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The Best Acoustic Guitars Under $500

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If you’re in need of a budget acoustic guitar, you’re in the right place. We’ve rounded up some of the best acoustic guitars under 500 dollars, and we also bring you some guidance on buying one later on in the article.

Best Acoustic Guitars Under $500

Despite working within a 500 dollar budget, you can still get yourself an excellent quality acoustic. We’ve picked out some of our favorites and broken down what we love about them.

Below we’ve listed the 4 best acoustic guitars for under 500 dollars which you’ll be sure to love.

Seagull S6 Original Acoustic Guitar

Here we have the Seagull Entourage Autumn Burst acoustic guitar. The first thing we noticed about this guitar was how good it looked. It’s a custom polished semi glossed finish on the body, with a cream double binding which gives it a real classic look and feel.

Notwithstanding how great this guitar looks, it’s also important we detail how great it sounds as well. The tone of this guitar is described as warm and full bodied. This is down to the fact that it’s provided by a pressure tested solid cedar top paired with 3 layer laminated Canadian wild cherry back sides.

The smooth deep sounding projection is something to be admired. Due to the low action and comfortable to hold neck this guitar feels really easy to play. Added features include a set of 14:1 tuners and a compensated GraphTech Tusq nut saddle.

It is worth noting that this guitar doesn’t come with a case included. This guitar can be likened to those in a much higher price bracket. This guitar is slightly smaller than the Fender dreadnought, which isn’t a negative as it’s very easy to get to grips with.

Overall you’ll be delighted with what you get if you go for this option. You’ll end up with a guitar that not only looks great, but backs itself up in terms of sound quality. It’s one of the best acoustics that you’ll find in its price range and something we definitely recommend at least trying out.

Seagull Entourage Autumn Burst Acoustic

Here we have the Seagull Entourage Autumn Burst acoustic guitar. The first thing we noticed about this guitar was how good it looked. It’s a custom polished semi glossed finish on the body, with a cream double binding which gives it a real classic look and feel.

Notwithstanding how great this guitar looks, it’s also important we detail how great it sounds as well. The tone of this guitar is described as warm and full bodied. This is down to the fact that it’s provided by a pressure tested solid cedar top paired with 3 layer laminated Canadian wild cherry back sides. The smooth deep sounding projection is something to be admired.

Due to the low action and comfortable to hold neck this guitar feels really easy to play.

Added features include a set of 14:1 tuners and a compensated GraphTech Tusq nut saddle. It is worth noting that this guitar doesn’t come with a case included. This guitar can be likened to those in a much higher price bracket. This guitar is slightly smaller than the Fender dreadnought, which isn’t a negative as it’s very easy to get to grips with.

Overall you’ll be delighted with what you get if you go for this option. You’ll end up with a guitar that not only looks great, but backs itself up in terms of sound quality. It’s one of the best acoustics that you’ll find in its price range and something we definitely recommend at least trying out.

Yamaha FS800

Next on the list we have the Yamaha FS800. This a simple and traditional looking guitar which is great on the eye. Aesthetics aside, what you’ll love about this is the fact it’s a great sounding guitar. The sound is impressively well balanced, and definitely a guitar we’d recommend to all guitarists.

The great thing about this guitar is how affordable it is for its level of quality. This guitar comes highly recommended. It’s one of the best you’ll find within this price range, it looks great with a natural finish and sounds awesome.

Fender CD-60S Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar

Next up on the list is the CD-60S from Fender. This is well suited not only to beginners but intermediate players as well. This is down to the fact that it’s such great overall quality.

It comes with a dreadnought styled body, with the “X” bracing providing extra sound quality in terms of its resonance. Not only does this sound great but it also looks the part. The fine black finish makes it look fantastic.

It has a comfortable white neck and body binding, with tuning knobs made from chrome. Overall it looks outstanding and you’ll be very pleased with how the guitar looks considering its reasonable price tag.

Similar to the FS800, this comes with the Austin Bazzar pack. This will save you effort in purchasing the additional accessories later down the line. It comes with a hard case, providing you with something to store the guitar and carry it around in.

The clip on tuner also helps you to ensure that this stays in tune whilst you’re learning to play. Due to the strap that comes with it you’re able to practice playing standing up.  As with the FS800 this also comes with guitar picks and a polishing cloth.

Last but not least, the instructional DVD will also help you to pick up the basics of playing the guitar! If you’re looking for a beginner guitar then this is a serious option you must consider.

It responds well to any playing style, has an easy to play neck with a beautiful mahogany aesthetic. It’s a great weapon of choice even for intermediate guitarists. There’s no need to fear outgrowing this guitar ability wise as is often to case with many acoustic guitars. We’re sure that if this is the guitar you go for, you will absolutely love it.

Acoustic Guitar Under 500 Dollars Buyers Guide

Best Acoustic Guitar Under 500 Dollars Buyers Guide

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Picking an acoustic guitar can be overwhelming to say the least. After all, they can cost a fair amount of money and it is something you would hope to enjoy for years to come. There are a few key choices to make that can help ensure that you end up with the right guitar. Choosing the wrong guitar can make things much harder during the learning process. This may end up discouraging you to the point of quitting.

We designed this guide to help walk you through the process. In hope this helps start your journey as an acoustic guitar player with confidence.

What to Consider When Buying an Acoustic Guitar

One of the most important choices you will have to make is what type of body style you want for your guitar. The shape will effect the sound it produces. You also want to pick a style that is comfortable for you to play.

Before you can understand what you need in your guitar’s style you need to know some key words. The curves near the neck of the guitar are the “upper bout” and the curves at the bottom the “lower bout.” The area between is known as the waist. The soundboard is the top of the guitar.

Body Shape

Below we’ve listed some of the most common acoustic guitar body styles.

Auditorium

This style is sometimes known as an orchestra body. It is a standard, mid-size guitar. Growing in popularity, these instruments manage to balance tone, volume, and comfort. A variation of this called the Grand Auditorium, comes with a wider lower bout and smaller waist. Easy to spot as this gives it a very dramatic figure-8 shape.

Dreadnought

Developed in 1916, this is a style popular among bluegrass musicians. They feature a large soundboard and a distinctive square shaped bout. Also setting them apart is their wide waist as well as having 14 frets on the neck. The dreadnought guitar will provide you with a very powerful sound.

Concert

This is a very old style of guitar, having been around since 1854. This guitar is a good choice for smaller musicians as it has a small lower bout. The sound delivered by this guitar is very light compared to others. It also comes in Grand Concert, that has a slightly larger lower bout but still provide a good mid-range of music.

Jumbo

This style is more often referred to as the “cowboy.” The lower bout can be up to 17″ deep, giving them a powerful, deeply resonating sound.

Mini-Acoustics

If you are shopping for a child or are on the small side yourself, this may be the body style for you. They are generally 3/4 of the size of a “regular” guitar. These guitars are sometimes referred to a traveler because they are easy to get around with. The manufacturers take care of maintaining the quality that full sized guitars have.

Other Considerations

On your guitar, you will have to decide what you want your strings made out of. The two choices are generally nylon or steel. People say that you should start with nylon. They bend easier and are easier on the fingers, but the style of string can’t be interchanged on every guitar. Your decision should actually depend on what type of music you play. If you’re aiming for country, rock, or pop, steel is the better choice. This is because they’re louder and sharper sounding. Nylon strings are better suited for folk music. As well as flamenco-style guitar playing due to their softer sound.

Another consideration is what type of wood (or woods) your guitar should be made out of. Below we’ve listed a few of the different types of wood guitars are made from.
  • Mahogany – Low resonance while producing high-end tones when used as a soundboard. Produces mid-range tones when used on sides or back.
  • Maple – Low resonance while producing a dry sound, also emphasizes high-end tones.
  • Cocobolo – Produces a bright sound and is highly responsive.
  • Koa – Emphasizes mid-range tones.
  • Ovangkol – Warm, well-rounded tones. Emphasizes mid-range tones.

There are dozens more types of wood and combinations that can achieve your ideal sound. As you’re likely only starting out we’ll move on to more serious matters.

What To Look For In Acoustic Guitars Under $500

What to look for in acoustic guitars under 500 dollars.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and what makes for the perfect acoustic guitar is as well. That said, there are some things you will want to look for when buying your very first one. Everyone knows that you generally get what you pay for, and that is definitely the case here. While you may be able to find one cheaper, invest at least a couple hundred bucks in your new instrument. If you pay less than that, you are taking a risk.

A cheap guitar often means a guitar that is difficult to play and produces sub-standard sound. Be sure to not overpay, though. If you are paying more than a thousand bucks, you’re looking at a pro-level instrument.

The first thing you may want to do is just visually inspect the guitar. Make sure there are no splits or cracks, no matter how minor they may seem. Make sure the neck and body are connected with no gap.

If there is one, you are looking at a badly made joint connection. See if the top face sinks or rises anywhere. This may mean that the guitar was stored improperly and warped a bit. If you’re buying from a store this is easy. If you’re returning a product bought online, check if the seller will cover postage costs for damaged items.

It would be a good idea to have someone along who plays so they can help you test the projection. While they play, ask yourself if you like the balance of the high and low tones. When they play loud, is the sound still crisp and clear? When they play soft, is it still projecting strongly? If the answer is no, you may want to send it back.

Things to Avoid When Buying an Acoustic Guitar

Do not go cheaper than you need to. A badly made acoustic guitar is an even bigger risk than a badly made electric one. You want to end up with the best starter acoustic guitar for you. Crafted well and one that will make high quality sound. It’s not a good idea to get a super cheap one to start out, so why buy something that won’t last or be enjoyable to play?

Tips For Buying Online

Like everything these days, guitars get bought online most of the time these days. This is great, but make sure you’ve read reviews before committing to buying. This will allow you to get a real account of how the guitar sounds and feels before it’s even left the store. Hearing other peoples experiences will give you confidence in your buy, which you might not get buying from a store.

Tips For Buying From A Store

Do not let yourself feel pressured to buy. You may want to visit several shops, or go home and sleep on it before making your final selection. That is your right, and don’t let anyone rush your decision. If you are buying from a store, be sure to thoroughly inspect the guitar you are actually taking home. Some shops will have a floor model and then sell you one from storage. Before you pay for it, make sure you have had time to examine the actual guitar you will be playing.

If possible, avoid buying from a big box store. Odds are they do not have staff that is knowledgeable enough to answer the questions you may have.

Still Learning?

So a couple of the great guitars listed above actually come with instructional DVDs. However, we’re living in the 21st century. If your guitar doesn’t come with one don’t be disheartened, there’s plenty of great tutorials out there available on sites like YouTube which is where we found the below tutorial:

Final Thoughts on Acoustic Guitars Under $500

Choosing your first acoustic guitar may not be quick or easy, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. In the long run, you will be very glad you did the work up front to get yourself a high quality instrument. By shopping online or going into the store with a good idea of what you might like, you have already done a lot of the work. Look at a wide variety of guitars, as many as it takes to make you feel confident that you know which one is best.

Many people find themselves shying away from the best acoustic guitars because of the price tag. Then upgrade because they’ve outgrown their first guitar within a year. The guitars within this article are suitable from beginner level right through to intermediate so this isn’t a worry.

Consider going home and researching any guitar you like further before making a buy. After all, you will likely be spending a lot of time playing it and want to make sure it is the best possible fit for you.

We hope this guide has helped you learn the basics of acoustic guitar buying. Happy strumming!