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Buying a new guitar is a momentous occasion in any guitarist’s life. With a larger budget, the options increase exponentially for what is available to the guitarist.
This can obviously make the process much more research dependent and time-consuming.
In this article, we will review some of the best acoustic guitars that cost $1000 or less. Read on to discover your new companion as there’s something here for every range of this large budget.
Takamine GN93CE NEX – Best Overall
One of the best you could buy is the Takamine GN93CE NEX (see price on Amazon, Sweetwater, or Guitar Center). This acoustic guitar has everything a working professional needs to perform both on and off of the stage.
The GN93CE has Takamine’s signature NEX body style with a single cutaway. This guitar features a solid Spruce top with the sides and back made of Black Walnut.
Quartersawn scalloped X-bracing architecture is used in the body’s construction. This helps to provide a very vocal and balanced tonal profile.
The neck is crafted from Mahogany and has a 25.4” scale length. Laurel is used for the fretboard, which has a 12” radius and 20 frets outlined by dot inlays.
Performing is going to be a joy with the included electronics. These include:
- Undersaddle pickup
- Takamine TK-40D preamp system
The preamp is loaded with features that any performing artist will appreciate. A built-in tuner is provided for easy tuning anywhere you might be.
You’ll be able to control your tone with a gain knob and a 3-band EQ. Plus, you’ll always know the status of the 9V battery with the battery indicator.
This preamp is discreetly located on the guitar’s shoulder.
For hardware, the GN93CE sports a synthetic bone nut and split saddle, a Laurel bridge, and gold die-cast tuners.
This guitar is certainly not short on aesthetic value by any means. The color balance between the top and sides is quite outstanding.
A thin binding around the top’s edges helps to elegantly define the guitar’s physical attributes. At the center of the guitar’s top is a rosette and pickguard that help to provide a traditional look.
Plus, there is a Quilted Maple section in the center of the guitar’s back that really adds an excellent touch.
What’s So Great About The Takamine GN93CE NEX?
Larger guitars, such as the Jumbo body size, are incredibly excellent guitars when being played while standing. Once the guitarist decides to sit and perform, these large guitars can be quite difficult to play.
Takamine’s NEX body is a sort of hybrid guitar in terms of the design of the guitar. You could think of this as a Jumbo guitar that has been built to the dimensions of a dreadnought.
This allows guitarists to reap the benefits of the tonal profile and volume projection that jumbo guitars have. Dreadnoughts are notorious for their volume, so the GN93CE will be right at home in any acoustic music setting.
Overall, the GN93CE NEX is a guitar that could very well be the last acoustic guitar you ever buy. Owners of this guitar love how comfortable the guitar is to play.
Another positive aspect that owners emphatically rave about is how great the guitar sounds. While it might not be as warm in tone as others, it still provides a rich acoustic tone.
Perhaps one of the best things is that it’s priced at a level that allows you to save some money. This allows you to have some money to be able to purchase a gig bag or hardshell case for transportation.
If you’ve always thought that Martin or Taylor are the only worthwhile guitars in this range, this proves otherwise. Take a chance on this guitar and you’ll likely find yourself pleasantly surprised.
The craftsmanship of this guitar certainly rivals that of higher-priced guitars. Special attention has been given to every single detail of this guitar.
Not only will you sound great, but you’ll have a very attractive guitar as well. For this price, you can’t beat that.
Item Weight: 9 pounds
Package Dimensions: 44 x 20 x 6 inches
Washburn G25SCE – Best Premium
This is a guitar that includes a very high degree of craftsmanship in just about every detail of the instrument. If you’re a professional, you’re absolutely going to love this guitar.
The G25SCE is effectively a grand auditorium acoustic guitar that comes from Washburn’s Comfort series. This model has a single cutaway for access to the higher fret ranges.
In its construction, the guitar features a solid Sitka Spruce top with the back and sides made from Pau Ferro. Scalloped X-bracing with cathedral peaks has been used to provide an ultra-rich tone.
Since this is a Comfort series guitar, the G25SCE features a beveled armrest made of Mahogany.
Mahogany is also used to craft the neck, which has a 25.3” scale length. Ovangkol is used for the fretboard, which has 20 frets and comes without fretboard inlays.
One of the best things is the fact that it has an undersaddle pickup with a Fishman Presys+ preamp. The guitar’s tone will be preserved in high definition when plugged in for electric play.
This preamp has a wide range of features including:
- Volume control
- 3-band EQ
- Notch level
- Brilliance level
For hardware, the G25SCE features:
- Nut and saddle made of NuBone
- 18:1 ratio Grover tuners
- Ovangkol bridge
The G25SCE is absolutely stunning to look at, featuring a Mahogany binding on every edge of the guitar. Even the bridge has Mahogany binding at its edges.
An ornate rosette is included, which features an alternating pattern of Mahogany and Maple. The guitar’s back has been book-matched to include a strip of Mahogany between 2 pieces of Maple.
What’s So Great About The Washburn G25SCE?
There are so many great things about the Washburn G25SCE that it’s hard to sum up in a few sentences. However, this guitar is built as you might expect a guitar 3x its cost to be built.
It is quite the luxurious guitar and you can tell that Washburn did not spare one detail in this build. The Mahogany binding is such a tasteful touch that really makes the guitar appear to be high-end.
Of course, a guitar is not purely aesthetics, and the G25SCE is not in short supply of usable features. One of the more notable aspects is the included comfort bevel on the guitar’s body.
While this does add an aesthetic value of its own, it is more of an inclusion of practicality. Guitars can become quite uncomfortable to play over time due to having to accommodate sharp body edges.
This beveled edge is a more modern approach to correcting this problem area while still retaining tradition. Washburn has made it so that the whole guitar’s aesthetic accommodates the bevel without it looking out of place.
Because really, there aren’t many companies who are creating guitars in this manner. You can be sure it will likely be a trend that will continue well into the future.
Another area of note is that this guitar is primed and ready for any stage performance. The Fishman preamp gives you a wide range of different tonal controls to craft the sound of your electric signal.
This guitar is in the top range of the $1000 budget, so there isn’t much money to be saved here. However, you can be sure that this guitar is worth every cent of its cost.
Item Weight: 4.84 pounds
Package Dimensions: 41 x 16 x 5 inches
Yamaha APXT2EW – Best Budget
If you’re really looking to save some money, you have quite a range of excellent budget acoustics to choose from. One of the best is the Yamaha APXT2EW (see price on Amazon, Sweetwater, or Guitar Center).
This guitar might be on the extreme low end of the $1000 budget, but don’t let that fool you. The APXT2EW is loaded with features that make it an excellent value for literally any budget.
You’ll find that the APXT2EW is a 3/4-size acoustic guitar. This makes a perfect choice for children or those who frequently travel to play gigs.
The APXT2EW has a very unique body shape consisting of narrow shoulders and a more ovular hip area. Nevertheless, the guitar is extremely comfortable to play due to its size.
A cutaway is even provided in the body’s design for easier playing access on the higher frets.
Construction-wise, this guitar features a Meranti body with a Mango veneer top. 2 different color options are available, including:
- Tobacco brown sunburst
The neck is made from Nato and has a shortened scale length of 22.81”. Rosewood is used for the 15.75” radius fretboard, which has 21 frets and white dot inlays.
Performers will delight in the fact that the APXT2EW is stocked with electronics. The included System 68 pickup and preamp system are perfect for on-stage performances.
This preamp includes features such as:
- Built-in tuner
- Volume control
- Tone control
For hardware, the APXT2EW features:
- Rosewood bridge
- Urea nut and saddle
- Covered chrome tuners
The APXT2EW is certainly not short on aesthetic appeal, either. This guitar has a truly unique body shape that is perfectly augmented by the exotic wood top and white binding.
To sweeten the deal, a padded gig bag is included with the purchase of the APXT2EW.
What’s So Great About The Yamaha APXT2EW?
After reading about how the APXT2EW is built, you’ve likely seen how much value it provides. Despite its extremely low price, this guitar has all of the necessities a working guitarist could ever need.
Sure, it might be fairly basic and not have all the glitzy features seen on higher-priced guitars. However, this guitar effectively gets the job done and saves you some serious cash in the process.
While the price is the main reason this is a great choice, it really does come down to its features. After all, it is the extreme value that this guitar packs in that makes it so worthwhile.
Let’s start with the fact that it is a smaller guitar, which immediately increases the portability factor. Those of you with smaller hands are also going to appreciate the guitar’s shortened scale length.
Don’t let its small size fool you, though. If you’re a grown adult, the string spacing is more than adequate to accommodate the size of your fingers.
You’ll find that its smaller size provides a large degree of comfort that isn’t really seen with larger guitars. Plus, this guitar is extremely fun to play, which can also be attributed to its smaller size.
The built-in electronics are a necessity for anyone that aspires to play on the stage. This isn’t often included on budget instruments, but it’s certainly present here.
Another aspect not often included with other guitars is the fact that the APXT2EW comes with a padded gig bag. This is actually becoming increasingly rare as time goes by.
You’ll notice that even the aforementioned higher-priced guitars did not come with a gig bag or a case.
Don’t pass up on this incredible value.
Item Weight: 5.5 pounds
Package Dimensions: 36.2 x 16.5 x 4.5 inches
Taylor GS Mini-e Koa
As its name suggests, this guitar is a miniature-sized grand symphony acoustic guitar. It retains an effectively large sound and balanced tone with its non-cutaway body style.
The guitar itself features a solid Hawaiian Koa top with layered Koa used for the sides and back. At this price, it’s a bargain to get a guitar made completely from an exotic wood such as Koa.
Sapele is used to craft the Taylor’s neck, which has a shortened scale length of 23.5”. Ebony is used for the fretboard, which has a 15” radius and 20 frets outlined by dot inlays.
Despite its miniature size, this guitar is ready to go for stage performances with its ES-B pickup and preamp. A built-in tuner, as well as volume and tone controls, are featured in the preamp’s configurable settings.
For hardware, the GS Mini-e Koa sports:
- NuBone nut
- Micarta saddle
- Ebony bridge
- Chrome tuners
Aesthetically, the GS Mini-e Koa is quite pleasant to look at with its Koa construction being showcased. The white binding and rosette really help to make the guitar’s edges pop visually.
To make the overall package even better, Taylor includes a soft-shell case with the GS Mini-e Koa. The guitar will be ready for travel right out of the box.
Overall, the GS Mini-E Koa is a great affordable choice for anyone who’s ever desired to have a Taylor acoustic. It has everything a working musician might need to stage performances.
Plus, those of you with smaller hands will be perfectly accommodated here.
Item Weight: 4.4 pounds
Package Dimensions: 35.43 x 13.78 x 5.91 inches
Yamaha A3M ARE Dreadnought
This dreadnought is built with fine craftsmanship and has undergone some special processes to produce a unique guitar.
The A3M ARE features a Solid Sitka Spruce top with the back and sides made of solid Mahogany. The top has been treated with Yamaha’s aging process to produce resonant qualities similar to a vintage acoustic guitar.
Scalloped bracing is used in the A3M ARE’s construction. This helps the guitar to produce a large and warm tone that any acoustic lover will enjoy.
You can opt for this guitar to have Rosewood used for the backs and sides, rather than Mahogany. The A3M ARE even comes in 2 different color options, including:
- Vintage natural
- Tobacco brown sunburst
The neck is made from 3 pieces of Mahogany to have a 25.5” scale length. Ebony is used for the fretboard, which has 20 easily accessible frets thanks to the guitar’s cutaway design.
Where this guitar truly shines is in its electronics, sporting an SRT2 saddle pickup and preamp system. The preamp has controls for:
- Blend function between pickup and preamp presets
The A3M ARE truly allows you to craft the best sound possible when performing live. Unfortunately, it doesn’t include a built-in tuner, which isn’t the biggest deal-breaker by any means.
For hardware, the A3M ARE features:
- Ebony bridge
- Plastic nut and saddle
- Die-cast chrome tuners
This guitar also comes included with a hard gig bag which is quite protective thanks to its sufficient padding. Its protectiveness lies somewhere between a gig bag and a hardshell case.
Item Weight: 6.8 pounds
Package Dimensions: 42.5 x 21.7 x 6.1 inches
Martin D-10E Road Series
Have you always wanted a Martin but could never afford the exorbitant price tags? The Martin D-10E Road Series (see price on Amazon, Sweetwater, or Guitar Center) is an excellent affordable alternative.
Despite its affordable price, the D-10E features all of the standard Martin signature features. The most recognizable has to be its iconic non-cutaway dreadnought body style.
This guitar is built featuring a Sitka Spruce top with Sapele used for the back and sides. To provide ample projection, X-bracing architecture is used in the construction of the body.
With this guitar, you do have the choice to opt for a Sapele top instead. Martin even offers both options in right and left-handed models.
The neck is made from the wood of choice, which has a 25.4” scale length and a performance taper contour. Richlite is used for the fretboard which has a 16” radius with 20 frets outlined by Mother-of-Pearl dot inlays.
You can be sure this D-10E is suitable for live performances with its Fishman MX-T pickup and preamp system. It does not, however, have much in the way of tonal control.
For hardware, the D-10E Road Series features:
- Corian nut
- Tusq saddle
- Richlite bridge
- Chrome closed-gear tuners
Martin has even included a soft-shell case with the purchase of this guitar. This is an excellent addition as it saves quite a bit of money in the overall cost of the instrument.
Overall, this is a worthwhile acoustic guitar from Martin that any performing guitarist will love. Though it does have a lack of tonal control, the guitar does produce wonderful tones when plugged in.
Those who own this frequently say it is one of the best guitars in their collection.
Item Weight: 8 pounds
Package Dimensions: 37 x 16 x 7 inches
Epiphone Dove Studio
Want to save some money but desire a classic guitar with beautiful aesthetics at the same time? You’ll definitely want to check out the Epiphone Dove Studio (see price on Amazon, Sweetwater, or Guitar Center).
This guitar features a classic dreadnought body style with squared-off shoulders. Its build includes a Solid Spruce top with the back and sides made of laminated Maple.
The neck is made from Maple to have a 25.5” scale length with the iconic SlimTaper D contour. You can be sure this neck will feel comfortable to play no matter what fret region you’re in.
Indian Laurel is used for the fretboard which has a 12” radius and 20 frets. These frets are outlined by Pearloid parallelogram inlays which no doubt add to the guitar’s aesthetic value.
You’ll even be able to plug in and play live with the included Fishman SoniTone pickup and preamp system. No doubt, this guitar will produce some large tones that are sure to sound great when amplified.
For hardware, the Dove Studio features:
- NuBone nut and saddle
- Indian Laurel bridge
- 14:1 ratio Grover tuners
Where this guitar truly shines is in its aesthetics, sporting color options of:
- Violin burst
- Transparent ebony
The bridge itself is quite ornate, featuring Pearloid inlays on its winged design. Even the pickguard is quite decorative, featuring a flowery design with an iconic Dove.
This guitar is definitely a nod to the famous Dove models of years past. It really is quite an astonishing guitar, both to look at and to play.
You’ll save a hefty stack of cash with this guitar compared to others on this list. This value is, perhaps, one of the best things about this guitar overall.
Item Weight: 12 pounds
Package Dimensions: 44.6 x 18 x 5.9 inches
What To Look For In An Acoustic Guitar Under $1000
If you’re having issues deciding on an acoustic guitar for your collection, have no worries. Having access to a massive amount of options can be overwhelming for any guitarist to have to sift through.
Fortunately, there is a rough guideline of informational points that you can use to help you navigate the market. These points will hold true no matter if you’re a seasoned professional or have never bought a guitar before.
Each guitarist is unique with their own preferences. You will have to spend some time checking in with your inner-self in order to best apply the following points.
Before you buy an acoustic guitar, it’s vitally important that you know the kind of acoustic you want. There are several different body styles available, each of which has its own feel and tonal characteristics.
These body styles can be categorized as:
- Orchestra/Auditorium/Grand Auditorium
What Are The Differences Between Acoustic Guitar Types?
As far as popularity goes, the dreadnought is perhaps the most famous and easily recognizable shape. These produce a large and voluminous sound perfect for just about any application.
Concert acoustics are quite a deal smaller in size than dreadnought acoustic guitars. These types of guitars tend to be very tonally balanced and produce a fair amount of volume.
Jumbo acoustics are very similar to dreadnoughts in that they are both large-bodied guitars. You’ll find these are even larger than dreadnought acoustics and produce a sizable volume perfect for singers.
There are guitars that size up between the dreadnought size and that of the concert acoustic. These are known as Orchestra/Auditorium/Grand Auditorium models, and produce a mid-range heavy tone with slightly less volume.
Parlor acoustic guitars are even smaller in size than concert acoustics and make for a great at-home instrument. These were popular in the 1930s and produce a decent amount of volume despite their size.
Classical guitars are exactly as you might expect them to be, featuring an iconic traditional body style with nylon strings. Even those who don’t play classical music can enjoy the playability and sound of these beautiful instruments.
Travel guitars are generally quite smaller than a standard full-size acoustic guitar. Even the neck has a shortened scale length, making it ideal for younger players.
As you might guess, the smaller-sized travel guitars are especially great for use when traveling by airplane. These guitars are great for hikes as well, though there are guitarists who prefer to use them on stage.
The best way to know which is right for you is to go and try these guitars out for yourself. Only then will you understand how each feels and sounds to you.
Another thing to keep in mind is the features you want to be able to use with your acoustic guitar. Today’s acoustic guitars are built with innumerable options, ensuring the guitar you want is out there.
It might seem like an obvious statement, but if you desire built-in electronics, you’ll need to ensure it’s there. This will allow you to play on the stage in the easiest way possible.
There are certainly guitars out there that do not have any electronics installed into the instrument. In these cases, you can always opt to install your own pickup system.
Other features that you might want to consider include:
- The guitar’s color
- Cutaway or non-cutaway body style
- Added features in the guitar’s electronics (such as tuner, EQ, etc.)
Again, this might all seem a bit redundant and obvious to some guitarists who may read this. However, these things can be easily overlooked, especially if the guitarist is new to the market landscape.
As a rule of thumb, buy the guitar that will allow you to be the guitarist you want to be. The guitar itself won’t make you that guitarist, but it should provide everything you need to become that guitarist.
Fortunately, with a budget of up to $1000, you can find guitars that are stocked up with everything you desire. Do keep a close eye though, as there are guitars with minimal features that can still price in this range.
You might be wondering exactly how portability factors into the purchasing decision of an acoustic guitar. Due to the nature of this word, there are a few different ways in which this is relevant.
First and foremost, you will want to research whether a guitar comes included with a gig bag or hardshell case. This isn’t always a guarantee with every guitar.
In the past, guitars at the $1000 generally came with a hardshell case included. Now that guitar prices are rising, there are fewer guitars that offer this option.
Anymore, you might be lucky to even get a gig bag depending on the model. Be sure to do the research as some more inexpensive models do include a gig bag while others don’t.
If you’re a working guitarist that plays performances, you’re inevitably going to want some type of travel protection. Nobody spending this amount of money will want the opportunity for travel dings that could have been easily prevented.
Furthermore, if the guitar doesn’t provide this, you’ll be shelling out more coins for a gig bag or hardshell case. This can easily put you well past your budget depending on the guitar you purchase.
Hardshell cases are the best option you can get in terms of protection and overall safety. However, some gig bags (especially the padded variety) provide ample protection in most cases.
Also, if you know you’re going to be traveling quite frequently, consider the size of the guitar in transport. If you have a smaller car, or travel frequently by plane, a full-size guitar can be bulky.
The aforementioned Travel-size acoustics are an excellent option to consider in these instances. There are models equipped with everything a gigging professional would ever need.
Because you are reading this, you likely have up to $1000 to spend on an acoustic guitar. This is a large budget and provides you access to many different options.
However, remember, just because you can doesn’t mean you should. That is perhaps the one thing in particular that you should keep in mind when working with this budget.
This is especially true if you are a beginner with a large budget to work with. In this case, you should opt for a price range ideal for your skill level and playing ability.
There are many excellent acoustic guitars that cost well under $1000. Do not assume that a high price tag means a superior guitar.
While that is a mostly true statement, there are enough instances to show it’s not always the norm. If you do enough research, you can easily find these kinds of guitars.
Who doesn’t like saving money whenever possible? Not spending your entire budget frees up funds for other things, such as a case or other accessories.
Best Brands For Acoustic Guitars Under $1000
There are certainly instances where a guitarist might not even be sure where to begin their research. In these cases, it can help to do some general research on the companies within the industry.
Generally, well-established brands have received their industry status for a reason (usually the acclaim of musicians using their products).
This isn’t always the rule, however, as there are certainly boutique manufacturers on the fringes producing quality instruments.
Again, it is up to you to discover these hidden gems and to know what is right for you. Research on popular brands is a good starting point in this type of journey.
The following brands have an incredibly strong reputation for producing quality acoustic guitars for under $1000. Take some time to read up on them and look into their lineup of guitars.
While Yamaha is best-known for its pianos, the company makes exceptionally great acoustic guitars. No matter the budget, Yamaha seems to pack in an incredible amount of value into every instrument.
This kind of inclusivity is perhaps the best thing about Yamaha’s offerings. Minimal corners are cut and every guitar is a worthwhile investment no matter the skill level crafted for.
Takamine is a Japanese guitar company that got its start in 1959. Since then, the company has grown exponentially, with a growing number of artists endorsing its guitars.
This company has a reputation built completely on the quality of its acoustic guitars. Affordable models are well-crafted, with more expensive models exceeding the levels of luxury.
Top Acoustic Guitars For Under $1000, Final Thoughts
In order to find your best fit, it’s important to take the time to try each of these guitars. After all, buying a guitar essentially gives you a license to go and see how different guitars play and sound.
If we’re being honest, this process of sampling is perhaps one of the more enjoyable aspects of buying a guitar. Plus, you get to come home with a new lifelong friend that’s sure to be the perfect match for you.