Whether you’re a beginner looking for an entry-level guitar or a seasoned player looking for an inexpensive addition to your arsenal, choosing a new acoustic guitar isn’t as easy as it seems. . Build quality, timbre, size, and price are all important factors you’ll need to weigh before making your decision.
To help you with the process, we have selected 12 instruments here. These guitars may not feature exotic woods, choice hardware, or state-of-the-art technology, but they still check all the boxes when it comes to sound, playability, and value. Here are our picks for the best affordable acoustic guitars under £650.
With the focus on innovative build features, it’s no surprise that this D-18 lookalike looks more expensive than its £299 price tag. One of the main contributors to the AD60’s resonant tone is Alvarez’s innovative FST2 bracing pattern, a forward-shifted version of the classic X-bracing. This design frees up the soundboard area behind the bracing, allowing it to move more freely to generate more volume and response.
The guitar also features Alvarez’s “two-tier” bridge, which creates a greater string break angle by placing the hollowed-out bridge pins lower than the bone saddle. Due to a steeper string break angle, the output and overall performance of the guitar has been significantly improved.
Retails for £299. Check out our full review here.
In recent years, Eastman has bridged the gap between affordability and quality with its line of handcrafted acoustic guitars. The E1D is no different. At just £499 you’ll get an all solid wood dreadnought complete with volume and projection bags.
The guitar owes its tonal excellence to high-quality materials rather than aesthetic embellishments. The E1D’s excellent construction of a solid Sitka spruce top and solid Sapele back and sides combine for a voice that just might make you forget about mother-of-pearl inlays, Grover tuners and the Tusq nuts.
Retails at £499. Check out our full review here.
Art & Lutherie Heritage Tennessee Red
This £399 OM-shaped design combines a vintage aesthetic with a versatile tone. The guitar gets its balance from a three-layer wild cherry laminate on the back and sides. Art & Lutherie also opted for Adirondack spruce for the instrument’s scalloped bracing, which adds a nice “springy” touch to the overall sound.
Blues fans will also appreciate this guitar, with its dry, woody tone that makes it perfect for laid-back finger-picking styles. But even with a pick in hand, you’ll find that this Legacy model responds well to dynamics, whether you’re digging in or lightly strumming.
Retails at £399. Check out our full review here.
Paramount PM-3 Standard Mudguard
Boasting a solid wood construction and well-rounded tone, this handsome 000 cut will set you back £519. It features excellent tonewood choices in the form of a solid spruce top, solid mahogany back and sides, mahogany neck as well as a rosewood fingerboard. Sonically, the PM-3 is distinguished by firm bass as well as punch in the mids of the lower positions. The latter tonal characteristic is best exploited by picked notes with a pick and soft fingering.
Retails for £519. Check out our full review here.
PRS SE T40E
You won’t find any Private Stock embellishments on this SE one-piece workhorse, and rightly so, as it’s designed to be a tool of the trade. The £649 T40E is versatile enough to be used for writing, rehearsing, performing and recording. The acoustic guitar features a solid sitka spruce top paired with layered ovangkol back and sides to produce rich bass. It is also noted to handle alternate chords well. The drop D setting, in particular, unlocks a treasure trove of rich, deep harmonics.
Retails for £649. Check out our full review here.
Andrew White Cybele 100J Jatoba
Originally from West Virginia, luthier and designer Andrew White has spent more than two decades perfecting his acoustic guitars. While White has more exclusive lines like the Luthier Collection and Decker’s Creek series, it’s the £500 Cybele 100J production line that fits the bill in our affordable guide.
A key aesthetic feature of this acoustic is its all-solid Jatoba body, which gives the guitar a nice dark, rich hue. Although the Cybele 100J is a small guitar – slightly larger than a parlor-sized instrument – it is still capable of projecting a loud, bright tone with a top-end smoothness similar to that of a marble top. mahogany or koa. Other notable tonal characteristics include a square kick in the low mids – thanks to the body shape – as well as a ringing quality to the notes contributed by the overtones.
Sells for £500. Check out our full review here.
If you’re looking for vintage Epiphone spec at an affordable price, this slant-shouldered beauty is for you. The AJ-45ME/VSS features an assortment of classic Epiphone appointments, including an asymmetrical hump-shaped headstock reminiscent of the 1930s, open-back Grover tuners reminiscent of the pre-war era as well as an upside-down belly bridge featured on post-1950 models.
This acoustic isn’t just a vintage throwback, it’s also designed for excellent playability. Vintage-gauge low frets, SlimTaper D neck profile, and nicely rounded fingerboard edges all contribute to an instrument that plays like a dream. And it sounds like one, too: the instrument offers an open, loose feel, and produces a fatter sound when scooped with a heavy-gauge pick.
Retails for £439. Check out our full review here.
Taylor GS Mini
No list of affordable acoustics would be complete without Taylor’s hugely popular GS Mini. Considered by the company to be a “scaled-down marvel of design”, the GS Mini is the scaled-down sister to the Taylor GS (great symphony). Although compact in shape, this acoustic delivers a rich, full voice that belies its small size. This fullness of tone is no doubt aided by a solid choice of tonewoods, including a Sitka spruce top and laminated sapele body woods.
Another advantage of the GS Mini’s reduced frame is its portability. Travel is made easy with the guitar’s nimble body, so you won’t have to jostle too much with the crowd on your way to your next gig.
Sells at $499/£499.
Taylor Academy 10
The Taylor’s Academy series was designed for the student guitarist. This model offers full-bodied dreadnought tone and outstanding playability for just $499. The acoustic instrument is made more playable thanks to Taylor’s Academy neck, which has a thinner neck profile and a shorter scale length of 24.86 inches. These appointments help facilitate string fretting, chord formation, and note bending. Taylor also outfitted the Academy 10 with an armrest, helping beginners adjust to the larger dreadnought shape.
In terms of tonewoods, the Academy 10 features a solid spruce top and laminated sapele back and sides, effectively producing a warm sound with defined lows, singing highs and a punchy midrange. .
Sells at $499/£499.
Martin LX1E Little Martin
Another must-have on an affordable acoustic list is the Little Martin LX1E. For $559, you’ll get a lightweight, travel-sized guitar that still delivers great sound and quality. The acoustic is crafted from a good selection of tonewoods, including a solid Sitka spruce top and mahogany high pressure laminate (HPL) back and sides. These woods, along with Martin’s certified craftsmanship, are the foundation for the wide sound of this acoustic.
Like the previously mentioned Taylor GS Mini, the LX1E is also a great travel companion. Its small frame makes it super portable, allowing you to easily transport it to your next gig.
Lists at $559.
With a host of inspired wood selections, this Chinese-made Sigma draws comparisons to the revered Martin OM. The 28V features a solid fine grain spruce top, laminated Indian rosewood back and sides with a grayish brown hue, and natural colored rosewood with abalone diamond inlays.
Sonically, the instrument is as impressive as it looks, putting forth a bright, loud sound imbued with particularly expressive mids. Although there is a bit of a box in the tone of this OM clone, it is still ideal for fingerpicking with a capo and general picking and fingering tasks.
Retails at £399. Check out our full review here.
Launched in 1966, Yamaha’s FG series has earned a reputation as a no-frills acoustic workhorse for contemporary musicians. This dreadnought model carries the same DNA, but adds a newly formulated scalloped bracing pattern to consolidate the solid spruce top and facilitate better bass-to-mid projection. The midrange of the guitar also has a warm and rich character, mainly due to the Nato/Okume used on the back and sides.
Sells for $369.
Read our picks for high-end acoustic guitars here.