Best Intermediate Acoustic Guitars of 2020 – Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

Finding your next guitar once you reach a certain skill level can be tricky.

It must be simple enough to help you with practicing without fatigue, but complex enough to help you grow further and expand your skills.

So, we decided to walk you through the best intermediate acoustic guitars, which will make you love music even more!

Comparison Chart of the Best Intermediate Acoustic Guitars

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Blueridge BR-163CE

  • Best intermediate acoustic guitar
  • Warm resonance with a durable design
  • Solid Sitka spruce top with solid Santos rosewood body for enhanced bass
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Fender CD-60S

  • Easy to play and comfortable
  • Highly versatile and value for money
  • Dreadnought shape with a solid spruce top
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Gretsch G5022CE Rancher

  • High-quality sound outputs
  • Best intermediate acoustic guitar for the money
  • Jumbo size with a cutaway body for convenience
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Martin D-28 (2017)

  • Dovetail neck joint
  • Multi-stripe top and back inlays
  • Solid headstock with a beautiful finish
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Epiphone DR-100

  • SlimTaper neck for enhanced playability
  • Highly accurate and precise, with warm and sweet sounds
  • Classic dreadnought shape, highly versatile and comfortable
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Are All Intermediate Acoustic Guitars the Same?

Not all intermediate acoustic guitars are the same, but they do fulfill a specific need – they are easy to play, but not too easy. They help you grow further, but without adding too much complexity. 

Apart from that, intermediate acoustic guitars have regular variations that all guitars have. They tend to be either dreadnought or jumbo size – that’s because short-scale ones are more for beginners. Despite this, they still have cutaways or ergonomic sizes, which enhances your comfort during play, but they are louder and clearer. They often need a good setup in order to perform to expectations. 

Dreadnoughts are full-sized guitars, and they are preferred by seasoned musicians all over the world. This particular style of guitar is also one of the most common varieties because it offers full, rich sounds with great tonal qualities. However, this might pose a challenge to you in the beginning, especially if you are used to playing a short scale guitar. 

If you’ve only played acoustic so far, you could also have a look into acoustic-electric guitars to expand your horizons. They can be used acoustically, but you can also tweak the electronics onboard such as EQ, volume, tone, and others to experiment a bit further. 

What Makes a Guitar Considered Ready for Intermediate Players?

You’ve been working hard, and you can now proudly state that you’re not a beginner anymore! Here’s the next step – intermediate guitarist. A guitar ready for intermediate players is an instrument that is fully worthy of your skills, hard work, and prowess. 

An intermediate guitar is much more; as such, you need to have higher expectations. It is not just an instrument for practice, but should also be ideal for gigs and tours. You might join a band, or you are in one already, and your intermediate guitar needs to fit into your new environment perfectly. 

How to Choose an Intermediate Acoustic Guitar

Here are the best qualities of an intermediate acoustic guitar:

Quality

First of all, you’re not a beginner anymore, so a guitar that merely gets the job done is not what you need anymore. As an intermediate player, you will potentially expand your performances to include live audiences and gigs. Therefore, an intermediate guitar needs to be accurate, tweakable, and high-quality in order to awe your audience!

Design

Apart from good sound qualities, the intermediate guitar needs to stand out from the crowd – or to stand out on the stage. The design is equally important, as a guitarist’s instrument is a part of their identity. Whether you are a retro lover or you want a more modern design, you need to find a beautifully crafted guitar for your new skill level. 

Comfort

Lastly, even though it is high time you changed your mini-sized instrument to a full-size, potentially dreadnought, or even jumbo guitar, let’s not forget about comfort. The myth says you will have more issues – but if you are consistent in maintaining your calluses, we will take care of the rest of your needs. 

Quick Take: 
Top 3 Picks

Here are the best intermediate acoustic guitars:

  1. Blueridge BR-163CE
  2. Fender CD-60S
  3. Gretsch G5022CE Rancher 

Review of the Best Intermediate Acoustic Guitars

Now that you are aware of what to keep in mind when selecting a guitar, take a look at the options we have reviewed below; in our opinion, they are the very best instruments for intermediate guitarists.

Best Overall:
Blueridge BR-163CE

Blueridge Guitars Electro 6 String Acoustic-Electric Guitar, Right Handed, 000-size Sitka (BR-163CE)

PROS

  • Deep bass with substantial cuts
  • Crisp tones with warm resonance
  • Slim neck for enhanced playability
  • Smooth fingerboard and onboard tuner
  • Hardshell case included for extra protection
  • Smooth joint due to durable sitka spruce top with scallops

CONS

  • Pickguard design not so appealing
  • EQ and pickups might be too confusing

What Recent Buyers Report

Blueridge guitar is a well-suited instrument for intermediate players. If you want more than the average acoustic guitar, this model comes with enhanced hardware and more convenience. The sounds are crisp and articulated, and the deeper cutaway of the guitar makes it easy to reach the higher frets.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The BR-163CE is highly versatile, constructed from premium quality materials, and features numerous modern characteristics. The solid rosewood back and sides with a short scale body makes this instrument versatile, ideal for any musical genre and play style. 

Who Will Use This Most

This instrument is the perfect blend of craftsmanship and high-quality materials. If you are an intermediate player looking for more than the standard acoustic guitar, this model is specially created for you, with an emphasis on comfort, functionality, and beautiful design. 

Bottom Line

All in all, the BR-163CE is more than any standard acoustic guitar. If you want an instrument to exceed all your expectations, this guitar is a solid acoustic you can never go wrong with. It has a smooth feel, beautiful design, and is extremely responsive to all your needs!

Runner-up:
 Fender CD-60S

Fender CD-60S Right Handed Acoustic Guitar - Dreadnaught Body - Natural

PROS

  • Solid spruce top 
  • Practical, smaller body size
  • Highly versatile and functional
  • Affordable and high value
  • Comfortable, with the low string height

CONS

  • Needs professional setup
  • Laminate finish could be improved

What Recent Buyers Report

The CD-60S is well-known for its loud volume, which can master even a crowded room. Strong, yet convenient and ergonomically-shaped, this guitar is a pleasure to play, tune, and maintain. Additionally, it performs great out of the box, but for better performances, you might want to tweak it a bit. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This Fender model perpetuates the company’s reputation in creating highly valuable, yet affordable instruments. The CD-60S model is comfortable, with a neck shaped so comfortably that you can practice for hours. It has pleasant aesthetics, and is specially built for volume and powerful mids. 

Who Will Use This Most

This guitar is the ideal instrument to ease your transition for beginner to intermediate player. It makes the process smooth and stylish with this beautiful guitar. Fender guitars are a must-have for any guitarist out there – the comfort, playability, and quality are features you need to check out, especially considering its affordable price! 

Bottom Line

All in all, we believe that the Fender CD-60S lacks the proper attention it deserves. It is not a beginner guitar – it is the guitar to make you go from your bedroom practice sessions to the stage spotlights. It is definitely worth more consideration from all guitarists!

 Best for the Money:
Gretsch G5022CE Rancher

Gretsch G5022CE Rancher Jumbo Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar - Savannah Sunset

PROS

  • Robust and rock-solid
  • High-quality performances
  • Bright and beautiful sounds
  • Highly playable due to cutaway
  • Retro design with a smooth finish
  • Jumbo size and quality components make it sturdy 

CONS

What Recent Buyers Report

If you are looking for a potent, rock-solid, and robust guitar, this might be what you need. The head-turning design, articulated, bright sounds, and the playability of the cutaway are just perfect for performing at home, on stage or in the studio. This is a stand-out instrument. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The G5022CE Jumbo Cutaway is a great acoustic-electric guitar with impressive volume and a wide tonal range. It is easy to play with an elegant Venetian cutaway, which allows you more access to the upper frets on the fretboard, and you can also plug it in for more punch and balanced tones. 

Who Will Use This Most

One look at this beauty will get you convinced to take it with you to all your gigs and travels. Make the right choice and have a look at this beautifully crafted instrument, which is the definition of carefulness, simple yet sophisticated. The perfect blend of its components gives out the most pleasing, balanced sounds. 

Bottom Line

Overall, if you have a thing for retro vibes, with high-quality and old-time simplicity, this guitar is what you need. Not only does it look amazing, but it also feels sturdy, offers high playability, and boasts exquisite performance quality. The G5022CE is definitely your guitar to have on tours and travels!

Martin D-28 (2017) Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar (SN:2122753)

PROS

  • Enhanced look and feel 
  • Very clear and balanced
  • Beautiful tones and playability
  • Highly versatile, ideal for recording 
  • Top-notch materials and craftsmanship

CONS

  • High price range 
  • Does not add too much bottom end

What Recent Buyers Report

The Martin D-28 is a great old-school instrument with vintage touches, such as aging toner, antique accents, and the faux tortoise pickguard, among others. The D-28 delivers full, rich sounds that will make you stand out from the crowd. It also includes a much-needed hard-shell case. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This iconic D-28 perpetuates Martin’s reputation of delivering the best quality to musicians around the world. It provides you with the utmost playability levels, tones, and performance while having a vintage touch to it and maintaining Martin’s heritage. This is the perfect combination of modern high-tech with vintage sounds. 

Who Will Use This Most

This intermediate acoustic guitar is very versatile and ideal for many applications. It has a wider string spacing, perfect for fingerstyle playing, but using a pick sounds just as good. Whether you pluck it or strum it, the crystalline notes are sure to impress your audience. 

Bottom Line

Overall, the D-28 is a beautiful sounding instrument with the best compromise between playability, quality, and price. It has sculpted lows, complex highs, and extraordinary dynamic range and response. It is the full package to take with you on tours, at gigs, or to the studio. 

Epiphone DR-100 Acoustic Guitar (Ebony)

PROS

  • Ambidextrous design
  • Sturdy yet highly portable
  • Durable, high-quality materials
  • Warm, sweet sounds due to mahogany body
  • Very versatile, ideal for any music genre and play style

CONS

  • Frets are sharp 

What Recent Buyers Report

Epiphone DR-100 is much like a surprise – you get more than what you expect and pay for. The tonewood is a perfect choice, which makes the guitar better and better as it ages, and it is the perfect instrument to have on stage or at least a great backup when traveling. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This entry-level priced instrument is so much more than meets the eye. It has a classic, simple design and construction, with mahogany back and sides, spruce on the top, and a rosewood fingerboard, which work together harmoniously to deliver consistent sounds, balanced tones, and warm bass. 

Who Will Use This Most

This adorable instrument is a high-quality acoustic guitar, ideal for intermediate players. The design favors a comfortable, long play session; it has an ambidextrous design, which makes it highly versatile and, perhaps most importantly, the sounds perfectly match the beautiful looks. You can either use it for practice or on stage!

Bottom Line

All in all, this model dominates many other alternatives on the market when it comes to value for your money. The Epiphone DR-100 is a wise choice for intermediate players – a great investment that will have your back during performances, inspire awe in your audience, and ensure you all the comfort you need. 

Cautious Considerations to Keep in Mind

Here are some factors to consider before you make your final decision:

Strings

A high-quality intermediate guitar is not everything, but it is the most important aspect. You should focus on investing as much as possible in a high-quality guitar, even though you might neglect the rest of the accessories a bit. That said, don’t forget that strings can have a significant impact on your performance, so make sure you get some high-quality ones in stock as soon as possible.  

Gig Bag

If you’re expecting more gigs or rehearsals with your band, you need to invest in a high-quality gig bag to get you through it. Otherwise, you can easily compromise your new instrument – which is absolutely an outcome to avoid! Thus, make sure you have a look at high-quality, sturdy, and resistant gig bags for your chosen intermediate guitar to protect it and keep it safe.

Effects

You might also want to check out effects for acoustic guitars to further expand your horizon. You can choose any effect – such as chorus, volume, preamps, and other similar ones, just as you would do with an electric guitar. A tuner pedal will definitely come in handy!

Benefits of Investing in a Quality Acoustic Guitar

Here are the main advantages of investing in a high-quality acoustic guitar:

Playability and Comfort

First of all, we definitely do not want the audience to see us struggle throughout each song. A high-quality acoustic guitar is easy to play, comfortable, and has an ergonomic design to help you reach all frets easily. All controls should be placed conveniently so you can tweak it at any time. 

Tuning Stability

A high-quality acoustic guitar will maintain its tuning far longer than a beginner guitar, which might get out of tune every now and then. Additionally, if you are concerned with that, you could attach a tuner pedal, although if you go for an acoustic-electric model, they will also have built-in tuners. 

Beautiful Visuals

Lastly, a high-quality guitar comes with a design to die for! And that’s exactly what you need if you’re planning to charm your audience from the first sight! Whether you want a vintage model or a modern one, it is totally up to you, but we make a promise of beauty in both cases nonetheless!

Overall, there are endless benefits of investing in a high-quality instrument; after all, it is indeed a long-term investment that will only get better with time!

Conclusion

These excellent intermediate acoustic guitars are affordable and comfortable, yet come with the higher precision and accuracy you will need in front of a live audience. We hope this article will help you find a guitar that is not only a practice-at-home instrument, but also one that you can proudly take it with you into the world!