Want create site? Find Free WordPress Themes and plugins.

7 Best Affordable Acoustic Guitars (Under $200) – 2019 Update

by | Guitars | 5 comments

Whether you’re a beginner looking for your first acoustic guitar or you’re just looking for an inexpensive guitar,  the best affordable acoustic guitars will give you excellent sound quality with easy playability, all at an affordable price.

While acoustic guitars can run from $50 up to many thousands of dollars, finding a quality instrument under $200 isn’t difficult. It just takes a little knowledge of what to look for, which you’re going to learn here.

Update Notes: 

This article was updated on September 3, 2019. 

I replaced the Fender FA-125 with the Fender CD-60S, and added the Fender FA-115.  

First off, instruments under $100 are usually not worth the money.  It’s difficult for a manufacturer to make a quality guitar under $100 without using inferior woods and less than ideal construction materials. 

However, I did find one – the Jasmine S35 reviewed below – that was an excellent acoustic guitar under $100.  It’s my top pick if your budget is very tight.

But overall, it won’t do you any good to bargain shop the cheapest guitars because a poorly-made guitar that’s not set up correctly will frustrate any effort you make to practice and learn.

Instead, what you want to do is find a quality guitar at an affordable price that won’t work against you when you’re just starting to play.

The good news is that a great sounding acoustic guitar doesn’t have to be expensive either. You can find quite a few nice-sounding guitars in the $100 to $200 price range with quality wood, parts, materials, and construction, and a finish that won’t wear unevenly over time.

You’ll get tuners that will stay in tune without slipping so you can spend more time playing than trying to keep the guitar in tune. 

Just know that you won’t find a good quality electric-acoustic guitar (with a built-in pickup) at this price point, but you can add a pickup later at a very affordable price.

To help you on your guitar journey, I’ve put together reviews of the seven best affordable acoustic guitars under $200 that fulfill all the above criteria.   

NOTE: If you’re new to buying acoustic guitars, please first check out the How To Choose An Acoustic Guitar section after the reviews.

Let’s move on to the reviews of the best affordable acoustic guitars under $200!

Best Acoustic Guitars For Beginners (Under $200)

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Best Affordable Acoustic Guitars (Under $200) Reviews

Fender FA-100 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar - Natural Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Strings, Strap, and Picks

The first guitar on the list is the Fender FA-100.  While Fender is most widely known as the manufacturer of the famous Stratocaster and Telecaster electric guitars, it’s also a leading maker of acoustic guitars.

The FA-100 is a full-sized dreadnought acoustic guitar that’s a top pick for those looking for a great beginner instrument.

It features a beautiful blonde color top wood with darker sides and back and a classic black pickguard. It’s also available in all black.

Construction

The top wood is a spruce laminate, which is a typical wood for lower cost acoustics.

Its body is made of basswood, and the fretboard is rosewood. The fretboard has silver frets and mother of pearl-like fret markers, and the neck features the distinctive Fender headstock shape.

The FA-100’s X-bracing gives stability to the guitar’s ability to withstand the tension produced by the strings. Its neck includes a truss rod for minor adjustments for buzzing or intonation, and it comes with a wrench designed for these adjustments.

The FA-100 has quality die-cast chrome sealed tuners that are quite good for a guitar in this price range.  Users find that it holds its tune very well.

Playability

Uncommon for inexpensive guitars, the FA-100 comes set up nicely and ready to play out of the box.

The action is set at a proper height, and most users find no issues with intonation.  As I mentioned earlier, lower-end guitars frequently have very high action that makes them challenging to play.

How Does It Sound?

The FA-100 probably won’t win any accolades for being a fantastic sounding guitar, but in this price range it’s a very nice sounding guitar. It delivers the bright, clear sound associated with Fender guitars.

The video below is a short demo of the guitar. Its tone is a little thin, but overall it’s good for a guitar well under $200.

Fender FA-100 Acoustic Guitar

Overall

The Fender FA-100 is an excellent guitar for anyone just beginning to play or looking for a perfect “beater” guitar.  Many users find that it’s one of their favorite instruments, even if they own other more expensive guitars.

It’s set up well right out of the box and is easy to play.  While its tone and sound won’t win any awards, it’s a solid choice for beginners.

The FA-100 comes with Fender’s limited lifetime warranty.

PROS

  • Good sounding entry-level Fender product
  • Excellent value Acoustic Pack available with gig bag, strings, clip-on tuner, strap, picks and instructional DVD available
S

CONS

  • Some users found issues with defective bridge saddles, but this has not been a widespread complaint

Fender FA-100 Acoustic Guitar Bundle

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Fender FA-115 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar - Natural Bundle with Fender Play Online Lessons, Gig Bag, Tuner, Strings, Strap, Picks, and Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD

The Fender FA-115 is an upgrade from the FA-100.  The main difference is that the FA-115 has a solid spruce top, while the FA-100 has a laminate top.

Solid wood tops provide better sound quality as well as better structural integrity than laminate tops.  In the following video, you can hear the FA-115 has a crisper brighter tone.

Fender FA-115 acoustic guitar

Fender FA-115 Acoustic Guitar Bundle

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Fender CD-60S Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar - Natural Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Strap, Strings, Picks, Fender Play Online Lessons, and Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD

The Fender CD-60S is another entry-level guitar that’s geared towards beginning guitarists.  It’s a very affordable dreadnought acoustic that’s become very popular due to its deep rich tone and excellent playability right from the box.

The CD-60S is an upgrade from the highly regarded CD-60 that has thousands of happy users worldwide.

The new CD-60S features a solid spruce top with scalloped X-bracing for high-quality durability and tone. It also features mahogany back and sides, and a mahogany neck.

An “Easy To Play” mahogany neck with rolled fingerboard edges creates a very easy to play guitar; your left hand passes smoothly over the neck for comfortable playability.

This combination of spruce and mahogany is a favorite among guitar luthiers, as it creates a balanced sound between brightness and warmth.

The guitar comes from the factory with low action without buzzes, and intonation is excellent all up the neck.

How Does It Sound?

The following demo demonstrates the CD-60S’ nice tone. It’s clear and bright, and a step above the sound of the FA-100 or FA-115.

Fender CD-60S Dreadnought Acoustic

Overall

For slightly more than the FA-100 bundle, you can get a similar bundle with the CD-60S.

The CD-60S comes with Fender’s limited lifetime warranty.

PROS

  • Excellent sound quality for a guitar in this price range
  • Solid spruce top
  • Bundle available with gig bag, clip-on tuner, strap, strings, picks, Fender online guitar lessons, and instructional DVD
S

CONS

  • None

Fender CD-60S Acoustic Guitar Bundle

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Yamaha FG800/ FS800 Acoustic Guitar - Best Acoustic Guitars For Beginners (Under $200)

First introduced in 1966, the Yamaha FG series of guitars have been a resounding success.

The FG series includes the best-selling acoustic guitar of all time, the FG-700S (sadly, now discontinued).  With over 30 different models available in the FG series, there’s a guitar for every player level and price point.

This review is going to focus on the very affordable FG800 and FS800 models which were introduced in 2016.  They are the successors to the FG-700S.

The two models are virtually identical except that the FS800 is a smaller concert size version of the larger dreadnaught FG800.  I review the FG800, but the same info applies to the FS800.

Construction

Unusual for a low-priced guitar, the FG800 features a solid wood Sitka spruce top.  It also features lightweight nato (eastern mahogany) back & sides and a rosewood fretboard and bridge.

The neck is also made of nato and has a satin finish to provide smooth playability.

The FG800 includes Yamaha’s newly developed scalloped bracing utilizing their latest cutting-edge acoustic analysis technology. The result is a loud, punchy sound with strong mids and lows that project well.

The guitar also features Yamaha’s trademark ultra-thin glossy finish that protects the wood without interfering with string vibrations.  The result is brighter, more vibrant tone.

The tuners are quality die-cast tuners found on all of the FG series guitars, and the pickguard has a classic tortoise pattern.

Playability

The FG800 comes well set up from the factory.  Overall, the action, intonation, and playability are excellent, which is a plus for entry-level guitarists.

How Does It Sound?

The FG800 delivers a warm, well-balanced tone that’s surprising for a guitar that retails for less than $200.  It has a deeper richer sound than the Fender CD-60S which is brighter.

Yamaha FG800 Acoustic Guitar

Fender CD-60S vs Yamaha FG800 Comparison

Overall

For more than 50 years, the Yamaha FG series acoustic guitars have been mainstays for guitarists all over the world.  The new FG800 and FS800 models live up to their heritage with solid construction and expressive tone for a very low price.

Plus, the FG800 is available in 11 different colors and wood choices that include flamed maple, nato, mahogany, and rosewood. (But some of these options will push the price above the $200 point).

PROS

  • Solid wood top
  • Unique Yamaha-developed bracing for natural sound
  • Different colors and woods are available
S

CONS

  • Case sold separately

Yamaha FG800 Acoustic Guitar

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Yamaha FG800 Acoustic Guitar Bundle 

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Yamaha FS800 Acoustic Guitar

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Epiphone DR-100 Acoustic Guitar - Best Acoustic Guitars For Beginners (Under $200)

Though not as widely known as other guitar makers, Epiphone has been making musical instruments since 1873.

Epiphone guitars have been a part of the history of blues, jazz, R&B, and rock since the early 1920s.  They are especially known for their iconic archtop guitars.

As part of its storied history Les Paul, guitar legend and inventor of the famed Gibson Les Paul guitar, learned his craft by working in an Epiphone factory in New York City.

Epiphone was purchased by Gibson in the 1950s but continues to produce its products in its own factories here in the U.S.

Epiphone DR-100 Acoustic Guitar

The DR-100 is Epiphone’s best-selling acoustic guitar. It’s a full-size dreadnought acoustic that has found a home with beginners and professional players alike.  Over the years it has become a go-to guitar for rock, folk, bluegrass and other styles.

The guitar is available with a few different finishes/colors –  vintage starburst, natural blonde wood, and black.

Construction

Part of the reason the DR-100 sounds so good it that it features a solid wood spruce top.  It also has a mahogany body and rosewood fingerboard.

The neck is made of okoume, an African hardwood similar in tone to mahogany.  It’s designed with Epiphone’s famed SlimTaper profile for smooth playing as you move up and down the neck.  The neck also features pearloid dot fret markers.

Other visual features are the classic Epiphone style headstock and the vintage black pickguard with a stylized E printed in white.

The DR-100 features quality premium nickel tuners that hold each string’s tuning well without slippage.

Playability

The DR-100 comes out of the box with good action and accurate intonation.  It’s a nice guitar to play!

How Does It Sound?

Many users complain that $100 guitars sound tinny and boxy.  However, the DR-100 sounds like a guitar that costs 2-3x its price.

For an under $200 guitar, this guitar delivers a nice tone with clarity and depth.  It has a rich mid-range tone that will get better with age and the more it’s played.

Epiphone DR-100 Acoustic Guitar

I like the tone of the Fender DR-100 and DR-125 guitars better than the DR-100, but they are more expensive guitars.

Overall

Epiphone’s DR-100 dreadnought is a great entry-level guitar that has received many 5-star reviews for its sound and playability.  This guitar is hard to beat if you are looking for a guitar that retails around $125!

PROS

  • Solid wood spruce top
  • The tone is well-balanced and projects nicely with good volume
S

CONS

  • Case sold separately

Epiphone DR-100 Acoustic Guitar

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

 

Jasmine S35 Acoustic Guitar, Natural - Accessories bundle

Jasmine is a lesser-known guitar maker, but they produce quality instruments that have found homes with both amateur and professional musicians alike.

The Jasmine S35 is an entry-level dreadnought style guitar that has received many 5-star reviews not only for its construction but its beautiful sound.  Priced under $100, it is an exceptional value.

Construction

The S35 has a laminate spruce top supported by Jasmine’s trademark Advanced X-bracing.  Jasmine claims their bracing technique not only strengthens the guitar’s construction but markedly improves its sound quality.

The back and sides are made of lightweight agathis wood (similar in sound to mahogany) which reduces weight without sacrificing sound quality.

The neck is made of nato wood.  Its slim tapered design makes it a more comfortable choice for beginners and players of smaller stature. The fretboard is constructed of rosewood.

The headstock features the traditional Jasmine curved shape with chrome overlay tuners.

The S35 does have strap pegs, but the upper peg us actually under the neck instead of above. This arrangement may seem strange at first, but it does offer good positioning once you get used to it.

The guitar comes with a natural satin finish that protects the guitar without coming off as too shiny.   One benefit of a satin finish is that it won’t show dings and scratches as much as high gloss finishes.

Playability

Some users have noted that their S35 came with pretty high action. But for around $20-$30, you can have it set up correctly at a guitar store. With a proper setup, the guitar has the potential to play like a much more expensive guitar.

How Does It Sound?

Being a dreadnought, the guitar produces a full sound that’s won many admirers. For a $100 guitar, it has surprisingly rich tone.

Jasmine S35 Acoustic Guitar

Overall

The S35 makes a great entry-level instrument or an “around the house” guitar that delivers much more value than the $100 price tag.

AND, there are three things you can do to make this guitar a real winner!

First, have a guitar tech set up the guitar’s action and intonation.

Second, replace the strings it comes with a set of high-quality strings like the Elixir Nanoweb HD Light or Martin SP Lifespan strings.

Third, replace the saddle with a compensated TUSQ saddle that will significantly improve the guitar’s tone and projection.  You can get this done in any guitar store quite inexpensively.

If you don’t mind spending a little more after buying the guitar for a professional setup, new saddle, and new strings, you will find your guitar sounds and plays like a much more expensive guitar. 

Highly recommended at under $100, or around $175-$200 with the setup, new saddle, and new strings.

PROS

  • Nice tone and quality for the price
  • Potential to be an excellent guitar with a little work
S

CONS

  • Factory setup may be less than ideal so adjustments may be necessary
  • Included strings are not the best quality and should be replaced

Jasmine S35 Acoustic Guitar Bundle

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

 

Ibanez IJVC50 JamPack 6-String Acoustic Guitar Pack Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Stand, Strap, Pics and Extra Strings (3 Items)

Ibanez is a well-known maker of musical instruments and accessories for more than 100 years.  Though they are better known for their electric guitars and basses, they also produce a well-regarded line of acoustic guitars.

The JV50 is an entry-level dreadnought acoustic guitar that comes packaged into an IJV50 JamPack bundle.   The IJV50 Jampack is designed for beginning players who want a complete package of everything they need – the JV50 guitar, chromatic clip-on tuner, gig bag, strap, stand, pics, and extra strings – all at a very affordable price.

Construction

The JV50 guitar comes with a spruce laminate top wood, agathis back and sides, and a rosewood fretboard.

Ibanez includes their proprietary Advantage™ bridge pins which make changing strings easier and faster than standard pins.

The JV50 has a natural high gloss finish on the body that looks great while protecting the wood from minor dings and scratches.

Playability

The guitar comes from the factory with the action set correctly.  The tuners are good quality and hold tuning well, something a beginner should not be worrying about when just starting to learn how to play.

How Does It Sound?

The JV50 has a well-balanced tone, though a little thin on the bass.  It’s another guitar in this price range that sounds surprisingly good!

Ibanez JV50 Acoustic Guitar/ IJV50 Jampack

Checking dozens of reviews, most purchasers are very pleased with this guitar.  Spruce ages well and the tone of the guitar should evolve nicely over time.

Overall

The IJV50 Jampack is a perfect package for anyone who wants to learn guitar, or even for more experienced players who want a good sounding guitar to just jam on around the house.  The Jampack includes the JV50 guitar plus a chromatic clip-on tuner, gig bag, strap, stand, pics, and extra strings.   It’s an excellent package at a very affordable price.   That’s hard to beat!

PROS

  • Nice-sounding guitar for the money
  • Jampack includes all essential items making this an excellent value for beginners
S

CONS

  • None

Ibanez IJV50 Jampack

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Washburn Harvest Series WG7S Acoustic Guitar - Best Acoustic Guitars For Beginners (Under $200)

Washburn has been making guitars, mandolins, and ukuleles going back to the late 1800s.   They are known for quality instruments that have played a part in the history of music over the last 130 years!

Washburn’s Harvest series guitars are made in the USA which gives them a higher level of craftsmanship than those made in China or other parts of Asia.

The WG7S is a full-size grand auditorium style guitar with a larger lower body (bout) than a dreadnought guitar.  As a larger guitar, it produces a warm, full tone with plenty of bottom end, something not usually found in under $200 guitars.

Construction

The WG7S has a solid-wood spruce top which is a step above a laminate top.  Spruce is a preferred wood for guitar tops as it allows the sound of the guitar to evolve as the wood ages naturally.

The internal bracing is quartersawn scalloped Sitka spruce. The bracing supports the guitar’s structure while enhancing its tonal qualities.

The back and sides are mahogany, and the 20-fret fretboard and bridge are rosewood.

On the visual side, it’s a very attractive guitar with its custom wood inlay rosette and wood edge bindings.

How Does It Sound?

The WD7S has a tonal quality similar to a Martin but at a fraction of the price.

It projects very well, but when played softly, it mellows out and has a beautiful warm tone.

Washburn Harvest Series WG7S Acoustic Guitar

Overall

The Washburn WD7S is made in America, making it one of the few under $200 guitars not outsourced to other countries to save on costs.

Overall, it’s an excellent choice from the iconic Washburn brand that produces quality acoustic guitars without sacrificing some of the features of higher-end guitars such as solid wood tops and inlay work.

PROS

  • Nice tone and projection
  • Solid spruce top wood
  • Made in the USA
S

CONS

  • Case sold separately

Washburn Harvest Series WG7S Acoustic Guitar

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

 

How To Choose An Acoustic Guitar Buyers Guide

There are three main things to consider when choosing an acoustic guitar:

  • Body Style & Size
  • Sound Quality & Woods
  • Playability

Body Style & Size

Acoustic guitars come in a variety of body styles and sizes.  The most common styles are Concert, Auditorium, Dreadnought, and Jumbo. These are all full-size guitars.

Concert guitars are mid-size acoustic guitars known for their bright, punchy sound.  They are perfect for players with small hands and are comfortable to play for almost all players.

Concert size acoustic guitar

Auditorium guitars are also mid-sized guitars but are a little larger than concerts. Auditoriums are louder than concerts and usually have a well-balanced tone between the lows, mids, and highs.

Auditorium style acoustic guitar

Dreadnought guitars are the most popular type of acoustic guitars.  They have a larger soundboard than concerts or auditoriums, so they are louder and project very well.  They are suitable for all styles of music.

dreadnaught style acoustic guitar

Jumbo guitars are the largest guitar models and produce a big full sound.  But unless you have very large hands, you will likely find a jumbo guitar too large to play comfortably.

Jumbo acoustic guitar

3/4 size guitars are just that – ¾ of the size of full-size acoustic guitars.  These guitars are perfect for children and those with small hands.

Comfort Matters!

When choosing an acoustic guitar, be sure to look for one that’s comfortable for you to play. 

Even if you plan to purchase an acoustic guitar online to get the best price, go to your local music store to try out a few guitars.  You want to get an idea of what body style and size is most comfortable for you.

Necks come in different widths as well, so holding the guitar is crucial to deciding the style that fits you best. If you can comfortably get your hand around the neck and the strings aren’t spaced too close together for your fingers, then you’ve probably found the right size.

Sound Quality & Woods

Once you’ve determined the size of the guitar, next up is its sound quality.  You want a guitar that has a warm, full, well-balanced tone. 

Check out a variety of guitars in a music store, or check out videos on YouTube. Have someone play various guitars while you listen a few feet in front of the guitar. 

Note the overall sound quality.  Does it sound full and well-balanced?  Or is its tone tubby and muddy? 

What makes one guitar sound better than another comes down to the woods and other materials used in the guitar, its design and construction, and the quality of its components like tuning gears, frets, bridge, etc.

The types of woods used are a significant component of the guitar’s tone and overall sound, with the wood used for the guitar’s top being the most important.  You can read more about the different kinds of woods used in acoustic guitars guitars here.

Guitars in the $100 to $200 range are usually constructed of laminate top woods – thin pieces of inexpensive wood glued together.  There’s nothing wrong with laminate wood, especially at this price point, but know that solid wood tends to give a richer and more balanced tone and evolve in tonal complexity as the wood matures and ages.

Some of the guitars I review below have solid wood tops, which makes them stand out from the crowd!

Playability

If the guitar is not set up correctly, it will be difficult to play, and you may end up losing interest in playing the guitar.

Unfortunately, inexpensive guitars frequently come from the factory not set up correctly.  But the good news is that getting the guitar setup is not difficult.  If you’re handy, you can do it yourself or can have it done inexpensively by any reputable guitar shop.

The two most important things to check out are the guitar’s action and intonation.

Action

The guitar’s action refers to the distance between the strings and the fretboard.

If there’s a large gap between the strings and fretboard,  then the action is set too high.  You won’t be able to play notes or chords easily without having to press down very hard.

It’s normal for your fingers to be a little sore in the beginning, but if the action is too high, the guitar will be challenging to play even for pros.

If the action is set too low, then you’ll hear buzzes when playing notes.  A tiny bit of buzz on strings can be OK, but loud buzzes or “dead” notes indicate issues that need to be investigated further by a guitar tech.

How To Check The Guitar’s Action

To check the action, start by playing different notes up and down the neck. 

There should not be any loud buzzes which indicate that the action is set too low.  Lots of buzzes across the neck can point to issues with a bowed or warped neck.  Proceed with caution!

The good news is that if you find a guitar you like, but the action is not set up correctly, in most cases it’s easily adjusted by a guitar tech. 

The Quarter Test

Here’s another quick test: Slide a quarter under the high E string at the 12th fret.  The quarter should be snug and not fall out.

Then slide it under the low E string at the 12th fret.  The quarter should be snug but able to move a little bit.

If the quarter falls out freely, then the action needs to be adjusted.

How To Check The Intonation

The second thing to consider is intonation. Intonation is the guitar’s ability to remain in tune up and down the fretboard.

A quick way to check intonation is to play an open E major chord and then play an E major barre chord at the 12th fret. All six notes of the chord should sound in tune.

If the chord is out of tune, this indicates a warped or bowed neck, which is usually fixable by adjusting the truss rod.  An experienced guitar tech can adjust this very quickly or can tell you if the guitar has more serious problems.

Final Thoughts

All the guitars I’ve reviewed are perfect for beginners and are an excellent value for the money.   The guitars all have nice tone and are easy to play.

Quality guitars like these top picks will encourage your efforts to practice and learn the instrument.  I highly recommend getting the best guitar you can within your budget, even if you have to stretch it to the top of your range.  It’s worth it!

Happy guitar playing!

Have you decided on your first guitar? Let me know in the comments below which one you chose, or if you’re a seasoned player, what was your first guitar?

Did you find apk for android? You can find new Free Android Games and apps.