To become a professional, or even a decent, guitar player means to sacrifice a lot of things and to acquaint yourself with a lot of pain. Every day you spend any amount of hours practicing the instrument. An hour, two, four, eight, taken out of your day to practice your music, hours that could be used for fun with friends or dates with lovers, or just time that could have been spent with family.
Each of these minutes could have been something else sacrificed to the guitar. The shredded fingers have to slide non-stop against strings, tearing, peeling, and hurting until finally, they develop a thick skin. Unfeeling and efficient at sliding across steel strings. Feeling lost in an attempt to fulfill an ambition. Days of frustration when it feels like you can’t advance any further when you cannot get any results you wish. Days where you feel like you hate yourself more than you love yourself.
All of these minutes and feelings, even a part of your own personality sacrificed for one purpose: fulfilling a dream. Achieving that height of being a truly deserving musician. One that worked for the perfection of their tones, one that knows what it means to be in pain, to be hungry and tired and still keep playing. So that you can be the one and only star that shines brightest. The road to this goal is a tiring one, so every once in a while, you treat yourself. You buy yourself toys and fun, but you enjoy buying more, better instruments most. All you want is the best available, so when you finally achieve the level, you end up buying the best acoustic guitar under 1000.
Top 10 Acoustic Guitars Under 1000
You know what makes every guitarist happy? When they find a wonderful guitar, check the price and see that it isn’t as expensive as they expected. It’s true magic, my friend, and luckily we encounter it more frequently than you might think. Instruments that have top-notch quality make our lives so much easier – they sound amazing and don’t require too much fuss. Guild D-140 is just like that. It is built with solid woods: Sitka spruce top and African mahogany back and sides. These tonewoods define the character of the instrument – it emits bright highs that are balanced with the subtle warmth of mahogany. You can hear the lows, as well, which makes the whole sound very rich. Hardware of this guitar will surprise you pleasantly since everything that’s included here is of great quality. I can’t help but mention the beauty of the design. This puppy is featured in Antique Sunburst, which looks so appealing that you’ll want to hang the guitar on the wall (the main one, so that everybody can see it). Guild D-140 is a wonderful option, as it’s something you can rely on no matter what.
- Wonderful tone
- Beautiful appearance
- Well-built and durable
- The action might be too low for some
Even though under 1000 category is somewhere between high-end and mid-range guitars, it still goes without saying that here we expect better quality. That quality depends on the tonewoods and building craftsmanship equally, and we judge both quite strictly. Luckily, manufacturers understand that pretty well and try to deliver everything we’re waiting for in that specific price range. Seagull Maritime SWS SG showcases that vividly. Though you’ll encounter laminate in many of the brand’s guitars, SWS (Solid Wood Series) features the ones that are made out of solid woods. Maritime, in particular, has a spruce top and mahogany back and sides. The neck is made out of solid mahogany as well, which is a great addition to the overall quality. It has a semi-gloss finish, which is a perfect type of finish in my opinion (not too shiny, not too dull). Plus, it still does a great job at protecting your guitar from damage. The sound spreads nicely across the board, generated notes are crisp and defined. Maritime is suited for many different techniques so don’t worry about that. Seagull did a wonderful job with this one!
- Excellent build quality
- Well-defined tone
- Reasonable price
- Might not be loud enough for outdoor playing
Bob Taylor was a man with a lot of love to give. Most of it he pumped straight into the guitars he made. He never stopped doing it and at some point, all of the work he put into making guitars resulted in the Taylor 114ce 100 series. It is a simple guitar, chock full of love and you can tell. When playing the guitar sounds like it was made by a person who knows that a guitar can sound perfect. He knows that this sound is also impossible to achieve, but he is going to try his best. The result is a very good guitar with a solid sitka spruce top for a beautiful resonation and solidity and warmth and vibrance in tone. The grand orchestra-style body provides the attractive, powerful but also subtle dissemination of sound. This is a beautiful instrument that I highly recommend to anyone looking for a new guitar.
- Comfortable playing
- Bright, rich sound
- Excellent build
- Sapele neck might not be everyone’s favourite
- A bit pricey for beginner level
Folk music is something that will awaken your spirituality. Not everybody is into it, but there’s no way they won’t appreciate it. It has a character that can’t be compared with anything else. Folk music is an alternate genre that inspires you no matter how much of a rockstar you are. Yamaha CSF3M is dedicated to folk music, but, of course, isn’t limited to it. As expected from the brand, this bad boy has a solid Sitka spruce top and mahogany back and sides. It does also come equipped with innovative scalloped bracing that makes sure the sound spreads evenly across the board. This new technology makes this guitar what it is: it’s loud, rich and saturated. It’s equipped with a passive pickup, which means you can connect an amplifier to it. On the whole, CSD3M is one of the best options you can get with its tone, build quality and tonewoods. What are you waiting for?
- Small and easy to hold
- Great tone
- Extremely affordable
- Comes with a case
- You might need a preamp with it
The Loar unique among acoustic guitars. It does not sport the traditional acoustic sound hole that all the other acoustic guitars have. Instead it has two F-holes that you would expect a hollow body guitar to have. That is because it is one. Now that you have come so far in your guitar career, you might want to consider picking up a guitar that has the capabilities of both sides of the isle. You might find yourself more pleased than you would think. The pickup on Loar LH-350-VS allows for very little feedback issues, if any, while the hand carved, mahogany body sound warm, pleasant and overall like the silky voice of one of those sexy, Hollywood actors who we all secretly wish we were. It is perfect for old school rock and rockabilly sound and tone, while also being extremely well fitted for all the jazzy, country acoustic need you have. This means that you can have a great time and an amazing, versatile tool in your arsenal for a reasonable price.
- Great tonewood
- Old style looks
- Neck might be a little bit too bulky
You know what kind of guitars I love the most? The ones that tell the story. Be it history, a legend or a myth, they still make the whole experience even more special. For me, they always awaken my creativity and force me to sit down and write something. I’m sure Luna Fauna Phoenix will do the same for you. Just by looking at it you’ll understand that it isn’t a typical deal. It shows off a beautiful painting of Phoenix, the pattern of which is repeated in the rosette (shaped like a crescent) as well. Black body has a cutaway design and is dedicated to (again, not limited to) folk style music. The name itself, Phoenix, symbolizes power, beauty, vision and inspiration, which is perfectly represented in the instrument. Fauna has a select spruce top and mahogany back and sides. Set, C-shape neck is also made out of mahogany. The overall qualities of this guitar will satisfy you, unless you’re looking for something extraordinary in terms of sound.
- Distinctive design
- Thin neck
- Low end isn’t as expressive as with other guitars
- The tuner could be better
There is a tranquility in a coastline beach on a cold morning. The waves beating against the sand and rock, the beach empty of those afraid of the cold blowing in from sea or the ocean. The gray of the sky mixing in with bluish green of the sea, clouds melding together and dipping below and beyond the horizon. You could stand there, just staring out at the world, your feet planted solidly into the ground, a blanket around your shoulders. And all you can think about are the many summers you have spent sitting on one of those old rocks, right next to the bonfire, singing your favorite songs into the dead of the night sky. The Seagull Coastline S6 Slim CW Spruce QI feels like a guitar taken straight out of such a daydream. Holding the guitar and playing it feels beyond good, it feels just right, just as if it belongs there. So did you at the beach. The sound is strong, vibrant with the high tones effortlessly emphasized thanks to the spruce top. This is a great guitar, especially for how much under 1000 it is.
- Great sound
- Comfortable neck to grip
- Consistent and the sound gets better with time
- Might be pricier for beginner’s budget
- Tusq nut, for some, does not sound as bright as real bone
Most of you would immediately recall Fender if we were talking about electric guitars. Their name has been associated with the best ones out there and many of us still dream of owning those. But they are rarely mentioned while talking about acoustic guitars, even though they make a bunch of them. And let me tell you, Paramount PM-3 Standard Triple 0 is definitely worth a shot. Just like many other guitars in this article, this bad boy features a Sitka spruce top and mahogany back and sides. The design is quite distinctive with its checkerboard purfling and rosette. It has a cutaway body with a pickguard and headstock logo that represent Fender’s legacy and their past experience with acoustic guitars. Paramount PM-3 Triple 0 has a preamp that was made in collaboration with Fishman (and we’ve all heard a good thing or two about those). The tuner itself could have been better, but we can’t really complain here. Once you start playing this guitar, you’ll be wondering why Fender has such a bad name in terms of acoustics. There’s no doubt Triple 0 deserves some proper respect!
- Excellent build quality
- Balanced sound
- Beautiful design
- The tuner could have been better
There are men who spend their lives chasing ghosts. Days upon days looking for something that used to be there but now is gone. Nostalgia conquers the lives of these men or women, as they spend more of their lives wandering in wonderment and hope that they will find something of the past than they do enjoying their today. Fortunately for these men, and all of us who wish them the best, in this world there exists a strong taste for vintage. Things of the past that bring back something that once was, not in the sense of the physical, but in the sense of abstract, of memory and feeling and emotion. Well made vintage items tend to awaken things in these people, the happiness they seem to be unable to find at times. The Blueridge BR-140 Historic Series Dreadnought is one such instrument, made for men looking for the ghosts. This guitar sounds just like it was made in the realm of once upon a time, way back in the day, using bracing and warping techniques from the past to achieve a vintage sound. The sitka spruce top is expressive in its resonance of the sound, while the dreadnought body is loud and strong. And even if the guitar does sound vintage, it still feels fresh to the world of today.
- Great tonewood
- Pure vintage sound
- Might be pricey for beginners (but see the conclusion)
Not all acoustic guitars have to be the same as the others. The Gretsch G9201 Honey Dipper stands out, in this list, because of the fact that it is not a simple acoustic guitar. It is a resonator guitar, that uses its metal body and biscuit cone to sound not just like a resonator guitar, but just like an average acoustic guitar. It might seem counterintuitive to buy a resophonic guitar when all you’re looking for is an acoustic one. It is, but when the guitar is as versatile as the one described here, when it can sound like an average acoustic guitar without a problem, well, the counter intuitiveness gives way to great ideas. This instrument, with its superb sound lovely versatility might be the little bit of flavoring that your musical career need, making it one of the best options for an acoustic guitar you have.
- Great Sound
Congratulations, whoever you are, to finally have come so far in your musical career that you are buying yourself a better guitar. This is the reward you get for spending the past few months (years?) being called the annoying word “beginner” (Ew). If you do have the pesky question of why you need a more expensive guitar bothering you then hear me out.
More Expensive and Generally Better
Most cheap guitars have a lot of things in common, which is not surprising, since they all (or at least a vast majority of them) are made on an assembly line in a factory. All of them could be pretty much generic, with the process used to make these guitars repeated several hundred times a day. The guitars that go through such a process usually end up having a variable level of quality. Some come out great, others end up being below what you wanted or expected. Any cheap guitar that I have mentioned as best usually has these problems of variable quality minimized, so you end up getting a solid quality guitar if you buy one of them
The thing with more expensive guitars is that they are actually carefully crafted to be better. Each detail is considered: the grain of the wood and what part of the guitar it is used for. The alignment of the neck to the body of the guitar is carefully considered and checked multiple times. Basically, the guitar is optimized to play as easily and as well as it can be. The best acoustic guitars under 1000 do this as well. This means you don’t have to break bank to buy a really good guitar.
This means that all those hours spent practicing will finally pay off, not just because you will finally sound the way you wanted to, but because you get to play these tunes on an instrument that can actually keep up with you.
This is not to say that cheap guitars don’t hold up. The only thing cheap in this context means is affordable. The guitars that you pay less for can sometimes sound as good as expensive ones. Though you have a certain guarantee that your guitar will definitely sound as good as you want it to, if you pay a little extra for it.
Do I really need an expensive guitar?
If you want better quality, yes you do. While in the world of electric guitars it is possible to get by with a cheap guitar that you modify into oblivion, there is only a limited amount of upgrading you can do to an acoustic guitar. You could try modifying the nut and saddle of an acoustic guitar, slightly improving the sound, or you could try modifying the way you play. The end result will remain the same – your inexpensive guitar will not sound as good as a slightly more pricey one could.
So, I would say, yes you do. If you want a guitar that sounds better and can keep up to the challenge of producing the tone you want it to produce, you need to start thinking about upgrading. A slightly more expensive guitar might mean a world of difference for what kind of sound you produce. It could also mean the beginning of your new guitar collection. Most importantly, it could be the boost in morale you need to keep the commitment to music going. A new guitar, especially a well made one, will make you want to play, will lead you into playing without you realizing that it is not something you wanted, but something that the guitar wanted.
I never became the musician I wish I could have been. I found that there were other things I wanted more. There was a point in my life though, a year-long stint, where I spent every day playing my faithful acoustic guitar. That was the time when I learned the satisfaction, the sense of reward that comes with actually getting better, especially when disregarding pain. My fingers might have bled and my social life might have suffered, but in the end it was worth it. Finally, I could play any song I wanted, not just smoke on the water or Wonderwall.
There was actual meaning to all those times I said “I can play the guitar” when attempting to impress my crush. But now the meaning went beyond the girl and the kiss I wanted. The meaning was the music itself, the art of playing the guitar. It was a game, a challenge to myself. To keep playing and learning and getting better. After only a few weeks of playing every day, my goal with the guitar was not to impress but to get better.
It was a year long lesson about ambition and hard work; about the pain and sacrifices that have to be made to achieve something outstanding. I might not have become a good musician but I know that I became a better person as a result. If you are here, looking for the best acoustic guitar under 1000, then you know what I am talking about. You know the amount of time it takes to get better, to feel like you deserve a guitar of good quality. To feel like that you graduate from a beginner guitar. So congratulations and good luck.