Famous guitar brands, like those used by legendary musical artists can be found for reasonable prices if you know what to look for. When purchasing a quality acoustic guitar, it’s important to remember, that good sound quality is available in well known brands, as well as less expensive ones. There are many guitar manufacturers today, and some have been making instruments for well over a hundred years. Here are today’s top 10 best acoustic guitar brands.
Fender has been a pioneer in manufacturing some of the best acoustic guitar brands since 1946. Created by Leo Fender, Fender guitars were some of the first to be transformed into semi-electric guitars using solid wood pieces. Fender was sold to the television company CBS in 1985, and was eventually brought to California. It’s biggest manufacturing facility is still located in California today, with several locations throughout the world. Fender was made famous by artists such as Pink Floyd, (David Gilmour) The Beach Boys and Canadian pop star Avril Lavigne.
Fender offers some of the best acoustic guitar brands, featuring a wide range of prices and styles. The most popular Fender guitar, made for beginners, is the Squier acoustic guitar. It can be found for around $99 to $199 on the market, and provides features of various, more expensive brands, including a brand name. With a price range from $200 to $500, Fender offers a little more variety with their T-Bucket model. With a Mahogany top, this guitar is beautifully styled by the well known hot rod artist, Vince Ray. It also features a thinner neck compared to others on the market, which makes playing for longer periods of time easier.
The finest quality Fender models can run around $3k, and are made solely in the USA. These acoustic guitars are crafted with fine, exotic woods such as Ash Burl, and feature gold hardware on the body. These guitars make an excellent investment for someone who wishes to play professionally, as they also have on-board pre-amp controls and pickup systems.
If your looking for a Canadian made acoustic guitar, Seagull may be the choice for you. Made in LaPatrie, Quebec since 1982, this guitar manufacturer boasts some of the best prices, with the best wood models. They offer solid top guitars that feature maximum strength and flexibility. This makes some of the best sounding guitars for the best prices.
Seagull also offers a reasonably priced basic guitar that outshines other brands in it’s range. Their original S6, goes for about $400, and has a great sound for beginners and professionals.
Used extensively by Canadian music artists, the Artist Mosaic model guitar weighs less than 8 lbs. This guitar runs for less than $1000, is made of cedar wood, and makes it’s appearances on stages worldwide. Most recently, Seagull guitars have been spotted being used by artists opening for bands such a as Maroon 5 and John Mayer.
Yamaha has been making quality musical instruments for over a century. Starting out with pianos and moving to string instruments, Yamaha hasn’t missed a beat. Boasting the worlds best selling acoustic guitar, Yamaha lists their FG series as less than $200. With all the features it offers it’s easy to see why.
Yamaha guitars are still handmade, and have solid spruce tops. They have been known to experiment with blending wood to create the best sounding guitars possible. They also include fine accessories for the price, such as tortoise pick guards.
Besides featuring fine woods and inlays, Yamaha acoustic guitars also have lifetime warranties, and are well known to stay in tune for long periods of time.
Gibson started out in the late 1800’s by making small wooden mandolins in America, continuing until WWII when wood became sparse. They stopped production, and began helping the war effort by making parts for the US military. Still located in the USA today, acoustic guitars are made in Kalamazoo, Michigan and are shipped all over the world.
Gibson is known to have made the first flat top guitars, and feature legendary artists such as Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin. Page gave an iconic performance on live t.v, playing a double-necked Gibson guitar for the hit Stairway To Heaven.
You can get a basic Gibson model J-15 dreadnought brand new for around $1,500. They come with a top blend of Spruce and Walnut, and unique cellulose finish that is supposed to improve sound quality. They also feature a unique and beautiful abalone inlay.
Gibson also has a line of guitars made specifically by or for musical artists. Some of these include: Arlo Guthrie, Sheryl Crow, Elvis Costello, country singer Brad Paisley and the late John Lennon. These run in price from around $3k to $8k.
Finding a Gibson guitar for less than $1k is nearly impossible, but you may be able to find one second hand. Amazon sells used guitars, so do local pawn shops. Often you can find thousand dollar guitars for half priced or less. Many professionals will tell you that used guitars can be the way to go. Used guitars often relax over time making their sound really come out. You want to be careful and purchase from reputable dealers as fakes happen very often.
A cousin to Gibson, Epiphone was making wooden guitars 20 before Gibson was born. In fact, Gibson’s most famous creator worked in a Epiphone factory when he was young. He went on to create the first Les Paul guitar for Epiphone, which is also made for Gibson.
Through the years, Epiphone has created some of the industries standards in guitars. With one of their most famous models being used by Beatles icon Paul McCartney. He used his 1964 Texan (made by Epiphone) to write one of his most famous songs, Yesterday. This trend was followed wildly by artists, especially those in Folk music, such as Bob Dylan.
Epiphone offers a wide variety of acoustic guitars, ranging from low to high prices. If your looking for an inexpensive starter guitar, the Dr100 is a great choice. For only $99, you get Epiphone’s beautifully made dreadnought design and their lifetime limited warranty. This classic guitar has a solid top made of spruce, and a slender neck made from mahogany.
They also offer a great middle-of-the-way guitar with a price tag of around $500. This is the DR500 famously known as the Sunburst. Comparable to $1000 brands, this guitar was made popular by the “British Invasion” bands in the 50’s and 60’s. This guitar was affecionately owned by both Beatles and Rolling Stones members.
This brand offers a wide variety of styles including, bodies and woods. Using Taylor’s website, you can also custom order any guitar they make. This means you can get the exact type of guitar you want at some of the lowest possible prices, and direct from the manufacturer. Some of the woods they offer include: Spruce, Tropical Mahogany, Cedar, Rosewood, Maple and Cocobolo.
Taylor also has a huge selection of body styles, which makes it one of the best acoustic guitar brands available. Suitable for any type of play you can imagine, Taylor offers concert style, auditorium style, symphony and dreadnought bodies. They also come in your choice of 6 or 12 strings.
Taylor makes great guitars for beginning or young players. Priced reasonably with about a $299 price tag, are baby versions of some of their most famous models. The Baby Taylor is a 3/4 size acoustic guitar made from mahogany with ebony side boards.
Bearing the namesake, Taylor Swift is one of the most famous artists using a Taylor guitar. With it’s classic country sound, they are also used by popular band, Zac Brown.
If your looking for a green, sustainable alternative for your acoustic guitar needs, Martin may be a good choice for you. With a goal of using only sustainable ingredients, Martin produces fine acoustic guitars. They also have a self proclaimed lifelong mission to save elephants which have been devastated by ivory hunters.
Founded in 1862, Martin guitars invented the very first x braced acoustic guitar. Like Taylor, they also offer some of the most reasonably priced miniature version guitars for younger players. The price for these runs about $300, which is very comparable to the Taylor brand, but offers sustainablility that other companies do not.
The most popular guitar made by this company is the DRSI dreadnought acoustic guitar. Using a sustainable cousin to mahogany, Martin creates beautiful notes using solid Sadele for the tops. They also feature lows that are reportedly perfect for recording. This has been made famous by legendary rockers such as: Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and the famous “cowboy” Gene Autry.
Another quality acoustic guitar maker, Dean has been making guitars for over 30 years. Dean offers a wide variety in colors that are not seen in most other guitar brands. For a reasonable price.
The most popular models are made from very exotic woods at surprising prices. They feature Ash and Cocobol woods and rare finds such as zebra wood. These are all abundant with intricate inlays. Their dreadnought series, which starts at around $300, are topped with spruce and do not feature a pre-amp.
Dean guitars are hard to find on the market, possibly due to their exotic natures and most have to be back ordered months in advance.
A well known purveyor of acoustic guitars is Ibanez. Like Yamaha, Ibanez is Japanese owned and manufactured. They feature a wide variety of acoustic guitars, as well as wood and inlays.
Unfortunately, Ibanez has been plagued with accusations of stealing other guitar manufacturers designs for years. Dealing with many lawsuits and problems. Looking past this they actually make some great guitars and they all fall around $200 to $300. It’s worth mentioning you can get a good starter guitar from Ibanez as well as the brand name.
Rogue is a less well known guitar maker that has extremely reasonably priced guitars. With beautiful sounds these guitars can cost you less than $100. This makes a great investment for beginners who don’t know if guitar playing will be their hobby. You can find entire starter packs including an amp for less than $200. The quality of wood varies, but these are some very nice guitars.
The most popular guitar is the RA-90, going for $59. It has a 5 star rating on guitar centers website and includes many basic features. It has a white wood body that plays in mid range. The hardware is made of nickel and the case can be bought separately. But for the price you really can’t beat this deal.
For $30 more you can the same guitar but with a spruce hard top. This guitar also features Martins guitar strings for an unsurpassed quality and sustainability.
There are so many manufacturers to choose from when purchasing a guitar. The most important thing is to consider what matters to you. Take the time to find exactly what you are looking for in a guitar. Some people are very fond of exotic woods, and it can be hard to find low prices in this range. Experimenting with different woods can sometimes give you the sound that you are looking for in a guitar.
Other people dream of having the brand name guitar. With names like Gibson, Fender or Epiphone you really can’t go wrong. This way of thinking excludes ultra common brands like Yamaha. They should not be overlooked though, as Yamaha has been continuously making high quality instruments for a very very long time.
When it comes to looking for a guitar for beginners, brand names may not matter as much. Sometimes beginners may pick up a guitar only to set it down and never pick it up again. Spending thousands of dollars on a guitar is perfectly possible, but would be foolish unless guitar playing is an achievable dream.
You also may want to test out a few guitars before you buy to find the right one for you. There are online resources provided by many guitar companies, as well as in store locations where you can test out the guitars in person. Most are very accommodating and highly knowledgeable concerning acoustic guitars. These stores often have amps available, making it easy to find the right guitar you are looking for.