The Best Acoustic Guitar Brands
Wondering where to start when shopping for an acoustic guitar? We’ve got you covered! Below, we’ve gathered information about the leaders in the musical instrument industry; specifically, those that make bad ass acoustic guitars. We’ve also written a short review of each brand’s three most popular guitars and picked our favorites for the best acoustic guitar brands for beginners and the best acoustic guitars in general. Enjoy our list of the best acoustic guitar brands below and choose your favorite today. For more on acoustic guitars check out our Definitive Buying Guide for Acoustic Guitars.
Martin guitars are acknowledged around the world as being one of the best. The guitar company has an almost iconic following, which has led to its longevity. Musicians such as Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and Hank Williams, Jr. have all made Martin their go-to acoustic guitar. While any Martin will impress a crowd, there are three that stand out amongst the rest; the D-28, LX-1, and the D-15m.
The D-28 is Martin guitar’s poster child. The iconic instrument is a steel string acoustic guitar that created the mold for other guitars in the market. The D-28 is made with Sitka spruce on top and Indian Rosewood on the back and sides.
The LX1 by Martin is their answer to bringing their amazing guitar sound to a more affordable price point and is part of their travel series. Using their own laminate woods and x bracing with a solid spruce wood top that gives it that great sound we know from Martin. This guitar is a great one for young beginners because of the smaller size but full sound and reasonable price.
The D-15m is another American guitar that musicians trust. The solid wood instrument is made of mahogany and provides a warm, rich sound that resonants in a room.
While most musicians love everything about Martin, there are others that don’t care for the brand at all. Why do you ask? For some serious players, they regard Martin as overpriced and overrated.
Taylor guitars are created with quality craftsmanship. Each guitar branded with the Taylor name is innovative and designed to offer customer satisfaction. Some of the most famous musicians in the world trust Taylor guitars including Taylor Swift, Zac Brown, and Jason Mraz. Three of the most famous guitars from the brand include the 110CE, DN5, and the 114E from the 100 series.
If you want a guitar that’s perfect for strumming, you can’t go wrong with the 110CE. It features a Sitka spruce top and Sapele back and sides. The simple design of this cleverly crafted guitar makes it perfect for bluegrass players.
The Taylor BBT is a 15/16ths size dreadnaught with a slimmer body. It’s also their lowest price point full sized guitar. It also has a fantastic sound despite being one of their cheaper guitars. It’s a great guitar for beginners and even for younger guitarists because of the smaller size, great price, and still incredibly full but clean sound.
The 114E from Taylor’s 100 series is an entry-level acoustic guitar. While it’s simple design makes it perfect for those just beginning, the ability to pick or strum with your fingers is a plus for any musician. The versatile acoustic guitar will grow with players as they get better and the solid spruce top will make it look good on your wall when not in use.
Like criticism associated with Martin, Taylor guitars are often seen as overrated or overpriced. However, if you talk to serious guitar players, you find out that there is a reason Taylor guitars cost more than others and is preferred by professional musicians all over the world.
Guild guitars were introduced to players in 1953 and are still a favorite over 50 years later. The iconic acoustic guitar was made famous when Richie Havens opened Woodstock strumming a D-40 from Guild. Though the years, Guild has been known for its quality craftsmanship, quality, and value. But, what drives Guild’s success is a diehard community of fans. The three most famous Guild guitars include the D-40, the F-30, and the D-50.
Like Richie Havens, Kim Thayil from Soundgarden is drawn to the D-40 from Guild. All three of the most famous guitars listed here are from the company’s Standard series. Each is created with a red spruce baring with satin mahogany necks. The bone saddles and nuts are different than those used in similar models in the Traditional series. Many believe the wood used to create the Standard series is also inferior to the wood utilized in the Traditional series.
Guild has fans all over the world, which has lead the company to remain popular for over half a century. However, some fans have wavered support or choose a new favorite over the years because of Guild’s turbulent history. The company has been sold and resold numerous times over the year.
In fact, the company almost ceased to exist a few times before being bought and saved by other brands. The company was last sold in 2014, and most Guild fans are hoping it is the guitar company’s last change, which will help it rebuild its reputation of reliability.
Takamine guitars are famously revered today but had very humble beginnings. In 1959, Takamine Guitars was a family-run guitar shop at the foot of Mt. Takamine in Sakashita, Japan. Today, world-renowned musicians such as Jon Bon Jovi, Garth Brooks, Bruno Mars, and Blake Shelton can be seen playing a Takamine acoustic guitar. Artists such as Glen Frey, Toby Keith, and Kenny Chesney, even have limited edition Takamine guitars named after them.
Takamine guitars have been available around the world since 1975. During that time, three of their guitars have become go-to for many musicians. The most famous acoustic guitars from Takamine are; the GN93CE, the GD71CE, and the GD10.
The GN93CE is a versatile acoustic guitar that delivers rich sound. It is perfect for beginners and features a beautiful spruce top with maple and rosewood accents.
The GD71CE is a Dreadnought Cutaway Acoustic guitar with a spruce top and Rosewood back and sides. The beautiful acoustic guitar delivers Takamine’s signature sound.
The GD10 Dreadnought is an acoustic guitar covered in Satin Natural gloss for showmanship. When musicians bring this guitar out, listeners should prepare for a big, audible sound.
Over the years, Takamine guitars have increased in price as their instrument has gained in popularity.
Gibson has a long list of instruments and accessories it manufacturers. But, it is most famous for guitars. When the instrument industry slumped in the 1970s, most company’s failed, but not Gibson. Instead, Gibson prevailed with the help of musician endorsements from BB King and Chet Atkins. Some of the most sought-after Gibson guitars are limited edition instruments.
The popularity is due to their only being a limited amount of instruments available. The most famous Gibson guitars now are the Hummingbird, J-45, and Limited Edition Montana Ultimate Players.
The Hummingbird guitar is a limited edition model. There were only 30 of this model created, which makes it highly sought after. It is a well-balanced instrument that delivers clear sound in any room.
The J-45 standard acoustic guitar is a Gibson workhorse. A Sitka spruce top paired with solid mahogany makes this guitar easy to look at, and the warm bass sounds it creates make it a delight to listen to.
The Limited Edition Montana Ultimate Players guitar is exactly what it looks like. If you like to take your musical talents to the stage, you won’t be disappointed by the Montana Ultimate acoustic guitar. It is a stunning showpiece that looks as good as it sounds.
One of the only downfalls of a Gibson guitar is that some of the most popular guitars are almost impossible to get your hands on.
Washburn guitars was once a subsidiary of Lyon & Healy, a Chicago-based company that specialized in stringed instruments. Eventually, the popularity of acoustic guitars became too huge to ignore, so a separate division was created. Today, the most famous Washburn guitars are the WCSD30S, C5, and HD10SCE.
The WC SD30S is from the company’s Washburn Woodcraft Series. It is an acoustic guitar with a Sitka spruce top, koa bac accents, and a mahogany neck. With this moderately-priced guitar, players can learn how to play and perfect their signature sound.
The C5 Classical Acoustic Guitar uses nato, rosewood, and spruce to give it a unique look. The articulated timbre in the guitar’s design makes it easy to play and guarantee it sounds good every time you strum or pick it. It is also much less expensive than other guitars on the market.
Lastly is the HD10SCE acoustic dreadnought guitar. This instrument uses a solid spruce top and Sitka spruce bracing. The design allows for great live experiences and makes it the go-to choice for bluegrass players all over the globe.
Everyone in the guitar world agrees that Washburn is one of the best acoustic guitars for beginners. The only downside is that it isn’t an instrument that grows with players as they progress. But, the integrity and craftsmanship make it a beginner guitar that can be passed down for generations.
Fender has always been a household name when it comes to acoustic guitars ever since its humble beginnings in 1946. The Fender brand was named after its founder, Leo Fender. In 1985, Fender was sold to CBS and was brought to California where its biggest manufacturing facility is now located.
Fender has a great selection of acoustic guitars with varying price range, features, and usability but here are some of the best ones they have.
The FA-100 has a straightforward design, decent sound quality, and relatively affordable price, making it a practical choice for beginners. In fact, it is the most recommended beginner acoustic guitar by professional guitarists. It features a basswood top, rosewood bridge, steel strings, and a Dreadnought body design.
The DG-8S Guitar pack comes with a couple of accessories that include a tuner, strap, a bunch of strings and picks, and an instructional DVD. It also has the same rosewood bridge, steel strings, and Dreadnought body design but with a laminated Spruce top. This guitar is easy to play and has a great sound quality.
If you want more functionality with your acoustic guitar, the T-Bucket 300CE is a good choice. It is equipped with Fishman Isys III System which comes with a preamp and a tuner. It has a decent tone that is not too deep nor twangy.
In terms of looks, this guitar has the classic dreadnought body, rosewood bridge and frets, maple top, and a laminated finish mahogany back and sides. There also a great variety of colors to choose from- honey burst, amber, green, and black among others.
Although Yamaha’s entrance to the musical world started out by making pianos and keyboards, the company eventually started manufacturing other musical instruments that included guitars. Their FG series was recognized as the world’s best selling acoustic guitar–and for a good reason.
The FG730S features a dreadnought body and mahogany fretboard, back, and sides. In terms of tone, its relatively shallow body produces warm mids and highs. It’s leaning more towards the pricier side, but considering the fact that its part of the FG series, one can expect a quality guitar.
The FG830 boasts a classic dreadnought body but with a scalloped bracing, a slimmer tapered neck, and a Sitka spruce top. It features a strong and crisp bass tone, a rich projection, and an impressive sustain. This model pretty much lives up to the reputation of the FG series
The C40 is a good entry-level guitar that features a rosewood bridge and mahogany top. Its fretboard is slightly larger than usual and it uses nylon strings, so beginners can practice without the finger pain.
Seagull is a Canadian brand that started in 1982. They are known for manufacturing some of the best sounding guitars for the best value and have maintained that reputation ever since. Fun fact about them is that they don’t make electric guitars and their string instruments are all hand-made.
The S6 Original is one the best Seagull guitars to date. It features a dreadnought body, rosewood bridge, steel strings, and a pressure-tested cedar top. More than the aesthetics, the S6’s tone is clear and has an impressive sound quality. It also comes with electronics, so you can easily plug it in.
The Entourage Rustic reflects an old-school acoustic guitar design but definitely sounds a lot better. It features a solid cedar top and the sides are made of Canadian wild cherry. The guitar creates more treble than bass but the overall sound quality is still impressive. It is also a good entry-level guitar.
The Artist Mosaic combines cedar and mahogany in its design along with a semi-gloss finish. As a result, the tones it creates are warm and mellow and are perfectly complemented with an impressive projection and volume. It comes in three different types: the standard Artist Mosaic, the Artist Mosaic QII which is the acoustic-electric version, and the Artist Mosaic Cutaway Folk QII which features a grand auditorium shape and a cutaway.
Did you know that Gibson’s creator used to work at Epiphone’s factory when he was younger? He is also the same guy who created the first ever Les Paul guitar for both brands. Epiphone is one of the favorite brands of famous artists including Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan.
The DR-100 features a combination of mahogany, rosewood, and spruce in its design. This aesthetically pleasing guitar has certainly more to offer than what meets the eye. For one, it offers an impressive sound quality and second, you don’t have to spend a fortune on it.
The Pro-1’s sound quality is more than what most beginners would expect from an entry-level guitar. It offers a well-balanced sound with very clear tones. The playability is also great and the best part, it’s very affordable.
Final Thoughts On the Best Acoustic Guitar Brands
Whether it’s an acoustic or electric guitar you are looking for, guitars, in general, come with different features. However, they do have one thing in common–they can create beautiful music. The guitars listed above, regardless of brand, are all impressive in their own ways. It’s just a matter of perspective and a good combination of talent and passion in order to bring out the best of a guitar.
For more on what to look for in your guitars check out our Ultimate Guitar Buying Guide!