The Best Acoustic Guitars in 2021

What Is the Best Acoustic Guitar?

Experienced acoustic players could easily spend hours debating this question and comparing their favorite models on a point-by-point basis. If you’d rather have a simple, straightforward answer, though, this guide is for you. We’ve put together a comprehensive buyer’s guide and reviews of 26 of the best acoustic guitars on the market today to help you pick the perfect one for you.
Article Overview

The Best Acoustic Guitars

4.6/5

A superior instrument for advanced and professional players

Neck & Body

5/5

Components

4/5

Sound

5/5

Finish

5/5

Durability

5/5

Value

4/5

Easily one of the best high-end acoustic guitars, the Martin D-28 features a Sitka spruce top with rosewood back and sides for a powerful yet balanced tone. In the Modern Deluxe version of this model, you’ll also find a premium carbon fiber bridge plate meant to increase the guitar’s projection.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

4/5

Premium features and components for an occasional guitar

Neck & Body

4/5

Components

4/5

Sound

4/5

Finish

5/5

Durability

4/5

Value

3/5

The unique combination of a cedar top with sapele back and sides gives the P3DC-12 from Takamine a reasonably balanced though slightly thin tone. This instrument’s standout feature is its 12-string configuration, giving it a natural chorus effect.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

4.6/5

Probably the best value in premium classical guitars

Neck & Body

5/5

Components

5/5

Sound

4/5

Finish

5/5

Durability

4/5

Value

5/5

This classical guitar is made from all solid wood for optimal tone and features a Fishman electronics system. With its spruce top, rosewood back and sides, and mahogany neck, expect a tight tone focused on the bass and midrange from this exceptional guitar.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

3.8/5

Good intermediate guitar featuring high-quality construction

Neck & Body

4/5

Components

4/5

Sound

4/5

Finish

4/5

Durability

4/5

Value

3/5

A Spruce top and Sapele body combine to give the Taylor 12e-N a generally crisp tone with a touch of midrange punch. This classical nylon string guitar also includes Taylor’s own pickup and 2-band EQ system, making it a good choice for live performances.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

4/5

Good intermediate guitar featuring high-quality construction

Neck & Body

3/5

Components

5/5

Sound

5/5

Finish

3/5

Durability

4/5

Value

4/5

The Gretsch G9220 resonator style guitar combines vintage design and all mahogany construction to recreate the tones of old-time blues. The hand-spun resonator coil and onboard Fishman electronics give players plenty of versatility for live performances.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

3.6/5

Great strumming guitar that plays easily and comfortably

Neck & Body

4/5

Components

4/5

Sound

4/5

Finish

3/5

Durability

4/5

Value

3/5

The Breedlove Solo Concert features a cedar top with ovangkol back and sides, giving it a rich and articulate sound that’s quite nice for strumming. A single cutaway in the body also improves upper fret access and makes for easier playing

What We Like

What We Don't Like

3.5/5

Nice guitar for both quiet practice and live performances

Neck & Body

4/5

Components

5/5

Sound

4/5

Finish

3/5

Durability

2/5

Value

3/5

The Yamaha SLG200S is extremely unique in that it is an acoustic guitar that’s meant to be nearly silent. This all-mahogany guitar is designed for silent practice, but it can also be plugged into an amplifier thanks to its Yamaha SRT pickup system.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

4.3/5

A tough, versatile guitar for the musician on the road

Neck & Body

4/5

Components

4/5

Sound

4/5

Finish

4/5

Durability

5/5

Value

5/5

Made from all solid mahogany, the Martin 000-15M offers exceptional tonal quality and good value for intermediate and advanced players. The auditorium body shape makes this guitar very comfortable to play.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

4.2/5

Excellent intermediate guitar with clear, vibrant tone

Neck & Body

4/5

Components

4/5

Sound

5/5

Finish

5/5

Durability

3/5

Value

4/5




A Sitka spruce top, Sapele neck, and Koa body give this grand auditorium guitar from Taylor a full, rich, and nicely balanced tone. Exceptional attention is paid to intonation and overall construction quality. A single cutaway also makes for easy, comfortable upper fret access.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

4.5/5

Incredible value for a solid wood guitar with great tone

Neck & Body

5/5

Components

5/5

Sound

4/5

Finish

4/5

Durability

4/5

Value

5/5




The Guild Nat Westerly F-150CE uses a classic combination of a Sitka spruce top with rosewood back and sides and a mahogany neck. What makes this guitar special, though, is the fact that all of its body woods are solid, rather than layered or laminate. The jumbo body shape also offers excellent volume and projection.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

4.2/5

Looks made for beginners, but this guitar means business

Neck & Body

4/5

Components

3/5

Sound

5/5

Finish

5/5

Durability

4/5

Value

4/5


Martin is well-known for making great acoustic guitars, and this reputation holds true in its Little Martin travel guitar. The sitka spruce top with laminate back and sides gives this guitar a balanced yet fairly powerful tone, especially considering its size. Meanwhile, the small body shape makes this guitar both comfortable and portable.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

4.33/5

A versatile guitar with great tone and exceptional value

Neck & Body

4/5

Components

5/5

Sound

4/5

Finish

5/5

Durability

3/5

Value

5/5


The Epiphone EL-00 Pro combines a solid spruce top with mahogany back, sides and neck to deliver a classic yet very versatile tone with a nice amount of midrange punch. Despite a very reasonable price point, the EL-00 Pro also features a Fishman pickup and preamp.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

4.5/5

A unique guitar that offers an unmatched tonal variety

Neck & Body

4/5

Components

5/5

Sound

5/5

Finish

5/5

Durability

3/5

Value

5/5

Fender Acoustasonic SunburstThe Fender Acoustasonic Telecaster is a thin-bodied electroacoustic constructed using a spruce top with mahogany back, sides and neck. This unique guitar features a Fishman-designed Acoustic Engine system powered by a noiseless single-coil pickup near the guitar’s bridge. Using this system, players can select from and blend the sounds of 10 different tonewoods and body styles commonly used in acoustic guitars.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

3.6/5

Remarkable, versatile, and affordable tenor guitar for a vintage vibe

Neck & Body

4/5

Components

3/5

Sound

4/5

Finish

3/5

Durability

3/5

Value

5/5

Although this guitar uses a classic spruce top and mahogany body wood combination, the PFT2NT from Ibanez stands out due to its tenor configuration. A 4-stringed instrument that doesn’t see much use in modern popular music, tenor guitars like this Ibanez model have been staples in bluegrass and old-time country for nearly a century.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

3.6/5

A good baritone that's accessible to the average player

Neck & Body

4/5

Components

3/5

Sound

4/5

Finish

3/5

Durability

4/5

Value

4/5

Alvarez ALVABT60E Baritone GuitarThe ABT60E baritone guitar from Alvarez features a longer scale length and allows for lower tuning that a traditional guitar. These instruments features a solid sitka top with mahogany body and neck. The guitar includes a piezoelectric pickup with built-in EQ and tuner.

3.5/5

Powerful tone, despite a small body and no electronics

Neck & Body

4/5

Components

3/5

Sound

4/5

Finish

4/5

Durability

3/5

Value

3/5


Despite its 3/4 size, the BT2’s combination of a solid mahogany top and Sapele body give it a big, bold tone. The lows and mids are strongest, but the high end is surprisingly quite rich and can take on a shimmery, bell-like tone.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

3/5

A decent, budget-friendly 1/2 guitar for beginners

Neck & Body

2/5

Components

3/5

Sound

3/5

Finish

3/5

Durability

3/5

Value

4/5


A budget-friendly, 1/2 sized classical guitar, the Yamaha CGS201A uses a spruce top to provide decent tone over its inexpensive meranti body. This guitar is small, comfortable and affordable, making it great for new classical guitar players.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

4.5/5

Exceptional classical guitar for intermediate or advanced players

Neck & Body

4/5

Components

4/5

Sound

5/5

Finish

5/5

Durability

5/5

Value

4/5

Occupying the upper end of classical parlor guitars, the Cordoba C9 features a cedar top with a mahogany body and neck. This combination allows the natural bite of cedar to be balanced off by mahogany’s warm, rich tone. The parlor sizing of this guitar also makes it quite comfortable to play.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

3/5

A decent guitar, but there are better for the price

Neck & Body

3/5

Components

3/5

Sound

4/5

Finish

3/5

Durability

3/5

Value

2/5
With a spruce top, rosewood sides and mahogany back, the Yamaha FSX830C combines some of the best tonewoods available to produce a warm tone that’s focused in the lower and mid ranges, yet quite crisp in the highs.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

4.2/5

A great guitar for left-handed players of all levels

Neck & Body

4/5

Components

4/5

Sound

5/5

Finish

5/5

Durability

3/5

Value

5/5


If you’re looking for a great left-handed guitar, the southpaw version of the Taylor 214CE is a great option. With all of the same great features that make the regular 214CE so highly rated, this guitar is hard to beat.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

3/5

A great guitar for left-handed players of all levels

Neck & Body

2/5

Components

3/5

Sound

3/5

Finish

3/5

Durability

3/5

Value

4/5
Yamaha JR2 Tobacco Sunburst With a spruce top and mahogany-veneered body, the JR2 model from Yamaha is a great learning guitar for kids. This instrument’s 3/4 sizing makes it nice for smaller players, and its budget-friendliness will pleasantly surprise parents.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

4/5

Rich tone and quality construction in an affordable package

Neck & Body

4/5

Components

3/5

Sound

4/5

Finish

4/5

Durability

4/5

Value

4/5

Designed as a beginner-friendly dreadnought, the CD-60S from Fender is an all-mahogany guitar that is warm, rich, and punchy in the tone department. This guitar also features scalloped X bracing for greater responsiveness, a rarity among budget-range guitars.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

3.5/5

Rich tone and good construction in nicer intermediate guitar

Neck & Body

4/5

Components

3/5

Sound

3/5

Finish

4/5

Durability

3/5

Value

4/5

Taylor Big Baby Acoustic Guitar

While the sitka spruce top on the Taylor Big Baby is fairly standard, this guitar is set apart by its use of layered walnut for the body. This wood choice gives the guitar balanced warmth and a bit of bite at the same time. With a slightly shallower body than most, the Big Baby is also comfortable to play and great for traveling.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

3.5/5

Versatile, rich and well-constructed guitar with a slim neck

Neck & Body

4/5

Components

4/5

Sound

3.8/5

Finish

4/5

Durability

3/5

Value

4/5

Breedlove Discovery Concert Sitka MahoganyThe Breedlove Discovery Concert uses the solid Sitka top and mahogany body found on many other acoustic guitars. What really sets it apart, though, is its slim-profile neck. Breedlove’s necks are specially designed to be thin and comfortable, making these guitars an ideal choice for players with smaller hands.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

3.2/5

A starter instrument for the very youngest players

Neck & Body

3/5

Components

3/5

Sound

2/5

Finish

4/5

Durability

2/5

Value

3/5
Loog Pro Acoustic Guitar for Kids and BeginnersIf you have a young child who wants to learn guitar, the Loog Pro may be the right model for your needs. This simple, 3-string guitar is made specifically for beginner players to learn on so that they can eventually progress up to 6-string guitars.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

4.8/5

Top of the line guitar with premium tone and construction

Neck & Body

5/5

Components

5/5

Sound

5/5

Finish

5/5

Durability

5/5

Value

4/5

Martin D-18Last but certainly not least among our acoustic guitar reviews is the Martin D-18. This high-end dreadnought combines a solid sitka top with solid mahogany body. The result is a balanced tone that ranges from a powerful bass to clean, clear highs. This guitar is excellent for strumming, fingerstyle playing and especially for classic acoustic blues.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

Acoustic Guitar Buyer’s Guide – What to look for

Acoustic guitars differ from electric and electroacoustic guitars in that their sound is produced entirely without electronic amplification. Because of this, the sound of an acoustic guitar is natural and free from any kind of electronic distortion.

Acoustics feature widely in many traditional forms of music, including blues, jazz, country, classical, and even rock n roll. As a result, musicians focused on these genres are usually the ideal buyers for acoustic guitars. Beginner guitarists are also part of the target market for acoustic instruments, as they are easy to learn on and relatively inexpensive.

In addition to being better for specific genres, acoustic guitars may be better for outdoor performances. Since they don’t require amplifiers or effects rigs, acoustic guitars can be played anytime, anywhere. This versatility makes them popular among street musicians and amateurs who enjoy taking their music outside.

Purpose – How do you plan To use your new Acoustic Guitar?

Because there are so many acoustic guitars of varying quality levels on the market, it’s important to take your purpose in buying one into account.

A beginner looking for a guitar to learn on should be looking principally at value. At this stage, you don’t need a top-tier instrument, but you should be looking for something that offers reasonably good features and construction at a fairly low price point. For the intermediate player, value is still a consideration. At this level, though, you should be looking to spend a bit more money for premium components and higher-quality tonewoods. As an intermediate player, you need a guitar with superior tone and playability.

The requirements for a guitar intended for playing live shows are similar to those for a good intermediate guitar, but there are two extra considerations. First and foremost, the durability of the instrument becomes extremely important in a live performance context. Your instrument will be jostled and banged around on the road, so it’s important to invest in a model that will take some rough treatment.

You should also seriously consider buying an electroacoustic guitar for live playing since the ability to plug directly into an amplifier will make it much easier for your guitar to be heard in the mix. You can use a microphone to amplify a purely acoustic guitar, but direct amplification is usually more convenient. If you’re a session musician or plan to record, you need to invest in an instrument that will give you the best possible sound. In a recording context, tone is almost everything, since any imperfections in your guitar’s tone will show through in your tracks. Here, premium woods that improve the sound of the guitar are worth paying extra for. Unlike live performances, your guitar doesn’t have to have a pickup for recording, since microphones provide better sound quality in this context.

Your Budget

At different price points, you should expect to see different quality levels and features. Here’s a brief guide to what you should be looking for at different price levels:

  • Under $300: Beginner to intermediate instruments. It May have some premium features, but overall value-oriented
  • $300-$500: Most intermediate guitars. Better wood choices, sometimes including solid wood instead of laminates. Some higher-quality components and electronics
  • $500-$1,000: Quality increases dramatically over previous levels. Expect to see mostly solid woods and high-quality components. A significant step up in tone from the previous level
  • $1,000-$1,500: At this level, expect the best woods hand-selected for premium tone. Electroacoustic guitars in this range will feature the best electronics
  • $1,500-$2,000: Every element of the guitar is of the highest quality. Tone, intonation, and playability are essentially perfect.
  • $2,000+: In this range, you’ll see mostly handmade, specialty, and custom guitars. Some features may be a slight improvement on the previous level, but room for improvement is minimal at this level.

Comfort and Playability

A number of different factors impact how comfortable a guitar is to play. Perhaps the most significant of these factors is body size. Large acoustic guitar shapes, such as jumbos and grand auditoriums, may be a bit uncomfortable for smaller players. Parlor guitars and dreadnoughts are a bit easier to play thanks to their smaller profile.

Larger guitars also tend to have longer scale lengths that may be more difficult for players with small hands. Two aspects of neck construction, the shape and the width of the nut, also affect playability. Most acoustic guitars have V, U, or C-shaped necks. V-necks are an older style with a deep, thick middle that’s difficult to play with. U-shaped necks round off more gradually, allowing for easier fretting. C-shaped necks are thinner still and offer maximum playing comfort.

A wider nut requires you to stretch your left hand farther to access the lowermost strings but allows wider string spacing. Most acoustic guitars have nut widths in between 1-11/16 and 1-3/4 inches.

A guitar’s specific dimensions also impact comfort. Even among guitars of the same body shape, there can be quite a bit of variance between different models. Two key dimensions to look at are the body depth and the width. A deeper body will make the guitar take up more space under your arm and may be uncomfortable for some players. Meanwhile, a wider body can make a guitar awkward to play if you’re a smaller-sized player. If you’re a larger person, though, even a deep, wide guitar will likely feel comfortable to you.

Finally, two aspects of the fretboard play into the comfort of a guitar. These are the fretboard’s radius and the number of frets. Fretboard radius describes the curve of the fretboard itself. Flatter fretboards lend themselves to faster single-note playing, while more curved fretboards are more comfortable for playing complex chords. The number of frets is directly related to how large the frets are. The more frets are placed on a guitar with a given scale length, the smaller each fret must be. Smaller frets make it easy to run quick scales but are a bit more awkward for playing chord progressions.

Genre

Before buying, you also need to consider what genre you mostly plan to play.

For classic blues, consider a classic parlor acoustic made from a resonant wood like mahogany or rosewood. The same type of guitar can be used for some fingerpicking, though you may prefer a larger body style for better sound projection. If you’re a beginner at fingerpicking, you should also consider a guitar with a wider nut and more space in between strings, since this can make it easier to pick without accidentally catching other strings.

For folk and acoustic rock, consider a dreadnought or grand auditorium acoustic shape.

Mahogany and rosewood are still good wood choices, though a high-quality Sitka spruce top will lend a well-balanced sound that’s great for folk music. The best acoustic guitars for country music are usually larger shapes that feature walnut or maple tops for a warm sound and plenty of treble balance. This combination gives you a good projection and a classic, twangy country sound. Though the acoustic tone is a country staple, it’s also a good idea to get a guitar with an internal pickup for this genre. Electric amps and effects can add a lot to country music, so onboard electronics will give you more versatility as a player.

Body and Neck Construction

In addition to the shape of the neck and body, other aspects of their construction affect the price and quality of a guitar.

When selecting woods for the top, back and sides, you’ll have to decide between layered, laminate, and solid wood. Laminate is often a veneer of real wood over a core of Formica or even plastic resin, resulting in a dull tone but low cost. Layered wood consists of thin strips of real wood layered together, producing a much better sound. Solid wood is the best option, lending both deeper resonance and higher volume. Because solid wood is much more costly than layered wood, though, it may be worthwhile to sacrifice a bit of tonal quality for a more reasonable price tag.

The type of bracing that supports the top also affects the overall sound. The commonly used x-bracing contributes to the traditional acoustic sound that is widely associated with classical blues, country, folk, and acoustic rock. Ladder bracing, a style that was popular before x-bracing was invented, creates an old-school tone reminiscent of 1920s Mississippi delta-style blues. Fan bracing, used on classical nylon string guitars, offers responsiveness and makes it possible to get away with a thinner top. Scalloped bracing, a technique in which wood is removed from braces to lighten them, makes a guitar more responsive in the bass range. X-bracing can be found on guitars in all price ranges, but more specialized bracing styles usually increase the cost a bit.

A final consideration is whether the neck is glued or bolted onto an acoustic guitar. Bolted necks are typically much cheaper, but glued necks offer much more sustain. For beginners, an inexpensive bolted neck model will be fine. If you’re an intermediate or advanced player, though, you should be looking for a set neck acoustic.

Components

The biggest choice you’ll have to make concerning components is whether you want a guitar that’s purely acoustic or which features onboard electronics. As mentioned in the review of different buying purposes, this choice will largely depend on what you’re using the guitar for.

An acoustic-electric guitar can feature a passive pickup only, or be outfitted with other electronics. Instruments that come with only a pickup have limited tonal range and aren’t especially responsive when amplified. With an onboard preamp, you’ll gain volume control and some tone-shaping capabilities. Some higher-end models even come with built-in equalizers that are useful in further refining the sound.

In a few cases, you’ll also find built-in tuners featured. Tuners are useful for everyone but are especially convenient for beginners who haven’t learned to tune by ear yet. The type and quality of electronics will have a significant impact on price.

Many budget-friendly models feature simple pickups and even basic preamps. For name brand electronics, better direct line tone, and more features, expect to pay a premium.

Beyond electronics, you should also be looking at the nut, saddle, strap buttons, tuning pegs, pickguard, and the strings that the instrument comes with.

The best choice for nut and saddle material is real bone, though many cheaper models use synthetic materials.

The tuning pegs should be die-cast, and pegs from a name brand are usually best.

Strap buttons matter much less, but you should still check to see that they’re screwed on tightly.

Likewise, the pickguard should be firmly attached, but you won’t find huge quality differences between different materials.

As for strings, it’s nice when a manufacturer sets an instrument up with name-brand strings. Since you’ll change the factory strings out eventually anyway, though, the strings aren’t a huge consideration.

Intonation, Action, and Setup

The best acoustic guitars play well right out of the box without the need for adjustments or additional setup.

The intonation, action, and overall setup of an instrument can vary, but you’ll typically find that manufacturers are more detail-oriented when setting up their higher-end models. If your instrument doesn’t come with a great factory setup, you can have a professional technician set it up for you. This process is usually fairly affordable and is a great way to make a new instrument play well.

If you’re handy, you can also consider setting your guitar up yourself. Read and follow a good acoustic guitar setup guide, and you should be able to handle this process yourself. If you aren’t especially handy or just don’t feel confident making adjustments on your own, it’s probably best to leave it to the experts at your local music shop.

Fit and Finish

Acoustic instruments come in either gloss or satin finishes.

A gloss finish looks great but can feel sticky on your fretting hand. This is especially true on less expensive instruments where the quality of the gloss isn’t as high. A satin neck generally feels better, especially right out of the box. Gloss necks will smooth out over time and become more playable, but they usually take some breaking in.

The choice between a gloss and a satin finish can also affect tone.

Gloss coatings are usually thicker, meaning that they’ll dampen the sound of the instrument more. While satin finishes tend to be thinner, a gloss coating applied at the right thickness can sound just as good. In general, especially on less expensive guitars, a satin finish will produce a slightly higher sound quality.

In the fit and finish category, you’ll also find the purely cosmetic aspects of an acoustic guitar. These include the fret inlays, rosette, and binding. While you may prefer one look over another and while higher-end instruments will generally look a bit nicer, these factors don’t affect tone in any substantial way.

The same is true of the color choice, which on most acoustic models is either a solid color, sunburst design, or natural wood grain.

Tonewoods

Before getting into the actual reviews, it’s important to understand how different woods affect tone. Tighter-grained, denser woods are typically more resonant, producing a richer tone. Differences in wood grain and pore size, therefore, can exert a significant effect on how an acoustic guitar sounds. Below, you’ll find a brief guide to the most commonly used tonewoods.

Mahogany

Mahogany is well-known for its combination of warmth and midrange punch. The wood is widely used for acoustic guitar backs and sides, though some guitars also have mahogany tops. Mahogany is reasonably inexpensive, but you’ll still find it used on plenty of mid-priced and even high-end guitars.

Spruce

Thanks to its ability to produce an even, well-rounded tone, spruce is one of the most popular choices for acoustic guitar tops. Many of the best acoustic guitars in today’s market feature Sitka spruce tops, though the wood is rarely used for a guitar’s back and sides. Like mahogany, you can find spruce used in guitars spanning the entire price spectrum.

Cedar

Like spruce, cedar is mostly used as a top material. Because of its lower density compared to spruce, cedar is less warm and tends not to project sound. When paired with a resonant body wood, though, cedar tops can sound quite nice.

Maple

Maple produces some of the most tightly defined tone you’ll find in any tonewood. The wood is fairly expensive, but you’ll find maple used in several high-end guitar models. Although it’s more common in the back and sides, some manufacturers do employ maple in guitar tops.

Adirondack

A type of spruce, Adirondack doesn’t see nearly as much use as Sitka spruce. This is because the wood of the Adirondack spruce has a more aggressive, springy sound to it. With that said, Adirondack is used on some specialty guitars in the middle and upper price ranges.

Ash

Ash, particularly the southern swamp ash variety, has a warm, open tone that offers excellent sustain. Ash is generally found on slightly more expensive acoustic guitars, though it won’t cost you a fortune to find an instrument that uses this amazing wood.

Alder

A staple of budget-friendly guitars, alder wood offers reasonably good high tones while still delivering a decently defined low end. Although it’s mostly used on less expensive instruments, alder is usually a good value for the money.

Rosewood

Rosewood delivers a bright, clear tone across a guitar’s entire dynamic range and is well-known for its ability to naturally produce a slight mid-scoop. The wood is mostly used for back and side construction and can be found on guitars in virtually all price ranges.

Sapele

A relative of mahogany, Sapele has similar tonal characteristics in terms of warmth and punchiness. It does, however, produce a more tightly defined high-end. Sapele is mostly found in the back and sides on upper-end guitars.

Koa

In addition to strikingly beautiful grain, koa offers an amazing combination of brightness and warmth that makes it a great choice for premium guitar construction. Koa adds significantly to the price of a guitar but can be well worth the cost.

Cocobolo

A premium tonewood, Cocobolo shares similar characteristics with rosewood. With that said, the tone of the wood is far more complex. Cocobolo guitars have a powerful low end with rich sustain. The wood is also extremely handsome, especially when polished to a high finish.

Ebony

Though rarely used for body or top construction, ebony is commonly used for acoustic guitar fretboards. This wood offers a tight, crisp tone and is popular for its ability to stand up well to years of string action on fretboards.

Granadillo

Sometimes used as a rosewood alternative, Granadillo is a Mexican wood found in guitar fretboards and occasionally tops. Like rosewood, granadillo produces a warm sound that emphasizes the low and high ends while slightly scooping the mids. This wood is fairly inexpensive and doesn’t run up the price of a guitar.

Ovangkol

African ovangkol sounds a bit like rosewood, but with a more dynamic midrange. This wood is favored for its sustainability and relative inexpensiveness.

Walnut

Last but certainly not least in our review of tonewoods is walnut. Offering the brightness and warmth of koa with a more aggressive tone that’s a bit more reminiscent of mahogany, walnut delivers a complex and rich sound that makes it one of the best tonewoods out there. Walnut is fairly expensive, so you’ll mostly find it on upper-end guitars.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Best Brand of Acoustic Guitar?

Although this is a subjective question that depends a lot on a player’s personal taste, a few brands stand out for their combination of quality and value. Martin is likely the overall best, but Taylor, Fender, and Takamine are also worth honorable mentions.

How Much Is a Good Quality Acoustic Guitar?

Starting at around the $500 price point, you’ll start to see higher-quality acoustic guitars. Although the best acoustic guitars sometimes cost $2,000 or more, you can find several excellent instruments that are suitable for upper-intermediate and advanced players in the $500-1,000 price range.

What Is the Best High-End Acoustic Guitar?

Assuming the price is no object, the overall best acoustic guitar in the high-end range is probably the Martin D-18. With that said, the price of this guitar, unfortunately, puts it out of reach for most players.

What Guitar Does Ed Sheeran Use?

Thanks to the popularity of his many hit songs, Ed Sheeran is one of the biggest musical influences on new acoustic guitar players today. Although Sheeran used a Dean Performer E early in his career, most of his guitars have been made by Martin. The company even released a signature guitar, the Martin LX1E Ed Sheeran signature edition, in 2013.

What Is the Best Sounding Acoustic Guitar?

Once again, this is an extremely subjective question. The Martin D-18 is definitely a contender for the title of the best acoustic guitar in terms of sound, but the Taylor 214CE Deluxe and Martin D-28 are also in the running.

So, What's the Absolute Best Acoustic Guitar?

Although there are several great acoustic guitars out there, the Martin D-18 narrowly edges out the competition for top choice. This guitar’s use of solid wood gives it a great tone, and every part of the instrument’s construction is essentially perfect. The D-28 comes and Taylor 214CE come close, but the D-18’s neck profile and overall construction quality place it on a higher tier. It’s pricier than most, but well worth the investment.

Best Acoustic Guitar Reviews

Acoustic Guitar Tips and Guides