7 Best Acoustic Guitars Under $1000

7 Best Acoustic Guitars Under $1000

Is buying an acoustic guitar under $1,000 a real thing? If you are on a budget, I feel you. I was once a starving college student that traded in my high school oboe to get the best acoustic guitar I could find. I remember thinking I’d have to cut out buying beer for a few weeks to get the guitar I wanted, but boy was it worth it.

I am reviewing here 7 best acoustic guitars under $1,000 and there are some really great picks for you to choose from. From never having picked up a guitar to an expert, there is an option for you. Let’s take a look at the 6 best acoustic guitars under $1,000.

1. Seagull Artist Mosaic

The Seagull Artist Mosaic is a real beauty. It is for the guitarist who wants to play for themselves or in smaller gatherings. The rich and warm sound that comes from the combination of cedar and mahogany will have you feeling nostalgic and romantic. Let’s dive into the details so you can see why this was our top pick for the best acoustic guitar under $1,000.

Specifications

  • 8 pounds
  • 19.8 inch body length
  • 6 string
  • 4.9 inch body depth
  • Mahogany back and neck
  • Cedar top
  • Wide finger spacing
  • Acoustic Only

What We Liked

Now that you know the nitty gritty of this beast, let’s break down what we really like about this guitar and why you will too.

The Sound

This is probably the best attribute of this acoustic guitar. Its warm sound reminds me slightly of playing my favorite records. It’s that fat, rich sound that will have you feeling like you just had a nice long sip of whiskey.

Design

There’s no question about it, the Seagull Artist Mosaic is a pretty guitar. I love the combination of the cedar and mahogany.

It also has nice spacing on the 6 strings so that if you don’t have tiny, delicate fingers, you can still play it with ease. I find if the spacing is too close together, it’s easier to mess up or play chords incorrectly. This is especially true if you have larger fingers.

Customer Reviews

Amazon rankings for this guitar are very good, and I actually think that is extremely high for an acoustic guitar under $1,000. A lot of the guitars I have tried out that are in that price range generally have a lot of complaints about them. I could find hardly any while doing research on this model.

What We Didn’t Like

It’s our number 1 pick, sure. That doesn’t mean there aren’t things we don’t like about it.

It’s still an acoustic guitar under $1,000 and so the quality isn’t going to be as high as a $3,000 guitar. Let’s take a look at the few things that Seagull could have done better on.

Not as Heavy Duty As We’d Like

Again, when you lower the price range of any product, you are going to have to lower your expectations on quality. The Seagull Artist Mosaic is no different. It’s the best acoustic guitar under $1,000 but it is just not as heavy duty and solid as I’d like an acoustic guitar to be.

Being only 8 pounds makes it really easy to haul around and play if you are a beginner. It just feels different than a heavier guitar. (Duh!) What I mean by that, is that you can tap the neck of it and it almost sounds like that balsa wood you played within shop class vs. a nice solid noise.

The Verdict

The Seagull Artist Mosaic is a real class act. If you check out Seagull’s page on this model, you will see a fancy man playing this guitar. That could be you! Its beautiful design creates a warm sound that you cannot beat. It doesn’t get much better than this with a price tag under $1,000.

2. Blueridge BR-160

If you are looking for a guitar that exudes class from a simpler time, look no further. The Blueridge BR-160 has a stunning design with a loud and crisp sound. It will take you back to the 30’s era sound and have you feeling like a pro whether you are just picking it up for the first time or not.

Specifications

  • Sitka Spruce top
  • Indian Rosewood for backs and sides
  • 25.6 inch scale length
  • 1 11/16 nut width
  • Tortoise-style pickguard
  • Mahogany neck
  • 4 pounds

What We Liked

There is a whole lot to like about the Blueridge BR-160. Just one look at it and you will fall in love with this guitar. Once you hear the sound, you will be transported back in time and wonder why you listen to that pop garbage on the radio. (Sorry to all you Katy Perry fans!) Let’s take a look at the features we loved the most on the BR-160.

Design Details

One of my favorite things about this guitar is how vintage it looks. From the delicate herringbone or exotic abalone purling to the slim mahogany neck, you are going to be drooling over this baby when you open up the box. They made this guitar with the image of a post-WWII look. You will have anyone that has ever looked at a guitar envious of yours.

Sound

The sound is loud and open with a crisp note to it. I like the sharpness of it for playing more vintage songs. While it is sort of tight when you first start playing it, it mellows out some without losing that crisp tight noise you like.

Quality

I love that the Blueridge BR-160 feels like an expensive guitar. It doesn’t feel like a cheap Wal-Mart you picked up for the hell of it. It’s made that way on purpose. It will feel like your great, great grandfather handed you down his most prized possession.

Price

I was actually surprised that the BR-160 costed so little. It rings in under $750 which if you ask me, is way underpriced for what you are getting. Don’t tell Blueridge I said that though!

What We Didn’t Like

It was hard to find much I didn’t like about the Blueridge BR-160. I had to really scour reviews to find the negative comments. Let’s take a look at the downside to this guitar.

Packaging

This is the biggest issue for me. The packaging the guitar arrives in is sub-par. In fact, it has hardly any protection at all. There have been several reports from buyers of their package being damaged and worse yet, their guitar.

Specific Sound

While I like the crisp noise the BR-160 makes, it isn’t for everyone. If you want to play some bee-bop songs this isn’t the guitar for you. The sound that emanates from this guitar feels more vintage and even a little bluegrass like to me.

The Verdict

The Blueridge BR-160 is a classic guitar that has an extraordinary price for its outstanding quality. You can play those vintage tunes you love, looking classy as hell while you do it. I highly recommend this guitar for all you crisp sound loving music junkies out there.

3. Yamaha FG850

The Yamaha FG850 is the most budget-friendly of the bunch. It won’t cost you too much but you can still get a nice sound out of it. Let’s dive into the features of this axe.

Specifications

  • Mahogany back, front, and sides
  • Rosewood fingerboard and bridge
  • 25 inch scale
  • 19 9/16” body length
  • 6.85 pounds
  • 50 years of innovation behind this model

What We Liked

The Yamaha FG850 is a fairly basic guitar at a killer price but it does have some features that really stuck out. Let’s take a look at the highlights.

Research

Over 50 years go behind this Yamaha guitar model. That is a whole lot of time to work out all the tweaks that come with making a new model. I really like this because they have heard all the complaints there is to hear and have made each model better and better.

Sound

The sound is nice and mellow. It sounds like you have had a couple of drinks and are in a good place. I think the sound quality is pretty stellar for such a low price. It starts off a little tight, but most guitars do. After playing it for a little while, the guitar really deepens and gets a warmer noise.

Price

The MSRP on this bad boy is under $500. While I think that’s great, I would absolutely opt for the value pack which includes: the guitar, the case, and the acoustic/electric kit. That way you have everything you need and it still is going to cost you less than what you would pay for some of the other guitars on our list.

What We Didn’t Like

With the low price point, the FG850 has some downfalls. You can’t always have your cake and eat it too. I don’t think any of them are deal breakers but it’s worth looking over.

Quiet

It’s just not that loud. If you are trying to play for a group of people or on stage, this is probably not a good fit for you. However, if you are just playing for you then I think you can overlook this flaw.

Can Sound Flat

With that warm deep sound, there’s a tendency for the Yamaha FG850 to sound a little flat. Obviously, you can tune it up if that’s the case. However, I feel that it’s always going to sound just a little flat because of the fat sound it produces.

The Verdict

The Yamaha FG850 is the perfect starter guitar. The price is low, it’s got a nice warm sound, and it’s easy to play. That’s the recipe you want if you are broke and want to start learning to play.

4. Breedlove Solo Concert

A favorite among the Breedlove brand, the Solo Concert is a great guitar choice. It’s versatile enough for a novice or an expert while maintaining a low price tag. It has a nice design and sound that will have anyone happy with their purchase.

Specifications

  • Acoustic/Electric
  • 11.8 pounds
  • 25 ½ inch scale length
  • Built-in tuner
  • Cedar top
  • Mahogany back and sides

What We Liked

The Breedlove Solo Concert is a timeless guitar. It’s easy to see why it’s a favorite among acoustic players everywhere. Let’s check out the main highlights of this guitar.

Sound

The sound is more mature than I would have expected. In fact, many buyers have commented on this fact. It sounds like you’ve been playing it for a few years right out of the box. That sound is comparable to a higher end guitar and doesn’t have the price tag to match.

Durable

It’s a little more heavy duty than some of the other guitars we have looked at. I like this fact because you can get it for a younger person and not worry about it getting damaged as easily. It will survive the school bus or rowdy teenagers wild car rides.

Versatile

Being an electric/acoustic guitar has some serious advantages. You can play at home quietly or play on stage with a clear sound. Just keep in mind that it’s not super powerful. You probably don’t want to use this to bring down the house in a concert hall.

What We Didn’t Like

I really struggled with finding ANY negative feedback on the Breedlove Solo Concert. There were just a couple of minor issues that certainly wouldn’t keep me from buying it.

Electronic Features Lackluster

The electric part of the guitar is not that great. It works fine for small concerts and playing at parties, but its technology is nothing special. Keep this in mind on what kind of venue you are going to play in.

Not Many Reviews

This one could go either way. There were very few reviews on Amazon. Either that means that people didn’t feel the need to leave a negative review, or they ended up not buying it. Either way, there was hardly anything negative on there.

The Verdict

The Breedlove Solo Concert guitar is a wonderful choice for a novice or mid-level guitar player. I like the fact that it’s versatile enough to be acoustic and electric. It has a nice price tag and an even nicer sound. You can’t really go wrong here.

5. Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE

The Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE just screams classic rock to me. When I first set my eyes on this beauty, it looked like something Santana would want to play. While I’m sure he has an incredibly expensive custom guitar, he probably would give a nod of approval to this pretty gal.

Specifications

  • Mahogany body, side, and neck
  • Sitka spruce back
  • 2.2 pounds
  • Built in tuner
  • Sunburst coloring
  • Shadow’s Nanomag neck
  • Nanoflex bridge pickups
  • eSonic-2 stereo preamp

What We Liked

The Epiphone DR-500MCE has some amazing specifications. Let’s take a deeper look at our favorite features.

Design

I love the look of this guitar. It really looks vintage and comes in at a price that you won’t believe. I like the size and quality of its shape. It has a slimmer design which is nice for a more petite person.

Sound

The sound quality is excellent on this bad boy. It really sounds like it has been played and played right out of the box. There isn’t that tight tin noise that can come from a cheaper or newer guitar.

Electronics

The electronics on this guitar are far greater than expected. They have a built-in tuner that is extremely accurate, thank goodness. Its other electronic features are rated for a way more expensive guitar at a fraction of the cost. Thank you, Epiphone!

What We Didn’t Like

There were only a few things I didn’t like about the Epiphone DR-500 MCE. I think that if you aren’t looking to play professionally or for groups of people, you don’t need to worry about them. However, still look at these faults over.

Pickup Quality

There seem to be some issues with the quality of the electric pickups. Now, I think that may vary user to user, but if you are using this to play professionally, that can be quite irritating.

Static Noise

Again, if you aren’t planning on plugging in your guitar, don’t worry about it. However, if you are, the static noise that seems to emit from the guitar is really annoying. I don’t think it’s the case with every guitar so it could be an issue that was resolved.

Rough Saddle

I think at the price you are paying there are going to be some faults. However, I don’t like that the saddle is rough. You can certainly replace it but it’s going to cost you some more money. That defeats the purpose of buying on a budget.

The Verdict

The Epiphone DR-500 MCE is a great acoustic/electric guitar. It’s got style, the sound you want, and comes in at a great price. The drawbacks are few and far between. If you aren’t going to play professionally, this is an excellent pick.

6. Yamaha A Series A3M

Yes, we chose another Yamaha model. The A series A3M has a rich and full sound at a fraction of the price of a spendy axe. IT has some beautiful design features and is made for the road. You can play this bad boy anywhere.

Specifications

  • Comes with soft case
  • Solid Sitka spruce top
  • Can choose from Rosewood or Mahogany sides and back
  • Dreadnought cutaway design
  • Elixir NANOWEB 80/20 Bronze Light strings
  • 6.8 pounds
  • Acoustic/Electric

What We Liked

I really liked the Yamaha A-Series A3M for a variety of reasons. It’s built for someone that is going to take it on the road. That’s a pretty steep bill to manage while keeping the price tag low, but Yamaha came through.

Bright Sound

The sound on the A3M is bright but it also has such rich and earthy undertones to it. I know I’ve brought this up before, but it really does sound like you’ve been playing it for a few years. That kind of worn-in sound is not usually possible with an inexpensive acoustic, but Yamaha managed to pull it off.

Road Ready

If you are planning on playing publicly or going on tour, this guy is ready for the task. Great durability, gorgeous harmony sound, and its soft case will have you rocking and rolling without a second thought. The fact that it’s acoustic/electric doesn’t hurt either.

Quality Craftsmanship

Yamaha knows what they are doing with instruments. You would be hard pressed to find one that is terrible. I like that you can trust the brand and the model of this guitar. You don’t need to worry about it breaking down after a few years. It’s going to last you a good long while.

What We Didn’t Like

Yet another instance where it’s hard to find anything wrong with this thing. The negative comments I did find where very sporadic and seemed to be isolated cases. Let’s take a look just in case you have an issue.

High Notes

Some of the users have complained that the high notes, the really really high notes, sound kind of tinny. Now, I haven’t heard this across the board and found very little evidence to prove that this was a global issue. However, it’s worth noting in case you end up feeling the same way.

Possible Buzzing With Electric

When using it as an electric guitar, there’s been some complaint by users of a slight buzz. While some buzz is pretty normal for this price range, I’m sure it can be frustrating if you purchased this guitar for performance.

The Verdict

The Yamaha A- Series A3M Yamaha A- Series A3M is an excellent choice for performers and road warriors. It’s got style and grace that you won’t believe for this price tag. I would highly recommend for any guitar player who wants a Yamaha with added versatility.

Final Thoughts

The best acoustic guitars don’t have to cost a fortune. If I had to pick one for under $1,000, I’d pick the Seagull Artist Mosaic. It just oozes quality, a warm rich sound, and a beautiful design all packaged in right under $1,000. However, if you are really a starving artist, you might want to opt for the Yamaha FG850.

You don’t have to buy a crappy guitar that doesn’t suit your needs just because you are on a limited budget. These guitars are beautiful, have great sound quality, and won’t empty your piggy bank out.

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Best Acoustic Guitars Under $1000
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