best acoustic electric guitar under 300

10 Best Acoustic Electric Guitar Under 300 – Top 2020 Picks

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.

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.  

Our Under 300 Acoustic Electric Guitar Recommendations

Fender CD-60SCE

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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Fretboard quickly gets warped during cold weather
  • Issues with fret alignment right after buying; strings sound buzzy

Ovation Applause

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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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.

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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.

Pros

  • Good value for money
  • The smaller size makes it easy to handle
  • Great bass-treble balance
  • Amplified sound

Cons

  • Hardshell case not included
  • Tuner and pickup not up to standard

Ibanez V70CE

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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • The built-in tuner is not up to standard
  • The finish on the product is uneven.

Fender FA-235E

Fender’s guitars are top quality, and it’s made our list twice! The FA-235E is suitable for both beginners and professionals, making it a popular choice.

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.

Pros

  • Easy handling
  • Smaller size, richer sound
  • Minimal maintenance required, sustained sound quality
  • The classy finish looks elegant
  • The laminated finish provides resistance against humidity

Cons

  • 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.

Pros

  • Excellent finish, unique choice of wood
  • Good playability, slim body
  • Easy to handle
  • Distinct tonal range and an excellent listening experience overall

Cons

  • 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.

Pros

  • Suitable for both guitar beginners and advanced guitarists
  • Separate jack for plugging into PA system besides standard guitar jack
  • Excellent finish, assorted color choices

Cons

  • 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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Strings sometimes need to be replaced
  • May require quite a bit of setup after buying.

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 (and more beginner guitars here too!) 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.

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