Top for 2019

Best Acoustic Guitars Under $200

Adam's Buyer's Guide

taylor 314ce

Epiphone Pro-1 Review

Bottom Line - The price is right for this nice intro level Epiphone acoustic electric ...

9.3
2 Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy Review

Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy Review

Bottom Line - It's hard to find such a unique and cool guitar for such a low ...

9.2
3 Jasmine S34C Review

Jasmine S34C Review

Bottom Line - This is an acoustic guitar under $200.

9.1
4 Fender FA100 Review

Fender FA100 Review

Bottom Line - Highly recommended entry level acoustic guitar

9.1
5 Ibanez IJV50 Review

Ibanez IJV50 Review

Bottom Line - This is an out of box guitar for beginners that is geared towards learning ...

8.7

2019 Acoustic Guitar Buyer's Guide

Shopping Advice for Guitars

If you are looking for cheap guitars, whether you need a cheap acoustic beginners guitar or just a budget acoustic guitar  that you can beat up, you will want to do a little research first. Acoustic guitars in the lower price ranges can range from great deals to cheap toys with terrible sound quality.  

Since you likely wont have the ability to try all the acoustic guitars under $200, we’ve narrowed down our top choices for you.  Like all musical instruments, there are a wide range of things to consider from sound quality to whether it’s a pure acoustic guitar or an acoustic electric guitar and does the guitar come with accessories like a guitar strap, gig bags, effect pedals, and other things that might come in a starter kit.  

With our buying guide, you will be able to pick the right acoustic guitar that can both qualify as cheap guitars and quality guitars at the same time.

How we rated the Acoustic Guitars?

How is the Sound Quality of this Acoustic Guitar?

The Best Guitars for Beginners vs Pro Pick Budget Acoustics

Is it one of the best Guitar Brands in this Price Range?

How does the Acoustic Guitar feel to play?

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Epiphone DR-100 bridgeHow is the Sound Quality of this Acoustic Guitar?

Judging the Sound Quality of an Acoustic Guitar takes many things into consideration.  Tone can be affected by the body shapes of the guitar, be it a dreadnought acoustic guitar or one of the nylon string classical guitars.  

A guitar like the Jasmine jo36 Orchestra is going to feel and sound different than dreadnought guitars because of the difference body shape.  The way sound resonates with the different styles is one of the first things to hit the ears.

The tone can also be affected by the wood itself.  Whether it’s mahogany, select spruce, laminate spruce, solid spruce, or spalted maple, each has it’s own brightness and depth that can be understood to help navigate the world of affordable acoustic guitars.

The sound quality can also be effected by the guitar strings, the fretboard, the electronics and pickups on acoustic electric guitars and even the truss rods.  We take a look at everything we can, to determine the best available acoustic guitars under $200.

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The Best Guitars for Beginners vs. Pro Pick Budget Acoustics

There might not be professional quality cheap acoustic guitars, but there are guitars that a professional guitarist would buy to have for songwriting at the beach and singalongs at campfires and general daily abuse that they wouldn’t want to expose their expenses Taylor stage guitar to…we call them beater guitars.

Don’t go looking for a Vintage Les Paul with a hundred dollars, but for a low price you can look at the top acoustic guitars we found for under $200.

While finding Pro Pick Budget Acoustic Guitars presents a challenge, there are some good options for acoustic guitars for beginners.

For a beginner, we consider the same things we would for all guitars as well as:
– Are the acoustic guitars are easy to play
– Can you get an acoustic guitar bundle with a gig bag?
– Is a stater kit available?
– Which guitar will inspire you to start playing?

Beginner acoustic guitars seem to be everywhere, but from what we have found, you have to be careful not to get a cheap toy that wont inspire you to want to play, and if you don’t play you wont be able to improve and express yourself the way you deserve to.

Even beginner acoustic guitars can be good value guitars that are worth more than their price.  We have scene decent beginner acoustic guitars with the traditional dreadnought body, a rosewood fingerboard, die cast tuners and a select spruce top all in a bundle with a gig bag.  

Some good deals are out there and we’ve made great efforts to find them for you!

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Is it one of the best Guitar Brands in this Price Range?

There are some brands that really stand out in their ability to craft affordable guitars that any guitar player would agree are quality guitars despite being cheap guitars.  

With Acoustic Guitars like the Epiphone dr100, Fender fa100, Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy, Jasmine S34C, it is easy to see the brands that stand out.  Guitar brands like Epiphone, Fender, Gretsch and Jasmine have proven to know how to get the best tones and feels out of their affordable acoustic guitar lines.

For our buyer guide, we took a close look at the guitar brands that offer reputable and affordable guitars and weeded out the cheap guitars that would sound terrible and amount to throwing your money away.

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How does the Acoustic Guitar feel to play?

There are some factors that determine if a guitar is going to be easy to play and inspire you to be the guitar player you know you can be or if they are going to reflect the low price and truly play like a hundred dollar guitar.

Ultimately you want a guitar that is easy to play and makes you want to start playing the moment the guitar strings touch your fingers.  Typically, the more you pay, the better this feature ultimately becomes, but there are some good budget guitars that have sweet rosewood fretboards and rosewood bridges that feel good on the fingers.  

The Action and how the guitar plays is effected by the make of the bridge is something that is very personal for guitarists.  We try not to judge how guitars feel out of the box in regards to things that are easily adjusted on a guitar like the action or the strings, but for the buyers guide we look at every aspect of the feel.
We assessed the “Feel” of the guitars based on:
– Guitar Strings
– Fretboards
– Bridge

While we are assessing these factors, we do go into depth with individual reviews and point out instances where small adjustments can highly increase the value of a guitar.  Sometimes to get the most value out of a cheap guitar is to buy one of the ones that are built quickly but with great materials. In those mass produced scenarios you get good quality guitars that are rough around the edges, which is what makes them affordable budget guitars.  

With a little TLC, you can make cheap guitars feel like quality guitars.

For Instance:
– Guitar Strings can be replaced and picked for the feel and size you prefer.
– The fretboards can be sanded, buff and made to feel better is they come a little rough from mass production, ideal to have a guitar shop take care of this.
– The Bridge can be adjusted to adjust the action, recommended to take your guitar to   a guitar shop until you feel comfortable doing this yourself.


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Are Guitar Bundles worth the Money?

When shopping for an affordable acoustic guitar, it’s easy to be tempted to get an acoustic guitar bundle.  Sometimes that is a great decision. Buying an acoustic guitar bundle can make it easy to start playing guitar.  

You can get a bundle with a gig bag, sometimes a hard case, guitar straps, and guitar strings.  Some even come with effect pedals and guitar amplifiers.

Especially if you are in the market for guitars for beginners, it can be nice to make one purchase and get everything you need to start playing.  

I would caution to be skeptical of the ones that cost the same or less then the acoustic guitars that are offered for the same price without all the extras, however, if it is the same guitar and you don’t mind that the included accessories may be less than impressive, it’s not a bad decision considered some of the starter kits are essentially throwing all that in for next to nothing in most cases.  

In the end if you end up with a couple nice gig bags, it could be worth it, but don’t be scared to by the guitar by itself and get your accessories separately.  We are reviewing accessories now too, so if there is something you want to know about that we haven’t reviewed yet, please leave it in the comments.

Best Acoustic Guitars Under $200

Individual Guitar Reviews and Ratings

Epiphone Pro-1

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Set Alert for Product: PRO-1 Ultra Acoustic-Electric Guitar - $202.39
Last Amazon price update was: March 13, 2019 1:13 am
× Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com (Amazon.in, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, etc) at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

For affordable guitars, the Epiphone PRO-1 is a terrific choice, if not one of the best deals out there.  It’s a quality build and it has a good look and sound and is very easy to play. The value of this guitar is great.  

Whether you are a beginner or just looking for a super affordable guitar that’s not junk, you will enjoy the rosewood fretboard often found on more expensive guitars and the nice rosewood bridge and upgraded tuners.  

On our search for quality instruments at all different price points, this qualifies as one of the best guitars under $200 and a great guitar for beginners.

Average Score 9.3
Sound
9.0
Price
9.5
Look
9.4
Feel
9.0
PROS:
  • Easy and incredibly fun to play, especially with the light strings and comfortable fret board
  • Cool looking finish, especially the translucent blue
CONS:
  • My issue with this guitar is that there are several didn't finishes that have varying costs online. Not that big an issue but everyone wants to know what they are getting

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Gretsch 9500 Jim Dandy

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Set Alert for Product: G9500 Jim Dandy Acoustic Guitar - $129.99
Last Amazon price update was: March 20, 2019 8:11 am
× Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com (Amazon.in, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, etc) at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

It’s pretty impressive that Gretsch is willing to dedicate time to putting out vintage acoustic guitars at such an affordable price.  Many acoustic guitars under $200 tend to have a paint by numbers approach to how they package and present their guitars.

In this vintage acoustic guitar, Gretsch offers a beautiful guitar that has all the features of a classic Rex parlor guitar from the 1930’s with a sound that matches the overall vibe of the guitar.  

With a bluesy, warm vintage tone, this guitar has a character that is rarely captured in such an affordable body.

Average Score 9.2
Sound
8.5
Price
10
Look
9.4
Feel
9.2
PROS:
  • It's got that "Rex" Parlor vintage guitar look and sound without having to splurge on the true vintage price
  • Small scale is useful for children, people with small hands or having for travel situations
  • Has a cool lofi sound that has a vibe
CONS:
  • If you don't realize how small this guitar is, you might be surprised and not necessarily happy about it.
  • What is a cool lofi sound to some is just not what others want out of an acoustic guitar. If you want the quintessential acoustic guitar tones, look elsewhere

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Jasmine S34C

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Set Alert for Product: S-34C Cutaway Acoustic Guitar Natural - $94.06
Last Amazon price update was: March 7, 2019 10:14 am
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This jumbo acoustic guitar is a steal at the cost that Jasmine is able to offer it for.  Both the look and sound mimic that of guitars that cost several hundred dollars more than this beauty.

It’s fun to find value guitars at different price points when we find guitars this nice and this affordable at the same time.  The resonance of this guitar is big and pleasing to the ear and the grand orchestra body style has a look that makes you wonder how you payed so little to own it.

This guitar is easy to play and affordable and while it’s a nice option for beginner guitarists, it’s also just a nice find for any guitarist looking for a guitar under $200.

Average Score 9.1
Sound
8.6
Price
9.9
Look
9.0
Feel
9.0
PROS:
  • It's so affordable it easy to accept the mass production flaws that you might encounter
  • With new strings and a quick tune up, the guitar can sound much better than the price would suggest
  • It's a fairly nice looking guitar which you wouldn't expect or how little it costs
CONS:
  • It's cheap so there are sometimes mass production flaws that you have to deal with
  • Not necessarily ideal for beginner guitarists even though it's priced for beginners

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Fender FA100

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Set Alert for Product: FA100 Acoustic Guitar - $119.99
Last Amazon price update was: March 14, 2019 4:58 am
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Fender does a good job at delivering great value guitars and some have argued that  the Fender FA100 is one of the best steel string acoustics that you can get for a beginner at the value and price that Fender offers their FA100 acoustic guitar.  

While this guitar is fairly cheap, it is a great value.  There are certainly some crappy guitars out there, especially when they are this affordable, but to be a traditional dreadnought style guitar with a solid wood build that uses maple, and spruce with a rosewood fretboard, there are few guitars this affordable that deliver this kind of value.

Average Score 9.1
Sound
8.9
Price
9.8
Look
9.1
Feel
9.1
PROS:
  • Full Warm Tones not expected from some an affordable guitar
  • Stylistically Versatile which is great for a beginner guitarist that is finding their sound
CONS:
  • There are some manufacturing flaws in this cheap mass produced body. If you buy with Amazon prime it will be easier to return the guitar if there are any issues
  • The provided strings aren't that great and probably a little too heavy for beginner guitarist that haven't built up calluses

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Ibanez IJV50

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Set Alert for Product: Ibanez - IJV50 - Acoustic Guitar Jampack - $129.99
Last Amazon price update was: March 11, 2019 8:49 am
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This Ibanez is geared toward the beginner guitarist looking for a good value guitar with a low budget.  The classic dreadnought body with the spruce top gives you the quintessential acoustic guitar look.

One great feature for beginners that is very valuable is the Ibanez Advantage bridge pins.  For any beginner learning how to play the guitar, one of the challenges to over come fairly quickly is figuring out how to tune a guitar and eventually change the strings.  The design of this guitar with the bridge pins, makes it easier to both tune the guitar, keep it in tune, and when the time comes, change the strings.

Paired with the mahogany neck, rosewood bridge and rosewood fretboard, the Ibanez IJV50 provides beginner guitarists with an affordable guitar that has great tone and even better value.

Average Score 8.7
Sound
8.5
Price
10
Look
8.7
Feel
8.6
PROS:
  • It's an out of the box, ready to play guitar that is priced and packaged for the beginner
  • It's made with spruce and mahogany which is great for the price
CONS:
  • It's just not special. Don't get me wrong, it's great for beginners, but I'm of the mind to spend a little more and get something that can hang around for a while as you get better.

 

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