Best Acoustic Guitar Under 2000 – 7 Top Picks Reviewed

If you're preparing to buy an acoustic guitar up to $2,000, chances are good that you've developed your playing style and know what you want as a guitarist. However, when it comes to finding the best acoustic guitar under 2000 dollars, there's no easy answer. In this article, we've gathered our top choices for the best acoustic guitars in this price range. Each one is a quality choice--it all comes down to what you're looking for in an instrument.

Our Top Picks for Best Acoustic Guitar Under 2000 Dollars

Make

Model

Rating

Price

Full Review

Taylor

317E

Cell

Guild

D-20E

Cell

Takamine

TF77PT

Cell

Godin

Metropolis EQ

Cell

Eastman

AC822CE

Cell

Fender

Acoustasonic Stratocaster

Cell

Breedlove

Frontier Concerto E

Cell

Review of our Top Picks

Taylor 317E -- Best For Folk Performers

Important Features

  • It comes with Expression System 2 electronics which give you an incredibly natural sound when plugged in or recording
  • All-solid construction gives you excellent tone
  • Slope-shouldered dreadnought design with V-class bracing has plenty of defined low end without excessive boominess

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Solid Sitka spruce top creates very responsive tone
  • Taylor's Expression System 2 is arguably one of the best available pickup systems
  • Modified, wide-waisted design creates a distinctive sound

Cons

  • Some players might not like the slope-shouldered dreadnought body
  • Sapele isn't a particularly high-end tonewood, and some players may prefer mahogany or rosewood instead

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

For those who find themselves looking for the best acoustic guitars, Taylor is a great brand to look at first. This company pioneered the Grand Auditorium body style, a build that is uniquely versatile--it's large enough to deliver balanced tone with a defined low end, but it's not so large that it causes feedback issues when plugged in.

The 317E, however, is a departure from Taylor's signature design--this one is a round-shouldered dreadnought, so it has a slightly bigger sound than most Grand Auditorium builds.

This guitar also features Taylor's new V-class bracing, which some players see as an improvement over the traditional X bracing used in most modern acoustics. This bracing style frees up more of the soundboard, allowing it to vibrate freely and deliver more dynamic sound.

Its simple yet understated design has a top of solid Sitka spruce, and the back and sides are made of solid sapele. This lower-cost tonewood combines many of the features of both Indian rosewood and mahogany, making it a versatile choice.

Our Star Rating

Because the slope-shouldered dreadnought is a classic body shape when it comes to folk music, we think this guitar is the best option for folk performers. We give it four out of five stars.

Guild D-20E -- Best Value

Important Features

  • Solid mahogany build is ideal for warm, mellow sound
  • Dreadnought shape with scalloped X bracing created plenty of tonal depth without an overbalance of any particular frequency
  • Satin-finished mahogany neck is fast and easy to play
  • L.R. Baggs VTC Element electronics make this a good choice for those looking to play live

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Considering the fact that it's all solid and comes with quality electronics, this is one of the best value guitars on the list
  • Minimalist, classic look makes it a great choice for folk or bluegrass players
  • Scalloped bracing prevents the mahogany build from becoming too focused on the midrange

Cons

  • The all-mahogany build may not be right for players who prefer the brightness of spruce
  • Some players might prefer a guitar with a cutaway for easier fret access

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

Guild is a manufacturer that has consistently produced some of the best acoustic guitars, especially for folk and bluegrass players. The D-20E, which was formerly called the D-25, is also an outstanding value. This guitar is a dreadnought with no cutaway, so players get the full depth of classic dreadnought sound. It's also made of all solid mahogany.

If you prefer a mellower sound with an emphasis on midrange frequencies, the D-20E might be a good choice. However, the scalloped X bracing prevents it from over-focusing on the mids, resulting in a smooth and balanced sound.

Like many guitars in this price range, this one is also designed with performers in mind. It has a satin-finished neck for easy playability, and it comes equipped with the top-of-the-line L.R. Baggs VTC Element pickup system. Many players looking for guitars under 2000 dollars are seeking something made of all solid wood with quality electronics for live playing, and this guitar offers just that.

Our Star Rating

Given its excellent build quality and great electronics, we think this guitar is the best value on the list. We give it five out of five stars.

Takamine TF77PT -- Best Unusual Tonewood Combination

Important Features

  • Unique tonewood configuration offers truly unique yet balanced sound
  • Orchestra body is highly playable and easy to handle, but it doesn't sacrifice tonal balance
  • Takamine's one-of-a-kind preamp offers warm live sound
  • Abalone rosette and tropical fretboard inlay give this guitar a unique aesthetic

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Cedar and koa combination offers warm sound with a little extra high end
  • Scalloped X bracing helps you avoid extra midrange focus
  • Onboard tube-powered preamp makes it easy to dial in your preferred tone for live performance

Cons

  • This guitar's unique aesthetic may not be for everyone
  • Depending on your playing style, the cedar/koa build may not be ideal

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

For some players, the best acoustic guitars under 2000 dollars are those that have a truly distinctive sound. This guitar has what might be one of the most unusual builds you'll find. The top is solid cedar, which offers a warm, rich sound. The back and sides are solid koa, which adds a remarkably full top end to the tone.

The TF77PT also is an orchestra body guitar. This shape has a traditional appeal, and it's also similar to the Grand Auditorium in terms of versatility. It also comes with Takamine's unique CoolTube tube-powered preamp. If you've ever been disappointed by characterless live sound from your pickups, this is an electronics system worth checking out.

Our Star Rating

We think that this guitar's cedar and koa build means that it has the best non-traditional tonewood configuration on the list. We give it five out of five stars.

Godin Metropolis EQ -- Best Dreadnought

Important Features

  • Classic solid Sitka spruce top and mahogany body makes it an ideal choice for many acoustic guitar players
  • L.R. Baggs Anthem electronics keep you ready for any live situation
  • Full-size dreadnought offers rich and balanced tone
  • Beautiful aesthetic means it's likely to appeal to many players

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Solid mahogany back and sides help balance out the brightness of the spruce top
  • Given its build quality and electronics, it's an excellent value
  • Distinctive aesthetics make it a standout choice for many acoustic players

Cons

  • Some players might prefer a dreadnought with a cutaway for easier fret access
  • The full-size dreadnought may be too unwieldy for some players to handle

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

Given the number of high-end acoustic guitars Godin produces, you might not think this brand should be your go-to for guitars under 2000 dollars. However, the Metropolis EQ is a great guitar with a classic tonewood configuration and world-class electronics.

It has an all-solid build with a top of Sitka spruce and mahogany neck and body. It also comes with the top-notch L.R. Baggs Anthem electronics. This pickup system incorporates a tiny soundhole microphone, giving you live sound that is remarkably natural.

Aesthetically, this is an acoustic guitar that looks distinctive without being garish. The uniquely shaped pickguard and original Godin inlays offer a beautiful twist on classic dreadnought design.

Our Star Rating

Based on its great build and high-quality electronics, we think this is the best dreadnought on the list. We give it five out of five stars.

Eastman AC822CE--Most Versatile

Important Features

  • Abalone rosette and figured maple binding offer subtle yet beautiful aesthetic touches
  • L.R. Baggs Anthem electronics give you faithfully reproduced live sound
  • Grand Auditorium body with cutaway is very versatile and works well for most playing styles

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Solid spruce and rosewood build offers beautifully detailed sound
  • Stunning aesthetics make this a unique guitar that will appeal to many acoustic players
  • World-class electronics mean you can plug in and play with confidence

Cons

  • Some players might prefer the fuller sound of a dreadnought
  • This might not be the right guitar for those who prefer the warmer tones of mahogany or cedar

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

For many players, the classic combination of a spruce top and rosewood back and sides is a must-have. The Eastman AC822CE offers the beautifully balanced combination of a solid Engelmann spruce top and solid rosewood back and sides. As Indian rosewood becomes steadily more scarce, the price of any guitar with Indian rosewood back and sides seems to go up.

However, given its build quality, this acoustic guitar is fairly affordable, and it's easily one of the best guitars under 2000 dollars on the market. Its mahogany neck helps warm up the sound, and the slim Grand Auditorium body with a cutaway is remarkably easy to handle. Hand-scalloped X bracing helps create balanced sound regardless of the genre you play.

Our Star Rating

Given the fact that its body shape and tonewood configuration make this guitar ideal for many musical styles, we think it's the most versatile guitar on the list. We give it four out of five stars

Fender Acoustasonic Stratocaster -- Best Unusual

Important Features

  • Truly unique build lets you switch from acoustic to electric tone, even mid-song
  • Easy-playing neck plays more like an electric guitar
  • Thinline body is comfortable to play sitting or standing
  • Groundbreaking design effectively gives you two guitars in one

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Combination build gives you incredible variety when it comes to tonal options
  • Easy-to-play body and neck makes it great for electric players who want to incorporate acoustic tone into their playing
  • It's one of the most distinctive-sounding guitars you can find

Cons

  • For players who want the full sound of a genuine acoustic guitar, this model might not be ideal
  • Despite its relatively high price, it does not have a solid top

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

Technically, this guitar, like each model in the Acoustasonic series, is a hybrid acoustic/electric guitar. While its body is deep enough to sound good while played acoustically, its combination of magnetic and piezo pickups means that you can choose acoustic or electric sound when plugged in.

Many players looking for acoustic guitars under 2000 dollars might prefer an instrument that sounds like a true acoustic instrument. But if you would prefer a guitar that can sound like either an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar, this one is worth a look. It has a mahogany body and spruce top, so the tone is balanced.

Our Star Rating

Since this model effectively gives you two guitars in one, we think it's the best unusual guitar on the list. We give it four out of five stars.

Breedlove Frontier Concerto E -- Best Concert-Body

Important Features

  • Unique body shape paired with scalloped X bracing gives you focused, balanced sound
  • Beautiful and unique finish makes it a guitar for those who want to stand out
  • Included L.R. Baggs Element pickup gives you reliable live sound when you need it
  • Wide lower bout gives you more versatile sound than most smaller guitars

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • All-mahogany build produces beautifully mellow tone
  • Quality electronics make it a good choice for performers
  • Unique body shape is ideal for people who want something different from typical acoustic tone

Cons

  • Unusual shape may not be right for all players
  • Some players may prefer higher-end electronics

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

For some players, the best guitars acoustic selection has to include at least one smaller-bodied guitar. We've labeled this one as a concert body, but it's technically a concerto body, which is Breedlove's unique take on the concert-style acoustic. The small body combined with the all Honduran mahogany build makes this a guitar that combines the warmth of mahogany with the remarkable projection of a smaller guitar.

This is also an excellent guitar for those who prefer a unique aesthetic. The high-gloss mahogany finish is paired with beautifully contrasted white binding. It also has a wider lower bout than most concert-body guitars, giving you a focused low end.

Our Star Rating

Given its unique tonal properties, we think this is the best concert-body guitar on the list. We give it four out of five stars.

Buying Guide--What Should You Look for When Buying a High-End Acoustic Guitar?

There's an impressive selection of acoustic guitars under 2000 dollars. However, that selection can quickly become overwhelming, especially if you aren't sure exactly what you're looking for. As you evaluate guitars, be sure to keep these things in mind:

What Shape Do You Need?

When buying a guitar, one of the most important things to consider is the body style you need. The body of a guitar has a massive impact on sound quality, which is something you likely already know if you're shopping for an instrument in this price range.

Many acoustic guitars have dreadnought bodies. This shape is large and is often used to accompany singers thanks to its full voice. However, smaller players may sometimes find dreadnoughts too large and unwieldy to play comfortably.

Some musicians choose orchestra model or Grand Auditorium guitars. These mid-sized bodies balance playability and projection, and most have a lower risk of feedback issues when plugged in. Parlor and grand concert models are smaller and have excellent projection, but some lack a full low end. Depending on your style of music, this might be a desirable trait.

Of course, make sure that you don't value the looks of an instrument over the sound. Be sure to listen to a few sound demos of any guitar you're thinking about buying--this will help you decide whether or not the guitar's sound suits your playing style.

How About Tonewoods?

The right tonewoods make all the difference when choosing the right guitar for you. Of course, no wood choice is really wrong--it all comes down to what sounds good to you. Here's a brief rundown of common tonewoods and what they sound like:

  • Spruce--This lightweight, strong wood is often used for soundboards, as it's incredibly responsive. Sitka spruce is by far the most common soundboard material, but many instruments are also made with Engelmann spruce.
  • Mahogany--This warm-sounding, midrange-focused wood is chosen by musicians who want a mellow sound. It can be used as both a body and a soundboard material.
  • Cedar--Cedar is a warm, rich-sounding wood that is sometimes used for soundboards.
  • Rosewood--This beautiful wood is sometimes used to construct guitar bodies. It's known for creating beautifully detailed sound, with sparkling highs and focused lows.
  • Koa--This exotic, beautiful wood can be used for bodies and soundboards. It is often described as having a "tight" sound that leans toward the bright side, but it does open up and mellow out with age.

Are Electronics Necessary?

Most casual players don't drop thousands of dollars on guitars, and many instruments in this price range come equipped with electronics to make them more appealing to performers. Many higher-end guitars use unique electronics that combine piezo elements with small soundhole microphones. Others, like Taylor guitars that use Expression System 2 electronics, use a behind-the-saddle design that avoids the compressed, somewhat unnatural sound that often comes from undersaddle pickups.

Especially in this price range, pickups contribute significantly to a guitar's price. If you do not need electronics at all, you may want to instead invest in a well-made, all-acoustic model.

Making the Decision

When it comes to our list of best guitar acoustic offerings, we think you really can't go wrong with anything on the list. However, we think the Guild D-20E is the best pick on the list. This all-solid guitar is a great value, and you get more for your money with this guitar than many on the list.

If you're looking for a classic tonewood combination, we think the Godin Metropolis EQ is a worthy runner-up, and for those seeking something truly unique, the Takamine TF77PT just might be right for you. Be sure to carefully evaluate specs and listen to sound demos, and you'll be well on your way to finding a great guitar for 2000 dollars or less.

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