12 Best Premium Acoustic Guitars | Guitare.com


There are plenty of good reasons to get into an acoustic, especially if you’re a professional musician. Whether it’s playability, intonation, comfort, reliability, or great sound, these 12 models represent the best acoustic guitars we’ve reviewed on Guitar.com. They don’t come cheap, but for the quality of materials, construction, and sound you get, these dozen can’t be beat.

Fender American Acoustasonic Telecaster

In an ideal world, when it comes to that big acoustic number, a singer-songwriter will hit their pre-war D-45. Time to snatch that fried country solo when the band enters? No problem, the guitar tech is waiting on stage with a vintage Blackguard Telecaster. Reality, of course, usually involves a considerable amount of compromise on the dream scenario just described.

This is where the Acoustasonic Telecaster comes in. One of the most impressive things about Fender’s electro-acoustic hybrid is that, despite its problem-solving capabilities, it doesn’t feel like a compromise. Instead, it’s an instantly likeable and inspiring tool that opens rather than closes doors. It offers a wide range of acoustic characters based on popular wood combinations and body shapes, and has the ability to sweep a mix of two voices into each position. There’s a lot going on with this guitar.

Sells for $1,999 / £1,799. Check out our full review here.

Taylor Builder’s Edition K14ce with V-Class Bracing

Taylor announced its V-Class bracing system in 2018, and it immediately won over players with its effect on sustain, projection, and intonation. The Builder’s Edition K14ce was one of the first Taylor V-Class models: a bright yet smooth, full, deep, and extremely loud acoustic guitar, and, at the time of our review, the best six-string Taylor we’ve ever played.

Retailing for $4,999 / £5,759. Check out our full review here.

Martin D-28 Modern Deluxe

Although the Modern Deluxe Edition of the D-28 evergreen dreadnought is packed with modern features and innovations, Martin isn’t exactly flaunting them. At first glance, this guitar looks a lot like any other high-end D-28, and its special attributes only become apparent upon closer examination.

In short, this D-28 is a high-end dreadnought that is both contemporary and timeless. Martin has managed to boost the mids and even out the string-to-string response – in a way that seems quite fashionable – without losing what we love about the company’s traditional dreadnought sonic signature. It’s not overly bright, the bass is effectively deboomed without sacrificing power, and the sustain is remarkable.

Sells for $5,199 / £4,295. Check out our full review here.

Eastman Double Top DT30D Series

The Hero of the Eastman Double Top Review

Although Eastman’s new Double Top Series models may sound like traditional flat-top steel-string acoustics, there’s something different going on beneath the surface. The DT30D’s soundboard is a three-ply construction, but it’s definitely not plywood. Instead, we have two very thin layers of Sitka spruce sandwiching a Nomex honeycomb core. The idea is to achieve a much higher strength to weight ratio than is possible with a single layer of spruce.

When it comes to sound, the DT30D isn’t a ‘boom and bust’ dreadnought with heavily scooped mids, punchy bass and punchy highs. Instead, we hear something softer, much more balanced and, dare we say, refined. While the DT30D may not be the most exuberant dreadnought from a “strictly rhythmic” perspective, its tonal and dynamic characteristics make it far better suited to fingerpicking than most guitars of its type. This is where the DT30D demonstrates its ultimate focus, clarity and tactile response.

Sells for $2,500 / £2,199. Check out our full review here.

Larson Bros Prairie State OM Style 2 VS 1900

Larson Bros Prairie State OM Style 2 VS 1900

Although he was never such a household name as Martin or Gibson, Larson Bros. can name some celebrities on his client list, and his guitars are highly sought after by players and collectors today.

The State of the Prairies is one of them. It’s a truly inspiring instrument with authentic vintage tone, massive volume, power and bass response. To our ears, it has a more robust and rich quality, especially in the lows and mids, which support and fill out the extended highs. High frequencies are about the smoothest we’ve heard from an all-new spruce/rosewood acoustic.

Sells for £2,440. Check out our full review here.

Breedlove Frontier Concerto mi

Breedlove border concerto e

In designing their original Concerto shape, Breedlove challenged themselves to improve the tonal performance of a dreadnought, but with a more comfortable body design. In reality, the Concerto is something of a cross between a jumbo, a dreadnought and an OM – all in all a hugely impressive and individual version of the dreadnought formula that offers superb sound and playability.

The Concerto E’s tonal performance matches its flawless construction. Starting with a basic fingering, what strikes is the bottom of the Concerto. From deep within the guitar’s innards comes a full-bodied, earthy growl that never breaks no matter how hard it’s pushed. The midrange is plump, rounded and full of texture, while the high registers sing with a clear, glassy ring that encourages refined, “less is more” playing.

Sells for $2,799 / £3,049. Check out our full review here.

Lowden S-35C 12 fret CO/AD

lowden s-35c 12 fret co/ad

With its classic C Lowden open neck profiles, perfect setup, and absolutely flawless build quality, this cutaway cocobolo spruce/Adirondack acoustic is one of the most comfortable guitars we’ve gotten our hands on. Even electric players will find the string tension lowered from the familiar shortened scale length.

Start playing, though, and you’ll hear brighter Lowden sound with incredibly deep bass for the body size. The quick response and improved clarity help cut through strummed parts, but the S-35C demands a greater degree of precision when fingerpicking. The tone is definitely more complex and the harmonics persist inside the body of the cocobolo, much like the best rosewood guitars. In fact, it also achieves extraordinary sustain that puts them on par with V-Class Taylors.

Sells for £5,515. Check out our full review here.

Martin D-41 reinvented

martin d-41 reimagined

This 2018 D-41 can be read as Martin’s statement to prove to the guitar-buying public – and the competition – that no one makes “Martin-style instruments” as good as they can. From the high quality materials used to the sublime tone and response, this D-41 is a great example of dreadnought design that is also a viable option for players of all styles.

We struggle to put down the truly inspiring guitar. While it commands a sobering price, it’s worth pointing out that we haven’t come across a dreadnought sound of this quality outside of vintage Martins or specialist Martin-style luthiers such as Lynn Dudenbostel or Wayne Henderson. And when you consider how those alternatives would cost a five-figure price tag, the D-41 seems a lot more reasonable.

Sells for $5,799 / £4,150. Check out our full review here.

Atkin Guitars The Forty-Three

atkin guitars the forty three

Artificially aged guitars have become commonplace in the electric market over the past two decades, but the reverse is true for acoustics. So rather than settle for a vintage Gibson J-45 clone, luthier Alister Atkin sought to “capture the aura of a guitar that has been played for the past 70 years”.

The result is a guitar with a more “vintage” voice, but a more stable structure. Atkin is no slave to the vintage aesthetic, as it incorporates a two-way truss bar and uses a two-bolt method for neck joints similar to that used by Collings. And despite being a sloping-shouldered dreadnought, the bass is powerful but well-proportioned and far from resounding. It packs a nice punch, but there’s a rounded, woodsy quality to the notes rather than a cutting front end or twangy bite.

Sells for £2,999. Check out our full review here.

Lowden F32

Lowden F32 Review

If you’ve always loved the vibe of Lowden’s O-shaped acoustics, but are looking for a more compact instrument, an F model may prove to be the ideal solution. Lowden describes the F models as small jumbos – and the F32 sits at the top of the line.

The body dimensions allow for a more even frequency response, so the flat bias bracing ensures that no frequency band is unduly dominant or weak. In terms of frequency range and definition, the F32 compares to some classic acoustics in the same way high-end hi-fi systems compare to computer monitors with an additional subwoofer. The phrase “harp-like” seems more apt than “piano-like.” The F32 has a mysterious, ambient quality to it, and its tone is steeped in overtones that linger inside the body like tuned natural reverb.

Sells for £3,099. Check out our full review here.

Taylor 614ce

taylor 614ce v class

It’s the stage guitar of choice for many professionals, and the 2018 V-Class version of the Taylor 614ce further proves that there are few instruments that match this level of electro-acoustic performance.

This guitar has everything you would expect from a Taylor. Along with a more open sonic palette afforded by the new V-Class bracing system, you’ll hear shimmering highs (smoothed out no doubt by the roasted top), scooped mids, and an exploitable, but never overpowering, bass end. Open tunings sound detailed and rich, and there’s good balance across the fingerboard. As you’d expect, playability and intonation are excellent throughout.

Retailing for $3,499 / £4,019. Check out our full review here.

Bourgeois D-Custom Dreadnought

bourgeois d-custom dreadnought

This guitar is based on one of the most iconic dreadnoughts of all: Clarence White’s 1935 Martin D-28. Bourgeois replicated White’s widened rosette and guitar cantilever, the former of which is considered in bluegrass circles a vital part of country rocker tone.

However, the D-Custom is not for the faint of heart. The action is set high so the strings sound loud and clear, and you need strong fingers to play high in the neck. Sonically, it’s a muscular, loud dreadnought whose full-frequency experience has none of the loose, woofy bass that plagues some dreadnoughts. You also get a perfectly defined attack for single notes and a powerful low-end sound from strummed chords.

Sells for £5,950. Check out our full review here.

Read our picks for high-end electric guitars here.


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