13 Best Acoustic Guitars Under $500

By Jeremy Koering • Updated on June 28, 2022

Best Acoustic Guitars Under $500

As a guitarist, you know that you get what you pay for. A cheap guitar will always sound…cheap. But that doesn’t mean that you have to break the bank to get a great acoustic guitar.

In fact, there are some amazing acoustics available for under $500. So if you’re in the market for a new acoustic, read on for my picks for the 13 best acoustic guitars under $500.

What are the best acoustic guitars under $500?

I wanted to make the most accessible list of the best acoustic guitars under $500. There are so many quality guitars on the market today that it can be overwhelming when trying to find one that best suits you.

So I looked for the very best acoustic guitars including the best sellers, reviews, and best quality that $500 can buy.

My top picks are the Guild P-240, Takamine GD20CE-NS, and Fender CD-60s.

Here is my list of the best acoustic guitars under $500:

  1. Guild P-240
  2. Takamine GD20CE-NS
  3. Fender CD-60S
  4. Baby Taylor
  5. Gretsch G5024E
  6. Epiphone J-200 EC
  7. Fender CD-60SCE
  8. Fender California Malibu
  9. Yamaha F335
  10. Ibanez AW540PN
  11. Washburn WD100DL
  12. Yamaha FG800
  13. Epiphone DR-100

1. Guild P-240 Parlor Guitar

The Guild P-240 Memoir Parlor acoustic guitar is the perfect guitar for beginners and intermediate players with big ambitions. The body has a small, easy to reach scale that will make learning precious skills easier on your hands and fingers.

This guitar is great for both flatpicking and fingerpicking techniques because of its resonant, deep tone even though with its compact size.

Its small, sleek body and solid Sitka spruce top and mahogany back and sides construction deliver all the tone you’ll ever need for those morning practice sessions, this incredible guitar is as comfortable as it is versatile.

The Guild P-240 Memoir Parlor Acoustic Guitar is perfect for folk music lovers but is versatile for many styles.

If you’re looking for a smaller acoustic steel-string guitar, this one will suit your needs. It comes with a slim neck and small body so it’s easier to handle than other acoustics, but is still high-quality and feels great under your fingers.

2. Takamine GD20CE-NS

The Takamine GD20CE-NS dreadnought acoustic-electric guitar has a rosewood fingerboard, mahogany neck, and solid cedar top. This dazzling instrument produces an array of musical tones for any musical genre with the TP-4TD preamp system.

Takamine has a reputation for building some best dreadnought guitars. This model is one of the best-selling acoustic guitars on Amazon.

The Takamine GD20CE-NS is a best-selling guitar for a good reason. It’s one of the best-sounding full-size dreadnoughts on this list.

3. Fender CD-60S

The Best Acoustic Guitar Under $200

Fender CD-60S

Fender CD-60S Overview

Price: $199.99

Back/Sides: Mahogany
Top: Spruce
Colors: Black, Natural

Are you a beginner guitar player looking for an acoustic guitar that sounds great and is easy to play? Then check out the Fender CD-60S Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar. This is the best acoustic guitar under $200. This guitar has a rich, deep, and clear sound that will make your music sound great.

The narrow fretboard makes it easy to play if you have small hands. And at this price, you won’t have to worry about damaging or scratching your guitar.

The Fender CD-60S is a great acoustic guitar for beginners. It has a rich, deep, and clear sound that is easy to play. So get the Fender CD-60S Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar today and start making great music!

Read more Fender CD-60S details.

4. Baby Taylor

This Baby Taylor is made for the journey. And once you get to your destination, she’ll be perfect for any occasion: jam sessions around the campfire, impromptu performances in front of an open mic crowd.

The guitar is ready to take you wherever you need to go and rock with the best of them.

The Baby Taylor acoustic guitar is one of the most popular travel guitars on the market. It’s made for traveling—and is well suited for kids or people who need a smaller guitar.

This reliable little guitar is just three-quarters of a regular acoustic guitar’s size. The Baby Taylor is lightweight and durable.

Taylor guitars are known for their quality, sound, and appearance. The Baby Taylor is the ideal introductory guitar because it’s just as high-quality as more expensive models but comes at a lower price point. Plus, you have the option of upgrading to an acoustic-electric version for just $100 more.

5. Gretsch G5024E Rancher

The Gretsch G5024E Rancher acoustic-electric guitar is perfect for guitarists who are looking for a great-sounding, budget-friendly model. With its spruce top, mahogany sides and back, deluxe tuners, and gold-plated hardware it not only sounds good but looks beautiful!

Armed with the Fishman Sonicore under-saddle pickup the acoustic-electric guitar features volume/tone controls, and an onboard tuner this guitar has what it takes for any stage.

For the price of less than $500, this traditional dreadnought will bring years of enjoyment with just about any style.

If you need an acoustic-electric and are limited to a $500 budget, the Gretch G5024E Rancher is one of the best options for your budget.

6. Epiphone J-200 EC Studio Parlor

The Epiphone J-200 EC Studio Parlor from Epiphone is the perfect small acoustic guitar for those who need an instrument that can go anywhere!

With a spruce top and Grover Mini Rotomatic machine heads, as well as a built-in active under-saddle pickup system tuned to your strings’ natural tone when plugged into amps or PA systems, this little workhorse sounds like it should be much larger than its size. 

The small size and convenient carrying handle make it perfect for traveling. The sound quality is still big enough to fill any room, so you’ll never want this little parlor guitar out of your collection!

The Epiphone J-200 EC Studio Parlor is a versatile, affordable instrument that can be played anywhere. It’s the perfect choice for any musician on a budget who wants to make music with style!

7. Fender CD-60SCE

The Fender CD-60SCE dreadnought acoustic-electric guitar is great for seasoned guitarists, passionate beginners, and casual guitarists looking for a go-to instrument. The mahogany back and sides give it a fullness of tone.

The neck shape is comfortable for both beginners and more experienced guitarists. The guitar also comes with a Fishman pickup/preamp system so you can easily amplify your acoustic performance. It also includes a built-in tuner so you always sound your best.

The CD-60SCE is a great guitar for beginners. It’s easy to play and sounds great. It’s plug-in ready for whichever stage you find yourself on.

It’s hard to beat the price of the Fender CD-60SCE, for any beginner or intermediate player looking for an acoustic-electric guitar, this is a great option for you.

8. Yamaha F335

A Great Beginner’s Guitar for under $200

Yamaha F335 Acoustic Guitar

Yamaha F335 Overview

Price: $169.99

Back/Sides: Meranti
Top: Laminated Spruce
Colors: Black, Natural, Tobacco Brown Sunburst

The Yamaha F335 is the perfect guitar for beginners and experienced players alike. With its durable construction, amazing sound quality, and easy playability, this guitar is a great choice for anyone looking for a reliable and affordable instrument.

The neck is comfortable and fast, perfect for those who want to learn to play quickly or for those who want to shred some major licks. The body is well-balanced and sits comfortably against the player’s body, making it ideal for long practice sessions or lively performances.

The F335 comes with a hard case, making it easy to transport and protect your investment. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned pro, the Yamaha F335 is the perfect guitar for you.

Read more Yamaha F335 details.

9. Fender California Malibu Player

The Fender California Malibu Player acoustic-electric guitar is a perfect guitar for any stage or studio with its bold style and articulate sound.

This gorgeous guitar is versatile enough to deliver some high notes or some wonderfully delicate fingerpicking. The quality of this beautiful instrument will never fail to amaze you, with its Sitka spruce solid top and mahogany back, providing superior sound quality while looking beautiful at the same time.

With optimized bracing for reduced mass and enhanced resonance, a Graph Tech NuBone nut/saddle for increased sustain, an on-board Fishman pickup system for cordless amplified tone without it interfering with your natural sound.

This natural mahogany-bodied acoustic-electric guitar is ready for you to put your fearless style on full display. At its most perceptive, the lighter weight and C-shaped neck profile feels like easy playing with distinctive sound created by laurel fingerboard/bridge.

This acoustic-electric guitar is perfect for your first guitar purchase. The price is accessible, the quality holds its own against other guitars in this price range, and there are plenty of finishes to choose from including statement colors that will let you stand out on stage.

10. Ibanez AW540PN

The Ibanez AW540PN acoustic guitar is a great choice for any aspiring guitarist just starting out. This product not only has an affordable price but also features fine tone quality and playability so you can learn fast on it!

With the mahogany neck, back, and sides of the Ibanez Acoustic Guitar located in a dreadnought body shape, your music is sure to be delicate. This guitar creates the rich tradition that has made acoustic guitars so beloved throughout history.

When you need the perfect starter guitar, this is your match. With mahogany wood and a dreadnought shape for rich tones, you’ll find that it fits your budget with its affordable price.

11. Washburn WD100DL

A Good Quality Beginner Guitar for under $200

Washburn WD100DL Dreadnought Mahogany Acoustic Guitar

Washburn WD100DL Overview

Price: $169.99

Body/Sides/Neck: Mahogany
Colors: Black, Wine Red, Natural

Washburn’s WD100DL is an outstanding guitar for the money. It’s a great sounding, sturdy and good-looking instrument that’s perfect for any player. The natural finish on the mahogany body is gorgeous, and the binding on the neck, body, and back adds a touch of class.

The action is low and fast, making it easy to play whether you’re a beginner or a pro. And the full sound is perfect for any style of playing, from flat-picking to fingerpicking. The strings that come on the guitar are high quality and stay in tune perfectly. If you’re looking for a great acoustic guitar at an unbeatable price, the Washburn WD100DL is the one for you!

Read more Washburn WD100DL details.

12. Yamaha FG800

A Great Beginner’s Guitar for under $200

Yamaha FG800 Overview

Price: $199

Back/Sides: Merit
Top: Laminated Spruce
Neck: Nato

If you’re looking for an acoustic guitar that looks great, sounds amazing, and won’t break the bank, then you need to check out the Yamaha FG800 Folk Acoustic Guitar. This guitar is constructed with a solid spruce top and laminated merit back and sides, offering superior sound and durability.

This guitar is perfect for beginner to intermediate players, and even experienced players will appreciate the amazing playability and sound of this guitar.

The first thing you’ll notice when you pick up the FG800 is how comfortable the neck is. It’s easy to play for hours without feeling any fatigue, thanks to the perfect shape and size of the neck. The action is also extremely smooth, making it easy to get a great sound out of this guitar. And when you switch out the factory strings for your favorite brand, you’ll be blown away by the rich, full sound this guitar is capable of.

Read more Yamaha FG800 details.

13. Epiphone DR-100

An Ideal First Guitar for under $200

Epiphone DR-100

Epiphone DR-100 Overview

Price: $169

Body/Neck: Mahogany
Top: Spruce
Colors: Sunburst, Natural, Black

Epiphone DR-100 is one of the best acoustic guitars under $200 on the market. Epiphone offers a wide range of different acoustic guitars, but the DR-100 has always been one of their most popular models. And for good reason too – it’s an amazing budget guitar that sounds good, looks beautiful, and is built to last.

The Epiphone DR-100 has a warm, rich tone that is perfect for beginners or those who want a cheap travel/beater guitar. The sunburst finish is simply beautiful, and it comes with Epiphone’s Lifetime guarantee.

The downside is that the tuners don’t always hold in tune and it has high action, so you’ll get some fret buzz. Nothing unusual for a guitar under $200. If you’re starting out on a tight budget, get the Epiphone DR-100 today!

Read our Epiphone DR-100 review for more details.

Acoustic Guitar Under $500 Buyers Guide

As we mentioned before, the best time to buy a guitar is now. Never before has it been this easy to find great guitars for beginners and experts alike at such an affordable price. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you get started with your search for the best acoustic guitar under $500.

Acoustic guitar size 

The first and most crucial factor to consider when choosing your next guitar is body size. The tone it produces, how comfortable it feels or sounds while playing- all these things are impacted by what type of instrument you have in mind for yourself as well! There are a plethora of different sizes available: jumbodreadnoughtauditoriumclassical, and parlor.

Younger players will find it easier and more comfortable to play their guitars if they go for smaller models.

Think about the tone you would like for your instrument. Generally speaking, a large guitar will produce a louder and more resonant sound than its smaller counterparts- so bear this in mind when choosing between guitars of different size classes!

Laminate vs. Solid Top

What’s the difference between laminate and solid-top guitars? Solid top guitars are made from a single piece of wood and provide a better resonance, tone, and lifespan.

On the other hand, laminate guitars are made from multiple layers of wood pressed together- sacrificing some sound quality to create a more affordable instrument for you!

Acoustic/Electric Pickup System

Some of the models in our best acoustic guitars under $500 list feature an onboard pickup system. That means that they are ready to plug in at all times! If you have plans to play your guitar on stage or through an amplifier, this may be the best option for you.

These pickups are the best acoustic/electric guitar that helps you perform at any level without having to worry about unnecessary volume drops during your performance. They are also great for recording purposes, as they allow you to plug in directly into an amp without too much hassle!

If playing through an amplifier isn’t part of your plans, then pickups may not be necessary.

Can You Buy A Good Acoustic Guitar Under $500?

Yes, you can buy an excellent acoustic guitar for under $500. And with the best acoustic guitars under 500 reviews from some of the best brands on the market today, it is more affordable than ever. These bestsellers offer excellent quality and professional-grade instruments at a budget-friendly price.

If you are a beginner, this list of best acoustic guitars for under $500 will be perfect for your first step in guitar playing.

Jeremy Koering

I've been playing guitar for over 20 years and have worked in the Nashville music industry. I'm a fan of rock, blues, jazz, and country.

Published on June 8, 2022 by Jeremy Koering