2019 Acoustic Guitar Buying Guide
Shopping Advice for Guitars under $1500
When your looking at the guitars under $1500 you are mostly looking at very high quality guitars, but even in this market there are some guitars that don’t seem worth the price and there are other guitars that overdeliver and really give you an elevated guitar playing experience.
Overall though, you are getting your choice of some of the better guitars ever made including some classic guitars that make even the well made Baby Taylor and Taylor GS Mini seem like a beginners guitar. We created the buying guide to help you navigate the best guitars for the price.
In this price range, narrowing down the buyers guide was an enjoyable process as we got to take close looks at some of our favorite guitars.
Beautiful dreadnought guitars like the Taylor 224ce-K and the Martin D15M are not only the best sounding guitars, but they are also stunning guitars that are just amazing to see.
How do we pick our top choices for Acoustic Guitars?
The four main factors we look at when determining which guitars give you the most bang for your buck, include:
THE SOUND QUALITY
THE FEEL OF THE GUITAR
THE GUITAR BRAND
THE BUILD & HARDWARE
The Sound Quality
With $1500 to spend on an acoustic guitar, you are gonna want to make sure you a choosing from the guitars with the best quality sound. Fortunately, you wont have to worry about the cheap acoustics with our buying guide.
Our assessment of the sound quality considers they type of wood and body shape of a guitar and consider the how those factors contribute to the best tonal quality the instrument can offer.
Whether its solid mahogany, solid cedar, solid spruce, an exotic wood or a mix of woods, there are different tonal qualities that come with each possibility. We are ultimately rating the guitars on the quality of sound the guitar produces.
The Guitar Brand
At this price range, you are going to get some of the best quality guitars. And while there are alot of guitar makers out there, when it comes to acoustic guitars and acoustic electric guitars, the best brands certainly stand out.
Whether it’s a Taylor acoustic guitar or a choice Martin acoustic, the brands that made their names making beautiful sounding and amazingly crafted acoustic guitars get to show off just how they buillt their reputation in this price range.
Of course with any guitar comes a guitar player that can definately affect the sound of the guitar…lol. Remember, even the best guitarists in the world likely still take guitar lessons in one form or another.
The Build & Hardware
Any guitar at any price should be able to offer a decent build with decent hardware in a variety of body styles including dreadnought body guitars, solid top acoustic guitars, grand auditorium guitars and others. What seperates cheap acoustic guitars from the nice ones you can get under $1500, is not just whether it’s built with solid cedar or has a mahogany top, it’s also about how well the guitar was crafted.
For acoustic electric guitars, the electronics, beit builtin tuners, pickups, eq, etc., the way the tone transfers is very dependant on the hardware.
In this price range you also have options for acoustic guitars that dont just use the high quality sitka spruce and solid mahogany types of solid wood; you also have options that use solid woods like the more exotic Koa wood that’s typically found on some of the high end 3-4 thousand dollar guitars. The wood has such a big affect on the sound the guitar produces.
A well built guitar comes with good solid wood choices, great design and solid electronics that sound good in any scenario, live, in a studio, on a beach…anywhere.
The Feel of the Guitar
Guitarists shopping in this price range are not on the hunt for an acoustic guitar for beginners. Most likely you’ve taken a guitar lesson or two before you purchase a $1500 guitar, but both beginners and experts want the same thing. A guitar that is easy to play and give the player the ability to express themselves without being limited by the guitar itself.
While there are budget acoustics that are fairly easy to play and well built, like the travel guitars, the GS Mini, the Little Martin and the S6 Original, the build quality of the acoustic guitars in this price range are just on another level.
While in some circle these are considered mid level guitars in comparison to the to the true high end and collectors guitars, the build quality on the guitars we’ve laid out in our buying guide are top of the line as far as we are concerned.
Grab your guitar straps and let’s look at the top choices that give you the most bang for your buck!
Best Acoustic Guitars Under 1500 Reviews and Prices
The Martin 15 Series D-15M is a guitarist dream guitar both in look and tone with it’s mahogany dreadnought body that is both beautiful and rich in warm tones.
Professional guitars have been flocking to this guitar for years and it has even found itself on big stages including with Colplay’s Chris Martin.
The East Indian rosewood fretboard feel like a dream to play and the nickel tuners and bone nut and saddle add a ton of value to an already great guitar. For an acoustic guitar under $1500, this one is on point.
- There are few guitars that can compete with the sheer beauty in look and sound
- This is a true acoustic guitar designed solo to be the best acoustic guitar it can be
- Affordable for the amount of value this brilliant guitar holds
- The only con for me is that I don't own this guitar already
Takamine makes some superb acoustic still and electric acoustic guitars. This particular beauty was made famous by being the choice guitar of Bruce Springsteen.
The Dreadnought body paired with a solid cedar top and laminate maple sides and back has an amazing tone that is warm and naturally resonant, making the strums of this guitar feel familiar and bold.
The real catch with this guitar that makes it one of the best in its price range is the electronics. The 3 band EQ and built in chromatic tuner are awesome and come in handy frequently and the pickup and preamp really take the value over the top.
- The tones translate from acoustic to electric in almost a perfect way, if there can be one
- The cost is great considering this can go on tour or in the studio with any professional musician
- It's the kind of guitar that can make the player sound better, even if the player is already great
- I would like to see this guitar in more finishes but that's not really a con
Taylor 224ce-K Deluxe
The Taylor 200 Series Deluxe 224ce-K is a stunning Grand Auditorium style guitar made out of Koa with a beautiful ebony Fingerboard. Taylor really knocked this acoustic guitar out of the park delivery a incredibly built guitar with unreal sound that is priced well with no real downside we can find.
The upgraded electronics are a nice touch and the koa neck has a feel that is just about ideal for every type of player. The bone nut and saddle, solid wood and impressive neck joint all factor into the Taylor Deluxe 224ce being one of my favorite acoustic guitars.
Most importantly, it plays beautifully, sounds incredible and looks like a classic vintage acoustic liken to an old Martin and just has a vibe.
- This is a Taylor that stands out for it's good looks and fine Koa hardwood
- The tone of this guitar is second to none and rival any guitar maker
- The sound is beautiful whether it's used as a pure acoustic or plugged in for performances
- I still haven't seen this guitar in my home even though I keep checking all my cases
The Yamaha A5R ARE is an electric acoustic guitar with incredible pickups that translate as good as any electric acoustic guitar when plugged in. Some electric acoustic guitars lose some of their tone when used plugged in, but the Yamaha A5R ARE delivers on a very high level.
The Dreadnought Cutaway, Solid Rosewood guitar is outfitted with a beautiful African mahogany neck and ebony fingerboard that has nice round edges that immediately gives this guitar a the perfect worn in feel.
- The SRT2 Electronics are a perfect pairing for the beautiful natural tone this Yamaha acoustic offers
- The sound is clean and crisp and can stand toe to toe with famed brands like Taylor and Martin
- This guitar doesn't come included with my subscription to guitar magazine. jk.