Whether you’re picking up the guitar for the first time or you’ve played for decades, buying a new guitar is an exciting time.
So, how much does an acoustic guitar cost? The answer depends on what you’re looking for in your new instrument.
If you’re looking for a high-end body with a robust sound that will last a lifetime, be prepared to drop some serious cash (think a few thousand dollars). But if you’ll be happy with a starter guitar, you can get away with only spending a few hundred bucks.
How Much Does a Good Acoustic Guitar Cost?
Generally, you should be able to buy a good acoustic guitar for $300.
But there are different ranges of guitars and looks can be deceiving. Be aware of flashy labels and exorbitant price tags. Sometimes a more expensive acoustic guitar doesn’t always mean better – and a cheaper entry-level doesn’t always mean poor quality.
Entry Level Acoustic Guitar
Entry-level acoustic guitars range anywhere between $100 and $300. Of course, you could also pick up a $10 guitar at a weekend yard sale, and that would count as an entry-level.
Unfortunately, entry-level guitars get a bad reputation. And sometimes, it’s not warranted. Just because you’re getting an entry-level acoustic guitar doesn’t mean it has to sound bad.
Many guitar players swear by their $200 or $300 guitars. Most people have luck with Washburns, Alvarez Regents, and Takamines in the $200–$300 range.
The Yamaha FG730s is also a great-sounding guitar that only costs $300. Personally, I swear by this model, and I think it sounds way better than its price.
As always, make sure you play the guitar before you make any purchases. If it sounds like junk, don’t settle. A better sound for your budget is out there.
The Yamaha FG730S Solid Top Acoustic Guitar has the ultimate combo for projection and pure tone. Personally, I swear by this model, and I think it sounds way better than its price.
Intermediate Acoustic Guitar
Intermediate acoustic guitars range from $300 to about $800.
With an intermediate guitar, you’ll get quality but for a reasonable price. The intermediate level is the most popular bracket when shopping for a new guitar.
Most of the guitars in this range (if you buy from a reputable source) will last you years, if not decades. These guitars can even improve with age if the wood is high-quality enough.
Speaking of high quality, some top-tier brands like Taylor start producing guitars for this price range. If you look hard enough, you can certainly find a quality instrument.
I love the complex sound of this high-quality acoustic guitar. Not to mention the nylon strings make it much easier on the fingertips. While this guitar is definitely an investment, you'll be enjoying the rich sound for years to come.
Looking for some recommendations? Lucky for you, I’ve got them by the handful. Breedlove is putting out some fantastic acoustic instruments on the market. I’ve heard great things about their Passport Series (which is valued at $499).
You also can’t go wrong with Fender. While most are in the high-end range, Fender is releasing more and more intermediates that can fit most people’s budgets – and for great results. The Fender Malibu Player boasts spruce and mahogany wood and even comes with a built-in tuner.
Ultimately, buying a guitar in this bracket will meet your guitar cravings – all without taking a massive chunk from your savings.
Still, make sure you’re not throwing money out the window. Just because you find a guitar that looks nice and has a higher price tag doesn’t make it quality. Do your research on models and makes to ensure you’re making a worthwhile investment.
High-End Acoustic Guitar
If you’re looking for first-rate guitars, you’re looking at the high-end acoustic guitar bracket.
These whopper instruments range from $1,000 to 4,000 dollars. Instruments in this tier are from household names like Gibson, Martin, and Taylor.
Other brands have carved a name for themselves in this market, too. For example, the all-solid wood constructed Yamaha FG5 Red Label plays great and sits at a comfortable $1200.
The all-solid wood constructed Yamaha FG5 Red Label plays great and sits at a comfortable price point. While I love the timeless look, the rich tone of the guitar is what really wins me over.
In other news, the Beard Deco Phonic Sidecar sits at a $1800price point and produces immense power and depth. Its mahogany build yields a crisp, woody sound that creates a warm, folksy play.
Generally, you can’t go wrong with any guitar at this price point, as they should all be high-quality.
However, always make sure you play in person to make sure it’s the right fit for you and your playing style. The last thing you want to do is buy a $3,000 guitar from some guy on Craigslist to find it’s a complete dud.
Custom and Professional Acoustic Guitar
If you’ve ascended to the guitar master level, you may want to get a guitar that matches your skill.
For those who want to buy custom or professional guitars, you’re looking at spending a minimum of $1500. Some guitars, though, go for $5,000 dollars or more. There’s no limit to how much these guitars cost as they’re at the top of the price point.
Is it Worth it to Buy a Custom or Professional Acoustic Guitar?
There are benefits.
As the name implies, custom guitars give you complete control over the sound. As such, you won’t have to sacrifice wood, body, size, or any other elements; a custom guitar will fit your body and needs.
Consider upgrading to a custom or professional guitar if you plan to make music your career. If you’re playing in a band and want your guitar to be center stage sound, volume, and tone, purchase a professional acoustic guitar.
How Much Does a Used Acoustic Guitar Cost?
When you’re starting out playing the guitar or considering picking up a guitar as your newest hobby, you may be intimidated by those price tags.
Luckily, there are workarounds to dropping your entire paycheck on your new guitar.
Buying a used instrument is a great way to get your starter guitar without spending too much money. You might even be surprised by what’s out there. It’s possible to buy an intermediate or even professional guitar for much less money than buying new.
So, how much does a used acoustic guitar cost? It depends on the context of the market and the make of the instrument. Typically, it will cost a few hundred dollars less than buying new.
For example, if you’re shopping for a beginner guitar, it should cost between $50 and $200. If you’re shopping for an intermediate guitar, it should cost between $100 and $500, and so forth.
It also depends on the instruments’ market value. What do I mean by that? if you stumble upon a guitar that came from a unique batch, then you can bet on it having a higher price tag as the demand will be higher.
Still, used instruments tend to cost much less than buying new ones.
Unfortunately, there are drawbacks to buying used. You won’t know the quality or history of the guitar. This is especially important for acoustics. Why? Acoustic guitar sound quality depends on the correct environment and humidity.
If you’re looking to buy a used guitar, check out Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or the app Reverb. Reverb is great as it’s an app that facilitates the purchases of used items like instruments, gear, and more.
Is it Better to Buy New?
Deciding to buy new or used depends on various factors, so it’s difficult to say if it’s better to buy new or used. As mentioned, buying used does come with drawbacks; you don’t know the instrument’s history. Thus, it’s better to buy new if you want to play it safe.
Still, there are definite benefits to choosing a used instrument.
If you find a used acoustic guitar that was cared for and is made with quality wood, it may sound better than buying new. This is because of how the wood has changed over the years. High-end wood changes over the years and, as a result, develops a more complex, mature sound.
Of course, that depends on if it’s a high-end guitar or not. If you’re looking at a less expensive laminate guitar, I’d recommend buying new. If you have the budget, set yourself up for success by buying a fresh guitar.
What to Look for in an Acoustic Guitar for Beginners
Honestly? I could write an entire article on what features a good acoustic guitar should have. But I’ll spare you the long rambling.
All you need to look for is wood type, body type, and string type. And each comes down to personal preference. That’s why it’s essential to try out your guitar in person.
Sure, a jumbo acoustic guitar may have gotten glowing reviews on Reddit or Amazon, but it might feel bulky and weird to you in person.
When trying out an acoustic guitar, make sure it fits your body well. If you buy a guitar that’s too big for your body, you’ll have difficulty strumming the strings. Additionally, it will make your arm uncomfortable and will force you to stop playing earlier than you may want.
Another element to consider is that larger guitars produce louder volumes. This is because the bigger the body, the more it projects. We can thank physics for that.
But projection is only important if you plan to play for other people in a band or do live performances. If not, the projection level doesn’t matter too much. In fact, your neighbors may thank you for choosing a smaller guitar.
Guitars either have nylon or steel strings—both present benefits and drawbacks.
Nylon strings are great for players who want a warmer, more natural sound. Because they’re softer, they’re much more forgiving on your fingers.
If you’re a beginner, you’ll notice that steel strings can hurt—a lot. By buying an acoustic with nylon strings, you’ll reduce the amount of pain while extending how long you’re able to play for.
But, nylon strings have their drawbacks. While they sound warmer, they don’t have that crisp, bright sound that many players are after. Steel strings have an undeniable crispness – as a result, many players opt for steel.
If you’re new to playing the guitar, get whatever strings feel best for you, but keep in mind that nylon will never produce that crispness.
With acoustic guitars, it’s all about the wood. Unlike electric guitars that rely on pickups, acoustic guitars rely on their body and wood to produce and project sound. The higher quality of the wood, the better it will sound.
So, what kind of wood should you buy?
Typically, anything made with maple, mahogany, and cedar are strong contenders. Sapele is another type of wood that has recently completed a splash in the guitar world. That’s because it’s lightweight but durable and packs quite a punch range.
Lastly, make sure to get as high-quality wood as your budget allows. If you want to go with laminate because you’re not sure if this whole guitar thing is for you, that’s perfectly fine. But know that the cheaper the guitar, the shorter amount of time it will last.
Time to Buy
You don’t have to take out a new mortgage on your house to buy a quality acoustic guitar.
While bragging rights are always fun, you don’t have to buy a $10,000 guitar if you’re looking for quality sound.
Above all else, make sure you play the guitar in person to ensure it fits your needs and desires. Every player and guitar is different. To find the perfect fit, you’ll have to embark to the nearest guitar shop and shred some in-person chords.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much should a beginner spend on a guitar?
The answer greatly depends on how dedicated you are to the craft. If you know you’ll be playing the instrument daily and plan to continue playing for years, you may want to spend a little bit more. Still, you could get away with spending less than $1,000. Most players spend between $500 and $800
If you’re still trying to decide if you like the guitar, only spend a couple hundred dollars.
How much does a good guitar usually cost?
You should be able to find a quality acoustic guitar for $800 or less. The less money you pay, the less quality you’ll receive. Still, some good brands out there make cheaper guitars (Yamaha makes great $300 guitars).
Which brand of acoustic guitar is the best?
There are many brands, each with its pros and cons. However, the top brands include Gibson, Fender, Martin, Taylor, Yamaha, Breedlove, and Guild.