To pinpoint the best acoustic guitar brands is a highly subjective endeavour, however it is important to know some basics, particularly for people who are relatively new to the instrument and would like to narrow down their search when looking to buy one. So here is a breakdown of Neli’s prefered brands and their distinctive features.
While many guitar companies began making acoustic guitars and later moved into electric guitars, with Fender it happened the other way around. Although Fender moved much later into acoustics, the legendary brand offers a diverse collection. These models include both classic styles and more diverse shapes, so players in all genres can find a great fit. Although they are not widely regarded as a high-end maker of acoustic guitars, they are very well respected for the entry-level acoustics.
Each Fender acoustic guitar is made to play fast and smooth. Tonewoods like mahogany, sapele, and spruce keep each Fender acoustic guitar smooth and crisp, with a tightly focused sound that cuts through live mixes.
The founder of Martin is known as the person to invent the first-ever acoustic guitar in the United States, so one can expect good quality – and the brand delivers. It is one of the oldest yet most reliable ones that offer top-quality instruments for the past nearly 200 years, and they’re still going strong. Generations of players in all genres — from Johnny Cash to Paul McCartney and Ed Sheeran — have cherished their Martin guitars because of their higher-end craftsmanship and timeless sound.
Martin pioneered body shapes like the dreadnought and orchestra model (OM) and, even today, its model lines provide rich, supple response with a delicate mid-range and powerful bass. It’s hard to beat the quality that Martin offers in their lower price-range as well. They might be a bit more pricey, but you won’t need another guitar. Added bonus – they are very environmentally friendly.
Taylor’s signature body shape, the grand auditorium, blends the strumming power of a dreadnought with the fingerstyle articulation of an orchestra or concert model. If you’re looking for a brand that combines premium tonewoods with dynamic voicing and pristine build quality, it’s hard to beat Taylor guitars.
The best thing about this brand is that it manufactures guitars for everyone. Whether you have a tight budget or you are ready to spend well on a high-end guitar, you will get a perfect acoustic guitar to suit your needs. Artists such as Taylor Swift, Zac Brown, and Jason Mraz play the guitars by this brand.
Cort Guitars is a South Korean manufacturer that makes a massive amount of guitars. Chances are, you have played one of the Cort Guitar models, and you didn’t even know it, because they produce guitars for larger companies. A little known fact is they also have their own brand. They do not advertise the same way that other brands do so you might be hearing this for the first time.
But if you do stumble across Cort, you will find a great line of instruments that cover all the genres. These models come in all kinds of finishes and price points, and they have a pretty wide variety of shapes and features for any playing style.
Yamaha guitars are built to last, with the construction sturdy enough to withstand years of use. They are designed to appeal to guitarists of all levels, and the sound is so good that you can grow with the instrument and not feel that it holds you back, which is sometimes an issue with low-price, beginner guitars.
Their higher-priced guitars are also particularly special. With features enabling you to play live with a band, Yamaha’s innovative “Transatlantic” technology allows you to have reverb and chorusing effects to sing straight out of the guitar itself… without needing to plug in!
Ibanez is one of the most reliable guitar brands in the industry. It is a top contender when it comes to guitar brands for entry-level and amateur guitarists and it is a great option if you are looking for a budget nylon string. On the acoustic market, Ibanez prioritizes traditional body shapes like the dreadnought and concert bodies. For anyone who is willing to purchase a high-quality guitar but does not have the budget to go for a Martin or Taylor, an Ibanez is a smart choice.
Did you know that one of the premier European guitar manufacturers – Kremona, known for their industry-leading nylon string classical acoustic guitars, is Bulgarian? That’s right! Established in Bulgaria in 1924 by the master luthier named Dimitar Georgiev, Kremona has built itself as a household name when it comes to both affordable and high-end classical guitars. The flagship models of the Kremona line of nylon string acoustics feature solid tops, backs and sides built with superior tonewoods delivering a balanced sound with rich lows and clear mids perfect for classical, jazz, pop and more. Their steel-string guitars are also a fantastic option coming in many traditional body styles.
If you want some further reading materials on the topic, check out also these articles here and here. For more guides, tips and tricks we invite you to join Neli’s Guitar Family and subscribe to her YouTube channel! If you are ready to dive into the world of guitar (or ukulele) you can sign up for a lesson HERE – the first one is 50% off!
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