Buying your first guitar can be confusing due to the sheer choice you’ll be presented with. Stepping into a guitar store, you’ll find many brands like Yamaha, and Takamine and more expensive ones like Martin or Taylor. But you don’t always have to pay a premium price for a decent guitar all the time.
Several factors contribute to defining how good a guitar is. While the question ‘Is it worth it’ can be subjective, you must have a clear idea of your preferences beforehand. Establish a budget beforehand to streamline your search. Typically, quality acoustic guitars can be found within the range of $1500 to $3000.
So to help you narrow down your choices, we present to you the top 5 best acoustic guitars that you can consider when buying your first guitar. Without much further ado let’s get started!
Top 5 Acoustic Guitars
Acoustic guitars series from Zager come in a diverse range catering to various price points, with the flagship ZAD900 standing out as their best seller. The 80, 50, and 20 series differ in tone due to variations in the woods used for the soundboard, back, sides, neck, and headstock. They are designed for both beginners and advanced players boasting comfort and easy playability.
Key features that make playing the ZAD900 are its custom neck design with a slim profile, lower string heights, reduced string pressure, and custom string spacing. These, combined with a lighter bracing system, improve chords and note accuracy. Each guitar is handmade to ensure quality
The flagship 900 series uses AAA-certified woods for great tone reproduction and durability. If you opt for the acoustic-electric version, the ZAD900C, you’ll get Fishman electronics and Grover tuning machines.
Other than that both come with a hand-carved bone nut and saddle, scalloped bracing, and soft metal frets. They come finished with a thin high gloss finish, Bolivian Rosewood fretboards, and pearl/abalone inlay.
Zager’s focus on sound quality is evident in the use of high-quality tonewoods. Playability and comfort are key aspects of Zager guitars. This guitar specifically is a solid value, that you can buy online or directly from Denny Zager’s workshop.
Yamaha is recognized as one of the world’s premier instrument makers. The Yamaha AC1M is an exceptional instrument finished with great attention to detail. It is an aesthetically pleasing electro-acoustic concert-style guitar with a vintage charm. It comes with a solid Sitka spruce top coupled with a solid mahogany back and sides.
The mahogany neck has a slim C-shaped profile great for comfortable and fast-playing. It has a rosewood fretboard, a rarity for solid wood guitars in its price range. The guitar has a tight focus in the mid-range and a punchy top end. However, it is also great for a softer play style and fingerpicking.
While it may not match the presence of a dreadnought, it makes up for it with an SRT piezo pickup and System 6 preamp. This setup when plugged in captures the guitar’s bright character, showcasing Yamaha’s commitment to delivering a versatile and high-performing instrument.
The Fender CC-60S stands out as one of the most impressive low-cost acoustic guitars available today. Fender has mastered the art of giving extensive features without inflating the cost, making it a remarkable and cost-effective choice.
Beyond being just a guitar, the Fender CC-60S comes as a full kit. Inside the package, you get a gig bag, a strap, assorted picks, and a spare set of strings. It is finished with a solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides. The gloss black finish on all sides adds a distinctive visual appeal.
The neck is crafted from nato as a budget-friendly alternative to mahogany. It is relatively comfortable with a slim profile. The well-finished frets rolled edges on the walnut fretboard, and overall build quality make this a well-made budget guitar.
The Fender CC-60S has a balanced sound. The bass response from its concert-body shape is pretty commendable with a robust midrange. At the top end, a subtle shimmer adds character without sounding shrill. The guitar excels in build quality, offering rock-solid tuning stability, likely enhanced by the use of genuine Fender strings.
Guild OM-240 CE
Guild OM-240 CE is a prime example of Guild’s commitment to crafting some of the finest guitars available. It has an innovative design while honoring its heritage. Unlike the others on this list, the OM-240 CE does not come with a hard case or gig bag.
The orchestra-shaped body, enhanced by the Venetian cutaway is very sleek. It features a solid Sitka spruce top and mahogany back and sides. Adding a touch of vintage flair, the red faux tortoise-shell pickguard has a cool and retro aesthetic.
The solid mahogany neck, fashioned in a vintage C profile, is comfortably narrow yet deep. The Pau Ferro fretboard can get a little dry if left out for long but this can be easily remedied with a fretboard conditioner.
Playing the Guild OM-240 CE has bright and punchy tones with decent depth, courtesy of the arched back. Suited more for fingerstyle and lead playing than rhythm, the cutaway facilitates easy access to the upper frets, allowing full utilization of the fretboard.
Equipped with a Guild AP-1 piezo pickup, the guitar has good amplification without masking its inherent acoustic characteristics. The overall build quality is great, evident in well-executed fretwork and meticulous finishing even inside the cavity. Featuring a bone nut and saddle, the OM-240 CE significantly contributed to tuning stability, intonation, and sustain.
Yamaha A5R ARE
The Yamaha A5R ARE stands out as an exceptional Dreadnought Cutaway guitar meticulously designed to produce a rich and resonant sound. Its top showcases solid Sitka Spruce treated with Yamaha’s A.R.E. (Acoustic Resonance Enhancement) technology, elevating the wood’s characteristics for optimal tonal quality.
Crafted from solid Rosewood, the back and sides contribute to the guitar’s warm and well-defined sound. The African Mahogany neck ensures stability and durability, while the 25.6″ scale provides a comfortable playing experience. The Ebony fingerboard with rolled edges ensures smooth playability across its 20 frets.
Gotoh chrome open-gear tuners offer precise and reliable tuning, complementing the overall quality. With a glossy finish, the Yamaha A5R ARE not only delivers an exquisite sound but also boasts an elegant aesthetic appeal, exemplifying Yamaha’s dedication to craftsmanship and innovation in acoustic guitars.
The A5R’s resonance and bright balance showcase the SRT2 preamp’s ingenuity, allowing for a versatile range of sounds. The treble and bass controls mirror the natural subtlety of the pickup/mic dynamic design, making it challenging to dial in a ‘bad’ sound.
The SRT2 preamp offers an electro experience that authentically captures the sound of an unplugged acoustic. This makes the A Series an essential choice for players seeking a consistent and controllable stage sound.
Choosing an acoustic guitar is a personal journey influenced by various factors. We hope you’ve enjoyed exploring this diverse range of guitars. Remember, the price doesn’t always reflect quality, so set your budget and choose accordingly.
We’ve excluded some fantastic guitars that may not be easily found, as we want to recommend guitars you can actually buy! Always keep an eye out for the best deals in the acoustic guitar world because the right guitar is the one that matches both your budget and requirements.
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