Can You Buy The Best Acoustic Guitar Under $300?
There are some quality acoustic guitars available on the market under $300
A lot of people say that on most items you buy, what you pay is what you get. But in the world of guitars, top brand manufacturers are creating acoustic guitars at very affordable prices. Today, $300 is already enough to get you a guitar that’s durable and has excellent sound quality.
When top brands like Yamaha, Taylor, Fender and other well-known manufacturers creates a guitar; you can expect that the detail of their construction is attended even on their affordable products. That is why the market today is flooded with lots of competitions with brands doing their best to catch your attention.
Looking for your first ever guitar can be a confusing task, especially for beginners. So, how do you really choose the right one among all the best acoustic guitars under $300?
First of all, you will need to make sure that you choose a guitar from a well-known brand. It’s understandable that you would like to buy a guitar that’s cheap, but I recommend that you buy a quality guitar that’s stamped to motivate you even further or make it easier for you to sell it if playing the guitar is really not your thing.
Second, it’s not only the brand that you should consider but also the type of wood that was used, the different features the guitar has and its overall sound quality. All these things will be explained later in the article. The last factor that you should consider when looking for a guitar is the affordability.
In this article, I will show you the criteria when choosing an acoustic guitar and the best acoustic guitars under $300. Amongst all the guitars on the market today, I’ve summed it up to at least five guitars to make it easier for you to choose.
Criteria for Evaluating the Top 5 Best Acoustic Guitars under $300
Here are the criteria that I used to pick the five best acoustic guitars under $300. These criteria will help you understand on how much you like the overall appearance, built, and sound quality of the guitar.
- Body style – Acoustic guitars comes in many different shapes and sizes. The size of the guitar determines the tonal emphasis and the sound projection it has. I chose these five guitars mainly because they have either traditional or dreadnought type of body style. A dreadnought body style has a driving sound that’s powerful and loud enough to be heard across a room.
- Neck size– One of the criteria that I chose for these guitars is the comfort it can bring to the player. You’ll know that you’re comfortable with the guitar if your hand perfectly fits the neck. The neck is usually based on the size of the guitar and the number of frets it has. All these five guitars you’ll see later in this article have average neck sizes that are just perfect for beginners.
- Intonation – This is where you determine your guitar is in tune or not. An acoustic guitar that doesn’t have proper tuning is useless when being played or recorded. Because of the tuners and buttons that were used by the manufacturers, the guitars that were chosen for this article can stay in tune for long periods of time even if you play it a couple of hours a day.
- Fingerboard and Bridge – The materials that are used for the fingerboard and bridge does give a minimal effect on the sound of the guitar, but are also important. The fingerboards of the guitars that were chosen for this article are sure to have clean fingerboards. It means that you don’t have to go to a luthier (someone who builds or works on guitars) to sand the wood.
- Action – It’s important for any beginner to choose a guitar that has a good action (the distance of the strings from the frets). Non-branded guitars that are cheap usually have the bad action which can leave the player painful and numb hands just after 2- 3 hours of playing. The guitars that are chosen below ensure that the action is pretty decent that can leave any player satisfied after long hours of playing.
- Weight – Other criteria that I looked for to choose these five guitars are its weights. Although almost all of the guitars have the same measurements, it’s important that you choose a guitar that won’t hold you down. The picked guitars are not only within your budget, but they are also light in weight which will help you carry it around when you’re travelling. Plus, it’ll be more comfortable for you when you start playing while standing.
Top 5 Best Acoustic Guitars under $300
Like what I mentioned earlier, it can be a confusing task to look for a guitar which is why I’ve already gathered the top 5 best acoustic guitars under $300. These guitars are considered as the best-selling of their brands and will exceed your expectations.
1. Best Acoustic Guitars under $300 #1: Taylor BT2 Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitar
The Taylor BT2 Baby Taylor is considered as one of the most famous guitars when it comes to building and sound quality. It has a nut width of 1 11/16” and a scale length of 22 ¾” which is a little smaller compared to full-sized guitars.
What makes the Taylor BT2 unique compared their competitor is that the manufacturers used tropical mahogany for the top wood and neck, which helps the guitar to create rich, little notes that’re almost the same as big guitars.
The fingerboard and the bridge of this guitar are made from genuine African ebony which is a signature wood that is always used by Taylor. The back and sides are made from laminated Sapele that’s known to be durable and affordable at the same time.
All the woods of the Taylor BT2 have a Matte varnish that gives the guitar a classic old school vintage look. Plus, it adds more character to the guitar, which gives the guitar more power and projection.
It’s also equipped with the signature Taylor Standard Baby X Bracing, Chrome Baby Tuners and Button and Tusq for the nut and saddle. What also adds the richness of the tone is the dreadnought 3/4th-Scale.
As for the sound of the Taylor BT2 Baby Taylor, even though it’s small in size, it has big and loud sounds that can be heard across the room. Its bold tone can project every note with accuracy and precision which is very surprising for its size. The Matter finish resonates the notes longer, adds a little more bass and the chords are more powerful and richer.
What people like about this guitar is it has a good feel even for its small size. It’s very fun to play with because it has excellent sound quality and great look. Plus, because of the chrome tuners and buttons, it stays in tune and consistent for a long period.
There are also some people who find the Taylor BT2 uncomfortable to play because they are already used to play full-sized guitars. Overall, the Taylor BT2 Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitar is small in size, but big in sound which is great for its price.
2. Best Acoustic Guitars under $300 #2: Fender CD-60 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar with Hard Case – All Mahogany
If you’re a fan of guitars, then you are familiar with the Fender Company. They’re known for their Stratocaster and Telecaster. Although they are known to produce expensive guitars, their affordable ones also have the same quality when it comes to construction and sound.
The Fender CD-60 has a nut width of 1.69” and the scale length is 25.3” which is considered as a full-sized guitar. The top, neck, back and sides of the guitar are made from laminated mahogany which also produces rich, mellow notes.
The fingerboard and bridge of the CD-60 are made from rosewood which has synthetic bone and compensated saddle. All the woods have a gloss finish which adds crisp in the tones which are perfect for fingerstyle players because of its dullness.
The Fender CD-60 is equipped with Scalloped X Bracing, Die-cast tuners, Fender Dura-Tone Coated 80/20 Bronze (.012-.052 Gauge), Dual Action Truss Rod, Black Pickguard, 3mm Dot Position Inlays and Mother-of-Pearl Acrylic Rosette Design. Lastly, it has a dreadnought body shape which creates its rich, mellow tone. All these features help the guitar to be unique and improve its overall quality.
For the price of $229, it can be surprising that this guitar can produce deep, rich tone especially when strummed on mid-range. The action is comfortable which is perfect for beginners because it will help you learn guitar without hurting your finger too much.
There is a lot of people who love this guitar. Because of the dreadnought design, the guitar has a good feel to it and is fun to play, especially for those who have an average body size. The sound quality is excellent even for its price and is almost comparable to guitars at $500 price range. The die-cast tuners help this guitar to stay in tune for a long period which gives consistency for its tone.
With all the good things that this guitar has, there are also some faults that people found. First, it lacks clarity when fingerpicked which can be a disappointment for some people. Second, it needs a good setup job before you can actually use it. And last, some people suggest that you change the strings to more quality ones to achieve greater efficiency.
3. Best Acoustic Guitars under $300 #3: Yamaha FG700S Solid Top Acoustic Guitar, Natural
Yamaha is known as one of the top brands to manufacture musical instruments. From the most expensive ones to the affordable ones, Yamaha ensures that the build quality is top-notch, and the sound quality is incomparable.
The Yamaha FG700S has a nut width of 1 11/16” and a scale length of 25 9/16”. The body size of this guitar is quite smaller compared to full-sized guitars, but this is for the purpose of giving a guitar for those people who always like to travel.
This guitar uses solid Sitka spruce wood which has an excellent grain feel to it and, as I mentioned earlier, one of the best woods for top part of the guitar. The neck, back, and side of the FG700S are made from Nato, which is quite durable and more affordable compared to the expensive ones.
The fingerboard and bridge use rosewood which contributes to the sound quality of the guitar because of its high response rate. All the woods are finished off with a gloss that gives a great look to the guitar and adds to its durability.
What gives the FG700S most character are the features that are installed on it. First off, it uses die-cast tuners which are known to stay in tune for a long period. Right out of the box, the guitar is equipped with D’Addarrio acoustic guitar strings that are considered as high-quality strings.
The guitar itself has a Tortoise pickguard for added attraction and to give it a traditional look. It has a dreadnought body shape which is typical for acoustic guitars because of its ability to produce mellow and rich tones on any genre you play it.
A lot of people love this guitar because of the sound quality it produces. It’s very versatile which is why you can play almost any genre you like. The notes are clear to the ear, and the chords resonate very well. Plus, there’s a certain crispness to the strings if fingerpicked.
For its affordable price, the guitar is a significant investment which is why it’s included in our best acoustic guitars under $300. The FG700S is durable and can certainly withstand years of use. Plus, it stays in tune for extended periods of time and versatile to play. The only thing that the people are disappointed with this guitar is its overly traditional look.
4. Best Acoustic Guitars under $300 #4: Yamaha FG830 Acoustic Guitar, Natural
Once again, another Yamaha guitar is included in this list because of their supreme building quality and the sound it produces. One of the upgrade versions of the FG700S is the FG830.
The FG830 is like other full-sized guitars that have a nut width of 1 11/16” and a scale length of 25 9/16”. It has a traditional western body shape which gives its uniqueness because it’s quite comfortable to play.
The top wood uses one of the best kind which is the solid spruce that has a nice grain feel to it. The fingerboard, bridge, back and side uses rosewood has a rich tone to it and adds to the overall sound quality of the guitar. The neck uses Nato wood which is affordable in Asian countries but gives a great contribution to the music.
The FG830 is equipped with great features which add to the overall quality of the guitar. It has Scalloped Bracing, die-cast tuners for tuning consistency, D’Addario acoustic guitar strings that are excellent quality, Urea for the nuts and saddle and Tortoise pickguard for added looks.
The Yamaha FG830 has no doubt better sounds compared to the FG700S. It has rich overtones and great mellow notes with bright highs and deep lows that are perfect for jamming, campfires, and even recording. The playability is great and smooth that will allow any beginner to learn fast and easy.
People consider the Yamaha FG830 better compared to the FG700S, but what differentiates them the most is the $100 difference. If you liked the sound quality of the FG700S, then you would love the FG830.
For some people, they find that the neck is quite small. That is why it can be uncomfortable for people with big hands to play the guitar. Make sure that you check out the guitar at your local store first before buying the product.
Best Acoustic Guitars under $300 #5: Takamine GD20-NS Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar, Natural
Known as one of the top brands to manufacture guitars in Japan and all over the world, Takamine is surely one of the most awaited manufacturers in the world of guitars, especially acoustic-electric guitars.
When you talk about Takamine, it goes parallel with big brands like Yamaha, Fender, Taylor and much other more. One of their best-selling guitars is the GD20-NS. It has a nut width of 1 11/16” and a scale length of 25.3” which is fairly regular when talking about acoustic guitars.
The neck, back, and side of this guitar use mahogany wood that contributes to its rich, mellow sounds. The top is made from solid cedar which is the best wood for fingerstyle playing. Plus, the fingerboard and bridge are made from rosewood which enhances the overall sound quality.
All of the materials that were used help complement each other to create a guitar that’s not only durable but also deliver certain warmth to the notes. The finish of the guitar is satin which also perfect for fingerpicking players because it adds crisp to the strings.
Other features that the GD20-NS has been the following: Quartersawn X-Bracing, die-cast chrome for the tuners to help it stay in tune, D’Addario, EXP 16 Coated Phosphor Bronze (.012-.053), and Synthetic Bone for the nuts and saddle.
The sound quality of the Takamine GD20-NS is superb at its $299.99 price. If you’re a fan of fingerpicking and just have the right budget, then this guitar is definitely for you. You’ll hear every string loud and clear and the particular crisp that any player is looking for.
The action is ideal for this guitar, which a lot of beginners would love, and the level of playability is also great. It resonates every note very well and is already suitable for recording.
If you’re willing to spend a couple of more bucks to your entry-level guitar, then you should check out the Taylor BT2 Baby Taylor. It has better sound quality compared to the other guitars that were mentioned above. Plus, the features are top-notch.
When you’re going to choose among these five best acoustic guitars under $300, then I wholeheartedly recommend the Yamaha FG700S. Not only is it within the budget, but you would be surprised with its sound quality. It’s durable, versatile and is a good all-around guitar for any occasion.