10 Best Acoustic Guitar Under $500 in 2020 [Buying Guide]

With only $500, you will be able to find some of the best acoustic guitars. You can expect to see some high-quality and good-sounding guitars as it opens up a lot of options. Even though we did not reach the premium market yet, we still would find guitars as good as the premium ones.

So today, from thousands and thousands of options, we picked the top 10 best acoustic guitars under $500. Our list will contain the list of guitars that outperform almost every guitar from their price range and sound as good as guitars from a higher price range. So without wasting any more time, let us take a look at the best guitars under $500.

Related:

Best acoustic guitar under 200 – 2020

Best acoustic guitar under 300 – 2020

Editor Choice

Seagull S6 Original

5/5

Why is it better?

  • Bright, vibrant and admirable sound
  • Handmade for assured quality
  • Good projection and well balanced

Editor Choice

Fender FA-450CE​

5/5
  • Superior note articulation
  • Good resonance and sustain
  • Onboard preamp and 2-band EQ
  • Full melodic range

The line up at a glance

We’ve done in depth loads of researches through many various products and chosen ten different models to compare. Have a look through all our pros and cons for each one to find your best acoustic guitars under 500.

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Summary

Our Rating

Seagull S6 Original

This is a handmade guitar, so you will certainly feel the guitar’s high-quality built and the clear sound while playing. Hands down, it’s the perfect guitar right under $500.

4.5/5
4.5/5

Yamaha FS850

A small, comfortable, rich, and warm sounding guitar. A very unique guitar, and it’s for the better.

3.4/5
3.4/5

Martin LX1E Little Martin

Light-weight, durable, sound good with or without plugged in, sounds like the perfect travel partner for you.

4.2/5
4.2/5

Epiphone Hummingbird PRO

This piece of instrument is the definition of variation. The shape allows you to play the guitar with multiple techniques, and the plugged-in sound lets you mix with various genres.

4.6/5
4.6/5

Taylor GS Mini Mahogany-L

A guitar that is well built with good materials, lightweight, durable, good tuning machines, and provides unique sound. Probably one of the best-enhanced guitars by Taylor.

4.5/5
4.5/5

Yamaha FG830

Yamaha FG830 is the perfect choice for a $300 acoustic guitar. It has a rich tone, good projection, and excellent durability.

4.5/5
4.5/5

Epiphone EJ-200SCE

A guitar best suited for players who want Gibson but don’t want to spend thousands on an acoustic guitar. It has the same profile as a high-end guitar and sounds as good as a high-end guitar.

4.5/5
4.5/5

Taylor Big Baby Acoustic

Taylor acoustic always got high-quality materials. The guitar sounds and looks good. Did I tell you it is also very portable?

4.5/5
4.5/5

Takamine GD20-NS

High-quality yet affordable guitar warm tone fit for both novice and experienced.

4.5/5
4.5/5

Fender CD-60SCE Acoustic Electric Guitar

A beast that is best for both plugged and unplugged performance. The single-cutaway gives the guitar max fret access.

4.5/5
4.5/5

Our Picks For Top 10 Best Acoustic Guitar Under $500

1

Seagull S6 Original

This is a handmade guitar. you will feel the guitar’s high-quality built and the clear sound.

+ Consistency

+ Handmade for assured quality

+ Bright, vibrant, and admirable sound

Might require some time to get used to

The Seagull S6 original is an amazing intermediate guitar and loved by many for its bright and vibrant sound, perfect action, handmade quality, and lastly, for its high-quality material. The sound of the guitar is phenomenal and outshines many guitars from a higher price range.

Because of its excellent action, it feels very comfortable and gives you higher-end guitar playability. Because of its unique headstock, the tuning stability is out of this world.

The Seagull S6 original comes with a solid cedar top. The top is pressure tested; it means the top is very strong. It gives the instrument a superior tone, great projection, and response. The back and the sides are made out of Canadian wild cherry woods, and the bridge and the fingerboard are made out of rosewood.

The double function truss rod and compensated Tusq Graphtech nut and saddles are some of the guitar’s key features. It has a set neck joint with a silver leaf wood integrated neck. There are Pearloid dot inlays on the fingerboard from fret 1-12. The semi-gloss custom polish finish gives the guitar a very natural and beautiful look.


2

Yamaha FS850

A small, comfortable, rich, and warm sounding guitar.

+ New Scalloped Bracing

+ Gets better with time

+ Rich sound

+ Comfortable and compact for multiple techniques

Suited for younger players

Yamaha FS850 is an all-Mahogany guitar that gives the guitar a woody and warm design. It matches the unique richness in the mid-frequencies. It is extremely comfortable to play, especially for young players or even someone new for its small-body. The FS850 was designed with a newly developed scalloped bracing pattern to create a natural warm tone.

The Yamaha FS850 is a concert shaped guitar with no cutaway, which features a solid Mahogany top, back, and side. The FS800 series was designed with a newly scalloped X bracing. The guitar also has a C shaped, Nato wood neck. The scale length of the neck is 24.9”.

The fingerboard is made out of rosewood and features 20fret. Even though the guitar is made fully out of mahogany, the headstock overlay is made of rosewood. The tuning machine is a die-cast chrome system to assure tuning stability. The saddle and nuts are made out of urea. The body has a gloss finish, but the neck has a high gloss finish giving the guitar a nice visual.


3

Martin LX1E Little Martin

Light-weight, durable, sound good with or without plugged in

+ Very portable

+ Great sound

+ Customizable tone for Pre-amp

+ Loud despite the size

Sound not as good as a dreadnought

The small size might not be suitable for everyone

The Martin LX1E Little Martin is an electric acoustic guitar. The best part is the guitar sound even better plugged in and packs a classic steel string punch while plugged in and unplugged. But it lacks the punch of a dreadnought.

The durability gives the guitar portability, enough to easily use it as a travel guitar. The weightlessness is also one of the reasons why this guitar is loved by many.

The Martin LX1E Little Martin has a solid Sitka spruce top. The guitar top bracing comes with a modified one style top bracing pattern. The side and the back has a mahogany pattern with hpl textured finish to it.

The neck has a modified low oval shape, and the fingerboard is made out of Richlite. The scale length is 23” with 20 frets. The width of the fingerboard at 12th fret is 2 1/16”. Bridge material is solid Morado, and lastly, the tuning machine is the Gotoh Nickle w/ Small Knobs.


4

Epiphone Hummingbird Pro

This piece of instrument is the definition of variation.

+ Build quality is very high

+ Easily playable

+ Shadow NanoFlex pickup

+ Interesting acoustic design

Not the best in low frequency

No onboard tuner

Lack of cutaway

The Epiphone Hummingbird Pro is suitable for many guitar styles. The guitar can produce multiple tones. It is also ideal for different music genres like rock, jazz, blues, and country. The tone is very clear and beautiful, and you can enhance the sound by plugging it into an amp.

The guitar is also very easily playable. It comes with a preamp system that runs on a battery, which too is one of its key features. The guitar has a very comfortable feel to it, and the mid frets are easy to press.

The Epiphone Hummingbird Pro is a custom Hummingbird shaped guitar. The top is made out of solid source, but the back and side are made out of mahogany. The neck is also made out of mahogany and has a D profile to it.

The scale length is 24.72” and comes with 20frets. The fingerboard is made out of Pau Ferro and has a Pearloid twin parallelogram inlays. The nut material is graph tech. Lastly; the guitar has a gloss finish to it.


5

Taylor GS Mini Mahogany-L

A guitar that is well built with good materials, lightweight, durable, good tuning machines.

+ Loud and amazing sound

+ Very durable but simple

+ Stays in tune for very long

+ Thin neck

Buzzing sound

ES-GO pickup charges more

The Taylor GS Mini is a well set up guitar right out of the box. The size is perfect despite being small. It is also very loud. The great playability of the guitar gives the player a great feel while picking it up.

The thin neck and the low action contributed a lot to its playability. The guitar’s sound is very rich, making it also the perfect choice for a travel guitar.

Taylor GS Mini Mahogany-L is a Taylor grand symphony mini shaped guitar with no cutaway. The top of the guitar is made out of Mahogany, but the sides and back are made out of layered Sapele. The bracing pattern of the guitar is a GS mini with a relief route.

The shape of the neck is the Taylor GS mini profile with genuine African ebony wood fretboard. It has 20 frets with a 23.5″ scale length. The body and the neck both come with a Matte 2.0 finish. The chrome GS mini tuning machines hold the tune for a long time. The complete package indicates a perfect inexpensive guitar.


6

Yamaha FG830

Yamaha FG830 is the perfect choice for a $300 acoustic guitar

+ Durable and solidly built

+ Affordable yet fantastic quality

+ Nice and rich tone

+ Best choice for beginners even for some advanced players

Cheap nut, bridge, and saddle

Requires some level of set-up

A bit too large for young players and no cutaways.

The Yamaha FG830 is a powerful guitar with an excellent sustain, tone, and great durability. This entry-level guitar makes you feel like you are playing a luxury acoustic guitar. Yes, the quality is that amazing.

Everything was made with high-graded materials like rosewood and Spruce. The only drawback in the quality being the plastic nut, bridge, and saddle. There are not many guitars that offer such exceptional quality in that price range.

Yamaha FG is the best-selling acoustic series in the world. With the classic look and shape and fantastic quality, Yamaha FG830 has everything. The guitar’s key features are its dreadnought shape, adjustable truss rod, Sitka spruce top, Rosewood fretboard, back and side, die-cast tuners, and the scalloped bracing improves the punch and the project. The body type of guitar is traditional western.

There are no cutaways that can create some difficulties reaching the higher note. The top wood is made out of solid Spruce, but the back and sides are made out of rosewood. The body comes with a natural glossy finish. Just like the guitar’s side, the fretboard is made out of rosewood, although the neck is made out of nato wood.

Scale length is 25.6″ with 21 frets. Lastly, the width of the nut is 43mm. The headstock overlay is made out of rosewood. The tuning machines are die-cast. There are no pickups or any electronics in the guitar, which means you can get a clear sound from the mic without any noise issues.


7

Epiphone EJ-200SCE

Best suited for players who want Gibson but don’t want to spend thousands on an acoustic guitar.

+ Affordable and cheap

+ Jumbo body type

+ Comes with a cutaway

+ Rich and loud sound

Fret buzz

Not the best choice for young players

Issues with batteries

Epiphone EJ-200SCE is the best alternative for Gibson acoustic, which costs tons more. The tone is as good as the Gibson guitar, but you are saving hundreds of dollars. The guitar uses a grove tuner instead of a traditionally used generic Epiphone.

It is interesting because you really don’t see Grove tuners in a 500$ guitar. It also comes with a rosewood bridge, which is also a sign of high-profile guitar. The cutaway allows max accessibility to play high notes without losing any sound at all.

Let’s get into the specs of the Epiphone EJ-200SCE. The guitar comes in a super jumbo shape with a single-cutaway. The top has solid spruce, but the body is made out of maples. The fretboard and bridge use rosewood, while the neck is made out of maple woods.

The slim neck with a scale length of 25.5” and 20 frets resembles the Gibson counterpart. The guitar uses an Epiphone eSonic2 pickup for playing it while plugged-in. You have two choices regarding the finish of the guitar, the black or the natural vintage sunburst.


8

Taylor Big Baby Acoustic

Taylor acoustic always got high-quality materials. The guitar sounds and looks good.

+ Best quality

+ Excellent tonal quality

+ Bright crisp sound

+ Very strong mid tones

No cutaway

Sound projection is not that great

The Taylor Big Baby Acoustic Guitars features excellent playability because of the absence of traditional heels. The action is really great compared to other guitars from the same range. The playability suggests the guitar is the perfect partner for an acoustic lead guitarist.

The bright sound only adds more to the statement. The guitar is also very famous among many jazz groups. This will be the perfect choice for any level of guitarist because of its middle ground.

The Taylor Big Baby Acoustic has a Sitka spruce top and laminated layered Sapele back and sides. The fretboard is made out of Ebony, while the neck has mahogany. The guitar has a varnish finish to improve the visual. It doesn’t have any cutaway or electronics.

But like any high-end acoustic, it got an adjustable truss rod. The scale length is 25.5” and 20 frets on the fingerboard. The guitar comes with die-cast chrome-plated tuners and Elixir phosphor bronze light strings.


9

Takamine GD20-NS

High-quality yet affordable guitar warm tone fit for both novice and experienced.

+ Affordable yet high quality.

+ Easy to handle and comfortable

+ Fantastic and eye-catching design

+ Fit for both novice and experienced

No cutaway

No strap button on the neck

Lack of loudness

Takamine GD20-NS is affordable, but not cheap. The design and the tone both are rich. All 20 frets are seated tidily. The saddles and the bone nuts are also precisely notched. The pin-less bridge makes changing strings easier than ever.

Takamine came to a position where it sounds close to handmade. Handmade guitars have better build quality but are very expensive. Undoubtedly, this guitar is the best choice for someone looking for handmade guitar but does not have the budget.

The body shape of the Takamine is the dreadnought. You can already tell reaching the higher notes can be difficult. The top of the guitar is solid cedar, while the side and the back of the guitar are made out of laminated Mahogany.

Surprisingly, we usually don’t see a solid top in this price range. It has a natural finish to it. The bridge is made out of Rosewood. The neck is made out of a thin Mahogany piece. The fingerboard is made out of Rosewood. There are 20 frets. The scale length is 25.3,” and the nut width is 42.8mm. There are Pearloid dot inlays on the fretboard. The nuts are made out of synthetic bones. It also comes with chrome die-cast tuners.


10

Fender CD-60SCE Acoustic Electric Guitar

A beast that is best for both plugged and unplugged performance.

+ Loud plugged and unplugged

+ Rich and full tone

+ Fit for both beginners and intermediate players

+ Good electronics

Untidy finish

Difficult to bend because of the vintage frets

The Fender CD-60SCE is an excellent budget guitar. It comes with a scalloped X bracing, which makes it easier to play. The guitar is durable and appreciated by both beginners and intermediate players because of its excellent and clear sound when connected to an amplifier.

Fender CD60SCE is a classic dreadnought style guitar with a Venetian cutaway. The Venetian cutaway allows for easy access to the higher notes. The spruce top makes the guitar lightweight and gives the guitar a very powerful and clear tone.

The side and the back are made out of Mahogany that emphasizes the bass and the treble. The shape of the neck is easy-to-play, and it is made out of Mahogany. There are 20frets available, and the scale length is 25.3”. The neck also comes with a glossy finish. The fingerboard is made out of Rosewood. The guitar comes with a built-in tuner. You can also find a 2-band EQ system and a preamp with the guitar.


What Kind of Guitar Can You Get For $500?

For $500, you can expect to get great intermediate guitars and high-end beginner level guitars. Most of the guitar should have high-quality materials. A solid top is a must.  You might also get some guitars with plug-in options.

Most of them even might have pre-amps and integrated tuners. High-quality materials include good wood, tuning machines, bridge, nuts, and necks. You also should be able to find some very interesting and unique designs in this price range.

Who Should Buy a Guitar in this Range?

Like I said before, this price range is most suited for intermediate or semi-pro musicians. The price range includes durable guitars, have good tonal properties, are built with high-quality materials, and are lightweight. But if you are a beginner who wants to taste a somewhat luxurious guitar, you can aim for this price range.

Or maybe you are a professional guitarist and want to treat yourself with a new guitar but do not have the budget; you can take a look at this price range. But lastly, in this price range, you will find the best and the perfect travel guitars you can think of.

Are $500 Guitars Upgrade-able?

Yes, $500 guitars are upgradable. Since $500 guitars are expensive but still not in the luxury range, some of the features might not be the best. For example, a guitar might not have the best stock strings or the best electronics. You can buy an expensive or better alternative and upgrade the features. But I suggest you look into the product before you choose to upgrade.

Should I Buy a Used Guitar?

Should you buy a used guitar? It depends. It depends on how long the guitar has been used and the quality of the guitar. It also depends on the guitar itself because some guitars tend to get better with time while others just lose their tonal color. My suggestion will be to go for a brand new guitar or guitars used less than a year.

Bottom line

There are many more good acoustic guitars in the market. But our focus was to bring out the best from each type of guitar. I hope after reading our article, you are a bit more confident in choosing your guitar. Thank you for reading!


Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, a $500 not only sounds good, but this price range also introduces a new level of guitarist. $500 guitars have better materials and build with more care.

There are two important factors you should consider while buying a guitar. How the guitar sounds and the playability.

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