Finding the best cheap acoustic guitars might be a tricky proposition. It's not as easy as asking your friends and neighbors who they use. If you do, though, have anyone you know that uses guitars regularly, you can trust their recommendations. But in truth, it takes more than mere word-of-mouth to find a good guitar at a good price. You need to know what to look out for and what you should be looking out for. So here are some tips on how to get the best deal on your next acoustic guitar purchase.
Beginners looking for cheap acoustic guitars probably want to start with the least expensive models. Both the Martin LX1 and the Taylor GS Mini could have happily accepted the one-two punch of the Taylor GS Mini, but the best guitar for beginners, in our opinion, is the Epiphone J-200sce. The lower-cost means the Epiphone J-200sce can be had at reasonable prices even for the beginner, making it a great starter model.
Beginners also want to avoid the two common mistakes that turn expensive guitars into cheap acoustic guitar deals: using poor quality woods and poor construction. All good acoustic manufacturers use solid wood throughout the body and neck. Unfortunately, most of the better woods used in, the cheaper guitars are not quite as solid. The neck joints are frequently of poor quality also, and the hardware of the guitars is usually made of plastic or other materials that wear easily and are subject to quick and easy damage.
If you want something that is not so easy to control, you might want something a bit sturdier than the Epiphone J-200sce. The necks on these models are usually hollow, and all good quality guitars are rated for optimum performance, not average. You would probably be looking for a model that has a fingerboard that has the same amount of density as the neck of the guitar, but you can get the feeling of solid mahogany or maple instead.
Acoustic materials vary greatly, so it's best to take your time when buying inexpensive guitars. When comparing different brands, make sure you check out their sound quality rather than just their price. As far as durability is concerned, this doesn't seem to be much of a problem with a solid wood body. Acoustic guitars with a laminated finish are very durable. As far as electronics go, the best cheap acoustic guitars will come with a double-cutaway, locking nut, and a vintage headstock.
The best cheap acoustic guitars are made from various woods, which allows for great acoustic performances, whether you're sitting at the front or the back. Be careful, though, as cheaper woods tend to crack pretty easily. Some more expensive guitars may be worth the extra investment, as they are generally made from hardwoods like mahogany or ash. If you find a guitar within your price range, be wary about trusting it with a musical instrument as cheap as plastic or aluminum one.
Some guitars have a tapered design, which means the strings are closer to the headstock end of the neck. The most popular style of neck-to-head-end stringing on these guitars has three parallel strings attached along the fretboard's edges. Fingerboards of this design often have medium-density fiberboard glued to the sides for extra stability. These fingerboards are quite common on the cheaper models, while more expensive guitars have a stiffer textured fretboard with steel strings.
Your final choice for your guitar should be the type of finish it has. Usually available finishes are gold lacquer, oil rubbed bronze, chrome, satin finish, and natural rubber. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Satin finish acoustic guitars are usually very good performers, but they need a lot of attention. Gold lacquer guitars tend to sound better without a fretboard and are easier to handle, though the cost is higher. Chrome guitars look sleek and modern, though they tend to crack and lose their tone over time.