Because Nobody Wants to Break Bank For an Acoustic

Have you been charmed by Ed Sheeran and the sweet, honeyed sound of his acoustic guitar? You’re not alone. The acoustic guitar has been a favorite instrument for generations of people, so welcome to the club. It is also one of the most abundant instruments on the market. So how do you go about looking for the best cheap acoustic guitar? You could always take my advice, which tends to work well.

The acoustic guitar is an instrument of passion and as it happens with passion, it’s beginnings were lost to history. One thing is known for sure though: the modern version of the guitar was first born in Spain. Ever since then the guitar has captivated the ears and hearts of the peoples of the world. Now, after ages of its existence, you have decided to join the ranks of the first bards who wandered the roads with incredible stories to tell. Congratulations on the amazing decision! If you don’t want to spend much more than the first bards did on your first guitar you have come to the right place. Let me start you off on the track you will be traveling for a long time.

Top 10 Best Cheap Acoustic Guitars Under 200

#ImageGuitar Model
Rating
Check Price
1Ibanez AW54OPN Artwood (4.9 / 5)Check on Amazon
2
Yamaha FD01S Solid Top Acoustic Guitar (4.9 / 5)Check on Amazon
3Epiphone Pro-1 Acoustic Guitar (4.8 / 5)Check on Amazon
4Oscar Schmidt OG2SM (4.7 / 5)Check on Amazon
5Fender MA‌-1 3/4-Size (4.7 / 5)Check on Amazon
6Epiphone DR‌-100 Acoustic Guitar (4.6 / 5)Check on Amazon
7Ibanez - IJV50 - Acoustic Guitar Jampack (4.6 / 5)Check on Amazon
8Yamaha JR2 3/4-Size Folk (4.5 / 5)Check on Amazon
9Jasmine S34C NEX (4.4 / 5)Check on Amazon
10Rogue RA‌-090 Dreadnought (4.3 / 5)Check on Amazon

Ibanez AW54OPN Artwood

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Ibanez AW54OPN Artwood

Guitar craftsmanship is an art. If you do not believe this you need to take a look at the Artwood series by Ibanez. It is a combination of cutting edge technology mixed in with some of the more traditional techniques in guitar construction. The AW54OPN model is the quintessential demonstration of this combination. The solid mahogany, traditional dreadnought style body, this guitar was created for those looking to create the most charming tune for an affordable price. The guitar’s dark wood look create a sense of seriousness about it, while the comfort of playing make this guitar perfect both for beginners and those looking to expand their guitar library.

Pros:

  • Good Feel
  • Consistent
  • Rich Sound

Cons:

  • Might be a little on a heavy side (Dreadnought)
  • Not the best fretboard

Yamaha FD01S

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Yamaha FD01S

There are few places to start your guitar career as good as a guitar from Yamaha. This guitar manufacturer has extensive experience in creating some of the best instruments in the world, to date. Their understanding of guitar design, tonewood choice and overall construction is exemplary and can often be identified in many models. One of such models is the Yamaha FD01s Solid Top Acoustic guitar. This beautiful, affordable guitar has a lot of great values, which many beginners will find useful. Gifted with a strong sound thanks to its dreadnought body, beautiful sound thanks to the solid spruce top ad the mahogany back and sides, the guitar is bound to dazzle most beginners. Definitely worth picking up as one of the first guitars you will ever own.

Pros:

  • Great sound
  • Comfortable
  • Solid top for this price range is quite nice

Cons:

  • Needs tuning quite a bit
  • Might need to replace bridge pins

Epiphone Pro-1

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Epiphone Pro-1 Acoustic Guitar

The Pro-1 was made specifically for beginner guitar players by Epiphone. This means a number of great things for us: First, the design is delicious. The traditional Dreadnought body of the guitar stay in line with what you expect of a guitar. The mahogany of the body provides a great resonance for the guitar, meaning warm, easily spreading tones. The guitar is comfortable and easy to play, which means it will be non-tiring hours of practicing or playing the instrument. Finally, the guitar is incredibly affordable. Four of the best qualities anyone could be looking for in a guitar.

Pros:

  • Great sound
  • Comfortable
  • Solid top for this price range is quite nice

Cons:

  • Needs tuning quite a bit
  • Might need to replace bridge pins

Oscar Schmidt OG2SM

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Oscar Schmidt OG2SM

Oscar Schmidt is a great guy. Not because I know him personally, I doubt anyone nowadays does. He’s a great guy because he (used to, now the company does) makes exceptional guitars.  The OG2SM is an example of fusion between handsome and functional. The body, as now we should all expect of an acoustic guitar, is dreadnaught shape. The material used is Spalted Maple, giving the guitar its unique look, and a distinctive resonance and sound. The fretboard is smooth and feels incredibly comfortable to play. It is an incredibly well rounded guitar and the affordability brings the value of the acoustic guitar to a level that might seem incredible.

Pros:

  • Comfortable
  • Good sound
  • Very nice quality for the price

Cons:

  • Might be a little bit big for beginners
  • Not as much tonal depth
  • Synthetic bone nut is not the best option

Fender MA‌-1 3/4-Size

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Fender MA‌ 1 3-4 Size

Fender has a great track record of making exceptional guitars. The Fender MA-1 is a testament to that. You see, the best example of great work by a company is the work it puts into its cheapest products. This is true because the cheapest products are usually the most disregarded one. This guitar was not disregarded. Designed with the old traditions of Spanish guitars, it brings some old class to a list of newcomer designs. The ¾ body shape means a slightly scaled down guitar from the current accepted sound. This means a light weight and a very comfortable guitar to play. The fretboard is easy to access and even the toughest tones are simple to play. The body is laminated agathis, meaning an eternal youth for the guitar. The guitar comes at a great value, making this an incredible option for anyone looking for the best budget acoustic guitar.

Pros:

  • Portable/Easy to transport
  • Nice sound
  • Stable tuning

Cons:

  • Not the highest quality wood material
  • Not the best option if you are uncomfortable with smaller guitars

Epiphone DR‌-100

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Epiphone DR‌-100 Acoustic Guitar

The epiphone DR-100 is a beautiful guitar. It is style at its purest, with a sunburst on the entirety of the black design. The traditional dreadnought is made to stand out with the exclusive style of the guitar. The body is a combination of spruce and mahogany, meaning the best resonance implications of both materials. The all important sound of the guitar is in no way lacking though. The dreadnought is traditional for a reason: the sound it produces gives you command of whatever space you are in. But it is not only the strength of the sound that captivates, it is also the quality. The tones of the guitar are exceptional, something expected of a professional level guitar. This is one of the best cheap acoustic guitars available.

Pros:

  • Good feel
  • Rich sound
  • Consistent

Cons:

  • Requires more tuning than usual
  • Not the best string

Ibanez – IJV50

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Ibanez - IJV50 - Acoustic Guitar Jampack

The best things in life are free. That is why this instrument is not the best thing in life. It is close to being one of the best guitar packs you can get under 200 though. And sometimes that is all you need in your life. The body is made out of spruce, the neck made of mahogany and a rosewood fretboard. The guitar sounds wonderful thanks to its dreadnought body, perfect for all those just starting out or looking for an inexpensive option. Speaking of value for money, the guitar is also available as a pack that includes electric tuners, picks, a guitar strap and a soft case.

Pros:

  • Good quality top
  • Extras like gig bag and straps are a big plus
  • Extremely cheap, so it is great for beginners

Cons:

  • Agathis back and neck are not the highest quality
  • A little bit of a buzz

Yamaha JR2 3/4-Size Folk

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Yamaha JR2 3-4-Size Folk

The Yamaha JR2 might have been designed for younger players, but in all honesty, it is perfect for anyone looking for an affordable guitar. The size makes the guitar lightweight and comfortable for beginner players looking for an easy beginning. Despite its smaller size the dreadnought shape keeps it powerful, with tones and sounds enhanced by the resonance of spruce, with mahogany finishes. The guitar has a beautiful but simple design, with light and dark browns matching and mixing beautifully with each other. The guitar on its own is of amazing value, but it is also offered as part of a pack that also includes an introductory guide for guitars. This guitar is a big sound in a small package.

Pros:

  • Comfortable
  • Compact
  • Good sound for the price

Cons:

  • Nato is not the highest quality material
  • Basic hardware

Jasmine S34C NEX

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Jasmine S34C NEX

Jasmine S34C NEX is a perfect example of what can happen when you put effort into making an affordable but an incredibly functional guitar. Its grand orchestra styled guitar, meaning it uses every stylistic inspiration from guitars that need to perform hard to be heard. The venetian style cutaway makes the guitar look unique but beautiful. The spruce top resonates with any tone you try to play, resulting in captivating sounds not expected of a guitar in this price range. The light weight and the easily accessible body make the guitar comfortable to play. Overall, this guitar has the potential to be one of my favorites on this list to make the best cheap acoustic guitar, just because of the value you get out of it.

Pros:

  • Stays in tune
  • Cutaway
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Not the best tonewood
  • Might be too bulky beginners

Rogue RA‌-090

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Rogue RA‌-090 Dreadnought

The name of this guitar is one of the most fitting names I’ve seen in awhile. The Rogue RA-090 is perfectly outstanding in its price, undercutting every other guitar in competition for the best cheap acoustic guitar. The body is whitewood, meaning and incredibly lightweight and comfortable body. Despite its price and lightweight make, the sound this guitar makes is exceptional for what it promises. The guitar has a striking look thanks to its beautiful design, making it the perfect option for any beginner or otherwise looking for a guitar with character and sound at an affordable price.

Pros:

  • Deep, full tone
  • Good strings
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Not the highest quality wood
  • Gets out of tune easily

Whether it’s Ed Sheeran, classical Spanish Guitarristas or anything else in between that brought you to this article, the list of guitars above will contain something you will find useful. Acoustic guitars are an incredible instrument with a long history in the world. Their versatility in tone and sound brings musicians from a very broad spectrum towards the instrument. As a result there are many iterations of the acoustic guitar. Each has its own make and specific sound catering to one or another genre of music.

At the introductory level it does not matter much what type of guitar you purchase. So it might not be important to you whether you get a guitar that works better for country musicians rather than blues players. It is still important to consider certain details when buying a guitar. These details are what will help you purchase the right guitar for you. The guitars on this list, thanks to their price, will not always be specialized for tailored for a specific purpose. Despite this understanding the anatomy of a guitar gives you the ability to consider why you want to buy whichever guitar you are considering. This will help you to judge what the best acoustic guitar is for you.

Some of the details below are pointed out for the purpose of sound while other will enhance the comfort of actually playing the guitar. The more you enjoy the guitar the more likely you are to keep playing it, which in turn, result in better playing.

There are still some details that need to be considered so you do not make a mistake. There are specifically crafted guitars that are not on this list, such as hollow body or full metal body that are not included because they are not acoustic, but an entirely different beast.

Sound

First and foremost, the most important detail about any guitar is the sound it makes. Determining what type of sound you would like to play might help you pick a guitar.

Details like whether you use a pick, what type of strings you use or the material the guitar is made of might be important in determining the sound of the guitar. These details might not be important for a beginner. The low price point guitars might also not offer much variety in these options, but there are things you could customize on your own that will help you achieve the sound you want. Do not let the concerns for design make you go back on a guitar. The considerations for best materials and best strings should be secondary to what you actually enjoy or like.

Strings

There are two types of strings generally available for your acoustic needs. The choice of each has a different effect on the outcome in terms of sound. Even if you are a beginner or if you do not believe it does not make much of a difference what advantages each has, it might be important to know the difference for your future customization.

Steel

  • Bright and Crisp Sound
  • Harder on the fingers
  • Perfect for Blues, Country, Rock, Pop

Nylon

  • Warm, smooth sound
  • Easier on the Fingers
  • Classical, Folk

Concerning the fingers: It might seem smart for a beginner to go with the type of strings that are easy on the fingers. That is not the case. If you have a specific type of music you want to play, training yourself to play the strings preferred for it, is a good idea. These are the strings you will be playing eventually so it is important to get used to them early.

Body Wood

Entry level guitars are usually made of laminated wood, which means the sound of the guitar will not change over the years. Despite the fact that you are currently looking at inexpensive guitars, it might be useful to consider the details of the guitar body.

There are several types of wood used for acoustic guitars:

  • Spruce – The most common type of wood used for acoustic guitars. This wood is the Jack of all trades among materials used for guitars.
  • Cedar – This darker wood is perfect for strings that are under low tension tuning, as well as for fingerpicking, but do not carry strumming as well as other materials do.
  • Rosewood – This material is not often used for body material, mostly being relegated for fretboards. The extremely rare Brazilian rosewood on the other hand adds a lot of warmth and complexity to any guitar player’s music.
  • Mahogany – Another rather often used material that balances high toned notes well.
  • Maple – Will support bright and dry tones well.

For the buyer of the best acoustic guitar the body material would be incredibly important. On the other hand, the price range we are currently looking at does not offer much variety, in terms of material. If you are a beginner acoustic guitar player it might not mean much to you what a guitar is made of. It should not – as a beginner you need to first master the guitar to be able to determine what type of sound you are looking for. If you simply want an acoustic guitar for a specific purpose at an affordable rate, understanding these materials provides the benefit of tailoring your purchase to your needs.

Electro Acoustic Guitar

Acoustic and electro acoustic guitars, despite having a number of similarities, are two entirely different instruments. Initially the electro acoustic guitars, also known as Hollow Body guitars, were invented to amplify the sound of the normal acoustic guitar.

Nowadays the hollow body guitars are widely used in a large number of genres. While sharing similar warm sounds and tones with the acoustic guitars, the electric guitars still have a rather unique sound; While the similarities might exist, the differences in the sound are sufficient that one is not capable of replacing the other.

The acoustic guitar is unique in its sound and in how it is played. If you are considering to make a decision whether you’d like to purchase an acoustic guitar or a hollow body there are numerous things to consider. One such item to consider is the price point – there are not many hollow body guitars available under 400 dollars. The abundance of the acoustic guitar in this price point might make it a better investment.

If the price point is not the main issue, then the sound, genre and the style of play you would like to pursue all need to be considered.

Conclusion

The acoustic guitar is a wonderful instrument. It is a beginning point for many musicians, the main instrument of many, the favorite sound of so many people in the world and often, the only weapon you’ll ever need to become a great musician. It was my first instrument as well, the one I learned to play blackbird singing in the dead of night so I could impress a girl. Didn’t work out at the time, but today I know more songs and I can actually play an instrument. Take that Becky!

Anyway, back on subject. Buying an acoustic guitars is one of the best investments you can make. It is hours on hours spent playing beautiful tunes. Saturdays spent on picnics with friends singing live karaoke. Maybe beach nights with (or without, up to you, I don’t decide your life) booze and booming music. The acoustic guitar will provide company in any situation, be it alone at home or with a bunch of people somewhere. That is why you need the best cheap acoustic guitar options you can have. It is a tool for you to be proud of and you cannot be proud of a mediocre instrument.

So go ahead and pick one guitar that you can be sure will help you play the music you love. Good Luck!

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