Inexpensive Acoustic Guitar

What price range would folks here consider to be “inexpensive” for an acoustic guitar and yet still be a guitar that has a reasonable sound sound.

If you’re wondering what I mean, sorta like Justin right here in Nitsuj 1.

That’s a difficult question because the reailty is that you can, these days, get some decent beginner-level guitars for around 100 GBP.

The main thing is, at this price level, the quality varies massively. There’s a lot of guitars (perhaps most of them) at this level which are plain junk.

There’s also the fact that, at this sort of price, it’s almost guaranteed your guitar won’t be well set up, and a set up will normally cost at least 30 GBP more. If the guitar is particularly poor quality, it may not be possible to set it up well anyway.

Personally, I wouldn’t recommend much below about 200 GBP as that’s the sort of price where you’ll start getting consistent quality and something that is playable out of the box.

I wouldn’t suggest going below 100 GBP.

In every case, even if your are spending 1,000 GBP on an acoustic guitar, a set-up is always beneficial, although at higher price points, the retailer will often throw in a basic set-up as part of the service.

Bear in mind I’m working on UK prices: things may vary a lot in other regions.



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My first-ever guitar (and still my only 6-string acoustic) is a Fender CD-60 Dreadnought V3 DS. It was on the cheaper side when I bought it (I had no idea if this hobby was to last), but I’m satisfied with it. 1 year in I had the original pins and saddle replaced with rosewood pins and a bone saddle. Originally, it came with 12-53 strings so that’s what I got used to, but a few days ago I went for a 11-52 set out of curiosity. I like the sound so far, it has a less boomy low-end, though it might also be due to the string brand (Rotosound instead of D’Addario).

Sometimes I think about getting another acoustic guitar, but I can’t really think of any technical/physical aspects I don’t like about this one.

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I am in USD, but here I would think you can get an ok guitar for $300 ish, especially if used.

Reading your other thread, you should be very cautious, as there apparently aren’t any luthiers around and you haven’t seen much good from the “guitar set up” folks in Thailand. Maybe buy from a place that sets it up before sending it to you, like Sweetwater or Thoman, I think. Or someone local who can work with it and is convenient enough for you to keep bringing it back until they get it right.

Yamaha FG800 is a good quality guitar that is $229 new. I just saw some used ones for $175.

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So was mine. If the intention is just to strum songs, it is a good choice. It is well built for the price, should keep you happy for a year or two before you start specialising and looking for more purpose built instrument.

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My first guitar a Fender CD-60S Solid Top Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar - Black Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Strap, Strings, Picks, and Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD

I love it! Sounds good to me of course I just finished grade one to be honest I probably don’t really know the difference.

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I think this is a good point. I love gear so GAS hit hard early on. Truth is, any decent guitar can sound fine. Nuance sets the higher end apart and I am not very nuanced in my playing(yet!!!).

I spend time on the Acoustic Guitar Forum. There is a lot of respect for Yamaha at that price range. Fender seems good too, less frequently praised but well liked.

I tried some Fenders, I think they make a narrow neck. Too narrow for me, I like 44-50mm. However, Fender’s nut width strikes me as a great option for those who are used to or play a lot of electric guitar.

If it were me, I would go Yammy (Yamaha).

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It is very narrow indeed - 43 mm. 44 mm is pretty standard for most acoustics, I went up to 46 mm on my current main guitar but it was almost 2 years after Fender.

i bought an Epiphone AJ100 on sale from Guitar Center (memorial day sale or something I think like 14-15yrs ago) for $79. I bought it specifically as a bang around back porch/patio guitar to mess around with. I still have it, still plays fine, but terribly needs a setup.

For my two cents / pennies / (insert currency of choice!) it’s all about how it feels to play and how it sounds in person, so the best way to discover that is to get to a store and play some in your range back to back. There’s some amazing value available now at £100 to £200 but I’m sure there’s some real duds too. Kind of a wishy washy answer I suppose but I realised when first spending some “proper” money on an instrument how invaluable that process of live testing is.

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I bought a Yamaha FS800 when I started playing and I loved it. Paid 200$ at Guitar center for it. Great value for money.

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Majik gives you some good advice. I can’t count the number of people I know who bought a cheap guitar and ended up so frustrated with it they quit playing it. Best advice is save some decent cash GBP 200 or more and take a friend with more experience with you and try a bunch of acoustics in the store. If your in doubt as to quality. stop by your local luthiers shop and talk to them about what you want to buy. They see all kinds of guitars and can head you away from the bad ones. Usually they are glad to help. If not find a different luthier.
Best wishes on your query.

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Guitars these days seem to be much better than they used to be. Better made as in playable.
I have no specific brand to send ya to.
My only comment is to just not short change yourself. As in getting a guitar that is hard to play.
My 1st guitar was a Harmony Stella. This was back in the late 60’s.
This was imho one of the worst guitars I could have gotten. Even after I could play, years later, that guitar was hard to play. + it didn’t sound to good either.
This was a detriment to me learning how to play imho. The strings on that guitar were so far away from the fretboard that it’d near make your fingers bleed just playing any 'ol easy chord.

If you can, go to a music store and try a few guitars out and see what you like. Fret a few notes and see if it’s easy to to do that.
As others have said, ya can get a setup on your new guitar too and a setup will make it work it’s best, but I think it’s nice to have something that’s of reasonable quality for having something to work with.
Many imports these days seem to meet the criteria. No particular brand in mind.

Also, don’t forget the used market.
My last acoustic I got used. I thought it was kinda mid priced @ $300. It’s a Epiphone of indoneson origin. It plays good and sounds good. It seems to be well made and looks real good. It would be a great guitar for a first guitar. I think I got a good price on this guitar as most of the similar guitars that I see on seem to be in the $500 price range. So I feel I got lucky with the price of this guitar. Ya just gotta be patient and research anything that ya find that you think you might like. The www is a wonderful tool for this kinda research.
imho, I’d stay with popular brands that you’ve heard of before, but that’s me.

Side note. I played a used 50’s gibson L-50 the other day at the music store. This is a much better guitar than my Epiphone. While the Gibson really did sound better (and I like the tones of my Epiphone). I didn’t think it played any better than my $300 Epiphone. So price may not be indicative of how great a guiar plays. The used L-50 I played was priced at just under $1800. I won’t be buying that one. But it was fun to play for a half hour or so.

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I hardly ever strum songs as in strumming the same old chord progressions, and I do most of my transcription on electric guitars. Though if I were to play an acoustic as my main guitar, I’d consider something fancier.

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