Whether you’re strumming by way of a quiet evening around a campfire or shredding during a raucous jam session with a gaggle of associates, few instruments are as essential and versatile to the creation of great music as a superb guitar. A very good acoustic guitar will grow with you musically and present hours of song-building and years of enjoyment.
With regards to choosing your specific instrument, the alternatives can seem overwhelming. But that’s the place we are available. In this guitar buying guide we break down what you want to know before you make your next guitar purchase.
From brand to tone wood to physique fashion and every part in between, we offer you an summary of the essential traits to look for in your next acoustic guitar. And this article options evaluations of the best guitars pound for pound available on the market right now to provide you a head begin on purchasing. Make it to the top and you’ll be a (almost) certified skilled in all things guitar.
- 1 Greatest Acoustic Guitars: Our Picks
- 2 What Sort of Acoustic Guitar Should You Get?
- 3 Prime 5 Acoustic Guitar Reviews
- 4 5 Extra Nice Acoustic Guitars to Think about
- 5 Prime Acoustic Guitar Manufacturers
- 6 What to Assume About Before You Store
- 7 Conclusion
Greatest Acoustic Guitars: Our Picks
What Sort of Acoustic Guitar Should You Get?
Before we get into specifics, first we have to speak primary terms. You will notice fairly a couple of totally different options in acoustic guitar types whenever you go to buy. While this isn’t an exhaustive listing of all the bells and whistles you can see as options on store shelves, it’s a record of what I feel are an important issues.
Steel String or Nylon String?
Selecting between a steel string acoustic and a nylon string “classical” guitar shall be one in every of your first selections within the guitar-buying course of. Metal string guitars are in all probability what you consider once you picture an acoustic guitar. Classical guitars differ in design and body type, with rounded shoulder and curved bottoms.
Apart from the appearance, the primary distinction between a classical guitar and a standard acoustic would be the sound. Classical guitars sometimes have nylon strings as an alternative of metallic. The strings and the difference in body design combine to supply a distinctive classical guitar tone. In case you’re ever heard conventional Spanish or flamenco music, you’ve heard the tone that a classical guitar produces.
Choosing a classical guitar versus a metal string acoustic can be based mostly totally on what sort of music you see your self enjoying. Steel string guitars are what you hear in rock, blues, bluegrass, people, country and most different trendy types. We’ll be specializing in steel string guitars for the remainder of this text.
What Physique Fashion?
There are several totally different body types to select from when choosing out your acoustic guitar. The dreadnought physique is a basic, and might be probably the most well-known and common body fashion. With their distinctive square shoulders and bottoms, dreadnoughts are well known their sound. The design allows for clear tone and wonderful projection, with extra emphasis on the bass end.
There are several different full-sized guitar body types to think about, including Auditorium, Concert, and Orchestra shapes. Every form emphasizes a special part of the acoustic spectrum to supply a special sound.
For a full breakdown of all the totally different physique types, see our guide to several types of guitar.
Development and Selection of Tonewoods
Few things have an effect on how your guitar sounds as a lot as the tone woods used to make it. A spruce prime may have a brighter, punchier sound than a mahogany prime, which could have a hotter, more mellow tone. Cedar is turning into more and more widespread, and this distinctive wooden is both brilliant and heat, with a mellow, aged tone.
The highest quality acoustic guitars are made with strong wood tops, and greater finish models have strong backs and sides as nicely. Strong woods have a tendency to supply deep and fascinating tones that grow to be more complicated with age.
Mini and Journey Acoustic Guitars
An alternative choice you’ll have when choosing your subsequent acoustic guitar is whether or not to select a travel-friendly mannequin. While many manufacturers sell acoustic guitars specifically labelled “travel” guitars, really the identify refers to any mannequin of acoustic guitar that’s smaller in weight, measurement or has different choices that assist enhance portability.
Travel guitars are great for versatility. Most smaller guitars will fit nice as carry-on luggage or in the cramped spaces of a packed automotive, practice or bus seat. Washburn even makes a journey acoustic that’s particularly designed to suit into overhead baggage storage pockets on planes. The lightweight can also be an amazing function in case you’ll be lugging your acoustic round to a number of places.
Smaller in measurement does not need to equal smaller sound either and yow will discover many great acoustic guitars within the travel class. Most trendy travel guitar designs nonetheless get superb projection and quantity via revolutionary physique designs and other technological developments reminiscent of added electronics (see under).
Acoustic-Electrical or Absolutely Acoustic
One of many final massive decisions you’ll should make when purchasing your next acoustic guitar is whether or not to splurge for inbuilt electronics. A superb acoustic-electric guitar features a pickup, pre-amp, volume and tone controls, so you’ll be able to amplify the sound of your acoustic guitar. Some even embrace inbuilt tuners so you gained’t have to hold around your guitar headstock tuner.
Having inbuilt electronics adds a degree of versatility to your enjoying. In case you are in a bigger venue it can be troublesome to be heard all the best way behind the room. Mic’ing up your guitar signifies that you’ll be kind of stationary on the stage. This works nice for some singer-songwriters, but not so properly should you wish to be lively and put on a show. Built-in electronics allow you to plug into an amp and produce an acoustic guitar sound that may be heard regardless of how distant your listener is.
Prime 5 Acoustic Guitar Reviews
1. Seagull Artist Mosaic Acoustic Guitar
The Seagull Artist Mosaic is a top-of-the-line, all solid-wood guitar from Seagull. This six string has every thing you anticipate from an excellent Seagull guitar. The strong spruce prime provides this guitar a sweet, highly effective tone, and the signature tapered headstock makes it simpler to stay in tune. And it prices lower than $1000 (as of this writing). The Seagull Artist Mosaic competes with guitars many occasions its worth, and in case you’re on the lookout for a brand new acoustic guitar this must be on the prime of your listing.
2. Taylor 114ce Grand Auditorium
Beautiful true tone and incredible projection make the Taylor 114ce Grand Auditorium a terrific guitar. Taylor is understood for its strong tone wooden, and the 114ce sports activities a strong sitka spruce prime with layered sapele back and sides. The electronics are prime notch with a inbuilt preamp, permitting for loads of versatility on both the stage or in the studio. The general result’s a dependable, quality acoustic guitar that might make an awesome addition to any musician’s collection.
3. Martin DRS2 Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar
Martin guitars have been performed by great musicians far and broad, and that basic Martin sound is what most people consider as what an acoustic guitar “should” sound like. Featuring a strong Sitka spruce prime and strong sapele back and sides, the Martin DRS2 brings the quality of a top-of-the-line Martin guitar into reach for musicians of all budgets. The action is ideal out of the field, and the richlite fingerboard is clean and responsive. And the DRS2 undoubtedly has the brilliant, clear, iconic Martin sound. Throw a top quality capo on this guitar and you’ll be strumming people tunes very quickly.
four. Epiphone Hummingbird Professional Acoustic-Electrical Guitar
The Epiphone Hummingbird Pro makes our listing of the top acoustic guitars for its awesome mixture of efficiency and worth. Affordably priced, the Hummingbird features Epiphone’s renowned status for high quality and performs like a much more costly model. Another acoustic-electric hybrid, the Hummingbird also features engaging styling, a strong spruce prime, straightforward motion and excellent dealing with.
5. Yamaha FG Collection FG820 Acoustic-Electric Guitar
Yamaha guitars are consistent performers with regards to the top rated acoustic guitars. The Yamaha FG820 definitely qualifies as not solely an amazing value, but in addition a prime performer. Beginning gamers will love the worth on this sub-$350 acoustic, and extra experienced players will benefit from the straightforward action and quality features corresponding to a strong spruce prime and mahogany sides. This guitar sounds nice and performs nice, making this greatest value acoustic a strong versatile choice for a wide range of players.
5 Extra Nice Acoustic Guitars to Think about
Prime Acoustic Guitar Manufacturers
The highest acoustic guitars are available quite a lot of makes and models. While you’ll find good guitars from just about any manufacturer, certain manufacturers have their very own taste or type. Here I break down what you might want to find out about a number of the greatest guitar manufacturers.
Taylor is an iconic identify in acoustic guitars. When you’re on the lookout for prime notch enjoying motion, look no additional than a Taylor. Customer service for this decades-old firm can also be acclaimed. And Taylor is dedicated to using only sustainably sourced tone woods which suggests you may be eco-conscious while enjoying your new acoustic.
It’s no marvel that Martin guitars are at the prime of many acoustic guitar critiques. Few names in guitars are as well known for producing a constant, iconic sound as well as Martin. The Martin “voice” is tough to imitate and undoubtedly unmistakable. In case you are on the lookout for a deep, heat tone and delicate dynamics, then a Martin is perhaps the perfect guitar for you.
Epiphone has been making guitars for almost 150 years, and they’ve discovered a factor about producing one of the best sounding acoustic guitars within the course of. Innovation is what drives this firm, and you’re guaranteed to all the time have the most recent in quality options on an Epiphone acoustic. These guitars are built to final, and Epiphone backs this up with a lifetime warranty on their devices.
Gibson might have started out producing mandolins over a hundred years in the past, but that simply means they know easy methods to make a finely tuned string instrument. Gibson operates out of a specially-built facility in Nashville, TN, and also provides custom restoration of older models. I am especially a fan of the Gibson electric-acoustic guitars for prime notch onboard preamp and electronic elements.
Fender is greatest recognized for his or her electrical models, but don’t discount them from the acoustic guitar recreation. Fender prides itself on its styling and craftsmanship, and that commitment undoubtedly exhibits by way of of their devices. Whenever you buy a Fender you don’t simply get a brand new guitar, you turn out to be a part of an iconic rock and roll model.
Yamaha excels at making all types of musical instruments, and guitars are not any totally different. From reasonably priced models nice for beginning gamers all the best way up to intermediate and skilled models, Yamaha produces quality guitars that may develop with you when you develop as a player.
Seagull guitars are handmade solely in Canada from sustainably-sourced tonewoods. A division of Godin Guitars, Seagull aims to take the elements and development methods of excessive end devices and apply them to high quality guitars that any working musician can afford. Featuring a distinctive headstock and typically using non-standard woods like cedar, Seagull guitars are all prime notch workhorses that look great and are enjoyable to play.
Alvarez will not be as properly often known as Martin, Taylor, or Gibson, however they make some great guitars that may go toe-to-toe with any of these prime brands. While they are based mostly in St. Louis, MO, their prime fashions are made at the legendary Yairi guitar manufacturing unit in Japan. Performed by such luminaries as Bob Weir, Carlos Santana, and Crosby, Stills and Nash, Alvarez guitars produce complicated sounds with wonderful playability.
What to Assume About Before You Store
In a nutshell, on the subject of purchasing for a superb acoustic guitar, you’ll have a number of issues to think about. Listed here are the large ticket issues to remember:
There are a number of acoustic guitars body types, and yow will discover prime rated acoustic guitars in a number of various sizes. Whether it’s for touring or enjoying on a stage, features resembling dreadnought vs orchestra vs journey sized and whether or not the guitar has any minimize outs will all be decisions you will have to make.
Determine whether or not you’ve gotten the room in your price range to spend money on electrical elements. Adding electrical to your acoustic guitar will add versatility and will allow you to un-mic at events. For those who don’t buy an electrical outfitted model, think about investing in an acoustic guitar pickup for the sound gap or bridge.
Tone Wood Development
Wooden selection may have a direct influence on the tone and quality of your enjoying. Mahogany produces deep wealthy tone while spruce shall be better within the mid and higher ranges. Experiment with quite a lot of totally different woods to see which produces the sound you want greatest. Anything with all strong wood will produce probably the most complicated tones and age the perfect over time.
Acoustic guitars range wildly in worth. Costlier doesn’t necessarily mean better, and there are some nice low cost acoustic guitars out there today. Positive, that $2,000 Martin is probably going an amazing instrument, however is it really all that a lot better than that $400 guitar you’ve been taking a look at? Whatever your worth range, you’ll find an superior guitar to match.
When deciding which acoustic guitar is best for you, assume first about when and the place you see your self enjoying. Campfire tunes require a extra rugged and moveable instrument. For studio work, you will want one thing with extra resonance and pure tone. Make a guidelines of qualities and traits you want in a guitar and then slender down brands and types based mostly on those issues.
For those who’re buying your first guitar, take a look at this nice Youtube video for more useful ideas and tips on selecting a top quality instrument:
In terms of guitars, it’s arduous to select only one. Although there are various great fashions available on the market, you could end up unable to discover a single instrument that meets all your needs. With variations for each price range, contemplate whether your next guitar purchase might probably flip into two or three distinct guitars for various events and purposes. You’ll be able to mix and match your sound even further by enjoying round with totally different acoustic guitar strings. Hopefully this useful guide to the most effective acoustic guitars has given you a starting place on your subsequent guitar buying adventure.