They say the formula for how many guitars to own is n + 1, where n equals the current number of guitars you already own. Now that we know that you’ll be buying another guitar, I’ve put together a list of the top acoustic guitars for around $500.
(If that’s too much to spend, no worries, check out my guide on the best beginner guitars that come in under $300.)
This price range of acoustic guitars is perfect for all levels of players. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced player, this price point gets you a good guitar that will sound great while not breaking the bank.
While you won’t find any American made acoustics for this price, you will find some by popular American brands offering cheaper versions of their high end guitars that are made in Mexico or China.
Every guitarist needs that one acoustic to take on trips, take camping or pull out at parties. If it gets damaged or destroyed, it’s not the end of the world!
The Loar guitars are crafted after the classic guitars of the 1920’s and 30’s. Cited by many owners as a great singer songwriter guitar, the LH 200 is a small body folk style acoustic.
It does not have the volume of a dreadnought style body, but this guitar is described as having a warmer tone. It has a solid spruce top with mahogany back and sides.
So if you fancy yourself a singer songwriter, this may be a great choice for you. It’s the best small body acoustic guitar in this price range, in my opinion.
The Alvarez AG75CE is on the upper range of our budget acoustic guitars. This particular model is a cedar top with rosewood back and sides. It also features scalloped and forward shifted bracing which makes for a bigger sound.
The cutaway is a nice feature for those that want to reach the upper register of the guitar, and it looks cool too!
It is a grand auditorium body, which does not quite have the bass of a dreadnought but offers a more balanced sound. Great for singing along. This guitar is a great choice for intermediate players looking to not break the bank.
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Here we have a Taylor guitar that won’t break the bank. Taylor is known for their high quality, and expensive guitars. It’s great that they are offering a lower priced model so more players can enjoy their great sounding guitars.
The Big Baby is a 15/16 dreadnought sized guitar which is slightly smaller than a full sized. Perfect for those that want that dreadnought sound but want a little smaller body. The top is sitka spruce and the back and sides are sapele.
The guitar has a very warm and full bodied tone, and that it does not sound like a cheap guitar. This is no surprise given that it is made by Taylor.
This is another great choice for those with smaller hands, as Taylor’s are known for their great necks and amazing playability.
Update: I recently bought one of these for myself, and it’s amazing. Check out my full review of the Big Baby Taylor.
This guitar is one of the most popular choices for those looking for a quality acoustic guitar for beginners. It comes in a dreadnought size or concert (smaller body) size.
It also comes in a variety of colors (10 at time of writing). Some of the features of this acoustic are: Spruce top, rosewood back and sides, new scalloped bracing.
Owners describe the sound of this guitar as full, bright, and balanced. It will surely bring a smile to your face as you strum chords for hours while learning new songs.
- Solid sitka spruce top
- Nato back & sides
- Rosewood fingerboard
Sigma Guitars look strangely similar to Martin guitars. This folk style acoustic electric cutaway meets our budget, and I can only say good things about it. It’s my pick for the best folk guitar in this price range.
The model SF18CE features a grade A sitka spruce top with mahogany back and sides. It also boasts a hand finished scallop bracing system.
- Specs - Total Length: 40.8”; Scale Length: 25.5”; Total Body Length: 19.9”; Number of Frets:...
- Handcrafted - The SIGMA acoustic guitar features handcrafted sturdy construction w/ solid Spruce...
- Warm, Rich Tone - New SIGMA models give more than a generous nod to vintage instruments, but they...
This is our top pick for the best dreadnought guitar for beginners. It has the looks of something you’d see in a honky tonk bar. It is a really cool looking acoustic guitar.
It is a classic with it’s sunburst color and decorated hummingbird pick guard. It is the more affordable version of the Gibson Hummingbird.
It has a solid spruce top with mahogany back and sides. It also has a pickup so you can amplify it for gigs.
I love its big sound with great playability. Nice low action will make playing much easier. The tapered neck is great for beginners and makes forming chords less difficult.
Yes, a Martin guitar that’s affordable. The Martin LX1E features a sitka spruce top with mahogany back and sides.
It carries the Martin name, which means high quality is expected. Being that it is closer to our spending limit, you can expect this guitar to deliver on tone.
This one is a direct competitor to the Baby Taylor. Personally, I like the sound of the Martin better, since it is bright and crisp. The tradeoff is the playability is not as high as the Taylor.
For even less money, you can get the Martin LX1 without electronics.
- PROFESSIONAL SOUND: Martin’s Little Martin LX1E acoustic-electric guitar has a Sitka spruce top...
- SUPERIOR APPEARANCE: The Little Martin LX1R acoustic-electric guitars are made with a Sitka spruce...
- Handmade from the highest-quality wood, Little Martin guitars are built to stand up to late-night...
Takamine has been known for their high quality and highly affordable guitars for years. Their GD51CE comes in at a beginner’s price, and is a cutaway dreadnought.
It is my top pick if you are looking for the best cutaway acoustic guitar in this price range.
It has a slim neck for great playability, something that beginners and experts both love. It has a spruce top with rosewood back and sides.
You will also be able to amplify this guitar, as it is an acoustic electric. It comes in natural or sunburst finishes.
Its sound is loud and balanced, which is expected of a dreadnought cutaway. You can’t go wrong either, as it has an onboard tuner.
Seagull S6 Original
The Seagull S6 is another very popular choice for those looking for an affordable but great sounding acoustic. Owners claim it sounds as good as guitars in the $800-$1500 range.
The S6 has a cedar top with cherry back and sides. It features a wider nut, which means this guitar will be a great choice for those playing finger style or that have larger hands.
The sound of this guitar is big, yet soft. It is “alive” with tone. Seagull has been making quality guitars at an affordable price for many years, so the S6 will not disappoint.
- New Deep Dark Custom Stain on Wild Cherry Back and Sides
- New Custom Pick Guard
- Solid Cedar Pressure Tested Top
Ovation makes a great acoustic electric. It has a spruce top with a lyracord bowl back. Some people don’t like the rounded back as it’s hard to keep it in your lap, so a strap may be needed if you should choose this guitar.
The onboard pre amp has a built in tuner which makes staying in tune very simple. It’s nice not having to keep up with a separate tuning device. The reviews for this guitar are positive, citing great tone and playability.
- Super Shallow Cutaway Body with Lyrachord Super Shallow Bowl Back
- Solid Spruce Top with Transparent Sunburst Finish, Nato Neck with Satin Finish
- Rosewood Fingerboard, 25.25" Scale Length
The EJ-200SCE is a great acoustic for the price. With a spruce top and maple body, it offers a great tone for the money.
It sounds as good as a Gibson for 1/10 of the price. It also has an onboard pre amp with a built in tuner for plugging in.
It’s perfect for playing gigs or at church. It has the SlimTaper neck which will be very easy to form chords on with smaller hands. The cutaway is nice for getting those up the neck solos easily, and of course it looks great as well.
Last update on 2024-03-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API