Best Acoustic Guitar Brands

Notice the inconspicuous absence of the suffix "ists" from guitar. This list is devoted to your favorite guitar brand.
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.

I've been playing for about 4 years and my first guitar was a Martin DX1 acoustic. My favorite past time is going to guitar center and playing acoustics. Martin to my ears has the best tone and projection of any guitar out there. So for sound Martin is number 1. However I will say that Taylor has a better selection of finishes and a more treble sound. Lastly, Takamine has the best finishes and what I thing the most playable neck radius for acoustics and the best electronics for Acoustic Electric. I'll be getting both a Martin and Takamine for my next purchases.

Martin is aciustic gold. Platinum even. Since the American guitar was invented they have been the staple of acoustic guitars. A dreadnought from the golden era has every guitarist falling in love. But even today the Martin quality is top shelf world class. All of their American made guitars are not only beautiful but have that Martin tone. They may not produce solidbody electrics or even use tonewoods like maple or very exotic woods, but they have and always will use woods like rosewood, mahogany, spruce, and ebony to the greatest of results. No one does it like Martin does it. Even to this day.

Years ago, I owned a Martin HD-35. Loved it, but being a novice acoustic player I guess it never really "hooked" me. So I moved to the Taylor side of the aisle. Great guitars. Played most of what they had to offer and owned probably five or six of them over the years and enjoyed each of them in their own way. Over time though, I wheeled, dealt and traded all of my my Taylors and came back home to Martin. I now have a D-41, a 000-28ec (Eric Clapton). Also a GPCX2AE Macassar as my "living room" practice and writing guitar. I'm not going back. So happy with what I now have. Each has it own amazing sound. Love 'em. Sometimes after I play the last chord on a song, I just sit in silence and listen to it resonate. Pure sonic heaven!

2 Gibson

Along with Martin, Gibson has done what every guitar company would want and that's to establish themselves as iconic brands in their profession. Since I was a little kid the guitars I dreamed of were Martin and Gibson. American made guitars have always been the industry's standard and Gibson is the standard premium of American made guitars therefore the world's standard in guitar making. Many companies do electrics or acoustics very well, but Gibson is unique in the fact they produce world class acoustics along with their famous electrics. Countless guitarists have resourced to Gibson acoustics for some of the best music ever recorded. Whether it be the renowned J-45 or amazingly toneful SJ-200 to the small body L models.. to this day Gibson stands in a small group of truly great companies making acoustic guitars.

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.

I just got a hummingbird and it's by far the nicest guitar I have ever owned. And I've had so many fenders martins, and Taylor's. Taylor were decent also but Gibson. Both electric and acoustic have that rich warm sound and feel. Bottom line, gibbons are the best.

Recently bought a 2006 Advanced Jumbo. While Martin may be a more consistent brand in terms of tone and quality, when you find the right Gibson you really, really do. I'd like to own a martin in addition one day. Gibson dread and a martin OM or 00 would be a force to be reckoned with

3 Taylor

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 play a taylor 814 CE and it is truly a wonderful instrument, it provides a beautiful full rounded sound as well as being well appointed, and is so easy to play my finger style picking, I don't flat pick.

The reason I like it better than the Martin is because the Martin D 18 I owned and played for a few years was so needy of constant set ups due to climactic changes, that I couldn't go more than 60 days without needing a another set up. That is not the case with my taylor. I can easily go 6 months without a set up on the Taylor.

I can't comment on Gibson just yet, as I have purchased a Custom J-45 but its still on the way ti me at the time of this writing.

I grew up in in a family of musicians. Everyone in my family can play 2-3 or more instruments. My uncle actually works for Gibson making the bodies for the higher end Les Paul. Everyone I knew played a Martin and most played them really well. It wasn't until I was 14 that My uncle decided he would buy a Taylor. It produced a sound like I had never heard from any guitar ever. The Martins were beautiful sounding instruments but there was something different about the Taylor and I loved it. I now own several guitars, Martin, Taylor, Gibson. But my favorite to play is a Taylor. I would Recommend a Taylor over Martin any time unless you can get your hands on a Martin from back in the 60s

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!

4 Washburn

I can't have them above Guild. Their usa made stuff and vintage acoustics are gems no doubt, but they set 7 or 8th for me. I just wish they still made American made acoustics. Like guild they are a hallmark name in the acoustic guitar world. Unlike guild they aren't being made in america. Guild and their supporters really lucked out with the Cordoba purchase. They're bringing Guild back where they belong. On top. Now if someone would do the same for Washburn. I really thought the usa made stuff would get back to greatness with that solo deluxe warren haynes model, but they stopped American made guitars all together which is a shame.

My first Guitar was a Washburn Acoustic Electric KOA comfort series. It's a Beautiful guitar and I love the sound. I use a medium weight string and they produce a warm Deep Bass and ringing Trebles. Excellent sustain, the notes ring out. I also own a Gibson Hummingbird Custom It's a great instrument but when I play I pickup the Washburn 80% of the time.

I own two Washburn's and a Takamine. The Washburn is a 12 string and a Jumbo. The Takamine cedar top. For the price I can not see buying a Martin. Washburn guitars, for the money, are number 1 to me. The Takamine has the best bottom end than any Martin or Tarylor I played which are a brighter sound to my ear. Buying a guitar is such a personal thing to me that you really need to play it to hear how you like it.

I have two Washburns the twelve string has playability I'd expect from a six string - overall this, much older than Gibson - guitar brand is let down by only one thing - the price of the lower end of the range which makes folk think they are not as good, if not better than Gibson and Martin - they are better than Taylor.

5 Epiphone

#5? Are you joking? I have a PR-200 that I've owned for 15 years. I hate it. The action is ridiculous unless your fingertips are made out of adamantium or whatever the heck Wolverine is made from. The sound is muddled and a clash of midrange. Sustain is nonexistent. The frets have flattened on the high strings. News flash- I'm not spending $350 to re-fret a $279 guitar. Epiphone may make some good high end guitars but I don't trust them. If you make crappy low end guitars why should I trust your brand? You were supposed to get me to fall in love with the brand but you've made me hate it. My next guitar will be a Yamaha, Martin or Taylor.

Ok I read "are you joking". I am a guitar snob having guitars well over worth over $50k and several from late 40's to early 70's Electric an acoustic. I must admit my favorite Acoustic was my 1958 J45 (Stolen) Before all of you get too personal. I have played and checked out damn near this whole list of guitars. Martin wouldn't touch unless I shell $2k plus. Matons are dreams, Guild and Gretsch put out some really nice affordable guitars as well as not mentioned here Blueridge which is very surprising to me. HEre is what you need to do with any other the affordables. Take it to a tech bottom line! Bone saddles and nuts a must set your trusses to your playing style. Get the right damn strings, it will make a huge difference set that action up for me I'm about a nickles width off the fret. Stop making BS claims on any guitar and don't show Bias. Any of these guitars I could take any one of these and make them play like one of my $6k customs I owned provided we are talking solid tops ...more

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.

I have an EJ200CE (Natural). Solid top, 2 pickups (Shadow NanoMag and NanoFlex + blender onboard pre-amp) and it's good for all uses. Build quality is top-notch and I would say it's the best intonated acoustic I've ever played. I also have a Martin D16 dreadnaught, but the Epiphone plays better (and by that I mean it's easier on the fingers, for me). It sounds fantastic both plugged and unplugged and is about 1/10th the price of the Gibson equivalent.

6 Fender

Recently had an Epiphone acoustic...irritating twangy sound and always falling out of tune. The body of the guitar is so large it's uncomfortable, even holding down the strings felt as though I would be drawing blood any minute. I hated to practice because of the sound & pain, traded it for the warm sound of the fender. Not only am I playing better, but holding down the strings doesn't hurt nearly as much (a little expected) and I can't wait to hear it. Now I understand how the phrase "it's music to my ears" came about. I'm in love with my Fender.


Absolutely not. Way too high. Fender make great electric guitars particularly the Strat., but have no desirable vintage acoustics worth anything nor are they making first class American made acoustics today that come even close to the sound or quality of say their American strats. No acoustic history or brilliance from Fender and don't deserve this spot on an acoustic list.

Honestly, a couple of years back I never looked at Fender for acoustic guitars because everyone was always talking about Taylors, Gibsons, Martins, Takamines, Paul Reed Smiths etc. Despite being a very good electric guitar company not to mention the inventor of the no. 1 guitar in the world, the strat, everyone always looked Fender, alongside with Ibanez and Washburn (good electric guitar brands) as bad acoustic manufacturers. I was one of them too. For me, Washburn and Ibanez might be a good budget acoustic guitar manufacturer but they don't deserve to be high in this 'top acoustic guitar brands' list. But for Fender, these past few months my mindset about them changed. I never realized how authentic and good sounding fender acoustics were way back then but I'm happy now that I changed my mind about them. I love them now. It's not about having vintage acoustics, or having high end prices. Fender don't set their prices as high as taylor, martin or gibson but they must not be judged ...more

Fender is such one of the best not just in electric guitars, but also with acoustics. I have had such a great acoustic Fender Guitar. No regrets about it. Definitely, of high quality.

7 Seagull

I did a lot of research when purchasing my next acoustic guitar.

I'm fortunate enough to have the ability to afford any guitar, but I don't like paying for overpriced stuff b/c of the market leading legacy name (M *cough* T *cough G).

I went to several stores to try all makes and models--spent 3-4 hrs. on each visit. The ones that stood out to me most as a line were Seagull and Breedlove.

I ended up with the Studio Artist all-wood guitar. Plays/sounds like an overpriced $4k+ guitar from the market leaders. Wide nut for ease of playability. Top notch construction too (better than the $2.5k+ Gibsons I played). This is my type of guitar that's fairly priced with no need to ever second-guess your purchase.

There's other great brand that punch above their weight like Breedlove, Larrivee, Blueridge, Yamaha, Epiphone Masterbuilt or even Tone King (if you can find a pristine one). Tons of up and comers as more people realize that the guitar world is made up of more ...more

Though I'm a Martin fan and definitely don't feel that anything else truly rivals my Martins, I do love my Seagull. It has a much deeper, warmer, fuller sound than any other guitar I've played in its price range. (Helps that mine is a cedar-top; the wood type makes all the difference in tone.)

It's the best backup guitar I've used when not playing a Martin -- and I don't even have a high-end Seagull, just a basic, cheap model. It also plays so nice that you just don't want to put it down once you get your hands on it. I can't say enough great things about it.

Best bang for the buck period. I own a Artist Mosaic. I tried everything under $3000. At $1000 it was at the top the pile. It didn't have the biggest boom but had the sweetest sound. All the top brands have great guitars. You need to find what works for you. Larrivee, Martin, Taylor all had winners. Yet for looks, tone and feel, matched with price, nothing came close. ( I originally wanted one of the 3 others I mentioned, Seagull wasn't on my radar )

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

8 Yamaha

I've been playing guitar for several years now so I have played a wide variety of instruments. Of course bigger companies such as Martin or Taylor are going to be higher up in the ratings because they produce very expensive guitars and their name has been widely spread. My first ever Yamaha six string, which after three years is still my favorite guitar, is amazing. Its deep and rich tones makes it a blast to play. I can find myself playing any genre for hours because of how reliable and durable it is. They are very well priced for there quality and I would label Yamaha as being the working mans guitar.

My father's Yamaha was bought in the 90's, and was the first guitar steel-string I ever played as a kid. (If you were curious its equivalent to today's model would be the LS6 ARE). To this day I still find myself going back to it. It's little quirks makes it really special, even though I have martins and taylors and even gibsons. There's little nicks and chips in the paint in some places, which really shows it's history. It's also stood the test of time. It still plays great after almost 30 years of being lugged around from place to place, dropped, hit against walls, etc. It's just simply great.

I inherited a mid 80's FG Green Label which my elder sister bought for all of $30. Including hard cary case...
Had action fettled with and put on some new Ernie's Earthwood strings, that all made the F a joy to play!
Albeit, I've noted that the F's frets and the actual fretboard is too narrow...
Solution; Fender American Standard Bullet Strat with a ZOOM 505 pedal that can accurately reproduce an acoustic sound from electric input.

Yamaha guitars are very reliable instruments, my grandfather bought the guitar that I currently own, and it's gone through 60 years of being played, and there are only a few dents in it, and they don't even affect the sound. If you want a guitar that has an amazing sound, pretty good price, and will last a very long time, buy a Yamaha.

9 Gretsch

The Gretsch "Jim Dandy" is a little known secret and it is one of those guitars you can't put down. Out of the box it was in tune and setup was right on. No sore fingers and you can play it for hours. Chet Atkins played the Gretsch and produced some great songs not a Jim Dandy but still Gretsch. Mike from Ga.

Should be higher than ibanez and washburn lol so much hate. Ibanez and washburn may produce nice budget acoustics but they don't deserve high spots on this list. Gretsch and fender acoustics are always underrated.

Gretsch really should be higher on the list.

10 Ovation

I bought a 1651 back in the early 80s. Known as the Lennon Model. Had no idea at the time Lennon used one.
Sound without electronics, deep and rich with medium light strings. Incridible action as well.
Ovation gets a bad rap...I say pick one up and play. I love the deep bowl sound.
Recording plugged in...again I love it.
USA made.
Only disappointment the heavy finish on the old models tend to crack. NOT the spruce top, just the finish...does not effect play or sound.
I bought another 1651...I love this guitar.

Plug one in, and you'll understand what an acoustic instrument is supposed to sound like while playing live. Unplugged they sound great as well, especially the deep bowl models. I hear from my friends that they think those rounded backs feel awkward to play while sitting down. I have a deep contour bowl, that is way more comfy playing relaxed in my couch than even my little 000-martin.

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 make interesting and unique acoustics. They have a particular sound that works for many, pros included. But 7 is a bit high of a rank. Their new American stuff carry that solid tone, but at 3 to 4,000 are over priced. The cheaper ovations just don't play well or sound like the American versions.

The Contenders
11 Ibanez

It's all personal preference... some folks just like expensive name brands and they pay for it... Love my Ibanez... sounds and feel great... And money left over for beer!

I have used IBANEZ for about 3 years now and the sound is quite comparable to the guitars of some great brands.Plus the price offered is also fantastic.

I have a Fender T-Bucket, a Yamaha acoustic and an Ibanez.. I always end up playing the Ibanez.

I really love Ibanez Guitar and I have a Ibanez Acoustic Guitar and I love it!

12 Takamine

Some of the most well-rounded acoustics on the market. They may not boast the character of some of the big names like the Martins and Gibsons but they fit in most musical situations just as well. Remember that Takamine achieved its success by copying Martin guitars - and they did a good job. Also they have some of clearest and cleanest electronic preamp systems on the planet. In fact, they essentially pioneered the style of electronics that we see in most guitars today. While you can spend an arm and a leg on one, you don't have to. I've had Takamines under $1,200 that played phenomenally. Don't make your purchase until you've tried one out.

Amazing guitars for the money. I own a Supernatural NEX from 2002 and recently purchased a Pro series 3 "New Yorker" parlor style guitar. The New Yorker is just amazing. It's got unbelievably balanced tone and is much louder than I thought possible in a guitar this size. Takamine's are works of art that can hold their own against any brand. Both guitars cost me $1150 with a custom case thrown in. To equal sound and quality you'll pay two or three times the money for a Martin or Taylor. Tak's are amazing guitars.

Really need to bump Takamine over Ovation. Takamine has a better selection of finishes and are far more playable than Ovation. The Oval shape slide off my leg. At the lower price point Ovation has a fuller sound but takamine is far more comfortable. Most Takamine are a/e so if you're not plugging in then maybe the ovation will sound better. But if you are a beginner barre chords are most comfortable on Takamine.

Often called the "Japanese Martin". YES, they are that. GREAT instruments.

I had a $300 Taklamine once and it played and sound great. Sharp frets though from my Made in China model. I think that should have been corrected by them at the factory.

Their pricier stuff is obviously on another build level and worth a hard look.

13 Breedlove

This will be the next GREAT American guitar company.

Their entire line is impressive in Tone and Playability. In their price categories, their models compete with any make.

I'm astonished that when I pick a Breedlove at a store, waiting to hear a dud, it never happens. Always, always, always impresses!

If you look at their website, they explain their philosophy and research of pushing the envelope forward. Then you understand why their elbowing their way into the elite ranks and why their guitars stand out so well in a sea of guitars at a store.

If they keep this up, 25 years from now of market growth, and they'll be regarded like Taylor and Martin.

You can tell these lists only consist of people who don't dig deep on info of great guitars. Breedlove's USA lines are top shelf. They quality and tone is outstanding and they are a top 5 or 6 company. I have an Oregon Parlor that is quite possibly the best sounding Parlor size guitar I've ever played or heard. And that's a plain Jane American made acoustic. They offer higher end American made stuff. I've played their other body styles and they aren't copying anyone's sound or style. They sound like Breedlove and that's something special. Much like Taylor's have their own sound so do Breedlove.

My Oregon Dread is an absolutely Beautiful instrument. The overall quality of craftsmanship and attention to detain are a good a it gets at any price level. The Sitka Spruce top and the Myrtle wood body are just natural perfection, period.
The Mid-Range and Treble are my favorite in terms of its astonishing tonal quality. The bass is just right for my ear, because I have never cared for the big, big boom of overwhelming bass.The balance and sound compete with anything else available anywhere. Breedlove may not be as well known as Martin, Taylor, Gibson, Fender, but these instruments truly rival any of these other fine acoustic guitars.
When looking, try Breedlove. I bet this is what you end up purchashing!

I've owned and played Martin, Ovations, Fender, and Gretsch acoustics but none has thrilled me more than the Breedlove Concert Pursuit with cedar top. The tone is definitely different - so balanced and the midrange really shines. Absolute joy to play despite this is not their top line. Not so much a strumming guitar - shines when finger picked. Last but not least, the tone when plugged in is so deep and warm it astounded me. Far better than the others I've had.

14 Andrew White Guitars

I've been enjoying my AW Cybele for a few years now- it has a beautiful rich tone, excellent playability, and kind of astonishing sustain. It looks great too, with a beautiful rosette design around the sound hole and a unique body shape. Mine came with a preinstalled ArtTec pickup which produces excellent and honest sound when I'm amplifying. It was expertly set up prior to shipping, and arrived in tune. I'm in the market for a second AW guitar, and will likely add a Freja to my arsenal soon.

I've met and talked to Andrew as his shop is 20 minutes from me. When you talk guitars to Andrew, you will get the feeling that this man knows his guitar building. He strives for perfection in his small WV workshop. There is plenty of evidence seeing some of his production models hanging on display. His quiet voice belies his guitar building abilities. As a luthier, his personal hand made guitars command a big price tag. But when you understand how he builds them, you'll understand why. One day, I'll own one his creations from his workshop. But until then, I'll just drool over the pictures. Not sure why his production models are rated at 42 though.

I've owned Martin, Taylor, Maton, and countless others in this list and because I'm a certified tech since 1972 and worked at guitar shops and music stores all over the US I think people who are saying it's Martin, Taylor or nothing should do what I've done for the last however many yrs. from 72 til now don't be so close minded and give some of the newer up and comers a fair chance. I once thought Martin was no. 1, then Taylor, and now I would definitely say the Tommy Emmanuel Maton and The Andrew White Guitars run neck and neck for first place and if you haven't tried them please do! The Andrew White comes out ahead of Maton in my eyes because they have more outstanding models to choose from.

Andrew White Guitars must surely be a brand to watch - by my reckoning, they could be the next Taylor. The recent Production series models may be Korean made, but the fit, finish and attention to detail really is second to none. Body stylings are truly unique, and offer voicings you wont hear in other makes, most of which seem to follow the same-old tried and tested body shape. AW is also a well-known luthier who also produces hand-made instruments that easily compare with the likes of Fylde and Froggy Bottom.

I can't put my Freja 1010 down and my Taylor 520e has barely had a look in since...Exceptional quality, and most importantly, hugely playable instruments. If you see one, try one.

15 Maton

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.

The best acoustic guitarist in the world Tommy Emmanuel has his own Maton signature guitars! Maton, they build only boutique instruments; the top of the line!

Maton make great instruments. These guitars are made using Australian timbers and provide a musician with a beautiful sound.

16 Guild

Have had 1979 Guild 12 string F212XL NT for over 30 years (found it in a pawn shop in Aberdeen, WA). Most beautiful sound I've ever heard... more like a piano. Amazing balance & sustain. Just bought a 1996 JF55 (one of the few ever made with a 1.75 nut, although specs say it should have been 1 11/16. It is a full 1.75 & I looked forever to find one). Not as bright as the mahogany F212XL but the JF55 (6 string jumbo) rosewood back & sides gives it a warm full sound. You can slam strum these guys and they just take it and give great full range tone back with zero spillover. Great play-ability & built to last, though a bit heavy. I'll pass these on to my guitar playing children. More power and clarity than any guitar at the same price range. Both are Westerly, RI, built guitars and they are stunning to look at. The sound fills the room.

Top 4 in my opinion. Countless guitarists have played them on some of the best albums ever written. I've owned numerous vintage guilds and still own a vintage f50 and d55. Recently Fender bought guild and I bought a new d55 which was a bit over rated and over priced in my opinion. But Fender has sold Guild and I sold my fender owned guild d55 only to buy a brand new by the new owners who moved Guild to a California facility and I must say it holds its own with the vintages I have. Guild is back! A great name in acoustic guitars. A great build (thank God once again), and the quality has always been with the best. Long live guild and it's a top 4 brand just behind Martin, Taylor and Gibson.

I've owned a Guild twelve string for 20 years. It feels the best, it's the easiest to play, and the sound is phenomenal. You can see the quality in every part of the guitar. I also own an Ovation, and the difference between an $800 Ovation and the $3000 Guild is so obvious. I must also qualify this opinion with the fact that this guitar was one of the last ones made at the Westerley factory, so I can't comment on the quality of the current Guilds being built, but I'd bet they're still really, really good.

I have an all mahogany guild-all solid top and body and it has sound all it,s own,a very full bodied sound and very warm with extremely easy fingering This all mahogany baby not only looks fine but the tone is really sweet!

17 Larrivee

Beautiful tone that comes from amazing craftsmanship. Plays like butter! Their facility is top notch, filled with beautiful tonewood and staffed by top tier people.

I bought my first Larrivee (L Series) in the mid 1980s after recording with my Gibson. The Larrivee has sustain, a consistent sound and allows the bass strings to come through without infringing on the sound of the treble strings. I think Larrivees are still one of the top 2 guitar makers.
A few years ago I wanted a mini/parlor guitar. I tried a few, did not like what I heard in the Taylor line and I did not want another Larrivee. The irony of it is, I did buy a Taylor and now realize it was because it sounded like a Larrivee, bright and even. This is an anomaly Taylor, I know that now. I bought a Larrivee Parlor which is okay but I also have learned that I am not a parlor, mini fan. They, for the most part, do not deliver an even enough sound for me. I have played Lowden, Martin, Gibson, Guild, Olsen, Huss and Dalton. I recently played an Irvin guitar. Wow, what a beautiful line of guitars. I want one. It is my next guitar with its sustain, consistency, brilliance and ease of ...more

I own a Larrivee D-03R (along with 20 other guitars), and I think it is the best sounding commercially produced guitar I have ever heard. That includes Martins, Guilds, Taylors, and Blueridges. They have the most balanced sound of any guitar you'll ever play. And I don't mean for the money. I mean they are better period. And they don't make any laminate guitars, with just a solid top, like Martin, Taylor, etc. They are all solid wood, and have a superior bracing system.

The L series is completely distinctive. Picked or strummed, my 13 year old L03 beats anything else I've played in 35 years and better players than I have gone to Larrivee when introduced to it.I also have a Two year old L05e which is really starting to develop the sweetness of the other. I believe it will surely be a collectable marque in the future. Wonderful and completely credible instruments for life-long players.

18 Alvarez

Alvarez is the best kept secret in the acoustic guitar industry, hands down, bar none. More value at a lower price than any other guitar maker!

My message to those in the know: let's keep it our little secret.

It's like a great swimming hole when you were a kid. Once "everybody" found out how great it was, your swimming hole was overwhelmed with kids and it was ruined.

With something like a great guitar at a reasonable price, once people start catching on the price goes up and the advantage is gone!

Thinner top but fantastic quality espcially the masterwork series. I have several martins and taks no Taylors and several Dangelico's but the Go to is the masterwork MD-60 and my D-35 Martin and the price difference is $2000. I think the best under $1000 guitars are made by Alvarez and Guild

The mahogany-topped parlor model AP66ESHB sings and projects astonishingly well for a small body guitar. The Delta models from their Jazz and Blues line are wonderfully playable and are well suited to playing the music invoked by their their names. Nicely balanced tone across and along the neck on all of these guitars.

This company is simply unmatchable when it comes to the value you get for the price. Especially their bottom end models! I have an rd20sc that will blow most guitars from other brands costing twice as much out of the water. This brand should be at least in the top 5 of this list.

19 Godin

Same as seagull top 5 at least!

I love my Godin..I have Taylors, Ovations,Martin but this is an awesome guitar..

20 D&D Custom Guitars

D&D guitars makes world class acoustic guitars at very affordable prizes. What makes it flaunt its wings is its remarkable ingenuity in creating guitars which is heavily toned yet slim-shelled.

My first 'serious' guitar bought two months ago is a Sunburst D&D Slim Standard Electro-Acoustic Guitar. It is much thinner and much lighter than the 'regular-sized' branded guitars of my pals in the choir but it sounds just as good.

These are the best bang-for-the-buck acoustic guitars out there. Priced merely a little fraction of 'bigger' brands, these Philippine-made instruments are slowly gaining its well deserved popularity.

This should be among the top twenty if you base it on sound and workmanship quality against the price. Definitely one of the best.

21 Lakewood

Superb guitars. Lakewood have both standard and custom production of 12-fret cutaway guitars. Other producers do not offer standard production - except of Taylor, but Taylors at the same price level are made technologically cheaper, resp. at the same quality level are much more expensive. My impression is that Lakewoods have a little bit lively sound than Taylors. I am interested in well made, I. e. with high quality craftmanship, 12-fret cutaways and the brand is not so important for me.

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!

A very underrated acoustic guitar brand. I hope it will gain more fame through the years. Sungha Jung, the youtube fingerstyle guitar prodigy, has a lakewood signature guitar. Even his teacher when he was young has one. Lakewood is in a league of its own. Nothing can match a magic of a lakewood guitar!

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!

22 Maestro
23 Tanglewood

I don't think tanglewood should be below Yamaha, they sou amazing and the materials they use are very comfortable to the touch, I own a Yamaha but when I played a tanglewood I got mesmerized.

Best sounding guitar I have played! If you are going to buy a guitar, definitely recommend buying a tanglewood!

Tangle wood should have in top ten when it comes to acoustic.

Has the UK master piece. Got to have such guitar!

24 Cort

The best value for the money. I have an AP55 V-B parlor and it is very well made. It has great balance and is light. The neck is comfortable, and stable. It has a rosewood fret board, spruce top, and the sides and back are mahogany. Beautiful finish and attention to detail. The hardware is excellent. This is a no frills acoustic guitar so don't expect fancy inlays, or a pick guard. The AP 55 V-B is comfortable to play and sounds great.

I own a Cort MR 710 and I love its bold yet balanced tone. I have tried a few different guitars but I find it to have the best sound you can buy for the money. They have some very nice looking models, too. Also I love the narrow necks on most of their models. Perfect.

Cort's excellent beginner to intermediate guitars like cort AD810 & AD880 have proved to be as good as yamaha f310 and fender squire's SA-105 & FA-100.

I love my cort, given me a great sound for 9 years. Best value for money and a great acoustic sound

25 Lowden

I have been playing electric, acoustic, and classic for 20 years. I have owned highed end taylors and played my fair share of martins. My current daily player is a lowden F 35... and it continually surprises me after years of working with it. It's an amazing instrument, and I whole-heartedly recommend these guitars. The guitar is constructed completely differently from mainstream acoustics: A-frame bracing, super strong 5 peice neck, split saddle and handmade attention.

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.

I've owned 2 Lowdens, and when misfortune compelled me to trade
them in for another guitar, I regretted it.
The gorgeous tone, the graceful Zen of their understated beauty!
Now, I'm waiting for an O25c to be built and delivered this May.
I'll never let go of this new Lowden!

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.

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