15 Best Premium Acoustic Guitars Under $1000

When I went to buy my main acoustic guitar I had a short list of what I wanted. The list had no brand names or models that I was interested in. I knew what I was not willing to live without. I took a day and drove to all the music stores in my area. I pulled down guitar after guitar listening to their sound and looking at their features. My list was simple: cutaway, electronics, and a pinless bridge. The guitar also had to have mojo. It had to have a sound and feel that stirred something inside me.

Below we’ll give you a comparison table with different models that will look at their ratings. To find out more about any of those models will be links to extended reviews that will allow you to find out more about each guitar. At the end we have some tips and tricks to help you navigate the whole shopping process to find the right instrument for you.

Top 15 Acoustic Guitars Under $1000

PRODUCT

FEATURES

PRODUCT

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PRODUCT

FEATURES

AR​​​​ RATING 97/100​​​​

  • Great dreadnought body which is quite impressive all around.
  • Built by Yamaha's famous luthiers.

AR​​​​ RATING 97/100​​​​

  • It has a very vintage, classic look to it.
  • Great set of tonewood which really adds to the experience.

AR RATING 96/100

  • One of the most comfortable large format body shapes..
  • Great sound which is massive, warm and full of finesse..

AR RATING 95/100

  • One of the best looking and sounding dreadnoughts out there.
  • Fender's authentic build quality and craftsmanship.
  • It brings that nostalgic vintage vibe at a reasonable price.
  • Built really well with plenty of attention to details.

AR RATING 94/100

  • Built incredibly well with a lot of attention to details.
  • Great selection of tonewood for the top and the shell.
  • Authentic hand crafted guitar coming from Canada.
  • Built by some of the best luthiers in North America.
  • Build in North America using quality tonewood and materials.
  • Proper selection of hardware all around.

AR RATING 91/100

  • One of the best looking mid range dreadnoughts available.
  • Great build quality as well as quality control.
  • One of the most classic parlor designs out there.
  • Great build quality and attention to details.

AR RATING 95/100

  • Rock solid Yamaha build quality which inspires confidence.
  • Great set of tonewood for both the top as well as sides.
  • Great build quality with plenty of attention to details.
  • One of the most comfortable large body classical guitars available.

AR RATING 95/100

  • The level of build quality you will rarely find elsewhere.
  • Great look which captures the traditional side of classical guitars.

AR RATING 94/100

  • A great, traditional design which simply works.
  • Good built quality all around.
  • Hand made by professional luthiers in Canada.
  • Made out of some of the best cedar wood.

AR RATING 97/100

Yamaha's higher end guitars are probably here this brand offers most value for your money. To be honest, these are still behind top tier models, but they present you with a very strong performance. Yamaha L-Series LL16R is a great example of one such guitar. It is a rock solid workhorse which is built like tank and offers impressive sound.

As far as we can tell, these are put together by Yamaha's luthiers. In other words, L Series guitars definitely receive a lot more attention that your average FG or similar. For this particular model, Yamaha went with a spruce top and solid rosewood back and sides. Because of that it has a pretty strong sound with plenty of projection.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    Great dreadnought body which is quite impressive all around.
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    Built by Yamaha's famous luthiers.
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    Awesome selection of materials and available finishes.
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    Sound which is massive, refined and malleable.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    The all black finish is high maintenance.

AR RATING 97/100

Guild guitars are definitely up there with the best of the best. That much is well known. When you look at their higher mid range models, you will run into a few interesting guitars. Guild D-150 represents a very refined dreadnought which packs a mean punch at a reasonable price. It is a fairly traditional guitar, which makes it attractive.

They went with a solid spruce top paired with solid Indian rosewood back and sides. As such, it's going to have all the warmth of a spruce top but also that punchy, cutting power that only a hard wood such as rosewood is capable of providing. Generally speaking, this guitar brings a high end experience in a very familiar format.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    It has a very vintage, classic look to it.
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    Great set of tonewood which really adds to the experience.
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    Sound that punches above its price range.
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    Great hardware which holds up incredibly well no matter what.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    The neck profile might be too old school for some.

AR RATING 96/100

Taylor is one of those brands which really need no special introduction. They have been around for a while, long enough to become an authority in the field. Taylor 114ce is a very interesting model for a number of reasons. For starters, it is regarded to be an affordable guitar in the world of Taylors, but it's also pretty capable.

They went with a grand auditorium body shape featuring a cutaway. The tonewood of choice is sitka spruce while the back and sides are made of sapele. Here's where we run into the only flaw we could find on this guitar. Taylor used their high tech laminate instead of solid wood for the sides. Even so, this thing sounds majestic.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    One of the most comfortable large format body shapes.
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    Great sound which is massive, warm and full of finesse.
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    Great set of on board electronics which easily handle acoustics.
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    Taylor's authentic fit, finish and overall craftsmanship is just impressive.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    Use of laminate is somewhat unexpected in this price range.

AR RATING 96/100

Fender's main forte are electric guitars. That is a fact and also a reason why most overlook this brand when looking for higher end acoustic guitars. Fender Paramount PM-1 is a model which might change that. This is one of the most impressive dreadnought guitars you can find and it is just a bundle of joy that keeps on giving.

The key here is the way this thing was put together. You are looking at a well familiar dreadnought body made of pretty high quality spruce for the top and East Indian Rosewood shell. When you pick it up, it just feels right. Naturally being a a proper dreadnought, it's comfortable to play. It sounds just amazing, especially when amplified.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    One of the best looking and sounding dreadnoughts out there.
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    Fender's authentic build quality and craftsmanship.
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    Great set of Fishman electronics which do a great job.
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    Comes with lifetime warranty from Fender.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    Not a produced in North America which is surprising.

AR RATING 94/100

It might take some by surprise to see an Epiphone in this price range. However, considering that this brand is no longer a 'cheap Gibson', there really shouldn’t be any surprises. Epiphone Hummingbird Artist is naturally a tribute to the old school Hummingbird. As such, it features all the right things in all the right places starting with the finish.

The tonewood also reflects this vintage vibe. Epiphone went with a standard spruce top paired with mahogany back and sides. The overall sound is warm but powerful with plenty of that classic projection in there. What really ties everything together is the neck profile which is probably one of the most playable profiles on the market. Overall, this guitar's awesome.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    It brings that nostalgic vintage vibe at a reasonable price.
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    Built really well with plenty of attention to details.
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    Has a very authentic feel to it which is awesome.
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    Sounds about as good as the original.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    Might require a setup out of the box.

AR RATING 94/100

Blueridge guitars are probably among the most popular choices in this particular price range. The reason for this is the fact that this brand has produces quite a few models in this category. Blueridge BR-140 represents an opportunity which is too good to pass up. If you are looking for a bang for the buck package, this is definitely it.

Blueridge went with a solid sitka spruce top paired with solid mahogany back and sides. On top of that you get a very slim profiled neck which is smooth and comfortable to play. The hardware and overall build quality is on point, making this a very reliable guitar. When it comes to sound, you are getting an authentic dreadnought experience.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    Built incredibly well with a lot of attention to details.
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     Great selection of tonewood for the top and the shell.
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    Good hardware all around, ensuring reliable performance.
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    Great sound which is very refined but also powerful.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    Factory strings are not all that great.

AR RATING 93/100

Godin and indirectly Seagull are making a lot of waves in the industry. These two brands are pushing out hand crafted acoustic guitars straight from the heart of Canada, which is something many people definitely appreciate. Seagull Maritime Concert Hall is a perfect example of one such guitar that tends to cause a lot of ruckus. It is that good.

Reasons for this are many, with the most important ones being the place of origin and the fact that they are hand made. Another is the fact that Seagull uses select solid spruce as well as high end mahogany in their builds. While it may not look as good as some other models, this Seagull makes it up in performance.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    Authentic hand crafted guitar coming from Canada.
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    Built by some of the best luthiers in North America.
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    Sounds incredibly well considering its price.
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    Comes with a Tush nut and saddle.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    These come across as rough around the edges sometimes.

AR RATING 92/100

Speaking of guitars which are made in North America, we have to mention Simon & Patrick Woodland Pro. It's another awesome dreadnought which is quite impressive all things considered. One of the pretty awesome features you can look forward to is an integrated set neck which packs a double action truss rod. With that said, this guitar offers so much more.

For this build they went with a mahogany shell complemented by a nice, well designed spruce top. This is a fairly standard combo which fits into the whole traditional theme going on. Simon & Patrick have also covered all of their bases hardware wise. This particular guitar features Tusq nut as well as the compensated saddle. Overall, it's an awesome package

WHAT WE LIKE

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    Build in North America using quality tonewood and materials.
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    Proper selection of hardware all around.
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    Sound which represents what a proper dreadnought is all about.
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    A classic look which will never go out of style.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    Factory strings don't do this guitar justice.

AR RATING 91/100

Nearing the end of our list, we meet another Blueridge guitar. This time around, we have a Blueridge BR-70 dreadnought. Generally speaking, this model is very similar to its more refined cousin which we have just discussed earlier. The main difference is in the choice of materials. This particular Blueridge uses tonewood which features a less refined sonic signature overall.

When it comes to build quality and some technical solutions, Blueridge did a great job. You're looking at a very well put together guitar that inspires confidence when you pick it up. Another thing we would like to point out is the amount of detail they included. This mainly applies to abalone inlays as well as the beautiful abalone biding.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    One of the best looking mid range dreadnoughts available.
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    Great build quality as well as quality control.
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    Awesome value for the money all things considered.
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    Pretty fine tone which has plenty of projection.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    Might need a setup right out of the box.

AR RATING 90/100

The extent of Epiphones lineup is quite outstanding when you take a closer look. Aside from their more standard models, you will find guitar such as the Epiphone Ltd Ed Caballero. This is an awesome parlor type model which really packs all the cool features you would want from a guitar of this type. Epiphone did an impressive job overall.

To be more specific, you are looking at a full mahogany build. Before you get all excited, we have to mention that all of the wood on this bad boy is laminated. since this is a parlor model, the whole laminate thing isn't having too much of an impact. Still, it does count. In terms of sound, this thing rocks.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    One of the most classic parlor designs out there.
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    Great build quality and attention to details.
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    Good sound with plenty of power behind it.
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    One of the better looking guitars on the market.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    Widespread use of laminated wood is bothersome.

AR RATING 95/100

Yamaha's classical guitars have established themselves as a true authority in that segment of the market. It partially has to do with the fact that Yamaha's craftsmanship is just one of the best, but also the fact that these guitars offer plenty of bang for your buck. On that note, meet Yamaha NCX1200Ra. It's one of the best classical Yamahas.

The body shape Yamaha went with is a grand auditorium with a cutaway. Considering that Yamaha used solid sitka spruce paired with solid rosewood back and sides, that cutaway isn't taking much away in terms of performance. Additionally, you also get an A.R.T. 2 way pickup system with an on-board preamp. Overall this is one great sounding guitar.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    Rock solid Yamaha build quality which inspires confidence.
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    Great set of tonewood for both the top as well as sides.
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    Plenty of volume and projection coming out of this thing.
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    Awesome, massive sound full of details and finesse.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    Requires a tuneup out of the box in most cases.

AR RATING 94/100

Ovation's guitars hold their own against most top tier competitors. How? By establishing and maintaining a solid level of quality in most of their instruments. Case in point, Ovation AX Series 1773AX-4. This guitar belongs to the acoustic electric segment but it perfectly captures what modern classical guitars are all about. It is another modified Orchestra body with a cutaway.

The tonewood they went with is a solid cedar setup which gives the guitar a very interesting sound profile. However, what you will mostly be interested in is the mid depth shell. In other words, this guitar is much shallower than usual. Does it have negative implications on the tone? Some, but those are offset by the built in preamp.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    Great build quality with plenty of attention to details.
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    One of the most comfortable large body classical guitars available.
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    Plenty of range, especially for a mid-depth body.
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    Great set of on board electronics.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    Could use a proper setup upon arrival.

AR RATING 95/100

No list of classical guitars can go without at least one Cordoba. This time around we are going to take a look at Cordoba C9 CD/mahogany. There is plenty to admire about this guitar, especially if you are a fan of a more traditional look. It is a hand made instrument which features some of the best materials available.

That might sound pretentious, but it's absolutely true. Cordoba's luthiers put these things together by hand, and their selection of solid Canadian cedar tops are well known in the community. In case of Cordoba C9 CD/MH, they have paired the cedar top with a full, solid mahogany back and sides. If you're after a classic experience this is it.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    The level of build quality you will rarely find elsewhere.
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    Great look which captures the traditional side of classical guitars.
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    Awesome tone that's a result of everything mentioned above.
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    Comes with a hard case for safer transport

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    Plan on investing in a good set of strings.

AR RATING 94/100

Here is one classical guitar which is about as straight forward as it gets. Hofner's designs are generally simple like that, which is what many appreciate about this brand. Hofner HOF-HZ27 is a pretty traditional looking classical guitar which is packed full of good craftsmanship, awesome materials and reliable hardware. If you are after a workhorse this is the guitar.

If you are interested in the tonewood, you will be pleased to know that Hofner went with a solid cedar top over rosewood back and sides. On top of that, the neck is a mahogany piece which shares a fairly neutral profile. This means that the guitar is pretty playable and easy on the hands. Sound wise, it's on point.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    A great, traditional design which simply works.
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    Good built quality all around.
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    Great selection of tonewood for both the top and sides.
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    Great sound which is full of warmth and awesome color.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    The finish is a bit of a high maintenance deal.

AR RATING 93/100

Last but not least, here's another awesome Seagull guitar. This time around it's a classical model and one that shows how far this brand has come. Seagull's decision to stick with luthiers and keep them heavily involved in the manufacturing process is exactly what gives them the edge on the market today. Add to that great materials and they're golden.

As per tradition, Seagull went with a solid pressure tested cedar top. That's their trademark tonewood by now. Back and sides are made out of solid rosewood which gives Seagull La Patrie 45471 Presentation quite a decent punch. The overall sound is very strong, propagates with ease but is also full of warmth. This may sound paradoxical but it's true.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    Hand made by professional luthiers in Canada.
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    Made out of some of the best cedar wood.
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    Features rock solid build quality and hardware.
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    Great sound which is balanced but strong.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    Might require an immediate change of strings in some cases.

The Guitars of this Range

This is a broad range of guitars going from the upper end of the workhorses to the start of the solid wood tone machines. If there are electronics onboard, they are good with plenty of tone sculpting capabilities. The eye candy at this price range is quite amazing, but don’t let a pretty face make you blind to the soulless monstrosity of a toneless guitar.

These are guitars for serious musicians, or at least those that want to look serious. These are guitars that will have the total package. Don’t get too caught up in wanting it all. You still need to focus on what your needs are, then buy the guitar that best matches them. This is a major investment, and should not be taken lightly.

There are still laminates, but they look fantastic and are made from the best tonewoods. These are the crème de la crème of the workhorses. If they sacrifice to have the laminate, then the electronics are better. And do not underestimate their durability.

The Extras

A hard-shell case is a must, if you are going to invest so much money, then keep it safe. Most of these guitars come with at least a gig bag, but you’ll want to upgrade.

You might want to pick up a travel, beater guitar or at least an acoustic guitar for less than $500. This would be the guitar that you’d take on trips or to the campfire. Leave your expensive baby at home where it is safe, and take your travel/beater guitar to the locations that are not amenable to the health of a guitar.

Make sure you have all that you need to amplify your electric-acoustic. If plugging into a PA you’ll need an instrument cable, DI box, and XLR cable. If you are playing smaller venues either as a solo artist or duo, then have an acoustic amplifier that can play to the room.

Personally I don’t own an acoustic amp, but I’m not trying to gig out as a solo artist (believe me, no one wants to hear me sing). There is plenty of projection from an acoustic instrument to hear yourself while practicing at home. If you plan on having a complex live show with loops, sequencing, and/or using delays as part of the musical passages, then an amp is very important. You need to get used to triggering all this gear so that it becomes second nature, so you won’t be struggling with the technology in front of an audience.

Know What You Want

The guitar that you buy in this price range will be with you for a long time especially if you match your needs. If what you want is a complex tone with a fit and finish that is second to none, then the more you spend the better you will get. This will be a guitar that if given enough room to sing will give a tone that is spectacular.

The price point below is home to the workhorses. Guitars that sacrifice tonal complexity for durability. If you are looking for an instrument to drag along to gigs, then this might be a very good option. You might even get lucky, and find a used guitar that will give you more bang for your buck. Buying used might keep you on your toes, guitars of this caliber or better do not show up very often. Be ready to jump on a good deal if one shows up.

Food for Thought

One thing that concerns me at this level are the guitars that try to sell you on the headstock. There are some very fine manufacturers that phone it in on some models. Don’t ignore the limitations of an instrument because of the name on it. Joe Schmoe at the end of the bar could care less who made the guitar, he just wants to hear “Free Bird” played right now.

If there is another guitarist in your group who already has an acoustic, then try to get an instrument that is voiced differently. If they have a steel string then take a look at nylon string guitars, these two instruments blend well while allowing each instrument to be heard. At least, if their guitar is bright and lively, then find a warm and mellow sounding instrument to offset their sound and widen the tonal character of the band.

Resale Value

Guitars at this value will get you a decent amount if you decide to sell or trade them in. If this is something that is important to you, then keep to the more well-known brand names. Personally, guitars that I have spent this kind of money on are staying with me for life. My kids can decide if they want to sell them after I’m gone.

To Conclude!

If you are not ready for this level of commitment, then you might want to check out some of our other comparison articles on less expensive guitars or even the starter acoustic guitars page. Subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss anything new or exciting. Check back regularly, these lists are not cast in stone. We might spot your next guitar before you do. Until next time may your suspended chords carry for miles and your leads tell a story.

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The appropriate research can do wonders if done properly. We are here to help you and save your time and money at the same time. In our website you will see our personal recommendations based on our knowledge and extensive research. What we base our rating using the product details and customer feedback.