With the competition for acoustic guitars so fierce, what should you be looking look for? Find the best acoustic guitar under $500 with help from this quick guide.
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The Hunt for the Best Acoustic Guitar Under $500
You may think you have to spend a ton of money to get a great playing and sounding guitar. Not so! There are quite a few models in the $500 range that represent a superior value, and give more expensive guitars a serious run for their money. Here are our top three picks!:
Compare these affordable acoustic guitars:
|#1 Overall Best Guitar
|#2 Best Bundle Deal
|#3 Most Robust Build
The Hunt for the Best Acoustic Guitar Value
Best Acoustic Guitar Under $500: Top 3 Reviews & Buyer’s Guide
1. Seagull S6 Original Acoustic Guitar Limited Edition with Bag
2. Fender CD-60S Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar Bundle with Hard Case
3. Yamaha FG830 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar, Natural
Compare these featured affordable acoustic guitars:
Why even consider acoustic guitars in the $300 to $500 range?
Don’t spend a lot to get a lot
Wrap Up: Which Mid-Level Acoustic Guitar Offers the Best Value?
3 Great Acoustic Guitars Under $500 Reviewed
1. Best Acoustic Under $500: Seagull S6 Original Acoustic Guitar
(4.7 / 5)
You may be wondering what makes the Seagull S6 so special. The Limited Edition finish is a striking upgrade in appearance but remember, looks aren’t everything.
The most important consideration when it comes to buying a new guitar is the sound quality, and the Seagull S6 by Godin has it in spades! No, it it’s not necessarily the most fancy looking guitar. But the tone, quality of construction, and playability make up the difference.
There is no intricate inlay work, it has no cutaway, and the design isn’t that much different from many other acoustic guitars on the market. But, when you hear the sound quality, you’ll forget all about the other shortcomings.
High quality, low price
This guitar proves that you don’t have to spend a lot of money in order to get a good quality guitar. This is a finely crafted instrument with a fine tonal quality.
Godin, being a very smart and well-run Canadian company that manufactures Seagull Guitars, decided to put together a fabulous value for who aren’t ready to buy a more expensive instrument. Focussing more on sound and build quality has been their winning combination for decades.
In fact, you may even find that you love this guitar so much that you don’t need to upgrade. This isn’t just a beginner guitar; this is a guitar that is designed for players of all levels.
- This guitar has something that many others in the same price range do not: a pressure-tested, solid cedar top. Many other guitars that are similarly priced have a laminate spruce wood top. The solid wood top is just one of many things that make this guitar a step above other inexpensive models, and gives it a fantastic tonal quality
- The back and sides of the Seagull S6 are made from Canadian wild cherry wood, which is something else you don’t often see on a guitar in this or any other price range. It makes this one of the more attractive guitars you are ever going to play
- This guitar has a traditional fretboard (one of the only traditional things you are going to find on it), made from rosewood. A standard material with most acoustic guitars, because it plays and lasts well
- According to many musicians, this is a guitar that sounds great whether it is being picked or strummed. It doesn’t sound like your typical beginner acoustic guitar, because it is not your typical beginner acoustic guitar
Seagull S6 Original Acoustic Guitar Review
What We Like
- The Tusq saddle and nut by GraphTech offer superior transfer of string energy directly into the instrument resulting in a richer overall tone. These parts are often upgrades players add to their instruments. Here they’re built-in
- This guitar has improved tuning stability, and this allowed the manufacturer to create a guitar with a smaller headstock than usual. This is just another little detail that sets this guitar apart from the rest
- The neck has a double action truss rod to combat the effects of pressure over time. This is an excellent feature for maintaining a fine playable neck as the instrument ages
What We Don’t Like
- If you are looking for a more hand-made acoustic guitar at the high end of the scale, this isn’t it. But, it’s superior value for beginners
- Some players, particularly beginners, may find the neck a little thicker than what they expect
2. Best Bundle Deal: Fender CD-60S Acoustic Guitar Bundle
(4.6 / 5)
Once again, you can see that there is no need to spend upwards of $1,000 to get a quality guitar. The Fender company has been manufacturing affordable player-oriented instruments like this since the 50’s.
The Fender CD-60S features a dreadnought body style, with a solid mahogany top and scalloped “X” bracing. It also has a mahogany back and sides, and the fingerboard has rolled edges, making the neck easier to play.
This is a great instrument for anyone who wants a quality acoustic guitar that is also affordable, and has great sound quality and playability. The best part is, you get this guitar at a great price, and it comes in a bundle package, so you also get the accessories you need to start playing right away.
A fantastic beginner acoustic guitar package
If you’re looking for a guitar for a beginner to start with, this is a great choice, and it isn’t going to break the bank. The Fender CD-60S acoustic is versatile and high quality. Ideal for both beginners and intermediate players.
It offers a mellow tone that is warm yet strong, and thanks to the “X” bracing, there is extra resonance. This is also a great looking guitar that you are going to be proud to bring out when company comes over and wants to hear you play.
- This is an attractive guitar, with a natural wood finish, black and white neck and body binding, chrome tuning knobs, and an attractive pattern around the sound hole that is made from acrylic, but has the appearance of beautiful mother of pearl
- This guitar is typically priced significantly less than $500, but just because it doesn’t cost a lot, don’t think that you are getting a cheap guitar. It neither looks nor feels cheap, and it offers many features that you won’t find on other guitars in the same price range
- The CD-60S has 20 frets and a rosewood fingerboard, offers players a 25.3 inch scale neck. It also has many other quality parts going into its construction, including the scalloped “X” bracing, a dual-action truss rod, and sealed, die-cast tuners
- We love the low action that you’re going to find in these acoustic guitars. In fact, this is what makes this a great guitar for beginners, because there is no need to press down hard on the strings in order to create sounds without buzzing
Fender CD-60S Acoustic Guitar Bundle Review
What We Like
- We love that this guitar comes with plenty of cool accessories, including a Fender hard shell case (many only come with nylon gig bags), a guitar strap, picks, extra strings, and a clip-on digital tuner
- The tuning machines aren’t too stiff or too loose, and this guitar will stay in perfect tune while you are playing. It has sturdy bridge pins, but take note that when you go to change the strings for the first time, they can be difficult to remove
- This guitar comes in three different finishes, black, natural, and sunburst. If you wish to spend a little more money, you can get the electric-acoustic version which can be plugged into pretty much any amplifier
What We Don’t Like
- Check to make sure that everything in the bundle is with your order. Due to packing errors, there are times when not all of the items in the bundle are included
- The finish is not the greatest, and has a tendency to rub off in a short period of time. The finish also tends to give off a strong odor that can take some time to dissipate
3. Most Robust Build: Yamaha FG830 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar
(4.6 / 5)
In 1966, Yamaha came out with the FG, proving to the world that it isn’t necessary to spend a lot of money to get a quality guitar. The FG guitars were created with playability in mind, and have awesome musical tone quality.
The original FG is now a classic, and the latest in the series, the Yamaha FG830, offers up even better features, while still typically being priced well below $500.
This next edition has what many call the best tone out of all of the FG guitars, along with that great playability that we have all come to know and love. This is an inexpensive guitar, but it certainly is not a cheap guitar by any means.
In our experience, Yamaha has always produced exceptionally robust, durable instruments regardless of price range.
Boosting the overall value even further, the 800 Series including the FG830 uses acoustic analysis technology that was created by the Yamaha R&D Division.
This technology allows players to produce a louder and clearer sound, even in the low to mid ranges. This is a guitar that breaks from tradition in construction, and you will not be disappointed when you sit down to play it.
- The scalloped bracing is a new development from Yamaha for the 800 series. This gives the guitar a durable structure that offers a more natural sound. This is something that you aren’t going to see in acoustic guitars from other manufacturers
- This guitar comes in two different body shapes, with one being FS concert size. It is also available in five different grades, with a variety of tone wood options, not to mention many different colors, so you are sure to find something that is just right for you
- We love being able to plug our acoustic guitars in for even louder sound, especially when playing on stage because there is no need to mic the guitars. The FG830 is available in both acoustic and electric-acoustic models
- Considering the low price range of this guitar, it is quite surprising when you pick it up and enjoy the comfortable, smooth neck and profile. It is comfortable to play, and it looks just as great as it sounds
Yamaha FG830 Solid Top Acoustic Review
What We Like
- The Yamaha-designed bridge is made from rosewood, and is practical and functional. It may not be the prettiest bridge in the world, but most of us much prefer great playability over appearance any day
- One of the biggest problems that comes with lower priced guitars is the lack of sustain. This is definitely not an issue with this model from Yamaha. And, not only is there great sustain, the rich sound and overtones make this a guitar that is ideal for many different types of music
What We Don’t Like
- Some of the materials used to make this guitar are not of the same high quality that you find in other Yamaha guitars
- The frets are rough and not polished, and you can really tell when you are trying to vibrato a note. Even in this price range, the frets should be of a higher quality.
Compare featured affordable acoustic guitars under $500:
Overall Best Guitar
Best Bundle Deal
Most Robust Build
Why even consider acoustic guitars under $500?
In the guitar industry, this price range is the sweet spot for both entry level and serious players alike. There are a host of great acoustic guitars under $500 to choose from because it’s so competitive.
It’s a perfect price range for intermediate players, and beginner guitarists will generally get a better instrument. Accomplished players also love the value in an instrument they can kick around without worrying about their more expensive counterparts.
These are quality instruments from some of the most well-known guitar manufacturers in the world. They have great sound quality, play well, and look pretty great too, and you aren’t going to have to take out a bank loan in order to get one.
Don’t spend a lot to get a lot
The guitars we’ll look at prove that you really don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a lot in a guitar. Sure, these may not be what all professionals are using, but as mentioned, if you’re a beginner or intermediate player any of these guitars are going to be great choices for you.
It’s never a good idea to spend a lot of money on a guitar when you aren’t sure if you are going to be able to play, but you still want to get a guitar that sounds great. This is the focus of what to expect with any of our choices, plus they aren’t going to put you in the poor house.
Wrapping Up, Which is the Best Acoustic Guitar Under Under $500?
As you can clearly see, there is no need to go out and spend a lot of money to get a great quality acoustic guitar, and it isn’t going to be one of those department store guitars that are cheap and sound like junk.
There are plenty of quality acoustic guitars out there that cost less than $500, and they are made by some of the top instrument manufacturers in the world.
Without splitting hairs, our first choice would undoubtedly be the Seagull S6 Original by Godin. Yes it’s a bit more money but the sheer balance of fit, finish, features and sound is simply the best bang for the buck and worth the extra investment.
As you can see, you don’t have to sacrifice on quality with any of these guitars. If you’re just starting out, they’re all going to grow with you.
In fact, you may find that you keep your acoustic guitar long after you have left the beginning stages, because you will be hard pressed to find the same quality, even in more expensive instruments.
Seagull S6 Original Acoustic Guitar
- Build Quality
- Sound Quality
- Value Factor