17 Best Acoustic Electric Guitars Under $500 in 2020

Whether you’re a beginner looking for a do-it-all acoustic guitar, or even if you’re a seasoned acoustic guitarist looking for a stage performing guitar, an acoustic electric guitar will come in handy.

By simply plugging the acoustic guitar into a PA system, an amp, or an audio interface, it’s extremely easy to record and perform with an acoustic electric guitar. Not to mention once you plug the acoustic guitar in, you’ll get a whole world of sound that will be available to you by using any combination of guitar pedals and effects.

Best Acoustic-Electric Guitars Under 500 Dollars Featured Image

To get a really high-quality acoustic instrument like a Martin or a Taylor, it’s going to cost you probably over $2000 to get a great guitar. Fortunately, with an acoustic electric, you can pay a lot less money if you know how to set up a good sound with pedals or amps.

Name of ProductImage of ProductDescriptionPrice RangeFull Review
1. Martin D-X1E HPL (Best Overall)Martin D-X1E HPLBody Style: Dreadnought
Top: HPL Mahogany
$500Read Full Review Below
2. Yamaha FGX800C (Best Value)Yamaha FGX800CBody Style: Dreadnought
Top: Solid Sitka Spruce
$320Read Full Review Below
3. Fender FA-135CE (Best Budget)Fender FA-135CEBody Style: Concert/O
Top: Laminated Spruce
$200Read Full Review Below
4. D’angelico Premier Tammany (Editor's Choice)D’angelico Premier TammanyBody Style: Orchestra/OM
Top: Solid Mahogany
$300Read Full Review Below
5. Washburn WA90CEWashburn WA90CEBody Style: Dreadnought
Top: Spruce Top
$130Read Full Review Below
6. Epiphone EJ-200SCEEpiphone EJ-200SCEBody Style: Jumbo
Top: Solid Spruce
$500Read Full Review Below
7. Cordoba C5-CECordoba C5-CEBody Style: Classical
Top: Solid Canadian Cedar
$460Read Full Review Below
8. Epiphone Hummingbird ProEpiphone Hummingbird ProBody Style: Dreadnought
Top: Solid Spruce
$370Read Full Review Below
9. Ibanez AW54CEIbanez AW54CEBody Style: Dreadnought
Top: Mahogany
$330Read Full Review Below
10. Guild Jumbo JuniorGuild Jumbo JuniorBody Style: Jumbo Junior
Top: Solid Sitka Spruce
$400Read Full Review Below
11. Yamaha CGX102 ClassicalYamaha CGX102 ClassicalBody Style: Classical
Top: Spruce
$300Read Full Review Below
12. Takamine GY11METakamine GY11MEBody Style: Parlor
Top: Mahogany
$400Read Full Review Below
13. Gretsch G5024E RancherGretsch G5024E RancherBody Style: Dreadnought
Top: Solid Spruce
$370Read Full Review Below
14. Mitchell O120CESB Auditorium Acoustic-ElectricMitchell O120CESB Auditorium Acoustic-ElectricBody Style: Auditorium
Top: Spruce
$145Read Full Review Below
15. Ibanez V70CEIbanez-V70CEBody Style: Dreadnought
Top: Select Spruce Top
$180Read Full Review Below
16. Fender CD-60SCEFender CD-60SCEBody Style: Dreadnought
Top: Solid Spruce
$330Read Full Review Below
17. Takamine GD30CETakamine GD30CEBody Style: Dreadnought cutaway body
Top: Solid Spruce
$500Read Full Review Below

Here Are the Best Acoustic Electric Guitars Under $500

1. Martin D-X1E (Best Overall)

Martin D-X1E HPL

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Estimated Price: $500

Body Style: Dreadnought
Top: HPL Mahogany
Back and Sides: HPL Mahogany
Neck: Select hardwood
Electronics: Fishman MX

My Review: Martin guitars are famously known as the legendary acoustic guitar company that produces some of the highest quality acoustic guitars that are commercially available. Owning a proper Martin instrument can be compared to owning a BMW or a Porsche because most Martin guitars end up costing over $3000. But luckily, there is a chance for you to own a Martin for just around $500. The Martin D-X1E HPL is the entry-level Martin guitar with a well-balanced tone and very comfortable playability. It’s a rare chance for beginners and intermediate guitar players to experience the Martin guitar quality without breaking your bank account.

Key Specs and Features: The top wood is made of mahogany, which is known as the go-to high-quality tonewood. The back and sides are also made of mahogany and the neck is made of select hardwood. The neck is very comfortable to grip and the low action of the guitar makes it effortless to play those big chords.

The body is dreadnought but the size is not overbearing like some dreadnought guitars and it’s easy for players of all sizes to approach playing the instrument. The tone is not as heavy in the mids or as low as more expensive Martin guitars, but it features a well-balanced tone. The tone is great for versatile playing – fingerstyle, strumming, and shredding with a pick as well.

Some other features are a luxurious pickguard for protecting your guitar from hard strumming with a pick, die-cast tuners, gig bag, Granadillo bridge, and the one-and-only Martin headstock.

Electronics: This guitar comes with Fishman MX pickup & preamp. The preamp is mounted inside the soundhole and you have access to volume and tone knobs within reach. By mounting the preamp inside the guitar, it really cleans up the overall look.

Who Will Use This the Most: With the Martin D-X1E, you get a rare chance to own a Martin guitar at an affordable price and the well-balanced tone and comfortable playability will suit everyone’s needs.

Bottom Line: Martin D-X1E is a solid dreadnought body guitar that is offered at affordable pricing by a legendary guitar company. Overall, I would say this is the best acoustic electric guitar under $500 on the market right now.

This guitar comes in Koa and high-pressure laminate (HPL). The video shows the Koa version:

2. Yamaha FGX800C (Best Value)

Yamaha FGX800C

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Estimated Price: $320

Body Style: Dreadnought
Top: Solid Sitka Spruce
Back and Sides: Nato/okume
Neck: Nato
Body Bracing: Scalloped X Bracing
Electronics: Yahama SYSTEM 66

My Review: Yamaha FGX800C is among your best choices for affordable guitars and they have proven their worth time and time again. The Yamaha FG series has been around since the late 1960s and it’s been the go-to guitar for affordable acoustic guitar for many years now. Although they have slightly increased the price in recent years, it’s still a great guitar for the price. The FGX800C is suitable for both complete beginners and intermediate guitar players, and the electronics allow you to perform and record easily by plugging in the guitar. This guitar is known to have good quality tonewoods all around the guitar and thus resulting in a satisfying guitar sound.

Key Specs and Features: Unlike other affordable guitars in a similar price range, Yamaha FGX800C has Solid Sitka Spruce top, which is a very high-quality tonewood for acoustic guitars. The back and sides are made up of mahogany-like wood called nato. Solid Sitka provides a natural and gorgeous color for the guitar and the combination of both kinds of wood produces a well-rounded and articular tone with a good overall projection of the sound.

Another feature that stands out is the scalloped x bracing, and this is something you would find on high priced guitars like a Martin guitar. Scalloped X bracing was first used by Martin Guitars prior to World War II and now they’ve been using this technology for many of their modern guitars as well. What it does is the scalloped bracing will provide improved top flexibility, and it will significantly enhance the bass response of the guitar.

And like the previous guitars, the FGX800C comes with a handy cutaway for better access to top frets. One thing you should consider is that this guitar only comes with 17 frets as opposed to 20 and this might affect some guitar players that like to play in the high registers of the guitar. Users of the FGX800C find the playability comfortable and it can be the perfect first guitar for kids and teenagers as well as adults.

Electronics: The electronics on this guitar is simple but has everything you need. Yamaha installed their own System 66 pickup with preamp and you can get a decent tone out of this pickup through an amp or a PA. The controls are very simple but straightforward – volume control, 3-band EQ, and a tuner.

Who Will Use This the Most: For around $300, this guitar is one of the best, trustworthy choices. The Yamaha FGX800C is perfect for children, teenagers, and adults who are beginners or intermediate players.

Bottom Line: Yamaha FGX800C provides great value for the price and the tone is surprisingly good for the price.

3. Fender FA-135CE (Best Budget)

Fender FA-135CE

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Estimated Price: $200

Body Style: Concert/O
Top: Laminated Spruce
Back and Sides: Layered Basswood
Neck: Nato
Body Bracing: X
Electronics: Fishman

My Review: Starting off this list, we have an affordable acoustic electric guitar by the most well-known guitar brand – Fender. Fender is known for their electric guitars like Strats and Teles, they have been producing acoustic guitars for a while now. Although they weren’t able to catch up to brands like Martin or Taylor in terms of high-end acoustic guitars, Fender has been steadily producing well-made affordable and mid-range priced acoustic guitars. The Fender FA-135CE is a versatile, all-around acoustic electric guitar that offers solid construction and warm sound. Considering the build quality, the price of this guitar is quite unbelievable.

Key Specs and Features: FA-135CE has a classic single-cutaway concert body, which is a very comfortable body shape for an acoustic guitar. The concert body is well-known to be more comfortable than bigger body shapes like Dreadnought guitars, and the single-cutaway allows you to reach all the way up to 20th fret much easier than other guitars. The body is composed of basswood and spruce, and the neck is made up of nato and finished with rosewood fingerboard. The guitar also has other features like black pickguard, chrome die-cast tuners for tuning stability, and the classic Fender headstock. Just by looking at the specs, it’s really hard to believe that this well-built guitar only costs around $200.

The body is also built with X-bracing, which will give you the best resonant guitar sound. With all these specs, the guitar sounds looks, feels, plays like a much more expensive guitar. However, one thing to consider is that the guitar doesn’t sound very big without amplification. Since it was built for plugging into an amp or a PA, the FA-135CE excels at producing an amazing amplified acoustic guitar tone. The tone is very warm and full, and the sound is very well-balanced. Characteristic of the tone is that it’s very mid-driven, which will be great for fingerstyle playing and mellow playing.

Electronics: FA-135CE is equipped with a Fishman ION-T preamp and a chromatic tuner. Most cheap acoustic electric guitars only come with one or two EQ controls, but this guitar comes with three EQ controls – bass, middle, and treble controls and separate volume control. Also, the chromatic tuner comes in a brightly-colored LED screen and it’s very easy to see.

Who Will Use This the Most: This guitar is recommended to anyone looking for an acoustic electric guitar under $200 and it’ll be great as a touring or performing acoustic guitar.

Bottom Line: Fender FA-135CE is a solid, all-around acoustic electric guitar by the legendary company Fender with a warm sound.

4. D’angelico Premier Tammany (Editor’s Choice)

D’angelico Premier Tammany

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Estimated Price: $300

Body Style: Orchestra/OM
Top: Solid Mahogany
Back and Sides: Laminated Mahogany
Neck: Mahogany
Body Bracing: Scalloped X Bracing
Electronics: D’angelico MG-30 onboard preamp/tuner

My Review: D’angelico is the dark horse of the modern electric and acoustic guitars, and they’ve been creating some of the best-looking, affordable and great-sounding guitars ever since their revival in 2010. They can put out some luxurious-looking guitars that have their own special “D’angelico” look and by producing their guitars overseas, D’angelico is able to keep the price very affordable for its quality.

D’angelico Premier Tammany is from their recent Premier lines and it’s offered in multiple colors like Matte Black, Mahogany Satin, Trans Black Cherry Burst, Ice Tea Burst, and Vintage Natural. Every color is slightly different in terms of body design and body wood material and Mahogany Satin finish is the most affordable option among them. It’s one of the cheapest prices offered by the legendary D’angelico and it’s a great chance to experience the D’angelico excellence for just around $300.

Key Specs and Features: The Mahogany Satin has an all-mahogany body and it uses laminated mahogany for both top and back&sides. But the real difference between this particular guitar and the other guitars on this list is the guitar shape. Other guitars were mostly dreadnought shape, which is known to produce a bigger and bass-heavy full guitar sound. The D’angelico Premier Tammany has an OM body – Orchestra Model. The OM body is known to produce a sweeter, mid-heavy guitar tone. It might not be as loud as a Dreadnought body or have as much as bass in the tone, but the OM body has its advantages of having a more mellow sound. Another huge advantage of an OM body is its smaller and comfortable body shape. So for those who struggle to wrap their body around a full-size dreadnought guitar, this OM body might be for you.

The neck profile is C-shaped and it’s very comfortable to grip and move around throughout the neck. The scale length is very standard – a total length of 25.5’’, the hardware is chrome and there is a dual-action truss rod running through this guitar’s neck. With so many color/finish choices and the classic D’angelico headstock, the D’angelico Premier Tammany looks both luxurious and modern. And most importantly, the tone quality backs up its good looks.

Electronics: The electronics are D’agenlico’s own system – MG-30 onboard preamp/tuner. It’s simple but effective with volume, bass, mid, treble, phase, and an accurate tuner.

Who Will Use This the Most: For those of you who find dreadnought body guitars too big or just too much, this guitar will fit much more comfortably to your body. The characteristic of guitar sound is also different – this OM body is sweeter and mid-range based while dreadnought is more bassy and full.

Bottom Line: D’angelico Premier Tammany is a very attractive OM body guitar that also has great sound and comfortable playability.

5. Washburn WA90CE

Washburn WA90CE

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Estimated Price: $130

Body Style: Dreadnought
Top: Spruce Top
Back and Sides: Mahogany
Neck: Mahogany
Body Bracing:
Electronics: Washburn onboard tuner and pre-amp

My Review: Washburn guitars have been around since the late 1800s and now they are known for their great selection of low to mid-range priced acoustic guitars. They produce all sorts of acoustic guitars from dreadnought, auditorium-styles, to even classical guitars. The Washburn WA90CE is one of the most affordable options from Washburn and it’s an overall solid guitar for a great price.

Key Specs and Features: The specs and the build are quite surprising for a $130 acoustic electric guitar. The back and the sides of the guitar is made of mahogany, and the top finished spruce top. Mahogany helps the guitar resonate fully and with the spruce top, you get a very attractive top for the guitar. There’s also a Venetian single cutaway, which is crucial for reaching those top frets above 12th fret.

The fretboard is made of rosewood and the neck is quite chunky but comfortable to grip. Other than that, it also comes with a dual-action truss rod for maximum stability in the guitar neck and easy adjusting for string height. At such a cheap price, you get to experience a thick and warm sound of a dreadnought guitar body. You’ll get a deep and full bass with plenty of mids and highs, and it’ll be a great instrument for strumming with a pick. Also, the guitar is finished vintage tobacco sunburst, which adds another element of subtle beauty in this guitar.

Electronics: Washburn WA90CE comes with Washburn’s own built-in preamp and a tuner. The preamp is extremely simple and just has volume control and a button to turn the tuner on. You will probably need to do some adjusting on your guitar amp or on the PA system. Using an EQ pedal or other pedals might be beneficial if you’re performing for a large crowd.

Who Will Use This the Most: I recommend this guitar to beginner guitar players who want to learn guitar and also perform with the guitar. This super affordable price is perfect for the beginners who want to start learning with a full dreadnought shaped acoustic guitar.

Bottom Line: The Washburn WA90CE provides a surprisingly decent quality dreadnought acoustic electric guitar for such a cheap price.

6. Epiphone EJ-200SCE

Epiphone EJ-200SCE

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Estimated Price: $500

Body Style: Jumbo
Top: Solid Spruce
Back and Sides: Select Maple
Neck: Maple
Electronics: Fishman Sonitone preamp and Fishman Sonicore pickup

My Review: Here we have a guitar at the very end of our price range – with a price of $499. This special guitar is a tribute to the legendary Gibson SJ-200, a guitar that has been around since the 1930s and has been played by countless legends like Elvis Presley, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, and Johnny Cash. Obviously the real Gibson SJ-200 is way out of most people’s price range (costs well over $4000), and Epiphone always seems to make the magic happen by creating great quality clones at a fraction of the price. At less than 1/8th of the original price, the Epiphone EJ-200SCE provides a great, big sound and looks just as beautiful as the original.

Key Specs and Features: Epiphone managed to copy the J-200 pickguard, Pearloid Crown inlays on the fretboard, sloped dove wing headstock, and the famous mustache bridge from the original SJ-200. All these little features add a whole layer of luxuriousness to the guitar, and it’ll look beautiful on stage.

The main characteristic is the large Jumbo body and it’s really a unique guitar shape that gives you so much sound from the instrument. EJ-200SCE comes with a beautiful cutaway on the body for access to all 20 frets. The tonewoods are also top-notch – Solid Spruce for the top and laminated maple for everything else.

Something that stands out from other guitars is the SlimTaper D Shape neck, which is a common neck shape you would find in Gibson guitars. It’s really one of the most comfortable neck shapes in the world and you can grab all kinds of chords or play scales with ease. And like a proper Gibson guitar, this guitar comes with a set of Grover Rotomatic machine heads, solid pau ferro bridge, and a synthetic bone saddle. In a lot of ways, Epiphone EJ-200SCE is a cool mix of acoustic and electric guitars, and you get a lot of the cool Gibson solid body electric guitar features on this guitar as well.

Electronics: The electronics on the EJ-200SCE are extremely high-tech and it has Epiphone’s own Shadow eSonic-II HD Stereo pickup system. This modern pickup system has both Fishman Sonitone preamp and Fishman Sonicore pickup, and you get three different settings NanoMag, NanoFlex, and a blend of both. NanoMag has less input and NanoFlex is more like a piezo pickup and has more output. Both have slightly different characteristics and many users love the blended mode between the two as well. The electronics also come with basic EQ controls and an accurate & easy-to-read tuner.

Who Will Use This the Most: I highly recommend this guitar for intermediate and maybe even advanced players as a performing and touring guitar. It’s also great as a practicing guitar and can even work as a recording guitar.

Bottom Line: Epiphone EJ-200SCE is a beautiful tribute model to the legendary Gibson SJ-200, and it also provides a warm and deep sound.

7. Cordoba C5-CE

Cordoba C5-CE

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Estimated Price: $460

Body Style: Classical
Top: Solid Canadian Cedar
Back and Sides: Mahogany
Neck: Mahogany
Body Bracing: Spanish Fan
Electronics: Fishman preamp and pickup

My Review: Here we have a nylon-stringed classical guitar, which produces a totally different tone from all the previous steel-string acoustic guitars. Guitar manufacturer Cordoba has been around since 1997 and they are a Spanish company. Now classical guitars are originally from Spain and this Spanish company makes both affordable and high-quality classical guitar with their long history of constructing classical guitars.

Cordoba C5-CE is one of their more affordable options, but the quality of the instrument is much better than most affordable nylon guitars. They perform exceptionally well acoustically and with amplification as well. I picked this guitar for the list because of its versatility – you can use the Cordoba C5-CE for traditional classical guitar playing, fingerpicking, jazz, flamenco, and even strumming with a pick. The types of music you can play with this guitar is practically endless and it’s also a comfortable instrument to play and carry around.

Key Specs and Features: The main thing you notice on this instrument is the solid Canadian Cedar top and it’s actually quite rare to see a Cedar top on a cheap nylon guitar. Most affordable nylon guitars come with laminated tops but the Cordoba managed to use a Cedar top and they add a layer of sweetness to the tone. The back and the sides are made with mahogany wood and the bracing on this guitar is a Spanish fan.

The single-cutaway is a useful feature on a classical guitar body because often times it’s extremely difficult to reach the frets above the 12th fret on most classical guitars. Again, this feature makes this guitar a lot more versatile for other genres that are not classical guitar music. As you should expect with a classical guitar, the neck is wider than steel-string acoustic guitars. Playing with your thumb over the top of the guitar will be hard with this instrument.

Cordoba C5-CE comes in two different colors – natural and sunburst. Both have their advantages but I prefer the natural finish because of its simple but subtle luxuriousness. The guitar is also quite sturdy and it makes a great travel guitar as well. This versatile and affordable nylon-stringed guitar will be great for beginner and intermediate players and high-level musicians can also use this guitar for traveling and touring purposes.

Electronics: Cordoba C5-CE uses a simple but trustworthy Fishman preamp and pickup system. It has bass and treble knobs, a volume knob, a phase knob, and a tuner. The guitar has relatively low feedback and with some amplification, it works like a charm.

Who Will Use This the Most: This guitar is extremely versatile and it’ll suit everybody from children, adults, beginners to advanced guitar players who are looking for a nylon-stringed guitar with pickup.

Bottom Line: Cordoba C5-CE provides a great value for the price and it’s really a versatile & sturdy classical guitar that can suit everyone’s needs.

8. Epiphone Hummingbird Pro

Epiphone Hummingbird Pro

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Estimated Price: $370

Body Style: Dreadnought
Top: Solid Spruce
Back and Sides: Select Mahogany
Neck: Select Mahogany
Body Bracing: X Bracing
Electronics: Fishman Sonitone preamps and Sonicore pickup

My Review: Most of the Epiphone guitars are based on Gibson originals and this model is based on another legendary Gibson model called Hummingbird. Gibson Hummingbirds were around since the ‘60s and it was first made famous by Keith Richards – who used this guitar on Rolling Stones’ hits like “Satisfaction”. Since then, Hummingbirds are a popular rhythm guitar option for rock stars like Noel Gallagher and Kid Rock.

Key Specs and Features: When it comes to classic models, it’s crucial that the company gets the details of the design and specs right. Time and time again, Epiphone has pulled off the impossible of producing extremely affordable tribute models of guitars that are originally very expensive. Epiphone included important details like the hummingbird artwork pickguard on a faded cherry burst top and Pearloid parallelogram for fretboard inlays.

The top is solid spruce and one of the benefits of solid spruce is that the sound will improve as time passes. The neck, back, and the sides are constructed with select mahogany and the combination of both kinds of wood make the tone rich, lush, and full of deep resonance. The neck has a SlimTaper D profile for comfortable playing and the scale length is only 24.75’’, which is much shorter than other acoustic guitars. Then there are other exciting details like adjustable truss rod, Grover 14:1 machine heads, and imitation bone nut to top it off.

Electronics: Similarly to EJ-200SCE, Epiphone Hummingbird Pro comes with both Fishman Sonitone preamp and Sonicore pickup. The preamp has dynamics control, bass and treble knobs, phase, mute, and a volume knob. Unfortunately, there is no built-in tuner but the overall sound of the preamp is still great.

Who Will Use This the Most: Epiphone Hummingbird Pro is great for guitar players of all levels and it’ll be best for rock guitar players that are looking for a rhythm guitar.

Bottom Line: Epiphone Hummingbird Pro is an all-around extremely well-made guitar that pays tribute to the legendary Gibson Hummingbird.

9. Ibanez AW54CE

Ibanez AW54CE

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Estimated Price: $330

Body Style: Dreadnought
Top: Mahogany
Back and Sides: Mahogany
Neck: Mahogany
Body Bracing: X Bracing
Electronics: Fishman Sonicore preamp with Ibanez Pickup

My Review: At just around $300, Ibanez AW54CE is a gorgeous guitar with dark and natural color. The whole guitar is made of mahogany and it’s very easy to see that with dark-colored body, neck, and headstock. With such a low price, Ibanez was able to source high-quality parts and hardware, and the guitar has a very attractive vintage vibe. Overall, it’s a guitar that looks luxurious and vintage but also sounds warm and full of resonance.

Key Specs and Features: The Ibanez AW54CE has a dreadnought body with a total scale length of 25.6’’, and has a convenient single cutaway on the body. The longer scale length allows the guitar to resonate more fully, but the downside is that there will be more tension on the strings than the guitars with shorter scale length. And like a Martin guitar, Ibanez AW54CE has 14th fret design, meaning the neck goes up to 14th fret until it meets the body (Many guitars have 12th fret design). The guitar has an open pore design, which gives it a rustic and vintage aesthetics, and the dark and natural color adds to the vintage vibe.

While the back and sides are made with mahogany, the top is finished with a solid mahogany top. The solid mahogany top gives a rich and vibrant guitar tone while the classic rosewood fretboard adds to the deep resonant timbre. There is a total of 20 frets on this guitar and the frets come with simple dot inlays. Another feature that they have added is the Satin finish on the neck. This gives an ultra-smooth feeling when you are moving your hands up and down the neck. In terms of the pickguard, you get an attractive tortoiseshell pickguard, which goes nicely with the vintage vibe. The tuners are chrome die-cast Grover tuners.

The overall sound is a rich, warm, and slightly darker tone than some of the other models. It’ll sound amazing just acoustically and you can expect some beautiful strumming and fingerpicking sound with the AW54CE. Of course with the combination of the preamp and the pickup, there is really no limit to how loud you can get if you are able to control the feedback coming from the guitar.

Electronics: The electronics on this guitar are Ibanez AEQ210TF Preamp with Fishman Sonicore pickup. The preamp is simple yet effective and it comes with volume, bass, treble knobs, and an onboard tuner.

Who Will Use This the Most: If you are looking for an affordable guitar with a slightly darker tone or if you’re looking for an acoustic-electric with a vintage vibe, this guitar is a great choice.

Bottom Line: The Ibanez AW54CE is among the top choices for acoustic electric guitars around $300 and the rustic/vintage vibe with the all-mahogany body makes it stand out among the other similarly priced guitars.

10. Guild Jumbo Junior

Guild Jumbo Junior

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Estimated Price: $400

Body Style: Jumbo Junior
Top: Solid Sitka Spruce
Back and Sides: Mahogany
Neck: Mahogany
Body Bracing: Scalloped X
Electronics: Guild AP-1 Pickup, Fishman Preamp

My Review: Guild Jumbo Junior is an on-the-go, compact, comfy guitar that also has a surprisingly big and super resonant sound. The details of this guitar are finished with high-quality parts and it has deep V in the body where you can comfortably fit into your body. It’s a great guitar for players with small hands and also for musicians that travel a lot. If you take this little beauty around everywhere you go, I’m sure you’ll be able to compose some beautiful songs. The preamps on this guitar also make it a great touring companion and for singer-songwriters like Ed Sheeran, it’ll be a great guitar to take it on stage.

Key Specs and Features: The scale length is significantly shorter than regular-sized acoustic sized guitars and the total length is only 23.75’’. That’s more than a full inch shorter than most guitars. You can almost think of this guitar size as between a Little Martin or Taylor GS Mini and a full-size acoustic guitar. After all, many people describe this guitar as a close cousin to the Taylor GS Mini.

While you would think the guitar sound will also be a lot smaller because of its size, the Jumbo Junior actually has a surprisingly loud sound. That might be because of the premium tonewoods that were selected for this guitar. The top is solid Sitka Spruce and the back and sides are made of mahogany. The bracing is Scalloped X bracing, which adds to the full resonance of the guitar.

Guitar has many attractive details like cream edge binding, Tortoiseshell pickguard, chrome hardware, dual-action truss rod, and mother-of-pearl dot inlays. It has a full resonant sound acoustically but plugging in will give you so much more tone control and fuller sound.

Electronics: Guild Jumbo Junior Mahogany uses its own AP-1 pickup system in combination with Fishman Sonicore pickup. Unfortunately, this guitar doesn’t have a preamp in place, but you can control your EQs and volume directly on the PA or an amplifier.

Who Will Use This the Most: This guitar can be great for guitar players of all levels. Beginners and intermediate players with small hands can benefit a lot from its shorter scale length, and experienced musicians can buy this guitar as travel or touring guitar.

Bottom Line: Guild Jumbo Junior might be small in size, but it has plenty of resonance and sound for or for.

11. Yamaha CGX102 Classical

Yamaha CGX102 Classical

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Estimated Price: $300

Body Style: Classical
Top: Spruce
Back and Sides: Nato
Neck: Nato/mahogany
Electronics: System 68N

My Review: Yamaha CGX102 is among the most popular acoustic-electric nylon-string guitars in the world and that’s because of its affordability, versatility, and natural, resonant sound. Because of the natural tone, there is a lot of room to change or alter the tone once you plug it into an amp or PA system. It’s great for so many genres like jazz, classical, pop, fingerstyle guitar, and much more.

Key Specs and Features: Yamaha was able to use quality tonewoods for an affordable price. The top is spruce and the back and sides are nato wood. Spruce top sounds better as it ages with time and it offers enhanced harmonics and amazing tonal balance. The rosewood fretboard and bridge also offers accurate and smooth playing.

The main advantage of this guitar would be that Yamaha CGX102 works amazingly well for both professionals and students alike. Now that’s a rare trait for a guitar, especially for such an affordable guitar. One of the reasons for this is because the guitar sounds amazing when plugged in, so it can work flawlessly on the hands of an experienced guitarist and also from the hands of a guitar student. This guitar is also a perfect guitar for students to use the proper classical guitar techniques like rest stroke, free stroke, and rasgueados.

Electronics: The electronics are spot-on with contact pickup and onboard tuner provided by System 68N. It offers both tonal clarity and a lot of versatility. The controls are very simple – just a volume knob and a single tone knob.

Who Will Use This the Most: The Yamaha CGX102 is a great guitar for students to learn classical guitar, while also playing other genres like fingerstyle and jazz on this guitar. It can work well for professionals that are looking for a nylon-string guitar with a solid set of onboard electronics.

Bottom Line: Yamaha CGX102 is both comfortable and versatile guitar, and it’s offered in a very friendly price as well.

12. Takamine GY11ME

Takamine GY11ME

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Estimated Price: $400

Body Style: Parlor
Top: Mahogany
Back and Sides: Mahogany
Neck: Mahogany
Electronics: Takamine Preamp and Pickup

My Review: The history of parlor guitars go back since the 1800s and it was first designed for female guitar players with smaller body frames than men. But because of its undeniable comfort, men, women, and children all adored this guitar shape and soon became the most popular guitar body shape in the late 1800s. You can see legendary blues guitarists like Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters playing tasty blues licks on a parlor guitar. It’s certainly smaller in size than both dreadnought and OM body, and although it might not sound as big as a dreadnought, it has its characteristic sweet sound.

Now fast forward to modern-day, parlor guitars are back in fashion and many guitar brands are recreating parlor guitars with its vintage design. It’s a great guitar for people who are looking for a small and compact guitar and also for people that love vintage-vibe guitars.

Takamine GY11ME has a classic mahogany body and it’s a great guitar for playing old school genres like acoustic blues, fingerstyle, and roots music. It’ll also suit the modern popular music and modern fingerstyle songs very well. But one of the main reasons why parlor guitars are back in fashion is because of its compact size and comfortable playing size. The body size is much narrower and it’s perfect as a travel guitar.

Key Specs and Features: Takamine GY11ME is all mahogany from top, back, sides, and neck. The combination of low-gloss finish and slot headstock gives it a more old-school vibe. The neck profile is something called a C soft neck and it’s extremely comfortable to grip. Even though the body size is much smaller than a dreadnought body, the scale length is about the same with 25.3 inches and the number of frets is also 20 frets.

Other than that, the guitar is built with scalloped X bracing and comes with a gold machine head, Pearloid dots, and composite nut. You can expect a soft, mellow, and delicate tone from this guitar, and the overall volume will inevitably be quieter than dreadnought body guitars.

Electronics: This guitar has Takamine’s own TP-4T electronics, which come with all the features you would need from a preamp. It has bass, mid, treble knobs, volume knob, and a chromatic tuner.

Who Will Use This the Most: This guitar will suit the guitar players looking for a small and compact acoustic electric guitar, and will also be suitable for guitarists that are into old acoustic blues and fingerstyle playing.

Bottom Line: Takamine GY11ME is a classic throwback to the old style of acoustic guitars and the excellent preamp and pickup systems provide a beautiful sound when it’s plugged in.

13. Gretsch G5024E Rancher

Gretsch G5024E Rancher

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Estimated Price: $370

Body Style: Dreadnought
Top: Solid Spruce
Back and Sides: Laminated Mahogany
Neck: Mahogany
Electronics: Fishman Sonicore Pickup and Isys Preamp

My Review: Gretsch is one of the lesser-known guitar companies but it has as much history and significance in the guitar history as companies like Fender and Gibson. Gretsch created many innovative designs for solid body guitars, hollow-body guitars, and acoustic guitars. In the 1950s, Gretsch released a very unique guitar design called Rancher and it has a futuristic guitar shape and it’s a weird mix between an acoustic and an electric guitar.

The futuristic design that was released in the ‘50s is still looking pretty futuristic with a guitar pick-shaped sound hole and unique pickguard design. The Gretsch G5024e Rancher is a unique guitar with a dreadnought body and excellent pickup system. You can get an amazing sound plugged into an amp or PA with this guitar, but also a decent sound acoustically as well.

Key Specs and Features: At below $400, this guitar features incredibly high-tech specs. First off, you’ll notice the signature triangular soundhole and the stylish pickguard. Then there is the quality tonewood – Solid Spruce top. Solid Spruce is one of the best tonewood for an acoustic guitar and it will age like a fine wine. They also used the scalloped X bracing technique and with these two things combined, you’ll get a rich and resonant sound out of this beauty.

The compensated saddle also allows for better intonation and the strings will stay in-tune for a longer period of time. The scale length of the guitar is on the shorter side compared to some of the other acoustic guitars – 25 inches. The slightly shorter scale length will allow you to play a lot easier.

Electronics: On this particular guitar, we have the Fishman Isys+ preamp and Sonicore under-saddle preamp. It’s a fine preamp and pickup by a reputable company and it comes with a volume knob, tuner, bass, middle, treble knobs. It has everything you need in an acoustic guitar preamp.

Who Will Use This the Most: This guitar will suit every level of guitar player that is looking for a unique acoustic electric guitar.

Bottom Line: Gretsch G5024E is a blast from the past combined with modern electronics capabilities.

14. Mitchell O120CESB Auditorium Acoustic-Electric

Mitchell O120CESB Auditorium Acoustic-Electric

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Estimated Price: $145

Body Style: Auditorium
Top: Spruce
Back and Sides: Mahogany
Neck: Mahogany
Body Bracing: Forward Shifted X
Electronics: Mitchell Undersaddle pickup and preamp

My Review: Mitchell O120CESB is definitely not a well-known guitar or from a well-known brand but from the feedback of many buyers, they have proven to have excellent value for the price. It comes at a shocking price of around $140 and it has a surprisingly good tone and loud volume. For beginners that are looking for a reliable and affordable guitar that you can also plug-in for performing, Mitchell O120CESB can go toe-to-toe with some of the most famous affordable acoustic electric guitars.

Key Specs and Features: This guitar has an auditorium style body, which is a smaller and more comfortable body than a dreadnought style body. It’ll easily fit children and smaller adults as well and the C neck profile provides a comfortable grip for your hand. Although the price is well below $200, this brand was able to use Select Spruce top and mahogany for back and the sides. They are both excellent choices of tonewoods and it’ll provide a loud and rich guitar tone.

The guitar also features multi-ply binding, abalone soundhole rosette, and a high-gloss vintage sunburst finish. These kinds of details add a certain beauty to this guitar and they make the guitar seem much more expensive than it actually is. The saddle is also a compensated saddle, which improves tuning drastically and you can play much longer without worrying too much about going out of tune. Combined with easy playability, quality tonewoods, quality design, and extremely cheap price, Mitchell 0120CESB is an amazing choice of acoustic electric guitar for any beginner guitarist.

Electronics: The electronics are Mitchell’s own pickup and preamp, and it packs all the necessary features for such a cheap price. This Mitchell preamp has 3-band EQ (bass, mid, treble), phase button, tuner, and a volume knob.

Who Will Use This the Most: Although this brand is not very known, I highly recommend this guitar for any beginner guitar players that are looking for their first brand new acoustic guitar. Beginners will find this guitar easy-to-play, looks decent and packs some surprisingly good guitar sounds.

Bottom Line: Mitchell O120CESB has crazy value for the price and it’s an overall impressive, affordable acoustic electric guitar.

15. Ibanez V70CE

Ibanez V70CE

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Estimated Price: $180

Body Style: Dreadnought
Top: Select Spruce Top
Back and Sides: Mahogany
Neck: Mahogany
Electronics: Ibanez Preamp and Pickups

My Review: Ibanez V70CE is another trustworthy acoustic electric guitar that has been around more than 10 years. If a guitar model stays in production by a big name company like Ibanez, it means the guitar is popular. And it’s been steadily popular for a very good reason. For just under $200, you get a full-size dreadnought body with great quality tonewoods and the signature soft single-cutaway gives you very easy access to higher frets. The tone of the guitar is full and loud, and it’s really versatile for many different genres of music. This makes the Ibanez V70CE a perfect beginner guitar or an acoustic-electric for singers and singer-songwriters.

Key Specs and Features: As I mentioned above, the main thing that stands out from this guitar is the soft single cutaway shape. The top is made of layered spruce and the rest of the body is constructed with nato mahogany. The fretboard is rosewood and you can see that all the wood choices are pretty standard choices for a quality acoustic guitar.
The soundhole is also attractive with its rosette design and around the body of the guitar, you can see the solid plastic ivory-colored binding. This binding protects the guitar from cuts and damages, and also serves as a great decoration for the guitar. In terms of tuning, you get die-cast chrome tuners that will last a lifetime and a compensated saddle for very long tuning stability. The tone is loud, pronounced, and rich with resonance. However, you might want to consider the fact that this is a full-sized dreadnought body, so inevitably, it won’t be as easy to press on the strings and make a sound like some of the other smaller body guitars.

Electronics: Electronics are simple yet effective with Ibanez preamp and pickup. The simple design gives you the option to control the volume, bass, and treble.

Who Will Use This the Most: I recommend this guitar to beginner guitar players that want to learn straight from a full-size dreadnought body guitar. Although it’ll be more painful and harder to make beautiful sounds on a full-size dreadnought body guitar, it will all be worth it when you overcome that and build strong finger/hand muscles for the future.

Bottom Line: Ibanez V70CE impresses with its great value and V70CE continues its popularity as a solid affordable acoustic-electric even after 10 years of production.

16. Fender CD-60SCE

Fender CD-60SCE

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Estimated Price: $330

Body Style: Dreadnought
Top: Solid Spruce
Back and Sides: Mahogany
Neck: Mahogany
Body Bracing: Quartersawn scalloped X
Electronics: Fishman preamp and pickup

My Review: Fender CD-60SCE is an extremely popular model by the most popular guitar brand in the world, Fender. Fender somehow manages to produce both super affordable and high-end guitars at the same time. This guitar is slightly over $300, but the quality is enough for intermediates and even advanced guitar players to take it on stage. It offers a seductive Venetian single-cutaway design for easy access to upper frets and the neck profile is Fender’s Easy-to-play shape. It’s an impressive guitar for the price and plus you get to own a Fender guitar for just a little over $300!

Key Specs and Features: The specs and features of Fender CD-60SCE are pretty standard. The top is solid Spruce and the rest of the body is mahogany. The bracing is a little different and it’s something called Quartersawn Scalloped X. The bracing and tonewoods work together beautifully to create a deep, warm sound and by using the pickup, the sky’s the limit when it comes to the guitar sound. Because of the comfortable neck shape combined with a full-size dreadnought body, you can play all kinds of genres of music like pop, fingerstyle, blues, singer-songwriter, jazz, and much more. It’s a kind of instrument that you can keep for many years and depend upon without worrying about constant guitar repairs.

The finish on the guitar is gloss body finish and the fretboard is made out of Rosewood. The scale length is slightly shorter than average with just 25.3’’. Other than that, there are other attractive features like creme plastic saddle and nut and chrome die-cast tuning machines on the guitar head.

Electronics: Electronics are pretty standard Fishman preamp and pickup systems. It offers 2-band EQ with just bass and treble and the preamp also has the standard tuner and volume knob.

Who Will Use This the Most: For those of you that fantasize about owning a Fender guitar, this is your chance to purchase one for a rather cheap price. CD-60SCE offers good enough quality for guitar players of all skill levels – beginners, intermediates, and advanced. It’s a great learning guitar for beginners but it’s also a great touring guitar for those experienced musicians.

Bottom Line: The bottom line is the Fender CD-60SCE lives up to the brand’s name and there is a reason why this guitar is the best-seller for acoustic electric guitars. You can’t go wrong this guitar and it’s simply a fine instrument that can be used for various different styles of music.

17. Takamine GD30CE

Takamine GD30CE

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Estimated Price: $500

Body Style: Dreadnought cutaway body
Top: Solid Spruce
Back and Sides: Mahogany
Neck: Mahogany
Body Bracing: Quartersawn Scalloped X
Electronics: Takamine TP-4TD Preamp with Built-in Tuner

My Review: Last but not least, we have the Takamine GD30CE. As you can see, the pricing of this guitar is definitely one of the highest on this list. And also, the quality of this guitar is a clear level-up from the rest of the list. GD30CE shows off its classic and stunning looks with the most premium tonewoods and painstaking attention to detail by legendary guitar brand Takamine.

It’s offered in different colors – Gloss Black, and Gloss Natural. Takamine is known for being one of the top brands in the industry and some notable users include Garth Brooks, Blake Shelton, John Bon Jovi, Bruno Mars, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, and even the Eagles. You’ll notice that the acoustic guitars from this brand are used by artists of all genres and that’s exactly the beauty of this guitar. It offers a big, fat, up-in-your-face sound with great playability and extremely versatile capabilities.
Key Specs and Features: This classic and versatile guitar has a solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides. The fingerboard is rosewood with a 12’’ radius and has dot inlays. This means the fingerboard is very easy to play and easy to move around. The bracing is quartersawn scalloped X bracing and as I mentioned above, this type of bracing will maximize the resonance within the guitar and produce a rich and vibrant sound.

The scale length is pretty standard with 25.3’’, just a tiny bit shorter than the average Martin dreadnought body scale length. The tuning machines are reliable and high-quality chrome die-cast tuners use a synthetic bone nut instead of a real bone nut.

But most importantly, the guitar produces some of the best dreadnought guitar sounds for the price. It’s a type of full, bright acoustic guitar sound that can be used for so many different genres ranging from classic rock, rock, pop, singer-songwriter, fingerstyle, and more. There’s a reason why so many respected artists use Takamine’s guitars and it’s hard to go wrong with a guitar like this.

Electronics: Takamine’s own TP4T preamp and pickup offers an amazing response from the instrument to the external speakers or the chosen amp. It’s powerful and you get sliders to control bass, mid, treble, and volume. You also get a very sensitive and accurate chromatic tuner so that you can always stay in tune wherever you go. Also, the preamp shows a clear indication when it’s running low on battery, which is always a handy function.

Who Will Use This the Most: If you’re a beginner and have the budget for $500, I highly recommend getting this guitar. You can probably play this guitar even when you become an advanced guitar player. Experienced musicians of all genres can take this guitar on stage with confidence and be side-by-side with some other expensive Martin or Taylor guitars.

Bottom Line: Takamine GD30CE offers a beautiful design and build quality, and its gigantic sound with rich resonance makes it an amazingly versatile acoustic electric guitar.

Wrap Up:

That does it for this review, let us know what you think is the best acoustic electric guitar under 500 dollars on the market right now. As always, also feel free to drop your comments or questions below.

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