If you’re looking for the best acoustic guitars under 2000 dollars, and want to make the right choice, so you don’t waste your money, this post is perfect for you!
Using my 25+ years of guitar playing experience, countless hours spent researching online, and all the time spent in guitar shops, I’ve constructed a fool-proof resource for you to find the perfect instrument no matter your use case.
Whether you’re an intermediate or experienced player who wants something better than they currently own, I have some great recommendations.
Let’s get started discussing the best $2000 acoustic guitar!
The Short Answer
The best acoustic guitars under $2000 is Taylor Guitar’s American Dream Series. This is because of its innovative & consistent construction, ease of playability, sonic versatility, and Taylor’s dedication to sustainability (read full review here).
However, if you’re looking for some of the best acoustics guitars that sits closer to the $1,000 range, then you should highly consider the Gibson Generation Series.-Brad Johnson (Founder/Writer of Song Production Pros)
Best Overall: Taylor’s American Dream Series
Experience Vintage Elegance with Modern Features
The Taylor American Dream series offers an all-solid wood design, sustainable materials, innovative V-class bracing, and a great playing mahogany neck and eucalyptus fingerboard, making it a must-have for any guitar enthusiast looking for a vintage instrument with modern playability.
With various tonewood combinations and body shapes to choose from, the American Dream series has something to offer for every type of player, making it a safe and reliable choice for anyone in the market for a new acoustic guitar.
- Delivers premium quality at a practical price point
- All-solid wood design, sustainable materials, and innovative V-class bracing (C-class for the GT body) provide exceptional sound quality
- Left-handed versions are available for all models
- None of the guitars in this lineup feature a cutaway
- You have to pay extra for the ES-2 electronics
One of the challenges in the modern-day acoustic guitar buying economy is that we often take gambles with purchasing a new instrument before we test it out. While this is not ideal, there are some brands that you can safely rely on consistently delivering quality acoustic guitars that you’ll love from day one. Taylor Guitars is one such brand.
In 2020, Taylor released the American Dream lineup of guitars which pack all the things you love about a premium Taylor Guitar but with a price tag that is practical for most guitar players looking to step their game up into the big leagues.
The American Dream series features an all-solid wood design, sustainable materials, innovative V-class bracing (C-class for the GT body), and a great playing mahogany neck and eucalyptus fingerboard.
At the time of this review, there are three body shapes to choose from. A short-scale Grand Theatre, a Grand Concert body, and Taylor’s take on the dreadnought with the Grand Pacific.
Which model is right for you?
Suppose you want an easy guitar to travel with or have small hands and frame, or you’re buying your child prodigy a better instrument. The American Dream AD11 models will be a great option in that case.
If you want something that excels at fingerstyle and has fantastic note separation/articulation, check out the American Dream AD12 (Spruce Top) or AD22 (Mahogany Top). There is also a 12-Fret version for those who want more midrange punch and warmth.
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Best Value for Money: Gibson Generation Series
Experience the Legendary Gibson Sound at an Affordable Price
Get the iconic Gibson sound without breaking the bank with the Generation Series. It features solid-Sitka spruce tops, walnut backs and sides, and a modern neck profile, making it perfect for fingerstyle, flatpicking, and strumming. The Player Port on the top of the body provides a unique and immersive experience.
Although most models lack a cutaway or fancy appointments, the Generation Series offer fantastic sound and playability, making them a must-have for any Gibson enthusiast.
- Get the iconic Gibson sound without breaking the bank
- The neck feels slim, and it is easy to play on these guitars
- Player Port immerses you in the sound for a truly unique experience
- Made in the USA
- Plenty of body styles to choose from
- The plain look may not inspire every player
- Quality control is considered to be inconsistent. However, from the guitars I played, they felt and sounded great
Gibson is an iconic, made-in-the-USA brand known for its darker acoustic tones and rugged aesthetics. When you purchase a Gibson, you’re looking for sounds that will take you back in time. The challenge with Gibson acoustic guitars for most players is they come at a high cost.
However, in 2021, Gibson Guitars released its Generation Series, which takes away all the frills to keep the cost down, but retains the sound of Gibson that has made them a must-have for guitarists for generations (sorry, I couldn’t help myself).
Which model is right for you?
If your budget is $1,000, and you are looking for an articulate fingerstyle guitar that will lounge comfortably on the couch with you, then go with the G-00.
If you want a fuller body and a more dynamic performance guitar, then you can’t go wrong with the G-45.
If you need something for live performances, then the G-Writer EC will be the most versatile of the entire lineup, while the G-200 will command any room you play it in; however, you will be paying $2,000+ after tax.
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Best for Recording: Martin 15 Series
Infuse Your Recordings with the Iconic Martin Tone
Experience the iconic Martin tone with the 15 Series, Martin's all-solid Mahogany acoustic guitar with excellent hardware, a consistent build, and classic Martin body shapes, making it perfect for any guitar player.
Whether you're looking for a classic porch guitar or something versatile to handle your strumming and fingerstyle recordings, the 15 Series has you covered.
- An affordable and traditional guitar with a classic tone and excellent hardware
- Mahogany construction provides a consistent build and iconic Martin tone
- Modern neck design makes the guitar easy to play
- No options for tonewoods other than Mahogany
- Doesn't come with a pickup and electronics system
C.F. Martin Acoustic Guitars need no introduction. If you’re looking for a traditional guitar with that classic tone you’ve heard on countless records, then you owe it to yourself to check out the 15 series.
The 15-Series is Martin Guitars’ all-solid Mahogany acoustic guitar with excellent hardware (I love the vintage style tuners on the Streetmasters), a consistent build, and that iconic Martin tone on their more high-end range of acoustic guitars.
There are all of Martin’s innovative body shapes, like the dreadnought, 000, and 00, in the 15 series lineup, so there is a model for every type of guitar player.
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Other guitars to consider
You will get an instrument you’ll love with the American Dream, Generation, or 15 Series acoustic guitars. Each has many different options that should cater to your specific needs.
However, I wanted to include other honorable mentions and gems worth considering.
Best for Fingerstyle Playing: Guild 20 Series
Experience the Vintage Charm and Warmth of Your Favorite Songwriters
Looking for an acoustic that conjures up the vintage charm of your favorite indie tunes? Then you need one of the Guild 20 series acoustic guitars.
This mahogany guitar is built to last, with rich, warm tones perfect for fingerstyle and strumming. The natural compression of the mahogany wood gives your performance a uniform feel.
So if you're looking for a guitar that will take you back to those classic songwriters of yesteryear, the Guild 20 series Dreadnought or Concert is a perfect choice.
- A beautifully understated series that punches above its weight-class
- You'll sound like the most sensitive and reflective guitar player ever
- Full-bodied sound with a nice warm, clear mid-range presence
- Not the guitars for you if you're looking for a modern sound
- Lack of cutaway makes accessing upper frets difficult
If you’re looking for a no-frills, classic playing acoustic guitar, then the Guild 20 Series should be on your shortlist.
I was blown away by the M-20 when I demoed it in my local shop. The M-20 is a concert body acoustic with a rich vintage and warm tone.
The pinched waist provided fantastic note separation and clarity, while the C-shape neck felt neutral and accommodating. The M-20 is a fantastic fingerpicking acoustic guitar.
The 20 Series also features the D-20. The D-20 is modeled after the D-25, Guild’s first Dreadnought style guitar, released in 1968.
This Guild D-20 seeks to replicate the vintage, rich tone and charm of its ’68 counterpart with an all-solid mahogany build.
Most Versatile: Yamaha AC5R
- All Solid Torrified Sitka Spruce Top
- Solid Rosewood Back & Sides
- Straight Taper African Mahogany Neck
- Ebony Fingerboard
- 25.56'' Scale Length
- 1.6875'' Nut Width
- 15.75'' Radius
- Tusq Nut & Saddle
- Ebony Bridge
- Snowflakes Inlays
- Mahogany Bindings
- Comes with Hardshell Case
A Perfect Acoustic Guitar to Do It All
This Japanese handcrafted all-solid wood acoustic guitar is perfect for fingerstylists and strummers across all musical genres.
The AC5R is lightweight and resonant, with a warm, full tone. It has Yamaha's world-renowned SRT2 pickup system, including an under-saddle piezo pickup and two high-end microphone modeling outputs. This gives you incredible flexibility and tone options when you're plugged in.
If you're looking for the best value for your money in an acoustic guitar, look no further than this Yamaha AC5R!
- Quality Japanese craftsmanship with great construction and tone
- It's a versatile instrument for all players and styles
- The SRT2 pickup system gets a more authentic amplified sound
- Not the most exotic-looking guitar on this list
- Some may balk at having Yamaha on their headstock
The Yamaha AC5R acoustic guitar is a fantastic instrument. This guitar features all solid woods and is a handcrafted Japanese instrument that sounds great.
It is also considerably less expensive than the best acoustic guitars from US-based guitar manufacturers. A comparable guitar to the Yamaha AC5R could easily run over $2,000.
This concert acoustic-electric guitar is lightweight, resonant, and warm sound. It’s a versatile instrument and may be used by fingerstylists and strummers across all musical genres.
Best for Gigging: Martin SC-13E
- Solid Spruce Top
- Koa or Ziricote Veneer Back & Sides
- 16" Radius
- Low Profile Velocity Neck
- Ebony Fretboard
- 25.56'' Scale Length
- 1.75'' Nut Width
- White Corian Nut & White Tusq Saddle
- Ebony Bridge
- Fishman MX-T or L.R. Baggs Anthem Electronics
- Softshell Case
Take Your Live Performance to the Next Level
With The Martin SC-13e's offset body and slim neck, this guitar offers the playability of an electric guitar with the projection and sound quality of an acoustic guitar. The premium electronics and built-in tuner make tuning on stage seamless.
Plus, with Martin's reputation for quality control and durability, you can rest assured that your SC-13E will last a lifetime. Bring the legendary Martin tone to the stage with the SC-13E today!
- The Martin SC-13E acoustic-electric guitar is a perfect choice for any touring musician
- The guitar is durable, comfortable, and easy to maintain
- Premium electronics bring the legendary Martin tone to the stage
- The offset body might turn off some Martin traditionalist
- Some report the tuner isn't great and EQ is limiting on the electronics
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Best for Smaller Hands: Taylor GS-Mini Koa Plus
- Grand Symphony Mini Body
- Solid Hawaiian Koa Top
- Layered Koa Body
- Tropical Mahogany Neck with 15" Radius
- Ebony Fingerboard
- 23.5'' Scale Length
- 1.6875'' Nut Width
- NuBone Nut & Saddle
- Ebony Bridge
- ES-2 Electronics
- Premium AeroCase
Small Hands Can Still Get a Big Sound
Looking for an acoustic guitar that's perfect for small hands? Look no further than the Taylor GS Koa Mini-e & Plus, the best option at the $1,000 price point. With its Grand Symphony body shape and short-scale length, the GS Mini offers a deep and resonant sound thanks to scalloped X-bracing and a slightly larger soundhole.
The solid Koa top wood models provide a versatile, dynamic tone perfect for fingerpicking and flatpicking. While this is a great acoustic guitar for people with small hands and frames, I think everyone should have one GS-Mini in their quiver.
- A fantastic guitar that doesn't sacrifice tone or playability
- The Mini Grand Symphony body shape offers a slightly larger lower bout and short-scale length (23.5'') for ease of playing
- Solid Koa top and larger sound hole provide a rich mid-range and bright tones, ideal for fingerpicking and flatpicking
- While the top wood is solid, the back and sides are laminate
- It's an expensive tiny guitar
The Taylor GS Koa Mini-e & Plus is the best acoustic guitar for tiny hands at the $1,000 price you can purchase today. The GS Mini is the most popular guitar model in the Taylor Acoustic Guitars lineup, and it isn’t a mystery why.
The Grand Symphony body shape of the GS Mini is not quite a 3/4 sized acoustic guitar, but not a full-length guitar with a slightly larger lower bout and short-scale length (23.5”).
Despite its size, the guitar has a deep and resonant sound, thanks to the scalloped X-bracing and slightly larger soundhole that enhance its projection and tone.
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Buying Guide for Acoustic Guitars Under $2000
Dropping 2,000 dollars on anything is a big decision. When it comes to buying guitars online, it can be difficult because of all the brands, models, and designs.
First, if you aren’t sure why you should buy a more expensive guitar, you shouldn’t buy one. Stick with what you have and continue to develop your skills and playing style.
A guitar in the 1,000 to 2,000 price range will be catered towards the intermediate to the expert player who wants to take their playing to the next level and beyond.
So when you feel like your current guitar isn’t “giving back” to your level of playing, then, and only then, should you consider dropping the coin on a nice, new guitar.
Why doesn’t this article cover a more diverse lineup of guitar brands?
My list is narrowed down by some of the best guitar brands that are reputable and available. Both Taylor and Martin are known for their consistency, and is easy to find the models I recommend at your favorite online dealers.
If you want something more bespoke, you should visit a local guitar shop with a bigger variety.
The following buying guide will help narrow down other options that best suit your needs.
As guitar players, we can often shop with our eyes more than our ears. We might gravitate towards a specific look of a particular guitar style but not be totally familiar with what kind of tone individual body shapes will produce.
The following list will break down general characteristics of the main body types of acoustic guitar construction.
Please refer to this resource if you want a breakdown of Martin’s body styles and their meaning.
The dreadnought is the most popular acoustic guitar body style. It’s most likely what you think of when you envision an acoustic.
These guitars are loud and usually have a big, fat low-end. However, this low-end emphasis can sometimes come at the cost of a muddy-sounding mid-range. This can result in a loss of articulation within chords.
The Dreadnought body style will benefit players playing in bands with other loud acoustic instruments.
Parlor acoustic guitars have grown in popularity since its peak in the late-eighteenth century. It is characterized by a narrow waist, a shorter scale length, and a more petite body.
These guitars aren’t thunderous. However, what they lack in volume, they make up for in punch and clarity.
Parlors are popular among guitarists for being fun to play and easy to achieve a great sound.
A parlor guitar has a worn-in, vintage sound that appeals to fingerstyle, folk/blues, and recording guitarist.
A Grand Concert guitar is a fantastic body type for singer-songwriters and solo artists. It produces an intimate, balanced, and focused tone.
They’re also excellent guitars for fingerstyle guitarists and lighter strummers. The tiny, pinch-waist guitar style responds quickly, requiring little input to elicit the instrument to sing.
However, when strummed hard, the sound of grand concert acoustic guitars tends to deteriorate.
The Grand Auditorium body style is the most popular and versatile for the top acoustic guitars.
These guitar body styles often feature a cutaway, allowing easy playability for more modern/advanced playing styles in the upper frets.
Suppose you’re searching for the best acoustic guitar that is a “swiss-army knife” and can excel in all genres and playing styles. In that case, a Grand Auditorium body should be where you focus your research.
The Jumbo-sized acoustic guitar perfectly marries the dreadnought and grand concert. A jumbo gives you the projection and loudness of a dreadnought but with the balanced, articulate sound of the smaller-bodied concert guitars.
The pinched waist helps the sound be more articulate, allowing big cowboy chords to ring out clear and surprisingly balanced.
On the other side, Jumbos are large instruments that might be tough to play for those with smaller, petite frames.
Pickups or No Pickups
Most the best acoustic guitars under 2000 will come with some electronics and pickup system. Almost all of them in this price range will do a great job amplifying your guitar’s acoustic tone.
However, suppose you don’t need electronics in your guitar. If this is the case, you can often find a very high-quality guitar for less money because no electronics are featured in the guitar.
Not all models of guitars will have a non-electronics version. But when shopping for the best acoustic guitar under 2000, finding one without electronics can often get you a higher-quality guitar while saving you good money.
What makes acoustic guitars in the 1,000 to 2,000 price range worth the price? Manufacturing and construction.
Most guitars in this price range will feature all solid wood designs. All solid wood acoustic guitars have superior sound quality compared to laminate construction found in cheaper acoustic guitars.
However, some guitars in this price range will feature laminated back and sides instead of solid wood. Often in the guitar specs, it’s laminated if it isn’t specified that it’s solid wood.
Laminated woods are less prone to cracking and warping due to weather conditions. Even though laminate is often considered inferior, it isn’t always the wrong decision.
But as you start to get to the $2,000 price range, you are paying for the craftsmanship of a guitar designed to sound as best as possible. So while laminate isn’t always bad, look for an all solid wood guitar if you can and learn how to care for it properly, so it lasts a lifetime.
One of the most crucial aspects to consider when purchasing an acoustic or electric guitar is whether or not the company you’re dealing with follows environmentally responsible business practices.
Deforestation is responsible for around 1/5 of global greenhouse gas emissions, and it’s been estimated that illegal logging accounts for up to 40% of wood procurement.
When purchasing a guitar, consider its impact on our environment. Like Taylor, acoustic guitar manufacturers are leading the charge in environmentally responsible manufacturing methods.
Paying a little more to support an ethical supply chain from the raw materials to the people who construct your guitar is well worth the investment.
Thinking about the woods that will produce your desired sound is critical. Tonewoods significantly impact the tone of acoustic guitars, not just their quality and looks.
The soundboard is the most crucial tonewood in an acoustic guitar’s construction. It will directly impact your guitar’s dynamic range, tone, and playability.
The most popular Soundboard tonewoods are:
- Spruce: Versatile and dynamic.
- Mahogany: Produces woodier, warm tones with a natural compression to the sound.
- Koa: Beautiful and has a very bright sound.
- Cedar: A softwood with a quick response but not a great dynamic range.
The body and sides of the guitar add more flavor and “seasoning” to the tone.
The most common body and sides tonewoods are:
- Rosewood: Rosewood emphasizes the low and high end. Making a smiley face EQ curve.
- Mahogany: Has natural acoustic tones and adds depth to the mid-range while helping with projection.
- Sapele: A sustainable mahogany alternative.
- Maple: A balanced, if not a slightly bright tonewood with excellent projection.
- Koa: Great projection and a high-end boost to the guitar’s overall tone.
- Walnut: An earthier version of maple that adds great sustain to a guitar’s tone.
The most asked questions about the best acoustic guitars under 2000 dollars.
What is the nicest sounding acoustic guitar?
It depends on what you’re looking for in a guitar. Some people might prefer the mellower sound of a cedar-top guitar. In contrast, others might like a spruce top guitar’s crisp, dynamic sound.
One of the essential factors in determining the sound of an acoustic guitar is the type of wood used for the top. This will impact the guitar’s tone the most and, depending on your taste, will make a guitar sound better or worse to your ears.
What makes a guitar worth $2000?
A few key factors can make a guitar worth $2000. The quality of construction and materials used are critical, as is the increased depth of tone and playability.
Also, the best acoustic guitars that get into the 1,000 to 2,000-dollar range specialize in specific tones and playing styles. They aren’t catering to a broad audience of buyers but to the particular wants of a guitar player.
Ultimately, it’s up to the buyer to decide what they think a guitar is worth. If you’re looking for a high-quality instrument that will last a lifetime, then spending $2000 on a guitar may be well worth it.
However, if you’re starting out and don’t have much money, a more affordable guitar may be the right option.
The Taylor American Dream series is the Overall Winner for the best acoustic guitars under 2000. Its features make it worth the price tag, including innovative construction, easy playability, and a inspired vintage look.