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After a new acoustic guitar on a medium budget?
Here are seven strong choices to check out!
Acoustic guitar construction and production have improved by leaps and bound in the last 30 years. We’re now at the point that you can now get a nice instrument for under $1000.
All the major acoustic guitar makers have models in this price range and they’re doing their best to compete in a marketplace that offers a wide array of choices.
This is great news for acoustic guitar players, especially beginners and intermediate players that want a good guitar to start or continue their learning journey on the right foot.
However, with so many options to choose from, it can be a bit overwhelming to pick a great guitar for under $1000, especially if you don’t have much experience yet. But do not worry, we’re here to help you!
What Are The Best Acoustic Guitars Under $1000?
Our pick for best acoustic guitar under $1000 is the Taylor Academy Series 10E. It offers legendary Taylor quality as well as features, sound, and playability typically found in more expensive guitars.
For those that are short on cash but that still want a solid guitar, the Fender Newporter Player is our choice. Not only does it offer fantastic value, but it also looks incredibly distinctive and cool.
For the players that want to upgrade or start out with the best there is for under $1000, our premium choice is the Martin 000-10E.
Here are all of our candidates for the best acoustic guitar under $1000.
Taylor's Academy 10e boasts many of the same player-friendly features that have made the brand legendary. These features include an extremely comfortable and fast-playing neck profile, bracing patterns that enhance the guitar's natural voice, and solid Sitka spruce and ebony tonewoods used in the construction.
For maximum comfort, it features low action across its ebony fingerboard, which is a very appreciated feature for professionals and beginners alike.
The 10e offers a great tone for a guitar at this price point, with a lower mid presence alongside the deeper bass response making this Taylor a well-rounded guitar overall. It sounds great for different playing styles ranging from delicate picking all the way to heavy strumming.
Other features on the Taylor Academy Series 10E include a 1.6875″ nut width, single-ring Baltic birch rosette finish, Nubone nut, Micarta saddle, and Chrome tuners.
For plugging in, Taylor’s ES-B preamp system does a fantastic job of capturing the tone and nuances of the 10E and is superior to most preamp/pickup systems pre-installed on guitars in this price range.
The Academy Series is not only a dream beginner guitar, but a fantastic upgrade for seasoned veterans alike.
This guitar is the most visually striking instrument on this list and is also our best value choice for acoustic guitars under $1000, offering good full-bodied sound with Fender’s legendary tradition and tone.
Painted solid Sitka spruce top; painted mahogany back and sides
2-ring rosette; 3-ply gold pickguard
Slim-taper C-profile mahogany neck with satin finish
Walnut fingerboard with 15.75” radius, 20 frets, and dot inlays
Graph Tech NuBone Nut, 1.69” width
The Fender Newporter Player features a mahogany back and sides and a solid Sitka spruce top with Fender’s proprietary top bracing for minimal mass and maximum resonance.
This medium-sized body guitar comes with a Graph Tech NuBone nut and saddle for increased sustain. In terms of playability, the Fender Newporter Player features a fast slim-taper C-profile mahogany neck for greater comfort.
Additionally, the Newporter Player acoustic features scalloped x-bracing for a lively, dynamic tone and greater volume. If you need to plug in, this guitar comes with a built-in Fishman Classic Design pickup/preamp system. This features bass, treble, and volume controls, plus a tuner.
Other features include sealed nickel tuning machines, a 25.6” scale length, a modern Viking bridge, and chrome hardware. This guitar comes with standard Fender string, gauged .012-.052
You can also choose your color of choice as this guitar comes in four gloss poly finish options: Candy Apple Red, Champagne, Jetty Black, and Rustic Copper. Overall, this is a great instrument for under $500 dollars!
This Auditorium model acoustic-electric guitar features a solid all-sapele body for rich, full tone. In addition, a select hardwood neck with Richlite fingerboard offers incredible playability and response, ideal for both fingerstyling and flatpicking.
This is a superb guitar for a variety of situations from the studio to high-level songwriting sessions on the beach. The Martin 000-10E is our premium choice for the most discerning players.
Great for fingerpicking and flat-picking
Select hand-rubbed hardwood neck with Richlite fingerboard
Fishman MX-T electronics with built-in soundhole tuner
Richlite bridge, Corian nut, and compensated TUSQ saddle for tone enhancement
Non-scalloped X-bracing for tone and support
The Martin 000-10E is part of the company’s Road Series, created for portability as well as great tone.
The top, back, and sides are braced for improved resonance and projection, while also featuring Martin’s Performing Artist taper neck built with hardwood for extra rigidity and durability.
This guitar features a Richlite fingerboard that is smooth, responsive, and comfortable for the ultimate playing experience. The bridge is also made of Richlite for excellent tone support.
The Martin 000-10E features solid sheets of Sapele for the top, back, and sides. Sapele has been a good choice of wood as a more eco-friendly alternative to mahogany.
Additionally, this Martin guitar features a light-colored grain with thick darker stripes that contrast nicely with the ebony-like fingerboard and bridge.
The Martin 000-10E comes with a ‘Faux Tortoise’ pickguard and a simple white multi-stripe soundhole rosette for an extra touch on its design. Despite being a smaller guitar, it projects a lively midrange that is a pleasure to listen to.
The 000-10E features a Fishman MX-T preamp system, so you know it’s going to sound good! This system features Martin’s Sonicore under-saddle pickup and comes with a master volume, master tone, phase switch, and an onboard tuner.
Martin has one of the most respected reputations in acoustic guitar construction, and the 000-10E is further proof of that.
4. Taylor 114ce Grand Auditorium Acoustic-Electric
Taylor are famous for great-looking guitars and the 114e is a classic example of the hard work and master craftsmanship that goes into the design of each model. With a tough gloss varnished finish and stunning natural wood grains, each guitar looks unique.
The 114ce comes from a long tradition that helps elevate Taylor to one of the most sought-after guitar brands.
Overall, this guitar is a joy to play and comes with all the quality and legendary sound that Taylor is known for.
Taylor Standard II Bracing (Forward Shift Pattern)
Expression System 2 professional audio-grade pickup/preamp
Behind-the-saddle transducer with adjustable sensors
Chrome Tuners with chrome buttons
African Ebony fingerboard
The Grand Auditorium line helped establish the Taylor acoustic sound.
It features the popular body style that makes the 114ce a versatile guitar that produces nice volume in response to light fingerpicking. It reacts well to medium strumming and flatpicking with a clear, balanced sound across the tonal spectrum.
The back and sides are made of layered walnut that adds to the vibrating string energy sent by the guitar’s top. Layered wood designs are also better at dealing with changes in temperature and humidity, making the 114ce an excellent guitar for players who travel or demand more durability.
Taylor also did a fantastic job with the choice of preamp/pickup system. The 114ce features Taylor’s Expression System 2 with its behind-the-saddle pickup, offering three uniquely positioned and independently calibrated pickup sensors.
Because of its design, the bottom of the saddle comes in full contact with the bridge, allowing all the nuance of the guitar’s tone to come through clearly whether playing acoustically or plugged in.
In combination with Taylor’s custom-designed preamp, this pickup/preamp system produces exceptional amplified sound and responsiveness. The Taylor Expression System 2 works with a proprietary 9-volt battery compartment and easy-to-use volume, bass, and treble controls.
The WD 10SCE sets the bar high with great quality sound and features and a spectacular finish. If you're looking for a great-sounding great playing acoustic you'll do no better than the Washburn WD10S at this price point.
This combination of woods is superior for a guitar intended for beginners, even if these beginners are more discerning.
Besides this great wood combination at this price point, the WD 10 features a Quartersawn scalloped bracing, two-way truss rod, neck and headstock binding, and rosewood capped headstock with mother-of-pearl Washburn logo & a stylized W inlay for that extra special touch.
The tuners are chrome die-cast and feel very solid. This guitar comes with D’Addario strings and you can purchase its guitar case separately.
Finally, the WD 10 features a Fishman Isys+ preamp that gives the beginner everything they need when plugging in. The Washburn WD 10 offers superior quality for a beginner guitar under $1000.
With a solid Sitka spruce top, the CSF3M has a robust projection and a beautiful tone, kicking out pristine high-end and stellar midrange. Solid mahogany back and sides add a layer of low-end warmth for great tonal balance.
The Yamaha CSF3M is a compact travel parlor size guitar that offers a thicker neck for more comfort.
Even though thicker necks can be more awkward, in this context this feature is appreciated by players that feel cramped playing on a significantly smaller fretboard of travel-type guitars.
The Yamaha CSF3M comes with Yamaha’s outstanding reputation and quality and is a fantastic choice for an acoustic guitar under $1000.
Solid Sitka spruce top for greater volume
Solid mahogany back and sides for bigger low-end
Rosewood fingerboard and bridge
SRT Zero-Impact piezo pickup
Elixir Nanoweb 80/20 Bronze Light Strings
The Yamaha CSF3M features a scalloped bracing in order to produce a richer acoustic sound, so with this guitar, you no longer have to completely forgo tone for portability.
This guitar also features a 105mm body depth that achieves a comfortable balance with its neck dimensions.
These construction choices made by Yamaha have a direct impact on the tonal character of the guitar, making the CSF3M a better-sounding instrument than most travel guitars.
As far as how it voices, this parlor acoustic features a rich lower tone that becomes noticeable as soon as you play some chords starting on the 5th and especially 6th string.
It also offers a high end with great definition that aids the instrument’s projection. All of these tonal enhancements, when combined with its high playability, will make you want to keep strumming for hours!
The CSF3M gives you a great balance between a standard parlor guitar and a lightweight compact traveler in both specification and feel. Yamaha truly succeeds in creating a fantastic instrument, yet again.
Featuring a solid Sitka spruce top and ovangkol back and sides on a grand concert body, the T40E produces a wonderful acoustic tone that is steeped in crisp top end with just the right amount of low-end coloring for a well-rounded, full tone.
Featuring a solid Sitka spruce top and ovangkol back and sides on a grand concert body, the T40E produces a wonderful acoustic tone that is steeped in crisp top end with just the right amount of low-end coloring for a well-rounded, full guitar tone.
PRS has been a highly sought-after brand of electric guitars for years. Now they are bringing some of that flair to their relatively new series of parlor guitars.
The SE Tonare T40E offers fantastic value and features that are more likely to be found in much pricier instruments. For under $1000, the T40E offers great tone, features, and that unique Paul Reed Smith feel and quality.
Under-saddle pickup system
Spruce top for nuanced clarity and projection
Laminated ovangkol back and sides
Excellent acoustic projection
Onboard Fishman pickup system
The SE Tonare T40E belongs to the line of PRS Parlor guitars that have been quite popular in the recent past. It features a solid Sitka spruce top and laminated ovangkol back and sides for a warm bass sound.
This guitar is designed with a mahogany neck capped with a sleek ebony fingerboard and carved to a full-feeling neck profile. The SE Tonare features PRS’s X-brace/classical hybrid bracing which combines the techniques of some of the best known acoustic guitar luthiers.
The Tonare SE T40E shares this bracing design with PRS’s USA-made production and private stock acoustic guitars and it’s a high-end feature you’d expect to find on custom acoustics at a much higher price tag.
The neck of this Tonare T40E follows Paul Reed Smith’s wide neck shape and is carved from mahogany. A bound ebony fretboard gives the neck a smooth feel and nice tone.
This PRS comes with the signature bird inlays, which is a nice touch for a guitar that combines the best of modern construction with vintage aesthetics.
This PRS Parlor features a Fishman GT1 under-saddle pickup system for a clear and strong voice with good feedback rejection. Finally, soundhole controls for tone and volume let you dial in your tone as you wish.
All of the acoustic guitars above come from very well-respected brands that have been at the top of their game for years.
I am confident that you’ll find a guitar (or a few) that you truly like and connect with. Like always, remember that playing music is a very personal matter and choosing a guitar is no different.
The best approach is usually to play some guitars at music stores or with your friends to start developing criteria of what you like and dislike. Happy guitar hunting!