You are currently viewing 6 Best Acoustic Guitars Under $500: Great Sound, Amazing Value

Last Updated on March 2, 2024 by Teemu Suomala

Author: Santiago Motto

Aka. Sandel. Telecasters and all-mahogany Martins lover.

Besides that, Sandel is a professional writer, guitar player, confessed guitar nerd, and all-things-guitar consumer. He has been playing for 25 years which makes him a nineties kid with serious low-tuning youngster years, and a pop palate for melodies, ballads, and world music.

Whenever Santiago is not pouring all that experience and love for the instrument into articles, you can find him playing live shows supporting his music and poetry books as “Sandel”. If he’s not doing either of those, you can also find him gigging with his band, “San Juan”, writing, reading, or enjoying the Sun.

photo reveals owner of guitaristnextdoor.com

Editing & Research: Teemu Suomala

I first grabbed the guitar in 2009. I started this website in January 2020 because I couldn’t do window installation anymore due to my health problems. I love guitars and have played dozens and dozens of different guitars through different amps and pedals over the years, and also, building a website interested me, so I decided to just go for it! I got lucky and managed to get awesome people to help me with my website.

I also got lucky because I have you visiting my website right now. Thank you. I do all this for you guys. If you have any recommendations, tips, or feedback, just leave a comment, I would love to chat with you. I have also been fortunate to produce content for several large guitar websites, such as SongsterrMusicnotesGuitarGuitar, and Ultimate Guitar.

I spend my spare time exercising and hanging out with my wife and crazy dog (I guess that went the right way…).


displays Martin DJR-10

Best Overall– Martin DJR-10

Reviewer: Santiago Motto

Sound
Playability
Overall Quality
Value For Money
Fingerpicking feel

Summary

Pros:
-Martin tone at a fraction of Martin’s regular prices
-Solid-wood guitar (top, backs and sides, and neck)
-Top-notch scalloped bracing for enhanced low-end
-Lightweight and travel-friendly
-Dedicated gig bag included

Cons:
-Fishman Sonicore lacks low end.
-Richlite fingerboard and bridge might seem a little too plastic for some purists.

Who is this guitar for?
This guitar is perfect for the amateur player trying to take a leap in build quality and sound, beginners, and children in need of a learner-size guitar. Also, it makes a terrific road-ready guitar to leave your precious full-size Martin safe at home without sacrificing tone.

4.5

Price:

*Consider all links in this post to be affiliate links. If you purchase, at no additional cost to you, we may earn a small commission. It helps us to keep the lights on, thanks! 🙂


The Next Best:

Runner-Up – Taylor Big Baby Taylor

displays Taylor Big Baby Taylor

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Our Overall Rating

Summary

Pros:

  • 25 ½” scale on a 15/16 body
  • Ebony fingerboard
  • Solid Sitka spruce top
  • Durable, rugged gig bag
  • Offers the Taylor sound
  • Great playability, friendly neck
  • Real Taylor at an affordable price

Cons:

  • Laminated back and sides
  • No electronics
  • Maple neck

Who is this guitar for?

The wood combination of neck, body, fretboard, and top makes this a killer lead instrument. Yes, that mix between the snappy highs of the maple and the ebony together with the high end of the spruce, and anchored by walnut’s midrange can cut any mix.

Best for Fingerpicking – PRS SE P20E

displays PRS SE P20E Parlor

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Our Overall Rating

Summary

Pros:

  • Solid mahogany top for added low end
  • Hybrid bracing to enhance the tones from the solid top
  • Included gig bag
  • Mahogany neck with traditional bird inlays and binding
  • Fishman Sonitone installed
  • Wide Fat neck profile for enhanced comfort and playability

Cons:

  • Laminated back and sides
  • 3-piece neck
  • Fishman Sonitone is not the best for picking up the low end

Who is this guitar for?

This is the perfect guitar for those who love fingerpicking and need the snappy high end of the guitar to cut through the mix. Also for those who like smaller-body and want the quintessential PRS look and tone at a fraction of the price.

Best for Strumming – Epiphone Dove Studio

displays Epiphone Dove Studio

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Our Overall Rating

Summary

Pros:

  • Historic Dove pickguard and perfect finish
  • Packs countless classic tones
  • The hard maple neck makes it more resistant and road-ready
  • Fishman Sonitone preamp system as a factory feature
  • Violin burst finish
  • Glossy finish

Cons:

  • Laminated back and sides
  • No gig bag included

Who is this guitar for?

This is for the owner of an original who wants to preserve that guitar and hit the road with a budget-level guitar. Also for the amateur musician and the bonfire lover who needs a great guitar that won’t break the bank but deliver classic acoustic tones for timeless masterpieces. Works well for a singer songwriter too.

Best For Blues – Gretsch G5024E Rancher

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Our Overall Rating

Summary

Pros

  • The unusual triangle-shaped soundhole is unique and eye-catching
  • A powerful, rich voice from an arch back design
  • Arched-back design boosts volume
  • Great acoustic tone with a decent electronic system
  • Vintage-style frets let your fingers feel the fretboard
  • You really feel the instrument when playing
  • Comfortable and slim neck
  • Versatile, delivers from delta blues to blues rock

Cons

  • Non-cutaway acoustic-electric limits high fret access
  • Synthetic bone nut and saddle

Who is this guitar for?

If you are in search of a solid top guitar that handles blues exceptionally well and is comfortable to play the Gretsch G5024E Rancher is easily one of the best options for under $500.

Best for Beginners – Guild M-240E

displays Guild M-240E

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Our Overall Rating

Summary

Pros:

  • Solid Sitka spruce top
  • Padded gig bag
  • Factory-included Fishman Sonitone electronics
  • Comfortable C-Shaped neck
  • Prototypical wood combinations and tones
  • Scalloped X internal bracing for added tone and sustain

Cons:

  • Laminated back and sides
  • Pau Ferro fingerboard and bridge instead of rosewood or ebony

Who is this guitar for?

This is the perfect guitar to play countless gigs on; so, if you’re an artist looking for a workhorse, here’s your guitar. Also, beginners who want a mid-range instrument to focus their fight against their hands and brains instead of a faulty guitar will find this Guild a great choice.

Compare The Key Specs Of The:

this graphic compares specifications of 6 Best Acoustic Guitars Under $500

Compare The Tonewoods:

Graphic compares acoustic guitar tonewoods

Body Top: Solid Sitka Spruce

Sides: Solid Sapele

Back: Solid Sapele

Neck: Select Hardwood

Fretboard: Richlite

Body Top: Solid Sitka Spruce

Sides: Layered Walnut

Back: Layered Walnut

Neck: Hard Rock Maple

Fretboard: Ebony

Body Top: Solid Mahogany

Sides: Laminated Mahogany

Back: Laminated Mahogany

Neck: Mahogany

Fretboard: Ebony

Body Top: Solid Spruce

Sides: Laminated Maple

Back: Laminated Maple

Neck: Hard Maple

Fretboard: Indian Laurel

Body Top: Solid Spruce

Sides: Laminated Mahogany

Back: Laminated Mahogany

Neck: Mahogany

Fretboard: Laurel

Body Top: Solid Sitka Spruce

Sides: Laminated Mahogany

Back: Laminated Mahogany

Neck: Mahogany

Fretboard: Pau Ferro

You can learn more about tonewoods here and more about acoustic guitar history here!


When I sat down to write this guide, I realized something very important: this is, perhaps, the most competitive price range for this instrument in the market.

This explains why, when you tried to look for the “best acoustic-electric guitar under 500” on Google, you were mesmerized by the number of results. Yes, what you need is a guide to help you choose from such a wide variety of options.

That’s what we’re here for, so worry not.

Read on, you will find some truly excellent affordable guitars here and most likely fall in love with your new six-stringer.


GNDs reviews of the top 6

Know what you can afford and then buy the best guitar you can afford.

I learned this rule of thumb from The Guitar Handbook written by Ralph Denyer.

What kind of sound are you after?

  • Warm and full?
  • Bright and clear?
  • Soft and balanced?

Know what you are after and you are on your way to choosing the right guitar for you!

Learn more about acoustic guitar tonewoods here.

Choose a guitar that enables you to play the music you love.

Best Overall – Martin DJR-10

displays Martin DJR-10

Specs

Body StyleJunior Dreadnaught (featuring 000-shape depth)
TopSolid Sitka Spruce
Back & SidesSolid Sapele
NeckSelect Hardwood
Neck ShapeDreadnought Junior
Fretboard20 frets, Richlite fingerboard, 16″ radius.
Nut materialWhite Corian
Nut Width1.75″
ElectronicsNo
SaddleWhite Tusq
Scale-Length24″

The first thing to say about this Martin JR is that it ticks all the important boxes to be a great acoustic guitar. Yes, don’t let the size fool you since this is very close to a full-on Martin (15/16 of it) and can produce the original & classic Martin tones we all know and love.

Yes, the advanced X and scalloped bracing under the solid Sitka top enhances the low end and gives this smaller Martin guitar a much bigger sound. Speaking of sound quality, the combination of Sitka spruce for the top and solid Sapele for the back and sides (yes, you read that right, it’s an all-solid guitar in this price range) make it vibrate as a uniform piece and create the sounds you would expect from a much bigger (and expensive) guitar. This axe just sounds amazing for its price.

Also, speaking about sounds, this is an electric-acoustic guitar that features a Fishman Sonicore mic and preamp. Conveniently, and not to harm the natural vibration of the guitar’s solid wood, the preamp only occupies a minor space under the rosette with a volume and a tone knob. The only other part of the guitar that carries anything related to the Fishman Sonicore is the input jack that’s on the lower back of the guitar.

Sound-wise, the electronics on this Martin are, perhaps, its only lower point because they tend to take away all the low-end the company worked so hard to achieve in guitars this size.

Speaking of size, the common thing to happen when you pick up a smaller-scale guitar (Martin’s scale is 24”) is that your fingers feel cramped inside the first frets. This is a sensation associated mostly with Baby Taylors and Little Martins. Yet, that’s not the case here since the solid-wood neck with richlite fretboard feels and plays just like a normal guitar.

Furthermore, if you’re used to playing Mustangs or Jaguars, you’ll feel at home here. This Martin does offer great playground for all sorts of different playing techniques.

Finally, this guitar comes with a dedicated gig bag and is ready to create history in the right hands. Give it a try before you buy because this Martin is our pick as the best acoustic guitar for $500.

Pros:

  • Martin tone at a fraction of Martin’s regular prices
  • Solid-wood guitar (top, backs and sides, and neck) at a very affordable price
  • Top-notch scalloped bracing for enhanced low-end
  • Lightweight and travel-friendly
  • Dedicated gig bag included

Cons:

  • Fishman Sonicore lacks low end.
  • Richlite fingerboard and bridge might seem a little too plastic for some purists.

Our Ratings:

FeatureRating from 1-5
Sound4.5
Playability4.5
Overall Quality4.5
Value For Money5
Fingerpicking feel4
Who is this guitar for?

This axe is perfect for the amateur player trying to take a leap in build quality and sound, beginners, and children in need of a learner-size guitar. Also, these make terrific road-ready guitars to leave your precious full-size Martin safe at home without sacrificing tone. It’s “just” a traditional acoustic, but it offers all solid woods, smooth playability, and Martin tones.

Who is this guitar NOT for?

This guitar is not for those looking to get their kids a smaller, toy-like guitars because it is a serious instrument ready to deliver amazing tones.


Runner-Up – Taylor Big Baby Taylor

displays Taylor Big Baby Taylor

Specs

Body ShapeFull-Sized Dreadnought
TopSolid Sitka Spruce
Back & SidesLayered Walnut
NeckHard Rock Maple
Neck Shapenot available
Fretboard20 frets, Ebony fingerboard
NutNuBone
Nut Width1.68″
ElectronicsNo
SaddleMicarta
Scale-Length25.5″

The Big Baby Taylor is the most affordable full-scale guitar made by Taylor guitars. Yes, the size of the body is 15/16 of a full-size dreadnaught but it features a 25 ½” scale just like regular guitars do. Therefore, although it is travel-friendly and a little smaller body-wise, it feels and plays like the real thing.

Speaking of which, Taylor guitars has treated the guitar’s body to make it wider in the middle using an arched-back technique that gives it a slightly higher output, especially at the low end of the spectrum. As a result, although you’re holding a slightly smaller and more maneuverable dreadnought guitar, the sound and feel are of a regular-sized guitar.

This brings us to speak about the super friendly neck that feels and plays like a Taylor neck should. Moreover, the ebony fretboard is quite an unusual encounter in this price range. The answer to that question in your mind is that the neck is made of maple. Yes, that’s where the money comes from. Furthermore, the sides and back are made of three-piece laminated walnut while the top is solid Sitka spruce.

This is the only reason why this axe comes second after the Martin DJR. Other than the tonewood, the sound, feel, and craftsmanship of this guitar are what you would expect of a Taylor with one extra digit on the price tag.

Finally, the Taylor sound that became the trademark of countless hits is right there at your fingertips at all times with the Big Baby.

Oh, and an extra mention for the quality of the guitar’s gig bag. I own a Baby Taylor that’s traveled with me inside that bag for over 15 countries. They’re built to last. What a beautiful guitar!

Pros:

  • 25 ½” scale on a 15/16 body
  • Ebony fingerboard
  • Solid Sitka spruce top
  • Durable, rugged gig bag
  • Offers the Taylor sound
  • Great playability, friendly neck
  • Real Taylor at an affordable price

Cons:

  • Laminated back and sides
  • No electronics
  • Maple neck

Our Ratings:

FeatureRating from 1-5
Sound4.3
Playability4.6
Overall Quality4.5
Value For Money5
Fingerpicking feel4
Who is this guitar for?

The wood combination of neck, body, fretboard, and top makes this a killer lead instrument. Yes, that mix between the snappy highs of the maple and the ebony together with the high end of the Sitka spruce, and anchored by walnut’s midrange can cut any mix.

Who is this guitar NOT for?

The Taylor Big Baby is not for those in search of the classic middle-of-the-mix sound with growling low end and sparking highs. These are different, more modern-sounding guitars with a ferocious midrange and musical harmonic overtones.

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Best for Fingerpicking – PRS SE P20E

Specs

Body ShapeParlor
TopSolid Mahogany
Back & SidesLaminated Mahogany
Neck3-piece mahogany
Neck ShapeWide Fat
Fretboard20 frets, Ebony fingerboard, 11.8″ radius
NutBone
Nut Width1.6875″
ElectronicsFishman Sonitone
SaddleBone
Scale-Length24.72″

Parlor guitars make terrific fingerpicking instruments. Out of all the parlor guitars out there we chose this PRS SE model because it is the cleverest setup for a parlor guitar currently in the market.

How so? You might be wondering, well, simply the guitar’s size and wood combination make it a crossover that can bring the best of both worlds to your music.

Yes, on one hand, the body is made of mahogany (laminated for the sides and back) and features a mahogany top as well. Mahogany is a tonewood that is famous for being the low-end anchor of many acoustics. Mahogany also provides a mellow and warm tone.

So, the mahogany body is mixed with a mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard and the entire guitar becomes this perfect mix of the high end that’s natural to parlor-sized guitars with a deep and resonant low end you would expect from a much larger instrument.

Furthermore, the hybrid bracing that PRS employs allows the low end to appear through the soundhole and make it to your audience’s ears. Yes, we’re talking of a mix of modern X-style bracing with traditional bracing to make the most of that mahogany top.

As a result, this PRS SE matches its impeccable construction with to-die-for tones right at your fingertips.

But that’s not all since this guitar is also a beautiful instrument that represents that typical PRS look from head to toe. Yes, the 3-piece neck with its rosewood fingerboard offers the traditional white binding, bird inlays, and the PRS headstock.

Speaking of the neck, it features PRS’ wide fat shape which gives the axe enough meat to grab onto without being bulky or feeling uncomfortable.

Finally, this amazing combo is finished with a Fishman Sonicore and a state-of-the-art PRS gig bag that’s built to protect your guitars for decades.

Getting this tone and features in a guitar under $500 is big news, so go grab one while you can!

Pros:

  • Solid mahogany top for added low end
  • Hybrid bracing to enhance the tones from the solid top
  • Included gig bag
  • Mahogany neck with traditional bird inlays and binding
  • Fishman Sonitone installed
  • Wide Fat neck profile for enhanced comfort and playability

Cons:

  • Laminated back and sides
  • 3-piece neck
  • Fishman Sonitone is not the best for picking up the low end

Our Ratings:

FeatureRating from 1-5
Sound3.9
Playability4.5
Overall Quality4.5
Value For Money4.5
Fingerpicking feel4.7

Find more great Parlor guitars here.

Who is this guitar for?

This is the perfect guitar for those who love fingerpicking and need the snappy high end of the guitar to cut through the mix. Also for those who like smaller-body and want the quintessential PRS look and tone at a fraction of the price.

Who is this guitar NOT for?

Buying a child guitars of this caliber could be a recipe for disaster since it is a full-size instrument capable of some serious tones and it might be damaged due to the careless handling of a kiddo. Also, those looking for a smaller guitar for their smaller hands will find the wide fat neck to be a little too big.

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Best for Strumming – Epiphone Dove Studio

Specs

Body ShapeSquare Shoulder Dreadnought
TopSolid Spruce
Back & SidesLaminated Maple
NeckHard Maple
Neck ShapeSlimTaper D
Fretboard20 Medium Jumbo frets, Indian Laurel fingerboard, 12″ radius
NutGraphTech NuBone
Nut Width1.68″
ElectronicsFishman SoniTone
SaddleGraphTech NuBone
Scale-Length25.5″

When we think of the best acoustic-electric guitar, the shape and colors of this model surely come to mind. Yes, this is a replica of the amazing Gibson Dove that we saw on countless stages and heard on countless records.

Why is this guitar in the category of “best for strumming”? Well, the answer is that no other guitar in this list can provide the player with those round, musical, and beautiful harmonic overtones, and that snappy high-end this guitar oozes.

Moreover, when you strum any chord on this guitar, the first thing you notice is the balance between the low end and the high end is close to perfect. Yes, I know, if you try a Gibson original you get rid of the excess of high-end that these have, but being a budget acoustic when compared to the Gibson, you get still high definition across the board.

This is not a coincidence by any means; on the contrary, it is the outcome of a decades-old recipe. Yes, the back and sides of this guitar are made of laminated maple and it features a solid Sitka spruce top. The neck is made of hard maple and the fretboard, as well as the bridge, is made of Indian laurel.

If you add up the enormous amount of maple and the Sitka spruce top what you get is resonance and lots of high-end. Then, coupling that with the depth of the beautifully-ornamented dreadnought body what you have is record-ready tones, especially when strumming chords.

Finally, the Fishman Sonitone system adds a welcome feature for those of us who still believe in acoustic shows. So, although it is not a guitar that oozes solid-wood construction, it is, in my opinion, the best strumming acoustic-electric guitar under 500.

Moreover, plug it into an acoustic guitar amp, and you’ll realize in a nanosecond that these guitars were made for the stage.

Pros:

  • Historic Dove pickguard and perfect finish
  • Packs countless classic tones
  • The hard maple neck makes it more resistant and road-ready
  • Fishman Sonitone preamp system as a factory feature
  • Violin burst finish
  • Glossy finish

Cons:

  • Laminated back and sides
  • No gig bag included

Our Ratings:

FeatureRating from 1-5
Sound4.3
Playability4.3
Overall Quality4.8
Value For Money5
Fingerpicking feel3.9
Who is this guitar for?

This is for the owner of an original who wants to preserve that guitar and hit the road with a budget-level guitar. Also for the amateur musician and the bonfire lover who needs a great guitar that won’t break the bank but deliver classic acoustic tones for timeless masterpieces. Works well for singer songwriters too.

Who is this guitar NOT for?

This is not for children or beginners who want their first guitar. Also, it is not for those looking for Martin-like massive low-end sounds.

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Best For Blues – Gretsch G5024E Rancher

Specs

Body ShapeDreadnought
TopSolid Spruce
Back & SidesLaminated Mahogany
NeckMahogany
Neck Shapenot available
Fretboard21 Vintage-Style frets, Laurel fingerboard, 12″ radius.
NutSynthetic Bone
Nut Width1.6875″
ElectronicsFishman Sonicore Piezo Pickup and Isys + Preamp System
SaddleCompensated Synthetic Bone
Scale-Length25″

A big guitar with a big voice, the Gretsch G5024E Rancher Dreadnought is built for volume. Like its name, the tone of the Rancher calls to mind rough and rowdy Western music—a strong, proud arch back acoustic that’s ready and looking for a fight.

You’ll find nothing lacking in any range as you strum through booming progressions and pick out pronounced, powerful riffs.

And if you ever need extra juice, the Fishman Isys III System and Sonicore piezo pickup duo are at your command. This electronic setup gives you responsive, organic amplification you can mold to your liking with 3-band EQ.

These high quality tones are right at your fingertips, easily played on the slightly narrow neck.

The Rancher sports a smooth, rosewood fingerboard and is lined with vintage-size frets for an organic playing feel that puts you in contact with the fretboard wood.

This choice of fret size, combined with the G5024E’s heavy gauge strings, might make bends a bit difficult.

But the flipside is that the upper reaches of the fretboard are a little more spacious than average, so high-end licks are a bit easier to nail.

Constructed with a solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides, the Rancher is right in line with the highest quality acoustics you can find under $500. Its compensated saddle and deluxe die-cast tuning machines hold your strings pitch-perfect through hours of pitch-perfect playing.

Find more guitars with offset soundhole here.

Pros

  • The unusual triangle-shaped soundhole is unique and eye-catching
  • A powerful, rich voice from an arch back design
  • Arched-back design boosts volume
  • Great acoustic tone with a decent electronic system
  • Vintage-style frets let your fingers feel the fretboard
  • You really feel the instrument when playing
  • Comfortable and slim neck
  • Versatile, delivers from delta blues to blues rock

Cons

  • Non-cutaway acoustic-electric limits high fret access
  • Synthetic bone nut and saddle

Our Ratings:

FeatureRating from 1-5
Sound4.1
Playability4.5
Overall Quality4.5
Value For Money5
Fingerpicking feel4

Find more great acoustics for blues here.

Who is this guitar for?

If you are in search of a solid top guitar that handles blues exceptionally well and is comfortable to play the Gretsch G5024E Rancher is easily one of the best options for under $500.

Who is this guitar NOT for?

If you are after a cutaway, bone nut & saddle, and all-solid woods, this Rancher is not for you.

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Best for Beginners – Guild M-240E

Specs

Body ShapeConcert
TopSolid Sitka Spruce
Back & SidesLaminated Mahogany
NeckMahogany
Neck ShapeSlim C
Fretboard20 frets, Pau Ferro fingerboard, 16″ radius
NutBone
Nut Width1.688″
ElectronicsGuild/Fishman AP1 with Sonicore pickukp
SaddleBone
Scale-Length24.75″

While the Martin DJR is the solid-wood, higher-end version of traditional acoustic guitars, this Guild can provide similar tones and looks without being such a fragile all-solid instrument. Furthermore, this combination of traditional tones and looks with an affordable price tag and the durability of laminated wood make this Guild M-240E the perfect choice for beginners and amateurs on a budget.

Yes, Guild is another legendary guitar builder that has had a vast influence on Western music for decades. In this case, they poured all that leverage into their most famous guitar shape to offer classic tones and a timeless look at a price most players can afford.

To begin with, the combination of (laminated) mahogany for the back and sides with a solid Sitka spruce top makes this a classic-sounding instrument.

Yes, the tested-and-true formula of mixing the low end of the mahogany and the brightness of the spruce works perfectly here.

Speaking of tonewoods, the neck is made of mahogany but the fingerboard is made of Pau Ferro (as well as the bridge), a tonewood that has become the go-to option to replace rosewood giving to this guitar similar sweet notes in the resulting audio the rosewood would.

Also, this Guild is made following the M-Concert line making the guitar’s body slightly smaller and more maneuverable than a full-body dreadnought or jumbo. This is not a pointless detail since it makes the guitar’s playability grow immensely.

In addition, the electronics of this guitar are your trusty Fishman Sonitone preamp system but made in collaboration with Guild so it could be fine-tuned to match this guitar particularly. As a result, this guitar produces balanced sound & classic tones when playing it unplugged and also when run through an amp.

Finally, the C-Shape neck, low action, 24 ¾” scale, and 20 frets make this a good guitar for the electric guitar player who is making the transition, a smaller-hands player, or a beginner trying to fight against the instrument less while learning.

A final paragraph should be awarded for the super-padded, utterly comfortable, and ultra-high-quality gig bag that can keep your guitars safe even in the most demanding circumstances. All these things combined make this Guild easily one of the greatest budget acoustics.

Pros:

  • Solid Sitka spruce top
  • Padded gig bag
  • Factory-included Fishman Sonitone electronics
  • Comfortable C-Shaped neck
  • Prototypical wood combinations and tones
  • Scalloped X internal bracing for added tone and sustain

Cons:

  • Laminated back and sides
  • Pau Ferro fingerboard and bridge instead of rosewood or ebony

Our Ratings:

FeatureRating from 1-5
Sound4.1
Playability4.5
Overall Quality4.5
Value For Money4.7
Fingerpicking feel4.1
Who is this guitar for?

This is the perfect guitar to play countless gigs on; so, if you’re an artist looking for a workhorse, here’s your guitar. Also, beginners who want a mid-range instrument to focus their fight against their hands and brains instead of a faulty guitar will find this Guild a great choice.

Who is this guitar NOT for?

Seasoned players looking for the legendary Guild tone on a budget will not find it here since these guitars are intermediate-oriented.

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For a bit more expensive but still affordable axes, check our favorite acoustics under $1000.

Runner-Ups That Just Missed The Top 5


How We Chose These Acoustic Guitars

  1. We decided which acoustic guitars to recommend by using our own experience, doing extensive research, visiting music stores, and asking help from our musician friends
  2. After we had chosen the guitars to recommend we looked for a good way to test the gear. This means either renting it, buying it, testing it in a music store, or visiting a friend who owns it. This time, our main testing methods were playing these guitars at music stores and relying on our past experience playing these guitars.
  3. Even after this, we’ll still do another round of extensive research to make sure that this specific product is in fact, a real cream-of-the-crop candidate.
  4. Then we wrote this in-depth but easily digestible review about these axes. We kept in mind who will be playing them (most likely) such as beginner players, fingerstyle players, players who love blues, budget players, etc. 

Most acoustic guitars we recommend are run through tests like these:

  • We go carefully through the finish and build quality of the guitar.
  • We inspect the fretwork and edges of the fretboard to make sure there are no sharp edges.
  • We play the guitar unplugged and plugged in.
  • We use different playing techniques, such as fingerpicking, flatpicking, strumming, tapping, and even percussive playing.
  • We measure and weight the guitar.
  • We try licks and riffs from different genres.

Learn more about GND’s testing and reviewing processes here.


Santiago Motto

Aka. Sandel. Pure Telecasters and all-mahogany Martins lover. Besides that, Sandel is a professional writer, guitar player, confessed guitar nerd, and all-things-guitar consumer. He has been playing for 25 years which makes him a nineties kid with serious low-tuning youngster years, and a pop palate for melodies, ballads, and world music. You can connect with Santiago on LinkedIn or just email him.
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keith

which acoustic guitar costing under $500 you would recommend for soloing?

Teemu Suomala

Hi Keith! I would check Ibanez AEWC32FM out! It’s a great acoustic guitar costing under $500 for acoustic soloing.