Best acoustic guitar

Our Best Acoustic Guitar Guide 2024

Last update 5/2/2024

Choosing the perfect acoustic guitar can be an exciting yet challenging endeavor. With myriad options available in 2024 catering to different skill levels and musical styles, finding an acoustic guitar that resonates with your preferences and needs is essential. This comprehensive guide will explore the best acoustic guitars across various categories, providing detailed specifications, pros, and cons and assigning a star rating out of 5 for each guitar.

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Best Acoustic Guitars

Our picks for the best acoustic guitars are based on our list of the best brands: Martin, Taylor, Gibson Fender, and more. For all guitarists, our 9 Categories are arranged by budget and suitability.

We have researched for you and played these guitars; some of us own many. The fact of the matter is our opinion is subjective.

We read the feedback from owners of the guitars and analyzed and considered what current owners have experienced; the good and the bad soon became apparent. 

Acoustic guitars come in various categories; each guitar type has its distinctive qualities due to how the Guitar is constructed, the type of tonewoods used in the build, scale length, body size, the type of neck used, and lots more. Each guitar type has its own personality.

Best Budget Acoustic Guitar

Yamaha FG800

The Yamaha FG800 is a classic perfect for beginners and experienced players. Its rich, balanced tone and sturdy construction make it a reliable companion for any musical journey. Whether you’re strumming or fingerpicking, this Guitar delivers a warm sound that’s sure to put a smile on your face. Plus, the affordability factor keeps the quality one bit. It is a fantastic choice for those seeking an inviting and authentic instrument.

Yamaha FG800
Yamaha FG800

Specifications

Body: Traditional Western Dreadnought
Top: Solid Spruce
Back & Sides: Nato/Okoume
Neck: Nato
Fretboard: Rosewood
Scale Length: 25.6″

Pros:

Affordable yet high-quality
Warm and balanced tone
Sturdy construction for longevity
Comfortable playability

Cons:

Basic aesthetic design

Read our full review of the Yamaha FG800

Check Amazon for price and availability

Best Small or Travel Acoustic Guitar

Taylor GS Mini

The Taylor GS Mini is like a pocket-sized powerhouse of joy. Don’t let its small size fool you – this Guitar packs a punch.

Taylor GS Mini-E Koa PLUS Review
Taylor GS Mini

Its clear and articulate sound is a true delight, and its compact design makes it incredibly versatile for travel and intimate jam sessions.

As you’d expect from Taylor, the craftsmanship is top-notch, ensuring a guitar built to last and always ready to accompany you on your musical adventures.

Specifications

Body: Grand Symphony Mini
Top: Solid Sitka Spruce
Back & Sides: Layered Sapele
Neck: Tropical Mahogany
Fretboard: West African Crelicam Ebony
Scale Length: 23.5″

Pros:
Compact size, perfect for travel
Clear and articulate sound
High-quality materials and craftsmanship
Versatile for various playing styles

Cons:
Limited bass due to its smaller size

Read our full review, Taylor GS Mini

Check Amazon for price and availability

Best Professional Quality Acoustic Guitar

Martin D-28

The Martin D-28 is a legendary choice that’s been enchanting players for generations. The full-bodied, resonant tone is simply breathtaking, offering a robust sound that’s rich in character.

Martin D-28
Martin D-28

Crafted with meticulous attention to detail, this Guitar exudes a timeless elegance that matches its impeccable sound.

Whether you’re strumming chords or playing intricate melodies, the Martin D-28 is a faithful companion that embraces you with its warm and comforting embrace.

Specifications

Body: Dreadnought
Top: Solid Sitka Spruce
Back & Sides: East Indian Rosewood
Neck: Select Hardwood
Fretboard: Ebony
Scale Length: 25.4″

Pros:

Iconic, timeless sound
Impeccable craftsmanship
Rich and resonant tone
High-quality materials for long-term durability

Cons:

Higher price point

Check Sam Ash Musical Instruments for price and availability

Best Value Acoustic Guitar

Seagull S6 Original

The Seagull S6 Original is like a warm hug from an old friend. Its distinct sound, characterized by a unique blend of warmth and clarity, sets it apart.

Seagull S6 Original
Seagull S6 Original

Crafted with a solid cedar top, this Guitar matures over time, enhancing its tone with every strum. The comfortable playability and attention to detail make it a joy to hold and play.

If you’re looking for an instrument that’s as inviting as it is distinct, the Seagull S6 Original deserves your attention.

Specifications

Body: Dreadnought
Top: Solid Cedar
Back & Sides: Wild Cherry
Neck: Silver Leaf Maple
Fretboard: Rosewood
Scale Length: 25.5″

Pros:

Distinctive, warm, and clear tone
Handcrafted quality at an affordable price
Solid cedar top matures with time
Comfortable playability

Cons:

Not as well-known as other brands

Check Sam Ash Musical Instruments for price and availability

Best High-End Acoustic Guitar

Taylor 914ce

The Taylor 914ce is a work of art that’s as visually stunning as it is sonically impressive. The combination of premium materials and Taylor’s renowned craftsmanship results in a guitar that’s nothing short of spectacular.

Taylor 914ce
Taylor 914ce

The clear, crisp tones resonate with a genuinely captivating brilliance. Whether you’re recording, performing on stage, or simply indulging in some quiet playing time, the Taylor 914ce rewards you with an experience that’s both luxurious and musically fulfilling.

Specifications

Body: Grand Auditorium
Top: Solid Sitka Spruce
Back & Sides: Solid Indian Rosewood
Neck: Tropical Mahogany
Fretboard: West African Crelicam Ebony
Scale Length: 25.5″

Pros:

Exquisite tonewoods and design
Clear, brilliant tones with remarkable projection
High-quality Expression System 2 electronics
Playability that matches its beauty

Cons:

Premium price tag

Check Sam Ash Musical Instruments for price and availability

Best Hybrid (Acoustic-Electric) Guitar

Yamaha AC3R

The Yamaha AC3R Acoustic Electric Guitar is a hidden gem that’s ready to shine. Its solid wood construction lends a warmth and resonance that improves with time.

Yamaha AC3R
Yamaha AC3R

The attention to detail in design and build is evident in every note you play.

The versatile electronics system ensures that your sound remains true to your playing style, whether you’re plugged in or not. With the Yamaha AC3R, you’re not just getting a guitar; you’re getting a trustworthy partner for your musical explorations.

Specifications

Body: Concert Cutaway
Top: Solid Sitka Spruce
Back & Sides: Solid Rosewood
Neck: African Mahogany & Rosewood 5-ply
Fretboard: Ebony
Scale Length: 25.6″

Pros:

High-quality solid wood construction
Versatile sound with System63 SRT2 electronics
Comfortable and playable design
Attention to detail in build and aesthetics

Cons:

Might not have the same brand prestige as others

Check Sam Ash Musical Instruments for price and availability

Best Versatile Acoustic Guitar

Fender American Acoustasonic Stratocaster

The Fender American Acoustasonic Stratocaster is a groundbreaking marvel that bridges the worlds of acoustic and electric guitars with finesse.

Fender American Acoustasonic Stratocaster
Fender American Acoustasonic Stratocaster

Born from the iconic Stratocaster design, this Guitar offers an astonishing array of tones, blending the best of both sonic realms. Its playability is a delight, and its versatility in your musical expression is unparalleled.

If you’re seeking an instrument that transcends boundaries and invites innovation, the Acoustasonic Stratocaster is your ticket to an exciting musical journey.

Specifications

Body: Stratocaster Shape with Acoustic Chamber
Top: Solid Sitka Spruce
Back & Sides: Mahogany
Neck: Modern “Deep C” Mahogany
Fretboard: Ebony
Scale Length: 25.5″

Pros:

Revolutionary fusion of acoustic and electric tones
Classic Stratocaster playability
Vast tonal versatility
Ideal for those who love experimenting with sound

Cons:

Unique design might not resonate with traditionalists

Check Sam Ash Musical Instruments for price and availability

Best Acoustic Guitar for Fingerstyle

Martin 000 15M Acoustic Guitar

The Martin 000-15M Acoustic Guitar is a genuine treasure for those who appreciate simplicity and craftsmanship. With its all-mahogany construction, it delivers a warm and mellow tone that’s reminiscent of vintage blues and folk recordings.

Martin 000 15M Acoustic Guitar
Martin 000 15M Acoustic Guitar

The straightforward design and meticulous attention to detail create an instrument that embodies elegance. Whether fingerpicking or strumming, the 000-15M’s soulful resonance and comfortable playability will carry you to musical realms of nostalgia and inspiration.

Specifications

Body: 000-14 Fret
Top: Solid Mahogany
Back & Sides: Solid Mahogany
Neck: Solid Mahogany
Fretboard: East Indian Rosewood
Scale Length: 25.4″

Pros:

Vintage-inspired tone and design
Solid mahogany construction for warm sound
Excellent craftsmanship and attention to detail
Comfortable playability

Cons:

Limited tonal versatility compared to other models

See our Martin 000-15M Acoustic Guitar Review.

Check Sam Ash Musical Instruments for price and availability

Best Acoustic Guitar for Beginners

Fender CD-60S

The Fender CD-60S is an excellent choice for those starting their musical journey or looking for a reliable companion. Its combination of affordability and quality craftsmanship is truly impressive. 

Fender CD-60S
Fender CD-60S

The solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides create a balanced and resonant sound that’s perfect for strumming or fingerpicking.

With its comfortable playability and Fender’s reputation for consistency, the CD-60S is a guitar that will inspire you to play.

Specifications

Body: Dreadnought
Top: Solid Spruce
Back & Sides: Laminated Mahogany
Neck: Mahogany
Fretboard: Walnut
Scale Length: 25.3″

Pros:

Great value for the price
Solid spruce top for clear and balanced tones
Comfortable and playable design
Trusted Fender brand

Cons:

Laminated back and sides may not offer the same tonal depth as solid wood

Check Sam Ash Musical Instruments for price and availability.

Guitar Types: What you should know before buying an Acoustic Guitar

Choosing the right acoustic Guitar involves considering various factors, such as your playing style, budget, and tonal preferences.

Remember that the “best” Guitar is ultimately subjective and based on individual preferences.

Acoustic guitar categories (by definition)

Classical Guitar

Guitar Types - Classical guitar
Guitar TypesClassical guitar

Classical guitars, also known as nylon-string guitars, are commonly used in classical, flamenco, and Latin music styles. Unlike steel-string guitars, classical guitars have nylon strings, which produce a warmer and mellower sound. The wider neck and lower string tension make them easier to play, especially for beginners and those with smaller hands. Classical guitars typically have a smaller body size and a wider fretboard, allowing for precise fingerpicking and intricate chord progressions.

Steel-String Acoustic Guitar

Martin D-28 steel string
Martin D-28 steel string

Steel-string guitars are the most common type of acoustic guitar. They are versatile and well-suited for various music genres, including folk, rock, country, and pop. These guitars feature steel strings that produce a bright and vibrant sound. Steel-string guitars come in different body shapes, such as dreadnought, concert, and jumbo, each with its own unique tonal characteristics. The larger body shapes tend to have a louder and more resonant sound, while smaller ones offer a more focused and balanced tone.

Dreadnought

Dreadnaught acoustic guitar
Dreadnaught acoustic guitar

This is a popular type of steel-string acoustic Guitar known for its large body and deep tone. It’s great for strumming and flatpicking, making it versatile for many musical genres.

Concert/Grand Concert

Grand concert acoustic guitar
Grand concert acoustic guitar

These are smaller than dreadnought guitars and offer a more balanced tone. They are suitable for fingerstyle playing and provide clear note definition.

Auditorium/Grand Auditorium

These guitars balance the dreadnought and concert sizes, offering a versatile sound and comfortable playability.

Taylor Auditorium acoustic guitar

 

Jumbo

Jumbo acoustic guitar
A Jumbo acoustic

Acoustic Jumbo guitars have an even larger body than dreadnoughts, producing a robust and boomy sound. They are often chosen for their volume and presence.

Parlor

Parlor acoustic guitar
A Parlor acoustic guitar

Parlor guitars have gained popularity recently due to their compact size and vintage appeal. These guitars were popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, offering a unique and distinct tone. Another point about Parlor guitars having a smaller body size is that it makes them comfortable to play while still delivering a surprisingly rich and balanced sound. They are perfect for fingerstyle playing and intimate performances.

12-String Guitar

Acoustic 12 string Guitar
12 string acoustic

These guitars have six courses of paired strings, creating a rich and shimmering sound. They are used in various genres for their unique timbre. The much revered Taylor K62e is a great example of a top-notch 12-string acoustic guitar.

Travel/Mini Guitars

Taylor mini guitar
Taylor mini guitar

These are smaller-sized guitars designed for portability. They are great for practicing on the go and are often chosen by travelers.

Resonator Guitar

Guitar Resonator
Guitar Resonator

Resonator guitars use metal cones or discs to amplify sound, producing a distinctive metallic and twangy tone. They are often associated with blues and slide playing.

Acoustic Guitar Body Shapes

Now that you’re familiar with the different types of acoustic guitars, let’s explore the key factors to consider when purchasing.

Guitars Types
Guitars body types

Body Shape

The body shape of an acoustic guitar plays a significant role in its sound projection, tone, and comfort. The most common body shapes include dreadnought, concert, auditorium, and jumbo. With its larger size and broad shoulders, the dreadnought shape offers a powerful and resonant sound, making it ideal for strumming and Flatpicking.

The concert and auditorium shapes are slightly smaller, providing a balanced tone and increased comfort for both strumming and fingerpicking. The jumbo shape is the largest, offering a deep and booming sound, perfect for those who prefer a more robust tone.

Tonewood

The tonewood used in an acoustic guitar’s construction greatly influences its tone and resonance. Some popular tonewoods include spruce, cedar, mahogany, and rosewood. Spruce is commonly used for the guitar’s top (soundboard) due to its excellent projection and clarity.

Conversely, Cedar delivers a warmer and more mellow tone, making it ideal for fingerstyle playing. Mahogany is often used for the back and sides, providing a balanced and focused tone. Rosewood offers rich overtones and a bright sound, contributing to a guitar’s overall complexity and depth.

Playability

The playability of an acoustic guitar refers to how comfortable and easy it is to play. Factors that affect playability include the guitar’s neck profile, scale length, and action. The neck profile determines the shape and thickness of the neck, affecting how it feels in your hand.

Some common neck profiles include C-shaped, V-shaped, and U-shaped. Scale length refers to the distance between the nut and the saddle, influencing the guitar’s string tension and overall feel. Action refers to the distance between the strings and the fretboard.

A lower action makes the guitar easier to play, while a higher action can provide a better tone and sustain. Finding a guitar with a comfortable neck profile, scale length, and action that suits your playing style and hand size is important.

Budget Considerations for Buying an Acoustic Guitar

When it comes to buying an acoustic guitar, it’s essential to establish a budget that suits your needs and preferences. Acoustic guitars can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.

While choosing the cheapest option is tempting, investing in a higher-quality guitar can significantly improve your playing experience and sound.

Consider your skill level, commitment to playing, and long-term goals when determining your budget. It’s often worth saving up a bit more to get a guitar that will inspire and motivate you to continue your musical journey.

Best Acoustic Guitar Brands in 2024

Choosing a reputable and reliable brand is crucial when buying an acoustic guitar. Here are some of the top brands worth considering in 2023:

Martin

Martin is renowned for producing high-quality acoustic guitars with exceptional craftsmanship and tone. Their guitars are known for their rich, balanced sound and excellent playability.

Martin offers many models to suit different playing styles and budgets, making them a favorite among professional musicians and enthusiasts.

Taylor

Taylor guitars are known for their innovative design, attention to detail, and clarity of tone. They offer various acoustic guitars, from entry-level instruments to high-end masterpieces.

Taylor guitars are beloved for their comfortable playability, consistent quality, and exceptional sound projection.

Gibson

Gibson is a legendary brand that has been producing iconic guitars for over a century. Their acoustic guitars are known for their warm, full-bodied sound and timeless design.

Gibson guitars are favored by many professional musicians across various genres, including rock, blues, and folk.

Yamaha

Yamaha is a brand that offers high-quality guitars at affordable prices. They are known for their consistent quality control and excellent value for money.

Yamaha guitars are suitable for beginners and intermediate players looking for reliable instruments that deliver a solid sound and comfortable playing experience.


If you’re looking for specific acoustic guitar models to consider, here are some popular choices in 2024:

Martin D-28

The Martin D-28 is a classic dreadnought guitar that has been a staple in the acoustic guitar world for decades. It features a solid spruce top, solid East Indian rosewood back and sides, and a comfortable neck profile.

The D-28 delivers a powerful and balanced sound, making it a favorite among singer-songwriters and flat pickers.

Martin SC-13e

The Martin SC-13e is one of the most innovative guitars from Martin in a very long time. It joins the Martin Road series of guitars. The guitar has received much applause from electric players because of its innovative taped neck, which feels like a neck typically found on an electric guitar.

This guitar is very much worth considering if you are predominately an electric player looking for a quality acoustic guitar.

Taylor 814ce

The Taylor 814ce is a versatile and visually stunning guitar with a balanced and articulate sound. It features a solid Sitka spruce top, solid rosewood back and sides, and Taylor’s innovative V-Class bracing system.

The 814ce delivers excellent projection, sustain, and clarity, making it suitable for various playing styles.

Taylor GS Mini

The Taylor GS Mini is an exceptional guitar; as a smaller acoustic, it is ideal for traveling or everyday playing. Read our full review of the Taylor GS Mini Koa.

Gibson J-45

The Gibson J-45 is an iconic acoustic guitar that has been used by countless musicians over the years. It features a solid spruce top, mahogany back and sides, and a comfortable round-shoulder dreadnought body shape.

The J-45 offers a warm and rich sound, perfect for both strumming and fingerpicking.

Yamaha FG800

The Yamaha FG800 is a budget-friendly guitar that delivers surprising quality and playability. It features a solid spruce top, nato back and sides, and a slim neck profile.

The FG800 offers a bright and well-balanced sound, making it an excellent choice for beginners and those on a tight budget.

Essential Accessories for Acoustic Guitar Players

Along with your acoustic guitar, a few essential accessories can enhance your playing experience and protect your investment.

Picks

Guitar picks come in various shapes, sizes, and materials. Experimenting with different picks can help you find the one that feels most comfortable and suits your playing style. Picks provide more precision and control while strumming or picking individual notes.

Straps

A guitar strap is essential for playing while standing or performing on stage. It provides comfort and stability, allowing you to focus on your playing without worrying about supporting the guitar’s weight. Look for straps that are adjustable, comfortable, and durable.

Cases

A quality guitar case protects your acoustic guitar from damage during transport and storage. Hardshell cases offer the best protection, as they are sturdy and impact-resistant. Gig bags are a more lightweight and affordable option, ideal for short trips or casual use.

Why are acoustic guitars so expensive?

The meticulous attention to detail and the hours of handwork put into each instrument by skilled luthiers ensure exceptional quality and sound. Moreover, premium materials, such as solid tonewoods like spruce or mahogany, contribute to the rich and resonant tones that acoustic guitars are known for.

One of the main factors that makes for a premium price tag of high-end acoustic guitars is the exceptional craftsmanship and high-quality materials used in their construction.

Brand reputation and heritage

A brand’s reputation is based on the quality of its instruments and its commitment to innovation and continuous improvement. Guitar manufacturers that invest in research and development to enhance their acoustic guitars’ playability, sound, and aesthetics often justify their premium prices through the value they provide to the players.

Limited availability and exclusivity

Some boutique acoustic guitars’ limited availability and exclusivity contribute to their premium price tag. Some acoustic guitars are produced in limited quantities, making them rare and highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts. The scarcity of these instruments drives up their value as they become coveted pieces of craftsmanship and artistry.

Moreover, certain acoustic guitars are handcrafted in small workshops or by individual luthiers. These guitars are often made to order or customized to meet the specific requirements of the player, making them unique and personalized. The combination of limited availability and exclusivity creates a sense of desirability and prestige, which justifies the higher price tag.

Handcrafted vs. mass-produced guitars

When it comes to acoustic guitars, there is a distinct difference between handcrafted and mass-produced instruments. Handcrafted guitars, as the name suggests, are built by skilled luthiers who dedicate their time and expertise to create each instrument. These guitars are made with meticulous attention to detail, ensuring exceptional quality and playability.

On the other hand, mass-produced guitars are manufactured in large quantities using automated processes and machinery. While mass-produced guitars can offer good quality and value for money, they often need more individuality and craftsmanship than handcrafted guitars. A luthier’s intricate handwork and personal touch make handcrafted guitars more desirable and, consequently, more expensive.

Handcrafted guitars also allow for more customization options, as players can choose the tonewoods, body shape, and other specifications according to their preferences. This level of customization adds to the exclusivity and value of handcrafted acoustic guitars.

Vintage and collector’s value

Vintage acoustic guitars hold a special place in the hearts of collectors and enthusiasts. Often decades or centuries old, these guitars have stood the test of time and acquired a unique character and charm. Vintage acoustic guitars are prized for their historical significance, representing a specific era in the evolution of guitar craftsmanship.

The collector’s value of vintage acoustic guitars drives up their price significantly. Rare models, limited editions, or guitars associated with famous musicians can reach astronomical prices at auctions and private sales. The allure of owning a piece of history and being able to play an instrument that legendary musicians have played adds to the premium price tag of vintage acoustic guitars.

Furthermore, vintage acoustic guitars are often considered sound investments. Their value tends to appreciate over time, making them a joy to play and a potential financial asset.

The impact of celebrity endorsements and artist collaborations

The influence of celebrity endorsements and artist collaborations cannot be overstated regarding the premium price tag of acoustic guitars. Many renowned musicians have their signature acoustic guitar models designed and crafted by guitar manufacturers. These signature models often carry a higher price tag due to the association with the artist and the exclusivity they offer.

Celebrity endorsements create a sense of aspiration and desire among fans and aspiring musicians who want to own the same instrument as their idols. These guitars’ emotional connection and perceived value justify the premium price tag.
Additionally, artist collaborations often result in unique and limited-edition guitars that collectors highly seek after. These guitars combine the luthier’s artistry and craftsmanship with the artist’s creative vision, creating exceptional sound and aesthetic instruments.

Read our guide to acoustic guitar anatomy to become acquainted with the workings and construction of acoustic guitars.

Acoustic guitar buying resources.

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On top of that, EQ options for soundhole pickups can be reasonably limited. Most do not have any multi-band EQ. Therefore, your tonal flexibility may not be as good as it can be with some of the other options we will look at.

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