Editor’s Choice: If you have a $300 budget for an acoustic guitar, consider the Yamaha FG830. The brand boasts their FG series and the FG830 is one of those guitars. Combine the great aesthetics, durable build, and superb sound-quality, this guitar is one for the keeps.
I know the struggle of finding the best acoustic guitar on a limited budget.
Sometimes you think you might have found the perfect guitar and the worst part is, it goes over your budget.
And you are set to find another guitar. The cycle just never stops.
Well not to worry though.
Surprising as it seems, there are highly affordable guitars available in the market that do not scrimp on quality.
In this review, you will be introduced to a list of guitars that screams quality without the heavy price tag. Surely only the best acoustic guitars for the money are under $300.
The Best Acoustic Guitars Under $300
- Yamaha FG830 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar
- Fender CD-60S Acoustic Guitar
- Yamaha FG820 Solid Top Folk Acoustic Guitar
- Epiphone AJ-220S Solid Top Acoustic Guitar
- Bristol BD-16 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
- Jasmine S34C NEX Acoustic Guitar
- Alvarez Artist Series AF30 Folk Guitar
- Epiphone DR-100 Acoustic Guitar
- Alvarez Artist Series AD60 Dreadnought Guitar
- Yamaha APXT2 Acoustic-Electric Guitar
Yamaha had built customer satisfaction over the years with the quality instruments it had produced and today, it does not disappoint with the addition of the Yamaha FG830 in its FG Line.
Compared to other mid-range guitars, this acoustic projects like no other with its bright tone and excellent clarity while delivering a nice low end—a feat attributable to a newly developed scalloped bracing paired with solid Spruce top wood.
Surprisingly light at only six pounds, this acoustic guitar will see you through be it at a jamming session with friends or a small gig event with a band.
Amazing still is how Yamaha kept in mind the difference in preference amongst guitarists, as it introduced the FG830 in two sizes: concert and dreadnought.
And its available in different colors as well: Natural, Tobacco Sunburst, Autumn Burst and Dusk Sun Red.
Looks, playability, durability, and quality are all rolled into one excellent acoustic six-string when it comes to the Yamaha FG830.
- Highly recommended to anyone who is still learning the ropes of playing the guitar.
- The consistent sound that would become better as the wood ages.
- The availability of different options when it comes to size and color.
- No electronics.
- The original strings needed to be changed.
When Fender introduced a line of acoustic guitars that featured solid tops, it introduced a game-changer in the guitar market under the entry-level category.
Though commonly known for their electric guitars and basses, the Fender ensured that DC-60S would carry on its legacy of producing guitars with quality construction and amazing performance while, of course, maintaining the classic Fender aesthetic.
This acoustic dreadnought never fails to impress—whether its an audience for a small event or a simple gathering of family and friends.
This dreadnought with its solid spruce top produces a full-bodied sound with ample projection that makes it perfect for any task.
The mahogany neck also allows a better guitar playing experience with its comfortable Easy-To-Play profile.
So if you are a beginner student looking for the perfect guitar, the Fender CD-60s is everything you are looking for: quality, playability, and value.
- Very easy to tune.
- Definitely a great value for an “entry level” guitar.
- Perfect guitar for beginner players.
- The laminated finish.
- The action setting is a tad too tight making the guitar rattle a bit.
It has been 50 years since Yamaha had introduced the FG series but until now it continues to uphold its tradition of producing quality acoustic guitars without the burdensome price tag—a tradition definitely embodied in the Yamaha FG820.
Belonging to the 800 series, this dreadnought, thanks to its scalloped bracing and solid spruce top, projects a louder and stronger sound in the low to mid ranges and produces a warm , rich tone.
You can never go wrong with a guitar from the 800 series.
The choice of materials and the technology that went into building this guitar ensures that you get your money’s worth.
Seriously, with its quality, dependability, playability, and value, you can be rest assured that you have found a lifelong partner in this guitar.
- Great for beginners and those seeking to upgrade from a smaller acoustic guitar.
- The playability is amazing.
- Great value for money.
- Original strings need to be changed to produce a better sound and tone.
- The action is a bit higher but can be fixed.
Epiphone has long established a name in the guitar industry when it comes to providing the public with excellently crafted guitars that can pack a punch when it comes to performance but at an affordable price.
This name is carried by a new addition to the Advanced Jumbo line of guitars: the Epiphone AJ-220S.
With a bell-like shape that creates a large sound chamber, this acoustic baby produces a rather unique sound—a full, deep and loud tone.
Featuring a solid Sitka Spruce top, select mahogany body, an Okoume neck, and premium tuners, this acoustic guitar’s aesthetic is completed by a polyurethane finish.
Solid looks with a powerful sound and a craftsmanship that ensures longevity are the qualities you would want in a guitar, the AJ-220S ticks all of these boxes.
And the cherry on top is that you can buy it for a song.
- Good feel and smooth action.
- Reasonably priced with excellent tonal quality and craftsmanship.
- It can cater to the needs of musicians of all levels.
- There are buzzes on some frets.
- The truss rod needs to be checked.
When it comes to budget guitars, Bristol is the name sought by those with a limited budget.
But a lesser price tag does not necessarily mean compromised quality considering that Bristol carries with it the very same torch of excellence and tradition that Blueridge guitars (Saga’s high-end line of guitars) are known for.
Everything about Bristol BD-16 screams perfection—from the build quality to a performance that exceeds its price range.
This dreadnought-sized acoustic features a laminate spruce top and laminate mahogany for its back and sides.
And while solid wood is the preferred choice of most guitarists, this entry-level manages to produce a loud, warm and vibrant tone that can be mistaken for a guitar above its price bracket.
So if you’re looking for a guitar that can get you through regardless of your guitar expertise level, the Bristol is the one for you.
- It has a beautiful tone that would catch you off guard in a pleasant way.
- Excellent playability.
- Definitely a bang for your buck.
- Its made of laminated wood which would not fare well when it comes to weather changes.
- Not the guitar you would purchase if you are planning on a long term investment.
Jasmine S34C NEX Acoustic Guitar is a grand orchestra-style guitar that boasts a well-balanced sound perfect for everyone who seeks for a new guitar. It features a laminated Spruce top with Jasmine’s Advanced “X” bracing that produces a livelier sound.
The Sapele back and sides, plus the slim neck provide a bit of elegance to the guitar. Since it has 25.5-inch scale length you can play with it comfortably without any problem.
Additionally, the rosewood fingerboard has a satin finish to add more comfort and maximize its resonance. The bridge is made with rosewood too, so quality is assured.
It features synthetic bone nut and saddle that provide superior balance and note separation. This dreadnought guitar could be your first ever guitar, and probably, the one that will effectively shape your guitar prowess.
- A great guitar for all players
- Beginners to professionals
- Sound quality and craftsmanship are outstanding
- Tuning machines have great feel and well-made
- Nice looking guitar with good cutaway body
- Some players complained about the strings needed to be replaced
- Guitar feels uneven
- Some notes come out flat at some point
- Super light
- You don’t really feel much weight of the guitar
- Needs saddle adjustments and action adjustments
If you are looking for a guitar with great looks and stunning shape, the Alvarez Artist Series AF30 Folk Guitar is the one you’ve been searching for. It’s an entry-level guitar, yet well-made and provides the best bang for the buck.
It’s made with a solid Sitka Spruce top and mahogany back and sides. The top has advanced scalloped bracing, hand-sanded to perfection. You also get to enjoy premium features like the bone saddles, nuts, and the bi-level rosewood bridge. The fingerboard is also made of rosewood with 21 frets and dot inlays.
Although the top wood is solid, the greatness of its sound quality is produced by the solid soundboard. So, you’ll surely enjoy the warm, open and powerful tones in all registries. All materials in this guitar are made from natural materials. These include mother-of-pearl and abalone inlay, the bone saddle, as mentioned, and some rosewood appointments.
- The sound produced is better than those expensive Taylors
- Has enough volume and tone
- Slightly smaller and very playable
- With quality build and craftsmanship
- The neck seems weak and needs reinforcement
- Might not be a good choice if you’re playing for long hours
- This guitar may have some unpleasant smell
Among the best-selling dreadnought, Epiphone DR-100 Acoustic Guitar is a great instrument you want play long without stopping. It’s made with the traditional shape, Spruce top and Mahogany back and sides. It has a rosewood fingerboard and bridge. Overall, it gives a balanced expression with warm bass and excellent projection.
The hardware isn’t lacking in anything. The bridge goes well with the synthetic saddle, synthetic nut, and die-cast tuning machines. SlimTaper neck is perfect for beginners and younger players who are just starting to familiarize themselves with the feel and playability of the guitar.
Additionally, it’s also a preferred neck design for professional players, again, because of its comfort and fit. A guitar with decent sound quality and construction is a perfect choice for most players.
- No buzzing when strummed
- Handy and small
- Perfect for traveling and gigging
- Excellent craftsmanship and it’s durable
- Affordable, yet it’s a worthy deal
- Delivers a warm and sweet tone because of the mahogany body
- Has sharp frets which might hurt your fingers
- Needs frequent tuning to get quality sound, every time
- Tuning machines may wear out quickly
- Hence, need frequent replacement
- Neck is slightly warped
- Affecting the tone in the high E-string
Another best-selling dreadnought, Alvarez Artist Series AD60 Dreadnought Guitar, is another great guitar that’s well-crafted and well-designed. Comes with a solid A+ Stika Spruce top, hand-selected, with hand-sanded scalloped bracing to give consistent quality of the guitar and the sound it produces.
The top wood is solid rather than laminated, so it’s strong and finely grained. All components are made from natural materials, so you are assured that it’s well-made. You’ll get abalone and mother-of-pearl inlays, real bone saddles, and nuts.
The neck is made of mahogany and has a semi-gloss finish. The fingerboard is made of Pau Ferro with Indian Laurel inlay on the 12th fret. It features the original D’Addario EXP16 strings and 21 total number frets you can easily move around the fingerboard.
- Wonderful tones with great sustain
- Well-made with a beautiful matte finish
- Good practice guitar
- Especially when chord changing
- A perfect guitar for those who want to advance their guitar skills
- With smooth neck for easy playability
- The action came out a bit higher
- Yet it’s adjustable
- It May require a bit of tedious setup
- Got some quality control issues on some aspects
- Requires constant tuning
- A simple gig bag could have been a great add-on
Yamaha APXT2 is a smaller version of the popular acoustic-electric guitar, APX500III. With Yamaha’s craftsmanship and technology, this ¾ guitar is compact, making it a great companion wherever you go — traveling, camping or gigging.
It features a built-in ART-based pickup system and Yamaha’s very own tuner, so you can easily tune the guitar without problems.
It’s made of the popular top tonewood, Spruce wood with rosewood fingerboard and bridge. The back and sides are made of locally sourced tonewood, making it eco-friendly and cost-effective.
It has a scale length of 22 13/16 inches, just perfect for anyone who wants to play the guitar. You’ve just got the perfect guitar you can play and grow old with.
- Nice tone and great string balance
- Smaller hands can quickly move around the fretboard
- Built-in tuner is reliable
- Can easily plug it into an amplifier to fill the auditorium or room
- Easy to either pick or strum
- Short scale length
- Recommended changing guitar strings to heavier ones
- With transducer pickup
- Yet don’t crank it up or you’ll get feedback
- Sound is thinner because of the size of the soundbox
- Needs to be cradled
- Can’t be played on your lap
A Buying Guide on Best Acoustic Guitars Under $300
Of course, you can get a good acoustic guitar at a higher price, but, why are you setting your standards on a $300 guitar? Because of the tight budget, that’s for one. Or, you’re looking for a practice guitar for your kids. Or, you feel that there are some great guitars out there that cost only $300 or less.
It’s not easy to find an acoustic guitar having the best value for your money if your budget is only $300. However, there are products out there that manage to go cheaper, yet still got the great craftsmanship and the sound quality you need in a guitar.
To help you find the one that truly gives value for your hard-earned money, we made a list of the things that you need to take into serious consideration when choosing the best acoustic guitars under $300.
This greatly influenced the sound your guitar produces to fit the kind of genre you want to play. Yes, you need to know what kind of music you want to play with your guitar to be able to find the best tonewood that’ll produce exactly the acoustic sound you’re crazy with.
To give you a better idea, the most common guitar tops for acoustic guitar are spruce, cedar, rosewood, mahogany, and maple. As you can see, all guitars in this article have Spruce top.
It’s a very good guitar top material because it has a very strong strength-to-weight ratio to keep it thin as possible, yet still produce strong and powerful resonance you need, says Guitar World. It stays responsive no matter how hard you play with it. At the same time, it’s also a perfect choice for fingerpicking and strumming.
Next, you got the cedar, which gives you light attack, perfect for fingerpicking. It’s softer, so don’t play too hard or it’ll compress the sound and lose its integrity. Rosewood offers rich tones while mahogany delivers excellent middle tones. All these woods are visually different, so you can easily distinguish them without the need of a professional eye.
Neck woods and profiles
Next to the tonewood that influences the sound, the neck affects the playability of the user. Like the guitar top, there are also different woods for the neck. The most common are maple and mahogany. For mahogany, usually, it has a rosewood fretboard.
Some cheaper acoustic guitars have basswood neck wood. It’s lighter and softer, so make sure to check whether it’s solid and having a good epoxy coating. Though you need to be more comfortable playing the guitar, it still boils down to preferences.
For the neck profile, there are three different profiles — “C” profile, “U” profile and “V-style” profile. “C” profile is the thinnest and is perfect for smaller hands, “U” profile is flatter and rounded, which most players are very much comfortable with. “V-style” neck profile requires a bit of practice to be able to comfortably perform on it.
Guitar Body Types
This one affects both the sound and playability of your guitar. There are different types of guitar body, including dreadnought, jumbo, auditorium, and grand auditorium, concert and grand concert and parlor. The most common of which is the dreadnought type, which cheaper and entry-level guitars have. It has a deep body and a wide waist. So, you can expect great projection, big and bright sound from this guitar.
A good guitar, though cheap worth your money if it’s well-made. Guitars are made with wood plies, which are glued together. Ensure that you don’t see any cracks, poor gluing and warps, as these may affect the sound quality of your guitar. So, no matter how great you are, as a musician, if the guitar you have is poorly constructed, it’s just a waste of your money.
The strings that may come with the guitar may not be shiny and may sound dull, already. So, it’s practical to check the strings first, and of course, replace it when needed. Failure to check this may cause an accident as old strings may snap any time of the day.
For acoustic guitars, you can use a lighter gauge to get better sound and increased playability. If you replace them with heavier strings, especially when it’s not designed to accommodate such, it’ll cause more tension to the top of the guitar and my damage it.
For you to be able to play the guitar to your heart’s desire, check if you can upgrade the nuts, saddles or the bridge and bridge pins. Though at first, you don’t need to change them, sooner or later, while you progress, you want better hardware. Upgrading these will also enhance the tone of the instrument, giving you richer and more balanced sound.
To give you more information about how to really pick your first guitar or a practice guitar for your kids, here’s a more detailed guide. It’s a simple, straightforward discussion on the factors that may affect the choices you’ll make.
Obviously, the first factor is the budget, then, the accessories, maybe a digital tuner and a gig bag will do, but make sure they are reliable. Then, you also need to consider the type of strings the guitar has – steel strings or nylon strings.
As also include in our quick guide, you’ll also need to consider the body type, in which classic dreadnought is the most common one. However, this aspect is further discussed here. You also need to consider the action, as well as the finish. The most common for this budget is satin and laminate, but, you can save a lot of money when you buy satin-finished guitars.
We hope that the resources we included here are helpful for you to find the guitar you always wanted. But, if you don’t want to go through the same hassle as we do, you can just pick any of the five products above. They are great, and we can assure you they deliver quality sound and longevity.
Learning and playing the guitar is not necessarily an expensive hobby when you know where to look.
Cheap does not necessarily translate to mediocre.
The truth of the matter is, the market is sprawling with affordable guitars whose performance outmatch the price tags attached to them.
Again, it’s a matter of knowing where to look and a matter of knowing what you are looking for. And with my recommendation on getting the Yamaha FG830, this is probably the best bang for the buck guitar you’ll ever get in this price range.