The "best of" gear-related posts on Guitar Chalk have been pretty popular over the past year.
My formula is a simple one: Recommend gear that I have personal experience with or that I would (or have) recommend(ed) to fellow guitar players, teachers and students.
|Image Courtesy of Shaunanyi|
So what this doesn’t mean is that these are the best guitars that money can buy. That would be impossible because I’ve already said that we’re curbing our spending to include “value” guitars.
However, they are good choices that all come in under the $1000 price tag; a mark that tends to knock our financial morale down a few notches.If you disagree with the "good choices" part, the comments section is always open -- just keep it kosher.
2014 Acoustic Guitar EditionAs we get set to ring in the new year, this will be the follow up to the Best Acoustic Guitars for Under $1000 -- 2013 Edition, which I wrote last May.
Let's do a quick recap of those guitars:
- Taylor 214CE-G Cutaway Grand Auditorium
- Martin D-1GT
- Takamine Pro Series 1 NEX Cutaway
- Martin GPCPA5K Performing Artist Series
- Washburn WD160SWCE
- Taylor 214-CEN
Additionally, I'll provide the following information:
- My Quick Two Cents
- Musician's Friend Price
- Amazon Price
Good luck on your pursuit of the perfect acoustic guitar. It'll happen.
Musician's Friend: $999
Amazon: $899 - $999
Musician's Friend: $799
Despite being the economy version of the Gibson guitars, Epiphone has a lot of their own models and are solid guitars in their own right. This acoustic comes in at $600 and features the E-Sonic 2 Stereo preamp, which is essentially a two-pickup system for acoustic guitars.
Musician's Friend: $599
Musician's Friend: $750
At three times the cost of the APX500 the Yamaha A-Series guitar is a solid combination of quality and cost, still coming in under $1000. It sounds great with the SRT 63 Modeling Preamp, if you do decide to plug it in.
Used options can dip under $750.
Musician's Friend: $719 -- $899
Amazon: $748 -- $899
It's similar to the first Taylor in the list, but goes without the cutaway and adds the spruce top. Again, less than $1000 and a fantastic guitar for the price.
Musician's Friend: $899
Amazon: $850 - $899
For what you pay Ibanez acoustics are pretty reliable guitars. The Artwood Series in particular makes great starter instruments, giving you a decent degree of quality for under $600.
Musician's Friend: $599
You get great looks and a surprisingly great sound for the price. What really kicks this one up is the Fishman preamp and Sonicore pickup system. It's a lower end guitar at around $300, but a decent option for beginners or as a backup to your primary acoustic.
Musician's Friend: $279 - $349
The only gripe I have with this guitar is that the volume and tone controls are inside the soundhole, which is a bit inconvenient. Still, a forgivable detraction to an otherwise excellent guitar for under $600.
Musician's Friend: $549
I've always liked Takamine as an "upper middle class" guitar brand and since the Pro Series Orchestra model give you a three-band EQ and a cedar top, it would be my personal choice if I were trying to stay below $1000.
Musician's Friend: $949
Honorable MentionsAll of these are good acoustic guitars with a manageable price tag, though if you still aren't sure and want to look into other models or other brands, I'd recommend the following honorable mentions that didn't quite make my top-10 list.
- Seagull Maritime SWS
- Ovation Standard Balladeer 1771 AX
- Guild GAD Series F-130RCE Orchestra
- Fender CD 320ASCE Dreadnought Cutaway
- Breedlove Atlas Series Solo C350-CRe Concert
- Ibanez Euphoria Steve Vai Signature
If you're willing to go over $1000, options change a lot and at that point, you're probably fairly confident in what you want to buy.
This list is designed for those who aren't.
Use it as a guide to get you started in the right direction and to at least give you a starting point as you shop for your acoustic guitar. You can get away with buying cheap, but you've got to be smart about it and target the guitars that get you the most value for the low price you're paying.
These ones fit that bill, so hopefully you've found it helpful.
Thanks for reading.