Best Acoustic Guitar Under $300
Acoustic guitars are one of those must-have instruments. Regular and occasional players alike often have on in the corner of their living rooms, or in their music studios.
If you have a budget of $300, but still want to get a high quality product, it can be hard to know where exactly to look.
Well, don’t worry. We’ve done our research and put together a list of the top 10 acoustic guitars in 2018 which are under $300. These are all high quality, highly playable instruments, which sound great. We’ve also reviewed them all individually, so you can decide which one is right for you!
Don’t have time to read the whole article? Here are our top 10 acoustic guitars under $300 in 2018, at a glance:
- 1 Best Acoustic Guitar Under $300
- 2 Buyers Tips: Things To Look For When Buying An Acoustic Guitar Under $300
- 3 Fender CD-140SCE
- 4 Ibanez ACT40OPN
- 5 Yamaha FG830
- 6 Fender FA100
- 7 Ibanez PF series PF15ECE
- 8 Yamaha FG800
- 9 Yamaha F325D
- 10 Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy Flat Top
- 11 Epiphone PR-4E
- 12 Ibanez TCY10E
- 13 Our Favourite?
Best Acoustic Guitar Under $300
|Fender CD-140SCE (4.8 / 5)||See Price|
|Ibanez AC240OPN Artwood Series (4.8 / 5)||A beautiful Mahogany guitar with a Rosewood fretboard. Eye grabbing, reliable and oozing richness and warmth.||See Price|
|Yamaha FG830 Solid Top (4.7 / 5)||A quality, Sikta topped guitar which looks, sounds and plays smooth.||See Price|
|Fender FA-100 (4.7 / 5)||A reliable guitar with a warm Agathis sound and Rosewood features.||See Price|
|Ibanez PF Series PF15ECE (4.5 / 5)||A stylish and comfortable guitar with the richness of Mahogany and an included pre-amp.||See Price|
|Yamaha FG800 (4.3 / 5)||A warm sounding guitar with a solid spruce top, that comes as part of an impressive package!||See Price|
|Yamaha F325D (4.3 / 5)||A budget friendly, smooth playing guitar made of Meranti and Nato.||See Price|
|Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy Flat Top (4.3 / 5)||See Price|
|Epiphone PR-4E Acoustic/Electric (4.2 / 5)||A petite guitar which is easy on the eye and ear, made of Mahogagny.||See Price|
|Ibanez TCY10E Talman (4.2 / 5)||See Price|
Buyers Tips: Things To Look For When Buying An Acoustic Guitar Under $300
Although at $300, you might not expect to be able to be too demanding with your criteria, there are a few signs of high quality that you can afford to be fussy about, even at this price.
1) A Rosewood fretboard.
Don’t settle for less. Rosewood is the most popular wood to use for a fretboard because it feels good and offers a warm sound that makes your playing sound smooth. Unless you REALLY love a guitar with a fretboard made of something different, this is something to have on your list of musts.
2) A cutaway shape.
Not for everybody – some players may prefer a dreadnought shape which is larger and offers a full sound. However, if you want to play high up the fretboard, it’s important to get a guitar with a cutaway in the body. Trying to get beyond fret 12 with a full-sized dreadnought is just uncomfortable.
3) A solid spruce top
Some guitars sound good even with a laminate top or spruce that isn’t solid. However, if you do get one with a solid spruce top – which means that the body is made of purely one type of wood – you will notice the difference in the resonance. Guitars with this feature ring well and generally have a better tone.
4) Plug in option?
If you want to plug in for recording or gig purposes, it’s definitely worth getting an acoustic guitar that doubles up as an electro-acoustic. Micing up acoustics is a skill in itself, and, like all skills, it needs to be learnt.
Now, let’s have a look at our top ten acoustic guitars under $300 in a bit more detail…
Another one with a cutaway, so great for those who want to get high. It’s made of mahogany and has a solid top, so the sound really is rich and natural sounding. It also has a cool feature – the fretboard edges are rolled, and they call it the ‘easy to play’ neck. This will suit many people for obvious reasons! It has stable tuning, feels good on the fingers and looks natural and stylish.
- There’s a cutaway, so it’s easy to hit the high notes.
- Solid mahogany top offers superior resonance.
- The rolled fretboard edges make the frets easier to play on.
- Aside from the included case, accessories will need to be purchased separately.
- You might need it setting up to eliminate any problems like fret buzz.
- The plugged in settings will take some getting used to.
This beautiful guitar has a natural looking finish and although it’s comfortably small, it rings out loudly. It has a solid Mahogany top, which rings with richness and warmth, and the Rosewood fretboard adds to this smoothness. The body shape is so that you can play it in either a ‘normal’ acoustic sitting position, or in a classical position, making this one of the most versatile guitars here.
- Rosewood fretboard makes the playing experience smooth and warm-sounding.
- Beautiful looking guitar, and not too large.
- Mahogany body, back and neck, for consistent, high quality sound.
- The fretboard’s maple (not Rosewood). Accessories will need to be purchased separately.
- It’s the high-high end of under $300, so might not be the one for those on a tighter budget.
- If you want to record with it, you’ll need to mic it up (it’s not electro-acoustic).
This solid-top acoustic screams ‘quality’ as its Sikta top and Rosewood back and sides ring with a superior richness. The fretboard is Rosewood, too, so this really is smooth all over. It holds its tune well, thanks to the die-cast tuners, and it has a large body which will suit those who want a loud sound, or who have a large body themselves.
- Solid Sikta spruce top for a beautiful, ringing resonance.
- Rosewood fretboard for smoothness on your fingertips and warmth on your ears.
- Die-cast tuners, so it will stay in tune well.
- You might want to adjust the action to get an easier playing experience.
- Accessories will need to be purchased separately.
- There’s no cutaway, so it will be hard to reach those high frets.
Fender have a great reputation and this entry-level, budget-friendly guitar doesn’t let them down. Although, like the YamahaF325D, this guitar is aimed at beginners on a budget, the quality is high and it’s a great instrument to get started on. There’s a Rosewood fretboard, so it’s smooth to play and sounds warm, and the body is Agathis which also contributes to this warmth of sound. There are chrome die-cast tuners, so it will stay in tune, and that’s arguably the most important feature for someone who is a beginner level guitarist.
- Rosewood fretboard for a smooth playing experience and rich sound.
- Rosewood bridge, also, which is high quality and long-lasting.
- Chrome hardware for tuning stability.
- he body is Agathis but not solid top, so it will sound good but not as good as if it were a solid top body.
- The included gig bag is a little thin.
- You might want to adjust the action to enable an easier playing experience.
Ibanez PF series PF15ECE
This stylish, black instrument has a cutaway, so it will suit those who wish to play higher frets. Again there are chrome die-cast tuners, for tuning stability, and the back and sides are made of mahogany which is warm, rich and resonant. This guitar also has a plug-in feature, so it’s perfect for those who want a straightforward recording or gigging experience.
- The mahogany back and sides give this a rich, warm sound which resonates well.
- Chrome die cast tuners enable tuning stability.
- There’s a pre-amp included, so you can rock up at an open mic night with this!
- You need to get accessories separately.
- The plugged in settings can take some getting used to.
- You might want to get this set up to get the most out of this guitar.
This guitar is made of Nato which give it a lovely warm, soft tone. There’s also a solid spruce top, making this sound even more pleasing, and the guitar comes with all the accessories you need to start playing! It has a Rosewood fingerboard, and the tuners are die-cast chrome, so your strings will maintain a stable tuning.
- Solid spruce top for superior resonance.
- Nato/Okume back and sides make it sound rich and warm.
- Comes as part of an impressive bundle, with everything you need to get started playing!
- It may need setting up before it will play as easily as you’d like it to.
- Although it’s great that it comes with so many accessories, a lot of these are poor quality and it is likely you’ll want to replace them.
- There’s no cutaway, so it will be difficult to play high frets.
This is a very budget-friendly guitar which is still of pleasing quality. It’s made of Meranti and Nato, so has a warm sound, and the fretboard is Rosewood so it plays and sounds smooth. It also comes as part of a package, so it’s perfect for getting started with.
- Budget friendly, and part of a package which includes all you need to get started playing.
- Rosewood fretboard for a smooth playing experience and warm sound.
- Chrome tuners for tuning stability.
- The top is spruce, but not solid spruce. The resonance will still be good, but not as high quality as those with a solid top.
- The accessories included aren’t as high quality as most people would like.
- To get the most out of this guitar, you might need to get it set up.
Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy Flat Top
This very unique instrument will suit some people more than others. It has a C shaped neck, which makes it easier to make big stretches with your hand, and a small, stylish body which is comfortable to hold. It sounds good, holds its tune, and its size means it’s great for travelling around with.
- Unique-looking, quirky guitar.
- C shaped neck makes it easier to get into ‘stretchy’ chord shapes.
- Rosewood fretboard for the smooth playing experience and warm sound.
- The style won’t appeal to everyone – it’s an acquired taste.
- It is quite small, so might not be right for those with a larger frame.
- Accessories will need to be bought separately.
This guitar is stylish and small and you can tell it’s made by the same people who make Les Pauls. The body is Mahogany, so it sounds rich and warm, and the fretboard is, of course, Rosewood. There’s a cutaway that is ideal for those who like to go high up the fretboard, and it also comes with an Epiphone amp, and other accessories.
- There’s a cutaway, so you can reach the high frets with ease.
- It comes with a good quality acoustic amp, and accessories.
- Mahogany body and Rosewood fretboard for a richness of sound.
- The guitar might seem to small to the larger player.
- You might need it setting up before you can get the most out of it.
- The body is laminated, rather than solid spruce.
This very cool looking guitar has a double cutaway, so playing the high frets will be no problem, whichever string(s) you’re on. There’s a built in tuner, which is obviously very handy, and the mahogany body and neck give it a warm sound. It’s also available in some groovy colours! (Like blue!) And the fretboard is, once again, made of Rosewood (yay).
- There’s a double cutaway, so reaching those high frets will be no problem.
- It comes with some high quality accessories.
- It has a mahogany body and neck, for a consistent, rich and warm sound.
- It has a very unique look, which won’t suit everybody.
- The case needs to be purchased separately.
- You’ll probably want to replace the strings that it comes with.
We would genuinely recommend all of these guitars. However, the winner, for us, has to be the Ibanez ACT40OPN. This guitar has everything we value: a high quality, warm sound as it is made of mahogany with a rosewood fretboard, a beautiful aesthetic with its natural wood finish and it is comfortable to play thanks to its moderate size.
If you’d prefer a guitar with a cutaway, as you’re going to be bending those strings right up in the 15th fret and beyond, then the Ibanez TCY10E, Fender CD-140SCE or the Epiphone PR-4E might be better suited to your requirements.
If you’re going to be wanting to plug in – for recording or gigging – then the Ibanez PF series PF15ECE is the obvious choice to go for here.
Those of you who are tempted to go for a bundle option, including a case, are likely to be sold by the Yamaha FG800, or Epiphone PR-4E.
Whichever of the 10 guitars you decide suits you best, we hope it serves you well.