Top 9 Best Acoustic Guitars Under $1500 – Premium Price, Premium Performance

The-Best-Acoustic-Guitar-Under-$1500

These days, opening your wallet to the tune of $1500 can get you a lot of guitar! But it’s tricky to actually define this price range… High-end? Mid-range? Affordable? It depends on your definitions of those labels, but to us it is a mix of all three. Not quite premium high-end, but way better than your average guitar, and still affordable for many people.

Whatever you class this price range as, we’ve searched the current $1000-$1500 acoustic market and have reviewed some of the best performers – those guitars that make you go ‘wow’. There’s a good mix on offer – different designs, different woods, and different sounds. Some regular acoustics, some with electronics. In this article we’ve focused mainly on steel-string models, although have also highlighted a couple of our favorite nylon-stringed classical models worth checking out.

Best Acoustic Guitars Under $1500:

ImageAcoustic Guitar / RatingSummaryCheck Price
+ - Takamine EF341SC Takamine EF341SC

Total of 4.82/5  

An elegant black electro-acoustic from Takamine with quality and attitude!

+ - D’Angelico EX-63 Archtop D’Angelico EX-63 Archtop

Total of 4.83/5  

A true-to-character reissue of the last guitar ever made by John D’Angelico.

+ - Martin 15 Series D-15M Martin 15 Series D-15M

Total of 4.70/5  

Ample warmth on offer with this stylish all-mahogany Martin dreadnought.

+ - Taylor 200 Series Deluxe 224ce-K Taylor 200 Series Deluxe 224ce-K

Total of 4.77/5  

Taylor’s mid-range all-koa model, providing a bright sound and awesome looks.

+ - Blueridge Historic Series BR-180 Blueridge Historic Series BR-180

Total of 4.68/5  

A striking acoustic from Saga’s Blueridge, inspired by Martin’s famous D-45.

+ - The Loar LH-700 Archtop The Loar LH-700 Archtop

Total of 4.58/5  

A vintage guitar that oozes nostalgia, with huge projection – perfect for jazz.

Takamine EF341SC

Takamine EF341SC

Body And Neck:
Hardware:
Sound:
Value:

There’s a reason Bruce Springsteen uses this superb mid-range electro-acoustic model as his concert guitar – it rocks! The popular EF341SC – part of Takamine’s Legacy Series – feature a dreadnought body with a solid cedar top and laminated maple back and sides. It’s all finished in a gorgeous high-gloss black, with classy white binding and detailing. The C-shaped neck is made from mahogany, and has a rosewood fretboard with 20 frets. There’s a warm and resonant natural sound, while Takamine include their CT-4B II preamp system, with their unique Palathetic under-saddle pickup, 3-band EQ, and a built-in chromatic tuner – a good friend to have when plugged in. Hard to fault this iconic performer! You can read more on the EF341SC in our full review.

D’Angelico EX-63 Archtop

D’Angelico EX-63 Archtop

Body And Neck:
Hardware:
Sound:
Value:

Dripping with true vintage style, the EX-63 – or Excel 63 – is a very snazzy acoustic reissue, modeled on the last guitar that the master luthier John D’Angelico ever built. As we highlight in our complete review of the EX-63, the guitar features a no-cutaway archtop design, with a top made from spruce, and back and sides made from laminated flamed maple. There’s a very easy-playing slim C-shaped maple neck, which has a rosewood fretboard, 20 medium jumbo frets, and elegant mother-of-pearl block inlays. The hardware and detailing on this guitar just add to the vintage feel and playabilty, including D’Angelico’s signature raised tortoise Scalini pickguard and ‘Stairstep’ tailpiece, while the Grover Imperial Super-Rotomatic tuners are another quality addition.

Martin 15 Series D-15M

Martin 15 Series D-15M

Body And Neck:
Hardware:
Sound:
Value:

Rated very highly by general players and professionals alike – including Coldplay’s Chris Martin – this D-15M, which is part of Martin’s 15 Series, is worth paying attention to. It’s instantly apparent that the no-cutaway flattop dreadnought body is made entirely from mahogany – the top, back, sides and neck are all crafted from satin-finished solid mahogany, that looks and feels beautiful. The neck joins the guitar at the 14th fret and sports a solid East Indian rosewood fretboard, with 20 frets. As for hardware, the D-15M features open-geared nickel tuners and a standard bone nut and saddle. It’s a warm guitar in looks and even warmer in tone – full and rich, with warmth in abundance! You can read more details about the excellent D-15M here.

Taylor 200 Series Deluxe 224ce-K

Taylor 200 Series Deluxe 224ce-K

Body And Neck:
Hardware:
Sound:
Value:

One of the highlights of Taylor’s 200 Series is this unique all-koa 224ce-K electro-acoustic. With Taylor’s Grand Auditorium shape and a Venetian cutaway, the top of this guitar is made from solid Hawaiian koa, while the back and sides are made from a layered laminate of the same wood, resulting in an eye-catching instrument. The neck is crafted from satin-finished solid sapele, and features a genuine African ebony fretboard and 20 frets. The guitar features a very bright sound thanks to the koa, but becomes warmer the more you play it. Its natural resonance is boosted by Taylor’s Expression System 2 electronics, with 3-band EQ and phase filter. Make sure to read our full review of the 224ce-K for all the details.

Blueridge Historic Series BR-180

Blueridge Historic Series BR-180

Body And Neck:
Hardware:
Sound:
Value:

This stunning Blueridge BR-180 is inspired by Martin’s famous premium D-45, but comes in at a fraction of the price. With a classic dreadnought shape, the body is made from solid Sitka spruce on the top, with solid East Indian rosewood back and sides. There’s a select one-piece mahogany neck, which features an ebony fretboard and 20 frets. There’s nice bling, with abalone pearl purfling and rosette, and an elaborate headstock – a real eye-catching guitar. Hardware includes gold-plated Gotoh vintage-style tuners, a dalmatian tortoise pickguard, and an ebony bridge. As we compare in our full review of the BR-180, this guitar offers more in terms of hardware and wood quality than the cheaper BR-160, although sounds relatively similar – sweet, clear and consistent.

The Loar LH-700 Archtop

The Loar LH-700 Archtop

Body And Neck:
Hardware:
Sound:
Value:

The Loar – a brand whose catalog consists of beautifully nostalgic revivals of guitars from around the 1930s – find their way onto this list thanks to their beautiful LH-700. With a no-cutaway archtop shape and a scale length of 24.75”, the LH-700 features a solid hand-carved and hand-graduated AAA-grade spruce top, with back and sides crafted from solid AAA-grade flamed maple. Excellent woods, which lead to a delicious retro look. The neck is made from highly-glossed figured maple with a vintage V profile, and features a bound ebony fretboard and 19 frets, while the headstock sports gold Grover Sta-Tite open-geared tuners. The sound is something else – really resonant, well-balanced in tone, and more projection than you’d expect. Be sure to read our full review of the LH-700.

Best Classical Guitars Under $1500:

ImageAcoustic Guitar / RatingSummaryCheck Price
+ - Kremona F65CW Fiesta Kremona F65CW Fiesta

Total of 4.85/5  

Kremona’s F65CW Fiesta is built for the stage and shows superb value!

+ - Cordoba C10 Crossover Cordoba C10 Crossover

Total of 4.80/5  

A beautiful classical guitar with the playability of a steel-string model.

+ - Takamine TC132SC Takamine TC132SC

Total of 4.72/5  

A solid classical electro-acoustic entry from the famed Japanese brand.

Kremona F65CW Fiesta

Kremona F65CW Fiesta

Body And Neck:
Hardware:
Sound:
Value:

Kremona’s F65CW Fiesta electro-acoustic has a lot to offer any classical guitarist, and is built to perform on stage. The design is both elegant and striking – a traditional single-cutaway classical body shape that contrasts solid German spruce on the top with a dark solid Indian rosewood on the back and sides, and colorful detailing on the rosette to make this model truly stand out. The neck is made from Honduran cedar, and sports a dark ebony fretboard with 19 frets. As for the electronics, it features a dual-source Fishman Prefix Pro Blend system, with a range of versatile controls. As we highlight in our full review of the F65CW Fiesta the guitar sounds beautiful – complex and smooth, but well-balanced. A real steal at this price!

Cordoba C10 Crossover

Cordoba C10 Crossover

Body And Neck:
Hardware:
Sound:
Value:

Love the feel of a steel-string acoustic, but want to explore classical guitar? This C10 Crossover is probably the nylon-stringed guitar you have been looking for! The reason being that the sleek mahogany neck features a C-shaped profile, a slim 1.88” nut width, and an ebony fretboard with a curved radius that all make for a feel that’s more familiar to steel-string players. The body of this guitar is pretty much identical to the original C10, with a solid fan-braced European spruce top and Indian rosewood back and sides. The guitar shows good value, especially when you consider the top-quality sound on offer – a big voice, with a well-balanced tone. Curious? Check out our full review for all the details of the C10 Crossover.

Takamine TC132SC

Takamine TC132SC

Body And Neck:
Hardware:
Sound:
Value:

The renown steel-string manufacturers flex their nylon-string muscles with this attractive TC132SC electro-acoustic classical guitar, which shows off great value. With a familiar classical body shape and single cutaway, the fan-braced top is made from solid cedar, the back is solid rosewood, and the sides are made with a rosewood laminate. The neck is great to play with, and is made from mahogany, with a nut width of just over 2”, a rosewood fretboard, and 19 frets – all easily accessible. As for hardware, the TC132SC is loaded with Takamine’s innovative CTP-1 CoolTube preamp system, with versatile controls, allowing the warmth of this guitar to be amplified naturally. Be sure to check out our full review of the TC132SC.

When you’re spending up to 1.5k on an acoustic guitar, you know the product should be pretty flawless – a serious guitar capable of stage performances and studio recording, offering a professional-grade sound, and sporting a body and hardware that won’t let you down.

Brands including Taylor, Martin, Takamine, Cordoba and Kremona all crop up time and again in this mid/high-end range. And while the charts above are far from comprehensive, you can rest assured that those guitars that feature are there for a reason.

So what can you expect from the guitars that feature in the $1000-$1500 price range?

From manufacturer to manufacturer, the actual woods, components and electrics, will obviously change drastically, but you will see some familiar woods used on bodies – cedar, spruce, rosewood, mahogany, as well as some more exotic woods like Hawaiian koa. In this price range you find more use of solid woods and less laminates, although some guitars will mix and match (solid wood top and back with laminate sides, for example). And even though many of the guitars you’ll find may come from workshops in China, Japan or Mexico, the craftsmanship still impresses and more often than not stands up in quality to models built in American workshops.

Sounds will differ completely too, and will depend on the woods, construction methods and – in the case of electro-acoustics – amplification systems used. For example Martin’s D-15M is one of the warmest guitars we’ve heard in this range, while the similarly priced 224ce-K from Taylor is at the opposite end of the tonal spectrum – incredibly bright.

Hardware should also keep you performing to a high standard. You should see quality tuners with high gear ratios, good string, bone nuts and saddles, and quality wooden bridges. Finally, with the exception of a few, the guitars in this price range should come shipped with a complimentary hardshell or hybrid case.

Conclusion

The models that feature in our chart just go to show that you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a great guitar. But it also shows that if you are willing to spend a little extra on something that’s more than $1000 you are almost guaranteed to end up with a guitar that you’ll keep for a lifetime – something a little different, something that allows you to perform, and something that makes your friends a little jealous!

Don’t forget that this chart is just our opinion, and will change from time to time as different guitars are introduced to the market – prices change, and something that was in a high-end category yesterday, may fall in price and end up on this page tomorrow!


Reader Interactions

Speak Your Mind

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *