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It might seem a bold statement, but every guitarist should own an acoustic guitar (even if you’re a total metalhead).
The acoustic guitar prompts you to think differently about the instrument, which can inspire different approaches to your playing and even change how you think about music.
And if you’re going to be playing acoustic guitar, you might as well invest in a quality instrument. That is, of course, unless you’re a complete beginner who isn’t sure whether they’re committed to learning the guitar just yet.
In this guide, we’ll be looking at the best acoustic guitars under $2,000. Read on.
Breedlove Oregon Series Concert CE Sitka-Myrtlewood Acoustic-Electric Guitar With Deluxe Hardshell Case
Quick side note before we start, I’ve had some readers ask about the easiest way to learn guitar. I’ve shared that here for those that are interested.
Ok, back to the article.
The Breedlove Oregon Series Concert CE’s finish screams spruce, and sure enough, it’s exactly what the top material is made of. Spruce tends to give off a rounded, warm, midrange tone conducive to solo or acoustic performances.
From top to bottom, this is a beautifully yet minimally designed acoustic guitar, with Breedlove’s unique headstock design being the part that stands out most.
The smooth, rolling cutaway allows for access to higher frets, just in case you need to be able to play higher up the fretboard, or bust out a few blues licks.
Along with the Sitka spruce top, this axe was lovingly made with Myrtlewood back and sides, an African ebony fretboard and bridge, as well as an Eastern hard rock maple neck. This curved beauty also comes complete with a Herringbone rosette, offset dot inlays, nickel Breedlove tuners, and LR Baggs EAS VTC electronics.
This pickup system is also known as the Element Active System and is well-regarded in most circles.
This guitar delivers an even, consistent tone along with strong projection, making it well-suited to strictly acoustic or plugged-in performances alike.
Overall, this is a beautiful guitar. Some might even call it “a work of art.”
I admit that I have never been a huge fan of spruce guitars, but if you’re into it, you’ll dig this guitar no doubt.
Item weight: 20.2 lbs.
Package dimensions: 48 x 21 x 9 inches
Breedlove Premier Series Concert CE Sitka-Rosewood Acoustic-Electric Guitar With Deluxe Hardshell Case
The subtle copper burst gradient adorns this picturesque instrument known as Breedlove Premier Series Concert CE.
Strictly speaking, its design is almost identical to the Oregon Series Concert CE, but this guitar’s construction is what sets it apart.
The top material, unsurprisingly, is Sitka spruce. But it has East Indian rosewood installed on the back and sides, and a Honduran mahogany neck. In addition, you get an African ebony fretboard and bridge, Abalone rosette, nickel Breedlove tuners, and LR Baggs EAS VTC electronics.
Although this still sounds like spruce top guitar, I rather prefer it to the Oregon Series Cutaway CE. Overall, it’s got a little more cut, and even single note runs and licks tend to pop nicely. Because it has strong projection, it responds well to dynamics too.
What’s best about the Premier Series and the Oregon Series is that they are versatile guitars and tend to respond well to a variety of playing styles. If you need an all-in-one guitar that you can strum, pick, tap, and more, you should get acquainted with Breedlove’s lineup.
The best part about this guitar is that it plays well and is even comparable to higher priced guitars in that regard.
Item weight: 16.96 lbs.
Package dimensions: 48 x 21 x 9 inches
Blueridge Guitars BR-160 Dreadnaught Sitka
When you envision acoustic guitars, more than likely, what comes to mind is the image of a blonde dreadnought, much like the Blueridge Guitars BR-160. To be fair, this guitar’s spotted pickguard, intricate headstock patterns, and snowflake fret inlays might not be part of that mental image.
It might not have a cutaway for access to higher frets, but what it lacks in reach, it should more than make up for in the playability, stability, and tone departments.
This instrument features a solid Sitka spruce top with scalloped braces, solid Santos rosewood back and sides, Santos rosewood fingerboard, as well as a slim mahogany neck. For protection, this axe comes with a padded Blueridge bag as well (we assume not hard shell).
It might seem strange to say, but this guitar sounds just as it looks. Meaning, it tends to hold true to that mental picture you’ve built up for it.
In addition to the warmth, roundness, and evenness that spruce tops offer, this guitar’s tone is also just a little crisper than its counterparts.
It responds quite well to strumming, picking, and single note runs, making it a good all-rounder.
Overall, the BR-160 is like a poor man’s Martin D-28. If your budget just doesn’t allow for that level of expense, the BR-160 is significantly more than a reasonable compromise.
Item weight: 4 lbs.
Package dimensions: 40 x 16 x 5 inches
Godin Metropolis LTD Havana Burst HG EQ
The Godin Metropolis LTD Havana Burst HG EQ gives off a bit of a renegade vibe with its eye-catching burgundy finish. Without saying a thing, it’s as if it’s proclaiming, “I’m different – and I’m prefect for anyone who’s looking for something different.” And I don’t know about you, but that makes me want this guitar.
This axe was put together using solid cedar on the top, mahogany on the back and sides, and ebony for the tailpiece. The Richlite fingerboard is also a bit of eye candy that makes this redhead irresistible. Deluxe case is also included.
Along with a luxurious look and feel, the Metropolis confers a mellow, warm, rich tone that’s perfect for solo accompaniment and rhythm guitar parts. You can play loudly or quietly on this instrument, and the notes will still come across clear and articulate.
The Godin brand may not be the first that comes to mind on your hunt for acoustic guitars but let me be the first to say that you should not ignore them. They make some fantastic instruments, both electric and acoustic, and for the price, their guitars tend to be more than adequate.
Godin also owns guitar makers Norman, Simon & Patrick, Seagull, and Art & Luthier.
Item weight: Unknown
Package dimensions: Unknown
Takamine GD93CE-NAT Dreadnought Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar
Looking for the perfect stage guitar? An acoustic guitar that cuts and slices through the mix? Then you’ve come to the right place, because Takamine guitars tend to do exactly that.
The Takamine GD93CE-NAT dreadnought cutaway is what one might call a relatively “standard” acoustic guitar, and this point is hard to argue.
But it does come with a convenient cutaway and the powerful Takamine TK-400 preamp system complete with a built-in tuner, three-band EQ and gain controls, mid contour switch, notch filter, and EQ bypass. And it can be hard to find a preamp system with that many options.
Plus, its backside is more eye candy than you might think.
The axe itself is equipped with a solid spruce top, rosewood sides, a three-piece rosewood/quilt maple back, slim mahogany neck, 12”-radius bound rosewood fingerboard, and an elegant natural gloss finish.
This instrument is perfect for intricate fingerpicked patterns, cutting leads, and even strumming. Its tone is certainly more treble oriented than alternatives, but it still has an appealing sound, and if you’re plugged in, you can control it using the built-in pickup system.
The GD93CE-NAT makes for a wonderful workhorse.
Item weight: 7 lbs.
Package dimensions: 44 x 6 x 20 inches
Takamine GN77KCE Mini Jumbo Acoustic-Electric Guitar
The Takamine GN77KCE mini jumbo acoustic-electric guitar is a real treat. Its voluptuous curves notwithstanding, its construction is also something worth writing home about. Hawaiian Koa was used on its top, back and sides, making its appearance and hallmark tone a true joy.
As with most Takamine guitars, the GN77KCE is also stage-ready, thanks to its TP-4TD electronics with a chromatic tuner and three-band equalizer.
Importantly, this luscious guitar provides an even tone, along with versatility, thanks to the built-in pickup. I don’t find it to be too top heavy, and it isn’t the warmest of guitars either. It has a relatively balanced sound that’s pleasing to the ear.
Jumbo style guitars aren’t for everyone, especially since some find this body type a little hard to work with. That said, this is a mini jumbo, and to that extent, it is a little smaller, and a little easier to hold compared to your average jumbo guitar.
If you’re looking for a good all-purpose guitar that you can take with you to house parties, open mics, and even performances, this is a solid choice.
Item weight: 6.3 lbs.
Package dimensions: 43.5 x 19.5 x 5.8 inches
Seagull Artist Studio Dreadnought 12-String QII Acoustic-Electric Guitar
Although we’ve primarily looked at six-string acoustics so far, we figured it wouldn’t hurt to have a look at one 12-string, especially one this nicely designed.
The Canadian-made Seagull Artist Studio dreadnought 12-string QII acoustic-electric comes complete with a pressure tested spruce top, rosewood back and sides, mahogany neck, Indian rosewood fretboard, tapered headstock for stable tuning, as well as Tusq nut and compensated saddle for optimum intonation.
This instrument boasts excellent projection, with a full tone. It’s plugged-in sound is also quite shiny and lovely to the ear.
One thing I will say about Seagull guitars is that they are notorious for needing setups out of the box, because their playability leaves a little to be desired. Usually, the strings are a little too high off the fretboard, making them tougher to play, especially for beginners.
Seagull has improved a lot in recent years, though, so I’m not suggesting this will be an issue if you buy this guitar. But just in case, if it doesn’t feel quite right upon receipt of it, you know what to do.
Overall, this guitar is excellent value for the money.
Item weight: 11.1 lbs.
Package dimensions: 16.93 x 7.09 x 2.56 inches
HBIAO Acoustic Guitar Handmade
Finally, we’ll have a look at an off-brand guitar that is, nonetheless, a quality build from all appearances.
The HBIAO acoustic guitar features a spruce top, spruce and mahogany sides, mahogany back, as well as mahogany neck and fretboard.
The beginner’s kit comes with a gig bag, guitar strap, capo, soundhole cover, velvet cloth, and guitar picks. What’s offered here is quite generous, but most of the value will still be determined by the quality of the guitar itself.
And while we don’t feel this guitar can necessarily hold a candle to the others we’ve already looked at, it still comes out of the box with an excellent design, a pickup with built-in tuner, and an appealing jumbo cutaway body that makes it a solid buy.
This one is worth considering if you’re looking for a quality guitar but are still on a bit of a budget.
Item weight: Unknown
Package dimensions: Unknown
What Should I Look For In An Acoustic Guitar Under $2,000?
At this price range, it’s okay to expect more from your acoustic guitar.
In some cases, you will be able to find axes matched to premium designs.
But failing that, you should still end up with a solid intermediate to pro instrument.
So, here are the main factors we’ll consider as we look at what you should be looking for in an acoustic guitar under $2,000:
If you’re ready, let’s get right on this.
What’s a $2,000 guitar that doesn’t sound all that great? An expensive block of wood with metal attached to it.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you that there aren’t other important factors, because that’s not the case at all. Playability, specifically, is key no matter what level you play guitar at.
But tone is certainly going to make or break a purchase, because you’re not going to play a guitar that doesn’t sound good to you. At the very least, you’re not going to play it as much as a guitar you like more.
The tone of a guitar is somewhat predictable based on the woods it has been built with, as well as the electronics it comes with. Case in point: spruce has certain characteristics that become quite recognizable with repeated listens.
This can be a little more challenging field to navigate if you don’t have experience with acoustic guitars. But in that case, it could be argued that tone won’t be a key factor for you – at least not until your ear further develops.
This is such a big topic that we could have made it its own section.
If I were to break it down, craftsmanship consists of body type (dreadnought, jumbo, auditorium, grand auditorium, etc.), materials (woods) and hardware, intonation and tuning stability, and playability.
Not much needs to be said on body type here, because the main ones covered above were dreadnought and jumbo, and the difference is readily apparent.
Woods and hardware obviously play a part in how an instrument sounds and functions. If you’re buying in this price range, you should expect a solid quality instrument. It may not be top of the line, but it would be safe to say you’re buying in the upper intermediate to entry-level advanced range for $1,000 to $2,000.
As you’ve already seen, different woods are employed on guitars, with spruce, maple, mahogany, ebony, and rosewood being some of the more common choices.
The quality of the wood matters also, though in this price range, in most cases, you should end up with a solid top guitar, which tend to improve with age.
Intonation and tuning stability are important to most if not all guitarists, especially those in the intermediate to advanced range.
Again, most guitars in this price range should be more than adequate in this regard, but it can’t hurt to check reviews for issues. Some guitars can be nuanced and idiosyncratic.
Playability ranks one or two on my list of factors. You may feel differently, and that’s fine.
If the guitar doesn’t feel good in my hands, if chords are hard to fret, if I can’t pull off leads on it, or I notice any other glaring issues that aren’t likely to improve with time, I will either opt for a different guitar or professional setup.
Yes, in many cases, a setup can solve playability issues, or at least improve upon them.
Consistency could also fall under craftsmanship, but here we’re basically talking about how reliable the guitar is – in terms of playability, tuning and intonation, and so on.
Meaning – can you pick up the guitar on any given day or night and be able to depend on the fact that, with basic care and maintenance, its performs reliably and dependably?
This is obviously harder to tell without spending some serious time with the axe. It is, nevertheless, a key factor long-term.
Acoustic or acoustic-electric? This is mostly going to come down to preference and how you intend to use the guitar.
If you know that you’re going to be jamming, attending open mics, performing, and playing in a variety of situations with others, it is recommended that you purchase an acoustic guitar with electronics. Besides, it can never hurt to have the option.
Which isn’t to say that instruments without pickup systems aren’t good for performance or recording. Obviously, you can put mics on them, and some guitarists even prefer this. Eric Clapton famously performed Unplugged with guitars that didn’t have electronics.
Either way, for everyday practice and songwriting purposes, you don’t necessarily need electronics.
Perfect Price Range
You’re obviously serious about guitar if you’re purchasing an instrument in this price range. So, you want to make sure you end up with an axe you can be proud of.
Even so, a guitar in the $1,000 to $2,000 range can be quite the investment. So, ensure that you’ve got the resources available for the purchase. No sense going into debt for a guitar, right? Spend responsibly.
What Are The Best Acoustic Guitar Brands?
So, who makes the best acoustic guitars?
Which brands can you trust? Which one should you turn to when you’re shopping for your ideal instrument?
Here are some of the best acoustic guitar brands and manufacturers out there.
The legendary Martin creates quality instruments beloved by the likes of Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, Eddie Vedder, and many, many others.
The more affordable line of Martins are fine, I suppose, but unlike other brands, you won’t hit that “quality” benchmark until you’re wiling to spend $2,000 and up.
Nevertheless, if you’re looking for that uncompromising, trademark Martin tone, nothing else will do.
Taylor has long been (and will probably always be) held as a love it or hate it brand. Some feel their guitars are smooth and highly playable. Others feel they’re a little cheap in quality and build.
Personally, I’ve had nothing but good experiences with Taylor guitars. They sound good, play well, and feel good. They work great on recordings and in performance.
Taylors are favored by the likes of Jason Mraz, Lights, and Ben Harper.
Gibson acoustics reached the hands of artists like John Lennon and George Harrison (The Beatles), which made their instruments near instant classics.
I’m a big Gibson fan myself, and while I would not say that all their acoustic instruments are top notch, they’ve got more than a few that should satisfy the most discerning of players.
The Gibson-owned Epiphone has also come a long way, and I’ve had good experience with their acoustic instruments as well.
U.S.-based Guild was founded in 1952 in New York, NY by Alfred Dronge.
Their instruments are go-to for a variety of artists, including Doyle Dykes, James Blackshaw, Chris Seefried, and others.
Guilds generally feature a nice build and are good axe for the money.
Yamaha doesn’t need much of an introduction because they are a widely known brand in the musical world, regardless of what instrument you play.
Their acoustic instruments have been favored by a variety of players, be it Andy McKee, Edwin McCain, Chris Henderson, Peter Hayes, or otherwise.
To me, their instruments do have a bit of a “mass produced” feel, but their upper tier of acoustic instruments are superb.
Japanese brand Takamine may very well be the king of stage-ready acoustic guitars, which seem to cut through the mix, no matter how busy.
Their guitars tend to be highly playable too and are more than reasonable for the money.
They aren’t necessarily the best choice if you’re not looking for some serious high-end slice though.
Ibanez has emerged as a powerhouse in the realm of beginner to intermediate level acoustic guitars.
Their instruments always seem to be cheaper than they should be and are usually quite playable besides.
If you want a higher quality instrument, however, you will probably need to look at their signature series guitars.
Canadian manufacturer Godin isn’t always the first brand that comes to mind for acoustic guitar shoppers, but it should be.
Their products are quality, often innovative, and are priced more than reasonably.
The Godin-owned Norman, Simon & Patrick, Seagull, and Art & Lutherie also make quality products and are worth a look.
Breedlove Guitars is an American acoustic instrument company making acoustic guitars, basses, and ukuleles. They were founded in 1990.
They have a lot to offer in the premium range, but also have solid options for the beginner and intermediate guitarist.
Top Acoustic Guitars Under $2,000, Final Thoughts
Are you ready to pick out your perfect acoustic guitar?
Acoustic guitars are highly versatile instruments, and they can be great in a lot of musical situations. They can also be excellent songwriting workhorses, especially since they’re portable enough that you can haul them with you just about anywhere you go.
You won’t regret having a quality acoustic in your collection. It will come in handy in a variety of ways.
Happy shopping and thanks for reading!
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Last Updated on November 9, 2021.