Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Best acoustic electric guitars 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated July 1, 2019
Best acoustic electric guitars of 2018
I must say I am quite a fan of acoustic electric guitars, so when the question “What are the best acoustic electric guitars available on the market?” came to my mind, I excitedly started gathering information together with personal experience to write this article in the hope that it may help you find the suitable acoustic electric guitars. Here we have compiled a detailed list of some of the best acoustic electric guitars of the 2018.
If you’re reading this, it is very likely that you’re scouting for the best acoustic electric guitars. There are dozens of choices for an acoustic electric guitars these days. These are composed of modern styling with modern technology to match it. Here are some good examples.
Test Results and Ratings
№1 – Acoustic Capo
Why did this acoustic electric guitars win the first place?
The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! I was completely satisfied with the price. Its counterparts in this price range are way worse.
Why did this acoustic electric guitars come in second place?
Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery. The design quality is top notch and the color is nice. The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed. I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made.
Why did this acoustic electric guitars take third place?
It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. A very convenient model. It is affordable and made of high-quality materials.
acoustic electric guitars Buyer’s Guide
All these questions and more are probably spinning at the center of the burgeoning guitarist’s mind when starting out. But fear not – we’re here to help you make the best decision so you can start playing and, more importantly, keep playing until we can count you as one of our own.
Follow this guide for our tips and recommendations on what to keep in mind when buying a first guitar for yourself or someone else.
Starting With An Acoustic
Many teaching purists will passionately recommend new players start with an acoustic. And with good reason. There’s an immediacy that comes with picking up an acoustic guitar and strumming away that doesn’t exist with an electric. You learn the connection between attack and tone much more quickly with an acoustic. For players who strive to jump into the world singer-songwriter stylings or cozy up next to a campfire, starting with an acoustic is the natural choice.
Starting With A Nylon String Guitar
Found in middle school music room closets the world over, beginner nylon-string or classical acoustics are an extremely popular route for first-time players. There are several reasons for this. For one, the smaller bodies of these guitars can be especially inviting for younger players. Nylon string guitars have wider necks with more spacing between each string which can make landing your finger in the right place much easier. Most of all though, the nylon strings themselves are softer and easier to press down, which is one area new guitarists frequently have trouble with.
For these reasons and more, classical or nylon string guitars are a fantastic choice for a first time player. Check out the section and links below for some of our picks for first-time nylon string guitars to consider.
Starting With A Steel String Acoustic
While nylon string guitars are a great choice for beginners, their tone can be a bit limiting when taking the next steps in your progression as a player. For something that covers the sounds of contemporary popular music, a steel string acoustic is far more practical. There may be a slightly longer learning curve to getting your fingering just right, but once mastered, a steel string acoustic can carry you through a wide range of diverse playing styles and musical genres.
Starting With An Electric
As with acoustic guitars, there are a wide range of electrics to consider when shopping for a first-timer. Unlike acoustics, electric guitars require a few things beyond the instrument itself to get going. In this section, we’ll go through some great options for a beginning electric guitar, amp and other equipment.
Of course, the most important consideration when buying an electric guitar is to find one that will make you look as cool as possible when taking rockstar selfies in the mirror. Joking aside, getting a guitar that excites you will keep you inspired to play, which is the most important thing for new players.
You should also consider what type of music you hope to master and what player epitomizes that style. Fan of Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan? You should probably get a Stratocaster. Dream of playing some Wes Montgomery licks in a jazz combo? Maybe a hollowbody is right for you. Considering what guitars their heroes play when prepping for a purchase is something that allguitarists do, even if they deny it.
Fender Mustang I
There’s been something of a trend over the past few years of small amps with onboard modeling and effects. The Mustang I (now in its second version) is Fender’s take on the format.
In addition to the amp, note that you will need a 1/4-inch guitar cable to connect the guitar to the amp.
A Note On Strat Packs
In today’s market, a popular first choice for players (and a perennial Christmas gift) is what’s commonly called a “Strat Pack.” This entails a pre-made package usually including an electric guitar, an amp, and an array of accessories like a strap and some picks. Packs of this nature are produced by a number of different companies including Squier, Ibanez, and Epiphone. While they offer a great all-in-one solution, often times you can get a better guitar just by piecing your own starter rig part by part.
Accessories You’ll Need
At some point or another, you will break a string. Even if you don’t, guitars need a new set of strings every several months depending on how often you play. Strings are designed specifically for the above categories of guitar (nylon, steel string, electric) in varying gauges. Most new players use lighter gauged strings such as.or.10s.
Tuning a guitar by ear is a difficult thing to master, but nothing’s going to discourage a new player more than having to contend with a horribly out-of-tune instrument. For this reason, we consider a tuner essential (we actually sell a great, cheap one you can get to by clicking on this link).
Accessories You Don’t Need but Should Get Anyway
This one’s pretty straightforward. If you want to stand while you play, you’ll need a strap. There are a lot of basic options out there, but every guitar looks good with something like a Souldier strap on it.
New guitarists love singing along to the songs they’re learning. A capo can easily change the key of open position playing making it that much easier to play any song you want.
Looking at the chart, it seems like the electric guitar mandates the most extra stuff. And that’s without even getting into the world of effects. Just wait, you’ll get there.
So there you have it…
Hopefully the above will help you first timers out there. One thing to note is that once you have your guitar, you will want to get what’s known as a setup performed by a tech at least a couple times a year if you’re playing regularly. Think of this as like getting the oil changed on your car. Even experienced players don’t often recognize the importance of getting their guitars setup regularly, but it’s an essential part of keeping your instrument in tip-top form for years to come.
Undoubtedly one of the most congested areas of the six-string market is the affordable acoustic guitars sector, where there are literally thousands of models and manufacturers to choose from.
Washburn Woodline Series WLO12SE
Our WLO12SE model’s spec kicks off with a solid mahogany top and laminate mahogany back and sides, protected by a flawless gloss finish and pimped with black binding and light pinstriping.
The French know a thing or two about looking good, and it’s evident here in this very tidily made budget electro.
Its spec is bare bones with a thin satin ‘open pore’ finish, no edge binding to the top or back and no fingerboard face dot markers.
The HG26SCE sports a grand auditorium-sized body with a cutaway for upper fret access.
Washburn has paired the solid cedar top with rosewood back and sides. The body and neck feature wood binding, and there’s some pretty mother-of-pearl inlays around the soundhole – aka the rosette – and the cedar top’s outer edge.
Seagull Entourage Folk Burnt Umber QIT
What’s special about the Folk is quite a unique voice, the combination of those laminated wild cherry back and sides, which, says Godin, has “a sound that lands somewhere between the mellow tone of a mahogany guitar and the bright sound of maple”, with their cedar tops plus a robust but pretty light build.
A spruce-topped jumbo with plenty of projection and an extremely appealing price tag, the VJ100N isn’t Vintage’s only appearance in this poll.
The manufacturer has been turning out some incredibly likable and a characterful guitars in the last few years, and the VJ100N is another fine addition to the growing ranks of first rate Vintage acoustics.
This Washburn baritone – we’ll shorten it’s name to LSB, aka Lakeside Baritone – is a large and deep, round-shouldered pre- dreadnought design that debuted in 191But the baritone scale length is more contemporary and, if our research is correct, unique.
Acoustic baritones are rare; aside from Taylor, Walden has the futuristic B-1E, and Alvarez’s ABT60E is highly affordable. In addition to the bulk of the body, the scale here is the longest we’ve encountered.
It scored a very respectable 4/stars in our tests and we’ve included it here because a baritone on a budget like this is well worth a nod.
As you might expect from Epiphone’s best selling acoustic, the DR-100 is a budget-minded guitar that dispenses with any extravagances in favour of good old-fashioned playability.
The spruce-topped dreadnought is conceived to be an all-rounder, from those first fumbled chords through to, well, wherever you want to go really. It’s built to the usual Epiphone high standards, and it’s guaranteed to make most guitars at the same price point look a little bit silly.
The proliferation in mahogany-topped acoustics is a development that we wholeheartedly approve of. There’s something delightfully earthy in their look, and in our experience, this translates to their tone, too. It’s the same with all-mahogany Korean-built acoustic from Sigma.
We’re getting a sense of déjà vu… That’s the thing about acoustic guitars – they all tend to look the same.
As such, you might be forgiven for taking one look at the Yamaha FG700S and assume you’ve already been there, played that and bought the T-shirt. If there’s a more traditional looking model on the market than this entry-level dreadnought, we’ll eat our pitch pipes.
No-one’s pretending the FG700S looks as wild as your BC Rich, but that’s not the point. When you sit down with this model you will soon start to appreciate why it deserves your attention. This is how playing an acoustic should feel, but so rarely does. It’s effortless, despite the fairly hefty body size, and doesn’t make you sweat to dig out the (considerable) volume.
There’s something about parlour size guitars that makes us want to sit on a sofa and fingerpick the day away, and this would be the guitar to do it with. Mahogany back and sides, a cedar top, and all those little visual details makes this a steal of a guitar for the money.
Coming from the famed maker of pointy guitars for the likes of Metallica and Deftones, you might not expect much from an LTD acoustic – well, set your preconceptions aside and plug in, and you may be pleasantly surprised.
With a thinline body designed to banish feedback, the TL-makes an ideal onstage guitar, and its thin U neck profile and width ensures it plays more like a rock semi than your traditional acoustic.
For electric players picking up an acoustic for the first time, it’s a great place to start, and the B-Band Electret Film under-saddle transducer and preamp ensure it really projects on stage.
The EL-00 is the sort of guitar you can imagine being nestled in the hands of a long-dead bluesman, in one of those weirdly formal photos from the ’20s.
It certainly looks the part, with its tiny parlour sized body, short scale and sweet sunburst finish. Tailor built for playing the blues, if you’ve ever had a woman leave you, lost your job or attempted to sell your soul to intersection-dwelling demons, this is the guitar for you.
Production of Sigma Guitars, the affordable range launched by Martin in the ’70s to keep Japanese competitors at bay, ceased in back 2007.
But the brand was recently purchased from Martin by AMI, a German-based distributor of high-end acoustic and classical guitars, and has since been re-launched. Completing something of a complicated circle, Martin Guitars’ UK distributor, Westside Distribution, is now importing Sigma Guitars into the UK, and they’re currently causing a big splash among acoustic guitarists – not to mention making a big impact on this gallery.
Seagull Excursion Natural Folk SG
You may not be familiar with the name, but Seagull is part of Canadian brand Godin, and as such, carries some serious credentials – for one, the construction is top-notch, with sturdy bracing and a smoothly finished fingerboard.
But what the Excursion lacks in looks, it makes up for in its electric-like playability and huge tonality. Its characterful output ensures it sits well in a mix when recording and suits a wide range of styles, too, from blues to jazz.
Yamaha’s LJ series is home to one of its most played and respected acoustics, the LJARE.
It’s a tasty little number, what with the Engelmann spruce top, gold hardware and general air of class, with a jumbo body and SRT Zero Impact pickup for big, resonant tones, both plugged and unplugged.
It’s hovering at the top end of our budget price point – closer to £500 than £150 – but even costing that much, the LLis a snip.
It’s guitars like this – playable, pretty (it’s available in a bunch of finishes, and there’s even an all-mahogany version on the market now) and great fun to play – that are the foundation of life-long love affairs with the instrument.
It’s no real surprise that it’s one of Fender’s best selling acoustics. It’s so well put together, and priced so competitively, that the CD-60 basically sells itself. If you’re thinking of dipping a toe in acoustic waters, you could do a lot worse than starting your unplugged strumming with one of these…
It’s got the looks, and considering it’s a fraction of the cost of a Gibson Hummingbird, Epi’s affordable version has got the tones too.
If you’re looking for a bit of that iconic Gibbo mojo but can’t stretch to the several thousand pounds said mojo costs, then Epiphone’s Hummingbird is an attractive viable alternative.
The F3has been proving that affordable guitars can do the business for donkey’s years now.
A spruce topped dynamo that punches way about its weight, it’s perfect for smaller hands with a slim neck that beginners won’t struggle to get to grips with and is built like a tank.
If you aren’t aware of Sigma, you need to become acquainted with the brand, and quick. The narrow-waisted S000M-1looks, at first glance, like the plainest of Janes, but in fact, its a player’s guitar of the finest calibre.
Spend a little time, with it, and the guitar begins to exude its own special beauty. Should your tastes be for smaller-bodied guitars, or you describe yourself as more picker than strummer, the S000-1will fit such needs admirably.
Let our ears be the judge: the WD7S is big, bold and boomy, like the sound a ‘classic’ dreadnought makes in your head. When you’re strumming with a pick, the sound is crystal and authoritative without being abrasive, and when you apply fingers, the output softens up in convincing fashion, bringing in a really mellow warmth that revitalises riffs and implies this model is pretty expensive – which, of course, it isn’t…
Construction And Design
Plainly put, the aesthetics of your acoustic guitar have a sure impact on its overall value, but the construction is way more important. The construction determines the guitar’s “durability” – its ability to withstand the teeth of time, and its physical resistance of every sort (playing, dropping, even smashing it on stage, for that matter).
While you won’t have too much trouble figuring if the design of the particular guitar suits you, the construction could bring some issues aboard. Namely, most people (even some intermediate-level guitarists, as a matter of fact) are unaware of the qualities they should be searching for.
Certain construction materials are better than most, like Rosewood, white wood, Spruce, and so on, and you’ll be fine as long as you pick the model that comes with an outfit of features that resemble the aforementioned one.
Accessories are “the things you’ll get with the package”. More often than not, brands offer a variety of complimentary features, such as gratis gig bags, electric tuners, free picks, additional sets of strings, and so on. Even though these features can be bought standalone, it might do you some good to take them into consideration, as each of them “cost” a certain amount of cash.
The brands that provide these “free features” always include them in the price, so, if a certain guitar package appears “too expensive” at first, take a look at the accessories that come with the bundle.
Comfort is often referred to as the “Playability” of the guitar, or, plainly put, the guitar’s ability to be “played” without notable hardships along the way. Certain guitars are very “playable”, which means that your fingers will literally slide across the strings, unhindered by the construction, while some models don’t possess this ability.
As comfort is an important factor, it’s always wise to try out the guitar you dub as the “best acoustic guitar” – see if the “best” is actually any good for yourself.
Takamine EF341SC Dreadnought
It’s definitely not your average acoustic guitar, as it features a slightly lower level of playability, but everything else is off the charts.
The EF341SC Dreadnought is an acoustic-electric guitar that will sound good, no matter how you play it. While unplugged, it will produce mellow, soothing tunes. On the other hand, it will resonate with haunting vibes and thrills once you plug it in, allowing for a superb, unique guitar experience.
Guitar under 1000
This means that you need an acoustic guitar made with a high-quality material, rich in sound, has nice playability, and provides the value for the money. My team and I spent several hours researching, testing and reading customer reviews and this is why we are recommending the following acoustic guitars. Here are the reviews of our top-rated acoustic guitars under 1000.
Seagull’s Artist Mosaic
Here we’re looking at yet another marvelous guitar from the famous “Seagull” – the Artist Mosaic acoustic guitar.
This guitar is one of the best acoustic guitar models in our review, there’s no doubt about that, but it’s also one of the most expensive ones. Nevertheless, it holds a massive value for the cash, as it features a ravishing outlook and a set of evenly-balanced settings.
One of the best things about Seagull’s Artist Mosaic guitar is the premium-quality rosewood fingerboard. You’ll be able to benefit from an outstanding level of playability, complemented by a highly durable construction.
The most notable improvement over the older Seagull guitars is the brand-new bridge design made of the most exquisite Rosewood they had in stock.
Guitar Under 500
This may sound quite unbelievable, but there are quite a number of acoustic guitars that sound quite well under 500. You do not have to spend an arm and a leg to get that acoustic guitar that you have always wanted.
Therefore, whether you are on the lookout for your first guitar or intending to surprise someone special or want to add to your collection, we have good acoustic guitar models for you to pick from. They have been carefully selected among other competing contenders and are designed to not only provide excellent sound and comfort while being stroked, but also fall within your budget.
Lastly, they are also easy to the eye. This means that irrespective of their affordable nature, you do not have to contend with a not so pleasant looking acoustic guitar just because you bought it cheaply.
Seagull S Original Acoustic Guitar
Being one of the greatest pride from North America, the Seagull SAcoustic guitar deserved the highlight quite easily.
Generally, this guitar looks amazing, but it performs equally well, as a matter of fact. At first sight, you might notice the flawless craftsmanship of the engineers who made this beauty, but there’s an even bigger surprise coming your way – the featured outfit Seagull Scomes supplied with is what you’ll want to see.
The mahogany body surely is durable, but, most importantly, it allows a substantial playability to take place. Beginners and intermediates alike will find much use of the S6, as it was made for people who want to play without having to worry about comfort.
Now, not everything is sweet about S6, and we feel like we have to inform you about the downfalls as well. First of all, the Seagull Scomes at a moderate price, and, even though it might cost a few bucks extra, it’s still worth every single cent.
Second, and last drawback this guitar features is the not-overly-balanced soundstage. There’s no buzzing or humming whatsoever, but the overall sound output might not be the thing you’d expect from a guitar as beautiful as this.
Overall, it’s still more than valuable for the money – it comes in three vivid color variations, it brought a premium set of high-quality features onboard, and it boasts a superb outward appearance, excelling in aesthetics with great ease.
Ibanez AEG10NII is an exquisitely beautiful acoustic guitar. Hell, it just might be the good acoustic guitar in our review, as far as aesthetics are in question.
The classic, elegant black color is the source of its beauty, but this model comes in the “orange” variant as well. The other color variation is not necessarily “less beautiful”, as it possesses a certain charm of its own.
The first, most notable feature you’ll be able to notice is the single-cutaway body type – it’s there to look cool while being capable of delivering the punch of performance.
The AEG10NII is, essentially, a semi-acoustic guitar, as it can be wired with any guitar amp for boosted volume. It comes outfitted with a set of outstanding pickups – the “Fishman Sonicore”, some of the best in the class.
Apart from that, there’s the mahogany neck, beautifully laying on the Abalone rosette – these materials are not only durable, but they’re also the reason why this guitar sounds so good. What’s more, you’ll get a convenient tuner as a gratis feature.
ADM Acoustic-Electric Cutaway Guitar
It’s always a nice feeling to find a good, reasonably priced guitar. Something you don’t pay too much money for that actually has a proper value. It’s even a nicer feeling to find a good bargain that brings some uniqueness onboard – such is the case with ADM’s semi-acoustic cutaway guitar.
The ADM Acoustic-Electric Cutaway Guitar is just what every guitar enthusiast yearns for, especially because it’s made of quality, yet reliable materials.
Generally, you should consider this guitar if you’re low on cash, but want a guitar that sounds good. This one boasts a major value for the cash, as it excels in aesthetics and performance when compared to similar models in the price range.
Guitar under 300
When coming up with a list of the acoustic guitars under 300, we took into consideration three key factors: how it sounds, how it looks and most importantly, whether it meets the aforesaid budget cut.
One of the most flooded areas of the six-string market is the low-cost acoustic guitar section, where there are plenty of brands and manufacturers to make a pick from. This review entails some of the most popular acoustic guitars under 300 that lend credence to the averment that cheap does not have to be unsightly or even bear bad results.
You, therefore, need not spend all your life’s savings to purchase a guitar that will last you a lifetime or better yet, sound better with each passing day. Since we all know, just as wine gets better with age, so does a good acoustic guitar. Thus, whenever you decide to go shop for an acoustic guitar under 300, consider the following models.
Fender Acoustic Guitar Bundle
This Fender guitar is a starter kit that has all that you need to develop your talent and guitar skills. The fender bundleis budget-friendly, like most beginner guitar packages. Essentially, this model is here to offer versatility – beginner bundles are often outfitted with similar gratis features, and it’s up to you to decide which one you like best.
Now, just like Yamaha’s guitar bundle, Fender included a set of replacement strings, several picks, and the gratis carry bag. The guitar itself is different from the previous we’ve reviewed though, so you might want to check it out.
The first, most notable feature I s the dreadnought body – people who like larger, bulky guitars will simply love it, but mind the fact that these guitars usually weigh more than average ones. Even so, the difference in weight is not substantial or crucial.
Next, you probably want to know everything about performance – the guitar included in this bundle is capable of providing excellent tonal qualities, vibrant melodies, and perfect sustain. On top of that, there’s a total of 20 frets with clearly visible dot inlays for improved playability.
Now, let’s discuss the materials – there’s a rosewood bridge outfitted with a pre-compensated bone saddle, so you need not worry about intonation. The top is made of laminated spruce, and the body features all-wood construction. Overall, this bundle does a major bang for the buck.
Guitar under 100
I am sure the question in mind at this point must be, “Can I buy a good acoustic guitar for 100 or less?” Believe it or not, there are some decent acoustic guitar models that you can purchase for that meager amount.
Reason being, there has been lots of competition on the market such that manufacturers have been left with no choice but to make better instruments irrespective of how cheap or expensive they intend to sell them for. Another reason could be as a result of technological advancements which have taken all industries by storm.
A good cheap acoustic guitar should not only be known for its throwaway price. It also ought to deliver strong basses and low-end frequencies which is sometimes difficult to achieve while using low budget instruments.
This, however, should not make you despair because, with just 100, you can get yourself a decent acoustic guitar that is durable, reliable and has excellent sound. All you need to do is be well versed with acoustic guitar brands and/or manufacture’s names. This is achieved by undertaking a good research on the guitars.
You can later narrow down your research to a smaller scope such as price range. This thus puts you in the know of the kinds of acoustic guitars that you can own with 100 or less.
Let’s get back to the entry-level price range with First Act’s FG12acoustic guitar. If you’re down on money, we highly advise that you at least consider the FG127, as it’s one of the cheapest guitars in our review.
There’s a complementary bundle as well, including the string covers, and learn-a-chord cards for the youngest guitar beginners. Overall, this is a nice guitar for kids and young guitarists in the making, but that’s pretty much it.
Here comes another one of the popular starter guitars, the Crescent MG38-CF 38.
Most people seem to like this guitar an awful lot, but, then again, there’s a number of people who don’t, and there’s a valid reason to it – bad intonation. Let’s delve deeper into this potential drawback, but not before we get one thing straight – this is a beginner guitar, after all.
Now, the only bad thing about Crescent MG3is that it features a flimsy neck that will eventually bow under the pressure – this can easily be fixed, though, as you just have to compensate the saddle, or tweak with the nut, increasing its width.
This particular guitar does wonders when used by immediate beginners or children, as it was specifically designed to meet the demands of the youngest players, and those who’ve just stepped into the world of music only recently.
Being only 38-inch long, Crescent MG3CF is a bit smaller than your average guitar – this might be considered as a downfall, but most people tend to like its lightweight properties which further boost the overall playability.
There’s a plethora of complementary features onboard as well, including the chromatic tuner, and a convenient carry bag. Combined with superb affordability, this guitar holds quite a value for the cash.
Rogue RA-090 Dreadnought
Rogue’s Dreadnought RA-090 is yet another entry-level acoustic guitar that’s on our menu today. It’s pretty great for the buck, as it features some exotic materials in the construction – namely, the body is made of the exquisite whitewood, bringing outstanding resonance and sustain into the picture with great ease.
Furthermore, the neck is made of eastern mahogany (often referred to as “Nato” material) – it’s decently playable, and you can rest assured that it won’t warp too much under high string tension. The action is balanced between the extremes, somewhat hindering the durability, but allowing for precise, accurate intonation to take place.
The best thing about Rogue’s dreadnought acoustic guitar is that it belongs to the affordable price point category, and, perhaps, the worst thing about it is the mediocre sound level. Nevertheless, the beginners should find great use for it, as it doesn’t weigh too much, and it features a high level of playability.
ZENY Beginners Acoustic Guitar
Despite the fact that it’s still brand new on the market, the ZENYhas a lot to show off. Theunique qualities of this guitaralso set it apart in a market flocked with amazing acoustic guitar models.
There are multiple bonus features onboard, and the guitar shares a similar, somewhat “plastic” feel and design.
The secondhand acoustic guitar market is often a place where bargains are to be found – and it’s probably never been more buoyant. We provide some thoughts on buying a used instrument.
We’ve all heard stories about guitarists who have found six string gold in the pawn shops of yesteryear. Pre-war Martins for peanuts, Gibson and Fender electrics that turned out to be holy grail 1950s models – you know the sort of thing. Sadly, that kind of story is becoming less and less common as dealers just about everywhere have wised up, mainly, I suspect thanks to the internet and the easy immediacy of information available at the click of a mouse. But there are still some very good deals to be had on the used market today and so if you’re after an instrument that is both pre-owned and pre-loved, here’s a few things to look out for when inspecting any prospective new purchase.
A funny thing happened…
As anyone who has ventured into a guitar forum will tell you, there’s an awful lot of talk going on about different makes and manufacturers of acoustics 2hours a day, seven days a week. Some of it is extremely useful, some of it exquisitely nerdy, and some sadly misinformed. If you can sieve out the useful stuff, then it’s worth a little forum exploration in your quest to find out more about a potential purchase. Good information speaks for itself – users of the same make or model you’re interested in might have some useful stories to tell which reinforce your ideas about its value. Nerdiness can come in handy, too: insider info like which factory the guitar was built in, changes in ownership of the company concerned, good patches, bad patches in terms of build quality – all these can help bolster an opinion.
Neck and neck
While we’re talking about the neck and fretboard areas, check out the general condition of the fretboard. Any splits or hollows? These aren’t so easy to fix and they will affect the overall playability of the instrument. More importantly, is the neck straight? Check the action, too – is it unreasonably high or suspiciously low? If you know how to sight a neck – that is, the art of looking along the fretboard from the nut end to check for straightness – then do so. Many imperfections can be sorted out quite simply via the truss rod, but if you suspect anything seriously out of whack or are unsure, then it’s probably best to walk away.
One of the more obvious signs of wear and tear on any guitar is on its frets. It’s easy to see, too, but the signs of even moderately heavy usage in this region shouldn’t create too much cause for concern. If it’s a prestige make then the thought of an eventual refret shouldn’t put you off. Even though the idea of ripping all the frets out and replacing them sounds like a major operation, in the hands of an expert – and let’s face it you wouldn’t trust anyone else – the results are generally invisible. All you need to do at the time of purchase is to consider how much life you think the frets have in them and balance the cost of a refret somewhere down the line against what you’re being asked to pay.
One other check to carry out is to make sure there are no frets that have lifted or come loose. Both conditions should reveal themselves by carefully playing every note along every string. Loose frets make an unpleasant and very audible noise and a fret that has lifted with show up in either buzz in the surrounding areas or by a note missing altogether.
The mechanical nature of a string tuner is basically very simple – a capstan, a cog and some kind of threaded screw is practically all that’s involved at a very basic level. So there’s not an awful lot that can go wrong in this particular area. I’ve known tuners that look rusty, bent or slightly askew work perfectly and was once reassured by a guitar maker of high repute that the failure rate of a tuning machine is very low indeed. Furthermore, in the instance where you might want to change them in favour of some shiny new ones then replacements are readily available via mail order and it’s a very easy refit or upgrade to make.
Open back tuners can be subject to rust – I’ve seen plenty, but generally they still function – and sealed units are more difficult to diagnose by sight.
However, if the guitar you’re looking at is an older model and you are conscious of keeping its vintage vibe intact, then some exploratory twists and turns might be in order. Defects to look out for are a great deal of slack – that is there is movement in the tuner when you twist it that doesn’t seem to have any affect at all – or uneven, lumpy turning. Neither is fatal, and in the case of a vintage instrument it’s sometimes best to leave well alone, but it can make the job of tuning a little harder than it should be.
String saddles can wear, too, although I’ve found that they’re quite hardy and don’t generally cause too much cause for concern. If everything looks fine down at this end of the string length and there are no Grand Canyon-type grooves visible in the saddle then all should be well.
If the guitar has a pickup fitted, asking to hear it plugged in is not at all unreasonable. Modern electronics onboard guitars are generally quite reliable and it should be an easy job to determine whether the pickup is working correctly or not. The only problem I’ve experienced personally in the past was that the under saddle pickup in one of my guitars developed a hum, which was tracked down to a minor preamp problem and easily sorted.
Acoustic Guitars Necks and Strings
The diameter of an acoustic guitar’s neck won’t have a major impact on its sound, but will be a huge factor in how comfortable the instrument is to play. The normal choices are 12-fret and 14-fret necks, specifying whether there are either 1or 1frets located above the body of the guitar. Smaller is better if you have small hands, so you don’t have to reach all the way down to the guitar body to hit all of the required chords.
Beginners will usually begin on an acoustic with nylon strings because they’re softer on the hands. That’s not always the proper choice, though. The sound produced by nylon strings is softer and more nuanced while steel strings are louder and more impactful, and not that hard to get used to. Most musicians who don’t stick to classical or folk music prefer steel, and the majority of acoustics (except for classical guitars) are built to accommodate steel strings. Acoustic guitars normally have six strings.
Acoustic Guitars Woods
For example, commonly-used spruce and mahogany tops create clear and powerful sound respectively, while more-expensive rosewood tops deliver a rich tone that can cut through clutter extremely well. Woods like maple are often used on the backs and sides of guitars because they don’t interfere with the instruments’ natural sound, while ebony is sometimes utilized for frets. A good balance between the woods is crucial. Very expensive woods like koa are prized for use on high-end acoustics.
Classic body style acoustic guitars offer a generally balanced tone and a medium amount of sound projection. This type of guitar is a safe go-to for a variety of styles, and for this reason it is used both by players who favor intricate fingerpicking as well as those who tend to play with broader strumming techniques.
Dreadnought guitars tend to produce a deeper and more bass-heavy tone. They also tend to sound louder than the classic style body acoustic guitar. Because they have a heavy, driving aesthetic, they are popular amongst guitarists who utilize heavy strumming techniques.
Jumbo guitars are something of a hybrid of the previous two styles – wherein the body is similar to that of a classic guitar while the sound hole is more akin to that of a dreadnought acoustic guitar. These guitars are ideal for players who play standing up, as they can sometimes be uncomfortable to sit in one’s lap.
Intonation is the system by which an acoustic guitar’s notes play in tune as the player moves up the fretboard of the neck. Without proper intonation, a guitar won’t stay in tune and is useless for both live performance and recording.
Beyond changing the appearance that an acoustic guitar may have, the type of wood that is used to make the instrument can also alter the way that the guitar sounds. When the sound of the guitar vibrates from the strings and reflects off of the wood, the type of wood that is part of this process can have an effect on the end product.
Cedar tends to produce a brighter and more trebly tone. Because of its quick response, many players who favor fingerstyle picking prefer to play cedar tonewood instruments.
Spruce is generally regarded as the standard for acoustic guitar tops. It provides excellent resonance and is responsive to a high velocity of sound.
Classical acoustic guitars utilize nylon strings, which are better suited for the classical and flamenco style that these instruments are most commonly used for.
It’s important to not interchangeably swap guitar strings with instruments that they are not designed for. For instance, putting steel strings on a classical guitar that is designed for nylon strings can do serous damage to the body, as the neck of classical guitars are unable to handle the tension brought about by using the steel strings.
Yamaha makes good quality beginner acoustic guitars. They are usually easy to find in music stores.
Monique Hernandez-Fuentes from Guitar Tricks
Make sure to sit down and strum the notes when trying out a guitar. It should not be hard to push down the strings with your fretting hand, even if you are just starting out. The action should be as low as possible to make learning easy. Make sure to check for loose parts; there should be no rattling noises coming from the inside of the guide or inside of the neck. Also take a business card and run it along the bottom of the bridge to make sure that the bridge isn’t coming off. An electronic system is not a big deal when buying an acoustic because it’s relatively easy to add an electronic pickup component later on should you decide you need one.
High Action – Excessive distance between the strings and the fret board.
Comfort should be the first thing any guitarist should look for when shopping for a guitar.
Yamaha guitars are always great for starters but, Beyond that it comes with a strap, tuner, extra strings, picks, as well as DVD’s.
An acoustic guitar is a guitar that produces sound acoustically i.e., by transmitting the vibration of the strings to the air without relying on electronic amplification. Acoustic guitar is of two types, steel-string acoustic guitar and the classical guitar. The classical guitars have nylon strings and are wide necked than steel stringed acoustic guitars. The acoustic guitar due to its steel strings produced a metallic sound that makes it popular in playing a wide range of genres. The acoustic guitar is well suited for beginners as well as professionals.
Acoustic Electric Guitar
An Acoustic electric guitar is referred to as semi acoustic or plug in acoustic guitar. It resembles an acoustic guitar and is fitted with an electronic device called pickup that captures the vibration of the strings allowing the guitars sound to be amplified. An acoustic electric guitar offers the best of both the worlds – the tone of an acoustic with the power, volume and capability of an electric. They are ideal on stage. These have become more popular in recent times as they allow the flexibility of both the acoustic and electric variants. Most of the guitar companies are manufacturing acoustic electric guitars due to their popularity.
Other than the ones mentioned above, there are other specific types of acoustic guitars such as the twelve-string guitars, arch top guitars, steel guitars, bass guitars and double-neck guitars.
Seagull Artist Mosaic Acoustic Guitar
Seagull is a Canadian guitar maker that has built some innovative and attractive acoustic instruments over the years. The Artist series is the top of the Seagull acoustic guitar line-up. It has a solid cedar top with mahogany back, sides, neck and rosewood fingerboard. The cedar and mahogany combination produces a sweet and warm sound. The Artist Mosaic is truly one of the most affordable and valued acoustic guitars.
The reason one needs a guitar can be professional or pleasure. The first thing to consider is the type of music or genre you will be playing. For beginners an acoustic guitar is more suitable. For professionals and ones looking for an upgrade, the acoustic-electric could be a good choice.
Acoustic-Electric Guitar Systems
Many musicians find it helpful to be able to plug in their acoustic guitar, but how does an acoustic-electric guitar work? These guitars boast the addition of a pickup system inside the body that turns the vibrations of the soundboard into electronic signals. These signals can be weak, so most acoustic-electric guitars use a preamp to make them stronger.
The preamp is typically located on the side of the guitar that faces up while playing. It includes volume and tone controls, and sometimes a built-in tuner.
Guild M-20 Concert Acoustic Guitar Natural
Concert acoustic guitars date to 185Their smaller size, generally about 13-1/2″ at the lower bout, give them a bright sound with a punchy mid-range. The smaller size is comfortable, and makes these guitars very playable for smaller musicians.
The grand auditorium’s lower bout is sometimes wider than the classic dreadnought’s – generally 16″ – but the waist is narrower, creating a dramatic hourglass shape. These guitars have a greater range for volume and more balanced tone than smaller body styles.
Travel and Mini-Acoustics
Smaller players, musicians who travel frequently, and parents shopping for children, may also want to consider travel and mini-acoustic guitars. These guitars were designed for the comfort of smaller players, and for convenience when traveling, but many guitar manufacturers have invested significant time and resources into creating smaller-scale acoustic guitars that don’t compromise quality or sound.
Most mini-acoustics utilize the same familiar shape of a standard acoustic guitar, at about 3/4-scale, with 1to 20 frets. Others, often referred to as “backpackers,” have a narrow body that only fans out slightly from the width of the neck. Backpackers are designed to be durable, lightweight, and easy to pack.
Neck Width and Length
The thickness and width of guitar necks vary, depending on the size of the guitar body. It will not affect the sound of the guitar, but it will affect your comfort with the instrument.
Acoustic necks are usually listed as 12- or 14-fret necks. This number refers to the number of frets above the guitar body, not the total number of frets. On a 12-fret neck, the 13th and 14th frets will be on the body, and, thus, harder to reach than on a 14-fret neck, where they are extended beyond the guitar body. If you have small hands, look for an acoustic guitar with a smaller diameter neck.
Nylon vs. Steel Strings
It is a common misconception that a new guitar player should start with nylon strings, because they are easier on fingers or easier to play. But nylon strings and steel strings are not interchangeable on the same guitar, so it’s not a matter of progressing from one kind of string to another with experience. What should really drive your decision is what kind of music you want to play.
Nylon strings produce a softer, mellow tone. They are often used in classical and flamenco-style guitar playing, as well as some folk music. Classical guitars have a wider neck to provide more space between the strings, and shorter fretboard, than acoustic guitars that use steel strings.
Steel strings are more common, and are usually used by rock, country and pop musicians. Steel string acoustic guitars create a louder, brighter tone that is commonly associated with that classic acoustic guitar sound.
The 12-String Acoustic Guitar
12-string acoustic guitars have six string courses, each with two strings that are tuned to produce a chiming, chorus effect. Usually, the string pairs in the bass courses are tuned an octave apart while all treble strings are tuned in unison. Some guitarists prefer tuning the the second string in the third course (G) in unison while others opt to tune it an octave higher for bell-like ringing tones.
What Shape and Size
Jumbo guitars are perfect for rhythm guitar complimenting lead players and other instruments. The loud volume produced by having a bigger body provides you with fantastic sounding rhythm guitar, perfect for folk players or those wanting to take it solo and play and sing their song.
Parlor guitars are on the opposite end, with their smaller bodies they produce great midrange tones but have less volume than the jumbos.
Very comfortable guitars to hold, the parlor guitars are often the preference of blues and folk players because of their lower price tag.
What Tone the Guitar Has
Now the tone of any guitar, acoustic or not, is affected by many things. The bodywood arguably has the biggest affect on tone but the strings can also carry a lot of weight. So if you think your tone is too bright you can change the strings to something warmer.
Instead of talking about the individual wood each guitar is made of I decided I would highlight an overview of the tone to make things more accessible.
History of acoustic guitars
These guitars have been around for hundreds of years compared to electric guitars which have only been around for several decades. Its history runs through a number of different countries, and its evolution has taken place over a couple of millennia.
For most part of its history, this guitar has never gone together with the acoustic prefix, because up until the 20th century, all the guitars were non-electrical.
In Europe, acoustic guitars started with the Muslim conquest of many parts of Spain back in the 10th century. They met with European form, and a kind of hybrid started to be built. The instrument had a strong resemblance to the one that is known today as a guitar.
How to play acoustic guitar like a pro
Playing acoustic guitar might not be as simple as a vast majority of people think. There are a few essential things to learn and this may be as lengthy.
For some it may not take more than three days, but not all people are alike. Not everyone is born a music genius who can learn how the guitar is played in a duration shorter than some people could.
Acoustic guitar is a great instrument who’s sound can’t be replicated and will offer you with years of bliss if you get started properly.
The very first thing to do is to ensure you are playing a guitar that is suited to you. Although it is best not to buy an expensive and top quality guitar when learning how to play the instrument, a low quality guitar will ruin your chances of success.
Rogue RA-090 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
It is a 6-string dreadnought design guitar whose sound quality is outstanding.
The sound is crystal clear and soothing to the ear. Real value for that amazing price.
It is made in a manner that any person can play it easily. It is neither too large nor too small.
It is also very easy to tune and adjust other settings.
You can play literally any tune with the guitar provided the necessary tuning is done. Important to note, the housing of the guitar is very sturdy and durable.
Blue Full Size Thinline Acoustic Electric Guitar
A beautiful blue acoustic-electric guitar that comes with bag case and guitar picks.
You can play this guitar acoustically or plug it in to an amplifier and play through a speaker.
This guitar has a cut away into the base at the neck which allows you to play the frets above 1much easier than without it.
The guitar also has a built in EQ slider so you can adjust the tone of your guitar.
Yamaha is the Silent Guitar manufacturer to beat, thanks to their impressive price to quality ratio. And big name artists like Brian May, Mike Stern and Lee Ritenour seem to agree. The SLG130NW is the top-of-the-line model designed to give you the true feel and vibe of nylon stringed classical guitars in Silent Guitar format. The neck construction follows the conventional classical method and employs an ebony fingerboard. So you won’t miss your tonewoods too much, even the smoothly curved body frame is made of rosewood and maple.
SoloEttte SongBird Jazz
The SoloEtte line of silent guitars was designed by a luthier that wanted a guitar which will not require much maintenance or repairs. To achieve this, he eliminated the use of thin woods, which minimizes cracking or warping due to extreme travel conditions. Although his goal was different, the resulting instrument ended up being a sturdy and reliable line of silent guitars.
The Koopal EG100 is an affordable steel string silent guitar that is designed for practicing comfort. It is lightweight and disassembles easily for quick practice sessions wherever and whenever the inspiration strikes. Just take off the detachable frames and put everything inside its compact bag. No one would suspect you were carrying a guitar.
How to Choose a Guitar
The following key issues are critical in selecting your guitar and even more so if you’re selecting it for your child. As a parent, grandparent or caregiver, you fulfill many important roles in your child’s life. Your gift and provision of music, encouragement and confidence can last a lifetime. Having an appropriately sized and adjusted instrument is the best way to start. Each item below will give you new insight and help guarantee your success in accomplishing your musical desires.
Most importantly, only select a guitar you know is fully inspected and adjusted for easy playability, accuracy in tuning, intonation and tone production.
Many important issues rest on the quality and playability of your instrument. Always get the facts. Ask what has been done to make the instrument easy to play. There is no greater impedance to progress, developing proper technique and the enjoyment of learning to play than a poorly constructed instrument or one that is not correctly set up.
Choose the kind of guitar that interests you the most. This way you will be more motivated to play.
Many people mistakenly purchase an inexpensive acoustic guitar when they may really want an electric guitar. Often they are afraid they or their child will not stick with it. This is almost like buying a guarantee for failure. A cheaply made acoustic guitar will certainly lead you to quit because it is physically just too hard to play and coupled with the fact its not what you really wanted in the first place. Also, the technical approach for the electric, acoustic or classical guitar is different. In other words, if you master the acoustic guitar it will not necessarily translate well to the electric guitar. The next time you go to a concert or watch videos of your favorite bands and performers, notice the technical and musical way the instruments are being played is not the same when an acoustic guitar is being played and when a electric guitar is being played. The chords, notes and scales may look the same but the approach to playing the chords, notes and scales is different. Choose the kind of guitar you are most interested in playing.
Choose the right size guitar.
This is especially true for children. A guitar that is too large will make it difficult for your child to make the proper reach with both the right and left hands. Having their arm as high as their shoulder to reach over the guitar can become uncomfortable and at worst painful. Over reaching for the first fret puts them at a great technical disadvantage because their muscles are already stretched out making it difficult to properly move their fingers on the fingerboard. Generally, adults are comfortable with full size guitars.
A guitar tuner contributes to ear training.
But perhaps most importantly, a guitar tuner actually helps you develop your musical ear much more quickly than learning to tune by ear alone. A guitar tuner saves valuable time and frustration so you can stay focused on your music. Learning to tune your guitar by ear is a trial and error method largely due to the fact the ear has not been trained to selectively detect slight pitch changes between matching tones during the tuning process. Often your guitar will seem reasonably tuned when in fact it may not be. You may not even tune your guitar as often because it seems OK. The problem is your ear becomes accustomed to less than adequate tuning which prolongs your ear training development. When you use a tuner daily your ear quickly becomes accustomed to accurate tuning and you are more apt to notice when your guitar is even slightly out of tune. As a result your ears develop much more quickly.
How to Choose the Right Guitar for a Child
The first few months of playing are the most crucial for a child learning guitar, so it’s imperative that you choose a beginner guitar to suit them. If they make it through the first months, then they are much more likely to become a life-long player.
The main thing you should look for when narrowing down your research is to figure out how much power/volume you need out of your acoustic amp. In other words, ask yourself what are your ideal uses? If you currently gig or plan to in the future, it’s a good idea to get an amp that can handle those types of volume levels. When amp shopping, this will translate into the number of watts and also the physical size of the speaker inside the amplifier.
The acoustic guitar amps we recommend in this guide are ordered from loudest (most watts), to quietest (least watts). Don’t worry, even the “quietest” ones are not exactly quiet; After all we’re talking about amplifiers here. Our wattage recommendations go from 120 down to 10, which should cover a wide range of uses.
If all you’re going to use this amp for is home practice or very intimate gigs in small venues such as a coffee house or an open mic night stage, something between and 30 watts of power should suffice. As you play in larger and louder places like a loud pub or bar or a small-to-medium sized live music venue, you might opt for something in the 50 watt range, up to about 100 watts. The loudest requirement would be if you intend on jamming with a band, and/or playing live in rather large venues. In that case, a minimum of 100 watts is what’s recommended to keep up with drums/bass/electric guitar, and possibly even as high as 200 or 300 watts. There will come a venue size that’s too large for any amp to handle, and in that case what will probably happen is that you will take the D.I. output of your acoustic guitar amp and feed it to the venue’s sound engineer so that he or she can plug you into the house PA system. Your acoustic amp will then be pointed towards you rather than the audience, and serve as your own personal monitor so you can hear yourself play. You’ve probably seen this type of setup when watching your favorite popular bands perform live.
Number of channels – Acoustic guitar amps can have multiple channels. It’s not like electric guitar amps that have a clean and an overdrive channel. Acoustic amp channels are almost always identical, and basically let you plug in multiple instruments at the same time. A very common use of this is an acoustic guitar in channel 1, and a microphone for either vocals or more guitar amplification in channel If you sing and play at the same time, or your partner sings and you play, definitely look for a multi-channel amp.
Inputs and Outputs – The more sophisticated the amp, the more I/O options it has. This can be anything from accommodating both a ¼” and balanced XLR into the main input(s), to an auxiliary input where you can plug in a portable music player or laptop to jam along. In terms of outputs, look for a headphones output for silent practicing or monitoring, and direct outputs so you can feed you amp’s signal to a recording device, mixer, etc. An effects loop can be a handy inclusion as well.
Weight/size/portability – Unless you have a huge tour bus and roadies that do all the heavy lifting for you, the size and weight of your acoustic amp matters. The rule of thumb is the greater the watts and speaker size, the larger and heavier the amp. Make sure to look at the dimensions and weight of the amps you’re interested in to make sure you’ll be comfortable lugging them around the house and to and from gigs.
How We Made This List
The Ibanez AEG18LII is one of the more visually exciting guitars in this list with its eye-catching Violin Sunburst finish. Important features are a cutaway for excellent upper fret access, and quality Fishman electronics. It features a slender body, making it great for smaller players.
The most popular acoustic guitar body shape. Dreadnought guitars have large body shapes which will equate to a louder sound being produced. Due to the deeper soundbox the Dreadnought style will produce a very bassy, boomy sound. For the average player, this is the right style of guitar to go for. This is however a fairly large guitar and may be a handful for a smaller framed individual.
Grand Concert Guitars
What is your preferred style of playing? If you prefer the strumming playing style, the steel strings in the standard acoustic make it an ideal choice. It is a great choice for playing genres such as rock, blues and country.
A classical guitarist will love the nylon strings because of their comfort and flexibility of the fingers as one plays. The choice of the guitar lies on the desired playing style.
The manufacturer and brand matters
Before making a purchase, conduct a thorough research on the different brands and manufacturers in the market. Yamaha, Taylor, Fender, and Ovation are some of the well-known brands.
Understand that the guitar’s construction and design will affect the player’s performance. There are high-end and hand-crafted guitars designed by experienced luthiers.
Also, you will find low-quality guitars with haphazard designs. Read through the online reviews, ask for recommendations, and seek the opinion of seasoned guitarist on the best brand. Weigh the pros and cons before making a purchase.
Giving you a big and full guitar tone even with a small body, this guitar proves that bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better.
The scaled-down version of the Grand Symphony body may get you thinking that the sound is also scaled down, but it most definitely isn’t.
Guitar players and audiences alike will be pleasantly surprised at the strong tone and big voice of this guitar. Best of all, its size makes it portable, and it’s easily transported in cars and trunks.
Highly durable with its high-quality crafting and solid construction, this acoustic-electric guitar can definitely go places.
The GS Mini-E RW is truly is a beautiful guitar with a beautiful layered rosewood back and sides, Taylor’s Expression System pickup, and an onboard tone and volume control knobs that produce an amazing sound that will impress everyone listening.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your acoustic electric guitars wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of acoustic electric guitars
- №1 — Acoustic Capo
- №2 — Wibitz Guitar Capo 6 String Make Guitar Playing Easier for Acoustic and Electric Guitars
- №3 — Glen Burton GA204BCO-BK Acoustic Electric Cutaway Guitar