The struggle of finding the best acoustic guitar on a limited budget can be infuriating and somewhat challenging since there are so many brands to choose from and so many designs of guitars to discover. Nonetheless, it should never discourage you from the fact that there indeed are some awesomely priced guitars that can entertain your judgment when it comes to quality in construction and durability of wood materials.
Many times you may discover the perfect guitar for you and then be disappointed to find out that it costs a fortune to add it to your collection. Below I’m going to make a list of the most affordable guitars that fall below the price range of 300$. With that being said I’m going to list only the most top rated guitars that you can purchase on that price range. Surprising as it may be there are many high-end brands that offer budget-friendly guitars for people that cannot afford to pay a fortune for an instrument. You’re going to be introduced to some quality guitars that many popular brands like Fender, Yamaha, Jasmine, Ibanez, Alvarez and many more others have to offer.
How To Choose?
Given that there are so many guitars and so many brands to choose from there can also be many cheap guitars you can be a victim of, I’ll take my time to make sure that you’re not going to be stripped of the quality that you want to invest in. Hopefully following this guide you will gain enough knowledge to make an informed decision so you can end up with an acoustic guitar that is going to help you advance your guitar playing skills.
Be it as it may, I’m going to make sure that you avoid the pitfall that comes from learning or having a badly constructed guitar which can make you desperate quickly or take the fun out of your lessons by producing a poor quality in sound. So the next thing I’m going to do is I’m going to list a few important tips on what to look for when buying an affordable acoustic guitar.
The Action – Action in acoustic guitars can be categorized as low action and high action, the action presents how far away the strings are from the fretboard, the low action indicates that the strings are closer to the fretboard, high action indicates that the strings are further away from the fretboard. If you’re just starting out on your way of becoming a guitar player then low action is mostly recommended for you, since high action is going to make the guitar more challenging for you to play and learn on, which can lead to having a hard time executing the right chords and it can discourage you from your lessons.
Strings – The type of strings you pick is going to be a tremendous factor on whether the guitar is going to produce that sweet smooth tone or the muddy ear damaging one. For beginners, there are guitars made of nylon strings, with that being said there are also guitars that make effective use of steel strings, this doesn’t mean that steel strings aren’t for beginners too, they are, but the learning process tends to be easier if you purchase a guitar that is equipped with nylon strings because they tend to be easier on your fingers, which leads to having fun with your guitar for a longer amount of time. Nylon stringed guitars don’t fatigue your fingers that much and you don’t end up with that sharp pain the steel strings induce on your fingers after playing with your guitar for hours on end. Although many guitars that are built with steel strings produce more powerful sound and many players prefer them as opposed to nylon strings.
Tuning – The most common problem many beginners encounter with their first guitar is keeping their guitar in tune. You will discover as it is the case with most of the affordable guitars, they go out of tune after a short period of time, which will require extra effort to tune them every time you pick the guitar up. But if you have the nerve to deal with this problem occasionally then you shouldn’t be bothered by this.
Size and ease of play – How big is the body of the guitar or how small is going to have a huge impact on the sound the guitar produces, the bigger the body of the guitar the more powerful the sound and vice versa. A smaller guitar is going to be the best choice for a beginner since it is more convenient, presents better playability and it makes the learning process much easier.
Now that you’re provided with enough knowledge on what to look for in your new guitar let’s explore some guitars that are going to make effective use of these tips.
Which is the Best Acoustic Guitar Under $300?
7. Jasmine S34C
Buying a great and affordable guitar is a challenging choice as it is, but when you’re looking to buy a decent acoustic jumbo guitar things tend to get more challenging. Jasmine S34C is there to make things easier. Being one of the rare jumbos that comes at this price range as a bonus this guitar comes with a cutaway design.
Being a jumbo guitar that makes effective use of a cutaway design you are bound to witness a powerful projection of sound. Although it comes with many fancy features you can expect some reasonable adjustments to be made on the wood materials used to make this guitar.
The materials selected for this guitar are not those of high quality since you are looking at an affordable guitar but nonetheless, it comes with some durable woods that will sustain the quality of sound. The top is made out of a laminated spruce top, the back and sides are made of Sapele.
Moreover, this jumbo is not a bad combination for the price you’re paying the manufacturers at Jasmine tried their best to craft this guitar with attention to detail which it shows in the fashionable aesthetics the cutaway design boasts. The cutaway design contributes a lot to this guitar and it assures you with great sound quality and solid build stability.
Normally, guitars at this cost range do not highlight great hardware but that is to be expected since you’re getting a jumbo guitar. Furthermore, the Jasmine S34C is adorned with a rosewood fretboard and rosewood bridge which highlights a synthetic saddle and die-cast tuners that operate relatively fine provided that you tune the guitar properly.
Overall the sound of this Jumbo definitely to be shown off. There’s a persuasive projection and there’s loads of loudness you can play with. If you are looking for an affordable jumbo acoustic guitar then Jasmine S34C is what you need. For more detailed information on this guitar, check out our full Jasmine S34C review.
6. Alvarez AD60
Alvarez’s Artist Series is one of their best selling line of guitars. The Alvarez we’re going to review now is the AD60. This dreadnought is one of the most impressive Alvarez’s acoustics to have.
Manufacturers at Alvarez put a lot of attention and care to the design, so this dreadnought can be equipped with enough tonal range that can provide every guitar player with a playing experience that’s outstanding for this affordable price.
This guitar comes with a solid top which is used to define that a guitar makes effective use of solid wood materials rather than laminate wood. The resonance of the guitar simply develops better when the use of solid wood materials is applied. The Artist series make use of just that.
Although the top is important for the quality a guitar produces, its body plays a huge role too. This Alvarez is equipped with A grade solid Sitka spruce top which is hand selected, it comes with a mahogany back and sides, the bridge is made of Alvarez bi-level rosewood, it has an authentic bone saddle and nut, chrome tuners that are die cast premium. Overall the elements used to make this guitar are seldom found in this price range of instruments. The sound this Alvarez produces is powerful and warm. You can read our full review of the Alvarez AD60 here.
5. Fender T-Bucket 300CE
The mighty Fender enters this list with the T-Bucket 300 CE from their California Series. This guitar comes with some attractive features in design and remarkable quality in sound that surpasses any expectation you may have for a budget-friendly guitar.
Offering ease of playability for all the players who are beginning their journey of becoming a skillful guitarist, this guitar is equipped with enough sound projection that can produce a wholesome experience and it will definitely make the players satisfied.
Fender is highly praised when it comes to the hardware. Their guitars are highly hardware oriented, the attention they put into the details while designing a guitar is amazing. This part tends to be overlooked by some other brands but not with Fender, they consider this as an essential ingredient to manufacture their top quality guitars.
This Fender is embellished with a bridge that is made of quality rosewood, the nut and the saddle are made of Graphtech Nubone. Equipped with a built-in tuner which is easily accessible for beginners to understand and use. This traditional dreadnought comes with a cutaway design and on top is made of maple wood. The back, sides and the neck highlight a mahogany selection.
If you’re looking to invest on a guitar that is affordable yet produces an excellent performance and is manufactured by a reliable company then this Fender may be everything you’ve been looking for. Packed with many interesting features that are going to make your choice worthwhile. This electric acoustic guitar is made for the aspiring player that wants to enhance their skills by having a quality instrument. In our full Fender T-Bucket 300CE review, we go in-depth and analyze all of its parts, so make sure to check that out too.
4. Bristol BD-16
When you’re looking at the line up of affordable acoustic guitars Bristol is the name that will come up from time to time. This brand is inquired mostly by people who are searching for a decent guitar on a small budget.
But just because it costs a few hundred bucks it doesn’t mean that is compromised of its quality of being a sound performing guitar. Bristol manufacturers successfully convey their touch of excellence into their guitars with the same standards and tradition of Blueridge manufacturers (their high-end twins of acoustics) are prized for.
Everything regarding this acoustic boasts flawlessness, from the building character to playability that surpasses the price. the top is made of laminated spruce, followed by a laminate mahogany wood that is used for the neck which comes with an adaptable truss rod also the back and sides make effective use of mahogany wood too which when combined together make an impeccable guitar that can adapt to any playing style.
In conclusion, this is a dreadnought sized acoustic which means it can produce a powerful sound at a reasonable quality. Although solid wood materials are usually the most preferred choice among many guitar players, this beginner-friendly guitar it still produces a powerful, warm and energetic sound that can match the quality of a guitar that is a bit above this price section. Read our Bristol BD-16 review for more detailed information.
3. Epiphone AJ-220S
Crafted under the expertise of Epiphone manufacturers which are equipped with a century’s worth in producing world-class guitars, this is one of the best models they have manufactured that comes at this affordable price range.
Epiphone is a company that is owned by Gibson and is officially authorized to present the expertise of Gibson upon most of the Epiphone guitars. Meaning that many of the great models that Gibson designed are now available through Epiphone to many guitar players. The AJ 220S is the testimony of just that.
Epiphone has always been producing top quality guitars and this one doesn’t fall short of that list too. This guitar makes effective use of a solid Sitka spruce top, the soundboard is mainly made of selected mahogany and the neck is made of Okume and is equipped with a dovetail joint.
This guitar comes with impressive traditional looks and renders the feeling of a high-end instrument. I truly adore the design of this AJ 220S, which is also known as Advanced Jumbo style. It serves astonishing looks and it feels amazing on the hands.
Overall this guitar provides a deep powerful sound with great projection.
Although many guitar players rate AJ 220S as a beginner’s choice, you can be definitely sure that the sound this guitar produces, provided that it is in properly tuned will make an expert player crave this Epiphone too. If you liked this guitar, make sure you check out our full review on the Epiphone AJ-220s.
2. Ibanez AW54CE
This excellent blend of an acoustic and electric guitar is from the remarkable Artwood series of Ibanez. The AW54CE is the perfect combination of quality in sound and fashionable aesthetics which comes all together at a very affordable price, highlighting a traditional cutaway dreadnought design.
This guitar is embellished with laminated mahogany which is used for the sides and the back, on top the AW54CE makes effective use of solid mahogany which is a surprising addition considering the price range this guitar comes at.
Thanks to the mahogany top this guitar produces a warm sound that is regarded as rich in quality. The mahogany neck which is finished in satin assists into making this guitar more comfortable in your hands, the fretboard is made out of rosewood, and it has 20 frets.
This Ibanez makes effective use of the Fishman Sonicore pickup system which allows you control over volume and has an onboard tuner. Moreover, the dreadnought body and the mahogany top help this guitar project lots of resonance.
Decorated with an all-around mahogany design embellishes this guitar with a dark wood material vibe. Striking this guitar through the pickup system is also an exceptional experience. Given the price, the overall quality of sound is genuinely great. If you are not yet convinced, you should check out our Ibanez AW54CE review.
1. Yamaha FG 830
Yamaha’s affordable line of guitars is one of the most recommended names for the players who are just starting to learn to play the guitar. Their reputation of making the most reliable guitars has earned them the status as one of the most respected guitar manufacturers in the musical world.
The FG series of Yamaha is praised as one of the most famous guitar series, this particular guitar Yamaha FG830 commonly earns its highly rated status because of the ease of play it presents, the great sound it produces and the outstanding value it provides to the players.
This is an exceptional guitar for players who are just starting out to learn to play the guitar, nonetheless, players who have more than enough experience will certainly appreciate this guitar too. the FG830 performs remarkably great for a guitar that comes at this price range.
This guitar makes effective use of the low action which means the strings are closer to the sound hole contrary to what most affordable guitars tend to come with high action, which makes the learning process way more challenging for beginners. Equipped with solid Sitka spruce top, the back and sides are matched with a rosewood which delivers a premium look.
In conclusion, when you think about the reputable impact Yamaha FG series have had in the instrument making industry you can be assured of the quality in their guitars. Their selection of wood materials provide their guitars with ever-enduring durability and the quality in tone comes thanks to the reliable materials used to build this guitar. If you are thinking of buying it, please read our full Yamaha FG830 review before deciding.
It doesn’t matter if you are an exceptional player or an amateur player, you will discover that many of these guitars I’ve included on this list to be of decent build and unmatched quality. Whichever guitar you decide to pick has its own unique features to offer, some might be more fashionable, some might be more durable and the other ones can assure you of their sound quality. Although there are more guitars that fall into this price range
I’ve picked the top 7 most rated guitars that are currently being marketed at under $300, the price although may be subject to change and you should also do your own research or look for videos from the list I’ve presented you with to see which guitar is going to suit you the most with the sound they produce. Best of luck.