Guitars are undoubtedly the most popular string instruments among musicians across the globe. While learning a guitar might be easier than a violin or other stringed instruments, it is the versatility of the instrument that mainly contributes to its popularity. The basic structure of a guitar itself can be modified. This is the reason we have acoustic and electric guitars. Even the same guitar can be made to sound a few different ways.
Quick Links To Our Best Acoustic Electric Guitar Under $300 Recommendations
- Fender CD-60SCE – OUR TOP CHOICE!
- Ovation Applause
- Jasmine JD-39CE – BLK J Series
- Washburn EA12B-A Festive Series Mini Jumbo Cutaway
- Ibanez V70CE
- Alvarez RF26CE OM/Folk
- Fender FA-235E
- Lag Guitars Tramontane T100ASCE
- Oscar Schmidt 6 String OG10CE Cutaway
- James Neligan LYN-ACFI LYNE Series
While guitars come in various varieties, not all of them are suited to all guitarists. Therefore, we have created a list of small-budget acoustic-electric guitars suited exclusively for guitar novices and intermediate guitarists. Check out our ten best recommendations for acoustic electric guitars under $300 and know about each model in detail to make a wiser choice.
- Quick Links To Our Best Acoustic Electric Guitar Under $300 Recommendations
- Our Under 300 Acoustic Electric Guitar Reviews
- What To Expect With An Acoustic Electric Guitar Under $300
- Best Under $300 Acoustic Electric Guitars Conclusion
Our Under 300 Acoustic Electric Guitar Reviews
Fender is the world’s leading manufacturer of musical instruments and accessories. The brand’s products extend across a wide range of guitars and ukuleles. Their products have been used and endorsed by beginners as well as professionals.
The Fender CD-60SCE features a dreadnought cutaway body made of mahogany. The dreadnought style accounts for a much larger body than other styles, lending the CD-60SCE to possess a bold, rich tone. The strings are made of phosphor-bronze and are placed on a hardtail bridge system. This 6-string guitar also includes a built-in Fishman preamp system and tuner.
This guitar has been advertised as ideal for beginners and intermediate players. It also comes in left-handed and 12-string versions.
- Great features for a low price
- Excellent sound quality
- Neck comprises rolled fingerboard edges making for a comfortable grip
- Great preamp with built-in tuner
- Fretboard quickly gets warped during cold weather
- Issues with fret alignment right after buying; strings sound buzzy
The Ovation Applause guitar comprises a unique body style called the roundback. The backside of the body of the guitar is designed in a curved, parabolic shape, much like the human ear. This allows for enhanced acoustics and a consistent tone across the scale. However, the roundback style results in the guitar being a larger size than usual.
The guitar’s body is made of a patented material called Lyrachord, which is similar to fiberglass. This material renders itself perfectly to the parabolic shape. Lyrachord also makes the guitar almost unbreakable and more resistant to the usual damage caused by wear and tear.
The Ovation Applause has a mid-depth body and a soft ‘V’ neck. This neck shape is designed to provide guitarists with excellent playability. The neck is almost as thin as an electric guitar, which allows easy handling. The CE304T preamp is paired with the Ovation Slimline pickup, creating a unique sound quality.
- Roundback design offers better acoustics
- Sturdier material than most other guitars
- One-of-a-kind sound, almost exactly between acoustic and electric
- Excellent preamp and tuner
- The large body may not fit into all storage cases
- Not as good as the other guitars by Ovation
Jasmine JD-39CE – BLK J Series
Jasmine Guitars may not be a big brand name, but it is still one of the fastest-growing guitar companies in the world. The JD-39CE is part of the J Series. This guitar fits perfectly into the requirements of amateur guitarists. It also offers excellent value for money.
The Jasmine JD-39CE is made of a dreadnought style body with an Advanced X-Bracing pattern. This pattern implies that the X-bracing pattern is shifted a little to the front, closer to the soundhole. This, in effect, produces a richer, more amplified sound with a better definition. The neck is slimmer than traditional acoustic guitars. This allows for easier handling.
The bracing ensures that the top is lightweight and vibrates more freely. The dreadnought-style body allows a more sonorous, richer tone.
The JD-39 CE comprises a B-band preamp system with a built-in tuner and a four-band EQ. These features combined provide great playability. This guitar is especially recommended for beginners and fingerstyle guitarists.
- Rich sound, good acoustics
- Better finish than some others of the same price range
- Unique Advanced X-bracing pattern
- Hardshell case is included with the guitar.
- Strings are not of great quality
- Requires more initial setup than other guitars
Washburn EA12B-A Festive Series Mini Jumbo Cutaway
Washburn’s Festival Series was created 25 years ago, specially catered towards aspiring musicians. The EA12B-A Festive Series Mini Jumbo Cutaway features a basswood top, back, and sides. The Mini Jumbo body features the same booming tone, which is the highlight of a Jumbo guitar. However, the body is not as large, so it still offers excellent playability. The guitar’s cutaway allows easier access to the upper frets, relieving stress from your arms and wrists.
The EA12B-A features a stop tail bridge. This is a combination of a bridge and a stop tailpiece. This style of bridging allows a better sustain and better tone. The stop tail bridge also ensures that your guitar stays in tune longer than a conventional hardtail bridge.
The top features a quarter sawn scalloped bracing made of Sitka spruce. The scalloped bracing ensures a loud, rich tone and improved bass. Additionally, the mahogany neck is structured with a dual-action truss rod for added stability. This guitar also comes with a Barcus-Berry EQ4T preamp system. Overall, the EA12B-A Festive Series Mini Jumbo Cutaway provides a great experience to novice guitarists.
- Good value for money
- The smaller size makes it easy to handle
- Great bass-treble balance
- Amplified sound
- Hardshell case not included
- Tuner and pickup not up to standard
The Ibanez V70CE features a dreadnought body made of mahogany and a spruce top. The neck is also made of mahogany, while the fretboard and bridge are crafted from rosewood. The narrow neck provides a more comfortable playing experience as compared to most acoustic guitars. The built-in electronics and Spanish-inspired design result in a high-quality sound.
The body of the V70CE comes with a cutaway pattern, which facilitates easier handling. This guitar is capable of a rich tone for an extended period of time after tuning. The plugged-in sound has received a lot of positive responses, but the acoustic tune may sound too full at times. The overall playability, however, has garnered many positive reviews.
- Lightweight, easily portable
- Rich, clear tone, powerful volume
- More comfortable to play than many other high-range guitars
- Sustained tonal quality after tuning, strong tuning pegs
- Well-worth the cost, perfect for non-professionals
- Issues with fretboard, strings sound buzzy sometimes
- The body is susceptible to scratches.
- Fingerprints and smudges are clearly seen
Alvarez RF26CE OM/Folk
Alvarez Guitars has designed stringed instruments that have been used by some of the most famous names in the music industry. The Alvarez RF26CE OM/Folk comprises what is called an Orchestra Model (OM) style body. The OM style’s two main features are the wider neck and scale length, both suitable for fingerstyle playing. In this model, however, the neck is not as wide as a traditional OM style neck, which allows for easy handling.
The body is made of mahogany at the back and sides. The top is made of a combination of laminated and solid wood and features a scalloped bracing. The mahogany neck and fretboard feature a stain finish. The fretboard encloses a dual-action truss road for enhanced stability. The Alvarez RF26CE OM/Folk also contains D’Addario EXP16 coated phosphor-bronze strings for impeccable sound quality.
It is a high-quality guitar and is excellent for entry-level guitarists looking for pro-level specifications at a comparatively lower price. The RF26CE OM/Folk possesses a full, open sound. Also, a padded gig bag comes included with the guitar, so you don’t have to look around for a separate case.
- A well-built, laminated body
- Less susceptible to scratches
- Great specifications and sound quality
- Pro-level features for a low price
- Easy to handle despite slightly wider neck
- The built-in tuner is not up to standard
- The finish on the product is uneven.
The body of the Fender FA-235E is of the concert style. A concert-style body is smaller than a dreadnought or a jumbo and has a more tapered waist. This lends the guitar to possess a more defined tone.
The smaller body is also ideal for complex chords and fingerstyle playing. Furthermore, the size allows for easier handling and offers a comfortable experience for guitarists who like to sit down while performing.
A flame maple top is attached to the mahogany sides and back, all of which are laminated. The neck and fingerboard are made of rosewood. In addition to that, the Viking bridge ensures great playability and sound quality. This model, like the Fender CD-60SCE, features a top-quality Fishman preamp with built-in tuner. The FA-235E is designed to provide an overall great experience. It is ideal for intermediate guitarists who perform at events like open mics.
- Easy handling
- Smaller size, richer sound
- Minimal maintenance required, sustained sound quality
- The classy finish looks elegant
- The laminated finish provides resistance against humidity
- Strings may have to be replaced after buying because the sound quality is tinny
- Misaligned frets causing buzzy sound
Lag Guitars Tramontane T100ASCE
Lag Guitars, though not a big-name manufacturer, is still known for high-quality musical instruments. Tramontane, Lag’s acoustic guitar range, is famous for its rich tonal properties and excellent playing experience. The Tramontane T100ASCE is another orchestra/auditorium style guitar. The auditorium design ensures a more sonorous listening experience, along with a distinct range of notes.
The cutaway body design of the Tramontane T100ASCE facilitates easier handling. The guitar also features a Western red cedar top and an African Sapele back and sides. The cedar top contributes to an overall deep, exacting tone.
This guitar, again, is suited to fingerstyle players and reduces strain on the arms and wrist. The T100ASCE produces a great tone while both unplugged and plugged. It also comes with a built-in tuner and preamp, both of high quality. One thing to note is that this guitar may be a little heavy for beginners. The weight, however, does not make any compromises on sound quality or handling.
- Excellent finish, unique choice of wood
- Good playability, slim body
- Easy to handle
- Distinct tonal range and an excellent listening experience overall
- Buzzy strings when unboxed
- Slightly fragile body
Oscar Schmidt 6 String OG10CE Cutaway
The Oscar Schmidt Company used to be the go-to brand for country-style and blues guitarists. The Oscar Schmidt OG10CE is a concert-style guitar made of spruce. ‘Concert style’ entails that the guitar is smaller in shape and provides for easier handling. This particular style was popular in the 19th century but is now making a comeback. This guitar is excellently suited to fingerstyle playing.
The spruce top of this guitar is attached to a catalpa back. The rosewood fretboard features a dual-action truss rod. The neck is made of maple and contains a satin finish for easy handling. The OG10CE delivers a rich, clear tone and allows for comfortable handling.
The guitar also comprises a hardtail bridge. This bridge provides excellent overall stability to the instrument. Perfect for live concerts, the OG10CE includes a Barcus Berry preamp system with a built-in tuner. The body features a high-gloss finish and comes in a variety of unique colors.
- Suitable for both guitar beginners and advanced guitarists
- Separate jack for plugging into PA system besides standard guitar jack
- Excellent finish, assorted color choices
- The tone may be slightly off
- Strings may need replacement after a short time.
James Neligan LYN-ACFI LYNE Series
James Neligan Guitars or simply JN Guitars are manufacturers who specialize in acoustic guitars for entry-level and intermediate guitarists. The James Neligan LYN-ACFI is part of their LYNE Series, comprising of an orchestra style body. This style, also called the auditorium model, features a smaller body and is more suited to fingerstyle playing. The auditorium style body also ensures a good treble-bass balance and a well-balanced sound.
Its body is made of rosewood and is fixed to a spruce top. Its mahogany neck with satin finish facilitates a comfortable playing experience overall. It is also equipped with a Fishman Sonitone preamp and soundhole-mounted volume and tone controls. The battery box is side-mounted, with a 1.4-inch jack output. All in all, this guitar offers great sound quality with an attractive design.
- Superior design and sound quality compared to other guitars of the same series
- Great sound projection
- Attractive design, elegant finish
- Amazing sound range, great for fingerpickers
- Strings sometimes need to be replaced
- May require quite a bit of setup after buying.
What To Expect With An Acoustic Electric Guitar Under $300
If you are planning on buying an acoustic electric for $300 and under, there are some features that you should expect to find in the instrument. First, they will be constructed out of laminated wood. At this price point, they are not made from solid wood and may also be made with a plywood core. If you want an electric acoustic that is made of better materials, you should expect to pay more for it. But, at $300, you’ll still get a good instrument!
About This Price Point
The second thing to know about an instrument at this price point is that it will not have much in the way of accessories like case, gig bag or tuner (though some do offer these features). If you are going to be using your instrument at home, it will be fine to make do without a gig bag. But if you plan on traveling with the guitar, then a case would definitely come in handy!
Look At Build Quality
Another important factor to look for is the overall build quality. If you don’t intend to be taking your new guitar on the road, then a more flimsy build of body and neck will be okay. But if you want a guitar that will stand up to plenty of abuse, you need to find a model that is well made. When you are buying an acoustic electric at this price point, there won’t be much consistency in the build quality from brand to brand or model to model. So, you’ll have to decide which instrument you’d prefer to buy and then look for a durable model that matches your needs.
What About Upgraded Features?
There are also some models of acoustic electric guitars under $300 that have upgraded features like offering a built-in tuner or gig bag. If you want an acoustic guitar with these added extras, then you’ll want to be ready to pay more than the $300 minimum price for an instrument with these features. But if you just want the basic mechanics of an electric instrument and aren’t planning on using it for travel, then you can stay under $300 and still get a good instrument!
The last thing to keep in mind is that it may take some time to find a model. If you do your homework upfront, then you’ll have already decided what features are worth paying more for and which ones are not. This will make it easier for you to narrow down your choices. You should also contact the dealer directly before buying online.
Best Under $300 Acoustic Electric Guitars Conclusion
If you are a beginner and would like to learn to play the guitar before investing in an expensive one, any of the guitars mentioned in this list would suit you excellently. However, before you settle on a model, make sure to analyze what kind of guitar would best suit your interests.
You may consider factors like your predominant style of playing, whether it is strumming or fingerpicking, your experience level, your stage, etc. Besides the criteria mentioned here, your guitar must feel comfortable when you play it. Make sure to try handling a couple of models at a store near you, before you buy one.