The 10 Best Acoustic Guitars Under $1000 in 2021: Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

Are you looking to buy a new acoustic guitar? It can be difficult to find the perfect acoustic guitar for you. With so many different brands, models, and features on the market it is hard to know where to start. What are the important features? How much should you spend? These are just two of the questions that may run through your mind when shopping around for a new acoustic guitar. To help, in this post we provide an overview of what buyers need to look for in order to make sure they get their money’s worth and we also review 10 of the best acoustic guitars under $1000 that we recommend checking out!

Quick Answer: The Top Acoustic Guitars Under $1000

Acoustic Guitars Under $1000 Reviews

1. Yamaha A Series A3M

Yamaha 6 String Series A3M Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar-Mahogany, Vintage Natural, Dreadnought VN
63 Reviews
Yamaha 6 String Series A3M Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar-Mahogany, Vintage Natural, Dreadnought VN
  • Solid Sitka Spruce top with scalloped bracing for a louder, richer acoustic sound
  • Yamaha's new SRT2 system allows you to blend between microphone models and the piezo pickup to find your perfect...
  • High comfort satin mahogany neck with a slim taper profile
  • R.E. process, to treat the wood, for better stability and stunning, aged color
  • Solid Sitka spruce top and solid mahogany back and sides produce bright, warm tone
  • Great projection without the help of electronics

Yamaha has earned a reputation as one of the best and most reliable guitar makers in the industry. In 2017, the company released its A series with the promise of delivering comfort, power, and partnership for traveling guitarists. Unlike the Fender Newporter Classic mentioned above, there’s nothing particularly unique about the aesthetics of the A3M, yet its traditional design adds to the overall elegant design of the guitar.

2. Fender Newporter Classic

Fender Newporter Classic - California Series Acoustic Guitar - Cosmic Turquoise with Gig Bag
22 Reviews
Fender Newporter Classic - California Series Acoustic Guitar - Cosmic Turquoise with Gig Bag
  • Fender-exclusive Newporter body shape
  • Painted solid spruce top; natural solid mahogany back and sides
  • Fender- and Fishman-designed pickup/preamp system
  • Elegant two-toned aesthetic
  • Fender-exclusive Newporter body shape
  • Slim-taper neck with “C”-shaped profile

There are few acoustic guitars more distinctive than the Newporter Classic from Fender. As part of Fender’s California Series, the Newporter was inspired by the world-famous Newport Beach. It’s a high-quality, masterfully-made acoustic guitar that you can get your hands on for under $1,000.

The most noticeable feature of the Newporter Classic is the stunning colored finish. The Newporter comes in either Cosmic Turquoise or Hot Rod Red. You’ll also likely notice the iconic Strat-style headstock and its 6-in-line design.

But the Fender Newporter Classic is more than just a beautiful guitar. The mid-sized body of the Newporter Classic makes it comfortable for just about any sized guitarist. The slim, c-shaped profile of the neck increase playability. The use of solid spruce and mahogany gives the tone a delicate balance.

The Fender Newporter Classic is a fantastic guitar all around, and tops our list of the best acoustic guitars under $1000.

3. Taylor Academy 12e

  • Ultra-responsive playing experience
  • Vibrant and balanced tone
  • Comfortable and easy to play

When Taylor designed the 12e as part of their Academy Series, they did so with newer guitarists in mind. But even with the lack of experts putting their hands on a 12e, there is a reason it’s the winner of the top acoustic guitars under $1,000.

The Taylor Academy 12e is a super stylish Grand Concert acoustic, constructed to make it easy and comfortable to hold and play. The matte-finished Sapele neck contributes to a newly flawless playing experience.

The sound quality is exactly what you can expect from a Taylor guitar. The tone is balanced, with just the right amount of warmth. The 12e also boasts great projection. You may be paying more for the name, but the Taylor Academy 12e is truly a masterpiece in its price range for beginner guitarists.

4. Martin DX1AE

Martin X Series 2015 DX1AE Acoustic-Electric Guitar Natural
58 Reviews
Martin X Series 2015 DX1AE Acoustic-Electric Guitar Natural
  • Body design: D-14 Fret
  • Top: Solid Sitka Spruce
  • Rosette: Multiple Black/White Boltaron with Red Fiber
  • Solid Sitka Spruce top with mahogany-grained high-pressure laminate (HPL)
  • Acoustic-electric with Fishman electronics
  • Rich, dynamic sound

Martin is another recognizable name in the guitar industry. But with that name, often comes a hefty price tag. Fortunately, that’s not so much the case with the Martin DX1AE. This model offers everything musicians love about Martin, for a price well below $1,000, while still sounding up to par with some of the $2000 guitars.

One of the major selling points of the DX1AE is the use of an eco-friendly, high-pressure laminate, or HPL. To make Martin’s HPL, wood particles and resin are pressed together under high heat. HPL still looks like real wood thanks to what is basically a photo of wood grain.

It’s natural to assume that using HPL instead of real wood would affect the sound quality, but surprisingly, it doesn’t. The DX1AE still produces tone that is warm, compressed, and well balanced.

5. Fender Paramount PM-3 Standard Triple 0

Fender Paramount PM-3 Standard Triple 0 - Natural
30 Reviews
Fender Paramount PM-3 Standard Triple 0 - Natural
  • Mahogany back and sides provide a rich and balanced tone
  • Grade "A" Sitka spruce top for strong and balanced projection
  • The Mahogany neck with Ebony fingerboard provide comfort and a sharp attack
  • All-Mahogany with an organic finish
  • Excellent tone and high performance
  • Scalloped “X” bracing

The Paramount Series by Fender consists of arguably the best acoustic guitars Fender has ever sold. Of all the acoustic guitars in the Paramount Series, the PM-3, the guitar with the standard triple 0 body style, is the one we selected as one of the ten best acoustic guitars for under $1,000 and it absolutely crushes the cheaper $500 guitars in both sound and quality.

For the PM-3, Fender chose solid mahogany for the back and sides and solid open-pore mahogany for the top. The use of only solid mahogany allows the PM-3 to create a naturally aged voice with natural resonation. Overall, you’ll undoubtedly experience an old-school vibe when playing the PM-3, regardless of the occasion for which you are playing.

6. Epiphone DR-500MCE

Epiphone DR-500MCE Acoustic/Electric (Dreadnought), Natural
78 Reviews
Epiphone DR-500MCE Acoustic/Electric (Dreadnought), Natural
  • Top material: solid sitka spruce
  • Body material: solid mahogany
  • Side material: solid mahogany
  • Mahogany back, sides, and neck and Spruce top
  • eSonic-2 stereo preamp
  • Durable and built to last

With more than a century worth of experience in the industry, Epiphone is no stranger to producing high-quality yet affordable guitars. The DR-500MCE was crafted as part of Epiphone’s Masterbilt line. It is a particularly exceptional option for guitarists looking for a solid wood guitar with a vintage aesthetic.

The wood alone creates a marvelously elegant aesthetic, complimented by Mother-of-Pearl accents in the fretboard inlay.

But the DR-500MCE will impress you with more than just its looks. This acoustic can hold its own against many high-end electric-acoustic guitars. The mahogany creates a balanced, mellow sound, while the lighter spruce top creates great resonance.

7. Yamaha NTX1200R

Yamaha NTX1200R Acoustic Electric Classical Guitar, Rosewood
48 Reviews
Yamaha NTX1200R Acoustic Electric Classical Guitar, Rosewood
  • Solid Sitka Spruce Top
  • Solid Rosewood Back & Sides
  • African Mahogany Neck
  • Nylon-string acoustic-electric guitar
  • Thin and narrow design
  • 2-way A.R.T. electronics

Yamaha is arguably best-known in the industry for making guitars specifically designed for beginner guitarists who need an instrument that is easy to play and will improve their performance. The NTX1200R is a great example of that, with a narrow neck and thin body that allows for the ultimate comfortable playing experience.

The comfortable body style is the main selling point of the NTX1200R, but that’s not the only reason to make this guitar your next purchase. The combination of spruce and rosewood creates smooth and balanced sound. While the thin, cutaway body results in less depth and volume, the difference between the NTX1200R and other all-solid-wood guitars is minimal.

For guitarists interested in an acoustic that properly benefits from its electronics, the NTX1200R will be a pleasant surprise. In fact, it outperforms many other acoustic-electric guitars in the same price range.

8. Martin Road Series DRS1

Martin Road Series DRS1 Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar Natural
43 Reviews
Martin Road Series DRS1 Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar Natural
  • Construction: Mortise/Tenon Neck Joint
  • Body Size: D-14 Fret
  • Top: Solid Sapele
  • Unique, original sound
  • Durably, sturdy guitar great for taking on the road
  • High-quality acoustic

The DRS1 of the Road Series is one of the most affordable solid wood guitars offered by Martin. The DSR1 features the warmth of a mahogany guitar, despite being constructed with Sapele.

The DRS1 features a solid Sapele top, back, and sides with a select hardwood neck and black richlite fingerboard. This construction provides a unique, warm sound with excellent intonation. The DRS1 has a noteworthy loudness factor that contributes to the overall high quality of the instrument and makes it a truly valuable guitar. It certainly plays like a guitar that is worth a lot more than what you will pay for it.

9. PRS SE Tonare T40E

PRS Paul Reed Smith SE T40E Tonare Acoustic Electric Guitar with Case, Tobacco Sunburst
4 Reviews
PRS Paul Reed Smith SE T40E Tonare Acoustic Electric Guitar with Case, Tobacco Sunburst
  • Solid Sitka Spruce top
  • Ovangkol back & sides
  • Fishman Gt1 electronics
  • Hybrid “X” and classical fan bracing
  • Big projection across strings
  • Great projection with the best sound at high volume

PRS introduced its SE Series of instruments that were designed to outperform other acoustics in their price range. PRS, or Paul Reed Smith, described their SE Series guitars as “high-value acoustics with a familiar appeal.”

The T in T40E stands for the Tonare body build. Tonare is the Italian word for thunder. The 40 refers to the combination of woods used; ovangkol for the back and sides and solid spruce for the top. Lastly, the E stands for electronics, as the Tonare T40E is an acoustic-electric guitar.

The PRS SR Tonare T40E may not be the best option for guitarists who prefer much mellower sound. This guitar practically begs to be played loudly. A more experienced acoustic guitarist will get the most out of this guitar and the under $1000 price tag makes it an affordable option worth considering.

10. Gretsch Rancher Acoustic Collection

Gretsch Rancher Acoustic Collection G5013CE RNCHR JR, BLK
12 Reviews
Gretsch Rancher Acoustic Collection G5013CE RNCHR JR, BLK
  • Position Inlays: Neo-ClassicTM "Thumbnail"
  • Special Electronics: Fishman Isys + Pre-Amp System
  • Controls: Volume, Treble, Bass, Phase, Onboard Tuner, Battery Life Indicator
  • Unique, eye-catching design
  • Excellent projection and balanced tone
  • Impressive feedback resistance, even at high volumes

If you are looking for an acoustic guitar with aesthetics that will truly stand out, the Gretsch G5021WPE Rancher Penguin Parlor is the one for you. The solid spruce top, and the rest of the wood that makes up this guitar, is coated with solid white paint. The white is elegantly complemented by gold sparkle on the neck and body binding.

The Penguin Parlor produces a tone that resonates fuller than a typical small-body guitar. It also produces a well-balanced tone, with a bright top end, light and punchy mids, and a firm bass. The Penguin Parlor also projects well for a small-bodied guitar.

Frequently Asked Questions About Acoustic Guitars Under $1000

Q. What should I look for when buying an acoustic guitar?

When shopping for an acoustic guitar, the first thing you should consider is the style of guitar you want to buy. The best way to figure this out is by playing the various styles to determine which best suits your needs. You will also want to pay attention to how the guitar feels when you play it. Sit down and hold the guitar in your lap, as you would when playing it, and take note of a few different factors:

  • How does the guitar’s body feel between your chest and strumming arm?
  • Does the guitar feel too big or too small?
  • Does your chord hand feel like it can fit comfortably around the neck?
  • How does the guitar sound when played softly?
  • How does the guitar sound when played loudly? Does it project clearly?
  • Do you like the balance of high and low tones?

Q. What’s the difference between solid top and laminate guitars?

A solid top is a single piece of wood that has been carefully shaped and fitted. You can usually spot a solid top by looking closely at the soundhole. Because the soundhole has been cut into the wood, you should be able to see a cross-section of the grain.

A laminated top is made of more than one piece of wood. For a laminated top, thin layers are joined together using a combination of adhesives, pressure, and heat.

Guitar makers commonly use laminated tops for a guitar because it requires less wood and is easier to make.

Typically, a solid top guitar will produce better sustain and richer resonance, and will only sound better as they get older. Laminated tops won’t age in the same way, so they don’t have the same benefit in terms of sound as solid tops.

Q. Is it better to learn to play the guitar on an acoustic or an electric?

It’s better to learn to play the guitar on an acoustic. Acoustic guitars are pretty straightforward, easy to use, and require nothing more than the guitar itself to get started.

Q. How long does it take to learn to play the guitar?

How long it takes to learn how to play a guitar depends entirely on the amount of time you spend practicing. If you practice daily, you could learn to play in as little as six months or it could take a couple of years.