection Frontier - Best look

Epiphone is known for manufacturing gorgeous acoustic guitars.

And this USA Collection Frontier acoustic is breathtaking.

Besides appearance, this model offers comfort, excellent playability, and unique sound.

It’s a dreadnought guitar with a Sitka spruce top, mahogany neck, and maple back and sides.

It’s expensive, but it’s definitely worth checking out, especially if you’re fond of Epiphone guitars.

Whether you’re a guitar beginner or a seasoned player, this beauty certainly won’t disappoint you. 

10. Taylor Builder’s Edition 324ce – Best V-Class acoustic 

Taylor Builder's Edition 324ce - Best V-Class acoustic 

This stunning V-Class acoustic from Taylor is another acoustic guitar that is worth exploring.

It’s made of special, premium woods such as Torrefied Sitka spruce, tropical mahogany, and West African ebony.

It’s also equipped with Taylor Expression System 2 Taylor Nickel tuners.

Consequently, the 324E is capable of producing well-balanced tones and powerful volume.

Developed by Andy Powers, V-Class bracing makes the top more in tune with the vibrating strings, so your notes won’t waver and sound out of tune.

All things considered, Taylor Builder’s Edition 324ce is well-made and durable, and it’s an ideal pro guitar for anyone looking for something new and exciting.

What to Expect From a High-End Acoustic Guitar?

Certainly, investing in a high-end guitar ultimately pays off – especially if you practice regularly and/or you want to enter the music industry. 

But what is the difference between high-end guitars and cheap acoustic guitars?

High-End Acoustic Guitars

First of all, with a high-end guitar, you’ll get top-notch materials and workmanship.

The best high-end acoustic guitars are exceptionally well-made, with a professional touch and attention to detail.

They are made with professional musicians in mind, although they can be used by beginners and intermediate players as well. 

But a trained ear will notice the difference in tone – and that’s arguably one of the most important differences between high-end and cheaper mid-range acoustic guitars.

The thing is, high-end acoustics are made of high-quality materials – and solid wood tops sound significantly better than laminated tops that can often be found in cheaper models.

The type of tonewood affects the tone of the guitar, so if you’re willing to spend more money on your new instrument, make sure it’s made of top-notch materials.

If you expect premium quality, you’ll probably want to get a guitar that has been hand-crafted in a small batch.

This is usually done by a select group of luthiers, and in certain cases, a guitar is made by a single luthier who primarily uses hand tools.

However, due to labor costs, many brands based in Europe and the US produce their guitars in Asia or Central and South America.

Nevertheless, many manufacturers are trying to find a sustainable way to make guitars.

If you opt for a reliable brand, you’ll get a quality guitar that’s well-made, durable, and playable.  

What Guitar Body Size Should I Choose?

Besides choosing a reliable brand, you should also think about what type of guitar body you want.

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

Different Acoustic Guitar Sizes

Dreadnought and Jumbo guitars usually deliver a deeper sound as well as increased volume and tone, and that’s why they’re popular among solo singer-songwriters.

Dreadnought guitars also have increased bass response though, and that’s not always a good thing.

But they produce a beautiful, familiar sound, and they’re still one of the most popular guitar shapes. 

Jumbo guitars have a well-balanced tone with slightly less bass response, and they’re popular among guitar players who play more strumming rather than fingerpicking.

If you prefer a tighter, more precise sound, you should opt for a smaller-bodied acoustic guitar like the Grand Auditorium, ‘000’, and Parlor.

Parlor guitars are small and lightweight, and due to their relatively low volume, they’re ideal for playing at home. 

Generally, the bigger the guitar, the bigger the sound – so it all depends on your style, goals, and preferences. 

Apart from the tone, the size of the guitar also affects how comfortable the instrument is – some people with smaller hands prefer more compact models, for instance. 

What Is the Best Wood for Acoustic Guitars? 

Another thing that will affect your decision is the type of wood used for guitars. 

As we’ve already mentioned, high-end acoustic guitars are usually made of high-quality materials – solid wood tops, quality wood back and sides, and so on. 

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

So, when buying a high-end acoustic guitar, make sure you learn a thing or two about different tonewoods.

Acoustic 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. 

Cedar is less dense than spruce, producing a nice, rich warmth. 

But 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.

When it comes to the sides and the back of the guitar, you’ll probably come across mahogany.

Mahogany gives an earthy sound and good high-end response, and it works well for the back and sides as well as for the neck of the guitar. 

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 – a very hard wood that produces a bright tone 
  • Ebony – an exceptionally hard wood with bright tone, it’s commonly used on the fingerboards of premium guitars 

Do I Need a Guitar Pickup?

Unless you put a mic in front of them, traditional acoustic guitars can be too quiet for a stage and larger venues. 

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 an aftermarket pickup into a guitar.

However, many high-end guitars come with onboard pickup systems, and they usually have premium pickups. 

Either way, if you want to amplify your guitar sound, you need to have a suitable pickup.

Piezo pickup is one of the most common 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. 

Usually, pickup arrangements are active, which means they need onboard battery power. 

If you want to avoid the brightness that occurs with piezo pickups, you can try a mic blend – musicians use this trick by using a small, internal mic to capture the sound and blend it with the sound of their guitar.

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

How to Take Care of Your Acoustic Guitar – Best Tips

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

After all, you want it to serve you well as long as it’s possible, right?

Man playing an acoustic guitar

High-end guitars tend to be durable and sturdy, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take proper care of them. 

If you keep in mind the following tips, your acoustic guitar will stay in good shape for many years to come:

  • 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 High-End Acoustic Guitars – Final Thoughts  

From iconic Martin guitars to classic Gibson models, there are plenty of stunning acoustic guitars to choose from.

Without a doubt, all the best high-end acoustic guitars we reviewed today will provide you with a comfortable and enjoyable playing experience.

Each guitar has its own characteristics and highlights, so you just need to find a guitar that meets your needs.

And once you do, you can start exploring new opportunities and take your guitar skills to the next level!

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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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