The best acoustic guitars in 2021 for every budget


The 214ce grand auditorium is one of Taylor’s best-selling guitars and is consistently voted one of the best guitars available in its price range. In true Taylor style, it offers striking, crisp definition between notes, plus an acoustic-electric pickup for louder performance settings. Its versatility and luminosity found a fan in Ezra Koenig.

Taylor developed the American Dream series of guitars as COVID-19 kept many of us in check, with the goal of producing an American-made solid wood instrument at a lower price than any of their other models in this class, which start somewhere around $2,000 and can go up to $10,000. Keeping these guitars affordable meant removing some of the flashy visual details and sparse woods that adorn the higher-end models, but if you’re a fan of sturdy features rather than ornate decoration, this might not be such a bad deal. thing. The AD17 Blacktop in particular, which features a matte black finish on its soundboard, is one of the most stylish acoustics on the market today. More than understated styling, the AD17 Blacktop also offers a boost system designed to boost volume and sustain, plus Taylor’s exclusive electronics for plugging into amps and PAs.

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Taylor American Dream AD17 Blacktop

In many ways, the sound of an acoustic guitar comes down to the wood from which it is constructed. A few familiar trees, like maple and mahogany, account for most instruments on the market. Over the years, Hawaiian koa – a traditional wood for ukulele construction – has become increasingly popular as an option for guitars. Thanks to its relatively high cost as a material, it often appears on special limited-edition instruments, but Washburn’s G55CE gives it mass-market availability for less than $1,000.

Koa is visually stunning, but it also has unique tonal properties. Guitars built from the wood tend to be extremely bright when first purchased, but become richer and warmer over time, a kind of changing life cycle for your instrument that many other woods don’t have. The Washburn also offers an unusual body shape, with a contoured top designed to ensure a comfortable position for your picking arm. It may not be the guitar for everyone; but at the price, there’s not much else like it.

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Washburn Comfort G55CE Koa

In the world of acoustic guitars—where, as we’ve seen, it’s possible to credibly market a $1,499 instrument as a budget conscious one—prices can quickly become daunting for any budding beginner. Fortunately, there are plenty of solid instruments available at small fractions of that number. The DR-100, from Gibson’s beginner-focused Epiphone sub-brand, is perhaps the best instrument available at the lower end of the cost spectrum. Built with quality tonewoods and with a smooth, easy-to-play neck shape for beginners and seasoned pros alike, it could easily fool you into thinking you’re holding a much more expensive guitar.

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A few hundred dollars more than the DR-100 gets you the Hummingbird Studio, a faithful Epiphone recreation of Gibson’s most iconic model. Of course, at about a tenth the Gibson’s nearly $3,849 price tag, the Epiphone doesn’t quite have the same specs as the flagship – they’re not made in the USA and they don’t. have no solid wood back or sides. – but it’s fully capable of classic Hummingbird tone. Equally important: it looks the part, too.

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Epiphone Colibri Studio

Ibanez is better known for its shredding-friendly electric guitars than its acoustic, but its dedication to high-performance playability extends to its acoustic line. And the fact that it’s not exactly a big-name acoustic name means you can get an extremely well-crafted Ibanez for a lot less money than you’d spend on one of its more famous competitors. The AW54CE’s solid okoumé construction (a softer variant of mahogany) is eye-catching and produces a full resonant sound, with the ability to amplify using on-board electronics. And its neck, like those on Ibanez electrics, is built for speed. Why not rip some solos from Randy Rhoads or Kirk Hammett around the campfire?

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Recording King was launched in the 1930s as a house instrument brand for Montgomery Ward, then relaunched as an independent brand with no affiliation with the department store chain in 2007. With its “Dirty 30s” series, the current manufacturer pays homage to the pre-war instruments of its heritage. The most affordable of these is the Series 7 Single 0, whose compact body is modeled after the “parlor” style guitars that were standard for many players before dreadnoughts took over the market. The Series 7 Single 0 is a breeze, with plenty of grit and body, especially considering its small size. It’s also available in bright colors like orange and green, which, while not exactly historically accurate, help make it perhaps the most eye-catching acoustic you can buy for. less than $200.

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Recording King Dirty 30s Series 7 Single 0

If you’re drawn to the Recording King’s pre-war parlor guitar style but have a bit more cash to spend, the Art & Lutherie Roadhouse may be the instrument for you. . The Art & Lutherie brand may be relatively new to the market, but it has an old-school look and build. Each of its guitars is handcrafted in Canada, a pedigree one would expect to price much higher than the $549 Roadhouse, whose articulate tone is well suited to bluesy fingerpicking. Plus: All Art & Lutherie guitars are made from the wood of previously fallen trees, in facilities powered by hydroelectricity, giving welcome peace of mind about the environmental impact of your instrument .

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