Best Acoustic Guitars under $1000
Before deciding to shell out $1000, a question sure has popped up in your head at least once- is it worth it? Well, being a part of a professional band some point in our lives, our team says yes, it’s worth every penny. While shopping for the best acoustic guitar under $1000, the first thing you should look for is superior craftsmanship.
Needless to state the obvious that there are several other aspects to check out other than a soul-pleasing design. When you strum the guitar, it should create a soul-steering sound too, that mojo should be there. So, we, a bunch of music enthusiasts decided to do a thorough market research on your behalf and make the decision easier for you.
Reviews of the Best Acoustic Guitars of 2018
Seagull Artist Mosaic Acoustic Guitar
Talking of mojo, the first guitar to be featured on our top 10 list has to be Seagull Artist mosaic. By the looks of it, it gives the impression of a high-end acoustic guitar. All thanks to the wooden mosaic body accentuated by its cedar top, mahogany sides and back.
In the cut-throat competition between this solid wood guitar and laminate guitars, this one surely stands out for its exquisite, durable design as well extraordinary sound out. The combination of mahogany, cedar, and dreadnought size also affect the sound of the guitar to a great extent. The full, well-rounded, mellow tone without a heavy-bass response will stir something inside the heart of your audiences.
The crisp sound accompanied by well-defined tones is the main USP of this model. We also loved the wide head of the guitar which enhances the tuning stability of the model. Plus, the wooden body is sturdy enough to stand the test of time.
Seagull Artist Mosaic features a Rosewood fretboard which makes strumming, playing harmony, lead line pickups and strumming chords an immersive experience. This goes both for the beginners and seasoned guitarists. We bet you can play your favorite tunes or simply practice for hours end with this guitar without feeling tired.
Add to all of the above, the model comes with a solid case that protects the guitar from all the beating you might subject it to, unintentionally. Moreover, it also makes traveling with the guitar a breeze. So ergonomically sound design-check, great sound quality-check, ease of playing- check, easy portability-check.
So if you want to upgrade your old guitar with a new one for a reasonable price or simply looking for a guitar that’ll overwhelm you with its sound, we definitely recommend checking out this bad boy.
- A large sound hole that provides the guitar a big voice
- Warm, mellow, well-rounded tone
- Cedar top combined with mahogany back and sides
- Great for beginners, intermediate players as well as experienced guitarists
- Scalloped x-bracing
- Good tuning stability
- The original strings might need to be replaced, eventually
Yamaha NTX1200R Acoustic Electric Classical Guitar
If you are switching from a dreadnought-sized guitar like Artistic Mosaic or jumbo steel- string guitar to this nylon-string guitar for the extra nuance and warmth in tone, you are on the right path, my friend! This electro-acoustic guitar uses an African Rosewood neck paired with Rosewood back and sides. It also features a solid Sitka spruce top embellished with a wooden rosette, giving the guitar a premium look and feel. The combination of these tonewoods helps NTX1200R produce extremely well-pronounced and well-balanced tones.
The nylon strings not only take the playability of the guitar to another level but also provides an impeccable tonal range. Something you will come to appreciate a lot if you are a classical guitar player. What further adds to the superior, unmatchable craftsmanship of this model is Yamaha’s patented A.R.E (Acoustic Resonance Enhancement). It is essentially a wood manipulation technique.
Thanks to A.R.T, the dynamic electro-acoustic sound, sharp tones and incredible resonance of the guitar closely resembles the mature sound of a vintage guitar. We were also quite impressed by the 14th-fret cutaway design that allows easy access to the highest frets, making the upper frets access a breeze for even the newbies. We also found that the ebony bridge holds the tuning quite well. But there’s is more to this power-packed guitar than just that.
The NTX1200R is packed with Yamaha’s ART (Acoustic Resonance Transducer) two-way pickup system, one on the bass side and another on the treble. The two-way pickup system is accompanied by System 61 preamp precise volume control, perfectly complementing the natural, mature, nuanced tones produced by the nylon strings.
We also found that the ebony bridge holds the tuning quite well. The multi-layer contact sensors along with a multilayer damper let you nail the lead runs without getting bugged by the feedbacks. Thus, allowing you to capture the most dynamic, natural tones with controlled dissonance in the high range. So if your playing range spans across Latin, Pop, Jazz, Blues and Rock, this could be a perfect guitar to get your hands on.
- Cutaway design with a spruce top
- Loaded with Yamaha’s ARE technology to produce a mature sound
- Solid build
- Two-way pickup system
- Excellent onboard electronics, making the guitar gig-ready, always
- The 4th string of the 4th fret creates a slight buzz
Yamaha A-Series A3R Acoustic-Electric Guitar
As far as acoustic guitars go the Yamaha A3R is one of the best acoustic guitars $1000. Built with rosewood and mahogany the A3R sports a classic look that is hard to miss when it comes to style. The guitar stays true to a traditional body shape, thus allowing players to adjust to it more easily.
The guitar has a newly added top bracing and a shorter back broad that allows sound to flow more naturally thereby giving studio sound even during stage performances. The Rosewood exterior helps create low to high balanced tones. Special mention must be made of the SRT system which helped us to blend preamp signals and thus pump out studio quality sound.
When playing in a studio, it is very easy to hear the subtle notes. However, using the blend control along with the SRT would ensure that you do not compromise on sound quality even during your stage performances. Ready to sound like you do in the studio on stage? A Yamaha A3R is your best bet.
- 6 string dreadnought
- Solid durable construction
- A.R.E. wood torrefaction
- Scalloped bracing
- Traditional cut body shape
- Only for right-handed players
Taylor 114ce 100 Series Acoustic Guitar
Taylor has traditionally been known for great guitars at extremely affordable prices the 114ce is just another addition to this great legacy. The first thing that we noticed on using the guitar is its sound quality. It would be quite an understatement to say that we were blown away by the precise tones. The intonation and the bass levels alike, the sound is smooth, sharp and clear.
Secondly, the tuners can modulate the sound levels to adjust as per requirements – whether playing in a band or going solo. The best part about the 114ce is its sturdy build quality which ensures that you can play the guitar for extended periods without any damage.
- Six enclosed die-cast turners
- Tusq bone saddle
- ES-T internal pickup system
- Front facing onward preamble
- Custom made equalizer
- A little heavy
Taylor GS Mini-e Solid Koa Top ESB
The Taylor GS Mini is a guitar with a difference in the sense that it is unlike any of the other guitars on the list. The GS Mini as the name suggests is a more compact version of the traditional guitar in terms of dimension. However, that is just about where the dissimilarity ends.
Sporting a look made from the hard mahogany top, the GS Mini sounds just as impressive as a regular sized guitar. The smaller size ensures that it can be used in diverse places like campsites and also carried around more easily.
The three-layered Koa wood guarantees durability against rough weather and thus ensures that you can carry it just about anywhere. The compact size and the consistent performance make the GS Mini one of the best guitars under $1000. As far as the playability is concerned, it can be equaled but not bettered by its direct competitors.
- Distinctive wood grain
- Small comfortable size
- Durable Koa top
- Built-in digital chromatic tuner
- Symmetrical size
- No cutaway, so high frets maybe a problem
Blueridge BR-160 Historic Series Dreadnought Guitar
The has a lot going for it and it easy to see the reason behind its enduring popularity. Unlike the classical, polished look that most conventional acoustic guitars go for, the BR-160 sports a vintage look. This is achieved with a solid Sitka spruce top which apart from highly accentuating the style quotient also helps in producing a deep bass sound.
The combination of the Sitka spruce with the Indian rosewood creates a deep mellow sound which can only be described as being a vintage classic. The small attention to detail can easily be observed in the minute attention paid on each aspect of the guitar. The slender neck of the guitar, while slimmer than the conventional variety, makes it easier for players with smaller hands to wield it. At its price, the BR-160 is making the right kind of music and we for one are happy to dance to its tune. Blueridge Contemporary Series BR-73 000 Will be the best alternative of Blueridge BR-160
- Vintage look
- Full balanced tone
- Sitka wood top for extra durability
- Deep bass
- Slimmer neck
- Case must be bought separately
Yamaha L-Series LL16M Solid Mahogany Acoustic-Electric Guitar
The name Yamaha has become synonymous with quality musical instruments and the LL16M is a legend in that regard. This happens to be one of the only acoustic guitars we have tried out (and we have tried out a lot), that produces a full-range response with absolute consistency.
The rich tone can be attributed to Yamaha’s trademark A.R.E. process and the enhanced fretboard. Special mention must also be made to the improved fingerboard edge that helps in better grips while playing the SRT zero which enhances the string tones once the guitar is plugged in. The guitar looks like a legend feels like a legend and sounds like a legend. Need we say more?
- Innovative guitar design
- Non-scalloped bracing
- 5 ply mahogany/rosewood neck
- Acoustic Resonance Enhancement (A.R.E.) treated wood
- Passive SRT Zero Impact pickup
- Requires external preamp
Fender Paramount PM-1 Deluxe Dreadnought
Fender guitars have always held a special place for us owing to its superior look, build quality and unmatched performance. The PM-1 has so much going for it that we just didn’t know where to start at. Firstly, the vintage sunburst finish is bound to turn heads if not permanently fix them on the guitar. Yes, it looks absolutely that beautiful.
Secondly, the art-deco fretboard inlays lend a vintage flavor to the guitar that is virtually unmatched in the acoustic section at this price range. On the performance front, the guitar emits a balanced sound with a clear ringing.
However, the guitar does not cover the mid-range notes well enough and sadly that was a bit of a disappointment. We would recommend investing in this guitar only if you wish to play rock or hard metal music.
- Fishman designed preamp
- Plays low frequency effortlessly
- Durable construction
- Hardshell case
- Comes in three body style
- The mid-range notes aren’t up to the mark
Martin DRS2 Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar
The Martin DRS2 reminded us of another classic the Gibson Hummingbird in terms of its performance and design. The only difference was that the former cost a third of the Gibson classic’s price tag. If that comparison is anything to go by, you can easily understand that the DRS2 is one of the best acoustic guitars under $1000. The tone that the guitar puts forth can best be described as deep and somber owing to the solid wood construction of the guitar.
But then, if you are ordering a Martin DRS2 you would be doing it for the characteristic “Martin” sound. The guitar uses Sitka spruce which ensures the deep bass of the instrument. Where the DRS2 excels is the playability quotient. For instance, the slim neck of the guitar helps the player guide across the neck easily. Everything from fingerstyle to tapping feels so easy on the guitar.
- Fishman Sonitone allows plug and play
- Slimmer neck and taper
- Bass and treble voices are virtually unmatched
- Can be used both as an electric and an acoustic guitar
- Change tone in real time
- Is limited in terms of tone variations
Epiphone EJ-200SCE Solid Top Cutaway Acoustic/Electric Guitar
It is important to understand the very beginning that the EJ-200SCE is not meant for everyone. The dimensions of the guitar coupled with its heavy weight make it a select choice for players across genres. The EJ-200SCE sports a spruce top with a rosewood bridge which is a pretty quirky twist on the staple classic look that most acoustic guitars in this segment sport.
The combination of various woods ensures that the tone the guitar emits is solid and yet delicately balanced and thus ideal for both playing in a band and going solo. The USP of the product, however, has got to be the Epiphone eSonic2 preamp system which is built into the guitar.
The system is a one-stop solution for all your guitar needs be it using as a tuner for preventing accidental popping. The EJ-200CE is perhaps not the best that this segment has to offer, but once you start using this, we don’t think you’ll be playing anything else for some time to come.
- Plug and Play feature
- Epiphone eSonic2 preamp system
- Tone shaping options
- Low battery indicator
- NanoFlex, low-impedance pickup
- Powered by lighter lithium batteries
- Weighs a bit on the heavier side
Best Acoustic guitars under $1000- Buying Guide
The $1000 segment in the guitar industry is an extremely confusing place to be for the uninitiated. There are a lot of possible choices when it comes to investing in a guitar and this obviously creates endless confusion. To make life easier we decided to cut to the chase and list out the aspects you should consider while investing in a guitar. Read on to find out.
Things to Consider While Buying an Acoustic Guitar under $1000
Solid or Laminate
Apart from the very obvious difference in finishing that separates the two variants there are a few details that make them unique in their own ways. The Solid wood guitar is usually made completely of Koa or Brazilian rosewood. The wooden construction makes the guitar less tolerant of heat or sudden temperature change. Exposing to harsh conditions could produce cracks in the guitar.
The tone that these guitars produce is, however, comparatively more defined and consistent in terms of performance. The laminated guitars are more flexible in terms of design and color and can be used under adverse weather conditions. Obviously, that would mean lower efforts at maintenance and reduced recurring costs.
Obviously, we were partially inclined towards the laminated variant but the final call should always rest with the guitarist. If you are more of a traveler we would recommend the laminate finish and if you are more of an orthodox musician for whom tonal quality stands paramount, then you look no forward than the solid variant.
What’s in a name, Shakespeare asks? A lot when it comes to guitars we retort. The best brands in the business like Taylor and Martin would not be such great brands if not for their high-quality guitars. Brand, therefore, is an important aspect to consider because apart from ensuring quality, branding also ensures better resale value.
Sound and Style
The most notable difference between a cheap and expensive guitar is the sound. Everything from the tonal quality to the port out options reeks of the price. We did notice that the guitar which costs less inevitably sounds “cheaper” than a more expensive variant.
No wants a drab guitar. Every guitarist worth his/her salt wants to invest in a guitar that looks great sounds awesome and is durable enough to last for many years. In this respect craftsmanship is essential. Don’t be afraid to pick and choose repeatedly, constantly changing your decision before finally investing. It’s your guitar, you have a right to be choosy about the instrument you wish to make love to (figuratively speaking).
When it comes to guitars, quality is key. A good quality guitar would obviously translate well in terms of performance, and artistic satisfaction. Since even the most “budget” guitar is going to set you back by a grand it is essential to ensure that you are investing in absolutely the best your money can buy.
Is a second-hand guitar the way to go?
We have seen that the second-hand guitar market is an extremely lucrative place for young guitarists who wish to save money on a guitar. While there are no absolute restrictions on buying refurbished guitars, we would obviously recommend you to check the guitar for cracks and damages before investing in them.
If money is not an issue then we would recommend investing in a hard-shell case. While guitars by default come in a gig bag usually made of synthetic fabric, a hard-shell would go a long way in protecting your guitar from bumps and wear resulting from travel.
The next important thing would be to invest in a set of amplifiers to help boost your sound output. We recommend investing in an instrument cable, a DI box and an XLR cable for starters. These basic attachments would help you get through those initial gigs. It is important also to invest in an amp because while at home we found the acoustic guitar very easy to play, it would take time getting used to an amp which is usually used in larger shows.
Knowing your requirements
Since the under $1000 segment is crowded with a lot of potentially very different guitars, having your needs sorted out would go a long way in making a choice. If you wish to invest in a guitar that gives out complex tones you would need to invest bigger bucks. However, if you are looking for a guitar that you can take to gigs and shows then you would do well to sacrifice tonal quality for durability. Keep your priorities sorted and you are sure to get a bang for your buck.
Value of any instrument can be determined under two aspects – aesthetic and resale. The aesthetic value of the instrument is the value that the user assigns to it. It comprises of the way the instrument plays out. Aesthetic value is important because a larger part of our impression while buying a new instrument is based on the former. The resale value is the pure monetary exchange that the guitar would bring forth should you wish to sell it in the future.
The Bottom Line
Even you have been playing guitar for some time, shelling out $1000 for a guitar might still seem a bit too much. But speaking from our years of experience, we can safely recommend you to simply go for it if you are ready for it. The best acoustic guitars under $1000 will simulate a sound that’ll stir you to the core. Plus, the overall design and build quality of these guitars are almost on par with their higher-end counterparts. We have spent relentless hours looking for the best acoustic guitars, ranging from dreadnought to electro-acoustic nylon string guitars. We hope you find the model of your choice from the chart above.
Agree with our list or know of any model we might have missed? Let us know.