Best Cheap Acoustic Guitars of 2020 – Complete Review

Acoustic guitars may have a reputation for being expensive instruments, but we are here to tell you that this is not always true.

If you’re wondering whether you can pursue your musical passion without breaking the bank, you’re in the right place. 

In this article, we will explore together the best affordable acoustic guitars, examine their features, why we all need one, and why they are so popular – even among experienced guitar players! Let’s get started!

Comparison Chart of the Best Cheap Acoustic Guitars

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Seagull S6

  • Double action truss rod
  • Precise and very stable tuning
  • Best cheap acoustic guitar overall
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Martin LXK2 Little Martin

  • Dreadnought, comfortable shape
  • Highly playable and powerful sounds
  • Made from laminated koa for bright sounds
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Fender Squier Dreadnought

  • Slim and comfortable neck
  • Best cheap acoustic guitar for the money
  • Lindenwood top and mahogany back and sides
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Martin X Series 2015 DX1AE

  • Lightweight, unique design
  • Balanced sound with great resonance
  • Best Cheap Acoustic Guitar Under $1000
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Yamaha FG820

  • Best Cheap 12 String Acoustic Guitar
  • Warm sounds with an outstanding balance
  • Great value for money and complex feature
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Yamaha FSX800C

  • High value for money bundle
  • Best Cheap Acoustic Electric Guitar
  • Precision chromatic tuner for ideal sound tailoring
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Can You Really Find a Quality Acoustic Guitar That’s Affordable?

When you decide to shop for a new guitar, the price is not so relevant. After all, it goes the same with any other product – some products are best-sellers because they are reasonably priced and they offer a nice range of features and solid quality. 

We are convinced that you don’t need to mortgage your house to find a high-quality acoustic guitar that’s affordable, comfortable, and matches any play style and genre – don’t take our word for it, jump to the next sections and see for yourself!

What Should I Look For When Buying an Acoustic Guitar?

There is a plethora of features and characteristics of an acoustic guitar. Here’s a summary of the most important ones:

Comfort Versus Tonal Qualities

The body shape is what determines whether you have a comfortable, minimalistic guitar great for traveling or small hands versus a bulky one capable of giving out some booming sounds. Either way, make sure it is the perfect match for you – and if not sure, better get a hybrid acoustic-electric guitar to get the best of both!

Tonewood

Tonewood is another important factor of an acoustic guitar – or any guitar for that matter. The choice of wood produces a different tone, so most guitarists have their own preferences. Rare tonewoods will make the guitar more expensive, but there are also great alternatives that will decrease the cost and provide you with similar tonal features. 

Versatility

Another essential feature is the guitar’s versatility and flexibility. Ideally, it should have enough controls and features to allow you to shape your tones – such as tone and volume knob – but not too many to overcomplicate it. 

Overall, finding the perfect guitar is quite tricky if you are a beginner; hence, it is important to try out different guitars. In order to help you with that process, the next section introduces some of the best, most affordable instruments out there.

Quick Take: 
Top 3 Picks

Here are the best cheap acoustic guitars:

  1. Seagull S6
  2. Martin LXK2 Little Martin
  3. Fender Squier Dreadnought

Review of the Best Cheap Acoustic Guitars

Now that we have covered what you should look for in a cheap acoustic guitar, let's look at some of the best options on the market.

Best Overall:
Seagull S6

Seagull S6 Original Acoustic Guitar

PROS

  • Great, smooth feel 
  • Easy and fun to play
  • Enhanced intonation
  • Consistent tuning stability
  • Rich sounds with good controls for volume and tone
  • High-quality design with a pressure-tested solid cedar top

CONS

  • Only one strap button on the back
  • Wide neck can be uncomfortable for some players
  • Top is made from cedar, which can be easily scratched

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers said that the Seagull S6 is a great beginner guitar that will grow with the user as they become more experienced. They report that the best part of this instrument is that the solid cedar top gets better and better as it ages, making this guitar perhaps the best investment they ever made as a guitarist. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This gorgeous S6 with wild cherry sides and back offers you unique tones and versatility. The intricacies of its performance rely heavily on the creative combination of crisp maple and warm mahogany; working together, they offer you a playable instrument with impressive tuning stability. 

Who Will Use This Most

This guitar is ideal for a quick jam, practicing, or even recording. It is perfect for both beginners and more experienced players – it is an investment you will never regret. It is lightweight and easy to use, but the slightly wide neck might be inconvenient for people with shorter arms. 

Bottom Line

All in all, this versatile instrument comes with an entry-level cost and top performance. Whether you want an instrument for strumming, fingerpicking, or you play rock, blues, or jazz, the S6 offers all the features you need. It is definitely a superb yet highly affordable instrument!

Martin X Series LX Koa Little Martin Acoustic Guitar Natural

PROS

  • Loud, powerful volumes
  • Easy to play and very comfortable
  • Great for beginners or traveling musicians
  • Laminated finish in a travel-friendly casing
  • Ideal for crisp, bright sounds due to koa composition

CONS

  • No adjustable truss rod 
  • Tuners not very responsive
  • Minimalistic design, not for people with large hands

What Recent Buyers Report

All it takes is to strum it once, and most buyers said that they recognized the top quality and approachability of this guitar. It is ideal for fingerstyle, protects your fingers from pain, and it is lightweight, ideal even for kids. It is sturdy, durable, and definitely the perfect companion during travels!

Why it Stands Out to Us

The LXK2 is a short-scale, minimalistic acoustic guitar that allows you to perfect fingerpicking skills. It has an impressively loud sound and is equipped with a high-pressure laminated body made of koa, which is well-known for bright, crisp sounds. It is the compact guitar to withstand all your travels. 

Who Will Use This Most

Martin LXK2 scores the highest on playability features, given its small size and easy to access strings. All you need to do is pick it up and start jamming without a worry in the world – which makes it absolutely perfect for beginners, children, or musicians who travel from gig to gig. 

Bottom Line

The Martin LXK2 is not a pro guitar, but there’s none better when it comes to the perfect companion for traveling. The neck is smooth, fast, and the fret width and string spacing are just perfect. Overall, the LXK2 carries on Martin’s reputation in terms of high-quality sounds and great design. 

Best for the Money:
Fender Squier Dreadnought

Fender Squier Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar Bundle with Hard Case, Tuner, Strap, Strings, Picks, and Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD - Sunburst

PROS

  • Full-size guitar
  • Highly affordable
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Beautiful, delicate design
  • Full-body, dreadnought tonality
  • Bundle includes all the accessories you need to get started

CONS

  • Strings are quite hard
  • Trade-off between price and quality

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers who were purchasing their first guitar agree that this FA-100 is the perfect blend of simplicity, pure charm, quality, and full character that they needed to get started on their journey. It is a full-sized beginner guitar but offers big sounds full of personality, all in a beautiful, humble design. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Fender Squier is already a landmark in the guitar world – and this model lives up to its reputation. Highly affordable, this guitar is exceptionally sturdy, with a Lindenwood top and mahogany back, sides, and neck. It is easy to play and has a slim profile to aid beginners in their journey. 

Who Will Use This Most

If you are a rookie strummer, this guitar is all you can ever wish for. Highly affordable, great features, and the Fender stamp on it, it will make you shine in no time. It is simple, basic, so it helps you learn your way around in no time. Additionally, it comes with all the accessories you need for a quick start!

Bottom Line

Overall, the Fender bundle is a great opportunity to jump-start your career or to exercise your hobby. It is simple and easy to use, thus great for beginners. These full-sized guitars include all the accessories you need, and are among the finest acoustic guitars you can find in this price range. 

Best Cheap Acoustic Guitar Under $1000:
Martin X Series 2015 DX1AE

Martin X Series 2015 DX1AE Acoustic-Electric Guitar Natural

PROS

  • Portable and lightweight
  • High-quality, clear sounds
  • Tone adjustment properties
  • Durable design, built to last
  • Extremely comfortable and easy to use
  • Comfortable, great resonance and balanced sounds

CONS

  • Does not include a case
  • Shallow bottom strap reduces play comfort
  • You need to remove all strings to access the battery

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers report that the Martin DX1AE is a highly affordable guitar that faithfully resembles the qualities of professional instruments. It is beginner-friendly, and they state that the tones stand out beautifully once they strum it. It is loud, bright, and suitable for any music genre! 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The DX1AE is an acoustic-electric dreadnought guitar with impressive features. It has rich, dynamic sound qualities and perpetuates the stylish look of Martin guitars. With the combination of solid sitka spruce top and mahogany back and sides, the guitar is a pleasure all the way! Bear in mind that you should purchase an additional bag to store it safely, since a bag is not included with the instrument.

Who Will Use This Most

This is an acoustic-electric guitar, which allows you greater versatility and flexibility. The sound qualities and ease of play make it comfortable and ready to impress on any music genre and with every playstyle out there. Any skill level would benefit from this affordable yet gorgeous Martin. 

Bottom Line

Overall, the price range of this guitar is truly amazing, making it a hard to miss acoustic-electric guitar. It has a signature Martin sound, exquisite craftsmanship, and precision that’s hard to come by. If you are looking for the perfect combination of tone, projection, and design, this is your new best friend! 

Best Cheap 12 String Acoustic Guitar:
Yamaha FG820

Yamaha FG820 12-String Solid Top Acoustic Guitar

PROS

  • Ideal for large hands 
  • Rich, full-bodied tonality
  • Exceeds expectations on all levels
  • Solid build and premium materials
  • Built-in diecast turners and adjustable truss rod
  • Ideal beginner instrument with great performance

CONS

  • Quite bulky
  • Not ideal for clear highs
  • Needs string replacement

What Recent Buyers Report

The FG820 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar perfectly balances out the sound quality, playability, and sturdy, reliable build, which makes it ideal for performances, according to recent buyers. Yamaha is a great landmark in the guitar world – you will never regret investing in one of their guitars!

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Yamaha FG820 is an outstanding instrument with great features. Their performance has been stable throughout history, and the FG820 is a perfect example. Tones are well-balanced, yet strong and rich, with great projection. Whether you are gigging or practicing at home, FG820 will definitely make you stand out from the crowd. 

Who Will Use This Most

This guitar is ideal for an authentic warm sound, which is the building block of blues and country. It is rich, full-bodied, and it will satisfy even more experienced players; that is, once you change the stock strings, otherwise you might get some buzz. Overall, it is ideal for both gigging and practice sessions!

Bottom Line

Overall, the FG820 is a durable instrument with excellent sound qualities. Whether you are live gigging, practicing, or recording, this guitar will exceed all of your expectations. The range of full-bodies, rich sounds, and deep mellow tones is an excellent match for any blues, jazz, or country player. With a new pair of strings, Yamaha FG820 is a real keeper!

Best Cheap Acoustic Electric Guitar:
Yamaha FSX800C

Yamaha FSX800C Small Body Solid Top Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar, Natural

PROS

  • Highly affordable
  • Includes all the basic accessories
  • Solid wood top for better acoustics
  • Adjustable truss rod and diecast tuners
  • Outstanding sound quality with great bass
  • Highly adjustable with diecast tuners and adjustable truss rod

CONS

  • Quite bulky
  • Stock strings should be replaced

What Recent Buyers Report

This guitar offers all premium features for practically half the price of premium alternatives! It is a great acoustic-electric guitar, with good electronics and all the sound qualities which will awe your audience. For better performance, it is recommended to change the stock strings, but in the end, it is all down to personal preference. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The high quality of this affordable guitar is mirrored by the sturdiness of the sitka spruce top, rosewood fingerboard and bridge, and the scalloped bracing. The materials are high-quality, and they have a long life. The spruce top offers a rich, natural acoustic foundation, and it includes numerous controls for the electronics. 

Who Will Use This Most

The Yamaha FGX800C is an acoustic-electric guitar ideal for beginners and more experienced players alike. If you are looking for a high-quality, versatile, and affordable guitar, FGX800C should definitely be on your list. It is ideal for both live performances and rehearsals!

Bottom Line

All in all, Yamaha FGX800C adds quality and value exactly where it matters. This great guitar is not only affordable, but the quality far outmatches its price range – but don’t take our word for it, check out all the guitarists, beginners and professionals alike, who already make sure they own this one!

Pros and Cons of Cheap Acoustic Guitar

Here are some main advantages and disadvantages of buying a cheap acoustic guitar:

Pros

Great Value for Money

The most evident advantage is all the perks you can get by investing in a perfectly serviceable instrument for a relatively small amount of money.

Great for Beginners

If you are a starter, you might not know yet what guitar suits you best; thus, a cheap acoustic guitar will allow you to experiment without requiring a hefty fee.

Great Versatility

You can either pay for an expensive guitar, or you can instead use that money for several cheap ones – this option will allow you to have fun with different styles and types. For this reason, they are ideal for hobbyists and guitar enthusiasts; if you are not planning to perform live, a cheap acoustic guitar will allow you to exercise your passion without spending too much.

Cons

Needs professional adjustment​

Most affordable guitars should be seen by a professional first in order to set them up.

Stock accessories are not so good

This is especially true when it comes to the strings.

Overall, cheap acoustic guitars are not only for beginners – but rather for any guitarist out there. All they take is a bit of professional setup and, in most cases, some new strings to make them perform to the highest qualities. Of course, for fussier professionals, they might only be suitable for a quick jam at home or with your friends. 

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

Here are some aspects to consider before buying, which are essential, yet easily neglected:

Accessories

Although some of us get really excited at the thought of adding one extra cheap guitar to our arsenal, for starters, it is quite easy to forget that you also need to purchase accessories. Some guitars do have starter bundles, but for others, it is important to consider a gig bag or case, a new set of strings, picks, and straps (at least) in your budget when you decide to buy a guitar. 

Professional Setup

We know how excited you can get once you receive your first instrument. But beware! Starting to strum away and giving out some horrid noises will not be very pleasant and can even diminish your excitement. Thus, make sure you get your rookie guitar some professional setup before you start. 

Trade-Offs

Lastly, don’t forget that there are always some trade-offs with cheap guitars, although some of them quite imperceptible. Most likely, you will see a compromise between comfort and quality – so a small-sized, compact, and easy to play guitar might not have the same sound qualities as bulky one does. It is highly recommended to go for the most comfortable, playable one first – then take it step by step as your needs grow!

Conclusion

Overall, choosing the best cheap acoustic guitar does not seem like a difficult task anymore. There are a lot of controversies on this topic that we hope we broke down – such as the misconception that all cheap guitars are of cheap quality. Based on our reviews, we’d rather think they should be called "affordable" since their value and quality outmatch their price tags by far!