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Best Acoustic Guitar 2023: 10 Acoustics With Top-Notch Timbre!!

Which brand is best for acoustic guitar? How do I choose a good quality guitar? We reveal all...

There’s a good acoustic guitar… & then there’s the best acoustic guitar.

These are those that don’t so much help you learn guitar, but instead encourage you to find more expressive way of playing – AKA: the ‘je-ne-sais-quoi’ of the guitar world. By that we mean that these instruments are the type to be used by professionals, & no doubt behind some of the most well-written songs to date.

So in other words, if you’re looking to make it BIG, then an instrument of this calibre wouldn’t be a bad place to start. Yes, it’s not the cheapest way of getting into guitar. Nor is it the route most take – cheap acoustic guitars are normally the 1st choice for a beginner. But if you’re already a proficient player, or just want to get off on the right foot, investing in a professional acoustic right from the start is never a bad idea (providing you have the £$€).

Questions is though, with there being that many acoustic guitars out there that all virtually look the same – what’s the difference? What brand of acoustic guitar is the best? & what acoustic guitar do most musicians use? Well thankfully, those are all questions we’re about to answer. Keep reading & we’ll reveal all…

After something specific about which type of acoustic guitar is best? Or just curious what we deem to be the best acoustic guitar? Dive into the menu below to find all the answers you need in 1 click…

NOTE: None of the guitars below have an RRP in the thousands £$€. Because as far as we can see, you need to earning that sort of £$€ from your music, for such a purchase to make any sort of sense. Something 99% of you guys will not be. So just to be clear – below is our rundown of the best acoustic guitars that sound ace… yet don’t retail for astronomical sums of £$€. Sorry Martin – Sorry Gibson.

music critics reviewing an assortment of the best acoustic guitars

Here for more than just acoustic guitars? Be sure to also check out our rundowns of the Best Acoustic Electric Guitars + the Best Electric Guitars For Beginners.

Finding a good acoustic guitar is hard enough, let alone putting a finger on the best acoustic guitar for you & your style of play.

See, when it boils down to it, no 2 acoustics are the same! Aside from the obvious fact they come in various sizes, there’s also the question of what’s the best wood type, string quality & type of tuning gear, plus small details like the feel of the fretboard to consider too. Team that with how each manufacturer has their own methods for manufacturing an acoustic + how even though the size may be the same, the actual shape may slightly differ, & you begin to see just how mind-bendingly complex choosing an acoustic guitar can be.

Thankfully though, you can relax – see, we’ve done 90% of the work for you! So all you have to do is read on & we’ll reveal the instruments that we deem to be front-runners for the title of the best acoustic guitar…

1: Seagull 046386 S6 acoustic guitar

seagull acoustic guitar rested against a wall

2: Guild Guitars Jumbo Jr maple acoustic guitar

3: Fender CD-60SCE Dreadnought guitar

4: Yamaha FG800 acoustic guitar

ed sheeran playing an acoustic guitar at Glastonbury

5: Takamine GD51-BSB Dreadnought guitar

6: Yamaha GigMaker acoustic guitar

7: Morgan Monroe MMV-5B acoustic guitar

a bunch of professional guitar players showing off their acoustic guitars

8: Washburn WD7S Dreadnought guitar

If you’re an intermediate player, the guitars above may be a bit ‘toffee-nosed’ for you liking.

By that we mean, while you’re after a guitar with a serious sound, you may prefer something that’s a bit more fun & casual. In other words, a guitar that’s as much ‘pick up & play’ as it is a capable acoustic. Don’t get us wrong, intermediate players can benefit from any of the guitars above, but from our experience, a slightly more laid-back guitar (like the one below) is likely to be the better choice.

Yes, it’s not made by the likes of Seagull or Guild. & nor is it backed by a roster of professional musicians who’ve all made hit songs using its 6 strings – it’s more of a promo piece for T Swizzle than anything. BUT as far as all-rounders go, we’ve struggled to find better. Hence why if we were on the hunt for the best acoustic guitar for intermediates, we’d pass on those above & cop this…

9: Taylor BT2 Baby Taylor acoustic guitar

close up of the tuning keys on a high-end acoustic

Not all good guitars come at a eye-wateringly high £$€!

In fact, hunt hard, & you can even find some beginner guitars that give professional instruments a run for their money. Now granted, when you go from the £500/£600 pro guitars (above) to something that’s just a couple of hundred £$€, you will notice a difference. The drop in £$€ does get you a guitar that while capable, is a lot more stripped-back & far less BOLD in terms of tone. So if you’re a semi-pro or above, cheaping-out isn’t exactly recommended. However…

If you’re just looking for a solid guitar to master the basics, that won’t fall apart or sound SO tinny that every note makes you crease, something like the below, may actually be the best acoustic guitar you can buy…

10: Cordoba Dolce 7/8 acoustic guitar

Enjoy this review of the best acoustic guitar & eager for more? Dive into all our Reviews Of Stringed Instruments, as well as our thoughts on all sorts of Musical instruments. Recently, we also did a rundown of the Best Acoustic Guitars For Beginners + another on the Most Popular Kids Guitars, which may also be a good read!

the reflection of a mid aged player in a perfectly polished acoustic guitar

Or if you’ve still trying to decide what acoustic guitar is best for you, keep reading & we’ll answer more of your burning questions…

While you can’t conclude that one acoustic guitar brand is the ‘best’ or ‘go-to’ – which you opt for comes back to your personal preference – there are some guitar brands that stand out form the crowd. Many of which are backed by professionals.

A few of the most popular being…

  • Seagull
  • Guild
  • Yamaha

All of whom consistently make quality acoustic guitars that put smiles on a lot of players’ faces. So while you might not be able to say they’re the ‘best’ acoustic guitar brands, they are certainly some of the most popular, & most trusted.

Ask us & when trying to track down the best acoustic guitar for your situation, a reputation like that means a LOT! Plus, it gives you a lot more confidence over the entire process of buying a guitar. Something you need when few good acoustic guitars come cheap.

Now that’s a tricky one. Because that really all depends how you define ‘popularity’.

So if by that if you simply mean the number of units sold & customers that are happy with the guitar they bought, then in your eyes, the most popular acoustic of all time would be something like the Yamaha FG800M. An acoustic that’s very much the guitar of the people – i.e. for 99% of players, is pretty much all you need.

Whereas if you define popularity as an acoustic guitar that’s used by some of the world’s most popular musicians, then iconic guitars like the Martin LX1 or the Gibson Hummingbird would likely be the instruments you’d choose. Guitars that thanks to such associations + various other quirks like the fact they’re handmade, can demand a significantly higher RRP!

As for which is the best acoustic guitar of all time – that’s really up to you.

Comfort is a major consideration you need to make when choosing the best acoustic guitar.

Fail to do so & you could find yourself with a capable instrument that’s anything but a joy to play. See, as much as all guitars aim to feel comfortable, because no 2 players are the same stature, there’s very rarely a guitar that ticks the comfy box for all players. So to ensure you have the best chance of finding a comfy acoustic guitar, here’s some tips that should help you make your choice…

  • String type – With your fingers being the main point of contact with guitar + the area where all the strumming magic happens, uncomfortable strings are an easy way of making an acoustic an absolute nightmare to play! Opt for hard stiff strings & you could end up shredding your fingers, just as if you opt for strings that are too soft, you’ll have to put extra effort into every pluck/ strum in order to achieve your desired sound. Now of course, you can switch out the strings if need be, but this does come at an extra £$€ – you’ve been warned!
  • Guitar size – They say ‘size isn’t everything’, BUT when it comes to finding the best acoustic guitar… it is. Settle for an acoustic that’s too large & you’ll find yourself awkwardly crushing the body against your chest. Hardly ideal, especially if your woman who’s not exactly flat chested!! Just as if you buy a guitar that’s overly small, you’ll find yourself (A) having to bend your arms inwards in order to play & (B) be FAR more delicate about it too. If you’re a guy with big fingers, take note – as a bigger fretboard & body will likely be the best way to go.
  • The overall shape – It’s worth noting that aside from size, guitars also come in various styles/ shapes too. A few being Dreadnought, Parlour, Jumbo & Travel. For most people it’s thought that the Parlour size is the best choice, although in testing we found the Dreadnought to sit slightly around the neck on a strap. For reference, our reviewer is 5ft 10″ & has a decent amount of muscle on their torso. While if you’re shopping for a child, a Travel guitar may well be a better pick.

The cost of an acoustic guitar isn’t always as straight forward as it may seem.

You see, while typical guitars (such as those above) range from anywhere between £200-£700, you can also buy acoustic guitars with an RRP of several thousand £$€!! Something that comes back to the differences between each model & also how desirable they are in the eyes of musicians. To help you see what we mean by this, here’s a quick rundown of a few factors that could affect a guitar’s overall cost…

  • Wood type/ materials – A key factor that affects not just the longevity of a guitar, but also the characteristics of the tone is type of wood & any other materials that it’s made out of. So for instance, it’s said that guitars made out of solid woods typically have a richer & more resonant tone, that improves with age. Whereas those guitars made of laminate woods typically have less ring & shimmer. There’s even a rumour that finishes like the varnish & how the wood is treated, can also impact the overall sound of a guitar too!!
  • Brand & reputation – When a brand makes a name for itself in any industry (generally), it can charge more for what it does. And that’s much the same within the world of guitars. So what with the likes of Ed Sheeran, Johnny Cash & Elvis been spotted using a Martin guitar on the regular, it’s little surprise that Martin is one of the most expensive guitars out there. Just as Steinway have developed itself a ‘celeb-like’ status in the world of pianos. And while obviously, to even be used by such influential figures the instruments have to be good, there’s no getting around that this ‘rep’ can add a significant amount to the RRP.
  • Tone & overall sound – As much as brand snobs don’t want to admit it, this is what you pay for – you buy a guitar primarily because of its tone. Hence why some acoustics can demand that bit more than others, especially seen as though they cannot be plugged into an amp. So as you can imagine, the emphasis on smooth shimmer-like tone straight out of the box is a LOT larger.

Given his style, Ed places a lot of emphasis on his guitar playing & rightfully so, is pretty darn picky about the model he plays.

In short, Sheeran favours just 1 electric guitar & has a couple of ‘go-to’ acoustics – nothing too over the top. He can regularly be spotted at the helm of 3/4 size Martin LX1, as well as his own Sheeran By Lowden range of guitars.

Want to know more about Ed’s gear? Be sure to check out our full in-depth look at Ed Sheeran’s Guitar Gear.

It’s no joke that the place of manufacture can significantly impact the overall quality of a guitar – something to bear in mind if you’re unsure as to what (for you) could be the best acoustic guitar.

Something that all comes back to manufacturing standards, as well as the quality of the materials used to bond the guitars together. For such reason, it’s argued that the best acoustic guitars in the world come out of America. Aside from Martin & Gibson, brands like Fender & Washburn are also made in the USA, with Seagull acoustics being made in Canada & Takomine guitars being built in Japan.

And yes, this may of course reflect itself in the £$€ – Gibson & Martin especially. BUT if you’re looking to get your hands on the very best acoustic guitar possible, then we’d say any of these manufacturing locations is a positive sign that you’ve found yourself a well-made acoustically-solid guitar.

PS/ If you’re spending serious $£€ on a guitar & it says ‘Made In China’, trust us – run!

Investing in an acoustic guitar is easy, but investing in the best acoustic guitar – that’s a whole other kettle of fish.

With their being that many options out there, culling them down to just 1 acoustic guitar can turn into quite the task. So much so that we’d say you’d be silly to try & doing so without some sort of guidance around which you can assess the quality. So to help you buy the best acoustic first time round, here’s a couple of things we’d look for when buying…

  • Laminate or solid-wood – There’s a LOT to consider here. Opt for a solid-wood guitar & typically you get a far more resonant & richer sound. One that often (like a good wine) matures & gets better with time. Whereas, with a laminate, the sound can be slightly nulled in comparison. However, solid-woods do require a lot of maintenance & can be more susceptible to damp. Something to bear in mind, especially if you’re after a guitar that’s easy to look after. In which case, a laminate would probably be your best bet.
  • Manufacturing location – Where a guitar is manufactured can drastically affect the level of quality + the tonal characteristics of the overall sound. So be sure to look into where a guitar is made before buying it. The western world is often a good sign – guitras that’re made in Europe, the USA or Canada are often of professional quality with next-to-no defects. Much the same as those assembled in Japan. Guitars made in China & Vietnam are the one’s we’d suggest you tread carefully around.
  • Shape/ size – In the end, the main determining factor of which is the best acoustic guitar for you, comes back to the overall size & shape. You can have the best guitar in the world, but if you can’t hold it correctly in order to take advantage of its sound capabilities, then it’s pretty much useless. So be sure to take a look into the various different types of guitar sizing & really think about which is the best for you before buying.

HANDY TIP: If you’re not too sure on size, grab the dimensions & create a cardboard cutout. That way you’ll have a better idea of what each guitar roughly feels like to hold.