Choosing The Best Acoustic Guitar For Less Than 300 Dollars

Best-Acoustic-Guitar-Under-$300

Last Updated: Aug-02-2017
Weve revisited the acoustic guitars under $300 market, and found a few new models that are worthy of your time. To make way, we removed the Oscar Schmidt O315 Parlor Size and replaced this with the equally petite Fender Alkaline Trio Malibu, while the all-mahogany Cort L450C NS was replaced with the equally dark Ibanez AW54CE. We also added the iconic Epiphone Hummingbird PRO and sleek Ibanez Talman TCY10.The classical guitars section is now moved to its own article.

We only the selected the best from the droves of possibilities. Our list is full of guitars that deserve your attention, your time, and of course – your money. There are no travel guitars here, they have their own article. There are only full-sized acoustics made for the beginner to intermediate player with a budget of $300. Let’s get this list started:

Top 10 Best Acoustic Guitars Under $300:

ImageAcoustic Guitar / RatingSummaryCheck Price
+ - Yamaha FG800 Yamaha FG800

Total of 4.83/5   4.83 Stars

A great looking guitar that sounds better than it looks.

+ - Takamine GD51-Nat Dreadnought Takamine GD51-Nat Dreadnought

Total of 4.75/5   4.75 Stars

An outstanding acoustic-electric guitar for its price.

+ - Epiphone Hummingbird Pro Epiphone Hummingbird Pro

Total of 4.83/5   4.83 Stars

Epiphone’s Hummingbird delivers affordable vintage class with modern upgrades.

+ - Yamaha FG730S Yamaha FG730S

Total of 4.75/5   4.75 Stars

Yamaha continues to dominate this price range with another solid entry.

+ - Blueridge BD-16 Blueridge BD-16

Total of 4.63/5   4.63 Stars

Guitar worthy of being named after the birthplace of Country Music.

+ - Recording King ROS-06 Classic Series Recording King ROS-06 Classic Series

Total of 4.47/5   4.47 Stars

Vintage styling with a voice to match with modern playability.

+ - Ibanez AW54CE Ibanez AW54CE

Total of 4.63/5   4.63 Stars

Beautiful and affordable all-mahogany electro-acoustic from Ibanez.

+ - Fender Alkaline Trio Malibu Fender Alkaline Trio Malibu

Total of 4.65/5   4.65 Stars

Iconic punkers Alkaline Trio helped design this eye-catching acoustic.

+ - Ibanez Talman TCY10 Ibanez Talman TCY10

Total of 4.65/5   4.65 Stars

Affordable performer, taking advantage of the Talman’s sleek looks and playability.

+ - Fender CP-100 Parlor Small Body Fender CP-100 Parlor Small Body

Total of 4.43/5   4.43 Stars

An uncommon parlor with a modern sound for today’s player.


Yamaha FG800

Yamaha FG800

Body And Neck:4.8 Stars
Hardware:4.7 Stars
Sound:4.8 Stars
Value:5 Stars

Yamaha has been making great acoustic guitars for decades, and the FG800 continues their tradition. It is the successor to the number one selling acoustic guitar of all-time Yamaha’s FG700S. With the 800 the bracing has been improved giving it better projection. The top is solid Sitka spruce.

Nato/Okume is used for the back and sides, and it has a tone like mahogany. Nato is also used for the neck. Fingerboard and bridge are made of rosewood. The same die-cast tuners that are found on all the F series are used to keep the tuning stable on the FG800. It has a very round and warm sound with just enough brightness for the treble strings to cut into the mix.

Takamine GD51-Nat Dreadnought

Takamine GD51-Nat Dreadnought

Body And Neck:4.6 Stars
Hardware:4.9 Stars
Sound:4.7 Stars
Value:4.8 Stars

Takamine’s GD51-Nat is an amazing guitar that just happens to have a budget price. The top is solid spruce with a slim mahogany neck. Rosewood is used for the headcap, bound fingerboard, the back, and sides. The appointments are real nice with an abalone rosette, mother-of-pearl dot inlays, gold die-cast tuners, and the guitar comes in either a natural finish or Sunburst.

As pretty as the GD51 is, it has even better sound. The combination of tonewoods gives it an even tone with a nice mix of treble, mids, and bass. The split saddle design helps intonation, and gives the guitar even more sweetness to its voice. This is a great instrument for the first time player.

Epiphone Hummingbird Pro

Epiphone Hummingbird Pro

Body And Neck:4.9 Stars
Hardware:4.8 Stars
Sound:4.8 Stars
Value:4.8 Stars

Cut from the same cloth as the iconic Gibson Hummingbird, Epiphone’s affordable electro-acoustic Hummingbird PRO proves an excellent guitar for rock, blues and pretty much anything else you can think of. With the classic 1960s square-shouldered dreadnought body, the guitar features a solid spruce top, while the back and sides are made of select mahogany. Mahogany is also used on the SlimTaper D-shaped neck, which has a rosewood fretboard and 20 frets. As mentioned in our full review of the Hummingbird PRO the guitar comes fitted with the Shadow ePerformer preamp, with some versatile controls to tweak the naturally rich sound. Throw in the familiar Hummingbird pickguard, a rosewood bridge, and quality Grover tuners, and you have a pretty great electro-acoustic!

Yamaha FG730S

Yamaha FG730S

Body And Neck:4.6 Stars
Hardware:4.8 Stars
Sound:4.7 Stars
Value:4.9 Stars

A new player would start off with a great guitar, if their first purchase was the Yamaha FG730S. Yamaha continues to show its dominance in this price range with another entry on our list. The top is solid spruce with rosewood back and sides.

The neck is made of nato, a common replacement for mahogany due to their similar tonal qualities. The neck and headstock are bound and the headstock has mother-of-pearl inlay used for the Yamaha name and logo. It has the classic cowboy jangly sound that will appeal to most players. There are even three different colors to choose from: natural, vintage cherry sunburst, and tobacco brown sunburst.

Blueridge BD-16

Blueridge BD-16

Body And Neck:4.6 Stars
Hardware:4.3 Stars
Sound:4.8 Stars
Value:4.8 Stars

The Bristol line is named after the birthplace of Country Music, and the BD16 is worthy of the name and great for the style. It is built like a tank with an all laminate construction and sturdy bracing. The top is spruce with mahogany back and sides. The mahogany neck is slim and comfortable to play.

Rosewood is used for the fingerboard, headstock overlay, and bridge. The tuning is kept stable with 14:1 Schaller style tuners. Simple and clean aesthetics with a pickguard that is black, concentric circle rosette, and black binding. The voice is bright with good supporting bass response. The BD16’s dreadnought body projects well for everyone to hear.

Recording King ROS-06 Classic Series

Recording King ROS-06 Classic Series

Body And Neck:4.6 Stars
Hardware:4.4 Stars
Sound:4.5 Stars
Value:4.4 Stars

The ROS-06 by Recording King is a 12th-Fret OOO body sized acoustic. The body size may be smaller than you are used to seeing, but it is a full length instrument. It has a solid Sitka spruce top with mahogany back and sides. Rosewood is used for the fingerboard, headstock overlay, and bridge.

The mahogany neck has a C-profile. The neck is also wide, which classical players and fingerstyle players will feel right at home on. It projects well with really great tone. This guitar is simply dressed with tortoise shell binding on the front and back for bit of class. The slotted headstock is very vintage with open gear tuners to boot.

Ibanez AW54CE

Ibanez AW54CE

Body And Neck:4.7 Stars
Hardware:4.6 Stars
Sound:4.5 Stars
Value:4.7 Stars

Part of Ibanez’s impressive Artwood series, this affordable AW54CE is a beautiful specimen, featuring a classic single-cutaway dreadnought body. The back and sides are crafted from laminated mahogany, with a solid mahogany top – a nice addition to a guitar in this price range, that helps give a warm, rich sound. The body features a rustic open pore finish, while the mahogany neck sports a more hand-friendly satin finish, as well as a rosewood fretboard, with 20 frets. As we mention in our full review of the AW54CE, the guitar has plenty of quality components that make it stage-ready. Primarily the simple but very functional Ibanez AEQ210TF preamp with a Fishman Sonicore pickup, volume controls, 2-band EQ, and an on-board tuner.

Fender Alkaline Trio Malibu

Fender Alkaline Trio Malibu

Body And Neck:4.7 Stars
Hardware:4.6 Stars
Sound:4.6 Stars
Value:4.7 Stars

It’s not often you see such an affordable signature model acoustic, but Fender’s Alkaline Trio Malibu is just that. Whether you’re a punker or just love something different, this beauty – which includes features designed by the band – will impress. With a short 24.7” scale length folk-style body, this Malibu features a laminated mahogany top, back and sides, with a glossy finish. The vintage C-shaped maple neck is very comfortable to play, and sports a rosewood fretboard with 20 frets. The top features a distinctive heart-shaped rosette/sound hole, while the unorthodox styling continues up to the Strat-style headstock. As we mention in our full review of the Fender Alkaline Trio Malibu, it sounds lovely. A real solid performer.

Ibanez Talman TCY10

Ibanez Talman TCY10

Body And Neck:4.9 Stars
Hardware:4.7 Stars
Sound:4.2 Stars
Value:4.8 Stars

With Ibanez’s distinctive double-cutaway Talman body shape, the very affordable TCY10 electro-acoustic has plenty to offer players. The back and sides are made from laminated mahogany, with a laminated spruce top, and comes in three attractive colors (black, blue and vintage sunburst). It also features a very comfortable and fast-playing mahogany neck – highlighted in our full review of the TCY10 – with a rosewood fretboard and 20 frets. Even though the tone lacks a little low end, the natural sound can be tweaked with the included Ibanez AEQ2T preamp system. This features an under-saddle pickup, 2-band EQ (bass and treble), and a handy built-in digital tuner. For such a wallet-friendly price, this sleek acoustic is very suitable for beginners and experienced players alike.

Fender CP-100 Parlor Small Body

Fender CP-100 Parlor Small Body

Body And Neck:4.1 Stars
Hardware:4.4 Stars
Sound:4.8 Stars
Value:4.4 Stars

The CP-100 by Fender is not like most parlors. It has a sound that is bigger and fuller than the body would make you believe. The mahogany neck joins the body at the 14th fret, which gives you easy access to two more frets. The body is made of all laminate with a spruce top and mahogany back and sides.

Graph Tech provides the nut and saddle, which is a nice touch instead of plastic. The bridge and fingerboard are both made of rosewood. The top has a satin Sunburst finish. The neck finish is also satin, which makes for a smooth and fast playing experience. It has a modern and warm sound, which will turn-off the vintage crowd.

Is it Really Possible to Find a Good Acoustic Guitar that is below $300?

Of course it is! There are so many good builders out there that are competing for your attention. The only way they can beat out the competition is by building the best guitars at the best price. If you spend more of course you can get a better guitar, but if you are constrained into this price range there is plenty good stuff to choose from. If you are sure that you are looking for a nylon-stringed guitar within this budget, check out our article about the top classical guitars under $300.

Take the time to look through our list, and that will be the best place to start. If any of these guitars look really good to you, then read through our extended reviews. Check out our other lists if this is not the right price range for you. There are so many options, don’t restrain yourself by not seeing what’s out there.


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