So you want to start playing guitar, but don’t want to shell out hundreds of dollars. Or you want a spare guitar to keep in the car or at a friend so you’ll always have a guitar handy.
Here’s the thing: you can buy a good, quality guitar for not that much money. Here’s a list and review of the 5 best acoustic guitars under 200 dollars.
I read through a lot of guitar recommendation posts, and what I noticed is that most of the guitars people were recommending for under $200 were out of stock or unavailable. What’s the point of writing a post and recommending guitars that no one can buy?
So, to counteract that, here’s a list of great quality, budget friendly guitars that are actually in stock as of the time of this writing (November 2020).
Disclosure: Product links may be affiliate, meaning I get a commission if you click through and/or purchase.
The Best Acoustic Guitars Under 200 Dollars
|Jasmine S34C NEX Acoustic Guitar||Check Price Now|
|Glarry GT509||Check Price Now|
|Fender CD-60 Dreadnaught Acoustic Guitar (V3) – With Case – Black – Walnut Fingerboard||Check Price Now|
|YAMAHA FG800 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar||Check Price Now|
|WINZZ 39 Inches Classical Guitar Full Size Beginner Acoustic with Bag Capo Tuner Strings||Check Price Now|
At a 4.5 star rating with a whopping 1200 reviews, you know this guitar is the real deal. It is made by the same people who make Takamine guitars, which go for over 1000 dollars! It has a livelier, more open sound than you would expect for a guitar in this price range.
synthetic bone nut and saddle
advanced x bracing system
You get a guitar made by top guitar craftsman at a fraction of the price.
Some reviewers mentioned the tuners aren’t the best quality
Fender CD-60 Dreadnaught Acoustic Guitar (V3) – With Case – Sunburst – Walnut Fingerboard
This guitar has a balanced tone and plenty of volume. Reviewers laud the great sound – one even called the guitar “unbelievably good for the price!”
spruce top with scalloped x bracing
dual action truss rod
available in three finishes (natural, sunburst, black)
includes hardshell case
Great sound and value for an affordable price
Comes with hardshell case to protect your guitar
Guitar neck isn’t tapered so the guitar may be slightly uncomfortable to play
One reviewer says the finish scratched easily
YAMAHA FG800 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar
This affordable guitar has an authentic, well balanced sound. With nearly 700 reviews, it has a 4.5 star rating. Most of the reviewers say it is a great guitar for the price.
Nato wood back and sides
adjustable truss rod
scalloped bracing design
Great guitar for under 200
May buzz in the beginning until you stretch the strings
A great option to look at when considering lower-priced guitars is a Glarry guitars. Glarry guitars are cheap, yet still good quality. The GT509 has a pleasant, warm tone, and is great for beginners. You can choose four different finishes: natural, blue, black, or sunset. The guitar also comes with a pick, shoulder strap, capo, gig bag, truss rod adjuster, and tuner.
Cutaway design to make reaching the upper frets easier
Rounded fret edges
Comes with accessories so you don’t need to buy them separately.
Some reviewers mentioned that it buzzed a little bit
WINZZ 39 Inches Classical Guitar Full Size Beginner Acoustic with Bag Capo Tuner Strings
Winzz is the line of fretted instruments by Aileen music. This is a great beginner guitar that also comes with a gig bag, tuner, capo, extra strings, and a cleaning cloth.
Black richlite wood fingerboard and bridge
Protective ABS Black Color Binding
Two-way truss rod
Selected basswood top, back and sides
Birch wood neck and headstock
Golden plated 3-in-line machine head
Comes with lots of great gear
Not as many reviews so it’s a bit more uncertain what you are actually getting
Different types of Acoustic guitars
There are many different types and shapes of guitar. Here are the few most common. Keep them in mind when deciding which guitar you want to buy. (It may not be so applicable when buying a cheap guitar, since there aren’t as many options, but you want to know this before buying a higher-end guitar.)
Dreadnought is the most common body shape for a guitar. The dreadnought is large and produces a bold sound, with a large tonal range.
Parlor guitars are smaller than dreadnoughts, which make them popular with people who are on the smaller size. They have a softer, more intimate sound
These guitars are, as their name suggests, jumbo, or larger bodied. That larger body lends to a much louder volume than other guitars.
Auditorium guitars have a more pronounced, curved-inward waist, so they sit more snugly on the knee. Its size is in between dreadnought and parlor.
Grand Auditorium Guitars
Grand auditorium guitars are large versions of auditorium guitars, so they have a similar sound, only louder.
Classical guitars are nylon-stringed, which gives a softer sound. But don’t be fooled. Just because it has nylon strings does not mean it is only for beginners. Certain types of music, such as jazz, are better played on a nylon-stringed guitar.
Things to look for when buying a budget acoustic guitar
The most important thing to remember when buying a guitar under 200 dollars is that many of the guitars sold in that price range are meant for children. They will say things like “½” or “¾” meaning they are one half or three quarters of the size of a regular guitar. They might also say things like “36 inches” – a full-size guitar is closer to 41 inches.
Keep that in mind, and make sure that that perfect guitar you have your eyes on is actually the perfect (full) size for you.
There are many other things to look at when purchasing an acoustic guitar, as well.
The first thing to consider is if you want steel strings or nylon strings. Nylon strings are more beginner-friendly, as they are softer and won’t hurt your fingers as much before you get callused. Most professional guitarists prefer steel strings, as they sound crisper and louder. They are sharper, though, and will hurt the uncallused finger, so be warned.
Another thing to consider is the wood and finish of the guitar. Different woods give different sounds, plus they are different colors.
Hand in hand with that is the finish you prefer on your guitar – classic wood, black, sunburst (darker brown on the edges of the guitar, lighter brown closer to the middle)
You might also want to think about cutaway versus non cutaway guitar. A cutaway guitar has an indentation where the neck of the guitar meets the body, which gives easier access to the higher frets. This can be helpful and make playing some chords easier, but does affect the overall sound of the guitar.
Guitars without a cutaway have a better volume and overall fuller sound, while guitars with a cutaway have a lighter, brighter sound. This is because the guitar sound is created by the vibrations moving through the body of the guitar, and if the body of the guitar is shaped differently, the vibrations hit different places and end up sounding different.
An acoustic guitar under 200 dollars is a great find for a budding musician, or as a spare guitar for an experienced musician. They are affordable, still have good sound, and are fun to just bang around on without having to worry about ruining your expensive guitar.
I would recommend the first guitar on this list, the Jasmine S34C Nex, but any of these will give you great sound for the cheap price you pay.
If you are looking for an affordable electric guitar, then check out the best electric guitars under 300 dollars.
If you want a better quality guitar, check out the best acoustic guitars under 1500 dollars.