Guitars are probably the most common and widely used musical instruments in the world. Whether you play as a solo musician or are a member of any band, or even if you just play for fun, a good instrument is always the basis of a strong musical foundation. There are many guitar brands and models floating in the market, and it is not always easy to know which one to go for.
The budget is another important question to think about while shortlisting some of the best acoustic guitars that you can purchase. That is why here in this article, our vision and proposal is to give you a range of options from which you can select the best acoustic guitar under $500.
It is often a tricky business to choose an appropriate acoustic guitar, considering the range of factors that you need to be paying attention to. We have conducted extensive research on this topic of acoustic guitars and have come up with some of the important things which you should consider.
We have also compiled a list of the ten best acoustic guitars under 500 bucks that are worthy of your investment and we have consulted the opinions of customers as well as individuals who have been a part of the industry for many years. Irrespective of whether you are a professional musician or just a newbie at the inception of your guitar journey, we are sure that this article will help you in finding the right instrument for yourself.
What Does A Typical Acoustic Guitar Consist Of?
1. Pick Ups
Pickups are a very essential and important part of electric guitars. However, on electro-acoustic guitars they are not that critical but they are still something that should be a part of your consideration when choosing an instrument. Pickups are nothing but the electrical unit that performs the function of picking up the vibration of the strings that can be used by the amplifier to process and create sounds.
Electric guitars generally use magnetic pickups, whereas electroacoustics use what is called a piezo style pickup. These ones are not as powerful as the magnetic ones on an electric guitar. They require a device called a pre amp, which is used to amplify the signal going into the amplifier.
The Piezo style pickups are generally placed underneath the saddle of the guitar, which is basically located at the bridge of the instrument. Sometimes, they are also placed in the sound holes and the oreamo, which powers the signal feeding the amplifier that can be placed in any number of different places.
An electro acoustic will not bear any hardware on the visible portions of the guitar from the outside, apart from the controls for the preamp on the side of the instrument. These are volume, bass and treble controls generally.
You should also be aware that soundhole pickups are capable of being retrofitted into normal acoustic guitars. But as per our experience and customer inquiries, this method has difficulties in terms of establishing a good signal. That’s why it is probably better to just use a microphone along with your normal acoustic guitar, instead of retrofitting a pickup to convert it into a semi-acoustic.
So, it can be said that if you are going for an acoustic guitar, then the pickup is not really an issue. Still, you should check eviews and pickup ratings to understand the sound better and if it is what you require.
This is arguably one of the most prioritized aspects of buying a guitar. Most people are well aware of the importance of strings in a good instrument. Other than factors such as make, wood quality etc, the quality of your guitar strings has a very large say in what your overall sound would be like. Depending on if they are premium strings or budget ones, it can have a huge bearing on your sound quality.
Of course in an acoustic guitar or any other guitar for that matter, you can easily change the pre-fitted strings and use the strings of your choice. Strings are not very costly, so we don’t think that the string quality should make a huge difference to your decision if you like the overall look and build of a particular guitar.
Depending on a number of factors, you can assess the quality of your strings. The first such factor is the gauge. This is basically nothing but the thickness of the guitar string itself. This aspect has an influence on matters such as tonality, volume, playability etc. There are usually five different categories of string gauge. These are extra light, custom light, light, medium and heavy. They are also denoted by a particular number, for instance 0.13.
The other important element when it comes to strings is the material. Strings are available in various different builds, with materials ranging from bronze, brass to silk and nylon. Brass strings give you that jangly rattle like sound. Most strings are made of bronze or a bronze alloy that generally has a 80/20 ratio of bronze, and some other material.
Bronze strings agree the quickest, and aluminum bronze alloy strings generally have a very sharp sound overall. Steel is another option which will give you a folky old school sound and is great for genres like folk, bluegrass, country etc.
Top 15 Best Acoustic Electric Guitars Under $500 2020
1. Jameson Guitars Acoustic Electric Guitar
In our quest to find the best acoustic electric guitar under 500, we start off with a blue Jameson guitar that is a huge crowd favorite and has been very well reviewed by its users. This model is available for both right handers as well as left handers and also in a number of different color variants.
As a family run company, Jameson is highly dedicated to give you the best value for your stringed instruments. This particular model can be played just an acoustic or even by plugging it in to an amplifier.
It comes with an overall length of 41″ and a body thickness of around 3″. It has a total body weight of near about 9 pounds approximately on the whole, and is composed of a rosewood body and spruce truss rod. The instrument has piezo pickup configuration and gives a great wholesome sound, irrespective of whether you are playing with or without plugging the instrument into an amp.
This deal is not only great because of the quality guitar that you are getting, but also because you get an additional guitar bag as well as free guitar picks. Furthermore, it comes with diecast turners and inbuilt EQ. As a budget option, this is a great acoustic electric guitar that has earned a place on this list.
2. Glen Burton GA204BCO-BK Acoustic Electric Guitar
Glen Burton guitars are always known for their stylish designs as well as their high sound quality as a versatile acoustic electric guitar. It comes with a shiny and well constructed flame top with basswood used for the back and the sides. The neck and the bridge are both made of catalpa and you also have a rosewood fingerboard to cap it all off. The aesthetics of the guitar is quite stunning.
The steel strings are one of the best in terms of longevity, and they are also well known for giving you a clear crisp sound. WIth the Glen Burton GA204BCO-BK Acoustic Electric guitar, your chord and lead playing will surely improve, as you will fall in love with the sound of this guitar. Of course, you can connect it to an amp and play it too if you’re jamming with your drummer or percussionist.
In terms of its body weight, it has a relatively lightweight body, with an overall weight of around 16 pounds. In terms of other measurements, it is 43 inches long and has a thickness of about 7 inches. Hence it has a near perfect design to help you navigate the fretboard quickly and efficiently. After this discussion, it should be clear as to why we chose this model for our list. We definitely think that it has a very affordable price and that it has the potential for exceptional service.
3. Fender CD-60SCE Acoustic-Electric Guitar
Fender is arguably the most famous guitar brand ever in history, and for good reason. It has mastered the intricate art of making the best guitar at very affordable prices. This tradition has a long history, and it is not surprising to see them dominating the guitar industry all over the world.
Fender CD-60SCE Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar is just one of Fender’s huge variety of popular guitars. But it is special, as it is well suited for beginners who are looking for a solid yet fun to play guitar that will give them instant improvement.
The shining black finish on this guitar is quite exquisite to behold,and a “mother of pearl” style acrylic design near the soundholeof the guitar gives it a royal aura that is unmistakable. It weighs in at a relatively light 15.92 pounds or so, and is therefore very light to hold or carry.
This makes it a great travel guitar, or even as one of your options if you are going for musical shows somewhere. It has a standard overall measurement of 45 inches in length and 8 inches in thickness. These measurements make it a great option to play while resting on your lap.
First launched in 2014, it has seen steady and solidifying sales that prove its worth. Considering that it is available at a really modest price, we would encourage you to go ahead and give this beauty a try. You will not be disappointed!
4. Vangoa Electric Acoustic Guitar
The next model in our search for the best acoustic electric guitar under 500, we have the electric acoustic guitar 41’’ from Vangoa. Perhaps not as popular and widely established, but Vango have developed a reputation of creating classy acoustic guitars at very optimized prices. The design of this guitar is one of its greatest positives, as it makes it very sturdy and powerful. The make of this guitar is such that the truss rod has been fitted into the guitar neck.
For a full size 41 inch guitar, this one is very light and ergonomically viable. This makes it a great option for plying it in outdoors and carrying it around with you when you travel. Not only that, but this electric acoustic guitar also comes with built in 4-band EQ. This makes it extremely simple and convenient to tune anywhere on the go.
The lacquer finish of this superb model also gives it the additional layer of durability, which extends its lifetime potential. Furthermore, the open tuning pegs are also a great masterstroke. These pegs are not only dustproof but they also manage to hold the tune very well, so that you don’t have to do it time and again.
It is no surprise to see that it has so many many positive five star reviews. At such a great price, this guitar offers you a great deal and covers all the necessary bases. As a part of this deal, you will also receive some really cool accessories, such as a guitar bag and a guitar strap amongst others. The product comes with a 2 year warranty, which is another fantastic piece of news for any user. Vangoa also provides friendly customer service and therefore this is going to be a great buy overall for anyone who chooses it.
5. Yamaha APXT2 Acoustic-Electric Guitar
We all know about Yamaha as a very trusted and well established brand of musical instruments and devices. They have produced yet another stalwart, with the Yamaha APXT2 3/4-Size Acoustic-Electric Guitar which is one of the best compact guitars currently found in the market. It is available in multiple color models – so don’t worry if black does not do it for you.
It has an elegant spruce top with a bridge and a fingerboard that is made of good quality rosewood. This gives it a solid base from which to weave its magic in terms of its bright and vibrant sound quality. One of the best Yamaha APXT2 3/4-Size Acoustic-Electric Guitars, this one is an absolute gem for so many reasons. The ART-based pick up system is a great addition, and Yamaha’s own proprietary tuner gives great service with regards to accuracy.
This guitar is probably the lightest guitar on this list and one of the lightest in the market, with an overall body weight of a meagre 5.29 pounds. This gives it an incredible air like weight and makes it so much fun to play too. It is the perfect example of an ultra user friendly 3/4th guitar and it is also available at a great price. If you like a lightweight guitar, you can never go wrong with this one.
6. Ashthorpe Full-Size Acoustic-Electric Guitar
The best thing about looking for a great guitar in the current market, is that you have so many good viable options to choose from. Adding to our list of some illustrious acoustic electric guitars that you can get your hand on, is the Ashthorpe Full-Size Cutaway Thinline Acoustic-Electric Guitar Package. Whether you are a musician on the journey of improvement, or a well established professional player, this one can be a great instrument to invest in. This guitar boasts of a great tone, incredible projection and high quality sonics that are sure to take your playing to the next level.
The body of this guitar is constructed using X-braced, A-grade sprucewood. This is why it is so solid and has a really long expected shelf life, while also adding to the overall versatility of the instrument. Irrespective of the genre and style of music that you play, this guitar responds extremely well and maintains a great degree of tonal integrity and clarity.
A;thought it is a full size 41 inch guitar, the area around the neck has been expertly cut to give it a great shape. Not only does it look spectacular, but it also makes it easier for you as a player to access the top of the instrument with greater ease.
The chrome tuning pegs are very useful and easy to operate. This, along with the 4-band pickup/EQ (bass, mid-range, treble, and presence) really makes the Ashthorpe a perfect all round versatile guitar.
The deal will also get you 2 sets of upgraded phosphor bronze strings. Besides this, the complete kit gets you a guitar bag, guitar cable and a shoulder strap as well. Counting all of these points together, we have reached the conclusion that this is a great deal any way you look at it.
7. Best Choice Products Full Size Acoustic Electric
The Full Size Acoustic Electric Cutaway Guitar Set has taken the market by storm and has won over many fans in a somewhat short period of time. A lindenwood top works really well for this instrument. The okoume wood neck is another plus, as it gives you a great deal of stability and balance while playing. This is a great option for you, irrespective of whether you’re a newbie or you’re an experienced player looking for a great practice guitar.
The reason why this presents a fantastic deal, is because it also comes with a superb 10-watt amplifier with volume, bass, and treble control, as well an amp cable to further sweeten the deal.
Furthermore, you will also get a range of other accessories such as a digital clip-on tuner, 4 guitar picks, a guitar strap, replacement guitar strings, cleaning cloth, and a capo. So basically, you are getting the full package and some more, with this lucrative deal that presents itself as a great opportunity to get all of your required gear in one go.
This guitar is very much on the standard metric when it comes to size specifications. Around 40 inches in length and 4.5 inches thick, it is very simple and fun to play. All things considered, you get a great dealwith this guitar and you would be foolish to pass up this glorious opportunity.
8. Donner DAG-1CE Electric Acoustic Guitar
We have reached the halfway mark in our quest to find the best acoustic electric guitar under 500. We have looked at many impressive models, and the Donner DAG-1CE Electric Acoustic Guitar is the next on our list. Presenting another high performance full size 41 inch guitar, the Donner DAG-1CE is the perfect musical companion for you.
The dreadnought body of this fine piece of craftsmanship is a pleasure to the eye, and the spruce top and mahogany back and sides give you the perfect chance to find the right tone with the required depth and clarity of sound.
It comes with an inbuilt preamp that is supplied with all the required volume control options and an integrated tuner which makes tuning fun, easy and quick. The classical bridge design makes changing strings easier than ever before. The Donner DAG-1CE represents the pinnacle of guitar technology as a premium guitar of the highest quality. The spruce top with scalloped bracing, gives it a great build quality that is strong and allows you to use your guitar extensively without worrying about damage.
The entire package for this deal is quite lucrative and eye catching. You get everything starting from a gig bag, a guitar strap, a guitar to 4 guitar pricks and one polishing cloth.
9. Vangoa Electric Acoustic Guitar
Another fine acoustic electric guitar that comes from one of our powerhouse brands, this Vangoa ¾ 36 inch travel guitar has been gathering a lot of attention. Composed of an AAA spruce top with sapele back and sides, the construction of this guitar is one of its main strengths and is remarkably resilient and versatile.
The truss rod is built into the neck that gives this instrument a lot of stability. It allows the instrument to resist tension caused by strings or temperature change, so that the neck remains straight.
The adjustable guitar neck is another really helpful feature of this guitar that allows you to maneuver the fretboard with relative ease. The cutaway design is especially useful for accessing the upper frets and getting the right sound from these areas, which can be tricky in many other guitars. Furthermore, it is also equipped with 2 band EQ (bass and treble) and built- in tuner. This enables you to be able to tune your instrument with the utmost ease and also record your playing without any inconvenience whatsoever.
Other impressive components which make this guitar the perfect value for money products are the 3 guitar picks, 5 mm zipped padded bag, adjustable guitar strap, extra strings, truss rod allen key and capo. If you are a beginner, then this is a dream deal for you as it familiarizes you with all the essential and non-essential elements of guitar playing and lets you experiment with your style and genre limitations.
This acoustic electric guitar has been doing the rounds in the market for some time now, and it is not a mystery to understand why. It is a great affordable instrument that can definitely enable you to progress and grow as a musician.
10. Fender FA-125CE Acoustic-Electric Guitar
Coming in at number 10 in this list of some of the most impressive acoustic electric guitars under 500, we have another classic work of art from the masters of guitar manufacturing i.e Fender. In any conversation that is trying to decide on the best acoustic electric guitar under 500, the Fender FA-125CE Dreadnought Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar has to be one of the main contenders. Not only does it have the Fender stamp of approval and trust, but this is genuinely a really high class instrument that is extremely affordable and is a great choice for beginners especially.
The beauty comes with a standard laminated spruce top and a basswood back and sides. This not only gives the guitar a great deal of stability, but produces that typical sweet Fender sound that has become such a huge statement for all Fender guitars. The neck of this guitar is also a great spectacle when it comes to design and ergonomic considerations.
The C-type neck is extremely user friendly and is responsible for heightened playability, while also giving the guitar a very pleasing aesthetic look. The Viking bridge system is also visually quite appealing, while enhancing the tonal quality of the overall guitar at the same time.
All in all, this is a great guitar that is available at a great price. Our experts have highly rated this one and we think you will love it too.
11. G. Great 39 Acoustic Electric Cutaway Guitar
You might not be aware of this guitar brand called G.great, as it is relatively new and yet has still established its reputation as a premium guitar manufacturer. However, one look at the customer reviews that this guitar has got will be enough to give you the vote of confidence you might need to believe in this really impressive model. The 39 inch Acoustic Electric Cutaway Guitar by G.great is a wonderfully elegant cutaway guitar with a very slim body.
Needless to say, it has been turning heads owing to its sleek aesthetic design and an unbelievably light overall body weight of 3 pounds. If that is not enough to convince you, the finely constructed rosewood fingerboard and bridge should give you enough encouragement. Apart from this, the imturent also boasts of having an M-450T EQ with an inbuilt tuner to sweeten the deal further. The overall length of the guitar is standard at 39 inches and makes the instrument easy to hold and play.
The is a great option for someone looking for a solid well constructed quality guitar that ticks nearly all the important boxes. It is as light as a feather and has great sound quality to add to its visual aesthetics. It is also available at a great price and is therefore a fantastic deal overall.
12. Fender CD-60SCE Acoustic-Electric Guitar
We are nearing the twilight of this list, and we have another Fender guitar as we just can’t get enough of them! The Fender CD-60SCE Acoustic-Electric Guitar is touted as one of the best budget guitars in the market and definitely deserves to be in the conversation for the best acoustic electric guitar under 500.
This model has acquired a really good reputation, thanks to its dreadnought body design and a solid spruce top with scalloped “X”-bracing. The mahogany back and sides are expertly designed for the best sound quality.
The standard spruce top of the Fender CD-60SCE is well built for durability as well as tonal quality, and responds exceedingly well to acoustic playing. The fingerboard edges of this guitar are rolled to give the player greater ergonomic compatibility and easier maneuvering of the instrument. On top of this, you will also get a Fishman pickup/preamp system, which allows you to access a range of different controls that allows you to amplify your acoustic.
The entire instrument weighs a meagre 7 pounds, which makes it one of the more lighter guitars on this list. The built in tuner that comes with this guitar is sure to come in handy for you as well. It has an overall thickness of around 6 inches, which makes it easy to hold and play. Overall, this is a great instrument to hone your skills and it is available at a very good price. For these reasons, we urge you to consider it for purchase and we believe you will not be disappointed.
13. Fender FA-235E Concert Acoustic Guitar Bundle
We keep on going with our full range of classic guitars from Fender with this super elegant and stylishly designed Fender FA-235E Concert Acoustic Guitar. Just like all of the other Fender guitars on this list, this one too comes with a hefty reputation of being a first class instrument. A particularly unique finish on the design of this guitar is its concert body style, which augments its visual appearance a great deal.
Not only that, but it is light in weight, as it is merely 9 pounds or so. This makes it a great option for carrying during your travels. It has an adequate scale length of 23.6 inches and a top that is constructed using laminated flame maple. This makes it extremely durable and resistant to damage.
Released as early as February 2020, this guitar has lit up the market with a great burst of sales in a very short period of time. It bears all the essential standards of Fender guitars, and is a great buy at such a modest price for any guitar player, whether a beginner or a seasoned professional.
14. LAVA ME 2 Carbon Fiber Guitar
A bit of any unknown commodity for the penultimate guitar on this list, the LAVA ME 2 Carbon Fiber Guitar is a fantastic option for anyone looking for a sturdy budget guitar with a high sound quality. It has managed to acquire really good reviews, and therefore has built a solid reputation in a relatively short period of time.
The piece injection moulded technology is a unique aspect of this guitar that has stolen the attention of many. The guitar is well known for offering a really vibrant and dynamic tone that immediately stands out among less sharper ones.
The most fascinating aspect of this guitar is that its rear side is used as a speaker working in tandem with the Freeboos technology on the L2 pickups. This allows you to access a whole host of different playing options such as reverb, delay, chorus and all of this without an amplifier.
The L2 pickup, moreover, is endowed with the percussion mic, which is capable of receiving sound. This has a unique function of enhancing the percussive feature,, irrespective of whether the instrument is plugged in or not.
Another interesting feature of the Lava 2 is that it comes with The Super AirSonic carbon fiber material that is able to adapt to a wide range of temperature and weather conditions to give you the best sound and performance on a consistent basis without exception. It can adapt to a range of temperatures from -20℃ to 90℃ and humidity levels of 10% to 90%. The neck of this guitar is also specially designed to give the player the most intuitive natural thrust while playing the instrument.
This guitar is a special treat and it has many innovative and interesting aspects to it. That is why it finds a worthy place on this list and is definitely a contender for the title of the best acoustic electric guitar under 500.
15. Fender FA-125CE Acoustic-Electric Guitar
We are finally at the end of our list of the best acoustic electric guitars under 500 bucks. We have looked at many sensational models and we thought it fitting to end this list with another blockbuster instrument from Fender. The Fender FA-125CE is a marvellous instrument by anyone’s standards and is hugely respected throughout the music industry as a very versatile and value for money device.
Built with a laminated spruce top and basswood used for the back and sides, the make of this guitar has many similarities with other guitars from Fender in this price range. The C-shaped neck is of course an iconic design statement from Fender that is unmistakable. Not only does it make the guitar look better, but it also enhances the playability of the instrument manifold.
Weighing in at around 6.6 pounds, it is extremely light compared to other guitars in this list. Also, considering that it is priced so modestly, we strongly feel that it is a premium electro-acoustic guitar that is definitely worthy of investment.