10 Best Acoustic Guitars Under $1000 – Entering The Premium Ranges

The-Best-Acoustic-Guitar-Under-$1000

Last Updated: Feb-08-2018
We revisited this top ten chart of brilliant higher-end acoustic guitars, and replaced a few older models with some newer, popular acoustics. Gone are the Washburn Vintage Series R320WRK and Martin GPCPA5K, and in come the cool Fender Paramount PM-3 Standard, the innovative Breedlove Solo Concert, and the all-round excellent Yamaha A-Series A3M.

Ah, the sweet smell of premium! While a guitar in this category may not be deemed high-end by everyone, dropping $1000 on an acoustic guitar is a serious purchase for the majority of us.

Thankfully the guitars in our chart justify your money and give you more than a grand’s worth of feel, design and tone. You’ll find exotic woods, professional grade performance, stage-worthy electronics, and even a made-in-America Martin!

If $1000 is stretching too far, you may want to check out our list of top-rated acoustic guitars for a quality guitar that will match your budget. But, for those of you still interested in buying something really special, let’s see what’s worthy of your time.

Note that in our chart we only feature steel-string models. If you’re looking for a nylon-stringed guitar, we have a separate page dedicated to < href="/best-classical-guitar/under-1000/">classical guitars under $1,000.

Top 10 Best Acoustic Guitars Under $1000:

ImageAcoustic Guitar / RatingSummaryCheck Price
+ - Seagull Artist Mosaic Seagull Artist Mosaic

Total of 4.88/5  

An outstanding model by Seagull. Worth every penny.

+ - Breedlove Solo Concert Breedlove Solo Concert

Total of 4.85/5  

A beautifully innovative Breedlove worth every penny.

+ - Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE

Total of 4.85/5  

A class act from Epiphone with superb style, performance, electronics and tone!

+ - Yamaha A Series A3M Yamaha A Series A3M

Total of 4.82/5  

An acoustic workhorse with beautiful tone.

+ - Seagull Maritime SWS SG Seagull Maritime SWS SG

Total of 4.58/5  

All solid wood guitar with a loud and clear voice.

+ - Blueridge BR-160 Blueridge BR-160

Total of 4.50/5  

A great looking throwback with a dreadnaught body from Bristol.

+ - Taylor 100 Series 114ce Taylor 100 Series 114ce

Total of 4.58/5  

A big voice for its smaller size and great electronics.

+ - Ovation Standard Elite 2778 Ovation Standard Elite 2778

Total of 4.65/5  

Unmistakably Ovation in design, this is a true stage-worthy electro-acoustic.

+ - Fender Paramount PM-3 Standard Fender Paramount PM-3 Standard

Total of 4.73/5  

A modern classic, all-solid-wood acoustic from Fender.

+ - Martin DRS2 Road Series Martin DRS2 Road Series

Total of 4.58/5  

Be ready to hit the road and impress with the tone.

Seagull Artist Mosaic

Seagull Artist Mosaic

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If you want an upgrade or a new primary instrument with outstanding quality and tone, here is your answer. The Artist Mosaic is an all solid wood acoustic with a cedar top and mahogany back and sides.

The mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard is a joy to play whether strumming chords or picking lead lines. The tone is warm with plenty of clarity. The modified dreadnaught sized body gives the guitar a big voice that is even without overwhelming bass response.

The hardware is of good quality and keeps the guitar nicely in tune. Seagull has been consistently making very nice instruments, and the Artist series is the icing at the top of their cake.

Breedlove Solo Concert

Breedlove Solo Concert

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While you can’t see it from the photos, there’s a piece missing from the side of this beautiful guitar. But fear not – Breedlove isn’t saving on materials. Instead, the brand offers a second soundhole, which gives the player the opportunity to hear exactly what the audience are hearing. An innovative feature that matches the thought put into the rest of this Korean-made steel-string acoustic. As for materials, the top features solid red cedar, with laminated rosewood on the back and sides, leading to a warm but balanced tone. This electro-acoustic also features versatile L. R. Baggs electronics, with a built-in tuner, a pinless bridge, and a gig bag. The full review has much more on the excellent Breedlove Solo Concert.

Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE

Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE

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Epiphone may be a name associated with entry-level models, but in this higher-end market they are serious performers – especially with this electro-acoustic Masterbilt DR-500MCE. It’s made of solid mahogany on the back and sides, with a solid Sitka spruce top and some beautiful vintage detailing across the guitar. It is very performance worthy, with a one-piece SlimTaper D-shaped mahogany neck, sporting a rosewood fretboard and 20 medium frets. As we highlight in our full review of the Epiphone DR-500MCE, the electronics are very versatile, with both Shadow NanoFlex (undersaddle) and NanoMag (end of fretboard) pickups. To control your sound there’s an eSonic-2 Stereo preamp including a built-in tuner, which is a bold and balanced system. A superb model!

Yamaha A Series A3M

Yamaha A Series A3M

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Another new guitar on this chart is the A3M electro-acoustic, which is part of Yamaha’s performance-focused A Series. This workhorse of a dreadnought sports a relatively elegant body in terms of design, although it feels incredibly high-end when playing. This is largely down to the mahogany neck, where the hand-rolled fretboard edges steal the show. The overall craftsmanship and materials also equal quality. As we elaborate on in the A3M’s full review, the body is made entirely of solid wood, with a Sitka spruce top and mahogany making up the rest of it. As for plugging in, Yamaha’s S.R.T. system takes advantage of both mic and piezo pickup input, and really performs well, with good versatility.

Seagull Maritime SWS SG

Seagull Maritime SWS SG

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Seagull’s Maritime SWS SG is a beautiful instrument. The SWS in its name stands for “Solid Wood Series.” The body features a spruce top and high quality mahogany sides. The “SG” stands for Semi-gloss. The satin finish is very pretty, and is thin enough to allow the guitar to resonate.

It also allows the guitar to age naturally, which gives it an even better tone over time. This one is for the Seagull fan that wants an upgrade from the S6. The sound is loud with plenty of clarity. The Godin family of companies are slowly taking over the acoustic guitar market, and this is not a surprise for anyone who had the chance to play one of their instruments.

Blueridge BR-160

Blueridge BR-160

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The BR-160 is a dreadnought body guitar that deserves your attention and a spot on this list. It takes its design and aesthetics from the pre-war guitars of the Twentieth Century. You can see this in the open back tuners, Dalmatian tortoise style pickguard, and herringbone binding.

It has all solid wood construction of Indian rosewood on the back and sides and a solid Sitka spruce top that is quartersawn. The slim neck is made of mahogany. The finish is tinted to give the top an aged look to match the vintage styling. The tone is well suited to country, folk, and bluegrass.

Taylor 100 Series 114ce

Taylor 100 Series 114ce

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The Taylor 114CE features Taylor’s Grand Auditorium body shape – making it a decisive, attention demanding tonal machine. Included in the guitar is Taylor’s Expression System 2 pickup. There is a volume and tone knob on the upper bout of the body. It features a cutaway in the solid spruce top for catching those notes on the higher frets. The back and sides are laminate sapele.

There is even a case included in the price of the guitar. Each string cuts through with nice clarity. The sound is bigger than the size of the body would lead you to believe. Grabbing your authentic Taylor tone is more accessible, now more than ever – when considering both playability and affordability.

Ovation Standard Elite 2778

Ovation Standard Elite 2778

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Ovation’s Standard Elite 2778 AX is anything but standard, when compared to other acoustics on this list! However it’s a superb stage performer, with a quality pickup system and tone. It features a deep contoured body shape with Ovation’s distinctive multi soundhole. The top is cut from AA solid spruce, while the back and sides are formed from Lyrachord composite. There’s a five-piece satin-finished mahogany neck with a rosewood fretboard and 17 frets along the whole neck, giving way to an extra five frets on the treble side (22 in total). The plugged-in sound comes from a pro-quality OP-Pro preamp and an OCP-1K pickup system – as highlighted in the full review of the Ovation Standard Elite 2778 AX.

Fender Paramount PM-3 Standard

Fender Paramount PM-3 Standard

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Part of Fender’s musician-targeted Paramount Series, the PM-3 is the ‘best of both worlds’ Triple 0 sized model, sitting between a dreadnought and parlor in terms of comfort and projection. A feature of the series is solid wood construction, with the PM-3 sporting solid Sitka spruce on the top, with solid mahogany on the back and sides, all finished in a high gloss. The mahogany neck is beautiful to play, with a comfortable C shape and 20-fret rosewood fretboard. As we highlight in the full review of the Fender PM-3, the collaborated Fishman/Fender electronics are impressive, and complement this acoustic’s natural, rich tone. Worth a closer look for singer-songwriters, that’s for sure.

Martin DRS2 Road Series

Martin DRS2 Road Series

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The DRS2 by Martin is a dreadnaught sized acoustic electric. It has all solid wood construction with a spruce top and sapele back and sides. The hardwood neck has 20 frets with a black richlite fingerboard. Richlite is also used for the pickguard that protects the top from overzealous playing.

The Fishman Sonitone system provides the electronics with the controls discretely placed inside the body. The volume and tone controls are accessed through the soundhole. The DRS2 is part of Martin’s Road Series and befitting of the name a case is included with the price of the guitar. It has a woody tone with plenty of chime that just screams Martin.

What Can You Expect from an Acoustic in the $500 to $1000 Range?

Firstly, it’s probably not correct to describe this category as ‘premium’, considering some acoustic guitars can reach prices of tens of thousands of dollars – they are true premium!

However, this sub-$1,000 market is certainly as premium as many casual guitarists will go in their lifetime – which is great, because a grand in your pocket can pretty much guarantee you walk away with a quality guitar, with superb tone, beautiful style, and a little luxury you just can’t find on acoustic guitars under $500.

Solid wood is a common feature in all the guitars on this list. Some will be all-solid-wood, while others will feature a solid top with laminated back and sides, which is great for both stability and travel (while keeping the cost lower). All the bodies and necks on these acoustics show off excellent craftsmanship. At this price they’re very unlikely to be made in American workshops, but they are still put together by experienced luthiers, with the fit, finish and setups feeling pretty high-end.

Hardware is also upgraded when compared to lower-end price ranges, with quality electronics and versatile preamps (if it’s an electro-acoustic), well-functioning tuners and bridges, and bone nuts and saddles. Most guitars will also come shipped with a case, whether that’s a hard-shell case or a padded gig bag.

Tonally, these guitars will sound high-end. Of course, the actual tone will depend on the materials, size and construction of the guitar, but most of these acoustics are wonderfully deep and resonant – a combination of quality materials and excellent craftsmanship. If the guitar is made with solid wood, even just the top, this will eventually develop with age, producing a richer, fuller tone with every passing year.

The Final Word

Are these guitars really that good? Yes, they are!

You can spend $500 to get a good guitar, or you can spend up to $1,000 and walk away with something that will last you a lifetime. You can go higher – check out our acoustic guitars under $1,500 and under $2,000 categories – but for many guitarists, you’ll find something worthwhile in the chart above.

After reading some reviews and watching some videos, the best thing you can do – if possible – is to go and try some out. Take your time, and you will eventually find the acoustic guitar that is perfect for you!


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  1. I’ve had my Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE for about 3 years now, and still love it. I get all sorts of compliments, both on sound and looks. It is all handmade in Indonesia, but gets a final setup using Gibson’s Plek system. Very easy playing with a perfect fit and finish. Sounds like a much more expensive instrument.

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