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Best acoustic guitars 2021: 12 top options for guitarists of all ages and abilities

We know it sounds a little bit gushy, but we feel that there’s never been a better time to play one of the best acoustic guitars. The sheer amount of options available makes finding the best acoustic an exhilarating prospect - with instruments from an incredibly diverse group of manufacturers to choose from.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with too many choices. We call it 'analysis paralysis'. 

Whatever your budget - and whatever style you play - we guarantee one of these top acoustic guitars will be perfect for you, and this guide is here to help you pick your favorite. With entry-level acoustics from the likes of Epiphone, Yamaha, Martin and Taylor, through to high-end heavyweights from Gibson and Fender, we’ve got you covered. 

Our choices are presented in price order so you can easily find the right one for your budget. We’ve also scoured the web to find the best prices, saving you any legwork in that department, too.

Best acoustic guitars: Our top picks

Putting together 'best of' lists is always a blast because every guitar we present is, in its own way, truly brilliant. But if we had to choose one acoustic guitar to last us the rest of our lives, at a push we'd probably opt for the Martin D-28.

When you think of some of the biggest acts in music history – The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley – it's hard not to associate them with this beautiful acoustic guitar. The modern-day iteration improves on earlier models with better bracing and a tapered neck, yet these changes only serve to enhance what is music's ultimate acoustic workhorse.

Best acoustic guitars: Product guide

1. Epiphone DR-100

Just starting out? This is the best acoustic guitar for you

Price: $149/£129 | Body: Spruce Top, Mahogany Back & Sides | Neck: Mahogany neck | Fingerboard: Rosewood | Electronics: None

Great sound

Quality belies the price

Neck is a joy to play

Not much for the price

Entry-level guitars have no right sounding this good! When you're looking for a beginner option, you're looking for something that will encourage you to keep picking it up. At this stage of your playing career, you don't need to spend lots of money.

You do, however, need to keep in mind that if the guitar you're learning on sounds terrible, or is hard to play, then you'll likely give up. The market is awash with sub-$100 own-brand acoustics, however proceed with one of these at your peril. 

Instead, consider a reliable acoustic like the Epiphone DR-100. Built by one of the guitar world's biggest brands, the DR-100 is an entry-level acoustic with the feel of something far more prestigious. Here you can expect solid tones, reliability and a guitar that will inspire you to keep playing it. Forget the low price. This is a well-made guitar that will set you up nicely for the musical journey ahead.

2. Yamaha FG800

Could this be your ideal ‘second guitar’?

Price: $199/£240 | Bobdy: Solid Spruce Top, Nato/Mahogany Back & Sides | Neck: Mahogany | Fingerboard: Walnut fingerboard | Electronics : None

A best-seller, for good reason

Superb construction and build quality

Sounds incredible

No electronics

This guitar can be found in most places for less than $200. This price bracket is awash with acoustic guitars from all kinds of brands, but when we think about the best in this region, we're drawn to the Yamaha FG800. Put simply, the sound this guitar produces makes it worth the money alone.

This is largely down to features like scalloped bracing, which boosts the low end sound, and the solid spruce top, which is normally found on higher end instruments. All of which adds up to make the FG800 a highly credible guitar. You'll struggle to find a (relatively) inexpensive acoustic which matches up.

3. Martin LX1E Little Martin

Hey, if it’s good enough for Ed Sheeran…

Price: $499/£499 | Body: Sitka Spruce Top, High Pressure Laminate Back & Sides | Neck: Rust Birch Laminate | Fingerboard: Richlite | Electronics: Fishman Sonitone electronics

Martin quality at an affordable price

Superb for younger players

Don't underestimate its tonal potential

Not for those with larger hands

The Martin LX1E is a small-sized dreadnought with bags of appeal. It's marketed as a travel acoustic guitar, which can be thrown in the (included) gig bag to accompany you anywhere. Spend a bit of time with one, however, and you'll see it has more to offer than as a mere travel companion.

Despite the price and compact size, being a Martin it still has enough quality to deliver exceptional tone. The onboard Fishman Sonitone electronics make it ideal for hooking up to an amp, while the choice of rigid High Pressure Laminate mahogany means it can withstand years of use.

4. Taylor GS Mini

Smaller body, big sound. This is the best acoustic guitar for home use

Price: $499/£529 | Body: Solid Sitka Spruce, Sapele Back & Sides | Neck: Sapele | Fingerboard: Ebony | Electronics: ES2 electronics

Build quality is superb

Plays perfectly

Has its own unique voice

Hard to find any

Next up is something approaching bona fide classic status in the acoustic guitar world. The Taylor GS Mini was launched in 2011 and bridged the gap between travel guitars and fully-fledged workhorse acoustics wonderfully.

The GS Mini is essentially a scaled down version of the popular Taylor Grand Symphony-shaped acoustic. Its smaller size makes it ideal for leaving around the house, ready to pick up and play while you're waiting for the microwave to ping. 

But, with the included ES2 pickup, it can also make the leap to performance, making it ideal no matter what situation you find yourself in.

5. Epiphone Inspired By Gibson J-45

The workhorse just got more affordable

Price: $699/£611 | Body: Solid Sitka Spruce Top, Solid Mahogany Back & Sides | Neck: Mahogany | Fingerboard: Indian laurel with Mother of Pearl dot inlays | Electronics : Fishman Sonicore

All solid-wood construction

Aged finishes give them a worn-in feel

Fantastic value 

We would prefer a rosewood fingerboard 

The J-45 has been spotted slung around the shoulders of many notable players new and old through the years, from Bob Dylan to Billie Joe Armstrong, Woody Guthrie and Myles Kennedy. Favoured for its understated looks and folksy charm, the guitar would go on to get the nickname “The Workhorse”, as it was seen as the working man’s flattop. The loud, attention-grabbing tone contrasts its subtle beauty, with a rich low-end and singing mid-range means it’s always heard, no matter the situation. 

If you’ve been following the prices of the Gibson J-45 over the last few years, then you’ll have noticed a rather sizable increase - you won’t get much change back from $/£2500 right now - and it’s looking like the prices won’t be coming down anytime soon. 

Luckily Epiphone has been busy meticulously recreating the iconic sloped shoulder dreadnought - and at a far more affordable price! Featuring an all solid-wood construction, quarter-sawn spruce bracing and tapered dovetail neck joint, Epiphone really has gone out its way to nail every detail and pay tribute to the famous acoustic. Every element has been carefully considered, even down to the finish. Gone is the thick plastic-feeling lacquer, in favour of a soft and supple aged finish that is a delight to play. 

So if you are looking for those classic acoustic sounds of yesteryear, but don’t want to fork out a small fortune, it’s definitely worth considering this fantastic guitar. 

Read our full Epiphone Inspired By Gibson J-45 review 

6. Taylor 110e

The best acoustic guitar for intermediate players

Price: $799/£711 | Body: Sitka Top, Walnut Back & Sides | Neck: Sapele | Fingerboard : Ebony | Electronics: Taylor Expression System 2

Ideal for strummers and finger-pickers alike

Noticeable jump in quality from entry-level

Electronics retain warmth and clarity

Only one finish

So you've been playing a while and you're ready to spread your wings. Your playing proficiency has developed and you've nailed those techniques that caused you so much anguish at the start. Where to now? We'd say you deserve a new acoustic guitar that reflects your hard-earned progress.

The Taylor 110e might just be that guitar. Sitting in the bracket in between first guitars and professional heavyweights, the 110e is a fine example of everything just done better. 

The sitka wood produces a gloriously welcoming sound, and the onboard Taylor Expression System 2 electronics make it ideal for live performance. And, being a Taylor, you can expect a certain degree of quality all round.

7. Takamine P3NY

This parlor guitar is perfect for pickers

Price: $1,449/£1,294 | Body: Cedar Top, Sapele Back & Sides | Neck: Mahogany | Fingerboard: Rosewood | Electronics: Palathetic Pickup, CT4B II Preamp

Small body, big sound

In-built tuner is a joy to use

3 band EQ is great for sculpting your sound

Lacks the booming sound of a bigger guitar

We're big fans of a good parlor guitar here at Guitar World. With a slightly smaller body than a regular dreadnought size, they are perfect for folk who like... folk. And other genres, too. But where they excel is in the hands of someone who knows how to use their hands. Make sense?

The Takamine P3NY is a great example, and gets our nod as the best acoustic guitar for fingerpickers. Combining cedar and sapele tone woods with some pretty advanced electronics, you get a guitar that is comfortable in the hands of any players. 

What’s more, employing something called a 'palathetic pickup' – which articulates each string individually – it copes superbly with live performance at any volume.

8. Martin SC-13E

A bold, thoroughly modern and brilliant crossover design

Price: $1,499/£1,539 | Body: Sitka Spruce Top, Mahogany and Koa Veneer Back & Sides | Neck: Select Hardwood | Fingerboard: Ebony | Electronics: Fishman MX-T w/Sonicore Pre-Amp

Slinky performance

Well-balanced acoustic tones

Electronics are very impressive

Ergonomics are well thought-out

Maybe too radical for some

It pays not to stand on ceremony when you are designing a guitar. Let fresh thinking follow its own logic. That’s how we end up with guitars such as Martin’s SC-13E – an electro-acoustic the likes of which we have never seen before.

Look at the body shape for a start, that squashed offset cutaway tears up the rulebook. That’s just for starters; flip it over and you’ll see the Sure Align neck system, with that deep carve allowing for full access to the top of the neck. The system allows for on-the-fly neck pitch and intonation tweaks.

The top is Sitka spruce, the back and sides mahogany with a thin koa veneer for some visual pizazz. Martin saves the last of the fireworks for the playability, with an action so low that might catch those used to wrestling chords out of their acoustic unawares. This is a daring guitar, playable with a stunning voice that sits so well in a mix.

Read the full Martin SC-13E review

9. Gibson G-45 Standard

The best acoustic guitar for life on the road

Price: $1,299/£899 | Body: Sitka Spruce Top, Walnut Back & Sides | Neck: Utile | Fingerboard: Richlite | Electronics: Fishman Sonitone

A lot of guitar for the money

Comfortable to play

Tone is faultless

An EQ on the pickup would have been nice

When you think about a touring guitar, you think of something that sounds great, but is also built to withstand the rigors of life on the road. It's a fine balance, and one that requires a guitar which can live up to the demands. 

The Gibson G-45 is certainly one such animal. It displays superbly robust construction, which gives you the confidence you need to transport it from venue to venue, night after night. The included hardshell case is a welcome addition, too. 

But, being a Gibson acoustic, it also delivers a top quality sound with superb resonance. The Fishman Sonitone electronics also ensure you'll sound great no matter the size of the venue. 

10. Fender Acoustasonic Telecaster

Juxtaposed Fender delivers superb variety of sounds

Price: $1,999/£1,709 | Body: Lutz Spruce Top, Mahogany Body | Neck: Mahogany | Fingerboard: Ebony | Electronics: Fishman Enhancer

Quality mash-up of acoustic and electric

Genuinely innovative guitar

Tonally useful in the studio or on-stage

Divisive aesthetic

Something of a curate's egg here. When you're looking for versatility in an acoustic, that usually means little more than it is at home being picked or strummed. With the Fender Acoustasonic, you get much more than that. 

Marrying up the projection and woody sounds of an acoustic, with the unique form and function of a Telecaster, this guitar is sure to turn heads. But, hidden behind the unique visual stylings is a guitar which gives you plenty of room to experiment. 

Some pretty advanced electronic trickery allows you to choose between a plethora of acoustic or Tele tones, or even blend them up to create something completely new. It's crazy but we like it.

11. Martin D-28

The best acoustic guitar for accomplished players

Price: $2,899/£2,650 | Body: Solid Sitka Spruce Top, Solid East Indian Rosewood Back & Sides | Neck: Select Hardwood | Fingerboard: Ebony | Electronics: Optional

A musical icon

Excels in any application

An investment that will last a lifetime


The Martin D-28 is to acoustic guitars what the Porsche 911 is to cars. When you first start learning, it's the guitar you dream of owning. As you get better, you begin to appreciate what makes it so special. And, if you ever get to try one, you'll understand what all the fuss is about.

Famed for its favor among some of music's best-known names, the D-28 has cemented its place in music history over eight decades. Its rich, warm tones can be employed across any number of musical genres, while the build quality is about as good as it gets. Players of any standard, and of any style, should try one at least once in their lives. When you know, you know.

12. Gibson SJ-200 Deluxe

The best acoustic guitar for when money is no object

Price: $5,999/£4,690 | Body: Solid Sitka Spruce Top, Rosewood Back & Sides | Neck: Mahogany | Fingerboard: Richlite | Electronics: LR Baggs VTC Electronics

Glorious, full-blooded sound

Visually stunning

A treat to play

The price, but it is a luxury instrument

Rounding off the list we have something a bit special. Something from the extremes of acoustic guitar excellence. The Gibson SJ-200 Deluxe. Look at the ornamentation! Marvel at its pronounced curves! Recoil at that gargantuan price tag!

In reality, what we have here is a guitar to savour. Everything from the tonewoods employed to extract tones that'll make your knees wobble, through to the advanced LR Baggs electronics. The SJ-200 a fine example of what can happen when Gibson really puts its mind to it.

Sours: https://www.guitarworld.com/gear/best-acoustic-guitars

Canadian made solid top Simon & Patrick guitars are on show in all our shops. https: EQ models have good quality pickup systems built in.. A great sound at a great price!

Takamine Guitars

Takamine Guitars are preferred by performers https: world over. All except https: G series come complete with case, and feature https: Palathatic pickup system and an Accuracoustic pre-amp.

Blue Moon

Blue Moon is own brand of budget acoustics from China. This year's crop are of a very much higher quality, and many of https: big name makes are now getting https:ir guitars made in https: same places. https: new range of budget price Gremlin solid tops have an attractive tahoma body - looks like walnut, a solid spruce top and a glossy finish. https:y're fitted with good quality geared machines


Ashbury is our own range of high quality acoustics from Korea. This range has been designed with https: folk guitarist firmly in mind, and includes backpackers, resonators, basses and some very good electro acoustics. https: Ashbury Pro solids have tahoma bodies and solid spruce tops, https:se new Ashbury guitars bristle with great features! 5 band EQ, coloured wood inlays, herringbone binding, and more..

Ohttps:r Makes

Ohttps:r brands we offer include Fylde and Ovation, but we don't try to stock https: range. We offer handmade guitars by Paul Hathway and Tom Waghorn, various designs are available. Ohttps:r makers sometimes have guitars on show in our shops, and https:re are always secondhand guitars too.

Sours: http://www.hobgoblin-usa.com/local/acousticus.htm
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What is the Best Highest Rated Acoustic Guitar Brand?

Answering the question of what the best acoustic guitar brands are may be a highly subjective endeavour, however it is often an important question in need of answering, particularly for people who are relatively new to the instrument and would like to narrow down their search when looking to buy one.

In light of this, I set out to see if we could leverage the large amount of data we have accumulated about hundreds of specific models of acoustic and acoustic-electric guitars in order to produce an objective report on the relative market sentiment about brands selling steel string acoustic guitars at all price points up to $2,000.

You'll notice that I've changed the question from one containing the subjective 'best' to the objective 'highest rated', this is because objectively answering the modified question serves some of the most important needs anyone has who wants to know what the best brand is.

I took the Gearank scores we have calculated for individual guitars for each brand and combined them using a weighted average to produce a rating for each brand. I can best explain this by saying if a hypothetical brand had 2 models and one of them had 99 rating sources and the other one only had a single rating source then the first model's ratings would contribute 99% of the final rating for the brand. An interesting statistic; we processed more than 17,000 sources for these calculations.

The nice thing about this approach is that it allows a direct comparison of the market sentiment of brands regardless of the average price of their guitars - this is because people generally don't rate a $100 guitar relative to a $2,000 guitar - instead they tend to rate it according to how good it is for what it is, rather than what it isn't.

If you're wondering how we calculate Gearank scores in the first place, then please read How Gearank Works.

Now that you know a bit about how it was done, here are the results...

Blueridge is the 11th Highest Rated Acoustic Guitar Brand

11. Blueridge

Owned by Saga Music, the Blueridge brand has been steadily building a reputation for producing excellent 'pre-war' style guitars. This means their designs are based upon the types of guitars made and sold in the USA during the 1930's and earlier.

Many guitarists favorably compare Blueridge with Martin and Gibson Acoustics and they have the advantage of producing their guitars at much lower price points than similar options from those more expensive brands.

Selling for well under $1000 is one of their more popular models, the Blueridge BG-40 which is part of their Contemporary Series designed to produce pre-war tones while using modern materials and construction techniques to keep prices down.

Ovation is the 10th Highest Rated Acoustic Guitar Brand

10. Ovation

Ovation Guitars broke with centuries of guitar making tradition by developing a hybrid material similar to fiberglass, which they patented with the name Lyrachord, and they use this instead of wood to create the bodies of their guitars.

Their innovation continued by developing a bowl shape guitar body - the result, at least to my ears and that of many other guitarists, is that the resulting tone of their acoustic-electric guitars is similar to those using traditional tonewoods in their construction. Unlike more radical brands like RainSong, they still use traditional woods for the tops of their guitars.

We guitarists can be slow to come around to new ways of doing things, heck we still prize the 1904 technology of the vacuum tube in guitar amplifiers, so it's a huge testament to Ovation's success that they've managed to be so successful while breaking the most sacred rules of guitar material and construction. A great example of this is their Celebrity Elite CE44.

Jasmine is the 9th Highest Rated Acoustic Guitar Brand

9. Jasmine

Jasmine started out as a Takamine brand which was later sold to KMC Music in 2005 who remain the owners today.

They produce a range of acoustic guitars including steel-string dreadnoughts and orchestra models as well as nylon string guitars, but it is definitely their student models which garner the brand's highest ratings.

You can find their budget friendly guitars in major national stores like Guitar Center and online through sites like Musicians Friend and Amazon.

Jasmine's highest rated model is the cutaway grand orchestra bodied S-34C which you can buy online for less than $100.

Ibanez is the 8th Highest Rated Acoustic Guitar Brand

8. Ibanez

The Ibanez brand has a fascinating history beginning with Spanish luthier Salvador Ibáñez in the 1800's who's original guitars are revered by the likes of Eric Clapton and the select few who are either wealthy enough, or lucky enough to own one.

But that's not the Ibanez we know today, although the two are related.. Japanese company Hoshino Gakki began importing guitars made by Salvador Ibáñez's company to Japan in 1929. This was so successful for them that they started producing their own similar guitars under this name in 1935. They started making modern guitars simply using the name Ibanez in 1957 and then, not being ones to hold a grudge given that the US Army Air Force destroyed their factory in 1945, began exporting them to the USA in 1971, and as they say, the rest is history.

These days they have a large range of acoustic guitars and they are particularly strong in the entry-level market with the highly rated Ibanez AW54 being a prime example.

Fender is the 7th Highest Rated Acoustic Guitar Brand

7. Fender

While many guitar companies began making acoustic guitars and later moved into electric guitars, Fender came at it from the other direction being the company that created the solid body electric guitar market with the Telecaster (then named Broadcaster) and only much later moved into acoustics.

Actually, company founder Leo Fender's first business was repairing tube circuitry equipment including radios, phonograph players, and home music amplifiers. He noticed the growing popularity of amplifiers for home music systems and branched out into selling music records and renting out PA systems he had designed from his repair shop. Then he got even more involved in music by making and selling Hawaiian lap steel guitars containing a proprietary pickup system which he bundled with his own newly designed amplifiers in 1945. The following year he changed the company name from Fender’s Repair Service to Fender Electric Instruments Company.

It wasn't until 1964 that Fender began to produce acoustic guitars, just one year before Leo Fender, suffering from health problems, sold the company to CBS. If you ever find a 'Pre CBS' Fender acoustic in the attic you'll have one of the rarest modern acoustic guitars in existence.

Although they are not widely regarded as a high-end maker of acoustic guitars, they are very well respected for the entry-level acoustics with the Fender CC-60S and Fender FA-115 being prime examples.

Taylor is the 6th Highest Rated Acoustic Guitar Brand

6. Taylor

It seems like Taylor have been around forever, but compared to most big name acoustic guitar brands, Taylor are a relative newcomer on the scene having been founded by Bob Taylor and Kurt Listug in 1974. They started out as an acoustic guitar company and that is their primary focus to this day and are now renowned the world over for the tone and quality of their instruments..

Taylor introduced a number of innovations including being the first to precision manufacture guitars using computer mills and they still make their high-end guitars in California as well as producing some of their more affordable lines in Mexico.

Their popular Taylor Big Baby BBT is a 15/16ths sized dreadnought manufactured in Mexico which is popular as both an entry-level guitar and as a travel or campfire guitar for those used to playing higher-end acoustics. Another great example is the Taylor Academy 10 which is also made in the Mexico to keep the price down.

Artists who play Taylor guitars include Jason Mraz, Taylor Swift and Zac Brown.

Epiphone is the 5th Highest Rated Acoustic Guitar Brand

5. Epiphone

Because Epiphone has been owned by Gibson since 1957 you could be forgiven for thinking that this is the brand that simply makes alternative and cheaper versions of Gibson guitars. They do do that, in addition to making some of their own guitars, but their history runs deeper than that.

They began as an independent musical instrument company in 1873, in part of the Ottoman Empire which is now part of modern day Turkey, making stringed instruments such as lutes and fiddles - they relocated to the United States in 1903.. The founder's eldest son, Epaminondas Stathopoulos took over the company after his father passed away and later renamed the business to Epiphone Banjo Company in 1928 to rebrand the company and emphasize the fact theat they had changed to making more popular stringed instruments - the same year they first began making guitars. The name comes from 'Epi' which was Epaminondas' nickname, and the Greek word 'phone' meaning sound.

Today they make affordable versions of Gibson classics such as their popular take on the Gibson Dove called the Epiphone Dove PRO as well as their own designs which includes the extremely popular entry level guitar the Epiphone DR-100.

Yamaha is the 4th Highest Rated Acoustic Guitar Brand

4. Yamaha

For a long time Yamaha were regarded as one of the best producers of student guitars but their reputation didn't go far beyond that. And it's true that they make excellent guitars for beginners, I am one of the many who originally learned to play on their student nylon string C40. BTW I'm one of those guitarists who thoroughly recommend initially learning to play on a nylon string guitar.

Over the last decade or so, Yamaha have become a widely regarded brand for all kinds of guitars, and in addition to their many student friendly nylon and steel string acoustics, they also make some very highly rated acoustic guitars such as the Yamaha FG830 (pictured)

Some of the notable musicians who play Yamaha acoustic guitars are Chad Kroeger from Nickelback, Ed Roland from Collective Soul and Joe Bonamassa just to name a few.

Martin is the 3rd Highest Rated Acoustic Guitar Brand

3. Martin

C.F. Martin & Company was founded in New York City in 1833 by Christian Frederick Martin, a man born when George Washington was still President, and who is reputed to have built the first ever acoustic guitar in the USA.

It is rare for any brand, let alone an entire company, to stay in business this long and their longevity speaks volumes to the exceptional quality of their instruments. Although they did dabble in electric guitars and basses for a short time, today the company is dedicated to making the finest acoustic guitars possible just as they were over 180 years ago.

Over their long history Martin guitars have been played by artists as diverse as Mark Twain. David Crosby, Chris Cornell, John Mayer, Valerie June and Ed Sheeran.

Today, if you shop around, you can pick up the Martin D-200 Deluxe for just $119,999, but if that doesn't suit your style you can always go for the Martin D-15M which we announced as the equal highest rated acoustic guitar between $1000 and $1500 in September 2020, along with the Martin 000-15M.

Our data shows that if I had only considered brands making guitars worth more than $1,000 then Martin would have been the highest rated acoustic guitar brand.

Gibson is the 2nd Highest Rated Acoustic Guitar Brand

2. Gibson

Thanks largely to Les Paul, Gibson is one of the most iconic brands for electric guitars, but they were producing acoustic guitars long before that.

The Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Mfg. Co., Ltd. was founded by Orville Gibson in 1902 in Kalamazoo, Michigan when he brought in a consortium of investors to finance expansion to keep up with demand. Orville had been selling his hand made instruments since 1894 and was awarded a patent for his one-piece designed mandolin in 1898. He also invented Archtop Guitars around that same time by applying similar lutherie techniques to those used on violins.

Their first flat-top acoustic guitar was produced some time shortly before 1910, but at that time their flat-tops were still a long way behind Martin in terms of popularity. It wasn't until 1923 that they began to seriously break into the flat-top acoustic guitar market with their signature Nick Lucas Special model and began to give Martin a run for their money.

By the end of the 1930s, Gibson was firmly established as one of the leading acoustic guitar manufacturers alongside Martin if not out in front of them.

One of Gibson's pre-war guitars, the J-35, was later revived in 2013 as an acoustic-electric guitar and in October 2016 we named the modern Gibson J-35 as the equal second highest rated acoustic-electric guitar between $1,000 and $2,000 - second only to Martin.

The Best Acoustic Guitar Brand

1. Seagull

Some of you may not be all that familiar with Seagull, however they have an almost cult-like following where devotees of the brand don't like it, they love it!

Seagull hails from La Patrie, Quebec in Canada, where more than 200 of the 750 population are said to be involved in making guitars - some of you will recognize the village name as another highly regarded guitar brand - LaPatrie, which is also owned by Seagull's parent company Godin Guitars. In fact, Seagull was founded in 1982 by Robert Godin.

Seagull set themselves apart by producing all of their guitars with solid tops in addition to making them by hand - and they do this from their budget models all the way up to their top of the line guitars.

Another thing that endears them to many guitarists is that they source 100% of their woods from sustainable sources and they use hydro-electric power. When it comes to the environmental footprint of a guitar, this is an area where Seagull are out in front and the big name brands, who while working hard to improve their own environmental impacts, are still playing some degree of catch-up.

We currently recommend the very popular Seagull S6 Original as one of the leading beginner guitars and we named the Seagull Maritime SWS SG as the equal second highest rated acoustic guitar between $500 and $1,000 in October 2016. And in August of 2017 we named the Seagull Entourage Rustic CW QIT as the highest rated acoustic-electric guitar under $500.


If you're interested, you can find all the brands that were contenders in our Music Gear Database.

An additional note on the methods used; although we gathered rating and review data from guitarists around the world, we only considered brands that can be found at major online music gear retailers located in the United States. This means that fine brands like Maton from Australia (played by Tommy Emmanuel) weren't included - the same goes for some respected European brands. Also, only full sized guitars, or ones very close to it, were included in the data set - had we included smaller parlor guitars then this may have boosted Martin and also Gretsch might have made the list.

Digging into the data like this produced a couple of surprises for me. Takamine just missed the cut where I expected them to land at around the 9th position and I didn't expect Jasmine to make the list at all, but clearly many beginner guitarists won't have been at all surprised by this result.

So what surprises you about the brands that other guitarists like and don't like as much? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

For an alternative list that was chosen by our team based on our own experiences without using Gearank ratings, and which isn't limited to brands selling guitars below $2000, then check out GuitarSite's Best Acoustic Guitar Brands of 2019 and you might be surprised at some of our selections which includes a high-end brand you maybe haven't hear much about before now! We've also done the same thing publishing our opinion on The Best Electric Guitar Brands 2019 so take a look at that too and you might even discover some things you didn't already know about the top brands.

Sours: https://www.gearank.com/articles/best-acoustic-guitar-brands
All Laminate vs Solid Top - Yamaha vs Takamine - Review

If you are thinking about learning how to play the acoustic guitar, or you are simply looking for a ‘s guitar you should totally go for it.

As a beginning guitar player, the learning process can be equally frustrating and confusing. However, sticking to the learning process isn’t going to be something that you regret! Years from now, you’re going to be grateful that you stuck with it and learned how to play.

Before you even begin to start learning how to play acoustic guitar, you need to first have an instrument which playability adapts to your abilities. I personally always recommend a Yamaha acoustic guitar to my beginning students or any parents who ask me what ‘s guitar they should purchase for their child.

Yamaha’s FG series is one of the most consistently affordable instruments, while still being quality guitars. I’m constantly recommending the Yamaha FG acoustic guitar series because the musical instruments in these series are built to grow with you; as a professional guitar player, I often find myself telling my co-workers and peers about how much I enjoy using the FG series. Youll will definitely find a solid top acoustic guitar there.

There are a lot of different acoustic guitar brands that are available on the market, and it can be overwhelming to find the right musical instrument, but in my professional opinion, Yamaha offers a top quality guitar, with a great sound for beginning guitar players, all at an affordable price.

In a Rush? Just Need a Good Recommendation? To cut right to the chase, my top recommended Yamaha acoustic is the Yamaha Gigmaker Deluxe start package.

Of course, you can keep reading for all of my recommendations and find your Best Yamaha acoustic guitar in no time!

Yamaha Acoustic Guitar Starter Pack

If you want to purchase a great guitar that comes with all of the bells and whistles, an acoustic guitar starter kit from Yamaha is available. For around $200, you can purchase a Yamaha guitar kit that comes with:

  • A Yamaha guitar
  • Neck strap
  • Guitar picks
  • Gig bag
  • Extra strings
  • Guitar tuner
  • An instructional DVD that also comes with lessons

This Yamaha Acoustic Guitar starter kit is actually a money saver; instead of having to purchase every single item separately, you can get all of the items that you need to get started all for a lump sum. Not to mention it totally saves you time and hassle!

There are two starter packs that Yamaha offers that you should consider if you are looking for a musical instrument- both of these options are budget conscious. There two starter packs are:

Yamaha Gigmaker Standard Starter Pack

This is the basic package out of the two, which means that it is also a more affordable Yamaha gigmaker. This starter pack comes with Yamaha’s F325 acoustic guitar; the F325 is one of the least expensive acoustic guitars that Yamaha has in their lineup. The F325 sports a laminate top, which is part of the reason why the guitar is less expensive than the Deluxe Starter Pack.

Yamaha Gigmaker Deluxe Starter Pack

In the Gigmaker Deluxe starter pack upgrades your guitar selection from the F325 to the FD01S. Instead of featuring a laminate top like the F325, the FD01S has a solid Engelmann spruce top (solid top acoustic guitar), Rosewood fretboard, Rosewood bridge, and Nato sides and back.

For just a small change in price, you’ll receive an instrument that’s better quality. Both of the starter packs come with other accessories such as picks, a gig bag, extra strings, etc., but the main difference in the starter packs is the guitar build and quality.

However, if you aren’t looking for a starter pack and you just want to get yourself a guitar, there are still affordable options out there that are perfect for you!

Yamaha FG800 Acoustic Guitar

Yamaha FG800 Folk Acoustic Guitar | Musician's Friend
Yamaha FG800 Folk Acoustic Guitar | Musician's Friend

Yamaha's FG800 Folk Acoustic Guitar is a reasonably priced entry-level acoustic guitar featuring one of the most popular tonewoods - solid Sitka spruce - for the top. Other features of the FG800 include a rosewood fingerboard and bridge, black and white body binding, die-cast tuners, and a tortoise pickguard.

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The FG800 is a guitar that’s popular all around the world, because of the full sized features that are more commonly found in expensive guitars. While the Yamaha FG800 is intended for beginning guitarists, it definitely is a guitar that’s a fit perfect for both beginning and intermediate guitarists.

For under $350, you can purchase yourself a solid sitka spruce top that has a Rosewood fingerboard, a Rosewood bridge, and Nato neck, sides, and back.

Nato is a wood that shares several similarities to Mahogany, which helps to ensure that the FG800 has not only solid construction, shape, and sound quality, but it also produces similar resonance and depth.

The Spruce top on the FG800 finishes the sound that the guitar produces off with crispness and definite articulation. Having a solid top on a guitar at this price is a rarity, but it certainly does the FG800 justice.

The most loved part of the FG800 is how easy it is to play. As a beginning guitarist, you’re going to want to find yourself a guitar that’s easy to play. The student guitars that Yamaha produces truly are worth the small investment; while they are budget friendly, they are easy to play, have amazing craftsmanship, and produce a balanced tone.

The only complaint that I have about the Yamaha FG800, is that it tends to have a very high action. However, this does tend to be a problem for guitars that are on the lower end of the
price range.

I am a guitarist who enjoys playing the guitar that has a lower action, but there are people out there who enjoy playing the guitar that has a higher action. Don’t let the high action make you second guess this guitar; if you love this guitar and the price tag on this guitar, you can always spend a little bit of extra money and get your guitar adjusted to fix the action.

The FG800 can be purchased individually or in a bundle pack; the bundle pack comes with a hard case (which can cost several hundred dollars by itself), a tuner, string winder, a capo, stand, tuner, and an instructional DVD.

Whether you want to learn how to play guitar in order to perform covers, want to play in a band, or you truly want to learn how to read and play guitar music, you’re going to need a small collection of accessories to progress with you as you continue playing.

If you’re looking to start out with everything you need and not have to make continual purchases as you continue playing, a bundle pack truly is the way you should go.


  • Dreadnought guitar body shape
  • Solid Spruce top
  • Laminate Nato Sides and Back
  • Scalloped X Bracing
  • Laminate Nato Neck
  • Rosewood Fingerboard
  • 25 9/16 inch scale length
  • 1 11/16 inch nut width
  • Urea Plastic Nut
  • Rosewood Bridge
  • Urea plastic saddle
  • No cutaway
  • No electronics
  • Four color options: natural, brown sunburst, sand burst, black

Yamaha FG820 and FG830

Yamaha FG820 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar | Amazon
Yamaha FG820 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar | Amazon

When it was introduced in 1966, the Yamaha FG proved that a great acoustic guitar didn’t need to cost a fortune.

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The Yamaha FG series is truly a great series for beginners to choose from. If you are someone who is truly serious about learning how to play guitar and have some extra money you are willing to spend on your guitar, I would suggest that you take some time to check out the FG820 and the FG830.

Both of these guitars are an improved version of the FG800; while they do cost a bit more than the FG800, they are still in an affordable price range.

For under $300, you can purchase yourself a high-quality guitar that will last with you for years to come; the only reason you’ll ever need to change out from this guitar is if you want to upgrade to a pro-quality guitar.

Both the FG820 and the FG830 sport a solid Sitka Spruce top.

The FG820 has Eastern Solid Mahogany sides and back. However, the FG830 has Rosewood installed on the sides and back. Rosewood is often favored more prominently among acoustic guitar players because it is amazing tone.

You have the option to purchase either guitar in a Vintage Cherry Sunburst finish or a Tobacco Brown Sunburst finish. As a , which one should you choose? Since you are a beginning guitar player, you probably don’t know all that much (or even care) about tone woods. Both make a great choice and you can’t go wrong with either.

As a personal preference, I prefer theFG830, only because I prefer the sound of the Rosewood over the sound of the Eastern Mahogany; Eastern Mahogany is often referred to as Nato. For the same price, the FG830 has a slightly better quality and sound quality, because of the use of the tone wood.

Summary for FG820:

  • The FG800 and FG820 are similar but have only two main differences. Difference number one is that the FG820 has a laminate Mahogany sides and back. Difference number two is that the FG820 has a cream plastic binding, which is really just a cosmetic difference.
  • Has a warmer tone than the FG800
  • Comes in five finishes: natural, black, autumn burst, sunset blue, brown sunburst

Summary for the FG830:

  • Comes in three finishes: natural, autumn burst, tobacco brown sunburst
  • The Rosewood on the FG830 helps to ensure that this guitar produces more sustain compared to the FG820
  • Rosewood also helps to produce more clarity when the guitar produces high and low pitches, especially when compared against Mahogany neck guitars
  • Brighter sound compared to the FG820
  • Abalone inlay around the sound hole, which is different compared to the FG820L, but this is merely a cosmetic difference

Yamaha FG700S Folk Acoustic Guitar

Yamaha FG700S Acoustic Folk Guitar | Reverb
Yamaha FG700S Acoustic Folk Guitar | Reverb

Used Yamaha FG700S Acoustic Folk Guitar from Reverb. This is a feature-packed entry into the world of playing guitar. It is a great option for anyone looking for a nice auxiliary model to have on the porch or strum by the fire.

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This is the first acoustic guitar that I recommend to beginning left handed players. Matter of fact, the FG700S has been a favorite among left-handed players for more than fifty years.

The FG700S is a unique combination of both a classical guitar design and a modern guitar build. Yamaha made sure to focus on creating a guitar that produces excellent tone, in order to provide their left-handed players with an exciting experience.

While this guitar has not been specifically made with left-handed players in mind, this guitar does come with a left handed option.

You can purchase a bundle for the FG700S that comes with the guitar, picks, capo, string winder, hard case, strap, built-in tuner, steel string bundle, a hard case, and an instructional DVD. The physical build of the FG700S consists of a solid Sitka Spruce top, diecast tuners, and
Rosewood fingerboard.

Yamaha JR1and JR2

If you are shopping around for your child, you’re not going to want to purchase a full sized guitar. In fact, you’re going to want to purchase a ¾ size guitar. A ¾ size guitar is a guitar that’s body and neck is scaled down from a full sized guitar; this is in order to make the guitar playability better for small bodied children.

The JR1 and JR2 are ¾ sized mini folk acoustic guitars that are based on the Yamaha FG series.

Yamaha JR1 Mini Folk Guitar | Guitar Center
Yamaha JR1 Mini Folk Guitar | Guitar Center

A genuine spruce top, meranti back and sides, and reduced size make it a great-sounding, great-playing first guitar for small hands.

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The JR1 and JR2 are the best acoustic guitars for kids that I’ve ever used; these guitars aren’t made specifically for children either. If you are someone who has a small stature or small hands, you can also use this guitar! Another cool feature on the JR1 and JR2 is that you can choose the visual design of the guitar; for example, we have a JR2 Sunburst pictured above!

Don’t be alarmed by the small size of these guitars- they aren’t toys! These guitars have been created with the same standards that all other Yamaha guitars are made with.

Specifically, the JR1 and the JR2 guitars are popular among professional guitarists, because they make great travel companions. While their bodies may be smaller, the sound quality and the size of sound that they produce is the same as a full sized guitar.

The Yamaha JR2 sports a solid Spruce top, Nato neck, Rosewood fingerboard, Meranti side and back, and Rosewood bridge. Meranti and Nato are woods used in budget guitars as a replacement for Mahogany; while the richness that these woods produce aren’t the exact same as Mahogany, they are still really close.

As for the Yamaha JR2, it’s a guitar that has a little bit of improvement over the JR1. The JR2 has a Mahogany Finish UTF sides and back, instead of the Meranti that’s used on the JR1. The JR2 also offers the sunburst finish, which doesn’t make a difference in the sound produced, but it does make the guitar look great.

Yamaha JR2 3/4 Scale Folk Guitar | Guitar Center
Yamaha JR2 3/4 Scale Folk Guitar | Guitar Center

Its compact size and authentic acoustic tone make the JR2 and excellent take along, play anywhere guitar. 

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Whether you are shopping for your student, you’re shopping for yourself as somebody with a small body, or a veteran guitarist looking for a small guitar along with you or to stash away in your office, the JR1 guitar and the JR2 guitar both make amazing choices. These guitars also come with a bundle option, so don’t forget to look at that!

Yamaha Acoustic-Electric FSX800C Guitar

The Yamaha acoustic-electric FSX800C guitar is an upgrade to the current FS800 guitar that Yamaha currently offers. You’ll find there are several new characteristics that are featured on this instrument, such as a cutaway body. Also, you’ll discover that there’s an under-saddle piezo pickup, as well as an analog preamp. These added features make sure that all of your live performance is to produce the highest quality sound possible from this guitar.

In addition, you’ll find that there’s a 3-band EQ, as well as frequency control. Paired with a chromatic tuner, you can completely customize the sound and precision of your guitar. The only thing that you’ll have to worry about bringing with you is Double AA batteries to make sure that this acoustic-electric guitar has a continuous supply of power to it.

Keep in mind that you’ll be able to choose between a Dreadnought body style or a concert body style. But both south of these instruments features a solid Spruce body. You’ll find that that the sides and the back or made with NATO, while the fingerboard is made with Rosewood, all topped off with a glossy finish.

The biggest downside that to this guitar is it it’s only made for a right-handed musician. However, with a nut width of 1.69 in and a scale length of 25.6 in, you’ll find that there are 20 Frets on this finger board. Also, if you’re not totally in love with the acoustic-electric possibility of his guitar, you can also get it and then the acoustic-only version. Plus you even have the option to choose between a ruby red color or a natural color that’s less flashy.

Why Choose Yamaha?

I recommend beginners to purchase a Yamaha guitar because Yamaha guitars are easy to play. As a beginning guitar player, I know it’s tempting to purchase a cheap guitar kit off of a website and call in the day.

However, if you want to grow with your guitar, I would advise against that. It’s a common trait over lower priced, no-name guitars to have design issues that ensure that the guitar produces a poor sound and that it doesn’t withstand much abuse.

With Yamaha, it all comes down to the build quality that they produce. Guitars that mass produced at a low price range make the learning process difficult and frustrating for beginning guitar players.

For those who are planning on sticking with your guitar for several years and have the desire to become professional musicians, a quality guitar is going to send you a long way on the road to your success. That’s what make Yamaha guitars stand out from the rest!

Another amazing quality of the guitars that Yamaha produces is the overall sound quality of their guitars. One of the most popular guitars out of the FG series is the FG800, which is a guitar that’s well suited for both beginning guitarists and veteran players.

The most important part of finding a guitar that’s suitable for a new player is finding a guitar that sounds good; if your guitar sounds good, you’re going to be inspired to play more often and enjoy the learning process.

Yamaha is a brand that knows that their target demographic is beginning guitar players. When you start doing your research on Yamaha guitars, you’re going to find that they have a lot of different options for beginning guitarists. Here is a list of some of Yamaha’s best acoustic guitars for beginners!

Summary of the Top Yamaha Acoustic Guitar Options

In this article, we talked about several different Yamaha acoustic guitars that stand out from the rest of the competition. Which one should you go about choosing? Below, I have listed some general advice to use when shopping for your new guitar, in case you’re unsure about which to pick from!

  • Just Trying Guitar Out? If you or your child or student is not certain that they are going to stick with their instrument for years to come, the FG800 is one of the top acoustic guitars that are student level on the market today. If you/ your child/ your student is big enough to play a full sized guitar comfortably, this is the best option for them.
  • Serious About Playing Guitar? However, if you/ your child/ your student is truly serious about playing guitar and wants to stick with it for years to come, the FG820, FGX800C, and FG830 will all make great guitars for the new guitarist to stick with. These guitars all have solid tonality and sound projection, even though they are at an affordable price. Any one of these three guitars will be an instrument that they won’t outgrow to years to come.
  • Best Value? If you are looking to purchase a full sized guitar but are worried about the pricing of additional accessories, the starter packs that Yamaha offers are amazing choices.
  • Sizing for Kids? The JR1 and JR2 Yamaha acoustic guitars are guitars that have been built with smaller bodied people in mind; these guitars make great instruments for children. Once they outgrow this guitar, your guitarist can keep this guitar and use it as a travel instrument.

If for some reason you aren’t finding yourself to be super impressed with the starter packs that Yamaha offers, there are other acoustic guitar brands out there that do offer starting packs for beginning guitar players. However, Yamaha is always the brand that I recommend to people who are looking for purchase an affordable guitar for their new guitar player.

Good luck finding your dream guitar and I hope you have fun learning how to play!


Question: Does the Yamaha APXT 2 guitar come with nylon strings or steel strings?

Answer: The Yamaha Apxt 2 guitar comes with steel strings, and until now Yamaha has not made this series with nylon strings because that would require a total change of the design due to the string spacing.

Question: Is the Yamaha fs transacoustic guitar constructed of solid wood?

Answer: The Yamaha fs transacoustic concert guitar is constructed of solid spruce top, laminate sides and back and it comes with metal strings.

Question: As a should I buy dreadnaught or concert size guitar?

Answer: This depends of how tall you are and of your comfort level in general. Concert size guitars have smaller body and are easier to hold and produce a clear defined sound, whereas dreadnaught guitars have a larger body which can be a bit uncomfortable if you are playing for the first time and they produce bass sound.

Further Reading:

guitar playing

Danny Trent

Danny grew up playing anything that looked like a guitar. Since some kids just don’t know how to grow up, he continues to write about guitars because you can do that these days.

Sours: https://guitarspace.org/acoustic-guitars/top-seven-best-yamaha-acoustic-guitars/

Takamine yamaha vs

SOFT - Music In Singapore
  1. 20-09-09, 06:45 PM#1
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    Sep 2009
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    Yamaha F310 vs Takamine D20/D50

    Has anyone played these guitars before? Which is the better guitar ?


  2. 20-09-09, 07:35 PM#2
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    Feb 2008
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    Both are decent. Both top are made of laminated wood. If it's playability, Yamaha will be good, however it is a little overpriced. Takamine is cheap and good too...

    In my opinion, i will rather go for other brands than these 2.

  3. 20-09-09, 08:56 PM#3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Marsiling, Singapore.
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    I'd recommend the Yamaha F310 tone-wise, since I use one as my backup and it really sounds good. Only thing is that it was poorly maintained and is giving me problems now.

    Do consider these brands. I find that they are more bang-for-buck specs-wise as compared with big names like Yamaha and Takamine, as some have pickups and still cost below $300-350.
    - Cort (Swee Lee)
    - J&D (Music Theme, Ranking Sports and Music)
    - Custom Acoustic (City Music)

    And do try Acepro acoustics at Standard Value / SV Guitars if possible. Mike (the owner) brought in the Yamaha F310 before and if he says that the Acepros are better yet cheaper, I'd take his word for it.

  4. 21-09-09, 02:13 AM#4
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    Jul 2008
    Pasir Ris
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    I feel eugene's mentioned brand are the best ones which are value for money haha a sweet all maple J&D bro guitr cost like 200-300 dollars if i rmb it corretcly. i'm currently eyeing a custom acoustic as well. I als own a Cort and it sounds awesome (though no Pickups >.<)

  5. f310 hands down.
    playability to the max, i can sweep on mine.
    Current Gear List :
    Caparison Horus HGS Pro Black
    Zemaitis A24MF Metal Face

  6. 21-09-09, 09:29 AM#6
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    Sep 2009
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    Thanks for the help everyone. What do you all think about the J&D DG108?

    I want to check out the J&D DG108 specs but can't find it on the J&D website :http://www.jandd-guitars.com/ . Is it a discontinued model?

  7. 21-09-09, 12:48 PM#7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    J&D doesn't update their site frequently. Btw, regarding the J&D guitars, i still find the action a little high after seeing that the saddle is already low on the bridge.

    I would recommend you to get the Fina 3150. It's solid top and going for $250 @ Davis i think...

  8. 23-09-09, 09:40 AM#8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Thanks. After searching the forum and google, decided to get a solid top. Trying to keep budget to < $300. How do the Cort Earth 60 and Cort Earth 70 compare with the Fina 3150. Anyone played the Cort Earth 60 / 70 before?

  9. 23-09-09, 08:46 PM#9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Marsiling, Singapore.
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    I've tried the Cort Earth 70E before, it's not bad at all in fact. Very nice, simple dreadnought acoustic guitar with a Fishman Ion pickup system. I'd say it's more worth the money than the J&D DG108 and the Fina 3150 because it has a pickup and yet has a solid spruce top (if I'm not wrong, the piece I tried at Swee Lee didn't have the 'Solid-top' sticker).

    The problem I had with the Cort Earth 70E was that the top looked a little low-grade, but I'd still say it's more worth it over the other two. My humble opinion.

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Takamine legacy vs Yamaha fg411 - NitroMp Vs JairoTKPower

The best Yamaha acoustic guitars 2021: 8 top choices for all levels of player and budget

Yamaha has now been at the forefront of acoustic guitar design for over 50 years – and it was their success in the acoustic field that spurred them to go on to develop electric guitars. The company’s spirit of innovation appeals to a wide variety of players. And it makes for an especially strong list of candidates when choosing the best Yamaha acoustic guitars, drawing on an especially impressive range of instruments from steel-string flat top to nylon-strung classical guitars and stage-ready acoustic electric guitars.

From its trailblazing APX range to more recent innovations with the TransAcoustic effects-loaded guitars, A.R.E (Acoustic Resonance Enhancement) treated woods and its CSF travel guitars, Yamaha is showing no sign of resting on its laurels. So that means there’s rich pickings when it comes to recommending our top picks from the Yamaha acoustic range.

Best Yamaha acoustic guitars: Our top picks

Yamaha’s range of acoustics offers something for everyone. But if we’re looking for the guitars with the best all-round strengths, two contemporary models are unbeatable. The Yamaha CSF3M is a travel-sized guitar that doesn’t compromise on playability or quality with solid mahogany back and sides, a rich tonality and impressive plugged-in performance that belies its compact dimensions.

The Yamaha A5R A.R.E combines the company’s reputation for great electro technology for the stage with its SRT2 preamp system with the feel of a played-in, vintage character thanks to the Acoustic Resonance Enhancement treatment on the top. It’s the best of both worlds and a guitar that will go the distance for any acoustic player.

Best Yamaha acoustic guitars: Product guide

1. Yamaha A5R A.R.E

The best all-round Yamaha acoustic guitar


Price: $1,399/£1,560

Type: Western body cutaway electro-acoustic

Top: Solid Sitka spruce with A.R.E treatment

Back & sides: Solid rosewood

Neck: Mahogany

Scale: 25.5"

Fingerboard: Rosewood

Frets: 20

Tuners: Gotoh open gear

Electronics: Yamaha SRT2

Left-handed: No

Finish: Vintage Natural

Reasons to buy

+Superb unplugged and electric performance+Great build and spec+Aged top gives it a vintage look

Reasons to avoid

-No non-cutaway option

This Japan-made model represents Yamaha’s expertise in building pro-level electro-acoustic guitars. The A5R A.R.E balances the SRT2 preamp’s (Studio Response Technology) cutting edge detailed plugged-in experience with the vintage feel and tone offered by the A.R.E torrefication process to the guitar’s solid Sitka spruce top.

Resonant and detailed in the high end with a lower end tonal warmth that’s reflected in the guitar’s golden spruce hues, the hand-rolled fretboard edges complete a smooth playing experience. 

The SRT2 system offers piezo and simulated mic sources that can be mixed and balanced as desired. The result is superb versatility with condenser and ribbon mic options that shine in different applications and sound authentically organic for a guitar that would make a great option for the stage and home as a long-term investment. 

Read our full Yamaha A5R A.R.E review

2. Yamaha CG-TA TransAcoustic Classical Guitar

The best Yamaha acoustic for new nylon string classical players


Price: $699/£619/€589

Type: Nylon-string acoustic with built-in reverb and chorus effects

Top: Solid Engelmann spruce

Back & sides: Ovangkol laminate

Neck: Nato

Scale: 25.5"

Fingerboard: Rosewood

Frets: 19

Tuners: Yamaha gold open gear |

Electronics: System70 TransAcoustic and piezo pickup|

Left-handed: No

Finish: Natural

Reasons to buy

+Inspiring onboard effects+A great choice for fingerstyle+Good playability for classical newcomers

Reasons to avoid

-Half of the price is for the TransAcoustic technology here

The most recent addition to Yamaha’s TransAcoustic technology might actually be the best platform for it. Creating reverb and chorus effects using the guitar’s body - and without the need for an amp or plugging in - reverb especially really adds a whole new dimension to the nylon-string playing experience. 

The CG-TA is good for players who want a nylon-string as a starter classical instrument or an alternative to their steel-stringed instrument. Playability here is friendly if you’re moving to a flat and wider neck for the first time. 

If you're looking for songwriting inspiration, the sense of atmosphere and drama the reverb effects here (with hall and room options) could prove irresistible. It needs to be heard to be believed. 

Read our full Yamaha CG-TA TransAcoustic review

3. Yamaha SLG200S Silent Guitar

The best Yamaha acoustic guitar for practice


Price: $699/£599/€649

Type: Electro-only acoustic with built-in effects and collapsible body

Frame: Rosewood and maple

Neck: Mahogany

Scale: 25"

Fingerboard: Rosewood

Frets: 22

Tuners: Chrome die-cast

Electronics : SRT pickup system with effects and tuner

Left-handed: No

Finish: Natural (pictured), Tobacco Brown Sunburst, Translucent Black Steel, Crimson Red Burst

Reasons to buy

+Great plugged-in performance+Effects and tuner onboard+Folds down for portability

Reasons to avoid

-If you want to play without a PA, amp or headphones – look elsewhere

It looks… different, and it is different. The latest model in Yamaha’s evolution of the Silent Guitar concept doesn’t just sound incredible through a PA, you can pack it down for travel and plug your headphones in for late night practice. 

The SLG200S has barely any acoustic volume unless you’re plugging in which makes it a great option if you want to enjoy detailed acoustic tones without disturbing anyone. And you’ll get them here – with added reverb, chorus effects, tuner and EQ too. 

If you’ve got an open mind to its very untraditional looks, the SLG200S offers a genuinely innovative proposition for home, away and even the stage. 

Read our full Yamaha SLG200S review

4. Yamaha Storia II

The best Yamaha acoustic guitar for beginners


Price: $429/£354

Type: Concert electro-acoustic

Top: Solid mahogany

Back & sides: Mahogany laminate

Neck: Nato

Scale: 25"

Fingerboard: Walnut

Frets: 20

Tuners: Open gear Champagne-Gold

Electronics: Yamaha passive undersaddle piezo pickups

Left-handed: No

Finish: Natural with Ultramarine interior

Reasons to buy

+Great design for new players+Contemporary looks+Great playability

Reasons to avoid

-No options for left-handed players

The beginner experience with an acoustic guitar is crucial - otherwise there’s a risk you won’t stick at it and you’ll miss out on a lifetime of enjoyment. The Storia series hits a home run for newcomers with great playability but also sound and contemporary looks too. 

The compact concert size and slightly shorter scale combine with a slim neck for an accessible and well-designed starter instrument, but the performance here is something all players will appreciate. Details like colour accents in the soundhole and brass bridge pins also give the Storia II a stylish edge that would look great resting in your lounge.

Further scope is provided by a passive piezo pickup, so there’s no excuses not to take it along to the next open mic night. 

Read the full Yamaha Storia II review

5. Yamaha CSF3M

A fantastic small-bodied acoustic guitar


Price: $589/£499/€599

Type: Short-scale concert-size electro acoustic

Top: Solid Sitka spruce

Back & sides: Solid mahogany

Neck: Nato

Scale: 23.6"

Fingerboard: Rosewood

Frets: 20

Tuners: Die-cast chrome

Electronics: Yamaha passive SRT piezo

Left-handed: No

Finish: Vintage Natural, Tobacco Sunburst (pictured)

Reasons to buy

+Great projection +Surprisingly rich sounds for a smaller size+Solid wood top, back and sides

Reasons to avoid

-Some players may prefer an active piezo pickup

Saying the CSF3M is a great travel guitar isn’t really doing it justice; it’s a surprisingly versatile electro acoustic all-rounder that sounds greater than it’s small dimensions may suggest. 

It’s also a solid wood build – rare for a travel-size instrument in this price range and making a case for it being Yamaha’s best value acoustic guitar. It even offers a passive piezo if you want to gig with it. 

A slightly wider neck than the competition works in its favour; making it feel less cramped than other guitars around the 23.6” scale, and suitable for fingerstyle players. It also arguably contributes to the impressive projection here.  

Read our full Yamaha CSF3M review

6. Yamaha FG800M

The best value entry-level Yamaha acoustic guitar


Price: $325/£219/€225

Type: Dreadnought-size acoustic

Top: Solid spruce

Back & sides: Nato

Neck: Nato

Scale: 25.5"

Fingerboard: Rosewood

Frets: 20

Tuners: Die-cast chrome

Left-handed: No

Finish: Matt Natural

Reasons to buy

+A solid performer for beginners+Good playability+Affordable

Reasons to avoid

-No left-handed option

This matt-finished bargain offers Yamaha’s classic ‘Folk Guitar’ shape with quality performance and tidy build quality that strums above its price point. 

The C-shape neck profile should appeal to the majority of players and the FG is actually Yamaha’s take on the evergreen dreadnought style body – so expect a decent low end response to balance its crisp highs. 

The FG800M would make for an ideal first acoustic step for a new player, or a great guitar for the home to branch out from electric guitar with. It’s a superb showcase of Yamaha’s commitment to offering quality across a wide spectrum of price ranges. 

Read our full Yamaha FG800M review

7. Yamaha FG5 Red Label

The best solid wood, non cutaway Yammy acoustic


Price: $1,199/£1,197/€1,366

Type: Traditional Western acoustic

Top: Solid Sitka spruce A.R.E

Back & sides: Solid mahogany

Neck: Mahogany

Scale: 25"

Fingerboard: Ebony

Frets: 20

Tuners: Gotoh open gear

Left-handed: No

Finish: Semi Gloss Natural

Reasons to buy

+A vintage return with modern updates+A great all-round flat top acoustic+Quality build 

Reasons to avoid

-25" is slightly shorter than many dreadnoughts so worth comparing  

A rare example of the company looking back, this ‘Traditional Western’ alternative to the ubiquitous dreadnought takes inspiration from the coveted 1960s-era Nippon Gakki Red Label models. But in true Yamaha style, the FG5 features a number of contemporary touches.

The A.R.E wood torrefication process seeks to enhance the resonance of the solid Sitka spruce top and the semi gloss finish help give it a subtle vintage class. The new scalloped bracing also gives this an enhanced projection. 

With an equilibrium between the treble and bass here, this new take on an old favourite shines for chordwork, but resonant single notes under fingerstyle underline a great all-purpose acoustic option if you’re looking to invest in this solid wood option. 

Read our full Yamaha FG5 Red Label review

8. Yamaha LS-TA TransAcoustic

The best TransAcoustic steel-string available today


Price: $1,079/£899/€949

Type: Small body electro acoustic with onboard reverb and chorus effects

Top: Solid Engelmann Spruce with A.R.E treatment

Back & sides: Solid rosewood

Neck: Mahogany and rosewood 5ply

Scale: 25.5"

Fingerboard: Ebony

Frets: 20

Tuners: Gotoh chrome open gear

Electronics: System70 TransAcoustic and piezo pickup|

Left-handed: No

Finish: Brown Sunburst (pictured), Vintage Tint

Reasons to buy

+Decent spec+The TransAcoustic effects needs to be heard to be believed+An impressive guitar even without the effects

Reasons to avoid

-Some players may prefer the larger-bodied LL and FG models

Yamaha’s TransAcoustic series is so enjoyable to play, the company now offer models at various price points. But we think this higher end example offers the best all-round experience with solid rosewood back and sides, A.R.E treated top and the LS body shape that should appeal to a wide range of players.

Even without the incredible reverb and chorus sounds this guitar creates while still unplugged, it’s an inspiring performer thanks to high spec and build quality. The additional effects make for a very strong package here, one that could be a source of inspiration that outshines other acoustic guitars. 

Read our full Yamaha LS-TA TransAcoustic review

Best Yamaha acoustic guitars: Buying advice

Different players have varying needs from a guitar; some of us only want to play at home, while others need an acoustic that will deliver live, or an instrument that they can travel with. It’s important to consider what you need from a potential Yamaha acoustic guitar purchase – but above all else, it needs to play well and sound great. 

Playability and sound are the foremost qualities we have taken into consideration in our recommendations in this guide, but other key factors will also play a part in a buying decision for players and we’ve made sure to cover select models that represent the following features Yamaha offers.


Some models come with an onboard acoustic guitar pickup and often a preamp too to enable them to be amplified for live performance. Yamaha models can include either passive or active pickups – the latter will require replaceable batteries and will usually offer added onboard control over EQ and higher output. 

Some preamp systems even include microphone-modelling for you to mix with the piezo sound for a more organic character. 

An additional type of electronics is offers by Yamaha in its TransAcoustic series. Yamaha’s TransAcoustic technology uses the guitar’s own body as the ‘speaker’ for built-in reverb and chorus effects with no amp or pedals required; the circuitry is inside the guitar.  

Solid and laminate woods

You should look for a Yamaha acoustic that has a solid wood top as this is the most important part of the guitar when it comes to vibrating the sound. Some guitars also have solid wood backs and sides, and these usually mature and age over time in a way that adds more detail to the guitar's tones.

Some acoustic guitar models offer backs and sides made from layered/laminate woods and these tend to be more affordable than solid wood options. They can also have the advantage of being more resilient to seasonal and home temperature changes to offer great tuning stability and can be more robust to cracks. 

A.R.E (Acoustic Resonance Enhancement)

This is Yamaha’s process that aims to capture the warmer and sweeter tones that can be created by mature tonewoods. The company are keen to point out it’s not an aging process but uses specialised equipment in a process that precisely controls temperature, humidity, and atmospheric pressure to transform the wood used for a guitar’s top.

Sours: https://www.musicradar.com/news/best-yamaha-acoustic-guitars

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The 3 Best Acoustic Guitars for Beginners

Paul has been a passionate player, recorder, and listener of guitar music for over 35 years. Born in the UK, he now lives in Florida, USA.

As both a musician and tutor for many years, I know that for many people can find buying their first guitar intimidating. As a beginner, you are faced with a bewildering array of choices and advice, and can easily feel like you just don't know where to start.

Although guitars can look pretty similar to an inexperienced eye, they all have differing qualities and traits, such as how easy they are to play, how expensive they are, and the tone and the quality of the sound that they produce, as well as other features such as their color and size.

The process of choosing and buying can easily feel overwhelming if you are not careful, but generally speaking, most learners need an instrument that is relatively easy to play, have a great sound, but also be relatively inexpensive.

I personally would recommend against selecting an instrument on the basis of its color, or focusing too much on its overall appearance. For sure, there are some very beautiful guitars out there, but these instruments are primarily for making music, as far as I am concerned, and therefore how they play and sound are the most important features, especially for a learner.

Top 3 Beginner Acoustic Guitars

Below are my three 3 selections:

  • The Epiphone DR-100: Reliable Quality for an Excellent Price
  • The Yamaha FG800: Rich Overtones and Kind on the Fingers
  • Seagull S6 Original: Gorgeoust Tone and Great Craftmanship

I go into more details and give my reasons for my choices below.

The Epiphone DR-100: Reliable Quality for an Excellent Price

Epiphone are an American company with a long and proud history of guitar making. They were founded by Anastasios Stathopoulos way back in 1873 and were Gibson's main rival up until the 1960's. I've owned and played many of their guitars over the years and have always found their instruments to be well built and excellent value for money.

The Epiphone DR-100 has a classic dreadnought shape and is a seasoned bestseller. It has a select spruce top, mahogany neck, back and sides, and a rosewood fingerboard. Frankly, you can't go wrong with this instrument, especially when you consider that it's positioned at the more affordable end of the price scale, making it ideal for learners.

My Epiphone DR-100 Pros

  • Very playable, which is essential for a beginner.
  • The solid spruce top gives this guitar a rich resonance and tone.
  • Excellent value for money. A great guitar for the price.
  • Well built using quality wood. This guitar will last forever if you look after it.
  • It punches above its weight for sound quality, especially when you consider it's an affordable guitar.
  • Versatile, it suits most styles, including slide guitar.
  • As a dreadnought, this guitar is relatively large, meaning more fret space and less opportunity for a learner to mess up!

My Epiphone DR-100 Cons

  • I seriously struggle to find any downsides with this guitar. There are better, more expensive guitars, but the DR-100 is difficult to beat within its price range.

The Yamaha FG800: Rich Overtones and Kind on the Fingers

I have been a huge fan of Yamaha for many years. They make some excellent guitars for all skill levels and various tastes, and make some of the best instruments for beginners. So when my daughter was learning to play the guitar, I bought her a FG800 Acoustic. It's a relatively inexpensive instrument and great for beginners.

My daughter loves to play this guitar, and I love to play it too, when she lets me! The solid sitka spruce top and rosewood fingerboard both contribute towards this instrument looking, sounding and feeling great, it's simply a joy to play.

My Yamaha FG800 Pros

  • An affordable option, plus you can often pick up some great bundle deals that include a case and other excellent stuff.
  • It holds its tune well, which is good generally, but particularly for beginners.
  • I love the solid solid spruce top which contributes to the great tone. It really sounds amazing for a guitar in this price range.
  • The small body works well for smaller or younger players.

My Yamaha FG800 Cons

  • The action was a little on the high side in my opinion. I ended up getting it lowered from my daughter.

Seagull S6 Original: Gorgeoust Tone and Great Craftmanship

Compared to the other two guitars in my list, the Seagull S6 Original may appear to be a little on the expensive side, but it does offer fantastic value for money. You will struggle to find another guitar for under $500 that's made with the same level of craftsmanship. It really is worth every single penny you pay for it, in my opinion.

A dreadnought by nature, the Seagull S6 has an understated beauty about it. It feels sturdy and durable, but delivers a sweet, rich, warm tone. A beginner may start with this guitar, but will love it for life.

My Seagull S6 Pros

  • Thanks in part to the wild cherry sides and back, this guitar delivers a sound to die for. If that doesn't inspire you to learn to play, I don't know what will.
  • Holds its tune very well.
  • It's a great guitar for fingerpicking.
  • The rosewood fretboard is kind on the fingers.
  • This guitar will last you well beyond your learner period.

My Seagull S6 Cons

  • I ended up tweaking the set-up a little by changing the string saddle.

6 Best Acoustic Guitar Accessories

As well as your guitar, you might also want to seriously consider investing in:

  1. A strap - This will provide you with the option of playing your guitar while standing up, as well as seated.
  2. A tuner - Tuning the guitar and then keeping it in tune can be very challenging for beginners. An electronic tuner can be a very useful aid. I also know from experience that tuning up by ear in a noisy place can be virtually impossible, an electronic tuner gets around this issue.
  3. A pickup - This makes electronically amplifying your instrument relatively easy, enabling you to play larger and noisier venues. It also means that you can record your guitar without the need for a microphone. A pickup also facilitates the use of effects pedals.
  4. A case or bag - These will protect your instrument from potential damage such as scratches and impacts when you are in transit, and can also make transportation much easier. There is typically room too for things like picks, spare strings, tuning devices, and straps. A case is also a great place to keep your guitar when it's not in use.
  5. A capo - This device is fastened to the neck of the guitar and is a great tool for changing key without altering the chord shapes. Changing key is very useful if you are playing with other instruments, or backing a singer.
  6. A book for beginners - Most acoustic players start out by learning to make chord shapes and strumming the strings (rather than finger-picking them). A book that shows diagrams of the most common and also easiest chords can be invaluable for a learner. There are many great publications out there, but I would personally recommend The First 100 Chords for Guitar: How to Learn and Play Guitar Chords: The Complete Beginner Guitar Method for learners, which is available for free at the time of writing, when it's downloaded in a Kindle format.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

Question: What's the best acoustic guitar for a complete beginner?

Answer: I would recommend something from the Takamine G Series. They are reliable and easy to play guitars that offer excellent value for money. They're great for beginners in my experience. My personal favorite is the GD30 dreadnought. It's at the more affordable end of the price range, but it delivers a rich and resonant tone, thanks in part to the solid spruce top. The cutaway body enables me to reach the high frets, which I like when I'm plucking melodies and soloing, rather than strumming chords. It's a solid guitar, which I'm convinced will outlive me.

© 2012 Paul Goodman

New Guestbook Comments

fenderstrat928 on November 11, 2012:

Great lense and suggestions for beginner guitarists!

efriedman on March 20, 2012:

Nice to see suggestions for entry level players

sousababy on March 09, 2012:

Music enriches our lives so much - I feel it's essential to try out one instrument, at least. I played piano, however I always felt a guitar would've been better since I could simply carry it with me to a beach party or get together.

WriterJanis2 on February 26, 2012:

My son plays guitar. I'll have to show him this.

chrisssy on February 24, 2012:

Picked up a guitar once, failed miserably. Great lens, maybe i'll try again

buttonhead lm on February 24, 2012:

Great list! These are fairly inexpensive too. Thanks!

Jethro from Philippines on February 16, 2012:

I love guitars but I'm not playing my guitar in our house a lot. Instead my father plays with it. Anyway, I like your selection of guitars. Keep it up! :)

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