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If you’ve been playing the guitar for a while and you feel you’ve outgrown your beginner-grade acoustic guitar, it might be time for an upgrade. Take time to celebrate, as this is a big milestone in every guitarist’s journey.
Any guitarist will tell you that some of the happiest memories include the day of acquiring a new guitar. These moments have the potential to give you a lifelong relationship with a specific guitar if you connect with the right instrument.
So what is a good guitar for intermediate players? Read on to find out about some of the best guitars from some of the top guitar manufacturers in the industry.
Best Yamaha Acoustic Guitar For Intermediate Guitarists
Yamaha is well-known for creating value-packed instruments for every skill level and budget. If you’re looking for an intermediate-level acoustic from this company, the Yamaha APX700II will likely meet your needs.
The body of the APX700II has a slim physique, allowing a comfortable fit for any acoustic guitar player. This is noticeably more trim than what a traditional dreadnought would be but does not compromise the sound it produces.
The APX700II has a cutaway body design, which is a crucial aspect for guitarists that love to play the entire fretboard. The APX700II makes playing the upper frets easy to play.
Construction-wise, the body of the APX700II has a back and sides made of Mahogany. A top made of solid Spruce gives the guitar great resonance and definition.
To enhance the natural sound of the guitar, the body features an X-bracing architecture without scalloping. A unique feature on the APX700II is an oval soundhole which helps to give more clarity to the overall EQ of the guitar’s tone.
The neck has a scale length of 25.5625” and is made of Nato. The fretboard is made of Rosewood and has 23 frets. Mother-of-pearl dot inlays are used for fret indicators.
The bridge of the guitar is also made of Rosewood. Fixed on the bridge is a saddle made of Urea, with the guitar’s nut matching the saddles. Urea is a synthetic material that is similar to bone.
The APX700II also has chrome tuning machines that are of high quality. You likely won’t have to deal with too many tuning issues and tuning the guitar will be a smooth process.
If you’re planning to play live or with a speaker system, the Yamaha APX700II has you covered. This guitar features a System 64 pickup and preamp system built into the guitar.
The pickup manages to capture the natural sound of the guitar without it sounding too synthetic and compressed as some other acoustic-electric guitars can sound. The preamp system features volume and tone controls as well as a built-in tuner.
The guitar features an attractive natural-looking rosette that decorates the soundhole. White binding outlines the edges of the guitar, which makes the overall aesthetic of the guitar pop out to the eye.
Overall, this acoustic Yamaha guitar is a wonderful option for an intermediate guitarist, especially if they have aspirations for live performance. The guitar is well-built and produces a pristine natural tone.
The APX700II provides quite a bit of playability as well. Its sleek design lends itself to having a sleek playing experience.
A gig bag is included with the APX700II, which is a great guitar accessory to have as an intermediate guitarist. This ensures that you can readily take the guitar with you wherever you need to go.
Item Weight: 5.5 pounds
Package Dimensions: 39.37 x 17.72 x 3.15 inches
Best Martin Guitar For Intermediate Players
Martin guitars are some of the best-known acoustics in the industry and for good reason. If you’re an intermediate-level guitarist looking for a Martin at an affordable price, you’re in luck.
The Martin GPC-X2E is an ideal choice for the intermediate guitarist. This guitar has the body shape of Martin’s Grand Performance series, which is not as wide as a traditional dreadnought.
This guitar also features a cutaway body design. Cutaway designs allow easier access to the upper frets, which is a necessary option to have if you are accustomed to playing the higher registers of the fretboard.
The body of the GPC-X2E has a top made of Sapele, with the sides and back made from HPL (High-Pressure Laminate). The body is constructed using scalloped Sitka Spruce X-bracing architecture, which helps to pronounce the natural tone of the guitar.
The guitar’s neck is crafted from Mahogany and has a scale length of 25.4”. The fretboard is made from Rosewood, with 20 frets. Inlays made from mother-of-pearl are embedded into the fretboard for quick fret identification.
The neck has a high-performance taper design, which helps ensure a smooth and even playing experience across the entire fretboard. As is customary with most Martin guitars, the GPC-X2E is given a critical eye with a Plek machine to ensure each fret is level across the neck.
The neck and body are conjoined at the 14th fret, using a mortise and tenon neck joint. This neck joint also helps with access to the higher frets, as often, your thumb will have to adjust its placement on the back of the neck.
The GPC-X2E’s bridge is also made of Rosewood, which matches the aesthetic of the fretboard. The saddle and nut of the GPC-X2E are made of compensated white Tusq. Tusq is a synthetic material that closely resembles the qualities found with bone materials.
The GPC-X2E uses plastic bridge pins to anchor the strings into the bridge of the guitar. This guitar has gear tuners that are chrome enclosed, adding a luxurious feel to something as simple as tuning your guitar.
Aesthetically, the guitar has a brown tortoise-patterned pickguard and a striped rosette made of mother-of-pearl, which both decorate the soundhole. The GPC-X2E has a hand-rubbed finish on the guitar’s top.
As the sides and back of the guitar’s body are made of HPL, a variety of different wood patterns are available. These include:
- Sitka Spruce
The Martin GPC-X2E is primed and ready to go for live performances as well. The guitar is equipped with a Fishman MX pickup and preamp system.
The Fishman MX pickup is able to broadcast the natural tones of the guitar quite well, which can be further adjusted with the tone and volume controls on the preamp.
You can be prepared to travel with the GPC-X2E, as the guitar comes with a quality Martin gig bag that will protect your guitar from any minor damages.
Overall, this offering from Martin is a high-quality guitar that the intermediate player will love to play. Although it is relatively affordable for a Martin guitar, it is likely to be a major step above any beginner-level guitar.
The guitar has the same level of craftsmanship that the company is known for. You can be sure that the GPC-X2E will have a rich and full natural acoustic tone.
All too often, left-handed guitarists are limited with what is available to play. Left-handed guitarists can also take advantage of this guitar, as the model is offered for both right and left-handed preferences at no additional cost.
Item Weight: 8 pounds
Package Dimensions: 37 x 16 x 7 inches
Best Taylor Guitar For Intermediate Players
As there are many guitarists who seem to be divided into camps who champion either Martin or Taylor guitars, it is only right to list a Taylor acoustic. Like Martin, Taylor is one of the best-known American acoustic guitar manufacturers.
The Taylor GS Mini Mahogany is a great choice for the intermediate guitarist who loves the bright and rich sound of Taylor guitars. This guitar has the same characteristics but is priced affordably for an intermediate player.
The GS Mini Mahogany, as the name would suggest, is a smaller-sized guitar in both body size and neck scale. Despite its size, the guitar produces a deep and rich tone, due to its construction.
The GS Mini Mahogany is a non-cutaway style acoustic. The body features a solid Mahogany top with the sides and back of the body made of layered Sapele.
The body is constructed using X-bracing which has a relief route. This, in combination with the Mahogany top, helps to produce the deep tone that this guitar is known for.
The neck of the guitar is made of Sapele. The scale length of the neck measures 23.5”, which could land this guitar in the short-scale guitar category.
The neck is conjoined to the body using Taylor’s own unique joint design. This design gives the heel a length of 3”.
The fretboard is crafted from West African Crelicam Ebony and has 20 frets. White Italian acrylic dot inlays are used as fret indicators.
Like the fretboard, the bridge of the guitar is also made of West African Crelicam Ebony. Affixed to the bridge is a saddle made of Micarta, while a Nubone nut is affixed to the headstock. Die-cast chrome tuning machines add to the tuning stability and ease of use.
Aesthetically, the guitar has a sharp-looking red tortoise-patterned pickguard which compliments the natural color of the guitar. A 3-ring rosette around the soundhole adds further decoration to the guitar.
The GS Mini Mahogany has a varnished finish on the body and the neck of the guitar. This helps add a little shine to the guitar while preserving the natural colors of the wood.
There are no electronic pickups built into the guitar, which helps to preserve the natural resonance of the guitar’s body. However, if you are inclined, a pickup can be easily installed. Taylor specifically makes a pickup for this guitar that can be installed with minimal effort.
Included with the GS Mini Mahogany is a structured gig bag. These gig bags are of high quality and are highly suitable for travel. Though they are padded extremely well, they will not protect the guitar against major damages the way a hardshell case would.
Overall, the Taylor GS Mini Mahogany is a worthwhile offering for an intermediate guitarist. This guitar has all the hallmarks that Taylor guitars are known for but at a reasonably affordable price.
If you have small hands or a smaller physique, you will likely find that the Taylor GS Mini Mahogany is very accommodating. The shorter scale length and smaller body style give a point of access nearly anyone can appreciate.
Last but not least, left-handed guitarists can enjoy the fact that the model exists for their hand dominance at no additional cost.
Item Weight: 4.4 pounds
Package Dimensions: 42 x 18 x 8 inches
Best Ibanez Acoustic For Intermediate Guitarists
Ibanez is perhaps best known for their highly playable electric guitars, which are tailored to the highly technical player. However, the company does produce quality acoustic guitars for all skill levels and budgets.
The Ibanez AWFS300CE is an ideal choice for the intermediate guitarist looking for a cutaway-style dreadnought acoustic, without having to break a budget. This acoustic guitar is stocked full of value and can likely make a lifelong companion to the aspiring guitarist.
The AWFS300CE’s body features a top made of solid Engelmann Spruce, with the sides and back made of Okoume. The body is constructed using a scalloped X-bracing architecture, which helps to pronounce the sweet natural tone produced by the guitar.
The neck is made of 5 different layers of wood, featuring a combination of Pau Ferro and African Mahogany. The scale length measures 25.6”.
The fretboard is made of Macassar Ebony and has 20 frets. The frets are easily accessible due to the cutaway design of the body.
To match the fretboard, the bridge is also made of Macassar Ebony. The saddle and nut are both made of bone, which is not typically seen on guitars in this price range. Chrome die-cast Gotoh tuning machines add to the overall luxurious playing experience of the guitar.
If you wish to play live, the AWFS300CE is equipped with a pickup and an Ibanez DP1 preamp system. The pickup preserves the natural sound of the guitar when plugged in, helping to ensure you don’t lose your precious and beloved tone.
The DP1 preamp gives the option for both stereo and mono outputs. A built-in tuner is also provided for playing convenience.
Aesthetically, the AWFS300CE has an attractive natural look, supplemented by a rosette around the soundhole, and a thin binding outlining the guitar. Ibanez uses an open-pore semi-gloss polyurethane finish on this guitar to give it a natural shine.
Included with the AWFS300CE is a gig bag, which provides portability right out of the box.
Overall, the Ibanez AWFS300CE is a worthwhile mid-budget guitar that an intermediate player will have no issues with. The guitar has everything needed to propel the intermediate guitarist into professional playing levels.
The tone of the guitar is very clear and pristine, with added clarity in the high EQ ranges. The bass EQ ranges are well defined but will not hog the sound mix, particularly in a live setting.
Item Weight: 3 pounds
Package Dimensions: 45 x 19 x 7 inches
Best Ovation Guitar For Intermediate Players
Ovation is a guitar company that has become well-known for its uniquely designed acoustic models. The company’s guitars have a few signature aspects, which may not be in everyone’s taste, but can provide accessible playing.
For intermediate guitarists looking for a uniquely distinct acoustic guitar, the Ovation Celebrity Elite Plus CE44P-FKOA might be the answer to your call. This guitar not only sounds great but has looks that break from the traditional stylings of most acoustics.
The CE44P-FKOA has a body shaped in Ovation’s Lyrachord body style, featuring the rounded back that is signature to Ovation guitars. This helps to pronounce the subtleties of the guitar and gives greater definition to the tonal range overall.
The top of the CE44P-FKOA is made from figured Koa which produces a well-balanced tonal clarity. Koa is traditionally a well-reputed and highly sought-after tonewood, which has undergone periods of rarity.
You might notice that there isn’t a sound hole in the middle of the guitar, but rather, a series of small holes in the shoulders of the top. This helps the player to hear the guitar while also allowing the tone from multiple areas of the guitar to combine, producing a wider range of tones.
The iconic bowl-shaped back is made from fiberglass. This, combined with quarter-sawn scalloped X-bracing, ultimately helps project the sound of the guitar while providing a level of comfort for the guitarist.
The neck of the guitar is made of Nato, and has a scale length of 25.25”. The 20-fretted fretboard is made of Rosewood and has abalone inlays for fret indicators.
The bridge is also crafted from Rosewood. Both the saddle and nut are made of ABS. Gold die-cast tuning machines make tuning easy and add to the aesthetic look of the guitar.
The CE44P-FKOA also features an Ovation Slimline pickup and OP-4CT preamp built into the guitar. The preamp has EQ/Volume settings as well as a built-in tuner.
Overall, the Ovation CE44P-FKOA is an excellent guitar at a price level that is ideal for intermediate guitarists. Though they have a unique design, guitarists who play Ovation guitars tend to be avid fans of the way they play and sound.
Item Weight: 7.75 pounds
Package Dimensions: 43 x 18 x 7 inches
How Much Should I Spend On An Intermediate Guitar?
You might be tempted to spend a fair amount of money on an intermediate guitar. However, this might not be the best option.
Truthfully, the intermediate budget level has one of the widest price ranges. Within this wide price range are a lot of guitars, many of which reflect the quality in the price.
For the most part, an intermediate budget generally runs from about $450 to $850. The quality of an $850 guitar is likely to be superior in build to the lower end of the price range.
It is best to determine what your budget is before shopping around. A few things that can help you figure your budget include:
- How long you have been playing
- How dedicated and consistent of a player you are
- If you have any professional aspirations or demands from a guitar
Much will depend on your own unique situation. An aspiring professional will have an easier time with a well-crafted guitar. The casual at-home player will likely get by on a more inexpensive guitar.
Popular Acoustic Guitars For Intermediate Players, Final Thoughts
If you’ve decided to upgrade your guitar to match your skill level, take a moment to celebrate. It means you’ve progressed far enough to warrant and justify a larger purchase.
No matter what your skill level or budget is, there is an acoustic guitar that will be able to fit your needs. It is important to try them out before buying to see if you like how each guitar feels and sounds. This will help ensure you make the best purchasing decision possible.
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