Best Acoustic Guitar

Christian.H.Mills

Notice the inconspicuous absence of the suffix "ists" from guitar. This list is devoted to your favorite guitar brand. Don't agree with the list? Vote for an existing item you think should be ranked higher or if you are a logged in, add a new item for others to vote on or create your own version of this list.

The Top Ten

1
Martin & Co.
Nothing compares to a Martin. The craftsmanship and attention to detail is impeccable, and the sound: the sound. The sound is like heaven. If you're used to an electric, a Taylor may feel more comfortable, but nothing compares to the timbre of a Martin acoustic. In the right hands, the bass and treble are perfectly actuated. None of that "tinny" Taylor quality which - while useful in certain applications and seems "easier to play" - cannot hold a candle to the the deep, rich, nuanced tone of a Martin acoustic. Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Woody Guthrie, Eric Clapton... Need I say more? I own a D-35, and I wouldn't be caught dead without a Martin guitar in my arsenal. Complete, unequivocal perfection.
Acoustically I own a Martin for the living room. Best sound but I won't let it leave the house. (Taylor people are so defensive, but lets face it Martin owners never have to say "Oh it sounds just like/as good as a Taylor") I own an Ovation, the thing is bullet proof, a little thin on sound but can take it anywhere. If I plug it in, it has amazing electronics and sounds 10X better. I own an Ibenez exotic wood, pretty but a stiff box that just does not resonate, hate it.
Even Taylor players know that Martin is king. They just won't admit it. Who do you think invented the Dreadnought?
[Newest]Have a 1970 D-35 Brazilian rosewood and a 1979 D-28. Why is Martin King? Just play one the 20-40 years old and you'll know why. Just get better with age.

2Gibson
Every time I guitar shop I come back to Gibson. Pricey, but the look, feel and tone are to my tastes. A lot of classic songs have been recorded over the years on these guitars. Are they superior to Martins or Taylors? It's a matter of preference. I own a hummingbird custom and the aesthetics, tone and feel are unsurpassed, but it doesn't "cut" like a Martin. For chording though, it's a better balance. I also own a J-45 which is the ultimate acoustic blues guitar.
Just picked up a J-45 PureVoice.. the sound is sweet, the play is dynamic, and it is responsive to the max. It works with me, and I with it - one really feels the relationship is mutually needy, and if you like the mid-range feel of Jackson Browne or Cheryl Crowe, Gibson lays it out for you.

One day I want to own a Martin IN ADDITION to my Gibson.. but having tried both a lot.. the D-18, the D-28... I went with the J-45. The J-45 is special in that it has slim shoulders - you won't get an enormous boom out of it when un-amplified. But the sustain is super fine, and as accompaniment to the singer and as a tool for the songwriter, it is rock solid and it gives, gives, gives, then gives some more. Plus, it's sexy as hell - every boy might think he longs for a Martin, but every girl goes home with the guy with the Gibson.
It's all about the quality its total presentation case to life warranty, the brightness of the sound & tone its feels great in my hands.
I own a Songwriters it great.
[Newest]Gibson should be on the top

3Taylor
Taylor, Martin, Gibson all great production brands... Which is better comes done to what you like sonically, visually and of course the feel in your hands. It is also difficult to compare one brand versus another unless you are comparing similar designs using the same tone woods and in the same price range. Anyone espousing one is better than the other without doing this is not being honest with themselves. I own a Martin and two Taylors, all are great and have different voices and feels... Even the 2 Taylors are very different in sound and looks. In the end I vote for Taylor because I like the neck carve and feel that the looks and build quality are a bit better in the $3K - $4 price range. If your looking for something in a lower $500 - $1, 000range you probably should be considering Yamaha or Takamine. Though in the end you get what you pay for.
I have been a musician for many years now. I have played in everything from metal bands to acoustic coffee house sets to worship/praise bands. I feel that with these many years of playing I have earned a sharp ear, no pun intended. By that I mean that I have developed an ear not only to hear pitches, tones, and notes, but I can also hear good and bad timbre. I feel that Taylor guitars simply produce the best timbre of any acoustic guitar I have played. Naturally, all of my acoustics are Taylor! With that, thanks to Bob Taylor for doing it best and doing it right the first time!
Taylor and Martin are the best. I like Taylors cause of their higher sound. A Martin has a deeper, more mellow tone.
[Newest]They fit me and are easy to play

4Ovation
Bought an ovation a couple of years ago and it hasn't failed me yet. Mine's a fairly lower in the range Ovation Celebrity, but it's excellent. One of the most comfortable feeling guitars I've ever held, good projection, nice tone, even been known to out do a Gibson further down the neck. Plus bonus feature is that it does sound so much clearer and warmer out of the amp
Ovation Guitars have the very best tone of all of my guitars. I love the distinquished look too.
Unique look, incredible tone, great projection and sound. I love Ovation Guitars.
[Newest]Great sound, superb action.

5Takamine
Takamine makes you go rocking' even with acoustic! Well, to my opinion...
Expertly crafted in Japan. Best acoustics along with Maton. These two I reccomend to any acoustic guitarist. Maton is a little pricier but is very very well made. Takamines are very very well made and are at a good price for what they actually are.
Takamine is great with or without the pick-up. It is a bit heavy but that weight of the wood promises the better sound and strength to hold the strings to the right tune.
[Newest]My Takamine does EVERYTHING I ask it to do and never lets me down.

6Ibanez
Ibanez Artwood and Exotic Wood are amazing.
What? Ibanez acoustics? oh man...
I have an Ibanez acoustic and it is always my go to guitar
[Newest]I really love Ibanez Guitar and I have a Ibanez Acoustic Guitar and I love it!

7Fender
Fender should be on the top 5
I have a fender cd100 it was my first guitar
Good price amazing sound what else do you need
I got this Fender Parlor Guitar from my wife, for my 60th birthday,
And it is an awful guitar for the money (Euro 160,00)!
Great for composers and songwriters.
Love it or leave it...
Again mainly electric guitar but the sound I always wanted
[Newest]Great sounds and good quality

8Epiphone
Unbelievable quality and sound
I like epiphone guitar..
I also have the EJ200CE and out side of the quality and sound that Gibson and Epiphone area known for, it really is a great looking guitar. I do get quite a few compliments on it (on the guitar, not my playing). I play Bass as my main instrument, and use Rickenbacker and Gibson products but I also have a great Epiphone Viola bass that I record with. Epiphone makes a great guitar.

9Washburn
I was handed down my fathers Washburn, the only time I remember being allowed to touch it was when he bought it and put it across our laps when I was 5, this was about 30 years ago and even then we were only to protect it. I now play it and it is beautiful and has such a rich tone. I love it.
I bought washburn, DE10 series ($750) 18 yrs ago. I am still in love with that guitar. I have seen Martin, Takamine that sound dreadful. I don't know why washburn guitars get low ratings. May be I got lucky.
Just got a new washburn a few days ago and it sounds just as good as most of the martins and other top brands that I tried I don't know why it has such low ratings

10Yamaha
I bought an LL11 about 15 years ago and never wanted anything else since. It matches up to up to a Martin/Gibson costing up to three times the price.
I have played several acoustics and owned several... The best sounding acoustic I have ever played... Ever... Is my Yamaha. $300-$400 or something... Don't remember. My dad bought it for me in the mid 90s. It's had the frets redone several times due to playing the crap out of it haha. Best tone for rock, blues, country, whatever... It sounds puly amazing.
They have great guitars at several price points. Their lower end guitars are the best quality you can get at those price points
[Newest]What is Yamaha not good at their dreadnoughts have a really nice sound

The Contenders

11Seagull
I've really listened and played the Gibson, Martin, and Taylor and it really comes down to the top and what it's made of. My late father in law made acoustic guitars & patterned his after Martin. Other than playing the ones he made, SEAGULL is handmade & is a very rich sounding, underrated guitar from Quebec.
Went to guitar center and tried 30 guitars. The best was a Gibson hummingbird, and my next two favorites were both seagulls. You can't get a better value under $400. The cedar top on mine sounds fantastic and combined with the cherry sides and back and the mini jumbo shape it brings out the low notes very well while the others seemed to not show the highs. Great guitars
The Seagull is as good, possibly better, than some of the most prestigious instruments in the world. This gem is so affordable I gladly show off the rich full sound whenever I can.
[Newest]Hand made in Canada, plays well, but in the same price range as Yamaha.

,

12Gretsch
Gretsch really should be higher on the list.

13Larrivee
I own Larrivee walnut and a Martin, both are great but Larrivee seems to have a better value. Exotic and unusual woods, beautiful craftsmanship, and balanced sound makes this the most underrated guitar on this list
Expertly made, beautifully balanced (affordable! ) guitars with perfect necks/fingerboards for finger style playing.
I feel that Larrivee makes some top quality guitar without laying out thousands. Their attention to detail and use of handpicked woods are really second to none. Mark my words, Larrivees will be a seriously collectible guitar in the future.
[Newest]Best bang for the buck

14Maton
I have many acoustic guitars in the collection including Gibson, Taylor, Fender and Washburn. That said none of these guitars come close to the richness in sound of a Maton. I'm assuming this is due to the quality of the Australian timbers and workmanship. Although a little expensive I highly recommend you at least play one in a shop as a treat and hope a dead relative leaves you some money to give you an opportunity of taking one home.
Good ol' Australian quality. Played by many, many famous musicians, including Tommy Emmanuel, John Butler, even Angus Young from AC/DC has one. The sounds and quality are second to none.
Maton make great instruments. These guitars are made using Australian timbers and provide a musician with a beautiful sound.
[Newest]While hard to get overseas, this Australian brand, creates a beautiful rich sound.

15Breedlove
I've been playing a orchestral bodied breedlove for years, and not only does it have a rich sound, but the full body really resonates the lower frequencies very well
I've owned martin Taylor and Gibson guitars and my breedlove sounds just as good as any of them
Breedlove guitars are the best taylor are overrated

16Godin

17Guild
I have a bluegrass jubilee D-40 and it's sounds great
Traditional series... Sound perfect, beautiful lutherie impecable projection, impressive

18Yamaki
Amazing, amazing acoustics. I am partial to it because the Japanese imported spruce from British Columbia for the top, and I live in Vancouver. Massive volume, great tone, and my favorite neck. I played one 17 years ago, and have never been able to forget it... So I hunted and found one this year from the early 70's. Absolutely love it
Terrific guitars. I would put them up against a Martin of which I own one. However, I play the Yamaki's almost exclusively (I have 4 of them) because of their wonderful deep sound and ease of play. One of the best bangs for the buck.
70'S vintage canon japan made yamaki guitars. One of the best sounding acoustic guitar. Spruce top madagascar rosewood back brazilian rosewood sides and rosewood fret boards with abalone inlays.

19Alvarez
Each brand of guitar has it's low, mid, and high-end models. I've played all brands and it usually comes down to an individual guitar... even within the same model. However, the best bang for the buck (especially for vintage Yairi's) seems to be Alvarez and Takamine.
Alvarez Yairi's are some of the best acoustic guitars out there! For about one third the price of a Gibson or Martins! Paying for the name doesn't make it great! If you players haven't tried a Yairi-give it a shot-you'll be pleasantly surprised how great they sound!
Alvarez guitars are underrated. I'm an intermediate guitar player. When I play my 5056 in a group setting, Martin and Taylor players sit up and take notice. Some of them have told me my guitar is better than theirs.

20Lakewood
I have a A54, 1997, and it's the only guitar which ever said to me "play me"!
Superb tone & finish and, due to Brazilian rosewood manufacture, will never depreciate!
I live in Scotland and have never seen another Lakewood here, seems to be Gibsons, Martins and Taylor's, two of which I also have and love, but the Lakewood is unique!
Unique from others! I admit it, that martins, gibsons, taylors, fenders, ibanezs, epipones etc. deserves to be in the top 10, but Lakewood guitars are just unique. Lakewood just makes guitars different from the U.S. and Japan-made guitars. I can't explain it to you how unique Lakewoods are.

Buy one. You won't regret it!

21Tanglewood
Best Sounding Acoustic, Just bought on today and the most beautiful sound I've heard

22Fernando
BEST ACOUSTIC GUITAR in the WORLD :))
They have one of the most perfect and great sounds in the world
They have the best acoustic guitars :D

23Lowden
If you ever have the good fortune to encounter one of these, for heaven's sake try it out. There's absolutely nothing out there that sounds as good as a lowden, at least not for under 10 grand. I've never played a Lowden that didn't haunt me afterwards.
There's something pure about these guitars. Several different tweaks of engineering and hand crafted through and through. Nothing compares.. and George lowden is getting better at his craft as time goes on.
Understated beauty, fantastic tone and playability, incredible craftsmenship. Handmade in Ireland. Wonderfully different from the mainstream US offerings

24Walden
I had a D710CE about 5 years, it was great guitar an easy playing guitar, and in my opinion a well made guitar.
Walden Guitar's N560 - A Solid Spruce Topped Classical very nice sound and good price.
High-quality steel-string and classical guitars at affordable prices

25Cort
I love my cort, given me a great sound for 9 years. Best value for money and a great acoustic sound
High Quality and superb sound, betters with age.

26Paul Reed Smith (PRS)

27Lag Guitars
I have 2 Lags, one is a 4 seasons (spring) no electrics) and a 300DCE, both guitars are excellent value for money.
I would recommend to anyone considering a new guitar try one and I don't think you will be disappointed. In my opinion they are very much unknown out there and well worth a look.

28McPherson
Heard a lot about these. Just wondering what features these guitars have that make them unique from the others.
Have you seen the demo on how these things are made? And the sound is incredible. Genius. Expensive. Someday...
Great guitar and mcpherson guitars are superb sounding especially 4.5 series

29Santana
Amazing sound.. Sweet loud and clear... These r great low cost guitars... top made from solid spruce which resonates superbly... HW-41 201 is the guitar I own... try it

30Greg Bennett

31Line 6

32Lindo

33Cole Clark
Incredible, unique tone and great for finger picking - try one!
Beautiful wood. Smooth neck. So easy to play and amazing sound.

34Eastman
Best sounding guitar I've owned is a solid wood Eastman.
Great guitar if I could not afford a Martin Eastman would be my next choice.
Eastmans are great value for the money, especially their "E" traditional series. Their traditional series are more resonant than most guitars I played.

35Art & Lutherie
Canadian Guitar that has great tone for a beginner. Lent it to two friends that have Martins and both were amazed at the tone. Took me 3 weeks to get it back from one of them.

36D&D Custom Guitars
They have a world class acoustic guitars :) )

37Simon & Patrick
These beautiful guitars are hand-made in La Patrie in Quebec. They have amazing sounds and you can decide if you want a bright sound (spruce top) or mellow sound (cedar top) Anyway, I believe Simon & Patrick make awesome guitars
Father has a s+p guitar for around $300, excellent value. and it stuns me every time I pick it up. Such rich and balanced sound, beats my similarly priced Seagul hands down.

38Cordoba
An affordable and amazing guitar. has amazing nylon strings that makes almost anyone sound great

39Eko
Eko is a best guitar specially the E 45 model

40Schecter

41Ramírez
The best acoustic guitar nylon!

42Trinity
Peoples...next time before handing over the money in a guitar shop...check out some "TRINITY" models too...tnx

43JIMM
Come on man it is something you would love to play. can compete fender acoustic and way cheaper than that

44Crafter
Crafted to be the best

45Dean
It is awesome and has a beautiful sound and it is beautiful

46Lumanog

47Pluto
They are nice guitars, I say they are the best for Beginners.

48Di Giorgio

49Spectrum

50Blueberry
Made in Montreal hand carved in Thailand. Both sound brilliant and each is a piece of art.

51First Act

52Greenfield Guitars
Andy McKee, probably don Ross, and other great musicians all use greenfield custom made guitars. The tone is so Chrisp and if you like to use dynamics when you play, greenfield guitars will compliment your playing so beautifully. You should always try to use dynamics.

53RJ Guitars
No. 1 in baclaran.. and in raon!

54Composite Acoustics
These things are indestructible; they're made of carbon fiber. Absolutely amazing sound. Check these out.

55ESP LTD Xtone AC30
If you don't want to spend more than 500. Here is the alternative!
Incredible sound for the price,
Incredible playability (really like electric one)
Stage rendu. Try it!

56Songline
My music store has these and they are amazing best part it cost nothing get one now

57Hobner
Excellent sound and guitar designs... You 'll love to play in this guitar

58Faith

59Furch

60Montana

61Oscar Schmidt
I think these guitars are overlooked in their quality and performance. It's like trying on shoes that are comfortable but putting those aside for name brands that don't fit that well. I love the sound the OF2 produces over some of the higher priced named guitars that do not produce as well. It's all about the creation and birth of each guitar. No wood produced guitar will be exact. Mother nature doesn't make duplicates no matter how much some believe she does. The beauty and the sound from each instrument will be different. Sometimes you are lucky, sometimes... you're not.
Aerosmith played an Oscar Schmidt ukulele while at Hawaii. Saw the video.
Great quality guitars for a lower price. Made from very good wood and come in a large line of colors, even spalted woods.

62Andrew White Guitars
Amazing guitars, especially the one made out of Jatoba wood.

63Ashton Guitars
They are pretty good for the money

64Clayton

65Chard
Budget and best guitar for beginner

66SX

67Thompson

68Bartolata

69FV Stevens

70Sigil
I don't have one but my teacher does and it has an amazing sound no electic or microphone sound speads out quite far

71DZIRE

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This list was created 6 years, 317 days ago and has been voted on over 1,000 times. This top ten list has been remixed 3 times.

Updated Monday, December 22, 2014


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