The Best Value Acoustic Guitars of 2018 for Beginners & Pros

Are you adding to a collection? Are you trying to impress a girl? Or are you hitting the stage in hopes of achieving your artist reputation?

Whatever the reasons, the acoustic guitar is a romantic, expressive, and emotion-stimulating instrument that can melt your fingertips and the hearts of your crowd.

Since we know how important an acoustic guitar buy is, we’ve found the best guitars for 2018! Beginner or pro, we have it all!

The easiest way to buy a guitar is to categorize what you’re looking for by skill level or budget. That’s why we’ve conveniently done the legwork by filtering the best guitars in the market by category.

Since acoustic guitars are typically the intro instrument to the guitar world, make sure you “pick” apart our Buying Guide to fully prepare for your guitar purchase!

Our Top 5 Acoustic Guitars for 2018

Jasmine S35 – Best Cheap Acoustic Guitar

Jasmine S35 Acoustic GuitarIt’s not uncommon to be told to start off with a quality, used, second-hand acoustic guitar when you’re only spending in the double digits. But, the Jasmine S35 guitar is the exception to this rule!

Its quality is far superior to its price tag, and it has the resonance and look to support these claims. While there are other Jasmine guitars with a heftier purchase price than this one, this is the best beginner acoustic guitar for the money hands down!

This starter guitar sports the dreadnought design that’s known for its large size and deep resonant tones. It has the dark agathis tonewood on the sides and back and features spruce tonewood on the top with a natural-looking satin finish.

It has a nato wood neck with a rosewood fingerboard that also features 20 frets, pearloid dots, and chrome hardware and machine heads.

The sound is excellent for an entry-level guitar under $100, and depending on your skill level, you really could strum this beast to rival even guitars three to five times its price! Could you get that good with this guitar? Absolutely!

Main Benefits:

  • Price
  • Low action
  • Chrome tuners
  • Superb sound
  • Smooth satin finish

Main Drawbacks:

  • Quality control issues

Customer Reviews

The Jasmine S35 guitar is highly rated and is one of the best beginners acoustic guitars you’ll find in the market! Over a thousand buyers say that the price on this guitar is a mind-blower. It’s smooth, loud, brilliant, and warm!

However, some buyers weren’t happy with the condition of the guitar when they received it. Some complained of cracks, uneven wood tones, and unacceptable satin finishing.

But, most buyers didn’t receive their guitar this way, and it’s been an excellent instrument in the hands of those who know how to use it.

Popular Questions (and Answers)

Are any Replacements Needed to be Made When First Using the Jasmine Guitar?

For intermediate players who know what they’re doing, an extra twenty bucks to replace things like the saddle and strings and making a truss rod adjustment will have this guitar singing like a $400 one!

However, for beginner guitarists, the standard pieces that come with guitar should do just fine.

How is the Jasmine S35 Guitar Shipped?

While this factor mainly depends on the vendor you’re purchasing from, most buyers who bought directly from Jasmine via online retailers said the shipping was excellent and the guitar was adequately protected.

However, other buyers from unknown sellers report damage to the guitar due to lack of shipping and packaging care.

Is this a Training-Size Guitar for Beginners?

While this is a superb choice for beginners, it’s a full-size guitar. The full neck length of the guitar is 25.5 inches.

Does the Jasmine S35 Come with Any Sort of Case?

No. You can purchase a nylon case or hard cover case separately.

What Kind of Strings does the Jasmine Guitar Come With?

It comes with steel strings, but you may want to replace them if you find they rust fast or if you want better quality strings. Otherwise, the standard strings are fine for beginner use.

Jasmine S35 Guitar Features:

  • Number Of Strings: 6
  • Hand Orientation: Right
  • Body Material: Agathis/Spruce
  • Neck Material: Nato
  • Fretboard Material: Rosewood

Fender CD-60 – Best Acoustic Guitar for the Money

Fender Acoustic Guitar CD-60The Fender CD-60 guitar offers exceptional value without breaking the bank! With some fine details that place this guitar among more expensive ones, it’s worth every penny for the bonus features it sports!

This Fender has the classic dreadnought body but is also available in the folk shape. It’s been laminated with a spruce top with laminated nato back and sides. It has a rosewood bridge that’s been detailed with white bridge pins and black dots.

The 20 fret fingerboard and rosewood neck has been adorned with a mother-of-pearl acrylic rosette design that’s fit for any player that appreciates the fine things in life.

Furthermore, some intricate features include the scalloped X bracing, black body binding, die-cast tuners, and a dual-action truss rod. But, the perks don’t end here. It also comes with a hard shell case!

For those just starting out in the guitar biz, the guitar also has a built-in tuner to help you get right with those flats and sharps.

So if you’re after a Fender with all the perks for little cost, you’ve hit the strum on this one!

Main Benefits:

  • Price
  • Scalloped X Bracing
  • Dual Action Truss Rod
  • Pearl Acrylic Rosette
  • New compensated bridge design

Main Drawbacks:

  • Model mixup

Customer Reviews

Buyers of the acoustic Fender CD-60 guitar love the true and rich tones of sound, plus they enjoy the classic and traditional look of the Western yet modern guitar. The price for all the upgrades and the hard shell case just can’t be beat!

However, the very few complaints relate to the mix-up between the acoustic electric models and the acoustic guitars. There have been some users that have reported electrical issues with the acoustic electric models.

But, as far as the acoustic model itself – it’s a crowd pleaser!

Popular Questions (and Answers)

What Level of Action does the Fender CD-60 have?

It has fairly high action, but it does have an adjustable truss rod and with some user experience, you can lower it to fit your needs. Otherwise, you’ll get plenty of practice in becoming a guitar pro in no time!

What is the Nut Width at the Neck of the Guitar?

The nut width is 1.625 inches or 41.3 mm.

Where was are the Fender CD Guitars made?

These guitars are made in China and Indonesia but they’re built to meet Fender’s spec requirements.

Fender CD-60 Guitar Features:

  • Number Of Strings: 6
  • Hand Orientation: Right
  • Body Material: Laminated Nato/Laminated Spruce top
  • Neck Material: Nato
  • Fretboard Material: Sonokeling

Yamaha FG850 – Best Acoustic Guitar Under $500

Yamaha FG850 Solid Top Acoustic GuitarThe Yamaha FG850 guitar is Yamaha’s newest addition to the ever-popular FG line. It’s also the new and improved version of the classic hit the Yamaha FG700S guitar! As a side note, the FG series was once the most widely sold acoustic guitar in the world! With an impressive reputation to hold up, the FG850 goes above and beyond!

The best acoustic git under $500 is eyed for its Western styled dreadnought body shape, although, it can be purchased in its slim concert counterpart body. While the look and specs may seem like your ordinary full-size guitar, its humble appearance actually belies its not-so-obvious perks.

There’s nothing laminated about this guitar! It’s a much more expensive instrument because it has a mahogany solid top, mahogany back and sides, and rosewood fingerboard and bridge.

The profile and neck of the guitar is pleasantly comfortable and smooth, but the shine comes from its unique bracing pattern that was put together with Yamaha’s advanced tech software to best fit this guitar.

The sonic trajectory on this guitar impresses for its price! The resonance and sustain it offers are pure and rich for beginners and definitely adequate for intermediate players. Yamaha sure did bring entry level guitars to a whole new level!

Main Benefits:

  • Price
  • Solid top
  • Diecast tuners
  • Scalloped bracing
  • Various colors and woods

Main Drawbacks:

  • Poor strings

Customer Reviews

The Yamaha FG850 guitar is known for its outstanding quality and definitely for its above-average strings. The only, single complaint found about this guitar was one buyer’s bad experience with strings. However, user error is in large part for this complaint.

With that aside, the FG850 literally pleases all buyers – ignorant users aside. It’s priced just right, has excellent craftsmanship, and the sound has bright and crisp impact. Hear, hear to Yamaha, they did it again!

Popular Questions (and Answers)

What are the Other Woods and Colors of the Yamaha FG850 Guitar?

This is the All Mahogany body, but the other guitars all have a solid Sitka spruce top with either mahogany, flamed maple, nato, or rosewood back and sides.

Within those other wood options there are many colors to choose from ranging between variations of black, blues, reds, and natural finishes.

What's the Difference Between a Dreadnought and Concert Body?

The differences are the body shape. The concert body is smaller and is more apt for smaller, shorter, or petite players. It also offers a more clear, defined sound versus the deep, resonant bass sounds of the dreadnought.

Is there a Hook on the Guitar for a Strap?

Yes, you can use a shoulder strap and the hook/snap is located on the bottom of the guitar.

What are the Best Strings for Yamaha Acoustic Guitars?

While steel strings are the common type of string for a guitar, most aluminum bronze strings will be excellent upgrades versus bronze strings. They offer more clarity, sound projection, and less corrosion.

What are the Main Differences Between the FG800 and the FG700 Series?

Both series feature the solid top, but the FG800 also has the unique scalloped bracing that allows for more bass, deeper tones, and loudness projection. The FG800 line also has a slimmer neck.

Yamaha FG850 Guitar Features:

  • Number Of Strings: 6
  • Hand Orientation: Right
  • Body Material: Mahogany
  • Neck Material: Nato
  • Fretboard Material: Rosewood

Seagull Artist Mosaic Acoustic Guitar – Best Acoustic Guitar Under $1000

Seagull Artist Mosaic Acoustic GuitarWe’re going to lay it out for you straight. There is no other premium guitar that can match the Seagull Artist Mosaic Acoustic Guitar in cost, craftsmanship, and sound – none! This statement isn’t difficult to defend since it’s true.

The Canadian based company has provided an opportunity for avid musicians to own a high quality and premium guitar for only a third of the cost. The entire guitar is a mosaic in itself, a masterpiece!

The body is absolutely flawless and gorgeous with its solid high quality pressure tested cedar top. To compliment the cedar, the backs, sides, and neck are all made with solid mahogany.

The familiar touch of Seagull’s fretboards and bridges isn’t lost on the Artist Mosaic guitar either. It has the Indian Rosewood which adds to its exquisiteness.

As you can guess, the sound that emanates from this instrument is familiar to only the best artists – it’s premium. It’s literally on par with guitars three times its price!

While this may sound like a Seagull advertisement, it’s far from that. This work of art should literally be in every guitarist’s collection – from one inspired musician to another, it deserves the bragging rights.

Main Benefits:

  • Price
  • Solid wood
  • Beautiful seagull inlays
  • Handmade
  • Pressure tested Cedar top

Main Drawbacks:

  • Price

Customer Reviews

The Seagull Artist Mosaic is the best acoustic under $1000 full stop! There’s no debate about it and there’s no mistake. We avid musicians consider it right up there with the best of the best brands there are – Martin and Taylor.

But, Seagull is making a name for itself and is quickly dominating online guitar sales for its excellent craftsmanship, comparable quality, and premium sounds. There is not a single item of complaint against this stunning beauty.

While the price has incredible value, it might still be expensive for most, but it’s worth saving every penny for it.

Popular Questions (and Answers)

Is there a Seagull Guitar that's Budget-Friendly?

While it might still not be in your ballpark of a tight budget, the Seagull S6 is the best acoustic for beginners from this brand. It’s handsome, and its sound quality and playability is right up there with the top dogs. This acoustic guitar will last you decades as it takes you from novice to guitar guru.

How does the Tonewoods Affect the Sound of the Artist Mosaic?

The combination of the cedar and mahogany provides unbelievable warmth, mellow, and richness. Yet tone definition is crisp, defined, and clear since the string spacing is slightly larger. This guitar will impress even the most professed guitar experts around.

Is there an Acoustic Electric Model of the Artist Mosaic Acoustic Guitar?

Yes! While this is the acoustic only model, Seagull has also produced the outstanding Seagull Artist Mosaic QII Acoustic Electric Guitar and the Seagull Artist Mosaic CW Folk QII Acoustic Electric Guitar models.

Does this Guitar Come with a Case?

Depending on the seller, you might receive a hard case, soft case, or a hybrid case. But, one thing is consistent between vendors – they all ship the Seagull Artist Mosaic in one of the cases mentioned. A case should always be included.

Seagull Artist Mosaic Acoustic Guitar Features:

  • Number Of Strings: 6
  • Hand Orientation: Right
  • Body Material: Mahogany/Cedar top
  • Neck Material: Mahogany
  • Fretboard Material: Rosewood

*Top Pick* Martin HD28 Acoustic Guitar – Best All-round Acoustic Guitar

Martin HD28 Acoustic GuitarThis Martin HD28 Acoustic Guitar has often been said to be the best sounding Martin of them all! For the price, it darn-near should be! Luckily for many buyers and for the hard-earned Martin reputation, it is! This is why this gem of perfection is our treasured top pick of them all!

To face the world and the audience first is the solid Sitka spruce top to sound off a punch of nothing but clear, concise, and high-end sound! Rich warmth and bold projection comes easily with the East Indian rosewood body.

With an exquisite twist, Martin uses mahogany to create a low profile neck with solid black ebony to construct the fingerboard and bridge.

To add to its professional and sleek demeanor, it’s been crafted with an audacious herringbone top binding, Schaller chrome tuners, bone saddle and nut, scalloped X bracing, and concentric ring rosette.

But, what about the sound? It can’t be justified by words. The sonic impact of the guitar is out of this world. Perhaps this is why it’s considered the creme de la creme of Martins. Do you dare buy one? If your spouse thinks it’s their idea, perhaps you might just one!

Main Benefits:

  • Unparalleled craftsmanship
  • Super sonic sound
  • Solid, high quality tonewoods
  • Scalloped X bracing
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty

Main Drawbacks:

  • Price

Customer Reviews

The Martin HD28 guitar was birthed from one of the best guitar brands in the world! While online buys are slim with purchases in this high price range, since they’re usually done hands-on and in person, you won’t regret your online buy of this Martin.

No buyer of the Martin HD28 has ever had an excuse to complain about the performance and aesthetics of this guitar. It’s a well-deserving treasure to add to your collection.

Popular Questions (and Answers)

How is the Martin HD28 Guitar Shipped?

With a purchase this big, you can be assured that it’s going to be well protected. It’s shipped in a Martin hard case in a Martin box for ultimate protection and security.

What does the HD28 stand for?

This is all Martin terminology to tell their guitars apart, and if you can master the code, then you’d be seen as a true guitar master, whether you are one or not.

The H stands for Herringbone. The D is indicative of the guitar size. The 28 represents the guitar specifications. In this case, 28 refers to the use of the combination of rosewood, spruce, ebony, and mahogany tonewoods.

What is the Neck Width at the Nut on the Martin Guitar?

On the Martin HD28, the nut width is 1 11/16″.

Are there Other Finishes and Tonewoods Available on this Model?

No. This is the only HD28 guitar of its kind.

Martin HD28 Acoustic Guitar Features:

  • Number Of Strings: 6
  • Hand Orientation: Right
  • Body Material: Rosewood/Spruce top
  • Neck Material: Mahogany
  • Fretboard Material: Ebony

Acoustic Guitar Buying Guide

female hippie with acoustic guitar

How Much to Spend on Acoustic Guitars

This is probably the first and foremost concern when you’ve got a case of the strums to buy an acoustic guitar online. The general rule of thumb is to the buy the best of what you can afford – wife’s protests be damned! Just kidding – sort of.

If you’re a beginner, a quality, double-digit guitar can suffice, but most of the time people will opt for a second-hand guitar for a starter instrument. No problems there unless you want brand new. Our highly rated Jasmine S35 is the answer to those prayers. If you’re willing to spend a little more, you can get the best beginner acoustic guitar for somewhere in the $300 range.

Intermediate players may play be a little more daring when it comes to budget. You’d want to look for better quality tonewoods, fancier bracings, and finer craftsmanship – all of which will have a tremendous impact on sound, playability, and performance.

But, for the more serious guitarists of them all, you’d want to look in the upwards of $1000. Don’t get too crazy though since these once-in-a-lifetime buys can easily steer you into the $5000-$8000 price range!

There must be no exception to getting the absolute best of the best when it comes to spending in the triple zero price range. We’re talking about solid-wood, pro-level, highly-specialized, and hand-crafted quality. These are the only factors that will ease the pains of the stomach ulcer your gut created when you see the price tags on these gems.

Acoustic vs Acoustic Electric Guitars

Which is better? It depends on who you ask, what you play, and your personal style. But we say, get ’em both!

An acoustic guitar is traditional and timeless. It’s something nearly every guitarist started with sitting on the trunk of his car in front of a small crowd of teens at the Friday night bonfire.

Benefits of Acoustic Guitars

  • Rich and true acoustics
  • No limitations on portability
  • Wider fret boards
  • Larger string spacing – excellent for picking
  • Perfect for use with vocals
  • Builds finger and hand strength

While acoustic electric guitars have all the same perks of an acoustic guitar, you have the added advantage of plugging in and showing off your skills to the crowd as to ensure you’ll be heard. Just don’t forget that there will be extra costs involved such as tuners, pedals, pickups, and amps.

For more info on our choice of the top acoustic electric guitars, “pick it” up here! (You know that pun is totally intended!) You might also like to check out the best electric guitar models if you are not sold on an acoustic git and want to check out the electric competition.

Setting Up Your Acoustic Guitar Tips

It doesn’t matter what the salesman or the online advertisement says, all guitars should be customized and set up according to your preferences as soon as you get your hands on it. This means tuning it, setting the action level, and even some simple neck adjustments.


Cheaper acoustic guitars can frequently become out of tune throughout the day. This is to be expected from the cheaper materials used to make the guitar. However, the more money you spend on one, the less often you’ll have to tune it. But, tuning is always going to be something you will have to do despite how much you laid down on your money-making gem.

Intonation is pitch accuracy and refers to how well the guitar is in tune throughout the entire neck – up and down. While there are many methods to check the intonation of an acoustic guitar, including the use of a tuner, a fast and simple way is to play an open D chord and then play it again at the 14th fret. If it sounds off, then you know you have to make an adjustment.

Finally, after each string has been tuned, play an open harmonic at the 12th fret. If it sounds good, you’re ready to do some jamming!

Adjusting Action

Sometimes the action is too high for many beginner players and the raw skin on your fingers will quickly learn this with the expected calluses. Unless higher action is your kind of thing for higher and clearer sound with a punch, you might want to lower the action by bringing in the strings closer to the fretboard but allowing it to be slightly higher in the 12th fret.

As long as the neck and nut hasn’t been damaged, you can make a simple truss rod adjustment to do this in a jiffy. Either loosen or tighten the truss rod and check the action again on the 12th fret. If this fixed it, voila, you’re done. But you also may want to adjust the action at the nut and the bridge if it’s still not right. Otherwise, you might have a defective neck. Boo!

See a Doc

Beginners shouldn’t turn to DIY methods, especially if it’s on a new guitar. But, if you can’t get your adjustments right, you might want to see a dealer or a repairer about making the adjustments for you which can cost a few bucks.

You might want more involved work which might offset the cost of your new instrument. If you go this route, especially on an expensive, vintage, and beloved guitar, make sure you play and test it out before finalizing the cost of the repairs to ensure the guitar is to your liking.

Aesthetics of Acoustic Guitars

While a sunburst finish or a flashy red gloss might offer a unique appeal, it doesn’t necessarily add to the sound punch or performance of a guitar. In fact, it can actually take away from the quality of resonance and sustain.

That’s why some of the top acoustic guitars have a natural finish where you can see the wood grain. Additional finishes and heavy glosses can diminish the sound.

While pearl inlays, signature scribbles, customized trim, and gold-plated tuners certainly can attract some much-wanted attention, they have little to do with sound. If you have the money to drop on a babe of a guitar, then by all means, be our guest.

But, don’t write off an ugly guitar because it might not have “sex appeal”. You might find that it has all the curves and singing voices you could want that can quickly outweigh any seemingly attractive aesthetics.

Know Your Strum!

The best guitar buy is going to be an informed buy! Know what you’re looking for, know what you want, and know how much you want to spend.

Getting caught off guard by a salesman who says you only need to spend a little bit more to get better is always going to be true. But, stick to your guns, know your strum, and play your own buying tune!