The Best Acoustic Guitar Under $1000 For Every Use Case 2022

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Editor's Choice
Taylor Academy 12e
Taylor Academy 12e
  • Get all the Taylor quality you know, love, and want for a great price
  • The perfect guitar for smaller spaces and intimate settings
  • It has buttery playability that makes it hard to put down
For Recording
Martin 000-10E
Martin 000-10E
  • The short scale length is easy on the fingers, making it better for long recording sessions
  • The all-solid Sapele design naturally compresses the sound, giving you a more even recording
  • It's got that classic Martin tone that you know and love
For Songwriters
Yamaha AC1R 
Yamaha AC1R 
  • A workhouse guitar that is great for both live performances and studio recordings
  • It has a beautiful and articulate tone that isn't overpowering
  • Very comfortable for players of all sizes

You may be asking yourself, “What’s the best acoustic guitar under $1000 for me?” 

Knowing where to start when investing in an acoustic guitar in the $1,000 range can be tricky. With so many different brands and models on the market, it can be hard to determine which one will be the right fit for you.

I created this blog post to help you cut through all the noise. I’ve used my 25+ years of playing experience to curate a list of the best acoustic guitars in the $500-$1000 price range.

If none of these options seem right to you, I’ve included a buyer’s guide at the end to help you with your continued research.

Let’s get started!

The Best Acoustic Guitars Under $1,000 at a Glance 2022

Editor’s Choice: Taylor Academy 12e

Editor's Choice
Taylor Academy 12e

Looking for an acoustic guitar that doesn't sacrifice tone or quality? Check out the Taylor Academy 12.

This grand concert model is perfect for at-home practice, singer-songwriters, and fingerpicking. It has smooth playability, articulate sound, and is comfortable to play.

Also, don't let the minimalist design fool you - the Taylor Academy 12 punches well above its weight. To see why Taylor is such a beloved brand, order yours today.

The Academy Series from Taylor Acoustic Guitars could often be mistaken for the instruments they make for beginners. However, the essence of the Academy series is minimalism without sacrificing the tone and playability that Taylor is known for.

The Taylor Academy 12e is their grand concert model. Grand concerts have a more intimate and comfortable body shape that is perfect for at-home practice, singer-songwriters, and fingerpicking. While the Academy 12 has a solid Sitka spruce top with a wonderful dynamic range, you don’t get a big sound from this acoustic guitar.

Some guitar players may look for something that has more projection. A guitar that you can play alongside other acoustic instruments without the need for an amplifier. In that case, you should consider the Taylor Academy 10, their dreadnought body style.

While the Academy series is simplistic in design, they offer customizations to help tailor (pun intended) the acoustic guitar to your needs.

You can get the Academy 12e in either a right-hand or left-handed version. There’s an option for either a Mahogany neck for a warmer intimate tone or a Maple neck for a more articulate tone. You can also include Taylor’s proprietary ES-B electronics system for an extra price.

These little tweaks and options make this a versatile choice for players who want something to fit their price range and needs.

The Academy 12 guitar features that buttery playability Taylor is known for with the ebony fretboard. The shorter-scale length (24.8”) makes the strings have slightly more slack, reducing finger fatigue when playing.

With all the great things there is to say about the Taylor Academy 12e, this guitar isn’t for everyone.

One big drawback for me on the guitar is the tonewood for the back and sides of the guitar are made out of laminate. While this gives the guitar more strength and durability, the guitar’s tone is not as rich as others on this list. When looking for the best acoustic guitar in the $500-$1,000 range, having an all-solid wood build should be a factor to consider seriously.

However, if you’re looking for a great value-for-money guitar from a leading company in the acoustics market, then the Academy 12e is a guitar that won’t disappoint.

Pros
  • High-quality and consistent construction
  • It comes with a premium gig bag
  • Every design element, like the beveled armrest, makes the guitar very comfortable and fun to play
  • The tone is nicely balanced and articulate
Cons
  • Not an all-solid wood guitar
  • The look might be too basic for some

Best for Fingerstyle: Seagull Guitars S6 Cedar

Best for Fingerstyle
Seagull Guitars S6 Cedar

Looking for one of the best acoustic guitars under $1,000 for fingerstyle? Look no further than the Seagull Guitars S6 Cedar.

This Canadian-made acoustic guitar is an excellent choice for those looking for a sustainable and ethically produced instrument. The cedar top and wider nut width make it an ideal choice for fingerstyle players. At the same time, the modified dreadnought body provides excellent balance and tone.

A best-kept secret for many discerning guitar players, the Seagull S6 is sure to please.

A great fingerstyle guitar must be highly responsive and project an articulate and balanced sound from dynamic playing. And in my opinion, the best top wood for these characteristics is cedar.

Cedar is often found on classical guitars because it doesn’t need a heavy hand or heavy strings to make it respond. However, some manufacturers use it for steel string guitars to add this character to more modern guitars (one of the most famous is the Taylor 500 Series). 

When searching for the best acoustic guitar under $1000, one guitar stands out as the frontrunner for players who opt to play with their fingers over a pick. And that is the Seagull Guitars S6.

There’s plenty to love about this Canadian-made acoustic guitar. First, the guitar is made from sustainable materials ethically harvested in Canada. Second, it’s a handmade guitar.

What makes this a fantastic fingerstyle guitar is the solid cedar top and the wider nut width of 1.8”. As mentioned, the cedar only needs a delicate touch to sound its best. While the wider nut width makes plucking individual notes easier. This also makes an excellent all-around guitar for players with large hands but maybe a little too wide for guitar players with smaller hands.

The Seagull S6 is a dreadnought guitar, which I wouldn’t usually recommend for a fingerstyle guitar. However, the S6 has modified the body shape to remove the boominess of dreadnought guitars, and this guitar is surprisingly balanced.

There are a few drawbacks to this guitar that are worth noting. First, this guitar doesn’t come with any built-in electronics, and it doesn’t come with any type of gig bag. Second, the laminated wild cherry back and sides are a laminated print. So it isn’t really wood, which can seem misleading in the advertising. This makes for a durable guitar but won’t satisfy players looking for the best materials for their acoustic guitar purchase.

Suppose you’re searching for a beautifully constructed, great-playing acoustic guitar for delicate and nuanced playing. In that case, the Seagull S6 is a guitar that will not disappoint.

Pros
  • This is a handmade guitar made from sustainable materials
  • The wider nut width gives enough space between the strings to make fingerstyle easier
  • A well-balanced and articulate sound, especially for a dreadnought
Cons
  • It doesn't come with a case or built-in electronics
  • The laminated sides aren't layered wood but a wood print on vinyl

Best for Flatpicking & Strumming: Epiphone J-200

Best for Flatpicking & Strumming
Epiphone J-200

The J-200 from Epiphone is based on the classic Gibson SJ-200 and offers all the features that make this instrument special.

This is the perfect guitar for you if you're the type of player who likes to dig in your pick when strumming. It opens up the harder you play it.

On top of all that, the J-200 also has that classic and timeless Gibson look. From the floral pickguard to the mustache bridge, this guitar is guaranteed to turn heads whenever you pull it out of its case.

If you’re looking for a guitar that isn’t subtle in its looks and will produce a huge sound that projects across a room, then the “Inspired by Gibson” Epiphone J-200 is the guitar for you.

The J-200 is based on the famous Gibson acoustic guitar, the SJ-200. This is a jumbo-sized body with a solid spruce top and a solid maple back and sides. This tonewood combination gives the guitar a wide dynamic range that keeps the notes clear and articulate, even when playing huge cowboy chords.

The J-200 is the type of guitar that responds well to aggressive strumming and seems only to sound better the harder you dig in.

Epiphone acoustic’s J-200 has that beautiful and timeless look of the original Gibson, from the floral pick guard to the mustache bridge.

While this guitar is easy to look at, it does have some drawbacks. First, this guitar has a thick neck, a large body, and is heavy. So if you’re a player with a more petite frame, small hands, or neck and back problems, this guitar isn’t for you.

Also, this guitar doesn’t come with a gig bag, so you will have to factor this into your purchase price if you want to store the guitar properly. However, it comes with a humidifier to help protect the wood from damage, which is a nice bonus.

It also comes in stock with a Fishman Sonitone electronics system. This makes it easy to make your artistic statement with this big and beautiful acoustic-electric guitar at your next gig.

If you’re searching for a guitar with a timeless style, tons of attitude, and can fill a room with its sounds, then the Epiphone J-200 is an excellent option.

Pros
  • Get close to that famous Gibson sound for a fraction of the price
  • This guitar has a great dynamic range with excellent clarity
  • It has a beautiful construction that captures the essence of the Gibson design
Cons
  • It doesn't come with a gig bag
  • They tend to be out of stock often

Best for Recording: Martin 000-10E

Best for Recording
Martin 000-10E

Are you looking for a guitar to help you create better recordings? Then you should check out the all solid-wood Martin 000-10E!

The mahogany body provides a warm and articulate tone with soft compression, perfect for recording. The auditorium body style looks sleek and helps craft a focused and articulate sound. While the shorter-scale length keeps the strings "slinky," making it easy on the fingers for hours of recording. 

If you're looking for a recording-friendly acoustic guitar, the Martin 000-10E is an excellent choice!

Suppose you’re spending lots of time in the studio recording acoustic guitar. In that case, you know how important it is to have a guitar that has an excellent tone, is articulate, and is exceptionally comfortable to play for long periods.

When searching for the best acoustic guitars under $1000 for recording, many great options exist. The best choice for you will be based on what you’re looking to get out of your recordings.

However, the Martin 000-10E should be highly considered for those who want to get the best home recordings without breaking the bank.

The Martin 000-10E guitar delivers that classic Martin tone that is so warm, woody, and rich. The 000-10E features an all-solid Sapele design, which has the same look and tonal characteristics as solid mahogany.

Solid mahogany has a woody and articulate tone that has a soft compression on the guitar’s sound. This is a massive benefit for recording as you will get a more consistent sounding recording, increasing your dynamic headroom.

The auditorium body style, with its pinched waist, looks sleek but also helps with the focused and articulate tone of the guitar. While the shorter-scale length (24.9”) helps keep the strings “slinky,” making this easy on the fingers, which is crucial for recording take after take.

The 000-10E does have the Martin Acoustics mojo; it isn’t a guitar built in their Pennsylvania factory. This guitar is made in Mexico, and some users have mentioned that they needed to get the guitar set up after purchase to get it to play at its peak performance. While this is incredibly common with acoustic guitars in this price range, you will have to factor it into your purchase price.

If you’re looking for a guitar with incredible tone and playability to take your home recordings to the next level, then the Martin 000-10E is a worthy investment.

Pros
  • Get that classic Martin tone that is warm, woody, and articulate without spending a fortune
  • The shorter-scale length makes this guitar easy on the fingers for long recording sessions
  • It comes with a Fishman MX-T pickup so you can also plug in direct to a PA or your interface
Cons
  • It isn't a loud guitar
  • It may need a professional setup after purchase

Best for Gigging: Takamine GN93CE NEX

Best for Gigging
Takamine GN93CE NEX

Do you need a guitar that will help you sound great on stage? Then you should check out the Takamine GN93CE NEX!

This small-bodied guitar is light and durable, and it sounds great when you plug it in through the Takamine-designed TK-40D preamp. The preamp has many options to shape your tone from the stage and is very well made. It also has a built-in tuner to help ensure you're always in tune.

While not the best option for pure acoustic performance, you can't beat Takamine's reputation as a great stage guitar. Check it out today!

If plugging in and getting great sound from the stage is your main priority as a guitar player, you should check out Takamine acoustic guitars. This Japanese guitar brand is tried-and-true with performance guitars that artist love. They are used by musicians such as Blake Shelton, Bruce Springsteen, Glen Hansard, and Jon Bon Jovi.

The Takamine GN93CE NEX is a small-bodied guitar that is light and durable. It features a solid spruce top with a laminated three-piece back made of walnut and maple.

The guitar acoustically sounds good, but it doesn’t live up to the depth of tone as some others on this list. It doesn’t have a big bass response, but there is good sustain. This guitar seems to favor lead lines and picking over big cowboy chords with its brighter tones.

As I said, this guitar shines when you plug it in through the in-house designed TK-40D preamp. This preamp has many options to shape your tone from the stage and is very well made. It also has a built-in tuner to help ensure you’re always sounding your best.

The GN93CE NEX doesn’t come with a gig bag (unless you purchase through Amazon), so you will have to factor this into your price.

Suppose on-stage performance is the main reason for your acoustic guitar purchasing decision. In that case, the Takamine GN93CE NEX is a stage guitar worth checking out.

Pros
  • The Takamine TK-40D preamp gives you lots of tone-shaping options on stage
  • A very light and durable guitar that is easy to take on the road
  • The Built-in tuner ensures you're always in tune
Cons
  • This guitar lacks depth and character when played acoustically
  • No gig bag included (unless you purchase through Amazon)

Best for Songwriters: Yamaha AC1R 

Best for Songwriters
Yamaha AC1R 

The Yamaha AC1R is an excellent choice for anyone looking for an affordable acoustic guitar that can handle live performances and studio recordings.

With its rich tone and comfortable playability, the Yamaha AC1R will become your go-to instrument for all your songwriting needs. 

If you’re a singer/songwriter looking for a well-made, great-sounding, and dependable guitar, then consider the Yamaha AC1R.

Yamaha acoustic guitars are often known as great beginner guitars. Still, their A-series of guitars are some of the best value-for-money instruments for intermediate to advanced players.

The AC1R has everything you need for a great guitar to accompany your vocals and songwriting.

This guitar features a solid Sitka spruce top with a rosewood back and sides. This tonewood combination produces a tone that underemphasizes the midrange. This is a huge benefit for allowing your vocals to sit “over” the guitar and ensure you’re not drowned out.

The solid Sitka spruce top is also torrified. This means the wood gets aged in construction, so the guitar has the resonance and depth of a vintage-style guitar. This gives the tone a more worn-in tone that is sure to inspire.

The small concert body is comfortable in your arms and produces a nice articulate tone that won’t be overpowering.

For situations where you need the guitar to fill a room, the AC1R comes with Yamaha’s SRT pickup system with built-in EQ and a tuner. The SRT pickup system uses DSP technology to elevate the plugged-in tone to sound more “studio quality.”

This guitar has everything you want in a traditional acoustic. The only thing that keeps this from being one of the best acoustic guitars under $1,000 for all players is that it doesn’t come with a case. I know this is nitpicky, but you will need to purchase a nice case for this instrument, and it will push the cost up.

If you want a workhorse guitar and don’t care what brand is on the headstock, then the Yamaha AC1R is one of the best well-rounded guitars on the market.

Pros
  • The AC1R is one of the most well-rounded acoustic guitars in sub $1000 price range
  • The torrified solid Sitka spruce top makes the guitar resonate like an aged guitar
  • It is very easy and comfortable to play, and it comes with a good pickup system
Cons
  • No case included
  • The rosewood back and sides aren't all solid wood

Best for Alternative Playing Styles: Ibanez PA300E

Best for Alternative Playing Styles
Ibanez PA300E

Looking for an acoustic guitar that can keep up with your modern, alternative style? Then you need the Ibanez PA300E.

This guitar has three different pickups and dual outputs, giving you tons of flexibility in the tone you can produce. The under-saddle pickup is excellent for amplifying percussive playing, and the large-scale length is great for drop tunings.

The PA300E is a versatile, creative guitar you don't want to overlook.

Suppose you’re an acoustic guitar player looking to buck traditional designs and find something that will allow your creativity to soar. In that case, you need to check out the Ibanez PA300E.

While Ibanez is well known for creating excellent electric guitars, especially for metal, Ibanez’s acoustic guitars are not to be overlooked.

What sets the Ibanez PA300E apart from the other acoustic guitars on this list is that it comes equipped with three different pickups and dual outputs. There’s a magnetic pickup in the neck of the guitar, a contact pickup in the body, and a t-bar under-saddle pickup. There aren’t any tone controls but volume controls.

This pickup system creates a lot of flexibility in the tone you can produce from this guitar. The under-saddle pickup is excellent for amplifying percussive playing.

The dual output allows you to split your signal into stereo for tons of creative flexibility. For example, you could run one signal into a pedal board, manipulate the sounds, and blend it in with the natural acoustic tone. The possibilities with this are endless.

While there are tons of great creative tricks you can do with this guitar, the construction of the Ibanez PA300E is also worth talking about.

This acoustic guitar has a solid spruce top with pau ferro back and sides. The tone of this guitar can be described as expressive, dynamic, and bright.

The 5-piece pau ferro and mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard have a buttery feel. And the jumbo frets make finger-tapping, bends, and lead lines a breeze. Also, this acoustic guitar features a larger scale length of 25.75”, which allows you to experiment with alternative drop tunings without the strings becoming too floppy and maintaining good sustain.

While this acoustic guitar is a hidden gem, it isn’t for everyone. The PA300E is tailored to modern players who want to push the boundaries of fingerstyle and tapping techniques. So if you’re looking for a guitar to strum and sing songs with, you might be better off looking at other options on this list.

If you’re looking for one of the best acoustic guitars under $1,000 for modern, alternative styles of playing, then the Ibanez PA300E is an option that will push the boundaries of your playing.

Pros
  • An excellent instrument for fingerstyle, finger-tapping, and percussive playing
  • It comes with a premium gig bag
  • Create tones that push you into new creative territories with this innovative acoustic guitar
Cons
  • The body and scale length might be too big for more petite players
  • Not the best option for more traditional players

Best 12-String: Guild D-1212

Best 12-String Acoustic
Guild D-1212

Guild knows something about making incredible 12-string acoustic guitars, and the D-1212 is no exception.

This beautifully crafted guitar is perfect for all-sized players. Its all-solid mahogany design keeps the tone warm, resonant, and rich. Plus, it comes with a premium gig bag, ensuring your investment stays protected.

Whether a big strummer or a fingerpicker, the Guild D-1212 is a versatile guitar that won't let you down.

12-string guitars are inspiring and frustrating all at the same time. They sound super cool with the chorus/phase thing, but they are a pain to re-string and can, if not set up correctly, be a pain to play.

Well, Guild knows a thing or two about building incredible 12-string acoustic guitars (they made the #1 spot on my roundup review here). Their D-1212 dreadnought model is beautifully constructed and an excellent 12-string option for all-sized players. This is compared to the Jumbo designs with which 12-strings are often associated, making these guitars inaccessible for players with small hands and females.

The all-solid mahogany design helps keeps the guitar’s tone resonant and balanced while helping keep the jingle-jangle of the octave strings more subdued.

The solid mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard has a flatter radius and comfortable feel in hand. This makes the guitar versatile and works well for big strummers and fingerpickers.

One thing that would be nice on this guitar is if the tuners were a little higher quality. Again, tuning and re-stringing 12-string guitars can be a huge pain, so having high-quality components makes this an easier task. However, this isn’t a deal breaker, as you could have them replaced if you like.

The Guild D-1212 also comes with a premium gig bag, which is a great addition as you will want to be sure to store this instrument properly. With 12-string acoustic guitars, there is a lot of string tension. If you don’t keep your guitar properly humidified, you risk getting your bridge ripped off as the glue joint becomes undone.

If you want to add a 12-string to your acoustic guitar collection, the Guild D-1212 is a worthy option that won’t disappoint.

Pros
  • A beautifully crafted 12-string acoustic guitar that is perfect for all-sized players
  • The all-solid mahogany design keeps the tone warm, resonant, and rich
  • It comes with a premium gig bag
Cons
  • The tuners could be of higher quality
  • It doesn't come with any electronics

Best for Travel: Taylor GS Mini-e Rosewood

Best for Travel
Taylor GS Mini-e Rosewood

Are you looking for a travel acoustic guitar that doesn't compromise on sound, construction, or playability? Then look no further than the Taylor GS Mini.

This acoustic guitar is an excellent choice for advanced players looking for an easy guitar to bring on an airplane, take long road trips, and gig with. It's also a great guitar to relax on the sofa with.

So if you're looking for a guitar that will keep you inspired while traveling, the GS Mini is a perfect choice.

If you’re looking for the best acoustic guitar to take with you traveling while not sacrificing tone and quality, then the Taylor GS Mini Rosewood needs to be on your shortlist.

This 3/4-sized steel-string acoustic guitar is perfect for travel and putting it into overhead bins. It features a solid Sitka spruce top, laminated rosewood back and sides, and is lightweight and compact.

While this is a smaller-sized acoustic guitar, it doesn’t lack tone and resonance. The GS Mini lineup of guitars features a larger-than-normal sound hole that helps with creating a bigger and more projecting tone.

The solid Sitka spruce and rosewood tonewood combination give you a dynamic, bright, and mid-range scooped sound. This is a great tonewood pairing for singer/songwriters who don’t want their instrument to conflict with your singing.

The GS Mini-e Rosewood has a maple neck with an ebony fingerboard, giving you that classic buttery playability that Taylor’s is known for.

You can get the GS-Mini with Taylor’s patented ES-B system with a built-in tuner for an additional charge. It’s worth mentioning that Taylor is well-known for crafting some great acoustic pickups. While I don’t usually love the sound of a plugged-in acoustic, these pickups sound good. So this makes the GS-Mini-e a great gigging guitar as well.

All Taylor guitar’s come with a case, and the softshell case this guitar comes with is high-quality and will protect your investment.

If you’re looking for a high-quality guitar that you can enjoy both on the road and in your home, then the Taylor GS Mini-e Rosewood is an excellent addition to your collection.

Pros
  • Well-built and a great-sounding travel guitar from a top brand
  • It comes with a high-quality softshell case
  • The built-in tuner is a nice touch
Cons
  • It may feel small for some players
  • The tone might be too "hi-fi" for some

Buyer’s Guide

Many options could be considered the best acoustic guitar under $1000 that we didn’t mention on this list.

While I think these options will please most players, I understand that a guitar purchase gets personal.

For this reason, I’ve included the following buyer’s guide to help you with your journey to finding your perfect instrument.

Tonewoods

Tonewoods significantly impact the tone of acoustic guitars, not just their looks. The topwood (soundboard) and the back and sides are the most important considerations with tonewood combinations.

Soundboard (Topwood)

The soundboard is the most critical tonewood in a guitar’s construction. It will directly impact your guitar’s dynamic range, tone, and playability.

The most common Soundboard tonewoods you’ll find on guitars in the $1,000 range are:

  • Spruce: Versatile and dynamic
  • Mahogany: Woodier, warm tones that naturally compress the sound
  • Cedar: A softwood that has a quick response but not a great dynamic range
Spruce wood
Spruce Tonewood
Mahogany Tonewood
Mahogany Tonewood
Cedar Wood
Cedar Tonewood

Body Wood

The body and sides of the guitar “season” the tone. The most common body and sides tonewoods you’ll find in the $1,000 range are:

  • Rosewood: Rosewood boosts the low and high end. Making a smiley face EQ curve. This is great for singers.
  • Mahogany: Adds articulation, clarity, and depth to the mid-range while helping with projection
  • Sapele: A sustainable alternative to mahogany
  • Maple: A balanced, if not a slightly bright tonewood that has excellent projection and little overtones. Great for big strummers.
  • Walnut: An earthier version of maple that adds great sustain

Pickups

Most acoustic guitars in the $1000 range will have pickups installed for plugging into a PA, audio interface, or amplifier.

Having an acoustic-electric guitar comes in handy when gigging out. However, if you primarily play at home, you may not need built-in electronics. If you don’t need the electronics, you will save money and often get a higher-quality guitar for less.

Body Shape

We often shop with our eyes more than our ears when searching for the best acoustic guitars under $1,000.

There are often body styles we naturally gravitate towards but may not be familiar with what kind of tone these shapes produce.

The following section will break down the different shapes and tonal characteristics.

Parlor

Characterized by a narrow waist, shorter scale length, and a more petite body.

Parlor guitars are popular among guitarists for being fun to play and having a distinct rootsy sound.

A parlor guitar’s tone often appeals to fingerstyle, folk, blues, and recording guitarist.

Grand Concert

Grand Concert Body Style

A fantastic body type for singer-songwriters and solo artists. It produces an intimate and balanced sound.

Excellent guitars for fingerstyle and lighter strummers.

Auditorium

Grand-Auditorium body style

Auditorium body designs are the “swiss army knife” of acoustic guitars.

They often sit between the size of a dreadnought and grand concert and are great for all styles and genres.

Dreadnought

Yamaha Dreadnought body style

A dreadnought-style guitar is loud and usually has a hefty low end. However, this emphasized low end can make the guitar sound muddy mid-range. This can sometimes make chords sound less defined and articulate.

However, because of the power dreadnought-bodied guitars have, they are great for players in bands with other loud acoustic instruments.

Jumbo

Super Jumbo Body Style

A jumbo body has the projection and weight of a dreadnought but the articulate sound of smaller-bodied concert guitars.

This is all in thanks to the pinched-in waist of these guitars.

On the other side, Jumbos are large instruments that might be tough to play for small players and children.

Scale Length

A full-size guitar has a scale length of around 25.5 inches.

A shorter-scale guitar has a scale length of roughly 24.7 inches.

Short-scale acoustics have less string tension, giving a “slinkier” feel. This can be great for beginners and players who have smaller hands.

Full-scale guitars are better for drop tunings because short-scales often get too floppy when you tune outside standard tuning.

Does it include a case?

Not all guitars in this price range come with a guitar case. This is especially true for higher-quality guitars to keep the cost down.

Look at the spec sheet and see if a case is included. If it isn’t, you will have to factor that into your purchase price.

FAQ

How much does it cost to get a great-sounding acoustic guitar?

You might hear a saying in guitar circles: “tone is in the bone.”

Granted, we all want our guitars to sound as good as possible. But the player, not the instrument, makes an acoustic guitar sound great at the end of the day. 

There are plenty of low-budget guitars out there that can hold their own in terms of sound quality. You don’t need to spend a fortune to get a great-sounding acoustic guitar, though it doesn’t hurt. 

However, as you get into the $500+ range of acoustic guitars, the quality starts to make a big jump.

You’ll find more acoustic guitars with all-solid wood construction. This means that the guitar’s top, back, and sides are made from single pieces of wood. The benefit of all-solid wood construction is that the guitar improves with age and has a deeper, resonant tone.

You’re starting to buy more “forever guitars.”

Should you buy an all solid-wood guitar or laminated-wood guitar?

The choice between a solid wood guitar and a laminated wood guitar depends on your use case.

Laminated wood lacks the depth and richness of a solid wood acoustic. However, laminate is more durable and less prone to cracking and warping from humidity. So a laminated guitar might be the right choice if you’re traveling a lot or live in an area with drastic weather changes.

However, suppose the tone is something you don’t want to sacrifice in your acoustic guitar purchase. In that case, you should look for solid wood designs. You will often sacrifice something for an all-solid wood design with acoustic guitars in the $500-$1000 price range. This usually is electronics and a case.

When searching for the best acoustic guitars under $1,000, you will often see that the topwood is solid and the back and sides are laminated. This is an excellent happy medium as you get the resonance of the most critical part of the guitar while maintaining structural durability in the body.

Why didn’t I include any Fender acoustic guitars on this list?

Fender acoustic guitars have recently revamped their Paramount series, and they are great guitars in the >$1,000 range.

However, I think the Yamaha, or the Taylor, beats out what Fender is offering. So, for this reason, I didn’t include these acoustic guitars on this list.

The Bottom Line

Acoustic guitars in the $500-$1000 range are excellent investments for intermediate and advanced players.

You can find high-quality instruments from reputable brands that will last you for years.

In my opinion, the Taylor Academy 12e is the best acoustic guitar under $1000 for most players. The construction is top-notch, and it sounds great. Factor in that it comes with a high-quality case, and you have everything you need to start marketing excellent music today.

Editor's Choice
Taylor Academy 12e
Taylor Academy 12e
  • Get all the Taylor quality you know, love, and want for a great price
  • The perfect guitar for smaller spaces and intimate settings
  • It has buttery playability that makes it hard to put down
For Recording
Martin 000-10E
Martin 000-10E
  • The short scale length is easy on the fingers, making it better for long recording sessions
  • The all-solid Sapele design naturally compresses the sound, giving you a more even recording
  • It's got that classic Martin tone that you know and love
For Songwriters
Yamaha AC1R 
Yamaha AC1R 
  • A workhouse guitar that is great for both live performances and studio recordings
  • It has a beautiful and articulate tone that isn't overpowering
  • Very comfortable for players of all sizes
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AUTHOR
Brad Johnson
Brad is the creator of Song Production Pros. He writes songs and surfs on the weekends when he's not too busy with family or this website. He writes music under the moniker FJ Isles, and can be heard on all streaming services.