Choosing The Best Acoustic Guitar For Less Than 300 Dollars

Best-Acoustic-Guitar-Under-$300

Last Updated: feb-02-2018
As a lot had changed in this category over the previous few months, our sub-$300 acoustic chart saw a big overhaul. We removed several slightly dated guitars, such as the Yamaha FG730S and the Fender Alkaline Trio Malibu, and added the Alvarez Artist Series AF30, the Washburn Harvest WG7SCE, the Fender T-Bucket 300CE, the Samick GD100S, and the excellent Breedlove Discovery Concert.

Confused by a crowded sub-$300 marketplace? Fear not, because we have painstakingly cut through the pile to present you with a list of some of the best affordable acoustic guitars. Our top ten chart only showcases models that truly deserve your time and hard-earned money.

These full-sized acoustics would suit both beginners and intermediate players who don’t want to spend the earth on a decent guitar. While we have selected some dreadnought, concert and folk sizes, there are no dedicated travel models here – they have their own article. Let’s get started!

Top 10 Best Acoustic Guitars Under $300:

ImageAcoustic Guitar / RatingSummaryCheck Price
+ - Yamaha FG800 Yamaha FG800

Total of 4.75/5  

A great looking guitar that sounds better than it looks.

+ - Breedlove Discovery Concert Breedlove Discovery Concert

Total of 4.72/5  

A solid choice from Breedlove – a guitar well worth discovering!

+ - Alvarez Artist Series AF30 Alvarez Artist Series AF30

Total of 4.72/5  

A fantastic folk guitar from Alvarez.

+ - Blueridge BD-16 Blueridge BD-16

Total of 4.63/5  

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

+ - Samick Greg Bennett GD100S Samick Greg Bennett GD100S

Total of 4.67/5  

One of the loudest acoustics on this list.

+ - Ibanez AW54CE Ibanez AW54CE

Total of 4.63/5  

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

+ - Fender T-Bucket 300CE Fender T-Bucket 300CE

Total of 4.63/5  

A beautiful looking guitar that stands out from its peers.

+ - Washburn WG7SCE Washburn WG7SCE

Total of 4.70/5  

A versatile Washburn performer with great electronics.

+ - Ibanez Talman TCY10 Ibanez Talman TCY10

Total of 4.65/5  

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  

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

Yamaha FG800

Yamaha FG800

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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.

Breedlove Discovery Concert

Breedlove Discovery Concert

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Breedlove make a great guitar, and are a big name in the premium market. But with their Discovery Concert – part of the entry-level Discovery Series – the brand show that they can do things well on a budget too.

Made in China, but set-up in the US, this concert sized acoustic offers a rich and bright tone, that projects well, thanks to the solid Sitka spruce top. The back and sides are made of mahogany laminate, while the mahogany neck features a rosewood fretboard and 20 frets.

It looks great, sound good, and offers appropriate hardware. What’s not to like? If you want to know more, check out our in-depth look at the Breedlove Discovery Concert.

Alvarez Artist Series AF30

Alvarez Artist Series AF30

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Give Alvarez $300 and they’ll give you a very good guitar – and some change! Their Artist Series AF30 is another popular acoustic with a smaller folk sized body and an overall feeling of quality.

Playability on the smooth mahogany neck is also excellent out of the box. The body is crafted from solid Sitka spruce on the top (with advanced bracing to aid projection), while the back and sides use mahogany to produce a mellow tone that fits light strumming and fingerpicking very well.

With lighter projection, it’s an excellent guitar to accompany vocals or for traveling around with. It’s hard to criticize this one, especially for the price. You can read more about the Alvarez Artist Series AF30 in our full review.

Blueridge BD-16

Blueridge BD-16

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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.

Samick Greg Bennett GD100S

Samick Greg Bennett GD100S

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Perhaps one of the less recognizable brand names on this chart, Samick actually produce over half a million guitars for a range of companies every year, so they certainly know a thing or two about crafting a decent instrument.

And the GD100S – made in collaboration with designer Greg Bennett – is more than decent, as it punches above its price bracket in terms of look, feel and tone. With a full-size dreadnought body, there’s a solid Sitka spruce top featuring special bracing which provides a big projection.

The back, sides and neck are made with nato mahogany, while it features a 20-fret rosewood fretboard, which offers great playability. We look at the Samick GD100S in more detail in the full review.

Ibanez AW54CE

Ibanez AW54CE

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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 T-Bucket 300CE

Fender T-Bucket 300CE

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If you’re looking for something a little different in the style department, Fender’s T-Bucker 300CE is well worth your time, with some unique eye-catching decoration across the whole guitar.

Unlike many others on this list, it features an all-laminate body, with very attractive quilted maple on the top, along with mahogany on the back and sides. There’s also a sizable cutaway to offer unhindered access to the 20-fret rosewood fretboard.

As we highlight in the full review of the Fender T-Bucker 300CE, it’s an electro-acoustic model, loaded with an impressive Fishman Isys III pickup and preamp system, offering great versatility to the modern performer. For under $300, this is a great choice!

Washburn WG7SCE

Washburn WG7SCE

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Part of Washburn’s solid-topped Harvest Series, the WG7SCE is an all-round versatile, hardworking acoustic that would be a great match for intermediate and experienced players who perform regularly.

With earthy good looks, thanks to the cool inlaid wooden rosette, the Grand Auditorium-sized WG7SCE is a very well-crafted instrument, using solid Sitka spruce on the top, with a laminated mahogany on the back and sides. This combines to deliver a mellow, rich tone that remains focused.

The tone is naturally amplified through the Washburn-designed preamp, which – impressively for this price range – offers 4-band EQ, a digital tuner, and a notch control. Take a closer look at the excellent Washburn WG7SCE in the full review.

Ibanez Talman TCY10

Ibanez Talman TCY10

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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

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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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