Do you need to be a guitar expert to choose the right acoustic guitar? No, let me help you. Choosing your best acoustic guitar is ever simpler than you think
Best Acoustic Guitar Reviews In 2018 – The Complete Buyer’s Guide
Looking for the best acoustic guitar may seem like an impossible task. With all the brands in the market today competing in providing you with a guitar that will suit your needs and skills, you will need to prepare yourself with the right knowledge so that you can choose the perfect guitar.
Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or an expert when it comes to guitars, there’s an essential buying guide that you should follow for you to pick the best one out there. I will discuss later in this article the ultimate buying guide that you need to follow so that you can be fully prepped if you visit your local shop of guitars.
I totally understand the feeling of being nervous when you first come to a store to check guitars that you like, but it’s important to remember to be bold and try out the guitars that you think you will like the most. When it comes to guitars, you shouldn’t buy based on impulse. You should know how the guitar feels, its comfort, check the size if it fits you and its sound quality.
In this article, I will show you top 5 acoustic guitars on the market today that’s right within your budget, analysis and award winners base on their construction, sound quality, and pros/cons. I’ve also chosen what the guitars are best for (sound quality, build quality, value, etc.), and the article also includes a quick guide on how to choose the best guitar and the factors that you should consider.
There’s still no brand that perfected a guitar, but there’s surely a guitar that is best for you in the market today.
Ok! Let me help you. Choosing the best acoustic guitar is ever simpler than you think
Best Acoustic Guitar: Reviews, Analysis and Award Winners
First of all, I will show you which guitars is best for overall rating, for the budget, for sound and build quality, backpacking or travel…base on my testing lab and criteria for evaluation. After that, I will have in-depth analysis on each guitar. So keep your reading to see which guitar is best for you.
Best Acoustic Guitar #1: Taylor GS Mini – The Best Overall Acoustic Guitar
I’ve chosen the Taylor GS Mini Mahogany GS Mini for the best overall acoustic guitar because both of its sound and build quality exceeds most expectations of the people in the guitar world. Even with its small size, this guitar produces volume comparable to full-sized guitars.
Not only that, but the Taylor GS Mini is made with the same construction with the expensive guitars of Taylor which is why you can be sure that it can withstand years of playing. It’s also affordable and within the range of many beginners to intermediate guitar players. Plus, it can do both fingerstyle and strumming playing.
Taylor GS Mini Mahogany Acoustic Guitar
- Hardware and durability - 9.3/10
- Sound - 9.5/10
- Value - 9.6/10
- Impression - 8.8/10
- Features - 9.5/10
- Action, Fit and Finish - 9/10
Best Acoustic Guitar #2: Yamaha FG700S Acoustic Guitar – Best Acoustic Guitar for Money
How amazing is it to get the Yamaha logo on your guitar with your budget under $400? Yes, that’s right, with your budget of $400; you get a guitar that’s high in build and sound quality. Not only that, but you also get the limited warranty that’s offered by this well-known brand. It is Yamaha FG700S Acoustic Guitar
Made with solid tonewoods and build quality by Yamaha, you can be sure that you get the best value for your money. Plus, you can play almost every genre you can think of with this guitar. With this guitar, you won’t need to get an upgraded guitar when you become an intermediate player because the sound becomes clearer and better the more skilled you become.
Yamaha FG700s Acoustic Guitar Editor's Review
- Sound - 9.8/10
- Design - 9.7/10
- Reliability & Durability - 9.7/10
- Hardware - 9.5/10
- Value - 9.9/10
This guitar is known as a perfect one for beginners. Among the guitars with the same price I have to say that the Yamaha FG700s Acoustic Guitar is one of the cheapest and best options in the market.
Best Acoustic Guitar #3 – Fender CD-60 Dreadnought – Best Build Quality Acoustic Guitar
I’ve chosen the Fender CD-60 Dreadnought for the acoustic guitar that’s best in build quality. For one thing, Fender is known for their attention to detail when it comes to constructing their guitars, and they have their shop if you’re looking to customize your guitar.
The CD-60, in particular, is considered as one of their best guitars because the quality of sound it produces and built. It uses a gloss polyurethane finish which makes the guitar more durable, and it cannot be easily dented or scratched. Even if it uses laminated tonewoods, you can instantly feel its durability and strength of the guitar.
Fender CD-60CE Dreadnought Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar
- Hardware and Durability - 9/10
- Sound - 9.5/10
- Value - 9.3/10
- Impression - 9.5/10
- Features - 9/10
- Action, Fit and Finish - 8.5/10
Best Acoustic Guitar #4 – Best Travel Guitar: LX1E Little Martin Travel Guitar
For the acoustic guitar with the best review, I’ve chosen the LX1E Little Martin Travel Guitar w/ Fishman Pickup because it’s one of those guitars that has a lot of advantages that can outweigh any disadvantage it has.
The LX1E Little Martin is made with simple, yet durable and quality tonewoods. Not only that, but it’s equipped with quality materials that all adds up to how the guitar feels and sounds overall. It’s the perfect guitar for people who love to travel because it’s light in weight and it produces a great sound which is why it can be easily considered as the best acoustic guitar.
Best Acoustic Guitar #5: Seagull S6 – Best Sound Quality
I’ve awarded the Seagull S6 for the acoustic guitar that’s best in sound quality because of the outstanding sound it produces and its ability to match the player’s skill and effort in playing. The tonewoods that were used for the S6 are the same materials that are used with the other guitars of Seagull which is why you can be confident with its built quality.
What makes this guitar different from other guitars is the signature top wood of Seagull which is the pressure-tested solid cedar that (what the company says) are experimented, tested and proven to enhance the sound quality of the guitar.
Top 5 Best Acoustic Guitars – Depth Analysis And Reviews
Acoustic Guitar Reviews #1: Yamaha FG700S
There are only a few guitars under the $400 price range that can compete with guitars at a much higher price, and the Yamaha FG700S are one of them. If you’re looking for an entry-level or travel guitar, then you should check out this guitar.
When you look at the FG700S, you may think that you already know what this guitar may sound and feel like. Because of its old school look, many people mistake it as one of those guitars with high action and low-quality sound, but that is where they are wrong.
The FG700S is made by the famous Yamaha brand which means you can trust its build quality. For one thing, it uses simple yet robust materials for it to be durable and have excellent sound. It has a solid Sitka spruce for the top wood, rosewood for the fingerboard and bridge, Nato for the back and side and high-gloss for the finish.
Like any other traditional looking acoustic guitars, it has a black and white body binding, a tortoise pickguard and a dreadnought body shape to complete the look. Because of these simple and conventional materials, the guitar produces sound quality that you’ll hear from most acoustic guitars, but in a comfortable and easy way of playing.
What I like about the Yamaha FG700S is its ability to be sold at an affordable price, but still give you a higher quality material that you won’t often find in guitars at this price range. Because of its acoustic sound, you can play almost any genre. Plus, with its high-quality performance, you won’t need to upgrade to a better and more expensive guitar unless you’ve reached an intermediate player skill.
I also love the chrome die-cast tuners because the guitar is easy to tune and stays that way for a period. I can’t find any fault with this guitar, so I guess the only disadvantage it has is its very traditional look.
Acoustic Guitar Reviews #2: Seagull S6
One of the most popular companies to produce handmade guitars in the U.S. is the Seagull guitars. Known for their durable guitars with outstanding sound quality, Seagull has won the hearts of many guitar players all around the world.
Seagull is known to manufacture high-end guitars, but in recent years, they have started to create guitars in the affordable price range. The S6 is very popular with beginner to intermediate player. Even expert guitarists recommend this guitar because of its ability to produce great sounds.
The S6 is also made with materials that are exclusive to the Seagull Guitars. The top wood is made with pressure-tested solid cedar that (the company explains) a different tonal quality that you wouldn’t find in any other acoustic guitar.
The fingerboard and bridge are made of rosewood, and the back and side uses Canadian wild cherry which is typical with Seagull guitars. With a price of $429, the guitar is equipped with Tusq nut and compensated saddle and a semi-gloss lacquer finish.
Although the company manufactured this as an entry-level guitar, it has earned the spot to be considered as an intermediate level guitar because of the sound quality it produces. The S6 delivers a bright tone which makes the notes ring longer and clearer. Plus, the notes are also more discernible and more audible which makes any mistake noticeable. This will allow you to push yourself further because you would need to play cleaner.
Because of its bright tones, I can say that this guitar is not for everyone. You will notice that it doesn’t have a bluesy sound and has a lesser base compared to other acoustic guitars (because of the cedar top). One more thing I noticed about this guitar is its thick neck which can make other players uncomfortable, especially when it comes to reaching barre chords.
Acoustic Guitar Reviews #3: Fender CD-60 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
The Fender guitars are well-known in the rock ‘n’ roll community. Famous for their handmade guitars and one-of-a-kind custom shop, Fender is pushing themselves to improve their guitars with what their customers want.
The Fender CD-60 is one of the most popular models of Fender. At a price of $230, you get a high-quality guitar. I’ve awarded this particular guitar with the best build quality because of the materials used and the outstanding craftsmanship of the company.
The CD-60 uses laminated spruce for its top wood, snorkeling for the fingerboard and bridge, nato for its neck wood and laminated mahogany for the back and sides. Even if it just uses laminate instead of real wood, Fender has done a great job making the guitar durable.
It has a gloss polyurethane finish which enables the guitar to have high durability that cannot be easily scratched or get dents when bumped to any surface like wood or even concrete. It’s not just the construction why I like this guitar; it’s also Fender’s ability to equip it with excellent materials even with its affordable price range.
The CD-60 is equipped with Urea compensated saddle and nut, die-cast chrome for the tuners and Fender 60L Phosphor Bronze for the strings. Not only that, but it also has Fender’s Scalloped X Bracing, which helps the guitar to feel comfortable and enhance its quality as well.
The action is comfortable with this guitar, which is impressive in this price range. Plus, it has a relatively rich and deep tone when strummed which you often find in dreadnought acoustic guitars. It has great volume, which can match your effort, however, light or hard you strum.
The only thing that I don’t like about the CD-60 is that it falls short on sound whenever fingerpicked because it lacks a definition of notes and clarity. That is why I only recommend this guitar for people who prefer strumming than fingerstyle.
Acoustic Guitar Reviews #4: LX1E Little Martin Travel Guitar
Martin guitars are famous for their ability to produce both great sound and build quality. It’s very rare that you find their guitar that’s poorly made or has a lot of disadvantages. One of their most loved travel guitars is the LX1E Little Martin who also has another version of Ed Sheeran.
This LX1E guitar has a smaller size compared to full-sized guitars. It has a nut width of 1-11/16” and a scale length of 23”. But even with this compact size, Ed Sheeran has proved that even with a small guitar, you can produce loud and incredible sound quality.
This guitar uses traditional tonewoods that you’ll find on the market today. It has a solid Sitka spruce for the top wood, Morado for the fingerboard and bridge and mahogany for the back and side. What makes this guitar unique though are the materials that they equipped it with.
It had a white Corian for the nut and compensated white Tusq Bridge for the saddle. It also uses Gotoh nickel for the tuners and Modified 1 Style Bracing pattern to enhance the guitar. Plus, with its price of $439, you also get the Fishman Isys T electronics which work great.
When you’re looking for a travel buddy, then you should check out the LX1E. Because of its size, it’s the perfect guitar for traveling which you can easily carry around anywhere and anytime. It is light in weight, and the finish is lighter compared to another guitar, but it feels durable enough to protect your guitar from scratches and dents.
One thing I noticed about the LX1E is that it produces a bright sound and has lesser bass. Plus, because of its small size, the sound lacks volume even if you strum it hard. This means it’s more suitable for fingerstyle kind of players.
Acoustic Guitar Reviews #5: Taylor GS Mini Mahogany GS Mini Acoustic Guitar, Sapele, Mahogany Top
When it comes to acoustic guitars, you’ll find Taylor Guitars at the top of the list. Whether you’re looking for an affordable guitar or a high-end one, Taylor guitars ensure that you’ll find one of their products on the list the best acoustic guitar.
The Taylor GS Mini is one of the most famous and loved guitars in the market today because it’s not only affordable, but it has the great build and sound quality that you don’t often find in most guitars. Plus, I’ve awarded this guitar with the best overall quality because I believe that its capabilities have exceeded mine and everyone’s expectations.
The GS Mini is also smaller compared to full-sized guitars, but it packs a punch. The nut width has a measurement of 1-11/16” and its scale length has 23-1/2”. It also has the great Taylor Grand Symphony Mini body shape which is famous for its loud sound.
What makes this guitar sing loud are the different tonewoods that were used. It has a solid mahogany for the top wood, genuine African ebony for the fingerboard and bridge (typical wood used by Taylor), and layered Sapele for the neck, back and side of the guitar.
The guitar is also equipped with excellent materials which you can often expect in Taylor guitars. It used Micarte “Wave” saddle and Tusq nut, chrome GS Mini with Chrome Buttons for the tuners, GS Mini with Relief Rout for the bracing and finished off with Matte 2.0.
What I love about the GS Mini is the ability to be consistent in everything it does. The intonation stays the same whatever you do, it stays in tune for a long time, and the build quality is flawless even if Taylor used simple tonewoods. The size brings total comfort, the volume can match your effort in playing and reaching open chords are very easy with this guitar.
How to Choose The Best Acoustic Guitar
When choosing the best acoustic guitar, it’s important to consider a number of factors to ensure that you pick the perfect one for you. Here’s a quick list of the factors that you should think about before buying your guitar:
- Budget: It’s important to set a budget you’re willing to spend for your guitar. This price range will tell whether your guitar will be basic at most or will have quality materials to enhance its sound quality.
- Brand: Even if you’re buying your first ever guitar, it’s important that you choose one with a famous logo to ensure that you get a quality construction as well as the warranty from the company.
- Tonal quality and wood: Guitars have their tonal qualities. You should know whether you’re more interested in playing deep or bright sounds. This preference will also determine what type of woods that you should look for because it will define the sound quality of the guitar.
When choosing the guitars on my list, I used my own criteria for judging. Although you may have read other reviews and the buying guide with the same products, I chose these guitars for specific reasons.
- Sound Quality: I ensure that the guitars I’ve decided are tested and proven to have great quality sounds. They differ in tonal qualities because some of them are rich in bass and others have bright tones. That is why you should first understand your preference in music and genre so that you can choose a guitar suitable for your kind of music.
- Build quality: Of course, when we spend our money, we would want the products to last for years. The guitars on my list have warranties of their own, and they are made by well-known brands that handmade their guitars with extreme attention to detail.
- Budget: If you’ve noticed, the guitars on this list are just under $500. I’ve specifically chosen this price range because entry-level to intermediate guitars are usually within this price range. They already have great materials equipped with them to ensure that you get the best quality for your guitar.
If you’re going to choose between these five guitars in my list, I recommend that you choose the Taylor GS Mini because its overall quality is just outstanding. Not only does it have great construction, but its sound quality will definitely exceed your expectation because of its size. I consider this as the best acoustic guitar in this price range when compared to other guitars.
Also, when you’re going to check guitars at your local shop, you should make sure that you carry your criteria for judging guitars and do not forget about the factors that you would need to consider. This will cut your list of guitars by half, which will make it easier for you to choose the best one in the end.