14 Best Acoustic Guitars Under $300 in 2021

Looking for a great sounding acoustic guitar, but you’re on a budget? No worries, we’ve got you covered! We’ve tested dozens of guitars in this price range, and in this article, we share our thoughts on all of our favorites to help you find the best acoustic guitar under 300 dollars for your play style and preferences!

There are so many guitars in this price range and it may get confusing for beginners and, sometimes, even experienced guitar players to find the right fit. There are a lot of factors to considering including the guitar’s size, shape, design, tone, and the type of wood used.

Best Acoustic Guitars Under 300 (Featured Image)

Whether you’re a hobby guitar player looking to brighten up your next camping trip with some music, or a semi-pro looking to take the next step in your career, this guide will help you make the right decision. If you want to learn more about what features to look for before reading reviews, check out our acoustic guitar buying guide at the bottom of the page.

Name of ProductImage of ProductDescriptionPrice RangeFull Review
1. Fender Classic Design Series CC-60SCE (Best Overall)Fender Classic Design Series CC-60SCEScale Length: 25.3 inches
Body Shape: Concert size
$300Read Full Review Below
2. Yamaha FS800 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar (Best Value)Yamaha FS800 Solid Top Acoustic GuitarScale Length: 25 inches
Body Shape: Concert
$220Read Full Review Below
3. Yamaha F335 (Budget Pick)Yamaha F335 GuitarScale Length: 25 inches
Body Shape: Dreadnought
$160Read Full Review Below
4. Breedlove Discovery Companion (Best Small Body)Breedlove Discovery Companion Acoustic GuitarScale Length: 23.5 inches
Body Shape: Companion
$300Read Full Review Below
5. Epiphone DR-212 (Best 12 String)Epiphone DR-212 12-String Acoustic GuitarScale Length: 25.5 inches
Body Shape: Dreadnought
$270Read Full Review Below
6. Epiphone AJ-100CEEpiphone AJ-100CE Acoustic-Electric GuitarScale Length: 25.5 inches
Body Shape: Advanced Jumbo
$250Read Full Review Below
7. Yamaha JR1 3/4 Scale Acoustic GuitarYamaha JR1 3 by 4 Scale Acoustic Guitar BundleScale Length: 21 ¼ inches
Body Shape: Dreadnought
$175Read Full Review Below
8. Fender CD-60Fender CD-60 Dreadnought Acoustic GuitarScale Length: 25.3 inches
Body Shape: Dreadnought
$270Read Full Review Below
9. Ibanez PC12MHEOPNIbanez PC12MHEOPN Mahogany Grand Concert Acoustic-Electric GuitarScale Length: 25 inches
Body Shape: Grand Concert
$270Read Full Review Below
10. Jasmine S34C NEXJasmine S34C NEX Acoustic GuitarScale Length: 25 ½ inches
Body Shape: Grand Auditorium
$120Read Full Review Below
11. Ibanez AW54OPNIbanez AW54OPN Artwood Dreadnought Acoustic GuitarScale Length: 25.6 inches
Body Shape: Dreadnought
$300Read Full Review Below
12. Luna Guitars Gypsy SpaltLuna Guitars Gypsy Spalt Grand Concert Acoustic GuitarScale Length: 24 inches
Body Shape: Grand Concert
$230Read Full Review Below
13. Martin Steel-String BackpackerMartin Steel-String Backpacker Acoustic GuitarScale Length: 24 inches
Body Shape: Travel Size
$230Read Full Review Below
14. Washburn WA90CEWashburn WA90CE Dreadnought Acoustic Electric GuitarScale Length: 25 inches
Body Shape: Cutaway Dreadnought
$170Read Full Review Below

Here Are the Best Acoustic Guitars Under $300

1. Fender Classic Design Series CC-60SCE (Best Overall)

Fender Classic Design Series CC-60SCE Cutaway Concert Acoustic-Electric Guitar

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Estimated Price $300
Wood Spruce Top, Mahogany neck, sides and back, rosewood fingerboard
Body Shape Concert size
Scale Length 25.3 inches

My Review: The CC-60SCE acoustic-electric guitar is a redesigned version of Fender’s classic design series, and we dare say that it’s one of the finest guitars on this list, both in terms of the quality of components used as well as the sound you get from it. The solid Spruce wood top is a rare occurrence at the below $300 price point, but this model offers it. With a cutaway body shape and easy to play neck design, this guitar is a pleasure to play on. The Fishman pickups ensure an authentically reproduced plugged in sound as well.

Overall Build and Body Style: The CC-60SCE has a concert sized body that is curvy, elegant, and ideal for those who prefer slimmer body shapes. With high quality wood used through the body and Fishman pickups, preamp and tuner included, players can expect an easy to play, high quality guitar that’s quite durable in its design. The natural brown color with the glossy finish makes the guitar quite a looker too.

Tonal Quality: The quality of wood used in this guitar, together with its shape has made a world of difference to its sound. This guitar gives you a sweet, full-spectrum sound that’s incredibly versatile and will lend itself well to any playing style or genre. The trusty Fishman pickups and preamp do a great job of reproducing the original sound even when the guitar is plugged in. The scalloped X bracing design adds another punch to the lows and the mids. As a result, you get a wonderfully rich and loud sound that can cut through the crowd.

Body and Neck Wood: As we said earlier, getting a solid spruce wood top guitar in this price range is quite a rarity, so we’re loving the commitment to quality and sound here! A solid wood top is better than a laminate, and it not only produces a great tone but also lasts for longer. The mahogany neck, back and sides add sturdiness and a nice warm element to the overall tone, as does the rosewood fretboard.

Who Is It For: The Fender Classic CC-60SCE is a top-of-the-line acoustic guitar in this price range. A great value for money for players of all skill levels, this model boasts of quality materials, thoughtful design. If you’re looking for a versatile, full-spectrum sound and an instrument that will stand the test of time, this one is worth exploring. I would say that this is the best acoustic guitar under 300 dollars right now.

Notable Features:

  • Solid sprucewood top
  • Rich, sweet, full-spectrum sound
  • Fishman pickups, preamp, and built-in tuner
  • Scalloped X design for punchy lows and mids
  • Cutaway body to reach higher frets more easily
  • Versatile sound ideal for any playing style or genre

2. YAMAHA FS800 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar (Best Value)

YAMAHA FS800 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar

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Estimated Price $220
Wood Solid Spruce wood top, Mahogany sides, Nato wood back, Rosewood fretboard
Body Shape Concert
Scale Length 25 inches

My Review: This no-nonsense, back to basics guitar has been enjoying a loyal following, catapulting it to a classic status amongst beginner guitarists since 1966, and for good reason. The Yamaha FS800 is a sturdy, durable guitar with easy playability. The solid Sitka spruce top and its scalloped brace design deliver a bright, loud sound in the low to mid ranges, while the Nato back and sides keep the body sturdy and tough.

Overall Build and Body Style: The FS800 is a concert bodied guitar, which is a more compact and traditional size and shape. This makes it quite easy to hold and play for younger and older adults alike. The woods used in the construction of its body and neck are quite high quality, which is a big reason why it’s quite durable as well as capable of delivering great sound. Do keep in mind that the guitar doesn’t have a pickup, it’s purely an acoustic guitar, so you may want to go for its electro-acoustic option if you’re planning to plug it in onstage. The diecast tuners keep the string in tune and are no-fuss. Finally, this model is available in a versatile and natural light brown color.

Tonal Quality: To talk about this guitar’s sound and tone, we need to first talk about its design. The folks at Yamaha invented a proprietary scalloped bracing design for its FS series of guitars. The result? An authentic, punchy, loud sound, especially in the low to mid ranges. Together with the concert body of the guitar, it makes it perfect especially for precise and punchy fingerpicking.

Body and Neck Wood: These guitars boast of a solid Sitka Spruce Top, which is a great feature in this budget. The solid spruce wood does a good job of producing a full-bodied, highly nuanced sound. The Nato Wood used on the back and sides resemble mahogany in their tone and support the spruce top beautifully with their sturdiness.

Who Is It For: The FS800 is perfect for beginners and guitar enthusiasts looking for a budget-friendly guitar that is long-lasting, made with good components, and is loud and easy to play. Its compact size, easy playability, and bright, authentic sound will encourage players to spend more time on the instrument, and hone their craft. Overall, I would say this is the best acoustic guitar under $300 in terms of overall value.

Notable Features:

  • Great overall guitar for beginners
  • Solid Sitka Spruce top for bright sound
  • Scalloped brace design for loud, punchy sound in low to mid ranges
  • Works well for fingerpicking
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Compact concert body size
  • Authentic, full-bodied, loud sound
  • Very budget-friendly

3. Yamaha F335 Acoustic Guitar (Budget Pick)

Yamaha F335 Acoustic Guitar

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Estimated Price $160
Wood Laminate Spruce Top, Meranti Back, and Sides, Rosewood Fretboard
Body Shape Dreadnought
Scale Length 25 inches

My Review: If you’re looking for the quintessentially resonant and formidably loud sound of a dreadnought on a budget, then the Yamaha F335 may be just the thing. The laminated spruce top, rosewood fretboard, and a well-built overall body offer excellent playability and manage to deliver a bright and versatile tone. The gold die-cast tuners are corrosion resistant and let you go for long durations without having to retune the strings. 

Overall Build and Body Style: The F335 is sturdily built, and even though dreadnoughts are considered to be boxy and big, this one is made in a way that makes it easy to play for people with varying heights and sizes. It has 20 frets, though the lack of a cutaway design makes the last 6 frets pretty much out of reach, like in most dreadnoughts. The gold-coated die cast tuners are a novelty, especially for a guitar in this price range – they keep the strings well in tune for long durations. You can choose from three different colors – tobacco brown sunburst, black, and a light natural brown.

Tonal Quality: We like the punchy sound and the full tone of this guitar, though it may not compare to the higher end guitars on this list – but given the price, it works. It sounds especially great when being strummed, but will sound neat if you’re fingerpicking. The wood used may not be top of the line, but is good for this budget, so beginners shouldn’t have any complaints.

Body and Neck Wood: This guitar uses rosewood for its fretboard and has a laminated spruce top, which as you know, is not the same as an actual solid spruce wood top. The sides and the back are made with Meranti wood, which is a tough, durable timber. What you get finally is a durable, sturdy guitar that sounds loud and clear. It may not have the subtle tonal nuances that higher end guitars may have, but the tone is still solid that should work for most beginners. 

Who Is It For: The F335 guitar appears to be quite a value for money purchase and a great starting point for beginners. It has a long-lasting, sturdy build, a classic dreadnought shape, a punchy and loud tone, and a variety of colors to choose from. This can also be a great practice guitar for advanced players who are looking for a dependable second guitar to rough it out on. 

Notable Features:

  • Classic dreadnought shape
  • Gold, die cast tuners
  • Variety of colors to choose from
  • Punchy, loud tone
  • Sturdy, long-lasting build
  • Affordable price point
  • Ideal for beginners

Popular Related Article: Recommended Acoustic Guitars for Beginners

4. Breedlove Discovery Companion Acoustic Guitar (Best Small Body)

Breedlove Discovery Companion Acoustic Guitar

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Estimated Price $300
Wood Solid Sitka Spruce Top, Okoume Wood Back and Sides, Nato neck, Ovangkol Wood fretboard
Body Shape Companion
Scale Length 23.5 inches

My Review: Thinking of getting a travel-sized guitar to carry around with you on the road? Then do pay heed to the Breedlove Discovery. This compact, companion guitar is portable and easy to play, and with a seriously resonant and loud sound that one wouldn’t normally expect from a guitar this small. Breedlove is known for making superbly crafted guitars, whether they are entry-level or high-end models, and this model is another testimony to their quality. With a solid spruce top and (mostly) mahogany body, players get a versatile, bold sound that works well with any playing style. Pick up this light, nifty little delight and you can take it along with you wherever without weighing you down with your luggage.

Overall Build and Body Style: With a scale length of 23.5”, slim neck, and considerably smaller size, the Breedlove Discovery is quite a pleasure to hold and play. The low action is another great reason for it to be the ideal beginner guitar. Despite being a smaller size, it has the full 19 frets and has a lovely natural color and a matte-looking satin finish. The model has chrome plated closed gear tuners that are corrosion resistant and sturdy. Thanks to its compact size and lightweight, you can take it with you wherever you’d like without second-guessing yourself.

Tonal Quality: Don’t be fooled by its size – the Discovery can be quite a discovery when it comes to its bold, loud sound! Thanks to the bright-sounding Spruce top and the mellow Okoume wood sides and back, what you get is a beautifully balanced yet resonant sound that sounds great whether you’re playing indoors or in the great outdoors. This type of tone is quite versatile and will sound great no matter what style you play or playing technique you use- picking, fingerstyle, or strumming a rhythm.

Body and Neck Wood: Breedlove is one of the very few guitar brands that have tried to incorporate sustainable wood into their products, and we appreciate them for that. The Discovery has a solid Sitka Spruce Top and the sturdy Okoume wood for its sides. The fretboard is made with Ovangkol wood, which is a great sounding tonewood that is sustainably farmed. It’s an excellent example of how guitar brands can slowly move towards incorporating more earth-friendly crafting techniques without sacrificing tone and sound quality.

Who Is It For: The Breedlove Discovery is truly a companion guitar in every way. Its small size makes it perfect for guitarists looking for a portable, great sounding guitar. Its lightweight and compact shape that they can carry along with them wherever they go without being weighed down. The combination of its size and the loud, lovely resonant tone is quite a great one. We also give this product extra props for incorporating sustainably sourced wood into its design, which is a brave but much needed step in the right direction.

Notable Features:

  • A compact sized acoustic guitar that’s lightweight and portable
  • Solid Sitka Spruce Top
  • Sustainably sourced, Ovangkol wood used for the neck
  • Rich, resonant tone with loud projection
  • Versatile sound ideal for any playing style

5. Epiphone DR-212 12-String Acoustic Guitar (Best 12 String)

Epiphone DR-212 12-String Acoustic Guitar

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Estimated Price $270
Wood Select Spruce top, Mahogany body sides and back, rosewood fretboard
Body Shape Dreadnought
Scale Length 25.5 inches

My Review: Let’s add an awesome 12 stringer into the mix, shall we? For those of you looking for a well-built 12-stringed guitar on a budget, do check out the Epiphone DR-212. This guitar sounds beautiful with a warm and rich tone that will serve your sound well no matter what style you play – from the blues to bluegrass. What we love is that it especially adds a full, rich sound to the playing style. This model boasts of excellent playability and durable wood and components, and we’d say it’s quality is easily like that of a model that would usually cost double this price.

Overall Build and Body Style: The dreadnought body of this model is sturdy and quite well-designed, and serves the sound of a 12 stringer quite well. The natural brown color and black pickguard is a classic Epiphone style. The chrome-plated, die-cast tuners are tough and corrosion resistant. Moreover, they’ll keep all 12 strings well in tune without you worrying about it going out of tune in the middle of your song.

Tonal Quality: We really enjoyed the sound and tone coming out from this one, because it sounds so fresh, warm, and full spectrum. While its select spruce top may not be as high end as a solid spruce top, it doesn’t seem to really affect its tonal quality or sound in any way. The dreadnought shape of the guitar does a great job of adding a bold, rich tone and loud volume that will resonate in the hearts and minds of all your listeners. You still get a versatile, rich tone that will sound great with a variety of playing techniques and genres. It’s the kind of sound that’s perfect to fill up an entire room with, especially in open tunings.

Body and Neck Wood: This model is crafted with a select spruce top, which is laminate wood, and not the same as a solid spruce wood top. The back and the sides are made with mahogany which plays a big role in adding a warm balance to the brightness of the select spruce top. The fretboard is crafted with the faithful rosewood with dot inlays and is secured with the body in a set-neck fashion.

Who Is It For: The DR-212 12-string guitar is truly versatile and is an especially great find for players that were looking to add a beautiful-sounding yet budget-friendly 12 stringer to their collection. Every acoustic guitar player, at some point or the other, gets curious about a 12 stringer and if that’s you at any point in time, then this is a great model to begin your journey with, whichever skill level you may be at.

Notable Features:

  • Versatile, rich, resonant sound that works great with all playing styles
  • Budget-friendly 12 string guitar
  • Chrome-plated, die-cast tuners keep the strings in tune without fear of going out of tune
  • Ideal for players of all skill levels and those looking to try out a 12 string guitar without spending too much

Related Popular Article: The Best Cheap Acoustic Guitars Currently on the Market

6. Epiphone AJ-100CE Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Epiphone AJ-100CE Acoustic-Electric Guitar

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Estimated Price $250
Wood Select Spruce top, Mahogany sides and back, rosewood fretboard
Body Shape Advanced Jumbo
Scale Length 25.5 inches

My Review: Epiphone is known for making durable and superb sounding acoustic guitars at a much more affordable price point than its mother brand, Gibson, and the AJ 100CE fits their reputation to the T. With a mahogany body and a spruce top, it has a full, bright sound which will work perfectly for rhythm guitarists. The nanoflex pickup captures not only the vibrations of the strings but of the body, producing a full-bodied sound.

Overall Build Style/Size: The AJ-100CE is a jumbo guitar with a sturdy and durable build. Its cutaway body helps players reach higher frets more easily. What we really love about it is the sheer playability – the action is just low enough to play really smooth, and there is no fret buzz even after roughing it out for a long time. The overall feel of this model has made it one of the most popular acoustic guitars by Epiphone.

The natural spruce wood finish gives a warm look that looks great on stage and outdoors. This is a full-sized guitar which can work well for older teenagers and young adults. Chrome-plated hardware prevents corrosion and also increases the durability and hardness of the components.

Tonal Quality: The original, unamplified tone of this guitar is a full, bright sound that will resonate in all its glory. Whether you play it on stage or around the campfire, this beauty will give you a rich, resonant sound that will sound great if you’re strumming. The amplified, plugged-in sound is quite natural and clean as well thanks to the light and sweet nanoflex pickup. However, it doesn’t sound too well with distortion, but few will be trying dirty distortion antics on this one.

Body and Neck Wood: The body of the guitar is made with Mahogany, while it has a select spruce top. ‘Select’ actually refers to a laminated top, which is tougher than a solid wood top. Once this is a mid-range guitar, a solid spruce wood top may not have been possible. All the same, it still put out a great sound. The set-in mahogany neck with a rosewood fretboard adds a sweet warmth of the overall sound, while the set-in technique tightly joins the neck to the body.

Who Is It For: The overall easy playability of this guitar makes it perfect for beginners and advanced players alike. The sound quality, sturdy build, and pocket-friendly price point of the AJ 100CE is ideal for those who are looking for a bright, punchy sound of a jumbo guitar without burning a hole in their pocket.

Notable Features:

  • Easy to play
  • Good nut width
  • Bright, full sound, both unplugged and unplugged
  • Mahogany body and rosewood fretboard
  • Durable, jumbo build
  • Cutaway body helps reach higher frets
  • Budget-friendly price point
  • Ideal for beginner and intermediate players

7. Yamaha JR1 3/4-Scale Acoustic Guitar Bundle

Yamaha JR1 3/4-Scale Acoustic Guitar Bundle

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Estimated Price $175
Wood Sprucewood top, Meranti and Spruce body, Nato neck, rosewood fretboard
Body Shape Dreadnought
Scale Length 21 ¼ inches

My Review: The JR 1 series by Yamaha is a 3/4 sized guitar that is geared towards younger players or any person that is more comfortable with playing a smaller-sized instrument. True to Yamaha’s promise of rich, full sound, this model does the same despite the smaller size. The spruce top and Meranti body add durability and sturdiness to the instrument. All-in-all, it’ a good value for money for the young prodigy as well as advanced players. This model also comes with a gig bag, a clip-on tuner, strings, and other assorted goodies to get you everything you need to start your guitar escapades.

Overall Build and Body Style: This dreadnought guitar by Yamaha is a 3 / 4 model with a 21 1/4th scale length, which means it’s a smaller sized guitar than the average, regular size. This works great for younger players as well as older players who would prefer performing on a smaller sized guitar. The compact size also makes it quite portable and easy to travel with, while the action and neck width of the guitar makes it quite easy to play for beginners, a quality that’s crucial to get young learners hooked to an instrument. This model is available in two different colors – natural as well as sunburst.

Tonal Quality: The dreadnought shape and Meranti body ensures that players enjoy a full, bright, and resonant sound as that is not hindered by the smaller size. It may not have the nuances or subtleties that are brought upon by higher end woods, but that doesn’t compromise the sound much and players still get an enjoyable tone. As a result, it’s versatile enough for learning fingerstyle, soloing as well as strumming your hearts out, making it perfect for enthusiastic early learners.

Body and Neck Wood: The guitar top is made with spruce wood, however the sides and the back are crafted with Meranti wood. Meranti is a low-cost timber that’s quite durable and sturdy. While it does produce a loud, bright tone, it may not offer the kind of rich, nuanced tone that a mahogany or a spruce wood would offer. However, this is a starter guitar for most young learners, and its tone and sound work quite well at this stage of learning. The neck is made with Nato, another wood known for its warm tones and durability, while the fretboard is crafted with rosewood.

Who Is It For: The Yamaha JR 1 is perfect for young students looking to start playing, or anyone looking to use a smaller bodied guitar. Its affordable price point, sturdiness and loud, resonant tone makes it ideal for young guitar enthusiasts looking for a quality but budget buy.

Notable Features:

  • Sturdy, durable dreadnought guitar by Yamaha
  • 3 /4th size is ideal for younger players
  • Compact size is portable and easy to travel with
  • Affordable price point

Related Popular Article: Our Favorite Acoustic Guitars Under $500

8. Fender CD-60 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar

Fender CD-60 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar

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Estimated Price $270
Wood Spruce laminate top, Mahogany laminated back, Mahogany neck
Body Shape Dreadnought
Scale Length 25.3 inches

My Review: Perfect for guitar enthusiasts – whether they’re beginners or intermediate players – the Fender CD-60 is a solid, all-round great guitar with a rich tone and a loud, resonant sound that will encourage you to keep playing. The dreadnought body, spruce top, and a special scalloped X bracing style contribute to the plenty of volume you hear on this instrument. The solid components and budget-friendly price point of this Fender makes it worth exploring for anyone serious about starting their guitar journey. This particular model comes as a bundle with plenty of guitar goodies included – a hard case, strap, a fender tuner, strings, picks, a free trial of Fender Play as well as a guitar instructional DVD. That’s what we call a sweet deal!

Overall Build and Body Style: The CD-60 sports an iconic dreadnought body shape which is big and may seem boxy for some, but it is what brings out the full, bold sound that this guitar shape is known for. We especially like the C shaped mahogany neck on it, which makes it easy to play and get your hand around it. The chrome plating on its die-cast tuners keep them strong and corrosion-resistant. You can choose from a total of three different colors – Sunburst, Black and Natural. Overall, this is a tough and sturdy guitar which can take some roughing out.

Tonal Quality: Dreadnoughts are known for their bold, loud and richer tones, and the CD-60 delivers on all three parameters. The scalloped, X bracing design also plays a big role in delivering this bolder tone. Those looking for a bright, loud sound while strumming or punchy defined fingerpicking will enjoy this model.

Body and Neck Wood: The CD-60 has a laminated spruce top, which is not a solid spruce top. Even if it’s not solid wood, it’s quite sturdy and durable. The laminated mahogany back and sides as well as the mahogany neck also do a good job of producing a fat, rich sound.

Who Is It For: This guitar is ideal for beginners looking for a great sounding and durable guitar from the get-go. It’s even quite a good option for veteran guitarists who perhaps are looking for a backup dreadnought guitar to take along. For its price, this model offers top-notch quality that Fender is known for, along with a bunch of insane goodies that would cost a pretty penny otherwise.

Notable Features:

  • Bold, rich, loud sound
  • Scalloped, X bracing for richer tones
  • Easy to play, C-shaped mahogany neck
  • Budget-friendly price point
  • Available in three different colors
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Sturdy build

9. Ibanez PC12MHEOPN Mahogany Grand Concert Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Ibanez PC12MHEOPN Mahogany Grand Concert Acoustic-Electric Guitar

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Estimated Price $270
Wood Mahogany top, sides and back, rosewood neck
Body Shape Grand Concert
Scale Length 25 inches

My Review: You may associate the brand with swashbuckling electric guitar virtuosos like Steve Vai or Joe Satriani, but Ibanez has actually come up with some pretty neat acoustic guitars. The PC12MHENOPN (whew, quite a mouthful) is an electro-acoustic guitar that offers a beautifully warm, subdued and well-balanced tone both when plugged in or when played unplugged. This model has a beautiful, well-designed grand concert body shape. The brand has taken extra care in keeping its open-pore natural mahogany wood finish intact to retain the guitar’s natural tone and sound subtleties. And you gotta admit, this one is quite the looker!

Overall Build and Body Style: The shape of this model is a grand concert, which looks quite beautiful with its well-designed body and subtle curves. In fact this guitar looks quite different and more elegant than several other acoustic guitars in this price range. The chrome, open-gear tuners are easy to tune and are tough and corrosion resistant. Coming to the electronics, the guitar is equipped with the trusty AEQ 2T preamp that sounds quite nice and balanced when plugged in.

Tonal Quality: Grand concert body shapes are known for their warm, well-balanced sound which is versatile enough to work with a variety of playing styles and genres. A lot of things go in to produce this warm, nuanced song – the mahogany body, rosewood fingerboard – both of which are known to create a well-balanced natural tone. When plugged in, the AEQ 2T Preamp faithfully reproduces a warm, sweet tone that doesn’t stray much from its natural sound.

Body and Neck Wood: This model features a full mahogany body, including the top, neck, back and sides, while it sports a rosewood fingerboard. To finally clinch that sophisticated warm tone, Ibanez has decided to use an open-pore finish on this model – which doesn’t close off and choke the guitar’s natural pores and lets it vibrate while playing like it naturally would. Not only does it make the guitar sound good, but it also makes it look really beautiful and sophisticated.

Who Is It For: If you’re a fan of a warm, mellow tone and a voluptuous, beautiful aesthetics, then you’ll love this offering by Ibanez. At this price range, the brand has done a great job of offering high quality materials, components, and design to create great value for money.

Notable Features:

  • Open pore, natural wood finish
  • Beautifully designed
  • Warm, nuanced, natural, well-balanced sound and tone
  • Electro-Acoustic Guitar
  • Pocket-friendly price point
  • Ideal for beginners and intermediate players

Popular Article: The Most Fun Songs to Play on Guitar

10. Jasmine S34C NEX Acoustic Guitar

Jasmine S34C NEX Acoustic Guitar

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Estimated Price $120
Wood Spruce Top, Sapele Back and sides, rosewood fretboard
Body Shape Grand Auditorium
Scale Length 25 ½ inches

My Review: Not many of you may have heard of Jasmine, but this brand is actually a part of the Takamine family. Surprised? We bet you are! Jasmine is the affordable sub-brand of the Japan-based Takamine guitars, whose parent brand is known for making expensive, top of the line instruments. So it’d be logical to expect that Takamine would apply its ethics and commitment to quality even to its lower-end models, right? Correct.

Jasmine is a great find for those looking for a well-built instrument at a budget-friendly price. Sure, the wood used may not be as high end, but this is still a solidly built guitar with excellent playability and a lovely, resonant sound.

Overall Build and Body Style: At such a low price point, one may not have too many hopes from the durability and quality of the guitar, but this guitar proves us wrong. Built-in a grand auditorium shape, the S-34C is a sturdy, well-built guitar that’s quite easy to play and offers a pretty good tone. The satin finish is definitely a graceful touch, and its Venetian style cutaway design helps players reach higher frets while looking quite elegant to boot. They’ve placed the strap button slightly sideways, which holds the guitar in a better balance and keeps players comfortable. The chrome tuners are sturdy, easy to use, and corrosion-resistant.

Tonal Quality: Despite the competitive price, you can manage to get a great tone and sound out of the S-34C. The wood used for the top, sides, and the fretboard all contribute to delivering a well-balanced, resonant sound. The lows and the mids are made punchier and louder with the X bracing design used in its construction.

Body and Neck Wood: The quality sound and tone quality on this guitar are thanks to the spruce top and the Agathis wood sides and back. The brand has been smart in using Agathis wood for the body because it is quite similar to mahogany in its tone, which is more expensive.

Who Is It For: The S-34 is perfect for those looking for a solidly-built guitar that sounds great and looks elegant. Its quality components and materials, with its easy to play features such as the cutaway design, slim neck, and strap button show the thoughtfulness with which the brand has made one of their most basic models.

Notable Features:

  • Well-built acoustic guitar
  • Thoughtfully designed features like uniquely placed strap button
  • Venetian cutaway design to reach higher frets easily
  • X bracing design for bold, resonant tone
  • Ideal for beginners and intermediate players
  • Satin finish
  • Available in two colors
  • Very affordable price point

11. Ibanez AW54OPN Artwood Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar

Ibanez AW54OPN Artwood Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar

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Estimated Price $300
Wood Solid mahogany top, neck, sides and back, rosewood neck
Body Shape Dreadnought
Scale Length 25.6 inches

My Review: One look at this guitar, and it’s hard not to get your hands on it. But looks aside, this is one wonderfully warm sounding beauty. The artwood series by Ibanez has brought out a line of guitars that are artfully crafted to blend traditional design craftsmanship with modern aesthetics and tone requirements. The AW54OPN delivers on all these promises by offering a trustworthy, sturdy design, a warm, rich, and mellow tone as well as jaw-dropping aesthetics.

Overall Build and Body Style: The first time you look at this guitar, it’s hard to believe that it falls in the $300 price range. That’s all thanks to its solid dark mahogany top, and the natural, open-pore finish on the wood. The dreadnought shape gives it a solid, sturdy feel. The model has die-cast tuners and a dark tortoise shell pickguard that complements the guitar’s color and overall design. The open-pore finish on the guitar gives it a lovely matte look without blocking the wood’s natural pore, while also enhancing the tonal quality.

Tonal Quality: The solid mahogany wood top on this guitar lends it a rich, warm and full-bodied sound that amplifies the lows and the mids, while its dreadnought shape adds loudness and excellent projection. The tone might sound a tad dark to some, so it will do better with people who enjoy a more balanced, subtle tone rather than those that love a brighter sound.

Body and Neck Wood This is one of the few guitars on this list that boasts of a solid wood top, well, because solid wood top guitars are hard to come by in this price range. But this single feature can make all the difference in the overall quality of the guitar, and it does in this case as well. The mahogany sides balance the overall sound and reinforce the lows and the mids, and also keep the body sturdy and long-lasting. The rosewood fretboard complements the warm subtlety of the mahogany top.

Who Is It For: This Ibanez artwood model is perfect for players of any skill levels – from beginners to advanced – and especially those who love a warm, mellow, slightly subdued tone. The solid mahogany top, shape, and component quality makes it one of the best designed and high quality guitars you can find in this price range, so definitely give this one a look.

Notable Features:

  • Solid mahogany top
  • All mahogany body
  • Rich, warm, mellow tone and bold projection
  • Beautiful, dark wood design
  • Open pore finish

12. Luna Guitars Gypsy Spalt Grand Concert Acoustic Guitar

Luna Guitars Gypsy Spalt Grand Concert Acoustic Guitar

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Estimated Price $220
Wood Spruce top with spalted maple veneer, Mahogany back and sides, Rosewood fretboard
Body Shape Grand Concert
Scale Length 25.5 inches

My Review: Luna guitars sometimes get a bad rep for seeming like they’re too focussed on their guitar’s aesthetics, and not the actual playability or sound. In our opinion, that’s a misjudgment. The Gypsy Spalt smashes the myth of beauty vs. brains and is a great combination of gorgeous looks and vibrant, resonant sound. The spruce top with a beautiful spalted maple veneer to add stunning aesthetics. The mahogany wood beautifully balances the brightness of the spruce top to deliver a well-balanced, lush sound. With excellent playability and a relatively compact size, this guitar is great for players of any skill level.

Overall Build and Body Style: The curvy, beautiful body of this grand concert guitar is quite thoughtfully designed, with the cutaway shape of the neck such that players can reach the higher frets more easily. The moon phase inlays on the fretboard and the mother of pearl crescent logo on the headstock all add to the mystical charm of this model. The glossy body finish and the satin neck finish are a nice contrast, The mahogany body is quite sturdy and durable,

Tonal Quality: The sound that comes out of this guitar is a lush and well-balanced tone. The grand concert shape offers a great mid-range tone that this shape is known for. As a result, it can seamlessly blend with any type of playing style or genre that you can think of – be it country, blues, bluegrass, or fingerstyle.

Body and Neck Wood: The spruce top with the spalted veneer adds the bright punch to the sound, while the rosewood fretboard and the mahogany sides and the back mellow it down. All in all, you get a balanced tone that works quite well, no matter what your signature style is.

Who Is It For: This guitar is a versatile one, and ideal for players of any skill level – be it a beginner or an advanced player. A combination of beautiful aesthetics and a lovely, lush design, it will serve you well, regardless of the playing style or genre you are loyal to. A great combination of beauty, sound, and a pocket-friendly price point.

Notable Features:

  • Beautifully-designed guitar with thoughtful visual elements
  • Spruce top with mahogany sides and back
  • Gorgeous, spalted maple veneer body
  • Cutaway neck for easier access to higher frets
  • Mother of pearl logo on headstock
  • Delivers a rich, balanced tone
  • Sound is versatile enough to suit any genre
  • Ideal for players across skill levels
  • Pocket-friendly price point

13. Martin Steel-String Backpacker Acoustic Guitar

Martin Steel-String Backpacker Acoustic Guitar

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Estimated Price $230
Wood Solid Sitka Spruce top, Mahogany neck, sides, and back. Rosewood fretboard
Body Shape Travel Size
Scale Length 24 inches

My Review: Martin has a well-deserved reputation for crafting some of the best sounding acoustic guitars around, but usually that level of craftsmanship and quality comes at a steep price. But this sweet, steel-string Backpacker acoustic guitar is perfect for those that want an affordable acoustic that’s incredibly good sounding yet portable. Weighing less than 2.5 pounds, this guitar is incredibly lightweight without compromising on the sound quality. The travel-friendly shape makes it easy to carry around, while the solid spruce top and mahogany body gives you a resonant, loud projection that belies its deceptively small size. 

Overall Build and Body Style: We really like how this sturdy and well-crafted this guitar is, and you can easily see the signature attention to detail that Martin bestows on all its products. Its travel size design is perfect for taking it along with you, whether you’re roughing it out on the road or in a flight. The natural golden brown body and the darker headstone complement each other well. The high quality, chrome enclosed tuners are corrosion resistant, tough and will keep your strings well in tune for a long time. 

Tonal Quality: Don’t be fooled by its size – the high quality of wood used on it gives this little guy a really bold and loud projection that rings delightfully clear and resonant. Players get a beautifully bright and well-balanced tone that is versatile enough to work with any playing style and occasion.

Body and Neck Wood: Despite its small size, this guitar is made with some real solid wood (pun intended). The solid Sitka Spruce top, along with the mahogany neck and body do a great job of lending it a beautiful tone as well as keeping it impressively sturdy and durable. The classic rosewood fretboard adds a sweet warm tone to the mix. You normally would expect a guitar of this size to be somewhat fragile, but this piece is built to last and can definitely take some roughing out. 

Who Is It For: The Martin Backpacker Acoustic Guitar is a blessing for anyone that wants a travel-friendly guitar with a great sound. The high quality of wood, sturdy components, and beautiful design put this guitar on top of every guitarist’s wishlist. And the budget-friendly price point makes it a steal. 

Notable Features:

  • Lightweight – weighs less than 2.5 pounds
  • Travel-friendly design
  • The sturdy design is built to last
  • Solid spruce top
  • Loud, resonant projection
  • Works both for right and left-handed guitarists

14. Washburn WA90CE Dreadnought Acoustic Electric Guitar

Washburn WA90CE Dreadnought Acoustic Electric Guitar

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Estimated Price $170
Wood Linden Top, back and sides, Mahogany neck, Rosewood Fretboard
Body Shape Cutaway Dreadnought
Scale Length 25 inches

My Review: When a guitar manufacturer has been around since the 1880’s, you can be sure that they take their job seriously. Washburn puts an impressive degree of care and quality in every guitar they create – whether it’s meant for beginners or veteran players. The WA90CE is part of Washburn’s ‘apprenticeship’ series of acoustic-electric guitars that are geared towards the serious beginner guitarist. The good quality components, a warm, balanced tone, a beautiful, venetial style cutaway design and the budget-friendly price makes this one definitely worth exploring.

Overall Build and Body Style: The WA90CE is an acoustic-electric that has an overall vintage look, thanks to its tobacco sunburst color and a classic dreadnought design. It has a linden wood top, sides and back. Linden wood is a US-originating timber that is a softwood and used for crafting a lot of beginner acoustic guitars. It also has a rosewood fretboard that complements the guitar’s warm sound. 

The guitar has a built-in pre-amp and tuner that is quite helpful in keeping your instrument in tune in between practice and during performances. The cutaway dreadnought style is a thoughtful feature that helps players get access to the higher frets. Chrome plated tuners are tough and stay corrosion resistant for a long time.

Tonal Quality: Since the body of this guitar, including the top, is made from Linden wood, players get a warm, balanced tone with a good sustain that is amplified well by the guitar’s dreadnought shape. The clean, full sound is carried through even when you plug the guitar in, and use it as a semi-electric. The scalloped bracing design also adds an extra punch to the mids and the lows. 

Body and Neck Wood: This guitar’s body is made with Linden wood – this is a type of basswood that has a warm tone that amplifies the mid-range. The neck is made with mahogany and the fretboard is crafted with rosewood, which adds a warm element to the overall tone and is quite smooth and comfortable to play over. 

Who Is It For: Thanks to a comfortable design and easy playability, the WA90CE is an ideal guitar for the serious beginner guitarist, especially one that wants a good-sounding acoustic-electric guitar at an affordable price. The long-lasting components and sturdy build mean this instrument will serve its owners well for a long time to come. 

Notable Features:

  • A sturdy, well-built acoustic-electric guitar
  • Built-in tuner
  • Dreadnought design with Venetian cutaway for access to higher frets
  • Chrome-plated tuners
  • Pocket-friendly price point

Choosing the Right Acoustic Guitar Under $300 (Buying Guide)

In this section, we’ll get you up to speed on the types of acoustic guitars and important terminology you’ll want to be familiar with when choosing a guitar.

Types of Acoustic Guitars: Body Shapes and Sizes

Let’s check out the most commonly found shapes of guitars, and how it affects their sound:

Dreadnought Guitars

Dreadnought guitars are easily the most iconic among the modern acoustic guitars. In fact it’s shape is easily the most recognizable. Martin designed and launched the first dreadnought guitars, and they are named after an old English warship.

These guitars have the classic rounded shoulders, and the neck joins the body at the 14th fret. Most of them will come in a natural wood finish that is either glossy or matte, but guitars like the famous Gibson Hummingbird made alternative finishes like its iconic cherry sunburst quite popular with guitar lovers.

Jumbo Guitars

There’s a popular saying among guitar players, that Jumbos play well with others, and I don’t see why not. The large body size makes for a deeply resonant sound that is ideal for rhythm guitar players. Jumbo guitars were first brought out by Gibson, with the Super Jumbo 200 in 1937.

Their big bodies also meant that the guitar was significantly louder than many other shapes and gave singers like Bob Dylan their unique sound! If you’re looking to primarily play chords and rhythm parts then more reasonably priced Jumbo options from Epiphone would be a great place to start with.

Travel Guitars

Travel guitars are a relatively modern invention. These guitars have smaller bodies but have a shape almost identical to the dreadnoughts. The advantages of these smaller guitars are numerous – the smaller body gives these guitars a more focused sound and even though some of the low end is reduced, the sound itself has more clarity and makes the guitar easier to play.

Ed Sheeran famously uses a small body guitar which has led to their rise in popularity. Young kids and folks with smaller hands may also find these guitars more suitable.

Concert and Grand Concert Guitars

Concert guitars are most similar to traditional guitars in their size. They are quite compact and don’t have the big rounded shape synonymous with dreadnoughts and jumbos. Concert guitars are known for their cut-through and punchy sound. Fingerstyle players love them for their articulate sound. They’re also really comfortable for musicians to play due to their smaller waist.

Grand concert guitars have a slightly larger body than the concert guitar for greater volume and tone.

Auditorium and Grand Auditorium Guitars

The Auditorium guitar is a standard-sized guitar, and quite similar to dreadnoughts in width and depth but with the main difference being a smaller waist which makes their sound well-rounded in terms of tone, balance, and comfort. Eric Clapton famously used one of these guitars in his MTV Unplugged Live album.

Grand Auditorium guitars have a larger bottom section of the body (also called the Lower Bout), that might even be larger than dreadnoughts, but when combined with a small waist they generated a balanced resonant tone popular with many professional guitar players.

What To Check Before Buying Your Acoustic Guitar

Now that we’ve covered the history of the guitar and their different types, lets go over the different parts of the guitar whose details will help ensure that you find the perfect fit:

Scale Length: The scale length of an acoustic guitar is essentially the distance between the nut and the saddle. However, since the nut has to be placed at the bottom of the neck, effectively it means the distance between the neck and the 12th fret. The scale length of the guitar makes a big impact on playability.

Considering two otherwise identical guitars, a shorter scale length will make a guitar easier to fret and will need lower string tension to produce a good, consistent tone. But too much slack on the string due to a short scale length can also lead to buzzing and fret rattling. Short Scale lengths range from 24 to 25 inches and anything more might be considered long scale.

Body Size: The body size, as we talked about before, plays a big factor in the way the guitar responds to your play style. Bigger guitars such as the Jumbo and Grand Auditorium style guitars are more suitable for styles of music that require strumming or more rhythm guitar parts. In fact the Jumbo guitar is wildly popular in country music and is often called a ‘Cowboy guitar’.

A smaller body style such as the concert or the newer travel guitars are suited for more articulate playing such as fingerstyle and flamenco. The low bass from their short bodies results in a more crisp and cut-through sound that works well in most situations. The Dreadnought strikes a nice balance between low end, playability, and portability that makes it one of the most popular types of guitar today.

Type of Wood: Ah this is a tricky one, as discerning wood types and their effect on tone is generally only obvious to people who’ve played a lot of guitars. Well, the woods used to build guitars and other instruments are called tonewoods as they have a lot of If you’re a beginner it’s important to remember this – pick the wood that feels right to play and don’t worry too much about wood types.

However in most cases, Sitka Spruce and Red Spruce are the most common types of top woods for acoustic guitars. They have a nice bright tone that helps to play with more sensitivity on the higher notes. Darker woods like rosewood and mahogany generally will have a deeper tone in the low end spectrum, meaning the lower notes will sound stronger compared to higher notes.

Neck Width / Nut Width: The neck or nut width as it’s called, is the distance between the top and bottom edges of the neck (or the fretboard). This one is easy as if you’re a beginner or a younger guitar player, a smaller neck width will help you fret notes and chord shapes more easily. Wider necks are preferred by guitar players who need the guitar to do more soloing.

1-11/16” or 43mm is considered to be standard guitar neck width these days. However, in the 1950s and 60s it was much smaller at 1-⅝” or 41mm. Wider necks can go all the way up to 1-⅞” or 48mm where they can accommodate 12 strings or an extremely wide fretboard setup ideal for soloing.

Purpose, Age, and Budget: Beyond the physical characteristics that define these guitars, we have to consider the most important questions of all. What do we want to play the guitar for? Consider a guitar with a built-in pickup (also known as an electro-acoustic guitar) if you want to take your music to the stage as the pickup eliminates the need for a separate mic for the guitar. If you are a younger student of the instrument then it’s a good idea to avoid jumbo guitars and go in for something compact.

Pay attention to the scale length and fretboard width to ensure the right fit. We’ll talk about the pricing down below but if you’re on a budget, then be aware that the difference between a $300 guitar and $3000 guitar can only be appreciated by someone who’s in the business of playing guitars and you’ll only hear the difference in the studio or when a mic is placed near the guitar for recording purposes and played at loud volumes.

How Does An Acoustic Guitar Work?

We’re not about to give you a physics lesson here, but it helps to understand how the guitar produces sound, as further down this buying guide we will address different types of woods and how they affect this sound.

When you pluck a string on the guitar, the entire wood body reverberates and resonates with the energy vibrating through the string. This energy is then projected from the soundhole in the middle. The type of wood used in the body, neck, and fretboard can make quite a difference in the sound. But mainly, it’s the shape and size of the guitar and the type of bracing used in the body that creates a resonance that is unique to every guitar.

Acoustic Guitar – A Brief History 

The modern steel-stringed acoustic guitar evolved from more traditional forms of guitars that used catgut strings (made from the innards of sheep). Other smaller instruments like the banjo already used steel strings, so in the early 19th century, a German immigrant to the US, Christian Frederick Martin (yes, that Martin) created a new style of bracing inside the guitar. This accommodated the higher tension of the steel strings and essentially gave birth to a more versatile instrument.

Over time, as more players adopted the steel-stringed acoustic guitar, they concluded that a larger body generates a more open and warm tone which is why modern acoustic guitars are often significantly larger than their traditional counterparts.

Wrap Up:

Choosing a new acoustic guitar can be a tough call, but we hope this list was able to make this process an easier one for you! Remember, that there is no single ‘perfect’ acoustic guitar out there, or even on this list. All of them vary in their design, woods, and the sound that they deliver. So be sure to keep in mind what size, tonal quality, and design works best for your personal playing preferences.

If you ask us for our recommendations, we’d suggest checking out the Epiphone AJ-100CE Acoustic-Electric Guitar if you’re looking for a bright, punchy sound that resonates for ages. For a mellow, warm Mahogany sound, the Ibanez AW54OPN Artwood Acoustic Guitar is the way to go for you. For those who prefer an all-round, well-balanced tone, then you could explore the Fender Classic Design Series CC-60SCE guitar. Of course, you know your playing preferences best, so don’t just go by our word – check the whole list out. Cheers, and keep the music playing!

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