If you’ve caught the guitar bug, then welcome to the club. You’re not the only one. There’s just something so cool about owning a guitar, whether your thinking of being in a band or you just want it to serenade that special someone.
But guitars don’t come cheap. To get a really good one, you’ll have to spend a lot of money, right?
And today, we’re going to prove it.
In this review, we’ll feature the Top 10 best acoustic guitars under $500! And they are all quality guitars; they might not come with all the exotic tonewoods and bells and whistles of the pricier models. But then again, you weren’t really expecting that for the price, were you?
So, let’s get going…
- Top 10 Best Acoustic Guitars Under $500 Of 2021 Reviews
- 1 Seagull S6 Original Acoustic Guitar – Insane Sound For The Price!
- 2 Yamaha FG800 Acoustic Guitar
- 3 Ibanez AEG8E Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar
- 4 Fender FA-100 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
- 5 Loar LH-300 BKM Archtop Thinbody
- 6 Yamaha FG830 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar – Distinct, Clear, And Transparent Notes
- 7 Taylor Mahogany GS Mini Acoustic Guitar – Cute Little Guitar!
- 8 Taylor BBT Big Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitar – One Size Up From the Baby Taylor, Bigger Volume, Fuller Sound
- 9 Gretsch G5022CE Rancher Jumbo Cutaway Acoustic Electric Guitar – Jumbo Size
- 10 Keith Urban American Vintage Acoustic Edition 40-piece Guitar Package
Top 10 Best Acoustic Guitars Under $500 Of 2021 Reviews
1 Seagull S6 Original Acoustic Guitar – Insane Sound For The Price!
Guitarists just can’t stop raving about the sound quality of the Seagull S6. And, for something that is so affordable, the S6 does sound very high-end. In fact, many think that it sounds more like a guitar that costs well over a thousand bucks.
It’s terrific for a beginner for so many reasons, including the fact that it comes with free online lessons.
The S6 feels superb and is very well made, the quality is reflected in the fact that it holds it’s tuning so well. Any beginner will find it very easy to find their way around on this guitar, so speeding up the learning process.
It comes with a very nice gig bag. And it’s not one of those flimsy excuses for a gig-bag you see so often, this one is well padded, with Velcro straps, to safely hold your guitar’s neck.
In summery, we love the Seagull S6 and it’s definately one of the best acoustic guitars you can buy for less than $500, it could even be the best? But, you’ll have to wait till the end of the review to find that out.
2 Yamaha FG800 Acoustic Guitar
Introduced in 1966, the Yamaha FG shook the guitar world by proving that a great acoustic guitar could be affordable. With effortless playability, a superb sound, and outstanding build quality, the original FG180 quickly became a classic, with countless hit records being written and recorded on a Yamaha FG.
Now, more than 50 years later, the line continues to offer the same playability, sound, and high-quality build, for an incredibly low cost. I think you’ll actually struggle to find many pro guitarists who don’t currently own or have owned an FG at some point in their careers.
The 800 Series has excellent low to mid-range tone, thanks to the cutting-edge acoustic analysis technology that’s been developed by Yamaha’s R&D Division. Their engineers have arrived at this design by using software tools and computer simulations, to produce the best scalloped bracing design possible.
The Yamaha FG800A features a solid Sitka spruce top which makes it sound like far more expensive instruments. The top is complemented by the back and sides which are made from Nato, with a rosewood fingerboard and bridge.
The tone these woods produce is incredibly well balanced and offers excellent note definition.
The guitar is simply fantastic for the price, no other acoustic offers more. It’s a worthy successor to the great FG acoustics that came before it and proudly continues Yamaha’s reputation for producing top quality affordable acoustics.
3 Ibanez AEG8E Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar
The AEG Series’ from Ibanez offers guitars with slender, single-cutaway bodies. One of these is the AEG8E acoustic-electric, with its spruce-top and purpleheart back and sides.
These woods blend together perfectly and deliver a powerful, yet balanced acoustic sound, either unplugged or through an amp or PA system.
The AEG8E combines great playability, with a choice of classic solid or sunburst finishes, to create a quality, workhorse guitar that will rise to any occasion.
It features an AEQ2T preamp with separate bass and treble controls. This provides the sparkling tones you’d expect from an Ibanez and will give you the sound that you need to perform in any venue.
If your looking for a great looking acoustic with an in-built preamp for stage use, this is an excellent choice.
4 Fender FA-100 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
Our next offering is from a legendary name in guitar building, Fender.
The Fender FA-100 Acoustic Guitar offers you the sound and build quality you’d expect from a Fender, as well as superb value for money.
This rich-sounding dreadnought features a laminated spruce top with X bracing for a full and resonant sound. It has an exclusive Fender headstock shape, a 20-fret hardwood fingerboard, Fender pickguard, a rosewood bridge with compensated saddle, and chrome hardware.
Spruce is the standard modern tonewood used for the tops of acoustic guitars and other acoustic instruments. And, even though it’s a laminate, not solid spruce that is used on the FA-100, you still get the tone.
Few woods can beat spruce for its strength, brightness and dynamic range. And it responds well to all acoustic playing styles, from hard strumming to fast flat-picking or delicate fingerpicking.
This makes the Fender FA-100 suitable for all musical genres and is, all in all, an excellent guitar for the money.
5 Loar LH-300 BKM Archtop Thinbody
Now, we move to a little bit of an odd guitar – the LH-300 from Loar.
It’s actually a replica of an original archtop acoustic guitar from the 1920s, so is very different to every other guitar in this review. But, please don’t let that put you off.
If you’ve never owned or played a guitar like this, your in for a shock, the diversity of tones that you can get from it is incredible. It makes you wonder why we ever changed to flat body guitar designs?
The guitar is cool, loud and punchy; if you’re looking for something bluesy or just different, you’ll love it.
Regarding its specifications, it features a hand-carved top which is made from graduated spruce, and a traditional maple back and sides. It has a vintage ‘V’ mahogany neck, with high-quality Grover tuners and a compensated adjustable ebony bridge.
With its classic archtop tone, the carved body, and vintage design, the LH-300 is a great-sounding guitar, that will appeal to jazz players, archtop enthusiasts and any guitarist who’s looking for something different.
6 Yamaha FG830 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar – Distinct, Clear, And Transparent Notes
If you’re looking for something that produces clear, distinct, and transparent sounds, then the FG830 could be the guitar your looking for.
It’s in the same series as the FG800 we’ve already covered and raved about, but being the 830, it’s higher up the series and therefore has better quality woods and a more expensive price tag.
But, if you remember how much we loved the FG800, the FG830 is more of the same, with superb sounding high-end, solid mids and a great low-end. Everything is so beautifully balanced, and you can’t do better than this for the price.
It’s available in a great choice of colors, including natural, black, sunburst, autumn burst, and sunset blue. It’s also available as a 12-string if you want to get all Hotel California on it, as well as, in a left-handed version.
Regarding the specifications, its got a solid spruce top with rosewood back and sides, and features the same newly developed scalloped bracing as the Fg800.
This, along with its traditional western body add up to a guitar which is not only great to play, but sounds superb, with rich overtones that make you want to keep on playing it.
And, it even comes as a bundle, including everything a beginner will need to start their guitar journey – a Gig Bag, tuner, a set of strings, guitar strap, picks, an Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD to get them going, and a Polishing Cloth.
7 Taylor Mahogany GS Mini Acoustic Guitar – Cute Little Guitar!
So, if a dreadnaught is way too large, what other option do you have? You could try getting a mini acoustic guitar. They may be smaller, but they are a marvel of scaled-down design. And, some of them sound superb, especially the Taylor GS Mini.
The GS Mini is a fun little acoustic cannon and has taken the world by storm. The smaller size makes it an easier guitar for a younger child, or someone who has a smaller frame, to learn on, than regular sized guitars.
Now, with this fantastic acoustic from Taylor, you can start learning the guitar faster. But there is a downside, when players get used to playing mini-guitars, they often find the transition to a full-sized dreadnaught or especially a jumbo a little difficult at first.
The Mini is ultra-portable, yet feels just as comfortable to hold in the comfort of your home, this makes it the ultimate modern-day parlor guitar.
It features a very easy to play, patented Taylor neck, and this edition of the GS Mini incorporates a solid mahogany top that produces a strong, evenly balanced response for lively strumming.
And, with the easy-to-add ES-Go pickup, you’ll also have a great performance tool.
And finally, the tone? It’s simply marvelous! It sounds full and well-balanced, reagrdless of it’s smaller size. It’s perfect proof that great things can come in small packages!
8 Taylor BBT Big Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitar – One Size Up From the Baby Taylor, Bigger Volume, Fuller Sound
The Big Baby Taylor is also a mini’ish guitar, just like the Baby Taylor we just reviewed. But, the ‘Big’ means it’s a little bigger. So, if you loved the concept of a mini guitar, but want something a little bigger, with more volume, then the BBT is perfect.
The guitar has a matte finish with a textured feel. It’s also surprisingly light for its size. Interestingly, the neck is a bolt-on, which is unusual on acoustics, with two screws on the 16th fret. The hardware is all chrome.
It’s roughly the same width as regular-sized acoustic, but the shorter scale definitely makes it easier for children and smaller framed adults to play.
As you’d expect from Taylor, it’s professionally set up in the factory, so should arrive ready to be played right out of the box.
This guitar is surprisingly loud for its size. It does lack a bit in the low end, compared to a full sized acoustic, but that’s to be expected considering the size. It does, however, have a nice, crisp mid-to-high range sound.
The size and the bolt-on neck do have a noticeable impact on the resonance of the guitar, and the light-weight construction sacrifices a bit of sustain. However, it does feature a rounded back that mediates some of the lack of low-end and resonance.
It sounds great as long as you take its construction and size into account, and we really like its tone. For acoustic duets, it fits in superbly with other, regular sized acoustics.
It’s a great buy, and not just for kids, but smaller adults as well. It’s loud enough for any purpose and is great for recording, when the low-boomy end of acoustics isn’t usually needed.
Obviously, this guitar doesn’t sound quite as good as its larger counterparts, especially in the low-end, but it gets the job done and sounds good doing it.
9 Gretsch G5022CE Rancher Jumbo Cutaway Acoustic Electric Guitar – Jumbo Size
A classic Gretsch name is back with the return of its Rancher acoustic guitars. This richly resonant acoustic first appeared in the early 1950s, with its highly distinctive triangular sound hole and sweepingly elegant pickguard.
Gretsch has re-introduced the model with a new selection of body sizes, styles, and features that combine to make it the best of the instruments acclaimed past, with the best in modern sound, style, and playability.
The largest and fullest-sounding Rancher is the G5022CE Rancher Jumbo Cutaway Electric. This produces loads of volume with an expansive tone.
Its elegant Venetian cutaway, allows easy access to the fingerboard’s upper reaches. While it also features onboard electronics, that allow it to be heard loudly and clearly.
It’s made with a solid spruce top with scalloped X bracing and flame maple back and sides. The top features the traditional Gretsch Rancher triangular sound hole, a 1940s-style pickguard with the Gretsch logo, and a compensated bridge with rosewood base
The mahogany 21-fret neck has a rosewood fingerboard with Neo-Classic thumbnail inlays. The hardware is all gold-plated, with deluxe die-cast tuners and a classic gloss Savannah Sunset finish.
The excellent onboard Fishman electronics include a Sonicore under-saddle pickup and Isys+ preamp system, with an onboard tuner, battery life indicator, and separate controls for volume, treble, bass, and phase.
10 Keith Urban American Vintage Acoustic Edition 40-piece Guitar Package
We’ll end with something completely different, a complete package that will get you playing in no time at all and is endorsed by one of the biggest names in country music – Keith Urban.
So, what’s included?
Well, you’ll get a Keith Urban American Vintage acoustic guitar, a black nylon Keith Urban gig bag, an adjustable Keith Urban guitar strap, an allen key for neck adjustment, a Signature metal capo, four Keith Urban nylon guitar picks, instruction manual for the guitar & capo and a Certificate of authenticity.
But what makes this the ultimate country beginners package is Keith Urban’s 30 Songs in 30 Days: The Complete Guitar Experience 30-disc DVD lesson set. This learning resource will help you get started quickly and have you chicken-pickin in no time.
Keith uses a 4-step learning process, he first teaches you the song one-on-one. Then you play the song by yourself slowly from start to finish. Next, you play with the band using the supplied CD from start to finish, and finally, the band backs you up, and you become the player. It’s very well thought out, and Keith does a great job of being a guitar teacher.
If you stick to it, you’ll learn to play 30 popular guitar songs in about a month with the 30 one-on-one DVD lessons from Keith himself.
But, enough about the course, what’s the guitar like?
The American Vintage acoustic features a beautiful, ash body, with an arched back for enhanced sound quality and resonance. Its blackwood fingerboard has Urban icon-shaped, inlaid look-of-mother-of-pearl fret markers, and the Mahogany headstock features a signature Urban icon and logo, just in case you need even more Keith in your life?
It has an adjustable neck with a custom-designed radius to Keith’s own specifications. And features interior scalloped X-bracing and a spruce tone bar for enhanced sound quality and improved resonance.
It’s also a Limited Edition Series, not very limited we have to say at 18,000, but it’s still something that not everyone will have. Every guitar comes with a matching numbered certificate of authenticity bearing Keith’s signature imprint.
If, your a Keith Urban fan, it’s an easy choice, but this would be a superb beginners guitar for anyone who wants to learn to play country or country rock properly and is also an interesting collectors piece, which with time will hold or maybe even increase its value.
Also Read: Best 12 String Guitars
We have reviewed the Top 10 best acoustic guitars under $500 in this round-up and deciding on which one is the ultimate winner is a tough decision. But there has to be a winner, so we’ve gone for the…
It’s a total package, and we believe that no beginner will go wrong with it. It’s standard size, with an excellent tone that no user has been able to deny. More so, this guitar has received so many positive reviews across several e-commerce platforms that it’s hard to ignore it.
But some other guitars deserve special mention as well. The first being the Taylor GS Mini Mahogany Acoustic Guitar, which is recommended for children and smaller framed people. The Yamaha FG800 which is easily the best guitar in the line up for the affordable price.