Music purists will insist that to learn the guitar, an aspiring axeman/woman must start with an acoustic piece. Even the great Keith Richards said that the acoustic guitar is of topmost importance for every beginner guitar player and that it helps the player find his/her grounding.
Whether you are looking for an acoustic guitar as a beginner or as an advanced player, there are hundreds of models in every price range to choose from. We have narrowed down the choices to make it easier for you to find your perfect guitar. Here is our list to help you find the best acoustic guitar under 1000.
Our Acoustic Guitar Under $1000 Recommendations
The Martin DRS2 acoustic guitar is a great option if you want to find something that strikes a good balance between performance and price. This is a premium guitar under 1K, brought to you by Martin Guitars, a company that is known for constantly finding ways to adapt to changing music needs through innovation. The DRS2 has a solid build, thanks to its spruce body, so expect durability and good looks in one package. Note that only the top is made of Sitka spruce, while the back and sides are made of solid sapele.
Looks aside, the Martin DRS2 can bring your performance level up by several notches. It has the all-purpose Fishman Sonitone Pickup that offers fantastic sound projection and rich resonance. This acoustic guitar will help you weave your magic onstage or off.
Still wondering or wishing for that sharp electric sound? The DRS2 does double-duty with its electric capability. It will not likely give the same sonic feel as a Strat or Les Paul, but it will allow you to switch sound effects when necessary so you can improve your range and technique.
Pros: Great sound from low bass to high notes, excellent performance, solid build.
Cons: A bit heavy and bulky.
The Blueridge BR-160 acoustic guitar looks like your basic dreadnought guitar but that is as far as its basic-ness goes. It is designed with hand-carved parabolic braces and the famous X pattern to create its famous rich sound. Don’t be fooled by its vintage looks. Under the Sitka wood top, the BR-160 boasts of clear, deep tones that can fill a room and satisfy even the most discerning audiophile. This is the perfect acoustic guitar for small and mid-sized rooms, and in the hands of a skilled player, this guitar is likely going to do well in a large room, thanks to its solid intonation and excellent projection. This is made possible by the build. The sides and back are East Indian rosewood – the perfect material to produce deep intonations and complex tones.
The BR-160 is one of the best options for anyone looking for the top acoustic guitar under 1000. The mahogany neck offers a comfortable grip for those transitions you want to make when practicing scales or playing difficult pieces. Looks-wise, the BR-160 is a beautiful creature, with much attention placed on the details. Its hardware, bone, bridge, butternut tuners, and fretboard are all thoughtfully put together.
The Blueridge series has quite a history, which explains the DNA on this model. This guitar is designed to appeal to fans of country and R&B music, although it works remarkably well for most music genres. This piece has a mellow, warm, and sweet tone which makes this perfect for fingerpicking. However, this guitar also has sufficient power for excellent projection. It is clear, crisp, and quite impressive – a great choice for practice or professional use.
Pros: Classic looks, terrific bass sound, solid and durable make.
Cons: The sound is specific to this model and may not be useful for guitar players who want to play certain music genres.
Taylor is a known maker of quality acoustic guitars. With their 114CE acoustic guitar, quality is obviously a top consideration. Yes, it is indeed a great choice under 1K that brings great performance thanks to its design. It features individually-calibrated and positioned piezo-electric sensors that offer a balanced response. The 114CE is built in the Grand Auditorium guitar shape. This style provides a strong punch that promotes a beautiful tonal quality. The narrow waist of the shape also allows for better manageability during playing for many guitarists. This guitar also boasts of very good hardware that is usually found only in high-end models. It has an ES-T internal system for its saddle pickup that helps influence its rich sound. The preamp features a built-in EQ that keeps volume, treble, and bass well-balanced.
The Taylor 114ce is available in both right- and left-handed options. The durable craftsmanship makes this model the best acoustic guitars under $1000 for beginners and experienced players alike. This is a robust, durable guitar that will last you for many years.
Pros: Consistent, rich, sharp, and beautiful tones in a durable, stable body. Comes with built-in electronics system for full control and better sound quality.
Cons: A bit bulky and heavy; lacks an on-board tuner.
Seagull Artist Mosaic
The Seagull Artist Mosaic acoustic guitar may not be as well-known as other guitars on this list but it has plenty of goodies to offer in terms of looks and performance. First off, it is constructed quite solidly, so you can look forward to an easy-to-play design. The construction is meant to provide you the optimal experience with this model.
The dreadnought design of the Mosaic offers excellent projection and tone. You can expect this guitar to be able to produce crisp, beautiful sounds at a reasonable volume. The solid spruce top assures you of vibrant tones that will carry far – great for playing in a large room without an amp. It also features a cutaway so you can access the farthest frets and play high notes easily.
The Mosaic also features a built-in LR Briggs Anthem pickup that can be plugged to an amp so you are assured of solid volume when you are playing larger rooms. This model, along with the other offerings from Seagull, is also proudly Canadian-made (well, specifically Quebec). Its bloodline rests on generations of guitar-makers from the region, which means you can expect quality and playability from their expertise.
Pros: Designed for professionals, solid build, capable of rich, warm tones.
Cons: Built more for rhythm guitarists but not for soloists.
Martin Dreadnought Junior
For guitar players who want a smaller guitar, the Martin Dreadnought Junior is among the top acoustic guitar under 1000 that you can find. It’s the little guitar that could and go even further. The size is great for travel and for storage in small rooms and apartments. This is the size that has been popularized by the Martin brand, with the purpose of letting traveling musicians stash their guitars into a backpack. This is a travel guitar, all right but it is fairly competitive in terms of performance.
So let’s talk about looks. The Martin Jr. is made of Sapele (a specie related to mahogany) – the perfect wood to evoke warm, deep tones. Its build is also to the point – every joint, bracing, and binding fit to create a beautifully finished guitar.
In terms of sound, the Martin Jr. is quite capable of good sonic quality. Its small size belies its ability to produce low bass tones, which can be surprising for a guitar with a small body. Play this the right way and you will discover a reasonably good sustain. This is a mid-range guitar that performs well. It is not a classic-sounding guitar but it has a fantastic-sounding bass. However, do not discount the higher end of the scale. Martin Jr. still performs well as you slide, pluck, tap, or strum up and down the scales.
Pros: Small in size but not in performance. A must-have for those who want a great-sounding guitar in a small package.
Cons: The midrange tends to be limited but still workable.
Fender Paramount PM-1
The name Fender generally conjures the awesome power of electric guitars and amps. This may be the reason why its acoustic models are not always as well known. The Paramount PM-1 is a dreadnought beauty featuring a solid spruce top with a gloss finish and X-bracing. It is a hybrid acoustic-electric using a Fishman preamp for that much-deserved volume when you need it most. It also features a built-in tuner that lets you take full control of the volume, bass, and treble for optimum sound performance. The dreadnought design allows the guitar to project well, with the bass tone being a standout. With its restrained midrange, it demonstrates a well-balanced sound that is equally pleasing and satisfying.
Even without harnessing the power of the onboard amp, the PM-1 acoustic guitar has a pretty good volume and its enhanced tonality is evident when played. The lows need to be controlled, however but once you have begun playing this guitar, you can enjoy impressive and crisp high notes and reasonable mid-range notes. It has a woody tone that flatpickers will love. If you are looking for a guitar that can play full-bodied tones and powerful notes, the Paramount PM-1 model is your best bet. It owes its resonance to the all-mahogany build that also gives it a beautiful finish. Even with a solid construction, this guitar is still quite light and can be taken along for getaways or travel. You can thank the makers for giving it an open-pore finish to lighten its weight.
Pros: All-around guitar that is light, affordable, and easy to play; good resonance and tone with a solid build.
Cons: The mid-range tones are not the best but should be decent enough for most players.
Here’s another dreadnought acoustic guitar you can choose. The Guild D-150 acoustic guitar is a top contender for many reasons. Proudly American-made, this guitar comes with the right features that make it distinctly a Guild Guitars creation. Their D-150 is an example of the company’s fine craftsmanship. Built with a solid spruce top and Indian rosewood sides and back, it also features a scalloped X-bracing made from Sitka spruce to ensure stability and better sound. Its C-shaped neck is made from polished mahogany.
As can be expected of its type, the Guild D-150 is capable of good sustain, a warm mid-range, and rich bass. When played, it carries notes at a good volume. Its build helps it produce a warm and well-balanced tone that you will love. In your hands, the D-150 feels like a very expensive guitar and although it is closer to the $1000 price mark, its playability, performance, and appearance are worth the splurge. It not only feels luxurious but also plays very well.
Sound-wise, the D-150 is a good dreadnought representative. Its audio capabilities sound best for strumming and picking. It exhibits a warm, scale-transitioning tone that beams beautifully in its mid-range and low-mid scales. Sure, you can strum it softly and it will purr but it also does great for more aggressive playing. It can perform for different types of music genres but it blooms quite well for musical styles that require heavy strumming. It’s a fair-priced, true dreadnought that could make your cut as the top rated acoustic guitars under 1000.
Pros: Excellent mid-range and impressive projection; elegant build.
Cons: May sometimes sound and feel stiff, especially in the beginning; may ease out as the guitar adjusts through regular use.
Yamaha A-Series A3M
Yamaha is one of the most reliable makers of acoustic guitars, although it may not be as popular as other brands. The A-Series A3M acoustic guitar is one that would make any Yamaha luthier proud, thanks to its exceptional power and performance. It has a cutaway dreadnought shape to maximize its sonic capabilities, especially volume. It is not a fancy guitar by any means but it more than makes up for this with its careful craftsmanship. The simplicity of its design results in an elegant guitar that is simple but very tasteful.
The A-series is a relatively new line but it is backed by over 50 years’ experience by the company that made it. Constructed using solid woods, this guitar also comes with a built-in Studio Response Technology preamp that lets you plug to a separate amplifier to enhance its volume. Without tapping into its electronics, the A3M delivers a complex and clear tone, with solid bass and trebles. It is quite comfortable being played at different ranges. Played low, it is warm and luscious; played high, it is rich and resonant.
If you choose to go electric, you can rely on the A3M to deliver as well. With its SRT Pickup System, you can enjoy a 3-band EQ, a built-in tuner, feedback control, and blend and resonance controls. The tone remains natural, so you have all the confidence you need to transition from acoustic to electric and still have superior control over the quality of music you generate. This means you can take over without hesitation those solos that took you months to perfect. Play it live or during a recording studio, the A3M can back you up.
Pros: Reliably solid performer with exceptional playability; a great-sounding guitar that can handle many performance challenges.
Cons: Narrow fretboard that might limit some fingerstylists.
Epiphone EJ-200 SCE
If you want to go big, then go big with the Epiphone J-200 SCE acoustic guitar. Made in Korea, this guitar has an excellent build and lovely finish on its laminate maple body and solid spruce top. This is a flat-topped guitar with a D-neck made of maple. Appearance-wise, the EJ-200 SCE is a doppelganger for Gibson. It even has the same mustache shape on its facade, plus its name is a giveaway. It may not be as refined, though, owing to the thickness of the build and the addition of a few aesthetic elements to the top. However, this guitar can perform well, either as an acoustic or as an electric guitar.
The EJ-200 SCE is hard to miss because of its size. This is a big boy and has the voice that matches its size. Even without the preamp, the volume of this guitar is already impressive. To help you maintain the proper intonation and a great sound, it has a built-in eSonic2 preamp system. German-engineered in partnership with Shadow, the preamp has two pickups and the combination of hardware and electronics lets you scale the whole spectrum of sound effortlessly. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced player, the EJ-200 SCE can meet your expectations regardless of your preferred music genre. If you want a more affordable alternative to the classic Gibson, the EJ-200 SCE is a great option. However, don’t just buy it because it reminds you of a Gibson; buy it because it is a reliable guitar that can actually deliver.
Pros: Jumbo-sized, reasonably-priced performance guitar that delivers full, rich sound that reflects its size.
Cons: Runs on lithium batteries instead of the usual 9V. This is a mass-produced series.
The Washburn WD10 acoustic guitar has a dreadnought cutaway shape that combines full, rich sound with easy access to the higher scales. This is an acoustic-electric guitar that comes with a built-in Fishman Isys+ preamplifier. This lets you take full control of the volume, bass, treble, and effects. It has a tuner built into the body that lets you take full control of intonation to achieve optimal audio quality.
So what about the sound? The Washburn WD10 creates crisp, crystal-clear tones, especially when plugged to an amplifier. On its own, the WD10 has excellent projection and volume, so if you are playing for a crowd, you can be sure that the people at the back of a large room can hear uninterrupted pure music when you play. And this is an acoustic guitar that you can play over and over again and still perform well. It takes a little roughness like a pro.
Other than its ability to withstand abuse, this guitar is the type that will last you for many years, thanks to its quality construction and materials. It has a spruce top and mahogany back and sides with a glossy finish. It is supported by quartersawn scalloped bracing that ensure its stability. It also has a rosewood fingerboard and a mahogany neck, and finished off with chrome tuners. The dreadnought shape is known for its excellent playability and easy handling, and it is evident in the WD10. It is lightweight and easy to carry. The original strings are light enough so they go easy on your finger pads.
If you are looking for an affordable guitar, this is a great choice. It is a reasonably priced instrument that provides good performance and excellent sonic quality.
Pros: Very durable built and top-quality performance; a reliable, lightweight guitar with decent aesthetics.
Cons: Will have to be re-tuned after using a capo; lacks a guitar strap lock on the front.
Although more expensive acoustic guitars have high desirability, a good guitar does not have to cost an arm and a foot to give you great playability and impressive sound. On top of that, consider your budget. To get the best acoustic guitars under 1000, always buy the best you can afford and buy only from a trusted vendor. If possible, test the guitar yourself before you commit. This will allow you to see, feel, and hear for yourself how the guitar actually performs. Lastly, always ask about warranty. A guitar warranty provides you some form of protection in case the guitar has a defect or suffers from the type of damage that is covered by the manufacturer.