Editor’s Note: I replaced the previous top choice acoustic guitar under $1000, Yamaha FG850 with Taylor GS Mini-E Koa. Sure, Yamaha may not break your bank as it is way cheaper than Taylor, but the latter provides the best overall value for money. You don’t have to take my word for it, but I think customers who bought this would also agree with me on this pick.
Is a $1000-guitar worth it? My wife says no, but I say yes it freaking is!
Some just find it hard to justify why one would buy a guitar this expensive.
But for an experienced guitar player, I would say that guitars in the 1000-dollar-price-range are worth every penny.
Here are our top picks for the best acoustic guitars under $1000
- Taylor GS Mini-E Koa
- Seagull S6 Original Acoustic Guitar
- Taylor 214ce-K Acoustic Guitar
- Washburn WLO12SE Woodline Series
- Fender California Classic Newporter
- PRS SE Tonare T40E Acoustic Guitar
- Yamaha FG850 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar
- Martin DRS2 Acoustic Guitar
- Blueridge BR-160 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
- Martin DX1AE
If you are looking for a small-size, quality acoustic guitar, get this Koa Taylor GS mini. It’s a portable and compact guitar, yet isn’t lacking in any way, especially the powerful sound. The solid Koa top with layered Koa back and sides, plus the ebony fretboard helps you achieve the rich and full sound you wanted.
It’s modeled after the popular Grand Symphony body style, a scaled-down though, but it has the capacity to surprise you. It only has 23.5-inch scale length, nut width of 1.6875-inch with 20 total frets. Furthermore, it has X-Bracing with Relief Rout body bracing, die-cast chrome tuners and Nubone/Micarta nut/saddle material.
This guitar has an overall length of 36.6-inch, with a body length of 17.6-inch, body width of 14.3-inch and body depth of 4.4-inch.
- Has impressive build quality
- Could be a travel companion
- It’s handy and lightweight
- Smaller size yet has a powerful voice
- Don’t have binding on top and sides
- Some quality issues found by other players
Seagull S6 Original is one of the best acoustic guitars that provide higher volume and bigger sound, not with electronics but with its design. The S6 has a solid Cedar top and solid Mahogany back and sides, which provide warmer and more robuts tone.
The binding on its bracing aids the durability and nice resonance of the guitar. Check out its neck which is made of Mahogany. This particular material is a great choice for the neck that provides comfort, at the same time, it’s strong, yet light.
The Rosewood fretboard is another thing that’s perfect for this guitar. It offers nice feel and touch on the fingers. Although I do a bit of fingerstyle, I think this guitar isn’t for these kind of guitarplaying (which I think very arguable). However, the moment I tried, I think the S6 is better for fingerpicking and light to moderate strumming, too.
Value for Money
What more can I say? For a guitar with great build, specs, and sound quality, it’s definitely is on point when it comes to getting the most out from your money.
- Made from solid wood materials
- Great value for money guitar
- Playability-wise, it plays like butter
- Sounds incredibly awesome, crisp and detailed
- Not preferably the best guitar for those who travel often
- Susceptible to temperature changes
- Has other cheaper alternatives
A great guitar shouldn’t only look stunning, but also plays well and gives players satisfaction. You’ll experience them all from Taylor 214ce-K. It’s an acoustic-electric guitar with simple controls, which are definitely reliable and usable.
Taylor has crafted this with the popular solid Sitka Spruce for its top, layered Koa for the back and sides and tropical mahogany for its neck. It’s a well-structured guitar that has the standard 25.5 scale length with ebony fretboard divided into 20 frets and Italian Acrylic Dots dot inlays.
Unlike most acoustic-electric guitar, the treble, bass and volume controls are located in front (near the heel) and not on the sideways. The onboard ES-2 internal pickup system controls each string to give players full control of the instrument. So, this well-defined guitar with smooth neck gives you the performance you barely achieve with your expensive guitars.
Value for Money
At it’s face value, you’re getting something that is worth every penny. I mean, it’s Taylor, and it’s a brand you can trust immediately. Further diving deeper on it’s specs, well you can’t argue that it’s pretty much solid. The Solid Sitka Spruce top, Layered Koa for it’s back and sides – not to mention the Italian acrylic dot inlays. What more can I say? I can’t recommend this guitar enough if you’re budget is under $1000.
- Great value for your money.
- Comes with thin neck and nice frets for better playability and performance
- A traditional look that is not only attractive to look at but also feels great.
- Solidly built and produces unbelievably great sounds
- Guitar is sensitive to temperature change, so it frequently becomes out of tune
Made with solid mahogany top, back and sides, you know that you’ll get that sweat and mellow sound you always wanted. Washburn WLO12SE is an expression of your individuality. It gives you a balance of elegance, sound quality and of course, its price.
Like most acoustic guitars falling under this budget, you’ll get solid select grade soundboards to assure you of a great tone, plus the rosewood binding, it gives a nice appearance to the guitar. Fishman Isys+ tuner/preamp helps you achieve the perfect acoustic tone you want, whether you perform acoustically or do it loudly in front of the crowd.
With the neck made of satin mahogany and 2-way Truss rod, you are assured of its stability. The rosewood fretboard is more comfortable to more around the 21 frets. It has a 25.5-scale length using D’Addario EXP Lights strings.
- Well-made mahogany construction
- Sounds great and feels great
- Easy to play and very lightweight
- You’ll get that sweet mellow sound exclusive from Mahogany guitar construction
- Low action for a stress-free transition
- Mahogany lovers will love this guitar
- Faux-wood rosette bracing seems cheap
- Lacks the second strap nut
- Not all players love that neck of this guitar
Solid wood guitars deliver what they promised. Fender Newporter Classic is another great product out there made of a solid Sitka spruce top with mahogany back and sides. It comes with the pickup/preamp system designed by Fender and Fishman, the Fishman custom-voiced pickup/preamp system.
If you’ve seen Newporter Classic guitars, they come in different vibrant colors, including Cosmic Turquoise, Aqua Splash, Electric Jade, Champagne, Belmont Blue, and so on. The Stratocaster headstock also makes you feel like you’re playing an electric guitar. Plus, it gives you the rock and roll vibe.
For the body, you’ll notice a unique Fender-style design with slimmer C-shaped mahogany neck profile for an outstanding feel and comfort. It suits any playing styles, therefore, making this guitar a great choice for all.
Read Review: Fender California Classic Newporter
- Great guitar at a great price
- Has a slim C-shaped neck profile
- Rock and roll design
- Perfect for those who play rock and roll
- Playable and produce a straightforward tone
- Solid tonewood construction with a stunning and flawless finish
- Color options aren’t for everybody
- Might need to change the strings for much better sound
- High E-string output very low
- Electronics can be better
- Not working at properly at some point
A six-string guitar like PRS SE Tonare T40E Acoustic Guitar is something that everyone should be looking into. It has a solid Spruce top with Ovangkol back and sides to achieve a full, lush tone. It has a PRS hybrid ‘X’/Classical bracing to allow the guitar top to freely vibrate. With Tonare Grand body shape, it has a very familiar feel and a thunderous tone, perfect for finger picking and fingerstyle playing.
Equipped with Fishman GT1 Preamp, it’ll deliver a dynamic, organic tone which is great for taking this guitar to concerts or stage performances. The electronics come with a saddle pickup and preamp so you can easily access the volume and tone controls.
On top of all those features, you’ll get an ebony fretboard and bridge. It comes with the trademark bird inlays instead of dots on the fretboard and the PRS enclosed tuners.
- Achieve cathedral-like resonance
- With Hybrid X or classical fan bracing
- So much more for your money
- Has great tone and sustain
- Even when played acoustically
- Great for going on camping or traveling
- Neck construction isn’t made from a quality material
- Better when it’s plugged in
- Has high-gloss finish, might not be someone’s liking
An all-mahogany guitar with an affordable price tag, the Yamaha FG850 Acoustic Guitar delivers an excellent sound quality. Made with exceptional craftsmanship by Yamaha’s engineers, you are assured of a quality guitar with great playability and performance.
Since this is a solidbody guitar made of mahogany, it’s durable and has great resonance in it. And, because it has a flawless glossy finish, the FG850 is built to last. The classic design and the new scalloped bracing pattern not only help improve the sound, but the strength of the guitar, as well.
I would like to highlight the standard-shaped neck and the easy-to-play rosewood fretboard, which aid to the playability of the guitar. With the full-sized dreadnought body and the professional-grade tonewood used to craft the instrument; everything works in harmony to provide excellent natural acoustic projection. This is an acoustic guitar you’ll surely enjoy!
Value for Money
Yamaha is known to produce affordable and value-for-money guitars and this is one of the best and cheapest guitar you can buy in this price range.
Read Review: Yamaha FG850
- All mahogany body with great bracing pattern to get rich low to mid ranges
- A large sound hole that gives the guitar an open sound.
- Excellent craftsmanship that ensures longevity and reliability of the guitar
- Could be an alternative to other expensive guitars
- The original strings needs to be changed due to poor quality.
- The action is a bit high and needs a guitar tech or professional luthier
I don’t think you still doubt a Martin guitar. For years, it proved to the world that their instruments are one-of-a-kind and with Martin DRS2, they did it again. Crafted by the finest guitar luthier and engineers, the DRS2 offers not just the classic Martin looks, but the Martin tone as well.
This dreadnought guitar is made of solid Sitka Spruce top, back and sides. At its price, it’s rare to find a solidbody guitar that produces amazing tone balance and projection. Yet, Martin gives us the DRS2. Its neck, which is made from “select hardwood” is carved to have the Martin’s Performing Artist profile for outstanding feel and grip.
The Fishman Sonitone electronics onboard provides much better sound quality when plugged in. It’s 20-fret FSC Certified richlite fingerboard gives maximum playability while Style 28 dot inlays the archaic Martin beauty.
Value for Money
So far, most of verified buyers were pleased in buying this guitar. With its high-quality construction, defined sound, and overall built, the Martin DRS2 is sure a worthy buy.
- Built with solid wood materials.
- A guitar that is fun to play with due to the ease and comfort in usage.
- The most affordable solid-body guitar among the Martin guitars.
- It rarely goes out of tune and requires no adjustments, whatsoever
- The finish is not so smooth.
- It needs tuning from time to time.
- When it comes to electronics, this isn’t that reliable and you need to check/replace it before your big performance
One of the most desirable vintage-looking acoustic guitar, the Blueridge BR-160 has it all. From the looks, sound and performance, I can say that it’s a well-built guitar that lasts a lifetime. It’s a prewar-inspired dreadnought that’s reliable in getting vintage tones out of it.
The solid Sitka Spruce top coupled with the scalloped braces offers clean articulation and very crisp tones. If you wonder where the deep bassy sounds come from? The solid Rosewood back and sides are the ones responsible for it.
The mahogany neck appeals to me the most. Aside from its stability and balanced weight, it also accommodates fast play with just the perfect action. Since the Gotoh vintage-style open-back butterbean tuners are reliable, you are assured of a well-tuned guitar.
Its Santos Rosewood fretboard is also another asset of the guitar for its silky smooth playability. Overall, BR-160 is a playable instrument with an affordable price tag.
Value for Money
Most guitars are made from the standard solid sitka spruce, mahogany and rosewood body.
However, this guitar is sure to set itself apart from other guitars with its indian rosewood back and sides.
Combine that with an awesome sound and volume, the Blueridge BR-160 is a sure keeper.
Read Review: Blueridge BR-160
- The slimmer neck makes playing easier.
- The quality of pitch and tone sounds like it belongs to a more expensive guitar.
- A worthy investment.
- The neck would have been better if it was made of ebony instead of rosewood.
- The action needs to be adjusted.
- Inconsistency in the sound: mostly great but other times it was just flat and bland.
Martin DX1AE is a 6-string acoustic-electric guitar, which is also offered at an affordable price. It has an onboard Fishman Sonitone electronics, so you can pick it up, plug it into your amp and you’re ready to roll on stage. It’s got a pickup mounted inside the soundhole for you to access the volume and tone controls whenever you need to.
This has a dreadnought body style, which makes it fairly easy to play for everyone. Of course, it offers you that unmistakable Martin tonality with its solid Sitka spruce top, mahogany-patterned HPL back and sides and low-oval neck profile. It’s very comfortable to play, even fast-play, which helps you master your skills and upgrade quicker than those aren’t using Martin DX1AE.
- Has visible grain patterns
- Indicating that it’s a solid wood
- Slim and rounded neck
- Very comfortable
- With pickup system onboard
- The tone is not quite complex than predecessors and traditional Martin
- Doesn’t have much projection
- Reacts to changing weather and humidity
- Noticed some buzzing on the 12th fret
Buying Guide – Factors To Consider When Buying
Solid or Laminate
Choosing between an all-solid guitar versus a solid and partly-laminated one really depends on the one who will use it. Tone is the main different, however, it is worth taking note that:
- All-solid wood guitars are made from rare wood materials such as Koa and Brazilian rosewood. On the other hand, laminated guitars are made to feature a certain color variation and grain.
- All-solid wood guitars are more susceptible to cracking especially if it is exposed to heat and sudden temperature changes. While the laminated ones can withstand these certain conditions.
- All-solid wood guitars tend to produce a more defined and consistent tone compared to partly-laminated guitars. This, however, is still subject to one’s perspective on tone.
Great names in the guitar industry, like Taylor, Gibson or Martin give you quality guitars. However, they might be quite expensive. Unless you are a serious musician, you might need to invest more than just $1000 for their guitars. But, they also offer affordable, yet quality guitars, like the ones mentioned above.
Also Read: The 10 Best Acoustic Guitar Brands
And, again, for beginners, it’s best to recommend having a professional player try the guitar for you on your first purchase or have the guitar tech explain everything about the guitar you’re eyeing. Or, you can simply choose one of the five best acoustic guitars under $1000 that we handpicked ourselves after rigorous research, testing and comparison.
This YouTube video expounds the above-mentioned tips. At the same time, providing a clearer comparison regarding the body style and the guitar size.
However, this video emphasizes on the quality of the materials used, design and craftsmanship as the three major things that make a great guitar, even under $1000. It also highlights the importance of the top wood, which shapes the tone and volume of the sound, as well as the side and back.
Furthermore, other important considerations you need to focus on are the neck shape, nut width, and the scale length. It’s a worthy video to watch, as you will understand how each factor affects the sound the guitar produces. So, whether you’re buying a $1000 guitar or a more expensive one, you can’t go wrong since you already know the things you need to consider.
Pickup and Onboard Electronics
Of course, one should also take into consideration how the guitar sounds when it is plugged.
An acoustic guitar in this price range should have a decent pickup and onboard electronics that should highlight the guitar’s sound when amplified.
Durability is dependent on the one who uses the guitar. If you are more of a frequent traveler, then choose a partly-laminated guitar that withstands temperature changes. Otherwise, an all-solid wood guitar is one for the keeps.
One of the apparent difference you can easily notice between a cheap and expensive guitar is the sound.
A cheap guitar really sounds “cheap,” while an expensive guitar sounds… I know you get it already. More will be discussed in this video.
Used VS New?
Many guitar buyers will look into used guitar markets thinking that they could save a few bucks.
If you’re planning to buy a used one, please diligently check for cracks, wears, and minor damages.
You may have saved a few bucks buying a used guitar. But at the end of the day, you ask yourself – have I really “saved” some money?
Anyhow, here’s a list of guitars that I think are worthy for an investment.
Other Things to Consider
When you have a lot of budget for buying an acoustic guitar, you don’t need to immediately go online and shop or go to your local store. Just like buying cheaper guitars, you also need to assess your needs, your preferences and the reason why you are buying a guitar.
Maybe the $1000 is too big, and you can just buy a cheaper one for the sole purpose of having a practice guitar at home. Or, you just want a guitar you can occasionally play at home or when you’re bored. So, you see, even if your budget is that much, you don’t need to spend too much if you aren’t a serious guitarist.
Having a budget of $1000, you are guaranteed of better, durable and more reliable products. Maybe, if you will choose your instrument well, it’ll last a lifetime. At this price point, you’ll get a great acoustic guitar, which you can use for professional recordings and performance.
Since you have the budget, you’ll get lots and lots of options which might confuse you in the end. Hence, we give you some helpful tips that may enlighten you in your search for the best acoustic guitars under $1000.
Whether you’re buying a cheaper guitar or expensive ones, you still need to consider the wood used to make the guitar. It greatly affects the durability of the instrument, as well as the sound it produces.
A lot of guitars falling at this price point have a rosewood neck with the body made of mahogany, koa, solid spruce, ebony or rosewood. Each of this wood has a distinct sound character produced.
Mahogany is usually found in the guitar’s back and sides, but, rarely on the top wood, claimed Midlife Guitar. You get warm sound, yet less bright than spruce. Spruce, on the other hand, is the most popular top wood, especially at this price point and even for cheaper guitars. It produces a good balance between the warm and bright sound.
Rosewood is a more expensive wood that gives a clear sound with complex overtones. It’s common fretboard material because of its durability. Ebony is very common to electric fretboards.
When you visit a guitar shop, you’ll be surprised at how many guitars you’ll see with different sizes and body shapes. You might think that they are just mere design, but no, they’re not. Each one of them is a perfect fit for a particular genre, playing style or the built of a player.
For steel-string flat-top acoustic guitars, you get a lot of body styles including traveler, dreadnought, jumbo, auditorium OOO, parlor and a lot more. They can be categorized as a travel guitar, extra small, small, medium and large.
And, the most common acoustic guitar body style is the dreadnought and the Auditorium OOO (triple-O). The former has deep and booming bass, but can be strummed loudly, while the latter has bigger and louder sound, perfect for fingerpicking. However, if you want a bigger, louder and boomier guitars, go for a jumbo, but they may be quite expensive.
Steel String vs. Nylon
Still, there is an ongoing debate about whether guitarists should use steel strings or nylon strings. However, this will still boil down to the preference of the person. Just to tell you, a steel-string guitar can’t be replaced with nylon strings, if you want to try it at a later course. You have to decide which guitar string you wanna use so you won’t go wrong.
Nylon-stringed guitars are perfect if you want to be a classical guitarist. This is also believed to be perfect for starting players since the nylon strings are easier on your aching fingers, says Uberchord. It produces a soft and mellow tone, perfect for playing classic or Latin music.
Steel-stringed guitars, on the other hand, are the most popular, and almost everybody is picking this over the nylon-stringed. They create a very loud and more projecting sound, which the nylon strings can never do. This is perfect if you’re playing rock, metal, pop, and country.
Read More: Classical VS Steel-String – Which is Better?
A $1000 guitar is just too expensive to be put aside and not to be played because you don’t know how to tune it properly. If you tune it, it’ll easily go out of tune. You shouldn’t be paying that much price if you’ll get a guitar that needs tuning every time, that’s just for cheaper guitars.
If you can tune it properly yourself, do fix it. But, if the problem persists, you should consult a professional guitarist or a guitar luthier to be able to help you.
Especially for beginners who want to teach themselves, you can also teach yourself how to tune the guitar. But, it’s better to have it professionally setup at first. This will not only give justice to your pricey guitar, but you can also play well without any interruption.
It takes a lot of courage to buy guitar online especially if it’s in under $1000.
Besides, we all have our trust issues, right?
But believe me, getting the Taylor GS Mini-E Koa(our choice for the best acoustic guitar under 1000 dollars) is all worth it.
Do you agree with our list? Let us know by leaving a comment below.