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Top 10 Great and Inexpensive Acoustic Guitars

Updated on September 14, 2014

Yamaha FG700S Acoustic Guitar

Number 1: Yamaha FG700S Acoustic Guitar

Yamaha is a respected name in music, and the FG700S lives up to that deserved reputation. The Yamaha FG700S is a great acoustic guitar, intended for both novice and experienced guitar players. Dreadnoughts, such as the FG700S, are typically used for bluegrass, folk, rock, or country. This dreadnought guitar offers deluxe features which include die-cast tuners, a solid sitka spruce top, and a rosewood fingerboard. The sound quality and construction of the Yamaha FG700S are comparable to guitars with a much higher price tag. The FG700S has a limited lifetime warranty.

Founded: Yamaha has been making musical instruments since 1887.

Available Finishes: Natural or Sunburst

Notable Yamaha Players:

  • John Lennon
  • Bob Marley
  • Brian May
  • Paul McCartney
  • Jimmy Page
  • Carlos Santana
  • Bob Seger
  • Billy Sheehan
  • Paul Simon
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • James Taylor

Countless additional guitarists have played Yamaha guitars over the years.

Number 2: Epiphone DR-100 Acoustic Guitar

The DR-100 is and has been Epiphone's best selling acoustic guitar for a reason. Epiphone is owned by Gibson, one of the premier guitar manufacturers in the world. The DR-100 has the look, sound, and quality that both novice and professional guitar players expect when they play an Epiphone. The DR-100 design is the classic dreadnought, a standard for bluegrass, folk, rock, and country. The Epiphone DR-100 provides a commanding, clear sound that is perhaps the greatest deal in guitars. The spruce top and solid rosewood round make this guitar a truly stunning deal for the price. Many lesser guitars can be found for the same price or more, but why should anybody settle when they can own a genuine Epiphone? Epiphone guitars are an amazing value, one that is seldom beat by department-store quality guitars of similar design. In addition to high quality and great sound, the DR-100 comes with Epiphone’s Limited Lifetime Guarantee and Gibson's customer service. Few guitars can boast that kind of commitment to quality in this price range.

Founded: Epiphone has been making musical instruments since 1873.

Available Finishes: Vintage Sunburst

Notable Epiphone Players:

  • John Lennon
  • Paul McCartney
  • Bob Dylan
  • The Edge
  • Noel Gallagher
  • John Lee Hooker
  • Brian Jones
  • Alex Lifeson
  • Les Paul
  • Keith Richards
  • Nancy Wilson

Countless additional guitarists have played Epiphone guitars over the years.


Jasmine S35 Acoustic Guitar

Number 3: Jasmine S35 Acoustic Guitar

The Jasmine S35 guitar is one of the most popular, inexpensive guitars on the market. It offers an awfully big bang for the buck. The Jasmine S-35 is a great-looking dreadnought guitar that offers a surprisingly bold sound and excellent features at a budget price. Often considered quite easy to play, the S35 has a spruce top with Jasmine's X Bracing and agathis back and sides. It also features a rosewood fingerboard and bridge, full body binding, and chrome tuners.

Founded: Jasmine (by Takamine) has been making musical instruments since 1962.

Available Finishes: Natural

Notable Takamine Players:

  • Jon Bon Jovi
  • David Bowie
  • Garth Brooks
  • Paul Simon
  • Glenn Frey
  • Don Felder
  • James Taylor
  • Toby Keith
  • Blake Sheldon
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Pete Townshend
  • Joe Walsh
  • Greg Allman

Countless additional guitarists have played Takamine guitars over the years.

Yamaha F335 Acoustic Guitar

Number 4: Yamaha F335 Acoustic Guitar

Yamaha's F335 is a classic dreadnought, acoustic guitar with a tonewood combination that includes a laminate spruce top, rosewood fingerboard and bridge, and a meranti back and sides. This Yamaha also includes die-cast tuners that are smooth and accurate.

Founded: Yamaha has been making musical instruments since 1887.

Available Finishes: Tobacco Brown Sunburst, Black, Natural

Notable Yamaha Players:

  • John Lennon
  • Bob Marley
  • Brian May
  • Paul McCartney
  • Jimmy Page
  • Carlos Santana
  • Bob Seger
  • Billy Sheehan
  • Paul Simon
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • James Taylor

Countless additional guitarists have played Yamaha guitars over the years.

Number 5: Fender FA-100 Acoustic Guitar

It's a fender. That in itself says a lot. The Fender FA-100 is a gorgeous dreadnought guitar with a cherry wood back and sides, body binding, and X bracing for a full, warm sound. It has a solid cedar top and a rosewood fretboard. The FA-100 has a rich, strong tone that doesn't sound cheap. This Fender guitar is an amazing value, one that you'd be hard pressed to beat by department-store quality guitars of similar design and inferior value.

Founded: Fender has been making musical instruments since 1946.

Available Finishes: Natural

Notable Fender Players:

  • Randy Bachman
  • Jeff Beck
  • Ritchie Blackmore
  • Eric Clapton
  • The Edge
  • David Gilmour
  • George Harrison
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Buddy Holly
  • John Lennon
  • Alex Lifeson
  • Pete Townshend
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan
  • Ronnie Wood
  • Jeff Beck
  • Bob Dylan
  • Jimmy Page
  • Keith Richards
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Keith Urban

Who hasn't played a Fender? The list is quite literally endless.

Number 6: Epiphone PR-150 Acoustic Guitar

The PR-150 is an exceptional value. Epiphone is owned by Gibson, one of the premier guitar manufacturers in the world. The PR-150 is often regarded as a sturdy guitar that has the look, sound, and quality that one would expect with an Epiphone. The PR-150 design is the classic dreadnought, a standard for bluegrass, folk, rock, and country. The spruce top, mahogany body, rosewood bridge, all-nickel hardware, and rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays make this guitar comparable to many more expensive guitars. That kind of craftsmanship, coupled with value, is what makes Epiphone guitars a better deal than one might find in any old store. Why should anybody settle when they can own a genuine Epiphone? In addition to high quality and great sound, the PR-150 comes with Epiphone’s Limited Lifetime Guarantee and Gibson customer service. Few guitars can boast that kind of commitment to quality in this price range.,

Founded: Epiphone has been making musical instruments since 1873.

Available Finishes: Natural, Vintage Sunburst

Notable Epiphone Players:

  • John Lennon
  • Paul McCartney
  • Bob Dylan
  • The Edge
  • Noel Gallagher
  • John Lee Hooker
  • Brian Jones
  • Alex Lifeson
  • Les Paul
  • Keith Richards
  • Nancy Wilson

Countless additional guitarists have played Epiphone guitars over the years.

Number 7: Washburn WD100DL Acoustic Guitar

The Washburn WD100DL is an acoustic, dreadnought guitar that features a mahogany top. The WD100DL also features a mahogany back and sides which help produce a solid balance of low-end and high-end tones. Mahogany creates a warm, full tone and a rich character, something this mahogany guitar is known for. The WD100DL guitar features a rosewood fretboard and bridge with die-cast tuners. These are features you won't always find at this price, particularly from similar-priced, no-name guitars that you might find in department stores.

Founded: Washburn has been making musical instruments since 1883.

Available Finishes: Black, Natural, Trans Wine Red

Notable Washburn Players:

  • Paul Stanley
  • Scott Ian
  • Jimmy Page
  • George Harrison
  • Bob Dylan

Countless additional guitarists have played Washburn guitars over the years.

Number 8: Fender CD-140S Acoustic Guitar

The CD-140S is a dreadnought, acoustic guitar, one that produces a sweet, mellow tone. There are two primary options for this Fender, the all-mahogany construction and the natural finish which features a solid spruce top and a mahogany back and sides. Both options have a tortoise shell pickguard, mother of pearl, a 20-fret rosewood fingerboard, dual-action truss rod, and die-cast tuners. That's quite a lot for a guitar in this price range. Besides that, it's a Fender, one of the guitars synonymous with quality. Don't settle for some no-name brand when you can own a genuine Fender at this price.

Founded: Fender has been making musical instruments since 1946.

Available Finishes: Natural, Mahogany

Notable Fender Players:

  • Randy Bachman
  • Jeff Beck
  • Ritchie Blackmore
  • Eric Clapton
  • The Edge
  • David Gilmour
  • George Harrison
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Buddy Holly
  • John Lennon
  • Alex Lifeson
  • Pete Townshend
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan
  • Ronnie Wood
  • Jeff Beck
  • Bob Dylan
  • Jimmy Page
  • Keith Richards
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Keith Urban

Who hasn't played a Fender? The list is quite literally endless.

Number 9: Takamine G320 Acoustic Guitar

The Takamine G320 dreadnought, acoustic guitar is a budget-minded guitar with a solid reputation and great value. This Takamine has a spruce top with a mahogany back and sides. It also has a beautiful abalone rosette, a rosewood fretboard, and chrome plated tuners.

Founded: Takamine has been making musical instruments since 1962.

Available Finishes: Natural

Notable Takamine Players:

  • Jon Bon Jovi
  • David Bowie
  • Garth Brooks
  • Paul Simon
  • Glenn Frey
  • Don Felder
  • James Taylor
  • Toby Keith
  • Blake Sheldon
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Pete Townshend
  • Joe Walsh
  • Greg Allman

Countless additional guitarists have played Takamine guitars over the years.

Number 10: Ibanez SGT120VS Acoustic Guitar

The Sage™ Series, from Ibanez, features a dreadnought, acoustic guitar with a classic western style pickguard. The Ibanez SGT120VS is an excellent guitar for the money, sporting a mahogany neck, back, and sides. It has a spruce top, die-cast tuners, and a rosewood fretboard and bridge.

Founded: Ibanez has been making musical instruments since 1957.

Available Finishes: Natural or Vintage Sunburst

Notable Ibanez Players:

  • Joey Allen
  • Chris Broderick
  • John Christ
  • Adam Clayton
  • Phil Collen
  • Marty Friedman
  • Dexter Holland
  • Joe Satriani
  • Paul Stanley

Countless additional guitarists have played Ibanez guitars over the years.

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    • profile image

      3 years ago

      Was looking for a cheap Yamaha laminate and was initially doing for a F 335 or F 325.... great bang for the buck.

      But.... since fingerstyle playing with open tunings at busking sessions or outdoors (where it will be exposed to the elements) is my cup of tea, I need a wider nut width which only the Takamine Jasmine S35 offers, at these prices. Plus, it's 25.5 scale for thick strings for open tuning and a laminate so it stands up to weather/climate abuse.

      One reason I find the Jasmine S35 so appealing is for the busking/fingerstyle convenience. For busking, a laminate guitar is preferable, as it stands up against the test of time and weather - and although a solid-top may sound much better, it won't stand up to the abuse that a laminate will (plus when mic'ed, very few can tell the difference, especially if EQ'd the right way).

      For finger style, it is convenient because it uses a 1 3/4 nut width with larger spacing for strings which equals more comfort for fingerpicking placement. Why is this a big deal? Because most guitars with a 1 3/4 nut width are usually much more expensive. Plus, this guitar has a 25.5 scale, which is better for down tuning or open tuning where there is less tension on the strings. Longer scale = less floppiness when in lower tunings.

      Many say they can do a nut width/ string spacing modification from 1 11/16 (43 mm more or less (42.86) to 1 3/4 (44 mm or 44.5 to be exact) and have no problems. Some even do the respective saddle change to accommodate the new string/slot spacing at the nut. Seems like a cheaper alternative to buying a much more expensive guitar with those specifications. But unless you can take it to an experienced luthier, I would advise against it.

      Looks like I will have to pick up this guitar, get it properly and professionally setup, and slap some elixir medium phosphor bronze and it will play like a BEAST. I have done enough research to KNOW I will not find a guitar that is a. Laminate b. 1 3/4 (44mm) nut width c. 25.5 scale d. @ this price level. Perfect for busking/travel/beach/cold, down/open tuned, finger style/picking guitar that won't break the bank or wallet (or piss of your woman!)

    • profile image
      Author

      Education Answer 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you. I've played guitar for twenty-seven years. I find a lot of enjoyment from playing, and writing this article was a pleasure.

      Best wishes.

    • faithshore profile image

      faithshore 3 years ago

      You seem to have put a lot of effort into this, and you definitely know what you're talking about! Nice hub! :)