Parent article: Best Acoustic Guitars
Getting into what we'd consider the highest range of acoustic guitar pricing, we expect a great tone, easy to play, and a fairly stacked features list. Now, it's true that you can have laminate (cheaper/layered wood product) tonewood that's simply a higher quality grade, meaning laminate in a $500 acoustic guitar isn't the same as laminate in a $1500 guitar. Still, we'd like to see solid tonewood in the top, back, and sides of the acoustic.
This is why the Martin 16 is a great choice, because it's the only one in our list that does this for all three parts.
You should also be getting an acoustic guitar that provides a significantly better-sounding and feeling experience than the cheaper models.
Best Acoustic Guitars Under 2000 Dollars (our top three picks)
Based on acoustics that we've actually held in our hands and played, these three models are our favorite in the sub-$2000 price range:
Taylor 224CE Koa
Taylor 214CE Deluxe
Martin 16 Series
Which brands are strongest in this price range?
There are a few acoustic guitar brands that do particularly well in the $1000 to $2000 price range. Spending high on their guitars is almost always going to be a safe bet in terms of getting good quality in return.
For easy shopping, we've pre-configured these links to lead to acoustic guitars within our price range for each brand listed.
Pre-Configured Brand Filters for Sweetwater
1. Taylor 224ce Koa
Even laminate Koa is good, but Taylor actually uses solid Koa for the top and then laminate for the back and sides. It's an absolutely stunning, well-built acoustic guitar that sounds better than almost anything we've ever played. In this price range there's little we'd recommend higher, even while this one barely eclipses $1500.
IDEAL FOR: Recording and performing
2. Taylor 214ce Deluxe
While the specs sheet doesn't look dramatically different than the Taylor 114ce, it's the difference in handling and playing the 214 Deluxe where you immediately notice the improved tone and construction. The two instruments are worlds apart, despite having a similar tonewood profile. This one is also the cheapest of our acoustic recommendations under $2000.
IDEAL FOR: Recording and performing
3. Martin 16 Series
The Martin 16 series gets a couple things added that we'd like to see in the two Taylors. First, you get solid Indian Rosewood on the back and sides, going along with the expected solid Spruce top. You also get the Fishman Matrix preamp system, which we like a lot better than the ES-2. In a price vacuum, this is our favorite acoustic on the list. It's just closer to $2000 than the other two.
IDEAL FOR: Rhythm and lead hybrid, recording and performing
Features to Expect in an Acoustic Guitar Under $2000
Paying this much means you should get a good return on your investment. From a features perspective, look for the following:
- High-grade tonewood (Indian Rosewood or Koa are typically good options)
- At least a solid top (the less laminate the better)
- Third party electronics (Fishman, LR Baggs, etc.)
- Should need very little or no setup (i.e. action should already be low)
- Noticeable sound and playing feel quality
There's no question that when you start getting into four figures, you're talking about a lot of money going into your acoustic guitar. At the same time, that's a fairly normal amount to spend, especially if you want to get one of the best acoustic guitars under 2000 dollars.
Even if you're not a professional - perhaps just an intermediate guitar player - we'd advocate for these guitars simply because the experience of playing them is so much better than guitars in the lower price ranges.
If you don't feel like any of the three acoustics we suggested will work for you, poke around in the brand-based searches. I'd be surprised if you didn't find something there that's a good fit.
Questions and Comments
If you have questions about these acoustics, or perhaps something we didn't mention, leave it in the comments section below and I'll answer as best I can.