Top for 2019

Best Acoustic Guitars Under $500

Adam's Buyer's Guide

taylor k14ce builder's
Best price Epiphone Hummingbird Pro Review

Epiphone Hummingbird Pro Review

Bottom Line - You are getting a great price for a guitar designed around a 4k guitar ...

9.4
Best price 2 Yamaha LS6 Review

Yamaha LS6 Review

Bottom Line - While the electronics aren't great, you get more than your money's worth ...

9.2
3 Fender Sonoran SCE Review

Fender Sonoran SCE Review

Bottom Line - Vintage surf rock is alive and well with this guitar, but not just surf ...

9.2
4 Gretsch G5022CE Review

Gretsch G5022CE Review

Bottom Line - A good value honkey tonk 1050's throwback guitar.

9.1

2019 Acoustic Guitar Buyer's Guide

Shopping Advice for Guitars

When you can get a budget together where you can take a look at 400 and 500 dollar guitars, you really open up a lot of great options.  From the Baby Taylor and the amazing Taylor GS Mini to the Martin LX1e Little Martin and the Epiphone Hummingbird

While you wont get the high end guitars of the pros at this price, you will be able to afford  quality acoustic guitars and acoustic electric guitars. The guitars in this price range will be the kind of acoustic guitars that you will keep for a long time.

There are also options in this price range that would be appropriate for beginners and experts alike and all of them would be better than the cheap acoustics

HOW DO WE PICK OUR TOP CHOICES FOR ACOUSTIC GUITARS?

The four main factors we look at when determining which guitars in this price range give you the most bang for your buck, include:

THE SOUND QUALITY

THE GUITAR BRAND

THE BUILD & HARDWARE

THE FEEL OF THE GUITAR

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SOUND QUALITY

Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE 2

To get a great guitar you want to have the best quality sound that you possible can.

When we narrowed down our short list of the top guitars, if the guitar didn’t have quality sound, it didn’t make the list.

We also considered how various body styles will affect the type sound the guitar produces.  Whether it is a dreadnought guitar or a mini acoustic guitar we take a deeper look into the build quality and the end result to determine if an acoustic guitar had a quality sound good enough to make our list.  

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THE GUITAR BRAND

In this price range, there are a lot quality guitars.  You can even grab up a Taylor acoustic guitar which is a great deal for one of the best acoustic guitar brands.  The Taylor GS Mini is even in this price range which is a beautiful “baby acoustic guitar” (although not the same as the Baby Taylor) with a build quality that comes close to what a thousand dollar guitar produces.

Taylor is not the only brand that produces great guitars in this price range.  Trusted companies like Fender and Epiphone offer great guitars under 500 that are very well built.  Even Martin has guitars like the Little Martin in this price range, which is a choice guitar for any guitarist.

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THE BUILD & HARDWARE

The build quality of acoustic guitars and acoustic electric guitars will always affect how the guitar feels and sounds.  For that we made sure all of the acoustic guitars in our buyers guide have a high build quality.

From there we looked at the various body styles and the type of woods used in the build.  From solid mahogany to sitka spruce or solid cedar, each type of wood produces a different type of sound.  

Many guitars, even some of the most classic guitars, mix woods as well where a guitar with a solid mahogany body can have a solid wood, cedar top or even spruce top.

For acoustic electric guitars we look at the type of electronics used for the pickups and amplification, builtin tuners, and more!

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THE FEEL OF THE GUITAR

The feel of the guitar is super important for both beginners and experts.  If your fingers are comfortable on your guitar, it will be easy to play and you will be inspired to make the most out of your guitar purchase.

When we narrowed down the acoustic guitars for our buying guide, we considered how the various body shapes can affect the feel of a guitar.  More so, the quality and type of wood of the neck and fingerboard as well as the action from the bridge and the truss rod will have huge impact on the feel.  

There are some acoustic guitars here that could qualify as travel guitars and some of the acoustic guitars feature a slim neck.  For the smaller acoustic guitars like the Baby Taylor, Little Martin and GS Mini, the feel of the guitar is going to change because of the smaller body and neck size.

Best Acoustic Guitars Under $500

Individual Guitar Reviews and Ratings

Epiphone Hummingbird Pro

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Set Alert for Product: Epiphone HUMMINGBIRD PRO Solid Top Acoustic/Electric Guitar - $369.00
Price history
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Price history for Epiphone HUMMINGBIRD PRO Solid Top Acoustic/Electric Guitar
Latest updates:
  • $369.00 - July 4, 2019
  • $473.78 - June 27, 2019
  • $369.00 - June 11, 2019
  • $484.59 - June 3, 2019
  • $369.00 - May 8, 2019
  • $484.60 - April 24, 2019
  • $484.59 - April 20, 2019
  • $484.60 - April 18, 2019
Since: April 14, 2019
  • Highest Price: $500.79 - April 14, 2019
  • Lowest Price: $369.00 - May 8, 2019
Last Amazon price update was: September 16, 2019 8:12 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.

The Hummingbird is probably sounding familiar because of the Gibson Hummingbird which is an iconic guitar.  As an arm of Gibson, Epiphone is able to deliver and affordable version of this iconic guitar in an electric acoustic guitar that is as versatile as it is good looking.

The classic style of the Epiphone Hummingbird Pro is made of spruce and mahogany with a 20 fret rosewood fretboard.  The rich tone of the guitar translates well through the preamp giving it good value whether plugged in or completely acoustic.

The rosewood bridge and hummingbird pickgaurd paired with the grover tuners gives a great value that far exceeds the price, especially considering the cost of the Gibson Hummingbird compared to this Epiphone model.  

Average Score 9.4
Sound
8.9
Price
9.2
Look
10
Feel
9.5
PROS:
  • They really got the look, sound and feel to be as close as the iconic Gibson Hummingbird without having to make it a high end expensive guitar
  • You don't have to spend thousands of dollars to get a Hummingbird model guitar
  • The look of this guitar is exceptional even for this less expensive model
CONS:
  • The don't have the best pegs but that is replaceable so it's not a huge issue
  • This is affordable cause it's produced quickly, which has lead to some inconsistencies, specifically there have been some issues with the pickups and preamps but rarely reported
  • Compared to the real Gibson Hummingbird, this Epiphone model is rather thin in it's tone
  • A little heavy for some guitarists taste

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Yamaha LS6

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Set Alert for Product: L Series LS6M A.R.E. Acoustic-Electric Guitar Natural - $449.99
Last Amazon price update was: September 17, 2019 3:00 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 acoustic guitars under $500, the Yamaha L Series LS6 is one of the very best and would be one of the first guitars to check out in this budget range.

The guitar is simply inspiring in it’s look, sound and feel making it worth so much more than what you have to pay to own one.  The neck and fingerboard are some of the finest to play at any cost.

The only thing about this guitar that keeps it from being much more expensive is the electronics that make it an electric acoustic guitar are nothing special.  In a way that is what keeps this guitar so affordable and the truth is the electronics are just fine for the the style of guitar.

Average Score 9.2
Sound
9.0
Price
9.2
Look
9.5
Feel
9.3
PROS:
  • This guitar is offered in both Dreadnaught and Concert Styles which is nice
  • There are a variety of wood choices and finishes available to suite your taste
  • It's just a really well built guitar by Fender
CONS:
  • As an acoustic guitar this is exceptional but the electronics should likely be replaced as they don't come close to doing justice to the natural acoustic tone

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Fender Sonoran SCE

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Set Alert for Product: Sonoran SCE Acoustic Electric Guitar - $229.99
Last Amazon price update was: September 17, 2019 2:48 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.

The Fender Sonoran SCE is a pretty cool guitar with lots of perks for the price.  There is something mesmerizing about this guitar if not slightly odd in that the electronic acoustic guitar really embodies that title as the body of the guitar is a beautiful acoustic solid spruce and laminate mahogany dreadnought body but with the iconic Stratocaster headstock, creating an eye checking look that is nothing short of awesome.

The sound of the Fender Sonoran SCE is pretty sweet to match the looks and with the Fishman electronics, you are really getting a guitar worthy of the list of the best guitars under $500.  

This is the kind of guitar that you will fall in love with once you see it as there aren’t too many guitars out there that embody this hybrid electric acoustic look in such a cool juxtaposition.

Average Score 9.2
Sound
9.0
Price
9.2
Look
9.5
Feel
9.3
PROS:
  • All the electronics are nice and have the vintage feel
  • The look of this guitar definitely draws attention and has a sound to match
  • Easy to get around the neck of the guitar even if you have small hands
CONS:
  • It's a niche instrument, you either want it or you don't.

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Gretsch G5022CE Rancher

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Set Alert for Product: Gretsch G5022CE Rancher Jumbo Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar - Savannah Sunset - $489.99
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Price history for Gretsch G5022CE Rancher Jumbo Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar - Savannah Sunset
Latest updates:
  • $489.99 - July 20, 2019
  • $485.09 - July 17, 2019
Since: July 17, 2019
  • Highest Price: $489.99 - July 20, 2019
  • Lowest Price: $485.09 - July 17, 2019
Last Amazon price update was: September 17, 2019 2:56 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.

If you are looking for an affordable retro style honkey tonk 1950’s throwback guitar, look no further.  The Gretsch G5022CE Rancher is a head turning guitar with a jumbo body and unique triangular sound hold that stands out with vintage flare through out the inlay and body.  

The solid spruce and maple guitar has a mahogany neck and rosewood fretboard, featuring 21 frets and a sound that is as retro as it’s look.  The 1950’s cowboy classic 6022 Rancher inspired this model and for a fraction of the cost of hunting down one of those vintage 6022 Ranchers, you can get this electric acoustic guitar at a steal of a price.

Average Score 9.1
Sound
8.9
Price
9.2
Look
9.5
Feel
9.3
PROS:
  • Gretsch designed a beautiful guitar and nails the 1950's throwback style they are going for
  • The fretboard is a joy to work around and the quality of the build is nice
CONS:
  • It's a big guitar that isn't necessarily worth lugging around to live concerts unless you really want that honkey tonk style
  • It does not have a versatile tone. You Gotta want that honkey tonk vibe if you are going to get this guitar
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