10 Best Mid Range Acoustic Guitars Under $1000

Are you looking for an acoustic guitar for under $1000 but unsure of where to begin?

Then look no further! Here you will find a list of the 10 best acoustic guitars under $1000. Since this seems to be your budget, we’ve searched for guitars in this price range that offer the most value overall.

Each of these guitars offers something different. Some have cutaways, some do not. Some feature built-in electronics, some do not. But all of them are quality instruments that you’d be happy to add to your quiver.

The 10 Best Acoustic Guitars Under $1000

Lets start with the reviews, and then we’ll offer some buying tips and advice below. First up is this gorgeous Taylor series 100:

1. Taylor 100 Series 2017 114e Grand Auditorium Acoustic-Electric Guitar Natural – Best Overall

“Taylor

Specifications

  • Topwood: Solid Sitka Spruce

  • Fretboard: Ebony
  • Scale Length: 25.5″
  • Cutaway: None
  • Built-in Electronics: Expression System 2 preamp

The Taylor 114e Grand Auditorium is a perfect, middle-of-the-road dreadnought acoustic guitar for an intermediate to professional guitarist. The 114e is built from quality components and comes at an accessible price point for a high-end guitar.

The Taylor 114e Grand Auditorium features a standard solid Sitka spruce top and layered walnut sides for a well balanced woody timbre and pleasing looks. A hard rock maple neck combined with an ebony fretboard blend well with the body tonewoods. The 25.5″ scale length is slightly longer than the Martin D-18, but should be comfortable for the beginner and advanced guitarist alike.

The Taylor 114e also includes Taylor’s patented Expression System 2 pickup system. The Expression System 2 features three uniquely positioned and individually calibrated pickup sensors that sit behind the saddle as opposed to under it like more traditional piezo pickup systems. The thinking is that placing the pickups behind the saddle produces a more rich and louder output signal than traditional acoustic electric systems.

Overall, The Taylor 114e Grand Auditorium is a great choice for an intermediate to advanced guitarist who is looking for one of the best acoustic guitars without spending a fortune. Taylor is a builder of high-quality guitars and the 114e is no exception. Quality components combine with the Expression System 2 pickup make for a versatile and well rounded dreadnought for many situations.

2. Yamaha FGX800C Solid Top Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar – Budget Pick

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Specifications

  • Topwood: Solid Sitka Spruce

  • Fretboard: Walnut
  • Scale Length: 25.5″
  • Cutaway: Single Cutaway
  • Built-in Electronics: Yamaha System-66

Yamaha’s FG “Folk Guitar” series has been a popular choice for beginners and pros alike since 1966 (1). The combination of decades of experience building a wide range of quality instruments combined with high-end materials produces a guitar suitable for many live and studio situations and is accessible to all players.

The FGX800C features a solid Sitka spruce top. Acoustic guitars with solid tops generally resonant better and project louder than guitars with composite tops. For this reason, solid top guitars are often more expensive. However, because of the work of companies like Yamaha, solid top acoustic guitars are now extremely affordable for many musicians. The FGX800C also features nato back and sides. Nato is a less expensive substitute for mahogany and features many of the same tonal properties. A nato neck and walnut fretboard round out this well-matched guitar.

The Yamaha FGX800C features a single cutaway for easy access to all 20 frets along the 25.5″ scale length. Additionally, Yamaha’s System-66 under saddle pickup and preamp system provides substantial power for live or direct-in recording situations. The System-66 features a 3-band EQ with a sweepable midrange control to help notch out unwanted feedback. It also includes a fast and reliable electronic tuner to make sure your performances always stay locked in.

Overall, the Yamaha FGX800C is a solid choice for both the beginner and professional guitarist alike and is our budget pick for an acoustic guitar under $100. The combination of choice materials and quality construction all for under $500 makes for a great, all-purpose guitar prefect for recording or performance.

3. Córdoba C4-CE Edge Burst Cutaway Classical Acoustic-Electric Nylon String Guitar, Iberia Series – Best Nylon String

“Córdoba

Specifications

  • Topwood: Mahogany

  • Fretboard: Pau Ferro
  • Scale Length: 25.5″
  • Cutaway: Single Cutaway
  • Built-in Electronics: Fishman Sonitone Classical

The Córdoba C4-CE is an affordable, well-built nylon string guitar and the best nylon string on this list. The newest addition to Córdoba’s Iberia Series, the C4-CE is based on Córdoba’s traditional Spanish classical guitar design, with the inclusion of a gentle single cutaway and built-in electronics. These updated features in conjunction with quality materials for an affordable price makes for a great entry point into the world of nylon string guitars.

The Córdoba C4-CE features an all-mahogany solid top, laminated mahogany back and sides, and a mahogany neck, a true mahogany monster. Combined with a pau ferro fretboard, this produces a rich, warm, and darker timbre than other acoustic guitars on this list. According to Enns, the lead luthier at Córdoba (2):

A nylon string is more flexible and under less tension at pitch, giving it a slower attack and more mellow sound, while a steel string is under much greater tension providing a faster attack and brighter sound.

Nylon strings are great for beginners because they are easier to play at first than steel strings. If finger pain from a traditional steel-string acoustic guitar is a detriment, then perhaps you will find more joy in playing a guitar with nylon strings! Plus Willie Nelson plays one, so you can’t go wrong!

Additionally, the Córdoba C4-CE features a single cutaway for improved access to all 19 frets along the 25.5″ scale length neck and a built-in Fishman Sonitone Classical active pickup system. The Sonitone is a soundhole mounted preamp system with two rotary controls for volume and tone, basic and easy to use.

Overall, the Córdoba C4-CE is a perfect choice for an affordable nylon guitar experience. Whether you are a total nylon novice or a seasoned shredder, the Córdoba C4-CE is packed with great features, top shelf wood choices, and an established brand of quality and tradition that makes the C4-CE the best nylon string acoustic guitar under $1000.

4. Godin A6 Ultra Natural Two-Chambered Electro-Acoustic Guitar – Best Acoustic-Electric

“Godin

Specifications

  • Topwood: Solid Cedar

  • Fretboard: Richlite
  • Scale Length: 25.5″
  • Cutaway: Single Cutaway
  • Built-in Electronics: GHN1 Humbucker, Piezo bridge

The Godin A6 Ultra Natural is a unique and interesting hybrid guitar and the best acoustic-electric guitar on this list. Godin’s innovative design features shine through in this beautiful instrument. Perfect for louder, live settings, the Godin A6 features many of the most prized qualities of traditional acoustic and electric guitars combined into one seamless and tonally expansive package.

The Godin A6 is manufactured in Canada and features a solid cedar top combined with a double-chambered Silver Leaf maple body and Canadian basswood wings. This combination of less-commonly used woods sets Godin apart and produces an exceptional and unique sounding instrument. The A6 has a delightful acoustic sound both unplugged and amplified. The A6 also features a mahogany neck and Richlite fretboard. Richlite is an interesting and innovative material made from composite layers of quality craft paper (3).

The Godin A6 comes equipped with two pickups, a neck position humbucker and an undersaddle transducer. The two pickups are controlled via sliders for acoustic volume, treble, mid, bass EQ, and independent controls for the electric humbucker volume, treble, and bass. The A6 also features two 1/4″ output jacks that can be used individually or simultaneously for expanded control over the guitar tone.

Overall, the Godin A6 Ultra Natural is an awesome choice for a guitarist looking to cover a lot of sonic territory. The combination of a double-chambered body with a fast playing electric neck and two blendable pickup styles makes for an interesting and inspiring instrument that is well equipped to push the limits of sound. For these reasons, the Godin A6 is our top choice to an acoustic-electric guitar under $1000.

5. Takamine GJ72CE-12BSB Jumbo Cutaway 12-String Acoustic-Electric Guitar – Best 12 String

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Specifications

  • Topwood: Solid Spruce

  • Fretboard: Laurel
  • Scale Length: 25.4″
  • Cutaway: Single Cutaway
  • Built-in Electronics: TK-40D Preamp with built-in tuner and 3-band EQ

The Takamine GJ72CE-12BSB Jumbo Cutaway 12 string is a big and bold strumming machine perfectly suited to all your wobbly, shimmering needs. Takamine is a reputable manufacturer of quality instruments and the GJ72CE is no exception!

The GJ72CE features a solid spruce top for enhanced sustain and projection. Flame maple back and sides round out the guitar’s oversized body, perfect for massive waves of chords or delicate, chime-like single note melodies. The GJ72CE also features a maple neck and laurel fretboard, a well balanced combination, especially when paired with the spruce and maple body. The GJ72CE also includes a single jumbo cutaway for easier access to all 21 frets along the comfortable 25.4″ scale length.

Additionally, the GJ72CE comes fully equipped with Takamine’s excellent TK-40D preamp system. The TK-40D includes active shelving EQ with bass, middle, and treble sliders you can use to shape your sound, a built-in tuner for all those extra strings, and a useful battery-light indicator to warn you of imminent battery death. The last thing you want is to be jamming and have your pickup’s battery die!

Overall, the Takamine GJ72CE -12BSB is a prime choice for a 12 string acoustic guitar, whether it is your first 12 string or your tenth. The reliable craftsmanship of Takamine combined with the quality components and woods and the oversized jumbo body makes the GJ72CE the best 12 string acoustic guitar for under $1000.

6. Seagull 046386 S6 Original New 2018 Model Acoustic Guitar

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Specifications

  • Topwood: Solid Cedar

  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • Scale Length: 25.4″
  • Cutaway: None
  • Built-in Electronics: None

A subsidiary of Godin guitars, Seagull has been making fine acoustic guitars for decades. The Seagull S6 has become a standard bearer for affordability and playability and has truly changed the acoustic guitar marketplace for the better. By offering affordable, quality instruments, Seagull forced competitors to adapt. Consequently, there are now hundreds of quality acoustic guitar models on the market.

Like the Godin A6 reviewed above, the Seagull S6 is manufactured in Canada and features a pressure-tested, solid cedar top combined with a wild Canadian back and sides for a classic, warm, and accessible timbre. The S6’s modified dreadnought style body cuts down on unwanted boominess and the Silver leaf maple set neck helps improve resonance and sustain. A 25.4″ scale length rosewood fretboard rounds out a high quality acoustic guitar that sounds great.

The Seagull S6 does not include a cutaway nor any built-in electronics. Of course, there are plenty of aftermarket pickups that would fit the S6 if you want to experiment with amplified opportunities. You can also always put a microphone in front of it and it will sound great.

Overall, the Seagull S6 is a quality guitar for a beginner to intermediate player. It is well-built from solid materials and has come to define a certain standard as far as affordable, solid top acoustic guitars go. This is a guitar you could easily leave on the couch or take the beach for a fun time and not worry that you are going to spoil your expensive instrument.

7. Breedlove Pursuit Concertina CE 6 String Acoustic-Electric Guitar

“Breedlove

Specifications

  • Topwood: Solid Cedar

  • Fretboard: Ovangkol
  • Scale Length: 24.75″
  • Cutaway: Single Cutaway
  • Built-in Electronics: LR Baggs EAS electronic system

The Breedlove Pursuit Concertina CE is comparable to the Seagull S6 in both material and price point. A few important differences separate the two, however. The Breedlove features a smaller overall body and a built-in pickup system, which the Seagull does not.

Like the Seagull, the Breedlove Concertina CE features a solid cedar top. Cedar tops are generally darker in timbre with more overtones but less stiffness in the wood which means the volume is slightly decreased compared to spruce. According to Anderton’s Guitars (4):

Traditionally used on classical guitars, cedar is becoming increasingly common in steel-string instruments.

Cedar tops are generally darker in timbre with more overtones but less stiffness in the wood which means the volume is slightly decreased compared to spruce. The Breedlove Concertina CE is finished off with layered mahogany back and sides and a mahogany neck with ovangkol fretboard. Ovangkol shares many of the same tonal properties of rosewood, but is a more sustainable choice. Overall, this combination of woods makes for a darker sounding guitar than others on this list.

The Concertina CE also features a single cutaway for access to all 18 frets along the 24.75″ scale neck. This shorter scale length combined with the smaller body size makes this guitar a great choice for smaller guitarists. The Concertina CE comes equipped with a built-in LR Baggs EAS electronic pickup system. The EAS is an undersaddle pickup system that captures output from the movement of the soundboard instead of output from the string attack, which produces a more realistic and nuanced tone.

Overall, the Breedlove Concertina CE is a great choice for a guitarist who is not afraid to try something new. The combination of the cedar top, smaller body shape, single cutaway, and LR Baggs system make for an acoustic guitar that pushes behind some of the more traditional designs on this list like the Seagull S6 and Blueridge BR-143.

8. Takamine GD11MCE-NS Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar

“akamine

Specifications

  • Topwood: Mahogany

  • Fretboard: Laurel
  • Scale Length: 25.5″
  • Cutaway: Single Cutaway
  • Built-in Electronics: Takamine TP-4T electronics

Takamine has been building quality instruments for over 5 decades. The company started in 1959 in a small village at the base of Mount Takamine in central Japan. The company has revolutionized the guitar industry several times through innovative design features and built-in electronics. The GD11MCE-NS is a great example of this legacy of quality craftsmanship and affordability.

Like the Córdoba C4-CE reviewed above, the GD11MCE-NS features an all-mahogany top with mahogany back and sides for a rich, warm, and dark timbre. It is unclear whether the GD11MCE is a solid top or composite top or whether the sides are solid or layered. The GD11MCE also comes with a laurel fretboard, which is comparable in tone and feel to rosewood, but more environmentally friendly. The GD11MCE features a 25.5″ scale length, which is slightly longer than most guitars on this list. This slight extension might make the neck a little more comfortable for larger hands.

The GD11MCE-NS also comes equipped with Takamine’s TP-4T pickup system. The TP-4T is a straightforward and easy to use pickup system that features a volume knob, bass, mid, and treble faders with a 12dB boost or cut, and a built-in tuner. The system is powered by a single 9 volt battery that can be easily replaced when drained. Always remember to unplug your guitar after you are done so you don’t wear down the battery!

Overall, the Takamine GD11MCE-NS is a solid pick for a guitarist on a budget and is comparable to the Yamaha FGX800C Solid Top Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar reviews above. The all-mahogany construction combined with the single-cutaway dreadnought shape and quality Takamine pickup make this a good choice for a beginner guitarist or a pro looking for a spare.

9. Blueridge BR-143 Historic Series 000 Guitar

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Specifications

  • Topwood: Solid Sitka Spruce

  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • Scale Length: 25.6″
  • Cutaway: None
  • Built-in Electronics: None

The Blueridge BR-143 Historic Series 000 is modeled off the extremely popular Martin 000 Series body style. These guitars are slightly smaller than the average dreadnought and feature a comfortable playability that captures a sense of nostalgia. Blueridge is a subsidiary of the San Francisco-based Saga Musical Instrument Company and the guitars are made via CNC machine in China.

As you might expect, the Blueridge BR-143 features a solid Sitka spruce top. This is a traditional choice from a guitar designed to replicate traditional styles. The BR-143 also features solid mahogany back and sides. This is a high-end appointment for a guitar in this price range. Often, mid-range guitars will have layered back and sides because it is generally less expensive. However, the resonance of solid construction, as opposed to layered construction, is superior. A mahogany neck and 25.6″ scale length rosewood fretboard round out a fitting guitar.

Since the Blueridge BR-143 is modeled after the vintage Martin 000 Series guitars, it makes sense that the BR-143 follows suit with the traditional Pre-WWII forward-shifted X-bracing pattern pioneered by Martin Guitars (5). This bracing system is famous for its innovative position and design and its supposed enhancements to clarity, sustain, and resonance across the top of the guitar.

Overall, the Blueridge BR-143 Historic Series 000 is a well designed instrument for the guitarist interested in a vintage instrument without the vintage price tag. The BR-143 captures many of the important elements of the Martin 000 series including the smaller body style, Sitka spruce top, solid back and sides, and the traditional Prewar forward-shifted bracing pattern. Be sure to check these guitars out!

10. Yamaha 6 String Series A3M

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Specifications

  • Top: Solid Sitka Spruce

  • Fingerboard: Ebony
  • Scale Length: 25.5”
  • Cutaway: Single Cutaway
  • Built-in Electronics: SRT2 piezo pickup system

The Yamaha 6 String Series A3M is a well-built dreadnought acoustic guitar that rivals many similar acoustics two or three times its price. Yamaha is often regarded as a budget builder of inexpensive guitars, but the A3M proves this is not exclusively the case.

The Yamaha A3M features a solid Sitka spruce top that is treated with Yamaha’s unique A.R.E. wood torrefaction, a high-heat treatment that imbues the guitar top with greater stability and an aged, vintage hue. This treatment removes moisture and impurities from the wood resulting in a product with supposedly superior sustain and clarity. The Sitka spruce top is joined by a mahogany back and sides, a common combination which results in a warm and balanced resonance.

The neck is built from three pieces of mahogany and topped with an ebony fingerboard for a gentle and responsive playability. The 25.5″ scale length is comparable to other guitars in this category. The A3M also includes Yamaha’s under the bridge SRT2 piezo pickup system which models either a Neumann KM 56 small-diaphragm condenser mic or a Royer R-122 active ribbon mic, two high quality recording microphones.

Overall, the Yamaha A3M is a comparable choice to the Taylor 114e Grand Auditorium. Both feature Sitka spruce tops, comparable back and side tonewoods, and well designed pickup systems. Unlike the Taylor, the Yamaha A3M features a single cutaway for access to the higher registers. My advice would be to try to get your hands on both of them before making a decision.

Buying guide: What should you look for at this budget?

At this price range you have more tone-wood options

One of the most important things to consider when buying an acoustic guitar for under $1000, or any guitar for that matter, is the choice in wood. Every wood used in guitar building has a different timber, resonance, flexibility, and hardness and each wood sounds different when combined with another. More than anything else, these qualities contribute to the overall sound of the guitar.

You can think of the tonal qualities of woods on a spectrum. Certain woods are used more frequently as a top wood, or soundboard. Others are more common as a side or back wood. Still others are generally used for necks or fretboards. Some woods are used more for decorative applications than any structural part of the instrument.

For example, spruce is probably the most common wood for acoustic guitar tops. Many guitars on this list feature a solid spruce top. Spruce is a lighter and brighter sounding wood, is relatively stiff, and resonates well. Cedar is less commonly used than spruce and is slightly darker in timbre. A few guitars on this list include cedar tops. Mahogany is used more frequently than cedar for guitar tops and generally sounds darker and warmer than either cedar or spruce.

However, true mahogany is becoming more difficult to come by, so guitar manufactures are looking for sustainable replacements. Mahogany, or its substitutes, are more commonly used in back and sides.

The combination of a spruce top with mahogany back and sides is very popular.

The pairing of the brighter sounding spruce with the darker sounding mahogany creates a nice blend that many guitarists enjoy. You will often see mahogany used as a neck wood as well, often paired with a rosewood fretboard. Like mahogany, true Indian rosewood is becoming more difficult to use because of environmental regulation, so luthiers often use woods like laurel, walnut, or pau ferro as substitutes.

Cutaway: optional?

Another important consideration to make when purchasing an acoustic guitar for under $1000 is the cutaway. Do you prefer a guitar with a cutaway so that you can have easier access to the higher register of the guitar? Or do you prefer a guitar without a cutaway so that the body has extra space to resonate?

For example, the Taylor 114ce Grand Auditorium and Seagull S6 are traditional dreadnought guitars that do not feature a cutaway. The logic behind the no-cutaway dreadnought is that the increased size of the body will increase the overall volume and projection of the guitar. However, this potential increase in volume comes at the expense of easy access to the higher registers of the guitar. Additionally, the dreadnought body shape can occasionally become too boomy in the low and mid range frequencies. The Blueridge BR-143 does not feature a cutaway either, but instead has a smaller overall body size than both the Taylor and Seagull.

There are a number of different cutaway body styles on this list. A few guitars like the Yamaha FGX800C, Takamine GJ72CE-12BSB, and Yamaha 6 String Series A3M feature a single cutaway, but are still based on a traditional dreadnought body style. This is sort of a compromise between the maximization of volume and the desire to easily access the upper frets of the guitar. Other guitars, like the Godin A6 and Breedlove Concertina CE push into less traditional territory. These guitars feature more modern looking body shapes and easy cutaways.

Built-in Electronics

One final consideration to make when purchasing an acoustic guitar for under $1000 is the importance of built-in electronics. What will be your primary use for your new guitar? Will you be performing and recording regularly? Or will you mostly be strumming in the backyard or jamming acoustically with your friends?

Acoustic guitar pickup technology has developed rapidly in the last 30 years or so. Quality pickup systems are now standard on many guitars and the market covers a wide range of technological designs.

It seems that most major guitar manufactures today have some sort of proprietary pickup system for their acoustic guitars.

For example, Taylor installs the Expression System 2 on all ‘CE’ guitars. The pickups in this system are placed behind the bridge as opposed to under the saddles in other designs. Yamaha has a few different pickup designs as does Takamine. Other builders prefer to partner with a pickup maker, as is the case with Breedlove and LR Baggs.

However, maybe you are something of a traditionalist and are not interested in a built-in pickup. That is totally fine and there are many options for great acoustic guitars without pickups. Examples on this list include the Blueridge BR-143 and the Seagull S6.

FAQs

Yes, cheap acoustic guitars are generally worth buying. Over the last few decades, guitar manufacturers have been offering increasingly affordable, decent quality guitars. This is great for the beginner guitarist because it means that you can purchase a relatively inexpensive guitar that is not a total piece of junk.

You should keep your acoustic guitar in its case when you are not playing it. Keeping your acoustic guitar inside of its case when it is not in use will prolong the life of your guitar and protect your instrument from unwanted damage like spills, drops, etc.

Cheap guitars on average last about 10 years. However, depending on what you use it for and how well you care for it, there is no reason why a cheap acoustic guitar can’t last much longer. The determining factor is your attention. If you treat your guitar poorly, it will not last as long as you will like.

  1. FG/FGX Series. Retrieved from: https://usa.yamaha.com/products/musical_instruments/guitars_basses/ac_guitars/fg_fgx/index.html
  2. 10 Things Steel-String Players Should Know About Nylon-String Classical Guitars. Retrieved from: https://acousticguitar.com/10-things-steel-string-players-should-know-about-classical-nylon-guitars/
  3. Is it really paper? Retrieved from: https://richlite.com/pages/about
  4. Acoustic Guitar Tonewood Guide. Retrieved from: https://blog.andertons.co.uk/learn/acoustic-guitar-tonewood-guide
  5. ‘X’ Marks the Spot. Retrieved from: http://www.vintagemartin.com/xbraces.html