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Best Acoustic Guitars for Under $500

While not everyone who learns to play acoustic guitar will achieve the same level of success as greats such as Andy McKee, Richard Thompson, Erik Mongrain, Adrian Legg, Terry Rob, Leo Kottke, Tommy Emmanuel, or Justin King, with determination, practice, and the right guitar, learning to play well is definitely possible. Whether playing for self-enjoyment or in preparation of a career as a professional guitarist, it is always best to start with an affordable instrument. Many people think guitars are expensive but in truth, an individual could choose from several of the best acoustic guitars for under $500.

What is an Acoustic Guitar?

Because there are so many different types of guitars, an initial search can be somewhat overwhelming. In fact, there are even different types of acoustic guitars although the primary difference has to do with the number of strings. Even the sound produced varies depending on the exact instrument, as well as playing styles an individual could learn. There is certainly nothing wrong with any type of guitar but an acoustic guitar provides a number of benefits not otherwise offered.best acoustic guitar under 500

Before looking at any of the best acoustic guitars for under $500, it would help to gain knowledge about the instrument’s origin and benefits. This particular guitar is readily available around the world although the exact design, size, and even purpose would vary depending on the country and its culture. Acoustic guitars come in two styles to include the classical guitar and steel-string guitar. While both of these instruments can be played finger style or with a pick there are unique differences.

  • Classical Guitar – The neck of this instrument is wider and the strings are made from nylon. For this instrument, complex bars and arrangements are easier than with a steel string guitar.
  • Steel String Guitar – As the name implies, the strings are made of steel, which means the sound produced is crisper and more defined. Because of this, a steel string acoustic guitar is more commonly played by professionals and for many different genres. Because the face of this instrument has a flat design, it is also referred to as a “flat top”.

Regarding design, the acoustic guitar has a larger and hollow body that works as a chamber through which sound resonates, with the actual sound produced unique according to actual design and size. For example, an acoustic guitar with a small body produces a lighter sound whereas a guitar with a larger body and curves has deeper resonating sound.

Because of the chamber of an acoustic guitar, amplification is not required to generate amazing sound. However, if performing before a large crowd whereby it would be challenging to generate loud enough sound to be heard, a microphone could be placed close to the opening in the body for amplification.

Benefits of the Acoustic Guitar

This instrument offers a number of benefits, making it the most popular of all guitar types. Below we listed some of the greatest benefits that come from choosing an acoustic guitar.

  • Portability – Without the need for electrical cords or stands, the acoustic guitar is 100% mobile so an individual could take this instrument virtually anywhere whenever wanted, even when traveling via plane
  • Sound – This type of guitar also produces amazing sound that works great for different genres and without effects or distortions getting in the way, sound is clear and beautiful
  • Performance – One of the many things that guitarists appreciate about the acoustic guitar is its level of performance. Overall, this instrument has good sustain and performance ability, making it a popular choice of instrument
  • Playing Level – The acoustic guitar also makes the perfect choice for both novice and seasoned players, meaning this is the ideal guitar to start learning to play on or to use by an experienced songwriter or performer
  • Finger Correction – A common problem when finger playing guitars is using incorrect muscles and finger strokes but because the strings of an acoustic guitar are typically thicker, good finger strength is imperative. As a result, bad habits are relatively easy to correct.

Top Acoustic Guitar Choices

Thanks to the nice selection of acoustic guitar brands, there is a perfect instrument for everyone, whether just getting started or having years of experience playing. Obviously, the goal is to find a guitar that feels and sounds right according to need and personal preference but also a guitar with an affordable price tag. Following are some of the best and most affordable acoustic guitars on the market along with primary features of each.

  • Epiphone DR-100 – This acoustic guitar costs between $50 and $100, making it ideal for beginners. In addition to affordability, key features include excellent tone and balance thanks to the rich mahogany construction, durable rosewood fingerboard, 14-degree headstock angle, variety of colors, and even a manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Fender Starcaster Acoustic – The price range for this guitar is surprisingly low considering it is a Fender, one of the best guitar manufacturers in the world. However, the array of accessories included in the price such as strap, tuner, pitch pipe, choice of pick, and spare strings makes the deal even sweeter. The main features of this acoustic guitar consist of robust tone, quality design made with a solid spruce top, comfortable playing, 20-fret rosewood fingerboard, and one of the best manufacturer’s warranties offered.
  • Fender CD-60 – This is another affordable Fender acoustic guitar with a price that ranges from $150 and $300. The primary features of this particular instrument includes a laminated spruce top with scalloped x bracing and Chinese mahogany sides, fantastic sound, durable rosewood fingerboard, saddle, and bridge, chrome die cast tuners, different color choices, and versatility for players regardless of skill level.
  • Yamaha FG700S – This acoustic guitar costs around $200, which considering the quality is an excellent price. Beyond affordability, features include a great looking and durable design consisting of rosewood fingerboard, solid Sitka spruce top, tortoise pick guard, and mahogany sides and back, non-locking chrome tuners with good turn ratio, unrivaled sound, versatility, and again, a manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Seagull Entourage Rustic – The price between $300 and $500 is considered an excellent investment. In addition to producing amazing sound quality, this acoustic guitar actually has a distinctive tone unique to other guitars of this type, beautiful aesthetics because of the rosewood fingerboard, cherry laminate sides and back, and solid cedar top, and an integrated set neck system comprised of a slim, smooth, and straight neck with 1.72-inch nut. The guitar also boasts special finishes such as arched rosette that goes around the sound hole, full compensated saddle, Tusq nut, and cream double binding around the outside of the body.
  • Seagull S6 – Priced from $400 to $500, this specific guitar is manufactured by a reputable Canadian company. As with the other guitars, the Seagull S6 offers a number of great features such as simple yet refined aesthetics, sturdy construction made from various high quality wood species, sealed chrome tuners, comfortable playing, good overall sound, and a great manufacturer’s warranty.

Summary

Acoustic guitars are indeed the most popular of all guitar types and with good reason. No matter how well a person plays, it is not necessary to spend a fortune for a high quality instrument.  As shown, purchasing one of the best acoustic guitars for under $500 is possible and with so many possibilities, an individual can focus on buying the right guitar.

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