The acoustic guitar market is inundated with impressive and affordable instruments of varying price points. The quality on the best acoustic guitar under 400 has been improving steadily and you are now able to make choices based not only on the cost but the type of acoustic guitar you need, the tonal character, the finish and the body shape.
Quick Links To Our Top Under $400 Acoustic Guitars Recommendations
- Guild D-240E – OUR TOP CHOICE! These guitars sound awesome – excellent tone! Playability is excellent. Quality built top, sides, body, and neck.
- Takamine GN30-BLK – the runner up. These instruments sounds great for the price!
- Fender CC-60S Concert Acoustic Guitar
- Yamaha FG800
- Breedlove 6 String Acoustic Guitar (DSCO01SSMA)
- Fender CD-60SCE
- Epiphone PR-150
- Washburn Festival Series EA20
- Luna SONGPAR Heartsong Parlor Size
- Ibanez Artwood AW50JR
Additionally, the most important of it all is that you can be certain that you will end up with a remarkable acoustic guitar that will last well beyond the beginner years.
- Quick Links To Our Top Under $400 Acoustic Guitars Recommendations
- Our Best Under $400 Acoustic Guitar Reviews
- 1. Guild D-240E Acoustic Guitar
- 2. Takamine GN30-BLK Acoustic Guitars
- 3. Fender CC-60S Concert Acoustic Guitar
- 4. Yamaha FG800
- 5. Breedlove 6 String Acoustic Guitar (DSCO01SSMA)
- 6. Fender CD-60SCE
- 7. Epiphone PR-150
- 8. Washburn Festival Series EA20 Acoustic Guitar
- 9. Luna SONGPAR Heartsong Parlor Size Acoustic
- 10. Ibanez Artwood AW50JR
- What To Expect From An Acoustic Guitar Under $400
- Best Under $400 Acoustics Conclusion
Our Best Under $400 Acoustic Guitar Reviews
Below are some of our recommendations for guitars in this category:
1. Guild D-240E Acoustic Guitar
The Guild D-240E is a dreadnought and there is a reason it is the most sought-after acoustic shape. Typically, it yields an all-round performance that is suitable for the majority of needs. True to form, it was found that the lower-end warmth that is lacking in the M-240E is present and accurate in this model. Where features are concerned, the D240E basically has a classic Sitka Spruce look in a matte finish; however, the Guild headstock is better proportioned to the bigger dreadnought body shape. When a few alternate tunings were attempted, the open gear tuners on the Guild D-240E proved to be stable. It produces a balanced sound as is expected from a good dreadnought.
Even though it could benefit from more plugged in power, it produces an impressive performance. Without losing its harmonic definition, it is particularly warm for a spruce-topped instrument. When plugged in, the first impressions are mixed. It was found that the nine-volt battery in its pouch was slipping around inside the body; they had become detached from the Velcro fixture close to the base of the guitar neck. All-in-all, it is a good guitar for its price range.
- Great projection.
- Good bass response.
- Crisp highs, bright sound.
- Excellent value for money.
- Fingerboard edges may need to be smoothed or filed down for some players. Some players may find the nut to be slightly too high.
2. Takamine GN30-BLK Acoustic Guitars
Available in black and natural in a beautiful gloss finish, the GN30 is basically a complete acoustic guitar and the standard NEX version of the lineup of the G30. It is an ideal accompaniment for singers in an intimate setting. It is available is a non-cutaway NEX body constructed from spruce and laminated mahogany. Its solid top is made from spruce while the back, neck and sides made of mahogany.
This combination provides a warm, balanced tone that is quite practical in a variety of styles and genres and as such, it is widely used and loved all over the industry. In the back, the guitar features the standard slim profile and, on the top, it has a 20-fret rosewood fingerboard. This sweet little six-string instrument has no electronics, no preamps and no pickups. The specs list is rounded up with a rosewood string-through bridge and die-cast tuners.
The guitar is suitable for a wide variety of styles with the deep, resonant and rich sound it produces. Remarkable playability and feel are delivered by its slim mahogany neck and its 12-inch radius fingerboard. In addition, impressive intonation is provided for single-note runs and purer-sounding chords.
- Super easy to play.
- Surprisingly good sound for its price.
- A few quality control issues with the finish, but nothing major.
3. Fender CC-60S Concert Acoustic Guitar
This instrument is an amazing option for the promising singer-songwriter. The CC-60S just shines when strummed or fingerpicked and it has upgraded features which players of all types and levels will definitely appreciate. Included among these features are a comfortable fingerboard that has rolled edges, a solid spruce top and an easy-to-play new shape for its neck. Even though it is designed for beginners, the CC-60S produces high-quality sound that is usually associated with a higher-end instrument. Additionally, it is the top pick overall among many acoustic experts.
It is a little more costly than some of the other beginner guitars; however, if you want to produce impressive music, you might find that it is well worth the price. Additionally, you will receive extras for that cost, including a strap, a carrying bag, picks and extra strings.
According to experts, the CC-60S was easily the favorite among testers, with each of them placing the guitar among their top three and 55 percent of them choosing it as their absolute favorite. It has a fairly compact size which makes it comfortable for virtually anyone to play. Its sound is also big, well-balanced and vivid, which should inspire beginners to be consistent.
- Solid Sitka Spruce Top which gives a crisp and clear tone
- Natural finish that lets the grain show through to enhance the beauty of natural wood.
- Slightly thicker neck which might be uncomfortable for people.
4. Yamaha FG800
The solid Sitka spruce top is the feature of the Yamaha FG 800 that stands out most because it is something is typically found at a higher price point. In comparison to standard laminates, a fuller, warmer sound is produced by this solid wood. Its neck, back and sides are made of laminated nato. The classic look and feel of the instrument enable smooth sliding and is completed by the rosewood fretboard.
It has a brand-new bracing scalloped pattern designed to strengthen the top and enhance sound projection and bass frequencies. Essentially, it is designed for the sound to travel further. Besides this and the slightly slimmed neck, the FG800 is a conventional dreadnought.
The choices of material are remarkable for a budget-friendly guitar. Excluding the laminated body and the plastic saddle and nut, the specs of the Yamaha FG800 more closely resemble higher-end guitars. However, replacing the strings right away is wise.
Similar to the majority of budget-friendly guitars, the FG800 has impressive string action. This can be challenging for beginners to play smoothly pending the development of more finger strength. It is wise to get it professionally adjusted with a special tool. Besides that, the guitar plays impressively.
- Great natural tone.
- Very good quality finish.
- Good for a variety of genres and styles.
- A little on the heavier side.
Check out our full FG800 review here.
5. Breedlove 6 String Acoustic Guitar (DSCO01SSMA)
With its beginner-friendly design, the DSCO01SSMA provides an ideal introduction to the guitar-playing world. Its ultra-easy play is made possible via its thinner neck profile with its radiused fretboard and narrow nut width. The guitar was designed to surpass the definitive big body sound that is produced by the dreadnought. The aim was to extract more tonal complexity and to provide an easier playing experience that is loud, satisfying and textured.
The guitar boasts a Spruce top, which is the most popular topwood. Sitka delivers the ultimate strength-to-weight ratio, which yields a pleasing elasticity, a strong fundamental and high sound velocity. Essentially, Sitka produces a remarkable sound for light fingerpicking, for heavy strumming and everything else in between.
The back and sides are made of layered mahogany. The top, neck, sides and back are made of mahogany which has been long treasured by shipwrights and cabinetmakers for its strength and workability, unassuming and straight-grained beauty. The material is categorized among the true classic tonewoods. It is renowned for its strong and clear fundamental; warm midrange emphasis and even, string-to-string balance. Mahogany forms a remarkable combination with spruce tops and also by itself in single species guitars; American roots music is defined by both combinations.
- Wonderful sound.
- Decent pricing for such a high quality guitar.
- The finish on the body of the guitar is prone to chipping, but this can be rectified by treating it gently while playing, especially when resting the instrument on your leg.
6. Fender CD-60SCE
An acoustic-electric guitar with an impressive walnut fretboard, the Fender CD-60SCE has an easy-to-play neck and mahogany on its back and sides. Acoustic-electric guitars deliver more versatility in comparison to a regular acoustic guitar because it has the capacity to be plugged into an amp. If you are considering a performance with a band or with a singer, having the ability to plug into an amplifier will be quite useful.
In addition, this guitar has a variety of wonderful extras which transform it into more than merely an entry-level acoustic-electric. It also has a nifty feature in the form of a built-in tuner. It actually seems as if the guitar was designed to enhance playability. It is quite easy to play due to its slim neck and cutaway body, which is ideal for guitarists at the beginner or intermediate.
As is customary with every Fender guitar, you can rest assured that its appearance is as good as its sounds. The CD-60SCE is particularly cool looking with its mother of pearl sound hole and black finish.
This dreadnought guitar delivers greatly in the sound department, with its striking mid-range brightness which is synonymous with a mahogany construction. In addition, this big-bodied dreadnought nicely extends into the bass, if exploring drop tunings is your thing. Intonation, string action and tuning are also remarkable on the CD-60SCE.
- Beautiful finish.
- Fantastic sound.
- Quality construction.
- Easy to play.
- The strap buttons aren’t the best and there’s a very small chance they could fall out if you’re not careful.
7. Epiphone PR-150
The Epiphone PR-150 is a remarkable example of the mix of quality and affordability that is possible as a result of automation. It is a replica of and pays homage to the classic Gibson mahogany/spruce. This makes it a remarkable choice for guitarists who would like to produce that classic sound but do not have the budget to buy a genuine Gibson.
It has a dreadnought body shape and its top is made out of laminate spruce, while its sides and back are made from laminate mahogany. In addition, the guitar has a rosewood bridge, a rosewood fingerboard with a radius of 12 inches and it is available in a natural/sunburst finish. It also has a slim taper neck profile which is made out of Okoume, 20 frets and a 1.68-inch nut width.
The Epiphone PR-150 is extremely durable and it is designed to endure a lot of abuse. This makes it a wonderful option for musicians who do not know as yet how to care for an acoustic guitar properly. In addition, this guitar is fairly low maintenance, even in comparison to other guitars in this cost category.
- Natural sound
- Solid Sitka spruce top
- Rosewood fingerboard and bridge
- Has a wide neck grip. People with small hands or big fingers might have trouble playing on this model.
8. Washburn Festival Series EA20 Acoustic Guitar
The Washburn EA20 is the top model of the Festival series. It has a single cutaway construction with a jumbo-shaped body. This guitar is only made in natural color which is complete with a high-gloss finish. Maple is used to make its back and sides and spruce is used for the top panel. The top is bound in abalone and outfitted with an antique-styled triple circle rosette. It does not have a pickguard and its bridge is made of rosewood and is belly shaped. Its electronics include a mix of EQ-4T preamp and under-saddle piezo pickup. The neck is made from mahogany and its back contour is standard. The rosewood fingerboard has a set of 21 frets.
The Festival series has been successful for more than 25 years and was designed by Washburn to address the requirements of the performing musician. This series was the typical acoustic/electric guitar viewed on the “Unplugged” series on MTV and it has become a best seller and is among the guitars that are most copied. Its large body combined with fine woods, excellent electronics and hardware enable the immaculate, crystalline highs to perfectly blend with a well-rounded and full low end.
- Beautiful tone.
- Solid pricetag.
- Possible string and fret buzz within the first few weeks of purchase.
- Frets not as level as one would hope.
9. Luna SONGPAR Heartsong Parlor Size Acoustic
The craftsmanship of this guitar and technology incorporated into the Luna heartsong are magnificent. The Heartsong Parlor is outfitted with a B-Band t35 tuner/preamp and is equipped with an USB port designed to take your creativity to a whole new level.
The USB can simply be plugged into the guitar and into an electronic device like a computer and then you will be able to record on your favorite program of recording app. If, for example, you are having a jam session with a friend and inspiration hits, the guitar can be plugged into the computer and you can record and save what is being played. There is also the option of recording a track and accompanying yourself by overlaying afterwards. The possibilities are limitless.
The guitar is remarkable for guitar enthusiasts at any level. It has an ideal size for traveling, relaxing while sitting on the couch in the living room or taking it to a gig and amplifying the sound by plugging it in.
- High-quality, affordable.
- Light and portable.
- Easy to play.
- Lack of tonal range.
10. Ibanez Artwood AW50JR
The Artwood AW50JR is an entry-level acoustic with a solid tone and comfortable forearm. The guitar is a wonderful choice for anyone looking for the ideal starter guitar, especially for young players. It is also suitable for the skilled player who might be more relaxed on a smaller guitar. A scaled-down edition of the prevalent dreadnought body style is used on the AW50JR and it provides the added benefit of a nicely-positioned forearm contour designed for additional comfort. It has a solid spruce top and its sides and back are made from mahogany; this combines to produce a full and robust sound. This is well suited for a solo performance and can also ideally sit in the mix of a group performance.
The neck has a satin finish that enables the player to effortlessly move up and down for speedy and accurate playing. Its “open pore” finish produces a more classic feel, while allowing the tonewoods to breathe, delivering a balanced. unencumbered and natural tone. It is ideal for beginners, professional or for anyone who requires the ideal travel guitar.
- Plays well.
- Beginner friendly.
- Lacks the quality of higher priced guitars.
What To Expect From An Acoustic Guitar Under $400
If you have around $400 to spend on an acoustic guitar, you should expect one which is playable and sounds pretty good, but not something that will be at the top of acoustic guitar chart. These guitars are often manufactured by companies that produce a range of instruments, including some really expensive ones. You can expect to get a sound that has been rounded and smoothed out through use of a solid top and back materials.
There are three things you should be ready for when considering an affordable acoustic guitar, which we’ll go into in more detail here: materials, playability, quality of sound.
Acoustic Guitar Materials
You should be careful in considering the materials used in manufacturing an acoustic guitar under $400. The key to a good sounding guitar is high quality wood and tight binding. For this reason there’s usually a lot to be said for guitars which have clearly been made with quality wood veneers – those which have been painted or varnished to give them a certain look rather than using real wood.
Costly woods aren’t necessarily the best, particularly when they’re used on varnished or painted guitars. And cheap veneers are notorious for muddying the sound, combining with the mass-produced sound of more expensive guitars. It’s worth bearing in mind that you might have a hard time distinguishing between instruments made of higher quality materials if there’s a lot of other noise around – which explains why so many of these acoustic guitars have been marketed as ‘quiet’ or ‘mellow’.
The Gibson Guitar Corporation is a particularly good manufacturing source of inexpensive quality guitars, making guitars for other companies like Epiphone. The top bracing and carved wooden neck are both usually very well made and ensure that these guitars retain a great resonance. The guitar itself has been stripped back to make it as light as possible, without sacrificing the volume and sustain that you’d expect from a guitar with this body shape.
For some instruments, the main reason to buy them is that they look really nice. You may have already noticed that many guitars under $400 look pretty similar to one another, which is why it’s worth looking for a guitar that achieves the perfect balance of looks and sound – one that you’re sure sounds good while playing well.
A great way to test the playability of any instrument is to just ask yourself if you’d be willing to play it. There are a lot of acoustic guitars out there that may look the part but in reality will prove to be extremely frustrating because of the level of skill they require from a guitarist.
Quality Of Acoustic Guitar Sound
The quality of sound is affected by several factors: firstly, the material used – particularly with solid top and back designs. Secondly, you have to consider the bracing, which has been used to reduce the amount of space between the top and back. An acoustic guitar with a solid top will have either an X braced or ladder braced body; both of these are efficient at reducing vibration and result in a fuller sound that increases sustain.
The material used also affects the kind of sound you get from your acoustic guitar. The most common types of wood used in craftsmanship include sitka spruce, mahogany, cedar or maple. The quality of wood used in the manufacture of guitars in particular has a direct impact on the sound produced. Most of the time manufacturers will use mahogany for back, sides and neck of acoustic guitars. The sound you get from these instruments is usually bright with great clarity and nice bass response. The spruce top on the other hand, produces a mellow and nice tone with good volume.
Best Under $400 Acoustics Conclusion
Picking the ideal guitar body style is among the most vital factors in purchasing a new instrument. Individuals with longer arms or larger fingers can go for large dreadnought since the fretboard is wider and longer. The body is also a tad larger and this could be difficult for smaller players. Therefore, they should look for a guitar with a short fretboard and a smaller body. This makes it a lot easier to change strings and perform chord transitions. Additionally, if there is no guitar strap, it is simpler to hold while standing.