Looking for your dream guitar is a hard job. Several factors make this process even harder, for example, budget. We have all been there when you save up some money, but it still seems not enough. What if we tell you that it actually is enough? We have made research on the best acoustic-electric guitars under 500. Take a look at this list and you will realize that good quality can be combined with affordability. Read carefully and we will help you find the perfect match. Here goes the list, enjoy.
What’s The Best Acoustic-Electric Guitar Under 500
|Martin LX1E Acoustic Guitar w Fishman Sonitone electronics||(4.9 / 5)||Check on Amazon
|Yamaha L-Series LS6||(4.8 / 5)||Check on Amazon
|Takamine GD30CE-NAT||(4.9 / 5)||Check on Amazon
|Alvarez Artist Series AJ80CE||(4.8 / 5)||Check on Amazon
|Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat||(4.7 / 5)||Check on Amazon
Martin LX1E w Fishman Sonitone Electronics
This instrument has solid Sitka spruce top. Martin LX1E Acoustic Guitar w Fishman Sonitone electronics is a perfect travel guitar, even though it is not resistant to humidity or temperature changes, it is still better than solid wood. It delivers exceptional sound, if you keep in mind its ¾ size and low price. However, you might need some time to get used to it, as full-sized guitars are bottom-heavy while the little martin is handle-heavy. It is equipped with a Fishman Pickup system. The instrument is very comfortable to play. It has high-quality craftsmanship. Martin LX1E Acoustic Guitar w Fishman Sonitone Electronics is definitely a great instrument to have in your arsenal.
- Sound (It’s Martin, for God’s sake)
- Good quality electronics
- Small size – comfortable and compact
- Saddle and nut material is not the highest quality
- Change strings to achieve optimum sound
Yamaha L-Series LS6
In this classical guitar model, Yamaha once again proved that they are good at combining affordability with high quality. It has a great feel out of the box. The instrument has a Solid Engelmann Spruce top, and Rosewood on with Back & Sides. Multilayered mahogany/rosewood reinforced neck and ebony fretboard make playability even more pleasant and simple. This instrument truly delivers exceptional craftsmanship by Japanese luthiers, with the company’s 30 years of experience. Yamaha L-Series LS6 has a rich and deep sound. It is ideal for finger-picking due to its very bright tone. Overall this instrument delivers the quality of performance and craftsmanship, similar to those which cost thousands. Once you hold it, you will never want to let it go.
- Great construction
- Deep, full sound
- Not the highest quality tonewood (but it works well together)
- It is a bit expensive for beginners
Takamine GD30CE-NAT can be considered as stage worthy instrument. It has Solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides to deliver rich, deep and resonant sound. The instrument has a Slim mahogany neck and 12″-radius rosewood fingerboard, that enables fast and simple playing. Takamine GD30CE-NAT is equipped with Takamine TP-4TD preamp system that has a built-in tuner with three-band EQ and gain controls. All this together gives the instrument versatility and excellent tone. This guitar comes in two colors – black and natural. Both of them have a gloss finish to deliver a classical style and a beautiful exterior. The instrument is not too heavy, so playing is comfortable. All in all, Takamine GD30CE-NAT delivers nice sound and performance quality, in a very budget-friendly price. It is perfect for beginners as well as for experienced players.
- Good quality tonewood
- Great sound
- Easy to use electronics
- Needs neck adjustment
Alvarez Artist Series AJ80CE
This guitar with a solid Sitka spruce top is hand selected from quarter-sawn wood. The back and sides are made of Maple. The top is solid, not laminated, so together with its high-quality craftsmanship this ensures wonderful sound. The instrument looks so beautiful, every element in its design gives you the feeling that it is made by nature itself, like Paua abalone and mother of pearl inlays, real bone saddles and nuts and rosewood appointments. Alvarez Artist Series AJ80CE is equipped with SYS550 dual pickup system. It ensures that produced sound is the most natural and true. It also has backlit chromatic digital tuner. Overall performance surely is very powerful and clean. It is a good deal for the price.
- Quality tonewood
- Good electronics
- Warm sound
- High action
- Big body
Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat
This guitar is very affordable. The price may even deceive you. However, it really is a powerful instrument. The guitar has a Solid Mahogany Top and Laminated Mahogany Back and Sides. It is based on Tim Armstrong’s original instrument, so it surely has that 60s punk kind of vibes. It is available in ruby red and standard. The instrument has 4-Ply Tortoise Shell Pickguard, Hellcat Position Inlays, Double Skull Inlays at 12th Fret, Tim Armstrong Signature on Truss Rod Cover, Cream Body Bindings, Black Painted Headstock, Urea Nut and Saddle, Black with White Dot Bridge Pins. Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat is equipped with a chrome die-cast tuning system. This guitar will keep you rockin all night long, with its amazing performance capabilities.
- Good tonewood
- Lightweight and good size
- Full sound
- High action
- Best pickups
Everyone might feel a little lost while choosing a new instrument, especially if you are on a budget. The market is filled with so many options and all of them are advertised in the best way possible so you can never be fully sure unless you research. We have made this research for you so do not worry, you are on the right path. Hope you made up your mind about any of the guitars from the list, but if not, here are some tips that might be useful in your acoustic-electric guitar hunt.
How to choose an acoustic-electric guitar
First of all, you need to know what you expect from the instrument you are about to purchase. Do you want to play at home for fun? Or do you plan to have concerts with it when you develop? Is it for long-term usage or short-term? When you make up your mind about this factor, the list of infinite options from the market will get a little shorter.
You also need to know how you want it to sound – so think about what are you looking for until you actually go for a search. Different materials have different sounds. There is a lot of argument about which wood sounds the best, but if you ask me at the end it comes down to personal preferences. Someone might like the clear and strong sound of Spruce, which is considered to be top-notch, while others might go for Cedar, due to its powerful but less clear tone. Know what you want to get.
One of the top things to consider is the instrument’s playability. You will not be able to enjoy the sound of the instrument, even if it has the best specs possible and costs thousands of dollars – unless you can hold it properly, and feel comfortable. The guitar should feel perfectly fit not only sitting but standing as well. The neck of it must be smooth and thin, to let your hand glide like a breeze. We would advise you to actually go and see the instrument before you purchase, it’s nice to know how it feels in your hands.
Do not forget that the look of the guitar is important as well. We might pay so much attention to specs, but forget the look. The look is the detail that can make the playing experience so much more satisfying and fun. So, find the instrument that is your perfect match, not only by sound but with the facade as well. It should definitely fit your personal tastes in every way possible.
We understand that you are on a budget but you should not let the price of the instrument deceive you. Buy affordable, not cheap. There is a big difference. Make sure that the instrument has the highest quality in the price range. For example, top wood material has a big effect on the sound, so find one that has solid top material instead of laminated, but you can always save money on back and side wood, as they affect sound less. Try to find a golden ratio to balance everything perfectly.
Being on a budget sucks. But if you know how to use it properly then it sucks less. Those instruments truly are top models from the list of best acoustic-electric guitars under 500. We hope that those tips and advice were useful. Do not stress too much about the actual purchase, because at the end the most important thing to have fun with music. Be patient with it, take your time. We wish you all the best luck in your search of a perfect match.