22 Feb Best Acoustic Guitars under £300
Can you get a decent acoustic for under £300?
Gone are the days when you could drive a bus under the strings and your hands and fingers hurt after wrestling with the necks and action (those halcyon days of youth!).
Today’s budget acoustics are generally well made, from respected makers, and a good stepping stone into your guitar career. Some will even be keepers (we have a 23 year old Tanglewood that is still going strong).
Good makers include Fender, Alvarez, Sigma (think Martin copies), Tanglewood (huge range at all prices), Cort, Epiphone (think Gibson), Ibanez, Takamine and Yamaha.
Most, if not all, of the guitars will be made in the Far East, but some are made in dedicated factories and the majority will have been designed and conceived in the US, UK or Japan.
Many budget acoustics are also electro-acoustics, enabling you to plug them into an amp. However, at this price don’t expect concert hall tone! If you go for one without the pickup, then more will have been spent on the guitar woods, tuners, saddle, nut and overall quality. Most will feature laminate backs and sides (as opposed to solid wood) and a solid wood top.
Make sure you go to a store to play them first as the action and playability will differ wildly, and you need to buy one that fits your hands and one that you like the tone of; a dreadnought will feel and sound much different to a parlour guitar. If you are new to acoustics bear in mind that as the wood ages the tone matures and should get better!
1. Fender California
2. Alvarez AD30
3. Sigma SE GME
4. Tanglewood TWBB OE
5. Cort GA-QF
6. Epiphone J45
7. Ibanez AW-84
8. Takamine GD30
9. Yamaha FG800M
Bold and brash, the sound of this dreadnought acoustic was designed to inspire from the moment you pick it up. Featuring a solid Spruce top, Mahogany back and sides, and 6-in-line headstock, the Redondo Player has a rich, commanding voice that fills any room. The mahogany neck features a comfortable, slim-taper “C”-shaped profile, inspired by Fender’s electric legacy. Street price of £300.
Their light semi-gloss finish allows them to resonate exceptionally well, and their A-grade solid Sitka top and FST2 bracing deliver a robust voicing with plenty of volume and dynamics. Yours for £299.
This cutaway model is fitted with our SYS250, side-mounted EQ with a backlit tuner.
Sigma SE Series GME
A Grand OM-14 Fret guitar with a solid Sitka Spruce top and Mahogany back and sides. Quality bone nut and saddle and chrome, diecast tuners add to the tone. Throw in a Sigma Preamp (with Tuner) together with a satin finish and it’s a bargain at £275!
Tanglewood TWBB OE Blackbird
An Orchestra electro-acoustic with a hand selected Mahogany top, back and sides, Tanglewood Premium Plus electronics and cool Smokestack black finish. How do they do it for £215?
Cort GA-QF Grand Auditorium
The GA-QF is another addition to the resoundingly successful Grand Regal Series with a highly figured Maple top for a luxurious high-end look as well as the balanced and versatile sonic characteristics of the Grand Auditorium size body. Mahogany back and sides along with Fishman Presys I round out this feature-packed acoustic-electric that is surprisingly affordable at £299, particularly with that beautiful finish.
Epiphone J-45 Studio
Modelled on the Gibson version this vintage sunburst J-45 Studio comes in at £239. It has a unique bell-like shape, a larger lower bout, and a small round upper bout which gives it its distinctive and powerful voice. Featuring a solid Sitka spruce top.
In ‘weathered black open pore’ finish this is a dreadnought with solid Okoume top, back & sides, Laurel fretboard and bridge, chrome diecast tuners and bone nut. Yours for £269
The GD30 is a classy-looking dreadnought guitar, coming in at £299, that features a solid Spruce top, Mahogany back and sides, a beautiful gloss finish and a full, rich sound. An all-around acoustic guitar that can cover any style, it combines great feel and playability giving sweeter-sounding chords and single-note runs.
Finished in matt natural and prices at £239. this guitar has superb projection and volume with a warm, rich tone, ideal for those starting out and those upgrading from smaller beginner models. A solid-top guitar with authentic sound that is well balanced without sacrificing its robust strength, thanks to the newly developed scalloped bracing design.
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