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Top 10 Cheap Acoustic Guitars

1. Ibanez AW54OPN

Level: Beginner

  • Solid mahogany top
  • Loud, clear, and controlled projection
  • Minimalist, classic design

The Ibanez AW54OPN is another fantastic model released by the highly-respected Japanese brand. This model is an affordable acoustic guitar that feels anything but cheap. You shouldn’t expect to see a solid top on most budget acoustics, but the AW54OPN has just that.

The AW54OPN features a solid mahogany top and laminated mahogany back and sides. The deep brown color and small tortoiseshell pickguard round out a natural, rustic aesthetic. The neck is made of solid mahogany with a satin finish. Overall, there’s nothing spectacular about the design, but it’s classic and elegant.

The solid top and large dreadnought shape contribute to great projection and a warm tone. While the sound isn’t as rich as what you’d get from a more expensive guitar, it’s fantastic for a model in this price range.

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2. Yamaha GL1

Level: Intermediate

  • Six-string guitar/guitalele
  • Petite, 17-inch scale
  • All-laminate construction

Our next pick for one of the ten best cheap acoustic guitars is a more unique selection. The Yamaha GL1 is one of the best mini guitars in the market, but Yamaha actually sells it as “half guitar, half ukulele.” This unique instrument would make a great travel acoustic because of its size, but given its versatility and unique construction, we deemed it worth of being named one of the best cheap acoustic guitars available.

The GL1 features a laminate spruce top with laminate meranti back and sides. This model is 26 inches long with a 17-inch scale, closely resembling the size of a ukulele. In terms of sound the GL1 sounds more like a ukulele because of its size. It provides bright sound with projection that is on par for its size.

The GL1 is a unique, fun instrument that deserves a spot on our list of the best cheap acoustic guitars.

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3. Jasmine S35

Level: Beginner to Intermediate

  • X-braced laminated spruce top
  • Well-balanced tone with good projection
  • Perfect for beginners or experienced guitarists looking for a cheap steel-string

Jasmine is a guitar brand that isn’t as well-known as several others, but they have still made a name for themselves by designing and constructing quality instruments for musicians on a tight budget.

To construct a high-quality instrument that is still budget-friendly, Jasmine had to compromise with their building materials. The S35 has a dreadnought body, X-braced laminated spruce top, and laminated nato back and sides. This model produces well-balanced tone and loud, clear projection.

For its price, the S35 provides great tone, style, and playability. For musicians on a budget, the Jasmine S35 is a great option.

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4. Oscar Schmidt OG1-A-U

Level: Beginner

  • Engineered wood construction
  • 3/4-scale
  • Surprisingly good sound

The ¾-scale Oscar Schmidt OG1-A-U is a fantastic budget guitar for musicians still developing their skills or for guitarists who want a cheap acoustic to take with them on the road.

The OG1-A-U has a spruce body and “Tech wood” back and sides that have been engineered to be cost-effective yet durable. Considering its smaller size, this model projects relatively well, resonates effectively, and has a great overall tone.

There isn’t much to make the OG1-A-U a particularly special acoustic, but for a musician on a budget, it’s a great cheap acoustic guitar.

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5. Fender FA-100

Level: Beginner

  • Full-size dreadnought body
  • Produces a full and vibrant tone
  • Laminated spruce top with X-bracing

The FA-100 by Fender is one of the best acoustic guitars for beginners, as well as one of the best cheap acoustic guitars. This model features a full-size dreadnought body with a laminated spruce top.

With the FA-100, Fender maintained a traditional look that will you remind you of many old-school guitars. But where the FA-100 stands out is with its sound. For a cheap acoustic, this model produces a pleasantly full and vibrant sound.

The Fender FA-100 is an instrument that punches well above its weight and proves itself as one of the best in this price range.

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6. Yamaha FD01S

Level: Beginner

  • Ideal for beginners and entry-level guitarists
  • Solid spruce top
  • Remarkable tone at a great value

When Yamaha releases a new guitar, you can expect it to be a quality-made model, regardless of how much it costs. Even their more affordable, budget guitars are worthy of attention.

The FD01S has a solid spruce top with nato back and sides and a rosewood fingerboard. The combination of woods produce wonderful tone and great sound quality at an incredibly affordable price.

While this model is ideal for beginners, it does require a bit of professional setup when you take it out of the box before you can get the most out of it.

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7. Maestro by Gibson

Level: Beginner

  • Entry-level acoustic with great playability
  • Classic dreadnought shape and size
  • Comes in several finishes

The Maestro by Gibson is a Chinese-made acoustic guitar produced for Gibson, which means it isn’t a true Gibson. But don’t let that distract you from the overall quality of this cheap acoustic guitar. The entry-level model features a quality design and great playability.

The Maestro has a scale length of 25 inches and is made of laminated wood. The top is made of laminated spruce and the back and sides are nato. Considering this model rings in at under $100, the craftsmanship is beyond acceptable.

Because of the dreadnought body, the Maestro projects remarkably, no matter how the guitar is played. The tone is clear and bright but would shine even brighter with higher-quality strings. Overall, the Maestro is a solid choice for a cheap acoustic guitar.

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8. Arcadia DL41NA

Level: Beginner to Intermediate

  • Full-sized dreadnought body
  • Balanced tone and projection
  • Hand-sanded Meranti mahogany neck

The Arcadia DL41NA was built to be one of the best acoustic guitars for beginner and intermediate-level guitarists. This model features a spruce top that promotes balanced tone and great projection, as well as ultra-supportive internal bracing.

The neck is hand-sanded Meranti mahogany. The professional-style double action truss rods enhance the overall playing experience and allow for more accurate neck adjustments and stability. This model comes in natural and black so you can spruce up the traditional style to suit your needs.

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9. Martin Smith W-401E

Level: Beginner

  • Acoustic-electric guitar for the ultimate playing experience
  • Comes in three glossy finishes: white, black, and red
  • 40-inch triple 000 design with a single cutaway

The Martin Smith W-401E acoustic-electric guitar is an instrument that will give you major bang for your buck. The design allows beginner guitarists to easily reach higher frets. The on-board passive pick-up provides an enhanced experience by improving the overall sound.

The top and sides are made of Linden while the neck is made of Teak. The high-gloss finish adds to the elegant aesthetic, as does the chrome hardware. The W-401W produces a bright, well-balanced tone ideal for all playing styles.

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10. Kona K1GL

Level: Any

  • Spruce top with a natural high-gloss finish
  • 5-inch scale with dreadnought body
  • Suitable for all experience levels

The K1GL by Kona is one of the best-selling acoustic guitars in its class. It’s a favorite among guitarists of all skill levels for its clean, balanced tone and classic look.

The Kona K1GL features a spruce top with a natural high-gloss finish and mahogany back and sides. The dreadnought body provides ample projection, while the wood combination ensures a tone that is warm and well-balanced. This guitar is one that truly blows away its competition.

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What’s your budget? We have acoustic guitars of all price ranges here.

Frequently Asked Questions about Cheap Guitars

The most common difference between cheap and expensive guitars is the materials used to build them. Higher-end guitars typically have solid tops and are constructed with high-quality wood, which usually enhances the sound quality.

Expensive guitars tend to have higher-quality materials, hardware, and craftsmanship, but that’s not to say you can’t find a quality guitar for a lower price.

Not necessarily. If your guitar is setup properly, regardless of how much it cost, the price of the guitar shouldn’t affect the level of playing difficulty. If you are a beginner, you may want to consider purchasing a guitar that is designed for entry-level guitarists.

There are a few things you can do to improve the sound of a cheap acoustic guitar:

  • Swap out your guitar strings for higher-quality strings
  • Swap out the bridge pins for a better set
  • Replace your tuners if you’re having trouble keeping your guitar in tune

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